It's a weird time to be alive, isn't it? Maybe it's no surprise, then, that both DC and Marvel (the so-called Big Two of comics publishers) are launching comics with "strange" in the title this month. But while one is a two-faced look at the nature of space adventure and foreign interference, the other might just be superheroes' answer to Harry Potter.
On top of that, March 2020 also brings Jonathan Hickman's first new comic in a while that has nothing to do with the X-Men, while Mark Russell and Steve Pugh reteam for another devastating satire. Check out our list of recommendations for this month below.
Strange Adventures #1 (DC Comics)
Tom King (writer), Mitch Gerads & Evan "Doc" Shaner (artists)
Mister Miracle, the previous collaboration between Tom King and Mitch Gerads, was one of EW’s favorite comics of the past several years. So how could we not be excited about their latest project? This time, King and Gerads are bringing a third collaborator, artist Evan “Doc” Shaner, along for the ride. It makes for an ingenious combination in this story about spacefaring Silver Age hero Adam Strange: Shaner’s classic art style (so often seen adorning reprints of classic DC comics from decades ago) depicts Strange’s sci-fi adventures on the planet Rann, while Gerads puts Strange’s time on Earth (promoting his new memoir of his adventures) through his trademark distorted filter.
The disconnect between the two halves of the story is clear: Things on Rann didn't happen exactly as Strange says they did. But what did happen with those aliens, then? Is this superhero in the classic mold actually an accidental genocidaire? Strange Adventures is set for 12 issues, which are sure to be full of mind-bending plot twists and likely involve interesting reflections on modern celebrity, cancel culture, and even foreign interference. The criminally underutilized DC character Mr. Terrific is also slated to play a major role. Why not board the Zeta Beam now and see where it takes us?
Strange Adventures #1 is on sale this week.
Billionaire Island #1 (Ahoy)
Mark Russell (writer), Steve Pugh (artist)
Sick of seeing billionaires try to buy their way into elected office? Getting worried about global pandemics and accelerating climate change while you read articles about how the super-rich are planning their own private apocalyptic failsafes? Then Billionaire Island is a comic for you. As you might be able to gleam from the title, Billionaire Island depicts a near-future dystopia in which the super-rich see everyone else (employees, journalists, aid workers, accountants) as their personal playthings — the ones they haven’t already killed by intentionally spreading horrible diseases in order to weed out the population, that is. But are they truly as invulnerable as they seem, or is there rebellion on the horizon? Only future issues will tell, though readers can trust that they’re in safe hands with Mark Russell and Steve Pugh, who previously turned DC’s Flintstones comic into one of the sharpest social satires on stands.
Billionaire Island #1 hits stores this week.
Strange Academy #1 (Marvel)
Skottie Young (writer), Humberto Ramos (artist)
Marvel superheroes and Harry Potter probably represent the two biggest pop culture fandoms of the 21st century. So get this: What if they were… combined? Marvel’s new comic features Doctor Strange opening a school for young sorcerers in New Orleans. With Marvel’s most famous magicians (including Scarlet Witch, Brother Voodoo, and more) installed as professors, and a whole cast of new characters as students, plus an accomplished creative team who between them know quite a bit about both fantasy and superheroes, this series could be magic in the making.
Strange Academy #1 hits stores this week.
Decorum #1 (Image)
Jonathan Hickman (writer), Mike Huddleston (artist)
Jonathan Hickman has been busy lately reinvigorating Marvel’s X-Men line (at C2E2 last weekend, Marvel even announced that he'll be overseeing an upcoming crossover tantalizingly called X of Swords). Decorum marks his return to Image, where Hickman has previously written books as diverse as the post-apocalyptic epic East of West, the occult Wall Street mystery The Black Monday Murders, and the mad scientist marathon The Manhattan Projects. Decorum is clearly in a sci-fi lane, set in a world where there are many assassins spread across the universe. As implied by the title, Decorum focuses on the most well-mannered of these killers… but anyone familiar with Hickman’s work should expect things to get a lot more complicated than that.
Decorum #1 hits stands March 11.
No One Left to Fight collection (Dark Horse)
Aubrey Sitterson (writer), Fico Ossio (artist)
“How do you give your life meaning after you’ve accomplished the thing that’s defined your life?” That was the question writer Aubrey Sitterson posed to EW last summer when first describing this comic. It’s a question relevant for all kinds of people: doctors, strivers, thirtysomethings everywhere. No One Left to Fight poses that question in the context of classic fighting manga like Dragon Ball Z. Protagonist Vâle has spent years training and mastering mystical martial arts but has now run out of villains to defeat — which means he doesn’t know what to do with the rest of his life. Vâle triumphed over his rival Timor as martial arts students, but now Timor has a beautiful family with the lovely Krysta, so who really won? Don’t worry, though, it’s not all existential drama. Fico Ossio’s character designs are endlessly fascinating to look at, and his vibrant colors make the whole book pop off the page. Don’t take the title too seriously — there is indeed one hell of an epic fight towards the end, Ossio’s depiction of which needs to be seen to be believed.
Now you can read the whole miniseries in one easy volume. Sitterson has made clear that both he and Ossio are interested in doing more with these characters and world, but this being comics, that all depends on how well this book does, so check it out if you’re intrigued!
No One Left to Fight hits stores as a collected edition March 24.