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Preview: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

(W) Paul Cornell, Dean Motter
(A) Russ Braun, Dean Motter
(C) Jill Thompson
October 21, 2020
$4.99

The SNIFTER OF TERROR returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poe’s “Black Cat”––as a dog! In “Atlas Shrugged” (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles the science vs. religion debate once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a jaunty cover by Scary Godmother’s Jill Thompson!

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

AHOY Comics Announces New Comics and more Second Coming and Wrong Earth

AHOY Comics has announced its fifth wave of new titles to be published this fall and winter. The jam-packed line-up builds on AHOY’s tendency to tackle serious topics with their signature off-kilter humor. Readers will recoil from the brutal “Joy Police” in the brand new dystopian work Happy Hour from Peter Milligan and Michael Montenat; return to the world of Second Coming as Jesus and his roomie Sunstar deal with science denial and mass extinction; and pity Penultiman, the highly anticipated superhero title by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson that questions what exactly humanity is evolving towards. Rounding out the list is a second season of smash hit The Wrong Earth, where sunny Dragonflyman and his dark reflection Dragonfly finally meet face to face, and a fresh season of boozy literary parodies under an all-new name—Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood—which will now feature a different cover artist each month, starting with the legendary Jill Thompson.

AHOY’s Wave 5 includes:

PENULTIMAN #1

Ship date: 7 October 2020
Author(s): Tom Peyer  
Artist(s): Alan Robinson
Cover Artist(s): Alan Robinson, Jamal Igle

Back from the future—again! Penultiman, The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution, is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired super-hero in the world! So how can he stop hating himself? His android understudy, Antepenultiman, thinks he knows the answer! Created by Tom Peyer (THE WRONG EARTH) and Alan Robinson (PLANET OF THE NERDS). Featuring a variant cover by Jamal Igle (THE WRONG EARTH, Black). Resolicited from the Plague Times – all previous orders have been cancelled.

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

Ship Date: 21 October 2020
Authors: Paul Cornell, Dean Motter
Artists: Russ Braun, Dean Motter
Cover Artist: Jill Thompson

The SNIFTER OF TERROR returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poe’s “Black Cat”––as a dog! In “Atlas Shrugged” (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles science vs. religion once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a cover by Scary Godmother’s Jill Thompson!

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

HAPPY HOUR #1

Ship date: 4 November 2020
Author: Peter Milligan 
Artist: Michael Montenat
Cover Artist: Michael Montenat

In future America, being happy isn’t just a right—it’s the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues.

HAPPY HOUR #1

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

Ship date: 16 December 2020
Author: Mark Russell
Artists: Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
Cover artist: Richard Pace

The savior and the superhero return for a new round of shared adventures­­––but first we turn back time to witness the interplanetary origin of Sunstar! Warning: portrays science denial, mass extinction, and real estate sales!

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

Ship date: 6 January 2021
Author(s): Tom Peyer  
Artist(s): Jamal Igle, Juan Castro
Cover Artist(s): Jamal Igle

The stars of THE WRONG EARTH and DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN return! Racing to prevent identical catastrophes that threaten the separate earths they inhabit, gritty Dragonfly and his campy doppelganger Dragonflyman follow the clues to a third earth, where they at last come face-to-face!

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

Preview: The Boys: Dear Becky #2

The Boys: Dear Becky #2

writer: Garth Ennis
artist: Russ Braun
cover: Darick Robertson
FC | 32 pages | Superhero Satire | $3.99 | Mature

As Hughie’s discoveries take him down a highly dangerous rabbit hole, what he learns about the good old days reveals a strangely conflicted Butcher — at the worst possible time, as the Boys investigate a particularly insidious supe threat.

The Boys: Dear Becky #2

Dynamite Announces a New Packed Release Schedule for July 1

As summer approaches, Dynamite is heating up as the comic industry roars back with its comeback, and is delivering a scorching haul to fans and retailers for July 1st!

To charge up an otherwise slow week of comics releases, Dynamite is bringing its big guns to brighten up the excitement around returning stories and supporting comic shops. Five of the bestselling and best-reviewed titles will all be out the same week.

