Author Archives: Carman Goodrich

January 2021 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Nocterra #1
JAN210016
Estimated release: March 3, 2021
Publisher: Image Comics
(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey

“FULL THROTTLE DARK,” Part One-Ten years after the world is plunged into an everlasting night that turns all living creatures into monstrous shades, the only way to survive is to stay close to artificial light. Enter Valentina “Val” Riggs, a skilled ferryman who transports people and goods along deadly unlit roads with her heavily illuminated eighteen wheeler.

This March, legendary creators SCOTT SNYDER (Dark Knights: Death Metal, WYTCHES) and TONY S. DANIEL (Batman, Deathstroke) unveil horrors beyond any shade in this extra-sized first issue.


Unless I’m forgetting something, I don’t think I’ve seen a creator-owned book written by Scott Snyder since Wytches. It’s exciting to see him on another book outside of the Big Two (Marvel and DC). Plus, from the sound of it, we’re getting the mashup that everyone has been waiting for — Pitch Black meets Smokey and the Bandit.

Ultramega #1
JAN210038
Estimated release: March 17, 2021
Publisher: Image Comics
(W/A/CA) James Harren (A) Dave Stewart

A cosmic plague has spread, transforming everyday people into violent, monstrous kaiju. Only the Ultramega – three individuals imbued with incredible powers – hold the line against this madness. Their battles level cities and leave untold horror in their wake. Now, the final reckoning approaches for the Ultramega… but is this a war they can even win?

Fight monsters and stand with humanity in this new Skybound original from the greatest artist of his generation, JAMES HARREN (RUMBLE, BPRD) and Eisner Award-winning colorist DAVE STEWART. Each issue is extra-sized, with a 60-page debut that can barely contain its giant heroes, creatures, and devastation!

REGISTER PITCH: The high-impact adventure of EXTREMITY, but with the kaiju-esque monster action scenes of Pacific Rim.


All right, I know that pitching a book about a plague enveloping the earth might not be super appealing right now given… everything. BUT. You know what is appealing? James Harren doing a monster book. I loved Harren’s work on B.P.R.D. (also chock full of monsters!) and Ultramega seems right in his wheelhouse.

Proctor Valley Road #1
JAN210939
Estimated release: March 3, 2021
Publisher: Boom! Entertainment
(W) Alex Child, Grant Morrison (A/CA) Naomi Franquiz

Perfect for fans of Paper Girls and Die, visionary writer Grant Morrison (Klaus), Alex Child (BBC’s Holby City) and Naomi Franquiz (Tales from Harrow County) present a chilling new horror series about the mysterious monsters that haunt Proctor Valley Road – and the four misfit teenagers who must stop them.

August, Rylee, Cora & Jennie have organized a “Spook Tour” with their classmates on the most haunted, demon-infested stretch of road in America to fund attending the concert of their dreams.

When their visit turns deadly, these four friends race to rescue the missing students… before the town tears them limb from limb.

Now they must slay the evils roaming Proctor Valley Road… along with the monsters lurking in the hearts of 1970s America.


Hey, a big month for fighting monsters out on the road. Proctor Valley Road is looking like a fun, period horror book. It’s got Grant Morrison doing some writing on it, to boot. If the likes of Annihilator and Nameless are any indication, we should be in for some weird spooks!

Alien #1
JAN210568
Estimated release: March 24, 2021
Publisher: Marvel Comics
(W) Phillip Kennedy Johnson (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Inhyuk Lee

THE ICONIC CINEMATIC TERROR MAKES ITS MARVEL DEBUT!
Gabriel Cruz gave his life to Weyland-Yutani–In the case of an alien attack he barely survived, almost literally! Recently retired, Cruz is trying to patch things up with his abandoned son with the help of his friend, a Bishop-model android, but his re-entry into civilian life is not going smoothly…and his encounters with the deadly Xenomorph are far from over. Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Salvador Larroca team up to tell an all-new tale of the titan of horror and science fiction that has scared audiences for decades. No one is safe. No one is innocent. And no one can hear you scream.


Listen, I wasn’t meaning to make this whole thing about monsters. Some might say I’m only now realizing that these first four books are all (somewhat) creature features. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’m in for this book so I can get some of that Wayland Yutani aesthetic. I mean, Aliens are cool, too.

The Down River People
JAN210966
Estimated release: May 26, 2021
Publisher: Boom! Entertainment
(W) Adam Smith (A/CA) Matthew Fox

For fans of Stillwater and Essex County comes a new graphic novel reuniting writer Adam Smith and artist Matt Fox, the duo behind the Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated Long Walk to Valhalla, for a riveting story about a man attempting to survive the complicated and dangerous web of his family’s criminal ties with his soul intact.

Myers Carpenter is a bootlegger who just inherited his family’s bar and must turn to his estranged mother – who he hasn’t seen since he was a boy – for help.

Myers learns the secrets of his new family’s lodge, but he may not escape the dark cult thriving just under the surface of opulence.


Okay, so to my knowledge… there are no monsters in The Down River People. Granted, with the mention of a dark cult, you never know. I’ve heard great things about Long Walk to Valhalla so this may be my jumping on point for Smith and Fox’s work. Maybe it’s all of the Kelly Reichardt movies I’ve been watching, but the muted landscape cover really struck me. Also, name dropping Essex County seals the deal.

November 2020 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Abbott 1973: #1 (of 5)
NOV200879
January 20, 2021
Boom! Studios
(W) Saladin Ahmed (A) Sami Kivela (CA) Taj Tenfold

* In a new series for  fans of Something is Killing the Children and Bitter Root, Saladin Ahmed, the visionary writer behind Miles Morales: Spider-Man, and Sami Kivelä, the acclaimed artist behind Tommy Gun Wizards, reunite for this Must Read supernatural thriller.
* Detroit’s hardest hitting journalist, Elena Abbott, is trying to make a fresh start at a new newspaper…but her deadly past isn’t ready to let go.
* The city is days away from the historic election of a Black candidate as their new Mayor, but a vicious new group has emerged to destroy him, targeting anyone who supports his campaign or the change he represents.
* That means Abbott, who discovers the group’s connection to a dangerous dark magic, has been targeted for certain death – unless she embraces her true power as the Lightbringer to save her city.


