Can’t Wait for Wednesday | The ‘Blood Hunt’ is on

A huge week of new releases brings new comics and graphic novels by Jed MacKay, Pepe Larraz, David Pepose, Jonathan Lau, Chip Zdarsky, Kris Anka, Garth Ennis, Jacen Burrows, Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Stephanie Cooke, Derek Charm, Erica Henderson, Joe Kelly, Adam Kubert, Josh Hicks and more.

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

This is a huge week for comics, as the summer comics season kicks off and Free Comic Book Day follows on Saturday. Marvel’s big crossover event, Blood Hunt, begins with two versions of its first issues (not to mention a FCBD issue in Saturday), while we also have a new Space Ghost title, a House of Brainiac special, several DC annuals, new stuff from Garth Ennis and Brian Azzarello, a Cat in the Hat graphic novel and much more.

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.

Blood Hunt #1/Blood Hunt Red Band Edition #1 (Marvel, $5.99/$6.99): Vampires are taking over Marvel’s line for the next few months as the Blood Hunt event begins this week. The main Blood Hunt miniseries by Jed MacKay and Pepe Larraz will come in two editions — a standard edition and a polybagged Red Band edition that includes more blood and extra pages. The event itself will include not only this miniseries, but also several tie-in miniseries, specials and issues of Avengers, Doctor Strange and more. So gather up your stakes and garlic, and plan accordingly.

Space Ghost #1 (Dynamite, $4.99): David Pepose and Jonathan Lau take Space Ghost back to his roots as a space cop (and not a talk show host) in this new series. I read this first issue over the weekend and enjoyed it; it’s a more serious take on Space Ghost filled with action, mystery and intrigue. This issue showcases the first meeting between our hero and Jan, Jace and Blip, so it’s a good introduction as to what to expect from the creative team.

Superman: House of Brainiac Special (DC, $5.99): Joshua Williamson, Mark Russell, Edwin Galmon, Steve Pugh and more present three stories that tie into DC’s House of Brainiac crossover. The anthology will provide some insight into Brainiac’s plans, how he ended up with a city full of Czarnia’s most militant citizens and how the disappearance of the Man of Steel is impacting Metropolis. You can find a few preview pages here.

The Whisper Queen #1 (Image Comics, $3.99): Back in 2019, Chip Zdarsky, Kris Anka and Matt Wilson introduced the fantasy world of Blacksand in the two-issue miniseries The White Trees. Now they return to that world with this new miniseries, which looks like it picks up directly after the previous one. And that one was excellent, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Barbaric: Born in Blood #1 (Vault Comics, $???): Michael Moreci and Nathan Gooden are back with more Barbaric, this time delving into Owen’s childhood. Vault is billing this one as good starting point for new readers, and to put their money where their talking axe is, they’re giving the first issue away for free to retailers. It’ll have a $4.99 price tag on it, but how much your retailer charges you for it is up to them.

Lester of the Lesser Gods #1 (Dark Horse Comics, $3.99): Originally published by Albatross Funnybooks back when it was stand-alone entity, this miniseries by Eric Powell, Lucky Yates and Gideon Kendall is finding new life at Dark Horse as a part of Powell’s imprint with the publisher. It’s about the “larping bastard son of the Odin,” who faces off with a technomancer after saving the world from Satan.

Nightwing Annual (DC, $5.99): DC has several annuals arriving this week, so let’s start with this one focused on Nightwing — or, more specifically, Bea Bennett, the pirate queen. This one is written and drawn by Travis Moore and will reveal Nightwing’s ex-girlfriend’s secret origin.

Get Fury #1 (Marvel MAX, $3.99): Interestingly, this is billed as MAX Comic, calling back to the mature readers imprint that Marvel used to publish back in the day. In this miniseries, Garth Ennis, writer of many memorable Punisher stories during the Marvel Knights and MAX eras, re-teams with his Punisher Soviet and Crossed collaborator Jacen Burrows for an out-of-continuity story about Nick Fury being captured during the Vietnam War. To protect their secrets, the CIA sends in Frank Castle to eliminate the potential security threat.

The Blood Brothers Mother #1 (DSTLRY, $8.99): The 100 Bullets team of Brian Azzarello and Edurado Risso team up once again for this brutal western about three kids trying to rescue their kidnapped mother. It’s in DSTLRY’s oversized/widescreen format, so it should look really good.

Mezo: The Trial of Roden #1 (A Wave Blue World, $4.99): Tyler Chin-Tanner, Val Rodrigues, Gab Contreras and Varga Tomi are joined by Jarred Luján for this third chapter in A Wave Blue World’s magical Mesoamerican saga. Things go from bad to worse for Roden, the soldier who showed mercy to his enemy in 2022’s Mezo: Battle at Coban Rock, and now he must face the consequences. Check out a preview of this issue here.

Toxic Summer #1 (Oni Press, $6.99): Creator Derek Charm unleashes toxic waste and subhuman monstrosities on an unsuspecting beach town in this new miniseries. It’s about two friends whose jobs as lifeguards one summer go horribly, horribly wrong.

