Shadecraft #1 – One of the best #1’s this year!

Shadecraft #1

(W) Joe Henderson (A) Lee Garbett

The new Image Comics title from the creative team behind Skyward!

A title that gives new meaning to the idea of ‘being afraid of your own shadow…’

Shadecraft arrives with a lot of fanfare and expectation, solely due to the fact its live action rights were picked up by Netflix before Issue 1 had even arrived!  I unfortunately saw the bad side of comic fandom as I had ordered big on the title, hoping to help people get it at cover price once word inevitably spread.  I put them on the website, and because there is no limit on our website for how many copies of something you can buy, one person bought up our entire stock of it (aside from one variant) at cover price, no doubt hoping to make money down the line.

Maybe I should put a cap on how many copies someone can buy?  Oh well, at least I have plenty of the second print for #1 ordered for those interested!

So, what’s it about?  In Shadecraft, our main character is Zadie Lu, a teenager in High School.  For years, she has always been jealous of her older brother’s popularity and felt overshadowed, no matter what her achievements, and to top it all off, she has a fear of shadows, an irrational one right?  Well…

I enjoyed the hell out of these guys previous Zero Gravity effort, Skyward (and may have even indulged in an oversized hardcover collection…) so knew we would be in safe hands here.

The characters are instantly engaging, and Zadie is an interesting character from the off.  Just witness her embarrassment when she thinks her best friend is coming on to her and she reciprocates.  Except he wasn’t, so she runs off embarrassed into the night.  Probably not the best idea for someone with issues with the dark. But we all felt that embarrassment as teenagers and can understand.

We’re only a couple of pages in but this is one stunning looking book.  I find it slightly reductive to compare art styles sometimes as every artist in the world of comics brings their own style.  But it was hard not to think of the clean lines and great colouring from Saga’s Fiona Staples when reading this title.  I can offer Lee Garbett on art and Antonio Fabela on colours no higher compliment than that.  The world feels rich and lived in, but also has that small town horror movie vibe and constant atmosphere.

As she walks home alone after her awkward encounter, she almost feels as if her shadow is watching her.  As the reader, we can see something threatening behind her, but is it all just in her head?  Is she indeed the ‘Crazy Zadie’ she anoints herself as?

Well, wonder no longer as that slow burn becomes an over-the-top attack as her shadows erupt into a massive figure that surrounds her until her mother turns on the porch light.  We also get the information at this point that something happened to her golden boy brother, but we’re not sure just what.

What’s great here is that she doesn’t attempt to keep it to herself like most characters in these types of stories.  Even as she tells her friend the story of what happened on the porch, she doesn’t care if it sounds crazy, she has the holes in her jacket from when the shadow attacked her as proof.  She even says to her friend that she’s talking about it because people, not just her, could be in danger.  Again, she comes across really well as a sympathetic character who we can root for.

She even tries to move past the awkwardness of the misunderstood kiss from the night before by hugging Josh tightly in the lunch hall, proclaiming she is glad he’s not dead!  Despite the fantastical nature of her attack, of course her other friend is more interested in the kiss.  Teenagers huh?

We then find out that Mr Popular of the family, Zadie’s brother Ricky, is in a coma, and she comes to his bedside to talk to him.  We don’t know what has caused the coma just yet.  This is what was so great about this first issue, it is establishing lots of characters, and moving the story forward, but also laying breadcrumbs to be picked up upon later.  She runs out of his room after her mother challenges her, and screams ‘That Ricky’s never coming back’.

Which leads to the end of the issue and confrontations in the spooky woods, shadow monsters, beautiful single and double splash pages, Zadie losing her own shadow at one point and even an emotional beat thrown in for good measure.  I won’t reveal any more as this deserves to be discovered on its own terms.

One of the best Issue 1’s this year for me, and I can’t recommend enough that you don’t sleep on it.  This is a title very different from most, if not all books on the shelf right now, and it’s all the better for it.  Keep an eye out for those 2nd prints folks…

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM FEBRUARY’S PREVIEWS BOOKS – RELEASES DUE IN APRIL 2021

Each month, we like to go through the Previews books, and pick out all of the titles that we believe are not to be missed!  We will always do a podcast on our choices as well that can be found elsewhere on the website!  And now?

We will have a monthly article right here on the website for you to have a peek at.  For those who don’t know, the comic industry is built on a pre-order system.  We will have the Previews books sent to us, and then we place an order for upcoming titles two months in advance.

