THE TOP 5

1. X-Heroes Return

X-Men #1

Marvel Comics | Teen+ | $4.99

Writer: Gerry Duggan | Art: Pepe Larraz | Colors: Marte Gracia | Wraparound cover: Pepe Larazz | Front cover: Pepe Larazz | Back Cover: Pepe Larazz | Variant: Nick Bradshaw | Stormbreakers connecting variant: Juan Cabal, Carmen Nunez Carnero | Stormbreakers connecting variant: Joshua Cassara | Trading Card variant: Russell Dauterman | '90s variant: Larry Houston | Deadpool 30th Anniversary variant: Rob Liefeld | Anime variant: Peach Momoko | Stormbreakers connecting variant: Juan Cabal, Carmen Nunez Carnero | Stormbreakers connecting variant: R. B. Silva, Natacha Bustos, Patrick Gleason | Young variant: Skottie Young | Anime variant: Peach Momoko

Once again protecting a world that has hated and feared them their whole life, original X-Men Cyclops and Marvel Girl have rejected the notion that mutantkind is only out for itself and brought back the world’s premier team of mutant superheroes. Things might be complicated between the new mutant homeland of Krakoa and the rest of the Marvel Universe, but to the X-Men, things are simple — you do what’s right, you protect those who need protecting and you save the world we all share.

The Captain's comments: Thank God, some mutants who are acting like decent people, who want to help other people even if they're not mutants. All the rest of them are acting like selfish jackholes. When Storm is rude and condescending to Captain America for no good reason, I just start losing sympathy.


 

2. Super Friends Reborn

Justice League Infinity #1 (of 7)

DC Comics | 20 pages | $3.99

Writers: James Tucker, J.M. DeMatteis | Art: Ethen Beavers | Cover: Francis Manapul | Card Stock variant ($4.99): Scott Hepburn

DC Announces Justice League Infinity, A New Limited Series Set in the World of Justice League Unlimited

There is a being wandering the universe searching for its true purpose, but what it finds out on the farthest edges of the cosmos will change not just our universe, but many! Meanwhile, the war for the throne of Apokolips arrives on Earth, and the true ruler will only be decided one way: Who can destroy the Justice League?

The Captain's comments: Honestly, this is one of my most favorite JL iterations. At least the roster is stable, which you can't say about the comics! And I'd much rather have Hawkgirl than Aquaman in the Big 7, wouldn't you? (I know John Stewart does.)

3. More Hellboy History

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: Secret to Chesbro House #1 (of 2)

Dark Horse | 32 pages | $3.99

Writers: Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden | Art/Cover A: Shawn McManus | Cover B: Ben Stenbeck

Hellboy works with a psychic to clear a haunted mansion for auction. But the ghosts in residence aren't quite ready to go gentle into that good night, and the answer may lie in a connection with the living world ...

The Captain's comments: A new Hellboy story! Huzzah!

Click here for a preview.

4. Red Is the New Red

Red Sonja: Black White & Red #1

Dynamite | 32 pages | Teen+ | $4.99

Writers: Kurt Busiek, Amanda Deibert, Mark Russell | Art: Benjamin Dewey, Cat Staggs, Bob Q | Cover A: Lucio Parrillo | Cover B: Emanuela Lupacchino | Cover C: Philip Tan | Cover D: Gracie Cosplay Lass

KURT BUSIEK (Astro City, Marvels) and BENJAMIN DEWEY (King In Black: Namor) take you to The Mountains Of Night, a foreboding haunt where the She-Devil With A Sword seeks a precious, priceless item. AMANDA DEIBERT (Wonder Woman) and CAT STAGGS (Smallville) wind you through a mysterious adventure of crimson and ebony. MARK RUSSELL (Red Sonja) and BOB Q (Red Sonja) return to put their final stamp on their classic Red Sonja series, with a coda that will leave you breathless.

Black & White, Superman: Blue & Red and Wonder Woman Black & Gold all had thematic underpinnings. But "black, white and red," in addition to being an old joke, has already been used as a miniseries title for Wolverine and Harley Quinn.

That being said, Sonja has greater claim to red — it's right in the name — and the three stories in this book all work to a greater or lesser degree. Post-Gail Simone, Sonja's heart is in the right place and is a lot easier to root for than in her Conan Lite days, when she was just greedy. In all three of these stories she does some good for somebody, even if it's just ridding the world of a scoundrel or two. She also has a saucy sense of humor, which is also an improvement over the dour Cimmerian.

I've been looking for a Sonja book I could get behind, and this one may be it. Even if it is missing C and Y. Maybe the additional M and K will make up for it.

 

5. The New New Gods

Ordinary Gods #1

Image Comics| Mature | $3.99

Writer: Kyle Higgins | Art: Felipe Watanabe | Covers: Felipe Watanabe, Dave Johnson, Nicola Scott, Declan Shalvey, Rod Reis, Tula Lotay, Dan Panosian, Matt Wilson 

Ordinary Gods follows 22-year-old Christopher. He's got two loving parents and a 12-year-old sister. He works at a paint store. He's in therapy. He’s one of the Five. The Luminary. The Prodigy. The Brute. The Trickster. The Innovator. Five gods from a realm beyond our own, leaders in the “War of Immortals.” At least, they were — before they were trapped, sent to a planet made into a prison, forced into an endless cycle of human death and reincarnation.Which means, in order to save everyone he cares about, Christopher will have to reconnect with his past lives and do the unthinkable: become a god again.

