5 comics to read in January 2019: New year, new worlds
It’s a new year, and that means new comics. If you didn’t have time in 2018 to catch up with EW’s comic favorites for this year, January 2019 will finally provide a chance to read The New World in one place, while Monstress forges ahead with a new arc. This month’s comics provide a Miles Morales story for anyone still thinking about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, while readers already thinking about Captain Marvel have their own comic to prepare for that upcoming film.
Below, check out EW’s full list of comics to check out this January.
Monstress #19 (Image)
Marjorie Liu (writer), Sana Takeda (artist)
Can the queen stay the queen? Monstress had an incredible year in 2018, sweeping big awards categories at both the Eisners and Harveys before landing atop EW’s own list of the best comics of 2019. Now it’s time to see if Liu and Takeda can keep the creative momentum going as they kick off the series’ fourth arc this month.
Previous story lines have really built up the complex world that Maika Halfwolf inhabits alongside old gods, cat wizards, and animal people; the challenge going forward will be to provide enough answers to keep readers engaged in the rich mysteries of this comic. Luckily, the cover for the next issue features a shot of Maika’s father (still only glimpsed at the chest level, where he bears the eye tattoo of the ancient god that lives inside Maika), which suggests we might finally get some answers about his role in the story, even as Maika and Corvin try to make sense of the apocalyptic wreckage left in the wake of the third arc’s epic climax.
Pre-order Monstress #19 here.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 (Marvel)
Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Garrón (artist)
Fans of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse have plenty of comics available to fuel their newfound obsession with Spider-heroes, but one of the best options might actually be this brand-new ongoing series about Miles Morales.
This new series is not shy about bringing Miles face-to-face with challenges that mirror real-world problems. Even as Miles struggles to stay afloat in his challenging magnet school, he also confronts the kidnapping of immigrant children, similar to how Ahmed’s previous comic Black Bolt confronted incarceration with real-world heft. Of course, since this is a Marvel comic we’re talking about, these young kids aren’t just being taken from their parents by government agencies, they’re also being brainwashed and used as cyborg soldiers.
This is obviously a big problem for Miles to deal with, and only future issues will show how he handles it. But it’s already proving a valuable crucible for the power/responsibility dynamic that each Spider-hero must figure out for themselves. As Miles put it in issue 1, “I’m Miles Morales, Spider-Man. And I’ve never been more sure of my power. But I’ve never been more confused about my responsibility.”
Plus, since Ahmed will soon be taking over writing duties on Ms. Marvel as well, it’s probably a good idea to keep your eye out for possible crossovers with Miles’ pal Kamala at some point in the future.
Pre-order Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 here.
Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel)
Kelly Thompson (writer), Carmen Carnero (artist)
Into the Spider-Verse was the last superhero movie of 2018, but Captain Marvel is set to be the first superhero release of 2019 — and, more importantly, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film starring a solo female superhero. Just as this month’s comics have something to keep Spider-Verse fans going, they also have something to prepare readers for the imminent Captain Marvel film.
Carol Danvers is kicking off 2019 with a brand-new ongoing comic series written by Thompson, who is one of Marvel’s brightest rising stars. The first issue’s cover, from Amanda Conner, demonstrates how hard it can be to write a good Carol story given the multiplicity of lives she’s lived over the course of her 50-year history. For the past few years, Carol has mostly been in space, protecting the universe from all kinds of extraterrestial threats, but this series will bring her back down to Earth — just in time for her pop culture close-up.
Pre-order Captain Marvel #1 here.
Goddess Mode #2 (DC/Vertigo)
Zoe Quinn (writer), Robbi Rodriguez (artist)
Speaking of Spider-Verse, this new series from Spider-Gwen artist Rodriguez features a similar blend of parallel-reality fun. This is one of those high-concept comics that will take a few issues to unspool, especially since, like many first-time comic writers, Quinn goes heavy on the dialogue, but what’s on the page is already fascinating so far.
The main character, Cassandra, is a talented programmer in a world ruled by a monopolistic tech corporation and its godlike artificial intelligence. In the first issue, Cassandra realized that something was wrong with the AI. In the process of fixing it, she found it was a world unto itself, and full of its own dangers. After entering the cybernetic underworld, Cassandra was accosted by Daemons and saved by mysterious super-powered women. Only future issues will be able to tell exactly what is going on here, but the blend of cyberpunk and magic is already proving to be a heady brew.
Pre-order Goddess Mode #2 here.
The New World (Image)
Ales Kot (writer), Tradd and Heather Moore (artists)
EW’s favorite new comic of 2018 is about to be collected into a single volume, and very much worth checking out. This post-apocalyptic series is set in a near-future America devastated by nuclear war, and Kot has some fascinating ideas about the possible permutations of future society. But the real selling point is the art by the husband-and-wife Moore duo. Their colors and lines really make the society of New California come to life, and show how star-crossed romance and humanist imagination can flourish even in the midst of dystopia.
Pre-order The New World collection here.