This week’s Top Comics to Buy for November 16 has a couple of books I’ve been waiting for for some time, namely the finales to the current run of Iron Man and the most recent Shaolin Cowboy series, both of which have been consistent highlights for my monthly comics reading in 2022. I’ll miss them, to be sure, but as you’ll see below, both go out this week on very high notes. And as always, you can find the other usual categories too…enjoy!
Top Comics to Buy for November 16, 2022
Batman One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze #1
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Matteo Scalera
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Publisher: DC Comics
Going back to the Dark Knight’s early days in Gotham City: Batman and Robin, Dick Grayson, face down the coldest winter Gotham City has ever seen. A winter so cold that Mr. Freeze, Victor Fries, no longer needs his containment suit to survive; he is in an element where he can thrive. Robin empathizes with Mr. Freeze, all Freeze wants to do is save his wife, Nora–but Batman warns Robin not to give his empathy to Victor Fries. He’s a man who decided his own fate a long time ago and he deserves none of our warmth. And this winter… he will show his true wickedness and power.
Why It’s Cool: This comic marks the half way point for Batman One Bad Day, a series of prestige, over-sized one shots that tell complete stories — beginning, middle, end — about different Batman villains. They all have different creative teams, which makes each one inherently very different from the rest of the series. I’ve liked them all, and this week’s Batman One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze is no exception. It’s a fantastic story about one of Batman’s most interesting rogues, and the artwork by the team of Matteo Scalera and Dave Stewart is absolutely stunning. Even if you haven’t read all (or even any) of the other one-shots, do yourself a favor and pick this up.
Door to Door, Night By Night #1
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Sally Cantirino
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Publisher: Vault Comics
The Heritage Mills sales team travels from town to town, knocking on doors. They’re the best at what they do… which also means they’re the worst. They’re broken, each and every one of them, haunted by closets so full of skeletons, they’re bursting. When they discover a terrible secret behind one fateful door, it opens their eyes to a world full of real monsters hidden in every small town.
Why It’s Cool: Publisher Vault Comics has really been putting out some outstanding horror comics of late, and this week’s new #1 might be the best of the bunch. The creative team of Cullen Bunn and Sally Cantirino (with colors by Dee Cunniffe) is a fantastic pairing, the type of thing you don’t know will work well together until you see it in action. I also think the concept for this book — centered around salespeople who hock magazines door to door — is one that is perfect for horror but for whatever reason I haven’t seen done that way before. The result is any easy choice for the Top Comics to Buy for November 16.
GCPD Blue Wall #2
Writer: John Ridley
Artist: Stefano Raffaele
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Publisher: DC Comics
GCPD Commissioner Renee Montoya makes an unpleasant discovery about one of her newest recruits that spirals out further and further, making upholding the law in a city like Gotham even harder than it usually is. Meanwhile Officer Wells tries to give stability and security to his parolees…but things seem destined not to work out for the heavily burdened parole officer.
Why It’s Cool: Myself and my cohorts on the regular DC Round-Up column discussed the debut of this series in-depth recently, and I’m happy to report that all the qualities that made us like #1 so much — smart questions, great characters, realistic tone, well-done art — also elevate the second issue to must-read status this week. Don’t miss it.
Iron Man #25
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Angel Unzueta
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Back-Ups By: Murewa Ayodele, Dotun Akande, Kurt Busiek, Benjamin Dewey, Gerry Duggan, and Juan Frigeri
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It’s IRON MAN DAY in New York City, but not everyone is ready to celebrate the ongoing legacy of Tony Stark – least of all him. But a sudden crisis will once again test Tony’s heroism and challenge his commitment to the role he has assumed for himself. Must there be an Iron Man?
Christopher Cantwell concludes his thought-provoking and powerful run as writer, as illustrated by Angel Unzueta.
Why It’s Cool: This current Iron Man run, which has been excellent, comes to an end this week. It’s been fantastic, taking the titular character to new and different types of stories, while still rooting it all in Tony Starks character and long-time continuity. And the execution has been fantastic, filled with fun and high-stakes moments. This week’s issue is a sweet coda that plays with many of the same themes that have appeared throughout, a truly fitting ending.
Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin #7
Story/Art: Geof Darrow
Colors: Dave Stewart
Color Flats: Mark Sweeney, Raunak Singh, Fred Paculba, and Josh Laird
Color Flat Assists: Gabe Fischer
Letterer: Nate Piekos
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Things have gone from the ugly, to the bad, but now, maybe, to the good, as The Shaolin Cowboy martials all his Shaolin skills to put an end to Big Daddy Snell’s evil empire and then appease Hog Kong’s insatiable appetite for revenge. Will it be the end of the SCU or the beginning of phase two of America’s 14th favorite Kung Fu Hero!! The trilogy that began with “Shemp Buffet”, continued with “Who’ll Stop the Reign” comes to a 38-page action-packed finale.
Why It’s Cool: Shaolin Cowboy might be one of those IYKYK comics at this point, but every volume is fantastic, packed with some of the best and most intricate monthly comics art anywhere. This current book has all the hallmarks, and it also maybe sets the record for most background visual gags…in any comic, ever. Maybe.
Others Receiving Votes
- Above Snakes #5
- Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #9
- Black Adam #6
- Bone Orchard Mythos: Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3
- Dark Crisis: Young Justice #6
- The Flash #788
- Frankenstein: New World #3
- Highball #3
- Junkyard Joe #2
- Namor, The Sub-Mariner: Conquered Shores #2
- Shirtless Bear Fighter 2 #4
- Something Is Killing the Children #26
- Wakanda #2
- Wynd: The Throne in the Sky #4
- Young Hellboy: Assault on Castle Death #3
New #1s and One-Shots
- Blade Vampire Nation #1 (one-shot)
- Captain America and the Winter Soldier Special #1 (one-shot)
- Dark Crisis World’s Without a Justice League: Batman #1 (one-shot)
- Demon Wars: Shield of Justice #1 (one-shot)
- Ghost Rider Danny Ketch: Marvel Tales #1 (one-shot)
- Gold Goblin #1
- I Hate Fairyland #1
- Kroma by Lorenzo De Felici #1
- Murderworld: Avengers #1 (one-shot)
- Resident Alien: Book of Love #1
- Rogue State #1
- Sonic The Hedgehog: Tails 30th Anniversary #1 (one-shot)
- Stargirl: The Lost Children #1
- Star Trek: Resurgence #1
- Star Wars: Hidden Empire #1
- Voyagis #1
Trade Collections and Graphic Novels
- Arkham City: The Order of the World TP
- Batman/Spawn HC
- Die HC
- Grayson: The Superspy Omnibus HC
- Incal Psychoverse HC
- Jason Upside Down HC
- Kepler HC
- Killadelphia Deluxe Edition Book 1 HC
- Maze TP
- Mr. Lovenstein Presents Failure HC
- Notes From a Sickbed GN
- The Panic TP
- Still Alive HC
- Transformers: Last Bot Standing TP
- The Ultimates by Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch Omnibus HC
- Wiper TP
- Wonder Woman: Earth One Complete Collection TP
Read past editions of the Top Comics to Buy!