COMICS-RELATED

THE FREAK BROTHERS (Tubi, Nov. 14)

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, the 1960s underground cult comic created by Gilbert Shelton, is being published by Fantagraphics and is being adapted as an animated series for Tubi!

Based on Gilbert Shelton’s acclaimed comics The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and animated by award-winning Starburns Industries (Rick & Morty), the series is set in modern day San Francisco. It features four cannabis-loving, time-travelling “Freaks” from the late 1960s — Freewheelin’ Franklin (Woody Harrelson), Phineas (Pete Davidson), Fat Freddy (John Goodman) and Fat Freddy’s Cat aka “Kitty” (Tiffany Haddish).

Back in 1969 when the Freaks weren’t hanging out at Woodstock, they were dodging the draft, dodging the Narcs and dodging steady employment. But after smoking a magic strain of weed, laid-back Franklin, paranoid Phineas, man-child Freddy, and sardonic Kitty are Rip-Van-Winkled into the future. They wake up 50 years later in their renovated house, which is now owned by the Switzers — a family of ethnically diverse “trippin’ squares.” While the tech-savvy Switzers help guide the Freaks through the rat race of a strange new world, the Freaks — who are unburdened by the baggage of modern life — help the family embrace the values of a simpler time.

The comics collection, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers: The Idiots Abroad and Other Follies, ships Jan. 4.

 

A DOOM PATROL THANKSGIVING (Cartoon Network, Nov. 19)

Gear up for Thanksgiving with Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven, Robin and Starfire as the Teen Titans dish out a full serving of Teen Titans Go! episodes ahead of the holiday. The new half-hour special, “A Doom Patrol Thanksgiving,” premieres Friday, Nov. 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and will be preceded by a week-long feast of Teen Titans Go! character-themed marathons Monday, Nov. 15 through Friday, Nov. 19 (2:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Teen Titans Go! Marathons

Beginning Monday, Nov.15 (2-9 p.m. ET/PT):

  • Monday, Nov. 15: Beast Boy Fan-favorites
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16: Starfire Fan-favorites
  • Wednesday, Nov. 17: Raven Fan-favorites
  • Thursday, Nov. 18: Robin Fan-favorites
  • Friday, Nov. 19: Teen Titans Go! specials

Teen Titans Go! New Special

Premiering Friday, Nov. 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT

“A Doom Patrol Thanksgiving” — Beast Boy returns home for Thanksgiving and the Doom Patrol enter a float in the town’s parade.

 

THE BIG FIVE PUBLISHERS

FANTASTIC FOUR ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE #1

Marvel Comics | $6.99

Story: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby | Art: Aco, Aaron Kuder, Adam Hughes, Albert Monteys, Alessandro Cappuccio, Bryan Hitch, Cafu, Carlos Pacheco, Chris Sprouse, Daniel Warren Johnson, David Lapham, Elsa Charretier, Erica D’urso, Federico Vicentini, Greg Land, Javier Rodríguez, John Cassaday, John Romita Jr., Kate Niemczyk, Kei Zama, Leinil Francis Yu, Leonard Kirk, Lucas Werneck, Luciano Vecchio, Marco Checchetto, Mattia De Iulis, Michael Allred, Mike Del Mundo, Neal Adams, Nic Klein, Olivier Coipel, Paco Medina, Patch Zircher, Pepe Larraz, Ray-Anthony Height, Rod Reis, Ron Frenz, Simone Di Meo, Stefano Caselli, Steve Epting, Tom Reilly, Salvador Larroca, Jorge Fornes, Kim Jacinto, Walt Simonson, Simone Di Meo, Leonardo Ortolani, Sanford Greene, Terry Dodson & Mark Bagley | Covers: Steve McNiven, Jim Cheung

All-star talent celebrate the Fantastic Four’s 60th Anniversary this November with new visions of FANTASTIC FOUR #1 and FANTASIC FOUR ANNUAL #3!

This November, fans will get to experience two of the Fantastic Four’s greatest adventures in a brand new way in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE #1! In the tradition of GIANT-SIZE X-MEN: TRIBUTE TO WEIN & COCKRUM #1 and CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE #1, this giant-sized issue will present classic stories with stunning new artwork by today’s leading artists.

Sixty years ago, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made history and brought about the beginning of the Marvel Age of comics with the release of FANTASTIC FOUR #1. Now a bevy of Marvel’s finest creators will pay tribute to that monumental moment by reinterpreting, page by page, the story from that inaugural release as well as FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3, the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm!

“It’s the 60th Anniversary of the Fantastic Four — and that means it’s a good time to assemble the best and brightest that Marvel has to offer to joust with the King,” Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said. “This issue not only reimagines that initial FANTASTIC FOUR issue from 1961 through the vision of the artists of today, but also the later story from FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 in which Reed and Sue were married and the entire Marvel Universe of the period showed up. There’s really no better way to commemorate this anniversary than by revisiting these classic works anew.”

See this modern take on two of the most pivotal moments in Marvel Comics history when FANTASTIC FOUR ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE #1 hits stands in November! For more information, visit Marvel.com.

CC sez: Wait, it's the 60th anniversary of the Fantastic Four this year? That means the 60th anniversary of Ant-Man, Dr. Doom, Hulk, Loki, Spider-Man and Thor next year! Then Avengers, Dr. Octopus, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Magneto, Wasp and X-Men the year after that! Then Daredevil, Green Goblin, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch ... oh, you get the idea.

