Can’t Wait for Comics | A new era of ‘Batman’ begins

New comics and graphic novels arrive this week from Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jimenez, Liam Sharp, Matt Kindt, Farel Dalrymple, Skottie Young, Humberto Ramos, Rachel Smythe, Sam Beck and more.

Happy Fourth of July — or Happy Monday, depending on where you are in the world — and welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital. This week sees Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez take over Batman, and Strange Academy and The Joker come to an end. And let’s not forget the white-hot Lore Olympus, as the popular Webtoon jumps to print for its second collection.

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.

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Free Comic Book Day 2022 Gold titles revealed

Diamond Comics Distributors has revealed the 11 gold-tiered titles you can get for free next May.

Diamond Comics Distributors has revealed the 11 “gold sponsor” titles that retailers will have available on Free Comic Book Day 2022, which is scheduled for May 7.

“This year’s lineup of titles has something for every kind of comic fan,” said Ashton Greenwood, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. “We’re excited for FCBD to return to the first Saturday in May, and we can’t wait to celebrate the day with another incredible line up of comic book titles. 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.”

Free Comic Book Day returns to its traditional May date next year after a couple of years where the pandemic caused a bit of a shuffle — but what’s new, right? This past year the event was held in August, while in 2020 the date went through several changes before ultimately being cancelled — but comics were still delivered to retailers for distribution as they saw fit during the summer.

Here’s a look at the Gold Sponsor titles; the Silver titles will likely be announced soon as well. Also, there are no DC titles on the list, since they no longer use Diamond, but it’s a safe bet they’ll have free comics available in May as well.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘Dark Knights of Steel’ draw their swords

New comics arrive this week from Chip Zdarsky, Jacob Phillips, Tom King, Greg Smallwood, Tom Taylor, Mark Millar, Stuart Immonen, Mike Mignola 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 sees the return of the Human Target and the Magic Order, as well as debuts from DC, Image, Vault and more.

You can visit Diamond’s website for this week’s almost complete list of new comics arriving in stores. The Lunar Distribution home page has DC’s releases and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

I should also add that the list of what is actually arriving at your local shop can vary from what’s on anyone’s official website for a myriad of reasons — so always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability.

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Mail Call | ‘That Texas Blood’ returns with a new story arc in June

Today’s round-up includes announcements and previews from Marvel, DC, Skybound, Image, 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.

That Texas Blood, the excellent small-town noir series by Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips, returns next month from Image Comics with a new story arc that delves into Ambrose County’s past, “blowing off some of that desert dust and seeing what lurks beneath,” Phillips said.

That Texas Blood #7 will arrive in comic shops on June 30.

“Returning to Ambrose County and these characters is like going home in many ways. They feel like old friends more than old creations and none more so than Sheriff Joe Bob Coates. I’m beyond excited to explore a bit of Joe’s past in this next story arc as we travel back in time to 1981. We’ll see new places, meet new people, and explore ideas we haven’t before. I’ve always believed that the beginning years of any decade are the hangover of the previous one, and I am absolutely thrilled that we are allowed to dissect this over the next six issues with our merry band of Ambrose Countians,” said Condon. “But don’t be fooled, we aren’t viewing the past through rose-colored glasses. I’ve said before that Texas is America’s mystical land, but every fantasy world has a minotaur lurking in the dark or a dragon breathing through smoking nostrils over armor-clad corpses. Our Texas is no different. The shadows there stretch to the horizon, devouring all light. But there are some who see the darkness and strike a match to light the way. I hope that you’ll join us on our trip down Highway 90, into the heart of Ambrose County and into the dark depths of the past. But don’t you fret, we’re not out of matches yet.”

Check out the first issue’s covers:

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Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘Three Jokers, ‘Department of Truth’ and more

Check out new comics this week from Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds, Gene Yang, Jody Houser, Dike Ruan, Dan Slott, Paco Medina and more.

We are back with a look at what’s arriving in comic shops, bookstores and on digital this week.

If you’re wondering what to get this week, check out a few recommendations below. You can check out Comic List to see what’s arriving in your local comic shop, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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Natural 20: ‘Stranger Things’ to cross over with ‘Dungeons & Dragons’

Jim Zub, Jody Houser, Diego Galindo, Michele Assarasakorn and Nate Piekos will descend into the depths of licensed comics.

