Comics Disassembled: Ten Things I Liked or Didn’t Like from the Past Week in Comics, Led by a Speed Run

It’s a holiday week, so my schedule has been torn asunder. America demanded I eat grilled foods, and who am I to deny that demand? So, this week’s edition of Comics Disassembled is going to be a bit of a speed run that publishes a day late, because that’s what it had to be! That’s also why one news item that otherwise would have made it isn’t here. Some items need more than a speed run so that will likely arrive in next week’s edition.

1. DC’s Compact Comics, Expanding

My favorite new format (at least for American comics) from 2024 is adding to its library of releases. DC’s Compact Comics — which debuted this year with a slate that includes ten different comics, all collected for $9.99 — will be rolling out a second wave in 2025. It’s a good one too, with Kingdom Come leading things off and Static: Season One, DCeased, Superman: Birthright, Superman/Batman: Book One, and Batwoman: Elegy following right behind it. That’s a nice slate, with each of those being new reader friendly enough while speaking to an array of audiences that these editions could appeal to. I think the one slight disappointment is that only Kingdom Come, Superman: Birthright, and Batwoman: Elegy could really be considered complete stories, which feels better for this type of collection. But even then, that just opens up hope that future waves will include other volumes of DCeased and Static going forward.

I have a lot more coming on these comics, as two different features will dig into this Compact Comics line and its impact in the coming weeks. But from everything I’ve heard, the demand is high for these books, to the point that retailers are actually hoping for bigger waves than this. Maybe this second wave is DC following its initial playbook and future slates will have even more than six. We’ll see. Regardless, I continue to love the Compact Comics line as both an idea and a format. More, please!

2. Ngozi Ukazu, Returning to New Genesis

In news that came out of DC’s panel at the recent ALA (American Library Association) Annual in San Diego, it seems as if cartoonist Ngozi Ukazu’s adventures in New Genesis and Apokolips will be continuing onwards after the success of her first graphic novel there, Barda. While that one focused on its titular character, the next one up will be about a different character: Orion, Jack Kirby and Darkseid’s rage baby who was raised on New Genesis that eventually joined the Justice League. Ukazu said all the right things at the panel, it seems, as she said she’ll be putting a “young adult” spin on these characters and labeled Orion as “the new emo king.” As a person who came up in the heyday of emo as a musical genre, I cannot help but love that comparison. I could easily see Orion stepping in for Buddy Nielsen if peak of its powers Senses Fail ever needed a new frontman for a night.

It’s lovely to see this partnership continuing onwards, though, as Ukazu’s a heck of a talent and one who has clearly shown a real affinity and gift for the characters from Kirby’s Fourth World. It’s always good to see good things happening to good people, and to see good creators getting the space to do what they do best like Ukazu is here.

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