The Captain's Comments

Averee TPB

A Wave Blue World Inc | 6x9 | Teen | 136 pages | $16.99

Writers: Stephanie Phillips, Dave Johnson | Art/Cover: Marika Cresta, Andrew Dalhouse

According to the PR, this is a story that takes place in the near future, where income, careers, etc., are dependent on how many likes you get on your posts and whatnot. I could swear I have seen this concept in a movie or TV show, but can't remember where.

Anyway, A Blue Wave sent me a lot of art and information, as well as a DRC, which I haven't yet had time to read. I do like the art, which seems clear and polished. Here's what I've got on that front:

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #1 (of 4)

Dark Horse / $3.99

Writers: Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer | Art/Cover: by Benjamin Dewey

The "Beasts of Burden" are canines referred to as "Wise Dogs" who are protectors against magic, can talk to certain human allies and have amusing relationships with other animals who are not so well connected or smart. There have been several miniseries before this one, all of which I enjoyed.

I've read the above book, and it's set in U.S.-occupied Japan after World War II. (The frame is the sheepdog on the cover telling some younger Wise Dogs about an adventure he had in the past. IOW, a flashback.) The art is clean and solid, and the story is well-written and suspenseful, even given that we know at least one character (the narrator) will survive.

If you're a dog person, these books are a must. If you're a cat person ... well, they're still really good.

Bliss #6

Image Comics | $3.99

Writer: Sean Lewis | Art/Cover: Caitlin Yarsky

Wait! When did AOC become a comic book character? JK. It's photo reference, of course. But did Yarsky think nobody would notice?

The Cimmerian: Iron Shadows on the Moon #1

Ablaze | $3.99

Writers: Robert E. Howard, Virginie Augustin | Art: Virginie Augustin | Cover: Brian Level

If you haven't heard about this line of comics before, the tl;dr is that Ablaze started adapting Conan stories in Mature Readers comics, and whoever had the Conan comics license at the time objected. A deal was reached, where Ablaze could continue to adapt the REH stories, only they couldn't call the lead character "Conan" on the covers. Hence, "The Cimmerian."

"Iron Shadows on the Moon" has been adapted before, of course — most of the Conan stories have been. One assumes that since Ablaze's selling point is the Mature Readers angle, there will be the occasional naked girl or graphic death to set it apart from Marvel and Dark Horse.

I wish I knew more than this sort of conjecture, and I'm correcting that flaw by ordering the first Cimmerian collection. In the meantime, marvel at the red-background cover below, which is an homage to Fantastic Four #234, by John Byrne.

Crime and Punishment GN

Digital Manga Distribution | $15.95

(W) Osamu Tezuka (A) Osamu Tezuka

When I was in college, I took a lot of Russian lit courses — not only because I was taking Russian (the language), but because I found I really enjoyed Russian literature! But of all the books I read, from Lermentov to Turgenev to Gogol, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment was far and away my favorite. Maybe because it featured a college student wrestling with moral quandaries, limited resources and a seemingly constrained future, which was very, very familiar turf for college-student me. But also because of the books' many facets: the psychological profiles, the philosophical dimension, the detective story.

I have no idea what all that will look like in manga. I guess we'll find out!

Dear DC Super-Villains GN

DC Comics | 176 PAGES | 5.5" x 8" | $9.99

Writer: Michael Northrop | Illustrator: Gustavo Duarte

The first book, in what is now a series I guess, was Dear Justice League, which was charming and a page-turner.

Kids ask the darnedest questions, you know, even when they're fake kids in a graphic novel. It's actually kind of refreshing to have a fundamental superhero question posed bluntly, and have the hero answer in his or her own voice. Especially when it's a question all of us has asked ourselves at one time or another.

In this case, the questions are asked of super-villains. The samples DC offers are "How did Gorilla Grodd get so smart?," "Did Harley Quinn ever try a career in comedy?" and "Why does Catwoman always lose to Batman?"

 

Dracula: Vlad the Impaler GN

IDW | $15.99

Writer: Roy Thomas  Art/Cover: Esteban Maroto

This is the second (at least) Dracula origin story from Roy Thomas; the first was serialized in Marvel's Dracula Lives and illustrated by Neal Adams. This one is not that one. This one was published as a three-issue miniseries by the short-lived Topps comics line.

