Writer: Stephen Byrne Artist: Arianna Florean Colorist: Pete Pantazis Editor: Lauren Bisom 4-issue arc launches on Friday, January 27
Devil Dinosaur’s friendsversary celebration with his bestie Moon Girl gets interrupted when Demolisher decides to crash the party. Can Devil save the day and prove he’s more than just a big scary beast, but a hero and a friend to all New Yorkers?
For this year’s Free Comic Book Day, Marvel will have something for every fan, offering four separate titles packed with exciting entry points into the Marvel Comics mythos! In addition to lead-in stories to the biggest comic book sagas of 2023 including Fall of X and Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti’s upcoming epic, 2023’s Free Comic Book Day titles will also spotlight creators and characters from different cultures, communities, and identities and provide the perfect first comic for new readers!
Free Comic Book Day 2023: Avengers/X-Men #1 features a pair of all-new stories that set the stage for the next evolution in mutant adventures, Fall of X! First, X-Men masterminds Gerry Duggan and Joshua Cassara give fans a peek at the drama to come at this year’s Hellfire Gala and reveal the surprising fate of Captain Krakoa. Then, superstar artist Javier Garrón joins Duggan for a story that features the rise of Stark Sentinels and lays the groundwork for an uncanny new team book launching later this year. Plus meet Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti at the crossroads of science and magic with a sneak peek at their upcoming mystery project! Featuring a cover by Javier Garrón.
Free Comic Book Day 2023: Spider-Man/Venom #1will web-sling readers into the exciting developments currently taking place in the world of Amazing Spider-Man and Venom! First, see Zeb Wells and Patrick Gleason unleash the full fury of Peter Parker’s new spidey suit and reveal the exciting plans for one of Spider-Man’s fiercest foes. Then witness a symbiote experiment gone horribly wrong and the creation of a terrifying new enemy for Venom in a story by writer Al Ewing and new Venom artist CAFU. Plus a surprising preview of new Marvel saga just on the horizon by two of Marvel’s top creators! Featuring a cover by Patrick Gleason.
Free Comic Book Day 2023: Marvel’s Voices #1invites readers to the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed Marvel’s Voices series, which spotlights creators and characters across Marvel’s diverse and ever-evolving universe. The book will include a range of stories from previous Marvel’s Voices issues that star Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, Wave, and more! Plus a brand-new Ironheart adventure by writer John Jennings and Paris Alleyne that debuts her deadly new nemesis, KHEM! Don’t miss stories written by Jennings, Nyla Innuksuk, Sabir Pirzada, Alyssa Wong, and Cody Ziglar and art by Alleyne, Natasha Donovan, Eric Koda, Stephen Byrne, Diógenes Neves, and Eder Messias. Plus, a cover by Chris Allen!
And last but certainly not least, Free Comic Book Day 2023: Spidey & His Amazing Friends #1 is back! Swing into adventure with Spidey, Ghost-Spider, and Miles as they face off against Green Goblin, Doc Ock and more in this spectacular special. Filled with easy-to-read comic stories based on the hit Disney Junior show, this book is perfect for the youngest readers aged 5-7. Young fans will even be able to test their wall-crawling skills with thrilling interactive activity pages! Kids will love this not-to-be-missed comic: the perfect primer for the newest generation of Spider-Fans!
Check with your local comic shop regarding availability and don’t miss the chance to pick up these extraordinary one-shots when they arrive in May!
