Good morning and Happy New Comic Book Day, CNJ shoppers! Raf here, and back home and in the shop this week. I just got home over the weekend from a week in Alaska, and while there was an awful lot of white up there, Cleveland went ahead and reminded me that we can get plenty of snow down here in the lower 48 also. On Monday, winter storm Izzy was giving me flashbacks to quarantine being stuck at home all day. I luckily got some exercise when I had to go out and spend a few hours digging my car out of the street, but I didn’t even have to do that in Alaska! Thanks, Mother Nature! But while we’re inside staying warm this week, we’ve got a BIG Marvel week and some other cool new comics to keep us all entertained. Start the fire, pull up a chair, and check out what you should be reading this week.

Marvel Comics

The next big Wolverine story, this week sees the debut of the X Lives of Wolverine miniseries with issue #1. There’s been a lot of excitement and anticipation building up to this miniseries. Written by Benjamin Percy of the current Wolvie and X-Force series, X Lives will X-plore several past histories and iconic eras of our favorite mutant Wolverine, all with the fate of the future hanging in the balance as he fights to save the life of a key mutant in history. Running concurrently with X Deaths of Wolverine that debuts next week, X Lives and Deaths of Wolverine promises to be Logan’s biggest story of the new X-Men era. 

Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley’s Hulk run is only two issues in, but it’s one of the most exciting and action-packed books on the shelves right now, especially from the Big Two. This week we’ve got issue #3 brand new and hitting the table, and I can’t wait to read it. Issue #2 had a great last page twist, and I’m stoked to find out all that’s going on as we reach the midpoint of hopefully the first of many story arcs from this creative team and new era for the Green Goliath. I had to put myself down too for this awesome 1:25 ratio variant done by Silver Surfer Black’s Tradd Moore also.

One of the Marvel Universe’s most beloved characters is back and starring in her own series with She-Hulk #1 debuting this week. Following up on her fun run on Runaways, writer Rainbow Rowell takes on Jessica Walters now as she tries to rebuild her life and friendships after the World War She-Hulk event from the pages of the Avengers. There’s also an appearance at the end of this issue that will drive the series forward and maybe even change the Marvel Universe as we know it. I’ve had the John Byrne Sensational She-Hulk omnibus sitting unread on my shelf for almost 2 years now, but I’ll still check out issue #1 of this new series this week.

“BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! Iconic Spider-Man scribe J.M. DeMatteis (KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT, SPIDER-MAN: THE LOST YEARS) returns to spin his webs once more within the Spidey mythos, this time joined by explosive artist David Baldeón (WEB WARRIORS, DOMINO)! Together, they’re bringing you unlocked memories in the life of BEN REILLY, A.K.A. SPIDER-MAN! Darkness looms over New York City as murders begin to pile up… but how are they all connected? Do the answers Ben is looking for reside in the haunted halls of the RAVENCROFT INSTITUTE? Find out as we return to the era when Ben Reilly was the one, true SPIDER-MAN!” I’m not a Webhead, but I know Ben Reilly has his fans (John Shearer is NOT one of them), but he’s been a big part of the current Beyond storyline in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. This is a big miniseries for any fans of Ben Reilly for sure.

Also, this week, we have the first two tie-in miniseries for Devil’s Reign debuting this week with Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire and Devil’s Reign: X-Men #1’s out now. I’m woefully behind, but I’m hearing how much you all are really digging what’s going on in DR. I’ll catch up one of these days.

Small Press

A new Image #1 this week, Bolero tells the story of what you might do if you were given the choice to start over again. But instead of starting again from the beginning as a child, you could just swap places with yourself across the multiverse. This trippy, sci-fi romance was a book I remember reading about in the pages of Previews, but I forgot about it until I saw it again this week on our invoice, and it was a pleasant surprise! I really enjoyed issue #1, and made me think about which multiversal version of myself I’d want to trade places with. I’d probably swap with the version of myself that is a podracer in Star Wars…

DC Comics

Another week, another new Batman series. And this week, it’s a new retelling of Bruce Wayne’s origin before he donned the cape and cowl. “The origin of Batman and his never-ending fight against crime in Gotham City is modern mythology, but what of the story in between? How did an angry, damaged young man grow into the most accomplished detective and crime-fighter the world has ever known? How did the Dark Knight… begin? Superstar writer Chip Zdarsky (Daredevil) and acclaimed artist Carmine Di Giandomenico (The Flash) will take Bruce Wayne on a fraught journey, making allies and enemies, on his training to become Batman in this definitive new series!” Zdarsky has only recently begun writing DC stories, but I’m excited to see what his Batman is really like. I’m stoked.

And that’s just some of the books new this week, the third week of January 2022. Alaska was a lot of fun for me last week, we visited the Chena Hot Springs, but unfortunately, it was too cloudy to see the Northern Lights while we were up there. I guess that just means I’ll have to go back up there soon and see them. Although we did get a glimpse of them above the clouds on the flight back. You win some, you lose some. Have a good week everyone, and we’ll see you around.

CNJComics is conducting its first-ever open hiring! We’re looking for someone to work Tuesdays to help with new comic shipments and learn about what it takes to work in a comic book shop. This one-day-a-week job can lead to more hours and full-time employment. Applications should be returned to the shop in person so we can get a look at you!

Tuesday Job Description: Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop

It is typically a ten-hour workday starting at 10:30 am. We receive our shipments and proceed to organize and check them in. Included in these shipments are new products as well as restock. The employee will be a part of opening and sorting boxes, recording new stuff for inventory, sorting books into subscription files, and finding the proper spots for special orders and re-orders.