Thomas also worked with Maroto in a lot of Conan stories, so we have a strong sampling of how well they work together. (My take: Very well.)

So we know Thomas is well-versed in things Dracula and that Thomas & Maroto have done good work before. Either that sells you, or it doesn't. (It sold me.)

Geiger #1

Once again, we have a creative team we should all be familiar with: Geoff Johns (Superman, Green Lantern, Batman: Three Jokers) and Gary Frank (Superman, Supergirl, Incredible Hulk). Johns & Frank are not only veteran, successful creators apart, we have also seen them work together (Doomsday Clock). And, whether you were OK with a sequel to Watchmen or not, I think most would agree that Clock was a beautifully crafted book.

This title is yet another post-apocalypse book, but at least this one tells us what the apocalypse was (nuclear war). It opens with some scavengers, who we later learn came from Las Vegas, which is still thriving. They're going to Boulder, Colorado, because they've been ordered to scavenge it, because nobody else who's gone there has ever come back. The thinking is the pickings will be good.

But there is also a rumor about a radioactive bogeyman who lives there. Some call him Joe Glow. Some call him the Meltdown Man. Some call him Geiger.

Which they should, as that is his name. We get a short intro to who Mr. Geiger was before the war, but not how he managed to survive or the nature of the radioactive superpowers he demonstrates. He's hanging out in Boulder because his family is locked in a shelter with, I guess, a time lock? Or maybe the door won't open until the radiation level comes down to safe levels? I didn't catch the reason, if it was given. But he stands guard instead of opening the door, so there's clearly some reason which I guess we'll learn soon enough.

We also get a splash page of Las Vegas, which is a bizarre exaggeration of its current gonzo look, with various kingdoms built around former casino themes. There's some sort of bubble-tunnel affair connecting all the buildings, which I assume protects from radiation, but I doubt there's much cross-pollination, given that some of these kingdoms are, judging by their names, fairly unsavory. The Nightcrawlers and Organ People, for example.

So this first issue sets up a lot of things to explore. Art-wise, Frank is as awesome as usual.

Green Lantern #1

DC Comics | $4.99

Writer: Geoffrey Thorne | Art: Marco Santucci, Dexter Soy

What I have gathered from all the Infinite Frontier chit-chat is that the premise of this new Green Lantern series is the Corps having to deal with, for the first time, another authority: The freshly formed United Planets. I actually have wondered about how the Lanterns were received by the planets they protect, given that none of them have ceded sovereignty to the Guardians. The term "freelance police" feels like a dangerous oxymoron to me. So this might fix what I consider a hole in the core concept of the Green Lantern Corps.

And this series is supposed to feature John Stewart and Teen Lantern Keli Quintela. I'm excited by the new blood, as it is preposterous that there so many white guys from the United States who are Green Lanterns.

As for Stewart, the last time he headlined a book it was Mosaic, which I actively disliked. I was pleased when he became Corps commander, a job the impulsive Hal Jordan and hot-headed Guy Gardner were unsuited for. I hope that continues, as Stewart deserves a job commensurate with his temperament, skills and seniority.

Simon Baz and the Far Sector Lantern Sojourner Mullein are also specifically mentioned in the promo material, if that helps.

Magic The Gathering #1

BOOM! | $4/99

Writer: Jed MacKay | Art:  Ig Guara | Cover: Matteo Scalera

I hadn't heard anything about Magic for some time, so I'm surprised it's still a thing. Well, maybe it's just not popular in my area and is raging like wildfire somewhere else. Lending credence to this supposition is that this first issue has already sold out at the wholesale level and is going back for a second printing.

Here's a link to a preview.

 

Oz: Romance in Rags TPB

Caliber Entertainment | $14.99

Writers: Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith | Cover: Britt Martin | Art/Cover: Bill Bryan

This collects a three-issue miniseries of the same name, adapted from the works of L. Frank Baum. I never got past the first book, but I know a lot of folks who did, and this should be a welcome read for them. It takes place during the reign of the Nome King, and the heart of it is the romance between Scaps the Patchwork Girl and the Scarecrow King.