Yessssss. Ever since reading the original arc, I’ve wanted more Abbott. The wish has come true and I can’t wait for 1973. You know how sometimes you can think of a book/movie/podcast and remember exactly where you were when you saw or listened to it? I’ve only been on a train a couple times in my life but I read Abbott on a train to Chicago — not sure why but there was something strangely fitting about that.

Serial #1
NOV200979
January 13, 2021
Abstract Studios
(W/A/CA) Terry Moore

Zoe has been 10 years old for 50 years. Most of her life has been spent on the run fighting the demon that lived within her, kept her young and turned her into a serial killer. Now free of the demon, Zoe discovers her childhood friend is the latest victim in a string of murders. Determined to put an end to the reign of terror, Zoe uses her own deadly skills to stalk the predator and avenge her fallen friend. Serial is Terry Moore’s new series featuring Zoe, the irrepressible star of Rachel Rising and FiveYears. Don’t miss the premier issue of a her solo series!

Several years ago I had a dream about a comic. It was close to the time I started working at Fanfare and I dreamt that I bought a copy of the first trade paperback of Rachel Rising by Terry Moore. I read the whole thing in one sitting and I couldn’t believe how good it was. The next day, I told my co-workers that I thought it was weird to dream about a comic book, especially one I hadn’t read. You know what I did after that? Nothing! I didn’t buy the book! I still haven’t read it. Why have I betrayed my visions like this? Am I scared it won’t be as good as in that dream from seven years ago? Either way, I think I need to make it up to dreamland Terry Moore and get Serial #1. Okay, and that Rachel Rising.

HAHA #1
NOV200009
January 13, 2021
Image Comics
(W) W. Maxwell Prince (A/CA) Vanesa Del Rey

ICE CREAM MAN writer W. MAXWELL PRINCE brings his signature style of one-shot storytelling to the world of clowns-and he’s invited SOME OF THE COMIC INDUSTRY’S BEST ARTISTS to join him for the ride.

HAHA is a genre-jumping, throat-lumping look at the sad, scary, hilarious life of those who get paid to play the fool-but these ain’t your typical jokers.

With issues drawn by VANESA DEL REY (REDLANDS), GABRIEL WALTA (Vision), ROGER LANGRIDGE (Thor), and more, HAHA peeks under the big top, over the rainbow, and even inside a balloon to tell a wide-ranging slew of stories about “funny” men and women, proving that some things are so sad you just have to laugh.


How was it that clowns became this staple of horror media? Is Stephen King’s It to blame or does it go back farther than that? I feel like it has to. Anyway, I love a good horror anthology and Ice Cream Man has been a great one. Get ready for the unsullied reputation of clowns to take a nose dive.

I Breathed a Body #1
NOV200992
January 20, 2021
Aftershock Comics
(W) Zac Thompson (A/CA) Andy MacDonald

A science fiction horror series about social media, big tech, and influencer culture.

It’s The Social Network meets Hellraiser. When the world’s biggest influencer posts something irredeemably horrific online, the world changes in an instant. Now it’s up to his social media manager, Anne Stewart, to fan the flames of outrage and create a sensationalist campaign that rewrites the rules of “banned content.” Thus begins a carnival of lust, revulsion, desire, and disgust – all for viral videos.

Written by Zac Thompson (LONELY RECEIVER, UNDONE BY BLOOD, X-Men) and illustrated by Andy MacDonald (Multiple Man, Rogue Planet), I BREATHED A BODY is a horror series about the voyeurism of violence and the Big Tech companies who engineer patterns of fear in society.


I know the solicit says “The Social Network meets Hellraiser” but looking at the cover, all I can think of is Event Horizon. You know, that scene. I’m interested in fresh takes on cosmic horror and I Breathed a Body looks to have a neat spin on that forbidden knowledge trope. Plus, I feel like I can relate to this book on a personal level because who hasn’t breathed a body every once in a while?

October 2020 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Reckless
OCT200009
December 16, 2020
Image Comics
(W) Ed Brubaker (A) Jacob Phillips (A/CA) Sean Phillips

“Sex, drugs, and murder in 1980s Los Angeles… And the best new twist on paperback pulp heroes since The Punisher or Jack Reacher.  
  
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, the modern masters of crime noir, bring us the last thing anyone expected from them – a good guy. In a bold new series of original graphic novels, with three books releasing over the next year, each a full-length story that stands on its own.
  
Meet Ethan Reckless: Your trouble is his business, for the right price. But when a fugitive from his student radical days reaches out for help, Ethan must face the only thing he fears… his own past.
  
“Imagine Redford at his peak, ambling through sun-drenched, eighties L.A. in a serpentine plot that is equal parts Long Goodbye and Point Break. No one does crime fic like Brubaker and Phillips and their collaboration has never felt more new. Explosive. Vital. And yes… reckless. I love this book.”
  
– Damon Lindelof (Lost, HBO’s Watchmen)
  
“”Reckless is an absolute rush: on the same level as golden age Travis McGee novels and the hardest-hitting Richard Stark stories. This one comes at you as fast as Steve McQueen in a souped-up Mustang and as hard as Charles Bronson with a baseball bat. You gotta have it.””
  
– Joe Hill (Locke & Key, N0S4A2)
  
 Look for book 2 in the Reckless series in April 2021!”


Listen, it’s another Brubaker & Phillips team-up. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a quote from Damon Lindelof in the solicitation (go watch The Leftovers and Watchmen). Reckless is a safe bet.

