Week 4 in "Blood Hunt"

BLOOD HUNT #2 (OF 5) by Jed MacKay and Pepe Larraz: I haven't read Blood Hunt #1 (or the ancillary books), but I have kept up with the storyline elsewhere. And it looks like the vampires' first strike was a Pearl Harbor-size success. I hope I'm not spoiling too much, but four of the most powerful Avengers have already fallen, and the leader of the vampires isn't Dracula ... and had a lot of inside information. 

This makes a ton of sense, as it's obvious vampires can plan pretty long term, and nobody really expected anything like this. Like with the Japanese in World War II, their plan was to take out our biggest guns before we knew what was up. It seems further obvious from the advance information that Dracula is going to ally with Blade's daughter and the Avengers, since he's lost his throne and very likely wants it back. 

To continue the Pearl Harbor analogy, the good guys aren't completely wiped out, but are suddenly at a distinct disadvantage. Some retreat and reorganization seems in order. I think that's where we are with this issue and I have to say that, despite my antipathy to vampires in superhero stories, I'm starting to get interested.




This week's Red Band Edition homage is to Crime SuspenStories #16



UNION JACK THE RIPPER: BLOOD HUNT #1 (OF 3) by Cavan Scott (Star Wars: The High Republic) and Kev Walker (Guardians of the Galaxy): I've never thought of Union Jack as much more than a C-lister, but evidently he's defending London all by his lonesome. So he has a chance to impress me!

“It's going to be more brutal than anything we've seen from Union Jack as his methods shift to match the ferocity of an empowered enemy,” Scott shared. “Working with Kev Walker on this book is a dream, as we both embrace our love of horror in every panel. But it's not going to just be a gorefest for all involved. The miniseries will be asking some big, heartfelt questions appropriate for a character who wears his country's flag on his chest. What does that mean when everything you believe in is turned on its head, when everything you've always taken for granted shifts beneath your feet?”

“There’s a couple of firsts here for me,” Walker added. “I haven’t done anything this dark, either emotionally or figuratively, before. Most of the horror I’ve done before (Marvel Zombies 3 and Marvel Zombies 4) has come with large doses of humour in the mix. Any humour here is definitely black.

“It’s also the first time I’ve actually had the chance to draw something set in my part of the world. Since I live in the North of England (the opposite side of the Pennines, but near enough), it actually feels more personal. This story is also pretty blunt and brutal, like something I might have drawn at the beginning of my career in comics, so it’ll be interesting to see if I’ve mellowed over the last 35 years.”



This week in Spider-Man:

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50 by Zeb Wells and Ed McGuinness: Big fighty-fight between Spidey and Gobby. Some PR or other hinted that Peter Parker will somehow become the Green Goblin, and I don't doubt that could happen, because after One More Day, it's obvious anything can happen, no matter how implausible.

This is an extra-size issue, with a Marv Wolfman back-up story.



SPIDER-GWEN: THE GHOST-SPIDER #1 by Stephanie Phillips (Capwolf & the Howling Commandos) and Federica Mancin: The spider-powered Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 is moving to the 616 permanently. Shows what I know: I thought she was here already. I was probably thinking of the Spider-Verse movies.

"Right after I started working on this new Spider-Gwen ongoing, I saw a little girl on Halloween dressed as Gwen and hitting some cool Spidey poses,” Phillips shared. “It was kind of a surreal moment to realize that I get to be a part of Gwen's next big chapter, bringing her into the 616 and giving readers stories that make us rethink who Gwen is and what her role is within this new universe."



  • SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN 2099 #3 (OF 5)

This week in "Fall of the House of X"

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X #5 (OF 5) by Gerry Duggan and Lucas Werneck: Marvel isn't offering much in the way of information, but really, either you've followed it this far or you haven't. Either way, you know the Krakoa Era is barreling toward a finale. And, oh yeah, Magneto's back (and in the red and purple).



Elsewhere in X-books:

  • NEW MUTANTS #98 FACSIMILE EDITION NEW PTG reprints the first appearance of Deadpool.
  • X-MEN '97 #3 (OF 4)

This week in Star Wars

  • STAR WARS #46

This week in Ultimates


Elsewhere at Marvel:

IMMORTAL THOR #11 by Al Ewing and Martin Coccolo: Odin had a lot of children in the Norse myths. In the comics, his acknowledged children to date were only Thor, Loki, Angela and Balder, and they're joined this month by Hermod, Honir and Vidar (some of Odin's children in the myths) to find Tyr, "the lost son of Odin" (who is not a son of Odin in the myths).