The Captain's comments: Didn't gods waking up in mortal shells already happen in Thor back in the '90s? Well, at least it's an original set of gods. And Image has been on such a roll for so long that any new creator-owned book is a reason to sit up and take notice.

OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST

Alone in Space: A Collection HC

Avery Hill Publishing | $32.95

Writer/Art/Cover: Tillie Walden

A collection of Tillie's three longform comics with Avery Hill: "I Love This Part," "The End of Summer," and "A City Inside." Plus the early sketches, short comics for magazines and webcomics such as "What It's Like To Be Gay In An All-Girls Middle School" that shot her to fame on both sides of the Atlantic and have never been collected before.

The Captain's comments: I have a review copy I didn't have time to read (sorry), but the first pages I read through looked interesting. In them, a wealthy family instructs the servants to lock up the house for the winter, which will last three years. There appear to be four kids (it's unclear if they're all related), who are our focus, and a giant cat. The artwork on the people at times has an unfinished look, but the architecture is always elaborate and richly detailed. (The foreword notes that Walden was heavily influenced by "Little Nemo in Slumberland".) Definitely moving to the top of my digital To-Read pile.

Click here for preview.

Amazing Spider-Man #70

Marvel Comics | 32 pages | Teen+ $3.99

Writer: Nick Spencer | Art: Federico Vicentini | Cover: Mark Bagley | Handbook variant: David Baldeon | Anime variant: Peach Momoko

SINISTER WAR PRELUDE!

The Sinister War turns Spidey's life upside-down, but the fact that KING'S RANSOM and CHAMELEON CONSPIRACY already did that, might give you an idea of how hard this is going to be for Peter Parker.

The Captain's comments: If I'm reading the tea leaves right, two versions of the Sinister Six will be in conflict, with Spider-Man caught in the middle. The poster below suggests one team will consist of of mostly animal-named Dr. Octopus, Electro, Hydro-Man, Kraven, Lizard and Sandman, while the other consists of entirely animal-named Armadillo, Cobra, Rhino, Scorpion, Tarantula and Vulture.

I'm further guessing, from some advance art I've seen, that Peter Parker will be so badly injured by the Sinister War that it will open the door for Ben Reilly to take over.

America Chavez: Made in the USA #4 (of 5)Marvel Comics | Teen+ | $3.99

Writer: Kalinda Vazquez | Art: Carlos E. Gomez | Colors: Jesus Aburtov | Cover: Sara Pichelli | Variant: Marc Aspinall

Not only has America Chavez encountered Catalina, a mysterious woman claiming to be America’s sister, but she’s learned that her home dimension, the Utopian Parallel, may not even exist! These shocking moments combined with an intimate new look at her Washington Heights upbringing have made this explosive story a critically acclaimed hit but the greatest reveals are still to come.

The Captain's comments: I'm not sure why Marvel felt the need to send me PR on the fourth issue of a five-issue miniseries. My best guess is that this issue in particular will re-write America's origin, which, IMHO, badly needs re-writing. (Somebody named "America" needs to be from AMERICA, not some mumbo-jumbo mystical badly-defined frou-frou rainbows & unicorns otherworld.)

Avengers #46Marvel Comics | Teen+ | $3.99

Writer: Jason Aaron | Art/Cover: Javi Garron | Anime variant: Peach Momoko

WORLD WAR SHE-HULK!

After the shocking events of "Enter the Phoenix," the Earth has become more fractured and volatile than ever, especially for the Avengers. Once She-Hulk is declared a global menace, Russia's mightiest heroes, the Winter Guard, are tasked with bringing Jen to justice, to face a fate no Hulk could hope to endure.

The Captain's comments: The original World War Hulk was a pretty big deal, so maybe this one will be, too.

Batman: Secret Files — The Signal #1 one-shot

DC Comics | 40 pages | $4.99

Writer: Tony Patrick | Art: Christian Duce | Cover: Ken Lashley | Card Stock variant: Cully Hamner | 1:25 incentive variant ($5.99): Ken Lashley

Duke Thomas Returns Home to Fight Metahuman Weapons Trafficking in Gotham City!

After his time as a member of the Outsiders, Duke Thomas, a.k.a. The Signal, returns home to be the daytime guardian of Gotham City. But during his time away everything has changed, including those closest to him. And with a deadly influx of weapons being trafficked into Gotham by the mysterious White Market, The Signal enters a brand-new world of danger in his hometown, one that will push him farther away from everything he knows!

The Captain's comments: Batman: Secret Files is a monthly series of one-shots spotlighting Bat-family members. This one features Signal, but succeeding issues will focus on other characters. Given the army of Bat-people, they shouldn't run out of options for quite a while.

