Wednesday's New Thing: Ms. Marvel and Teen Loki

1. These two books feel like the big ones this week, particularly in the wake of Gillen and McKelvie's Young Avengers. From the preview, writer Tom Ewing and writer Lee Gabett's new Loki series seems like it's trying a little too hard to fill the space left by its progenitor; in particular, the writing seems a little like Gillen-lite. Still, I think Ewing just needs some time to find his own voice with what has essentially been Gillen's character for the past three or four years, and it will be particularly heartening if Gabett's already decent art, think a less stylized Terry Dodson here, makes a leap. The title's resonances with the silver age Nick Fury comics and the immensely popular film version of the character mean that this is a comic that's going to appeal to all kinds of people, to both comics lifers and the new reader into their LCS off of the street. The other big release this week is G. Willow Wilson's new Ms. Marvel, which famously stars a Muslim teenager. That fact alone is going to bring some people to the character, and will also (unfortunately) drive some people away. This is a book, though, that should stand out on its merits; Wilson is a good writer, and Adrian Alphona is trying some fun and unique stuff with the art. The closest analogue I can think of is Andre Lima Araujo, but the similarities there cease with the thin lines and a vaguely cartoony style. If you only buy two comics this week, I would make it these two.

2. Last week, I wrote about the calculus I use to determine whether or not I should trade wait; in terms of both of these series from Matt Fraction, I think I picked wrong. On the one hand, I wanted to make sure that they didn't get canceled, and so buying the single issues felt like it was important. On the other hand, I have a feeling that both (I haven't actually started Sex Criminals yet, but I have all four issues!) will be improved by a condensed reading experience; I've found certain threads in Satellite Sam hard to follow from month to month. And they would both look great on my bookshelves, one of the major criterions here. I'll definitely be buying this issue of Sex Criminals, but I very well may decide to start trade waiting Satellite Sam, deferring the cost for a nicer product rather than letting a whole 'nother volume waste away in my short boxes. Let's call it a game time decision.

3. Two other books of interest this week: First, Tom Ewing's other book, Mighty Avengers is guest starring Iron Fist, which is generally enough of a reason for me to at least take a peek. This may be the first issue of that series not directly or indirectly tied in with a crossover event. The second book worth looking into is Nathan Edmondson's Punisher. In general, I find that character to be uniquely uncompelling at this point, and so the quality of his comics is even that much more dependent on the quality of the creative team than usual. Greg Rucka's recent run on the character was pretty good, but the art on that series was atrocious and too obviously photoshopped. Edmondson's Black Widow series has been excellent, though, and although artist Mitch Gerads isn't Phil Noto, his art does remind me a little of early Chris Samnee. I'm not sure that the character's move to Los Angeles is really a very big deal, but this might be a book to take a flyer on.

Whole Comics: Jillian Fleck

Jillian Fleck

Jillian Fleck

Read the rest of "I Know Her Name," written and drawn for the Santoro Correspondence Course, at Jillian Fleck's tumblr