Post York
OCT200262
February 24, 2021
Dark Horse Comics
(W/A/CA) James Romberger

The polar ice caps have melted, and New York City is flooded beyond recognition. An independent loner, along with his cat and only friend, struggles to live another day in this makeshift community, populated mostly by outsiders like himself while the depraved elite thrive ruthlessly on the outskirts. But his world is disrupted when he encounters both a mysterious woman and a trapped blue whale. Will they be each other’s salvation. . . or destruction?

Experimentally told and unequivocally told, Post York contains bonus materials including an environmental fact sheet, afterword, full-color art section, and more.

James Romberger is a cartoonist, fine artist and artist of the graphic novels 7 Miles a Second, The Late Child and Other Animals, Bronx Kill and Aaron and Ahmed.  

“James Romberger . . . is in the highest horror-comics tradition” – The New York Times Book Review


I’m not exactly clambering for post-apocalyptic narratives right now given the state of the world but something about Post York stands out to me. Maybe it’s the claim of experimentalism or the praise about high horror — I’ll be giving this one a look.

Afterlift
OCT200273
February 3, 2021
Dark Horse Comics
(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Jason Loo

2020 EISNER AWARD WINNER FOR BEST DIGITAL SERIES!
  
Ride-share driver Janice Chen has enough to deal with, from annoying passengers to overbearing parents. But when she picks up a pair of mysterious passengers who are pursued by otherworldly forces, Janice realizes that her already-terrible day might be headed straight to hell. This Eisner Award-winning series from Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Daredevil) and Jason Loo (The Pitiful Human-Lizard) features car chases, demon bounty hunters, and figuring out your place in this world and the next.
  
Collects Afterlift #1-#5 along with all covers and a sketchbook section.


I don’t read digital comics much so I’m always excited when I see a popular one going into print. I thought Afterlift sounded like fun when I first heard about it in Chip Zdarsky’s newsletter.

World of Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 2
OCT200300
February 10, 2021
Dark Horse Comics
(W) Jeff Lemire (A) David Rubin, Max Fiumara (CA) Dean Ornstrom

Far in the future of Black Hammer, a collection of superheroes, inspired by the legendary heroes of Black Hammer Farm, must band together to save the planet from an authoritarian regime.

During the Golden Age of superheroes, an elite Air Force crew called the Black Hammer Squadron bands together to combat the Nazis, a host of occult threats, and their ultimate aerial warrior the Ghost Hunter.

Collects The Quantum Age and Black Hammer ’45 in a deluxe, oversized hardcover format with a new cover, sketchbook extras, and more!


What a rich world Black Hammer is turning out to be. Though I’ve been buying the single issues, I’ve been waiting on the spinoff series until they’ve wrapped up. I’m loving these library editions! What an excellent cover on this one, too.

The Picture of Everything Else #1
OCT201644
December 16, 2020
Vault Comics
(W) Dan Watters (A/CA) Kishore Mohan

As the 20th century dawns, art promises to change the world…and steep it in blood. A rash of impossible killings sweep through Paris, tearing the rich and beautiful apart in their beds. When two art thieves stumble upon the portraits of the victims damaged in the exact same manner they died, it appears the man who once painted the immortal portrait of Dorian Gray has returned-with darker plans for future works. From the minds of Dan Watters (Coffin Bound, Lucifer, Deep Roots) and Kishore Mohan comes a haunting balance of depravity and beauty.

Oh you know, just another Oscar Wilde horror comic book. Kidding aside, Vault Comics continues to put out strong new titles and I’m always looking forward to checking them out.

June/July 2020 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Lost Soldiers #1 (of 5)

JUNE200021

July 29, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Ales Kot (A/CA) Luca Casalanguida, Heather Moore

Vietnam, 1969. Juarez, forty years later. Three men tied by the war they left behind-on collision course with a new one.

We’re back! Feels good to be writing about comics again. What better to return to than a new Ales Kot miniseries? Unless I’m misremembering, Kot’s last creator-owned series was Days of Hate so it’s been a little bit. Loving the art and can’t wait to check this out. Since Lost Soldiers is hitting shelves so soon, make sure to let the store know if you want to grab a copy.

Hedra (One-Shot)

JUN2000077

July 29, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Jesse Lonergan

In a glorious exploration of the comics medium with echoes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Flash Gordon, Chris Ware, and Moebius, a lone astronaut leaves a world ravaged by nuclear war in search of life. What she finds is beyond all explanation.

Every once in a while, they get me with the name drops in a solicit. Hedra got me here with 2001, Chris Ware, and Moebius (haven’t seen Flash Gordon, sorry! That song is good, though). I’ve not heard of Jesse Lonergan but I will certainly be picking this up. As with Lost Soldiers, this one comes out soon, so let us know if you’d like a copy set aside for you.

Under-Earth

JUN200622

October 21, 2020

Publisher: IDW – Top Shelf

(W/A/CA) Chris Gooch

The inmates of an extensive underground prison struggle to build meaningful lives in a broken system, in the most ambitious graphic novel to date from rising indie star Chris Gooch (Bottled and Deep Breaths).

Under-Earth takes place in a subterranean landfill, hollowed out to serve as a massive improvised prison. Sunken into the trash and debris of the past – Gameboys, iPhones, coffee cups, old cars – we follow two parallel stories.

In the first, a new arrival struggles to adapt to the everyday violence, physical labour, and poverty of the prison city. Overwhelmed and alone, he finds a connection with a fellow inmate through an old, beat-up novel. While these two silent and uncommunicative men grow closer thanks to their book, the stress of their environment will test their new bond.

Meanwhile, a pair of thieves pull off a risky job in exchange for the prisons’ schematics and the promise of escape – only to be betrayed by their employer. On the run with their hope for escape now gone, the two women set their minds to revenge. Yet as they lay their plans, their focus shifts from an obsession with the outside world to the life they have with each other.

Equal parts sincerity and violence, Under-Earth explores humanity’s inextinguishable drive to find meaning, connection, and even family – and how fragile such constructions can be.