Writer Jim Zub shares the news that he’s working with Jody Houser on Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons, a new four-issue mini-series being co-published by Dark Horse Comics and IDW, who have the respective comics licenses for the two properties.

They’ll be working with the art team of Diego Galindo, Michele Assarasakorn and Nate Piekos. The announcement was made during Wizards of the Coast’s D&D Live 2020 online event.

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Dark Horse announces a third ‘Stranger Things’ miniseries

Jody Houser returns to tell the story of a pyrokinetic named Nine.

Jody Houser will continue to tell stories set in the world of Netflix’s hit Stranger Things with Stranger Things: Into the Fire, coming from Dark Horse next year.

This time around, Houser will team with artist Ryan Kelly of Local and Saucer Country fame, along with inker Le Beau Underwood, colorist Triona Farrell and letterer Nate Piekos.

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Dark Horse digs up a ‘Stranger Things’ zombie tale

New OGN from Greg Pak and Valeria Favoccia due out next February.

With the third season of Stranger Things now available for binge-watching and the franchise showing no signs of slowing down, it makes sense that we’d hear about a new project from Dark Horse. Following the previous two miniseries, the publisher will release an original graphic novel next February set in the Stranger Things universe.

Writer Greg Pak will team with artist Valeria Favoccia, colorist Dan Jackson and letterer Nate Piekos for Stranger Things: Zombie Boys. It’ll be set after season one and will feature a new character, Joey Kim, who wants to make his own horror movie.

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Second ‘Stranger Things’ miniseries coming in May

Jody Houser returns to write a prequel to the popular Netflix show.

Dark Horse Comics has announced a second Stranger Things comic, following up on last year’s miniseries. Writer Jody Houser returns to the property to tell the story of one of Eleven’s “siblings” in Stranger Things: SIX.

The new miniseries will serve as a prequel to the hit Netflix TV show, introducing a girl named Francine with precognitive abilities. “She’s struggled through a lifetime of exploitation: first by her parents, then by Dr. Brenner of Hawkins Laboratory,” the press release reads. “Dr. Brenner wants to harness her powers as well as those of the other gifted children that they hold captive at the lab. Wracked by increasingly disturbing visions, she sees an opportunity to change her life.”

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Comics Lowdown: Eric M. Esquivel fired from ‘Nightwing,’ ‘Border Town’ cancelled

Plus: Free Comics Book Day, George Freeman, Marie Javins and more!

Although it wasn’t yet announced, DC Comics has said Eric M. Esquivel will no longer co-write Nightwing. The news that Esquivel was writing the book was to be revealed today in DC’s January solicitations.

The news follows the cancellation of Border Town, a well-reviewed series Esquivel wrote with artists Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. Both Villalobos and Bonvillain announced on social media they had quit the title after allegations of sexual abuse against Esquivel became public. In a piece titled “X, my experience with my abuser,” toy designer Cynthia Naugle detailed a history of abuse by a co-worker at a comic shop, who has since been identified as Esquivel.

Neither DC Comics nor Vertigo have commented directly on the abuse allegations. Esquivel, who had changed his Twitter account to private following the allegations, has now made it public again and posted several tweets in response. At Book Riot, writer S.W. Sondheimer says she will no longer cover Vertigo titles as a result of their silence on the matter.

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Dark Horse announces ‘Stranger Things’ comic books

Jody Houser and Stefano Martino take a trip to the Upside Down this September.

Dark Horse Comics is heading to the Upside Down with their latest project, as the company announced they’ve acquired the license for the hit Netflix TV series Stranger Things.

The first miniseries is set to launch in September, according to Entertainment Weekly, and will focus on Will Byers and his time in the other dimensional Upside Down, set during the first season of the show. The miniseries is written by Jody Houser, illustrated by Stefano Martino, inked by Keith Champagne, colored by Lauren Affe and lettered by Nate Piekos.

Houser celebrated the news on Twitter:

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Check out Sonny Liew’s ‘Stranger Things’ fan comics

The award-winning creator shares two comics inspired by the Duffer Brothers’ hit Netflix series.

If you’re a fan of the Duffer Brothers’ hit Netflix series Stranger Things, then you’ll probably appreciate these two fan comics that award-winning comics creator Sonny Liew (Dr. Fate, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye) created.

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