Preview Reviews: Classic Detectives Returning to Comics

Preview Reviews: Classic Detectives Returning to Comics

We are excited to bring you this special edition of Preview Reviews.

Typically in this column we bring you advanced reviews of comics that are coming out this week. The two books we are reviewing are a little further off in release date. As we mentioned earlier in New Number Ones, this is a fairly light week on new debuts, and we decided to do something different.

Both of the books that we previewed are coming out soon, but they have something else in common. They both are led by classic detective characters that helped to shape what detective stories are meant to be. Mad Cave Studios is reviving Dick Tracy for comic books, and Tripwire Magazine’s Joel Meadows is making his comic book writing debut with a brand new Sherlock Holmes story.

Please enjoy these reviews and then be sure to check out the comics when they come out. You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books.

Also the rest of the #NewNumberOnes for the week are here.


Dick Tracy #1
Mad Cave Studios
Written by Alex Segura & Michael Moreci
Art by Geraldo Borges
Colors by Mark Englert
Creative Consultant: Chantelle Aimée Osman
Letters by Jim Campbell
Editor: Chas! Pangburn
Cover Art by Borges

Release Date: April 24, 2024

Original Solicitation:

DICK TRACY RETURNS IN A NEW ONGOING COMIC BOOK SERIES FROM MAD CAVE!

A new era for the iconic detective starts here, from bestselling and acclaimed authors Alex Segura and Michael Moreci, as an all-new, noir-infused chapter in the Dick Tracy legacy kicks off with superstar artist Geraldo Borges.
In the aftermath of World War II, the country stands frozen–waiting for the next shoe to drop. In The City, a brutal murder draws the attention of rising star detective Dick Tracy, who soon discovers the bloodshed is just the beginning of a complicated web that threatens to ensnare everything he cares about.

Blending the classic elements of the Dick Tracy world (including his iconic villains, supporting cast, and unforgettable watch radio) with a hardboiled and realistic take, DICK TRACY #1 kicks off a fresh and modern take on the iconic detective that remains true to his rich history.

PCS Review:

One of the world’s most famous gumshoes returns to comics for the first time in six years and we are excited for it. As creative consultant Chantelle Osman stated, “This is not your grandfather’s Dick Tracy,” but that is ok with me.

The discerning eye can tell just how hard everyone involved in this project has worked to get this right, and it feels like they pulled it off. The story has a terrific pacing with short two or three page scenes that are jam packed with pertinent action. Geraldo Borges art is stunning. It feels like what should happen if you adapted Chester Gould’s original character into a 2020’s style comic book. Special recognition should be given to Jim Campbell. His lettering in this book is a masterclass in how to control the voice of a comic book.

The book is a high quality hard boiled detective story with all the earmarks that have made Dick Tracy a household name for nearly a century. We are looking forward to more and hope it maintains the high bar that issue #1 has set.


Sherlock Holmes and the Empire Builders: The Gene Genie, Vol. 1
Tripwire Comics Presents
Written by Joel Meadows
Art by Andy Bennett
Letters by Bennett
Editor Jeff Mariotte
Cover Art by Mark Chiarello

Release Date: March 6, 2024

Original Solicitation:

Tripwire launches its Tripwire Comics Presents imprint with the first volume of its Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders The Gene Genie graphic novel under two exclusive covers. Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders is an epic alternate world sci fi adventure featuring The World’s Greatest Detective as people have never seen him before.

When Watson leaves Holmes to help Crick unravel the DNA helix and finds himself in the employ of England’s most evil man, Holmes is forced to team up with an unlikely group to defeat this monstrous figure and return England to its status quo.

As well as a 64 page full-length comic story, Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders The Gene Genie Volume One will also include an 8 page colour section featuring art by the likes of Liam Sharp, Bill Sienkiewicz, Shawn Martinbrough and Barry Kitson and interviews with the series creators as well as character sketches by Bennett and script pages by the writer.

PCS Review:

This graphic novella is definitely a fun read. Joel Meadows has crafted a very interesting story and Andy Bennett delivers a compelling visual narrative in this book. The story brings a retired Sherlock Holmes back into the game and has much of the feel of classic Holmes mystery.

This first volume brings the reader through a coincidental series of events that result in a massive plot twist. We don’t want to share too much of the plot, but it is really well thought-out and executed. Meadows use of dialogue and pacing are impressive, and Bennett’s page layout and panel structures are top notch. We certainly enjoyed this story and look forward to what unfolds in Volume Two of this series.


Also, we interviewed writer Joel Meadows about this book last year, you can check out that interview here.

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/28/2024

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/28/2024

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.