This big order is the only way to 100% guarantee that we can source specific books for our customers, so the earlier we receive preorders the better! So if any of the following recommended titles appeal to you, do get in touch and let us know if you’d like them added to your pull list.  Don’t have a pull list?  Get in touch and we can guide you through it.  At Coffee & Heroes, we have no minimum or maximum books required in order to set up a pull list with us.

If it’s on your pull list then you’re guaranteed that title on release day and at cover price. So allow us to guide you through the best of the best from the February 2021 Previews Books, due for release in April 2021!  Orders are due by Friday 22nd January!

DC TITLES

ROBIN #1 – A NEW ONGOING SERIES FOR DAMIAN WAYNE!

(w) Joshua Williamson (a) Gleb Melnikov

After learning of the deadly League of Lazarus tournament, Damian Wayne has a new mission: winning the tournament and prove he is the greatest fighter in the DC Universe!

But first he must find the secret island where it’s all going down! This brand-new solo Robin series will force Damian Wayne to find his own path away from both sides of his family! New mysteries! New supporting cast!

First appearances of new characters! And lots of fights!

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1 – EASILY ONE OUR MOST ANTICIPATED TITLES OF 2021!

(w) Tom Taylor (a) Andy Kubert

An epic tale begins that will take Batman on a harrowing, action-packed European adventure in a new miniseries by superstar creators Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert!

A horrific tragedy in the United Kingdom sends a very personal and deadly message to the Dark Knight, one that will draw Batman out of Gotham City to investigate! From the moment he lands in Europe, Batman will face a difficult investigation and unheard-of adversaries and find the assistance of a partner once more, all in the hunt for the villain known as Equilibrium! New villains! New allies!

A thrilling overseas adventure begins for the Dark Knight!

NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON #1 – THE FUTURE STATE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS!

(w) John Ridley (a) Tony Akins

The Next Batman: Second Son is a new miniseries, launching weekly digital chapters beginning February 23. The first three digital chapters will be collected into the debut print issue, available at comic book stores on April 6.

Now that the world knows Tim Fox is behind the mask fighting against The Magistrate in Gotham City, what’s the truth behind his origin and his connection to the current DC Universe? Featuring art by Tony Akins (Jack of Fables), Travel Foreman (Animal Man, Birds of Prey) and Mark Morales (Justice League, Deathstroke, REPRESENT!/”It’s A Bird”) this miniseries answers the questions behind Tim’s estrangement from Lucius Fox and the rest of the Fox family and his evolution from man of mystery to Gotham’s newest guardian.

CHALLENGE OF THE SUPER SONS #1 – THE FAN FAVOURITE DUO RETURN IN PRINT!

(w) Peter J. Tomasi (a) Max Raynor

The boys are back! Picking up where the sensational ADVENTURES OF THE SUPER SONS left off, the son of Batman and the son of Superman are back in the spotlight and ready to give evil a good spanking. But are Robin and Superboy in over their heads this time?! A mysterious woman from beyond time has appeared to the DCU’s favorite sons, and her arrival heralds certain DOOM (the’s a hint, everyone) of things to come!

HARLEY QUINN: BLACK, WHITE & RED – SOME OF THE INDUSTRIES BEST CREATORS CONTRIBUTE TO THIS ANTHOLOGY FOR HARLEEN QUINZEL!

(w) Various (a) VArious

One of the crown jewels of the DC library is the inimitable BATMAN: BLACK & WHITE – innovative short tales of the Caped Crusader, told purely in primal black and white ink. Unfortunately, now Harley Quinn wants in on the action…and she’s got her red pen, and some NOTES.

In HARLEY QUINN: BLACK & WHITE & RED, 14 tales of Gotham City’s craziest clown princess are presented in nothing but black, white, and bold splashes of red. See how Harley’s story unfolds in worlds beyond the DC Universe, in the alternate timelines of Batman: White Knight, Harleen, and the Harley Quinn animated series! Witness her darkest hours and her happiest moments! Wait, did she just…win an underground rap battle?!

An incredible array of award-winning talent from across the comics industry have put their reputations in jeopardy to bring you these stories—so show a little gratitude, will ya?

BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE TP – RETURN TO THE GREATEST SUPERHERO CARTOON OF ALL TIME WITH BRAND NEW TALES!

