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ComiXology has 5 New Releases from DC, Harlequin, and Akama today

There’s five new releases on comiXology today from DC Comics, Harlequin, and Ankama. You can get shopping now or check out the individual releases below!

Legends of the Dark Knight (2021-) #7

Written by Stephanie Phillips
Pencils Max Dunbar
Inks Max Dunbar
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain
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HAUNTED PART 1! Rising creative team Stephanie Phillips and Max Dunbar spin the tale of a cold case in Gotham City. The West End Wrath, a killer who was never caught who ended the lives of many affluent businessmen in the city. Bruce Wayne bids on a mysterious box that holds the answer to the century-old West End Wrath killings, but the Penguin wants that box for himself. Will Batman solve this case before the Penguin interferes!?

Legends of the Dark Knight (2021-) #7

Dofus Double Vol. 11

Written by Tot
Art by Ancestral Z
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En quête du Dofus Turquoise, Arty, Lily, Vil Smisse, Ejipe, Dodge et Goultard arrivent enfin dans les montagnes. Mais ils vont devoir faire face à un village d’humains-loups. Arriveront-ils à s’en sortir grâce aux méthodes pacifistes de Lily ? Rien n’est moins sûr…

Dofus Double Vol. 11

La Mariée Jetable

Written by Ann Major
Art by Motoyo Fujiwara
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Abby rêve d’épouser un cowboy pour entretenir le ranch quand elle cède à son impulsion et partage une nuit passionnée avec Leo. Il est le PDG d’Éperons d’Or et elle l’a rencontré par hasard au bar. Le lendemain matin, elle se sent mal à l’aise et s’en va. Mais elle ne tarde pas à découvrir qu’elle attend un enfant de lui. Leo est loin d’être son homme idéal, mais Abby accepte de l’épouser pour le bien de leur bébé à naitre. Elle est loin de savoir qu’il a une autre bonne raison de vouloir l’épouser.

La Mariée Jetable

The Marriage Agreement

Written by Christine Rimmer
Art by Michu
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Tory is speechless when she receives a sudden phone call from Marsh, the man she once loved with everything she had. It’s been ten years since he abandoned her, so why has he come back now? As she gets reacquainted with him, she discovers that the poor, abused teenage boy has transformed into a successful businessman. But he has no idea of the hardship Tory has gone through to give birth to his daughter and raise her alone. This time, will Tory be the one to walk away?

The Marriage Agreement

VEI

Written by Sara B. Elfgren
Art by Karl Johnsson
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Sauvée de la noyade par un bateau Viking, Vei se retrouve au centre d’un jeu cruel opposant les Géants de Jötunheim et les dieux d’Asgard. Pour assurer sa survie et celle de son peuple, elle va devoir affronter les plus puissants guerriers des Ases et déjouer les pièges tendus par Odin, leur roi.

VEI

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Proctor Valley Road #1 Heads Back for a Second Printing

BOOM! Studios has revealed that Proctor Valley Road #1, the first issue of the star-studded new horror limited series from visionary writer Grant Morrison, Alex Child, Naomi Franquiz, and Tamra Bonvillain developed in partnership with UCP Graphic, have sold out at the distributor level!

In response to the overwhelming support from retailers and fans, BOOM! Studios has announced Proctor Valley Road #1 Second Printing, featuring cover art by series artist Naomi Franquiz, will be available in stores June 2, 2021.

August, Rylee, Cora & Jennie have organized a Ghost Tour with their classmates on the most haunted, demon-infested stretch of road in America to fund attending the concert of their dreams. But when their visit turns deadly, these four friends race to rescue the missing students…before the town tears them limb from limb. Now they must slay the evils roaming Proctor Valley Road…along with the monsters lurking in the hearts of 1970s America.

Proctor Valley Road #1 Second Printing

Get a Look at Crush & Lobo #1 Including New Covers by Khary Randolph, Sweeney Boo, and more!