This week in "House of Brainiac":

SUPERMAN #14 by Joshua Williamson and Rafa Sandoval: The truce between Superman and Lobo falls apart (how could it NOT?). Meanwhile, the "Brainiac Queen" is born, and I think she's here to stay. She'll be part of an evil Trinity (the other parts being Amanda Waller and Zur-En-Arrh, or as he's called now, Failsafe) as Waller tries to wipe out all metahumans. 


This week in Batman:

BARKHAM ASYLUM by Yehudi Mercado (Shazam! Thundercrack): If you read the preview on Free Comic Book Day, you know that Jester, a dog in Joker's gang, gets captured with Penny, a tough-talking stray cat, and put in Barkham Asylum, where they plan their escape. Their main obstacle: Dr. Hugo Mange. Aimed at Middle School kids (ages 8-12).

“When crafting this graphic novel, I pulled some inspiration from my own experience growing up,” said creator Yehudi Mercado. “I was a class clown in school and as a result of that, I spent a lot of time in detention. So I can kind of relate to the lead dog, Jester, in my own way. All Jester wants is to make people laugh, so in his mind, his master isn’t such a bad guy. Locked up with him is an innocent stray cat named Penny, a loner who rejects Jester’s request to join his pack. But if they’re going to get out of this mess, they will have to team up. And if a stray cat and The Joker’s dog can get along, then maybe there’s hope for all of us!”



NIGHTWING #114 by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo:

12382731090?profile=RESIZE_180x180I don't follow Nightwing, but evidently Dick Grayson has lost his ability to leap, which is a strange thing to lose. I mean, he's not Spider-Man. But Taylor will tell a five-part story that will, I assume, restore that ability.

“When Bruno Redondo and I first took on this series,” said Tom Taylor, “we felt it was the perfect time for a big Nightwing story. We wanted to show the world why Dick Grayson was an A-lister in our eyes. It was the right time for a charming, entertaining, positive force for good pushing back against corruption and greed. It was also time for Dick and Babs to get a puppy.”

“I love Haley, aka Bitewing,” said Bruno Redondo, “but I was really looking to draw a bearded Nightwing since we started. Our very last arc on Nightwing gives me that chance.”

“We're pretty damn proud of our guy,” continued Taylor, “and I'm very proud of our whole team on our 40+ issues of Nightwing. Everything we've worked on since issue #78 has been leading to this story. The villain, Heartless (working with Tony Zucco—the man who killed Dicks' parents), has planned what comes next for a very long time. He has watched a city changed for the better by one hero, and he has waited for the moment when tearing out the heart of Bludhaven would hurt the most. Bruno and I wanted to put Nightwing on a pedestal. We wanted to show how high this flying Grayson could soar. Now, it's time for him to fall.”

“It will make many people sad,” said Redondo, “but it’ll also build. One last ride, full Tom and Bruno. If we are gonna end this (and every long arc needs to find its end), we are gonna make it in a big way.”

“I’m with you, Bruno, and Nightwing really is in a great place to go forward,” finished Taylor. “As our time with Nightwing sadly draws to an end, Dick leads the DC universe with the Titans and has been the front man for two massive events in Dark Crisis and Beast World. I couldn’t be happier.”

Elsewhere in Bat-comics:

  • CATWOMAN #65

Elsewhere at DC:

  • FABLES THE DELUXE EDITION BOOK 16 HC finishes the series.
  • MILITARY COMICS #1 FACSIMILE EDITION includes the first appearance of Blackhawk.
  • VIXEN: NYC VOL 5 TP reprints Webtoon episodes #39-46.
  • ZATANNA & THE RIPPER VOL 3 TP reprints Webtoon.episodes #24-36.



A HAUNTED GIRL GN by co-writers and father-daughter team Ethan Sacks (Star Wars: Bounty Hunters) and Naomi Sacks join forces with fan-favorite artist Marco Lorenzana (Incredible Hulk): This is a YA book about a teenage girl with anxiety and depression problems. I don't think you can talk to teens enough about those issues, so let's hope a few of them are reading this.


