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Dark Horse Announces an Afterlift Comics Retailer Incentive

Dark Horse has announced a new incentive for comic shops ordering the comiXology original series Afterlift. Shops that order 5 copies of the graphic novel by the final order cutoff of November 2 will receive 5 free book plates (a max of 20 per store) with original artwork by Jeff Lemire and signed by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo.

Arriving in print February 2021, Aferlift is colored by Paris Alleyne, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, and edited by Allison O’Toole, includes a Jason Loo Sketchbook with commentary by Chip Zdarsky as well as a process piece called Anatomy of a Page.

Afterlift is a fast-paced story about car chases, demon bounty hunters, and figuring out your place in this world and the next. Janice Chen recently quit her day job in finance and signs up to be a driver on a ride-sharing app. She has enough to deal with, from annoying passengers to overbearing parents. But what was at first a mundane yet enjoyable way to pass the time takes a terrible turn when she picks up a pair of mysterious passengers who are pursued by otherworldly forces, Janice realizes that her already-terrible day might be headed straight to hell.

Preview: Daredevil #23

Daredevil #23

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Marco Checchetto
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 21, 2020
SRP: $3.99

EISNER-NOMINATED FOR BEST CONTINUING SERIES, COVER ARTIST, WRITER & LETTERER!
• Matt Murdock, A.K.A. DAREDEVIL, has been putting his life back together after the monumental first year of Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto’s run – but the criminals of Hell’s Kitchen aren’t inclined to give him any more time to heal.
• Criminals aren’t all Matt will have to contend with on the road ahead, as the likes of TYPHOID MARY and BULLSEYE have made their presence known once more.
• To say nothing of ELEKTRA, and her designs for The Kitchen, the city and the world…

Daredevil #23

King in Black Rages in January

Knull makes his long-dreaded arrival this December in King in Black #1, and his conquest of the Marvel Universe will escalate in scale and stakes come January. The god of the symbiotes’ reign will have significant impacts on the Venom mythology as well radical consequences for Marvel’s heroes and teams.

Find out what January has in store for the Marvel Universe as the King in Black attacks!

KING IN BLACK #3 (OF 5)

Written by DONNY CATES
Art and Cover by RYAN STEGMAN

After last issue’s shocking finale, the heroes of the Marvel Universe are reeling. Outgunned and outmanned, but never outdone, they unite and face KNULL, God of the Abyss, as he ensnares the planet in the darkness of his reign! Superstars DONNY CATES and RYAN STEGMAN continue to raise the game — and the stakes for the Marvel Universe in this Earth-shattering epic!

KING IN BLACK #3 (OF 5)

KING IN BLACK: PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES #1 (OF 3)

Written by CLAY MCLEOD CHAPMAN & FRANK TIERI
Art by GUIU VILANOVA & DANILO BEYRUTH
Cover by TONY MOORE

DARKNESS REIGNS OVER THE MARVEL UNIVERSE!

KING IN BLACK: PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES #1 (OF 3)

KING IN BLACK: RETURN OF THE VALKYRIES #1 (OF 4)

Written by JASON AARON & TORUNN Grønbekk
Art by NINA VAKUEVA
Cover by MATTIA DE IULIS

JANE FOSTER RETURNS!

Once there was an entire army of Valkyries, but now Jane Foster is the only one. When the King in Black comes to Midgard, Jane must rebuild the Valkyries to help stop him — starting with Hildegarde, a warrior from Asgard’s own hallowed halls, and X-Man Dani Moonstar, a former Valkyrie herself. But what Jane doesn’t know…is that she never was the only Valkyrie after all. Who is the fourth warrior? Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk team up with artist Nina Vakueva for a story that will rock the foundations of the Marvel Universe!

KING IN BLACK: RETURN OF THE VALKYRIES #1 (OF 4)

KING IN BLACK: RETURN OF THE VALKYRIES #2 (OF 4)

Written by JASON AARON & TORUNN Grønbekk
Art by NINA VAKUEVA 
Cover by MATTIA DE IULIS

SAVE THE SENTRY – SAVE THE VALKYRIES – SAVE THE EARTH!

