The Locust Moon Top 40: April 2014

40. ALL NEW X-MEN #25

An all-star line-up of creators beautifies this anniversary issue of Brian Bendis’ goofily fun stab at adding to the X-mythos.

top 40 all new

39. Compendium of Comic Maps

Every comic (and every book) should start with a map. Delving into this wealth of literary cartography, it’s easy to imagine that they do.

top 40 map

38. DARKSEID MINUS NEW GODS

top 40 darkseid

Remember Garfield Minus Garfield? Imagine that, juiced with the Anti-Life Equation.

37. SEX CRIMINALS

Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky bring an oddball eroticism to this supernatural sex-caper comedy, a generally gleeful creativity that springs from their ultimate turn-on: the expressive freedom of creator-owned comics.

top 40 sex

36. MoCCAFest 2014

Another MoCCAFest, another inspiring celebration of comics & craftsmanship, this one presided over by a Staypuft-Marshmallow-Man-Scale Charlie Brown balloon, and featuring well-deserved awards for Locust Moon contributors and our pals Alexandra Beguez & Dave Plunkert.

top 40 mocca

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good this week

moon knight #1 : warren ellis steps in with a fresh take on a difficult character, and declan shalvey takes his game to a new level with killer pacing, characterizations, and design. and a swanky new look for our crazy hero.

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turok #2 : this is an inventive new spin on a classic character, with sensitive, imaginative writing from greg pak and fine art from mirko colak.

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batman/superman annual #1 : a straight forward superhero romp graced by the exquisite art of jae lee and june chung.

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uncanny x-men #18 : marco rudy, fresh off a bang up stint on marvel knights spider-man, weaves and winds through this issue with some of the most interesting layouts in a long time.

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afterlife with archie #4 : a powerful issue that hits you with a punch. this book is just getting better, somehow.

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jupiter’s legacy #4 : the best issue of this series so far, with some enjoyable character moments and peak frank quitely art.

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she hulk #2 : the first issue was no fluke. charles soule and javier pulido (and THE PRIVATE EYE’s muntsa vicente!) are on to something special here.

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starlight #1 : i hope this is the breakout book goran parlov so richly deserves. this is a gorgeous comic with impeccable design and storytelling on parlov’s part, and mark millar has a fun concept lined up.

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wolverine and the x-men #1 : summer school kicks off at the jean grey school, and the kids are in good hands with jason latour, who slides right into jason aaron’s place with enough of his own voice to make things feel fresh, and mahmud asrar, who’s come a long way from his digital webbing days.

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velvet #4 : top-notch spy thriller from brubaker and epting. this series is really finding its groove.

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trillium #7 : we’re nearing the end of this fantastic mini series.

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–chris stevens

good this week

deadly class #2 : a strong issue that cements my hopes for this series. we get into the whole school aspect of things, and it’s a lot of fun meeting the various cliques. wes craig kills every aspect of the art–design, character, layout.

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hawkeye #15 : it feels like things are coming to a head for clint and his building. any time david aja drops in to draw an issue it elevates an already good book. this run is going to be an evergreen.

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batman/superman #9 : JAE LEE.

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elephantmen #54 : a killer cliffhanger for one of the very best serial reads there is.

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black science #4 : after a couple of issues that, while still excellent, felt like they were racing to keep up with the explosive debut issue, this feels like it’s leading us out of the fire and into the frying pan.

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sock monkey treasury : a gorgeous new collection of one of the more idiosyncratic cartoonist’s most accessible work.

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wolverine and the x-men #42 : jason aaron, nick bradshaw, chris bachalo and company wrap up their run on what has been one of the most fun books of the last few years. and they do it in style, with a touching, chuckling read that feels just right.

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miracleman #3 : you can argue with the way marvel has rolled this out, but you can’t argue with the material. this issue leads us into the truly masterful work alan moore does the rest of the way.

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–chris stevens

good this week

wolverine & the x-men #33 : jason aaron and nick bradshaw keep bringing the fun. this issue sports my favorite cover nick’s done yet.

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gamma one-shot : this book is rad. i want more comics like this.

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king the special edition : ho che anderson’s masterful biography of the great martin luther king collected in an affordable hardcover. good stuff, fantagraphics.

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copra compendium volume #2 : collecting issues 4-6 of michel fiffe’s badass exercise in indy superheroics.

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hawkeye annual #1 : the hawkeye crew keeps getting it right, with perfect-fit javier pulido joining matt fraction on this one.

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batman/superman #2 : jae lee is worth the price of admission alone. the man is on fire.

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it will all hurt : wonder. loss. ache. old worlds and new worlds. farel dalrymple gives it all to us the way only he can.

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–chris stevens