Welcome all, to this week’s Rae’s Recs! This small, weekly comic recommendation posts every Thursday and I’ll be doing my best to bring you some cool titles you may not have noticed on your first go-round on New Comic Book Day! I recommend two of my favorite single issues for the week, one or two graphic novels or trade comics from the past few weeks, and then two all-ages comics. These have no time frame, but are just some really great titles to share with a kiddo, or even an adult, in your life. One ongoing, one completed.
Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy!
If you’re a fan of games like Red Dead Redemption and Destiny, this comic may be just the kind of thing you’re looking for. Writers Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamessa worked on those and several other games, as well as a few movies, before turning their eye toward print media. Working with Lukas Ketner, they’re coming back to an old, old, old classic. Kill The Minotaur from Image Comics tells us the story again of Theseus and the Minotaur in a new, fresh way. Being something of a (giant) Classics and mythology nerd myself, I can already see a few places where the story has strayed from the original tale, but it’s well told enough with enough interesting and colorful characters that I don’t actually mind. This is a book I picked up out of obligation, because I have to at least try anything with direct Greek Myth influence, and was pleasantly surprised to find myself hooked right away.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Not only does this break my rule (More like a suggestion these days, isn’t it?) but it sounds ridiculous. I’m here to tell you, though, that the Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special, written by Jim Fanning and drawn by John Loter, is actually kind of great. Like with the Space Ghost/Green Lantern Special a few weeks ago, DC has chosen to put together some characters that really play off of one another well. It’s a little bizarre to see Marvin with a defined body, but not so much that it takes away from what amounts to simply a good story and a good lesson. Marvin and J’onn are very different Martians – Marvin is hellbent on destroying Earth while J’onn is here to protect it. When they meet, as the last Martians, J’onn has to decide between protecting the planet and perhaps knowing just one more being from his home planet.
Since the first issue came out, Motor Crush has been crushing it on the shelves. The team that brought us Batgirl of Burnside, writer Brenden Fletcher and co-writer and artists Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr come back for this high-octane comic following Domino Swift. She’s a professional motorcycle racer by day, but at night she competes in dangerous street races for the drug known as Crush – not a drug for people, but one for machines. Something strange is going on, though, and Domino’s life may depend on finding out what it is and what her own relationship to Crush might be.
By now, Yotsuba&! is a classic manga. Created in 2003 by Kiyohiko Azuma, the story follows a young girl, Yotsuba, as she moves to a new place with her father. It’s a simple, sweet slice of life tale and it offers the same thing most slice of life stories offer – it’s fun, funny, and pretty cute. Seeing the world through Yotsuba’s eyes, seeing many things for the first time and learning the world around her from the adults, is a great way for parents and kids to connect over a comic.
For all that the Big Two companies, Marvel and DC, often miss with their all-age-targeted series, Marvel actually has a few that are perfectly appropriate for all ages without necessarily being created for that purpose. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is one of those series. Created by Steve Ditko and Will Murray originally, author Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson breathed new life into the character. These days, Squirrel Girl is rumored to be considered for inclusion in upcoming movies and roles in TV shows. She’s a recognizable character along a large portion of Marvel’s lineup and with her silly antics and her oddball problem solving skills, she’s won over tons of fans both young and old.