BLOOD SQUAD SEVEN #1 by Joe Casey (MCMLXXV, Butcher Baker the Righteous Maker) and Paul Fry (Spider-Man 2099, Star Wars) is about a '90s superteam that attempts a comeback. The funny thing is, with a name like that it could easily have been an actual Image team of the '90s. If only they could have worked "dark" or "death" or "night" into the title!

"This might be the biggest thing I've ever done in my 20-plus years working with Image Comics," said Casey. "To play in this sandbox is the most fun I've ever had writing in a shared universe. This series is much more than a modern deconstruction of what it meant to be a superhero in the '90s. ... Paul and I are building on that past to find our way into the future."

Fry added: "Diving into this project has been a creative roller coaster! Collaborating with the brilliant Joe Casey, we're resurrecting the original Image vibe with a dash of edgy innovation. Brace yourselves for a comic series that redefines the classic with a modern twist!"




LORE: REMASTERED #1 (OF 3) by T.P. Louise and Ashley Wood: The original six-issue Lore series is remastered as a three-issue deluxe series. Since I didn't read the original, I don't know if that's a good thing or not. Anyway, it's about a girl who is trying to solve her father's murder, which apparently takes a supernatural turn.

"Our intent was to bring my love of myth and the supernatural and use it as a backdrop for the timeless daughter relationship journey,” said Wood. "Lore a love letter to the '70s TV show In Search of … with its abstract and unusual families. Artistically, its version two of the art style I started when developing Hellspawn."









BUTCHER’S BOY #1 (OF 4) by Landry Q. Walker (The Last Siege), Pannel Vaughn and Justin Greenwood (The Last Siege): Six friends on a road trip search for the 100-year-old truth of the "Butcher of La Perdita." This being a comic book, I expect the past won't stay the past.

Landry Q. Walker says, “Appetite — whether it be desire for food, affection, or power — and the ability that hunger has to drive you to become unrecognizable — even to yourself — has always sat at the heart of my favorite horror stories. Writing this book has led me down some dark psychological pathways that border somewhere between healthy obsession and self-destructive spirals. On some level, you need to feel what you write. The goal of this story is to take that discomfort, that yearning appetite (in all its myriad forms) and contextualize it as a malignant and conscious force. As a story, one that is finally ready for consumption. Building off the sketches of Pannel Vaughn and then filtered through the organic and emotive art of Justin Greenwood, we found our prototypical horror icon — the Butcher's Boy. Bringing in Brad Walker and Pat Brosseau — both of whom I have been angling to work with again for some time — allowed this story to marinate to peak perfection. I'm honored to once again work with such a brilliant team, and grateful to Dark Horse for setting the table to serve it upon.”

"My favorite horror stories have always left me feeling unsettled and this one is no exception,” says Greenwood. “I’ve been DYING to draw a horror comic, something dark enough to make you feel guilty for grinning ear to ear as you ruin your favorite character’s life between panels. Landry and Pannel came to me with just that, an idea that allows reality to become pliable and makes good kids do really bad things. I’m having a blast drawing this book. There is a lot of challenge in telling this kind of twisted story well and drawing this book has allowed me to take some creative risks to pull it off. But it’s a lot easier to take those risks with a creative team you have so much faith in. Brad and Pat have been frequent collaborators for years on comic series like The Last Siege and Crone. They bring incredible mood and rhythm to the storytelling and it’s been so fun to team up once again with Dark Horse to bring this book to life."



This collects every Hellboy story by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben, including Hellboy: Being Human #1 one-shot, Hellboy in Mexico #1 one-shot, Hellboy: The Bride of Hell #1 one-shot, Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil #1 one-shot, "Hellboy: The Mirror," Hellboy: Makoma #1-2, Hellboy: The Crooked Man #1-3 and the Hellboy: House of the Living Dead OGN. In theory I should have these all in the Hellboy Library, but I don't trust that I do. Tempted!

One thing you can say about Corben: There was nobody else like him.

“Corben was a genius,” said Mignola. “I was a fan from the first moment I saw his work in Heavy Metal magazine way back when. I never in a million years thought I’d get a chance to work with him, but I did and it remains a highlight of my career. I wrote THE CROOKED MAN specifically for him and it remains my favorite Hellboy story.”


MEDEA GN by Montana Kane (Always Never) and letters by Frank Cvetkovic (Count Crowley): Medea was treated really poorly by Jason (of the Argonauts) but she was no prize to start with. I don't know that I like either of them that much. But I wouldn't mind re-visiting the story.