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.

Again this week is light on New Number Ones, but what is here looks fun. One of the things that we have been noticing is that some of the non-Big2 books have been generating longer runs and we are definitely happy to see that. We have books on this week’s list from: Marvel Comics, Dark Horse, Titan Books, Band of Bards, and Fantagraphics Books.

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


New Series This Week 


Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Ray Fawkes
Art by Gabriel Guzman & Michael Atiyeh
Letters by Michael Heisler
Cover Art by Aniekan Udofia

A six-issue miniseries based on all-new Ubisoft’s AAA PC/console video game Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora! Meet So’lek, a Na’vi warrior who must go on a transformative journey across Pandora. While the battle of the Hallelujah Mountains is over, the trauma of war is never-ending. So’lek finds himself alone, stricken with grief and desperation. Only through Eywa can he find a path to heal-and though danger, doubt, and pain await him, it’s time for him to answer the call. This story introduces readers to new characters and clans, and is the origin story of one of the key characters in Ubisoft’s forthcoming game!

Release Date: February 28, 2024

PCS NOTES: This is a great creative team for fans of this franchise to generate this series.


The Savage Sword of Conan #1
Titan Comics
Written by John Arcudi, Patrick Zircher, & Jim Zub
Art by Max Von Fafner, Zircher
Cover Art by Joe Jusko

THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN IS BACK from Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics!

Featuring a new CONAN epic from John Arcudi and Max Von Fafner, the rousing return of SOLOMON KANE written and drawn by Patch Zircher, an electric prose story from Jim Zub, spectacular art pin-ups, and more, the SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN Issue #1 heralds a new era of adrenaline-fueled adventure.

Release Date: February 28, 2024

PCS NOTES: This title has a lot of history and we are glad to see Titan Books bring it back with this terrific cast of creators on the first issue. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/28/2024”

Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona

Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona

I’ve heard you say many times that you’re better than no one and no one is better than you. If you really believe that you know you have nothing to win and nothing to lose, from fixtures and forces and friends your sorrow does stem that hype you and type you, making you feel that you gotta be just like them. “To Ramona,” written by Bob Dylan

Back in the post-WWII days when 10 cent comics cost a mere 10 cents, there were but a handful of ongoing superheroes, all of them were published by DC Comics, and each had a very distinctive look. Not the razor-sharp nearly photogenic linework of artists like Curt Swan and Carmine Infantino, but highly stylized and not quite real-world: Wayne Boring’s Superman, Dick Sprang’s Batman and Robin, Russ Andru’s Wonder Woman, George Papp (and, briefly, Jack Kirby’s) Green Arrow, and Ramona Fradon’s Aquaman. They maintained and advanced the standard for comics’ most enduring characters.

Of course, this was seven decades ago. Time seems to move on and, now, the last of these famous artists has left the building. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona”

What the Heck Happened? Comics News for the Week of 2/18/24 – 2/24/24

What the Heck Happened? Comics News for the Week of 2/18/24 – 2/24/24

This is one of my favorite column’s to present to you squad members. This was a busy week of comics related news. There were some series announcements and cover reveals along with some major publisher news, and we want to share it all with you.

We get a ton of announcements from publishers and other sources, and we are going to through the old inbox and let you know what’s out there and coming soon.

ComicsPro Comic Industry Conference

Right now, this weekend, from February 23 -25, The ComicsPro Comic Industry Conference is taking place in Pittsburgh, PA. There will be plenty of news that comes out of this meeting of comic retailer, wholesalers, distributors, and publishers.

PCS’s own Ed Catto is onsite at the show and is sure to fill us in on all the scoops which we will cover soon. The first big piece of news is that DC Comics is returning to Wednesday for its day of new releases. DC had changed from Wednesday to Tuesday when they split from Diamond Distribution back in 2020, and it appears they will return to make Wednesdays #NCBD for all.

New X-Men Action Figures

Continue reading “What the Heck Happened? Comics News for the Week of 2/18/24 – 2/24/24”

With Further Ado #288: Brit Brilliance – Hope and Holmes

With Further Ado #288: Brit Brilliance – Hope and Holmes

Andrew Sumner of Titan Books just zoomed into one of my Ithaca College classes, as he frequently does. Andrew is one of those guys who gets students to open their eyes that much wider – and imagine new possibilities. And like so many Brits, he does it in a way that’s fun and engaging from start to finish.

I was reflecting on a couple of other British efforts I’ve recently been enthralled with and wanted to shine the spotlight on them too.

