Good morning CNJ Shoppers and Readers! It’s Turkey week, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have new comics. This time around there are a bunch of exciting new #1s! New graphic novels HIGHLY recommended by the staff and our huge Black Friday Sale and Local Comic Shop Day exclusives to cap off the holiday week.

Marvel Comics

Smashing into stores this week is the brand-new Donny Cates Hulk! We’ve been looking forward to this title for a while now and it does not disappoint. It picks up after the events of Immortal Hulk, which was a big character redefining series, but you don’t need to have read that title to be hooked (I didn’t read it). Cates’ writing is big and action-packed, and Ryan Ottley is the perfect artist for this series (he was the artist on Robert Kirkman’s Invincible and this is just as big). I could say more, but that would ruin some of the surprises. Do not miss out.

“Secrets from T’Challa’s past have come back to haunt him! Fresh from returning from his travels in space, Black Panther receives an unexpected and urgent message from a Wakandan secret agent. Now T’Challa must race the clock not only to save his agent but also to keep his true agenda under wraps. Because if the truth comes out, it could cost T’Challa everything…” This new #1 is a brand-new relaunch written by John Ridley who has been really nailing it with deep personal storytelling with titles like I Am Batman and The Other History of DC Universe. I slept on the Ta-Nehisi Coates run of Black Panther, and have been looking for a great place to jump on since. I’m stoked to read this.

Hey, have you heard they’re doing a Hawkeye Disney+ series? Just in time for that, Marvel’s got a new five-issue miniseries starring Kate Bishop. She’s moving back to New York and looking for a simple, easy mission to boost her confidence, but for superheroes, they’re never simple or easy. Otherwise, what’d be so exciting to read about that? This is a fine introduction to Kate for the uninitiated and also fun for fans who have been looking for more from her.

DC Comics

It’s a light week from DC, we all finally get a break from a new Batman miniseries this week, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to be excited about. The weird and wild tale of Batman Reptilian wraps this week, the final fate of Leviathan is revealed in the last issue of Checkmate, and the color-coordinated anthology of Wonder Woman Black & Gold comes to a close, but maybe the most exciting title from DC this week is Task Force Z #2. Issue 1 was a lot of fun and had a great lineup and mission that of course went to s***, and so I’m excited to see where things pick up from there. 

Small Press

Cleveland’s own Brian Michael Bendis has a new indie book this week with Joy Operations from Dark Horse. “Fifty-five years from now. Joy is an EN•VOI. A special agent of one of the JONANDO TRUST. Trusts are corporate-owned cities that are the centerpiece of modern society. She rights wrongs for the trust. She is excellent. Perfection. Hard on herself. Driven. Almost legendary in some parts. Until one day a voice pops in her head trying to get her to betray everything she has ever believed.” Bendis has some of the best dialogue and writing in comics, and being a hometown boy himself, makes this one be sure to grab this week. 

And speaking of best in comics, Geiger’s first volume is finally collected in trade this week from Image Comics. From one of the best creative teams in comics, writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank bring it in this post-apocalyptic superhero tale. “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.” The guys all really love this series, and now finally I can get caught up before the series returns.

And those are some of the big titles new out this week. And in celebration of Local Comic Shop Day this Wednesday, we’ve got tons of exclusive variant covers in store for LCSD. These include special covers for House of Slaughter, Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body, Joy Operations, Detective Comics, The Walking Dead, and Radio Apocalypse (oh hey, a lot of my recent featured new releases). I’ve got a few I’m excited to snag this week.

Black Friday and Charity Art Show

Don’t forget that after you’ve had your fill of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and football (if that’s your thing) our BLACK FRIDAY sale is ON! Running from Friday through Sunday, we’ll have 50% off back issues, 10% off everything else in the store! That includes trades and figures and our dollar room open with DC and Marvel overstock. It’s shaping up to be our biggest weekend sale of the year and the perfect time to grab whichever of those killer bronze and silver age books John has been putting out at a sweet discount. 

And while you’re in, don’t forget that our Charity Art Show has begun taking submissions as well. We’ve got plenty of blank covers in the shop that is just dying for your artwork on them. The theme this year is What If!?, so that could be anything, like what if Santa Claus had the Infinity Gauntlet or Darth Vader was a Holiday Caroler. Or what if Marko from Saga was in a Taco Bell commercial (seriously, that’s a thing). We’re all very excited to see what everyone comes up with. But in the meantime, stop in for Local Comic Shop Day, enjoy your friends and family this Thanksgiving, and stop by for Black Friday. Have a great week everybody.

Good morning and Happy New Comic Book Day everyone! Things are certainly getting busy this time of year, between planning for Thanksgiving and the holidays, gifts, food, and travel, and making sure I’ve got new tires and brakes for the winter; all that on top of keeping up-to-date with the newest comics! There are a couple of biggies this week so let’s just dive in.

