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Hey everybody, and welcome to a New Comic Book Day! Halloween is fast approaching and I hope you all have some fun plans in the works and some great costumes too. My girlfriend and I haven’t been able to agree on ours just yet (I suggested Hunter S. Thompson and his lawyer from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and she suggested Lady and the Tramp, so we’re a little ways apart right now haha), but one thing we can all agree on is that there are always great comics on Wednesdays. Let’s see what’s new this week.

Marvel Comics

Spinning out of the pages of Jason Aaron’s Avengers, this week sees the debut of a new solo miniseries for the newest host of the Phoenix force: Echo. She’s got a lot to learn about her new cosmic powers, but first and foremost, why was she chosen by the Phoenix? Look, I wish I had some super powers too, but I pity the fool who gets stuck with the Phoenix force. It never seems to end well for anybody.

And new this week also is Thor #18 starring Throg! He’s on a secret spy mission for Thor across the realms in this issue which also sees the reunion of the Pet Avengers. Since his brief blink-and-you-miss-it cameo appearance in Loki (is it safe to talk about that yet?), Throg’s been getting a lot of attention recently and it’s awesome to see him get some play now.

DC Comics

Probably my pick of the week, it’s a new DC Black Label book, and this is a big one; it’s Catwoman Lonely City. “Ten years ago, the massacre known as Fools’ Night claimed the lives of Batman, The Joker, Nightwing, and Commissioner Gordon and sent Selina Kyle, the Catwoman, to prison. A decade later, Gotham has grown up—it’s put away costumed heroism and villainy as childish things. The new Gotham is cleaner, safer and a lot less free, under the watchful eye of Mayor Harvey Dent and his Batcops. It’s into this new city that Selina Kyle returns, a changed woman with her mind on that one last big score: the secrets hidden inside the Batcave! She doesn’t need the money—she just needs to know… who is ‘Orpheus’?” Written, drawn, colored, and lettered by superstar artist Cliff Chiang, this is his Catwoman passion project and it really shows. It’s awesome!

Well this just goes to show how far behind I am on somethings, Nubia became Queen of Themyscira during Infinite Frontier!? That’s pretty cool. And new this week is the beginning of a six issue miniseries detailing her reign as Queen and the horror that waits beneath the island that threatens the Amazons. This sounds like a sleeper series that has potential for big changes for the DC Universe.

The Hill House Comics imprint from DC is back this week, with Refrigerator Full of Heads (what a gnarly title). The sequel to the original Basketful of Heads from a couple years ago, I missed out on the first series myself, but Ben recently got caught up and loved it. If the title didn’t give you a hint, this one looks just as twisted as the rest of the Hill House books. And this one even has a killer great white shark. Rad!

Small Press

Killadelphia has been one of my biggest recommendations this year (honestly, grab volume 1 if you haven’t yet and throw on the Nine Inch Nails Quake soundtrack from 1997 and you’ll thank me later), and new from the same creative team comes a spinoff book called Nita Hawes Nightmare Blog. Subbing out the vampires of Philadelphia, the streets of Baltimore in this book have demons and ghosts, and great covers too! I’m really excited to read this book.

And new from possibly the best creative duo in comics, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, comes the next installment in their crime noir original graphic novel series Reckless: Destroy All Monsters. Every one so far has been great stuff, as is expected from these two, and this one doesn’t look to be any different. Ethan Reckless has a new case, tracking down a real estate mogul, and while that sounds simple enough, we’ve learned by now that nothing in Ethan’s life is as simple as it sounds. Picking this up is a no-brainer if you’re a fan of Brubaker/Phillips or crime noir in general.

And that’s about it for my featured new releases this week. I’m trying to binge reread Saga now so that I’m all caught up again and all the feelings are fresh for issue 55 in January. We’ve got a lot of cool merch this week too. Some great $10 Kenner Marvel Legends Magneto and Carol Danvers Ms. Marvel figures and some Classic Hawkeye POP figures. These POPs are Previews Exclusives also so you won’t see them outside of comic shops.

