The best comics to read in May: Reckoning with the past
From All-New Wolverine to The Good Asian, here are EW's picks for comics to read this month.
A new month is here, and that means a new slate of comics. As spring slowly but surely builds up to summer, it just so happens that a lot of May's comics are about reckoning with the past and looking for a path to a brighter future. May also happens to be Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and several of this month's best books center Asian characters and Asian history.
Below, check out our list of comics to read this month.
All-New Wolverine Omnibus (Marvel)
Tom Taylor (writer), various artists
It is once again a good time to be a fan of Laura Kinney. Most famously known as X-23, the daughter of Wolverine has once again taken up her father’s mantle in the age of Krakoa. This time, Logan hasn’t even gone anywhere; there are just two Wolverine’s around now. To prove it’s not a redundancy, Laura is taking a prominent place in the new mutant paradigm. Next month, as part of the big Hellfire Gala, Laura (as Wolverine) will be given an official spot on the new X-Men roster.
That makes this the perfect moment for Marvel to publish an all-encompassing omnibus collection of the All-New Wolverine comic that chronicled Laura’s original acceptance of the role and the introduction of her young clone sister, Gabby. Written by Tom Taylor, All-New Wolverine brought new depths to the character and enshrined her as EW’s favorite superhero of 2018. If you missed this series the first time around, or just want to revisit given the sisters’ new adventures (for her part, Gabby has been popping up a lot in recent New Mutants issues), this omnibus is calling your name.
The All-New Wolverine Omnibus is available now in comic stores, and on Amazon and other larger retailers starting May 11.
Chartwell Manor (Fantagraphics)
Glenn Head (writer/artist)
Most of the comics we discuss in this monthly column feature superheroes or other colorful genres like horror and science-fiction. Those aren’t the only stories comics can tell, though.
In his new graphic memoir Chartwell Manor, cartoonist Glenn Head tells the story of his own life as it really happened — particularly how it was shaped by his time at the titular British-style boarding school, whose headmaster tortured his male students with physical punishment and sexual harassment. Chartwell Manor is not just the story of those abuses, but how they have shaped the rest of Head’s life. Drawn in the style of the underground comics Head first fell in love with at boarding school and has since been creating for decades, Chartwell Manor is a raw and cathartic story about how to reckon with the past, and a powerful reminder that sexual assault can take years to understand, much less recover from.
Chartwell Manor is on sale May 25.
DC Festival of Heroes #1: The Asian Superhero Celebration (DC)
Various writers, various artists
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and DC is celebrating in style with a new one-shot that not only spotlights the publisher’s sizable lineup of heroes with Asian heritage but also introduces a brand-new character with roots in one of Asia’s oldest myths. The Monkey Prince is here, in a brilliantly entertaining story written by comics superstar Gene Luen Yang (Dragon Hoops, Superman Smashes the Klan)! Though inspired by the lead character from Journey to the West, this Monkey Prince is younger than that legendary hero, and has a real chip on his shoulder about superheroes, dismissing them as “ smiling YouTube stars.” Is he wrong…?
It seems like DC has big plans for the Monkey Prince, so catch his debut here, along with a Green Lantern story written and drawn by Trung Le Nguyen (The Magic Fish), a story about Cassandra Cain written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Marcus To, a Green Arrow/New Super-Man crossover written by Greg Pak, and more.
DC Festival of Heroes #1: The Asian Superhero Celebration hits stores on May 11.
The Good Asian #1 (Image)
Pornsak Pichetshote (writer), Alexandre Tefenkgi (artist)
At this point, the name “Chinatown” is pretty much synonymous with top-tier film noir. But what distinguishes The Good Asian from the iconic 1974 Roman Polanski film is that this story actually is about Asian people — most specifically Edison Hark, a self-loathing Chinese-American detective looking for justice and struggling with helping law enforcement punish people who look like him. Though set in 1936, The Good Asian’s story about abusive police and the Chinese immigrants who were the first generation to grow up under an American immigration ban could not feel more timely these days.
The Good Asian #1 is available in stores now.
Wonder Girl #1 (DC Comics)
Joelle Jones (writer/artist)
What a nice moment for Joelle Jones. Her Dark Horse comic Lady Killer, about a classic ‘50s housewife who doubles as a deadly assassin, just got announced as a movie with Blake Lively and Diablo Cody, and now DC is launching a new superhero series starring a character created by Jones. For a minute there it looked like Yara Flor, the new Latinx Wonder Girl who first showed up in DC’s Future State story initiative this past winter, was going to immediately get her own CW show too. That adaptation fell apart, but maybe it was too early anyway. With this new series, readers will get to know Yara on her own terms, as the new Wonder Girl in a world currently missing Wonder Woman.
Wonder Girl #1 is in stores May 18.