DC Comics

“The five heroes to have donned the Robin cape and mask find themselves at a crossroads in their lives. Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne come together to discuss the big thing that binds them together: Was being Robin, and Batman’s sidekick, the best choice they could’ve made? But before they can get to the heart of the matter, they’re ambushed by an unknown assailant with a bone to pick with them. She claims to have been the first Robin, and she’s out to prove Batman should’ve never trained any of them.” A cool new #1 written by Grayon co-writer Tim Seeley.

It’s the book that broke the Internet; Superman Son of Kal El #5 is out this week. Jonathan Kent has stepped into his own as the newest Superman for Earth after his father Clark has gone off-planet. But being the new Superman not only puts a target on his back but on everyone close to him, including his new boyfriend Jay Nakamura. The announcement of Jonathan’s bisexuality got a lot of people talking and we ordered up for this one, including both Pride variant covers. Come in and grab a piece of comic history this week.

Wonder Woman has always been one of the brightest beacons for hope, not just in DC Comics but comics in general, and this week she is put on trial for humankind in Wonder Woman Evolution #1. Diana is taken across the galaxy where she is forced into a series of mental and physical challenges in defense of the human race and their final fate, as aliens deem whether humankind should exist any longer in the universe. Sounds like another comic I know of, but we’ll see just what sort of challenges lay ahead for Diana in this eight-issue miniseries.

Marvel Comics

It’s been 60 years since the Fantastic Four debuted and jumpstarted the Marvel Universe as we know it, and this week Marvel is celebrating the anniversary with this oversized tribute special. Featuring the likes of Mike Allred, Daniel Warren Johnson, Adam Hughes, and Nic Klein to name a few, each page of the very first Fantastic Four #1 is redone by some of comics’ biggest talents to recreate one of, if not the most important issues of all time. Also included is the wedding between Reed and Sue Richards in Fantastic Four Annual #3. Marvel did this a little while ago with Giant-Size X-Men #1 and it was pretty cool to flip through, so I’m excited to see how this one turns out also.

Cleveland loves Moon Knight! He’s back this week with issue #5. I didn’t watch all of the Disney+ previews from this past weekend, but we got our first snippet of the Moon Knight TV series coming next year. Now’s the time to hop on board and see what the fuss is about. Great cover from Steve McNiven this issue also. 

Small Press

It’s been a little over a year now that Image has been re-releasing The Walking Dead in color, and it’s been a lot of fun to reread the series again. Between knowing the ending, if you do know at least, and the great coloring work that’s been done, it reads as a great remaster of an essential series. This week sees the start of one of the best story arcs from the series, with issue #27 and the debut of The Governor. This dude is a real b*****d that absolutely wrecks the world Rick Grimes and the survivors have built in the prison they’ve been staying at. There are a lot of big things coming up, and now in color, I’m very excited to experience the terror in a brand-new way, in LOTS of red.

My own pick of the week, I’ve been waiting patiently for this series; it’s Radio Apocalypse #1 from Vault Comics. Written by Ram V (Venom, Many Deaths of Laila Starr) and with stellar painted art from Anand Rk, it’s Good Morning Vietnam meets The Walking Dead. “Long after the rock out of space struck the world and turned it all to dust, in Bakerstown stands the last Radio Station on the planet. Radio Apocalypse broadcasting into the unknown, a beacon in the dark for those who wander the lost places. Now change is coming to Bakerstown. Among the refugees flocking into an already precarious settlement, an orphan boy Rion, caught in an indiscretion, will twine his fate with the Radio Station. And in doing so, begin this mixtape of love and heartbreak and interminable hope. This soundtrack to the end of the world.” Vault makes some of my favorite comics, and this series doesn’t disappoint. Awesome-sauce.

We’ve been working hard this year to stock manga, but it’s been difficult between supply chain issues and the fact the genre has exploded in popularity. But just in time for the holidays, we’ve got a COMPLETE restock on one of the biggest series out there; Demon Slayer. We’ve got copies of EVERY volume and also a neat box set that collects the whole series along with a couple of other exclusives like a series booklet and poster. Perfect for fans of the series! I’m somewhere around volume 16 now I think, I’m excited to finish it.

Black Friday and Charity Art Show

Whew, that’s it for new books this week. 

Don’t forget that we’ve got our big Black Friday sale coming up soon, with 50% off back issues (including all those awesome silver and bronze age issues John has been putting out for a couple of months) and 10% off everything else in the store. Oh, and a dollar room too for a ton of Marvel and DC issues!

