New Comic Book Day: Archie Dies, Ash Marries, Teen Titans Go…in the Wrong Direction


Comics often has a teen girl problem – typically, it does know what they want, how to market to them, and in the case of Teen Titans #1, what they look like.

The “teen” in the sketchy Internet sense Titans cover is one of the blessed few lowlights in a week that gives us new work from the creator of Scott Pilgrim, a look into the far-flung future of the X-Men, a massive mash-up of some of Cartoon Network’s early original programming (sadly minus Johnny Bravo) and people continue to make Army of Darkness comics because some of you out there keep hoping Army of Darkness 2 will be a thing.

It won’t be. Cut it out.

100th Anniversary Special: X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics)

The premise for this issue sounds a lot like DC One Million, the ’90s event that took DC’s line of books one million issues into the future. Here, Marvel is headed a hundred years into the future from the first publication date of X-Men, and I’m…curious? Yeah, curious is the right word for it.

Marvel brought on Hopeless Savages writer Jen Van Meter to craft a story wondering what the function of the X-Men would be 100 years from now. I feel like I have a whole essay in me about how imperfect (and kind of broken) the X-Men are as a civil rights/gay rights analogy (to the detriment of the very important, real-world movements it occasionally references), but on the face of it, I’m digging the idea of going forward and wondering what role civil rights heroes will play if a society has moved beyond some of their worst prejudices.

You can preorder the 100th Anniversary X-Men Special on comiXology.

Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #1 (Dynamite)

I’ve only read a couple of the Dynamite Army of Darkness comics (I got in and out again around the time female Ash was battling dimension-hopping evil Ash), so I have no idea if Hitched will be any good. But I’ve dug Steve Niles’ writing in the past, and that cover by Jae Lee is pretty attractive.

Beyond that: I don’t know that I necessarily care all that much about the post-Army of Darkness film continuity such as it is (I’m one of those weirdos who thinks the idea of an Army of Darkness 2 is a bad one, and that the new Evil Dead was perfectly all right, thank you very much).

Still, if any of you are picking Hitched up this week, let us know what you think in the comments.

You can get Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #1 from Dark Horse Digital.


Teen Titans #1 (DC Comics)

Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth about DC’s creating teen books with largely irritating “teen” characters in the not-so-New 52 commence.

Okay, you know what – I’m going to lay off (at least for a minute). Minus the boots, I adore the new Batgirl design, and I see that slowly, in deliberate ways, the publisher is really trying to reach a younger audience and expand beyond its base.

It’s just mildly disappointing to follow up that reveal (and new creative team) with the extensively (and wisely) derided cover for Teen Titans #1. Beyond the composition, those costumes – yikes. Each one slightly worse than the next, with Wonder Girl cursing future artists to deal with the Donna Troy stair suit, except in red.

The contents of the book, by Will Pfeiffer, could be completely serviceable – or even excellent – but there’s not much that pops in a good way about this cast of characters visually, and you know I’m very much one to judge a book solely on its cover.

You can get Teen Titans #1 on comiXology.

Seconds (Ballantine Books)

Hey, it’s the first full-length work from Bryan Lee O’Malley since Scott Pilgrim wrapped. Depending on who you are, O’Malley’s just-this-side-of-twee writing is either great or grating (I tend toward the former with very, very brief moments of the latter), but no matter what side of the divide you’re on, you have to at least be curious about what the illustrator and writer has had on his mind since Scott Pilgrim blew up indie comics.

Seconds tells the story of Katie, a restaurant owner who gets a do-over for some of the key moments in life and love, and publisher Ballantine is describing the standalone story as “novelistic,” which I’m assuming means “taken in one big chunk.” At the very least, we’ll be treated to O’Malley’s frequently beautiful and energetic art. And, you know, emotions.

Life With Archie #36 (Archie Comics)

Whatever your feelings on the issues at the heart of this installment of Life With Archie – gay rights, gun control – you have to hand it to publisher Archie Comic Publications for being willing to piss off some of its audience with the circumstances surrounding the death of the world’s other oldest teen.

In case you didn’t remember from all of the breathless press, Archie bites it while coming to the aid of Kevin Keller, who’s running for office on an anti-gun platform and ends up the target of a sniper’s bullet. Did I mention that Kevin is running for office after his husband was murdered in a mass shooting?

That’s some dark stuff right there, but that’s the beauty of comics, right? I’m willing to approach it with a little more confidence than I would say, if Glee approached the same issue. I mean, yeah, it’s probably going to be mawkish and a little weird (it is the future, alternate timeline death of a comic character, after all), but Archie, given its long and storied publication history, has earned a little mawkishness.

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #1 (IDW)

Things I love about the solicitation for this book: first, of course, that Samurai Jack‘s Demon Aku will the one to round up all of the baddies; second, they call themselves the League of Extraordinary Villains; third, Louise Simonson is on the script with Derek Charm attempting to bring together the disparate styles of Cartoon Network’s popular animated series in this Crisis on Infinite Earths riff.

The book promises a big old mashup of late ’90s/early aughts Cartoon Network characters including Ed, Edd, and Eddy, Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, and Samurai Jack, but I if there’s not, at any point, a Monkey vs. Mojo Jojo fight, then this book will have been a wasted opportunity.

Get Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! #1 on comiXology.

Those are my picks for the week. What’s on your list?