Hope

Jimmy Broxton is a brilliant British comics artist, who, like many comic characters, uses a secret identity. (Fancy people call it a pseudonym.) There’s nothing with that. I’ve enjoyed his work on projects like Goldtiger and Vampirella, but I worry I miss much of his UK focused work. Continue reading “With Further Ado #288: Brit Brilliance – Hope and Holmes”

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/21/24

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/21/24

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.

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.

It is a relatively light week for new series, but there are some very interesting books on the list and a couple of long awaited collections in the One-Shots and Specials section. We have books on this week’s list from: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, DSTLRY Media, Oni Press, Archie Comics, 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


New Series This Week 


Alien: Black, White & Blood #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Ryan Cady, & Stephanie Phillips
Art by Dev Pramanik, Marcelo Ferriera, & Michael Dowling
Cover Art by Ryan Stegman, J.P. Mayer, & Edgar Delgado

THE ALIEN UNIVERSE AS ONLY MARVEL COULD IMAGINE IT! Black, white, red—and GREEN! Marvel Comics and 20th Century Studios present a kill-fest of an anthology in chest-rending artistic detail! Superstars Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing (CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) and brilliant artist Michael Dowling (BLACK CAT, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) kick off a generations-spanning story that will continue through all four issues! Fan-favorite writer Ryan Cady explores the limits of compassion in “Maternal Instincts.” And rising stars Stephanie Phillips and Marcelo Ferreira bring you “The Hunt,” a tale of guts, glory and the most exhilarating of games…

Release Date: February 21, 2024

PCS NOTES: Three new groups of creators taking swings at the Xenomorphs? Sound like a fun read.


Blasfamous #1
DSTLRY Media
Written by Mirka Andolfo
Art by Andolfo & Gianluca Papi
Letters by Fabio Amelia
Cover Art by Andolfo

From international superstar MIRKA ANDOLFO (SWEET PAPRIKA, MERCY, UNNATURAL, Harley Quinn, Punchline…) comes a new horror comedy that only Andolfo can deliver—asking the question: how many fans is your soul worth? In a world where pop stars have ascended to divinity, and the masses bow in veneration to a new generation of viral superstars, angels and demons thrive on this exaltation, and revel in this spotlight that grants them unimaginable power. Clelia, the reigning queen of pop, finds her throne shaken by a newcomer radiating with enigmatic charm. As her fans waver and the public eye threatens to wander, Clelia and her demonic agent, Father Lev, are thrust into a battle for dominance on this exhilarating stage of music and mysticism. How far will they go to defend her reign and unravel the mystery of this sensational new threat? Mixing the sacred and profane, Harvey Award-winning Mirka Andolfo effortlessly merges the mythological urban fantasy of American Gods with the sardonic wit of The Good Place in a brand new dark series featuring stunning visual and narrative intensity set in the glittering world of pop music.

Release Date: February 21, 2024

PCS NOTES: This is the NEW NUMBER ONE OF THE WEEK. DSTLRY keeps the hits coming. We can’t wait for this one. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/21/24”

Breaking News: Oni Press Is Bringing Back EC Comics With New Content This Summer.

Breaking News: Oni Press Is Bringing Back EC Comics With New Content This Summer.

Fans of comic books and storytelling in general should be VERY excited by the latest news from Oni Press. The foundations of modern horror storytelling were incubated and nurtured in the pages of EC Comics stories by some of the greatest comic book creators of all time. Oni Press has now partnered with the family and estate of William Gaines, the late publisher of EC, and has plans to release new comics in the spirit of EC Comics under that label.

The list of current creators already involved in the new series is impressive and encouraging. With new stories scheduled to begin in July 2024, new comics from the granddaddy of thrilling comics is not far away.  See the below Press Release and stay tuned to PCS for future updates as more information becomes available.

PRESS RELEASE:

EC COMICS IS BACK WITH A VENGEANCE – AND ALL–NEW PUBLISHING LINE – AT ONI PRESS

The Infamous and Influential Comics Imprint That Redefined Pop Culture Returns with Staggering New Titles and Superstar Creators – Beginning Summer 2024 Continue reading “Breaking News: Oni Press Is Bringing Back EC Comics With New Content This Summer.”

Brainiac On Banjo: It’s Good News Week!

Brainiac On Banjo: It’s Good News Week!

The American bookstore landscape is rebounding with a significant increase in bookstores, including the expansion of Barnes & Noble, which plans to open fifty new stores in 2024. This revival is not expected to harm well-managed independent bookstores. An old bank in Chicago’s Wicker Park is being transformed into one such Barnes & Noble, indicating a trend towards creating more intimate, theme-focused bookstores and promoting the fundamental act of reading.

