This week’s Top Comics to Buy for May 3 features one of the best crossovers I can remember in some time — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen. Nown on its second issue, this crossover of the premiere anthropomorphic martial arts-related long-time comic series has just been fantastic. You can find my write-up on it below, along with the rest of the top choices and the usual lists…enjoy!

Top Comics to Buy for May 3, 2023

Comics to Buy for May 3Batman #135
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Pencils: Mike Hawthorne, Jorge Jimenez, and Mikel Janin
Inks: Adriano Di Benedetto, Jorge Jimenez, and Mike Janin
Colors: Tomeu Morey and Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
It’s Batman versus Red Mask in a brutal Gotham that’s never known hope! Can the Dark Knight overcome the terrifying infection that Red Mask has unleashed? Only one thing is certain: he won’t be able to do it alone. The conclusion to the bestselling “The Bat-Man of Gotham” is so big it could only be contained in an oversize #900 anniversary issue featuring the return of fan-favorite artist Jorge Jiménez and a wild collection of guest stars! Full of wild revelations and a new path for Batman, this is one issue you won’t want to miss!
Why It’s Cool:
Because with legacy numbering, this is essentially Batman #900, and the publisher is celebrating it with a superstar lineup of artists, the culmination of a strong Batman story arc (rich with multiverse shananigans), and extra pages. This is a satisfying read that puts the character in an interesting place moving forward, a fitting celebration of the flagship Batman title hitting #900.

I Hate This Place #8
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Artyom Topilin
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Publisher: Image Comics – Skybound
After jumping through a mysterious portal, Gabby finally gets some answers about what the hell is going on! Meanwhile, Trudy is reunited with a literal ghost from their past-and after this issue, nothing will be the same!
Why It’s Cool:
I just really freaking love I Hate This Place. This series started with a fun horror concept — what if there was one place with all the horror things — and now there’s timelines and future selves and the fate of the world at stake. It is, simply put, the type of good comics #*@& that makes following these books month-to-month worth it.

Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1
Writer: Kyle Starks
Art: Steve Pugh
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Becca Carey
Publisher: DC Comics – Black Label
Having earned his release from the Suicide Squad, Peacemaker wants to try and do normal superhero stuff for a change. Unfortunately everyone, including the bad guys, thinks he sucks at superhero stuff. But when busting up a terrorist ring introduces Christopher Smith to the cutest thing to ever walk (awkwardly) on four legs, he finds the unconditional love he’s been denied his whole life. That is, until the dog is kidnapped right out from under him by a super-villain who has some very un-super-heroic plans for Peacemaker’s brand of ultraviolence. Will he help an infamously unstable super-powered criminal steal the world’s most valuable-and dangerous-DNA? Honestly, Christopher’s pretty lonely, so it probably just depends on how nicely they ask… Breakout writer Kyle Starks (I Hate This Place, Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton) and art legend Steve Pugh (Preacher Special: Saint of Killers, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) deliver a brutal and hilarious take on DC’s biggest P.O.S. that will bust guts, break bones, and melt hearts!
Why It’s Cool:
I got to talk to Kyle Starks about this one before release, and he talked a lot about how much he loved the show. This new Black Label series definitely reflects that, capturing the tone, the jokes, and even some of the themes of one of DC Comics’ best adaptations in some time. Plus, there’s a cute dog in it. Buy this book.

Shazam! #1
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Mora
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Publisher: DC Comics
The World’s Finest creators present the World’s Mightiest Mortal in a dazzling solo series! Dinosaurs from space! The Clubhouse of Eternity! Homicidal worms and talking tigers! Atomic robots, alien worlds, mad scientists, sinister curses, and villains from throughout the DC Universe-welcome to the wild adventures of Billy Batson, whose big red alter ego defends the Earth from its weirdest and wildest threats! Want to stop Lex Luthor and The Joker? Call Superman and Batman! International crises? Page Wonder Woman! But when Garguax, Emperor of the Moon, sets his sights on Gorilla City, that’s when you shout Shazam!
Why It’s Cool:
I don’t usually like to put three books from the same publisher on this list, but I was just really blown away by this new Shazam! comic, which felt like a bit of course correct for a character that has sort of gotten away from what makes it so fun. And, really, fun is the operative word all around in this one, which has great art, great writing, and is just overall an absolute blast. 

TMNT/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen #2
Story, Art, Lettering: Stan Sakai
Colors: Hi-Fi Design
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Sent back in time to feudal Japan, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles immediately face a fight for their lives against Yukichi and Jotaro! Mistaking the Turtles for the violent kappa terrorizing a nearby village, the long-eared samurai descend upon the Turtles with swords brandished. Can the TMNT convince Usagi’s allies to aid in their mission to stop Dr. WhereWhen from changing the future? Or will the larger threat prevail while Lord Noriyuki’s forces march into the final battle with the Dark Lord Hikiji?
Why It’s Cool:
Maybe the easiest addition to the Top Comics to Buy for May 3, this is just the absolute perfect crossover, brought to life by one of the best creators working in all of monthly comics. If you like one — or, even better, both — of these franchises, you won’t want to miss this one.

Others Receiving Votes

  • Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #3
  • Almighty #4
  • Avengers: War Across Time #5
  • Breath of Shadows #4
  • The Flash #798
  • Godfell #3
  • Immortal X-Men #11
  • Love Everlasting #7
  • Moon Knight #23
  • Poison Ivy #12
  • Star Trek – Deep Space Nine: Dog of War #2
  • Where Monsters Lie #4

New #1s and One-Shots

  • Animal Castle #1
  • Buffy The Last Vampire Slayer – Lost Summer #1
  • Carnage Reigns Alpha #1
  • Cult of Carnage Misery #1
  • Demon Wars Scarlet Sin #1 (one-shot)
  • Edge of Spider-Verse, Vol. 3 #1
  • Groot #1
  • Lamentation #1
  • Maple Terrace #1
  • Monomyth #1
  • Scarlet Witch #5
  • Spider-Man 2099: Dark Genesis #1
  • Star Wars Return of the Jedi – Lando #1 (one-shot)
  • Starsigns #1
  • Survival #1
  • X-Men: Before The Fall – Sons of X #1 (one-shot)

Trade Collections and Graphic Novels

  • Armed With Madness: The Surreal Leonora Carrington GN
  • Blood of the Virgin HC
  • Blood-Stained Teeth Vol. 2 – Drip Feed TP
  • Creepy Archives Vol. 1 TP
  • Dark Spaces: Wildfire TP
  • Department of Truth – Complete Conspiracy Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 HC
  • Gull Yettin GN
  • Haunthology TP
  • Hungry Ghost TP
  • Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters Vol. 3 TP
  • Last Count of Monte Cristo HC
  • Murky World HC
  • Sandman Mystery Theater Compendium 1 TP
  • Spider-Man: Life Story Extra TP
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks TP
  • Superman Space Age HC

Read past editions of the Top Comics to Buy!