 

GENIS-VELL: MARVEL TALES #1

Marvel Comics | Teen | $7.99

Story: Peter David | Art: Chriscross | Cover: Carlos Pacheco

“The Last of the Marvels" features the return of a fan-favorite former Captain Marvel: Genis-Vell! When a mysterious new enemy begins targeting every hero with a connection to the Captain Marvel legacy, the son of the original Captain Marvel will resurface. And fans eager to learn more about the character’s rich history will be able to do so this November with GENIS-VELL: MARVEL TALES #1. This latest Marvel Tales installment will collect the opening issues of writer Peter David and artist Chriscross character-defining 2000s series which saw Genis-Vell rise as a prominent hero in the Marvel Universe.

Meet the son of the greatest warrior the galaxy has ever known! Spawned in a test tube, Genis-Vell now struggles to fill the boots of his late father Mar-Vell — the original Kree Captain Marvel! Genis has inherited Mar-Vell’s greatest gift, cosmic awareness — which might be enough to make him go mad, if he didn’t have Rick Jones along for the ride. But sharing a body, and switching places back and forth from the Negative Zone, might drive them both crazy! Get ready for Peter David and Chriscross’ hilarious saga featuring the Hulk, Wendigo, Moondragon … and Rick’s estranged wife, Marlo!

The Marvel Tales anthology series shines a spotlight on fan-favorite characters, features timeless stories, and highlights some of Marvel’s most impressive talent from the past eight decades. Check out artist Carlos Pacheco’s brand-new cover artwork below and go to the stars and beyond with Genis-Vell when GENIS-VELL: MARVEL TALES arrives in November!

CC sez: Peter David is one of my favorite writers. His Captain Marvel with Genis-Vell was, as you'd expect, genuinely witty. But I can't stand the character, who is little more than an entitled, whiny slacker who didn't earn his position and isn't any good at it. Why would I want to read about guys like that? I see them every day.

 

THE LABYRINTH

Image Comics

Story/Art/Cover: Simon Stålenhag 

Today Image/Skybound unveiled a new exclusive look inside the highly-anticipated narrative art hardcover The Labyrinth from visionary illustrator and author Simon Stålenhag (The Electric State, Tales from the Loop). The tense, dark tale of ruin and vengeance is set against a haunting sci-fi apocalypse filled with the remnants of an otherworldly phenomenon, in a visual story that only Stålenhag could tell. 

“There is no graphic fiction storyteller in the world like Simon Stålenhag, who’s crafted one of the most haunting and prescient stories of the year in The Labyrinth,” said Sean Mackiewicz, SVP, Editor-in-Chief, Skybound Entertainment. “After a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign last year, The Labyrinth has become a worldwide sensation and we’re now glad to bring a new edition to fans looking for the perfect new hardcover for themselves or as a holiday gift.”

An eight-wheeled vehicle trundles across a barren landscape of ash and ruined buildings toward a lone bunker deep in the wilderness. Inside the vehicle are three passengers: two scientists—who plan to use the outpost as a home base for the study of world-ending phenomena — and a boy named Charlie.

As the work unfolds, the isolation and claustrophobia of the compound threatens each member of the expedition with madness. Forced to confront their own dark history and the struggles of the haves and have-nots, the members of the expedition find themselves hurtling toward ruin.

CC sez: I hope anti-depressants are included.

 

THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE HC

DC Comics | $29.99

Story: John Ridley | Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrea Cucchi | Cover: Jamal Campbell

The long-awaited miniseries written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, Let It Fall) and beautifully illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi is now available in one volume! The Other History of the DC Universe takes a look at the mythology of the DC Universe as seen through the prism of several generations’ worth of DC superheroes who come from historically disenfranchised groups. Extensively researched and masterfully executed, The Other History of the DC Universe promises to be an experience unlike any other. You may think you know the history of the DC Universe ... but the truth is far more complex. The Other History of the DC Universe isn't about saving the world — it's about having the strength to simply be who you are. Collects The Other History of the DC Universe #1-5.

CC sez: As regular readers know, I've been looking forward to this.

 

ROBINS #1 (OF 6)

DC Comics | 32 pages | $3.99/$4.99

Story: Tim Seeley | Art/Cover: Baldemar Rivas | Variant: Babs Tarr

The five heroes to have donned the Robin cape and mask find themselves at a crossroads in their lives. Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne come together to discuss the big thing that binds them together: Was being Robin, and Batman’s sidekick, the best choice they could’ve made? But before they can get to the heart of the matter, they’re ambushed by an unknown assailant with a bone to pick with them. She claims to have been the first Robin, and she’s out to prove Batman should’ve never trained any of them. Winner of DC’s Round Robin tournament, as chosen by you, the readers!

And not to spoil any fun surprises … but fans will want to head into their local comic book shop to pick up the variant cover by Babs Tarr, and keep an eye out for all the variants. The Robins have really been working hard, and DC has plans to showcase them.

CC sez: In case you haven't seen them, the "fun surprises" referenced in the last paragraph are beefcake pin-ups of the various Robins. If you've ever said, "Why don't they objectify men in comics like they do women?"... then here ya go. (One example is posted below.)

 

SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #5

DC Comics | $3.99

Story: Tom Taylor | Art/Cover: John Timms | Colors: Gabe Eltaeb | Letters: Dave Sharpe | Variants: Travis Moore, Tamra Bonvillain, Inhyuk Lee

On November 9th the life of Jon Kent, the Superman of Earth and son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, takes a bold new direction.

"I've always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I’m very grateful DC and Warner Bros. share this idea,” said writer Tom Taylor. “Superman's symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics."