The issues are:

  • The Boys: Dear Becky #2
  • Vampirella #10
  • Vengeance of Vampirella #8
  • Red Sonja #16
  • Killing Red Sonja #2

As the second season on Prime is set for an official release date any day now, now is the perfect time for fans to dive into the long-awaited sequel to The Boys with the second issue of Dear Becky. Co-creators Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson return with artist Russ Braun, colorist Tony Aviña, and letterer Simon Bowland. The classic creative team is all back years after they concluded the original juggernaut run and they haven’t missed a step.

Dear Becky

Meanwhile, in Vampirella Christoper Priest‘s intricate saga reaches a climax, as Vampirella falls to her lowest point. Still recovering from a traumatic plane crash and turbulent personal life, she turns to others for help – and one may be the mastermind who has been manipulating all the events to date… With stunning covers from Lucio Parrillo, Guillem March, Fay Dalton, Meghan Hetrick, interior artist Ergün Gündüz, and more, this is an issue not to miss.

In the flagship of the other big Woman of Dynamite, Eisner-nominated scribe Mark Russell continues to spin one of the most acclaimed series in the industry in Red Sonja. Exploring concepts like power, war, and leadership, it has only gotten more enticing moving into its second year with the big war won. What happens next for Sonja the Red?

Across that first year of Russell’s Red Sonja, the titular character lead the rag-tag Hyrkanians against a despotic king. With Red Sonja slaying Dragan the Magnificent in a climactic battle, his surviving son Prince Cyril has vowed revenge on the fiery-haired killer. Alongside co-writer Bryce Ingman and fan-favorite artist Craig Rousseau, Mark Russell chronicles that quest in Killing Red Sonja. Spiced with magic, humor, and more, it’s an indisposable companion to the main series.

Fans looking for a straight shot of classic comic book storytelling with modern sensibilities know that Vengeance of Vampirella is a true hit. Or they better get on it fast! The multitalented Tom Sniegoski, who has written everything from the Punisher, Hellboy, Bone, and dozens of novels, returns to the character he defined for an entire decade. Picking right up where he left off in the 1990s, but incorporating the 25-year absence, this book is comfort food for every longtime fan of the Daughter of Drakulon, and also perfectly approachable for all newcomers.

Review: The Night Witches

THE NIGHT WITCHES

As a child of the 1980s, I grew up in an era that many considered a golden age of cinema. The movie industry started to produce movies that many would soon be known as “blockbusters”. These movies got audiences to come to the theaters by the millions creating an experience for friends and families. One of those movies was Top Gun, a film that embraced American machismo and set a new standard for what was considered “cool”.

The movie has many anachronisms that, though they served the story well, is considered politically incorrect today. From a technical perspective, as someone who used to be in the military, there is a ton of inaccuracies as well. One glaring omission was the lack of female pilots, something that existed before the movie was made. In Garth Ennis and Russ Braun’s The Night Witches, we get a tale of one famous squadron during WWII. It’s a story where one pilot must prove her mettle.

We’re taken to World War II Russia, where we meet Guards Major Aleksander Lukin, who just has been given the task of training the first all-female fighter squadron, the first of its kind anywhere. This is where we meet our protagonist, Lt. Anna Kharkova, who soon finds out that their mission is night bombing, a dangerous assignment, which will cost them several casualties on the first flight operation. This first mission also reveals to the Germans, that Russia is using female pilots, an anomaly no one could have anticipated and something, the Nazi battalions start to target. Eventually, Anna and her fellow pilots start to become proficient, effectively taking out forward bases and catching the eye of the Russian secret police and the Nazi army. Eventually, things don’t go as planned, and one of the fighter planes crashes in Nazi territory, leaving one survivor, Guards Captain Nadia Popova, alone with a rifle and behind enemy lines. Before long, Anna becomes an experienced pilot, flying over 200 successful missions and only wounded twice, but gets transferred to a unit of all-male pilots where she is the most experienced combat pilot there. She would rise to the rank of Captain and lead a unit of six female combat pilots which she is charged with training. The one mission she goes with her newly trained unit results in her plane getting shot down and being imprisoned in a German POW camp, which is eventually liberated. Fast forward to 1951, and Anna, after a few political missteps get busted down, not before pissing off a higher up which sends her and her best friend to jail. By the book’s end, our heroine outwits some of the same men who were threatened by her ability and possibly becoming the best pilot in all of Russia.

Overall, an engrossing read that makes the audience invest in the characters and their story arcs, as Maverick has nothing on the Night Witch. The story by Garth Ennis is well developed, well-characterized, and stays with the reader long after. The art by Russ Braun, Tony Avina, and Simon Bowland is elegant. Altogether, one of the best stories that Ennis has ever written, as it is more than inspirational, it is a vision for a progressive world.