Knull and his symbiote horrors have come to Earth, and now all Jane Foster sees when she looks at that big blue globe…is a vision of death. Most of Earth’s heroes are locked in battle on the ground, and it’s up to Jane and the Sentry to protect the rest! But Knull’s power has spread over the galaxy and infected creatures even older than the gods…and it may not matter how many Valkyries Jane can bring to their aid.

KING IN BLACK: RETURN OF THE VALKYRIES #2 (OF 4)

KING IN BLACK: GWENOM VS CARNAGE #1 (OF 3)

Written by SEANAN MCGUIRE
Art by FLAVIANO
Cover by KEN LASHLEY

GWEN STACY ENTERS THE FRAY AGAINST THE KING IN BLACK!

Bonded to a synthetic symbiote from another reality, GHOST-SPIDER, aka Gwen Stacy of Earth-65, is unique among the webslingers of the multiverse! But when KNULL descends on her adopted home, his gravity well of dark psychic energy will reap unforeseen consequences not only on Gwen, but on her symbiotic suit as well!

KING IN BLACK: GWENOM VS CARNAGE #1 (OF 3)

KING IN BLACK: BLACK KNIGHT  #1

Written by SIMON SPURRIER
Art by JESUS SAIZ
Cover by DAN MORA

THE BLACK KNIGHT DUELS THE KING IN BLACK!

KNULL’s ferocious assault upon earth has begun and Dane Whitman – Avenger, hero, and wielder of the mighty Ebony Blade as the BLACK KNIGHT – takes up sword and shield to defend against the unstoppable onslaught. Though the blade grants Dane incredible power so too does it consume him with a lust for violence and destruction. As the endless horde of symbiote dragons darken the skies of Shanghai, will the Black Knight overcome the growing evil within himself and join AERO and SWORD MASTER in saving the city?! And what secrets will the battle against Knull reveal about Dane’s past?

KING IN BLACK: BLACK KNIGHT  #1

KING IN BLACK: THUNDERBOLTS #1 (OF 3)

Written by MATTHEW ROSENBERG
Art by JUAN FERREYRA
Cover by KYLE HOTZ

KINGPIN’S KILLERS VERSUS AN ARMY OF UNKILLABLE DRAGONS!

An army of evil space dragons have come to attack Earth and are starting with New York. MAYOR FISK has a plan for that. Assembling a group of killers, mercenaries, and just generally pretty horrible people like TASKMASTER, RHINO, STAR, MR. FEAR, and BATROC THE LEAPER, Mayor Fisk tasks them with saving the city or die trying…or die right then and there. The fate of the entire world may rest in the hands of the absolute worst people in the Marvel Universe. What could go wrong?

KING IN BLACK: THUNDERBOLTS #1 (OF 3)

DAREDEVIL #26

Written by CHIP ZDARSKY
Art by MARCO CHECCHETTO & MIKE HAWTHORNE
Cover by MARCO CHECCHETTO

A DEVIL CONSUMED!

Matt faces a darkness unlike any before. Meanwhile, ELEKTRA may be in over her head for the first time in her life.

DAREDEVIL must find the strength to continue the fight as all hell breaks loose.

DAREDEVIL #26

DEADPOOL #10

Written by KELLY THOMPSON
Art and Cover by GERARDO SANDOVAL

KING OF THE MONSTERS VERSUS KING OF THE DRAGONS!

An evil, ancient cult wants to kill DEADPOOL.

An evil, ancient space god wants to kill Deadpool.

Why does everyone want to kill Deadpool??? (I mean, we know why…)

DEADPOOL #10

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #10

Written by AL EWING
Art by JUANN CABAL
Cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE

THE GUARDIANS CLEANSED?!

KNULL and his dragons are cleansing entire worlds of life. SPARTAX is their next target – and the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY can’t save it alone.

It’s a good day for the return of the legendary STAR-LORD…

Meanwhile, as the team battle cosmic horror, something worse is waiting – as the clock ticks down to the Last Stand in…

THREE…

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #10

SAVAGE AVENGERS #17

Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art by KEV WALKER
Cover by VALERIO GIANGIORDANO

“BLACK SKIES” PART 1!

CONAN rings in the New Year on Ryker’s Island — which he promptly breaks out of with the help of…DEADPOOL. The two warriors fight together against the symbiotes of KNULL, and Conan makes a surprising discovery that may help him overcome KULAN GATH.

