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The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 Gets a New Variant Cover, 1:25 Incentive

The latest chapter in the Sandman Universe arrives in August with The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1! Writer G. Willow Wilson and artists Nick Robles and Mat Lopes team up for this new series, featuring Dream’s latest creation: Ruin, the nightmare of catastrophic failure—who lives up to his name a little too well.

In advance of the new series, DC presents a new open-to-order variant cover for The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1, by Sandman Universe veterans Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn. This cover replaces the previously solicited The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 variant by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn

Additionally, The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 will arrive with a 1:25 incentive variant cover, featuring Robles’ design work for the series’ breakout new character, Ruin. This cover follows the format of similar 1:25 incentive covers for recent issues of Batman.

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 1:25 incentive variant cover

One of Dream’s heaviest responsibilities is the creation of nightmares—the beings that haunt our sleep and turn our thoughts toward darkness. In the form of Ruin, the nightmare of catastrophic failure, Dream was certain he’d built his next masterpiece…but Ruin can’t help but live up to his name, sending every situation into a spiral of unexpected consequences. Unfortunately, Shakespearean scholar (and exhausted new mother) Lindy has dreamed of Ruin…and in the process, she’s delivered him unto the waking world!

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 hits shelves on August 4.

Batman: Three Jokers Gets Premium Variants

It’s one of the most anticipated comic book stories of the decade: Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok! Debuting in August, this series delivers the payoff to the years-long mystery of why—and how—there are three Jokers, and what that revelation means to the eternal conflict between Batman, his allies, and the Clown Prince of Crime.

To commemorate this landmark series, DC will offer to participating retailers nine Premium Variant Covers for Batman: Three Jokers, each illustrated by series artist Jason Fabok. Along with the main cover and regular variant cover, each issue of Batman: Three Jokers will have three Premium Variant Covers, showcasing Fabok’s interpretation of a different face of The Joker’s madness throughout DC history. All nine of the Premium Variant Covers mirror Fabok’s main covers for the three-issue series, giving a close-up look at even more of The Joker’s terrifying incarnations.

The Premium Variant covers for issue #1, on sale August 25, are as follows:

  • Red Hood (Variant A)
  • Joker Fish (Variant B)
  • Joker Bomb (Variant C)

For issue #2, on sale September 29:

  • Joker Behind Bars (Variant D)
  • Death in the Family/Top Hat & Monocle (Variant E)
  • Joker Applying Makeup (Variant F)

And for the final issue #3, on sale October 27:

  • Batman: The Killing Joke Hawaiian shirt and camera (Variant G)
  • Stand-Up Comedian (Variant H)
  • “Endgame” Mohawk (Variant I)

Participating retailers ordering all nine premium variant covers will also receive one free Batman: Three Jokers #3 “compilation” premium variant cover, collecting all nine of Fabok’s variants, plus the three main covers from the series.

Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns, Fabok and colorist Brad Anderson debuts at open and operating comic book stores and digital retailers on Tuesday, August 26, with issue #2 on sale September 30 and the series conclusion on October 28, just in time for Halloween. Each issue is priced at $6.99, and will carry DC’s “Black Label” content descriptor, identifying the content as appropriate for readers 17+.

Review: Plunge #4

Plunge #4

That was not what we were expecting. Plunge #4 delivers a lot of reveals and some teases as to what might be coming in this fantastic, and creepy, horror series. Is it a horror series? More sci-fi/horror series as revealed in this issue. Written by Joe Hill, Plunge takes place on a remote island with a salvage crew exploring what happened to a wrecked boat and its missing crew. That crew is alive decades later and full of secrets of the universe.

Plunge #4 is the big reveal issue giving us such a better idea as to what’s going on and what the mysterious worms are. It’s an issue that will make some reader’s stomachs churn with images that make you uneasy but at the same time it’s hard to look away. For me, it’s the right amount of disturbing.

It’s difficult to really review this issue without spoiling it. So, to keep it broad the reveals are really interesting and ominous. You know there’s more to it but not quite sure what that is. You also know that whatever the worms want, it’s probably not good.

And while Hill delivers all of that, he also delivers some fantastic dialogue. The issue has some shocking moments and those are enhanced by the lack of real action but it’s the dialogue that stands out. The reactions feel right in a movie sort of way. There are some smart-ass quips but generally, they’re perfect for the moment. The flow is fantastic making the issue a page-turner. That dialogue extends to the characters who do play stereotypes but each role enhances the overall story and enjoyment. None of those stereotypes are distracting at all and help drive the narrative.

The art by Stuart Immonen is fantastic. Along with colors by Dave Stewart and lettering by Deron Bennett, the art brings the perfect amount of unease. Some bugs get to me and issue delivers just enough of that for me without getting me to completely put the comic down. It shuddered a bit and my stomach churned a little but the visuals are never over the top. Stewart’s colors help with that delivering a sickly palette to Immonen’s designs. The comic feels cold and wet perfectly matching its setting.

