February didn’t have a whole lot of comics out, at least, my pile felt a little bit lighter than usual this month (somewhere my bank account breathes a sigh of relief), but what it lacked in quantity it more than made up for in quantity. The stands were positively searing with phenomenal books, making my job incredibly complicated when it came time to narrow it down to what wasn’t just the best but the coolest books that landed throughout the month. Here, then, without further ado are the best of the bunch, the ones you definitely cannot miss out on.
David Messina (W/A/C)
The final issue of 3Keys goes out with one hell of a bang and I can’t lie I’m really super sorry to see it go. Each issue moved at a breakneck pace and told a story that was never anything less than enthralling, and with the final chapter we see a pretty solid conclusion as well as a colossal climax that Messina portrays beautifully and with truckloads of style. 3Keys has been one of my favorite books on the stands for months now and it’s going to take a lot for something else to take its place. I truly hope that the story continues later this year, or next year, or sometime because there world of 3Keys has barely been opened up and there’s so much more left to explore and, personally, I’m chomping at the bit for more.
About the book
Bearing the weight of grief and betrayal, Noah and Theon find themselves a weakened but final bulwark against the Great Old Ones in this concluding clash with a giant kaiju in the heart of Manhattan! Cover-to-cover action courtesy of DAVID MESSINA!
Read 3Keys #5 (IMAGE)
Benjamin Percy (W), Dave Wachter (A), Bryan Valenza (C)
The first issue of Ghost Rider’s new arc hits the ground running and wastes no time establishing a new direction and a new mission for the ever-tormented Johnny Blaze and his new companion Talia Warroad. Percy continues to lean hard (super hard) into the horror roots of Ghost Rider and I continue to be greatly appreciative of that fact. While most of the issue is busy establishing Blaze as one of the angstiest guys in the Marvel Universe, there’s still plenty of action and gore to be had and it leaves off on one hell of a cliffhanger—pun intended. If you haven’t been keeping track of Ghost Rider, there’s no time like the present to throw it on your list and come along for the ride.
About the book
The F.B.I. has cast out Johnny Blaze and Talia Warroad, maybe because they’re too destructive and unmanageable…or maybe because there is some corruption present that reaches inside the very institution meant to protect us. As Johnny and Talia head down to Savannah to investigate a necropolis, there are hints of old friends and new foes on the horizon. A new chapter of horror is beginning for the Ghost Rider, and Danny Ketch is roaring up to speed in the rearview mirror.
Read Ghost Rider #11 (MARVEL)
Wesley Snipes, Adam Lawson, Keith Arem (W), Gabriel Santos (A), Valentina Bianconi (C)
Yeah. That Wesley Snipes. I’ll be honest, I originally picked up the first issue of The Exiled because I was intrigued that Snipes had written a comic book and also that it had a seriously rad Blade Runner homage variant cover, but I was pleasantly surprised by what awaited me in its pages. The Exiled tells a hardcore futuristic noir story—suddenly that Blade Runner cover makes way more sense. The future is pitch black dark, ultra violent, and gritty as hell. The action moves forward at a brisk pace, the art is stylized in a rough yet pleasing way, and the story is pretty damn interesting. Enough to elevate The Exiled from pure spectacle to something I’ll be very eager to pick up when the second issue comes out.
About the book
After the events of FEAR ITSELF, the NEW MUTANTS have further entwined their destiny with Asgard. As a forgotten hero more powerful than Thor himself returns, the team must brace themselves for matters that will pit member against member.
Read The Exiled #1 (WHATNOT)
Tradd Moore (W/A), Heather Moore (C)
No lie, Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise has been one of the most memorable comic book experiences I’ve had in years and I’m sad to see it end. Hallucinatory, breathtaking, revelatory, outrageously intricate, ephemeral…Tradd Moore has elevated his whole craft with this story. All that being said, Fall Sunrise is almost hard to describe outside of emphatic superlatives. It’s just so damn good but simultaneously so damn strange that is defies description. A magical journey, an otherworldly quest, the Sorcerer Supreme pushed beyond his limits in a realm that beggars the mind. If you haven’t been following Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise I can’t recommend tracking down the earlier issues more, or waiting till later this year when it’s collected in trade. This is groundbreaking work.
About the book
Doctor Strange enters the cursed castle of Moriah Mensa to challenge a superlunary power and complete an impossible task. As the sun sets, a voice echoes, “There are no good places to die.”
Read Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #4 (MARVEL)
Jeff Lemire (W), Doug Mahnke (A), David Baron (C)
I was genuinely starting to think that the second issue of Swamp Thing: Green Hell was never actually going to come out so imagine my surprise when it finally actually hit the stands right at the end of the month. It’s a tooth-gnashing, nail-biting apocalyptic horror story that’s an absolutely perfect vehicle for Swamp Thing and other great characters like John Constantine—especially an aged, even more bitter Constantine. Monsters and madness and mayhem and humanity teetering on the absolute brink, it’s a damn shame that it’s the second part of a three part story that’ll be ending next month but oh what a story it is shaping up to be. I don’t want to see it end, but I can’t imagine what kind of mind-shattering ending is in store.
About the book
Alec Holland has been summoned back to the land of the living by the decrepit John Constantine himself, which is quite the surprise to the Parliament of Trees. In exchange for a peaceful eternity within the Green, Alec was to stay out of their affairs. With lives at risk, Alec refuses, but his conviction comes at a cost: if Alec dies in this stolen body, defending the last vestiges of humanity…he’s gone for good!