New Number Ones  New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/29/2024

New Number Ones New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/29/2024

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

As we reach the end of a five Wednesday month, Marvel’s Blood Hunt continues to generate new number ones, and a few publishers are getting the jump on Pride Month with some anthology specials.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this week. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

We have books on this week’s list from:  Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Fantagraphics Books, AWA Studios, DC Comics, Alien Books, and Image Comics.

We will bring you reviews of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


Black Panther: Blood Hunt #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Cheryl Lynn Eaton
Art by Farid Karami & Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by Joe Sabino
Cover Art by Andrea Sorrentino

T’CHALLA THE VAMPIRE! Spinning directly from the events in the BLOOD HUNT series, Black Panther finds himself transformed into a vampire and tasked with carrying out a key mission for the vampire overlord. But even a dark transformation won’t keep T’Challa from his duties to Wakanda — for better or for worse…

Release Date: May 29, 2024

PCS NOTES: The impact of Blood Hunt on T’Challa has been profound. This seems like it would explore that even futher,


Critical Role: Vox Machina – Origins IV #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Jody Houser & Matthew Mercer
Art by Noah Hayes & Diana Sousa
Letters by Ariana Maher
Cover Art by Alicia Sanchez

Hello! Is anybody home?

Vox Machina is tasked to investigate the whereabouts of Sir Fince after his disappearance. After some poking and prodding, clues lead the team to a mysterious basement. What dark surprises await our heroes in the bowels of his homestead?

The campaign continues with series IV of Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, from the New York Times bestselling team of Jody Houser (Orphan Black, Stranger Things), Noah Hayes (The Avant-Guards), Diana Sousa (Critical Role: The Mighty Nein Origins, Mall Goth), and Ariana Maher (James Bond, Xena)!

Release Date: May 29, 2024

PCS NOTES: More early day of Vox Machina by Jody Houser and Noah Hayes.


Death Ratio’d #1
AWA Studios
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Vladimir Krstić-Laci & Marco Lesko
Cover Art by Rahzzah

In this futuristic dark comedy by Eisner and ‘Ringo Award-winning writer Mark Russell, life and death are ruled by social media. One too many dislikes…and you’re dead. When Arnold awakes from a coma twenty years into the future, he discovers that society is now ruled by social media. Enough “likes” and “upvotes” can unlock fame and fortune but — watch your step! — enough “thumbs down” clicks and the collar around your neck explodes. And you’re done. Now, confused and running on his last Like, Arnold must navigate a world in which the slightest online misstep can have fatal consequences.

Release Date: May 29, 2024

PCS NOTES: Mark Russell explores the expansion of today’s reaction society and the consequences of constant judgement. Continue reading “New Number Ones New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/29/2024”

Brainiac On Banjo: A Magical Event? Uhh… Bite Me?

Brainiac On Banjo: A Magical Event? Uhh… Bite Me?

They push you to the ground. You’re lying in the mud. They bite your neck, and they drink your blood. You’re lying there alone, trying to catch your breath, trying to cancel your appointment with the angel of death. — From Lesbian Vampyres From Outer Space, by The Scary Bitches.

In conversation earlier this week, I was asked if I could list all of the comics event series that are going on right now. I thought for a second, came up with two, realized there’s more, and then I let out a quiet “No. No, I cannot.”

Okay. I’ve bitched and moaned about the Comics Event Trap before and those feelings haven’t changed — events are not events when everything is an event, damnit! However, the fact that I am of an honest persuasion begs me to admit there is one such series going on right now that I not only remember, but I actually like.

It’s called “Blood Hunt,” it’s from Marvel, and it’s all about a massive vampire assault on this here planet. You might think that alone would turn me off — the whole global monster-takeover thing has been done to death, be it zombies, werewolves, vampires, or MAGA. In each (save for the last) the outcome is predetermined. Eventually, humans get their planet back.

But Blood Hunt seems to avoid other aspects of the Comics Event Trap that annoy me all the way to my keyboard. I say “seems” because we’re about a month into it and, like all of us in the commercial pop culture racket, there’s always the opportunity to screw the pooch. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: A Magical Event? Uhh… Bite Me?”

With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots

With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots

It’s another week and time for another winning entry from our annual student competition. For the previous excellent submissions check here.:

Live Action
By Claire McGinnity

For the past nine years, it seems the biggest trend in entertainment has been reboots of older properties, especially live-action versions. This isn’t a new concept, live-action movies have been a consistent aspect of media properties, especially for cartoon shows or comic books, take the 1994 live action Flintstones movie or really any superhero movie, for example. However, there seems to be a rapid uptick in the live action reboots and, unfortunately, a notable drop in original or compelling content for them. The trend seems almost like a new “gold rush” that different studios are trying to capitalize off apparent interest instead of truly developing a story for the property that fits the media.

