Virgil Hawkins, the electricity-slinging teen known to Dakota City as the superhero Static, is back at DC Comics, from a creator lineup that includes both original folks who brought Milestone Comics to the world, and some of today’s hottest comics talent.
This week’s Milestone Returns #0 introduces audiences to the characters of Milestone’s new lineup, Static, Icon & Rocket, and Hardware — all available digitally or through a DC Universe Infinite subscription. But it’s been a while since the early ’90s, so The Big Bang, the gang battle/police crackdown that caused an explosion of superpowers among Dakota City’s youth, and turned Virgil into Static, has been reimagined for the modern age. How the creative team reworks the scenario is extremely timely, and compelling.
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.)
The Big Bang, origin of all the superpowered Bang Babies, is now a Black Lives Matter protest — and one that mirrors the last year in IRL demonstrations. Just like the Big Bang of the ’90s, police arrive and fire tear gas laced with an experimental chemical that was supposed to help trace all participants to their homes afterward. Instead, it transforms hundreds of teens in unpredictable ways.
And if you’re wondering, no, this story doesn’t otherwise make reference to the coronavirus pandemic: Those face masks are a very deliberate, bold, and effective reference.
For years a buddy of mine has been trying to get me to read Brandon Graham comics and fine! I’m doing it now! Two issues into Rain Like Hammers and I’m hooked! This issue doesn’t even seem to have anything to do with the first one! It’s about what happens when “a super criminal’s mind is transferred into a genetically engineered butler,” but I love this little merchant alien who calls themselves a “fanthropologist” of humans! Delightful. Infuriating that it took me this long.
Marvel’s Snapshots series is designed to create one-shot issues that open a door to a superhero for a new reader, giving a window into the tone of their stories and a recap of their origins. The Captain Marvel issue succeeds hugely in that regard, focusing on both the Ms. and Captain varieties, with a relatably messy and struggling teen to hang the story around.
Not much to say here except I’m still can’t look away from The Department of Truth, James Tynion and Martin Simmonds’ series about the secret agents who keep conspiracy theories from becoming real. This week’s issue is virtually standalone, with guest artist Elsa Charretier delivering some great Mignola-esque visuals. Also it’s about my favorite conspiracy theory ever, the Phantom Time Hypothesis.
DC kills it again with another YA graphic novel, this a reinterpretation of Nubia, the first black character to have been Wonder Woman in DC Comics. Even simply as a retread of the “teen struggling with keeping her superpowers secret from her friends” story, it is not to be missed.
Would you like to read about dogs solving a dark murder mystery, drawn in the style of Oliver and Company? Stray Dogs has your extremely specific interests covered.
Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk are teeing up Marvel’s second attempt at bringing a Thor: Ragnarok-style Valkyrie character to the main Marvel Universe, and I’m here for it.
Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Scott Godlewski do a lot in this Future State one-shot, telling a space fantasy-style story about the far far future descendants of Superman. Johnson and Godlewski introduce a whole cast of characters, put them through the wringer, and let them save the day in a single issue, and it’s all extremely compelling and extremely Superman. I’m really looking forward to what comes next in Johnson’s work on the main Superman titles.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.