SAVAGE AVENGERS #17

S.W.O.R.D. #2

Written by AL EWING
Art and Cover by VALERIO SCHITI

WHAT IS PROTOCOL V?

The S.W.O.R.D. station is thrown in at the deep end of a planetary crisis as Krakoa battles the KING IN BLACK! While a cross-division team take on latex dragons from outer space, Abigail Brand prepares a deniable operation all her own. What is PROTOCOL V – and can the Earth survive it?

S.W.O.R.D. #2

Preview: Daredevil #22

Daredevil #22

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Francesco Mobili (CA) Marco Checchetto
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 23, 2020
SRP: $3.99

“TRUTH/DARE” CONTINUES!
• Still grappling with the blood on his hands, Matt Murdock makes one of the biggest choices of his life.
• But what effect will Matt’s choices have on DAREDEVIL? And what about the people who need him?
• See why people are talking about DAREDEVIL as one of Marvel’s best ongoing series!

Daredevil #22

Stillwater #1 Heads Back to Print

Image Comics and Skybound’s horror series Stillwater—by The New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award winning writer Chip Zdarsky and Eisner, Harvey, and Shuster Award-winning artist Ramón K. Pérez—is being rushed back to print in order to spread more chills this October. You can read our review of the first issue.

In the town of Stillwater, nobody dies. That’s not just a promise. It’s a threat. This eerie new series is the perfect read for all the Halloween vibes and promises fans even more terror to come.

Stillwater #1, second printing (Diamond Code AUG208252) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 14.

Stillwater #1, second printing

Review: Stillwater #1

Stillwater #1

Welcome to Stillwater, a small town with a secret. What that is? You’ll have to read the first issue to find out. Stillwater #1 kicks off an interesting horror series that has some familiar aspects but is a great start.

Written by Chip Zdarsky, Stillwater #1 is a must for those who enjoy the horror and mystery genres. The debut issue delivers two interesting characters, neither of whom are particularly likable. But, what works well is the build-up to those final pages full of twists and turns.

The issue revolves around Daniel. Daniel has a bit of a temper and after being fired from his job for shoving a fellow employee, he’s delivered a bit of mystery news. A relative has left him something and he needs to travel to the town of Stillwater to find out exactly what. With him is his semi-bro friend Tony. They head off on a road trip to find out what’s going on and get their reward.

The issue is a hell of a start and by the end it’s fairly clear what’s going on with Stillwater and we’re left with the how, why, and a who. Zdarsky does an amazing job of the build-up to the end. There’s a torture/horror aspect to the series where tension just builds and builds. There’s a lot of stories that Stillwater owes a nod to and it does them all a service with quality.

Zdarsky is joined by Ramón K. Perez on art, Mike Spicer on color, and lettering by Rus Wooton. Matching Zdarsky’s story and pacing, the art helps ratchet up the tension. There’s a calm before the storm. Much like the horror films the comic mimics, the art builds up the tension until it’s clear things are going south. The team gives us a nice shift as the comic progresses as we move from Daniel and Tony’s world to the small-town life of Stillwater. It’s a perfect combination of story and art coming together for pacing and tension.

Stillwater #1 is a fantastic comic that’s a must for fans of the horror genre. It’s a solid debut issue that while has a lot of familiar elements, puts them together in such a way that they suck you in. Where this series goes should be fascinating and what happens next is unknown. But, it’s that mystery that we want to explore more of.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Ramón K. Perez
Color: Mike Spicer Letterer: Rus Wooton
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Detective Comics #1027

Detective Comics #1027

Written by: Matt Fraction, Brian Michael Bendis, Peter J. Tomasi, Grant Morrison, Dan Jurgens, Mariko Tamaki, Greg Rucka, Scott Snyder, Marv Wolfman, Kelly Sue Deconnick, Tom King
Art by: Jim Cheung, José L. García López, Lee Bermejo, Dan Jurgens, Jamal Campbell, Dan Mora, Ivan Reis, Emanuela Lupacchino, Riley Rossmo, Eduardo Risso, Chip Zdarsky, David Marquez, Chris Burnham

Light the Bat-Signal, because Detective Comics #1027 is here! In honor of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27, this special, book-size celebration brings you the biggest names in comics as they chronicle the most epic Batman adventures Gotham City and the DC Universe have ever seen! The World’s Greatest Detective has a mountain of cases to crack: Who murdered Gotham’s most corrupt police officer? What does The Joker’s annual visit mean for Bruce Wayne? And most importantly, what WayneTech mystery will sow the seeds of the next epic Batman event? All this and more await you within the pages of the biggest Batman issue of them all!