Just like his father before him, Jon Kent has fallen for a reporter. After initially striking up a friendship with reporter Jay Nakamura, he and Jon become romantically involved in the pages of SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #5 from writer Tom Taylor (DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL) and artist John Timms (HARLEY QUINN). Following a scene where Superman mentally and physically burns out from trying to save everyone that he can, Jay is there to care for the Man of Steel.

“I'm incredibly honored to be working beside Tom on the SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL series showing Jon Kent tackling his complex modern life, while also saving the world from its greatest threats, villains and menaces,” said artist John Timms.

“We couldn’t be prouder to tell this important story from Tom Taylor and John Timms,” said DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee. “We talk a lot about the power of the DC Multiverse in our storytelling and this is another incredible example. We can have Jon Kent exploring his identity in the comics as well as Jon Kent learning the secrets of his family on TV on Superman & Lois. They coexist in their own worlds and times, and our fans get to enjoy both simultaneously.”

Faster than fate. As powerful as hope. Able to lift us all. For all his great power, Jon Kent can’t save everyone, but that won’t stop him from trying. How much can Earth’s new Superman do before this Man of Steel buckles? And when he does, who swoops in to save Superman?

CC sez: If you somehow missed the news, this is the issue where Jon Kent makes it official that he has a boyfriend, Jay Nakamura. As for the Tim Drake Robin, his turn is next week.

 

 WONDER WOMAN: EVOLUTION #1 (OF 3)

DC Comics | $3.99

Story: Stephanie Phillips | Art/Cover: Mike Hawthorne

Whisked away from Earth by a distant cosmic entity, Wonder Woman is forced to navigate a series of perilous challenges that push her to the brink both mentally and physically. At stake is the fate of all humanity, with the alien entities casting Diana as Earth’s proxy for a trial judging humankind’s worthiness to exist in the universe. Can Diana stand trial to save humanity without losing her own? Harley Quinn’s Stephanie Phillips teams with acclaimed artist Mike Hawthorne (Daredevil, Deadpool) for his first major DC project, an epic Wonder Woman tale unlike any other!

CC sez: Despite the avalanche of press releases about Wonder Woman's 80th anniversary, I somehow never read word one about this book. But it sounds like that horrible "12 Trials of Wonder Woman" storyline from a few decades back, only done right. And if humanity's worthiness is going to be judged, I can't think of a better representative than Diana.

 

CROSSOVERS/EVENTS

CHRISTMAS

VAMPIRELLA 2021 HOLIDAY SPECIAL

Dynamite | 40 pages | Teen+ | $4.99

Story/Art: Will Robson | Covers: Joseph Michael Linsner, Will Robson, Cosplay

WRECK THE HALLS! Vampirella is hunted (haunted?) by THE SPIRITS OF CHRISTMAS, hunters whose holiday tradition is to hunt a mythical creature every Christmas Eve! Is Vampirella prepared for an evening against the battle-ready manifestations of The Past, The Present and The Future!? By writer/artist WILL ROBSON (Fantastic Four)!

CC sez: I feel sorry for Vampirella cosplayers. That outfit can't work anywhere there's actual gravity. Seems to work just fine in comics, though!

 

DARKHOLD

DARKHOLD: WASP #1

Marvel Comics | Teen+ | $3.99

Story: Jordie Bellaire | Art: Claire Roe | Cover: Paul Renaud

Renowned colorist and writer Jordie Bellaire makes her Marvel Comics writing debut alongside rising star artist Claire Roe for a story that will make you shrink in fear in DARKHOLD: WASP! Scarlet Witch chose Janet Van Dyne for her ingenuity and strength, will she prove to be the lynchpin in the coming battle against Chthon or will she be consumed by darkness? After reading the Darkhold, Wasp’s entire life is subject to question but she has the power to reclaim her story … and fight back.

CC sez: The Wasp was created as a superficial sidekick, a flighty distraction with no real power in the days when most women in Marvel Comics were relegated to support roles and/or pose-and-point powers. But while characters like Jean Grey and Invisible Woman have grown with the times (and into the most powerful characters on their respective teams), I've never been able to take Janet Van Dyne seriously. Maybe this will do it for me.

 

STORMBREAKER VARIANT COVERS: COUPLES

Love is in the air as the industry’s leading artists take on Reed and Sue, Scott and Jean, Peter and MJ and more!

Marvel’s Stormbreakers, the next generation of elite artists, continue to take the comic book world by storm by shattering the limits of visual storytelling with their incredible talents! In addition to their exemplary work on Marvel’s hottest ongoing titles, this amazing group of artists come together each month to deliver outstanding, must-have collections of variant covers. And November’s STORMBREAKERS VARIANT COVER series will shine the spotlight on some of Marvel’s greatest couples.

Fans know that a super hero’s romances are just as riveting and integral to their mythos as their most epic battles, and Marvel’s Stormbreakers have stunningly captured some of Marvel’s greatest love stories including:

  • Spider-Man and Mary Jane
  • Cyclops and Jean Grey
  • Daredevil and Elektra
  • Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman
  • Mystique and Destiny
  • Storm and Black Panther
  • Vision and Scarlet Witch
  • Captain America and Sharon Carter

Stormbreaker variants will be found on Amazing Spider-Man #80, Avengers #50, Black Panther Legends #2, Captain America/Iron Man #1, Daredevil #36, Fantastic Four #38, Inferno #3 and X-Men #5

CC sez: Isn't this better suited for February?

