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.
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.
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…
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.