Crush & Lobo by Mariko Tamaki, Amancay Nahuelpan, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ariana Maher, spinning out of the pages of Teen Titans Academy, will debut on June 1 with a cover by Kris Anka, a Pride variant cover by Yoshi Yoshitani, a 1:25 ratio variant by Christian Ward, plus an exclusive Dan Hipp team variant for participating retailers. In this new eight-issue miniseries publishing between June 2021 and January 2022, Crush, daughter of the Czarnian bounty hunter Lobo, is in full-on self-destruct mode!

Like father, like daughter?

Scroll down for a first look into Crush & Lobo#1, covers by Dan Mora, Amanda Conner, Bernard Chang, Khary Randolph, Sweeney Boo, and more!

And in case anyone was wondering, Crush is doing just fine, actually. Sure, she recently walked away from her classmates at the Roy Harper Titans Academy and effectively quit being a Teen Titan in a blaze of glory. And okay, her relationship with her too-good-to-be-true girlfriend Katie is kind of on the rocks, if you want to get all technical about it. Oh, and she recently found out Lobo’s in space jail, but that’s cool, because he’s the worst. OKAY, maybe Crush has some STUFF, but that doesn’t mean she’s gonna DO anything about it, like actually go to space and confront her dad and all her problems, because everything is FINE…Right?

And in issue #2 of this new miniseries, if there’s anything Crush knows, it’s that traveling through space is a great time to load up on coffee, catch up on murder podcasts, and definitely not get sucked into a spiral of depression while reflecting on your meet-cute with the ex-girlfriend who just dumped you. When Crush’s trusty travel mug runs dry, a pit stop for caffeine puts Lobo’s daughter face to face with an old enemy whose vicious revenge could put an end to her journey — when it’s only just barely begun! Tick tock, Crush…your father’s waiting.

Add Crush & Lobo to your pull list to see Lobo’s best daughter come face to face with the DC Multiverse’s worst dad! And is ex-girlfriend Katie completely out of the picture for Crush?? Dramaaaaa! All this and more are coming for Crush between June 2021 and January 2022!!

Get an Early Look at Proctor Valley Road #3

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at Proctor Valley Road #3, the next issue of the star-studded new horror limited series from visionary writer Grant Morrison, Alex Child, Naomi Franquiz, colorist Tamra Bonvillain and letterer Jim Campbell about the mysterious monsters that haunt Proctor Valley Road – and the four misfit teenagers who must stop them. Proctor Valley Road #3, developed in partnership with UCP Graphic, is available on May 12, 2021.

The girls are supposed to stay out of trouble…and away from the haunted stretch of Proctor Valley Road. But a stolen police car leads to the return of the Proctor Valley Bull and more danger than anyone could imagine…

Proctor Valley Road #3 features a main cover art by Franquiz, along with variant covers from Chris Wildgoose, Christian Ward, and James Harren.

Proctor Valley Road #3

Review: Proctor Valley Road #2

Proctor Valley Road #2

The first issue of Proctor Valley Road I was a bit mixed on. There was a lot I liked but also it felt like so many other comics out there. Proctor Valley Road #2 delivers enough to get the series to now stand out from the pack with details that make this an intriguing series.  August, Rylee, Cora, and Jennie are the prime suspects in the disappearance of the missing boys. The theory is the boys headed across the border to escape the draft for Vietnam.

Alex Child and Grant Morrison have crafted a series that’s an interesting one. Proctor Valley Road #2 really emphasizes that with its infusion of real history and the popular “group takes on ghosts” genre that’s currently seeing a lot of releases. Set in any other time period and the series would simply have the girls be murder suspects. By setting it during the Vietnam War, the girls’ patriotism is questioned resulting in an intriguing ripple of reactions from their families. It’s a nice detail that really adds to the series and makes it a bit different than similar stories.

There’s also a lot of mystery thrown into the mix. The elements feel a bit Blair Witch 2 in numerous ways but it’s done so in a way the reader will drop “wtf” multiple times. There are also moments I swear were the end of the issue. They’d have been perfect to end with leaving a solid cliffhanger, and again the “wtf”. But, that’s not the case creating a comic with a bit of a different beat to it as far as the actual deliver of the story.

