April Comics Look Aheads

April Comics Look Aheads

Welcome fair reader, to another installment of Phoenix's comic book look ahead series! This month we've got suggestions and reviews for a bunch of new comic series and several new one-shots and graphic novels. If you're in the mood to expand your subscription lists or you're looking to start collecting comics, read on and check out what we've picked out for new books coming this April.

Reviews and Recommendations

This month we welcome new team member and contributor Max to the team. They're joining Sloane, Elise, and Nick in bringing their thoughts on new comical books to you! As always - if you do see something you want to order just reach out to us via the subscription update form, or send us an email and we'll get your order processed. Also let us know if you read a review that really sparked your curiosity next time you're in the shop! Feedback is always appreciated and welcome.

Spectregraph #1



By James Tynion IV (writer) and Christian Ward (artist)

This book is going to be insane. James Tynion’s horror comics from the last few years have been a near-constant stream of hits, including his most recent series The Deviant which has the entire store champing at the bit for the new issue to come out every month. But when you pair his great character writing and sense of pacing with Christian Ward’s (Batman: City of Madness, Invisible Kingdom) surreal panel layouts and uncanny use of color, you have a dream team who are sure to come up with something suitably scary.

Ward and Tynion have been brewing (distilling?) this book for a while. The idea came about as part of a conversation between the two that neither had ever tackled a haunted house story before. When a wealthy industrialist with a fascination in the occult dies and leaves behind a mansion just north of Los Angeles, the monied elite swarm to the estate sale to find out just what he’d been up to by himself in there for all those years. Part eat-the-rich capitalist commentary, part riff on 19th century occultism, this is definitely one of the most promising horror titles I’ve seen in a while.

- Sloane

Universal Monsters: Creature from the Black Lagoon #1 (of 4)



By Dan Watters, Ram V. (writer) and Matthew Roberts (artist)

The Dark Universe was a series of movies that were supposed to be released by Universal Studios. It was going to serve as a reboot for multiple monsters such as Dracula, the Invisible Man, and Tom Cruise’s The Mummy. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well! 

Fortunately, it seems like it’s being revived by Image!

Fresh off the heels of Tynion’s Dracula run comes a collaboration between Dan Watters (Home Sick Pilots), Ram V. (The Many Deaths of Laila Starr), and Matthew Roberts (Manifest Destiny). I’ve always been a fan of the monsters of the Dark Universe and I enjoyed Tynion’s take on the ol’ vampire. Considering the creative team, it looks like they’re swinging big! This new mini is set years after the original Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and follows journalist Kate Marsden hunting a serial killer in the heart of the Amazon. She soon encounters a new threat - but is it friend or foe? I look forward to seeing where this goes! 

- Max

Uncanny Valley #1


Boom Studios

By Tony Fleecs (writer) and Dave Wachter (artist)

Let me start by saying that I'm maybe a little disillusioned with this specific 'genre' of comics (specifically the "boy from real world meets cartoon/imaginary friends and they're maybe real" kinda genre a la Something Epic). Maybe I've seen it too many times, or maybe it's cause Dynamite seems to be strip-mining my childhood for comic books lately. Who knows! 

Buuuut if you tell me Tony Fleecs is doing a thing, you're going to immediatlely pique my interest. I was a huge fan of Stray Dogs, and I just read a preview for the first issue of Feral and it @#$%ing slaps. So when I was flipping through the Boom Studios section of previews, this jumped out at me. And I have to admit, pairing Fleec's writing with someone who's done work on TMNT does feel like a really good choice. I remain a little skeptical and also I'm definitely gonna pick up a book that got pitched to me as a 'reimagining of Who Framed Roger Rabbit by way of Something Epic.'

 - Nick

The Butcher’s Boy #1


Dark Horse Entertainment

By Landry Walker (writer) and Justin Greenwood (artist)

I’m a sucker any time a book is set in a place that I live. I would have probably enjoyed G. Willow Wilson’s Poison Ivy no matter where it was set, but part of the fun of the first dozen or so issues of the book was feeling like I had been to the places that she visited as she road-tripped up and down the pacific northwest. So when I read about a lovecraftian horror comic set in the kind of small town that I pass through all the time out here, I was certainly intrigued. 

Over a hundred years after a small Northwest town was terrorized by a serial killer named “The Butcher of La Perdita,” the true nature of the murders have faded away into a distant memory. The killer became a folk tale, the kind of thing that people would say still roamed the streets looking for fresh meat. When a group of six friends arrive in town, they quickly discover just how true the rumors are. Described as part Evil Dead, part Midsommar, writer Landry Walker says that The Butcher’s Boy was a way for him to explore the idea of hunger, and how it can drive you to do things that would leave you unrecognizable even to yourself. Certainly a worthy theme for a horror tale, and I’m excited to see where he takes it in this first issue. 

