What the hell is a “Tsum Tsum”? From Marvel Tsum Tsum #1. Illustrated by David Baldeon, Terry Pallot, and Jim Campbell. Screencap by the author
The big news in comics this week is the lukewarm reception to Suicide Squad, the Will Smith and Margot Robbie-starring big budget DC movie that plenty of people hoped for. According to our colleagues over at VICE, it’s… not great at all. Whether or not fans will still turn out to see the flick is hard to say (hell, even the critically panned Batman v Superman pulled in over $870 million worldwide). Will any of the comics that made this week’s best-of list be turned into a movie someday? Hopefully. It would be amazing to see Paper Girls‘ neon-soaked streets adapted by Nicolas Winding Refn. Also reviewed this week: little Marvel cutie babies, a grumpy old vampire, and Superman.
Cover for Marvel Tsum Tsum #1. Cover illustrated by Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson. Photo courtesy of Marvel Comics.
When a strange package headed for The Collector gets lost in space and eventually catapults down to earth, three kids from Brooklyn snatch it and unwittingly unleash adorable mayhem in the form of Tsum Tsums. These little alien blobs seem obsessed with superheroes, and so transform into heroes they see (like The Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Thor) and run wild. Like a cross between Gremlins and Avengers: Age of Ultron, this comic is a must for readers with little kids running around their houses. And even though it’s a product tie-in with a Japanese-craze-turned-Disney-mashup, this comic’s got legs (even if the Tsum Tsums themselves are mostly legless).
Cover for Superman #4. Illustrated by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and John Kalisz. Photo courtesy of DC Comics.
As a background character in this Superman issue describes, a “Superman Terminator” named the Kryptonian executioner is out to destroy Superman and his super-powered son Jon. This classic story of inhuman killing machine on an unrelenting quest to destroy gets an added boost of pathos when it’s revealed that the executioner wants, specifically, to kill young Jon because he’s not a pure-blood Kryptonian. Jon’s already struggling with his new superpowers and his identity, and this intrusion only serves to hammer that point of isolation and questioning home, making this comic oddly poignant for an action packed smash-fest.
Cover for Blood Dust #1. Illustrated by Brett Weldele. Photo courtesy of Action Lab Comics.
Judd Glenny is an ancient vampire cursed to spend his days babysitting a brood of child vampires who’ll never grow old. The hyperactive, nearly feral vampire younglings run wild around his secluded home, and readers learn that Judd’s got a bit of a good side as he saves human children from a swamp monster that lurks in the area. This is all fun horror fare with a big splash of blood, but it’s clear that there are deeper stories churning just below these swampy waters. Blood Dust is definitely a comic to keep an eye on as it mixes a cranky Wolverine-esque anti-hero with classic swamp scare storytelling.
Cover for Paper Girls #8. Illustrated by Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson. Photo courtesy of Image Comics.
Paper Girls follows four paper delivery girls who get swept up in a time-travelling, dimension-ripping, world-shaking Cleveland adventure. The story, by Brian K. Vaughn, is thoroughly twisted and full of turns by this issue, and new readers should definitely go back to the start to understand this looping and elegant plot. But the real star of this comic is the color. Soaked in moody deep teal colors and eye-grabbing hot pinks, Matt Wilson’s color work steals the show and adds a layer of personality unparalleled in anything else coming out on current shelves.
What were your favorite comics this week? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us: @CreatorsProject.