The cold, calculating machine-brain of Challengers, Dal's professional demeanor hides a heart that runs almost entirely on comics and graphic novels. In the trenches of comics retail for almost as long as Patrick, Dal's ready to debate the merits of today's most acclaimed creators and point out the hidden gems of the past. He also occasionally smiles. I saw it once. I think.
Look, we realize there are a lot of fun new comics and graphic novels released this week, and it’s also a milestone week for Challengers, but more important than all of that is us beating the folks at All Star Comics in Melbourne, Australia in the BETA RAY BILL #1 INTERNATIONAL SALES BATTLE! Which store can sell the most copies of #1 before #2 is released? Well, us, obviously, but not without YOUR help! And trust us; we would not be doing this if it wasn’t a great comic!
--NEW BOOKS OF NOTE-- •BETA RAY BILL #1 Help us defeat All Star Comics of Melbourne, Australia in an International Sales Battle for BRB#1! Written and drawn by DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON! The second-most famous wielder of Mjolnir. The right-hand man to the god of Thunder. And now, a warrior without his best weapon. Beta Ray Bill is tired of playing second fiddle to Thor - and with Bill's famous hammer, Stormbreaker, recently destroyed at the new All-Father's hands, tensions are higher than ever. The Korbinite must strike out in search of a new weapon...and a new destiny. •SHADECRAFT #1 Zadie Lu is afraid of her own shadow. She's a teenager, so she REALLY should have grown out of it by now, right? But something weird is happening in her small town. Zadie could swear the shadows are coming to life. Watching her. Trying to KILL her. But how do you fight something you can't even touch? And how does all of this tie into her FAMILY, of all things? From writer JOE HENDERSON (showrunner of Netflix's Lucifer) and artist LEE GARBETT (Captain Marvel). •SILK #1 By day Cindy Moon is an intrepid reporter for the upstart new media empire Threats & Menaces under her old boss, J. Jonah Jameson. By night, she's Silk, crime fighting super hero! But those worlds are about to collide, as an investigation into a series of gangland murders puts Silk and everyone she loves in danger! Who is this powerful new player in New York's underworld, where did she come from, and what is she doing with that strange cat demon? •WITCHBLOOD #1 A modern, Wild West road trip about a witch named Yonna cruising the Southwest as a band of bloodthirsty biker vampires, The Hounds of Love, hunt her scattered coven for the source of all magic: witch blood. From the critically acclaimed creators of The Modern Witch Tarot Deck and Long Lost comes WITCHBLOOD, a blend of action, lore, and Americana-perfect for fans of Buffy and American Gods. •POWER RANGERS UNLIMITED HEIR TO DARKNESS #1 Before she became a Power Ranger, a young girl named Karone was kidnapped by bounty hunters and brainwashed into the assassin known as Astronema by two of the greatest threats in the galaxy - Dark Specter and Ecliptor. But what is Dark Spector's true plan...and what does it mean for the new Mighty Morphin & Power Rangers teams? •FLASH #768 New creative team! After the events spanning from DC Universe: Rebirth to Heroes in Crisis to Dark Nights: Death Metal, the former Kid Flash decides to call it quits. But the current Flash needs his former partner now more than ever. As fallout from Infinite Frontier hits the Flash, Barry Allen and Wally West must confront the past by way of a Justice League led by Green Arrow. •KING IN BLACK GHOST RIDER #1 All Ghost Rider wants is to destroy Mephisto, round up an army of escaped demons, and secure his seat on the throne of hell. Is that so much to ask? But now a dark god from space has shown up to throw the world into chaos, and some of Johnny's old friends have come to ask for his help. It may take everything they've got to stop this madness. Maybe even...the devil himself? •MARVEL ACTION SPIDER-MAN #1 School can be tough, especially when you've got a secret - even if that secret is that you're Spider-Man! Gifted with incredible powers, Peter Parker has defended the streets of New York City from all sorts of terrifying villians, but he's about to discover that the halls of his new school may be even MORE dangerous in this webslinging all-ages adventure! •AVENGERS CURSE MAN-THING #1 For decades, the Man-Thing has haunted the Florida Everglades. Now a new enemy has hijacked his body on a quest to take his incendiary abilities global! We wake to fear as gargantuan monoliths menace cities worldwide, with only the AVENGERS standing between the population of Earth and a planetwide inferno.
•Marvel Comics is now publishing ALIEN comics! Just like STAR WARS we’re sure so many more people will care than did with the previous publisher (sorry, Dark Horse).
•You thought we were done promoting KEANU REEVES’ BRZRKR #1? We're not. This week sees the release of the final 2 covers for the first print of #1 and they’re both FOIL COVERS!
•The Michael Cho Two-Tone Marvel covers continue this week with BLACK PANTHER and SAVAGE AVENGERS. And the PATRICK GLEASON “Web” covers continue with CARNAGE BLACK WHITE AND BLOOD #1.