(w) Alan Burnett, Paul Dini (a) Ty Templeton

From Alan Burnett and Paul Dini, the visionary producers of Batman: The Animated Series, comes a collection of all-new stories and adventures that turn Batman’s world upside down!
Starting off with an attack on S.T.A.R. Labs in Gotham City by a giant robot that steals an entire room of the laboratory! Batman is going to have to stop it before it can cause more harm…and with Lex Luthor freshly back in Gotham, he knows where to start his search. Will Batman be able to topple the billionaire before he leaves Gotham?

Collects Batman: The Adventures Continue #1-8.

MARVEL COMICS

VENOM #35 (LEGACY #200) – THE END OF CATES AND STEGMAN’S EPIC RUN IS HERE!

(w) Donny Cates (a) Ryan Stegman

The Final Chapter in the Book of VENOM by Donny Cates & Ryan Stegman!

This is it, Venomaniacs! The landmark 200th issue starring the most sinister symbiote in the Marvel Universe arrives – and after this, NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME!

From Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, and a who’s who of artists from the issues that tore Eddie Brock’s life asunder and brought the KING IN BLACK to Earth, comes the first chapter of the rest of Venom’s life. But in Knull’s wake, what even remains of the Lethal Protector?

THE MARVELS #1 – BRAND NEW STORIES SPANNING DECADES FROM THE HOUSE OF IDEAS!

(W) Kurt Busiek (A) Yildiray Cinar (CA) Alex Ross

ALL-NEW, ONGOING SERIES!

Kurt Busiek (MARVELS, Astro City) is back, with the biggest, wildest, most sprawling series ever to hit the Marvel Universe, telling stories that span the decades and range from cosmic adventure to intense human drama, from the street-level to the cosmic, starring literally anyone from Marvel’s very first heroes to the superstars of tomorrow. This first issue includes an invasion from orbit, a picnic in Prospect Park, super hero sightseeing in Manhattan, the All-Winners Squad in 1947, Reed Richards during his time in military intelligence, cosmic beings beyond space and time- and that’s only for starters.

Featuring Captain America, Spider-Man, the Punisher, the Human Torch, Storm, the Black Cat, the Golden Age Vision, Aero, Iron Man and Thor, and introducing two brand-new characters, all beautifully drawn by Yildiray Cinar (X-MEN, Legion of Super-Heroes, IRON MAN) in the opening act of a thriller that’ll take us across the Marvel Universe…and beyond. Plus: Who (or what) is KSHOOM? It all starts here. And it goes…everywhere.

THE MIGHTY VALKYRIES #1 (of 5) – JASON AARON RETURNING TO  THE WORLD OF THOR AGAIN? HELL YEAH!

(W) Jason Aaron, Torunn Gronbekk (A/CA) Mattia De Iulis

JANE FOSTER GETS A FRESH START – AND ALLIES BOTH NEW AND OLD!

Jane Foster believed she was the only Valkyrie left – but the fight against Knull, the King in Black, proved her wrong. Now the Valkyries must redefine their roles in a changing world – and Asgard’s not going to make it easy. When Loki comes to Jane with rumors of a beast stalking the souls of Midgard, she leaps into action – but she’s not the only one after the strange wolf’s hide. She’ll need backup…but her ancient coworker has other priorities.

Years ago, the warrior made a promise to a woman she loved. And now, it’s time to follow through. Get the real story behind the Marvel Universe’s newest star – and don’t miss the start of an all-new epic adventure from powerhouses Jason Aaron, Torunn Gr nbekk and Mattia de Iulis!

DARKHAWK: HEART OF THE HAWK #1 – THE ULTIMATE 90’S MARVEL HERO!

(W) Danny Fingeroth, More (A) Mike Manley, More (CA) Logan Lubera

• Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ’90s hottest hero in three spectacular stories!
•  First, an untold story from Darkhawk’s early days by creators Danny Fingeroth and Mike Manley!
•  Then explore the winged hero’s cosmic years by Dan Abnett and Andrea Di Vito.
•  Finally, find out what the future holds for Darkhawk by Kyle Higgins and more!

SPIDER-MAN: SPIDER’s SHADOW #1 (of 4) – A BRAND NEW WHAT IF FROM THE CREATOR OF SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY! OUR BIGGEST MARVEL RECOMMENDATION THIS MONTH!

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Pasqual Ferry (CA) Phil Noto

WHAT IF PETER PARKER BECAME VENOM?