 

Black's Myth #1

Ahoy Comics | $3.99

Writer: Eric Palicki | Art: Wendell Cavalcanti | Cover A: Liana Kangas | Cover B: Jamal Igle

Eric Palicki, the writer of Atlantis Wasn’t Built For Tourists and No Angel, and BlackAcre artist Wendell Cavalcanti are collaborating on an all-new comic book series, Black’s Myth, about an LA-based private investigator … who is a werewolf. Meet Janie Jones “Strummer” Mercado—just an ordinary werewolf PI, trying to make it on the mean streets of Los Angeles. When the case of a lifetime falls into her lap, it’s up to her and her charming djinn assistant Ben Si’lat to figure out just how many silver bullets have been used, and just where do silver bullets come from anyway? Black’s Myth mixes familiar noir detective tropes with urban fantasy world-building as it explores the “supernatural underground” thriving in Los Angeles.

The Captain's comments: This is a competent first issue, telling us enough to get us through the launch of a story while withholding enough details to keep us curious. The art is equally competent, reminding me (weirdly) of mid-range Marvels in the 1970s. Specifically, for some reason, the inking of Frank Chiaramonte. The brain works in mysterious ways.

Our hero Strummer is, I think, Black — her speech, facial features and hair (shaved at the sides, a punk look that's a terrible idea for a private detective trying not to be noticed) are pretty Anglo, but she seems Black-ish on the covers. Since she rebuffs a quasi-romantic gesture by her male partner, they either have a history or she's a lesbian; I'm guessing the latter since that's more trendy. Anyway, that's probably important since the text material refers to her and her partner as "outsiders" — the partner appears to be of Arabic descent — which wouldn't be necessarily be true about a white, straight girl who is conventionally attractive.

The partner, by the way, is half-djinn, which is pretty useful. Strummer can change into a werewolf any time, not just full moons, and we get a brief explanation of how lycanthropy works in this world (but not how she got it). There's also a spirit dog, a new-to-me concept about burying big, mean dogs in graveyards so they follow the spirits around of those who are buried there and protect them. Since "Grim" is following Strummer, draw your own conclusions.

Black's Myth isn't fireworks (yet), but it's solid.  

Clans of Belari #1

Aftershock Comics| $4.99

Writers: Rob Blackie, Peter Blackie | Art: Daniel Maine | Cover: Andy Clarke

PRIMARY LAWS OF THE BELARI SYSTEM:

1.) No person or Clan may exit the system.

2.) No person or Clan may do the Designated Work of another Clan.

3.) Clans may not merge.

4.) Any person that breaks a Primary Law shall be made Outcast.

On the far side of the galaxy, an isolated branch of humanity is trapped in a feudal dystopia. Oder is maintained by a system of oppression, until an orphaned girl and her incorrigible adoptive father sow the seeds of a revolution and unite the clans against a fearsome alien threat.

From Rob Blackie and Peter Blackie (creators and writers of Netflix's historical action-adventure series, Frontier) and artist Daniel Maine comes this vast and enthralling sci-fi adventure.

The Captain's comments: This looks like an ambitious sci-fi series, but since it's an Aftershock book, I don't know any more about it than what you see above.

Captain America #30

Marvel Comics | 32 pages | Teen+ | $3.99

Writer: Ta-Nahisi Coates | Art: Leonard Kirk | Cover: Alex Ross | Spider-Villains variant: Taurin Clarke

The Captain's comments: This is the final issue of Ta-Nahisi Coates' run on Captain America, which was apparently reason enough for a press release and preview. *Shrug* I'm trade-waiting, and will read it eventually.

Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #13

YEAR TWO OF FIRE POWER BY KIRKMAN & SAMNEE BEGINS HERE

Sneak a peek at preview pages from the upcoming new story arc

The action-packed Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #13 from superstars Robert Kirkman, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson begins here with a first look at interior art from the upcoming new story arc.

The Captain's comments: I wonder if anybody who isn't already reading this title will be induced to sample it by a press release and preview about a new story arc. (I'm guessing "none," but I suppose Image figures it has nothing to lose by trying.)

DC Horror Presents The Conjuring: The Lover #2 (of 5)

DC Comics | 32 pages | $3.99

Writers: Rex Ogle, David Johnson | Art: Dave Johnson, Garry Brown | Cover: Bill Sienkiewicz | Card Stock variant ($4.99):

The second installment of this five-issues limited series is part of the prelude to the fan-favorite New Line Cinema film, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, currently available in theaters and exclusively on HBO Max. Jessica’s life begins to take a turn for the terrifying as she finds herself experiencing increasingly disturbing events at her college. Most troubling of all, she begins to suspect that the phenomena she’s experiencing could have an unsettling origin — her own psyche.

"Tales from the Artifact Room: The Bloody Bride"

Writer: Che Grayson | Art: Juan Ferrarya

The story behind a wedding dress — and the curse it passes on to new brides.

The Captain's comments: I haven't seen any of these movies, but if this is any good, I might start.

Extreme Carnage Alpha #1Marvel Comics | Teen+ | $3.99

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson | Art: Manuel Garcia | Cover: Dave Rapoza | Connecting variant A: Jeff Johnson | Connecting variant B: Jeff Johnson | Young variant: Skottie Young | Wraparound variant: Leinil Francis Yu

Phage. Scream. Lasher. Riot. Agony. The Life Foundation symbiotes have always tried to reconcile the sometimes-noble intentions of their hosts with the often-bloodthirsty impulses of the symbiotes. But the Life Foundation symbiotes aren’t the only symbiotes who find themselves reinvented after KING IN BLACK and Carnage has plans for his younger siblings, including the recently-returned Anti-Venom! After his surprise appearance in the explosive conclusion of KING IN BLACK, Flash Thompson is back and ready for a fight.

