Comic Picks of the Month: August 2015

With all that is going on in August, Secret Wars in the middle, DC still launching new series, and, as always, a lot of #1s at Image, it actually has been a little difficult to find serious winners.  This can happen anytime there is a lot to still focus on in terms of ongoing events, and we are definitely feeling the crossover exhaustion and looking forward to autumn when we can focus on the new Marvel and Vertigo titles.

So what were our standouts for the month?  As you will see it is again an independent lead, though that may always be the case for Vertigology.  Take a look at what our picks of the month are for August 2015 and see how they match your own favorites!

Beauty #1 (Image Comics, Jeremy Haun and Jason Hurley)

This was a successful winner for Top Cow’s Pilot Season project, where readers vote on one-shot stories.  The plot centers on a new sexually transmitted disease that, among also giving you a perpetual fever, makes you more attractive.  It has led half of society to get infected, while there are radical factions attacking this new beauty-centered culture.  A police task force exists to counter this insurgency, but they are perplexed when it appears that an infected person spontaneously combusted on a bus.  This is just the beginning of an incredibly fascinating new book, and one that had the fun additional promotion of coming with a condom on several special edition copies.

 

Airboy #3 (Image Comics, James Robinson and Greg Hinkle)
The third month in a row it has hit our “best of!” This is the issue where Airboy takes James and Greg back into his world, a battle weary period of World War II.  It is here that the complexity of his world is fleshed out, with the difficulties of human things like physical collapse and relationship angst create three dimensions.  It also continues the funnier side of the story of James and Greg and their lack of self-control, but a great third plank in the story.  If the fourth issue is even half as good as the rest, then this will be the best miniseries of the year.

They’re Not Like Us #7
This is the beginning of a new arc for They’re Not Like Us, the story following superpowered teens who were taken out of their homes and into a secretive criminal cell.  They have now shuffled off their former leader and reclaiming their identities, but unsure of where to go from here.  This has generally been a great book with consistent art and dialogue, and one that is a pleasure to read as you get to know the characters and stay along for their progressing stories.

Sex Criminals #11 (Image Comics, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky)
It has been a while since we read Sex Criminals, and this is a good step forward for a series that felt a little like it was missing direction.  Now looking for more people like themselves, we begin to learn the story of a new character who lives a humble life as a care worker, both in a hospital and for his aging mother.  It is here that we see a lot of fun surprises, but also see our main protagonists settling back into their relationship and a semi-outlaw life.  A consistently fun and enjoyable series, and one that feels like a lot of future has recently been unlocked for.

Sabrina #4 (Archie Comics, Roberto Aguire Sarcasa)

We wait patiently both for this and Afterlife With Archie, and now we are really seeing how The Chilling Tales of Sabrina is able to stand on its own.  Now we see the aftermath to her boyfriend Harvey’s sacrifice to “the dark lord” as she tries to find a way to reclaim her life.  Does she regret what has happened?  Can she survive a life without him?  We get glimpses of what her life could be life, and the choices she could make to undo his fate.  This sees her in a more fully realized way and it moves beyond the irony of its horror interpretation.  It could evolve into a real emotional place, but it handles both the horror and teen characterization incredibly well.

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