Raf’s Countdown to Midnight 12.29.21

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Hey there, Carol and John’s Comic Shoppers. Raf here checking in before the end of 2021. It’s been a wild year, hasn’t it? We’ve all gone and grown up a little bit again. And so has the shop! We’ve hired a few new faces full-time and a fun, new, rotating cast of folks for the Weekend Warriors too. Events at the shop have been big, including our massive Free Comic Book Day with Chris Claremont we had during the summer. How crazy was that line, amiright?. And ultimately, we got to read a lot of great comics. Which, you know, is pretty cool.

I’m sure many of you are experiencing a bit of a chaotic race to the finish line, but we’ve got one last round of new comics for the year. Some new #1’s, a couple of new storylines to check out, and maybe a new indie book to spice up your life. Let’s dive in.

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DC Comics

Down in the muck, down in the swamp. New from DC’s Black Label is Swamp Thing: Green Hell, a visceral and exciting new miniseries written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Doug Mahnke. Lemire’s a popular writer, but Mahnke’s art is what has me sold on this dark and brutal new story. Mahnke’s been around for decades, and here he gets to let loose on one of DC’s most influential characters. Set in the not-so-distant future, the world’s gone to sh*t and there’s a tiny little harbor town at the edge of the world with a mysterious lighthouse. But ancient forces lie in the ground and have the power to bring back the SWAMP THING. DC is pumping out these Black Label prestige books, and each one is better than the last. If you’ve got the space to store them, I’m sorry, you have no reason to miss these.

Did you know there is only ONE book that focuses on Clark Kent Superman right now? It’s the book that started it all, and now new this week, it’s issue #1038 of Action Comics. This issue is part three of the Warworld Saga storyline. Supes isn’t my favorite character, I’m very heavy on the Bat side of things, but he is the Man of Tomorrow and a great Superman story is really something to enjoy (see also; Action Comics #775). And following up on Grant Morrison’s Superman and The Authority, AC has been a lot of fun to read. Superman and this new Authority have decided to free the inhabitants of Warworld from under the oppressive thumb of the Mongul-Who-Is, but Clark’s powers aren’t what they used to be, and it’s proven to be far more dangerous than he or the team expected. Not gonna lie, Supes and them have been getting their ass kicked. But it’s Superman, he’s going to find a way to triumph, right? I don’t know, but only one place to find out in Action Comics. The Tedesco variant is rad too!

Marvel Comics

“HOW DO YOU WIN A WAR AGAINST TIME? A special year-ending adventure that gives portents as to what is to come in the Marvel Universe over the next twelve months! Kang the Conqueror is a warrior, a destroyer, a subjugator-but even he is subject to the whims and vicissitudes of time itself. So when a parallel timeline threatens to overwrite the future Kang has fought so long and so hard to control, the master of the ages has no choice but to go to war with time itself, battling through days of tomorrow as he struggles to prevent the end of what is to come! Featuring all the major players in the Marvel pantheon!” After you read this one, ya’ll can come talk to me. We’ll have much to discuss about the ending.

Continuing the excellent Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto Daredevil run, the event series Devil’s Reign has its second issue this week. Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, is the mayor of New York and has a bold new vision for the city that includes no more vigilantes, and to do it, he’s created and enlisted his own Thunderbolts team to bring everyone down. The Marvel event of the season keeps on rolling and promises to be a bloodbath. Right on.

Small Press

The creative duo of Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins, creators of the hit horror thriller Fear Case, are back again with a new miniseries exploring the horrors of war with Apache Delivery Service. “Two haunted men are on a hunt in the jungles of Vietnam, searching for clues to a missing treasure trove of gold that was stolen from all over Asia by a Japanese general during World War II. Eventually, they find a series of hidden caves in the mountains near the coast. Bodies start showing up-murder victims and mutilated corpses. There is a rumor that the caves and gold are protected by terrifying witches that have been living in the cave system for thousands of years. As our warriors travel deeper into the mystery, they learn more disturbing facts about each other and become paranoid of one another as they get closer and closer to the gold, while, at the same time, a bizarre serial killer is hunting them down.” If it’s anything like Fear Case, this new book sounds like a winner. I’m excited to check it out.

Stray Dogs was one of our absolute favorite books of the year, mixing horror and heart in a fun way that hooked us. And now, there’s a new two-parter series starting this week with Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1. Featuring short stories about several of the dogs, this series promises to answer questions, solve mysteries that still linger, and also tug at your heart. I cried when I was a child watching the first Air Bud movie (when he leaves the dog at the island and sails away ☹), and while I’ve hardened up since then, Stray Dogs is still able to hit me in the feels. A great series and I’m sure more is on the way after this two-parter. And the series is back with an awesome horror movie variant as well.

And that’s a wrap on new comics for 2021! With the year wrapping up, we just ask that if you haven’t been in in a while to clear out your file by this Friday. We’ve missed a lot of you recently.

We pay taxes on all unsold inventory we have left at year’s end and would love for everybody to be caught up before 2022. We’ve still got half-off back issues for the rest of the year also, so it’s a great time to come into the shop. We’ll be CLOSED THIS SATURDAY for New Years Day, but we’ll be back OPEN THIS SUNDAY and you can expect a brand-new back issue wall rerack from John Dudas also.

You guys are all awesome for reading and caring about comic books. It’s a fun art form, and it is art, and getting to share my love for it (and hearing people mention that they read about something in “the email”) is always a funny thing. I enjoy setting aside the time to write and let everyone know what’s new and good at the shop every week. I’m excited about the new year and things we’ve got brewing in the background, let’s kick some ass in 2022. Until next time.

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