The most popular genre in comic books has long been superheroes, but as writers like Grant Morrison have pointed out, it’s not a far leap from superheroes to gods. March is full of comics that interrogate the relationship between gods, heroes, and monsters. Valiant’s Shadowman features a superhero powered by the religious powers of voodoo, while DC’s Mister Miracle continues to explore the fraught relationship between New Gods and the modern world.
Below, check out EW’s round-up of the comics you can’t miss this month.
Mister Miracle #7 (DC)
Tom King (writer), Mitch Gerads (artist)
After a month-long hiatus between story arcs, EW’s favorite comic of 2017 is back on stands this month. The first six issues of this incredible series saw Mister Miracle and Big Barda come face to face with the corrupt politics of the supposedly utopian planet New Genesis. The second half of this 12-issue story will find the heroes confronting the other half of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, the fiends of hellish Apokolips — starting with those Female Furies on the cover! One of the great joys of Mister Miracle has been Barda’s central role, so it’ll be exciting to see how her story evolves now that she’s facing figures from her own Apokoliptian past.
Monstress #15 (Image)
Marjorie Liu (writer), Sana Takeda (artist)
Like certain HBO shows, Monstress takes extended hiatuses between story arcs. Luckily, EW’s favorite comic of 2016 is currently in the midst of its third arc, which means the next few months will consistently bring deeper explorations of the fascinating and beautiful fantasy world Liu and Takeda have constructed. The fox girl Kippa takes center-stage in this issue as she explores a refugee camp for any fellow foxes who might have a connection to her home. Kippa is one of the most delightful characters in the series (and one of the main exemplars of the series’ constant juxtaposition of alternately cute and terrifying aesthetics). Another reason to buy this issue is to snag the beautiful variant cover by Yoshi Yoshitani, part of Image’s “Artist Appreciation” series.
Gideon Falls #1 (Image)
Jeff Lemire (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (artist)
Jeff Lemire can’t get away from the countryside. The prolific comic writer keeps returning to rural settings for stories like Black Hammer, which finds a cadre of city-born superheroes stranded on a farm. His new series with Andrea Sorrentino is set to explore the city/country divide even further, as it’s split between two protagonists: Father Fred, who’s taking over as priest for titular town Gideon Falls after his predecessor met a mysterious end, and Norton, a paranoid young city-dweller obsessed with the legend of the “Black Barn.”
“One thing I love about this story are juxtaposing things that are extreme opposites,” Lemire recently told EW. “Fred is in his 60s, he’s lived a full life but has all these regrets, he’s a hardened guy. Juxtapose that with Norton, who is very young and scared of the world around him. One’s in this urban center while the other’s out in this bucolic rural setting. It’s fun to take a contrast like that and make an interesting tension. One thing I’ve always loved about working with Andrea is he’ll take the psychological interior landscapes of characters and find a way to visualize it, with the shape and arrangement of panels. He’s so inventive in that way that it all elevates the story to this whole other level. It kinda celebrates what comics is all about, where you can experiment with layouts and stuff in a way you can’t with film or TV.”
Pre-order it here, and stay tuned for more Gideon Falls coverage on EW.
Shadowman #1 (Valiant)
Andy Diggle (writer), Stephen Segovia (artist)
One of Valiant’s most unique superheroes, the voodoo-powered Shadowman, has been off the table for a little while (though he still found time for one-offs like a Rae Sremmurd team-up), but now he’s coming back in a big way. In the trend of recent Valiant relaunches like Matt Kindt’s X-O Manowar and Jeff Lemire’s Bloodshot: Salvation, Diggle is determined to showcase the unique side of Shadowman’s heroism.
“A big part of the book’s appeal for me is the world of voodoo, which is so rich in iconography and themes that cut right into the dark side of America, resonating through the centuries right up to the present day,” Diggle told EW back in December. “I want to dig into that in a way that hasn’t really been explored in the previous Shadowman books.”
American Gods: Shadows (Dark Horse)
Neil Gaiman (writer), P. Craig Russell (script/layouts), Scott Hampton (artist)
The future of Starz’s American Gods TV show is in question now that showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have exited, but luckily, TV’s not the only place to look for good American Gods adaptations. Neil Gaiman’s novel is being adapted into a comic series, and the first volume, Shadows, is out in hardcover right before the next arc, My Ainsel, kicks off on March 14. Russell and Hampton have both worked with Gaiman on previous projects, so the American Gods comic feels like different aspects of the author’s oeuvre blending together — especially in a sequence at the end of the first issue when Russell illustrates the Bilquis scene in a way that evokes his legendary “Ramadan” issue of The Sandman.
“I wanted that in there because the first issue does what it does, you get an inkling that something odd is happening, but basically it’s a setup,” Russell told EW ahead of the series’ launch in 2017. “That first four-pager lets you know that things are going to get seriously weird.”