Project Patron #1

Aftershock Comics | $4.99

Writer: Steve Orlando | Art: Patrick Piazzalunga | Cover: David Talaski

What if Superman stayed dead after battling Doomsday, and was replaced by an android?

That seems to be the premise here, where Superman is "The Patron" and Doomsday is named "Woe." After Patron's death, the government replaces him with a "reploid" — I assume that's some sort of android — who is piloted by a team of scientists. One of the scientists dies, which the solicits present as a big problem.

I'm not feeling it, but maybe you do.

The Rise #1 (of 6)

Heavy Metal | $2.99

Writer: George C. Romero Art/Cover: Diego Yapur

George C. Romero, son of the director of Night of the Living Dead, has penned a prequel to the movie that dragged zombies out of Haiti and into the modern world. I don't know what it could be about — wasn't the zombie horde created by a comet? — but I suppose it must be considered canon.

 

Silver Coin #1 (of 5)

Image | 32 pages | M | $3.99

Writer: Chip Zdarsky | Artist/Cover A: Michael Walsh | Cover B: Tula Lotay | Cover C: Maria Nguyen

This new horror anthology miniseries is going to have different stories and different writers each issue, with the whole thing tied together by artist Michael Walsh and the silver coin of the title.

Walsh (Black Hammer/Justice League) will draw all five issues, which are set in a shared world. Each writer was given this springboard: "A Coin rolls through time causing supernatural horror to all those that find it." Announced writers include Zdarsky, Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson and Jeff Lemire.

The first issue finds a fading rock band in 1978 — or rather, the coin finds them. Things go really well, and then really badly. I will say no more, except that it's a genuine horror story and I appreciate that. I'll be on board for the next one.

 

Vigilant TPB

Rebellion/2000AD | $19.99

Writers: Simon Furman, Simon Coleby, Dani | Art: Henrik Sahlstrom, Warwick Fraser-Combe, Staz Johnson

This trade features a bunch of UK characters from the '60s (mostly). To tell you the truth, I had a blast just googling names like Adam Eterno, Blake Edmonds, Thunderbolt the Avenger and The Leopard from Lime Street. So Ive already enjoyed the book!

At first I was afraid this was a reprint title, but the preview at the Rebellion/2000AD site looks like new work. Take a look for yoursefl

Will it be any good? I have no idea. A lot of 1960s British characters were pretty silly (as were many American ones) and may not deserve to be revived unless they're updated so much they aren't the same characters any more, and then what's the point?

Still, there is no aspect of comics history I'm not curious about, so I may not be able to resist.

 

Vlad Dracul TPB

Scout | $24.99

Writer: Matteo Strukul | Art: Andrea Mutti

Wait, another Dracula collection? Hmm. Could be interesting to read both and see where they vary. But I don't know the creative team on this one, and they don't have a preview available. Guess I'll have to flip through it at the LCS.

 

ALL COMICS

Aggretsuko: Meet Her World #1

Amazing Spider-Man #63

America Chavez: Made in USA #2 (of 5)

Astronaut Academy Vol 1: Zero Gravity GN

Astronaut Academy Vol 2: Re Entry GN

Astronaut Academy Vol 3: Splashdown GN

Avengers #43 2nd Ptg

Avengers #44

Avengers: Mech Strike #3 (of 5)

Averee GN

Batman #107

Batman Adventures: Riddle Me This GN

Batman: Kings of Fear GN

The Batman Who Laughs TPB

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #1 (of 4)

Blade Runner 2029 #4

Bloom #1 (of 4)

Bliss #6

Brzrkr #1 2nd Ptg

Buffy The Vampire Slayer #24

Carnivora GN

Casual Fling #3

Catwad Vol 5: High Five GN

Chainsaw Man Vol 4 GN

Championess GN

Chasing the Dragon #2 (of 5)

Cimmerian: Iron Shadows in Moon #1

Commanders In Crisis #7 (of 12)

Complete Crepax Vol 6: Dangerous Liaisons HC

Conan the Barbarian #20

Create a Comic one-shot

Crime and Punishment GN

Crime Syndicate #2

Dark Nights: Death Metal Deluxe Edition

Dead Dogs Bite #2 (of 4)

Deadworld Archives Book 7

Dear DC Super-Villains GN

Death by Life #1 (of 8)

Deep Beyond #3 (of 12)