Plunge #4 is another fantastic issue and the series as a whole is amazing. If you’re a fan of horror with a slight sci-fi tinge, it’s well worth picking up and getting. This is a comic that’s exciting to pick up and see where it’s going and what twists it has in store.

Story: Joe Hill Art: Stuart Immonen
Color: David Stewart Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleTFAWZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Banned Book Club

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

20th Century Boys Vol. 8 Perfect Edition (VIZ Media) – If you’ve missed this series as single volumes, here’s your chance to get these collected editions of what’s considered some of the best manga ever.

Ash & Thorn #1 (AHOY Comics) – The savior/champion of the world is not who you think.

Banned Book Club (Iron Circus) – A graphic novel exploring the history of South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and murder.

Batman #93 (DC Comics) – The end to the “Grand Design” storyline and takes us into the “Joker War.” Many aspects of the story are predictable but it’s still a hell of a final chapter.

Bleed Them Dry #1 (Vault Comics) – The year is 3333. Earth is in a state of recovery. Vampires are real, and though far less populous, they thrive alongside humans in the Japanese-engineered mega-city known as Asylum.

Dragonfly and Dragonflyman Vol. 1 (AHOY Comics) – If you like a take on superheroes over different eras, this is a series to definitely check out. Both an homage and study on superheroes over the years.

Empyre: Avengers #0 (Marvel) – Marvel’s next big event kicks off here.

Once & Future #8 (BOOM! Studios) – A new take on Arthurian legends. It’s well worth checking out!

Plunge #4 (DC Comics/Hill House Comics/DC Black Label) – Fantastic horror with this issue finally making it clearer as to what’s going on but still leaving a lot of mystery.

That Texas Blood #1 (Image Comics) – A new ongoing series that’s described as a “neo-Western crime” story. WE’re intrigued.

Preview: The Low, Low Woods #6 (of 6)

The Low, Low Woods #6 (of 6)

(W) Carmen Maria Machado (A) Dani (CA) Sam Wolfe Connelly
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
SRP: $3.99

There’s a fire burning deep within the ground in Shudder-to-Think, Pennsylvania. There’s a river running through the mountains that makes you forget your life. There’s an old resort called Heaven on Earth, where a group of men like to make women forget. And there are two teenagers named Octavia and El who are determined to put an end to it all. Time is running out.

The Low, Low Woods #6 (of 6)

Preview: John Constantine Hellblazer #7

John Constantine Hellblazer #7

(W) Simon Spurrier (A) Aaron Campbell (CA) John Paul Leon
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
SRP: $3.99

How are all those poor British fishermen supposed to keep the French out of their waters? By summoning an ancient merwoman, perhaps? Of course, there’s the little matter of what to do with her once she’s served her purpose…and what to do about this John Constantine fellow who’s come sniffing around to find her himself…

John Constantine Hellblazer #7

Preview: Books of Magic #20

Books of Magic #20

(W) David Barnett (A) Tom Fowler, Craig A. Taillefer (CA) Kai Carpenter
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
SRP: $3.99

If Tim and his newfound crush wish to escape the pan-dimensional pandemonium of Festival, they’re going to have to reckon with the man who’s trying to turn it to his own purposes-and heal a psychic wound that was inflicted before Tim was even born!

Books of Magic #20

Preview: Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey #2 (of 4)

Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey #2 (of 4)

(W) Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner (A/CA) Amanda Conner
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
SRP: $5.99

Over the course of her illustrious and very high-class career, Harley’s met pretty much every super-villain who ever worked in Gotham City. Some hate her. Some love her. But none of that’s gonna matter once they see how many zeroes there are on the bounty The Joker’s offering for her head! Sorry, Harley-it’s just business. Your next of kin will understand, right? Meanwhile, Cassandra Cain finds herself in the unenviable position of being Harley Quinn’s bodyguard…but this could be her opportunity to learn a little about, y’know, loosening up? If she’s currently wound too tight, then just sit next to Auntie Harley…she’s got more than her share of loose screws! 8.5″x 10.875″

Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey #2 (of 4)

Batman: The Three Jokers Get Souvenir Playing Cards with Each Issue

In celebration of the highly anticipated Batman: The Three Jokers prestige miniseries, DC, and participating comic book stores, are dealing fans the ultimate wild card by offering a free with purchase souvenir playing card for each of the three issues of the series, while supplies last.

Featuring breathtaking new artwork by series artist Jason Fabok, each issue of the Geoff Johns-penned series will feature a different card, spotlighting the Clown Prince of Crime and his three major adversaries – Batman, Batgirl and Jason Todd.

Batman: The Three Jokers reexamined the myth of who, or what The Joker is, and what’s at the heart of not just his eternal struggle with Batman, but how his horrific treatment of Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd has affected them. Arriving at open and operating comic book stores on Tuesday, August 25, the series will carry DC’s “Black Label” content descriptor, identifying the series is appropriate for readers 17+.

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