Comics Lowdown | Supply chain issues cause delays for DC Comics

Plus: Free Comic Book Day woes for New York library, Marvel’s vaccination comic, Osamu Tezuka and more.

Newsarama has reported that several titles from DC scheduled to come out over the next few months have been delayed due to supply chain issues.

“DC faces an unprecedented strain on the global supply chain, affecting all of us in the comic industry and beyond,” DC Marketing Manager Albert Ching said in a statement to retailers. “Up to this point, we’ve been able to keep delays and shortages to a minimum, but with recent notifications about COVID-related port closures, international and domestic freight delays, workforce shortages, and a severely allocated paper supply, we are unable to continue to manage this situation without disruption.”

Some Batman Day comics, DC has said, will be allocated to retailers as well due to these same issues, but

Supply chain issues have been in the news recently as manufacturers face raw materials shortages, transportation delays, higher energy costs and of course COVID-related issues. They are expected to continue into next year and will likely be exasperated with the upcoming holiday season.

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Mail Call | Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day titles

Get ready for Free Comic Book Day, which is coming up this Saturday. Also check out news from DC, Image Comics, IDW, AfterShock Comics and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day offerings for this year have been somewhat confusing — at one point Chip Zdarsky was mentioned as contributing — but the company has put out a press release detailing what you specifically can from them this coming Saturday.

Marvel will have two books, as previously announced — Spider-Man/Venom and Hulk/Avengers, both of which will tease upcoming storylines for the four titles represented.

As previously reported, Amazing Spider-Man is getting a new creative team AND a new person under the mask, as infamous clone Ben Reilly returns to take on the mantle of Spider-Man. One of the new writers of Amazing, Zeb Wells, will team with artist Patrick Gleason for a story featuring Reilly as Spider-Man. It will be accompanied by a Venom story by the new creative team of Ram V., Al Ewing and Bryan Hitch “in a glimpse that will show you just how twisted their upcoming run will be.”

Then, in the second title, Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley will present a look at their upcoming run on Hulk. And Jason Aaron teams up with Iban Coello to “present the dangerous new threat that the Avengers will face in the next arc of his hit Avengers run.”

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Free Comic Book Day, ‘Run,’ the final ‘Runaways’ and more

New comics arrive this week by Jeff Lemire, Tyler Crook, Michael Walsh, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Brandon Thomas, Sam Hamm, Eric Powell, John Ridley, Al Ewing, Javier Rodriguez and more.

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

Check out a few highlights below, or visit Diamond’s website for this week’s almost complete list of new comics arriving in stores. You can visit Lunar Distribution’s home page to see DC’s releases, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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‘Amazing Spider-Man’ returns to a ‘writer’s room’ approach in October

Zeb Wells, Kelly Thompson, Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziglar and Patrick Gleason will tell stories starring a different Spider-Man — Ben Reilly.

With Nick Spencer set to wrap up his run on Amazing Spider-Man this fall, Marvel has announced his replacement — well, make that replacements.

Marvel has announced five creators will take over the thrice-monthly title in October — Zeb Wells, Kelly Thompson, Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziglar and Patrick Gleason.

“When Zeb Wells started building this story it became apparent that it needed a narrative velocity and a team of the best of the best to make it happen,” Editor Nick Lowe said. “So we gathered some of the greatest writers and artists in comics to join us and the story got even better and bigger and more surprising.”

Spider-fans are likely familiar with Wells, who was part of the Spider-Man “Brand New Day” era that saw several writers take over the title following the retconning of Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s marriage. Thompson and Ahmed have been writing various Marvel titles for awhile, while Ziglar is currently working on the She-Hulk TV series for Disney+. He also wrote the Siege Society one-shot as part of the Heroes Reborn event. And while Gleason is known more for his art, it sounds like he’ll be writing Amazing as well.

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DC announces Batman, Suicide Squad and more for Free Comic Book Day 2021

A ‘Fear State’ tie-in, a King Shark story and two previews aimed at younger readers highlight DC’s line-up this year.

DC Comics has announced their plans for this year’s Free Comic Book Day, revealing the four titles they plan to have available on Aug. 14.

The event is run by Diamond Comics Distributors, which DC stopped using last year as they migrated to Lunar Distribution. While Diamond won’t provide DC’s comics to retailers, they did say DC was more than welcome to participate.

Here are the four DC titles you can look for in August, which include a preview of the Batman event “Fear State” and a tie-in to the second Suicide Squad film:

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Hulk, Spider-Man and more headline Marvel’s 2021 Free Comic Book Day titles

Jason Aaron, Chip Zdarsky, Greg Smallwood and more will contribute to this year’s offerings from the House of Ideas.

Marvel has shared the covers and a few more details on their two 2021 Free Comic Book Day titles, which between the two of them will include stories featuring the Avengers, Hulk, Venom and Spider-Man.

Marvel’s gold title, Avengers/Hulk, features a cover by Ryan Ottley:

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Mail Call | New release dates for the Milestone revival

Catch up on news and announcements from Dark Horse, Vault Comics, DC, Z2 and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

DC Comics has modified their plans for the upcoming Milestone Media relaunch. The three launch titles — Static, Icon and Rocket, and Hardware — will no longer arrive digitally before they come out in print. Instead, they’ll be released in both formats on the same day, as well as on DC Universe Infinite. Both Static and Icon and Rocket will come out later, but Hardware will be published earlier than originally announced. The new dates (and creative teams for each title) are:

  • Static: Season One, written by Vita Ayala, with layouts by CHRISCROSS, finishes by Nikolas Draper-Ivey with covers by Khary Randolph launches in print and digital on June 15.
  • Icon and Rocket: Season One, co-written by Reggie Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Doug Braithwaite and covers by Taurin Clarke launches in print and digital on July 27.
  • Hardware: Season One, written by Brandon Thomas, with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz with covers by Mateus Mahanini, launches in print and digital on August 10.
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Joe Benitez’s ‘Lady Mechanika’ moves to Image

The character takes the spotlight in one of Image’s Free Comic Book Day offerings in August.