Story: Garth Ennis Art: Russ Braun, Tony Avina, and Simon Bowland
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: The Boys: Dear Becky #1

The Boys: Dear Becky #1

writer: Garth Ennis
artist: Russ Braun
covers: Darick Robertson
FC | 32 pages | Superhero | $3.99 | Mature

Twelve years after the events of The Boys, Hughie finds himself back home in Scotland where he intends to finally marry Annie in the company of friends and family. But the sudden appearance of a peculiar document sends our hero into a tailspin and threatens to bring the events of his nightmarish past crashing down on him in the worst possible way. There was one story about The Boys that Hughie never knew. Now, whether he likes it or not, he’s going to.

The Boys: Dear Becky #1

Review: The Boys: Dear Becky #1

The Boys: Dear Becky #1

Eight years after their final issue and in the context of their successful Amazon TV adaptation, which sanitized this superhero satire for a broad audience, The Boys is back from writer/co-creator Garth Ennis, artist Russ Braun (Who drew 24 issues of the original series, and colorist Tony Aviña. The Boys: Dear Becky #1 is concerned with the future of the relationship between Wee Hughie and Annie January, but also the past relationship between Billy Butcher and his wife Becky, who was one of the few people that saw beneath his violent, hateful, asshole self. And it’s sad to say that the scenes set in the present come across as a tone-deaf Scottish boomer ranting on Facebook while the past scenes actually do hold up with poignant narration from Ennis paired with his usual dark humor and gruesome visuals from Braun and Aviña, who unleashes an abattoir of a color palette.

The Boys: Dear Becky #1 is truly a half good, half bad comic. The first half is Wee Hughie moaning at a pub about the state of the world to his friend Bobbi, who is trans and misgendered immediately. Paired with Russ Braun’s stereotypical art that is reminiscent of Howard Chaykin’s recent, hateful work on Divided States of Hysteria, it’s not a great way to start the story. But it is par for the course for the “Everyone’s bastards, especially superheroes.” sensibility of Ennis’ writing on The Boys. It seems like the goal of the pub scene is to reintroduce readers to Wee Hughie and his post-Boys life, but it’s all overwhelmed by tone deaf takes on everything from white male privilege to affirmative action. However, it’s not all punching down with (In true Scottish manner.) Wee Hughie and Bobbi taking the piss out of Brexit with the loss of the E.U. safety net negatively impacting rural Scotland and also wondering why so many of their fellow citizens are afraid of immigrants in such a racially homogenous area.

All in all, this scene that definitely needed a spot of editing (Although Ennis’ dialogue is still entertaining and colorful, if a bit cringeworthy.) shows that The Boys along with South Park and most of Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy’s oeuvre have outstayed their welcome in 2020. At its finest, The Boys was a darkly hilarious satire of fanboy culture and American foreign policy with a dash of coming to terms with the effects of violence. Now, it’s just cynical for the sake of being cynical. Bright eyed, optimistic Wee Hughie is now just another middle aged libertarian moaning about keyboard warriors and safe spaces. And to add insult upon injury, Russ Braun uses his skill to makes jokes at the expense of aka pot shots at one of the most marginalized groups in 21st century society.

However, to look at the issue and Hughie from another perspective, not giving a shit could definitely be an after effect of the trauma he went through in The Boys. When Ennis and Braun aren’t trying to be edgy, middle-aged white male commentators on society, they do a good job of showing of how Hughie is unable to move on with his life, including several panels of him lying in the bathroom looking at a letter from Butcher that brings his past all the way back. The letters adds depth to the now-dead Butcher, who could take a step back and see that maybe pulling the tongue out of a ten year old copyright-friendly version of Shazam is not a good idea. Braun and Aviña’s art is definitely representative of The Boys’ cartoonish ultraviolence towards superheroes, but Garth Ennis adds an air of conscience in both Butcher’s dialogue and narrative captions that are Hughie reading his letter. He thinks about how the effects of his actions will have both on himself and on Becky and comes across like Wee Hughie when he first joined the team.

