Tim Gibson’s Moth City gets its first spin off this week in the form of Moth City Preludes: The Reservoir – an origin story for the maniacal Governor McCaw that is pitched as a western in black, white and blood. But can the evil Governor sustain the story on his own? Especially in a black and white book with no dialogue?!

BlackBat001-Cov-BenitezDynamite Comics have carved a great niche for themselves as the home of pulp superheroes like The Shadow, The Green Hornet and The Bionic Man.  Black Bat is the newest superhero to join this illustrious line up with his own title released this week. However instead of harking back to the golden age of 50s superheroes, Black Bat instead feels like a throwback to the gritty world of the late 70s and 80s when comics started getting a darker edge and became more than just funny books for kids.

Masks_and_Mobsters_07-1It’s not often you get genuinely new ideas in the world of comics, but this month has seen two startingly original books hit the shelves. First there was Jamie McKelvie’s brilliant Young Avengers #4 which included an awesome isometically designed spread that blended the worlds of design and comic art to create something truly unique. While in Masks and Mobsters #7 from MonkeyBrain Comics, Josh Williamson and Mike Henderson build their story around an original structure that is so blissfully simple, yet ingeniously clever, that as soon as you reach the pay off at the end you just want to turn back to page 1 and read it all over again to make sure you have fully appreciated what you have just been a part of.

It’s another first this week, as Archaia Comics bring us the world’s first digital variant cover. It appears on the front of the preview issue of their reboot of this classic Manga which based on the original from Shotaro Ishinomori.  Eventually Cyborg 009 will be relased as a comprehensive hardcover edition, but this digital preview features the first 17 pages giving readers a tantalizing tease of what is to come. This 000 issue is available on all the usual digital platforms, but the variant cover is a ComiXology exclusiveIt works by using the app’s Guided View mode to create a subtle animation (as you can see in the GIF to the left) and so as you tap on the page Cyborg 009 himself appears behind a robot bad guy and progressively beats him up before the comic cover finally forms.

Tales of the Buddha coverAt the opposite end of the comics spectrum from last week’s kid’s comics The Phoenix is this stoner-infused look at the early life of Buddha, which is definitely for adults only! From the wonderfully warped mind of 2000ad legend Alan Grant and fellow Dredd alum John Haward and Jamie Grant Tales of the Buddha (Before He Got Enlightened) gives us a gag and ganja-heavy account of the eastern mystic as he searchs for enlightenment. Each 1 or 2 page strip sees our portly hero travelling the world and across history, getting up to all sorts of un-pious mischief while meeting a host of famous faces along the way – from Hercules and the Argonauts to Elvis and more. Forget your historically accurate timelines sacred scriptures, and just revel in the smart jokes and brilliantly quirky artwork of this supremely smart and enjoyable creation.

Insufferable 1 coverThis week sees the arrival of the first 3 issues of Mark Waid’s Insufferable on ComiXology. Previously released as weekly updates on his website Thrillbent.com, each issues comprises two installments and introduces us to the world of aging superhero Nocturnus and his upstart protege Galahad. Although it was a great read online  Insufferable’s natural home is on a tablet and being able to read each issue in glorious full screen is a real treat.

Having graced the pages of 2000AD since 1977, Judge Dredd is a quintessentially British comic book creation, mixing bleak dystopian science-fiction with sharp satire and a black, often odd-ball, sense of humour. Getting the recipe right is a fine art that only a handful of greats have managed to do with aplomb. Which brings us to this, the first issue of a new ongoing Judge Dredd series from IDW Publishing. This is the second attempt at bringing the Mega City lawman to a wider (i.e. US) audience, after a short run with DC in the early 1990s. But as is often the case when Dredd is taken out of the safe confines of his homeland it is never quite the same, and with this new incarnation it looks like Dredd, it reads like Dredd, but there’s something missing.