•And there’s brand new creative teams starting on DC’s DETECTIVE COMICS #1034 (Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora), BATMAN SUPERMAN #16 (Gene Luen Yang and Ivan Reis) and HARLEY QUINN #1 (Stephanie Phillips and Riley Rossmo)!
--NEW BOOKS OF NOTE-- •ALIEN #1 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. •STRAY DOGS #2 Something doesn't smell right! None of the dogs know what happens behind that door at the end of the hallway. All they know is there's a punishment for sniffing around it. What secrets are hidden in the Master's Forbidden Room? •SEEN GRAPHIC NOVEL It's about being seen. Both for who you are, and who you hope you can become. History is a mirror, and all too often, the history we're told in school reflects only a small subset of the population. Meet Rachel Carson, the woman who changed the way America fought against the environmental crisis through her bestselling books, ultimately spurring the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. •HARLEY QUINN #1 Harley Quinn here to let everyone know that I got a brand-new monthly series here with a brand-new status quo. I’m coming back to Gotham City to make up for the sins of my past, and help the city recover from “The Joker War”! But there’s no welcoming committee waiting for me! •TEEN TITANS ACADEMY #1 Welcome to Teen Titans Academy! Packed with both new, super-powered teens and numerous dark secrets, Teen Titans Academy’s student body includes Shazam; a new Australian speedster; a trio of Goth(am) teen expatriates obsessed with Batman—and one member of this first class will become the deadly Red X. Original New Teen Titans including Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy take on the role of teachers and mentors for superpowered teens. •WE ONLY FIND THEM WHEN THEY'RE DEAD VOL 01 Captain Malik and the crew of the spaceship the Vihaan II are in search of the only resources that matter - and can only be found by harvesting the giant corpses of alien gods that are found on the edge of human space. But Malik's obsession with finding a living god will push his crew into the darkest reaches of space, bringing them face to face with a threat unlike anything they ever imagined, unless the rogue agent on their trail can stop them first... Collects issues #1-5.
•It’s the Battle of the James-es! JAMES STOKOE debuts ORPHAN AND THE FIVE BEASTS and JAMES HARREN presents ULTRAMEGA! •What a month for new Graphic Novels from local Chicagoans we’ve worked with! Last week it was ANDREA BELL and THE LEAK and this week it’s STEPHANIE MIDED and MARTIAN GHOST CENTAUR! Yay, Chicago peeps! •The Michael Cho Two-Tone Marvel covers continue this week with IRON MAN, SPIDER-WOMAN and THOR. •And there’s brand new creative teams starting on both NIGHTWING #78 (Tom Taylor) and JUSTICE LEAGUE #59 (Brian Michael Bendis)!
--NEW BOOKS OF NOTE-- ORPHAN AND THE FIVE BEASTS #1 A brand-new kung-fu epic from James Stokoe, the creator behind Orc Stain and Aliens: Dead Orbit! Spurred on by her master's dying words, the adopted warrior "Orphan Mo" seeks to find and kill five former disciples who now threaten the land with corruption from their demonic powers. ULTRAMEGA BY JAMES HARREN #1 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? MARTIAN GHOST CENTAUR GRAPHIC NOVEL Drawn by Chicago's own STEPHANIE MIDED!! When Louie's dads' restaurant, Squatch Burger, starts to go under and fall prey to the town's new tech start-up, Louie and her best friend Felix decide they'll do whatever it takes to save the town from losing all the people and places that make it special. In hopes that convincing people the Sasquatch is real and to drive back tourism, Louie and Felix plan an elaborate hoax in hopes of saving the town from the dot-com takeover. TRIALS OF ULTRAMAN #1 Ultraman narrowly averted a catastrophe decades in the making. The world was saved - but, also, forever changed.Now...come the consequences. Much of the populace regard their defenders with suspicion. Enemies hide in plain sight, and even those closest to Shin Hayata don't necessarily have faith in the Giant of Light. But at last, a long-thought-lost comrade has mysteriously returned! BEQUEST #1 Welcome to the high fantasy world of Tangea! A land where wizards and warriors battle dragons in dark dank dungeons! Where thieves pillage ancient ruins and priests answer the au-dible words of their great gods! Welcome to Chicago, Illinois! Where the magical items from Tangea are being traded on the black market and are messing everything up.Written by our bestest friend TIM SEELEY! BLACK KNIGHT CURSE EBONY BLADE #1 Dane Whitman is the BLACK KNIGHT and wielder of the magical EBONY BLADE, but the blade's power comes at a terrible price. Dane forever bears the burden of its curse: an insatiable lust for blood and mayhem that constantly threatens to swallow its owner in darkness. Must that be Dane's fate? CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE #1 Captain America celebrates 80 years of battling tyranny this month! And what better way to celebrate than by having a cadre of Marvel's best artists redraw and modernize Captain America's origin and the debut of the Red Skull from CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 as well as Cap's return in the Marvel Age from AVENGERS #4! The legendary stories that changed the course of comic book history are presented in an all-new way for the current generation of Marvel fans! KING IN BLACK SPIDER-MAN #1 "All webbed up with no place to go!" is the entire solicitation copy for this book. But I guess Marvel assumes you'll make your decision based off the title alone. MARIA LLOVETS EROS PSYCHE #1 From the artist of the bestselling Faithless series...comes Eros/Psyche. La Rosa's female boarding school is paradise for young girls...but only if you follow the rules. Because, if you disobey them, you can end up expelled, or even worse, dead. SUPERMAN RED & BLUE #1 This new series presents fresh new visions of the Man of Steel in his two signature colors of red and blue! Around the world, everyone knows that when they see a red and blue streak in the sky, it’s not a bird...it’s not a plane...it’s Superman. Featuring stories from John Ridley and Clayton Henry, Brandon Easton and Steve Lieber, Wes Craig, Marguerite Bennett and Jill Thompson, and Dan Watters and Dani.
