We’re back with another Jason’s Picks column! Enough of you out there in comic book internet land liked my musings and choices, so Amanda Waller had to allow me to write another one!
Let me activate my brain, which has been cultivated from many episodes of hosting DC All Access, to provide you with the answers of what DC graphic novels you should pick up at your local comic book shop this month!
This book is the best Scooby-Doo has been in years! Basically, Scooby Apocalypse takes the core concept and characters of Scooby-Doo and updates them into a more “realistic” setting where the Zombie Apocalypse has taken place. At first, classic fans might feel a bit repulsed by this re-imagining. However, Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis stay true to the characters while throwing the Scooby gang into a situation that they have never faced before.
I used to watch Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? every afternoon when I came home from school. (I especially loved every episode that guest-starred Batman.) These are characters that I know and love. But Scooby Apocalypse is the first time I feel I’ve been properly introduced to these iconic characters.
Scooby Apocalypse gives us the origin of the Scooby gang! Fred and Daphne are ghost hunters, Thelma is a super scientist, and Shaggy is one of the world’s best animal trainers. Of course, Scooby-Doo is the heart of the book. His first meeting with Shaggy is a story that will tug on the heartstrings of any fan of these characters. Shaggy is updated the most in this book. Pushing Shaggy past lovable goof to naive trainer was a good move which slots into Scooby’s role in this book very well. Every character of the Scooby gang gets a purpose, and this old school fan gets the origin that he always wanted, but never knew about.
Plus did I mention Howard Porter is the artist? Yes, the Howard Porter of JLA and JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 fame is the dynamo behind the art. From the quirky tech to Scooby’s emojis, you’ll stare at these panels for hours. Scooby Apocalypse can be read by anyone and the story brings new relevance to these classic cartoon characters.
If Dan Jurgens is writing a Superman book, I’m going to read it. That man has pushed the narrative of Superman farther than any modern creator. From killing the Man of Steel, to the marriage of Lois and Clark, to turning Superman Blue and electric (one of my favorites), Dan Jurgens is an expert when it comes to writing Superman. Add Patrick Zircher’s expressive artwork on top of that and you have another Superman book that you should be reading.
Action Comics Vol. 1 takes all the best parts of Superman’s history and mashes them up into one storyline. When I started reading Superman back in the 1990s, Lois and Clark regularly had to deal with unknown threats and adventures, but their love and commitment pushed them to victory every time. This book feeds into that feeling while throwing every zany plot twist at you that it can. Lex Luthor wears a Superman shield and is now a good guy? Check. Doomsday, the creature who killed Superman, is back? Check. Finally, there’s a Clark Kent, who is now a separate person from Superman! What???
This type of book is a perfect companion to the main Superman series. Multiple mysteries that weave back and forth forcing the reader to decide what’s a red herring and what matters. It’s the ongoing subplot that I have always thought is a strength of comic books, and Dan Jurgens is a master at it. Lastly, I haven’t even mentioned how this book ties into the overall DC Rebirth mystery of Mr. Oz yet!
Action Comics Vol. 1 is a book with big action pieces and plenty of mystery, and the perfect book if you want more Superman in your life.
Detective Comics is one of the hallmark titles of DC Comics. In fact, it’s where the company derives its name. Usually, the book is a title that is obsessed with mystery. Writer James Tynion IV has veered the book away from detective work and turned Detective Comics into the ultimate Bat-Family team up book!
Often if you want to read your favorite Bat characters you have to buy each one’s solo book. But since Rebirth, Detective Comics has teamed all these characters up into an army for Batman. Tim Drake as Red Robin receives a new costume that harkens back to his original uniform as Robin. Clayface joins the team as a good guy and Cassandra Cain is back as Orphan. Batman makes Batwoman his second-in-command, which is an interesting choice given that Batwoman has only existed in the universe since the year-long 52 series. Jumble all these characters together (plus a sprinkling of Azrael) and you get one of the funnest Batman books ever.
Don’t fret Bat fans! There is still plenty of mystery and detective work in this book, including the big mystery of “who are the Batmen?” Combine that with a major character death and Detective Comics Vol. 1 becomes a must-read. Also, did I mention that Mr. Oz appears in this book too? He’s everywhere! What is he doing!?! I need to know! Ah!
So those are my picks for three graphic novels that you should grab in February. Next time you hit up your local comic book shop, peruse a little and see what you discover. A story mystery might appear that leads you from one book to the next and so on, and suddenly you will have more comics to read! These dangling threads are the strengths of the comic medium and can lead to enjoyable moments of reading. See you next month for March’s picks!