Detective Comics #1027

Dark Horse and ComiXology Cut a Deal to Bring comiXology Originals to Print

Dark Horse Comics and comiXology have announced that Dark Horse will distribute print editions of comiXology Originals graphic novels and collections. Select titles from the creator-owned line of comiXology Originals will be available in print for the first time for customers in comic shops, bookstores, and libraries. The program will commence in Spring 2021 with the release of paperback editions of the Eisner Award winner AFTERLIFT, Breaklands, YOUTH, and The Black Ghost.

When comiXology Originals was announced, print was a part of some of the releases through Amazon’s print on demand. While the digital program pressed on, the physical release of comics became few and far between to the complete lack of mention for numerous rounds of announcements.

Through this deal, Dark Horse Comics will be responsible for distribution and fulfillment for the titles through Diamond Comic Distributors for comic shops and Penguin Random House for bookstores around the world. ComiXology Originals will remain available to be read digitally for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited and for purchase on Kindle and comiXology.

ComiXology Originals’ exclusive content line debuted in 2017, and in their first year garnered an Eisner Award for Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost. The next year saw an Eisner Award nomination for The Stone King by Kel McDonald and Tyler Crook, and in 2020 an Eisner Award win for AFTERLIFT. In addition to the creator-owned line of exclusive content, comiXology Originals, through a partnership with Kodansha Comics, has re-released and newly translated manga such as BECKInitial D and The Drops of God.

The comiXology Originals making their print debut in 2021 include:

AFTERLIFTcollecting the Eisner Award-winning issues #1-5 – For the first time in print!

  • Written by Eisner Award winner Chip Zdarsky, best known for his work on Sex Criminals and Marvel Comics, with art by Jason Loo, the acclaimed artist of The Pitiful Human-Lizard, colors by Paris Alleyne, letters by Aditya Bidikar and edited by Allison O’Toole.
  • AFTERLIFT is a 2020 Eisner Award winning series.
  • In AFTERLIFT, Janice Chen is adrift. She quits her day job in finance and signs up to be a driver on a ride-sharing app. But what was at first a mundane but enjoyable way to pass the time takes a terrible turn when a mysterious passenger updates his ride with a very final destination: Hell.
  • 136 pages / color / on sale February 2 in bookstores and everywhere books are sold and February 3 in comic shops / MSRP $19.99/$25.99 pbk / ISBN: 978-1-5067-2440-9
AFTERLIFT

Breaklands Volume One, collecting issues #1-5 – For the first time in print!

  • Written by Justin Jordan, the co-creator and writer of The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, with art by acclaimed artist Tyasseta, colors by Sarah Stern, and letters by Rachel Deering.
  • Set 150 years after humanity developed psychic powers and ended the world as we know it, a new world has emerged. Everyone has powers. Some powers, like the ability to light a match, are modest. But some powers—like the ability to reshape the world—are both vast and dangerous. Kasa Fain is different. She doesn’t possess powers. Kasa is an outsider, a teenager who has been in hiding, until the day her younger brother is kidnapped and everything changes.
  • 152 pages / color / on sale March 2 in bookstores and everywhere books are sold and March 3 in comic shops / MSRP  $19.99/$25.99 pbk / ISBN: 978-1-5067-2441-6
Breaklands Volume One

YOUTH Volume One, collecting issues #1-4For the first time in print!

  • Written by visionary writer Curt Pires with art by Alex Diotto, the co-creators of the acclaimed comic Olympia, and features colors by Dee Cunniffe, and lettering by Micah Myers.
  • In YOUTH, Franklin and River struggle to navigate family, friends, high school, work, drugs, and all the pressures of growing up. As a queer couple, they yearn to escape their lives in a small, bigoted Midwest town. They steal River’s stepfather’s Mustang and hit the road. Their destination? California. But along the way, the car breaks down. They meet some kids who are travelling the country, partying, and attempting to find themselves. They party some more. . . . And soon everything changes.
  • A sequel to YOUTH is underway and the comic series is in development as an original TV show with Amazon Studios.
  • 136 pages / color / on sale on sale April 6 in bookstores and everywhere books are sold and April 7 in comic shops / MSRP $19.99/$25.99 pbk / ISBN: 978-1-5067-2461-4
YOUTH Volume One

The Black Ghost Volume One, collecting issues #1-5–For the first time in print!