 

FEAR STATE

BATMAN #117DC Comics | $4.99

Story: James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad | Art: Jorge Jimenez, Jorge Corona | Cover: Jorge Jimenez

As the full scope of the Scarecrow’s plans is revealed, a bloodied Dark Knight fights for his life, and all the lives in Gotham City, against an unrelenting, unstoppable opponent. The shocking conclusion to "Fear State" is here. … Will Batman ever be the same?

Backup story: After what happened in the Magistrate’s Skybase-01, nowhere is safe, and the Batgirls hide out in a hotel room until Babs arrives offering a plan for their future. Seer, the "Anti-Oracle," is revealed here! And who they are will make you question everything you see moving forward in Gotham …

CC sez: After the depressing slog that was "Future State," I wanted nothing to do with "Fear State," so I'm glad it's ending (and not becoming the status quo). Dunno what's next, but it has to be less downbeat. Right?

 

BATMAN SECRET FILES: THE GARDENER #1 ONE-SHOT

DC Comics| $4.99

Story: James Tynion IV | Art/Cover: Christian Ward

She is shrouded in mystery, her motives a secret, and one cannot help but ask: Who is Bella Garten, a.k.a. the Gardener, really? Green-thumbed storytellers James Tynion IV and Christian Ward dig deep into her past and unearth the secret origin of the latest addition to Batman’s rogues gallery. Learn not only how Bella Garten came to know Pamela Isley, but how she was integral to the origin of the woman who would one day be known to all as Poison Ivy.

CC sez: With the caveat that I haven't read anything about The Gardener, the description above makes her sound like she's filling the role Jason Woodrue played in some versions of Poison Ivy's origin.

I will note that her name, Bella Garten, is a mish-mash of European languages (Italian/German) that translates to "Pretty Garden."

 

NIGHTWING #86

DC Comics | $3.99

Story: Tom Taylor | Art: Robbi Rodriguez | Cover: Bruno Redondo

Nightwing and Babs have fought through the fear-stricken Gotham streets, but now their fight takes them to the skies above Gotham, with the Batgirls and Tim Drake (Robin) in tow! Now aboard the Magistrate’s Skybase-01, they have made it their mission to bring the airborne leviathan down, prevent Seer’s disinformation from being broadcast, and save the innocents aboard. But in this paranoia-stricken city, not everyone is who they seem…

 

SMALLER PUBLISHERS

ATHENA ONE-SHOT

Second Sight | $3.99

Story: Larry Jarrell | Art: Larry Jarrell | Cover: Rod Espinosa

CC sez: This Athena is black, and a 3,000-year-old vampire, so it's probably not the Greek goddess of the same name. But the two Athenas would have been contemporaries, so who knows? Thought the concept was interesting enough to mention.

 

BECSTAR #1

Mad Cave Studios | $3.99

Story: Joe Corallo | Art: Lorenzo Colangeli | Cover: Sweeney Boo

Becstar is a star hopping mercenary-gone-full time-gambler light years away from Earth. Leaving her old life behind with the help of her magical luck dagger and her fan-turned-regret filled-friend Sally Soolin, Becstar ekes out a living under the nefarious Shadow Syndicate's radar. But when a mysterious girl appears with grim news and an urgent quest where the fate of the universe hangs in the balance, Becstar has no choice but to join ... and regret it immediately.

CC sez: I'm not a fan of this sort of manga-ish, 2-D, no-rendering, let-the-colorist-do-the-heavy-lifting style of art. But you might be. And there's a nice preview available.

 

BLOODY HEL HC

A Wave Blue World | 120 pages | Adult | $24.99

Story: Clayton McCormack | Art: Clayton McCormack, Russ Badgett

Drafted into a war he has no desire to fight, infantryman Private Andersen’s only goal is to make it out of World War I alive — a task made much more difficult when he’s ordered to cross enemy lines on an explosive secret mission. His unit never makes it to their destination. Instead, they unwittingly free a group of ancient Viking Gods, imprisoned for centuries by Loki’s children, Fenrir and Hel.

Mad as hell and tearing for a fight, the Gods, led by brave Henrik, decide to conquer Earth and bring about Ragnarok. With a deadly skill for knotty subterfuge inherited from their legendary father, Loki’s children have a few tricks left to play, and the fate of the world may rest on reluctant Andersen, thrust into yet another war with consequences on a mythic scale.

Full of mystical battles, historical detail and the power of human frailty, ingenuity and heroism, BLOODY HEL gives new meaning to “the war to end all wars” with a shattering apocalyptic throwdown in the trenches, millennia in the making!

PRAISE FOR BLOODY HEL AND CLAYTON MCCORMACK

Bloody Hel is bloody good graphic entertainment.” — Foreword Reviews

“[McCormack] wants to unleash powerful Norse gods onto the already horrific landscape of World War One, for a story that will be unlike anything readers have ever seen before.” — Comic Booked

“McCormack’s art suits the story well, walking the line between humorous and dark.” — Publishers Weekly (Redline)

“Clayton takes the medium to new levels.” — ComicsVerse (Dead Meat)

“Guaranteed to keep the smiles coming throughout, even though the overarching story is actually a fairly serious military drama.” — Big Comic Page (Redline)

CC sez: I generally like all things Viking related, so my opinion isn't unbiased. Check out the preview and trailer below to see if you're interested, too.