This looks and sounds great. For long time readers, you may remember when I included Chris Gooch’s Deep Breaths on an older posting of Previews, not having seen their work before. I picked that up and really enjoyed what I read (I think I need to finish a few of the short stories). This would be a great one to take a chance on!

Department of Truth #1

JUL2000012

September 30, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) James Tynion IV (W/CA) Martin Simmonds

SERIES PREMIERE! Cole Turner has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK assassination to flat Earth theory and reptilian shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth? Bestselling writer JAMES TYNION IV (Batman, Something is Killing the Children) debuts his first Image ONGOING SERIES alongside breakout artist MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy)!

Tynion’s take on an SCP/X-Files/Bureau of Control type of organization? Yeah, I’m into that.

Stillwater #1

JUL2000017

September 16, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Mike Spicer (A/CA) Ramon K. Perez

SERIES PREMIERE! Nobody dies. In the town of Stillwater, that’s not just a promise. It’s a threat. Join superstar writer CHIP ZDARSKY (THE WHITE TREES, Daredevil) and Eisner Award-winning artist RAM N K PÉREZ (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, Jane) as they dive into a world of horror and intrigue in this new ongoing Skybound series.

Though I do miss seeing more of Chip Zdarsky’s art on the shelves, his writing has been great. I can’t say I expected for him to do a horror book but that is a very welcomed surprise. Looking forward to Perez and Chip’s work on this!

Dracula Motherf**ker

JUL2000019

October 7, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Alex de Campi (A/CA) Erica Henderson

Vienna, 1889: Dracula’s brides nail him to the bottom of his coffin. Los Angeles, 1974: an aging starlet decides to raise the stakes. Crime scene photographer Quincy Harker is the only man who knows it happened, but will anyone believe him before he gets his own chalk outline? And are Dracula’s three brides there to help him…or use him as bait? A pulpy, pulse-pounding graphic novel of California psych-horror from acclaimed creators ALEX DE CAMPI and ERICA HENDERSON.

Speaking of horror — this looks great. Beyond the pulpy goodness of the cover and description, I would have immediately been on board for a team up of Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson. Is it too early to be excited for Halloween season? I think at this point each year (when we see previews for books coming out in October) is when I start to think about it.

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #1

JUL200871

September 2, 2020

Publisher: Vault Comics

(W) Al Ewing (A/CA) Simone Di Meo

* For fans of Decorum and Something is Killing the Children comes a new sci-fi epic from Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk) and Simone Di Meo (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) on the edge of space where humanity is harvesting the corpses of giant alien gods to survive.
* No one has ever seen a living god, but Captain Malik is obsessed with being the first.
* Captain Malik and the crew of the Vihaan II harvest the only resources that matter from the giant corpses of alien gods found on the edge of human space. While other autopsy ships race to salvage the meat, minerals, and metals that sustain the human race, Malik sees an opportunity to finally break free from this system.
* But Malik’s obsession with the gods will push his crew into the darkest reaches of space, bringing them face to face with a threat unlike anything they’ve ever imagined – unless the rogue agent on their trail can stop them first…

Josh (the Shorter) has been telling me for years that I need to be reading Al Ewing’s work. While I did pick up that amazing cosmic-looking Immortal Hulk #25 last year, I’ll admit that I haven’t read it yet. I love the premise of We Only Find Them When They’re Dead and will be jumping on board. Plus, you have to give props to titles that sounds like they could be the name of a midwest emo/math rock band.

Lonely Receiver #1

JUL200989

September 2, 2020

Publisher: Aftershock Comics

(W) Zac Thompson (A/CA) Jen Hickman

Catrin Vander, a lonely video producer, buys an Artificial Intelligence partner that’s meant to bond for life. After ten years together, her holographic wife suddenly discon-nects without a warning. The breakup drives Catrin to the point of near insanity. She’s alone for the first time in years and reeling from a loss she can’t comprehend.

Set in the new future, drenched in pastels and sunshine, LONELY RECEIVER is a horror/breakup story in five parts. Written by Zac Thompson (UNDONE BY BLOOD, THE REPLACER, HER INFERNAL DESCENT, No One’s Rose, X-Men) and illustrated in color by Jen Hickman (MOTH & WHISPER, Test).

Lonely Receiver sounds like a darker take on Spike Jonze’s film Her. Will Alan Watts make an appearance? We’ll have to find out.

February 2020 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #1 (of 4)

FEB200226

April 22, 2020

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Tyler Crook

From the world of the Eisner Award-winning Black Hammer series comes a bizarre sci-fi adventure origin story!

Wacky space adventurer Colonel Randall Weird leaves Black Hammer farm and embarks on a strange journey through space and time for something that he’s long forgotten with his sanity and life at stake!

“Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer feels like it’s walking two roads-one honoring the past of superhero comics, and one forging a path into the future of the genre.”-Cullen Bunn

At this point, every Black Hammer spinoff has made my Previews picks. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. This may be the one I’m most excited for — Colonel Weird is such a great character and I’ve loved Tyler Crook’s work in B.P.R.D. and Harrow County.

Adventureman #1

FEB200011

April 29, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Matt Fraction (A/CA) Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson

SERIES PREMIERE! A CATACLYSMIC ADVENTURE DECADES IN THE MAKING!
In this WILDLY AFFORDABLE TRIPLE-LENGTH FIRST ISSUE, revisit how the legend of the greatest pulp hero of them all, ADVENTUREMAN, ended in a heartbreaking CLIFFHANGER with our hero facing execution at the vile hand of his ultra-nemesis BARON BIZARRE on the eve of the MACABRAPOCALYPSE…or did it?!? Eighty years after his apparent demise, single mother Claire and her Adventurefan son Tommy seem to be the only two people alive that remember the thrilling ADVENTUREMAN sagas…but from that memory burns THE SPARK OF RESURRECTION! WHERE HIS STORY ENDED…HER STORY BEGINS! This sense-obliterating, earth-shaking, imagination-quaking adventure that spans generations comes to you from MATT FRACTION (SEX CRIMINALS, Hawkeye) and TERRY & RACHEL DODSON (X-Men/Fantastic Four, RED ONE)!!!

