With the end of the year whipping towards our heads like a keenly thrown snowball, many might want to spice up their standing order in the new year, or in my case, help keep my brain warm until the gray London winter breaks sometime in late May. In no particular order, here are some new and rebooted titles to consider in the coming months that are sure to be worth a read, even more so than their value as fireplace kindling.
1) New Runs of Witchblade and The Darkness
As Image prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary in a truly shocking reminder of my own age, relaunches of the two classic Mark Silvestri titles will also roll out in January 2022. Sara Pezzini, the original bearer of the Witchblade–a sentient bio-gauntlet with whom she has a fixer-upper relationship with–will return as the main character, with the words of Marguerite Bennett and the art of Ariela Kristantina. The duo previously made InSEXts together, a Victorian queer romance-horror with insect wings, (which sounds awesome as I write it) and will be working closely with Silvestri to shape the direction of the series. The original creator himself will lend words to The Darkness, alongside artwork by Christopher Mitten. Both titles will release in February initially as #1/2 as part of a kickstarter campaign, with #1s to follow at a date TBA. If an artist named Christopher Mitten has not drawn us panels that will help keep our hands toasty through January, I will be very disappointed.
2) Monkey Meat
Senegalese-French artist Juni Ba’s previous release, Djeliya, included a note that his art was inspired by Cartoon Network. Both that work and his upcoming Monkey Meat wear those inspirations on their sleeve, and the West African aesthetic that Ba’s perspective brings fits in so nicely with the boldness of a Samurai-Jack-meets-Gorillaz scheme. Said to be a modern satire set on supercapitalist Monkey Meat Island, each of the five issues will be an episodic standalone story in a connected world. Issue #1 releases January 5th via Image.
3) Made in Korea
In Jeremy Holt’s Made in Korea, nine-year-old Jesse is adopted by an apparently optimal American couple. Her journey through identity is already destined to be long and winding, but finds herself on a detour when she discovers she is the world’s first A.I. A Korean-American adoptee himself, Holt offers an adoptee narrative that promises to be poignant, but not so on-the-nose that it’s hard to read. As a Korean-American adoptee myself, I already appreciate its use of genre to give words to an experience that is difficult to describe. Surely worth a read for all, not just for those for whom it is required reading (me). Drops January 26th.
4) Cowboy Bebop
Though I ultimately feel that Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop didn’t understand or execute on what made the original anime special, now that it’s been canceled after just one season, my heart does go out to John Cho and the other people on the project that were always just fans. Series writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach expressed regret on twitter that the rest of the story wouldn’t be able to unfold, but with Titan Comics’ announcement of a graphic-novelization of the series, maybe we’ll get some idea of where it might have been heading. Completionists can look for Cowboy Bebop #1 from January 19th.
5) Two New Mignolaverse Releases
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957 – Falling Sky will be a standalone tale featuring Big Red and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense as they stalk a creature in West Virginia. I’ve been to West Virginia. Should be a scary issue. The Sword of Hyperborea will also roll out in January, the first of four parts, each recounting the journey of one of the titular sword’s bearers through time. Both are written by Mike Mignola, with the art of Roberson and Williams, respectively. Sword drops on January 12th, Hellboy on February 23rd.
6) Batman: The Knight
Chronicling the Dark Knight’s youth between origin and full-fledged bat (think of the montage when Christian Bale is speaking Cantonese in Batman Begins), Chip Zdarsky looks to unearth some of the last unexplored bat-territory. The journey begins January 19th.
With the MCU’s recent schedule announcement, as well as the announcement of their eight tentpole comic titles for 2022, there seems to be no indication that the world’s hunger for new comic IP is slowing down. Looking forward to another year of breakouts and blunders, and I mean this in the most non-pandemic way possible.
Which comic books new releases are you looking forward to read in 2022? Let us know in the comments!