Starting with Disney’s yearly release of a live-action version of their classic Disney princess movies to today’s current live action tv show reboots like the recent Avatar, the Last Airbender are some of the main offenders of this issue. These properties have their origins in animation and are beloved by the public for their vibrant storytelling, fantastical worlds and characters, and beautiful artistic styles. Though not impossible, these aspects are very difficult to replicate in live action, and each release has seen varied success in doing so.

The live action versions also tend to lose some of the fantastical elements of the properties in order to increase the “realism”. It is unclear if this hyper-realism is an artistic choice by creators or just a downside of the medium of live action, but either way reveals a disconnect between this material and the reason why many fans enjoy the original properties. Additionally, many of these live-action reboots tend to just repeat the same story as the animated versions, which increases the accessibility of the content, but honestly does a disservice to the storytelling opportunities of each property. This isn’t to say that there is no value in re-telling a story in a different medium, in fact I believe that some of these reboots have had valuable updates to outdated stories and created space for previously underrepresented groups in Hollywood, like Asian representation in the Avatar reboot. Continue reading “With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots”

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/22/2024

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/22/2024

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

In week four of a five Wednesday month, we have a few very interesting new series and a bunch of original graphic novels that we definitely recommend.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this week. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

We have books on this week’s list from:  Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Mad Cave Studios, Fantagraphics Books, Archie Comics, Humanoids, Inc, DSTLRY Media, and Image Comics.

We will bring you reviews of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


Blood Squad Seven #1
Image Comics
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Paul Fry, Sonia Harris, & Francesco Segala
Letters by Rus Wooten
Cover Art by Fry

SERIES PREMIERE

Thirty years ago, Blood Squad Seven was America’s most popular superhero team. Its members were seen on television, on magazine covers, scoring million-dollar endorsement deals…. They were celebrities and they were everywhere.

But that was then… this is now. And so, a new generation of modern-day heroes takes up the mantle—or perhaps, the poisoned chalice—fulfilling a promise made decades ago: to be the heroes that a fractured America needs.

While deconstructions of superhero nostalgia typically center around the classic characters of the Silver Age, Blood Squad Seven will delve deep into ’90s comic book themes with this imagining of what would happen if heroes from that decade returned to action after a 30-year absence.

Release Date: May 22, 2024

PCS NOTES: This is the kind of superhero story that I want Joe Casey to be writing.


The Butcher’s Boy #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Landry Q. Walker
Art by Justin Greenwood
Cover Art by Greenwood

Deep within the backroads of the Pacific Northwest, an entire town fell victim to the brutal cleaver of the Butcher of La Perdita. But that was more than a hundred years ago, and in that time the generational nightmare of murder and meat has been reduced to morbid clickbait folklore for bored travelers to share online.

And yet some say the Butcher still haunts the streets at night, seeking fresh meat for his larder. A true Lovecraftian horror? Or just the feverish dreams of a mentally unstable serial killer. Six friends on a road trip are about to find out…

Release Date: May 22, 2024

PCS NOTES: Make sure you read this one with the lights on!!! Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/22/2024”

Brainiac On Banjo: Mike’s To-Do List!

Brainiac On Banjo: Mike’s To-Do List!

Well, I’ve been down to the river, I washed away my sins. Well, every day’s a nice, clean slate, for me to fuck it up again. Yeah, I’ll probably fuck it up again. — from “Do It Again”, written by John Shanks and Sheryl Crow.

I decided I should make a “To Do” list. I ain’t getting any younger and I ration out my brain power, so this seems like a good idea. So I’ll do just that, you know, instead of writing a real column this week.

To do:

Reread the first nine issues of the current JSA miniseries, just in case DC decides to finish publishing it before I die.

Ask Bill Sienkiewicz if the British government contacted him about doing over King Charles’ official portrait.

Do some genetic research. I am convinced that the lunch cook at Riverdale High School, Miss Beazley, is closely related to Popeye, the Sailor Man. Possibly separated at birth.

Check and see if Trump died yet.

Write a hopefully not-too-long piece about what an unbelievably great cartoonist Dick Briefer had been.

Order our Deadpool & Wolverine tickets.

Offer to comp Marty Scorsese on the Deadpool & Wolverine tickets. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Mike’s To-Do List!”

With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate

With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate

Following up on the theme from last week’s entry, here’s another winning entry from our annual student competition:

Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate
By Oliver Rucker

So, I am super late to the party. Being the Star Wars fan that I am, I’m frankly embarrassed, but I finally got around to watching Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series diving in on the beloved Jedi’s life in between the fall of the Republic at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and our introduction to Luke Skywalker and the gang in A New Hope.

