July Comics Look Ahead

by Phoenix Comics and Games

Hi there folks! Welcome to our May look ahead blog. In the interest of helping folks stay up on new comic series and happenings well before they hit the shelves, we're delving into the catalogues each month to put forth reviews and recommendations as well as 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 July, read on and find out more!

Reviews and Recommendations

Looking for a new series or two to follow? Here are a few recommendations for new series courtesy of Team Phoenix! This month's reviews are all from Nick and Sloane! 

Batman #125

DC Comics, by Chip Zdarsky (writer) and Jorge Jimenez (artist)

I know we’re all tired of Batman. It feels like DC has been on a bat-binge for the past year, if not longer. So why, you may ask, am I suggesting you give this book a try right now? Two words for you:

Chip. Zdarsky.

Chip’s great as a writer, and I know from his experience on Daredevil and Spider-Man Life Story that he knows how to write a really good and compelling super-hero narrative in a way that keeps me reading and wanting more. Plus, this is a solid jumping on point for the series for those of you who’ve been looking for the next spot to sart reading the core book of the bat-line. I don’t blame you if you’re suffering from a bit of bat-exhaustion, but I think this is one of those books that if you miss trying it you’re gonna be kicking yourself later.

-Nick

Blink #1

Oni Press, by Christopher Sebela (writer) and Nick Filardi (artist)

I’ve been really into horror movies lately. Not the gory ones, or the ones full of jump scares, but the slow burning, psychological ones. The ones that aren’t scary because of gruesome killers, but because of their ideas. Blink looks like it’s going to be exactly that type of horror. 

Inspired by the found footage subgenre of horror movies (think The Blair Witch Project and VHS), this book follows Wren Booker, who is unable to remember her traumatic childhood until she discovers a website that streams surveillance footage from hundreds of rooms and corridors in a decaying, labyrinthine underground compound. Then it all comes rushing back. I’m excited to see where this ‘Jordan Peele’s Us’-esque plot takes us, and doubly excited to see how they translate found footage genre tropes from the screen to the page.

- Sloane

Heart Eyes #1

Vault Comics, by Dennis Hopeless (writer) and Victor Ibanez (artist)

Speaking of horror - here’s another one! Dennis Hopeless looks like he’s going to be pairing lovecraftian horror up a romantic subplot in this post apocalyptic vision of the future where sanity-eating monsters have brought about humanity’s end. According to some notes I found about the series, the creative team tried to lean heavily into feelings of isolation and terror that people found themselves experiencing during the beginning of the pandemic. So if you’re someone who seeks catharsis by confronting some of those pandemic-fears, consider giving this book a read!

-Nick

Superman: Space Age #1

DC Comics, by Mark Russell (writer) and Mike Allred (artist)

Mark Russell is a writer I know and love the works of. His work on Snagglepuss and the Flintstones is some A-grade biting social commentary about post-WW2 America and it’s “golden age,” while still managing to have some delightfully well constructed characters that help make the stories compelling. Mike Allred is an industry titan who you’re probably familiar with from the pages of Madman, X-Statix, iZombie, Silver Surfer, and many many more titles. Together they’re going to make a Superman comic and I am so hype for this.

Allred’s definitely evoking some Christopher Reeves era Supes with silver-age costumes to go with it, which makes sense, as we’re gonna be seeing the tale of a pre-crisis (Crisis on Infinite Earths to be specific) Superman who’s just found out his world is doomed. I’m expecting a fantastic ride from these two and I hope you’ll join me on it.

-Nick

A.X.E.: Judgement Day #1 (of 6)

Marvel Comics, by Kieron Gillen (writer) and Valerio Schiti (artist)

Normally I’d put this one section lower in the noteworth tie-ins page, but I think there’s enough here to warrant an inclusion into the reviews & recommendations column. Kieron Gillen is one of my favorite writers (I am an unapologetic Wic+Div fan) and he’s writing both Eternals and Immortal X-Men right now. That makes him the perfect person to write an Eternals-Avengers-X-Men three team pile-up that’s going to be Marvel’s summer blockbuster series this year. This is certain to be a thing that changes some Marvel universe status-quos and I think it’s gonna be a fun ride to boot.

-Nick

Noteworthy Tie-Ins

Normally we’d take this space for tie-ins, but there aren’t a whole lot of them going on (or for the ones that are going on, all the tie-ins are actually conveniently labeled for once). Instead I’m gonna focus on a couple of “if-you’re-reading” series that I think would be good add-ons for anyone already invested. 

Avengers 1,000,000 B.C.

