In Inbox/Outbox, we document the rhythm of readers’ lives by sharing comics we acquired, the comics we finished, and the next comics we plan to read each week.
Inbox (Comics Acquired)
Here’s a neat one from my favorite mangaka, Naoki Urasawa (Pluto, 20th Century Boys). Let’s see how much I can squeeze into once sentence here. The son of an English noblewoman and Japanese zoologist, Taichi Hiraga-Keaton is an insurance investigator and archaeology professor who once worked for Britain’s SAS. He’s also something of a hapless single dad who loves his daughter and makes very little money. Imagine a buttoned-up Indiana Jones crossed with Encyclopedia Brown and Jim Rockford, and you’re on the right track.
Fantastic Four Epic Collection: Into the Time Stream by Walt Simonson, Louise Simonson, Chris Claremont, Ron Lim, Danny Fingeroth, Rich Buckler, Rex Valve, Arthur Adams, Jackson Guice
Walt Simonson’s celebrated run on Thor ranks among my all-time favorite superhero comics (there’s a reason he cameoed as an Asgardian in the 2011 film while other writers appeared as mere mortals of Midgard). I’ve circled various collections of his Fantastic Four work for years, but despite an appreciation for Marvel’s first family, I’ve never fully engaged with the series. Released last summer, this 500+ page Epic Collection seems like just the ticket. I’m told to expect dinosaurs! I’m ready for them!
Outbox (Comics Finished)
First Second is on fire lately, from original GN’s to new translations like France’s Last Man. In this first volume, a young boy, the runt of his village martial arts school, befriends a brash and seemingly time-displaced traveler. Together, they team up for a Tekken-like fighting tournament where combatants employ elemental spells. It moves with the dynamism and good humor of shonen manga, but it’s rendered in a more delicate line. It’s a tremendous hybrid of styles and sleeve-worn influences I’d recommend to anyone looking for a new take on favorite tropes.
The Last of Us: American Dreams by Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks, Rachelle Rosenberg
A prequel to both The Last of Us video game and it’s beyond spectacular DLC Left Behind, America Dreams offers additional insights on young Ellie as she settles in to yet another military-run orphanage and training academy in a world overrun by “the infected.” Faith Erin Hicks and Naughty Dog’s own Neil Druckmann deliver an excellent character study of a complex kid, capturing both her crass cynicism and wide-eyed lust for life. It doesn’t touch the depth of Left Behind, however, a result of the mini’s meager page count.
In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)
I’m an absolute mark for a rip-roaring space opera, so my first encounter with this 1980s classic seems long overdue.
How about you? What comics did you read this week?
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