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15 comic books we’ll kick back with this summer

From Marvel to DC and everything in between

Batman, a green anthropomorphic allosaurus in a Batman costume, leaps across the prehistoric plains in Jurassic League. Image: Daniel Warren Johnson, Juan Gedon/DC Comics

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Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Ah, summer, when a superhero’s fancy turns to crossover events. But there’s much more to this summer’s comics than superheroes slugging it out with villains — and even the slugfests look pretty fun!

As we look to the horizon of summer, we can see the long-awaited return of internet-favorite cartoonists, brilliant comics collected in book format for the first time, our favorite creators doing neat new things, beloved characters given new life, and even, maybe, something like a normal convention season.

Read on for Polygon’s most anticipated comics releases of summer 2022.

Flashpoint Beyond (May 3)

Batman (Thomas Wayne) stands spookily on rocks amid crashing waves. There’s lightning behind him and he’s holding Aquaman’s trident on the cover of Flashpoint Beyond #1 (2022). Image: Mitch Gerads/DC Comics

2022 was supposed to be the summer of The Flash, the long-gestating, timeline-shattering adaptation of DC’s 2011 Flashpoint storyline, and while parent company Warner Bros. was hit by scheduling problems, DC Comics at least stayed on track. Flashpoint Beyond returns to the company’s 2011 Flashpoint event, in which the Flash radically altered DC history by traveling back in time to prevent his mother’s murder.

Written by Flashpoint writer Geoff Johns with several artists contributing work, the six-issue story follows Thomas Wayne, the Batman of Flashpoint, as he solves the mystery of why his doomed timeline, supposedly reset at the end of Flashpoint, still exists.

Jurassic League (May 10)

Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman as rad anthropomorphic dinosaurs on the cover of Jurassic League #1 (2022). Image: Daniel Warren Johnson/DC Comics

Jurassic League is a six-issue miniseries about a world where the heroes and villains of the DC Universe are all anthropomorphic dinosaurs, inspired by Street Sharks, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Primal Rage, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, and the horror-inspired sculptures of James Groman.

In it, Batman is an Allosaurus who walks like a man, and whose parents were regular Allosauruses who were murdered in front of him by a sentient Dilophosaurus named Jokerzard. You should require no more explanation than this — except perhaps that it’s from the minds of Daniel Warren Johnson (Wonder Woman: Dead Earth) and Juan Gedeon (Venom, Doom Patrol), who are very cut out to keep this concept from deflating under its own bombast.

Eight Billion Genies (May 11)

A crowd of people look with expressions of fear, shock, and elation at a little cartoony figure floating in the air on the cover of Eight Billion Genies #1 (2022). Image: Ryan Browne/Image Comics

The one-sentence pitch for Eight Billion Genies, from writer Charles Soule (She-Hulk, many Star Wars comics) and artist Ryan Browne (Curse Words) is: When every one of the eight billion humans on planet earth gets their own personal genie and one wish, chaos ensues.

But the two-sentence pitch would add that the story is actually about a group of people trapped in a bar when it all happens, and how the earth evolves over the next eight seconds, eight minutes, eight hours, etc. ... for eight issues. We’ll be tuning in.

I Hate This Place (May 18)

Two women look apprehensively over their shoulders in the foreground, while in the background a large horned figure looms spookily over a house on the cover of I Hate This Place #1 (2022). Image: Artyom Topilin/Image Comics

The horror/comedy series I Hate This Place (formerly Fuck This Place) comes from the pen of extremely hilarious writer Kyle Starks (Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton) and artist Artyom Topilin, and follows a queer couple who have inherited an absolutely haunted farmhouse. If it’s half as funny as Starks’ previous work, it will still give me multiple out-loud “HA”s per issue.

Dark Crisis (June 7)

Villains and heroes of the DC Universe young and old pose dramatically on the wide wraparound cover of Dark Crisis #1 (2022). Image: Daniel Sampere/DC Comics

“Dark Crisis” might sound like a parody of a DC Comics event, not a real title, and when you realize that it begins with the deaths of the entire Justice League, it might simply underscore the absurdity. But Justice League writer Joshua Williams has set a lofty goal: a “crisis event” that’s about DC’s history of crisis events, and how they’ve warped the lives of the setting’s heroes. A comic book event begins with death, and that is about how superheroes reckon with living in a world where people come back from death as a routine. The event’s first issue drops on June 7, and we’ll be keeping an eye on it.

Wash Day Diaries (June 14)

Four Black women with different hairstyles lounge together as friends on the cover of Wash Day Diaries (2022). Image: Robyn Smith/Chronicle Books

Said Rosie Knight in our 2022 comics preview:

“Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith expand on their award winning minicomic Wash Day in this beautiful graphic novel from Chronicle Books. Kim, Tanisha, Davene, and Cookie are best friends and Wash Day Diaries follows them through their daily life in the Bronx over five interconnected short stories. Smith’s charming and inviting art invites comic book readers old and new to lose themself in this joyful and touching celebration of Black joy and sisterhood that cements the duo of Rowser and Smith as one of comics most powerful creative teams.”

Offshore Lightning (June 21)

A robed person sits in a boat on the cover of Offshore Lightning (2022). Image: Nazuna Saito

Offshore Lightning is the first major Western release from Nazuna Saito, whose manga career didn’t truly take off until well into her middle age. Drawn & Quarterly presents both Saito’s early work and two more recent novellas grappling with subjects of aging and death, all in English for the first time.

