Paycheck Friday: Take a trip to your local comic book shop

April 24, 2015 | 6:10 p.m.

Welcome to another edition of Paycheck Friday, a roundup of some of Hero Complex’s favorite geek merchandise including books, games and toys.

Young Bobby Drake was outed during a conversation with Jean Grey in this week’s issue of “All New X-Men,” making Drake’s Iceman one of the most high-profile LGBTQ superheroes in Marvel comics. In light of this occasion, this week’s paycheck goes to our local comic book shop to pick up some of our favorite comics featuring queer characters that hit the shelves this month.

The cover for "All New X-Men" No. 40. (Marvel)

The cover for “All New X-Men” No. 40. (Marvel)

It’s only fitting to start with “All New X-Men” No. 40 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Muhmud Asrar. An ongoing series since 2012, “All New X-Men” centers on younger versions of the five original X-Men members who were brought from the past to face their future counterparts.

The issue follows “The Black Vortex” crossover issues, with the focus being on how the core team deals with the repercussions of the story line back on Earth.

There was a moment that got the Internet abuzz this week when pages of the issue were leaked, and it involves a conversation between Jean and Bobby, in which Jean confronts Bobby about his comments on Magik’s “hotness” because of facts she knows about him from reading his mind.

According to Bendis that moment was supposed to fly under the radar and speak for itself, but since that didn’t happen we can only pick up the issue to see how the scene plays out in the full context of the story.

The next title to check out is “Convergence: The Question” No. 1 from writer Greg Rucka and artist Cully Hamner, which reunites the creative team with the character Renee Montoya.

The cover for "Convergence: The Question" No. 1. (DC Comics)

The cover for “Convergence: The Question” No. 1. (DC Comics)

“Convergence” is DC Comics’ current crossover miniseries event that is pitting various characters from across the DC multiverse (from various other event series timelines) against their counterparts.

Renee Montoya is a Gotham City detective whose comic book history includes being outed as a lesbian by Harvey Dent/Two-Face and eventually taking on the mantle of the faceless superhero the Question.

This issue features the pre-“Flashpoint” iterations of the Question, Two-Face and Helena Bertinellie (the Huntress), with Two-Face having to confront another world’s Harvey Dent. Without revealing too much, those familiar with Montoya’s romantic history have at least something to look forward to when picking up the issue.

For a title from outside the Big Two, consider picking up “Help Us! Great Warrior” No. 3 by Madéleine Flores.

Based on Flores’ webcomic, “Help Us! Great Warrior” is a mini-series that follows the adventures of Great Warrior, a hero who is unabashedly interested in snacks and boys, set in a fictional fantasy realm.

Early on in the series you meet Great Warrior’s best friend Leo, a pink-haired trans-woman warrior, to whom Great Warrior attempts to shift her heroic duties. For those who need an extra incentive to pick up a fun all-ages comic, Leo, unlike the heroes mentioned above, doesn’t get outed by someone else.

Finally, while there was no new issue this month, this week’s bonus pick is “The Wicked + The Divine” from creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.

The premise of the series is that every 90 years, 12 gods have two years to live as ultimate pop star celebrities before they die, then repeat the cycle again. The series draws its deities from various faiths with their vessels spanning the spectrum of racial and sexual diversity.

Exploring themes of faith as well as celebrity, the cast of characters include gender-swapped gods, people of color, same-sex lovers and a transgender journalist. Catch up now before the series returns for its 10th issue next month.

– Tracy Brown | @tracycbrown |@LATHeroComplex

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