For starters, I’d like to attempt to explain myself. I was coming off of The Bad Batch and The Book of Boba Fett, both of which I did not care for. I can go on and on, but to keep it brief, if I was twelve, I’d love Bad Batch, and I simply found Boba Fett to be remarkably boring. So as excited as I was to see what Obi-Wan was getting up to on Tatooine, my spirits were down, expectations low, I was dejected, and honestly just a little but Star Wars’d out.

Before going any further, I’d like to explain that I am not like every other Star Wars fan in existence, who just has a fiery hate for everything new that is put out into the cosmos. In fact, I find myself to be in the strong minority that really enjoyed Attack of the Clones. Sure, the dialogue is just awful, but the story is incredibly strong and it evokes emotions like sadness, anger, jubilation, memorization, and the anticipation of imminent disaster. All things I love in a movie. Continue reading “With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate”

A Eulogy for Comic Book Creator Don Perlin, Passed Away at 94 Years Old

A Eulogy for Comic Book Creator Don Perlin, Passed Away at 94 Years Old

DON PERLIN, R.I.P.

Second Acts can be a beautiful thing. Who knows when they will come or even if they will come? I feel like we live in a culture that expects and secretly nurtures, or least prepares for second acts.

I became friends with Don Perlin just when he was about to shift into his second act. He was part of the comics publisher Valiant in the early days, right alongside folks like Jim Shooter, Bob Layton, and Steve Massarsky. From today’s vantage point, it’s hard to understand the incredible success that Valiant, as an entrepreneurial start-up, was enjoying. They “came out of nowhere” is an oversimplification, but they seemed to be hitting all triples and homers.

At that time, I was in marketing at Nabisco. We were producing TV ads and in-store retailer programs, but I thought that there were opportunities to market brands like OREO and Chips Ahoy! with comics, or at least through geek culture. Companies like Marvel and Valiant welcomed a corporate guy like me, as they didn’t have to explain the power of comics. They know a collector/nerd like me totally “got it”.

So, in the 90s, I would wander up to the Valiant offices during my frequent trips to NYC. Hanging out with guys like Don Perlin was a treat. Don was gracious and garrulous – always eager to show me what he was working on. Valiant had a full floor of office space in Midtown Manhattan then, and Don, toggling between editing and drawing, would often be crouching over his drawing board. Seeing those first few Valiant issues of Eternal Warrior or Solar, Man of the Atom was something special to behold.

In fact, when Bloodshot #1 debuted, it was a big hit, and Don enjoyed a certain amount of celebrity, especially on the convention circuit. I remember him telling me that a young fan approached him to autograph a copy of the comic. The boy looked up and proclaimed to Don, “You’re my favorite!” Don beamed with pride as he told the tale.

Unsurprisingly, Don was always encouraging and kind to me as well. He embraced, or embodied, that warm-hearted uncle approach to friendship. As he’d tell me the industry goings on, I always felt like I was along for the ride with him. He couldn’t believe how hot his comics were and he felt very fortunate. Continue reading “A Eulogy for Comic Book Creator Don Perlin, Passed Away at 94 Years Old”

Brainiac On Banjo: The Worm Turns!

Brainiac On Banjo: The Worm Turns!

“I’m the air you breathe, food you eat, friends your greet in the sullen street,” from The Changeling, written by Jim Morrison.

If you’re a regular reader of Brainiac On Banjo, you might be aware of my affection for the computing products sold by Apple. Those buggers brought ease of use, intuition, logic, and a common interface to personal computing, advertising their stuff as “for the rest of us.”

On Super Bowl XVIII Sunday, 1984, Apple advertised their new Macintosh computers with a Ridley Scott commercial they paid to run only once, although the spot received a great deal of free play in news items and on talk shows. The theme was copped from George Orwell’s novel 1984, but it was a response to 1984 with an athlete destroying the soul-sucking machinery that was controlling the masses. Back then, computers did not control our lives the way they do now.

That was then.

Sadly, “artificial intelligence” is not as dangerous as the artificially intelligent. Programmers seem to be associating only with other programmers, creating things they can brag about over a beer. For a decade now Apple, the people who made computing personal and who coined that phrase have produced a growing amount of crappy whiz-bang and dysfunctional hoohah, both in its hardware and its software.

Apple upgrades their operating systems about every 10 weeks, but I no longer approach computing wide-eyed and eager to try the new stuff they’re giving me. Now my first thought is “what did these assholes break this time?” Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Worm Turns!”