Thanks everybody for reading. We’ll see you all in the shop this week.

Good morning and Happy New Comic Book Day CNJ shoppers! Raf here, back again to fill everybody in on the week’s featured new releases. It finally happened though! Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are coming back with SAGA early next year, and Ben and the other guys have been hearing me for a few years now saying that as soon as it was announced I’d drop everything I was doing and reread the story so far. I encourage those who haven’t checked it out, to DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and do so! It’s simply the best of comics. But in the meantime, we’ve got new books this week. Let’s check ‘em out. 

Marvel Comics

Al Ewing’s masterful and great horror inspired take on the Big Green Giant comes to a close with issue 50. This has been one of the biggest books from Marvel over the past couple years, and arguably the Hulk’s best storyline in decades. To be honest, I’m not caught up myself, but I’m looking forward to an inevitable hardcover collection of the whole series. But if you also want to see where Banner and the Hulk leave off before Donny Cates takes over the title next month, pick this up. 

After so many tie-ins and specials that we all lost count, Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters wraps up this week. Boba Fett’s been tracking down Han Solo’s carbonite frozen butt across the galaxy and he’s got a contract to fill, and maybe some competition in his way also. But while this is the end of this miniseries, it sets itself up as the beginning of a trilogy with the next act Crimson Reign set to start in December. 

With one of the best covers of the week, X-Men #4 is a great spooky tale for the mutants. Jean, Scott, and Laura Kinney Wolverine are all having some wicked nightmares, but they share in the experience as they’re all being haunted by the Headless Horseman.  What more do you need for October? 

DC Comics

It’s a big Bat-Week at the shop, with two new #1’s with the Dark Knight. 

First is Batman: The Audio Adventures which is a prequel special to the new podcast series set to debut on HBOMax later this month. With multiple short stories written by the team behind the new podcast, including funny guys Ike Barinholtz and Bobby Moynihan, this is a fun throwback to the storytelling of the old radio serials… or so I’m told. I was born in ’95. 

But wait, there’s more! Drawn by the fantastic Andrea Sorrentino of Gideon Falls and written by one of the co-writers of the new Batman movie starring Robert Pattinson (which I’m pretty stoked to see) comes a new three issue miniseries Batman: The Imposter. Delving deep into the psyche of Batman and the trauma that’s created him, this comic also finds Bruce at war with a copycat vigilante that’s killing and streaming his murders. You had me at Batman. 

Whew, lots of finales this week, and this one’s a big one. Tom King is the new master of the 12 issue maxiseries, and after his Rorschach finale a few weeks ago, now Strange Adventures comes to a close. Both of these series were big, complex storylines, and while I didn’t read them monthly, I’ve been patiently waiting for them to wrap up so I could binge read them as complete stories. Keep an eye out for the trades coming out soon! And speaking of trades…. 

Small Press

We’ve got two big new Image volume 1’s out that we’re very excited about. 

Scott Snyder and Tony Daniel’s awesome post-apocalyptic nightmare action book Nocterra (how about that description?) is collected for the first time with the first 6 issues here for only $10. We’ve got plenty at the shop, and at that price point, it’s an easy recommendation that’s also a great deal. It’s only a buck more than an issue of Last Ronin after all. 

And while I’ve been getting a little Kaiju fatigue recently (it takes a lot of calories to be that big), one of the coolest and most original spins I’ve seen on the genre is also collected this week in Ultramega Volume 1. Written and drawn by James Harren, this book is not what you’re expecting. The first issue alone was a jaw-dropper and will really hook you. I’d say more, but I really don’t want to ruin the surprises that this book has. If you like giant monsters, Mad Max, and a little bit of humor, you need to read this. 

That’s it for this week. Stop by and say hi, and make sure Saga is on your pull lists. 