“Medea is a visual delight as well as a timely retelling,” said editor Jenny Bingham-Blenk. “Blandine Le Callet and Nancy Peña’s rethinking of an ancient myth speaks to societal and political issues that we still face today.” 


NIGHT AT THE BELFRY GN by Xavier Saxon. An aging boxer seeks to regain a sense of power and control by, um, working out? Boxing again? This guy needs a psychiatrist, not a workout coach.




EC COVERS ARTISAN EDITION SC: More than 140 EC covers at 15 x 22 inches by Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Graham Ingels, Al Williamson, Johnny Craig, Frank Frazetta, Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, etc. If it was hardcover, I'd probably get it, even though I have all the collections.











This week in Valiant "Resurgence":

BLOODSHOT UNLEASHED: RELOADED #3 (of 4) by Mauro Mantella & Rodrigo Rocha. Cover Al Barrionuevo: More Bloodshot and psiots. Here's PREVIEW at Bleeding Cool.



ARCHIE COMICS: JUDGMENT DAY #1 (OF 3), by Aubrey Sitterson (Archie vs. The World, No One Left to Fight) and Megan Hutchison (Rockstars), Archie tries to cleanse an alternate version of Riverdale overrun by demons. The PR says Archie must ask himself if he's doing the right thing or is just being a self-righteous bully, which is probably inspired by the RIverdale TV show, where I kept asking the same question. But it's probably pulling an I Am Legend. I mean, if you're the only human in a town populated by other, and you're the one killing them instead of vice versa, who's the villain?

“JUDGMENT DAY places Archie Andrews squarely at the center, acting as our hero — but with the power to choose who lives and who dies, can he truly remain a hero through and through?” said Archie Comics’ Jesse Goldwater. “This miniseries raises the stakes more than any title we’ve ever done before. The fate of the entire world is in Archie’s hands.”

“JUDGMENT DAY is the first in a compelling slate of events. As we look to the future of Archie, we wanted to translate our success in TV and film to focus that sense of grandeur back to our core publishing efforts. With our Archie Premium Event series, we’ve imbued each project with an epic sense of storytelling that is evocative of the exciting new direction for the company,” said Archie Comics Senior Vice President Jonathan Betancourt. “In addition to our concentrated focus on elevated storytelling, these new series are also investments for the larger comic book community, transforming what would be a normal print issue into a must-have collector’s item.”




BECOMING WHO WE ARE GN by Sammy Lisel, Lilah Sturges, Cynthia Yuan Cheng, Kameron White, various (A Wave Blue World) includes nine stories from trans people about their experiences growing up. 




DISNEY MASTERS VOL 24: WALT DISNEY'S UNCLE SCROOGE — WORLD WIDE WITCH (Fantagraphics): Scrooge battles Magica De Spell and Flintheart Glomgold in stories by Argentine artist Daniel Branca.


EVENTUALLY EVERYTHING CONNECTS GN by Sarah Firth (Graphic Mundi-PSU Press) is "a collection of eight autobiographical visual essays that explore the joys and pains of living in a hypercomplex and uncertain world." Comics Grinder has a review and some pages.

HOBTOWN MYSTERY STORIES VOL 1: CASE OF THE MISSING MEN TP: by Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes (Oni Press) is a typical small-town, teen-detective story (think Nancy Drew), only they find actual "pagan secret societies, psychic assaults, and possible 'wee man' sightings." 

KARATE PROM GN by Kyle Starks (First Second) is about a pair of karate opponents who fall in love, but then have to deal with each other's terrible exes. Sort of like a gender-neutral Scott Pilgrim, I suppose. I'm not a fan of this style of art, but horse races, etc.


KHIEM GN by Yasmine Morissette Phan and Djibril Morissette Phan (Fairsquare Comics LLC) is about some second-generation Vietnamese Americans reconnecting with their roots. I hope the book is more interesting than the PR description. The art below is ... interesting.


LAST QUEEN GN by Jean-Marc Rochette (Snowpiercer), SelfMadeHero: Did somebody named Jeanne Sauvage make a famous bear sculpture? I couldn't find it with my three-second Google search, so I don't know. Anyway, this is about a disfigured WWI vet who gets a mask made by the aforementioned Sauvage, where upon they embark on a love affair, and he takes her to the mountains of his youth, where he tells her the story of the last bear there, and she makes a sculpture, which is apparently famous. I'm probably not doing this story justice.