(W) Alyssa Wong, Charlie Jane Anders, Christopher Cantwell, Andrew Wheeler, and more (A) Stephen Byrne, and more (CA) Nick Robles RATED T+ In Shops: Jun 22, 2022 SRP: $9.99
Hot off a GLAAD Award nomination for 2021’s anthology, MARVEL’S VOICES: PRIDE returns for a jam-packed celebration of LGBTQI+ characters and creators! New York Times-bestselling, multi-award-winning author Charlie Jane Anders introduces a new hero to the Marvel Universe – and it won’t be the last you see of them. Get in on the ground floor here! IRON MAN scribe and lauded TV showrunner Christopher Cantwell takes on Moondragon’s complex legacy for a heart-bending story across space and time. Shuster and Eisner-winning writer Andrew Wheeler makes his Marvel debut with the MU’s real god of love – Hercules! Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus-award winner Alyssa Wong reunites the Young Avengers in a story guaranteed to please fans new and old! And that’s just the first slice of the rainbow. MARVEL’S VOICES continues its groundbreaking anthology series with another swoon-worthy glimpse of the world outside your window!
Marvel’s newest celebration of LGBTQIA+ talent and characters arrives tomorrow! Honoring Pride Month, Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 will include seven uplifting and thrilling adventures including a Young Avengers reunion, Asgard’s first Pride, and the debut of a brand-new mutant hero—ESCAPADE! Fans can get their first look at these stories and more in the all-new Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 trailer, featuring never-before-seen artwork!
In the Marvel’s Voices tradition, this diverse collection of tales is brought together by a lineup of new and established talent and showcase characters from all walks of life and every corner of the Marvel Universe! Here’s a complete list of the stories fans can look forward to this year:
In last year’s Marvel’s Voices: Pride, Steve Orlando and Luciano Vecchio introduced the dreamy mutant hero SOMNUS, who now stars in the ongoing X-Men series MARAUDERS! New York Times-bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders and artist duo and Eisner-nominated cartoonists Ro Stein and Ted Brandt continues this tradition with the debut of ESCAPADE! Readers will meet this all-new trans mutant super hero in a 20-page adventure that will introduce her career as a super thief and set the stage for her exciting future.
Valkyrie Rūna puts on the first ever Asgard Pride celebration in television writer and podcaster Ira Madison III and artist Lorenzo Susi Marvel Comics debut.
Shuster and Eisner-winning writer Andrew Wheeler makes his Marvel debut alongside PATSY WALKER artist Brittney L. Williams in an action-packed story about Marvel’s newest power couple-Hercules and Marvel Boy!
Rev up your engines for a heart-bending story across space and time in a Moondragon story by IRON MAN scribe and lauded TV showrunner Christopher Cantwell and artist Kei Zama.
Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus-award winner Alyssa Wong and fan-favorite artist Stephen Byrne reunite the Young Avengers in a story guaranteed to please fans new and old! Byrne will also depict the team in one of the issue’s variant covers!
Comedy writer Grace Freud (Rick and Morty, the Eric Andre Show) brings her talents to Marvel with a story about the power of responsibility featuring the Marvel Universe’s favorite gay ginger, D-Man! She’s joined by Eisner-nominated artist Scott B. Henderson in his first work for Marvel!
And writer Danny Lore and artist Lucas Werneck revisit the legacy of Taku and Venomm, two Black Panther characters long left in the closet, in a tale of love and redemption!
Join the celebration with some of Marvel’s greatest LGBTQIA+ heroes by picking up Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 digitally or at your local comic shop tomorrow!
As part of Marvel’s ongoing Marvel’s Voices series, readers everywhere will soon meet Escapade in Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1! Joining fellow LGBTQIA+ Marvel heroes this June, Escapade will debut in the book’s central story, written by acclaimed author Charlie Jane Anders and drawn by artist duo and Eisner-nominated cartoonists Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, with colors by Tamra Bonvillain.
Escapade, whose real name is Shela Sexton, is a trans mutant who can instantaneously switch physical locations with another person or trade any specific physical or abstract attribute such as possessions, organizational status, skills, superhuman powers, and even situations! Escapade is only able to maintain the power for a few hours at a time and must be within 7 feet of her target, and the more complex the switch, the higher the chance of a mishap. Luckily for Escapade, she has an invaluable partner at her side, her tech-savvy best friend Morgan Red, along with a tool belt containing an arsenal of stolen tools and devices. Together, Escapade and Morgan tear through the Marvel Universe as professional thieves, stealing from criminal and corrupt organizations…until a meeting with Emma Frost and Destiny changes the course of Escapade’s life forever.
