January Comics Look Ahead
Hi there folks! Welcome to a new monthly series we'll be rolling out here at Phoenix in the interest of helping folks stay up on new comic series and happenings well before they hit the shelves. So in the spirit of that, we'll be putting forth reviews and recommendations, as well as heads-up notifications about new series for popular franchises and tie-ins for big crossovers. So if you were wondering what's new and fun coming out this January, read on and find out more!
Reviews and Recommendations
Looking for a new series or two to follow? Check out some of the upcoming things our staff is looking forward to. We'll also be highlighting any important or noteworthy milestones or series returns here, such as this one image book that people keep asking about that's been on hiatus since August 2019.
Image Comics, Writer Bryan K Vaugn, Artist Fiona Staples
Saga is BACK! January 26, 2022. Mark your calendars!
Okay, I lied a little when I said this was a review. This is more of a call to arms to double check that you're still down for this series. We never took this off of anyone's pull, and if you've got an email on file with the store, we'll be sending out a quick reminder email that this series is restarting after it's 2ish year hiatus.
If you're just joining us for the first time and wondering "what is saga?" here you go: Saga is what happens when you put Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Romeo and Juliet into a blender. It's a light read; the jokes are pithy and fun (and some of the humor and content get slightly NSFW), the action feels well paced, and it never fails to leave you on the end of your seat at the climax of each chapter. If you've never tried it before, I highly recommend starting with volume one and seeing where that takes you.
Image Comics, Writer Joe Hill & David M Booher, Artist Zoe Thorogood
From the artist of The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, Zoe Thorogood and Locke & Key’s writer Joe Hill bring us Rain #1, a romantic first of a five part series about a spreading supernatural rain, a rain of crystalline nails that are sharp like glass and fast as a bullet. This unknowable disaster keeps everyone cautious and anxious and inside their homes, safe from the hail of death outside, paralleling our world of living through a pandemic. I’ll be picking up this first issue for sure.
Image Comics, Writer Wyatt Kennedy, Artist Luana Vecchio
Ever wish your life had an escape hatch? Wyatt Kennedy and Luana Vecchio explore the metaphysics of promise, loss, and regret in this romp through the multiverse. Devyn “Dagger” Dagyn, a queer recovering alcoholic is offered an out, a “mother-key” into the infinite possibilities of parallel universes. The only rules are these- The key can work on any door. The mother will only let you visit 53 universes. Do not ask to speak to the mother. Never hop more than 53 times.
Marvel Comics, Writer Rainbow Rowell, Artist Roge Antonia
I was ready for this book even before it was announced. Rainbow Rowell did a fantastic job in bringing the Runaways back. The creative team for this book looks amazing, and I'm always down for a new She-Hulk series. The past few runs have been really good, and I'm eager to see Rowell and company's take on the character. Plus there's some good good cover art by Jen Bartel on the main cover!
Cursed Pirate Girl: The Devil’s Cave
Boom Studios, Writer / Artist Jeremy Bastian
Jeremy Bastian’s full-page panels explode with stylized nostalgic Maritime images of squids and boats and ocean waves. The eponymous Cursed Pirate Girl brings along her trout-shaped companion Pepper Dice to a world fit only for comic books. If you’re down for a book full of panel-breaking self awareness and lots of portraiture of a young girl with an eyepatch and a healthy attitude for adventure, this one’s for you.
For the second half of this little post we'll be trying to help you stay up to date on any crossovers or tie-ins that might be popping up. We won't be covering things in detail as much in this section, instead our goal is to give you some cursory info on each series and let you decide for yourself how deep of a dive you want to do. For the most part, we'll limit things in this section to the big two (Marvel / DC), but if something else comes up that's noteworthy, we'll endeavor to include it here too.
Marvel has three noteworthy bits this month - two new Star Wars titles, a (bi)weekly pair of Wolverine X-books, and a whole bunch of tie ins to it's Devil's Reign Crossover.
New Star Wars Series
January sees the release of two new limited series, Halcyon Legacy and High Republic Eye of the Storm. Halcyon Legacy by Ethan Sacks promises to be a series that spans multiple eras - in the first issue it teases both the high republic and sequel trilogy stories. Eye of the Storm by Charles Soule looks like it will be more stories set in that fan favorite era. While not a lot is known about either series at this point, I will say that Halcyon Legacy does look pretty interesting (for a series that purports to also generate hype for a Disney World Ride), and features a pretty bad@$$ wookie on the cover with a beautiful looking lightsaber.
Looking to keep your subscription full of x-related titles next year? We've got a Sabretooth mini-series by Victor Lavalle and a pair of mini-series surrounding Wolverine that will release roughly weekly over the course of January - March. X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine will focus on different eras of Logan's many lives. And if you'll permit a little hypothesizing on my end - the titles definitely seem to suggest we might get glimpses of some of the House of X related alternate universe Wolverines as well.
Devil's Reign Tie-Ins and One-Shots
If you're a fan of Chip Zdarsky's rather amazing run on Daredevil, we hope you're following Devil's Reign while the Daredevil proper book takes a bit of a break. Marvel is giving this series the proper crossover treatment with five different 3-issue mini-series, plus a Winter Soldier One-shot. To follow everything in the crossover event, you'll want to add Villains for Hire, Daredevil: Woman Without Fear, Superior Four, Luke Cage: City of Fire, and Devil's Reign: X-Men to your pull list.
As far as creative teams go, Woman Without Fear definitely caught my eye (since Chip's writing it), as did the DR: X-Men tie-in book, which is written by Marauders / X-Men writer Gerry Duggan. Those are the ones that I'll definitely be reading when they come out.
In pretty stark contrast to Marvel this month, DC's tie-ins of note are limited to just four titles. On the bat-line front we have a new Batman title (Batman: The Knight by Chip Zdarsky) and a Batman Catwoman Special. Fans of the Bat/Cat series take note - we'll automatically pull this one for you (we're treating it like an annual here).
We've also got the beginning of what promises to be a fun crossover in Justice League vs Legion of Super Heroes by Brian Michael Bendis, and a Super-Sons reunion in the Superman & Robin Special by Peter Tomasi.
We'll round this month with a couple of things that caught my eye that aren't new series or jumping on points. This month we're apparently going with a bit of a food theme!
Oni Press, Writer Jarrett Melendez, Artists Danica Brine, Hank Jones
Queer Romance + Cooking! What else is there to say? How about how this book has some absolutely lovely art by Danica Brine and Hank Jones, as well as writing by professional chef Jarrett Melendez.
Star Wars High Republic Adventures Bake-Off Special
IDW, Writers Daniel Jose Older, Vita Ayala, Artists Toni Bruno, Jo Cheol-Hong
This one just looks like a fun, silly one-shot. Two competitors put down their lightsabers and pick up their whisks as they compete to make the best version possible of Master Yoda's special pastry recipe. That sentence should tell you all you need to know. If this ticks either or both of those boxes for you, why not give it a try?
And that's it for this month's look ahead! We'll be back in December for another look at what's in store for you comics fans in February. In the meantime, if you'd like to subscribe to any of these books, we've got you covered! Follow this link and let us know which comics you'd like to add to your pull list, or if you don't have one going yet, you can also start up a pull list in that very same link. For more details about our subscription policy, head over here.