BOOKS OF NOTE

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #21

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS

Writers: DAN SLOTT & CHRISTOS GAGE

Art: GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

Cover by ALEX ROSS

Variant Cover by TBA

32 PGS. • Rated T • $3.99

A CLONE CONSPIRACY TIE-IN!

THE RETURN OF CARRION puts the Scarlet Spider in BIG TROUBLE!

Where has Kaine been since SPIDER-VERSE and what does he have to do with the Jackal’s plan?

Carrion AND Kaine return, possibly from the dead. If they were dead. They've been gone a long time, and I don't remember. But I think it's important to note how "Clone Conspiracy" is re-populating the Spiderverse.

EXPLORE THE ETHER

Dark Horse Announces New Series From Matt Kindt and David Rubín

Can science solve murder by magic?

That’s the question at the heart of Ether, the much anticipated creator-owned series by award-winning writer Matt Kindt (Dept. H) and artist David Rubín (Battling Boy) featuring magic bullets, purple gorilla gatekeepers, faeries, golems, a mystical portal and one science-minded adventurer who firmly disbelieves in the supernatural, despite all the evidence around him.

Boone Dias is an inter-dimensional explorer, a scientist from Earth who has stumbled into great responsibility. He’s got an explanation for everything, so of course the Ether’s magical residents turn to him to solve their toughest crimes. But maybe, just maybe, keeping the real and the abstract separate is too big a job for just one man?

Co-creator Matt Kindt explained the parallels between Boone’s science-mindedness and his own: “Ether came from my love-hate relationship with the supernatural. It’s not a genre I’m particularly attracted to as a creator, and I really wanted to figure out why. So in a lot of ways, the main character in Ether is a surrogate for the part of me that wants to explore the supernatural but also wants everything to be explained — which can literally ruin the magic of a supernatural story.”

Ether delivers spectacle, the supernatural, high adventure and heartbreak beginning Nov. 16, 2016, when the first issue goes on sale.

"The Ether is a magical world you want to believe in and visit. Following scientist/adventurer Boone Dias as he tries to uncover a murder mystery, we’re presented with so many colourful fantastical characters, and different places, and the best part is that the characters and places in the ‘real world’ are just as fascinating as everything in the Ether. Matt Kindt and David Rubín are the perfect pair for this story." -- Fábio Moon, Two Brothers

"Seriously, seriously, let Matt Kindt & David Rubín drive you in a giant snail taxi across the gateways of their magical realm of mystery, imaginative characters designs and awesome storytelling. You have to pick up Ether. Seriously." -- David Aja, Hawkeye

“When you inadvertently become an inter-dimensional adventurer, you have to hope that the science behind your loopy situation is on your side. But what happens when you land in a reality where magic trumps science? Well, in Matt Kindt and David Rubín’s Ether, the answer is simple: You solve some goddamn magic crimes.” -- io9

“Deftly written alt-SF/Fantasy, fun, freaky and fantastic-looking. Ether is a knock-out.” -- Evan Dorkin, Beasts of Burden

"Kindt and Rubin are blowing me away with their smash & grind combination of encyclopedic categorization of wonderful magical beasts with a gritty, and very cool, tale of the lone detective solving a somber mystery. Add to the mix a very pleasing sense of humor, fantastic artwork and colors, and Ether is something truly special." -- Ian McGinty, Adventure Time, Welcome to Showside

"Ether is a book I wish I had written and not just because of Matt Kindt’s bizarre and involving story, but because the amazing David Rubin’s art on this is nothing less than perfect!  A more harmonious marriage of story and art would be difficult to imagine."--John Arcudi, Dead Inside

“In an industry packed with franchise superheroics and licensed properties, Kindt is one of the creators leading the charge with unique concepts and innovative storytelling.” -- COMICS ALLIANCE

"David Rubín creates worlds by snapping his fingers; worlds you should be eager to discover." -- Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly

"Matt Kindt and David Rubín lure us into a magical world, full of strange creatures and mysteries, guided by Boone Dias, a scientist who doesn't believe in magic and who's trying to find a logical explanation for everything he encounters, including solving a murder. At the same time as the readers find themselves marvelled by all the magic and novelties, they feel compelled to follow Boone onto his quest for the truth, suspecting he's not been completely honest as well. There's something more to this story and I can't wait to find out what it is." -- Gabriel Bá, Daytripper

Dark Horse is high enough on this series that they offered to let me email Kindt some questions on it. I have, and when he answers I'll do a column. In the meantime, this genre-blender puts an interesting twist on the scholar-adventurer type.