 

BOOTY ROYALE: NEVER GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT OMNIBUS VOL 2 GN

Ghost Ship | $24.99

Story/Art: Rui Takato

CC sez: Yes, this is a naughty book, so that title is a naughty pun. (A female karate expert must fight and beat male opponents or pay "the ultimate erotic price.") It made me wonder if the pun works in Japanese, or if the title is different there, utilizing native wordplay. So I consulted the Seven Seas website (Ghost Ship is a Seven Seas imprint), and what do you know? They had the original title: Hagure Idol Jigokuhen. Wunderbar! Or rather, su go i zo! So I tried several online translation tools and the best I got was ... "Strays Well l Hell Weird." Blergh. Investigating further, I found that this is an "adaptation" from — I assume that means translated — "The Smut Whisperer." Talk about lost in translation.

Other notable manga this week (i.e., first issues): Cat in a Hot Girls' Dorm Vol 1, The Girl I Saved on the Train Turned Out to Be My Childhood Friend Vol 1, The Hero Life of a Self-Proclaimed Mediocre Demon! Vol 1, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon II Vol 1, Reign of the Seven Spellblades Vol 1, Robo Sapiens: Tales of Tomorrow Omnibus, The Savior's Book Café in Another World Vol. 1, Sayonara Game GN

 

BRIAN BLOMERTH’S MYCELIUM WASSONII

Anthology Editions | $32.00

Story/Art: Brian Blomerth

CC sez: The artist "first fused his singularly irreverent underground comics style" to the history of LSD. Now he's doing hallucinogenic mushrooms. I detect a trend.

 

COMMANDER RAO #1 ONE-SHOT

Scout Comics | $4.99

Story: Fell Hound & Jeremy Simser | Art: Fell Hound & Jeremy Simser | Cover: Fell Hound

On the final dawn of an exhausted war, a rogue commander sets out on a warpath to confront a tyrannical baron. A year later, stories are sung of her heroism, but the mystery of her motives remains.

CC sez: As I say above, I'm not a fan of this style of art, but many are. Also, Scout is fast becoming a player, with multiple books every week.  HERE'S a lot more information, some character studies, a preview, e... if you're interested. Just keep scrolling down.

 

DOCTOR WHO: EMPIRE OF THE WOLF #1

Titan Comics | 32 pages | $3.99

Story: Jody Houser | Art: Roberta Ingranata | Covers: David Buisán, Abigail Harding, Christopher Jones

CELEBRATING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EIGHTH DOCTOR'S DEBUT!

Trapped in a parallel universe, Rose Tyler believed her adventures with the Doctor were over. Now, pulled by a mysterious energy into this reality, she must work with the Doctors (Matt Smith and Paul McGann) to end the tyrannical rule of the warmongering BAD WOLF EMPRESS!

CC sez: Strangely, I find the "A" cover is the least compelling.

 

DONALD DUCK AND UNCLE SCROOGE: WORLD OF THE DRAGONLORDS

Fantagraphics | $29.99

Story: Byron Erickson | Art: Giorgio Cavazzano

"Help us, Huey, Louie and Dewey! You're Morgworld's only hope!" A feature-length fantasy epic pits Donald, Scrooge and the gang against a deadly troll kingdom!

Donald, Uncle Scrooge, and their nephews are locked in a Duckburg family feud when an interdimensional doorway appears … and takes them to Morgworld, a medieval realm where trolls rule, humans are serfs, and dragons beasts of burden! Can our squabbling Ducks bring justice to this land of swords and sorcery?

Giorgio Cavazzano (Donald Duck: The Forgetful Hero), among Italy's most celebrated comics artists, brings his outrageous energy, emotive characters, and wild "techno" style to a feature-length 21st-century Disney fantasy tale, filled with fire-breathing frenzy by beloved writer/editor Byron Erickson ("A Mickey Mystery")!

Fly on dragonback to the fortress city of Toom! Meet way-out wizard Hintermann, bold warrior Brendon, boy prisoner Jute, and three blazing dragons … Smoky, Sniffles and Spitfire! It's up to Donald, Scrooge, and the boys to rescue these ragtag rebels — don your armor and get ready!

CC sez: Fantagraphics has been sending out more press information lately, including their heretofore unheralded Disney books. And this week is a bonanza.

As to this specific book, I rather like the artwork. Modern, but you can still see the Barks DNA.

CLICK HERE for more.

 

DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA HC

Clover Press | $45.00

Story/Art: Ricardo Delgado

CC sez: Here's another adaptation of the Stoker novel. But Clover got quotes from John Landis, Mike Mignola and Genndy Tartakovsky, so it might be worth a look.

 

DUNGEON: ZENITH VOL 4: OUTSIDE THE RAMPARTS

NBM | 96 pages | $14.99

Story: Joann Sfar | Art: Lewis Trondheim, Boulet

The epic saga spoof of Dungeons & Dragons and an inspiration to the likes of Adventure Time, is back with two new stories in the height of Dungeon’s power!


In the first chapter: to reclaim the Dungeon that fell to the scheming William Delacourt, the plan is simple: Marvin, Isis and Herbert must find some magic fugus purit and use it to dislodge the current occupants of the fortress. But is this really the Guardian's plan? Our heroes will have to fight against everyone to save the Dungeon. Meanwhile, will Marvin succeed in his engagement blast-of-fire-breath Tong Deum?


In the second: according to the draconian tradition, Herbert is officially mandated by Marvin to go see his mother and announce his engagement to Pirzuine. Upon arrival, he discovers her murder. To avoid a bloodbath, will the valiant duck succeed in finding the culprit before Marvin arrives, without alienating the sensitive dragons who inhabit the village?


CC sez: I'm not a fan of this series (or Trondheim's art in general), but NBM sent it, so here ya go.