Naomi Franquiz‘s art is interesting. It’d be so easy to deliver a dark, brooding, and downright scary, version of this series. Franquiz’s style is much more in the line of BOOM! Studios‘ “style” that’s become so prevalent with the publisher. Along with color by Tamra Bonvillain and lettering by Jim Campbell the visuals of the series does a good job of balancing that fun, light-hearted style and the horror aspects. It’s an interesting style for the story and in some ways it emphasizes the “wtf” of it all. A darker style and look, the comic would be downright scary but as presented you linger on the page wondering what the hell is happening.

Proctor Valley Road #2 is a solid second issue. It takes the ideas started in the debut and ramps them up a bit. The time period is more of a factor. The small town aspect too comes into play a bit more. It’s all small details that really adds to he series and makes it much more interesting. The seeds laid out to start are really paying off and has me clamoring to find out what happens next.

Story: Alex Child, Grant Morrison Art: Naomi Franquiz
Color: Tamra Bonvillain Letterer: Jim Campbell
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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The 2021 Hugo Awards Nominees Announced Including Comics!

The Hugo Awards have announced the finalists for 2021. A 28-minute video announced the list who were nominated by the WorldCon 2020 and 2021 membership which was 1,249 ballots.

The full list is below. Congrats to all of the nominees. The winners will be announced at DisCon III, which takes place December 15-19 2021 in Washington, DC (if COVID allows).


Best Novel

  • Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Gallery / Saga Press)
  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Harrow The Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com)
  • Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tor.com)
  • Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
  • The Relentless Moon, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books)

Best Novella

  • Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com)
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune, Nghi Vo (Tor.com)
  • Finna, Nino Cipri (Tor.com)
  • Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com)
  • Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi (Tor.com)
  • Upright Women Wanted, Sarah Gailey (Tor.com)

Best Novelette

  • Burn, or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super”, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny Magazine, May/June 2020)
  • Helicopter Story”, Isabel Fall (Clarkesworld, January 2020)
  • The Inaccessibility of Heaven”, Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny Magazine, July/August 2020)
  • Monster”, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2020)
  • The Pill”, Meg Elison (from Big Girl, (PM Press))
  • Two Truths and a Lie, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com)

Best Short Story

  • Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse”, Rae Carson (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2020)
  • A Guide for Working Breeds”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, ed. Jonathan Strahan (Solaris))
  • Little Free Library, Naomi Kritzer (Tor.com)
  • The Mermaid Astronaut”, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, February 2020)
  • Metal Like Blood in the Dark”, T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine, September/October 2020)
  • “Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots – 2020, ed. David Steffen)

Best Series

  • The Daevabad Trilogy, S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)
  • The Interdependency, John Scalzi (Tor Books)
  • The Lady Astronaut Universe, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books/Audible/Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
  • The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells (Tor.com)
  • October Daye, Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)

Best Related Work

  • Beowulf: A New Translation, Maria Dahvana Headley (FSG)
  • CoNZealand Fringe, Claire Rousseau, C, Cassie Hart, Adri Joy, Marguerite Kenner, Cheryl Morgan, Alasdair Stuart.
  • FIYAHCON, L.D. Lewis–Director, Brent Lambert–Senior Programming Coordinator, Iori Kusano–FIYAHCON Fringe Co-Director, Vida Cruz–FIYAHCON Fringe Co-Director, and the Incredible FIYAHCON team
  • “George R.R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun, Or: The 2020 Hugo Awards Ceremony (Rageblog Edition)”, Natalie Luhrs (Pretty Terrible, August 2020)
  • A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler, Lynell George (Angel City Press)
  • The Last Bronycon: a fandom autopsy, Jenny Nicholson (YouTube)

