The Top Comics to Buy for January 18 features a mix of endings and new beginnings, spread across a wide range of comics. We’ve got the end of the best Shazam! comic in a good while along with a new series about The Wasp; we’ve got Highball — which is absolutely absurd in the best way — along with the latest mini from Vault Comics’ Barbaric. In other words, this week the comics are good. And you can find all the usual lists of them below…enjoy!

Top Comics to Buy for January 18, 2023

Barbaric – Hell to Pay #1
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Nathan Gooden
Colorist: Addison Duke
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
Barbaric is back and headed straight to hell in an all-new arc so big and bloody, it’s getting an extra issue!
While Owen tames a dragon with an old friend, Soren and Steel cross paths with someone else from our cursed barbarian’s past…who isn’t looking nearly as friendly. Hell hath no fury like a woman stabbed through the heart by an ugly f***ing orc.
Oh, wait! Who’s carrying Axe?
Why It’s Cool: Barbaric has turned into a genuine breakout hit for Vault Comics, leading to hardcover collections and a whole host of expansions for the concept and story. This is the latest, following the aftermath of main character Owen literally going to hell. But most importantly, Barbaric remains as excellent as it has been from the start, one of the true must-read monthly comics.
Price: $4.99

Batman One Bad Day – Bane #1
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics
A PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE DESTROYED BY VENOM! Bane broke the Bat–he’s one of the only villains to ever truly vanquish the Dark Knight–but is that all he’s ever accomplished? Decades from now, Bane is a washed-up wrestler reliving his glory days in the ring, defeating someone dressed like Batman every day. But when he discovers that there’s a new source of Venom in the world, he’ll do everything he can to shut down the facility it’s coming from for good and make sure that no one takes the poison that ruined his life. An epic saga set throughout Bane’s life, expanding on the hopes, dreams, regrets, and failures of one of DC’s most legendary villains, brought to you by the iconic creative team of Joshua Williamson (Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Flash) and Howard Porter (The Flash, Justice League).
Why It’s Cool: Essentially, Batman One Bad Day – Bane #1 has the best high concept of any of these prestige villian-driven one shots so far. It’s essentially an epilogue to Knightfall, as well as a potential end for Old Man Bane. And it’s really well done, incorporating Batman continuity, a bit of professional wrestling, and all things Bane. Even if you haven’t read the other entries in this series, you ought to consider picking this one up, as they all stand just fine on their own.
Price: $7.99

Highball #5
Writer: Stuart Moore
Artist: Fred Harper
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Rob Steen
Publisher: AHOY Comics
Trapped, tempted, tortured-with nothing to drink-Highball faces his darkest hour! Can his friends rescue him? Does he have friends? Or will the galactic crypto-nega-bomb conspiracy win out in the end? You’ll have to read the double-dry-hopped final issue to find out!
Why It’s Cool: This is the finale of a madcap series about an alcoholic space adventurer who is — quite frankly — questionable at best when it comes to heroics. Moreover, this was an easy addition to the Top Comics to Buy for January 18 because it’s a finale the delivers a great twist that sort of brings the rest of the series into focus. If this book lines up with your sense of humor, chances are you will love this last issue as much as I did.
Price: $4.99

The New Champion of SHAZAM! #4
Writer: Josie Campbell
Artist: Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner
Letterer: Becca Carey
Publisher: DC Comics
DARLA IS MISSING! While Mary was focusing on her duties as the new Shazam, her now-powerless little sister struck out on her own to help solve the mystery of the missing persons in their city. Now it’s up to our hero to find the true villain before everyone is lost for good. Little does she know, the key to saving the day awaits her at Fawcett Community College with her mysterious mentor, Dr. G! You won’t want to miss this shocking finale!
Why It’s Cool: This book has just been delightful, basically a perfect revamp for SHAZAM! comics at DC moving forward. Throughout, this story has captured the spirit of what has long made this concept so fun, and now in this fourth issue, we see the creative team absolutely sticking the landing.
Price: $3.99

The Wasp #1
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Kasia Nie
Colorist: KJ Diaz
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Fashion designer, businesswoman, founding Avenger – Janet Van Dyne has worn many hats over the course of her super heroic career. But when an old enemy threatens Janet and her fellow Wasp, Nadia, seemingly against his will, the Van Dynes will have to confront the ghosts in their shared history to get to the bottom of the mystery. Join fan-favorite creators Al Ewing (IMMORTAL HULK, X-MEN RED) and Kasia Nie (MOCKINGBIRD; AGE OF CONAN: BELIT) as they celebrate sixty years of the Wasp!
Why It’s Cool: Writer Al Ewing is fresh off a four-issue Ant-Man miniseries that really blew me away, and now he’s teaming with a new art team to tell a story with The Wasp. Not to be overly-simplistic, but if Ewing and co. do what they did with Ant-Man, this is going to be a fantastic miniseries. 
Price: $3.99

Others Receiving Votes

  • 3Keys #4
  • Batgirls #14
  • Batman: Fortress #8
  • Batman / Superman: World’s Finest #11
  • Black Adam #7
  • Dark Web – X-Men #3
  • Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #4
  • Giga #5
  • Groo: Gods Against Groo #2
  • House of Slaughter #11
  • Kroma #3
  • Monkey Prince #10
  • Namor, The Submariner: Conquered Shores #4
  • Nightwing #100
  • Venom #15

New #1s and One-Shots

  • Avengers Two – Wonder Man and Beast, Marvel Tales #1 (one-shot)
  • Dune: House of Harkonnen #1
  • Immortal Sergeant #1
  • Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton #1
  • Maniac of New York: Don’t Call It a Comeback #1
  • White Savoir #1

Trade Collections and Graphic Novels

  • Above Snakes Vol. 1 TP
  • Absolution TP
  • Barbaric Vol. 1 Murderable Offenses TP
  • Barbaric Vol. 2 Axe to Grind TP
  • Batman Urban Legends Vol. 4 TP
  • Children of Palomar and Other Tales TP
  • Chuckling Whatsit HC
  • Collector Unit 731 TP
  • Librarian of Auschwitz HC
  • Now Let Me Fly: Portrait of Eugene Bullard HC
  • Public Domain Vol. 1 Past Mistakes TP
  • Shubiek Lubeik HC
  • That Texas Blood Vol. 3 TP

Read past editions of the Top Comics to Buy!