And for all you artists out there, or maybe those who wouldn’t label themselves as such as me, we’ve begun taking comic cover submissions for our annual Charity Art Show. The theme this year is What If!?, so have fun with it because the possibilities are endless! Come into the shop and grab a blank cover, we’ve got tons and flex your pencils and ink strokes. The deadline to submit is December 12th, so time is limited. ALL money raised for the show will go to the Cleveland Food Bank like always, a great cause and an awesome way to help our community. Here’s my cover from last year, can I top it this year? We’ll find out. Have a great week and we’ll see you around!

Hello CNJ shoppers, and Happy New Comic Book Day. I’m behind on all the hip shows the kids are watching these days, but I was curious and finally watched Squid Game this past week. Man, that was addicting! I liked it! It inspired me to go back and finally read Avengers Arena also. In it, the villain Arcade captures a bunch of Young Avengers and takes them to Murder World to recreate the movie Battle Royale in a game of death and survival. I just started, but X-23 is one of the players, so my money is on Laura. But in the meantime, there are some new books to check out this week. Let’s go.

Marvel Comics

One of Marvel’s most beloved characters gets a cool new miniseries in The Thing #1 this week. Written by novelist Walter Mosley, with art from Tom Reilly (I’m not familiar with either), “The Thing” is billing itself to be the new definitive Ben Grimm story. Marvel has been very tight-lipped on just what story this new series will tell. Honestly, Marvel’s miniseries have been pretty great recently, so I’ll take their word for it on this one too.

You’ve been patiently waiting for it, and after a few delays, it’s finally here: it’s Venom #1! Co-writers Al Ewing and Ram V are taking both Eddie Brock and Dylan Brock into new territories that are sure to be exciting. Al Ewing is known for big, sci-fi storytelling, and Ram V has a touch for horror, with art drawn by Bryan Hitch (love him or hate him, it’s big action). Donny Cates left the character and symbiote in a pretty cool place, and I’m excited to see this new creative team run with it and launch Venom into a brand-new series. We’ve got loads of variants for Venom #1; the Bill Sieniewicz 1:25 variant is my favorite. Which one will be your favorite?

DC Comics

Another week, another new Batman series. This week, we have Robin & Batman from the creative team behind Ascender, Jeff Lemire, and Dustin Nguyen! And the billing is correct; this is a Robin story first, detailing a young Dick Grayson just stepping into the tights and the shadow of The Batman. This three-issue miniseries has a stellar creative team, and the artwork is gorgeous. I’m excited to read this.

The Justice League, Last Ride series, has been a lot of fun and filled with plenty of action and great moments for fans, and this week is the final issue! This has been one of my top reads every week, and you can tell the writer Chip Zdarsky has been having a lot of fun telling this story.  It ends in an explosive fashion, and I hope to see more from this alternate universe. If you haven’t been following along, keep an eye out for the collection. It’s sure to be one of my recommendations when it’s announced.

Small Press

“The world has ended. All that remains are gangs of children living among the ruins. But Sid believes there must be something more out there. When she disappears into the wastelands, her gang will risk everything to bring her home. A story about the things that matter most-your survival, your loved ones, and your record collection.” A brand-new triple-sized Image #1, for only $5, from the creative team behind 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank (a criminally underrated book). It’s a comic that promises to pull everything you love about comics and music together into one experience. All of us here on staff are stoked to read this and you should be too. 

Chris Cantwell has been emerging as one of the shop’s favorite new writers with titles such Vault’s Blue Flame and Marvel’s Iron Man, and now he’s got a new Boom title in Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body. A ragtag team of misfits are brought together by some sort of agent, whether for the good guys or bad, to add a new layer to the Kennedy assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the countless conspiracy theories: What if the body buried in Oswald’s grave wasn’t really Oswald? A quirky, off-kilter crime thriller, this first issue was great and I’m excited to learn more about this team assigned to the task. Great for Tarantino fans and history buffs.

Released from Boom earlier this year, this five-issue miniseries was co-written by Grant Morrison (my favorite writer!) and was like Stranger Things but set in the 1970’s along the titular, haunted Proctor Valley Road. “August, Rylee, Cora, and Jennie have organized a ‘Spook Tour’ on the infamous roadway with their classmates to fund attending the concert of their dreams. But when their visit turns deadly, these four friends race to rescue the missing students before the town tears them limb from limb and slay the evils roaming Proctor Valley Road… along with the monsters lurking in the hearts of 1970s America.” I read the first couple of issues, and then fell behind, but decided that I’d finally read the whole thing once it was collected in trade. It’s Grant Morrison, a no-brainer for me.

And that’s just some of the big new titles releasing this week.  The holiday season is fast approaching, so don’t be afraid to ask us what other comic recommendations are out there for your friends and family this year. Or share some great Thanksgiving recipes with me. Whichever you want. Have a great week!

Peace, Love, and Comics

Rafael Calzada

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