--DON’T OVERLOOK-- RADIANT BLACK #2, IRON MAN #7, THOR #13, TMNT LAST RONIN DIRECTORS CUT #1 and the AMERICAN RONIN collection.
Here are some quick highlights for the week... •GRANT MORRISON returns to monthly comics with PROCTOR VALLEY ROAD! •The X-Men get teenage sidekicks in CHILDREN OF THE ATOM. •Spanish writer and artist GUILLEM MARCH draws 2 brand new #1’s this week, KARMEN and THE JOKER! •Zeb Wells and Chris Bachallo show us the Spider-Man does not stop in NON-STOP SPIDER-MAN! Spidey also gets a new costume this week in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. •There’s a brand new creative team starting on WONDER WOMAN #770!
--NEW BOOKS OF NOTE-- •PROCTOR VALLEY ROAD #1 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. •CHILDREN OF ATOM #1 When did the X-Men get sidekicks?? Don't miss the debut of the greatest teenage super hero team of all time! They've learned from the best, now they're ready to be put to the test! But who the heck are these kids, and where do they come from? Guest-starring the X-Men! •JOKER #1 James Gordon, facing retirement, realizes this is the manhunt of his life and the last piece of a storied career…but what mysterious and deadly forces are also in pursuit of The Joker? •KARMEN #1 An edgy new mini-series about a highly unconventional angel named Karmen and the young woman she takes under her wing when a case of heartbreak strikes hard. Packed with surprises and metaphysics, this gorgeously drawn series deploys tenderness and humor as it dives deep into topics that matter. Written and drawn by GUILLEM MARCH. •NON-STOP SPIDER-MAN #1 Get ready for the most action-packed, pulse-pounding, adrenaline-pumping comic OF ALL TIME! As the name implies, once you read page one, panel one, SPIDER-MAN DOES NOT STOP! A mystery at Empire State University thrusts Spider-Man into an adventure that starts in uptown Manhattan and will take him around the world, pitting him against Marvel Universe villains old and new and give you a Spider-Man adventure (and Spider-Man) the likes of which you've never seen. •BATMAN URBAN LEGENDS #1 Superstar writer Chip Zdarsky enters the world of Gotham City with artist Eddy Barrows for a six-part story chronicling Red Hood’s investigation of a new drug sweeping through Gotham. Also- Matthew Rosenberg picks Grifter up where he left off, continuing from the pages of Batman #101! Also- a Harley Quinn tale set just before the launch of her new series. Also- an Outsiders saga reuniting Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho. •DEADPOOL NERDY 30 #1 Deadpool's turning 30! And to help celebrate, we've assembled some of his classic storytellers to tell tales of Wade Wilson birthdays past, present and future! A first birthday with time-traveling assassins! A sweet sixteen party that would make Molly Ringwald weep! A 100th birthday that could only be celebrated in grand Deadpool style! Blow out the candles! Pin the cybernetic arm on the Cable! And open this present, just for you! •BLADE RUNNER ORIGINS #1 A Tyrell Corporation scientist is DEAD - the victim of an apparent suicide. But when LAPD Detective Cal is called in to investigate, he uncovers secret documents revealing a new kind of replicant and a conspiracy that could change the world. •GOD OF WAR FALLEN GOD #1 After conquering Zeus and thwarting Athena, Kratos believes himself to be finally free from his bondage. He sets sail for the desert in an attempt to distance himself from his home and his shame only to find his rage and guilt follow close behind. •THOR AND LOKI DOUBLE TROUBLE #1 By Mariko Tamaki and Gurihiru! They're brothers, gods and sons of Odin - but Thor and Loki just don't get along! Especially since Loki keeps tricking Thor into doing things that will get him in trouble. Even so, when Loki dares Thor to steal a powerful relic from Odin's vault, how can the God of Thunder say nay?
