January 2023 Comics Highlights

Cover for MOON KNIGHT #19 (Marvel)

Last Updated on February 7, 2023

2023 came out swinging strong with January’s comic book offerings. The pile to pull from was mighty, with more outstanding books than was entirely necessary. It feels like every publisher has something to prove, and they’re proving it. The art, writing, storylines and everything are firing on all cylinders leaving readers absolutely spoiled for choice.

Whether you’re after tried and true superheroics, horror, fantasy, adventure, or anything in-between there’s something for you out there and there are story arcs just ending, beginning, and digging deeper. 2023 is definitely going to be a high water mark for comics and if January is any indication I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings.

Cover for X-Men Red #10X-MEN RED #10 (Marvel)

Al Ewing (W), Stefano Caselli & Jacopo Camagni (A), Federico Blee (C), Ariana Maher (L)

While some people may question the overall quality of the current X-Men line, one of the most consistently excellent titles coming out for a while now has been X-Men Red and I think a lot of that is thanks to Al Ewing’s propensity for grand, epic narratives and colossal confrontations and action set pieces and all of that is put on huge display with the most recent issue. In a series that’s no stranger to outrageous action, we at last get a showdown between two of the most gut-wrenchingly powerful Omega mutants in the solar system: Vulcan and Storm. The battle itself is amazing, portrayed with astounding detail by Caselli and Camagni, and brought to vivid life with Blee’s colors. It scours the face of Arakki (once Mars), and you may or may not be surprised at its outcome—also, we see fallout of Abigail Brand’s clandestine machinations at last as the series’ first major arc comes to a close. If you haven’t been following X-Men Red, now would be a good time to jump on as it looks to begin a new arc. 

Read X-Men Red #10

Cover for ALL AGAINST ALL #2 (Image)ALL AGAINST ALL #2 (Image)

Alex Paknadel (W), Caspar Wijngaard (A/C), Lassan Otsmane-Elhaou

I love a good, weird science fiction story and All Against All has more than satisfied that itch with its first and now second issue. The premise alone is enough to intrigue, with aliens having come to some kind of post-apocalyptic version of Earth to observe its biospheres and create weapons for their own mysterious extraterrestrial conflict. The questions are huge, the answers are cunningly delivered in bits and pieces, but the art in All Against All is a joy to behold. Wijngaard’s pages are, honestly, beautiful and his compositions are a breath of fresh air as the art and the story moves along at an impressive clip. The issue itself ends on a big moment, and it feels like the action is about to hit a major tipping point, which makes sense as the miniseries is set for five issues and I can’t wait for the next installment.

Read All Against All #2

Cover for GHOST RIDER #10 (Marvel)GHOST RIDER #10 (Marvel)

Benjamin Percy (W), Cory Smith (A), Oren Junior (I), Bryan Valencia (C), Travis Lanham (L)

The end of Ghost Rider’s first major arc closes with a huge confrontation, gore and action, and a big DUN-DUN-DUN moment to close it all out on and setup what’ll be coming next. I’ve said it before, but I’m a giant Ghost Rider fanboy and was pretty apprehensive when a new series got announced but over the course of these last tens issues those anxieties were certainly put to rest. I love that Percy ad Smith have embraced Ghost Rider’s horror roots and don’t shy away from touchy, otherwise sensitive subject matter. They embrace it, and use it effectively, creating a story of horror and suspense that has been exhilarating to read. Ghost Rider continues to be a consistently excellent book, and looks to continue that theme with its next arc.

Read Ghost Rider #10

Cover for Moon Knight #19MOON KNIGHT #19 (Marvel)

Jed MacKay (W), Federico Sabbatini (A), Rachelle Rosenberg (C), Cory Petit (L)

Speaking of books that are consistently excellent: Moon Knight is like the book that can’t lose (knock on wood). Under the careful stewardship of MacKay, it’s been quite probably the single best book Marvel’s putting out right now with every single issue knocking it out of the park. This newest chapter sets up the opening overture of the new arc, and promises great, terrible things to come for Moon Knight and crew, his little makeshift family of misfits. A great time for new readers to jump on, Moon Knight has something for everyone with action, intrigue, mystery, comedy, and more. I could gush all day about this book, but I think it’s better to let it speak for itself and say Moon Knight is a title you should definitely not be sleeping on.

Read Moon Knight #19

Cover for DOCTOR STRANGE: FALL SUNRISE #3DOCTOR STRANGE: FALL SUNRISE #3 (Marvel)

Tradd Moore (W/A), Heather Moore (C), Clayton Cowles (L)

Listen, I’m a simple guy. I hear there’s a book being done by Tradd Moore, I go out and I get that book because I know that no matter what at least the thing is going to look damn good, and Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise is probably one of the most artistically impressive books I’ve picked up in a long time. Filled with Moore’s signature, insanely detailed work, it tells one of the most esoteric Doctor Strange stories ever with themes of philosophy and metaphysics building an intriguing narrative that’s easy to lose yourself in—if you don’t lose yourself in the art, first. It’s hard to even describe, if you haven’t experienced the kinds of layouts and tableaus that Moore creates. Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise is, ultimately, just that: an experience, and one that shouldn’t be missed. It’s a joy to behold, to fall into, and lose yourself poring over, absorbing every little thing in its pages. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Read Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #3

Cover for 3KEYS #4 (Image)3KEYS #4 (Image)

David Messina (W/A), Alessandra Alexakis (C), Shawn Lee (L)

I’m a big Cthulhu Mythos nerd and I can say, definitively, that 3KEYS is probably the single coolest interpretation of Lovecraft’s universe I have ever seen. Emphasis on “seen.” David Messina’s art is, in a word (or two), freaking cool. Even if it were presented as a wordless and totally visual narrative, 3KEYS would still be one of the most enjoyable books being put out on the stands every month simply on the strength of its stunning visuals. The art, the aesthetic, the colors, they’re all brilliant and then you go ahead and get a story and characters that are awesome and engrossing, and it becomes this book that everyone should be reading. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s, cathartically visceral and far and away one of the most original interpretations of sweeping stretches of Lovecraft’s oeuvre. I’ve fallen head over heels for this book, and can’t recommend it enough. The only problem? 3KEYS is ending next month, and that absolutely guts me. But, if the previous issues are anything to go by, it’ll be one hell of a climax.

Read 3KEYS #4

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PhoenixReviews

Phoenix Reviews was a GdM reviewer between 2020-23 who loved graphic novels and comics. They have chosen to depart the internet in search of a happier life balance, and requested their profile be hidden.