We strive to keep the store in working order throughout the day. We make sure that cardboard and other packing supplies are properly disposed of and recycled, keeping the store orderly and shoppable for customers throughout. The new employee will learn how product shifts throughout the store from week to week.

We like to be well-staffed on Tuesdays so that everything gets done in a timely fashion while we also familiarize ourselves with the new product. We end the day by creating a new product video posted to Facebook Live. The entire staff is welcome to participate. The twenty minutes video showcases all the new products and highlights what each staff member is excited about. After the video, we all make sure any final requests are filled so things are ready for a successful Wednesday. Wednesdays are for show, Tuesdays are for go.

We need a steady employee to help with this process working from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm. After one month of Tuesdays, we assess the employee to see if they are compatible with the shop. This can lead to more hours at the shop, including the possibility of full-time work. The employee starts at $12 an hour for the first month, paid out at the end of the day.

After one month and completing the review, the employee can make $14 an hour.

Please use the below file for your application, and thank you!

Hello, Carol and John’s Shoppers! And greetings from Fairbanks, Alaska! Wait, WHAAAAAA? Yup, Rafael here, and I’m into the wild this week and I’m chilling in the last frontier. My girlfriend and I, and some friends, are holding up in an Airbnb and we’re really hoping to see the Northern Lights this week. Have any of you ever been to Alaska? It’s my second time in a year, and it’s pretty neat. It’s an otherworldly vibe, but it’s also still pretty ‘Merican. But all the while, the guys are holding it down back home at the shop and still delivering the goods to everybody this week! All of our pull lists will get another stack to the file this week, but we’ll all have a little more excitement and great comics to enjoy too! This week heroes unite, and others collide, and a shop favorite series of ours comes to a close. It might seem like a lot to take in, but let’s see what’s good.

Small Press

Ben was a big fan of this series when it was coming out in issues, and now this week the trade paperback is available for The Many Deaths of Laila Starr. Ram V was one of the most prolific writers of 2021, and this might have been his best book of the year too. Drawn by Filipe Andrade (Captain Marvel), Laila Starr tells the ultimate story of humanity and immortality. With the avatar of Death having been cast down to Earth and living as a twenty-something-year-old woman in Mumbai, it’s also the time and place where the creator of human immortality will be born. This leaves Laila Starr with a chance to make the choice of several lifetimes, whether to let humanity unlock the key to everlasting life or not, and also learn what it means to be alive. I missed out on this title when it was coming out, but I’ve been hearing from Ben and from several of you how good this series was. I’m excited to finally read it.

“On a seemingly normal August day in Boulder, Colorado, the skies are clear, and Honeysuckle Speck couldn’t be happier. She’s finally moving in with her girlfriend Yolanda. But their world is literally torn apart when dark clouds roll in and release a downpour of nails-splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely undercover. Rain makes vivid this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads across the country and around the world, threatening everything young lovers Honeysuckle and Yolanda hold dear.” Based on the novella by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King and mastermind behind the hit Locke & Key series, Rain is a new miniseries and the launch of a new imprint from Image Comics, SYZYGY, spearheaded by Ashley Wood and Chris Ryall (Zombies vs. Robots). Rain is written by David M. Booher (Canto) and drawn by Zoe Thorogood (the phenomenal issue #2 of Ha-Ha), this mini looks to be one not to miss out on and the start of an exciting new line of comics from Image.

Marvel Comics

Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil run has been one of the best books from Marvel in recent years, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most dynamic turns at the character with Elektra Natchios having taken up the mantle of Daredevil in the wake of Matt Murdock’s turn in prison. The main title is on hiatus, Devil’s Reign is the current event sweeping across New York, and now the next chapter in Zdarksy’s Daredevil saga starts this week with a new miniseries Daredevil Woman Without Fear. Now that she’s the Guardian Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, she’s taken up a vow to never take another life, but that new vow is put to the test now for one of the deadliest assassins in the Marvel Universe. Any more Zdarsky is something to celebrate, and this is the perfect companion piece to the Daredevil saga in the wake of Devil’s Reign. And there are some great variants too, this one by Nicoletta Baldari.

It’s the end of an era, Gerry Duggan’s Savage Avengers comes to a close this week with issue #28. It’s a huge shop favorite, full of big Marvel action and some really brutal moments thanks to an exciting team of Avengers including Conan of Cimmeria brought forward in time. But all good things come to an end, and now it’s time for the Savage Avengers to go off into the sunset. The latest arc of the series was AWESOME with the vile Kulan Gath nearly destroying all the heroes and the multiverse, and this is definitely a series that is ripe for an omnibus collection in the future, but until then, witness the end of one of the coolest Avengers teams ever.

DC Comics

“One thousand years in the future, a Legion of Super-Heroes comes together to dedicate their lives to recapturing the great age of heroes of the 21st century. When the heroes discover that reality is falling to great darkness in both times simultaneously, the Justice League and the Legion of Super-Heroes must team up to stop it all. But what is the connection between the secrets of the new Gold Lanterns and the coming of the Great Darkness? A monumental DC epic event miniseries!” Written by Cleveland’s own Brian Michael Bendis, it’s the first big DC event of the year.

And that’s just some of the great comics this week at Carol and John’s. I hope everyone is having a great start to their new year. Tell the guys and Winston I say hello, I know my cat Lily wishes I was home also, but I’ll be back home soon and hope to catch up on all my books with all of you. Hopefully, I’ll have some cool photos of the Northern Lights and my Alaskan adventure to share with you all too next week. In the meantime, take it easy.

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