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.
What a week! We’ve got 2 “A-List” writers taking on 2 “A-List” characters in 2 brand new alternate timeline mini-series; TOM TAYLOR with BATMAN THE DETECTIVE and CHIP ZDARSKY on SPIDER-MAN SPIDER’S SHADOW! Really excited for BOTH of these comics!!
—HIGHLY RECOMMENDED— •SPIDER-MAN SPIDERS SHADOW #1 Peter Parker once put on an alien suit that nearly destroyed his life - but what if he'd never taken it off? Ignoring every warning, Spidey embraces the dark symbiote! Haunted by terrible nightmares and exhausted by an endless barrage of bad guys, Peter can't seem to catch a break these days. So when the Hobgoblin attacks, he finds a hero at the end of his rope...and vulnerable to new dark impulses. Spider-Man is about to change his rules - but is it truly Peter who is in charge? Creative powerhouses Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth bring you a terrifying tale of a Peter Parker possessed and on the edge! •BATMAN THE DETECTIVE #1 By Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert! A horrific tragedy in the United Kingdom sends a very personal and deadly message to the Dark Knight—one that will draw Batman out of Gotham City to investigate! New villains! New allies! A thrilling overseas adventure begins for the Dark Knight, starting with an extra-sized 26-page story! •LOCKE & KEY SANDMAN HELL & GONE #1 The epic crossover between two of the most beloved fantasy universes in comics begins here. John "Jack" Locke is ten years dead, but that hasn't stopped him from posting the occasional letter home... from Hell. Now Mary Locke will do anything to save her brother's soul, including cut a deal with Roderick Burgess-the most evil man in England-to search for answers in the House of Mystery and risk the walking nightmare known as the Corinthian to find help in a disintegrating Kingdom of Dreams!
—NEW BOOKS OF NOTE— •BATMAN & SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERIES #1 It’s an all-new, all-ages series that teams the Dark Knight with Scooby-Doo and the sleuths of Mystery Inc.! When Batman discovers his original purple gloves have gone missing, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo travel back in time to Batman’s Year One era to solve the case! *FOR MATURE READERS* (just kidding) •CANTO & CITY OF GIANTS #1 In this special Canto series, our titular hero reunites with the Giant Guardians of Dis, Fra and Ba, as well as other friends and foes, to recruit the kingdom of Giants to his quest to defeat the Shrouded Man. •DARKHAWK HEART OF THE HAWK #1 Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the '90s hottest hero in three spectacular stories! First, an untold story from Darkhawk's early days by creators Danny Fingeroth and Mike Manley! Then explore the winged hero's cosmic years by Dan Abnett and Andrea Di Vito. Finally, find out what the future holds for Darkhawk by Kyle Higgins and more! •HOME #1 When a young boy is torn away from his mother while seeking asylum at the U.S. border, something begins to change in him, and it isn't just the trauma, anxiety, and guilt you'd expect. He doesn't know it yet, but it's the onset of superhuman abilities that will change his life forever. •JENNY ZERO #1 Meet Jenny Tetsuo, the hard drinkin', hard partyin' daughter of beloved superhero, Mega Commander Zero. After washing out as the military's top kaiju killer, "Jenny Zero" now lives the celebutante life with her hotel heiress and publicist best friend, Dana Sheraton. But when the massive creatures return, Jenny must decide if she can sober up and save the world! •JULES VERNE LIGHTHOUSE #1 At the edge of the galaxy, there is a giant supercomputer known as the Lighthouse. Three humans, one alien, and a nanny bot have manned the remote station for years in relative peace until the arrival of Captain Kongre and his band of cutthroat pirates threatens the future of civilization and reveals that each of the Lighthouse crew has been hiding a shocking secret. •PHANTOM ON THE SCAN #1 Twenty years ago, a comet fell to earth. Since that night, Matthew has been haunted - haunted by a spirit that gives him incredible psychic abilities. But these abilities come with a price...and payment is due. Every time Matthew uses his gifts, he draws closer to death, and other psychics - all of whom gained their powers on the night the comet fell - are dying in the most horrible of ways. To save himself, Matthew gathers a group of psychics to solve the mystery of their powers before it's too late. •CHALLENGE OF THE SUPER SONS #1 The sons of Batman and Superman are back in the spotlight and ready to give evil a good spanking. A mysterious woman from beyond time has appeared to the DCU’s favorite sons, and her arrival heralds certain doom (that’s a hint, everyone) of things to come! In fact...it seems she’s sent the boys on a bogus journey that they’ve already...returned from? Huh?