The Road to HARBINGER WARS II Begins in HARBINGER RENEGADE #1

Valiant Reveals Top-Secret New Title and Villain in Build-Up Toward a Seismic-Level Event for 2018

Publisher: VALIANT COMICSWritten by RAFER ROBERTS

Art by DARICK ROBERTSON, RAUL ALLEN, and JUAN JOSE RYP

Cover A by DARICK ROBERTSON

Cover B by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC

Cover C by DAVE JOHNSON

Cover D by KANO

Valiant x CGC Variant Cover by PERE PEREZ

Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY

Variant Cover by BOB LAYTON

Variant Cover by JIM MAHFOOD

Blank Cover Also Available

$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+

As unveiled at ComicBook.com, Valiant is proud to announce a series of top-secret revelations for the fall’s biggest ongoing new series debut, beginning on Nov. 16 in the newly retitled HARBINGER RENEGADE #1 by multiple Harvey Award nominee Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and superstar artist Darick Robertson (The Boys, Transmetropolitan)!

For the first time anywhere, Valiant can now reveal the true scope and scale behind the series’ classified premise, as well as the rationale for the title’s top-secret name change with the introduction of Valiant's next major adversary: Alexander Solomon, the titular "renegade" that will forever change the fate and ultimate future of Peter Stanchek, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert, and the rest of Valiant’s high-powered teenage superteam in the new year and beyond!

Beginning with the release of the oversized, 40-page first issue on November 16th, HARBINGER RENEGADE #1 will follow Solomon out of his days spent hiding as a long-exiled former disciple of Toyo Harada and into a brilliant but perilous gambit for control of the unique super-powered individuals called “psiots.” As an all-new threat on par with any of Valiant’s greatest villainous minds – from Toyo Harada to Master Darque to Dr. Silk – Solomon’s actions will not only bring him into conflict with the Harbinger Renegades, but also lay the foundation for HARBINGER WARS 2 – Valiant’s biggest, most ambitious and most impactful comic book event to date – in 2018.

“HARBINGER has always been a franchise defined as much by its villains as by its heroes, and HARBINGER RENEGADE is taking that original mission to a terrifying and captivating new place,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “As much as this story belongs to Kris, Pete, Faith, Torque and the rest of HARBINGER’s beloved heroes, it will also be told in equal service to Alexander Solomon – a new counterpoint to the team’s place in the Valiant Universe and an adversary that will utterly redefine their future. What happens in the opening issues of HARBINGER RENEGADE will shape the next two years and beyond of Valiant storytelling as the forces and fractures behind HARBINGER WARS II build toward an epic culmination unlike anything we’ve seen or attempted before.”

At the height of his power, Toyo Harada, CEO of one of the world's largest corporations and the most powerful psiot on the planet, discovered, recruited and activated Alexander Solomon. Gifted with the power of probability analysis, Solomon is able to predict future events with astonishing accuracy. This ability made him incredibly valuable to Harada. Working together over time, the two grew as close as father and son. Eventually, Solomon would rise to become one of Harada's most trusted deputies and a member of his inner council…until Harada discovered that his protege had secretly been exploring an agenda in stark disobedience to his wishes. Betrayed, Harada sent a strike team to neutralize Solomon. That strike team’s failure sent Solomon underground…until now... 

And, soon, Alexander Solomon’s renegade vision for the future of humanity will put him on a one-way collision course with Valiant’s number-one team of super-powered upstarts: the Harbinger Renegades!

For the series’ first four issues, Roberts will be joined by incendiary artist Juan Jose Ryp (BRITANNIA) for a new series of prologues, detailing Solomon’s origin and rapid ascent through the ranks of the Harbinger Foundation as Harada’s surrogate son and heir apparent. The road to HARBINGER WARS 2 continues as the ways and means of Valiant’s next great villain are laid bare!

Plus: Also coming in HARBINGER RENEGADE #1, extraordinary artist Raul Allen (WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR) comes on board for a one-shot primer to the revolutionary world of Harbinger! Exactly what are the extraordinary individuals called “psiots”? How many of them exist among us? What are their incredible powers? And who are the members of the secret psiot team called the Harbinger Renegades?