How could you not pick this up? It is “wildy affordable,” after all. The Dodson’s work in Previews looks great (go pick up X-Men/Fantastic Four!) and I’ll try anything new from Matt Fraction.

The Ludocrats #1 (of 5)

FEB200052

April 1, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol (A) Tamra Bonvillain (A/CA) Jeff Stokely

SERIES PREMIERE! The Ludocrat! The ludicrous aristocrat! A collision of the ornate fantasy of Dune and an M-rated Asterix & Obelix! Baron Otto Von Hades and Professor Hades Zero-K are here, and they’re going to save us all have a nice time.

KIERON GILLEN (DIE, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE) and JIM ROSSIGNOL (Sir, You Are Being Hunted) write! JEFF STOKELY (The Spire) draws! TAMRA BONVILLAIN (Once & Future) colors! Clayton Cowles (BITTER ROOT, DIE) letters! The universe screams in pleasure, writhing, finally satisfied, complete, joyous!

At first glance, this may not be a book that would typically catch my eye but the creators attached to it have pulled me in. That’s one of the greatest things about comics as a medium, as well — there’s almost no barrier to entry in trying something new!

Dead Dog’s Bite #1 (of 4)

FEB200238

April 8, 2020

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W/A) Tyler Boss (CA) Ian Bertram

Cormac Guffin has gone missing. It’s been three days and no one has seen hide nor hair of her. The police have nothing, and the townsfolk are acting more like a funeral procession than a search party. If Cormac has any hope of being found, it rests on the slouching shoulders of her best friend Joe. Joe will need her wits about her though, because, like any story worth hearing, nothing is what it seems.

From award-winning cartoonist Tyler Boss (4 Kids Walk into a Bank) comes the story of a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a candy wrapper.

o  From award-winning cartoonist Tyler Boss (4 Kids Walk into a Bank)

Ooh right, I do have a copy of 4 Kids Walk into a Bank on my shelf. Looks like it may be time to finally dip into that. I’ve heard great things about that book and the premise of Dead Dog’s Bite certainly has me interested.

January 2020 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Strange Adventures #1 (of 12)

JAN200506

March 4, 2020

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Tom King (A) Evan Shaner (A/CA) Mitch Gerads

After winning five Eisner Awards and topping year-end “best of lists,” the comic book of 2019 was Mister Miracle. The comic book of 2020 will be Strange Adventures.
The Mister Miracle team of writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads are joined by fan-favorite artist Evan “Doc” Shaner to bring you an epic tale in the tradition of Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and DC: The New Frontier-a story of blood, war, and love that readers will be talking about for years to come.
Adam Strange is the hero of Rann, a man famous throughout the galaxy for his bravery and honor. After leading his adopted home to victory in a great planetary war, Adam and his wife Alanna retire to Earth, where they are greeted by cheers, awards, and parades. But not all is as happy and nice as it seems, as the decisions Adam made during battles on Rann come back to haunt his family and threaten the entire DC Universe. And now a surprise DC hero will have to choose between saving Adam Strange and saving the world.  
A story like no other, Strange Adventures is an ambitious, thrilling, shocking, and beautiful 12-issue saga that will push Adam Strange to the breaking point-and beyond!

If you’ve been following comic books even just a little bit over the past year or so, you already know that Tom King and Mitch Gerads doing a limited series together is a big deal. If you’re new to that concept, go on out and treat yourself to a copy of Mister Miracle. You’re in for a treat.

Decorum #1

JAN200108

March 11, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Jonathon Hickman (A/CA) Mike Huddleston

SERIES PREMIERE! There are many assassins in the known universe. This is the story of the most well-mannered one. “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what knife you use.”

If you’re familiar with Jonathon Hickman’s creater-owned work, I know what you may be asking yourself right now — is this book going to take the next 10 years to wrap up? Who knows! Last I heard, Hickman’s been waiting to put out solicits until books were completed or near completion but either way, I’m also very excited for a new Hickman book. Some what recent recommended reading: House of X/Powers of X (soon to be collected together as Dawn of X), Black Monday Murders, and East of West.

X-Ray Robot #1 (of 4)

JAN200303

March 25, 2020

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W/A/CA) Mike Allred

Max is a family man seeking a more interesting life. While conducting a new experiment at work, the fabric of his reality is torn before his eyes, and a robotic figure appears, claiming to be his 277-year-old self. The robot is able to “X-Ray” multiple dimensions and battles a nihilistic entity from another dimension who wants to take all life to its “Pre-Big Bang” status.  Max and the robot embark on an interdimensional roadtrip through past and future to take down the “Nihilist” and save the universe!
o Mike Allred’s new bizarre superhero character X-Ray Robot!
“One of the best cartoonists in all of comics has done it again! X-Ray Robot is another Allred homerun!!” -Brian Michael Bendis
“Michael Allred kicks so much ass I can barely stand it. X-Ray Robot is the work of a master!” -Rob Thomas creator of Veronica Mars

I guess this makes for book number three on the list this month of “hey, these are creators I don’t want to pass up on!” Mike Allred’s art is rad and I will always check out something new from him. Recommended reading: X-Statix and Silver Surfer.

Starship Down #1 (of 4)

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March 18, 2020

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Justin Giampaoli (A/CA) Andrea Mutti

A cultural anthropologist consults with US Naval Intelligence to investigate the discovery of an extraterrestrial ship buried under the ice for thousands of years in Siberia. The meddling Russians, Vatican officials, the international media spotlight, and her own insecurities all threaten her efforts to keep the fabric of society from crumbling.
o A brand-new thriller with blistering art from Andrea Mutti.