As revealed in the 2021 Free Comic Book Day offerings announcement, Joe Benitez’s steampunk comic Lady Mechanika is moving to Image Comics. The entire backlist of the comic will be reprinted by Image, with plans for a new series coming later this year.

“I’m very excited that Lady Mechanika is moving to Image!” said Benitez. “We hope this move will provide an opportunity to share the series with a new, wider audience, and also give us more time to focus on our creative strengths while letting the experts at Image handle publishing and marketing. We have so many stories to tell, hopefully this will help us get more of them out faster. The next story arc we’re calling ‘The Monster of the Ministry of Hell-th’ will deal with a piece of Lady Mechanika’s haunted past. Check out a preview of the new book in our FCBD issue!”

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2021 Free Comic Book Day will include 50 free comics

Silver titles for this year include Star Wars, The Boys, Sonic the Hedgehog, Avengers/Spider-Man and more.

Diamond has revealed the additional “silver level” titles that retailers can order for Free Comic Book Day this year, which will take place Aug. 14. With the gold titles that were announced yesterday, that brings the number to 50 titles.

The line-up of silver titles includes several recognizable names, including Star Wars, Zorro, The Boys, Judge Dredd, the Smurfs and R.L. Stine, just to name a few. No DC books are included on the list, though they have indicated plans to participate. Also, while Marvel hasn’t revealed much about the contents or even the covers for their gold and silver titles, they did reveal that the gold title will feature Hulk and Avengers, while the silver title will feature Spider-Man and Venom.

Here’s a look at all the silver titles:

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Star Wars, Blade Runner, InvestiGators among the 2021 Free Comic Book Day gold sponsor comics

This year’s Free Comic Book Day on Aug. 14 will include titles from Marvel, IDW, Dark Horse, Titan and more.

Diamond Comics Distributors has announced the 12 gold sponsor titles that retailers will offer on Free Comic Book Day this year. This year’s event will take place Aug. 14.

“This year’s lineup of titles has something for every kind of comic fan,” said Ashton Greenwood, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. “We can’t wait to once again share the FCBD experience with fans, especially on our landmark 20th anniversary! We hope fans will safely visit their local comic shops to celebrate and to pick up a few of the great titles available this year.”

Missing from the list is DC Comics, who no longer use Diamond to distribute comics to U.S. retailers. DC has indicated their plans to participate, however.

The titles were curated by more than 20 comic shop retailers who make up the FCBD Selection Committee. The Gold Sponsor titles come from Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Archie Comics, BOOM! Studios, Macmillan/First Second Books, Penguin Workshop, AfterShock Comics, Titan Comics, TOKYOPOP and VIZ Media.

This year’s gold sponsor books are:

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Mail Call | Black Cat kicks off Marvel’s ‘Infinite Destinies’ event this summer

Plus more news from Marvel, DC, Image, AfterShock, Dark Horse and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Last summer the “Infinite Destinies” storyline was supposed to run through several Marvel annuals, including Iron Man, Captain America, Black Cat and Thor, among others. The story revolves around the returning “infinity stones,” those pesky don’t-call-them-infinity-gems MacGuffins that regularly take center stage at Marvel.

Anyway, like with many other things, the COVID pandemic and comics industry shutdown threw a wrench in Marvel’s plans, and those annuals were never released. But now it looks like they are back on the schedule for 2021, with an added prelude comic to kick things off — Black Cat #8 by Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa.

“Felicia Hardy- the Black Cat- gets tangled up with the Infinity Stones, some of the most dangerous prizes in the universe. Felicia may be the most accomplished jewel thief on the planet, but when those jewels hold the power of the cosmos, it’s a whole new ball game. Felicia is in a race against the others who would seek to control the stones for their own ends- like Nick Fury (and a secret someone you won’t see coming!),” MacKay said. “Who can cross the world’s most dangerous men, wrangle a pack of villains hopped up on fragments of infinite power, (hopefully) get the job done and look great all the while? The Black Cat, that’s who!”

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Diamond announces date for Free Comic Book Day 2021

Mark your calendar for Aug. 14 and cross your fingers.

Diamond Comics Distributors has announced that Free Comic Book Day will return in 2021 on Aug. 14. While FCBD has traditionally been held in May in the past, the release notes that it’s being moved to August “in the hopes that much of the uncertainty and disruption related to COVID-19 will have passed.”

The 2021 event will be the 20th time local comic shops will host Free Comic Book Day. The idea was conceived by Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord, California.

“I am so happy to be making this announcement today and so proud of our work with retailers and vendors these last 20 years to bring more awareness to the comic books we all love,” said Steve Geppi, President, Chairman & CEO of Geppi Family Enterprises. “In the past two decades, fans have experienced some truly remarkable Free Comic Book Day events because of the commitment of our partners to create an incredible celebration of comics. It’s such an energizing day and we look forward to making our 20th anniversary celebration the best one yet!”

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