Raf’s Big Week of Small Press #1’s for 4.6.2022

Happy Wednesday, Carol and John’s Shoppers! We’ve got a big week this week in the shop with plenty of new series, from both Marvel and DC, and a lot from small press publishers too. There’s bound to be something for everyone, so let’s see what’s in store for comic readers for the first week of April.

Small Press

New this week from Vault, it’s West of Sundown! Co-written by horror maestros Tim Seeley and Aaron Campbell and drawn by the wicked Jim Terry, West of Sundown is the newest entry in Vault’s Nightfall horror line and is a trip to the New Mexico desert filled with blood and monsters. Vampire Constance der Abend and her loyal assistant Dooley are forced to flee New York City, and are now on a mission to restore Constance’s undead flesh at the place of her ancestral birth in the town of Sangre de Moro to the west. But the years have not been kind to Sangre de Moro, and now Constance will have to adapt to the changes that have occurred in this rough frontier town if she is not only to revive herself, but also survive in this town now full of monsters and ghouls hiding in the shadows.

Vault Comics puts out some of the best in science fiction and horror, but if you aren’t already aware of that, be sure to keep an eye out for me later this week with more about Vault Comics in my latest article feature on small press publishers.

From Aftershock, horror fans get another new series to sink their teeth into, with The Ocean Will Take Us #1. “Something’s lurking in the waters of Almanzar Bay – and when Casey March tries out for the swim team, he learns firsthand that messing with the social order of his new high school can have dangerous – even deadly – consequences.” I was on the swim team during high school, and I can say that swim kids can be pretty intimidating; God forbid you accidentally step on someone’s towel. In this new series from Bram Stoker-Award nominated Rich Douek (Sea of Sorrows, Road of Bones), the swim kids aren’t the only things Casey March should be scared of. This was a cool #1, with hints of Stephen King’s It, with the real horrors lying just beneath the surface. If you were wondering what I swam in high school by the way, I was a distance swimmer, 200 and 500 freestyle. I won one event during my junior year, and that was all I needed. Shout out to Coach Gary Shank!

It’s Alice in Wonderland meets Arkham Asylum in Boom! Studios’ Alice Ever After. Written by superstar artist Dan Panosian, little Alice is all grown up, but struggling to come to grips with the grim reality of the real world. In order to escape back to Wonderland, she needs something stronger than mushrooms that change her size and she is now resorting to crime to feed her addiction. But while the lines blur between real and imaginary, her family and childhood trauma are still very real and present. This five-issue miniseries will explore Alice’s mind in the years following her adventure down the rabbit hole as she faces her current demons. This book is a trip for fans of Lewis Carroll’s classic, and is a cool reintroduction to Alice.

It’s no secret John Dudas is a Lego nut (have you seen the Daily Bugle at the counter yet?), and so are a few other friends of the shop, and now finally both worlds merge in this first installment in the partnership between Lego and Skybound Entertainment in Lego Ninjago Garmadon #1. “Far away from Ninjago City, a village is terrorized by a mysterious new threat when they’re saved by a stranger with incredible powers known as… Garmadon, Lord of Destruction?! Has Garmadon turned over a new leaf since his disappearance, or is this just the first step in his master plan of finally defeating Master Wu and the ninja forever?” From rising star writer/artist Tri Vuong, creator behind this summer’s anticipated Everyday Hero Machine Boy, this book looks perfect for Lego fans new and old. This series also reminds me a lot visually of another Skybound book, Fire Power, which finally returns this week after the jaw dropping finale to issue #18. Get your ninja/kung-fu fix on this week with Lego Ninjago Garmadon and Fire Power, both new from Image Comics.

DC Comics

Boy, were a lot of you bummed about the delay on this one. Initially due for release last week, there was an issue at the printers with DC, and so now a week later, we finally have issue #1 of Sean Murphy’s Batman Beyond the White Knight. The next installment in Murphy’s White Knight universe, Bruce Wayne is behind bars and Derek Powers has seized control of the Wayne family assets and has transformed the GTO into a paramilitary group that now patrols the streets of Neo-Gotham City. But when a new Batman with a powerful new suit shows himself, they’ll only cause more trouble unless Bruce can do something about it. The White Knight universe books are great and do take some liberties with the Bat-mythos, but in loving and refreshing ways. All bets are off for this series, and I’m excited to see where this next installment takes things.

New this week, DC is reprinting the entire Flashpoint miniseries, Knight of Vengeance, to reintroduce readers to the origins of Thomas Wayne Batman. “Wayne Casinos towers over Gotham City, but even the bright lights can’t keep the dark shadows from enveloping the city. When the Joker kidnaps the children of the city’s District Attorney, the Batman takes the case. But the man under the mask may not be the Dark Knight we know!” Uhh, spoilers I guess, it’s Thomas Wayne. The new Flashpoint Beyond starts next week and stars Thomas Wayne Batman, so if you missed this miniseries the first time around, you definitely don’t want to miss out on it this time. Plus, the Flashpoint Joker’s identity is the real shocker from this miniseries anyways.

One of DC’s best current ongoing series, Robin, finally is collected in trade paperback with the Lazarus Tournament storyline of Volume 1. “Are you ready to rumble? After learning of the deadly League of Lazarus tournament, Damian Wayne has a new mission: to win the tournament and prove he is the greatest fighter in the DCU—but first he must find the secret island where it takes place! Presenting a brand-new solo Robin series for the son of Batman that forces him to find his own path away from both sides of his family! Who is the mysterious Flatline? Why does Mother Soul take such a keen interest in the son of Batman? Did Robin just literally get his heart ripped out of his chest in the first 30 pages?” Yes, he does; it’s Damian Wayne in Mortal Kombat.

Marvel Comics

All of the characters of the Spider-Verse have been getting some attention lately, and now finally Spider-Punk gets the spotlight in his very own miniseries. “Hobie Brown is the anarchic Spider-Punk – set to protect Earth-138 with his ax in hand and his chaotic band of punk rockin’ heroes backing him! Norman Osborn is dead, but will the chaos he’s created be too much for Spider-Punk and gang to handle? Feel the vibes as Cody Ziglar (Amazing Spider-Man, What If Miles Morales) and Justin Mason bring you the jams when ‘BANNED IN DC’ begins here!”

Storm has become the queen of the mutant planet Arrako, formerly Mars. But while she’s adapting to this new mutant way of life and the Great Ring of Arrako, Abigail Brand has her own plans behind the scenes that could spell doom for everyone. Following up on the events of S.W.O.R.D., Al Ewing continues his mutant saga with Magneto now joining the fray as Storm embraces her new role as the Regent of Sol in X-Men Red. Along with last week’s Immortal X-Men, this looks to be an essential part to the future of mutantkind and the X-Men universe.

I told you we had a lot this week! Don’t forget about Free Comic Book Day coming up in only four short weeks, so be sure to dig through your collections at home and grab your issues of Adventure Comics and Secret Wars for Jim Shooter who’ll be in the shop as well. And if you’ve never read Secret Wars, like myself, come in and pick up a copy of the trade paperback that we just got back in stock after a long time of being on backorder. We’ll see you all around!