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Get a first look at The Savage Sword of Conan #1, cutting its way into stores in February 2024

The Savage Sword of Conan #1

Writer(s): John Arcudi, Patch Zircher, Jim Zub
Artist(s): Max Von Fafner, Patch Zircher
DEC230822 Cover A: Joe Jusko
DEC230823 Cover B: Gerado Zaffino
DEC230824 Cover B: Max Von Fafner
Publisher: Heroic Signatures, Titan Comics
B&W, 80pp, $6.99, 8.125 x 10.875 inch
On sale: February 28, 2024

THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN IS BACK from Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics!

Featuring a new CONAN epic from John Arcudi and Max Von Fafner, the rousing return of SOLOMON KANE written and drawn by Patch Zircher, an electric prose story from Jim Zub, spectacular art pin-ups, and more, THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN Issue #1 heralds a new era of adrenaline-fueled adventure!

The Savage Sword of Conan #1

Jackpot and Black Cat’s luck runs out in a new team-up series

Felicia Hardy and Mary Jane Watson have always had more in common than they think, and this March, they’ll combine their wits, expertise, and superpowers to take down an emerging new threat in Jackpot and Black Cat! The four-issue limited series is written by Celeste Bronfman, who penned both Mary Jane’s first outing as Jackpot earlier this year in Amazing Spider-Man #925 and her first solo issue as Jackpot that hits stands in January. Bronfman will be joined by rising Marvel star Emilio Laiso, the acclaimed artist known for his recent work on Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men Unlimited. The series’ covers will come from renowned artist Adam Hughes.

After teaming up in Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa’s Eisner-nominated Black Cat & Mary Jane: Beyond one-shot as well as the Mary Jane & Black Cat “Dark Web” tie-in series, Mary Jane and Felicia Hardy have risen to be one of Marvel’s most dynamic duos. Now that Mary Jane is an up-and-coming super hero herself, they’ll take their bond to the next level on an action-packed adventure to take down a villain that’s blackmailing… EVERYONE, including Black Cat and Mary Jane. Tough choices and daring missions await as Mary Jane and Black Cat become entangled in a plot that’s brought the world to its knees.

LUCK BE THE LADIES! When someone blackmails Black Cat into a public and blatant crime spree, Jackpot comes to her aid! What classic Spider-Villain is behind the blackmail?! Someone with history with at least one of our titular heroines!

Check out the debut issue’s cover now and be there for Mary Jane and Black Cat’s next great caper when Jackpot and Black Cat #1 hits stands in March.

Jackpot and Black Cat #1

Underrated: Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown.

I don’t remember the first time I read this story, but it was likely in the UK reprint magazine Wolverine Unleashed in the mid to late 90’s. That was also the last time I read it, so when I saw the collected edition at my LCS for $15 I couldn’t pass it up – now because Wolverine is a little bit more marketable than Havok, the trade was just called Wolverine: Meltdown.

Originally published in the late 80’s, Meltdown was written by Walter and Louise Simonson, with illustrations by John J. Muth and Kent Williams. The story is set around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of the mid 80’s, and finds Havok and Wolverine caught up in the midst of a plot to end the world in nuclear war from the shadows. The art has a wonderful painted look to it at times, but the artists aren’t afraid to experiment with multiple forms of media throughout the book. It’s a choice that is divisive to some – I’ll freely admit when I was younger the art did nothing for me, but I enjoyed the story a fair bit, whereas now I find myself absorbed in the art more than the writing which is a strange twist on how I usually find myself feeling when coming back to stories I haven’t read in 20 some years.

It’s easy to imagine the way this story would have felt when initially released as it presents another possibility behind the Chernobyl disaster as an intentional act to snare the X-Men. Looking back now, it’s a great premise to a story, and one that still holds up despite the very specific time setting. Admittedly, I’ve no idea or memory as to how in continuity/canon this story is within the X-Universe but the story is entertaining enough to allow you to just enjoy it as is, and seeing Wolverine and Havok team up together is still a relatively rare event even today – and while I’m probably in the minority here, I’d love to see more chances for these two mutants to come together on the page.

The main reason I wanted to talk about this book today is solely because it’s a story that I’d completely forgotten about. This isn’t one of the classic Wolverine or X-Men stories that people will talk about, and honestly nor should it be, but it’s still an enjoyable tale that still stands the test of time; admittedly it’s the artwork that will pull you in more than the story, because this is a book that just looks utterly fantastic. The art is at times risky and pushes the envelope of what comics would typically feature 30 years ago (and yet is far more common today). Do yourself a favour and check this story out if you can – it’s a four issue mini series that shouldn’t break the bank if you hunt the individual issues.

Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Preview: Titans: Beast World Tour – Waller Rising #1

Titans: Beast World Tour – Waller Rising #1

(W) Chuck Brown (A) Keron Grant
In Shops: Dec 05, 2023
SRP: $4.99

The Kingdom, a mystical and metaphysical realm, sits at the nexus of the Parliaments. A formidable new adversary, Dr. Hate, emerges with intentions to corrupt both the Kingdom and the Parliament of the Red in the pursuit of chaos. Batwing, Vixen, Val-Zod Superman, and Black Manta are thrust together in a desperate fight for survival. They must learn to cooperate to thwart Dr. Hate’s destructive plans before The Wicked Entity can devastate this unique plane, which represents a collective consciousness. This consciousness unifies the Red, Green, Rot, Clear, Melt, Metal, and Grey into a harmonious realm of peace. In their struggle against Dr. Hate, these heroes and villains also face the task of unraveling how Amanda Waller’s rise is entwined with the ongoing crisis. The saga features guest appearances from Nubia, Dr. Mist, Red Tornado, Dead Eye, and more!

Titans: Beast World Tour - Waller Rising #1

Preview: Titans: Beast World Tour – Metropolis #1

Titans: Beast World Tour – Metropolis #1

(W) Nicole Maines, Joshua Williamson, Zipporah Smith, Dan Jurgens (A) Anthony Marques, Max Raynor, Edwin Galmon
In Shops: Dec 05, 2023
SRP: $5.99

As the ramifications of the Titans’ battle with Starro reverberate across the globe, Metropolis is hit with an unexpected surge of electricity from…is that–? No. It can’t be. Livewire? BUT SHE’S A–A–okay you’re going to have to read this one to believe it. Meanwhile, Supergirl and Dreamer take on the terror of the Flamebird, Power Girl is no longer, and amid the chaos a threat continues to grow on the horizon. All signs point to a major new shift in the world of Superman in Beast World Tour: Metropolis!

Titans: Beast World Tour - Metropolis #1

Preview: Poison Ivy #17

Poison Ivy #17

(W) G. Willow Wilson (A) Luana Vecchio
In Shops: Dec 05, 2023
SRP: $3.99

The victims of Ivy’s parasitic contagion have begun to converge. As the clock begins to tick down to an explosive confrontation between Pamela Isley’s past and present, the verdant villain finds herself embroiled in a life-and-death battle to survive. And what’s more, her deceased friends aren’t the only ones creeping through Slaughter Swamp.

Poison Ivy #17
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