First contact and clandestine organizations — two big checkmarks in my favorite kinds of story ideas. I will definitely be checking this one out!

December 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Hellboy & B.P.R.D.: Return of Effie Kolb #1 (of 2)

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February 19, 2020

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W/CA) Mike Mignola (A) Zach Howard

Years after he banished the Crooked Man, Hellboy returns to Appalachia when a young psychic warns Tom Ferrell of looming danger. But the Crooked Man’s house is no longer empty, and threats both new and old simmer in the Virginia woods. Mike Mignola returns to continue the tale of “The Crooked Man.” He’s joined by artist Zach Howard and colorist Dave Stewart for a stellar fright fest!

The Crooked Man is one of the best Hellboy short stories ever written (and beautifully drawn by Richard Corben) and is a strong contender for my favorite. I can’t wait to see Mignola revisit such a classic tale in that universe. Pictured above is cover B drawn by Mignola himself.

Tartarus #1

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February 12, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Johnnie Christmas (A/CA) Jack Cole

SERIES PREMIERE! A new adventure series with all the sci-fi drama of Breaking Bad set in Mos Eisley! Promising young cadet Tilde is framed for crimes against the empire after discovering her mother was the ruthless warlord of the deadly colony Tartarus, a vital player in the galactic war. Now, Tilde’s only way home may be to reclaim her mother’s dark crown. #1 New York Times bestseller JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS (Alien 3) and artistic phenom JACK T. COLE (The Unsound) kick off this ongoing series with 44 big pages of story!

I was introduced to both Johnnie Christmas and Jack Cole in Image Comics’ Island magazine so it’s cool to see them working together. The premise sounds like it could be a really rad, pulpy sci-f to boot. If you’re looking to brush up on their work beforehand, check out The Unsound drawn by Jack Cole and Firebug written and drawn by Johnnie Christmas.

X-Men+Fantastic Four #1 (of 4)

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February 5, 2020

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Terry Dodson

KRAKOA. Every mutant on Earth lives there … except for one. But now it’s time for FRANKLIN RICHARDS to come home.
It’s the X-MEN VS. the FANTASTIC FOUR and nothing will ever be the same.
Rated T+

It’s Chip Zdarsky, y’all. The guy needs you to buy his book, it’s all he’s got. That, and a burning disdain for Ryan Stegman.

Godkillers #1

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February 19, 2020

Publisher: Aftershock Comics

(W) Mark Sable (A) Maan House (CA) Jeremy Haun

Abdul Alhazred is an Arab-American folklore professor-turned-soldier whose fear of death stems from uncertainty about the existence of an afterlife. Then he joins THE GODKILLERS, a special forces unit tasked with fighting insurgents who use mythological creatures as weapons of mass destruction. Now that he knows that the supernatural exists, he’ll have to decide which is worse – death or the nightmarish monsters he thought were mere legends. From writer Mark Sable (Grounded, Fearless, Supergirl) and newcomer artist Maan House, THE GODKILLERS is a monster story for the modern age.

So, I think I’m still not over B.P.R.D. being finished. I’m not saying that The Godkillers is going to fill that void but the premise certainly gives off some similar vibes. I guess I’m a sucker for secret task forces coming face-to-face with the fringes of reality.

Finger Guns #1

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February 26, 2020

Publisher: Vault Comics

(W) Sabs Cooper, Justin Richards (A) Val Halvorson (CA) Arjuna Susini

Two troubled teenagers discover they can manipulate emotions by firing finger guns. There will be laughs. There will be tears. There will be uncomfortable teen feelings and angst.
Oh yeah… and chaos.
So much chaos.

Pretty short solicit here but Vault has been showing time after time that it’s always worth picking up and trying their new series.

Plunge #1 (of 6)

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February 19, 2020

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Joe Hill (A) Stuart Immonen (CA) Jeremy Wilson

In the aftermath of a devastating tsunami, an exploration vessel known as the Derleth begins sending an automated distress signal from a remote atoll in the Bering Strait. The only problem is that the Derleth has been missing for 40 years. Marine biologist Moriah Lamb joins the Carpenter Salvage team to recover the Derleth’s dead…only to find that in this remote part of the Arctic Circle the dead have plenty to say to the living…Joe Hill and Stuart Immonen’s Plunge into terror begins here!

I’ve yet to dip into Joe Hill’s new imprint, Hill House, but Plunge has grabbed my attention. There’s not necessarily anything groundbreaking in the description but I enjoy a good ghost ship story. That reminds me, I still need to finish Man of Medan.

November 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Wonder Woman #750

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January 22, 2020

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Vita Ayala, Marguerite Bennett, Kami Garcia, Dean Hale, Jeff Loveness, Steve Orlando, Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Mariko Tamaki, Various Others (A) Elena Casagrande, Colleen Doran, Jesus Merino, Gabriel Picolo, Others (CA) Joelle Jones

Prestige Format
An all-star 96-page celebration of the Amazon Princess by longtime favorites and acclaimed new voices! In the lead story, Wonder Woman’s epic “Year of the Villain” battle comes to a close, leading the way to new challenges ahead. Additionally, this oversized gem tells tales from Diana’s past, present and future by some of the greatest storytellers in the business- including Colleen Doran, Mariko Tamaki, the Teen Titans: Raven team of writer Kami Garcia and artist Gabriel Picolo, and legendary Wonder Woman creators returning to the character, including Gail Simone and Greg Rucka!

A star-studded celebration of Wonder Woman! DC and Marvel have both been doing some great team-ups with their talent and this cast looks like it will be a lot of fun.

