By Christian Holub
May 01, 2019 at 07:13 PM EDT
Dark Horse; Marvel; Dark Horse

Between Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones‘ Battle of Winterfell, April 2019 is set to go down in history as a banner month for nerdy entertainment…but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more good stuff on the way.

This May, beloved Batman creators Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo begin their last story with the Dark Knight, while the rest of the DC Universe looks ahead to a very busy second half of 2019. Stranger Things gets a fascinating prequel story, while Bitter Root breaks new ground fighting hate-powered monsters in ’20s Harlem.

Oh, and Conan the Barbarian is on the Avengers now. Check out the list of May comics highlights below.

DC

Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 (DC)
Scott Snyder (writer), Greg Capullo (artist)

Snyder and Capullo first collaborated on Batman from 2011-2016, and together they made the title the standout comic of DC’s “New 52” era. Some of their stories from that period, such as the Court of Owls, have since made their way into live-action adaptations like Gotham. Snyder and Capullo then reunited for 2017’s epic crossover event Dark Nights: Metal, which pitted Batman and his fellow superheroes against a bevy of monsters straight off of heavy metal album covers. Now they’re reteaming for what they promise is their final solo story with Batman. Last Knight on Earth follows a Bruce Wayne who wakes up in the future without any knowledge that he was ever Batman. He then sets out across a devastated landscape full of familiar (though not to him) faces from the DC Universe.

However that mystery turns out, this comic should be worth checking out just for the last ride of Snyder and Capullo. The cover image certainly teases the book’s tone. Although at first, it looks like Batman has somehow acquired a Green Lantern power battery, look closer and you’ll see that he’s actually carrying the Joker’s head…

Pre-order Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 here.

Dark Horse

Bitter Root Volume 1: Family Business (Image)
Chuck Brown & David F. Walker (writers), Sanford Greene (artist)

What do you get when you mix the Harlem Renaissance with a family of monster hunters? This beautiful and engaging comic, apparently. Bitter Root’s heroes, the Sangerye family, fight to protect Harlem from things that go bump in the night…but since those demons are powered by racism and hatred, the Sangerye’s work to make them better rather than destroy them outright.

Legendary Pictures recently acquired the film rights to Bitter Root, so take this opportunity to catch up on the first volume of stories before it breaks big.

Order Bitter Root Volume 1: Family Business here.   

DC

DC’s Year of the Villain Special (DC)
Brian Michael Bendis & Tom King & Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV (writers), Jim Cheung & Alex Maleev & Francis Manapul (artists)

Every few years, DC Comics likes to shake things up and focus on the villains for a change. The last time this happened was the Forever Evil event in 2013-14, when the Justice League was taken out of commission by evil counterparts and it fell to Lex Luthor to save the world. Thankfully, the DC universe is in a much more interesting place now, not least because the line is stacked with top-notch creative talent. Snyder and Tynion have been building an intricate story of universal decay in Justice League, while King’s Batman run has put the Dark Knight on a collision course with Bane.

This one-shot special, priced at just 25 cents, starts giving those divergent stories a comprehensible through-line, in anticipation of big events later this year — from the upcoming Lois Lane solo comic to the Bendis/Maleev reunion on Event Leviathan.

Get DC’s Year of the Villain one-shot here.

Marvel

Savage Avengers #1 (Marvel)
Gerry Duggan (writer), Mike Deodato Jr. (artist)

And you thought Avengers: Endgame had a lot of unexpected cameos. Hold my beer, says Duggan and Deodato. This new comic finds the Avengers teaming up with none other than Conan the Barbarian (whose license was recently acquired by Marvel; might as well put it to use!) to fight a force that threatens both their worlds. In a February interview with EW, Duggan christened the lineup — consisting of Wolverine, Venom, Punisher, Elektra, and Brother Voodoo in addition to Conan — the “Stabby Avengers.”

“This is an unsanctioned team of heroes,” Duggan said. “Conan is on a very Conan-like mission; he’s heard a tale of an amulet so he’s chasing it, and the evil magic sorcerers are doing something that would be a Marvel Avengers problem. It feels like we have found some very fertile ground that is a Venn diagram between those two worlds.”

Order Savage Avengers #1 here.

Dark Horse

Stranger Things: Six #1 (Dark Horse)
Jody Houser (writer), Edgar Salazar (artist)

Houser has already written one Stranger Things comic, but it was mostly an adaptation of the first season of the popular Netflix show. This one will be something new: A prequel story focusing on one of Eleven’s predecessors: Francine, a.k.a. Six. Francine’s power of precognition makes her a target for Dr. Martin Brenner and Hawkins Laboratory, but soon her visions start to show her an opportunity to change her life.

Pre-order Stranger Things: Six #1 here.

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