Harley Quinn Annual (DC, $5.99): Erica Henderson is taking Harley Quinn on a cruise for the summer, as this annual features a story written and drawn by the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl artist. It guest stars Zatanna, who is accused of murder on a cruise ship and Harley has to come to her rescue.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 25th Anniversary Special (Marvel, $5.99): The infamous “Episode I” turns 25 this year, and to celebrate, Greg Pak and Will Sliney present an anthology of stories set before, after and in between scenes of the film — all focused on young Anakin Skywalker.

The Scale Trade #1 (Magma Comix, $3.99): Steve Orlando and Megan Huang hunt the dragon hunters in this new title from fledging publisher Magma Comix. Set in a modern world where dragons still exist but are high on the endangered species list, one man takes a stand against the poachers and corrupt governments that want their scales.

Roboforce #1 (Oni Press, $4.99): Writer Melissa Flores continues to chronicle the birth of the Nacelleverse, as she’s joined by artist Diogenes Neves for the story of Roboforce. It’s based on the Robo Force toyline from the 1980s, which was revived by Toyfinity about 10 years ago. Nacelle purchased the rights to make toys, comics and a new animated program from Toyfinity in 2021, which brings us to this new miniseries.

DC’s Spring Breakout (DC, $9.99): Another DC seasonal anthology arrives, this one with a “spring break” theme. It’ll feature stories by Meghan Fitzmartin, Cameron Chittock, Joey Esposito, Morgan Hampton, Patrick R. Young, Tom Krajewski, Mike Barr, Kenya Danino, Vasco Georgiev, Paul Pellietier and more, featuring Harley Quinn, Batman, Mr. Freeze, Superman, Lex Luthor, Katana and more.

Deadpool & Wolverine World War III #1 (Marvel, $4.99): Joe Kelly, one of the creators who helped define the character of Deadpool, and Adam Kubert, who has drawn more than his fair share of panels featuring Wolverine, bring the two characters together in this new miniseries. I’m honestly not sure what it’s about, but expect a lot of blood and one-liners.

Flash Annual #1 (DC, $5.99): With Wally West MIA, as detailed in the regular Flash title, Simon Spurrier and A.L. Kaplan use this annual to put the spotlight on Wallace West, Avery Ho and Circuit Breaker. The trio has to deal with all the chaos happening in Central City with the Flash missing.

Bear Pirate Viking Queen #1 (Image Comics, $4.99): Sean Lewis teams up with artist/painter Jonathan Marks Barravecchia for this high fantasy, blood-splattered “story of conquest.” It’s about “Bears. Pirates. Vikings. And Queens—all battling for their claim to determine what the world will become.” 

Goiter (Floating World, $25): Josh Pettinger writes and draws this collection of short stories about “a traveling ventriloquist accused of a horrible crime, the romantic adventures of a floating head fighting an interdimensional war and a dystopian epic set in a distant-future online retail warehouse.”

Hotelitor (Graphic Universe, $16.99): Josh Hicks writes and draws this graphic novel about a mobile hotel that’s shaped like a giant Shogun Warrior. After a fight with a giant alien, the Hotelitor is stranded in deep space, and it’s up to an 18-year-old intern and her fellow service industry employees to save the remaining guests.

Blessed Be (Fantagraphics, $24.99): This is the first graphic novel by underground comix creator Rick Altergott, creator of Doofus. Like that strip, this new graphic novel is set in Flowertown, USA, which is populated with characters named things like Tom “The Acid King” Cottonwood, Henry Hotchkiss, Father John Beggarweed, Stink Hair Stu, Rubberneck Nelson and more. They become intertwined in “a web of crime and mystery involving satanic ritual, religious tracts curiously popping up around town, naked fishermen and psychedelic drugs.”

Dr. Seuss: Cat Out of Water (Random House Graphic, $10.99): The first of several graphic novels from Random House Graphic based on the works of kid’s book legend Dr. Seuss arrives this week, as Art Baltazar adapts The Cat in the Hat into a graphic novel.

Fake Chinese Sounds (Kokila, $13.99): Jing Jing Tsong’s new middle grade graphic novel is about a Taiwanese-American girl navigating her identity and heritage as she has to deal with a racist bully at school.

Unhappy Camper (Harper Alley, $15.99): The perfect companion to the previous entry, this new graphic novel by Lily LaMotte and Ann Xu is about two sisters sent to a Taiwanese American summer camp to learn more about their culture and themselves. While one embraces her culture, the other must decide if she’d rather assimilate into the popular group at school.

Pillow Talk (Harper Alley, $18.99): OK, so I was in an airport yesterday and the coffee shop where I was waiting for my flight had a TV on, and it was showing a professional pillow fight. Which is apparently a real thing. I mean, why not, right? Anyway, this new graphic novel by Stephanie Cooke and Mel Valentine Vargas is about Grace Mendes, a.k.a. “Cinderhella” (that’s awesome), a college freshman who gets recruited into the world of competitive pillow fighting.

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