1. Ant-Man (No. 1, Mar 2015, Marvel) – Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas & Jordan Boyd
If the newest iteration of Ant-Man is any indication, 2015 will quickly unfold as the year belonging to Marvel. By far and away my favorite comic book title of the new year, Nick Spencer’s hilarious vision of the size-changing and ant-communicating, B-grade superhero is a welcome relief from the underwhelming trailer for the new Ant-Man movie starring Paul Rudd, scheduled to be released in July later this year. What writer Spencer does particularly well in this first issue is capturing the Animal Man-esque pathos and mindset of a father trying to do his darndest to do right by his daughter and family. A revealing excerpt between Scott Lang and his whip-smart daughter:
CASS: Dad!! / I didn’t know you were coming by!
SCOTT: I didn’t know you went to school here! [Interior Monologue] Now, I hear all the time about how tough dads have it when their daughters get to be around this age. . . .
CASS: So then Duncan was like, “Well, I don’t even think I like Ella anymore” — And we all just looked at him, like —
SCOTT: No! What is wrong with him?!! Doesn’t Duncan get that Ella is, like, entirely out of his league? [Interior Monologue] But me? I gotta be honest — / I can’t get enough of this stuff. I mean, this kid’s life is like a Mad Men marathon. So much pathos!
CASS: Thanks for walking me home, dad —
SCOTT: Eh, I needed the exercise. Oh hey, before I forget — What’s that Japanese movie you liked, with the kids, where they have to kill each other to survive? It’s kinda like The Hunger Games?
CASS: Battle Royale is not like The Hunger Games. It is better than The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a ripoff of a vastly superior foreign film that American audiences couldn’t appreciate because they’re too dumb for subtitles —
SCOTT: [Interior Monologue] And this is why my kid is cooler than yours. / Oh — right. Well, anyway — The Drafthouse is screening it on Saturday, and — / I maybe got us tickets.
CASS: Oh, my god! Dad! That is awesome!
2. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (No. 1, Mar 2015, Marvel) – Ryan North, Erica Henderson & Rico Renzi
If Ant-Man is the ideal down-on-your-luck single parent turned superhero, then Squirrel Girl is that brilliant but slightly goofy liberal arts superheroine roommate you’ve always wanted in college. Full of charm and down-to-earth humor, the newest representation of Squirrel Girl will satisfy long-term fans of Doreen Green who fell in love with her all the way back in the early 1990s with the publication of Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special. Originally created on a whim by writer Will Murray and artist Steve Ditko, the current incarnation is immeasurably helped by Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s vision of Doreen as both unrelentingly optimistic and unapologetically enthusiastic. “I want to be the best me I can be, and there’s more to being a super hero than just punching the strongest, you know? I want to be able to help people. And that means I gotta go to Empire State University to get educated!”
3. Star Wars (No. 1, Mar 2015, Marvel) – Jason Aaron, John Cassady & Laura Martin
If you’re looking forward to the December release of Star Wars: Episode VII, then Marvel’s newest continuity-adjacent reboot of the Star Wars comic might just be up your alley. Though it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the original trilogy, if you need a palate cleanser from the disastrous prequels and you’re just wanting a Star Wars appetizer before the main course later this year – give writer Jason Aaron’s Book I a shot. If seeing Chewbacca as a sniper crouched at a distance attempting to take down Darth Vader doesn’t bring out the inner geek in you, nothing will.
4. Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three (No. 7, Mar 2015, DC) – Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Juan Albarran, Xermanico & Rex Lokus
This month’s spoilers: Superman tries to kill Lois. No, wait. It turns out it’s actually the Joker who tries to kill Lois and her baby. Consequently Batman kills Joker. Batman turns himself in. Superman breaks into prison to thank Batman. Superman raises Lois’ daughter and . . . wait, a minute . . . Batman kills Joker?
5. Millennium (No. 1, Jan 2015, IDW) – Joe Harris, Colin Lorimer & Joana Lafuente
A new X-Files television show starring David Duchovny & Gillian Anderson? That was the rumor last week as Fox TV Group chairman Gary Newman confirmed that the network was indeed in talks for a new installment of The X-Files starring the original duo. Though Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden later walked back the confirmation by reiterating that the conversations had only been logistical, longtime fans like myself have already begun to flop sweat at the possibilities. Reading IDW’s current continuity-adjacent team-up of Fox Mulder and Frank Black one can’t help but salivate at what may be in the works for Mulder & Scully characters now that they’re in their 40s. Marriage? More babies? Lone Gunmen reunion? Let’s cross our fingers.