 

Superman: Heroes #1

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January 29, 2020

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Jody Houser, Greg Rucka (A) Kevin Maguire, Steve Lieber, Mike Perkins, Others (CA) Bryan Hitch

Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, the staff of the Daily Planet, even the Justice League-their lives all changed when Superman revealed his secret identity to the world! This unique Superman experience explores what the identity of Clark Kent meant to those close to him-and what their relationship to Superman will be in the future. All the rules are about to change-and it all starts here.
The dream team of writers Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka, and Jody Houser team up for this amazing special, with art anchored by DC legend Kevin Maguire, plus sequences focusing on each corner of the Superman universe by artists Steve Lieber (Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen) and Mike Perkins (Lois Lane). ONE-SHOT

Speaking of fun collaborations, DC’s got a second one this month! This is another great list of names (Greg Rucka had to sneak on to both) and I think I’m most excited to see what Steve Lieber has cooked up. If you’re not reading Jimmy Olsen, fix that!

 

Frankenstein Undone #1 (of 5)

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January 29, 2020

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Mike Mignola, Scott Allie (A/CA) Ben Stenbeck

Frankenstein’s creator lies dead in the icy grip of the Arctic, and the monster searches for a new purpose. Just as he thinks he’s found one with a group of unlikely companions, disaster strikes-and the monster is catapulted out of Mary Shelley’s novel and into the world of Hellboy.

Bridging Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein novella and Mike Mignola’s Frankenstein Underground, this series brings together Mignola, Scott Allie, Ben Stenbeck, Brennan Wagner, and Clem Robins for an all-new horror adventure in the far north.

I’ve mentioned it in this column before but last July, I began a read-through of most of the Mignolaverse. After blasting through 25 years worth of Hellboy, B.P.R.D., and Abe Sapien books, I took a little break from some of the more tertiary content. I’ve often heard that Frankenstein Underground is one of the best of those kind of “extended universe” books and I just ordered it from the store and am looking forward to catching up with that before the release of Undone. If you’re curious to check out the Hellboy universe, take a look at this great reading order from Multiversity Comics.

 

Hellboy Winter Special 2019

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Jan 15, 2020

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Mike Mignola, Various (A) Various (CA) Gabriel Ba

Celebrate the season in true Hellboy fashion!

Meet a ghostly miser in an alternate reality, fear the Boogam of rural New York, and embrace the wrath of St. Hagan in this trio of occult winter tales! The familiar faces of Hellboy, Sarah Jewell, and the legendary Knights of St. Hagan will help you ring in the new year with all the shivers you can take-and not all of them from the cold!

o Three short stories in one issue!

I guess the theme of this month’s post is big creative teams coming together. You know I had to put this on the list. Even if you’re not super familiar with Hellboy, the winter specials are a collection of short stories that can typically be enjoyed as one-offs. Tis the season.

 

Protector #1

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January 29, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Simon Roy, Daniel M. Bensen (A) Artyom Trakhanov, Jason Wordie, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (CA) James Stokoe

SERIES PREMIERE! From SIMON ROY (Prophet), Sideways Award-winning author DANIEL M. BENSEN (Junction), ARTYOM TRAKHANOV (UNDERTOW), JASON WORDIE (GOD COUNTRY), and HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU (Red Sonja) comes a sci-fi adventure equal parts Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max, and The Expanse.
Of all the tribes that dwell in the hot ruins of far-future North America, the Hudsoni reign supreme, but even they fear and obey the godlike Devas. When the Devas warn of an old-world demon in the conquered city of Shikka-Go, Hudsoni war chief First Knife decides to deal with the threat personally.

If I’d read this solicit with no names attached and had to guess who was involved, Simon Roy would be at the top of the list. This very much sounds like his wheelhouse and I can’t wait to see what vast and desolate sci-fi landscapes await in Protector. If you haven’t already, check out Roy’s Habitat and Tiger Lung.

October 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Skulldigger #1 (of 6)

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December 18, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Tonci Zonjic

Spiral City finds itself trapped in a vicious cycle of crime, corruption, and violence. With the heart of the city at stake, a vigilante rises in Skulldigger. However, when the nefarious Grimjim escapes from prison, will Skulldigger and his ward, Skeleton Boy, be enough to save Spiral City?

Although it’s sad that the initial “Farm” storyline of Black Hammer has come to an end (along with the recent Black Hammer/Justice League crossover), Jeff Lemire has assured fans that there is still plenty of stories in the Black Hammer universe to be told. Skulldigger looks to be the first book to kick that off. I haven’t missed any of these spinoffs yet and neither should you!

 

Wonder Woman: Dead Earth #1 (of 4)

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December 18, 2019

Publisher: DC Comics

(W/A/CA) Daniel Warren Johnson

The celebrated creator of Murder Falcon and Extremity and artist of The Ghost Fleet, Daniel Warren Johnson brings bold sci-fi chops to his DC debut with a harrowing vision of Wonder Woman unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Princess Diana of Themyscira left paradise to save Man’s World from itself. When Wonder Woman awakens from a centuries-long sleep to discover the Earth reduced to a nuclear wasteland, she knows she failed. Trapped alone in a grim future, Diana must protect the last human city from titanic monsters while uncovering its secret of this dead Earth-and how she may be responsible for it.

Dang, who saw this coming? Daniel Warren Johnson writing and drawing a Wonder Woman story is one of those don’t-know-you-need-it-until-now kind of things. The solicit has mention of “titanic monsters” so fans of DWJ can expect him to be in his element.

 

Hellboy & the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club

OCT190340

December 11, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Mike Mignola (A/CA) Adam Hughes

The team behind the Eisner Award-winning one-shot Hellboy: Krampusnacht spins a new ghostly yarn! Hellboy comes to the aid of a young girl whose ghost hunt goes wrong, and a visit to an abandoned medical school reveals sinister layers to a grisly, long-ago murder. Stolen cadavers, vengeful spirits, and more abound in this one-shot.

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola reunites with fan-favorite artist Adam Hughes for a spirit-fueled scream fest sure to excite old and new fans alike!

