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Ablaze Reveals its January 2022 Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels

THE BREAKER OMNIBUS, Volume 2

by Jeon Geuk-jin & Park Jin-Hwan
MSRP: $19.99 • Release Date: January 22, 2022

In THE BREAKER Volume 2 omnibus edition, Chun-woo has gone missing, following his intense and deadly fight with the dreaded Gijoo. Meanwhile, Si-woon has been confronted with his inner demons ever since Si-Ho Lee administered a remedy that generates so much Qi that the high school student may well explode from within! Future invincible warrior…or time bomb?

THE BREAKER is a bestselling hit in South Korea and has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish and more…and now ABLAZE is happy to bring this amazing manhwa title to English readers worldwide!

THE BREAKER OMNIBUS, Volume 2

SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK

by Jerome Alquié & Leiji Matsumoto
MSRP: $24.99 • Release Date: February 23, 2022

The definitive hardcover edition containing all 6 issues of the critically acclaimed space adventure by the legendary Leiji Matsumoto and artist Jérôme Alquié.

Set within the timeline of the original series, this brand-new CAPTAIN HARLOCK adventure marks the beginning of an original new story arc. Planet Earth is threatened by an upcoming invasion by the Mazon and despite being banished as a pirate, Captain Harlock won’t give up trying to save the world. This time, the source of danger comes directly from Earth, not outer space. A team of scientists discovers a Mazon mausoleum where they find information about terrifying genetic manipulations and a destructive power capable of either providing the Mazon with immortality or putting an end to their civilization. The unprecedented cold spell hitting Earth might only be a taste of what this new enemy has in store… Will Captain Harlock and his crew manage to solve this mystery and save the Earth from yet another menace?

The hardcover edition features behind the scenes sketches, designs, artwork, and photos on the creation of the story, and contains a complete cover gallery.

SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK

ANIMAL CASTLE Issue 2

by Xavier Dorison & Felix Delep
MSRP: $3.99 • Release Date: January 12, 2022

On the Farm all animals were equal. In the Castle some are more equal than others.

After witnessing the deaths of animals that she knew as friends for seemingly nothing, Miss B. becomes a conflicted cat. Things are further complicated when questions are raised about the state of the farm, bringing down severe retaliation by President Silvio’s hounds. Miss B. must ask herself what’s worse: doing something that could cost a life or do nothing at all? For fans of the bestselling Stray Dogs and the Eisner Award winning Beasts of Burden comes an animal fable at once familiar and surprising! You may think you know the story but set aside your assumptions, this animal uprising is unlike any you have read!

GUILLEM MARCH’S LAURA Issue 3

by Guillem March
MSRP: $3.99 • Release Date: January 19, 2022

Before Batman, the hit Joker series, and Karmen, there was the heartfelt story of Laura, the book that led Guillem March to the mainstream comics world! The story of Irene explores the nature of inspiration and creating art outside of one’s comfort zone, thanks to some advice from a role model and a cameo by Guillem himself. In Muse, an artist’s search for a model puts how a young woman is perceived by her male roommates into perspective.

HE WHO FIGHTS WITH MONSTERS Issue 5

by Francesco Artibani & Werther Dell’Edera
MSRP: $3.99 • Release Date: January 26, 2022

In the aftermath of an unthinkable act, Radek and the golem decide to work with the Resistance, only to find themselves falling into a deadly trap. Will they make it out alive and save as many people as possible, or will this be the end of hope in the city?

Guillem March’s Laura is Coming in November from Ablaze

Ablaze launches Guillem March‘s Laura this November, a slice-of-life exploration into the mind of a young woman who experiences unrequited love, told in an honest and beautiful way that only writer/artist Guillem March can deliver.

Laura will have advance solicitations starting in September with scheduled print and digital debuts set for November 3rd. Laura #1 will feature main cover art by Guillem March, and a variant cover by Gerald Parel.

Before Batman, the hit Joker series, and Karmen, there was the heartfelt story of LAURA, the book that led to Guillem March to the mainstream comics world!

