We know how difficult it can be these days to keep track of all the fantastic comics hitting the shelves of your local comic shop (or the “newly released” section of your digital comic store of choice), so we’ve decided to do our best to help flag up some books that you should definitely be keeping an eye out for this week.
Some are continuations of titles already in full-flow, some are first issues or one-shots, some are mainstream, some are niche, but each and every one of these six are – in our humble opinion – well worth shelling out some of your hard earned cash on.
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #3 (Black Mask Studios)
After a painfully long hiatus caused by some sadly unavoidable factors, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank is back with its third issue this week – and it’s still one of the sharpest, most hilarious comics on the shelves right now. Rude, crude and surprisingly touching at times, this series from Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss – which sees a group of four friends being forced into some fairly drastic action to try and protect one of their fathers – is the very definition of a ‘sleeper hit’, and deserves to be seen by as many eyes as possible. Imagine if Trey Parker and Matt Stone wrote a sequel to The Goonies and you’re probably in the right ballpark.
Animosity #4 (Aftershock Comics)
Another comic that manages to effortlessly walk the line between side-splittingly hilarious and gut-wrenchingly moving, Marguerite Bennett and Rafael de Latorre’s Animosity catapults us into a world where the animals have “woken up” and started talking, thinking and acting like humans. Bennett does a fantastic job injecting humour and emotion into her script, and Latorre’s character design is a thing of absolute beauty. Plus, with an attempted hostage swap going south at the end of the previous chapter, this promises to be yet another gut-punch of an issue, and looks set to cement Animosity’s reputation as one of the absolute highlights of 2016.
Klaus and the Witch of Winter (one-shot) (BOOM! Studios)
While it may have taken a little while to get going, Klaus – Grant Morrison and Dan Mora’s “Santa Claus: Year One” – series turned out to be a pretty damn enjoyable read, bolstered immesurably by Morrison’s typically ‘out there’ story and Mora’s jaw-dropping artwork. This oversized one-shot sees Klaus breaking free from his lunar prison as he finds himself having to track down two children who have fallen into a trap courtesy of the titular Witch. Hey, it’s almost Christmas, and while the gooey festive cheer normally associated with “holiday specials” may not necessarily be present here, this promises to be a great read nonetheless.
Justice League vs Suicide Squad #1 (DC Comics)
Everyone loves a good crossover, right? And while these types of “Team X vs Team Y” affairs can sometimes feel a little shoehorned and pointless, this one actually seems to have a lot of legs, due in no small part to the skill of writer Joshua Williamson. While, on paper, a straight-up fight between these two teams could only really go one way, Williamson throws an interesting wild card into the mix during the course of this first issue, and with Jason Fabok providing the cracking artwork, this looks set to be a pretty damn enjoyable romp.
Locke & Key: Small World (one-shot) (IDW Publishing)
Some comics need to be sold, and some comics sell themselves. A new Locke & Key story from the original creators – Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez and Jay Fotos – which sees an impossible birthday gift for two young girls throwing them into a world of eight-legged horror, is pretty much an essential purchase. Fans of the Eisner Award-winning series will be in absolute heaven, and readers who have no prior experience should still pick this bad boy up, if only to see what all the fuss is about before – I’m assuming – immediately picking up the entire back catalogue.
Black Hammer #6 (Dark Horse Comics)
As we’ve mentioned before in our reviews of the series, this may be the best thing Jeff Lemire has ever done, which isn’t a statement we make lightly, and his critically acclaimed not-quite-a-superhero-series shows no sign of losing any of its early momentum anytime soon. This latest issue focused on Madame Dragonfly, and with artist Dean Ormston joining Lemire in churning our career-best work, this is as close to an essential purchase as you could hope for.