Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide each week to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital. This week DC continues the rollout of their Infinite Frontier publishing initiative, while two Marvel books delayed by the pandemic finally arrive in comic shops.
The Joker #1 (DC, $4.99): Batman’s worst enemy and best ally get the spotlight in this new monthly series starting this week. While the Joker gets his name on the marquee, Commissioner Gordon will feature prominently in this new comic by James Tynion IV and Guillem March. Tynion also co-writes the back-up feature, which stars Punchline. Sam Johns co-writes, while Mirka Andolfo provides the art.
Batman: Urban Legends #1 (DC, $7.99): If you enjoyed the Future State anthologies like The Next Batman and Dark Detective, then Batman: Urban Legends might be for you. It continues that trend, presenting stories featuring Batman, Red Hood, the Outsiders and Grifter, by creators like Chip Zdarsky, Matthew Rosenberg, Eddy Barrows, Stephanie Phillips, Ryan Benjamin, Laura Braga, Max Dunbar and Brandon Thomas.
Wonder Woman #770 (DC, $4.99): When we last saw Wonder Woman, she was turning down an offer to join The Quintessence in the final pages of Infinite Frontier — and presumably was on her way home, right? Wonder Woman #770 finds her somewhere completely different — in Valhalla, the home of dead warriors in Norse mythology, courtesy of Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad and Travis Moore. This issue also features a “Young Diana” back-up feature by Jordie Bellaire and Paulina Ganucheau.
Wonder Woman: Earth 1, vol. 3 (DC, $15.99): Speaking of Wonder Woman, the third and final volume of her Earth 1 adventures come to a close this week. Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn pit Diana, now queen of the Amazons, against an assault on Paradise Island by Maxwell Lord.
Amazing Spider-Man #61 (Marvel, $3.99): After the harrowing events of the last few issues, Spider-Man gets a new job and a new costume designed by Dustin Weaver in Amazing Spider-Man #61. If you’re curious to see what it looks like, you can check it out here.
Non-Stop Spider-Man #1 (Marvel, $4.99): Originally set to debut in June of last year, Non-Stop Spider-Man wasn’t necessarily stopped, but was slightly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Joe Kelly and Chris Bachalo, who worked together on X-Men, Steampunk and Spidey’s “Brand New Day” era, reunite for an “action-packed, pulse-pounding, adrenaline-pumping” new Spider-Man title.
Children of the Atom #1 (Marvel, $4.99): Another victim of the COVID pandemic and comic industry shutdown, Children of the Atom comes out this week almost a year after it was originally supposed to debut. The new title by Vita Ayala and Bernard Chang features a new cast of teen heroes inspired by the X-Men.
Deadpool: Nerdy 30 (Marvel, $5.99): celebrating 30 years of the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool: Nerdy 30 features stories of Wade Wilson’s birthdays by creators who have worked on the character previously — including Gail Simone, Daniel Way, Skottie Young, Joe Kelly, Gerardo Sandoval, Fabian Nicieza, Paco Medina and, of course, Rob Liefeld.
Thor & Loki: Double Trouble #1 (Marvel, $3.99): Writer Mariko Tamaki teams up once again with art team Gurihiru for a new miniseries featuring Loki and Thor doing what they do best — getting into, and getting out of, respectively, trouble.
Blade Runner: Origins #1 (Titan Comics, $3.99): Based on the feature film, writers K. Perkins, Mike Johnson and Mellow Brown and artist Fernando Dagnino tell the story of the origins of the Blade Runner replicant program.
God of War: Fallen God #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99): Chris Roberson, Tony Parker and Dave Rapoza show us what happened to Kratos, a.k.a. the title character from the God of War games franchise, after he defeated Ares and the rest of the Olympian Gods in the first three God of War games.
Karmen #1 (Image Comics, $3.99): Guillem March has not one, but two new series debuting this week. In addition to The Joker #1, he also wrote and drew this new series from Image Comics, Karmen. Originally published by Dupuis in Belgium as a graphic novel, Karmen will be translated and published as five single issues. The story is about a woman named Catalina, who recently committed suicide and is taken under the wing (quite literally) of a “strange and quirky” angel named Karmen.
Proctor Valley Road #1 (BOOM! Studios, $3.99): Grant Morrison, Alex Child, Naomi Franquiz and Tamra Bonvillain team up for a new miniseries set in the 1970s “on the most haunted, demon-infested stretch of road in America.” This is being developed in partnership with NBCUniversal, so expect a Peacock debut someday, maybe?
Nottingham #1 (Mad Cave, $3.99): This new series is by David Hazan, Shane Connery Volk and Luca Romano, and it flips the script on the story of Robin Hood. In it, the Sheriff of Nottingham hunts a serial killer who preys on tax collectors and deals with a terrorist group called the Merry Men.
The Incredible Nellie Bly (Abrams ComicsArt, $24.99): Luciana Cimino and Sergio Algozzino’s biography of the 1920s journalist may already be out, but since it’s showing up on this week’s list I’ll include it here. Brigid reviewed it not long ago in our What Are You Reading? column: Like the best graphic bios, it focuses on one part of her life, in this case her 20s and 30s, when she did most of her journalism. The introduction by David Randall gives a brief account of her entire life story, something that’s often missing from books like this. It’s an engrossing read, with art that’s easy to follow and evokes the period beautifully.
Thud (Fantagraphics, $16.99): This young adult graphic novel by Mikael Ross is told from the perspective of a developmentally challenged German boy whose mother dies, and he ends up in “a place with so many strangers.” Ross actually spent a lot of time in Neuerkerode, a German village that is operated by people with mental disabilities, in order to do research for this graphic novel.
COVID Chronicles (Graphic Mundi, $21.95): Graphic Mundi is the new imprint from Penn State University Press that focuses on graphic novels about health and human rights, politics, race, the environment, science and technology. They have several graphic novels planned out over the next few months, starting with COVID Chronicles, a collection of more than 60 short comics related to the COVID crisis.
Post York (Dark Horse, $17.99): James Romberger’s environmental disaster graphic novel, about an Earth where the polar icecaps melted and flooded New York, returns to print courtesy of Dark Horse’s Berger Books imprint. It’s a about a loner and his cat, adrift in what used to be New York’s streets, as they encounter a mysterious woman and a trapped blue whale.