Best Graphic Story or Comic

  • DIE, Volume 2: Split the Party, written by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)
  • Ghost-Spider Vol. 1: Dog Days Are Over, Author: Seanan McGuire, Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa and Rosie Kämpe (Marvel)
  • Invisible Kingdom, Vol 2: Edge of Everything, Author: G. Willow Wilson, Artist: Christian Ward (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Monstress, Vol. 5: Warchild, Author: Marjorie Liu, Artist: Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • Once & Future Vol. 1: The King Is Undead, written by Kieron Gillen, iIllustrated by Dan Mora, colored by Tamra Bonvillain, lettered by Ed Dukeshire (BOOM! Studios)
  • Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, written by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings (Harry N. Abrams)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), written by Christina Hodson, directed by Cathy Yan (Warner Bros.)
  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, written by Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele, directed by David Dobkin (European Broadcasting Union/Netflix)
  • The Old Guard, written by Greg Rucka, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Netflix / Skydance Media)
  • Palm Springs, written by Andy Siara, directed by Max Barbakow (Limelight / Sun Entertainment Culture / The Lonely Island / Culmination Productions / Neon / Hulu / Amazon Prime)
  • Soul, screenplay by Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers, directed by Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers, produced by Dana Murray (Pixar Animation Studios/ Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Tenet, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner Bros./Syncopy)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • Doctor Who: Fugitive of the Judoon, written by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall, directed by Nida Manzoor (BBC)
  • The Expanse: Gaugamela, written by Dan Nowak, directed by Nick Gomez (Alcon Entertainment / Alcon Television Group / Amazon Studios / Hivemind / Just So)
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Heart (parts 1 and 2), written by Josie Campbell and Noelle Stevenson, directed by Jen Bennett and Kiki Manrique (DreamWorks Animation Television / Netflix)
  • The Mandalorian: Chapter 13: The Jedi, written and directed by Dave Filoni (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)
  • The Mandalorian: Chapter 16: The Rescue, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Peyton Reed (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)
  • The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready, written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group)

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Nivia Evans
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Sarah Guan
  • Brit Hvide
  • Diana M. Pho
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

  • Tommy Arnold
  • Rovina Cai
  • Galen Dara
  • Maurizio Manzieri
  • John Picacio
  • Alyssa Winans

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed. Scott H. Andrews
  • Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart, audio producers Summer Brooks and Adam Pracht and the entire Escape Pod team.
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, publisher Troy L. Wiggins, executive editor DaVaun Sanders, managing editor Eboni Dunbar, poetry editor Brandon O’Brien, reviews and social media Brent Lambert, art director L. D. Lewis, and the FIYAH Team.
  • PodCastle, editors, C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor and host, Setsu Uzumé, producer Peter Adrian Behravesh, and the entire PodCastle team.
  • Uncanny Magazine, editors in chief: Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor: Chimedum Ohaegbu, non-fiction editor: Elsa Sjunneson, podcast producers: Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky
    Strange Horizons, Vanessa Aguirre, Joseph Aitken, Rachel Ayers, M H Ayinde, Tierney Bailey, Scott Beggs, Drew Matthew Beyer, Gautam Bhatia, S. K. Campbell, Zhui Ning Chang, Rita Chen, Tania Chen, Joyce Chng, Liz Christman, Linda H. Codega, Kristian Wilson Colyard, Yelena Crane, Bruhad Dave, Sarah Davidson, Tahlia Day, Arinn Dembo, Nathaniel Eakman, Belen Edwards, George Tom Elavathingal, Rebecca Evans, Ciro Faienza, Courtney Floyd, Lila Garrott, Colette Grecco, Guananí Gómez-Van Cortright, Julia Gunnison, Dan Hartland, Sydney Hilton, Angela Hinck, Stephen Ira, Amanda Jean, Ai Jiang, Sean Joyce-Farley, Erika Kanda, Anna Krepinsky, Kat Kourbeti, Clayton Kroh, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Catherine Krahe, Natasha Leullier, A.Z. Louise, Dante Luiz, Gui Machiavelli, Cameron Mack, Samantha Manaktola, Marisa Manuel, Jean McConnell, Heather McDougal, Maria Morabe, Amelia Moriarty, Emory Noakes, Sarah Noakes, Aidan Oatway, AJ Odasso, Joel Oliver-Cormier, Kristina Palmer, Karintha Parker, Anjali Patel, Vanessa Rose Phin, Nicasio Reed, Belicia Rhea, Endria Richardson, Natalie Ritter, Abbey Schlanz, Clark Seanor, Elijah Rain Smith, Hebe Stanton, Melody Steiner, Romie Stott, Yejin Suh, Kwan-Ann Tan, Luke Tolvaj, Ben Tyrrell, Renee Van Siclen, Kathryn Weaver, Liza Wemakor, Aigner Loren Wilson, E.M. Wright, Vicki Xu, Fred G. Yost, staff members who prefer not to be named, and guest editor Libia Brenda with guest first reader Raquel González-Franco Alva for the Mexicanx special issue