The Captain's comments: Good grief, ANOTHER Venom crossover? I object, your honor!

Fight Girls #1 (of 5)

Artists Writers & Artisans Inc. | $3.99

Writer/Art/Cover: Frank Cho | Wraparound variant: Mike Deodata

Ten hard-as-nails women face off in an ancient contest of champions where the winner truly takes all: the title of "Queen of the Galaxy." To win the challenge each contestant must survive the hazards of the planet's harsh landscape, the ferocious predators on and below its surface, and their fellow contestants. This edition of the contest has a twist: one of the contestants is an infiltrator who has her eye on something bigger than the prize. Who is she and what does she really want?

The Captain's comments: Of all the projects Frank Cho has worked on, this is undoubtedly the Cho-iest.

Godkiller: Tomorrow's Ashes #1

Black Mask Comics | $3.99

Writer: Matteo Pizzolo | Art: Anna Wieszczyk Cover: Nen

IT'S BACK! From Matteo Pizzolo (CALEXIT) and Anna Wieszczyk, the comic that Zac Thompson said "pushed me further than I've ever been pushed" returns to ratchet up the chaos and roar through the comic market, spitting punk rock fury, thundering into your eyeballs and running roughshod across your brains with its often mindbending, sometimes horrifying, always clever & devious tale of sci-fi magic, apocalyptic sex, and subversive mindbombs.

The Captain's comments: Here's another ambitious-looking sci-fi/fantasy book. Not even a preview this time.

Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 3 HC

DC Comics | 1,192 pages | $125.00

Writers: Gerry Conway, Paul Levitz, Martin Pasko, Steve Englehart | Art: Dick Dillin, George Tuska, more | Cover: Karl Kerschl

Collects Justice League of America #147-182, Super-Team Family #11-14, DC Special #27, DC Special Series #6, Secret Society of Super-Villains #15, DC Comics Presents #17, and pages from Amazing World of DC Comics #14.

The Captain's comments: I'm delighted to see this, because I thought DC had abandoned collecting the original Justice League of America comprehensively in favor of topic collections like "The Wedding of Ray Palmer." So glad to see the omnibus series resume.

The Lot #1 (of 4)

Bad Idea | 40 pages | B&W | Teen+ | $5.99

Writer: Marguerite Bennett | Art/Cover: Renato Guedes

Aviva Copeland is the newly promoted studio head — the youngest in decades. Great things are expected of her. Maybe greater than is fair. She has the unenviable task of restoring the studio's fading image and resurrecting its financial viability. She's up for the challenge. Poring over the sea of red in the company ledger she finds just the thing to help her do it — a prime piece of California real estate has been sitting unused on the studio books, hemorrhaging money for decades. Why would they let a lot this valuable just rot? Aviva will soon find her answer and with it she will discover that though the lot may have been closed for a half-century, it's far from empty … and the evil that lives within its haunted walls will soon seize its chance to kill again.

PLUS: An All-New BAD IDEA B-SIDE

The Captain's comments: Bad Idea sent out a press release saying it had gone belly up, and solicited the "final" five titles. Given how many hoaxes I've waded through from Bad Idea, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. (I'm guessing a name change.) Meanwhile, there are two Bad Idea titles this week, neither from the "final five." This is one.

Masters of the Universe #1 (of 4)

Dark Horse | 32 pages | $3.99

Kevin Smith, Rob David, Tim Sheridan | Art: Mindy Lee | Letters: Deron Bennett | Colors: Rico Renzi | Cover A: Stjepan Sejic | Cover B: Mike Mignola

Following a vicious Orlax attack on his father King Randor, He-Man learns the creature is linked to the origin of the sword of power. To save Randor and put an end to the chaos, He-Man embarks on an epic journey that pits him against his longtime foes Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, and sees Teela take the reins of a powerful legacy.

The Captain's comments: Before Masters of the Universe premiered in the early 1980s, "he-man" was a joke term to my generation — pompous, archaic and ridiculous. Even though the toy and subsequent cartoons and comics seem to have rehabilitated the word for most, the 12-year-old inside me still snickers when he hears it. And he always will.

Click here for preview.

Mamo #1

BOOM! | $4.99

Writer/Art/Cover: Sas Milledge

Orla, the youngest in a long line of hedge witches, finds herself pulled back to her hometown after the death of her grandmother — Mamo. Without Mamo managing magical relationships between the townsfolk and the fae, the seas are impossible to fish, the crops have soured ... and Jo Manalo's attic has been taken over by a poltergeist!

Now, Orla and Jo will both be pulled into worlds they never wanted to be part of. Can the two girls work together to save the town?

The Captain's comments: Here's an ambitious-looking fantasy book. It's from BOOM!, so I only know what you know, and what's presented in the preview below.

Click here for preview.