Peter Parker once put on an alien suit that nearly destroyed his life – but what if he’d never taken it off? Ignoring every warning, Spidey embraces the dark symbiote! Haunted by terrible nightmares and exhausted by an endless barrage of bad guys, Peter can’t seem to catch a break these days. So when the Hobgoblin attacks, he finds a hero at the end of his rope…and vulnerable to new dark impulses. Spider-Man is about to change his rules – but is it truly Peter who is in charge? Creative powerhouses Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth bring you a terrifying tale of a Peter Parker possessed and on the edge!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #13 – A BRAND NEW JUMPING ON POINT FOR READERS!

(W) Al Ewing (A) Juan Frigeri (CA) Brett Booth

A NEW AGE OF SPACE STARTS HERE!

They were soldiers, misfits, mercenaries, thieves and a family. They were heroes… but times have changed. The galaxy no longer needs heroes.

It needs super heroes! Now, when the call goes forth – whether it’s from a stranded team of planetary explorers or Emperor Hulkling and his Kree/Skrull Alliance – the Guardians of the Galaxy answer!

The New Age of Space brings a new artist! New headquarters! New costumes! New teammates! And an all-new enemy you’ll have to see to believe! Get on board, true believer – it’s going to be the ride of your life!

INDIE COMICS

GEIGER #1 – THE BRAND NEW COMIC SERIES FROM THE WRITER/ARTIST TEAM ON DOOMSDAY CLOCK!

(W) Geoff Johns (A/CA) Gary Frank

Industry heavyweights GEOFF JOHNS (Superman, Green Lantern, Batman: Three Jokers) and GARY FRANK (Superman, Supergirl, The Incredible Hulk) of DC’s DOOMSDAY CLOCK reteam for what will be one of the most anticipated new series of 2021 in the forthcoming GEIGER. This mind blowing new series will take local comic shops by storm in April from Image Comics.

Who are the scavengers of a dying earth? GEIGER is set in the years since a nuclear war ravaged the planet, desperate outlaws battle for survival in a world of radioactive chaos. Out past the poisoned wasteland lives a man even the Nightcrawlers and Organ People fear. Some name him Joe Glow, others call him The Meltdown Man. But his name… is Geiger.

THE OLD GUARD: TALES FROM TIME #1 – A RAFT OF SUPERSTAR CREATORS GET TO PLAY IN THE IMMORTALS SANDBOX!

W) Greg Rucka, Andrew Wheeler (A) Jacopo Camagni (A/CA) Leandro Fernandez

A STAR-STUDDED ANTHOLOGY EVENT!

The bestselling, critically acclaimed THE OLD GUARD, now a hit Netflix movie starring Charlize Theron, returns with all-new stories by writers GREG RUCKA, VITA AYALA, BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS, KELLY SUE DeCONNICK, MATT FRACTION, DAVID F. WALKER, and more, and artists LEANDRO FERNÁNDEZ, HORACIO ALTUNA, RICK BURCHETT, VALENTINE DE LANDRO, JUSTIN GREENWOOD, KANO, NICOLA SCOTT, and more!

Andromache the Scythian-a warrior over six thousand years old, who has fought more battles than she cares to remember-has kept one constant companion through her long lifetime of combat…her labrys. Andy’s battle axe takes many forms, and many lives, in its centuries at her side, a story told by THE OLD GUARD creators GREG RUCKA & LEANDRO FERNÁNDEZ.

Meanwhile, Nicolo “Nicky” di Genova and Yusuf “Joe” al-Kaysani, lovers since they tried (and failed) to kill each other in the First Crusade, spend an evening at Berlin’s famed Eldorado nightclub in the twilight era of 1932, sharing drinks with drag queens and fistfighting Nazis in an all-new story by writer ANDREW WHEELER (Another Castle: Grimoire) and JACOPO CAMAGNI (NOMEN OMEN)!

THE SILVER COIN #1 – A UNIQUE HORROR ANTHOLOGY WITH A DIFFERENT WRITER EVERY ISSUE!

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Michael Walsh

Eisner-winning artist MICHAEL WALSH (Star Wars, Black Hammer/Justice League) teams with an all-star lineup of collaborators-CHIP ZDARSKY (STILLWATER), KELLY THOMPSON (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), ED BRISSON (Old Man Logan), and JEFF LEMIRE (GIDEON FALLS)-on a new horror anthology miniseries for mature readers. Each issue will tell a tale of terror in a shared supernatural world. The story starts in 1978 with a failing rock band whose fortune suddenly changes when they find the mysterious Silver Coin. Little do they know that fame comes with a cost, and a curse is always hungry.

MIDDLEWEST: THE COMPLETE TALE – AN EPIC HARDCOVER COLLECTION OF ONE OUR ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE SERIES OF RECENT YEARS!

