Can’t Wait for Comics | Lemire + Walta hit the ‘Phantom Road’ this week

Check out what new comics and graphic novels will arrive in stores this week by Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Walta, Stephanie Phillips, Juann Cabal, Tom King, Greg Smallwood, Casey Gilley, Joe Jaro, PrestonPlayz, the cast of the new Shazam! movie and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital.

I’ve pulled out some of the highlights below, but for the complete list of everything you might find at your local comic shop and on digital this week, you’ll want to check out one or more of the following:

As a reminder, things can change and what you find on the above lists may differ from what’s actually arriving in your local shop. So always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability.

Phantom Road #1 (Image, $3.99): Jeff Lemire and Gabriel Walta, who worked together on TKO’s Sentient, reunite for a “grindhouse horror/fantasy mashup” that’s about “a long-haul truck driver attempting to stay ahead of his tragic past.” Unfortunately, when he stops to help a car crash victim, they get sucked into a surreal world with strange monsters.

I Am Iron Man #1 (Marvel, $3.99): With this year marking Iron Man’s big 60th anniversary, Marvel is doubling down on the number of titles featuring the Armored Avenger. In addition to Invincible Iron Man, which debuted in December, Marvel is also launching this new miniseries by Murewa Ayodele and Dotun Akande, which will tell stories set at different points in Iron Man’s career.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods Special: Shazamily Matters (DC, $9.99): This one-shot anthology features stories written by the cast of the upcoming Shazam! sequel, including Zachary Levi, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, D.J. Cotrona, Grace Caroline Currey and Faithe Herman, as well as film director David F. Sandberg and writer Henry Gayden. Comic writers Colleen Doran, Josh Trujillo and Tim Seeley, artists Freddie E. Williams II, Andrew Drilon, and more also contribute.

Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel, $4.99): Stephanie Phillips and Juann Cabal team for a new Cosmic Ghost Rider series, featuring the interstellar killer who used to be the Punisher facing a new threat — another Cosmic Ghost Rider.

Human Target #12 (DC, $4.99): Tom King and Greg Smallwood’s excellent Black Label story featuring the mystery of which Justice League International member poisoned Christopher Chance wraps up this week. Our own Tom Bondurant said last year when it launched that Human Target “presents a good union of character and creative team,” calling out the hard-boiled Chance and how well he fit into this superhero world. I would agree with that assessment and say that it has held true throughout the entire miniseries’ run. And I really can’t say enough about the work Smallwood put into this series; it’s been beautiful.

Rogue & Gambit #1 (Marvel, $3.99): Hey, remember when these two were Mr. and Mrs. X? I always liked that title. Anyway, Rogue and Gambit are back together in this new title by Stephanie Phillips and Carlos E. Gomez that also features Destiny and promises to “lay bare some of Krakoa’s biggest secrets.”

Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer Special (BOOM! Studios, $7.99): Casey Gilly and Joe Jaro return to the world of “Old Ma’am Logan” in this special that’s set four years after the previous miniseries, catching us up with Buffy and Angel at the end of the world.

Hallow’s Eve #1 (Marvel, $3.99): Ben Reilly’s girlfriend picked up a new identity in the prelude to Dark Web, Hallow’s Eve, and with that story over, Erica Schultz and Michael Dowling are presumably going to show us what happened to Eve when Ben sent her away somewhere to save her from our heroes.

Batman vs. Robin #5 (DC, $5.99): The first four issues of this miniseries by Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar served as a prelude to the big Lazarus Planet event that ran in January and February. This issue is an epilogue to the whole event, as we see father and son come together to bury the hatchet … but is that figurative or literal? I guess we’ll find out Tuesday.

Hunt. Kill. Repeat. #1 (Mad Cave, $4.99): After the gods came to Earth and banned all technology, Artemis sided with the humans, fell in love and eventually lost her goddess powers and her child when the gods caught up to her. Now she wants revenge in this story by Mark London with art by Francesco Archidiacono and Marc Deering.

