Another week, another stack of comics. From nightmare hellscapes, to the hellish City of the Dead, to the city that never sleeps, there’s something for everyone this week with a strong emphasis on scary (but not actually horror, I just want to make that distinction). Come along and escape reality for a little while with me, my friends, to check out the new comics for July 19, 2023. I’ll return you safe and sound, mostly.
[This week’s comics are provided by Warp Zone Comics and Collectibles. Warning my reviews of the new comics from July 19, 2023, contain some spoilers]
DC: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Redder #1
This issue is a real collaboration having been written by Chip Zdarsky, Leah Williams, Paul Scheer, and Nick Giovannetti with art from Kevin Maguire, Natacha Bustos, and Tom Reilly. All these people have worked to bring us another new Harley Quinn series. With multiple stories in this first issue, there should be plenty of chance for Harley to shine but her overall personality comes across a little muddy. It’s as if each writer has their own idea of who Harley is, but they didn’t get together to talk about it at all. I think all the stories would have benefited from having a cohesive approach to who Harley is. Perhaps a group meeting before issue #2?
DC: Knight Terrors: Catwoman #1
Written by Tini Howard with art by Leila Leiz. DC continues its Knight Terror event, this week plunging Catwoman into a Catholic-guilt-soaked hellscape. Catwoman must face the fact that she killed a man she loved to save another man she loved. Seeking forgiveness that is unlikely to come in the nightmare world. She’s left thinking that perhaps it would be better to die before she wakes.
Selina spends much of this issue working to rebuild her relationship with her sister, Maggie (also known as Sister Zero, a vigilante). But Selina’s connection to Batman threatens the fragile familial bond. Can the sisters repair their relationship or will Catwoman just tear it to shreds? This issue was a great emotional story that’s not (okay, mostly not) focused on romantic love for a change. It was a refreshing view of Selina and worth checking out.
DC: Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1
From DC, written by Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad with art by Daniele Di Nicuolo, is another nightmare. Adding to the Knight Terror event this week is Nightwing’s encounter with the nightmare realm. Nightwing wakes up a prisoner in Arkham Asylum. The other inmates applaud his actions but the problem is that Nightwing doesn’t remember why he’s in Arkham.
Eventually, he decides to team up with some of his fellow inmates to escape. He figures this is the only way he can get some answers about what happened in the first place. It’s an interesting choice that hopefully leads to a more inspired second issue than the “hero becomes villain” nightmare of the first issue.
IDW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Lost Day Special
From IDW, written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz with art from Ben Bishop. This is a special one-shot from the acclaimed Ronin-Verse. After the Last Ronin defeated Oroku Hiroto, the foot clan fell and New York City was safe(ish) for a while. But of course that couldn’t last. Nature abhors a vacuum and the power vacuum left behind by the foot was huge. All the worst scum came rushing to fill it.
In the middle of this nasty mess, April manages to lose the four young mutant turtles that she’s raising as the next generation of crime fighters. Have they learned enough to make it back home alive? Or are the turtles well and truly gone? A gripping race against the clock, fans of The Last Ronin will definitely love this one shot.
Marvel: Black Panther #2
From Marvel, written by Eve Ewing and with art from Chris Allen and Craig Yeung. T’Challa is still working to help Wakanda from the fringes. He tries to delve deeper into the heart of the city to understand why people have turned against the Black Panther. Some people aren’t happy that the Black Panther has returned, but T’Challa soon learns that the Black Panther always has allies, if he just knows where to look.
This storyline could be rather interesting and exciting but the streets of Burnin T’Chaka are just a little too much like the streets of America and the action moves way too slow to hold my attention. What could have been a great opportunity to make Wakanda a more three-dimensional country is wasted by making it a copy of an America we already know. Hopefully, Ewing will find a way to give Wakanda its own personality and move the story along a little faster in the next issue.
Marvel: Moon Knight: Knight City of the Dead #1
Moon Knight is back, written by David Pepose with art by Marcelo Ferreira. This miniseries is exactly what Moon Knight needs. The first issue opens with a kid attacked by a death cult and left for dead. But left for dead isn’t the same as dead so Marc is still bound to help him. This means that he must travel to the City of the Dead to save the kid.
Seeing Moon Knight in a supernatural setting instead of a more traditional cityscape was both exciting and natural. I mean Moon Knight is a supernatural hero, so it just makes a sort of sense. Issue #1 also introduces the Scarlet Scarab from the Disney+ series which should make all the MCU fans swoon! Definitely a must-read issue!
Marvel: Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #5
From Marvel, written by Emily Kim and art by Kei Zama. This is the conclusion to the five-part mini-series revolving around Doctor Bennett’s revenge against Gwen. It wraps up the story in a fairly predictable way. Everything that happens is very plot-driven and won’t surprise anyone, basically, it happens because it needs to happen kind of stuff. If you’re a Spider-Gwen fan then you’ll be happy with the story’s conclusion. If you’re not into Ghost-Spider then it won’t be enough to convert you. Basically, an enjoyable story that doesn’t try to reach too far.
And that’s some of the new comics releasing July 19, 2023!
See? Everybody’s in one piece, just like I promised. Now hurry back to reality until next week. Or grab one of these titles and settle in for a second read, I completely understand the desire. Until next week, keep reading and enjoy! If you want to pick up physical copies of any of these comic books, but you’re not sure where a shop is near you, try checking on ComicShopLocator.com.
What are your favorite comics right now? Let us know on social media such as Twitter or The Cosmic Circus Discord!