Best Fanzine

  • The Full Lid, written by Alasdair Stuart, edited by Marguerite Kenner
  • Journey Planet, edited by Michael Carroll, John Coxon, Sara Felix, Ann Gry, Sarah Gulde, Alissa McKersie, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, Steven H. Silver, Paul Trimble, Erin Underwood, James Bacon, and Chris Garcia.
  • Lady Business, editors. Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan.
    nerds of a feather, flock together, ed. Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, The G, and Vance Kotrla
  • Quick Sip Reviews, editor, Charles Payseur
  • Unofficial Hugo Book Club Blog, ed. Amanda Wakaruk and Olav Rokne

Best Fancast

  • Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
  • Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced by Claire Rousseau
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, producer
    Kalanadi, produced and presented by Rachel
  • The Skiffy and Fanty show, produced by Shaun Duke and Jen Zink, presented by Shaun Duke, Jen Zink, Alex Acks, Paul Weimer, and David Annandale.
  • Worldbuilding for Masochists, presented by Rowenna Miller, Marshall Ryan Maresca and Cass Morris

Best Fan Writer

  • Cora Buhlert
  • Charles Payseur
  • Jason Sanford
  • Elsa Sjunneson
  • Alasdair Stuart
  • Paul Weimer

Best Fan Artist

  • Iain J. Clark
  • Cyan Daly
  • Sara Felix
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Maya Hahto
  • Laya Rose

Best Video Game [One-time Special Hugo Award Category]

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Publisher and Developer: Nintendo)
  • Blaseball (Publisher and Developer: The Game Band)
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake (Publisher Square Enix)
  • Hades (Publisher and Developer: Supergiant Games)
  • The Last of Us: Part II (Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment / Developer: Naughty Dog)
  • Spiritfarer (Publisher and Developer: Thunder Lotus)

Something is Killing the Children and Once & Future Get Deluxe Hardcover Editions

BOOM! Studios has announced that Something is Killing the Children and Once & Future Deluxe Hardcover Editions, the definitive collections of the critically acclaimed Eisner Award-nominated series from superstar creators James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera, Kieron Gillen, and Dan Mora, available in October and November 2021.

Something is Killing the Children Deluxe Hardcover Edition collects the first 15 issues of the Eisner Award-nominated horror series from GLAAD Award-winning author James Tynion IV, artist Werther Dell’Edera, colorist Miquel Muerto, and letterer AndWorld Design, available in stores October 2021.

Once & Future Deluxe Hardcover Edition collects the first 12 issues of the Diamond Gem Award-winning series from New York Times bestselling writer Kieron Gillen, Russ Manning Award-winning artist Dan Mora, colorist Tamra Bonvillain, and letterer Ed Dukeshire, available in stores November 2021.

Something is Killing the Children Deluxe Hardcover Edition will be available for sale on October 6, 2021 at local comic book shops and on October 12, 2021 at bookstores everywhere. Once & Future Deluxe Hardcover Edition will be available for sale on November 17, 2021 at local comic book shops and on November 23, 2021 at bookstores everywhere.