With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Is Superhero Fatigue Real?

With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Is Superhero Fatigue Real?

You might have heard (maybe from me?) that we had another outstanding ITHACON. As part of Promoting and Managing ITHACON, a class I teach at Ithaca College, each year we embrace this annual tradition with the With Further Ado column.

Each spring, I ask the students to submit a column on pop culture as if they were the author of this space. Our crack editorial staff pours over the submissions and selects a winner, and they get published on this website. (The fact that it gives me a little break right after ITHACON is of no concern to anyone but me.)

Anyway, we have several amazing columns to publish this year. Our first winner runner-up of this year’s fill-in columnist contest is Nina Amato and her thoughts on superhero fatigue. (Nina just got finished working on ITHACON, and was on our program team creating a fantastic publication.) Congrats and thanks for all the hard work, Nina!

* * *

Is Superhero Fatigue Real?
By Nina Amato

Whether we like it or not, superheroes are ingrained in our everyday media. Today, more than ever, we can see superheroes all over our film, television, and even literature. In fact, movie and television studios introduce the public to a new superhero almost bimonthly. It makes sense for them too, as superhero movies have been proven to serve as box office decimators. But why? While we’re seeing these movies succeed, they’ve also been heavily scrutinized by critics, especially recently. So, are superhero stories getting worse, or are we just getting tired of them? Continue reading “With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Is Superhero Fatigue Real?”

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/8/24

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/8/24

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

There are couple of trends we noticed in this week’s new books. Valiant characters are back in print from Alien Books, and Marvel’s Blood Hunt is leaking into some new titles. Besides that it is a great list of new books with a good mix of new and established properties.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this week. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

We have books on this week’s list from:  Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Mad Cave Studios, First Second Press, DC Comics, Valiant Entertainment, IDW Entertainment, Boom! Studios, and Image Comics.

We will bring you reviews of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


Ain’t No Grave #1
Image Comics
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Jorge Corona & Jean-François Beaulieu
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover Art by Corona

Eisner Award-winning writer SKOTTIE YOUNG and Eisner Award-nominated artist JORGE CORONA, the team behind the hit series MIDDLEWEST and THE ME YOU LOVE IN THE DARK, are back together with an all-new miniseries, AIN’T NO GRAVE! This Unforgiven-style journey is an original macabre Western/fantasy tale for mature readers, told through a Guillermo Del Toro-esque lens.

Ryder put her violent past behind her when she fell in love and became a mother. But that was before she learned it was all going to be taken away. Now she’ll have to pick up her guns once again and ride to kill the one who’s behind the threat. Which just happens to be Death.

The genre-bending adventure begins in this DOUBLE-LENGTH FIRST ISSUE, with **forty pages of story and no ads! **

Release Date: May 8, 2024

PCS NOTES: When this creative team puts out a comic, you get it and you will love it. 


The Armory Wars: Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume II #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Claudio Sanchez & Chondra Echert
Art by Guillaume Martinez & Valentina Bianconi
Cover Art by Gianluca Gugliotta

Long time comics creator and Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez makes a triumphant return to conclude the fan-favorite Amory Wars, where death is only the beginning.

Claudio Kilgannon was thought dead by The Red Army, but a rising suspicion sends them on a trail to discover his fate.

If Claudio is in fact alive, he’ll be in dire straits amidst the mystery and mayhem that’s yet to unfold…

Sanchez teams with co-writer Chondra Echert and artist Guillaume Martinez for this epic maxi-series that acts as a companion story to the Coheed and Cambria album of the same name and is sure to appeal to readers of Descender and Saga!

Release Date: May 8, 2024

PCS NOTES: Fans of this property should be excited for this return!


Blood Hunters #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Christos Gage, Mark Russell, & Ericka Schultz
Art by Javier Garrón, Morry Hollowell, Bob Quinn, Matt Milla, Bernard Chang, & Marcelo Maiolo
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Greg Land & Frank D’Armata

The first in a new anthology series that explores how the shattering events of BLOOD HUNT cover the breadth of the Marvel Universe! HAWKEYE is on the run — but does he have enough trick arrows in his quiver to avoid both the long arm of the law AND vampires out for his blood?! MAN-WOLF and J. JONAH JAMESON do a little father-son bonding — while also fighting for their lives against a horde of bloodsuckers! And, in a continuing story, with CLOAK missing in action DAGGER strikes out in search of new and surprising allies. Witness the genesis of Marvel’s wildest team yet: the BLOOD HUNTERS! It all begins here!

Release Date: May 8, 2024

PCS NOTES: Marvel’s Blood Hunt event will generate a bunch of spinoff series like this one over the next few weeks. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 5/8/24”