Marvel Comics, by Jason Aaron (writer) and Kev Walker (artist)

If you’re already following Aaron’s run on Avengers and/or Avengers Forever, then you’ll definitely want in on this new series that’s spotlighting the 1 Billion B.C. era Avengers.

X-Terminators 

Marvel Comics, by Leah Williams (writer) and Carlos Gómez (artist)

The original X-Terminators team was actually a cover the original five X-Men would use during their X-Factor days. This X-Terminators book looks like it’s going to be a fantastically fun book involving Jubilee, Dazzler, and Boom-Boom. The add copy and art suggests Laura’s Wolverine will play a part in this too. And the previews we've seen talk about death traps. I really really hope that means what I think it means. (Hint: he’s a red-head and wears a bow-tie and loves overly elaborate, theme-park-related death traps.)

Demon Days: Iron Samurai

Marvel Comics, by Peach Momoko (writer and artist)

For those of you who couldn’t get enough of her art the first time around! Peach is back with an Avengers-themed new series to follow up the original Demon Days.

DC vs Vampires: All Out War #1

DC Comics, by Matthew Rosenberg (writer) and Alex Paknadel (artist)

More stories of the DC vs Vampires line! I’m pointing this one out here because lately DC’s been a bit slow to advance the main story, opting instead for 1-shots and I want to make sure no one misses it who wants to be down for this.

Fun One-Shots and Nice-To-Haves

Sloane found a bunch of fun trades this time around, so I’m a turn the keyboard over to her now to fill you in on what looks good in the one-shots and OGN department this July!

Hollow OGN

BOOM! Studios, by Shannon Watters & Branden Boyer-White (writers) and Berenice Nelle (artist)

This one’s a little far off, it’s not out until September, but I just couldn’t resist mentioning it in this month’s look ahead! Hollow is a young adult romance-adventure story about Isabel “Izzy” Crane, who’s just moved to the town of Sleepy Hollow with her family. (Yes, that Sleepy Hollow. You know the one.) She finds herself and her new friends Vicky and Croc haunted by the legendary ghost of the Headless Horseman and racing to solve the mystery of the ghost’s curse before Halloween. Between Izzy and Vicky’s queer romance subplot, the Halloween backdrop, and the Scooby-Doo vibes that the protagonists give off, this book looks drop dead fun! It helps too that Shannon Watters, one of the co-creators of Lumberjanes, is a part of the writing team.

- Sloane

Supper Club OGN

Image Comics, by Jackie Morrow

Highschool is a difficult time for everybody. Senior year especially. Choosing colleges, preparing to graduate, and just generally figuring out your future is rough as heck. Supper Club follows three highschool kids navigating these challenges and trying to find time to stay friends through this stressful time by forming a – you guessed it – supper club! This book combines a couple of my favorite things, high school slice-of-life drama and the increasingly popular genre of food comics. The art style is super cute and expressive, and the dramatic moments we’ve seen in previews certainly deliver too. All in all, this book is shaping up to be, well, delicious!

- Sloane

Below Ambition

Fantagraphics Books, by Simon Hanselmann (writer & artist)

Megg and Mogg are a witch and her roommate (a cat) whose misadventures have them confront depression, drug use, and the difficulties of modern life. But somehow they’re also hilarious? And sincere and at times even relatable, despite the fact that they’re about a cartoon witch and cat? That Simon Hanselmann can consistently pull together all of these different threads and ideas and tones into a coherent whole has earned him a spot as one of the best independant comic writers/artists today.

This latest Megg and Mogg book Below Ambition follows Megg, her friend Werewolf Jones, and their band Horse Mafia through half-assed practice sessions and an inter-state tour. It promises nervous breakdowns, intra-band member tension, and way too many benzos. Classic Hanselmann stuff. Also it comes with a vinyl single from the band? This one’s a must-get.

- Sloane

Bolero TP

Image Comics, by Wyatt Kennedy (writer) and Launa Vecchio (artist)

As soon as I finished reading the last issue of Bolero, I immediately dug the other four issues out to start rereading. There’s just so much to chew on here! Bolero starts off a romance book about travel between parallel universes – it was originally promoted as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets Locke and Key – but it branches from there into an exploration of how our experiences shape who we are, and how we end up perpetuating our own self-destructive tendencies. To top it off, the book is extremely queer, in a way that I and I know a lot of other readers found super validating to see in print. All in all, Bolero is a rich tapestry and easily my favorite comic that’s come out since I started working at Phoenix.

- Sloane

And that's it for this month's look ahead! We'll be back later this month for another look at what's in store for you comics fans in August. 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.

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