The Week's Best New Comics Are Songs of Medieval Queens and Rocking Teens

Julie, a guitarist whose life is about to change in We Are the Danger.
Julie, a guitarist whose life is about to change in We Are the Danger.
Illustration: Fabian Lelay, Claudia Aguirre (Black Mask Studios)

As much as we all like to fancy ourselves as self-sufficient islands, it’s impossible to really get through life while also enjoying yourself if you don’t have people in your corner who want to see you succeed. Narratively, this week’s best new comics have little in common other than the fact that they’re a testament to the fact that everybody needs a little help to make it through hard times—and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

A transient man facing off against the brutish Sir Feist.
A transient man facing off against the brutish Sir Feist.
Illustration: Justin Greenwood, Eric Jones, (Image)

The Last Siege

Image’s The Last Siege is a comic for people who are jonesing for a fix of Game of Thrones’ gloomy, moody political intrigue without the overlong commitment and excess of parallel plots. Set in a world where monarchies still reign supreme, The Last Siege tells the story of Lady Cathryn, a young girl who suddenly finds herself in the unenviable position of being the heir apparent to her house’s throne in the wake of her father’s death.

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Because Cathryn’s a child and her house is under attack by a king from a faraway land, her royal advisors all know that it would be irresponsible to allow her to take the throne immediately. But Cathryn’s youth also makes her a target for the conniving men around her who would seek her hand in marriage in order to take the throne for themselves. As war rages on the battlefields, so too does it in Cathryn’s court, as her advisors disagree about which course of action would best protect both her and the realm.

Unlike Game of Thrones where young monarchs tend to get offed rather cavalierly, The Last Siege seems to be setting up an arc in which Cathryn, though in danger, will actually have adults on her side who’re capable of acting in her best interest because they’re genuinely good people. It’s a welcome change of pace for a genre of fiction that’s overfull of gratuitous violence and death—and it’ll give you a reason to root for the protagonists without fear of their impending demise. (Landry Q. Walker, Justin Greenwood, Eric Jones, Image Comics)

Julie convincing her newest bandmate to join their group.
Julie convincing her newest bandmate to join their group.
Illustration: Fabian Lelay, Claudia Aguirre (Black Mask Studios)

We Are the Danger

There is no purer magic then the feeling you get when you meet a group of new friends and realize that not only do you all get along, you also bring out the best in one another without really thinking or meaning to. Julie, a teenaged drummer from the Philippines, has a difficult time finding her place in the world after moving to the US—but she makes an unexpected friend at school who invites her to a party that changes the trajectory of her life.

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When she first arrives at the local dive bar where they’re supposed to meet, Julie’s all but certain that she’s been stood up, but she’s floored when she realizes that her friend’s actually the drummer in the band performing on stage that evening. The girls’ shared love of music cements their friendship, and the pair realizes that with a couple more people, they’d make an absolutely kickass band of their own. We Are the Danger exists somewhere between the high camp of Gem and the Holograms and the quaintness of Josie and the Pussycats. Its characters are charming and its stakes feel comfortably mellow in a way that makes the book perfect to curl up and just chill out with. (Fabian Lelay, Claudia Aguirre, Black Mask Studios)

io9 Culture Critic and Staff Writer. Cyclops was right.

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DISCUSSION

lordoftheducks
Lord of the Ducks

The two Charles Reviewed:
We Are The Danger #1 (ongoing)- Some highschool kids start a band. Think modern Archie Comics with a more diverse cast. Kinda like a re-skinned version of The Archies. The writing is so-so and the art is better in places than others. Not as charming as other teen drama books. The better of the two he reviewed this week.

Last Siege #1 (Of 8) - A mysterious stranger arrives at a castle overrun with soldiers looking to usurp the castle’s young princess. Nothing really ground breaking happening here. If anything it is throwback to more classic tales of heroes rising up to do what’s right. If you like medeval stories give it a read. Others can skip it.


Other #1's This Week:
Batman: Prelude to the Wedding: Robin vs. Ra’s Al Ghul #1 (oneshot) - Ra’s and Damian face off and Damian and Salena get some time to bond. Not a bad read whether you’re a fan or not.