Middlewest: The Complete Tale HC

Image Comics | 560 pages | Mature | $59.99

Writer: Skottie Young | Art/Cover A: Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Jorge Corona | Colors: Jean-Francois Beaulieu

When a violent storm levels his sleepy Middlewest town, Abel and his childhood companion, Fox, must hastily flee into a world of mystical carnies and soothsayer hobos, bridge trolls and wilderness spirits, endless forests and forgotten children.

The Captain's comments: Has anybody read this as it was being published? If good, I'll pick up this collection.

Miskatonic Vol. 1 TPB

Miskatonic Valley holds many mysteries — cultists worshipping old gods, a doctor dead set on resurrecting the recently deceased, a house overrun by rats in the walls — but none more recent than a series of bombings targeting the Valley's elite.

These horrors reach a breaking point when the brilliant, hard-nosed investigator Miranda Keller is sent to stop the bombings. To J. Edgar Hoover, there can be no other explanation than those responsible for similar actions during the Red Scare of the 1920s ... but when Miranda digs too deep, she uncovers an unimaginable occult conspiracy, one that may cost Miranda her job — and her sanity.

 Collects issues #1-5.

The Captain's comments: This seems like a more serious version of Night Stalker, and who doesn't love a little Elder God love? I also dig the period setting, with a prototypical Jane Arden-style spunky newsgal.

Monday Monday: Rivers of London #1

Titan Comics | Mature | 32 pages | $3.99

Writers: Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel | Art: José María Beroy | Cover A: Veronica Fish | Cover B:

José María Beroy | Cover C: V.V. Glass | Cover D: Gyula Nemeth

A Werewolf is on the loose and will stop at nothing to avoid capture! It's up to Peter and his cohort of chums to hunt the deadly lycanthrope and bring him to justice.

The Captain's comments: I read a Rivers of London story several years ago, and it felt more Dr. Who-ey than I cared for. But if they're going to keep sending me all cool this stuff (see below), maybe I'll give it another go.

 

 

 

 

Orwell GN

By Pierre Christin, illustrated by Sebastien Verdier

George Orwell’s most celebrated work, 1984, and the prescient vision it contains of a society governed by Big Brother predates the constant monitoring of people and data we are familiar with today by almost 70 years. But his life was every bit as fascinating and forward-looking as his books. With illustrations by artists including Annie Goetzinger, Juanjo Guarnido, Enki Bilal, Manu Larcenet, Blutch, and André Juillard, Pierre Christin’s Orwell offers readers an intimate yet definitive portrait of our greatest political writer.

The Captain's comments: I have it, haven't read it, can't wait to read it. I need an eighth day this week!

Rivers of London: Body Work Deluxe Writer's Edition HC

Titan | 256 pages |  $29.99

Writer: Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel | Illustration: Lee Sullivan

Grant is part of a very special London police unit. Full-time cop and part-time wizard, he works on rather unusual crimes — those that involve magic and the general weirdness that permeates London's dark underbelly. His latest case begins with a perfectly innocent car on a homicidal killing spree — without a driver. But, before you know it, there's a Bosnian refugee, the Most Haunted Car in England, a bunch of teenagers loaded on Ketamine and a seemingly-harmless wooden bench with the darkest of pasts ...

Skybound X #1 (of 5)

Image Comics | 52 pages | Mature | $4.99

Writers: Robert Kirkman, Tillie Walden, James Harren, Chris Dingess | Art: Ryan Ottley, Tillie Walden, James Harren, Matthew Roberts | Cover A: Ryan Ottley | Cover B: James Harren | Cover C: Tillie Walden | Cover D: Charlie Adlard | Cover E: Blank Sketch Cover | Cover F 1:10 incentive cover: James Harren | Cover G 1:10 incentive cover: Tillie Walden | Cover H 1:10 incentive cover: Charlie Adlard | Cover I 1:25 incentive cover by Ryan Ottley

Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment will launch a five-issue, limited comic book series, SKYBOUND X. This exciting comic event will feature iconic characters such as THE WALKING DEAD’S Rick Grimes, TELLTALE’S THE WALKING DEAD’s Clementine, and more Skybound favorites. Heavy hitter creators including Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, Tillie Walden, Donny Cates, Joshua Williamson, Chip Zdarsky, James Harren, and Daniel Warren Johnson will contribute stories from the best Skybound series past, present, and future.

The Captain's comments: I'm not always impressed with Robert Kirkman's writing, but I can't fault him for lack of ambition. He's really trying to turn Skybound into a brand akin to "Marvel" or "DC."

Slay Bells #1 one-shot

Bad Idea | $7.99

Writer: Zeb Wells | Art/Cover: David Lafuente | Colors: Ulises Arreola

Every Christmas Eve, little Bobby Hamilton and his father rise at dawn for an early morning hunting trip. It was their favorite tradition — until they accidentally killed a certain red-nosed reindeer. They should have known better. They shouldn’t have tried to cover it up. Because Santa Claus knows that they’ve been naughty — and, now like so many fragile Christmas ornaments violently shaken free, the yuletide peace of a quaint Midwestern farming hamlet will forever be shattered as Old Saint Nick comes to town to reap the sweetest gift of all: vengeance.

The Captain's comments: Maybe this will become a holiday tradition. Like Die Hard.

