“The Lonely Crusade, Part 4” When he donned the Black Hood, Greg Hettinger swore to keep the awful truth from those he cares about most—his partner Devon, his friend Jessie. But he’s going to have to break those promises if he’s going to survive the death trap that the Crusaders have prepared for him... and nothing will ever be the same.
Script: Duane Swierczynski Art: Michael Gaydos, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Rachel Deering The Black Hood #10 CVR A Reg: Francesco Francavilla The Black Hood #10 CVR B Variant: David Mack On Sale Date: 2/24 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
THE HANGMAN #5
“Damned, Part 5” This is it—a battle that's been brewing for eons! The Devil vs. Asmodeus! With the fate of the Hangman in the balance! Will the outcome cost Mike Minetta his family... and his soul? Find out as Damned hits its startling conclusion!
Script: Frank Tieri Art: Felix Ruiz The Hangman #5 CVR A Reg: Tim Bradstreet The Hangman #5 CVR B Variant: Felix Ruiz On Sale Date: 3/2 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
The biggest comic series of the year continues into 2016! Archie and Jughead are on the outs with each other, and now Archie has no one to help him against the fury that is Hiram Lodge! Not even Veronica wants to go up against her own father! Rising star comics artist Veronica Fish (Howard the Duck, theRIVERDALE CW promo image) joins the legendary Mark Waid for another brand new issue of the hit series!
Script: Mark Waid Art: Veronica Fish, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn, Jack Morelli Archie #6 CVR A Reg Cover: Veronica Fish Archie #6 CVR B Variant: Derek Charm Archie #6 CVR C Variant: Marguerite Sauvage On Sale Date: 2/17 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
ARCHIE: VOLUME 1 (TR)
ARCHIE, one of the longest-running titles in comic book history, is rebooted here in this full-color collection that brings together two of the most talented creators in comics, Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. Together they create a surprising and definitive take on the origins of everyone's favorite redheaded teen and his friends while showcasing the beginnings of the historic love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica. The book captures the bite and hilarious edge of Archie's original tales in a modern, forward-looking manner, while still retaining the character's all-ages appeal. ARCHIE Vol. 1 collects ARCHIE #1-6 and features bonus content including scripts, sketches and variant covers.
Script: Mark Waid Art: Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, Veronica Fish, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn, Jack Morelli Cover: Fiona Staples 978-1-62738-867-2 $19.99/$21.99 CAN 6 5/8 x 10 3/16” TR 160 pp, Full Color Direct Market On-Sale Date: 3/9
ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE COMICS ANNUAL #19
Veronica puts all thoughts of Archie aside when her parents reveal that one of her old friends from summer camp has blossomed into a Hollywood hunk and is coming to their house for a visit. But when Ron gets a glimpse at the tanned California girls this leading man seems to favor, will she go several steps too far to try and transform herself into his ideal love interest? Find out in “Orange You Lovely,” the brand new lead story to this comics annual, featuring even more pages of fun!
Script: James Gartler Art: Bill Galvan Cover: Fernando Ruiz, Bob Smith, Rosario “Tito” Peña On Sale Date: 3/9 192-page, full color comic $5.99 U.S.
ARCHIE COMICS SPECTACULAR: HIGH SCHOOL HIJINKS (TR)
Get ready for some classroom calamity with all of your favorite Riverdale High School students! This edition collects the best high school stories from Archie and his friends! This fun, pocket-sized collection features 128 pages of hand-picked, favorite school-centric stories, presented in high-quality, bright white paper with a cardstock cover.
Script: Various Art: Various Cover: Various 978-1-62738-866-5 $5.99/$6.99 CAN 4 7/8 x 6 9/16" TR 128 pp, Full Color Direct Market On-Sale Date: 3/2
BETTY & VERONICA COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #241
This time in “the Many Loves of Archie Andrews,” Archie has decided to set his sights on Sabrina the Teenage Witch! And, after being dumped by her long-time boyfriend, Harvey, Sabrina’s ready to move on—and our red-headed Romeo is just the mortal to do the trick! There’s only one person who’s standing in the way of true romance—actually, make that two people—Sabrina’s aunts Hilda and Zelda! If you think Mr. Lodge and Archie have clashed before... wait until you see Archie vs. Zelda and Hilda in “Witch Way Out?” the brand new lead story to this comics double digest!
Script: Dan Parent Art: Dan Parent Cover: Bill Galvan, Jim Amash, Rosario “Tito” Peña On Sale Date: 2/17 160-page, full color comic $4.99 U.S.
B & V FRIENDS COMICS ANNUAL #247
Betty and Veronica just can’t agree who has the more difficult life. Betty says that her financial status means she has to work extra hard, while Ronnie says that her parents put a lot of pressure on her to measure up to the Lodge family name. There’s only one way to settle this argument: by trading places for a day! When the girls have to walk in each other’s shoes, what will they learn about their BFF—and themselves? Find out in “Room for Improvement,” the brand new lead story to this comics annual featuring even more pages of fun!
Script: Angelo DeCesare Art: Dan Parent Cover: Fernando Ruiz, Bob Smith, Rosario “Tito” Peña On Sale Date: 2/24 192-page, full color comic $5.99 U.S.