Set for publication in 2018, further details on the HARBINGER WARS 2 event are currently classified. However, Valiant is offering fans the chance for an advance insight into the conflagration that’s coming with HARBINGER WARS 2 #0 – an exclusive, limited-edition Valiant zero issue that can only be obtained by redeeming mail-away coupons included in HARBINGER RENEGADE #1-4! Featuring a can't-miss prelude to the landmark comic event of 2018 that cannot be obtained anywhere else, readers simply have to clip and ship their detachable coupons to receive this one-of-a-kind, advance chapter torn from the future of the Valiant Universe! Look for full participation guidelines for redeeming your copy of HARBINGER WARS 2 #0 in the pages of HARBINGER RENEGADE #1, on sale November 16th in comic shops everywhere.

“Rafer and Darick are an exceptional team, and they're absolutely crushing HARBINGER RENEGADE,” said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. “It’s smart, it’s subversive, and, it’s exceptional to see Darick Robertson – one of the unique voices in our medium – working on the Harbinger mythology and pushing the boundaries of what Valiant has done to date.  Rafer Robert has drilled right into the core of these characters – who are some of the most recognizable and beloved of the past 30 years, I should add – and this is going to be a helluva ride."

On Nov. 16, be there as Rafer Roberts and Darick Robertson usher in a major new era in Valiant history -- and begin the countdown to HARBINGER WARS 2 – only in HARBINGER RENEGADE #1! Featuring covers by Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan), Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic (Thor), Dave Johnson (Superman: Red Son), Kano (Daredevil), Pere Perez (FAITH), Clayton Henry (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Bob Layton (Iron Man), and Jim Mahfood (Tank Girl), the colossal comics debut of 2016 starts right here with a perilous new vision of the future that awaits Valiant’s number-one superteam!

Whew, that's a lot of words. TL;DR: A disciple of Toyo Harada comes out of hiding and tries to take control of all the world's psiots. He's the Renegade of the title; he is opposed by the former Renegades, who were the stars of the book of the same name. So, nice little flip there.

Well, the surviving ones, anyway. I'm not sure I've forgiven them for killing the hot chick.

What? No, I'm not calling her hot because of her physical attributes -- she was hot because she controlled fire. Minds out of the gutter, you pervs!

SILK #14

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS

Writer: ROBBIE THOMPSON

Art: IRENE STRYCHALSKI

Cover by YASMINE PUTRI

Variant Cover by HELEN CHEN

32 PGS. • Rated T • $3.99

A CLONE CONSPIRACY TIE-IN!

Silk isn’t the first Spider-Woman J. Jonah Jameson has known.

MATTIE FRANKLIN is back from the dead, but Silk isn’t sure it’s a good thing.

Mattie Franklin returns! But I'm with Silk -- that's probably not a good thing.

I remember a depressing story in Alias where she was kept in a drug-addled state, prostituted and her blood drained for Mutant Growth Hormone (MGH) for her pimp to sell. And her turn in Loners wasn't very heroic (she lied throughout, and slept with someone to divert their attention from what she was doing). And she died horribly and uselessly, tortured to death by Lady Kraven (I think that's what Kraven's daughter was called). These are all stories I don't really want to be reminded of.

I also didn't care for her name. Who in the 21st century names their daughter Martha, and then nicknames them the equally anachronistic Mattie? Were Bertha and Clementine already in use?

Anyway, there are probably some Mattie Franklin fans out there, because no matter how bad a character is, there are fans of that character. So here you go.

SUPER WEIRD HEROES (HC)

Publisher: IDW PUBLISHING

FLETCHER HANKS, JERRY SIEGEL AND JOE SHUSTER, JOHN BUSCEMA, BILL EVERETT, GEORGE TUSKA, L.B. COLE, JIM MOONEY, MORT MESKIN, WILL EISNER (W & A) • VARIOUS (C)

HC • FC • $49.99 • 500 pages • 8.5” x 11”

The first superhero book from Yoe Books/IDW! Over 500 pages, this ginormous tome is as thick as a brick and filled with tons of rare, full-color, never-before-reprinted comics! It’s the most bizarro, wacky, wild, astonishing, eye-popping, jaw-dropping, book … EVAH! It’s loaded with beyond-belief “WHAT TH’?!?!” moments! Wait till you tell your friends what you discover in its pages!  Super Weird Heroes will make you laugh, cry and be immensely entertained! You’re going to witness public domain superheroes like The Hand (yes, he’s a giant hand), The Eye (you got it -- he’s a yuuuge eye), The Bouncer (this super-hero-in-a-skirt’s power is bouncing)! And this is just a small fraction of the Super Weird Heroes you’ll experience in this must-have book -- there are over 65 super weird heroes in all!

Super Weird Heroes is edited by Eisner winner Craig Yoe, who Vice Magazine called, “The Indiana Jones of nerd-perv artifacts!”

Craig Yoe said he was going to send me a review copy, but alas, he seems to have forgotten. I will recommend it nonetheless, because everyone here knows there are some really weird heroes in comic book history. Like the Captain Marvel who split into parts by yelling "Split!" Or Madame Fatal, the crossdressing superhero. Or anything by Fletcher Hanks. I'm sure some of these and more will make an appearance.

CIVIL WAR II TIE-INS

SPIDER-MAN #9

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS

Writer: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Art: NICO LEON

Cover by SARA PICHELLI

32 PGS. • Rated T • $3.99

What did the Profiler see about Miles?

Whatever it is, it’s made him the Marvel Universe’s most wanted!

Civil War II: Not dead yet.

REVOLUTION

G.I. JOE: REVOLUTION #1

Writer: AUBREY SITTERSON

Art: GIANNIS MILOGIANNIS

Cover: AARON CONLEY

Subscription Variant: GIANNIS MILOGIANNIS

Blank Sketch Variant

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

G.I. JOE IS BACK! Thanks to the events of REVOLUTION, the G.I. Joe team led by Scarlett returns to the fray, leading the charge against invading TRANSFORMERS and other aliens. But when a US military defense base goes dark, Scarlett has reason to suspect that these enemy forces may have infiltrated G.I. Joe. It’s up to her, Roadblock, Rock ‘n Roll, Quick Kick, Wild Bill, and Shipwreck to move in and root out any traitors before the facility falls into the wrong hands!

• G.I. JOE returns to the fray!

• A key one-shot connected to the world of REVOLUTION!

• Variant cover by Ken Christiansen, part of a 13-part connected cover!

MORE PRESS RELEASES

Bethesda Softworks and Dark Horse to Publish ‘The Art of Dishonored 2’

Newly-Announced Contest Allows Fans Opportunity to Have Their Artwork Featured in the Comprehensive Behind-the-Scenes Companion to the Wildly Anticipated Dishonored 2!

Dark Horse proudly announces The Art of Dishonored® 2, the newest video game art book in its long line of best-selling, award-winning titles in partnership with Bethesda Softworks. Chronicling the development of Dishonored 2 and featuring hundreds of pieces and exclusive, never-before-seen concept art from the game’s distinctive world design, The Art of Dishonored 2 is a must-have item for art fans and gamers alike!

In addition, Dark Horse and Bethesda are excited to announce the #drawDishonored Fan Art Contest where fans of series will have the chance to have their illustrations featured in The Art of Dishonored 2. Starting Tuesday, June 28, fans can submit their art for consideration by using the #drawDishonored hashtag. For rules on how to participate visit: Bethesda.net.

Reprise your role as a supernatural assassin in Dishonored® 2, the highly-anticipated first-person action game from Arkane® Studios, when it is release worldwide on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 for the Xbox One, PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and PC. Dishonored 2 is the next chapter in the series from the creators of the 2012 ‘Game of the Year’, Dishonored®. For more information on Dishonored 2, visit: www.dishonored.com.

Dark Horse to Publish “The Art of Metal Gear Solid V”

Immerse Yourself in the Art of Tactical Espionage!

Dark Horse proudly announces the newest video game art book in its long line of best-selling, award-winning titles with The Art of Metal Gear Solid V!

Witness the concept and design behind the genre-defining science-fiction military action and drama of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain!

Chronicling the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain by Konami Digital Entertainment and featuring hundreds of pieces of never-before-seen art, this beautifully assembled volume is an essential addition to any gamer’s collection. Dark Horse is proud to offer a piece of gaming history with The Art of Metal Gear Solid V!

In addition to the standard release, The Art of Metal Gear Solid V will also receive a limited edition of 400 copies packaged in a tactical slipcase featuring an exclusive fine art print by superstar illustrator Ashley Wood!

Praise for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain:

“This is one of the most ingenious, lovingly crafted games of all time … Metal Gear Solid V is a masterpiece.” -- Games Radar

“The story and characters are captivating, making for an experience that’s unlike any other game I’ve played.” -- GameSpot

“The Phantom Pain closes the loop on the three decade-long Metal Gear saga and the result, warts and all, turns out to be one of the best entries in the series.” -- Polygon

PRE-CODE CLASSICS: STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES VOL 1

Publisher: PS ARTBOOKS

Writers/Art: Various

Limited to just 2,000 copies and split across two editions.

Slipcase Edition: 125 copies in full colour slipcase, 256 Pages, £44.99 / $69.99

Bookshop Edition: 1,875 Copies hardback book, 256 Pages, £36.99 / $59.99

This one says it all: suspense stories that are strange -- and that wasn’t just idle talk, like, say, whacked out westerns or mad mysteries; nossir, the yarns to be had in Fawcett’s and later Charlton’s groundbreaker title set a new standard. And, considering the line-up, it’s no big surprise: the incomparable Steve Ditko, Vince Alascia, Jim Aparo, Pat Boyette, George Evans, Joe Gill, Frank McLaughlin, Bill Molno, Rocke Mastroserio, Sheldon Moldoff, Charles Nicholas, Denny O'Neil, Joe Shuster and Steve Skeates ... hey, let’s face it, eerie fantasy and weird SF had never been so classy.

About Strange Suspense Stories...

This single volume brings together issue #16-22, Jan/Feb 1954 to November 1954.

PRE-CODE CLASSICS: THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED VOL 3

Publisher: PS ARTBOOKS

Writers/Art: Various

Limited to just 2,000 copies and split across two editions.

Slipcase Edition: 125 copies in full colour slipcase, 256 Pages, £44.99 / $69.99

Bookshop Edition: 1,875 Copies hardback book, 256 Pages, £36.99 / $59.99

Another volume of far-out funky fodder from some of the best writers and artists ever to pick up a brush or pound on a typewriter. More stuff in the great tradition of the likes of EC Comics and the PS multiple-volume library of Harvey’s horror line-up, featuring a dizzying bevy of gnarled and twisted tales of post-death revenge and retribution. Don’t miss out!

Features the artwork of Dick Giordano, Sheldon Moldoff, Bob McCarty, Steve Ditko, Bob Powell and Seymour Miskowitz..

About This Magazine Is Haunted Volume Three

This third volume brings together issue #15-21, February 1954 to November 1954, from the Charlton series.

SHE WOLF ROARS INTO TRADE PAPERBACK THIS NOVEMBER

Collects the first four issues

From fan-favorite writer and artist Rich Tommaso (DARK CORRIDOR) comes SHE WOLF VOLUME 1, which collects the first four issues in the surrealist horror series, this November.

SHE WOLF follows a teenage girl who believes she's been bitten by a savage werewolf. Soon after, she begins to experience feverish nightmares that seamlessly bleed into her waking life. Friends and family help her unlock the keys to her strange transformations through their own personal experiences with lycanthropy -- and by the use of witchcraft.

PRAISE FOR SHE WOLF:

“The linework is sharp and eye-catching, and Tommaso’s use of partial watercolor-like washes in the background makes the pages look like they are soaked in light.” -- Comic Book Resources

“SHE WOLF takes the classic werewolf tale and turns it into something more illusionary.” -- Fangoria

“The simple, soft colors and interesting, surreal writing are what make SHE WOLF a great comic.” -- Comics Verse

“SHE WOLF is a fever dream of a werewolf story where the real monster may be the main character's mind.” -- Horror Talk

THANOS #1

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS

Writer: JEFF LEMIRE

Art/Cover: MIKE DEODATO

Variant Covers by RON LIM and JEFF DEKAL

Toy Variant Cover by ALEX KROPINAK

Hip-Hop Variant by MIKE DEL MUNDO

32 PGS. • Parental Advisory • $3.99

The Mad Titan comes to Marvel NOW! this Fall as the biggest bad in the Marvel Universe sets off on a solo journey to take back what is his! Marvel is pleased to announce THANOS #1 – a brand-new ongoing series coming soon from all-star creators Jeff Lemire (Extraordinary X-Men, Moon Knight) and Mike Deodato (Avengers, Invincible Iron Man)!

“As to what makes Thanos so compelling, the easy answer is that he is so powerful and so evil,” say writer Jeff Lemire, speaking with ComicBook.com. “This combination opens things up for a lot of story potential. But the truth is that it’s Thanos’ past that makes him so interesting. What motivates a god-like being like this? What makes him tick and what does he have left to fight for?”

Go inside the mind of the most dangerous foes in the Marvel Universe as he embarks on a quest to rise back to power. In his absence, the Mad Titan’s iron grip on the cosmos has loosened. As he returns to the stars to terrorize the galaxy once more, reborn and reinvigorated – are there any that can stand in his way? Many will try – Thane, Starfox and others. Will they succeed where others have failed so many times?

It’s good to be bad.

RAICHT & SMITH Are Delivering Dreams and Changing Lives in “Tree Mail”

Rudy is hopping his way into your heart and inspiring your dreams this November!

Dark Horse Comics announces Tree Mail, a forthcoming all-ages graphic novel from the New York Times best-selling The Stuff of Legend creators Mike Raicht and Brian Smith.

From the creative team behind Finding Nemo: Losing Dory comes Tree Mail and the world of Rudy.

“This book has been something Brian and I have been wanting to work on together for years,” says Mike Raicht. “If you’ve ever been an underdog, or had an impossible dream that was just too big for the world around you to contain, then Rudy the Tree Frog is the story for you.”

Rudy -- a determined, optimistic frog -- hopes to overcome the odds and land his dream job delivering mail to the other animals on Popomoko Island! Mike Raicht and Brian Smith deliver a full-color, all-ages romp that shows that the hopeful Rudy always hops forward, no matter what obstacle seems to be in the way of his dreams. And there are plenty of speed bumps, challenges, and detours on the way to becoming a full-time member in the island’s Royal Air Delivery Corps!

“I think he can inspire people young, old, and in between to chase their dreams and to truly become who they were meant to be, no matter what they’ve been told they’re ‘supposed’ to be,” says Brian Smith. “I think that is what Rudy and his adventures are all about. Becoming more than those around us, and maybe even we ourselves, believe is possible.”

The acclaimed creative team delivers a full, standalone adventure for all fans!

The Stuff of Legend is currently in development as a major motion picture at Disney Studios!

Praise for Raicht and Smith’s previous work:

“This is some of the loveliest artwork I’ve seen in a comic book in a long, long time, and a darkly beautiful story to boot.” -- Brian K. Vaughan, Saga, Y: The Last Man

“I love it! It’s a real page-turner. Economical, effective storytelling, with story and art complementing each other perfectly and hinting at something darker. Very involving.” -- Frank Quitely, All Star Superman, We3

“The Stuff of Legend is a genuine revelation. Grabs the reader by the heart and never lets go. I absolutely adored it.” -- Gail Simone, Batgirl, Red Sonja, Leaving Megalopolis

“I absolutely could not put this down. Stunning art, a heart-wrenching story, characters I truly root for -- this should be on everyone’s reading list.” -- Mark Waid, Kingdom Come, Daredevil, Irredeemable

“Wonderfully sweet, and at the same time eerie and unsettling. A bedtime adventure by the way of Cronenberg or Lynch. Don’t miss it!” -- John Layman, Chew, Gambit, Cyclops

OTHER BOOKS OF NOTE

ARCHIE #14

Publisher: ARCHIE COMICS

Script: MARK WAID

Art:  JOE EISMA, ANDRE SZYMANOWICZ, JEN VAUGHN, JACK MORELLI

Cover: JOE EISMA

Variant Covers: DEREK CHARM, ALITHA MARTINEZ

32-page • full color comic • $3.99 U.S.

Once, Veronica Lodge was the Princess of Riverdale, flowers strewn at her feet everywhere she walked. Now she's a just regular student at a private school full of Mean Girls who've made her their Betty, led by their Queen Bee, the alluring and diabolical Cheryl Blossom.

This issue and last are technically the origin of Cheryl Blossom, but it seems to me that Waid is doing double duty, using this story to give Veronica an origin of sorts also. By establishing what a "mean girl" Cheryl is, Waid is giving Veronica the motivation to become a more likeable character -- by showing her what she doesn't want to become, and easily could. I expect the story to end with Veronica returning to Riverdale, determined to make amends for treating her friends in a Cheryl-like manner before learning her lesson.

CINEMA PURGATORIO #7

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

Writers: ALAN MOORE, GARTH ENNIS, MAX BROOKS, KIERON GILLEN, CHRISTOS N. GAGE

Art: RAULO CACERES, MICHAEL DIPASCALE, IGNACIO CALERO, GABRIEL ANDRADE

Art/Cover: KEVIN O'NEIL

Mature $6.99

The screen goes dark and you hear the "tick-tick-tick" of the reel flapping as it whips unchecked around the spool.  There's something horrible in that sound.  You still can't believe what you just watched ... but at least it's over.  Who made these movies?  There's something very wrong about them and you should go, just get up and leave.  Maybe after this next feature. ... Now showing: Cinema Purgatorio by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, A More Perfect Union by Max Brooks and Michael DiPascale, Code Pru by Garth Ennis and Raulo Caceres, Modded by Kieron Gillen and Ignacio Calero, and The Vast by Christos Gage and Gabriel Andrade. Each story has its own cover by the series artist and there is also an Ancient Tome Premium edition limited to 1000 copies.

Alan Moore alert! I keep hearing that he's retired from comics, but I keep seeing his name in credits.

COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS #1 (OF 6)

Publisher: IDW PUBLISHING

Writer: FRED VAN LENTE

Art/Cover/Variant: RYAN DUNLAVEY

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

For the first time ever, the inspiring, infuriating, and utterly insane story of comics, graphic novels, and manga is presented in four-color glory! The award-winning Action Philosophers team of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey turn their irreverent-but-accurate eye to the stories of Jack Kirby, R. Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman, Alan Moore, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Fredric Wertham, Roy Lichtenstein, Art Spiegelman, Herge, Osamu Tezuka – and more!

Featuring variant covers with all-new historically inspired comic strips by Van Lente and Dunlavey!

I can't help but think this should have been done by Larry Gonick.

GRAND PASSION #1 (OF 5)

Writer: JAMES ROBINSON

Art: TOM FEISTER

Cover: JOHN CASSADAY

32 pages Mature $3.99

One of the comic industry's finest -- James Robinson (Squadron Supreme, Scarlet Witch, Starman) -- delivers the surprising, funny, violent, and sexy tale of romance that comics have been missing! Doc's a cop. Mabel's a crook. They're two wayward souls, fated to fall in love at first sight ... even as Mabel swears to kill Doc if it's the last thing she does. It's Harlequin Romance meets Hard-Boiled Crime, as only James Robinson could deliver!

Like a lot of people, I was really excited by Robinson's Golden Age and Starman. But toward the end of Starman, I started to lose interest -- the story was too stilted and mannered by then. Or maybe I just tired of the approach. Or maybe I had grown tired of Jack Knight, whose behavior and decisions were looking more and more selfish and immature to me. Either way, I'm not quite as in love with Starman as some of my fellow fans, which causes me some distress. And then when Robinson returned to comics after a long hiatus, it seemed like the spark was gone.

But where there's life, there's hope. Maybe this is the book that returns Robinson to Golden Age form. No one wants that more than me!

RED DOG #1 (OF 6)

Publisher: 451 MEDIA GROUP

Writers: ROB COHEN, ANDI EWINGTON

Art: ROBERT ATKINS

Cover: W. SCOTT FORBES

$3.99

Some say there's no greater love in the universe than the love a boy has for his dog. For Kyle, the only kid living amongst 200 grownups on a distant mining colony light-years away from Earth, that saying is a given. Welcome to Kirawan, a planet that Kyle calls, "the worst place you could ever imagine." Kyle stumbles through his days doing his chores hoping to live up to the steep demands of his father, the head of the planet's mining operation. Still, it's not all bad, there's Q, Kyle's robotic K-9, basically the greatest pet in the known universe. However, during an upload of resources bound for earth, the alien natives of Kirawan launch a full scale attack on the human miners. Welcome to the world of Red Dog, the new groundbreaking adventure series from the screenwriter of Fast and the Furious and XXX.

As some of you know, my dog of 16 years died last Monday. She was truly a member of the family, a canine of great love, loyalty and specific personality, and my wife and I are pretty broken up. I don't think I can read a dog story for a while. Hell, I'm tearing up just writing this.

SLAM #1

Publisher: BOOM! STUDIOS

Writer: PAMELA RIBON

Art/Cover: VERONICA FISH

$3.99

Television Without Pity's Pamela Ribon (Rick and Morty) and artist Veronica Fish (Archie) dive into the fast-paced, hard-hitting world of roller derby!

Jennifer Chu and Maise Huff (aka Knockout and Ithinka Can on the track) have been best friends since their first day of Fresh Meat Orientation for the Eastside Roller Girls, but when they get drafted for two different teams they'll have to figure out if the bond between them is stronger than the pull of a team when a win is on the line.

You get slammed on the track and slammed in life, and in both cases you have to take your hits and get back up again!

Well, if there are wrestling comics, could this be far behind? Not my cup of java, but I'm glad it exists, and I hope it finds an audience.

TESLA AND HYDE SCARY FAILS #1

Publisher: BIG CITY COMICS

Writer: JEFFREY KAUFMAN

Art: FREDERICO ZUMEL

Cover: FRANCHESCO

$3.95

Since childhood, you have been lied to. The stories you were read were just part of a larger conspiracy to protect the reputations of truly evil people. Immortals, Edward Hyde and Nikola Tesla, hunt the worst of these "Scary Fails". What happens in Vegas ... sometimes ends in dismemberment -- or worse?!

