This selection of new comics may help fight the winter doldrums and give some extra reasons to look forward to spring, with coming-of-age adventures, ruminations on the past and a farcical look at the future. There is also an unlikely buddy comedy, a horror story and the birth of a new generation of superheroes.
Blowing the Whistle on Genocide
Josiah E. DuBois Jr., a lawyer with the United States Treasury Department in the 1940s, is the hero in this nonfiction comic about his efforts to help Jewish refugees in Europe. His efforts lead to the creation of the War Refugee Board, which has a mandate to “rescue the victims of enemy oppression.”
Written by Rafael Medoff and drawn by Dean Motter. Available now.
This tale of female empowerment follows Abby, Christine, Brit and Sasha as they cope with the pressures of high school — and decide to lessen the taboo of talking about menstruation. They are inspired to activism by an injustice: The rarely stocked feminine hygiene products at school cost 50 cents apiece, while the athletic teams get uniforms and gear for free.
Co-written with Karen Schneemann and drawn by Lily Williams. Arrives Jan. 14.
Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence
This memoir tells the story of the cartoonist Joel Christian Gill’s adolescence, which is fraught with acts of violence, some directed at him or at the adults in his life. Amid the bleakness are moments of light: his love of drawing; a friend who teaches him to play chess; and encounters with a local farmer. There is a happy ending, but it is hard-earned.
Written and drawn by Joel Christian Gill. Arrives Jan. 22.
The Man Who ______ Up Time
Meet Sean Bennett, an assistant working in a laboratory experimenting with time travel. His rivalry with a scientist inspires him to use a time machine to alter the past. He returns to a world where prehistoric creatures roam, King Abraham Lincoln IV reigns and a robotic police force demands he set things right.
Written by John Layman and drawn by Karl Mostert. Arrives Feb. 5.
Two teenagers discover they can set off others’ emotions by placing their fingers into the shape of a gun and pointing. Wes incites rage, Sadie soothes. There is a lot to be explored, about their powers, their friendship and their home life (Wes is largely alone thanks to his workaholic father; Sadie’s parents are struggling with finances).
Written by Justin Richards and drawn by Val Halvorson. Arrives Feb. 26.
There is quite a bit of humor in this satirical series about Jesus Christ rooming with an alien superhero named Sunstar. (The use of Jesus as a character caused outrage before the first issue was printed, and a new publisher had to be found.) There is also a lot of heart as the first six issues, which are collected here, explore philosophical topics (how humans have interpreted the message of Jesus) and biological ones (Sunstar and his girlfriend’s quest to have children).
Written by Mark Russell and drawn by Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk. Arrives Feb. 26.
Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen
This coming-of-age horror tale is set in a remote English hamlet where the teenage Nicknevin Oswald is begrudgingly spending the summer with her brother and mother. She finds herself in the middle as a handsome stranger tries to summon forth ancient gods, which involves ritualistic murders. Nicknevin learns about her own connection to divine forces along the way.
Written by Helen Mullane and drawn by Dom Reardon and Matthew Dow Smith. Arrives March 11.
The genesis of this new superhero universe begins with a global catastrophe: a viral pandemic that in two months leaves 400 million dead. Of the survivors, a small percentage find themselves with special abilities, but they may be on a collision course with governments taking a hard-line view on national security.
Written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Mike Deodato Jr. Arrives March 18.