Stone Star Volume 1: Fight or Flight TPB

Dark Horse | Age: 16+ | 136 pages | $19.99

Writer: Jim Zub | Art/Cover: Max Dunbar | Colors: Espen Grundetjern

The nomadic space station called Stone Star brings gladiatorial entertainment to ports across the galaxy. Inside this gargantuan vessel of tournaments and temptations, foragers and fighters struggle to survive.

A young thief named Dail discovers a dark secret in the depths of Stone Star and has to decide where his destiny lies — staying hidden in the shadows or standing tall in the searing spotlight of the arena. Either way, his life, and the cosmos itself, will never be the same!

Collects the original digital series Stone Star #1-5 in print for the first time.

The Captain's comments: Once again, I have a DRC I didn't have time to read over the holiday weekend. (Hey, it was a holiday weekend.) But I'll at least include it on the list, and promise to read it eventually for a full review.

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem TPB

Dark Horse | 200 pages | 14+ | $24.99

Writers: Gerard Way, Shaun Simon | Art/Cover: Leonardo Romero | Colors: Jordie Bellaire

The Fabulous Killjoys, once a group of teenage exterminators determined to save reality, have lost their way — and their memories. After a period of mental confinement, former Killjoys leader Mike Milligram gets de-programmed and hits the road to bring the gang back together for a final showdown against an evil pharmaceutical corporation, their monstrous hitman, and savage gang rivals.

Collects The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem #1-6 and all covers, with variant covers by Becky Cloonan, Paul Rentler, Motohiro, Andrew MacLean, Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo, and Brian Chippendale!

The Captain's comments: Looking for recommendations again, as I missed the first Killjoys miniseries.

Click here for preview.

CONTINUING EVENTS/CROSSOVERS

INFINITE DESTINIES PART 4

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2

Marvel Comics | Teen+ | $4.99

Writers: Karla Pacheco, Jed MacKay | Art: Eleonora Carlini, Juan Ferreyra | Cover: Sergio Davila | Connecting variant: Ron Lim

SPIDER-MAN VS. STAR!

The next can't-miss installment of the "Infinite Destinies" saga is here! Spider-Man thinks he knows reality warpers - but he's never met Ripley Ryan. Mass murderer and occasional Thunderbolt, Star is still searching for her own path .. and the power to shape her future however she wants. But can the wielder of the Reality Stone really go up against a hero who's fought gods?! Find out here - and get the next piece of the Infinity Stone puzzle!

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Part 4 (of 8) of "Infinite Fury"!

The Captain's comments: Halfway through. Anyone reading this? I'm not — it almost seems sacrilegious to do an Infinity Gems Stones story without Jim Starlin and Thanos. Also less interesting.

ANIME VARIANT COVERS BY PEACH MOMOKO

Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Peach Momoko is back with an all-new collection of must-have variant covers! The top-selling cover artist recently depicted many of Marvel’s biggest stars for an entire line of Upper Deck trading cards. Now these popular anime-inspired art pieces will serve as variant covers on some of your favorite ongoing series this July!

Collect all 12 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVERS!

Amazing Spider-Man #70Avengers #45

Immortal Hulk #48X-Men #1

PRIDE MONTH VARIANT COVERS

I hope this is the last Pride Month cover to straggle in. Wonder Girl #2 was delayed for (checks watch) a month.

Wonder Girl #2

Pride variant cover by Kevin Wada

STAR WARS: THE WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS WEEK 10

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #14

Marvel Comics | Teen | $3.99

Writer: Ethan Sacks | Art: Paolo Villanelli | Cover: Giuseppe Camuncoli | LucasFilm 50th Anniversary variant: Chris Sprouse | Head Shot variant: Giuseppe Camuncoli 

"THE FOLLOWING"

Hunted by the mysterious assassin DEATHSTICK, a wounded VALANCE and his reluctant partner DENGAR are running out of options! T'ONGA is outgunned and outnumbered ... but she does have one last surprise up her sleeve! And the shadowy force behind all of the danger makes its move!

WHAT TH--?

Babyteeth #19

Here's a callback to The Dark Knight Returns #2!

Devilish Darlings: Portal Fantasy GN

Ghost Ship | $13.99

Writer/Art/Cover: Minoru Mitsuba

A sexy and adventurous comedy about life and love between worlds! Ordinary Earth guy Keitaro finds himself teleported to another world, and before he can get his bearings, he's pounced on by an adorable half-devil. Nia is so excited to finally meet a human; she's always wanted to make babies with one! Keitaro is at first determined to return home, but as he gets to know Nia, fellow devil-girl Rosette, and their pet dragon Lassie, he starts to feel at home. Cultures clash and attraction blossoms in this supernatural sexy comedy!

The Captain's comments: When you meet devils in the West, they're horribly ugly creatures who want to torture you for eternity. In Japan, they're horny, big-busted gals who want to make babies with you. Sometimes I want to turn Japanese. I really think so.

Dio: Holy Diver TPB

Z2 Comics | $19.99

Writer: Steve Niles | Art: Scott Hampton | Cover: Bill Sienkiewicz

Behold: the Holy Diver graphic novel, an original storyline inspired by one of heavy metal's most iconic album covers. Penned by acclaimed horror comics writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), the book will tell the tale behind the events leading to the powerful moment captured on the cover of Dio's debut album, definitively addressing 30 years of fan speculation. Why is the priest being thrown into the ocean? Who is truly the villain in this scenario?