If The Boys: Dear Becky #1 was just the Butcher flashback with a bit of a Wee Hughie framing device to see what he’s been up to 12 years after the original series, then it would definitely be worth picking up. However, the new effort from Garth Ennis, Russ Braun, and Tony Aviña gets a pass thanks to half the comic being a privileged white man punching down and a woeful mishandling of a trans character, especially on the art side. It speaks to the conflict in The Boys comic, which could be both a funny, if over the top satire of the comics industry and power structures with surprisingly deep character studies, and a tasteless, stereotyped-filled book that didn’t meet a female character that ended up raped or murdered in a macabre manner. This comic reminded me of my days as a closeted, libertarian teenage edgelord reading The Boys, and why I shudder at them.

Story: Garth Ennis Art: Russ Braun
Colors: Tony Aviña Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 6.0 Art: 4.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleTFAWZeus Comics

Dear Becky, The Boys are Back in Town in April

The Boys are returning to comics, or at least what’s left of them, with their original writer and creator Garth Ennis for the sequel, Dear Becky.

Following the massive success of the comics and Prime adaptation, with over 150,000 omnibuses sold in 2019, Garth Ennis returns to Wee Hughie, Billy Butcher, Vought and more in this hotly anticipated new entry. Picking up in-story 12 years after the finale of the 90 issue epic run, the marriage of Hughie and Annie (Starlight) is derailed by a mysterious document that threatens to rip open the scars of the past and reveal nightmarish truths about The Boys.

Joining Ennis on this series are some returning greats. Russ Braun picks right back up on interiors years later, after drawing a large chunk of the original series following series co-creator Darick Robertson. Robertson returns to contribute covers. For his first, Robertson once more calls back to the very first cover with The Boys looking down on something, as was also seen with #7 and #50.

Using a flashback structure, Dear Becky will flesh out both the pre-history of The Boys, call back to classic moments, and move the story forward. It’s an indispensable chapter for all fans of The Boys, going back nearly 15 years or new to the story from the show.

Dynamite will also release a promotional poster of The Boys, perfect for both retailers and fans to advertise the series or show off their fandom. Additionally, all six volumes of The Boys Omnibus are available to catch up on the original comic, as well as art books and collectibles.

THE BOYS DEAR BECKY #1
THE BOYS DEAR BECKY #2

Preview: Boys Omnibus Vol 6 TPB

Boys Omnibus Vol 6 TPBPhoto & Art Covers

writer: Garth Ennis
artists: Darick Robertson, Russ Braun, John McCrea
comic cover: Darick Robertson
FC | 320 pages | $29.99 | Superheroes | Mature

Includes:
Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men (#60-65)
The Bloody Doors Off (#66-71), You Found Me (#72)

It’s been a long time coming. When the Homelander finally sets an army of superheroes against the forces of the United States military, Billy Butcher and The Boys must finish the job they were recruited for: to take every superhero out of the picture. While the battle rages on the White House lawn, Frenchie and the Female are unleashed, Mother’s Milk uncovers a terrible secret at Vought-American, and Wee Hughie discovers the senses-shattering truth behind Butcher’s ultimate plan of vengeance.

Boys Omnibus Vol 6 TPB

Preview: The Boys Omnibus Vol. 5

The Boys Omnibus Vol. 5
The Boys Omnibus Vol. 5 Photo Edition

writer: Garth Ennis
artists: Darick Robertson, John McCrea, Russ Braun
comic cover: Darick Robertson
FC | 420 pages | $29.99 | Superheroes | Mature

Includes:

Volume 9: The Big Ride
Volume 10: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker

In Volume 9, all the pieces are falling into place, for the Boys as well as their most mortal enemies. The long-dreaded superhuman conflict is on its way. But first there are secrets still to be uncovered: like the story of the team’s first encounter with supergroup The Seven, and the shockwaves from that disastrous meeting that still reverberate today. Hughie, meanwhile, discovers his comrades’ hidden history, as their original leader Colonel Greg Mallory takes him through sixty years of the filthiest black operations imaginable. And finally, with good and bad guys teetering on the brink, a shadowy force sets events in motion that will push even Butcher over the edge.

He could have been a very different man. Billy Butcher, leader of The Boys, once had a chance at another life entirely — when the love of a good woman pulled him aside from his dreadful path of violence and despair. Volume 10 is the story of Billy and Becky, told by the man himself, from the heights of love to the depths of tragedy. And when he’s done, he’ll be ready… to finish things once and for all.

The Boys Omnibus Vol. 5
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