Betty & Veronica fight crime with Fly Girl in ‘Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest’ #309

Check out an exclusive preview of a new story coming in next week’s digest from Archie Comics.

Courtesy of our “fly” friends at Archie Comics, we’re pleased to present a preview of Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #334, which comes out Nov. 23.

This digest will include two new stories, in addition to a selection of classic Archie material. Our preview today includes pages from “Super Sale!” by Ian Flynn and Ryan Jampole, which features an appearance by Kelly Brand, aka Fly Girl, aka the daughter of the original Fly Girl Kim Brand. As eagle-eyed continuity followers might remember, Kim passed on the mantle to Kelly in the 2012 Mighty Crusaders series.

Check out the preview and solicitation information below.

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Dark magic meets 1970s Chicago in Band of Bards’ ‘Monsters & Midways’

Nick Goodwin, Chuck Satterlee and Jeremy Megert bring the swords in a new miniseries that’s coming next March.

Indie publisher Band of Bards has announced a new modern fantasy series, Monsters & Midways, that brings elves and magic to 1970s Chicago.

The comic will feature a heavy metal guitarist who “hasn’t made the big time with his songs of magic, wizards and elves.” But his life changes when he encounters the real thing. The new series is by writers Nick Goodwin and Chuck Satterlee, and artist Jeremy Megert. They’ll be joined by Nicholas Michael on colors and legendary letterer Tom Orzechowski.

“When the team submitted to us, it really wasn’t a hard decision for our editorial team,” said Tim Stolinski, co-founder and co-publisher of Band of Bards. “We are working towards a solid 2023 to build on the progress made in our first year. Monsters & Midways has a strong team and is an exciting story, so it was a simple decision for us.”

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Marvel will launch a second Iron Man title in March

‘I Am Iron Man’ by Murewa Ayodele and Dotun Akande will tell stories set throughout Iron Man’s history.

With Iron Man’s big 60th anniversary coming up next year, Marvel is doubling down on the number of titles featuring the Armored Avenger. In addition to Invincible Iron Man, which debuts in December, Marvel will also launch I Am Iron Man next March.

Writer Murewa Ayodele and artist Dotun Akande will tell stories set at different points in Iron Man’s career. The duo actually have a back-up story in tomorrow’s Iron Man #25, which wraps up Christopher Cantwell’s run on the character with an oversized issue.

“Iron Man has been my favorite character in all of fiction for years now,” Ayodele said. “I’ve loved the character for so long that I had written a proposal for this series even before Dotun and I broke into comics. So, we are super grateful that Marvel made our wildest dreams come true by giving us this opportunity to tell stories that celebrate 60 years of the awesome existence of Tony Stark… Every issue of I Am Iron Man is set in an iconic era of Iron Man, explores some deep emotional wounds of Tony Stark, is adrenaline-pumping with exciting set pieces, and is rendered in beautiful illustrations by Dotun Akande (my favorite comic book artist and best friend). It’s the series for Iron Man fans and anyone that has ever wanted to get into Iron Man comics.”

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Barnes + Lins team for new alien invasion series ‘Monarch’

The new series will launch from Image Comics next year.

Killadelphia writer Rodney Barnes and Immortal Hulk artist Alex Lins will bring the horrors of an alien invasion to the streets of Compton in Monarch, a new series coming in February from Image Comics.

“I’ve always loved films like Attack the Block and War of the Worlds, so I decided to put them together to see what would happen. The result? Monarch,” said Barnes. 

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2023 Free Comic Book Day gold titles include Spider-Man, Fishflies, Dog Man and more

The first 13 titles include selections from Marvel, BOOM!, IDW, Image, Dark Horse and more.

Diamond has announced the first round of Free Comic Book Day titles for 2023. The “gold sponsor” titles for next year will include comics from Marvel, Dark Horse, AfterShock, Image, VIZ, Kodansha, Archie, BOOM!, Graphix, IDW, Titan and Dynamite, for a total of 13 titles, as Marvel will have two gold level books.

“This year’s lineup of titles has something for every kind of comic fan,” said Ashton Greenwood, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. “We’re looking forward to another great year celebrating comic books and comic book shops, and we think this year’s lineup gives fans a lot to be excited about!”

The rest of the batch — otherwise known as the silver sponsor titles — will be announced later this week. Free Comic Book Day is scheduled for May 6, 2023.

Here’s a look at each gold-level title:

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James Tynion IV’s Substack comics will arrive in print from Dark Horse

‘Blue Book’ and ‘Christopher Chaos’ will arrive in shops next year.

James Tynion IV has been building up a library of creator-owned comics on Substack since last year, when he was part of the first wave of creators to sign on to the platform. Through his Empire of the Tiny Onion newsletter, he’s released comics with Michael Avon Oeming, Tate Brombal, Isaac Goodhart, Kurt Michael Russell and many more, with at least one of them, The Closet with artist Gavin Fullerton, already making it to print via Image Comics.

Given his existing relationships with Image, BOOM! and even DC, it’s somewhat surprising to see that his remaining Substack comics will be collected and published by Dark Horse Comics. Blue Book will launch in February of next year, and The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos will follow in June.