 

FORSAKEN #1 (OF 6)

Second Sight | $3.99

Story: Sebastian Suarez | Art: Francisco Paronzini | Cover: Max Fiumara

London, 1883. For Vida Gedmintas and the Order of the Golden Lance, what begins as another magically fuelled murder investigation soon turns into a race against time to prevent a dark wizard from summoning Abaddon, the Angel of Death, to our realm

CC sez: What th--? Seriously, this is just enough information that I want to know more. Seems vaguely Jack the Ripper related (another thing I like). Cover art is evocative.

 

GODKILLER SPIDERLAND #1

Black Mask | $3.99

Story: Matteo Pizzolo | Art: Anna Muckracker | Cover: Nen Chang

Halfpipe and Soledad gaze into The Abyss. Things get intense. Don't say we didn't warn you.

CC sez: What th--? And this time, the information is so scanty that it's annoying. It doesn't help that the title sounds like they pulled four words out of the dictionary at random and shoved them together. I literally have no idea what this is about. (Nice cover, tho.)

 

HARD PROMISES #1

Action Lab | $3.99

Story: Michael Serrano | Art/Cover: Cassidy Morgan

Miles' and Red's relationship stopped abruptly during their senior year of high school. Red left without saying goodbye to anyone, breaking Miles' heart. Years after her disappearance, Miles can't seem to get his life together and is constantly retelling his story of heartbreak to anyone who will listen when suddenly, guess who's back in town claiming to be from the future?

CC sez: What th--? A star-crossed heterosexual romance? Don't they know this is 2021? Maybe one of them will turn out to be trans or something. Seriously, how 2019.

 

HORN ISLAND TRILOGY ONE-SHOT

Second Sight | $4.99

Story: Marcus Roberts | Art: Daniel Gorman | Cover: Stefano Cardoselli

CC sez: A trilogy of stories about the advent of the zombie apocalypse, which in this case, turns out to begin in Mississippi. Evidently Second Sight — about which I know next to nothing, and whose website is unhelpful, but I'm guessing is located in Mississippi — has been doing zombie comics for a while now. There's a collection of same out this week, titled Freakshow Kingdom ($4.99).

It's a big week for Second Sight, according to Fresh Comics (and double-checked against Diamond). I'll save myself some work and just list the other first issues that I don't know much about: Iron Head, Orision, Silence and These Damn Kids!

 

THE LAST STAND OF THE TIN CAN SAILORS: THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD WAR II STORY OF THE U.S. NAVY'S FINEST HOUR

Dead Reckoning | $29.95

Story: James D. Hornfischer, Doug Murray | Art: Steven Sanders

Adapted from the naval history classic and New York Times bestseller, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors pieces together the action of the Battle off Samar, bringing to life a riveting story of heroism against daunting odds, duty, and sacrifice in a way never seen before.

James D. Hornfischer’s gripping account of the battle, based on declassified documents as well as extensive interviews with veterans, is acclaimed as one of the most compelling works of naval history ever published. Hornfischer’s awards include the 2018 Samuel Eliot Morison Award, given by the Board of Trustees of the USS Constitution Museum.

Doug Murray is a comic book writer and novelist. He served as a non-commissioned officer in the Army in Vietnam and was the main writer on the popular comic book series The 'Nam, published by Marvel Comics.

Steven Sanders is an illustrator. His work has appeared in the distinguished SPECTRUM anthology and has drawn a number of comics for Marvel and Image Comics.

CC sez: I've asked for a review copy of this, but it hasn't arrived yet. I'm eager to see it, as it zooms in on the key part of the famous Battle of Leyte Gulf. (I like everything World War II related, too.)

 

LOVE ME PLEASE: THE STORY OF JANIS JOPLIN

NBM | 160 pages | $24.99

Story: Nicolas Finet | Art: Christopher | Foreword: Gilbert Shelton

Love Me Please is a biography in comics of the amazing rock singer Janis Joplin, which recalls, respecting the chronology, the highlights of her journey from childhood, after the Second World War, to her abrupt death in late 1970.

It is one of the most fabulous musical adventures in America of the second half of the twentieth century. Yet it lasted only five years.

How did a very young messed up woman, a drug addict filled with doubt, become in a few years a planetary icon of rock music? She went from the shadows to the blinding light of fame in only four records (the last one issued a month and a half after her tragic death). Thanks to a worldwide movement of emancipation which would consecrate for a long time the ideals and modes of alternative lifestyles from counterculture to the flower power generation, Janis, the ugly duckling, gave free rein to her impulses. Fed by the thirst for freedom of the Beat Generation and the desire for emancipation expressed by American youth in the early 1960s, Janis Joplin left for San Francisco, the epicenter of cultural innovation. She will live there a freedom of which she would hardly have dared to dream, abandoning herself to all impulses, overcoming without hesitation all the taboos of the time: bisexuality, alcohol, drugs, doing so not only with delight, but with the taste for excess which came naturally from her spontaneous character.

A lively, fascinating story of a woman ahead of her time.

Reviews

"Solid art and thorough research. Christopher's art glows when the Summer of Love hits full bloom." — Publishers Weekly

"This forthright, no-nonsense yet extremely imaginative interpretation of the too-short flowering of "the Rose" offers insight but no judgement into a quintessentially complex, contradictory and uncompromised life ..." — Win Wiacek-Now Read This

"With many song lyrics from the songs Janis sang and the artists she loved, Love me please rightly puts Joplin on a [pedestal]. Nicolas Finet has harmoniously brought together the happy and the sensitive sides of Janis, guaranteeing Janis' spirit and music live on." — XSNoise.com

"A perfect graphic introduction to the short, shining life of an unforgettable vocalist." — Foreword

CC sez: Joplin's biography is a short story, and not a happy one. Spoiler: Joplin, like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, died at age 27.