Peace, Love, and Comics 

Rafael Calzada 

Happy New Comic Book Day! Raf here checking in, managing to pull myself away from listening to some Pantera and reading Jason Aaron’s Conan the Barbarian (By Crom, it’s awesome!) to talk about this week’s featured new releases. It’s a big week with some cool new titles and plenty of great variants to choose from. Let’s check things out.

Marvel Comics

Swinging in quick after last week’s oversized finale to the Nick Spencer run, this week’s issue #75 of Amazing Spider-Man promises to shake up the Spidey status quo. Ben Reilly’s back in town and Marvel’s been teasing some serious medical bills for Peter Parker, but what does it all mean for the future of Spider-Man? It all starts here as the next era of Spider-Man begins!

Following up after an awesome first issue last month, finally the next installment in Tom Taylor’s Dark Ages comes out this week. “ It has been years since the age of technology ended in a single moment, like a switch had been flicked to off for an entire planet. Now Earth’s heroes attempt to bring humanity together in the darkness. X-Men and Avengers, vigilantes and villains all work together to create something better. But something darker than the night is descending on the world. Our post-apocalyptic world is about to face Apocalypse.” Uhh yes please!!

And keeping with the darkness, after a short delay, Darkhold Alpha is also in stores this week. Told through a series of one-shots, Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom unravel the mysteries behind the Darkhold aka The Book of the Damned and unleash some nightmarish versions of Marvel’s heroes including Wasp, Blade, and Iron Man. This miniseries looks like a lot of fun and should be very exciting for any fans of WandaVision from this past year.

DC Comics

Who doesn’t love a well timed holiday special? Halloween’s my favorite time of year, and DC is getting in on the festivities with a one-shot this week called Are You Afraid of Darkseid. A fun and light-hearted anthology special featuring stories with Batman and Madhatter, Lois and Clark, and even a Harley Quinn and Darkseid team-up.  The cover alone has got me sold with Damian trying to scare the Teen Titans by the campfire. The little s***…

Some of DC’s greatest heroes have turned 80 recently and received big 100 page specials, and now it’s Diana’s turn in the spotlight. Featuring stories celebrating her past, present, and future and the tremendous legacy she carries, and written by some of comics biggest talents (Becky Cloonan, Tom King, G. Willow Wilson, and Mark Waid too!) and with plenty of awesome variants, this oversized special is a must for any fan of Wonder Woman.

Small Press

I’m calling it now, this ought to be Ben’s pick of the week, it’s Rick Remender’s newest crime series A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance. We got to read an early preview a few weeks ago of the first few  issues and we’ve been dying for all of you to get the chance to read it too. This cinematic comic isn’t your big, bombastic action romp, but rather a violent slowburn thriller. Some serious Oldboy vibes from this one that you don’t want to miss out on! Check it out and let us know what you think.

But if you are looking for that big, bombastic action romp too, check out Aftershock’s new series Chicken Devil. If the Punisher also owned and operated his own El Pollo Loco, this Breaking Bad inspired series looks like a lot of crazy fun and features the talent of Hayden Sherman, who I believe to be one of the most underrated artists today. His work on Vault’s Wasted Space has proven he can do some really trippy comic artwork that makes every page a blast to flip through. I’m very excited to read this one.

And a lot of you have responded and checked out one of my other recent recommendations in The Last Book You’ll Ever Read, and this week features issue 3 of the Vault series. Since our initial orders were placed a lot of you have given it a shot, so if you don’t see it on the table this week, ask us at the counter and we’ll work to get you a copy. It makes me happy to see you all try something I like, so thanks again for being awesome people and trying something new.

That’s it for this week! I’ll be on vacation, so Ben and our newest employee Kyle will have the Conn at the shop. Kyle’s been a great addition to our team, so make sure to give him a warm welcome and congratulations on becoming our newest full-time member. Raf here signing off with my writing partner, Lily. I hope you all have a great first full week of October. Stay Spooky.

Peace, Love, and Comics

Rafael Calzada

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