Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘Tis the season to be scary

Check out new comics and graphic novels arriving this week by R.L. Stine, Cullen Bunn, Jesús Hervás, Christine Larsen, Matt Smith, Mike Mignola, Pius Bak, Jeff Parker, Michele Bandini and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital. And with this being December, we’re getting a big wave of Christmas-themed comics, many of which fall itno the horror genre.

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.

Creepshow Holiday Special 2023 (Skybound, $3.99): Put some “Ho Ho Ho!” into your Ho-ho-horror with this one-shot anthology featuring stories by Daniel Kraus, Jonathan Wayshak, James Asmus, Letizia Cadonici and more.

Stuff of Nightmares: Slay Ride #1 (BOOM!, $7.99): R. L. Stine returns with a holiday-themed version of his Stuff of Nightmares line, as he teams with artist Pius Bak for the story featuring a down-and-out former mall Santa who turns to murder to get through the Christmas season.

Hellboy Winter Special (Dark Horse, $3.99): Hellboy celebrates the season with a story about the Jólakötturinn, the “ferocious Yule Cat of Icelandic folklore,” who is said to lurk about “the snowy countryside during Christmas time and eats people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve.” Barbarian Lord creator Matt Smith works with colorist Chris O’Halloran, letterer Clem Robins and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola on this tale of Christmas and giant cats.

Batman/Santa Claus: Silent Knight #1 (DC, $3.99): Jeff Parker and Michele Bandini bring Santa to Gotham to help Batman solve a brutal crime. Expect appearances from more DC characters as the team up with St. Nick over the course of this four-issue miniseries.

Archie Christmas Spectacular #1 (Archie, $3.99): This collection of classic Archie holiday stories is highlighted by a new one by Tom DeFalco and Holly G featuring the debut of some Christmas baddies — Jangles, Sourplum and a cranky version of Santa called Grumpus.

Orcs: The Gift #1 (BOOM!, $5.99): Christine Larsen returns to the world of Orcs! for a third and final miniseries. With a fragile peace established between the orcs, crows and elves, Larsen’s mighty band of orcs gets some new members as they head out on a mission to steal a dragon’s hoard.

Amazing Spider-Man #339 (Marvel, $5.99): The holidays won’t be so merry for Peter Parker and Miles Morales, as Gang War kicks off in earnest and the Spider-Men put together a team to save the city.

Bloodrik #1 (Image, $3.99): Andrew Krahnke, artist of Tartarus and Outrunners, writes and draws this three-issue miniseries about a barbarian named Bloodrik, whose hunt for food in unfamiliar woods leads to conflict.

Thunderbolts #1 (Marvel, $4.99): Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, who introduced a new MO for the Winter Soldier during their run on Captain America, continue that story here. They are joined by artist Geraldo Borges as Bucky Barnes forms a new Thunderbolts team that includes Black Widow, White Widow, U.S. Agent, Red Guardian, Shang-Chi and Sharon Carter.

Invasive #1 (Oni Press, $4.99): Cullen Bunn and Jesús Hervás, the creative team for The Empty Man: Manifestation, re-team for this new body-horror miniseries that falls under the Oni 2024 publishing initiative. It’s about a veteran trauma surgeon whose daughter falls victim to an underground hospital with no rules.

X-Men #29 (Marvel, $3.99): Fall of X continues as Doctor Doom forms his own team of  Latverian mutants and decides to call them the X-Men. Because of course he does. This one is by Gerry Duggan and Joshua Cassara.

The Miracles #1 (CEX, $6.99): Joe Glass and Vince Underwood are the creators behind this new comic series about a high-school senior whose obsession with a superhero comic starts to become reality, as he finds out about a family secret just as he starts to develop superpowers.

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99): Daniel Jose Older and Harvey Tolibao continue Dark Horse’s line of Star Wars: The High Republic comics aimed at younger readers.