The 20-page adventure in Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 will introduce Escapade and reveal her career as a super hero/thief, as well as explore her life as a trans mutant in the Marvel Universe. Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 only marks the beginning of Escapade’s saga as she becomes entangled with the X-Men and a deadly prophecy is unveiled in her future. Fans can look forward to Escapade’s return in the fall in a special story arc of New Mutants guest-written by Anders.
Meet Escapade and celebrate Pride Month with Marvel Comics when Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 arrives on June 22!
Marvel celebrates Pride Month this year with a monumental giant-sized one-shot showcasing some of comics’ most iconic LGBTQAI+ heroes in an incredible range of stories by LGBTQAI+ superstars and emerging talent! Get a look at a brand-new variant cover for 2022’s Marvel’s Voices: Pride drawn by superstar artist Olivier Coipel. Once again lending his acclaimed talents to Marvel’s Pride Month celebration, Coipel’s extraordinary cover showcases three of Marvel’s most prominent LGBTQAI+ heroes: The mutant speedster and first openly gay Marvel hero Northstar, divine warrior Angela, and breakout Young Avenger and star of the upcoming Defenders Beyond, America Chavez.
Check out Coipel’s uplifting piece below and stay tuned for a sneak peek at Marvel’s Voices: Pride, including the reveal of the new hero debuting in its pages!
DC Comics has revealed all of their Pride-themed variant covers to help celebrate Pride 2022.
The final two variants revealed were Blood Syndicate: Season One #2‘s Pride Variant by Mateus Manhanini and Robin #15‘s Pride Variant by Lynne Yoshi!
Other variants are by Amy Reeder (Batman #124), David Talaski (Superman: Son of Kal-El #12), Derek Charm (Action Comics #1044), Joe Phillips (Aquamen #5), Kevin Wada (Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1), Kris Anka (Poison Ivy #1), Nick Robles (Nightwing #93), Nicole Goux (Wonder Woman #788), Olivier Coipel (Harley Quinn #16), Stephen Byrne (Multiversity: Teen Justice #1).
DC is celebrating Pride Month in June with new releases, new trades, and more. The celebration will be available at local comics shops, bookstores, libraries, and beyond this June with more stories, more characters, and more pride than ever. In addition to DC Pride 2022, a new 100+ page Prestige format annual anthology comic, in the coming months DC will also publish a new young adult graphic novel, launch three new comic book series, publish a new Tim Drake special, feature DC Pride variant covers on multiple series, deliver a new slate of books to readers everywhere, and turn a spotlight (the Bat-Signal, too!) on the World’s Greatest Super Heroes.
In the book market and available everywhere books are sold, Galaxy: The Prettiest Star from writer Jadzia Axelrod and artist Jess Taylor will publish on May 17 to introduce entirely new characters to DC’s pantheon of heroes. DC can’t wait for you to meet Taylor, the Galaxy Crowned, and so is delivering Galaxy: The Prettiest Star FCBD Special Edition 2022 #1, a free preview on Free Comic Book Day of the young adult graphic novel about gender identity, romance, and shining as bright as the stars, to your local comics shop on May 7. It takes strength to live as your true self, and one alien princess disguised as a human boy is about to test her power!
DC Pride 2022, containing all-new stories spotlighting LGBTQIA+ fan-favorites, is DC’s annual Pride-themed anthology comic. The 104-page Prestige format comic, publishing on May 31, will have an introduction by activist, actress, and real-life superhero Nicole Maines (including a teaser for her upcoming DC project!) and will feature a main cover by Phil Jimenez and Arif Prianto, an open-to-order wraparound variant cover by Joshua “Sway” Swaby, and a 1:25 variant cover by Jen Bartel. The DC Pride 2022 creative teams, and the characters they’re developing stories for, include:
Alysia Yeoh and Batgirl by Jadzia Axelrod and Lynne Yoshii
Aquaman/Jackson Hyde by Alyssa Wong and W. Scott Forbes
Green Lantern/Jo Mullein by Tini Howard and Evan Cagle
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy by Dani Fernandez and Zoe Thorogood
The Ray by Greg Lockard and Giulio Macaione
Superman/Jon Kent by Devin Grayson and Nick Robles
Tim Drake by Travis G. Moore
and more to come!