The Captain's comments: I was completely unaware of this "iconic" LP cover, despite having grown up in the '60s, and looking at it now (below), I still have no burning questions about it. Now, if anybody wants to tell me what monster threw the baby in the swimming pool on Nirvana's Nevermind album cover, I'm listening.

Glamorella's Daughter #1

Literati Press | $5.00

(W) Brandy Williams, Charles J Martin, Jerry Bennett (A/CA) Jerry Bennet

Comet, the daughter of Earth's greatest defender, yearns for a quiet existence with towers of books and the occasional game night at her friend's house. Her mom, Glamorella, savors the thrill of adventure, the heat of battle, and the glitzy soirées that come with superheroics. While Glamorella navigates keeping the world safe and dealing with her super-scientist ex, Comet does her best to withstand the trials of middle school. Can they find the time and the common ground to help each other?

Evidently, each issue is a Kickstarter. Also, isn't this basically the plot of the upcoming I Am Not Starfire?

Click here for preview.

Goldilocks: Wanted Dead or Alive

Little, Brown for Younger Readers

Writer: Chris Colfer | Art: Jon Proctor

Once upon a time, the kingdoms of the fairy-tale world lived in perfect harmony under the guidance of the Happily Ever After Assembly. But not all creatures and territories have been invited to this peaceful union. Monsters and criminals have found refuge in the Dwarf Forests, a land without rulers or law. When a plot by the Charming brothers is unveiled and threatens to push society's unwanted from their homes, the fairy-tale world's harmony and Goldilocks' home are put in jeopardy ...

The Captain's comments: Well, it's about time that little scofflaw got what's coming to her! I imagine she's good for B&E, petty theft and ... what's that? She's the hero? This is for little kids? Never mind.

Immortal Hulk #48

Here's an homage to Incredible Hulk #272.

The Philosophy of Venom HC

Titan Comics | $14.99

Uncover the crazed and illustrious mind of the original symbiote superhero in this lavishly presented collection of Venom's most heroic, villainous, and somewhat killer moments from his comic book history.
It's everything you need to know about your new-favourite anti-hero, ahead of his second outing on the silver screen, with Tom Hardy reprising his role as Venom, and Woody Harrelson set to star as Cletus Kasady — AKA, Carnage! Venom 2 is scheduled for release October 2nd, 2020!

The Captain's comments: Gahhh! More Venom! It's a plot to drive me mad! (Admittedly, it's a short trip ...)

WWE New Day Power of Positivity #1 (of 2)

BOOM! | $7.99

Writers: Narcisse, Evan, Austin Walker | Art/Cover: Daniel Bayliss

Who are The New Day?

Kofi. Xavier. Big E. Six-time. W.W.E. Tag. Team. Champions! The. Longest. Reign. In. W.W.E. History!

You know the matches. You know the catchphrases. You think you know The New Day ... but now discover the origins and struggles of these three WWE Superstars before that fateful day when they realized that they're stronger together than apart and seize their place in WWE history.

The Captain's comments: WWE comics? And pancakes? Well, why not. It was just a matter of time.

Click here for preview.

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BATMAN SECRET FILES: That cover reminds me of when Spider-Man adopted fouir new identiries (for some reason).

ORDINARY GODS"Didn't gods waking up in mortal shells already happen in Thor back in the '90s?"

Indeed it did.

SKYBOUND X: I'll give it a try.

FIRE POWER: "I wonder if anybody who isn't already reading this title will be induced to sample it by a press release and preview about a new story arc. (I'm guessing 'none'...)"

You're probably right, but everyone should be reading this title and this might be a good jumping on point. I'll let you know over in "What Comics Have You Read Today" later this week.

JLA BRONZE AGE OMNI v1: Pre-ordered.

Monday Monday: Rivers of London #1

Titan Comics | Mature | 32 pages | $3.99

Writers: Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel | Art: José María Beroy | Cover A: Veronica Fish | Cover B:

José María Beroy | Cover C: V.V. Glass | Cover D: Gyula Nemeth

A Werewolf is on the loose and will stop at nothing to avoid capture! It's up to Peter and his cohort of chums to hunt the deadly lycanthrope and bring him to justice.

The Captain's comments: I read a Rivers of London story several years ago, and it felt more Dr. Who-ey than I cared for. But if they're going to keep sending me all cool this stuff (see below), maybe I'll give it another go.

Ben Aaronovitch wrote for Doctor Who back in the 80's and Andrew Cartmel was the show's script editor (and creator of the possibly-mythical "Cartmel Master Plan"), so that's not too surprising.

The Signal might be great, but I just can't get past the terrible name and terrible costume.

Skybound X #1 - I was mildly interested in this, but then I realized it was a lot of stories from series I never read or didn't really like first time.

Amazing Spider-Man #70 - This new storyline is what got me to drop ASM. You are correct there are two Sinister Six teams. If memory serves, Doc Ock leads one of them and Vulture the other one.

Fire Power #13 - What Jeff said

Fight Girls #1 -  I'll admit, I'm getting this.

