I was almost done with this week’s top comics to buy for August 17, when my to-read list of preview comics came down to Shirtless Bear Fighter 2 #1. Having never read the first one, I had to also catch-up on the trade — and boy am I glad I did. This sort of utterly irreverent, madcap comic bookery really hit the spot for me this weekend, with just the right amount of visually dynamic absurdity. And you know? The rest of the week wasn’t too shabby either.
As always, you can check out five highlights, along with several others I also enjoyed, and a listing of new #1s, one-shorts, graphic novels, and trades…enjoy!
Top Comics to Buy for August 17, 2022
Barbaric – Axe to Grind #1
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Nathan Gooden
Colorist: Addison Duke
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the start of an all-new arc of BARBARIC!
Follow Owen and his magical companion, the tender, talking Axe as they spread kindness and hope in a world gone bad…just kidding! Owen, Axe, and Soren are back, and so is all the mayhem and bloodshed that follows them wherever they go! This time, they’re out to settle an old score against Gladius, a wicked a$$hole who did Owen wrong way back in his barbarian days. As always…it’s just f***ing barbaric.
Why It’s Cool: Put simply, Barbaric is a riotous subversion of fantasy tropes that sends up some of the genres sacred cows without every feeling condescending. After an incendiary first volume introduced us to the concept and characters, this first issue of a second arc fights a sort of cruising altitude, cluing us into what Barbaric adventures are likely to look like for (hopefully) years to come. An easy choice for the comics to buy for August 17.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
The Dark Knight’s greatest villains get their greatest stories yet! The Riddler, Two-Face, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Bane, Clayface, and Ra’s al Ghul-Batman’s most iconic villains are all given 64-page Prestige format specials that show why they are the greatest villains in all of comics, spearheaded by today’s top talent. We begin with Batman – One Bad Day: The Riddler! Tom King and Mitch Gerads, the Eisner Award-winning duo behind Mister Miracle, The Sheriff of Babylon, and Strange Adventures, reunite to dive deep into the mind of Batman’s most intellectual foe…the Riddler. The Riddler has killed a man in broad daylight for seemingly no reason, but…there’s always a reason. The Riddler is always playing a game, there are always rules. Batman will reach his wits’ end trying to figure out the Riddler’s true motivation in this epic psychological thriller; this is not to be missed!
Why It’s Cool: Writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads are a seasoned, Eisner-winning creative team, and their collaboration is as smooth as it gets in Big 2 comics. With this 64-page whopper, they kick off a series of prestige one-shots that focus on a cadre of Batman villains. This is a pretty severe Batman story, truth be told, and if you like your Caped Crusader severe (and a bit scary), you will absolutely love this comic.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky, with a back-up by Ann Nocenti
Artists: Marco Checcheto, with flashbacks by Rafael DeLatorre, a back-up by Zdarsky, and guest contributions by Alex Maleev, Paul Azaceta, Phil Noto, Chris Samnee, Klaus Janson, Mike Hawthorne, John Romita Jr., and Scott Hanna
Back-Up Story: Chris Giarrusso
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After DEVIL’S REIGN, everything it has ever meant to be DAREDEVIL has changed. Thanks to ELEKTRA and her newfound role as the Woman Without Fear, Daredevil is more ambitious than EVER, with a who’s-who of creators from across the fabled character’s history (and some can’tmiss surprises along the way), this oversized epic kicks the next year of Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto’s landmark run on DAREDEVIL off in explosive style!
Why It’s Cool: This is a giant-sized landmark issue celebration (#650!) that brings back a fantastic grabbag of artists from Daredevil’s past as this excellent run continues.
Writer: Christopher Priest
Colorist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Publisher: Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal’s event series Entropy arrives from Black Panther and Justice League writer Christopher Priest and rising star artist Montos with covers by Bjorn Barends (King Spawn)! Breaking Bad meets Green Lantern in the origin story of Heavy Metal’s ultimate supervillain! Henry Hanks had a good life, until he betrayed KAKO, the living embodiment of chaos and misery! With his whole world destroyed, Henry is killed and reborn as the newest herald of Kako, with the power to destroy entire worlds in his master’s name. All issues of Entropy will have a special Breaking Bad homage incentive cover by special artist Antonio Fuso!
Why It’s Cool: This new series is building a shared universe along with publisher Heavy Metal’s trademark character, Taarna, and the comic has writer Christopher Priest leading the way with the artist team of Montos and Bryan Valenza. This is an interesting concept that speaks to the nature of creation, and I’m excited to see where it goes. I will note that it was tough including this one over the other Priest-penned title this week, Black Adam #3, which was also excellent.
Shirtless Bear Fighter 2 #1
Writer: Jody LeHeup
Artist: Nil Vendrell
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Dave Lanphear with Troy Peteri
Publisher: Image Comics
FINALLY! The man, the myth, the legend-SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER RETURNS to the War on Bearror in a wild new action-comedy with higher stakes, new characters, and all the heart and hilarity you expect from series co-creators JODY LEHEUP & NIL VENDRELL! This time, Shirtless’s search for his true origin sets him on a cosmic collision course with the bear god…URSA MAJOR! The battle begins this August with 32 ad-free pages of side-splitting, flapjacked fury! Don’t miss it!
Why It’s Cool: See my note in this week’s intro, but in brief, this is an absurd and madcap great time of a series, and I’m excited to see where this second arc will take shirtless, the bears, the evil wipes companies, the agents of FUZZ, and magical pig bacon wizards or whatever that one guy is. That’s why Shirtless Bear Fighter 2 round out the comics to buy for August 17.
Others Receiving Votes
Above Snakes #2
- Batman/Superman – World’s Finest #6
- Black Adam #3
- Brother of All Men #2
- Dark Spaces – Wildfire #2
- Do A Power Bomb #3
- Duo #4
- Edge of the Spider-Verse #2
- The Flash #785
- Justice Warriors #3
- Nightwing #95
- The Silver Coin #13
- Strange #5
- Usagi Yojimbo #30
- X-Men ’92: House of XCII #4
New #1s and One-Shots
20th Century Men #1
- A.X.E. – Death to the Mutants #1
- Avengers 1,000,000 BC #1
- Chilling Adventures Presents Jinx Grim Fairy Tales #1
- Crash and Troy #1
- Crossover 3-D Special #1
- Heart Eyes #1
- Jimmy’s Little Bastards #1
- Lady Hel #1
- Last Shadowhawk 30th Anniversary Special #1 (one-shot)
- Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight #1 (one-shot)
- Parasomnia Dreaming God #1
- Sonic the Hedgehog Annual #1 (2022)
- Trve Kvlt #1
- Ultraman – Mystery of the Ultraseven #1
- X-Men Unlimited: X-Men Green #1
Trade Collections and Graphic Novels of Note
Boris and the Potato Child HC
- Cloaked TP
- Complete Cyberforce Vol. 1 HC
- Critical Role – Mighty Nein Origins Yasha Nydoorin HC
- Doctor Doom: Book of Doom Omnibus HC
- Dune The Graphic Novel Book 2 – Muad Dib HC
- Echolands Vol. 1 HC
- Into Radness TP
- Judge Dredd Citadel TP
- Pulp – The Process Edition HC
- Radium Girls GN
- Razorblades Horror Magazine Omnibus Book 1 HC
- Realist Last Day on Earth Original Graphic Novel HC
- Robin & Batman HC
- Swamp Thing, Vol. 2 – Conduit TP
- Wonder Woman – Black and Gold HC