DC’s Pride anthology comic will also include contributions from J. Bone, Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, Samantha Dodge, Brittney Williams, and others; and new pinups by P. Craig Russell, J.J. Kirby, and more. With over 100 pages of original stories and content, DC Pride 2022 celebrates the strength and courage it takes to be a DC Super Hero.
But DC’s Pride plans aren’t limited to June! In addition to DC Pride 2022, the following comics will launch during Pride Month and continue through the year:
Poison Ivy, by G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara, with covers by Jessica Fong (main), Warren Louw (open-to-order variant and 1:100 foil variant), Nick Robles (1:25 variant), Frank Cho (1:50 variant), and Dan Mora (team variant), launches on June 7. In her new series, Ivy leaves Gotham City and sets out to complete her greatest work—a gift to the world that will heal the damage humanity has dealt to it! DC is proud to present the unbelievable next chapter in Poison Ivy’s ever-growing library in a six-issue story arc by the incredible creative team of G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara.
Nubia: Queen of the Amazons, a new series by Stephanie Williams, Alitha Martinez, and Mark Morales, with covers by Khary Randolph (main), Jae Lee (open-to-order variant), and Alitha Martinez (1:25 variant), debuts on June 7. Taking place right after the Nubia: Coronation Special, a second miniseries for the fan-favorite Amazon begins! You won’t want to miss the exciting new adventures of the one true queen, brought to you by the creative team behind Nubia & the Amazons—writer Stephanie Williams and artist Alitha Martinez! Williams, Martinez, and Morales’s new series is planned for four issues.
DC Pride: Tim Drake Special, by Meghan Fitzmartin, Belén Ortega, and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque, with covers by Ortega (main) and Travis Moore (open-to-order variant), collects the breakout story from Batman: Urban Legends in one volume for the very first time! This 64-page one-shot comic arriving on June 14 also features a brand-new story that sees Tim teaming up with his former Young Justice teammates and the Batgirls! Tim Drake’s 2022 path starts here!
Multiversity: Teen Justiceby Ivan Cohen, Danny Lore, Marco Failla, and Enrica Eren Angiolini, with covers by Robbi Rodriguez (main), Stephanie Hans (open-to-order variant), Bengal (1:25 variant), and Failla (1:50 variant), features Kid Quick—the Future State Flash—and the other young heroes of Earth-11. Launching on June 7, the secrets of Earth-11’s newest heroes and villains unfold in DC’s most exciting new team title! And what role will the mysterious Raven—the brooding hero who has refused to join the team in the past—play in the brand-new series? Cohen, Lore, Failla, and Angiolini’s new series is planned for six issues.
Throughout DC’s line of monthly comics, DC’s 2022 Pride-themed variant covers will feature artwork by Amy Reeder (Batman #124), David Talaski (Superman: Son of Kal-El #12), Derek Charm (Action Comics #1044), Joe Phillips (Aquamen #5), Kevin Wada (Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1), Kris Anka (Poison Ivy #1), Nick Robles (Nightwing #93), Nicole Goux (Wonder Woman #788), Olivier Coipel (Harley Quinn #16), Stephen Byrne (Multiversity: Teen Justice #1), and more.
