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COMIC BOOK Pull List: Afterlife with Archie, Princeless, Superman Doomed, Shutter, Lumberjanes, and More

Some great titles from indies come out today. Check out this week's spotlight on new releases. 

Indies top our spotlight this week starting with the unexpectedly great series over at Archie Comics from
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla with Afterlife with Archie #5. The initial thought of a zombie apocalypse hitting Riverdale was funny at first but then the books proved to be some of the best horror comics in the industry. The serious take on the genre helped to create some serious dread because here we have characters we've known for decades but now are in actual danger.

Aguirre-Sacasa doesn't treat the action as merely slash and hack  but as a conscientious struggle for survival. The characters have to kill zombie-fied  friends and neighbors with heavy hearts and it's as wrenching to them as on the reader. Francavilla was born for this type of storytelling. His pulp style art lends itself perfectly to the living dead monsters that lurk among the shadows. It's like watching old black and white monster movies with fresh eyes and splashes of color. The first arc comes to its conclusion but Afterlife is highly recommended. Grab the first five or get the trade. Just get this book!

This fabulous all-ages book feels like its flying under the radar but Princeless: Short Stories Vol.1 deserves to be on the shelf of every young person's bookcase in America. Jeremy Whitley turns the Disney-fied princess-in-distress tale on its head and creates an endearing and independent hero in Princess Ashe. She's not waiting around to be rescued she's taking charge and doing it for herself. The stories are fun and charming and in this collection from Action Lab Comics the art is provided by some of the best and brightest young talent in the business. Finally, an all-ages book that doesn't insult the readers intelligent and is truly "all-ages."

If Gravity Falls and Rat Queens had a baby it would be called  Lumberjanes. While this crew of funny  and smart girls at camp aren't medieval maidens they still have to overcome some supernatural creatures. Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis provide the comedic adventure story and Brooke Allen does some adorable cartoonish art with Maarta Laiho bringing it to life with some amazing colors for Boom! Studios.   

With a lot the backstory of Kate Kristopher out of the way in the first issue, issue two sends the reader into this increasingly bizarre and amazing new world. Shutter #2 continues the fantasy/adventure of reluctant explorer/photographer Kate as she's being chased by strange beings.  Joe Keatinge does a great job of moving the story along at a good pace and with plenty of whimsical detail but the star of the book is artist Leila Del Duca. Her lush layouts and creative character designs keeps the eyes glued on every panel. A great start for this creative team with a book worth checking out and jumping in.

We couldn't ignore the Big Two completely especially with yet another "event" taking place with this one-shot, Superman: Doomed. Writers Scott Lobdell, Charles Soule, and Greg Pak are bringing the "New 52" version of Doomsday to Superman books with this special issue. Perhaps too many cooks in the kitchen but some interesting developments occur as the mere presence of Doomsday kills people around him leaving some moral dilemmas for the Man of Steel. That sounds awfully familiar. The fantastic art is provided by Ken Lashley. This is a must for Superman fans. 
Marvel offers up a fun limited series of Shang-Chi in the fantastically titled Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1. This martial arts and espionage tale by Mike Benson drops Shang-Chi in the middle of a conspiracy in England and he has to uncover the mystery while determining who's friend and who's foe. The exciting thriller is drawn by Tan Eng Huat and could be the summer's sleeper.  


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