—DON’T OVERLOOK— JOKER #2, WOLVERINE #11, SERIAL #3, HOME SICK PILOTS #5, RORSCHACH #7, CHILDREN OF THE ATOM #2, KARMEN #2, PROCTOR VALLEY ROAD #2 and POWER PACK #5.
It’s the start of our 14th year as a shop, and to celebrate it there’s a bunch of new #1 issues this week—including 2 from Image (by writers Geoff Johns and Chip Zdarsky) and one from Bad Idea! --NEW BOOKS OF NOTE-- •TANKERS #1 The CEO of global energy conglomerate Greenleaf Oil has just discovered a terrifying secret: the planet only has a decade or less of petroleum left before it's gone forever. But he has a plan to make sure his great-great grandchildren can continue to generate maximum shareholder value – and secure his own legacy in the process. Rather than develop a game-changing renewable energy source through the power of corporate innovation, Greenleaf has perfected the next best thing – time travel (duh) – so that a team of six field-rat contractors armed to the teeth in individually customized mech suits can go back to the Cretaceous Period, tweak the trajectory of the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, and give mankind another 500 millennia worth of oil reserves. What could go wrong? Only all of human history, of course – because when Greenleaf's team of Tankers come home, they'll discover that not only did the dinosaurs never die out, they’ve kept evolving for another 60 million years...and they’re more pissed off than ever. •GEIGER #1 Industry heavyweights GEOFF JOHNS and GARY FRANK reteam for GEIGER. Who are the scavengers of a dying earth? GEIGER is set in the years since a nuclear war ravaged the planet, desperate outlaws battle for survival in a world of radioactive chaos. Out past the poisoned wasteland lives a man even the Nightcrawlers and Organ People fear. Some name him Joe Glow, others call him The Meltdown Man. But his name... is Geiger. •SILVER COIN #1 Eisner-winning artist MICHAEL WALSH teams with CHIP ZDARSKY on a new horror anthology miniseries for mature readers. The story starts in 1978 with a failing rock band whose fortune suddenly changes when they find the mysterious Silver Coin. Little do they know that fame comes with a cost, and a curse is always hungry. •BEASTS OF BURDEN OCCUPIED TERRITORY #1 An elder member of the occult-battling pack of Wise Dogs recalls a harrowing mission-in U.S-occupied Japan after World War II, a mysterious curse creates an army of crawling, disembodied heads which threatens to overwhelm the region. Emrys and a team of canine companions attempt to solve the mystery, bringing them into conflict with shape-changing tanuki, evil oni, and a horde of vengeful demons. •MAGIC THE GATHERING #1 Across the vast Multiverse, those gifted with a "spark" can tap into the raw power of Magic and travel across realms -they are Planeswalkers. When coordinated assassination attempts on Guildmasters Ral Zarek, Vraska and Kaya rock the city of Ravnica and leave Jace Belleren's life hanging in the balance, a fuse is lit that threatens not just these three Guilds, but the entire plane of Ravnica. •PROJECT PATRON #1 Thirty years ago, the world watched in horror as THE PATRON, a hero sent as humanitarian aid from a different dimension, went punch for punch with WOE, a primordial beast and a perfect match for our mighty protector. In the end, hero and villain alike fell...but the Patron returned - and continues to defend us to this day! At least, that's what we've all been told... •RESISTANCE UPRISING #1 Acclaimed writer J. Michael Straczynski returns the prescient, ambitious world of The Resistance! In the wake of the assassination of their leader, the Resistance is in disarray, disconnected from each other and hunted by authorities around the world - including an army of "reborns" recruited by the American government. To avert decimation at the hands of a fascistic government crackdown, the Resistance must discover the ace up their sleeve, and then the key to unlocking it. •THE RISE #1 The film Night of the Living Dead changed popular culture forever, and now George C. Romero, the son of legendary film director George A. Romero, tells the story before the worst night on Earth. Learn about the death, destruction, and tragedy that led to the birth of the modern zombie in this prequel horror saga to the most significant and influential horror film franchise in history!
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.