As much as we here at The Beat love single issues shipping each month, sometimes certain comics and stories tend to get the best of us as we try to keep up with new titles shipping each week. As a result, this week wanted to offer readers some of the best comics content available in trade paperback this coming week. Of course, there’s lot of material that’s great in trade for readers, but this is simply the cream of the crop that we wanted to suggest as of this week from staffers of The Beat.


Alex J.’s Picks

Strange Girl Omnibus

Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Eric Nguyen, Jerome Opena and Peter Bergting

Publisher: Image Comics


Ten years after the Rapture, a beautiful occultist and her pet demon embark on a road trip to the last open gateway to heaven in hopes of befriending God and escaping hell on earth. A bare-knuckle, action-driven series peppered with social commentary and dark humor, Strange Girl is a story about the bewildering nature of religion, what would happen if the dark future predicted by many came true, and what a good person would endure for not having faith in advance of it. Featuring story and art by a handful of today”s hottest new talents including Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Venom), Eric Nguyen (Halo, Sandman), Jerome Opena (Uncanny X-Force, Punisher) and Nick Stakal (Criminal Macabre).

Rick Remender’s Strange Girl was a series in production before Remender had the name that he now does. The author noted at recent panels and such that he fought hard at publisher Image comics to keep the series in print as long as possible. Now readers can enjoy the fruits of his labor in this brand new hardcover collection available this week. The series follows Bethany Black, a woman trying to survive amongst a dangerous world full of demons. The series also examines a religious angle following up on what would happen if some of the dark futures depicted in various religions actually came true.

The Material Vol. 1

Writer: Ales Kot Artist: Will Tempest Cover: Tom Muller Letters: Clayton Cowles

Publisher: Image Comics


America is unwinding. The world is undergoing massive changes. MATERIAL is a journey through what it means to be alive, today. Collects MATERIAL #1-4.

With writer Ales Kot winding down on his big two work for the major publishers, reading the author’s Image series is the best new way to read the works for the acclaimed author. Kot’s writing on the various titles at Marvel have all been exceptional starting with series like Marvel Knights: Spider-Man. While I confess to not have read The Material, (which has an incredibly vague solicitation) Kot’s work has been intriguing nonetheless. Tempest’s art and Muller’s cover designs are two very interesting contrasting works that pertain to the comic.


Alex L.’s Pick

Secret Coders

Writer: Gene Luen Yang Artist: Mike Holmes

Publisher: First Second


The debut volume in the new graphic novel series by Gene Luen Yang! Welcome to Stately Academy, a school which is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! The founder of the school left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students. Using their wits and their growing prowess with coding, Hopper and her friend Eni are going to solve the mystery of Stately Academy no matter what it takes! Available in softcover and hardcover editions.

You can’t ever rightfully ignore a Gene Luen Yang book.  From the writer of Boxers and SaintsAmerican Born Chinese, and the current run of Superman comes Secret Coders, a book that sets out to be 2015’s Cyberchase.  I loved Cyberchase as a kid because it made math and science fun, and Yang has set out to do the same with computer programming here.  This should be a staple in every classroom across America, if Contributing Editor Kyle Pinion’s conversation with Yang is any indication.