Murderworld: Game Over (Marvel, $3.99): Arcade’s dark game show comes to a close when Black Widow shows up to shut him down, as Jim Zub, Ray Fawkes and Netho Diaz wrap up this series of one-shot with a big finale.

Red Zone #1 (AWA, $3.99): This new miniseries by Cullen Bunn, Mike Deodato and Lee Loughridge is about an NYU professor with secrets who is recruited for a mission back to Russia by the U.S. government.

Roachmill #1 (It’s Alive, $5.99): Originally published as a black and white comic back in the 1980s, Roachmill by Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney returns this week thanks to the efforts of It’s Alive and the late Drew Ford.

Spider-Man: Unforgiven (Marvel, $4.99): Marvel’s next series of connected one-shots — ie their very clever way to ensure a miniseries only has first issues — features the return of the Forgiven, an obscure team of superhero vampires who appeared back during the Fear Itself event. This first issue, featuring Spider-Man, is by Tim Seeley and Sid Kotian.

Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1 (Marvel, $4.99): With the next Spider-Verse movie on the horizon, it’s no surprise that Spider-Gwen is back in a new comics miniseries. Emily Kim and Kei Zama will pit the character sometimes known as Ghost Spider against an army of Gwen Stacy clones based on various Spider-Man villains, including Sandman, Vulture and more.

Graphic Novels

The Mare (Graphic Mundi, $19.95): Seth Martel writes and draws this new graphic novel about a woman whose daytime trauma may be causing her nightmares — or perhaps they are caused by The Mare, “the spirit of someone wronged that saps its victim’s energy at night.”

Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir (Yosemite Conservatory, $14.99): It’s not often you see a graphic novel by the Yosemite Conservatory, but here you go. You can actually buy it from them directly if you’d like. It’s by Julie Bertagna and William Goldsmith, and it’s about John Muir, the explorer and essayist who explored California and the Pacific Northwest, and also helped form the Sierra Club and establish Yosemite National Park.

Storyboarding for Wim Wenders (Humanoids, $29.99): Stephane Lemardele writes and draws this autobiographic account of his time working with legendary filmmaker Wim Wenders on Every Thing Will Be Fine.

PrestonPlayz: The Mystery of the Super Spooky Secret House (Harper Alley, $23.99): If you don’t know who PrestonPlayz is, you probably don’t have a pre-teen who spends all his time either playing Minecraft or watching YouTube videos about Minecraft. I do have just such a pre-teen, and I was more than happy to buy him his own iPad if it meant he’d stop pulling up YouTube on the TV in the living room and watch PrestonPlayz, Unspeakable and all the other YouTube stars. Sorry, I’m making this about me … if you want to impress your pre-teen, you might pick this up, which is drawn by Dave Bardin and written by PrestonPlayz himself.

Trade Waiting

Batman: The Imposter (DC, $19.99): DC collects the miniseries by screenwriter Mattson Tomlin and artist Andrea Sorrentino that came out around the same time as The Batman film. Set in the early days of his career, Batman must contend with a second Batman on the streets of Gotham — one who isn’t afraid to kill criminals.

Do A Powerbomb TPB (Image, $24.99): The best comic from last year gets collected, as Daniel Warren Johnson’s wrestling epic arrives for a second round. Seriously, if you missed the miniseries, which is about a daughter and her mystery partner fighting in a tournament to bring her mom back to life, definitely check it out.

Doom Patrol by Gerard Way and Nick Derington: The Deluxe Edition (DC, $49.99): As a part of his Young Animal comics line that he curated, My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way teamed with up-and-coming artist Nuck Derington to revive the Doom Patrol in a series that hearkened back to the glory days of Grant Morrison’s run on the title. This is worth checking out for Derington’s work alone, especially if you were a fan of the Vertigo series.

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr Deluxe Edition (BOOM!, $29.99): BOOM! gives this popular, critically acclaimed and multiple award-nominated magical realism miniseries by Ram V. and Filipe Andrade the deluxe hardcover treatment.

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