Top 10 Most Sensational Superhero Comics in the October 2023 Solicitations

Justice League vs Godzilla vs Kong #1 Connecting Cover

October is coming at us fast, and with it a whole new month of comics! The October 2023 solicitations dropped a while back, but given how many new series are launching in a couple months time, I thought it might be worth taking a look over them now so that we’re all ready and primed to pick up all the best series that Marvel and DC have to offer.

For those wondering what the most enticing offerings from September were, we also covered that previously. While some titles from that list may reappear here, it’s more likely that we’ll be highlighting new series that you might not otherwise be aware of in the hopes to drive those ever-important preorders!

10. The Vigil #6

If you followed our coverage of Lazarus Planet, then you know that my first impressions of this series (based on the small lead-in story in Next Evolution) were ones of sceptical optimism. I felt that the voice of that initial offering didn’t quite feel confident or distinguished enough, and what should have been a bold exercise in style ultimately felt quite understated. Needless to say, I was not as enthused for The Vigil as I was the other We Are Legends titles like City Boy and Spirit World.

My initial read could not have been more misplaced.

The Vigil has been a superb entry into DC’s publishing line, resurrecting and reimagining the energy of early Wildstorm comics while building a whole team of exciting new characters. It’s a series that takes equal parts Planetary, WildC.A.T.S. and The Doom Patrol, and infuses it with an often-under-represented set of perspectives and experiences, where Ram V and Lalit Kumar Sharma introduce readers to DC’s first all Indian team of super-spies.

With the October 2023 solicitations heralding the end of the series (hopefully only for now), it seems as good a time as any to encourage anyone who’s not already onboard to check it out. Whether you pick up #6, or pre-order the series’ collected edition, you won’t be disappointed with this complex look at how broken people might just be best placed to fix the world.

9. Amazons Attack #1

Fans of a certain veterancy might hear the words “Amazons Attack” and shiver. As the title of a pretty universally derided event, the online community was incredibly surprised to see them resurface in the year 2023 – attached to a whole new series nonetheless! And what a series it’s purporting to be.

Helmed by Josie Campbell, hot off the acclaimed New Champion of Shazam! mini as well as various Wonder Woman tie-ins and short stories, and Vasco Georgiev, artist of Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain and Aquaman/Flash: Voidsong, this title has a battle-tested team steering the ship.

Amazons Attack follows Mary Marvel (the New Champion of Shazam! herself) as well as Nubia, Yara Flor and Queen Faruka, as the events of Tom King and Daniel Sampere’s Wonder Woman leave the Amazons as outlaws on the international stage. What’s so energising about this – outside of the fact that these phenomenal characters are continuing to get some love from creators who clearly care for them – is that DC seems committed to developing small corners across its publishing line for every type of fan. We’ve had a dozen Bat-adjacent titles for as long as I’ve been reading comics; we’re also now in a position where readers are supporting multiple Superman titles. Finally, after far too long, we’re also seeing multiple, intertwined Wonder Woman series!

I for one cannot wait to see this team take that notorious moniker and redeem it, turning out a Themysciran tale for the ages.

8. Batman: City of Madness #1

Have you read Arkham Asylum: Serious House on a Serious Earth? Did you love it? If the answer to the first question was yes, then the answer to second naturally follows suit, and if that’s the case then Batman: City of Madness is likely going to be your new favourite book.

Billed by writer-artist Christian Ward as his spiritual successor to the Morrison/McKean opus, City of Madness was unveiled in the October 2023 solicitations as a prestige Black Label series that takes the familiar trappings of Gotham and plunges them into a world of Lovecraftian Horror. Inspired by one of the very stories that drove Ward to illustrate comics himself, City of Madness promises to melt your brain and treat your eyes as the caped crusader tussles with his very sense of reality itself.

7. Immortal Thor #3

Continuity connoisseur Al Ewing is stepping up to the Asgardian plate this month, launching Immortal Thor #1 alongside Martin Coccolo. Having forged a world of connotation behind the prefix “Immortal” with his past success on Hulk, Ewing’s next foray has everyone’s interest piqued wondering just how he plans to revitalise the Odinson.

What’s capturing my interest about this issue in particular is the narrative premise:

“As Toranos hunted him across the stars, the Odinson found himself trapped—marooned in a puzzle the size of a planet. In this place, the All-Father’s crown—and even his own godly strength—availed him nothing. What power, then, would save him?”

Marvel’s October 2023 Solicitations, Gamesradar

Its description sounds episodic, almost like a bottle episode, as Thor must use his godly wisdom, not his godly strength to avail himself of the trap he finds himself in. What this suggests to me is that Ewing and Coccolo are about to provide one hell of a character study on Thor, highlighting what makes him such an enduring icon outside of the hammer and the lightning.

6. Scarlet Witch #9

For those who’ve been keeping up with the ongoing Scarlet Witch series, you’ll know that in the wake of the death of Magneto, he has seemingly reappeared at his not-quite daughter’s door – and this time, he’s very much alive. Of course, it’s not actually Magneto, but his clone, Joseph (a deep cut, as many X-Men fans will attest to).

While Wanda and Joseph have had a little time to get acquainted, they’ve barely begun unpacking all the awkward tension caused by a man wearing your adoptive father’s face suddenly entering your life. If the October 2023 solicitations are anything to go by, Scarlet Witch #9 plans to rectify that.