(W) Skottie Young (A/CA) Jorge Corona

When a violent storm levels his sleepy Middlewest town, Abel and his childhood companion, Fox, must hastily flee into a world of mystical carnies and soothsayer hobos, bridge trolls and wilderness spirits, endless forests and forgotten children.SKOTTIE YOUNG (Strange Academy, I HATE FAIRYLAND) and JORGE CORONA (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, Feathers), with colorist JEAN-FRANCOIS BEAULIEU and letterer NATE PIEKOS, collect the complete Eisner Award-nominated tale of Abel, a boy who must navigate a strange and mysterious land in order to discover who he can become.

Collects MIDDLEWEST #1-18, with exclusive bonus features!

THE MANY DEATHS OF LAILA STARR #1 (of 5) – A NEW SERIES FROM OUR PICK FOR WRITER TO WATCH OUT FOR MOST IN 2021 – RAM V!
(W) V. Ram (A/CA) Filipe Andrade

* A powerful new series for fans of The Wicked + The Divine  and The Dreaming from Ram V (Justice League Dark) and Filipe Andrade (Captain Marvel) that explores the fine line between living and dying in Mumbai through the lens of magical realism.

* With humanity on the verge of discovering immortality, the avatar of Death is fired and relegated to the world below to live out her now-finite days in the body of twenty-something Laila Starr in Mumbai.

* Struggling with her new-found mortality, Laila has found a way to be placed in the time and place where the creator of immortality will be born…

* But will Laila take her chance to permanently reverse the course of (future) history…or does a more shocking fate await her?

PHANTOM OF THE SCAN #1 – A NEW HORROR/SCI-FI MYSTERY FROM AFTERSHOCK COMICS!
(W) Cullen Bunn (A/CA) Mark Torres

Twenty years ago, a comet fell to earth. Since that night, Matthew has been haunted – haunted by a spirit that gives him incredible psychic abilities. But these abilities come with a price…and payment is due.

Every time Matthew uses his gifts, he draws closer to death, and other psychics – all of whom gained their powers on the night the comet fell – are dying in the most horrible of ways. To save himself, Matthew gathers a group of psychics to solve the mystery of their powers before it’s too late.
CANTO & THE CITY OF GIANTS #1 (of 3) – OUR FAVOURITE TIM KNIGHT RETURNS FOR A THREE ISSUE SIDE QUEST!
(W) David M. Booher (A/CA) Sebastian Piriz
Canto has surprised, delighted, and moved readers with tales of the clockwork hero-fighting for love, his people, and hope! In this special Canto series, our titular hero reunites with the Giant Guardians of Dis, Fra and Ba, as well as other friends and foes, to recruit the kingdom of Giants to his quest to defeat the Shrouded Man.
Canto co-creator David M. Booher and artist Sebastián Piriz (Headspace, Disaster Inc.) bridge Canto II: The Hollow Men and the upcoming Canto III!
RADIO APOCALYPSE #1 – THE TEAM BEHIND BLUE IN GREEN BRING YOU ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING LOOKING TITLES OF THE YEAR!
(W) Ram V. (A/CA) Anand Radhakrishnan

Long after the rock out of space struck the world and turned it all to dust, in Bakerstown stands the last Radio Station on the planet. Radio Apocalypse broadcasting into the unknown, a beacon in the dark for those who wander the lost places. Now change is coming to Bakerstown.

Among the refugees flocking into an already precarious settlement, an orphan boy Rion, caught in an indiscretion, will twine his fate with the Radio Station. And in doing so, begin this mixtape of love and heartbreak and interminable hope. This soundtrack to the end of the world.
HARD MELODY HC – AN ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL BY ONE OF ASIA’S MOST RESPECTED CREATORS!
(W) Lu Ming (A/CA) Lu Ming

Three middle-aged friends reunite in Beijing to reflect on their high school dreams of becoming rock stars if their dreary adult lives hadn’t gotten in the way. Now they seek to turn their disillusionment into purpose with plans of one more gig to show the world what they are capable of.

And there you have it!  Our picks from the February 2021 Previews Book!

 

 

 

Quick Comic Review – Haha #1

HAHA #1 (w) W. Maxwell Prince (A) Vanesa Del Rey One of the breakout hits from Image comics in the last few years has been the universally acclaimed Ice Cream Man.  An anthology horror series, it regularly appears on Best Of lists and in awards categories.  So it was with much excitement that I looked forward to HAHA, another new anthology series from the writer of Ice Cr... Read More