Wait, how can Tesla be here teaming up with Mr. Hyde, when he's busy teaming up with H.P. Lovecraft over at Action Lab Entertainment? (The book Herald, if you didn't know.)

Actually, Tesla was such an amazing real-life character that he gets a lot of work in comics. He was Tony Stark before being Tony Stark was cool! Or maybe Reed Richards. Come to think of it, I used to consider the Howard Stark-Nathaniel Richards team-ups in Jonathan HIckman's S.H.I.E.L.D. to be informal Howard Hughes-Nicola Tesla team-ups.

TRUE PATRIOT PRESENTS #1 VOL 1

Publisher: CHAPTERHOUSE COMICS

Writer:  J. TORRES

Art: VARIOUS

Cover: JAY STEPHENS

$3.99

True Patriot, the anthology of Canadian superheroes, returns as an ongoing bi-monthly series! In the premiere issue, Jay Stephens (Jetcat) continues the amazing adventures of Arrowhead. Fred Kennedy (Fourth Planet) and Rob Armstrong (Redhill Billy) give us the origin of Gull Girl. Plus, J. Bone (Rocketeer) and J. Torres (The Mighty Zodiac) tag team a True Patriot team-up featuring Grey Owl and Tundra from the Family Dynamic.

Well, it's clear from this cover that someone grew up tracing Kirby! Actually, it's interesting to see so many Canadian characters -- like a forgotten chapter of the Golden Age.

WES CRAVEN'S COMING OF RAGE VOL 1 (TPB)

Publisher: LIQUID COMICS LLC

Writers: WES CRAVEN, STEVE NILES

Art/Cover: FRANCESCO BIAGINI

$24.95

A Vampire, a Werewolf and a Zombie walk into a bar... A very special young man's coming of age and the two unlikely friends who helped him to survive it build the story of Ritchie, how he lost his innocence and became one of the most powerful vampires in the world. Written by horror legend Wes Craven, director of Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street, his first and only graphic novel is cowritten by Steve Niles, bringing two horror masters together for the first time. Experience the entire collected storyline of their collaboration this Halloween, including never before seen concept artwork and the entire first issue script written by Wes Craven and Steve Niles.

Both Craven and Niles are famous for their horror stories, so this has potential.

YAKUZA DEMON KILLERS #1 (OF 6)

Publisher: IDW PUBLISHING

Writer: AMIT CHAUHAN

Art/Cover: ELI POWELL

Variant: ELI POWELL

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Tokyo harbors a dark secret! When a museum heist goes wrong, a damaged thief named Ochita becomes trapped in the middle of a battle between a horde of demons and the merciless Yakuza. No matter who wins, humanity loses.

• Featuring story and art from the winners of the 2015 TOP COW Talent Hunt!

• Variant cover by Josh Hixon!

Another new #1 from one of the Big Five.

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"Super Weird Heroes" sound interesting, but there's no way I'm dropping fifty bucks for it.

There's a picture on Facebook of our own Mr. Silver Age reading it. Ask him!

SUPER WEIRD HEROES: Definitely my “Pick of the Week.”

CHERYL BLOSSOM: I’ve never been a fan of Archie comics (until recently), but I remember when this “new” character was introduced. I never “accepted” her, never read a single Cheryl Blossom story. But I do accept her in the Waid Archie-verse.

JAMES ROBINSON: I loved Starman, but nothing of Robinson’s I’ve read since has caught my fancy until his Invaders. The momentum carried me over to his Squadron Supreme, but although it started off with a bang, it’s limped along ever since. He keeps teasing us with the ramifications of the first issues, but he never delivers.

BRIDGETTE: I’m so sorry to hear about Bridgette, Cap.

Bridget was with us 16 years, and we have lived in this house for 17. There's a dog-shaped hole in every room in the house -- and in our hearts. Thank you for acknowledging her.

I haven't read many Cheryl Blossom stories, but she always came across to me as an echo of Veronica. I never understood the need for introducing her beyond the thought that Archie had a blonde and a brunette in his life, so why not a redhead? 

The difference is that while Veronica could be thoughtless and out of touch, she was essentially decent. Cheryl was a true bully. She used her wealth, power and status to belittle others who couldn't fight back, because she enjoyed it. She was worse than Reggie, who in the DeCarlo years was part of the gang, albeit snarky by Riverdale standards. All of those things are heightened in the Waid Archieverse.

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