LOST WORLDS OF GEORGE METZGER TP by George Metzger (Fantagraphics): I've never heard of Metzger, but he is apparently a counter-culture artist of some note. (Which sounds like, and looks like, what used to be called underground comix.) Here's a story and some art from a Vancouver arts publication.

MARK TWAIN’S WAR PRAYER HC (Fantagraphics): Mark Twain wrote a blistering takedown of hypocritical patriotism, which he wouldn't let be published until after his death. And now Seymour Chwast has illustrated it.

MY BAD ESCAPE FROM PECULIAR ISLAND #1 (OF 5, Ahoy) was posted last week. 

MY FAIRY GODFATHER TP by Robert Mailer Anderson, Jon Sack (Fantagraphics): An orphaned teenage girl goes to live with her gay godfather, who runs a movie theater in a conservative Kansas town, where her life in some ways mirrors The Wizard of Oz and she learns Bittersweet Life Lessons.



SEOUL BEFORE SUNRISE GN by Samir Dahmani (Humanoids): Two South Korean friends go to college and drift apart. Serously, that's pretty much all the PR says. These copy writers have got to get better. Anyway, I like the art.


THE OTHER BADGUYS GN VOL 1 by Luke Lancaster and Orlando Caicedo (Rocketship Entertainment)  is "a superhero comedy heist comic with a cast of characters supremely out of their depth." If it was from Ahoy, I'd have a lot more confidence. Here's the Kickstarter.

THE TALK GN (Henry Holt): Artist/writer Darrin Bell tells the story of how his parents gave him "the talk" about not carrying toy guns or otherwise drawing police attention at age six, and then grows up and must deliver the same lesson to his own six-year-old son. Man, that's depressing.

WHITE BOAT #1 by Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla (DSTLRY Media): A pretty impressive writer/artist pair tell the tale of a guy who's invited onto a millionaire's yacht, only to be delivered to a island where secret cults are working on "The Human Project." Never trust a millionaire! Here's some art and description from Forbes.



WRONG EARTH: DEAD RINGERS #2 (OF 5): Ahoy comics alert! (Is that Bluto?!??)


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  • EC COVERS ARTISAN EDITION SC: If it was hardcover, I'd probably get it, even though I have all the collections.

    It has been a hardcover (first printing, June 2021). It's much larger than a Silver Age Artist Edition, well worth the price.

    MARK TWAIN’S WAR PRAYER HC (Fantagraphics): Mark Twain wrote a blistering takedown of hypocritical patriotism, which he wouldn't let be published until after his death. And now Seymour Chwast has illustrated it.

    I've never heard of this. I'll keep an eye out.


  • It has been a hardcover (first printing, June 2021). It's much larger than a Silver Age Artist Edition, well worth the price.

    Ooooh. Me wantee.

  • The spider-powered Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 is moving to the 616 permanently.

    This is precisely the sort  of thing that I'd always been afraid that they'd do eventually.  This kills a  lot  of the interest that I had in this character.

  • This kills a  lot  of the interest that I had in this character.

    Because you were interested in Earth-65? Or just wanted to keep her separate from the post-One More Day sadness that passes for Amazing Spider-Man these days? Or what? 

    • I was interested in Earth-65, its differences from Earth-616, and her supporting cast and friends and enemies.  I'm presuming that her Dad, her bandmates, the Matt Murdock Kingpin, the bounty hunter Kitty Pryde, the Samantha Wilson Captain America and so on aren't coming with her.  I enjoyed seeing that other world and moving her away from it removes a lot  of what makes the character interesting for me.  The worst part is that it's completely unnecessary. She's long had the ability to travel between dimensions,, just bring her back and  forth when the story requires it.  To me, it smacks of what former wrestling  manager Jim Cornette would call "laaaaazy booking."

  • I was interested in Earth-65, its differences from Earth-616, and her supporting cast and friends and enemies.  I'm presuming that her Dad, her bandmates, the Matt Murdock Kingpin, the bounty hunter Kitty Pryde, the Samantha Wilson Captain America and so on aren't coming with her.  I enjoyed seeing that other world and moving her away from it removes a lot  of what makes the character interesting for me.  The worst part is that it's completely unnecessary. She's long had the ability to travel between dimensions, just bring her back and  forth when the story requires it.  To me, it smacks of what former wrestling  manager Jim Cornette would call "laaaaazy booking."

    Wow. Now I'M upset they're moving her.

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