November comics preview: Doomsday Clock strikes, Squirrel Girl gets a zine
As 2017 hits the home stretch, pop culture aficionados are probably scrambling to catch up on the year’s best work before the bevy of year-end lists begins — but that doesn’t mean the march of new content has stopped. Here’s our list of comics to keep an eye on this November.
Doomsday Clock #1 (DC)
Geoff Johns (writer), Gary Frank (artist)
It’s finally here. After a DC/Watchmen crossover was first teased in last year’s DC Rebirth one-shot, then further hinted at with this spring’s Batman/Flash storyline The Button, this month fans will finally see the iconic characters from the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons graphic novel sent on a collision course with DC heroes like Superman and Batman. It will be hard living up to the standard Moore and Gibbons set, but Frank’s art is certainly gorgeous, as seen in previews so far.
“We think it’s important, if you deal with Watchmen characters, that the book feels and looks somewhat like what they established because that’s what you want,” Johns told EW at New York Comic Con. “That said, we’re going to do some very different things than they did, and we hope we’re telling a story that’s going to stand on its own. The pressure is on for us to deliver a story that’s worthy of using these characters. That’s all we’re trying to do. We believe in our story and we think it will deserve their time and readers’ time.”
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (Marvel)
Ryan North and Erica Henderson (writers), various artists
Over the course of this run, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has proven time and again that it’s not afraid to buck superhero conventions in service of joyous, energetic storytelling. The latest manifestation of that comes with this month’s issue, which is styled like a zine made by Squirrel Girl and her super-friends. One story, depicted from the P.O.V. of the world-eater Galactus, was drawn by none other than Garfield creator Jim Davis. Only here, in this one-of-a-kind issue, will you find such a Fat Galactus.
“We were throwing stuff back and forth, and the initial sketches just weren’t working for Galactus. I said, ‘Okay, we gotta make him fat,’” Davis told EW. “The guy eats planets, for God’s sake! Once we do that, it’s a little less Galactus but certainly a lot more Garfield. It looked more natural. Obviously, Galactus has put on a few megatons for this strip.”
Captain America #695 (Marvel)
Mark Waid (writer), Chris Samnee (artist)
It’s been a tough year for everyone’s favorite patriotic superhero. This year’s Secret Empire event exposed Captain America as a double agent for Hydra who tried to subjugate the entire Marvel universe to his fascist rule. Steve Rogers is now cleared of that brainwashing, but knows he has a lot to make up for. Between Waid’s encyclopedic superhero knowledge and Samnee’s retro-style art, this new run should help remind fans what they love about the first Avenger.
The Archies #2 (Archie Comics)
Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg (writers), Joe Eisma (artist)
Thanks to Riverdale, Archie and friends are firmly back in the pop culture zeitgeist. What better way to celebrate icon status than with his new series that sees Archie take his band on a cross-country tour and run into real-life musicians? This issue brings the band face-to-face with none other than CHVRCHES.
Black volume 1 (Black Mask Studios)
Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith III (writers), Jamal Igle (artist)
Despite new strides in diverse storytelling, superhero comics are still too often a mostly white affair. This comic turns that tradition on its end, envisioning a world where only black people have superpowers. Back in 2016, when Black was still just a project on Kickstarter, Osajyefo wrote an essay for EW about what he had learned from the late writer and editor Dwayne McDuffie, who pioneered diverse superhero storytelling at Milestone Media and as a writer on animated DC shows like Justice League.
“Dwayne McDuffie knew what was missing in comics, the voices that went unheard, and through sheer will, intelligence, and determination made effort to change the course of an industry,” Osajyefo wrote at the time. “Black is my attempt to continue walking the path Dwayne McDuffie’s carved out for all of us. It’s because of his efforts that I was inspired to pursue making an original graphic novel that explores the question, ‘In a world that already hates and fears them — what if only black people had superpowers?’”