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/14/24

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/14/24

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.

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.

February is in full swing and we are getting more new and interesting books this week. It feels like the publishers are finally coming out of the end-of-year / beginning-of year hiatus for new titles. So let’s hit the comic shops and get some books. We have books on this week’s list from: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, Titan Books, Fantagraphics Books, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Ahoy Comics, and Image Comics. Oh Yeah, and Penthouse too?!

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


New Series This Week 


Blue Book: 1947 #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Michael Avon Oeming
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover Art by Oeming

This ambitious, non-fiction comic book experience depicts true stories of UFO abductions with an eye to capturing the strange essence of those encounters. In 1947, Kenneth Arnold flew his Call-Air A-2 over the skies of the Pacific Northwest when all of a sudden he saw a blinding flash of silver light. What followed was a bizarre and difficult to explain encounter with several flying objects that would change the course of his life forever. Tiny Onion Studios and Dark Horse Comics present a line of upcoming creator-owned work from the mind of James Tynion IV across a broad spectrum of his interests. Also includes a True Weird backup story by Zac Thompson, Gavin Fullerton, and Aditya Bidikar!

Release Date: February 14, 2024

PCS NOTES: This creative team absolutely picked the perfect genre for their combined talents. We are excited about this book.


The Cabinet #1
Image Comics
Written by Jordan Hart & David Ebeltoft
Art by Chiara Raimondi
Cover Art by Raimondi

Mini-Series Premiere.

In this vibrant, tongue-in-cheek adventure series, atypical teen Avani and midwestern jock Trent teleport across a post-Cold War landscape to collect bizarre relics. Why? Well, because they need to summon the arcane powers of a resplendent 17th-century cabinet to fix a teeny-tiny mistake the last time Avani used it… unleashing an ancient evil from its prison and accidentally slaughtering her parents. Courtesy of Eisner-nominated writer Jordan Hart (Ripple Effects) and co-writer David Ebeltoft, and introducing the technicolor wizardry of artist Chiana Raimondi! Each issue features a variant interconnected cover by artist Marguerite Sauvage!

Release Date: February 14, 2024

PCS NOTES: This looks fun. We will definitely check it out.


The Displaced #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Luca Casalanguida & Dee Cunniffe
Cover Art by Casalanguida & Cunniffe

The city of Oshawa, Ontario has vanished without a trace. Even worse, nobody remembers it or the 170,000 missing residents that disappeared along with it.

As the survivors also fall into the forgotten, they must seek each other out, if they hope to have any chance of surviving in a world where no one believes they exist…

Highly acclaimed writer Ed Brisson (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Predator), rising star artist Luca Casalanguida (Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body, James Bond), and red hot colorist Dee Cunniffe (Barnstormers, Crossover) pose the question… how can you feel connected to reality or each other if by all veritable means, you don’t exist?

Release Date: February 14, 2024

PCS NOTES: This has a intriguing premise and we love the work of everyone involved with this book. Add it to Pull List. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming for the Week of 2/14/24”

Super Bowl LVIII Reaction – Commercials and Trailers

Super Bowl LVIII Reaction – Commercials and Trailers

Well, the latest season of NFL football is over. It has been quite the spectacle and veered closer into the Pop Culture atmosphere than it has in recent years. With the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime, there is no way you can say this season was not filled with drama.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. PHOTO: EZRA SHAW/GETTY

Much of the added attention had to do with the intersection of music and sports with the very public romantic relationship between Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Travis Kelce and mega pop star Taylor Swift. Swift’s presence anywhere generates buzz, and this season, her travels to support her boyfriend and the camera time that she received on NFL broadcasts were the cause of a buzz that rivaled the rumble of a 747 on takeoff. A lot of the noise was generated by those same folks who were upset that a quarterback had an opinion and kneeled to protesting police brutality. For many of us, the apoplectic reaction to a woman attending a football game to support her romantic partner was gloriously rewarding karma.

The Super Bowl is the ultimate showcase for new advertisements and film trailer releases, and this year despite prices around seven million dollars for thirty second ads, plenty of companies and organizations plunked down their cash to try to ride the Taylor wave of football viewership. Let’s breakdown what we saw.

PSAs – Hit or Miss

There were a bunch of spots during the game that were not trying to sell anything at all. Some Public Service Announcements were well done, and some were head scratching to say the least. On the positive side, there was a body positivity ad sponsored by Dove and a couple of anti-bullying promos staring NFL players as well as a PSA calling attention to homelessness and another calling for people to stand up to hate. Continue reading “Super Bowl LVIII Reaction – Commercials and Trailers”