It’s a new dawn for Marvel Comics as this week print readers were able to get their hands on the first hard copies of It’s Jeff! one of the breakout sucesses of Marvel’s infinite scroll comics, available exclusively on the Marvel Unlimited subscription service.
If you didn’t have a Marvel Unlimited subscription and wanted to get a load of Jeff, you were stink out of luck until this week, when the first print issue collecting Jeff’s adventures hit comic shop shelves.
Who is Jeff? Kelley Thompson introduced him in the pages of West Coast Avengers, where he charmed audiences as Gwenpool’s pet. Then when that series ended, she brought him over to Deadpool, where he charmed audiences again. And finally, last fall, Thompson teamed up with the artists known as Gurihiru for It’s Jeff, a series of silent comedic shorts of Jeff doing adorable things around the Marvel Comics setting.
So, sure, this baby land shark has an origin story. Don’t look a gift shark in the continuity mouth: He’s cute, he’s a shark, he has legs, he has low stakes adventures and everyone loves him. It’s not complicated. It’s Jeff.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
It’s Jeff! stories are simple: Jeff gets into some shenanigans, finds a cute way out of them. There’s no particular theme: One day he’s sledding with superheroes, the next he’s apparently charming tourists while visiting the tulip fields of Holland. Writer Thompson keeps the stories Sunday Funnies simple, while Gurihiru delivers on their always charming art. Again, it’s simple, but there’s simply no downside.
Solidarity with these rent-a-goons! Stand up for your rights! GOONS OF THE WORLD UNITE.
Action Comics is both DC’s main plot Superman book these days and an anthology series, with multiple backups following the main story. One of these backups, writer Leah Williams and artist Marguerite Sauvage’s “Head Like a Hole” is so fascinating I wish it was its own mini or ongoing. The creators are wrestling the dragon of figuring out how to fit Power Girl — with her eternally rocky place in DC continuity — into the new status quo of the Superfamily.
The concept: Because of reasons, Power Girl has developed some quirky new psychic powers, and when combined with the psychological expertise and psyonic powers of the Teen Titans’ Omen, they team up for a psychotherapy practice where, while Omen guides patients through talk therapy, Power Girl astral projects into their heads to punch mental manifestations of their trauma, insecurities, and anxieties, helping them defeat and identify what they might otherwise be unable to recognize.
It’s a twist on a very common trope in modern Serious Superhero Stories — a character attending talk therapy — but with a creative visual/action element and a close character focus that keeps it from being subsumed by goofiness. Sauvage’s trippy mental landscapes feel borderless and floaty, aiding the understanding that this is all metaphor.
Hey, DC, give these characters their own book!