HOT FIVE (ish): Week Of October 31, 2018

Welcome to Comicosity’s Hot Five(ish). Hot Five(ish) is a short(ish) list of the top books we think you’ll want to be checking out. Be they new title launches, key issues or just continuing stories from some of the industry’s most acclaimed books, this list is your guaranteed gold in the comic market.

Happy Halloween to all of you loyal readers of the Hot Five (ish) here at Comicosity. In honor of the holiday, and some big news about the future of this column on the horizon I decided to really lean into the “ish” part of title with a whopping twelve entries this week! I know comic books are expensive these days, so I want to make it clear that I am in no way trying to pressure anybody into buying more than they can. My goal with this column is to highlight the good stuff each and every week. I hope you use this as a resource in figuring out what to buy each week, and I really hope that you’ve fallen in love with a comic you didn’t expect to because you gave it a chance on my recommendation.

In exciting news, we are coming up on my five year Hot Five anniversary. I took the column over from Matt in November of 2013, and haven’t missed a single week since. Given the number five being crucial (ish) to the work I do here you can something special to celebrate here in the coming weeks that may just be the big news I mentioned above.

As usual, you can find me over on Twitter at @jpooch21 where I always love a good comic book conversation. Finally, in the spirit of the season feel free to tweet me pictures of your favorite comic book related Halloween costumes this week.

Written by Tom King, Cheryl Lynn Eaton, Ram V, Tom Taylor, Jordie Bellaire
Art by Mikel Janin, Elena Casagrande, Jorge Fornes, Brad Walker & Jill Thompson (Pencils)
Published by DC Comics – $4.99

Delve into Batman’s case histories and discover brand-new stories by some of comics’ most exciting talents. The BATMAN team of Tom King and Mikel Janin provides a framing sequence, setting up our hand-picked teams of creators to take a look at Bat-mysteries past and present. Featuring a bevy of Batman villains, including a look at how the Scarecrow’s fear toxin affects the common man, and a special story written by Tom Taylor with art by Brad Walker that teams the Dark Knight Detective with Detective Chimp.

Why It’s Hot: Oversized anthology issues are easy to overlook, and even easier to skip. Make sure that isn’t the case with Batman: Secret Files, because if you do you will be missing out on a great set of stories from a group of creators bringing a different tone to Gotham. Yes, King and Janin kick off the issue with a solid short story, but the issue really shines and differentiates itself in the hands of the rest of the creative team. I couldn’t help but think this issue is potentially where the present meets the future of Gotham City. I’d even go as far as to recommend this issue whether you regularly read the Batman line of comics or not.

Written by Mark Russell & J.M. Dematteis
Art by Rick Leonardi &Tom Mandrake (Pencils)
Published by DC Comics – $4.99

Set against the turbulent backdrop of the early 1970s, Green Lantern and Huckleberry Hound join forces to take a stand on the issues of that era. Returning from recent duty in Vietnam, veteran Marine John Stewart-now a member of the Green Lantern Corps-contemplates what, if anything, he should do about the issues tearing his country apart. Meanwhile, Huckleberry’s comments against the Vietnam war have left him a celebrity outcast, and a visit back home to Mississippi puts him face to face with the Civil Rights Movement. What can one man-and one hound-do? Plus, part two of a Secret Squirrel backup story written by J.M. DeMatteis.

Why It’s Hot: I’m surprised that DC hasn’t backed up the Brinks truck while offering Mark Russell an entire line/universe based off of these DC/Hanna Barbera crossover specials, or even just a shared Hanna Barbera universe. I don’t know how the man does it, but the way he takes these cartoon characters, and draws inspiration from real world issues to tell important stories where you’d least expect to find them is amazing. That holds true here with John Stewart meeting Huckleberry Hound in the volatile backdrop of the early 1970s. This is easily one of the best of these crossovers, and hands down one of the week’s very best releases.

Written by Tom King
Art by Clay Mann (Pencils) & Tomeu Morey (Colors)
Published by DC Comics – $3.99

Suspected of murder, [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] find themselves on the run from the super-hospital called Sanctuary -with each thinking the other one is the real killer! It’s up to Batman to solve this heinous crime, but suspicion falls on him when Superman and Wonder Woman ponder just how much Sanctuary’s A.I. is telling them. Meanwhile, [REDACTED] tries to make a shady deal to hide from the Trinity, while [REDACTED] searches out an old friend to help him out of this mess-and only gets deeper in trouble.

Why It’s Hot: To say that King and Mann’s debut issue was divisive is a huge understatement. Some people loved it, some people hated it, and almost everyone was shocked at what took place. All of these were perfectly valid reactions, and left people talking.

Written by Ben Blacker
Art by Mirka Andolfo (Pencils) & Marissa Louise (Colors)
Published by DC Comics – $3.99

“The women are too powerful. They must be tamed.”