Tynion explained why he went with Dark Horse for these particular books:

“Why Dark Horse? Well, honestly, I’ve always liked being able to silo similar projects together,” Tynion said in his newsletter. “I think Blue Book, all the True Weird stories we’re looking to tell, and the world of The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos fit very neatly on the shelves next to titles like Hellboy, Black Hammer, Norse Mythology, and a little-known series from Michael Avon Oeming called Powers (not to mention the whole Jinxworld library!). And like I told Dan Chabon and Tim Wiesch early in our conversations… I want a shelf of those gorgeous Dark Horse Library Editions. And as I’ve said to Tate a few times, now we can refer to the Chaosverse as the queer teenage cousin to the Mignolaverse!”

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DC reveals their 2023 Black History Month plans

With Milestone celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, DC will release several projects spanning both universes.

DC has announced their plans for next year’s Black History Month in February, which include not only a new anthology and variant covers, but also several projects coming out of Milestone as the imprint celebrates its 30th anniversary.

In addition, several creators coming out of the Milestone Initiative, a program launched last year “to identify, support and elevate emerging diverse writers and artists within the comic book industry,” will see their first work published during Black History Month.

Let’s take a look at the DCU projects first …

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Artemis hunts the gods in ‘Hunt. Kill. Repeat.’ from Mad Cave Studios

Mark London, Francesco Archidiacono + more pit the Goddess of the Hunt against her former family in a new series coming next March.

Hell hath no fury like a goddess scorned, something that Zeus and company will find out first hand in the new Mad Cave Studios series Hunt. Kill. Repeat.

The new title is written by Mark London with art by Francesco Archidiacono and Marc Deering. Lee Loughridge and Rus Wooton round out the team on colors and lettering, while Ryan Kincaid will provide covers.

“From Francesco Archidiacono’s perfectly executed penciling to Lee Loughridge’s vibrant colors, Hunt. Kill. Repeat. came to life exactly the way I had envisioned it in my mind,” London said. “It’s been a wild ride and truly invigorating to work with such talented individuals like the artists mentioned above, but also Marc Deering, Rus Wooton, Ryan Kincaid and Chris Fernandez. I am beyond excited for the fans to get this double-sized first issue in their hands and for everyone to see what we have in store for them with Hunt. Kill. Repeat.

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Read Kevin Conroy’s ‘DC Pride’ story for free

Conroy, who passed away yesterday from cancer, shared his secret origin in the story drawn by J Bone.

One of the highlights of the DC Pride anthology special that came out earlier this year was an autobiographical story written by Batman: The Animated Series voice actor Kevin Conroy. Drawn by J Bone and lettered by Aditya Bidikar, the moving story was about Conroy’s life prior to becoming the voice of Batman and the abuse he suffered as a gay man in Hollywood, and how he channeled those experiences into bringing the character to life.

Conroy passed away at the age of 66 yesterday after a short battle with cancer. In his honor, DC has released not only Conroy’s “Finding Batman” story, but also the entire 2022 DC Pride anthology. You can read it on the DC Universe Infinite website.

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The Corinthian faces venture capitalists in a new ‘Nightmare Country’ miniseries next year

The Sandman Universe series by James Tynion IV and Lisandro Estherren returns.

Nightmare Country, the Sandman Universe series featuring The Corinthian, will return next year as another miniseries — Nightmare Country: The Glass House. James Tynion IV and Lisandro Estherren, who worked on the previous series, will return.

“I’m thrilled to announce that Nightmare Country’s follow-up miniseries, The Glass House, is coming early in 2023,” said Tynion. “The Corinthian is going to be making his way to Silicon Valley, where he will go head-to-head with angels, demons and a breed of creature far more terrifying that anything he’s faced before—venture capitalists. Lisandro and I are excited to continue this nightmare tour through modern America and can’t wait for you all to see what we’ve got in store for you.”

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Spider-Gwen encounters more clones in a new miniseries

‘Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones’ by Emily Kim and Kei Zama introduces a new set of familiar villains designed by Peach Momoko.

Following the events of the recent Spider-Gwen: Gwenverse miniseries that pit a multiverse of Gwen Stacys against the villain Finale, Marvel has announced Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones by Emily Kim and Kei Zama.

The miniseries will feature the character sometimes known as Ghost Spider battling an army of Gwen Stacy clones based on various Spider-Man villains, including Sandman, Vulture and more. The new verisons of Gwen have all been designed by artist Peach Momoko.

“I was a little nervous taking on Spider-Gwen because she’s such an iconic hero,” Kim said. “But the rich story premise and fantastic team has made the process a blast. I’ve quickly fallen in love with Gwen and her unique voice and am excited for people to see how she handles a crazy slew of Gwen clones.”

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Slugfest | Have a very ‘Criminal’ Christmas

Catch up on recent news and announcements on Criminal, Dragon Age, Blue Beetle, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Prism Stalker and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you from comics creators, publishers and more.

Image Comics is serving up a Christmas treat for Criminal fans in the pages of their Image! 30th anniversary anthology. Creators Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have created a Christmas story starring Teeg Lawless in a take-off of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.

“I’ve been wanting to do a Christmas-themed Criminal story since we first started the book,” said Brubaker. “So, Sean and I had a blast returning to that world for ‘Teeg’s Christmas Carol.’ Twelve pages of bad dad Christmases and history lessons.”

Phillips drew the cover, which features a cigarette puffing, Santa-hat wearing Teeg:

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