Slay Bells #1 one-shot

This reminds me of an episode of Futurama in which a year-3000 robot Santa rides a sleigh overhead firing a machine gun at everyone.

Goldilocks: Wanted Dead or Alive

The Captain's comments: Well, it's about time that little scofflaw got what's coming to her! I imagine she's good for B&E, petty theft and ... what's that? She's the hero? This is for little kids? Never mind.

I am reminded of the delightful (to me, anyway) Goldilocks character in Fables.

Goldilocks (all grown up) had sex with Baby Bear, was an extreme Markist and blew Snow White's head off (Snow got better because so many people believe in her).

I figure press releases & previews for ongoing series like Firepower  (which really is excellent) are more aimed at the press than at the readers themselves. I can't really see a new reader benefitting from that preview, but I can seen a blogger or comics journalist saying, "Oh, right, I meant to get around to Firepower. There's a new storyline starting, now's a good time to read the back issues and write something up." And from those pieces, a few new readers might pick it up.

Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 3 HC

Justice League of America #147-#182

#147-#157 = the rest of the title's double-length period that started with #139

  • #147-#148 = a JLA/JSA crossover with the LSH; written by Martin Pasko and Paul Levitz
  •  #149-#150 = the Star-Tsar two-parter that concluded Steve Englehart's run; Snapper Carr guests
  • #151 = the start of Gerry Conway's long run; he'd written the title previously
  • #153 = the line-up chosen for this issue were the winners of a most popular Leaguers poll; art by George Tuska
  • #157 = the wedding of the Atom; substantially pencilled by Juan Ortiz but with a start and finish by Dick Dillin

#158-#160 = the brief DC Explosion era, with 25 page stories

  • #159-#160 = the JLA/JSA crossover with the heroes of yesterday

#161-#165 = the remaining Julie Schwartz issues; stories c.22 pages

  • #161 Zatanna joins; her leotard costume introduced

#166 = Ross Andru takes over as editor; stories down to 17 pages

  • #166-#168 = versus the Secret Society of Super-Villains, resolving the storyline from their own series
  • #171-#172 JLA/JSA crossover; death of a Golden Age hero; who is a spoiler, so I've saved that info for this post's final paragraph
  • #173-#174 Black Lightning guests

#177 Len Wein takes over as editor

  • #178 the Martian Manhunter guests
  • #179-#180 Firestorm joins; shortly after this his back-up series started in The Flash (see #182)
  • #181 Green Arrow quits; he rejoined in #200

#182 was the issue that came out the month DC took it's titles up to 25 pages again; in the period that followed many titles carried back-up series, but not Justice League of America normally; but this issue had a back-up Elongated Man story Paul Kupperberg and Rodin Rodriguez

DC Special #27 = Captain Comet adventure in which the JLA appears, by Bob Rozakis and Rich Buckler; the earliest story in the omnibus; double-length

Super-Team Family #11-#14 = The Atom's search for Jean Loring storyline, which becomes a SSoSV crossover for its final part and ends with the Atom's and Jean's engagement; stories by Gerry Conway, pencils by Alan Weiss (#11) and Arvell Jones (#12-#14); double-length

DC Special Series #6 = double-length story featuring the Secret Society of Super-Villains (and their regular adversary Captain Comet); included here, apparently, as the Society sets out to murder the leading Leaguers; by Gerry Conway and Arvell Jones

Secret Society of Super-Villains #15 = the last issue of their original series, by Bob Rozakis and Mike Vosburg; the villains set about capturing the members of the JSA; Justice League of America #166 was their next appearance and has a capsule account of how the conflict concluded

(Two further issues of Secret Society of Super-Villains were partially prepared, and included in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade. They had a different main storyline, featuring the Freedom Fighters, but partially continued #15's.)

DC Comics Presents #17 = Superman/Firestorm team-up, the revival of the character after his original series; included as it concludes - spoiler warning - with Superman's offer of JLA membership to Firestorm; by Gerry Conway and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

Amazing World of DC Comics #14 highlighted the Justice League. My guess is the omnibus will include the stuff on the League's rules and the layout of its headquarters.

Some final comments:

Justice League of America, #183, the issue after the last one in the collection, was Dick Dillin's last issue, but also the start of a three-part JLA-JSA crossover featuring the New Gods. It was completed by George Perez.

Between Super-Team Family #13 and #14 Jean is abducted by the Secret Society of Super-Villains. This was in Secret Society of Super-Villains #10, which also led into the DC Special Series #6 story.

Spoiler for Justice League of America #171: the murdered hero was Mr Terrific. He had appeared in a number of JLA/JSA crossovers previously, in the later 60s/early 70s. His adversary, the Spirit King, was created for this story. Batwoman's death in Detective Comics #233 preceded his by a couple of months. Earlier examples of killed Golden Age heroes include several sidekicks: Marvel's Bucky and Toro, DC's Wing, Stuff and Larry Lance. The original Human Torch was restored to live and died again in Fantastic Four Annual #4. The Silver and Bronze Ages had also seen the deaths of Charlton's scarab-powered Dan Garrett Blue Beetle (a Silver Age reboot character) and the Earth-Two and Batman (and Catwoman). 

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