For hundreds of years a war has been waged between a coven of perpetually reincarnating witches and the all-male conspiracy known as the Architects. After the death of the lead Architect in 2005 it seemed the witches had finally defeated their foes.

Now, 13 years later, waking up in a perfect cookie cutter home at the end of a cul-de-sac in a sunny corner of suburbia, Isadora has no recollection of her past life as the leader of a witch coven, nor her soulmate Nadiya, let alone the centuries-old war she has waged in defense of the soul of America…

Why It’s Hot: The “new” Vertigo Comics continues its rollout this week with Hex Wives. The talented team of Blacker, Andolfo, and Louise cast a spell that feels a little like The Stepford Wives meets a tale of star crossed lovers meets a whole lot of witchcraft. With so many options every week it’s hard to predict which new comics will connect with audiences enough to breakthrough, but given the right circumstances this has a lot of potential to do just that.

Written by Al Ewing
Art by Ramon Rosanas (Pencils) & Jason Keith (Colors)
Published by Marvel Comics – $3.99

Stark Odinson may have forged his own astonishing armor and become Iron Hammer…but is even that enough when Madame Hela, masked queen of Hel, comes for him?

Why It’s Hot: These Infinity Warps issues are phenomenal. They shouldn’t be this good, and really have no right to be. The story of the Iron Hammer is among the best of the bunch too, as the great Al Ewing has expertly weaved the history and characters of Thor and Iron Man together for this two issue story. You will laugh at how great some of these ideas mashed together are. The best part is that these issues have the Infinity Wars trade dress, and happen as a result of that (amazing, underrated) event, but you don’t need to read it to enjoy a story that sees Sigurd Stark become the Iron Hammer to fight a ten ring wielding Malekith, and mask wearing Madame Hel.

Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Howard Porter (Pencils) & HI-FI (Colors)
Published by DC Comics – $4.99

“Drowned Earth” part one! The Ocean Lords-ancient sea gods with a grudge against Aquaman and Wonder Woman-invade the Earth with an alien army and flood the globe. As Batman, Superman and the Flash race to stop the waters from rising and turning everyone into aquatic monsters, Mera seeks the advice of an old enemy, and Arthur must face down Black Manta…or lose his connection to the ocean forever!

Why It’s Hot: Justice League has been the best superhero team comic since it started in the pages of No Justice, and now the next big story begins in earnest this week. We saw the beginnings of this story in latest issues of Justice League, Aquaman, and Titans so we have a pretty good idea about the nature of the conflict. Long lost to history, a group of alien gods have been unshackled from their captivity and have drowned the planet with a flood that turns beings into monsters. It’s big, ambitious, a bit creepy, and a whole lot of fun so far. Now the story kicks off in earnest this week, and it appears to potentially be exactly want I hope to see more of (see below’s entry on The Witching Hour).

Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jesus Merino
Published by DC Comics – $4.99

The deadly finale of “The Witching Hour” arrives as Zatanna battles for Wonder Woman’s soul-and the rest of the Justice League Dark battle for their lives! Hecate is more powerful than the Greek Gods…and no matter who wins, the Earth will lose its chance of surviving the war that’s coming!

Why It’s Hot: The Witching Hour comes to an end with this oversized conclusion! This is another horror themed issue that will fit in perfectly as you sit in the dark house waiting for trick or treaters to knock. The overall story here shas been a perfect example of what crossovers can be with DC’s scheduling that sees certain comics being released every other week. The crossover wasn’t drawn out to last months. In fact, it was a nice, compact, dense five part crossover that lasted exactly a month, and will still look great in collected form for years to come. The story itself has been quite good, but with the Justice League line being as great as it has been that’s not very surprising. This isn’t necessarily the first time a project and been done like this, but it feels rare. Hopefully the success of this project lead to the nature of it being more common in the near future.

Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Andy MacDonald (Pencils) & Tamra Bonvillain (Colors)
Published by Marvel Comics – $3.99

Jamie Madrox – the guy many X-Men fans are aware of – has returned home to save the world and/or die trying. But does Jamie have what it takes to save the world from himself? The fate of the Marvel Universe hangs in the balance! Wouldn’t it be funny if he didn’t do it and the Marvel Universe just ended? Like this was the last Marvel comic ever?

Why It’s Hot: This book is absurd, and I love it. Will Madrox save the world from Madrox? Will Madrox live? Will Madrox die? All of the above? As I like to say, there’s only one way to find out! Without giving anything away I will promise time travel hijinx, laughs, and a whole lot of casualties in the stunning conclusion to Multiple Man!