- Sloane

William of Newbury


Dark Horse

By Michael Avon Oeming (w/a/ca)

I don’t know what it’s called, but I love that genre of media about little anthropomorphized animals that use sewing needles as swords and junk like that. Secret World of Arietty, Redwall, all of them. There is something so comforting about just being a little guy in a big world and drinking dew drops from a blade of grass. So, I was beyond excited when I found this title tucked away in a corner of the Dark Horse section of previews. Oeming is no stranger to this genre - previously being the artist and co-creator of The Mice Templar. This new comic is everything I’m looking for in a story about little guys doing little guy stuff! Loosely based on “The Anarchy” during the 12th century, the eponymous William of Newbury is a neurotic monk who fights the dead to keep the peace..much to the chagrin of his brother. Described as Hellboy meets Redwall, William of Newbury is dark, deadly, and cute!

- Max

One-Shots & Graphic Novels

Looking for something self-contained or thicker than the average comic book? Read on for some recommendations for quality upcoming one-shots and graphic novels!

Harley Quinn Annual

DC Comics

By Erika Henderson (writer and artist) (!!!!!)

Frankly I don’t know if I have too much to say about this one, other than that it’s written and drawn by Erika Henderson, and I’m SO excited. Henderson has been one of my favorite comics creators for almost a decade now, and Harley Quinn is the perfect vehicle for her zany writing and drawing style. In fact, she’s even written Harley before. A couple of Henderson’s mini-comics are featured in the main series, and they’re so good they almost steal the show from the rest of the issue. In this annual, Zatanna is framed for a murder on an ocean liner, and Harley has to play detective to clear her name. It goes exactly how you’d expect. 

I hope even if you’re not reading the main Harley series, you check this one out, it’s going to be a lot of fun. 

- Sloane

When I Arrived at the Castle 

Silver Sprocket

By Emily Carroll

I’m weak for Emily Carroll and I won't shut up about it. I first discovered Carroll’s work with Through the Woods in college and was struck by the creeping atmospheric storytelling and her stunning use of color and page composition. I received the original publication of When I Arrived at the Castle as a gift during pride month back in 2019 and seeing this new Silver Sprocket printing has me as excited to dive back in as I was the first time I read it. Carroll wastes no time in throwing readers into the worlds she crafts, often starting the story on the end pages so you’re already in it from the second you open the book. Illustrated in stark black and white cut through with slashes of bloody red, this erotic gothic horror comic is striking and sexy and had me gasping out loud. I’m counting down the days until I can get my hands on it.

- Elise

Food School

Conundrum Press

By Jade Armstrong

Tackling mental health struggles and recovery with comedy and empathy is something I cannot get enough of. As someone with a complicated and messy history with food and diet culture it can be difficult to navigate a world that encourages this unhealthy relationship to eating and exercise. I’m excited for Food School because the main character Olive really wants to get better. They check themself into a full time outpatient treatment program for their eating disorder and takes place largely over the course of that program. Food School examines the impact of disordered eating on our entire lives and what changing it can mean. As Olive changes their relationship to food and exercise they also begin to change their relationship to other people.

- Elise



By Manix Abrera (w/a)

I love when creatives utilize folklore and mythology to quantify human emotion, I also love the little moments in life that remind us that we’re human. 





This book contains two graphic novels by writer/artist Manix Abrera (Kikomachine Komix, News Hardcore). The first, 12, is a series of twelve short stories that showcase the bizarre within the mundane. The second, 14, is about a man who discovers the 13th floor of his building and finds himself in the middle of a storytelling session among creatures of Philippine Folklore. I’m definitely looking forward to this as a fan of mythology AND Regular Show. 

- Max 


DC Comics

By Kami Garcia (writer) and Gabriel Picolo (artist)

This isn't so much a review so much as a "hey heads up this is coming!" for all you Raven & Beast boy fans. Since the series is structured less like ye old traditional numbered graphic novel and more like a series of novels, it's probably important to note that this is book five of the series. So yeah, if this is your jam, go poke us about getting a copy on order! I've heard nothing but glowing reviews about the series and Gabriel Picolo's art is top notch (and hey, if you're looking for a YA Teen Titans romance series, consider starting with Teen Titans: Raven.

- Nick

And that's it for our April look aheads! Next month's look aheads should be up by early April for May. Also reminder - Free Comic Book Day is coming up soon (May 4th!). Thanks for reading, and if you saw something you wanted to add to your pull (or want to start a subscription for the book), use our handy little google form and submit that request!