Magic #1 Has Sold Out Before Release and Gets a New Printing

BOOM! Studios has announced today that Magic #1, the premiere issue of the new original comic book series from acclaimed writer Jed MacKay, artist Ig Guara, colorist Arianna Consonni, and letterer Ed Dukeshire, perfect for new readers and long-time fans, has sold out at the distributor level!

In response to the overwhelming support from retailers and fans, BOOM! Studios has announced Magic #1 Second Printing, featuring brand new cover art by superstar series artist Ig Guara with colors by Tamra Bonvillain and available in stores April 28, 2021.

Across the vast Multiverse, those gifted with a “spark” can tap into the raw power of Magic and travel across realms — they are Planeswalkers. When coordinated assassination attempts on Guildmasters Ral Zarek, Vraska, and Kaya rock the city of Ravnica and leave Jace Beleren’s life hanging in the balance, a fuse is lit that threatens not just these three Guilds, but the entire plane of Ravnica. Now these three must covertly infiltrate the wild plane of Zendikar and form a tenuous alliance to uncover why the targets of the assassins have all been Planeswalkers. . . which will lead them straight to one of the most enigmatic characters in Magic history!

Magic #1 debuts in comic shops on April 7.

Magic #1 2nd Printing

Get a look at Proctor Valley Road #2

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at Proctor Valley Road #2, the next issue of the star-studded new horror limited series from Grant Morrison, Alex Child, Naomi Franquiz, and Tamra Bonvillain about the mysterious monsters that haunt Proctor Valley Road – and the four misfit teenagers who must stop them. Proctor Valley Road #2, developed in partnership with UCP Graphic, is available on April 14, 2021.

August, Rylee, Cora & Jennie are the prime suspects in the disappearance of the missing boys, but the authorities have no idea what monsters roam Proctor Valley Road. As the town – and even their families – closes in on the girls, August makes a choice to visit that haunted road one last time. And even if she survives, an even greater threat may have its eyes on these four friends…

Proctor Valley Road #2 features main cover art by Franquiz, along with variant covers from superstars Chris Wildgoose, Christian Ward, and Dan Mora.

Proctor Valley Road #2

Review: Justice League #59

Justice League #59

Although the Rebirth numbering is intact, both the Justice League and Justice League Dark titles get a bit of relaunch in Justice League #59. Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, and Tamra Bonvillain bring large scale action and a sequel to Bendis, David Walker, and Jamal Campbell’s Naomi in the lead story. While in the backup “Justice League Dark” story, Ram V, Xermanico, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. tap something a little more mystical as Merlin makes his return, and John Constantine and Zatanna investigate cults and prophecies in rural New Mexico. One of these strives to be modern mythology with all of the biggest toys in the DC Universe toy box while the other one might actually succeed with its riffs on Arthurian legends, the conflict between Heaven and Hell, and the senselessness of human existence underneath it all.

Justice League #59 is a 20 page story, but it feels a lot shorter thanks to an abundance of double page spreads from artist David Marquez. He and Brian Michael Bendis throw readers right into the middle of the fray as a mysterious interdimensional invader named Brutus lands in Kahndaq and confronts its king and protector, Black Adam. This later escalates into a kind of, sort of team-up between Adam and some of the members of the Justice League, which doesn’t thrill a monarch that is more into isolation than cooperation. However, this tension only really shows up towards the end of the battle when Black Adam immediately ejects the Justice League from his land and finally towards the end of the story. Having Black Adam has a wild card is Bendis’ smartest plotting decision, and he definitely fits Green Arrow’s idea of a “dissenting voice” when Oliver talks to the other members about doing “more” as a team.