Written by Priest
Art by Paulo Siqueira (Pencils)
Published by Marvel Comics – $3.99

The deadliest mission in all of SPIDER-GEDDON has come up and Kaine has stepped forward for what he’s sure will be a suicide mission. But he can’t do it alone and Jessica Drew, A.K.A. Spider-Woman has signed on to help, but has Kaine told her the whole truth? With Ashley Barton, from the OLD MAN LOGAN universe, and two new characters (Astro-Spider and Spider-Kid), Kaine’s team is complete and their first mission may be their last!

Why It’s Hot: Spider-Geddon has been a really fun read so far. I like to refer to these events featuring one line of titles as opposed to the entire publishing line as “Corner Events.” This corner event has proven to be an excellent follow up to Spider-Verse, and has been perfectly timed to take advantage of the Spider-Man video game and upcoming animated movie. The event has also eschewed the habit of pulling the flagship into the fray, and has instead opted to use the peripheral Spidey books, and short miniseries to move the story along. Spider-Force is one of those minis, and features an assortment of multiversal spider-people forming a X-Force reminiscent team led by Kaine. What elevates this comic above usual tie-ins is that Priest is writing it. Priest writing a story about a group of Spidey characters on a suicide mission to help save all of reality? Sign me right up for this one.

Written by Jim Zub
Art by Steven Cummings
Published by Image Comics – $4.99


“BOUND TO FATE,” Conclusion
Fate burns as the past and present clash in the final battle.

WAYWARD concludes with a special double-sized spectacular that includes an epic 30-page story, pin-ups, and more!

Why It’s Hot: Wayward has been a consistently solid comic over the past 30 issues. Over the course of the run writer Jim Zub has become a vital part of the current Marvel Comics landscape, and I feel it’s safe to say that his work on this creator owned title played a role in that happening. Wayward never really got the buzz or attention that it truly deserved, and that includes from this column. Fans of the series will be sad to see it go, but those of you that never got on board will have 30 more issues worth of good comicbookimg to look forward to.

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock
Published by Image Comics – $7.99

“BAD EGG” Serving as both a stand-alone story in the WYTCHES world and a prequel to the highly anticipated WYTCHES, VOL. 2, “BAD EGG” tells the story of Seb and Jackson—two innocent teenagers reared on opposite sides of the eternal struggle between good and evil. Sebastian’s mother is a member of “The Irons,” the most ruthless Wytch hunters in history, while Jackson’s family are “High Horn” Wytches. Can these two boys find friendship amidst this age-old blood feud, or are their fates already sealed? Collecting the entire IMAGE+ magazine run and, for the first time, the 13-page, pulse-pounding conclusion plus extra materials, WYTCHES: BAD EGG reunites the Eisner-award winning duo of SCOTT SNYDER and JOCK in a horror-filled romp just in time for Halloween!

Why It’s Hot: Get excited for some fresh Wytches scares on this All Hallow’s Eve. Outside of the creative team, cover, and price there is zero solicitation about this issue on the Diamond website. Who needs any information when it’s Scott Snyder, Jock, and an oversized Wytches special on Halloween?

Written by Leah Williams & Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler
Art by Chris Bachalo & Geraldo Borges (Pencils), Antonio Fabela, Dan Brown, Carlos Lopez (Colors)
Published by Marvel Comics – $4.99

Before she was an X-Man, Emma Frost was White Queen of the Hellfire Club where she labored under the yolk of Sebastian Shaw, the Black King. Now she sets her sights on the club, determined to tear down the organization that wronged her…if she can convince the X-Men to help out. PLUS: Part 5 of X-MEN BLACK: APOCALYPSE!

Why It’s Hot: This comic is a good example of what I’m just now deeming “Creator Owned Buzz.” My just now made up definition for the the term is when a creator does such a good job conveying their excitement for the issue on hand that you can’t help be excited for it, no matter what the comic is about. Leah Williams is on her way to becoming a big time comic book writer, and she has made it clear over the past few months just how close to her heart Emma Frost is. There have been hashtags and too many tweets to count, and that was before the one-shot was even announced. Now it is here with the legendary Chris Bachalo on art duties, and the C.O.B. has turned into general excitement for the last issue in a series of one shots that was met with some derision when announced. Well played Miss Williams, well played.


* Avengers Halloween Special #1
* Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams #2
* Black Panther #5
* Bone Parish #4
* Britannia: Lost Eagles Of Rome #4
* Charlie’s Angels #5
* Daredevil #610
* Doom Patrol #12
* Extermination #4
* Faith Dreamside #2
* Ice Cream Man #8
* Man-Eaters #2
* Marvel Two-In-One #11
* Nancy Drew #5
* Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla #1
* Old Man Logan #50
* Sex Death Revolution #1
* Shanghai Red #5
* Star Wars: Tales From Vader’s Castle #5
* Stranger Things #2
* Superman/Top Cat #1
* The Terrifics Annual #1
* Tony Stark: Iron Man #5
* Vagrant Queen #5
* Vault Of Spiders #1
* West Coast Avengers #3
* The Wild Storm #18

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