New DC books arriving in the coming months to add to your TBR piles, pull lists, DC Pride book clubs, in-store Pride displays, and to share with friends on TikTok will include:
DC Pride 2021 (4/26)
Galaxy: The Prettiest Star (5/17)
Crush & Lobo (5/17)
Midnighter: The Complete Collection (5/24)
Aquaman: The Becoming (5/24)
Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 2 (5/24)
Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol. 1: The Truth (5/31)
DC Poster Portfolio: DC Pride (5/31)
Doom Patrol by Rachel Pollack Omnibus (7/5)
Harley Quinn: The Animated Series – The Eat. Bang! Kill Tour Vol. 1 (8/30)
DC’s award-winning backlist of bestselling titles featuring LGBTQIA+ characters can be purchased everywhere books are sold:
Celebrate 50 years of Octobriana with this anthology comic featuring the character battling throughout time.
Story: Stu Taylor, Stephanie Phillips, Andrew Towers, Petr Sadecky Art: Simon Fraser, Marc Laming, Stephen Byrne, Bohumil Konečný, Andy Belanger, N. Steven Harris, Nicole Goux, Juni Ba, Vincenzo Riccardi Color: Pippa Bowland, Tatto Caballero, Ellie Wright Letterer: Josh Reed, Simon Bowland, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Serge Lapointe, Justin
Writer Brian Michael Bendis bits off way more than he can chew in Joy Operations #1, which was meant to be his big debut for Dark Horse Comics, but it ends up being an incredibly talky, boring, and contained first chapter of a space opera. And it’s a pity because Stephen Byrne’s art is clean, sleek, and perfect for this futuristic world that has been built on the ashes of what is now the United States. The protagonist, Joy, is some kind of skilled bodyguard for Kathryn, who seems to be like the Sheryl Sandberg or Kamala Harris or Hillary Clinton of this new order, but she’s really worst than these girl bosses and could be responsible for the death of humanity. These sentences make it seem like Joy Operations has an intriguing premise, but it really never gets off the ground.
Bendis has written a lot of crime, superhero, and although they’re usually not as compelling, science fiction stories, and he understands that conveying power and movement is one of the strengths of the comics medium. So, he and Byrne kick off Joy Operations #1 with a fight scene between Joy and Kathyrn’s Gerxhart bodyguard, who apparently sees her as a threat. It’s the stereotypical hero vs. hero battle in the first act of a superhero team-up, but with Tron lights and viscosity courtesy of Stephen Byrne’s color palette and design. The fight shows that the relationship between Joy and Kathryn isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but it doesn’t serve a purpose beyond setting up that Joy has some cool as shit skills that I’ve seen in the aforementioned Tron and nearly every piece of fiction involving a virtual reality. Byrne’s approach to fight choreography reminds me a lot of the energy of the Overwatch, which is definitely a compliment. However, until the bitter end of the comic, I don’t have anyone to root for or latch onto in the fight.
Speaking of bitter end, Bendis and Byrne mainly craft the world of Joy Operations through Joy talking to herself with the occasional big spread like when we finally get some details about Kathryn and her impact on this world. Brian Michael Bendis’ profanity-tinged, sarcastic sense of humor that made Jessica Jones and Deena Pilgrim is definitely present in Joy’s character voice even when it’s drowned out by half-baked concepts and in-universe jargon. He and Stephen Byrne run into a wall when Joy really only gets to bounce off the voice in her head. In his previous works, Bendis could make conversations as compelling as fight scenes with the help of great facial acting from his artists. However, Joy has conversations with word balloons, which would be okay in prose, but is snore-worthy in a visual medium like comics.
Stephen Byrne’s sleek vision of the future combined with a hubris-filled foe should have been a slam dunk space opera. However, Joy Operations #1 didn’t immerse me in this new world, but beat me over with walls of text and a POV character whose best moments seemed like retreads of better written Brian Michael Bendis female protagonists. Seriously, where is a text page when you need one? Joy Operations showcases Byrne’s gifts at worldbuilding, action blocking, and facial expressions, but Bendis’ script doesn’t rise up to match his energy so this is definitely a comic worth skipping and a poor start for Jinxworld’s first Dark Horse book.
Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Stephen Byrne Letters: Joshua Reed Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 5.8 Recommendation: Pass
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review