But, for the most part, this initial Justice League story is lots of punching against a villain that is generically enough called “Brutus”, and the only interesting thing about him is that he’s most likely from Naomi’s home world giving her a reason to appear in the comic beyond being a Bendis co-creation. If you’re familiar with Bendis’ run on the Superman books, there’s a Rogol Zaar vibe to him in that he’s not an interesting character except in his connections to pre-existing characters or lore. You can definitely tell that he’s going to be forgettable character when he decides to peace out in the middle of the battle through an interdimensional portal before

Justice League #59 doesn’t really much to draw readers in beyond being a kind of sequel to the excellent Naomi comic, but it does have its bright spots. David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain really embrace the wide screen nature of the book and make a middling script gorgeous with Bonvillain contributing deep blues to the bubble-shaped panels when Aquaman and his army of sharks battle Brutus. She also uses really intense red and blues to match Marquez’s speed lines as Superman and Black Adam race to grab Brutus before he disappears. This page is pretty busy, but it drives home the point that Black Adam thinks he’s beyond the Justice League and doesn’t respect Superman unlike the other heroes. (Even the edgy, cocky Green Arrow just wants Superman to agree with him.)

Justice League #59

To go along with the blockbuster visuals, Brian Michael Bendis’ writing is at its best when characters are ribbing or arguing with each other a la New Avengers. He seems to have a lot of fun with Green Arrow and Black Canary, who debate both sides of the Justice League’s current status quo and adds a little extra reverence when Superman opens his mouth. Superman also takes lead during the fight scenes, and you can tell he’s the team leader without any kind of exposition about it. We’ll see what Bendis does with them in future issues, but for now, Flash and Hawkgirl are exposition spouters while Batman just reacts to things. As the one non-powered hero during the fight scene, he may have been trying to make Batman a POV character, but few readers can react to an (ex) billionaire and genius strategist/martial artist. Thankfully, Naomi is coming soon to fill this role, and hopefully, she brings a hook too.

Ram V and Xermanico’s “Justice League Dark” doesn’t have a problem with hooks and opens with the return of Merlin to the mortal plane. If you’ve read V’s work on Future State: Justice League, then you know that his take on the mythical wizard is more nefarious than kindly, and Merlin definitely sets himself up as the Big Bad in the pages of this issue. His actions on the final pages definitely set up a need for a Justice League type of team to take him down as Xermanico’s lovely cathedral window layouts and Fajardo’s warm color palette turns bloody and scarlet. Also, V logically connects the John Constantine/Zatanna plot to Merlin’s rise through the appearance of a fan favorite character and basically shows that their mission was just a symptom of a larger disease. It’s tension and escalation all in ten pages.

However, as well as setting up a big-time enemy for this disassembled team to face, Ram V and Xermanico still find time to explore the relationship between John Constantine and Zatanna. There’s a real softness to their interactions even as Constantine does his usual con man hijinks to get them out of a bind as the narration goes slightly nihilistic and focuses on humanity’s stupidity and willingness to place their lives in religions and cults while there’s literally bigger fish to fry. I love how Constantine cares about Zatanna’s feelings after the loss of her father and the disbandment of Justice League Dark, and Xermanico shows this through a beat panel where their hands nearly touch. Constantine and Zatanna will never be a stable couple, but V and Xermanico know they have great chemistry and use it to carry this initial installment of “Justice League Dark” because while Merlin is quite metal, we need someone to root for.

Thanks to a one-dimensional baddie and the usual Brian Michael Bendis decompression issues, Justice League #59 only gets a slight recommendation for me. However, David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain’s take on DC’s A-list is truly awe-inspiring, and their Black Adam exudes power and contempt as well. Hopefully, there’s more Naomi, Green Arrow, and Black Canary in future issues and less alien punching bag. But the real reason this comic crosses the line from trade wait to a purchase is Ram V, Xermanico, and Romulo Fajardo’s “Justice League Dark” backup, which features both Arthurian legends and supernatural hijinks and has a formidable villain plus witty, yet emotionally honest writing for its leads, John Constantine and Zatanna.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, Ram V Art: David Marquez, Xermanico
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain, Romulo Fajardo Jr. Letters: Josh Reed, Rob Leigh
Story: 7.1 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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