This series is easily one of the best things Steve Orlando has written, and is packed with great character work for Wanda that shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re not currently reading this book, do yourself a favour and give it a shot. It’s imaginative, evocative and highly interested in prioritising the development of its cast in a way few cape comics seldom manage.

5. X-Men Red #16

The Fall of X is upon us, and while the mutants of Earth are hunted by ORCHIS, the mutants of Arrako find themselves trapped in civil war. As of X-Men Red #14, the Gensis War is officially upon us, and it’s kicked off with a bang.

So much has built to this storyline, from the ascension of Storm to the Great Ring and to becoming the Regent of Sol, to the expansion of the Arraki mutants with characters like Xilo, Lodus Logos and Kobak Never-Held, to the return of grand-daddy of all X-Men villains, Apocalypse himself. Al Ewing (joined by new series artist Yildray Cinar) is firing on all cylinders as he pays off character development decades in the making for some players, lights the fuse on the developing warrior culture of Arrako and all the tensions therein.

Not only is this a phenomenal piece of the Fall of X tapestry, but given its slightly removed nature it also presents as a reasonable jumping on point for people who want to try out what the X-Men titles are like right now without needing to read all the other books.

4. Justice League vs Godzilla vs Kong #1

Never have I seen a title so unexpected, yet so absolutely up my street appear in the solicits involving a big monkey. When this was announced at SDCC 2023, I was so immediately down for whatever seven-issue spectacle we were in for.

From Brian Buccellato (No/One, The Flash (2012-) and the upcoming Midlife) and Christian Duce (WildC.A.T.S., I Am Batman, The Flash (2016-)), this series promises to be just as mega in scale and scope as it sounds. The world’s greatest heroes must team up to stop the threat of the most legendary monsters (pun fully intended) before there’s nothing left to save.

This would be worth checking out on the wildness of the premise alone, but having such consummate and detailed creators attached to the project, and with a runway of seven whole issues, I have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to deliver more than just an entertaining ride with some titans of the licenced world.

3. Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #1

Robert Venditti has forever earned my attention for his masterful scripting of Hawkman, a series that took one of my favourite characters who, in all fairness, has one of the most complicated backstories in the world of comics, and made it readily accessible in a matter of pages. Genuinely, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a finer balance of continuity- and character-craft than his work on that title.

So, imagine my elation when I find out in the October 2023 solicitations that he’ll be returning to mainline DC comics, this time tackling another favourite of mine, Wesley Dodds – the Sandman of the JSA. Joining him is one of the most distinct artists working today too, Riley Rossmo, whose work in so perfectly suited to the slightly darker, more off-kilter corners of the DCU. Together, they make a match made in heaven for a character like Dodds.

Part of the expanding New Golden Age initiative that began with Justice Society of America and Stargirl: The Lost Children, Wesley Dodds: The Sandman looks to be a finely conceived, atmospheric haunt that I’m already mad at for only being six issues long.

2. Children of the Vault #3

Another entry on the list for the Fall of X, Children of the Vault delivered a thought-provoking and expertly crafted first issue that set itself up to potentially lead into one of the best x-stories in recent times.

Penned by Deniz Camp (20th Century Men, Bloodshot: Unleashed) and Luca Maresca (Monica Rambeau: Photon), this series is thick with philosophy, social commentary, and deeply introspective character studies on two of the X-Men’s most prolific time travelling soldiers, Bishop and Cable. Lots of series try to be intelligent, few actually achieve it. Fewer still manage to have genuinely innovative things to say while also balancing the need to entertain an audience. Children of the Vault does all of that, and it makes it look easy.

If you’re a fan of smartly written superhero comics that do something interesting, both with the form and with the decades of continuity that it builds from, you owe it to yourself to be reading this book.

1. Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #1

At the top of the stack is a book that, as soon as it was announced, I had already pre-ordered with my local comic book shop. Alan Scott: The Green Lantern is another six-issue mini-series from the New Golden Age, this time looking at the early years of the original Green Lantern’s superhero career.

What sets this apart – aside from being written by Tim Sheridan (co-architect of the wonderful Teen Titans Academy) and Cian Tormey, whose work on Superman: Son of Kal-El is responsible for some of my favourite visual storytelling for Superman of all time – is that this story will finally delve into Alan’s complicated and emotionally frought secret history as a closeted gay man.

First touched on in significant detail by James Tynion IV throughout various anthology titles, Alan’s status as a gay man was made known to readers in a way vaguely reminiscent of Iceman’s. That is to say, they are both characters that have presented as straight, and have had relationships with women, but are recently revealed to also hold this additional truth about themselves.

Early previews already show that Sheridan and Tormey are bringing a real sense of care, passion and sensitivity to this story – a tale more common among gay men of (and above) a certain genreration than some might think, and one often under-represented in media even today. It’s a story, frankly, that deserves to be told in comics, especially as queer representation increases. So many queer stories centre on young characters, who are able to be out and proud early in their life. But for Alan, who fought in WW2, this wasn’t even close to possible. What happens then, this series asks, when a pillar of the superhero community fights for the safety and security to be free, but only in his later years gets to embrace that very world he helped create?

It promises to be an incredibly touching and unflinching look at life throughout American history, undoubtedly still replete with all the usual trappings of superheroic action that you’d come to expect from the adventures of one of the founders of the JSA. I cannot wait to see where this goes, and how badly it’s going to hurt reading it.


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