The fifth week of the month can sometimes play havoc with the comic release schedule, especially in regards to Marvel and DC. This week neither publisher has any single issues hitting comic shops; they’re both releasing several trade paperbacks and collections, and each of them have a handful of digital releases hitting comiXology and other online venues, but you won’t see any of their new comics in shops.
But do not despair — that doesn’t mean your shop’s new releases section will be empty, as Image, BOOM!, IDW, Dynamite and others have single issues out this week.
If you’re looking for something to get this week, check out a few recommendations below. You can check the Comic List page to see what’s arriving in your local shop, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally this week. As always, you should check with your local shop on their hours, curbside pick-up, mask requirements, etc. due to COVID-19, especially as some states are starting to issue new guidance. Stay safe out there.
Negan Lives #1 (Image/Skybound)
So in the end, what exactly happened to Negan, everyone’s favorite bat-wielding villain from The Walking Dead? You’ll be able to find out in this special issue, which Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard created to help out comic shops as they reopen and recover from the pandemic. Note that this one will only be available in comic shops and the PR for it says they won’t release it digitally. So if you want a copy, you’ll need to hit your local shop. [JK Parkin]
All-America Comix (Image)
Joe Casey is the co-creator of Marvel’s America Chavez, who appeared in Vengeance as well as Young Avengers, and had her own solo series. Don’t get her confused with America Vasquez, the star of this one-shot by Casey and artist Dustin Nguyen. Is this the same character? Of course not (maybe). Why would you think that (you should)? You can read more about why Casey has gone this route here. [JK Parkin]
Backtrack #4 (Oni Press)
When I picked up the first issue of this a few months back, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Anyone remember Drive? It was a very short-lived TV show starring Nathan Fillion about an underground cross-country road race run by someone secret, kind of like Cannonball Run meets The Game. If you throw in some time travel, then you’d have Backtrack. It’s a sharply written series with some fun twists and turns, as a group of racers in an extraordinary race drive their cars through history, including (in this issue) 1970s Berlin. It’s by Brian Joines, Jake Elphick and Doug Garbark, and it’s definitely worth checking out. [JK Parkin]
The Goddamned: The Virgin Brides #1 (Image)
Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera’s return for a second book of The Goddamned, their “biblical-noir epic” about what happened after humanity was cast out of the Garden of Eden. This new story takes place away from the depravity we saw in the first volume, as a secret group of nuns raise orphans to be “Brides of the Sons of God.” But hey, this is The Goddamned, so being one of those brides? Surprise — it’s actually a bad thing. [JK Parkin]
Ghosts #1 (DC)
DC’s initiative to bring stories from their Walmart 100-Page Giant books to digital continues this week, as they launch Ghosts with a story featuring the Spectre by Dan Jurgens and Scott Eaton. This one is actually available now, as DC has been releasing their DC Digital First line daily for a few months now, and this one replaced the Swamp Thing stories that have previously been coming out on Sundays. [JK Parkin]
GRAPHIC NOVELS/TRADE PAPERBACKS
What if? Classic Complete Collection Vol 04 (Marvel)
The funny thing about classic What If? comics is that they are no longer “What If?” comics. Most of the ideas presented here in what is now the fourth volume reprinting the series have pretty much come true in the main Marvel Universe.
So, it’s really kind of meta. It’s a What If? of a classic in-continuity story that went one way that, once examined, became the basis for a modern in-continuity story, but that first What If? story is not in continuity so it becomes an alternate storyline to both the story that happened the original way, and the new version of the What If? story that happened a different way.
It’s as confusing as a time-travel story, but the good news is that these old stories are SOOOO much fun. They’re a great read if you just throw all that out the window and just enjoy them for what they are. I love a good alternate history story in any type of universe or medium, but set them in the Marvel Universe in comic form and it’s a must buy for me. [Shane Bailey]
Nightwing Year One: The Deluxe Edition (DC)
It’s a comics desert for me this week, so my pick is Nightwing Year One: The Deluxe Edition, reprinting 2005’s Nightwing issues #101-106. Written by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty and pencilled by Scott McDaniel, this arc took a close look at Dick Grayson’s graduation from senior sidekick to Titans leader. Of course, originally Dick became Nightwing as part of 1984’s “Judas Contract” in Tales of the Teen Titans, but there it happened sort-of behind the scenes. One issue shows Dick giving up the Robin costume, and then a few issues later he reveals he’s been waiting for the right moment to put on the long pants and disco collar. These issues of Nightwing fill in those gaps, showing Dick getting career advice from Superman, Batgirl and Deadman and crafting his new identity accordingly. I read this back in the day, and I remember many appropriate nods to the Titans stories and other DC lore, so the continuity-conscious should be satisfied. (Although I don’t know why Dick wears a winterized version of the Robin costume in the first issue, when he’s supposedly just come from busting Brother Blood in his short pants in Alaska.) Ironically, when this first came out, there was probably a decent amount of nostalgia for the Jason Todd Robin and the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, two characters who hadn’t been seen as such for some 16 years. Overall it’s entertaining. Batman’s a jerk throughout but a) it’s told from Dick’s perspective and b) everyone else is cool so they make up for it. [Tom Bondurant]
Kabuki Omnibus Volume 3 (Dark Horse Comics)
Kabuki has always held a special place in my heart as the comic book that really allowed me to see what comics can be. It’s this wild mixed media book where almost all the action takes place off panel and it’s more about internal monologue and the characters thoughts and feelings and the weird thing is, it absolutely works. You hang on every word, you pour over the details on every page. It’s beautiful throughout. It’s a conspiracy filled story full of secret agents and blood where what you think you know can change from page to page and issue to issue all beautifully told by David Mack, who from experience has got to be one of the nicest people in comics. I recently bought the last two volumes of the omnibus to have in my digital collection and I don’t regret it for a second. [Shane Bailey]
Fire Power (Image)
While Kirkman offers up “something old” with the release of Negan Lives, we get something new from him in Fire Power, a prelude graphic novel. I haven’t seen anything new from Chris Samnee in a long time, so it’s great to see his name again. The “Fire Power” in the title is a reference to fireballs, as the main character heads to China to find out more about his birth parents, and instead ends up being trained in the ability to throw fireballs. This sets up the ongoing series set to debut later this summer. [JK Parkin]