CLICK HERE for preview

 

MAN IN FURS

Fantagraphics

By Catherine Sauvat and Anne Simon

A graphic biography of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the author whose name came to define the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from one's own pain or humiliation.

In 1870, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch published Venus in Furs, an erotic novel revealing the author's desire to be dominated by a woman. (And paid homage in the classic Velvet Underground song of the same name.) After the novel's success, a woman turns up at his doorstep and offers to take on the role in Sacher-Masoch's real life. He completely submits to her, and they get married. Years later, Leopold has remarried and lives a quiet life, far removed from the sexual escapades of his first marriage. Then he learns that his surname, to his detriment, has come to describe a new sexual perversion: masochism. Man In Furs is his story.

This compelling graphic biography is a collaboration between the biographer Catherine Sauvat and the celebrated cartoonist Anne Simon. Simon's gentle cartooning perfectly complements Sauvat's empathetic script.

CC sez: Funny, I've known since middle school that the word "sadism" was based on a man's name, and I knew who that man was, but I never wondered about "masochism." Turns out that's a word based on a guy's name, too, and here's the story.

CLICK HERE for preview. 

PEANUTS EVERY SUNDAY 1991-1995

Fantagraphics | $49.99

Story/Art: Charles M. Schulz

The penultimate half-decade of oversized Peanuts Sunday newspaper strips in vintage color, as they've never been collected!

Peanuts has almost always been collected and reprinted in black and white. But many who read the popular comic strip during its original newspaper run remain fond of the striking, pastel-heavy coloring of its Sunday pages, which made for a surprisingly different and fulfilling reading experience. As Peanuts enters the '90s, all the classic characters — Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally, Pig-Pen, Peppermint Patty, and Marcie — are all present, as is the brightest star of the strip, Snoopy. This volume highlights the wacky friendship between Snoopy and Woodstock, Charlie Brown's supreme ineptitude on the ball field, and the amusing hijinks of Snoopy's desert-roaming brother, Spike. Collected in this gorgeous, oversized coffee table book, the strips in Peanuts Every Sunday 1991–1995 have been scrupulously restored and re-colored to look better than they ever have — allowing fans and new readers to immerse themselves in Charles M. Schulz's timeless masterpiece.

CC sez: Good grief, Charlie Brown, another Fantagraphics collection! Are they emptying the larder ahead of the holidays? I do have the entire "Peanuts" run in hardback already, so I don't need this. But my heart pines anyway, since it's in color and larger than the existing collections.

CLICK HERE for more.

 

POPEYE VOLUME 1: OLIVE OYL AND HER SWEETY

Fantagraphics

By E.C. Segar

Well, blow me down! This new four-volume series collects the complete run of the original Popeye Sunday newspaper page adventures in an accessible and affordable slipcased paperback format!

An irresistible alchemy of screwball comedy, tender romance, and rags-to-riches fantasy, Elsie Crisler Segar's newspaper comic strip captivated readers of the Roaring Twenties and beyond. And Popeye, the sailor man, was the unlikely star of the show. Fantagraphics is thrilled to bring Segar's whimsical world back into print, reviving the origins of the beloved spinach-eating American icon for a whole new readership. The E.C. Segar Popeye Sundays series collects the complete Popeye Sunday stories in four gorgeous full-color volumes, each packaged in a deluxe die-cut vertical slipcase.

Volume one (1931-1932) highlights Popeye's riotous romance with his sweet patootie, Olive Oyl. As apt to hold hands as butt heads, they are ultimately meant for each other, and their enduring connection forms the warm heart of the comic. Outside the love nest, Popeye seeks fame and fortune as a prizefighter. Ever the under-dog, he must contend with a series of increasingly fearsome opponents, from the formidable Johnny Brawn to a literal gorilla!

Featuring tongue-twisting gags, sensational slugfests, and an endearing ensemble of characters, this revival of classic Popeye adventures really packs a punch and will captivate stalwart fans and new readers alike. Introduced with comic tributes by acclaimed cartoonists Sergio Ponchione and Cathy Malkasian.

CC sez: Yep, Fantagraphics again. Once again I'm tempted, but will hold off, since it's softcover. My collections of Popeye dailies, also from Fantagraphics, are in softcover, and not holding up well. Neither did the softcover Prince Valiants, which I've given away. I won't be taking a chance on any Fantagraphics softcovers any time soon. (Speaking of Prince Valiant, I'm getting the HCs, and they are fine.)

CLICK HERE for preview.

 

RADIO APOCALYPSE #1

Vault Comics | $3.99

Story: Ram V | Art: Anand RK | Letters: Aditya Bidikar | Covers: Martin Simmonds, Nathan Gooden & Tim Daniel 

"The soundtrack to the end of world."

Long after the rock out of space struck the world and turned it all to dust, in Bakerstown stands the last Radio Station on the planet. Radio Apocalypse broadcasting into the unknown, a beacon in the dark for those who wander the lost places. Now change is coming to Bakerstown. Among the refugees flocking into an already precarious settlement, an orphan boy Rion, caught in an indiscretion, will twine his fate with the Radio Station. And in doing so, begin this mixtape of love and heartbreak and interminable hope. This soundtrack to the end of the world.

"Back in 2017 when Anand and I first started collaborating on comics we discussed Radio Apocalypse," said Ram V, "but as circumstances would have it, we ended up working on other projects. We’ve both gone on to do well received work in comics. All that while, Radio Apocalypse grew and mutated and developed in the back of our minds, into what it is today. It is a story of the resilience and joy of music, love and the human spirit even in the bleakest of times and we’ve been raring to tell it for over three years."