Defenders Omnibus Vol 1 HC

Demon Days: X-Men #1 2nd Ptg

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Vol 21 GN

Devil’s Dominion #3

Disney’s Manga Stitch & Samurai Vol 1 GN

Disney’s Raya & Last Dragon GN

Dr. Stone Vol 16 GN

Dracula: Vlad The Impaler GN

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #9

Event Leviathan TPB

Excalibur #20

Engineward #9

Failure Frame Vol 1 GN

The Far Sector #11

Fear Case #3 (of 4)

Fire Force Vol 22 GN

Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #10

Gal Gohan Vol 7 GN

Geiger #1

Girl from the Other Side: Siuil Run Vol 10 GN

God of War Fallen God #2 (of 4)

Gold Digger #280

Green Lantern #1

Gudetama: Mindfulness for Lazy HC

Harukana: Receive Vol 7 GN

Hollow Heart #2

How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift Vol 6 GN

Immortal Hulk #45

Impure #1

Incurable Case of Love Vol 7 GN

Inkblot #7

Inkblot Vol 1 TPB

James Bond: Agent of Spectre #2

Jujutsu Kaisen Vol 9 GN

King in Black #5 (of 5)

King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #3 (of 3)

King Tank Girl #4 (of 5)

Kitty Sweet Tooth HC

Knights of the Dinner Table #281

Last Witch #4

Life Is Strange Vol 4: Tracks TPB

Love Me for Who I Am Vol 3 GN

Magic The Gathering #1

Magika #2

Man-Bat #3

Marauders #19

Markiplier #3 (of 4)

Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #2

Marvel Two in One Epic Collection: Cry Monster TPB New Ptg

Metal Men: Elements of Change GN

Miles to Go #4

Moriarty the Patriot Vol 3 GN

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles Vol 3 TPB

Muscles Are Better Than Magic Vol 1 GN

My Hero Academia Vol 27 GN

My Next Life as a Villainess Vol 5 GN

Natsume’s Book of Friends Vol 25 GN

The Next Batman: Second Son #1 (digital first)

Nocterra #2

Nottingham #2 (of 5)

One Piece Vol 96 GN

Origins #6 (Of 6)

Overwatch: Tracer — London Calling #5 (of 5)

Owly Color Edition Vol 3: Flying Lessons GN

Oz: Romance in Rags TPB

Planet Comics: Sketchbook one-shot

Please Put Them on Takamine San Vol 01 GN

Project Patron #1

Rat Queens Vol 8: God Dilemma TPB

Reincarnated as a Sword Vol 5 GN

Resistance Uprising #1

Rick and Morty: Worlds Apart #3

The Rise #1 (of 6)

Rising of the Shield Hero Vol 16 GN

Runaways #35

Sam & His Talking Gun #2

Savage Dragon #258

Sayonara Football Vol 4 Farewell My Dear Cramer GN

Sensational Wonder Woman #2

Seven Secrets #7

Seven Secrets Vol 1 TPB

Shadow Children #2

Shadow of a Man TPB

Shadow Service Vol 1 TPB

Shi No Kage #3 (of 3)

Show Me History: Albert Einstein Genius of Space & Time

Siegel’s Syndicate of Crime TPB

Silver Coin #1 (of 5)

Snoopy Come Home

Sonjaversal #3

Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness #3

Spider-Girl Complete Collection Vol 3 TPB

Squadron Supreme Marvel Tales #1

Star Wars: High Republic #4

Star Wars: High Republic Adventures #3

Star Wars Vol 2: Operation Starlight TPB

Storm Fairy SC

Suicide Squad #2

Superman's Greatest Team-Ups HC

Swamp Thing #2

Tales of Terror Quarterly: H.H. Holmes

Teaching Artfully TPB

Transformers ’84: Legends & Rumors 100-Page Giant

Transformers Beast Wars #3

Usagi Yojimbo: Origins Vol 1 TPB

Vampire the Masquerade #7

Venom #34

Vigilant TPB

Vlad Dracul TPB

Vulnerability Is My Superpower: Underpants & Overbites TPB

Walking Dead Deluxe #12

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar TPB

We Never Learn Vol 15 GN

Where Is Alice Cooper HC

World of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #108

Yona of the Dawn Vol 29 GN

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