JUGHEAD & ARCHIE COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #19
When Mr. Lodge needs some assistance fixing up Lodge Manor, Archie and Jughead offer to help make some repairs. Mr. Lodge isn’t sure he trusts them, but with the power of “how-to” videos on MyTube, Archie promises that they can fix anything—and for free! Will Archie and Jughead be regular fixer-uppers, or will Mr. Lodge end up getting exactly what he paid for? Find out in “Fixit Friends,” the hilarious lead story to this comics double digest!
Script: Francis Bonnet Art: Fernando Ruiz Cover: Dan Parent, Bob Smith, Rosario “Tito” Peña On Sale Date: 3/2 160-page, full color comic $4.99 U.S.
SONIC / MEGA MAN: WORLDS UNITE VOL. 2 "Broken Bonds"
The sequel to the record-shattering Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man crossover is here! You saw what happened when "Worlds Collide!" Now brace yourself for when WORLDS UNITE! Sigma—the brilliant villain from the future—has fused the worlds of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man together! Now he feeds on the super-planet's energy to become unstoppable! It's up to Sonic and Mega Man to raise an army to fight the time-hopping villain. Joining them are the Freedom Fighters, the Robot Masters, X and his Maverick Hunters, Sticks and her friends, and—Dr. Eggman and Dr. Wily?! But it won't be easy, as Sigma uses his powers to reach across space and time to recruit an army of his own! It's a battle of epic proportions to save the Unified World! Featuring the introduction of the STREET FIGHTER cast, including Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile and Ken! This volume collects WORLDS UNITE parts 5-8, including SONIC UNIVERSE #77, SONIC BOOM #9, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #274, MEGA MAN #51 and selections from the MEGA MAN: WORLDS UNITE BATTLES and SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: WORLDS UNITE BATTLES plus special features!
Script: Ian Flynn and various Art: Edwin Huang, Gary Martin, John Workman, Gabriel Cassata and various Cover: Patrick Spaziante 978-1-62738-868-9 $14.99/$16.99 CAN 6 5/8 x 10 3/16” TR 136 pp, Full Color Direct Market On-Sale Date: 3/9
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #282
SONIC fights FIRE with FURY in "Wings of Fire" Part Two: When Sonic was infected with the Dark Gaia energy, he nearly all lost control of his mutant Werehog form. So what happens when an ancient and powerful phoenix gets turned to the dark side?! It’s a three-way battle as Sonic and Dulcy’s teams battle for their lives against the Dark Gaia Phoenix and Egg Army! Then, in “Shards and Sparks,” Knuckles and Mighty reunite to take on Egg Boss Thunderbolt! Featuring cover art by the terrific Tyson Hesse and a spooky "Horror Movie" variant by the mega-talented T. Rex!
Script: Ian Flynn Art: Jamal Peppers, Jennifer Hernandez, Terry Austin, John Workman & Gabriel Cassata Sonic the Hedgehog #282 CVR A Reg: Tyson Hesse Sonic the Hedgehog #282 CVR B Variant: T. Rex On Sale Date: 3/9 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
SONIC UNIVERSE #85
Dr. EGGMAN gets CRACKING in "Eggman’s Dozen" Part Three: Dr. Eggman has assembled his evil Egg Bosses to take back his Egg Refinery from the Naugus Twins! The plan seems straight forward enough, but what happens when the Eggman's minions can't work together? Can the mad doctor scramble to survive or will his shaky alliances leave him fried? Featuring egg-tastic cover art by dynamite Diana Skelly and a wonderfully "Wicked" variant cover by artist supreme Dan Schoening!
Script: Ian Flynn Art: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli & Matt Herms Sonic Universe #85 CVR A Reg: Diana Skelly, Jim Amash & Matt Herms Sonic Universe #85 CVR B Variant: Dan Schoening & Luis Antonio Delgado On Sale Date: 2/24 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
It's that time of year again. What comics site is complete without an obligatory "Best of 2017" list? No doubt it's been a crazy year in so many ways and the comic book industry is no different. But instead of concentrating on the scandals and controversies all that matters is the fruit of so many talented peoples' labor who've produced some amazing stories. These are just some of the best independent comics of 2017.
DISCLAIMER: [Editor's Note] Spartantown relies on the generosity of independent comic book publishers to provide review copies in order to post reviews. Thanks to companies like Image Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Archie Comics, Dynamite Comics, Black Mask Studios, Action Lab, and occasionally others, I've had access to some wonderful stories that otherwise I would have missed. I don't get review copies from mainstream publishers like DC Comics and Marvel so this "Best of..." list is far from comprehensive but a good sample …
The hunt continues for a deadly rogue alien accused of killing a human. ESA agents Rice and McIntyre abide by different rules which make this pursuit a tense, precarious affair. A city on shut-down, a cop with a hair-trigger, and a showdown that could alter intergalactic diplomacy forever.
PORT OF EARTH #3
Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 10, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Port of Earth' continues to evolve from a savvy sci-fi premise to a thrilling cop drama to a thought-provoking commentary on American worker displacement and the otherness of aliens as an allegory for immigrants. It's not heavy-handed mind you but there are layers to Zack Kaplan's story. When you consider the seismic change an alien technology that helps turn water into an efficient and powerful energy source would have on the planet it's inevitable that it would set off a societal chain reaction. Especially for those displaced by…
Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!
Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…
The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.
This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.
This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess! After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…
The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume.
For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …