And we are back, not with a bang, but with a whimper. We’re still several weeks away from Diamond and most of the comics industry returning to regular operations, but DC decided to break the model and bring back new comics in April, using two new distributors. Also, their new comics were available Tuesday, rather than Wednesday. Up is down, right is left … everything’s insane in this new world.
This feels more like a “beta” week for DC, too, who slowly dip their toes back in the water with their two new distribution partners. Thus, the new release list is very limited. But subsequent weeks should see more new comics from DC. And Diamond is targeting May 20 for their triumphant return, which should bring back even more comics from other publishers. The list of comics for that week is still being finalized, but you can see how it’s shaping up.
Anyway, let’s jump into what came out this week …
We have two reprints, four collections and names I don’t recognize (what’s a “Daphne Byrne?”). You would think the 100-Page Giant would be a shoo-in for top comic of the week; 100 pages of comics, diverse in story, for $4.99 – sounds great! But that “Walmart Edition” throws me for a “who will actually have this?” loop and my eye turns elsewhere. Batman is sure to be in the middle of some long story arc, The Dreaming isn’t exactly the kind of comic you can just pull of the shelf and jump into the story, which leaves me with the best choice: Nightwing #70. Jumping into new storylines and new titles is hard, but there are always key signs that you can find that let the comic-savvy try a new start. It’s a prelude to something called the JokerWar so you know you’re getting in on the ground floor of something and from the description, it sounds like our main character (Ric? Seriously?) is going to be hashing out his memories for the benefit of readers. I’m not joking, I haven’t read current DC titles in forever so if you’re like me and just miss the smell of new comics and fresh entertainment, pick up Nightwing #70.
Besides the return of a handful of comics from DC, there are other items that arrived this week, including graphic novels, collections and some digital only offerings. Of note:
- Emei Burrell’s We Served the People arrived this week from BOOM!/Archaia. It’s a graphic novel that details the life of a Chinese woman who participated in that country’s “Down to the Countryside Movement” of the early 1970s.
- The penultimate issue of the comiXology Originals title Forgotten Home arrives today. The urban fantasy series is by Erica Schultz and Marika Cresta.
- DC released one of their YA titles, My Video Game Ate My Homework by Dustin Hansen. While most of DC’s kids/young adult offerings have been based on existing DC properties, over the last couple weeks they’ve released some featuring original characters, including this one. This looks like one my son would enjoy.
- Both DC and Archie Comics have released digital content of previously released stories. Archie has released a line of 80th anniversary digital editions, which spotlight characters like Archie, Jughead, Sabrina, Katy Keene and the New Crusaders. And DC has been releasing digital comics featuring the Batman, Superman, the Flash, Aquaman and more that originally appeared in their 100-Page Giants anthologies. So if you missed those when they arrived at Walmart and are curious about the original content that appeared in them, here’s your chance to check them out. They feature work by Robert Venditti, Gail Simone, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, Clayton Henry, Aaron Lopresti, Mark Russell and more. They are typically self-contained stories that aren’t heavy on continuity.