Y’all, it’s Mike Mignola writing a Hellboy story. I don’t think I need to say anything beyond that (but I will — Adam Hughes did a great job on Krampusnacht and I can’t wait to see this team on another Hellboy one-off!).

 

Red Mother #1

OCT191378

December 11, 2019

Publisher: Boom! Studios

(W/CA) Jeremy Haun (A) Danny Luckert

* Jeremy Haun returns to his The Beauty roots as he teams with Danny Luckert, hot off Regression, for a new psychological horror series.  
* After losing her eye and the man she loves in a brutal mugging, Daisy McDonough is left trying to put the pieces of her life back together. Just when she begins to think she can heal- move on, she begins to see strange things through her new prosthetic eye. And The Red Mother sees her in return.
* Continuing BOOM! Studios’ string of successes, The Red Mother follows Faithless, Once & Future, and Something is Killing the Children for a new original series that examines the dangers that hide in plain sight – and the consequences of digging beneath the surface to find the truth underneath.

I remember enjoying The Beauty #1 but that was a series I didn’t keep up with — it may be time to revisit that before this is released. Boom! Studios has been coming out with some really stellar debuts recently and Red Mother certainly has my attention.

September 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Far Sector #1 (of 12)

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November 13, 2019

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) N.K. Jemisin (A/CA) Jamal Campbell

N.K. Jemisin, the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Broken Earth and Inheritance science fiction trilogies, makes her comic book debut with bestselling Naomi artist Jamal Campbell as they thrust you into a stunning sci-fi murder mystery on the other side of the universe! 
For the past six months, newly chosen Green Lantern Sojourner “Jo” Mullein has been protecting the City Enduring, a massive metropolis of 20 billion people. The city has maintained peace for over 500 years by stripping its citizens of their ability to feel. As a result, violent crime is virtually unheard of, and murder is nonexistent. 
But that’s all about to change in this new maxiseries that gives a DC Young Animal spin to the legacy of the Green Lanterns!

I’ve really enjoyed the books that have come out of DC’s Young Animal imprint so it’s not a huge surprise to say I’m looking forward to this one. THAT SAID, I’m really looking forward to it. Look at that cover! It’s rad! I’m also loving the premise here and I’ve got a feeling that Far Sector may end up being my favorite Young Animal title yet.

 

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

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November 20, 2019

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A) Bill Sienkiewicz (A/CA) Dennis Cowan

For years, Vic Sage has worn the faceless mask of the Question to clean up the streets of Hub City by sheer force of will. He knows right from wrong. He knows black from white. But what happens when he is drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the heights of Hub City power to the depths of its underground tunnels? What happens when things stop being black-and-white and start getting a little gray? And what happens when, in a secret chamber deep beneath the city, Vic Sage meets his own end…and his new beginning? Eisner-winning writer Jeff Lemire joins forces with the legendary art team of Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz to resurrect Vic Sage, only to destroy him all over again…and again…

Oh yes. Jeff Lemire on a Question miniseries with Sienkiewicz and Cowan. Do not miss this one.

 

Family Tree #1

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November 13, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Phil Hester, Ryan Cody, Eric Gapstur

SERIES PREMIERE! When an eight-year-old girl literally begins to transform into a tree, her single mom, troubled brother, and possibly insane grandfather embark on a bizarre and heart-wrenching odyssey across the back roads of America in a desperate search for a way to cure her horrifying transformation before it’s too late. 
But the farther they get from home, the more forces threaten to tear the family apart as fanatical cults, mercenaries, and tabloid Paparazzi close in, determined to destroy the girl-or use her for their own ends. 
A new genre-defying series written by New York Times bestselling author JEFF LEMIRE (GIDEON FALLS, ASCENDER) and illustrated by acclaimed artist PHIL HESTER (Shipwreck, Green Arrow), FAMILY TREE combines mystery, action, and horror into an epic story about the lengths a mother will go to in order to keep her children safe.

Speaking of Jeff Lemire, how many books is that guy working on, anyway? I know I’ve said it before in this column but I’ll always try a book Lemire is collaborating on. Sad stories about families seem to be his bread and butter so I bet Family Tree will be great… and sad.

 

Undiscovered Country #1

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November 6, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Charles Soule, Scott Snyder (A) Daniele Orlandini (A/CA) Giuseppe Camuncoli

SERIES PREMIERE! This November, New York Times bestselling writers SCOTT SNYDER (WYTCHES, A.D.: AFTER DEATH) and CHARLES SOULE (CURSE WORDS, the forthcoming novel Anyone) will team up with artists GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI (The Amazing Spider-Man, Darth Vader, Hellblazer) and DANIELE ORLANDINI (Darth Vader) and 2019 Eisner Award-winning colorist MATT WILSON (THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE, PAPER GIRLS) to embark on an epic adventure in the brand-new ongoing series, UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY! 
In this special oversized first issue, readers will journey into the near future, and an unknown nation that was once the United States of America-a land that’s become shrouded in mystery after walling itself off from the rest of the world without explanation over thirty years ago. When a team seeking a cure for a global pandemic breaches U.S. borders, they quickly find themselves in a struggle to survive this strange and deadly lost continent!

Undiscovered Country has an intriguing premise and a great creative team to boot. I’ll bite so I can see what this is all about. Maybe a supernatural dreamscape like the Southern Reach trilogy’s Area X? Or perhaps a clandestine dystopia similar to Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale

 

New Mutants #1

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November 6, 2019

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W) Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brisson (A/CA) Rod Reis

THE NEW GENERATION CLAIMS THE DAWN!
The classic New Mutants (Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Karma, Magik, and Cypher) get together with a few new friends (Chamber, Mondo) to seek out their missing member and share the good news… a mission that takes them into space alongside the Starjammers!
Rated T+  

I’ve loved Rod Reis’s art since picking up the first issue of C.O.W.L. back when that came out. I can’t wait to see what he does with New Mutants. Also, very cool to see Ed Brisson writing with Hickman on a new X title!