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Greetings and Happy New Comic Book Day everyone! I’m your host this evening, Count Rafula, and it’s the spookiest week of the year, the week of Halloween!  Beware! At the shop this week, we’ve got plenty of new comics to get you in the macabre mood, with stories that will have you watching over your shoulder for all that goes bump in the night. There’s no time to waste, let’s check things out.

Marvel Comics

One of Marvel’s biggest new titles has a new installment in Moon Knight #4 out this week. While I haven’t been following what’s going on (or ever read a Moon Knight book either :/), we’ve gotten a lot of interest in this book recently and seen some new faces coming in to the shop to grab their copies too. It’s a Cleveland thing, I guess. John Dudas will be the first to tell you there is something about Moon Knight that makes him resonate well with Clevelanders. Maybe I’ll grab this week’s issue, it’s got Tigra.

Following up after the stellar and creepy Darkhold Iron Man one-shot, this week’s hero whose life and reality is twisted by the Darkhold is Marvel’s Vampire Hunter himself; Blade. In this tie-in, vampires have taken over and rule the world and Blade is their king atop the throne. And there’s no way that could go well, right? A delicious one-shot for a criminally underappreciated Marvel character.

DC Comics

Fresh off the success earlier this year of the Batman/Fortnite crossover, there’s a new one-shot this week co-written by Scott Snyder and starring The Batman Who Laughs. This Batman is the scariest one yet, and that’s kinda saying something. I call him Hellraiser Batman myself. And just like the previous issues from the miniseries, this one does include codes for in-game unlockables: a character skin and loading screen both featuring The Batman Who Laughs. 

One of the most popular and celebrated Batman storylines ever (and fresh new animated movie too), Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman: The Long Halloween is certainly a classic. And new this week, the original creative team is back to tell one more story set in the Long Halloween universe. DC’s been keeping things under wraps on this one, but teases a mystery that could destroy Batman, Gordon, and Two Face. A must have for any Batman fan this week.

If it worked with zombies, of course it could work with vampires too, right? Co-written by James Tynion IV, DC Vs. Vampires is the next 12-issue horror-themed apocalypse set in the DC multiverse. And just like DCeased, no character is safe. I read the preview for this first issue, and there’s a great surprise ending to this one that I think will hook fans. 

“In life, they’ve terrorized the people of Gotham. Now, they are Gotham’s last hope. Task Force X saw villains working their way to freedom. Task Force Z will see dead villains working for a new chance at life! On A-DAY, the attack on Arkham Asylum left hundreds of Gotham’s most cunning and deranged criminals dead. Now, a mysterious benefactor has activated the government’s TASK FORCE clause to bring them back as the ultimate army of the night! To lead this team of the undead, only a person who knows exactly what it feels like to be brutally murdered and brought back to life can handle the job…enter: RED HOOD. But when Jason Todd unravels the mystery surrounding Task Force Z’s creation, will he try to destroy it or embrace it?” A really cool new Suicide Squad-esque book with a team consisting of Red Hood, Bane (!), Man-Bat, Arkham Knight, Sundowner, and Mr. Bloom.

Small Press

Something Is Killing the Children has been one of the biggest horror smash hits since The Walking Dead, and this week sees the universe expand with a brand-new spinoff series House of Slaughter. Co-written by James Tynion IV (busy guy), and with double team art from original series artist Werther Dell’Edera and The Autumnal’s Chris Shehan, this spinoff series promises to delve deeper into Erica Slaughter’s shadowy organization and one of her biggest rivals within its monster hunter ranks. I’m all caught up on SIKTC and am excited to see where things go next.

And lastly this week, this next trade paperback collection is one we’ve been waiting for for some time now: Aftershock Comics’ Maniac of New York Volume 1. If Jason Takes Manhattan was actually good, there’s a brutal force of nature that haunts and stalks the citizens of New York, and has been doing so for years. Until now, when one detective becomes determined to bring his grisly reign of terror to an end, or die trying. I didn’t finish the series, but what issues I did read were awesome. A shop favorite, and soon to be yours for the scary holiday season.

And that’ll be a wrap on new comics for October 2021. Don’t forget that we’ll be celebrating Halloween in the shop all day Saturday October 30th with trick ‘r treating and tons of free comics and candy to give away for all in costume. We will also be using this opportunity to give out our Batman Day and Wonder Woman Day free comics from DC. 

We’re all big fans of the holiday here, and have decked out the shop in our best spooky decorations, and we’re all very excited to see everyone’s costumes. Thanks for reading, we will see you Saturday, and we hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween this year.

Peace, Love, and Comics

Rafael Calzada

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 

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