The Sentry #1 (Marvel, $4.99): Marvel’s “forgotten” mega-powered hero, created by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee in 2000, may be dead, but his memory and power lives on in this new miniseries by Jason Lee and Luigi Zagaria. In it, The Sentry’s memories and powers start to pop up in ordinary people around the world, and Misty Knight and Jessica Jones begin to investigate these strange occurrences.

Titans Beast World Tour: Metropolis (DC, $5.99): DC’s latest crossover series branches out with two one-shots this week; I didn’t think this one came out until next week, but here it is — and it’s one DC is hyping up as being pretty important to not only this crossover, but for their 2024 publishing plans. It’s of course focused on the Superman family, with stories by Nicole Maines, Joshua Williamson, Zipporah Smith, Dan Jurgens, Max Raynor, Anthony Marques, Edwin Galmon and more, as they tell stories about Dreamer, Jimmy Olsen, Livewire, Flamebird and more. Here’s a preview.

Titans Beast World: Waller Rising (DC, $4.99): Speaking of Beast World, DC releases a second one-shot this week tying into the crossover event, this one featuring Amanda Waller, Batwing, Vixen, the newly introduced Dr. Hate and more, in a story by Chuck Brown and Keron Grant.

Time Traveler Tales #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99): Karl Jacobs, a cast member of the mega-popular MrBeast YouTube channel and a popular YouTube streamer in his own right, teams with writer Dave Scheidt and artists Kelly and Nichole Matthews on this five-issue miniseries that adapts Jacobs’ “popular Minecraft streaming series, Tales from the SMP, into their very own comic series.”

Our Bones Dust (Image, $3.99): Ben Stenbeck, whose art can be found across the Mignolaverse in Baltimore, Hellboy and the BPRD, Witchfinder and more, branches out on his own with this new series about cannibals and AI set in a dystopian future.

Marvel’s Voices: Avengers (Marvel, $6.99): Marvel’s newest “Voices” anthology features stories about members of the Avengers, bringing together a diverse group of talent to tell stories featuring Captain America, Photon, Robbie Reyes and more. Creators involved include Utkarsh Ambudkar, Robbie Thompson, Jason Concepcion, Justina Ireland, Tadam Gyadu, Sid Kotian, Moisés Hidalgo, Karen Darboe and more.

Cain (Dark Horse, $19.99): This new graphic novel by Walter Hill and Mike Benson is about a blind man who has a unique way to see the world around him. Raised by rogue CIA agents, Cain grows up to be a hedonistic hitman who lives off the grid and takes out corrupt politicians and gangsters. So, kind of like Daredevil, but without any sort of moral compass.

The Hard Switch (Avery Hill, $20.99): Owen D. Pomery writes and draws this cool-sounding graphic novel about a future where interstellar space travel is a reality — or at least will be, until the mineral that makes it possible runs out. But a crew of nomadic scavengers may hold the key to finding a whole new kind of travel.

Tasty (Random House Graphic, $13.99): Victoria Elliott writes and draws this food-themed graphic novel that uses food sprites to tell the origins of some of your favorite food, with plenty of recipes along the way.

Rocket and Groot: The Hunt for Star-Lord (Graphix, $8.99): Marvel’s partnership with Scholastic continues in this new graphic novel by Amanda Deibert and Cam Kendell. When Star-Lord is kidnapped and held for ransom, it’s up to Rocket and Groot — Baby Groot, it looks like — to try and save him.

Birdking V2 (Dark Horse, $19.99): The story of Bianca and Birdking continues in this second volume by Daniel Freedman and Crom. The duo continue their quest to reach Atlas as they enter the dangerous domain called Hinnom, “an insurmountable mountain range that is the birthplace of a dead dark empire and the battlefield in the war between the kingdoms of the North and South.”

The Great British Bump Off (Dark Horse, $19.99): Giant Days creators John Allison and Max Sarin turned a British baking competition into an “Agatha Christie-style mystery” in this very fun miniseries, which gets collected this week by Dark Horse.

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