When it comes to comics, February means just one thing for me: IT’S BLACK PANTHER MONTH. (What, did you think I was going to talk about Valentine’s Day? Psh. Though there is a great romance comic on this list!) The movie that we’ve all been waiting for is finally upon us, and I’m expecting it to be spectacular. I can’t wait for it to break all kinds of movie records and show movie studios how genuinely stupid they’ve been in not greenlighting more projects with people of color at the front and center.
BUT. This article is about February comics, so let’s talk about those! There are a few interesting Marvel titles this month, as always, in addition to Image, Aftershock, Dark Horse, and Dynamite (a publisher that doesn’t make my lists very often, to be honest). So far, 2018 has been a great year for comics, and I’m looking forward to more and more amazing stuff to read!
Twisted Romance #1 - Alex de Campi, Katie Skelly, Sarah Horrocks, and Magen Cubed (Image Comics, February 7)
This is a four-issue comic event, and I mean EVENT. I’ve discussed before how I wish there were more romance comics in the world, and now thanks to this talented group, there are. There’s one issue per week every week of the month, and they’ve all got different stories that center around romance. I can’t wait to pick these issues up and dive in for myself.
Black Panther: Sound and Fury #1 - Ralph Macchio and Andrea Di Vito (Marvel, February 7)
We’re counting down to the Black Panther movie, and Marvel’s actually doing a pretty good job releasing comics featuring the character in the run-up to the (highly anticipated) film release. It’s not something they often do well, frankly. But there’s yet another Black Panther series releasing in February, penned by Ralph Macchio (no, not of Karate Kid fame) and drawn by Andrea Di Vito. I’m honestly not sure how this ties in to the current Black Panther comics from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze, but hey, I’m never going to complain about getting more Black Panther.
Star Wars: Thrawn #1 - Jody Houser, Luke Ross, and Paul Renaud (Marvel, February 14)
One of my big criticisms with Star Wars comics is that they don’t have enough women on the creative teams. That’s why I was so thrilled when they announced that Jody Houser would be writing this series. Now, if you’ve read Timothy Zahn’s novel Thrawn, there’s not going to be a ton of new information here, because it’s an adaptation of that novel. But you can bet the art will be great, and I’m looking forward to revisiting the story before the release of Thrawn: Alliances next summer.
Cold War #1 - Christopher Sebela and Hayden Sherman (Aftershock Comics, February 14)
I’m a huge fan of Chris Sebela’s series Heartthrob, so I’m always willing to take a look at the new stuff he has coming out. This latest series features rich people who pay to have their corpses frozen after death, so they can be revived once technology has advanced and they can be rebuilt without disease. But that’s not what actually happens to them; they’re sent to fight in a war, not knowing who they’re fighting or why. The premise seems very murky, which works for me — I love a good mystery.
Xena: Warrior Princess #1 - Meredith Finch, Vicente Cifuentes, and David Finch (Dynamite, February 14)
I haven’t had a chance to take a look at this comic yet, so I’m recommending it with some caveats. I know there are so many sci-fi and fantasy fans who absolutely love Xena and may be really into this comic. On the other hand, Dynamite is known for ... a certain depiction of women that isn’t exactly the most inviting for a female audience. But with that caveat delivered, this looks like it’s aimed at teenage audiences, so I’m certainly interested to see how this comic looks and where it ends up going, as Xena is such a great character.
Mata Hari #1 - Emma Beeby, Ariela Kristanti, and Pat Masioni (Dark Horse Comics, February 21)
This is the first issue of a five-part series focusing on the life of Mata Hari, the famed spy executed by a French firing squad in 1917. This comic is especially intriguing because it’s more interested in the woman behind the myth: an imprisoned woman who is writing her memoir, who’s had everything taken away from her. Who was she, and how did the persona Mata Hari come to be? It sounds fascinating, but the fact that the writer and artist are women makes me even more into this series.
Lockjaw #1 - Daniel Kibblesmith, Carlos Villa, and Ed McGuinness (Marvel, February 28)
Finally, the true hero of the Marvel universe gets his due. Lockjaw is the best character, period. He’s a giant Inhuman space dog with magic powers — how could anyone want more than that? Now Lockjaw is finally getting his own series, and considering the first line for the summary of this issue is “Who’s a good boy?” this is going to be good. It’s only solicited for four issues, which makes me sad, because I think Lockjaw should be at the center of every comic ever written, honestly.