Graphic novel picks for September

Contributed by
Sep 5, 2017

As I do these comic roundups every month (both graphic novel/trades and a issue-oriented pull list), I begin to notice trends. Image Comics is on these lists less than they would have been a year ago, for example. DC makes it more often than they did in Rebirth (but not DC You), though they didn’t make a trade appearance this month. Marvel’s been pretty consistently on my recommendation list, even if some of their company policies have been driving me to anger. (I understand people who boycott publishers for their terrible decisions, but I will always support women and PoC creators, no matter where they land.)

September’s got a good showing for graphic novels and trades. There’s a bigger manga showing on this list than usual, but it’s something I want to continue with. I can’t say I read a ton of manga (I want to read more, but then again, I want to read more of everything), but I’d like to be able to recommend it. It’s not nearly as intimidating as it may seem. I hope you enjoy this month’s recommendations!

The Mighty Captain Marvel, Vol. 1 - Margaret Stohl and Ramon Rosanas (Marvel, September 5)

Captain Marvel has gone through a few fits and starts since the end of the event Secret Wars; the company doesn’t quite seem sure what to do with her. But this series, penned by Margaret Stohl and with art by Ramon Rosanas, seems to be sticking around for now. This new series sees Captain Marvel as the leader of Alpha Flight and struggling with the person she has become. It’s prose writer Stohl’s first outing as a comic book writer, so while I didn’t catch this one in issues, I’m eager to see how she adapted to the challenges of writing in this medium.

Disney Manga: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas - Jun Asaka (Tokyopop, September 12, 2017)

We’ve excitedly discussed the fact that there’s a finally a sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas, and it’s going to be in manga form. But first, Tokyopop is releasing a manga adaptation of the movie. If you’re a die-hard fan of Tim Burton’s movie, you may want to wait until a hardcover special edition is released at the end of November. If you're like me, though, and are more interested in the actual adaptation than pretty packaging or extra features, this should probably hold you over until the sequel arrives next year.

The Unstoppable Wasp, Vol. 1: Unstoppable - Jeremy Whitley and Elsa Charretier (Marvel, September 12)

I’ve written about this series at length previously, but I wanted to take a quick minute to highlight the fact that the trade is out in September. This series, which features the superhero The Wasp, is about Hank Pym’s daughter. Now, in the movie Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly starred as Hope van Dyne, and we'll be getting a sequel movie called Ant-Man and the Wasp that features Lilly as the superhero. This is a different story about a different daughter of Hank Pym, however. Nadia Pym was held captive for half her life, but now the super scientist is ready to team with the geniuses of the Marvel universe. This is a fantastic all-ages series about STEM and science and featuring awesome lady characters, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Star Wars: Darth Vader Omnibus - Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca (Marvel, September 19)

I’ve discussed previously how Marvel is doing excellent work with the Star Wars comics (except I’d love more women writing and drawing these, please, especially when they feature lady main characters!). The Gillen/Larocca run on Darth Vader is pretty incredible; they ended it after issue 25 (voluntarily) before moving on to the Doctor Aphra comic (a character they created in this series). Now Marvel has collected the entire run into one hardcover omnibus, and I’m definitely excited to go back through and read it. I always prefer to read straight through, rather than getting a story piece by piece, so this should be a great experience with a comic I already love.

Lifeformed: Cleo Makes Contact by Matt Mair Lowery and Cassie Anderson (Dark Horse Comics, September 19)

I’ll admit that I hadn’t even heard of this comic until I was doing research for this column, but what I learned intrigued me. It follows the story of a girl named Cleo whose father dies in an alien invasion of Earth. She knows she must fight for the future of her planet, so she joins forces with an alien who doesn’t agree with his people and they travel together and try to save Earth, basically. I don’t know anything about this other than the summary and that it’s the creative team’s debut work, but I’m really curious to take a look at this graphic novel.

A Bride’s Story, Vol. 9 by Kaoru Mori (Yen Press, September 19)

A new Kaoru Mori comic is always a real treat, so it’s wonderful to see that the latest volume of her A Bride’s Story comic releases this month. This series follows the story of a traveler on the Silk Road; it reimagines life during that time period in a beautiful and intricate way. It’s hard to exaggerate just how good Mori’s art is here; the complexity with which she draws each page is just incredible. I usually prefer colored comics to black and white, but this is a case where the stark lines against the white page add so much to the experience. This is a series where it’s best to read all volumes, so you can start with the first one and move forward from there.

Jonesy, Vol. 3 - Sam Humphries and Caitlin Rose Boyle (BOOM! Box, September 19)

When I picked up the first volume of this adorable series, I didn’t know what to expect. The loud colors and stylized art weren’t exactly my usual interests, but I wanted to give it a chance. And I am so glad I did; this series is one of the most adorable and heartwarming comics I’ve ever read, period. It follows the story of high schooler Jonesy, who has a secret superpower: She can make anyone fall in love. The only catch is that the power doesn’t work on herself. It’s such a fun series, and Boyle’s art is amazing. This series simply wouldn’t work without her bold, vivid colors.