Hello readers! This article will mark the first in a monthly piece on new comic books released each month. Every month, I’ll cover a few comics from the major publishing companies that I think fans of our site will enjoy picking up. This month, we have some exciting science fiction stories, including one that ties into the upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077 with Trauma Team #2. We also have a light-hearted Star Wars Adventures comic in celebration of The Mandalorian being released at the end of October. If you miss the world of Firefly, thank the ‘Verse that you can visit it again in a one-shot comic that does the TV show justice: Blue Sun Rising #0. Finally, if you are hyped about the upcoming game, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, check out the teenage generation of Marvel superheroes in Champions #1 starring Miles Morales. If you want to purchase any of the comics, click on the titles below.
In this one-shot issue tying into the larger Firefly comic series by Boom! Studios, we find Malcolm Reynolds in a new job position: sheriff of the Georgia space sector. You may remember seeing the Blue Sun logo all over the place in the original Firefly television series. Joss Whedon, the creator of the show, described the corporation as a “mix between Coca-Cola and Microsoft”. In the ‘Verse, they are a major player across space. The company begins producing humanoid robots, tasked mostly with combat-related jobs like bodyguards or protection bots. Most people aren’t too thrilled about this, but the robots don’t function well enough yet to pose any real threat. However, after an agent of Blue Sun delivers some valuable minerals to the production factories, the bot’s intelligence levels and physical capabilities are upgraded. Because of this, a bot is sent to work as a co-sheriff with Mal. Scared of losing his job to the bot (and not really fond of artificial intelligence protecting humans) he calls upon his old friends on the famous ship Serenity to take care of the new sheriff bot, and make it look like an accident. The old crew comes through once again in classic Firefly style. Fans of the original series will love this comic. If you haven’t read any of the other Firefly comics, have no fear. This one-shot is a perfect way to get on board without feeling too overwhelmed by any missed information. Greg Pak, the writer, eases the reader into Mal’s new role as sheriff and provides easy to follow context about the greater story. It would be easy to pick up the next issue in the series, Firefly #21, and not feel lost at all. Pak does a great job of capturing the spirit of the original show, and this is where the comic shines. The characters in the comic speak just like their TV iterations, and the wacky western-inspired world of Firefly is depicted beautifully by artist Dan McDaid, who also takes some liberties with the industrial world of New Magistrar and its inner workings. With superb writing and great art, this comic is a must-read for fans of Firefly.
The teen superhero team The Champions is back after facing a catastrophic failure in their last adventure. After the death of Viv Vision, a new law is passed prohibiting any superhero activity by anyone under the age of 21. Ms. Marvel, one of the leaders of The Champions, decides that she speaks for all the teen heroes in saying that they will fight anyway, give a voice to the young generation, and combat the oppression of teen vigilantes. However, not all the teen heroes agree with her and are annoyed by her insistence to speak for all of them. In-fighting begins, and a lack of team structure puts the team at greater risk of being detained by a new law enforcement branch dedicated to capturing teenage superheroes. Trying to keep the peace through all of this is Miles Morales, who sees both sides of the argument. After one of the teens is captured by law enforcement, Miles and his friends must make a choice to fight or keep things peaceful! Similar to DC’s Teen Titans, this is a story about young people dealing with the pressures of the teenage years. Writer Eve L. Ewing reminds readers that being a kid can feel as though you can’t meet the expectations of anybody. Those older than you don’t take you seriously, yet expect you to fulfill all the responsibilities that come with being a teenager. The Champions deal with this directly, after facing the consequences of a botched operation, and the death of a friend. Despite dealing with adult consequences (much like other super teams like the X-Men or The Avengers), the world believes these kids are too irresponsible to act as superheroes. Ewing’s writing captures the angst of being a teenager, yet also shows the optimism found in youth. The writing touches on some profound subjects but stays youthful throughout, even when the situation turns serious. The art by Simone Di Meo is punchy and animated. Each panel has so much emotion and excitement, which really captures the story’s teenage spirit and the excitement of Marvel. Pick this up in preparation for Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
In preparation for the first episode of The Mandolorian Season 2, why not pick up a Star Wars Adventures comic? While the series is targeted at a younger audience, it does offer some fun stories that feature characters from all three eras of Star Wars. Fitting into the Star Wars canon as well means that these stories are officially part of the timeline, so if you are a die-hard fan of the series and you haven’t checked these out, give them a shot. The stories are like Saturday cartoons – not too serious but filled with fun standalone adventures that put the famous heroes of Star Wars into new situations. In this particular issue, Tales of Villainy #1, we follow Rey, Finn, and Poe on a small moon in the outer rim, where the men are helping Rey seek out a training ground for her new Jedi studies. When Rey sets out on her own to complete an obstacle course, she runs into pirates hiding underground. They recognize her and call the First Order to collect the bounty on her head. Poe and Finn are taken hostage by members of the pirate crew scouting the immediate area. The team must work together to escape the moon and evade the First Order. Also included in this issue is a short retelling of the Empire’s arrival on Hoth from Darth Vader’s point of view. This includes some interesting inner dialogue from Vader on Luke, connections to the prequels, and the canonical inclusion of some famous deleted scenes from The Empire Strikes Back (hint: it has to do with a wampa). The art in this comic is lively and colorful, with the writing being just as fun. If you’re looking for an easy read and a momentary escape to the galaxy far, far away, this is the comic for you.
If you just can’t wait any longer for the release of Cyberpunk 2077, dive into the world early with this series. Following a special medical unit in Night City, the Trauma Team, we see how the brutal violence of the city’s crime community takes its toll on medical workers in the field. These aren’t your run of the mill ambulance drivers, these medical workers are trained to fire weapons and use police tactics as they respond to violent crime. If you want to learn a little more about the world surrounding the game, pick up these comics and get a head start. The art is engaging and captures the grittiness of the cyberpunk aesthetic. The dialogue depicts a world where people struggle to survive in brutal conditions. However, there are plenty of good people that strive to help others in a place as dingy as Night City. With a few Blade Runner inspired references in both the art and the writing, this comic is perfect for cyberpunk genre fans of all kinds and will keep your appetite for Cyberpunk 2077 in check until the game is released this year.
That’s it for this month’s new comic spotlight. Join me in November to see more stories from your favorite publishers, including a Marvel comic involving a character making their first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Until next time, I’m tari98 for Mulehorn Gaming.