For something so brightly colored and evanescent, superhero comics have always had a capacity to carry the weight of metaphor, to tell stories with punch — to make you sit down and really think.
Think about the passage of time, the ever-rolling-on of history. The fact that the framework through which you view the world, like so many eras of this medium of nearly disposable and ever shifting narratives, naturally becomes less relevant every day.
Anyway, hey folks, the Avengers are Millennials.
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.)
Frank Miller says that one of the reasons he created Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is that he realized with a shock that he could no longer say that he was younger than Batman. I’m not saying I agree with that impulse. I’m just saying this exchange in Champions #7 made me sit up and stare into the distance for a minute or two.
Wonder Girl #1
Joëlle Jones’ Wonder Girl kicked off very good this week with (unsurprisingly) gorgeous art. I’m very much looking forward to where Yara Flor, our new Wonder Girl, goes now that she’s in the regular-degular DC Comics timeline.
Way of X #2
Hey Legion fans, ya boi with the tall tall hair is back in Way of X, but the real reveal in issue #2 was the return of none other than ridiculous ’90s comics villain Onslaught, an evil being made of the darkest parts of Magneto and Charles Xavier’s psyches.
Evil psychic beings? At the heart of my Krakoa? It’s more likely than you think.
Just another shoutout for Ultramega, which started as a body-horror-filled Ultraman homage, spent an issue as a Kaiju-inflected Mad Max fallout after the death of Earth’s anti-kaiju fighting force, and this issue ... introduced the idea that Earth’s kaiju overlords don’t grow so big anymore and so they stage arena battles in miniature city dioramas with captured humans as gladiators this series is WILD.
Mighty Valkyries #2
I just thought you’d like to look at this splash panel of Kraven the Hunter. That’s all.
Nightwing #80 is a perfect comic and I’m only partly saying that because of my intense nostalgia for the days when Dick Grayson and Tim Drake were tight as brothers and Dick and Barbara Gordon always had that Extremely Good Friends who might fall in love again some day thing going on.
The wombo combo of deep continuity cuts (who doesn’t have a law degree in the Bat Family these days) and Himbo Nightwing in these panels is incredible.
Fantastic Four: Life Story #1
Fantastic Four: Life Story is a follow up on Spider-Man: Life Story, the miniseries that summarized and reworked Spider-Man continuity as if it had happened over the 60-odd years of real historical events in reality. It’s not from the same creative team as Spider-Man, but its first issue certainly comes out with one very interesting tonal shift: a Galactus more inflected by true cosmic horror.