--DON’T OVERLOOK-- IMMORTAL HULK #44, RORSCHACH #6, SERIAL #2, DAREDEVIL ##28, and HOME SICK PILOTS #4!
And hey, have you checked out BRZRKR or ENIAC yet? Seriously, they are both very good comics (which is why we keep pushing them on you)!
This is it! THE BIGGEST New Release list of the YEAR! We don’t mean of the year so far, we mean of all of 2021! It’s the release of Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR! Yes, written by the man himself. We’ve read it and it’s GOOD! Think John Wick meets Old Guard. Plus, it’s really violent, as you’d expect those two things to be. Expect to see a LOT of copies of this on our shelves! It’s also the debut of BAD IDEA’s ENIAC #1! Unfortunately every Bad Idea destination store was severely allocated on their orders for this book, so we only have enough 1st Prints to fill pre-orders. But we’ll have plenty of “Not 1st Print” for the shelf. Scott Snyder and Tony Daniel have a new creator-owned Image #1 with NOCTERRA! And Chris Samnee writes and draws his own creator-owned monster-fighting, fun-for-the-whole-family series JONNA AND THE UNPOSSIBLE MONSTERS. And, just, really so many more new #1’s!
--NEW BOOKS OF NOTE-- BRZRKR (BERZERKER) #1 KEANU REEVES in his Must Read comic book writing debut alongside co-writer Matt Kindt in a brutally violent new series about one immortal warrior's fight through the ages. The man known only as Berzerker is half-mortal and half-God, cursed and compelled to violence...even at the sacrifice of his sanity. But after wandering the world for centuries, Berzerker may have finally found a refuge - working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, Berzerker will be granted the one thing he desires - the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence... and how to end it. ENIAC #1 On August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki... Only President Truman wasn't the one who gave order. It was ENIAC the world's first supercomputer (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). In the Allies' determination to end the war, they had accidentally created the world's first autonomous machine intelligence... Now, 75 years later, an encrypted countdown has just been detected in Earth's satellite network and mankind only has three days left before ENIAC launches every weapon in the planet's nuclear arsenal simultaneously. With few options and even less time, the Secretary of Defense has just given two covert operatives the most important mission in human history: kill ENIAC. NOCTERRA #1 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. Legendary creators SCOTT SNYDER and TONY S. DANIEL unveil horrors beyond any shade in this extra-sized first issue. DC COMICS INFINITE FRONTIER #0 The next phase of the DC Universe starts here! Literally THE most important comic of the year if you buy any DC comics. This sets up everything for everyone. JONNA AND THE UNPOSSIBLE MONSTERS #1 The brand-new, original all-ages series written and drawn by Chris Samnee! Filled with action, adventure... and monsters! Rainbow has been searching for her sister, Jonna, for a year. The last time she saw Jonna was also the first time she saw one of the monsters that now roam the planet. They're big, ugly, and dangerous creatures, driving humanity to the brink of extinction. Though there isn't much hope for survival out in the wild, Rainbow knows that her sister is out there somewhere-and she'll do anything to find her.
AMERICA CHAVEZ MADE IN USA #1 America Chavez is incredible - her origins, her strength, her dimension-shattering star portals! But when the foundation of everything she believes is shaken, America will stand up and face the parts of herself she's been running from. From writer Kalinda Vazquez (Marvel's Runaways) and artist Carlos Gomez (Amazing Mary Jane) comes an explosive, brand-new story all about what made America Chavez who she is - and what she'll do to protect the ones she loves. CHARIOT #1 The Chariot was a Cold War-era secret government project to provide its star agent with a weapon unlike any other in the form of a supercharged muscle car. It sank into the ocean decades ago, and the agent along with it. Now, a petty criminal looking to reform his life has stumbled upon the Chariot, and he's about to find out that the agent's consciousness is still controlling it in this synthwave thriller. DEAD DOGS BITE #1 Twin Peaks meets Lady Bird. 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 Tyler Boss (4 Kids Walk into a Bank) comes the story of a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a candy wrapper. DEMON DAYS X-MEN #1 A wandering swordswoman with a psychic blade arrives at village that's being targeted by demons. One demon is black and white with a terrifying red tongue and another may be the strongest demon there is! A revolutionary reimagination of the Marvel Universe that could only come from oddly-popular cover artist Peach Momoko. Ready your katana and enter a mysterious world of demons, monsters, mutants, and magic!
--DON’T OVERLOOK-- MIKE MIGNOLA QUARANTINE SKETCHBOOK HC, AVENGERS #43, BATMAN #106, FIRE POWER #9, and POWER PACK #4!
Such an amazing week for debuts! We hope you have a healthy appetite for brand new series!