Clementine (June 22)

Clementine, the titular young girl in a zombie apocalypse, on the cover of The Walking Dead: Clementine (2022). Image: Tillie Walden/Image Comics

Said Rosie Knight in our 2022 comics preview:

“Bringing the star of the Telltale Games Walking Dead franchise to comics is no easy feat. Luckily, Skybound made one of the most interesting and exciting choices possible for this YA trilogy that begins with Clementine: Book One. Enlisting Tillie Walden, an award-winning cartoonist and one of the best working comics artists alive, Clementine centers on the titular hero as she traverses the zombie-filled landscape and finds a group of teenagers trying to create a Walker-free settlement. It sounds like the kind of emotionally driven sci-fi that Walden excels at.”

The Hellfire Gala 2022 (June 29)

Cyclops and Emma Frost pose in high fashion on the cover of the X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 (2022). Behind them Wolverine (Laura Kinney), Magik, and Synch also pose. Image: Russell Dauterman/Marvel Comics

As promised last year, the Hellfire Gala is now an annual mutant event, where everymutant who’s anymutant gets a dope couture look and hobnobs it with the rest of the Marvel universe. Last year, the showstoppers were the reveal of a new team of X-Menhappening again this year — and that the X-Men terraformed Mars. It’ll be hard to top that, but you can bet the X-Men bullpen is going to try.

Batman #125 (July 5)

It’s a new era for the Dark Knight: Writer Chip Zdarsky takes the helm of DC’s biggest title, with artist Jorge Jiménez and a long-term plan to put Batman through his paces. In doing so, Zdarsky is taking the second step on the venerable Daredevil-to-Batman pipeline, in which creators who are great at one of those characters move on to the other and continue to be really great at writing a guilt-ridden, street-level vigilante with principles of steel. Considering that Zdarsky’s Daredevil is very good, we can expect his Batman to pay dividends as well.

A.X.E.: Judgment Day (July 6)

The X-Men, the Avengers, and the Eternals square up for battle in front of the Avengers’ HQ, a frozen dead Celestial in promotional art for A.X.E.: Judgement Day. Image: Dustin Weaver/Marvel Comics

Like Dark Crisis, Marvel’s A.X.E. crossover — subtitled Judgment Day — comes off as the latest entry in the well-trod path of superhero-on-superhero dustups. You remember Avengers vs. X-Men? Well this brings in — checks notes — the Eternals to make it Avengers vs. X-Men vs. Eternals. Huge yawn.

But wait! The X-Men actually haven’t been this hot in a couple of decades, with writer Kieron Gillen fueling Krakoa’s attempts to establish mutants as Earth’s dominant species. And the Eternals might actually be the most interesting they’ve ever been in Gillen and artist Esad Ribic’s series. Meanwhile, the human heroes on the Avengers, under the pen of Jason Aaron, are looking at the mutants askance even as they boldly live inside the refurbished corpse of one of the Eternals’ gods.

These three groups actually have non-contrived reasons to beef with each other, with stellar writers driving them and the crossover. In other words: We’re genuinely enthused about A.X.E.: Judgment Day.

San Diego Comic-Con (July 21-24)

San Diego Comic-Con atmosphere Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

OK, so it’s not a comic, but this summer (barring global catastrophe, presumably) marks the first in-person San Diego Comic-Con since 2019. What companies will be there? As yet unknown! Will they bring big reveals, or have corporations gotten accustomed to making waves with their own proprietary online events like DC FanDome, Star Wars Celebration, or D23? Only time will tell! But you can bet that many eyes in the comics industry and beyond will be on the new status quo of the United States’ largest fan convention.

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (July 26)

Supergirl stands with sword raised on against a background of space imagery on the cover of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. Image: Bilquis Evely/DC Comics

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is simply a beautifully drawn, warmly crafted, heart-wrenching fantasy travelogue through the wonders of pulpy space travel. For her 21st birthday, Supergirl rents a spaceship and flies to a bar on a planet with a red sun, all so that she can actually get drunk. From there, she becomes embroiled in the life of our loquacious narrator, a farm girl on a revenge quest across the stars. The end result is a meditation on loss, revenge, heroism, and power, and also a story that spends on entire issue on public transit.

Artist Bilquis Evely and colorist Mat Lopes put everything they have on the page, and in this writer’s opinion, it’s the best thing writer Tom King has done since Mister Miracle. This summer, it’s finally collected in a single book for the first time.

Edge of Spider-Verse (Aug. 3)

Araña, Spider-Man Noir, and Spider-Rex (a T. Rex with the colors of Spider-Man) on the cover of Edge of Spider-Verse #1 (2022). Image: Josemaria Casanovas/Marvel Comics

After four years away from the wall-crawler, writer Dan Slott is returning to the world of Spider-Man for one last ride, the promised “end” of Spider-Man’s multiverse: End of Spider-Verse.

But before End will come a new Edge of Spider-Verse, an opportunity for creators to add new multiversal alternate Spider-Mans in the same way that now-famous characters like Spider-Gwen/Ghost Spider, Peni Parker, and Spider-Man Noir were introduced. New Spider-Persons, including Night-Spider, Hunter-Spider, and Spider-Laird, will hit shelves in this five-issue miniseries.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands (Sept. 13)

A woman wearing a hard hat stands on a huge piece of construction machinery, looking out at ocean cliffs on the cover of Ducks: Two Years in the Old Sands. Image: Kate Beaton/Drawn & Quarterly

Hark! A Vagrant’s Kate Beaton was once one of the internet’s most prolific, memetic, and adored cartoonists when she officially stepped away from the webcomic in 2018. This fall Beaton returns with her first long-form graphic novel, a memoir of her time working in the exploitative, remote world of Alberta’s oil sand industry. Followers of the cartoonist will know she’s been contemplating a longer piece on her experiences for close to a decade, and it’s exciting to finally see those ideas take flight.

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