Raf’s Great New Comics for 3.23.2022

Hey there, Carol and John’s Shoppers. This month is flying by, and I think part of that is because of just how great each week has been for new comics. This week is another biggie, so buckle up, it’s a good one.

DC Comics

New from DC’s Black Label imprint (and finally something that isn’t Batman-related for once), writer Joshua Williamson and artist Leomacs team up for a new miniseries called Rogues. The Flash and Central City have some of the coolest and most unique villains in the DC Universe, and in this series, Captain Cold brings the gang back together again for a neo-noir heist, unlike anything the city has ever had seen. “Ten years ago, the Rogues disbanded and went their separate ways. But time hasn’t been kind to the former blue-collar super-criminals. Caught in an endless cycle of prison, rehab, dead-end jobs, broken relationships, probation, and endless restitution fees, the Rogues are sick of paying for their crimes. Luckily, Captain Cold has a plan. One last job that will leave them all richer than their wildest dreams and free from their past… if they can survive.” Williamson has become one of DC’s hottest writers at the moment, having already written Flash during the beginning of the Rebirth era, and just recently wrapping up Justice League Incarnate before he takes on the Dark Crisis event set to start in June. Every Black Label book has been a great read, and this looks to be no different.

Tom King is the new master of the 12-issue maxiseries, and his latest series Human Target may just be his best yet. Each issue has been beautiful, full of great mystery, and has really been one of the strongest books DC has put out in some time. This week sees the release of issue #6, which I’m sure will leave fans with a great climactic ending to the first half of the story because it’ll be another FIVE MONTHS before we see issue #7. Sometimes these delays are really big bummers and buzzkills for a lot of books, but I’ve got faith in Tom King and artist Greg Smallwood that it’ll be worth it. Just look at Nice House On The Lake; that book also went on an extended hiatus but came back strong and its break between issues 6 and 7 felt like no time at all. I’m very excited to read this issue and reread the series again. It’s been phenomenal. Also maybe with this extended break, I’ll finally be able to read King’s Rorschach and Strange Adventures.

Marvel Comics

Another symbiote book this week, but this time Venom’s co-creator David Michelinie returns for a back-to-basics Venom story! “AN EPIC RETURN! Before Carnage and space gods, clones and toxins, and the revelation that he was a father, Eddie Brock was a down-on-his-luck reporter who had tried to take his own life and been saved by an extraterrestrial alien. This all-new story set in the character’s earliest days welcomes Venom co-creator David Michelinie back into the symbiote hive with open arms, as he and rising star Ivan Fiorelli unite to tell a new, horrifying tale that not only revisits the wicked web-slinger’s past but hints at what’s to come in his future!”

Following in the tradition of classic writers returning to their Marvel characters and runs, Larry Hama returns for a brand-new Patch story in the miniseries Wolverine: Patch. “RETURN TO MADRIPOOR WITH THE MAN CALLED PATCH! All-new action, intrigue, and espionage await you as legendary creator Larry Hama returns with a story set before his original run on Wolverine! The mutant known as Logan has made a name for himself on the mysterious island of Madripoor, where the locals know him as Patch. From their haunt at the Princess Bar, what starts as a simple recon mission lands Patch and Archie knee-deep in a paramilitary struggle that will surface some surprising revelations and characters! And is that NICK FURY, DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D.? Yes, two patches for the price of one!” There are a lot of fans of Wolverine’s alter-ego Patch and Marvel hasn’t done anything with him in quite some time, so it’s cool to see a new miniseries revolving around him, and written by fan-favorite Larry Hama no less.

Avengers Forever is one of the biggest, coolest, most metal, and bat-sh*t crazy series from either of the Big Two right now. The last issue was fantastic and really elevated the stakes, but this week with issue #4, writer Jason Aaron reintroduces the Goddesses of Thunder previously from Aaron’s epic Thor run and last appearing in issue #1 of this series. These granddaughters of the Old King Thor are trekking across the cosmos and multiverses in search of fallen hammers. This series is awesome and each issue has been building upon the last, and I’m excited to see where this series goes.

This week also sees the finale to the X Lives and Deaths of Wolverine miniseries with X Deaths of Wolverine #5 out now. There’s been a lot happening in this series, and I’d be lying if I said I was caught up, but the X Universe has been going through a bit of an overhaul since Jonathan Hickman’s run on the universe ended. There’s sure to be a new status quo going forward, and arguably no mutant is as important as Wolverine himself. We’ll just have to read and find out where mutantkind goes from here.

Small Press

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have proven themselves as one of the best creative duos of the past decade with successes including their acclaimed Batman run and the megahit series Dark Nights Metal and their follow-up Dark Nights Death Metal. This week they reunite for a new series We Have Demons, which was first introduced on Scott Snyder’s Substack but is now finally available in print. “Since the very dawn of man, legends have been told of the conflict between angel and demon-kind. Lam Lyle, a woman of science, dismissed these stories as just that-fiction. But when the loss of a loved one leads to the discovery of a hulking, benevolent demon named Hellvis, Lam realizes that her life is about to undergo a dire new direction. With a newfound partner and awesome powers now at her disposal, our hero suddenly finds herself thrust into a climactic war of good and evil with no less than the fate of the world hanging in the balance…” I recently reread the Batman Zero Year storyline from these two and remembered just how awesome these two together really are. This new 3-issue miniseries is sure to be on my pull list, including this great variant cover by Peach Momoko for issue #1.

[insert GHOST CAGE]

East of West is one of my favorite comic series and I view it as one of the most criminally underrated amongst comic fans. It’s the closest thing I think readers can find to Game of Thrones in comic form, but with a sci-fi dystopian twist. Nick Dragotta’s artwork on that series is a huge reason for why I love it, and now he finally returns to interiors with his new 3-issue miniseries Ghost Cage. Featuring megacorporations, terrorists, and over-the-top action, each issue will be oversized 44 pages jam-packed with Dragotta’s beautiful and kinetic artwork and storytelling. I’m super stoked to dive into this one!

By now I hope Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan’s magnum opus Saga needs no further introduction, and everyone in the shop is excited that the series is back after its nearly three-year hiatus. Don’t just take our word for it, it’s kind of a big deal even outside of comic shops.

This week it’s issue #57, and is sure to be at the top of my reading stack.

All in all, it’s a great week for new comics at Carol and John’s. Thanks again to everyone who entered into and donated for last week’s raffle of the limited reprint of JLA/Avengers. We raised nearly $3000 for the Hero Initiative and George Pérez’s family! It just goes to show that heroes don’t only exist in comic books. I hope you all have an awesome week, and we’ll see you in the shop.