The Man of Steel #1 (ongoing) - Bendis dips his unwashed taint into the Superman mythos. A decent day in the life story mixed with some potentailly heavy retconing and setting up for a larger story involving Lois and Jon missing and the destruction of Krypton. Too much dialogue in the wrong places. A decent point for new readers as it is a fairly clean start. It is a better read than it should be.

Green Lanterns #Annual 1 (Annual) - If you haven’t read any of the comics with Earth’s latest GLs, this isn’t a bad jumping on point. The story is bit of a mess, it ignores GL history and how the rings work, plus Simon and Jessica are just not written well. This feels like it was supposed to be a story based around Hal and Co, but leads switched at the last minute. Too many filler pages. Skip unless you really love Jessica and Simon. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corp is the better GL book by far.

Kong of Skull Island #Special 1 (One shot) - Kong, Monsters, and Vikings. Not bad. Could have used less humans. You know if this is for you. I enjoyed it. Nothing special, nothing horrible.

Transformers: Requiem of the Wreckers #1 - If you read Transformers comics, you’ll probably like this. Others can skip it.

Harbinger Wars 2 #1 (of 4) - If you are a fan of the Valiant universe, then dive in and enjoy the ride. Everyone else can keep on moving.

Judge Dredd: Under Siege #1 (Of 4) - Judge Dredd and Judge Beeny investigate a loss of contact with the Patrick Swayze Block (a housing complex on the outskirts of the city). Shit happens. Fans of the comics or the Karl Urban film should check it out. This book is a good starting point for those new to the character. For longtime readers of the comic, this one is a little more tame than some of the past books (so far).

Myopia: The Rise Of The Domes #1 - In the second title in the series. Think futuristic mystery/thriller with a tinge of steampunk. It is a little slow and the characters are not the most interesting. There is some potential here behind all the wrold building and set up for the larger plot. The art is very good. Worth checking out if you are into mystery stuff or like light futury steampunk. This one is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

X-Men Red #Annual 1 - If you like X-Men Red, you’ll probably like this. Everyone else can skip it.

Crossed +100: Mimic #1 - This is a new series in the Crossed setting. The art is hit or miss and the lettering is not so great in places. The blood and sex in this come across very juvinile.The story isn’t good. An easy skip for all but diehard fans of the property.

Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1 - Ronin, Superboy, and Dynomutt. Read it. Tear up. Read it again.

Black Lightning/Hong Kong PHOOEY Special #1 - This one has a 70's blacksplotation martatial arts vibe and it leans in hard on that vibe (for good and bad). The first story sees BL and HKP team up to take down some people that need taking down. The second tale is a heavy handed anti-gun comic that might rile a few feathers.

Flash/Speed Buggy Special #1 - Wally West meets Speed Buggy or rather is there as Speed Buggy is created. Might be the best of the batch of this week’s cross overs. The Epiloge has the best cameos. Read this one. It is a great stand alone adventure that is fun to read and re-read.

Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1 - Read it. Feel shame. Read it again. you know you want to. Jabber did get a little annoying, but that is kinda his schtick.

Blackwood #1 (Of 4) - This is what you get if Harry Potter were a CW show set in the U.S. wirrten by Canadians trying to be edgy. If such a thing appeals to you, read away. Others can skip it.

Star Wars Lando Double Or Nothing #1 (Of 5) - Follow the exploits of Childish Gambino in Space Lando Calrissian in this prequel to SOLO. Hardcore Star Wars fans or fans of Lando might want to give it a read. Everyone else can easily forget this exists.

Infinity Countdown: Captain Marvel #1 - Carol(s) making poor decisions across realities. Unless you are really into the character or this latest Infinity story line, it is an easy pass.

Pestilence: A Story of Satan #1 - This is the second volume of this series. In the 1300's the Devil causes a plague as the first part of much larger plot. The concepts and art ar interesting. The dialogue is not so great. Wish the writting was better. I don’t plan on reading any more issues of this.

Geek Girl #1 (of 4) - After a superhero is put into a coma, her friend takes over for her. The story is decent and characters and dialogue don’t feel forced. It has a Greatest American Hero vibe, in a good way. The drawing is decent, but the colorist is garbage. A better colorist would bring this book up a notch or two. Worth checking out if you can find it.