"Some of my favorite things to do in art is world-building," added Anand RK, "especially when this world is so similar to ours but just not quite it? To design specifics of this world, how characters inhabit it, how physics and biology of it work, the culture that shapes it. I find this immensely exciting and satisfying. Radio Apocalypse is one such project and I can't wait for Ram and me to tell this story."

CC sez: This looks interesting, despite plowing the familiar turf of an apocalypse. But I'm disappointed that there's no music provided! I've been spoiled by What's the Furthest Place from Here? and Ballad for Sophie.

 

Thud

Scout Comics | $3.99

Stoary/Art/Cover: Bryan “Peabe” Odiamar | Editor: Andrea Lorenzo Molinari

Bo is a creative in his early 30s that lives in Oakcago. Lately, he’s been feeling apathetic and directionless and tired of the repetitive character of his life. In the midst of his confusion, the one constant in his life has been a comic book character that he created and has drawn since he was a kid. Bo gets into an accident — and that's when everything changes. Around about this time, a mysterious character suddenly appears in Oakcago, but is this in the real world or simply all in Bo's head?

"Thud is my love story to comics, hip hop, food, humor, and my own personal experience. This book has come from inside me, but was inspired by my family, and I'm really excited to share it with everyone. I’m super stoked that Scout Comics took a shot on me for my first story." — Peabe

CC sez: For some reason, the cover art puts me in mind of old "alternative" books like Black Hole and Raw. Not my thing, but it might be yours. Also, the variant cover homage to Dark Knight Returns #2 is worth mention.

 

TITAN THE ULTRA MAN #1

Advent Comics | $3.99

Story: Tony Kittrell | Art: Austin Brooks | Bart Sears, Randy Elliott

CC sez: This looks too much like the Bill Foster/Tom Foster Goliath, circa 1990. Not just that the outfit is pretty much the same, but this type of superhero is too 1990. Or 1980. Or 1970. Superhero comics have grown up a bit since then.

 

TUNNELS HC

Drawn & Quarterly

Story/Art: Rutu Modan

When a great antiquities collector is forced to donate his entire collection to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Nili Broshi sees her last chance to finish an archeological expedition begun decades earlier - a dig that could possibly yield the most important religious artifact in the Middle East. Motivated by the desire to reinstate her father's legacy as a great archeologist after he was marginalized by his rival, Nili enlists a ragtag crew-a religious nationalist and his band of hilltop youths, her traitorous brother, and her childhood Palestinian friend, now an archeological smuggler. As Nili's father slips deeper into dementia, warring factions close in on and fight over the Ark of the Covenant!

CC sez: I enjoyed Modan's Exit Wounds, which is no guarantee that I'll like this. But as they say, past performance is the best predictor of future birds in the bush. Or something.

 

WALT DISNEY’S DONALD DUCK VOL 16: BALLOONATICS HC

Fantagraphics | $29.99

Story/Art: Carl Barks, Daan Jippes

CC sez: Richard Willis already mentioned this over in the "How Close Are We to the End?" thread, but here's another reminder.

 

WEEABOO TPB

Oni Press | $19.99

Story/Art: Alissa Sallah

It's their senior year of high school, and three friend are preparing for the big anime convention that's happening right after graduation. Even though they've known each other for years, the friends are discovering that real life isn't like a cartoon, and that friends grow up and sometimes apart. This is a story about appropriation, identity, and what it means to change. It's a cerebration and dissection of anime fandom, small towns, and Internet culture, told in the style of the various manga, anime, and other media that influenced it.

CC sez: Whenever anybody gets too hoity-toity about comics, I tend to zone out. I love comics, but they're just entertainment — a reflection of the pop culture zeitgeist, not a leader or predictor. If you try to go deep, you find the bottom fast. But this looks to be turning analysis into a story, which goes down easier.

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CC sez: Wait, it's the 60th anniversary of the Fantastic Four this year? That means the 60th anniversary of Ant-Man, Dr. Doom, Hulk, Loki, Spider-Man and Thor next year! Then Avengers, Dr. Octopus, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Magneto, Wasp and X-Men the year after that! Then Daredevil, Green Goblin, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch ... oh, you get the idea.

I strongly suspect that what this means is that I'm in imminent danger of becomng an old man.

PEANUTS EVERY SUNDAY 1991-1995: Uh, oh. The last one I have is v7, 1981-1985. When v9 was solicited, I checked on v8, but I was told it never shipped. Will clarify today.

"I do have the entire "Peanuts" run in hardback already, so I don't need this."

Uh, yes you do. I urge you to consider buying at least the first volume, in which Schulz's art style was considerably different (more "panoramic") and which doesn't showcase well in small b&w production. The pastel colors really do enhance those early years.

P.S.--You're safe skipping the Popeye softcover, as long as you acquire the six-volume HC someday.

Thanks for the legwork, Jeff!

CC sez: With the caveat that I haven't read anything about The Gardener, the description above makes her sound like she's filling the role Jason Woodrue played in some versions of Poison Ivy's origin.

I will note that her name, Bella Garten, is a mish-mash of European languages (Italian/German) that translates to "Pretty Garden."

They don't seem to be using her to replace Woodrue as much as position her as someonm that was there at the time.

PEANUTS EVERY SUNDAY v8: Disregard previous post. I found one on Amazon. For whatever reason, my LCS didn't pull a copy for me. (I had assumed COVID delays.) 

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