As always, “Five & Three” brings you my favorite things in comics this week. Every week I pick my five favorite covers and three favorite panels to create “Five & Three”. I like to talk about why I picked the covers and panels and welcome hecklers and trend setters alike. 

Starting us off this week, AKA the last week to buy comics before the Christmas holiday, is the return of Francesco Francavilla to “Five and Three”. He brings the chills and thrills with the latest issue of Archie in a zombie infested Riverdale, “Afterlife With Archie #7”. 

Afterlife With Archie #7

“Wild’s End #4” by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard. The BOOM! Studios published comic is a lovely story about anthropomorphic animals in the countryside of England. The series didn’t really grab me with issue one but by issue four my appreciation for the story has caught up with my appreciation for the spectacular art. Seriously, who doesn’t want to read about giant alien robots attacking the British countryside?

Wild’s End #4

Kelly Sue DeConnick is creating some dynamite comic books with a strong feminine tone and the comic book world couldn’t be happier or more grateful. I suppose that means, like the criminal women on the books titular prison colony “Bitch Planet”, comic book fans are “non-compliant”. Valentine De Landro’s art is pitch perfect in tone for a story very much in the zeitgeist as women and minorities make political headlines. I proudly stand with the NC tattooed women as we wait patiently in line for issue #2 next month.

Bitch Planet #1 is Non-Compliant

DC Comics continues its lead from last week with an appearance by a Vertigo book and my favorite cover coming up next. Ryan Kelly’s cover to “Coffin Hill #14” was very narrowly edged out by my bias and love of the next artist.

Coffin Hill #14

I promised months ago that Darwyn Cooke would be taking over the covers section of “Five and Three” for the month of December and that trend most certainly continues with “Justice League United #7”. Take in the lovely cover and make sure to pick up a few for your friends. They’re wonderful pieces of art and comic book for under four bucks.

Justice League United #7 - Darwyn Cookie Variant

I absolutely love Andrea Sorrentino and I miss his artwork on DC’s “Green Arrow”. The dynamism that he can put into a single page with the use of panels and eye-catching juxtaposition of story pieces has quickly become some of my favorite storytelling styling. His work on “Uncanny X-Men Annual #1” was a must buy for me and the story Bendis doesn’t disappoint.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #1

The second panels pick is more Jake Parker doing Rocket Raccoon with Skottie Young on "Rocket Raccoon #6". ‘Nuff said.

"Rocket Raccoon #6"

I’ve been a fairly big follower of everything Valiant has been doing but I’ve been buying and consuming issues digitally. Paulo Rivera back on monthly issues for “Valiant #1” changes that because Paulo Rivera is the artist that inspired me to pick up my pen and pencil and start drawing seriously again. His process is an inspiration only matched by the end product of that process. Alongside writers Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire, Rivera is telling a really interesting story about a great evil that has defeated our protagonist Anni-Padda The Eternal Warrior, throughout time. Several of my favorite heroes from the Valiant U show up in this book to help Anni-Padda defeat the great evil once and for all. This epic has just started and my only hope is that Rivera sticks around for the ending.

Valiant #1

That’s all for this week. If you disagree with a pick, let me know in the comments or on Twitter @MarkAvo or on Instagram @TheMarkAvo. If you think I should’ve picked something else or if you have a pick in mind for next week, give me a shout out and let me know. If you’d like to check out more “Five and Three” comic book moments start with “Five and Three” from last week. And remember, buy your friends and loved ones comics for the holidays!

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Tags: BOOM! Studios , Valiant , Marvel Comics , Five and Three , DC Comics