Suffering from the ever-painful experience of unrequited love, twenty-year-old Laura examines her life. Is the fact that the boy she has feelings for is in love with someone else mean there is something wrong with her? Or is that just how young love goes? And what will happen when she tries to get past the hurt and move on with her life?

Laura #1

Review: The Wicked + the Divine #33

“Are you a demon or a fucked up girl?” is the question posed by Urdr to Persephone in a pivotal scene in The Wicked + the Divine #33, and in true WicDiv/real life fashion, there is no clear answer to this query. The “Imperial Phase” comes to a close in with a flashback/plot twist, a harrowing conversation that doubles as a character defining moment for both Urdr and Persephone, and let’s just say, one hell of an ending. Visually, Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson continue to embrace the shadows and show another Pantheon transformation sequence with an eight bit twist. In his writing, Kieron Gillen does a “Once more we return” and dives into the connection between fans, artists, and fame with a healthy helping of death and sacrifice

Unlike certain formerly-known-as-prestige TV shows, Gillen connects both his twists and character deaths to WicDiv‘s overall themes. David Blake is one of the few non-Pantheon members, who has stuck around/lived throughout the series, and it makes so much sense that he has been Woden all along.  He is also the ultimate fanboy of the Pantheon and willing to do whatever it takes to be connected to that power including his own, honestly super nice and curious son as both a free labor force and a power battery. There are shades of manipulative stage parents, like Joe Jackson, Joe Simpson, and in the sports world, Lavar Ball, in the way that Woden is disappointed in Jon while using him to have the kind of power and fame to be in a very exclusive club that he’s always wanted to be in. Gillen goes deep cut with Norse mythology and makes Jon, Mimir, a god whose head that Odin carries around to see other realms and get wisdom. Mimir’s Well is located by the World Tree Yggdrasil so hence the weird connection between Urdr and Woden.

The fan/artist/power conflict also extends to Persephone whose conversation with Urdr while Jon is basically hanging is the heart of WicDiv #33. Persephone has been all action, recklessness, and rebellion in year 3 of WicDiv and in some ways is trying to forcibly be the Destroyer. But she’s really wracked with guilt about her family’s death, which she blames on her desire to get anything to be in the Pantheon. Jamie McKelvie’s talents as an artist of empathy and character acting comes in handy during this sequence. He depicts Persephone from the side holding her knees as she tries to process what has happened to her during the past few arcs and uses a lot of close-ups in subsequent panels. McKelvie’s take on Urdr has a lot of anxiety as she swings from being afraid of the possibly Destroyer, Persephone and trying to be a good friend to the young fangirl, Laura. This is WicDiv so their conversation doesn’t end in hugs and reunions, but with an aphorism type line from Urdr and a little side head turn from Persephone. It’s a real of point of no return moment when Urdr calls her Persephone and not Laura, which results in tears and a tense beat panel.

In the context of the whole series, Gillen, McKelvie, and Wilson codify sacrifice again as a big theme of WicDiv. Instead of the old preying on the young like Ananke killing Luci, Inanna, and Tara in previous issues or more recently, Woden completely draining Dionysus: a young person is the one making the sacrifices. Minerva has been through some shit throughout “Rising Action” and “Imperial Phase”, and her new role as the head removing Ananke is sad, yet wonderful payoff for her character as she looks to take a more active role in the series going into its fourth year. She understands the idea of “necessity” in warding off the Great Darkness even if that means the death of someone close to her. But it is incredibly sad to see the one, real innocent member of the Pantheon be corrupted like this.

In the spirit of Urdr, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson get to the truth about who Woden is and the Great Darkness in WicDiv #33 using the shadows and claustrophobic spaces of Valhalla with splashes of eight bit menace to provide an emotionally draining reading experience. There are a decent amount of cards still on the table, but the chess board has turned into a pit of hot lava lorded over by an entitled abusive fanboy as Gillen and McKelvie cross the proverbial Rubicon and make Woden the literal patriarchy.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jamie McKelvie Colors: Matthew Wilson
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.3  Recommendation: Buy 

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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