With the new Prez series launching next week as part of the New DC You(niverse) members of The Beat were attempting to do everything they could to get an exclusive interview with Prez Rickard, the former DC teenage hero and star of the original Prez title. Reaching out to Rickard was difficult, after all, The Beat isn’t particularly savvy with politics outside of the written page. Fortunately, when the new Prez, Beth Ross was alerted of our campaign, she managed to get us in a room with the former Prez of the DC Universe. When we finally cornered him in the back of a crowded room, he alerted us of his various picks for the week, politics and comics go together like vanilla and tofu. Here’s Rickard’s picks for the week:
Prez Rickard’s Picks:
Writer: Mark Russell Artist: Ben Caldwell
Meet Beth Ross, the first teenaged President of the United States. In a nation where corporations can run for office, the poor are used as human billboards, and tacos are delivered by drone, our only hope is this nineteen-year-old Twitter sensation. But the real question isn’t whether she’s ready for politics – it’s whether politics is ready for her. Don’t miss the start of this new, 12-issue miniseries!
Rickard’s all grown up now, and ready to let someone else take over the role of teenage president (Prez) which is actually why he informed us that he was perfectly cool with the new Prez Beth Ross taking over his position. He’s also eager to read the story-behind-the-story in Prez #1, the start of a twelve issue mini shipping from DC. With political humorist Mark Russell writing the story alongside Wednesday Comics alumni Ben Caldwell on art, Rickard is more than confident in the output of the non-traditional creative team of DC Comics members to deliver something creative on some title.
Writer: Jason Aaron Artist: Chris Sprouse
The Thors of every domain, together in one book! As cosmic cops! Whenever there’s trouble on Battleworld, the Thors answer the call. But a string of mysterious murders leaves some of them asking questions that may unravel all of reality! A hard-hitting Marvel Comics police drama. With hammers. Lots and lots of hammers.
Thors #1 is set to be a fun title for a number of reasons, although Mr. Rickard really wishes it would have came out closer to the launch of Secret Wars #1. The art of Chris Sprouse is in rare demand these days — and getting him on a title instrumental to the Marvel Universe with one of the series top writers is going to be a small blessing. Rickard also seeks to dig deeper into whatever Battleworld-flavored mystery Aaron and company have cooked up for the upcoming first installment of Thors. Unfortunately, after briefing me on his picks for the week, Rickard was quickly summoned into a meeting with Ross. Still, we were glad to finally have a meeting with one of the most “normal” visitors to the Stately Beat Manor — someone so “normal” that we actually had to go visit them.
Southern Bastards #9
Writer: Jason Aaron Artist: Jason Latour
NEW STORY ARC The Summer of the Bastards begins with a new arc, as the Runnin’ Rebs are gearing up for the big homecoming game against arch-rival Wetumptka County.
I recommended Weirdworld #1 by Jason Aaron sight unseen last week, so it only stands to reason that I’d spotlight the start of a new arc of a series that has a perfect 8-0 record. The trades for Volumes 1 AND 2 of Southern Bastards are just $9.99, so for less than $25 you can get caught up on a book that Aaron and Jason Latour always score with.
Doctor Fate #1
Writer: Paul Levitz Artist: Sonny Liew
You thought global warming was bad? Anubis, the Egyptian Lord of Dead, is preparing the flood to wash the world away. Standing in his way? An overwhelmed Brooklyn med student who’s been handed the helmet of Fate, without an instruction manual.
For those who don’t know, I’m probably the world’s biggest Doctor Fate fan, or darn close to it. So, it is with ravenous excitement that I look forward to tearing into Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew’s reinvention of the character this week. Based on previews, it looks like DC is somewhat aiming for a Ms. Marvel-style take, and what I’ve seen so far has been some of the most inspired Levitz scripting I’ve read in some time. The biggest draw for me though, is Liew, who is easily one of the hottest rising talents in cartooning. I’m all in!
Alex Lu’s Picks:
Low #7 (New Arc!)
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Greg Tocchini
The hit aquatic sci-fi series returns, to cast a pale light on the icy spires of the Second City, a frozen dystopia at the bottom of the ocean, where hoping for a better tomorrow is a crime punishable by death.
Low is a criminally underrated series. Imagine the character work and constant peril of Game of Thrones meeting the thirst for familial vengeance present in Taken, then throw it all in an Atlantean blender. Remender has crafted an intricate story about a family struggling to survive in the midst of a world going through its death throes. In the first six issues, he threw the Caine family through the ringer in a way that emotionally affected me in a way that few comics have. It’s great to see him reunited with Tocchini, who lends a beautifully natural and impressionistic touch to the proceedings. His jagged linework emphasizes the chaos of the story, and Rafael Alberquerque’s colors are the glue that holds the story together. Perhaps it’s delirious to be hopeful, but it’s damn hard to not be when you’re faced with a book as good as this one.
Alex and Ada #15 (Series Finale!)
Writer: Jonathan Luna Artist: Sarah Vaughn
Alex + Ada reaches its emboldened conclusion this week. The story of a man whose relationship with an android has dire consequences for their lives and the world around them, Luna and Vaughn have created a genuinely affecting love story that has social implications for our real world. In a world where our relationship with technology is evolving at an increasingly expedient pace, we have to ask ourselves if there are limits to the roles that it plays in our lives. If so, what are those limits?
Mad Max: Fury Road – Furiosa #1
Writers: Mark Sexton, Nico Lathouris, George Miller Artist: Tristan Jones
A prelude miniseries to the motion picture Mad Max: Fury Road tells the story of Furiosa and how she became Immortan Joe’s most trusted Imperator — and the unlikely hero to Joe’s enslaved wives
From the first trailers for Fury Road, it was clear Charlize Theron’s Furiosa was the true protagonist of the film. This Vertigo miniseries tells her pre-film story, and with writer/director George Miller credited as co-writer there’s bound to be some wonderful and strange post-apocalypticia involved.
Edie Nugent’s Pick:
Writer: Noelle Stevenson & Shannon Watters Artist: Brooke A. Allen
All-ages favorite Lumberjanes follows the continuing adventures of a group of friends just trying to enjoy their summer at scout camp amidst a various and wide-ranging selection of supernatural threats.
Something about the imminent arrival of the summer season makes reading Lumberjanes all the more satisfying. Which is pretty ironic, because currently the ‘janes and their entire scout camp has been plunged into a Narnia-like eternal winter. As the series has gone on, it’s gotten more bizarre and even more satisfying. This new story line gives the campers fresh challenges as they’ve been separated from their watchful counselor Jen. And what of Jen and the mysterious and troubling relationship she’s forming with Abigail? Expressive art continues to bring to life this ongoing coming-of-age tale where supernatural mysteries lurk around every corner.
Fragments of Horror
by Junji Ito (Viz)
A new collection of delightfully macabre tales from a master of horror manga. An old wooden mansion that turns on its inhabitants. A dissection class with a most unusual subject. A funeral where the dead are definitely not laid to rest. Ranging from the terrifying to the comedic, from the erotic to the loathsome, these stories showcase Junji Ito’s long-awaited return to the world of horror.
I’m not a big horror fan, but when its as creepy and inventive as Ito’s work, I’m all in. A new collection from the creator of Gyo and Uzumaki.
The Complete Eightball 1-18
by Mr. Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)
We can laugh at these grotesques if we can laugh at ourselves. I still feel the pain of Tina, the hideously disfigured girl in Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, who just wants love, like everyone else. Where is Dan Pussey now? Just look around you. $119 simoleons is not cheap but it really is for this masterpiece that set the stage for decades worth of comics experimentation.