  • Co-written by Anthony Award-Nominated Novelist Alex Segura and acclaimed writer Monica Gallagher, with art by George Kambadais, colors by Ellie Wright, lettering by Taylor Esposito and edited by Greg Lockard.
  • The Black Ghost is a modern take on the urban vigilante story. Lara Dominguez is a journalist chasing that one, big story. After a stint in the Middle East, the alcoholic reporter moves from her hometown of Miami to Creighton – a mid-Atlantic city that’s seen better days. She needs a huge, viral scoop that’ll send her into the journalistic stratosphere. Her target? Uncovering the identity of The Black Ghost – a masked vigilante trying to take down the wealthy oligarchs carving up the fading metropolis. But as she searches for the breakthrough story she desperately needs, Lara will have to navigate the corruption of her adopted city, the uncertainties of virtue, and her own personal demons.
  • 136 pages / color / on sale May 4 in bookstores and everywhere books are sold and May 5 in comic shops / MSRP $19.99/$25.99 pbk / ISBN: 978-1-50672-446-1
The Black Ghost Volume One

More comiXology Originals print editions will be announced at a later date.

Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL GUIDEBOOK #1

I remember “guidebooks” from back in the day. They’d be a lot of text that were more like roleplaying game supplements than comic books. And that’s what I expected with Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1. I was also really wrong about that as well. The Dark Nights: Death Metal tie-in is full of standalone stories and tales that shed more light on what has happened. It’s also a perfect guide for those that skipped “Year of the Villain” and want to catch up.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 featured five stories from various creative teams and in between it has one-page guides/sketches that I was expected more of. As with all anthologies, the quality varies in story and art but this is the rare case where everything is at least good if not great. The story subjects, tones, and focus are all different delivering insight into the event.

The main chunk of the comic is made up of the “Fall of Earth”. The story goes into detail exactly what happened. While it skips some of the lead up it’s the perfect read for those who want to know what they missed. In goes into so much detail it spoils the first three issues of Dark Nights: Death Metal as well. It’s the Cliff’s Notes version of the event and when I got to the end, I felt like I had a good grasp as to what was going on and the why. None of it was Earth-shattering (pun intended) but I feel like I have a bit more of a grasp as to what’s going on now.

The other four stories focus on various heroes and villains and where they stand.

Harley Quinn gets a spotlight as she explores the irradiated wastelands and it answers some questions as to what has happened to some villains while raising questions as well. Aquaman is the most intriguing of the stories as it shows a former King subjugated and folded to protect his people. We learn more about Wonder Woman and her jail of villains. The story is the highlight of the comic delivering an emotional punch. Wrapping it up is a story featuring Batman, Jonah Hex, and the Joker Dragon. While the overall story is the weakest of the bunch it also has some key details that will impact the main story. There’s a reason Hex was chosen by Batman and something he must do if things go sideways.

The art is pretty solid all around. The styles vary a bit but none of it varies too much from each other. It’s unique but cohesive at the same time. All of it is good across the board and each has its moments that’ll leave you lingering. With a limited amount of pages to work with, the art is key to tell the story and bring emotion.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 is a one-shot tie-in that really works. While it feels like it should have come out earlier in the event, it does a great job of acting as a starting point for those who missed the first three issues. It answers a lot of questions and also drops some key hints for the main story as well. It’s a spin-off that feels as vital as any main event issue.

Story: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Chip Zdarsky, Becky Cloonan, Vita Ayala, Christopher Priest
Art: Doug Mahnke, Khary Randolph, Becky Cloonan, Dan Panosian, Eduardo Risso
Ink: Jamie Mendoza
Color: David Baron, Emilio Lopez, Tamra Bonvillain, Luis Guerrero, Eduardo Risso
Lettering: Tom Napolitano, Dave Sharpe, Steve Wands, Ferran Delgado, Willie Schubert
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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