Padding the pull list: Satellite Sam, Dexter are July’s most intriguing new comics

The biggest plus about reading comics is that there is so much content. If you look around, it won’t be hard to find a title that fits your favorite genre. This does, however, work both ways. Because there is so much content, it’s not easy to know where to start or where to go next. And with new titles seemingly popping up every week, it’s a daunting task for the casual reader to know what may be available. So each month, I’m going to write a piece that gives you a glimpse at my latest additions. It’s the least I can do.

(Matt Fraction, Howard Chaykin)

satellite sam

The most interesting of this month’s new releases comes is Satellite Sam, which comes from Image Comics by way of Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin.

The description, from Image:

SEX – DEATH – LIVE TV! NEW YORK CITY, 1951: The star of beloved daily television serial “Satellite Sam” turns up dead in a flophouse filled with dirty secrets. The police think it was death by natural causes but his son knows there was something more, if only he could sober up long enough to do something about it. This noir mystery shot through with sex and violence exposes the seedy underbelly of the golden age of television.

For starters, Chaykin is a veteran in the industry with the credentials to earn your respect with this title. The art here reflects 1950s New York, beginning with black and white panels and the characters’ old-school attires. The setting and its characters rival that of AMC’s Mad Men with nostalgic imagery, fashion that perfectly fits the era and an environment that grabs you on first view.

Of course, this all complements the story being driven by Fraction. Fraction is currently at the top of his game at Marvel, most notably with his highly-regarded Hawkeye series, which I recommended here last month. We’ve seen plenty of the game’s top writers head to Image (Grant Morrison, Brian K. Vaughan, Ed Brubaker, etc.) to pen their next creator-owned title, and there’s little chance Franction will do anything but follow in their success. Give this a read.

(Jeff Lindsay, Dalibor Talajic)

dexter comic

Yes, that, Dexter. Planned as a six-issue miniseries, Marvel recently published the first issue of Dexter — a comic book adaptation of the character we’ve all come to love on Showtime’s television series (which, of course, is an adaptation of Lindsay’s original novels).

Rather than review this specific first issue, let me just state some reasons as to why this is safe enough to be a pull add for any Dexter fan:

— Jeff Lindsay is the writer. On one side, it might be tempting to see how another writer would approach Dexter, but I think it’s even better that Lindsay, the creator of the character, is on board to see Dexter Morgan through the world of comics. The tone should match what has made the novels such a success.

— The potential art. Dexter is a dark and twisted character with plenty of emphasis on murder and blood. The images we see on Showtime are oftentimes pretty graphic, and the comics medium will open that door even more.

— It’s a miniseries. There’s no real commitment here. Hop on for six issues and see how it plays out.

— The show, now in its last season, will soon leave us with no Dexter. Not everyone has read the original books, so you always have that option, but the comics will provide yet another opportunity to follow your favorite serial killer and fill the void the show will leave behind.

One brief note: The comic is not based on the television series, meaning it fits more with the novels and the Dexter illustration does not resemble Michael C. Hall.