The Weekly Pull: Green Arrow Anniversary, United States of Captain America, Barbaric, and More

It’s almost another new comic book day, which means new releases hitting stores and digital platforms. Each week in The Weekly Pull, the team highlights the new releases that have us the most excited about another week of comics. Whether those releases are from the most prominent publisher or a small press, brand new issues of ongoing series, original graphic novels, or collected editions of older material, whether it involves capes and cowls or comes from any other genre, if it has us excited about comic books this week, then we’re going to tell you about it in The Weekly Pull.

This week, DC celebrates 80 years of Green Arrow, Marvel collects the King in Black event, and little Johnny Constantine is on the cast. There’s also a new series from Vault Comics, the Kane & Able collection, Power Rangers Unlimited, and plenty more comics to enjoy.

What comics are you most excited about this week? Let us know which new releases you’re looking forward to reading in the comments, and feel free to leave some of your suggestions as well. Check back tomorrow for our weekly reviews and again next week for a new installment of The Weekly Pull.

Barbaric #1

(Photo: Nathan Gooden, Vault Comics)
  • Written by Michael Moreci
  • Art by Nathan Gooden
  • Colors by Addison Duke
  • Letters by Jim Campbell
  • Published by Vault Comics

Typically, any new first issue from Vault Comics is worth a glance, and Barbaric #1 from Michael Moreci and Nathan Gooden is no different. The series looks to put a comedic spin on the savage hero trope. Moreci and Gooden have come up with a clever inversion of the “cursed weapon” plot device, with Owen the Barbarian’s enchanted, hard-drinking, sentient Axe dooming him to a life of good deeds. How does that work out when all Owen wants to do is cause mayhem? Find out when Barabaric #1 hit store shelves this Wednesday. — Jamie Lovett


Black Cat Annual #1

Black Cat Annual #1
(Photo: C.F. Villa, Marvel Comics)
  • Written by Jed Mackay
  • Art by Joey Vazquez
  • Colors by Brian Reber
  • Letters by Ferran Delgado
  • Published by Marvel Comics

I don’t know when it happened exactly, but here we are. I’m a Black Cat fan, and that alone would probably have earned Black Cat Annual #1 a slot on my picks this week, but it’s also a book that promises a heck of an adventure. Felicia’s vacation is interrupted when her layover in South Korea turns into a caper as super-spy White Fox needs her help, but this is a Black Cat caper. It’s not going to be that direct. What ensues is a deadly journey across Seoul that sees Black Cat face off with Taegukgi, White Fox, and Tiger Division. Sounds bonkers but also like a lot of fun. Check it out. — Nicole Drum


Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1
(Photo: Dan Mora, DC Comics)
  • Written by Various
  • Art by Various
  • Published by DC Comics

As someone who unabashedly loves Green Arrow, Black Canary, and their “Arrow fam” of supporting characters, the fact that they haven’t always gotten their due in the pages of DC Comics has been a bit of a roller coaster. Luckily, this week’s Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular puts the Emerald Archer and his friends and family on full display, and the end result is genuinely incredible. Not only is the issue a must-read collector’s item for Green Arrow fans, but it is a surprisingly good gateway into (or back into) the character, with stories that span the charming hijinks of the Golden Age to the emotional ensemble of the modern-day, and everything in between. This honestly might be my favorite comic I’ve read this year — and if you love the world of Green Arrow, it hopefully will be yours too. — Jenna Anderson


Kaijumax Season 6 #2

Kaijumax Season 6 #2
(Photo: Zander Cannon, Oni Press)
  • Created by Zander Cannon
  • Published by Oni Press

Zander Cannon’s Kaijumax has quietly been one of the best comics in publication for the past half-decade. It’s now racing towards its conclusion and the first issue of its sixth and final season suggested it will not trip at the finish line, maintaining the same blend of expert craft and satirical humor that’s made it such a great read throughout. You may think that now would be a weird time to start reading Kaijumax, but it’s never too late to get caught up on a modern classic. — Jamie Lovett


Kane & Able

Kane and Able
(Photo: Krent Able, Shaky Kane, Image Comics)
  • Writing and art by Shaky Kane and Krent Able
  • Published by Image Comics

If you have read a Shaky Kane comic before, then there’s no need to read any further in this recommendation. You already know all about the psychedelic, self-referential works crafted by a British pop artist that shape even the creator’s identity and credits into a component of the work itself. If you have never read a Shaky Kane comic before, you now have the 10,000-foot view of his approach to comics. Devotees of more mainstream comics experimentalists like Grant Morrison are bound to find lots to appreciate within the pages of Kane & Able, but this collection of twisted narratives and oddities may surprise even the most conservative reader. This graphic novel presents its stories in an anthology manner allowing readers to study the variations in style and idiosyncratic connections at their own pace, and Kane comics consistently reward close reading. So if you are someone who thinks this looks a bit too strange, consider taking a walk on the wild side Wednesday. You might just discover a new appreciation for what comics can create. — Chase Magnett


King in Black

King in Black
(Photo: Ryan Stegman, Marvel Comics)
  • Written by Donny Cates
  • Art by Ryan Stegman
  • Inks by JP Mayer
  • Colors by Frank Martin
  • Letters by Clayton Cowles

Marvel’s had a myriad of big crossover events over the past two years, and some landed better than others. Out of all of them though, King in Black is easily the most thrilling and ultimately satisfying, delivering epic superhero action, high stakes, deeply flawed but endearing characters, and gorgeous artwork all in one stellar package. Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman completely won me over with their work on the character over the past few years, and all of that foundation building and character work is paid off throughout this series. It also sticks the landing and plants a compelling hook for the story’s next chapter, something that’s been shown to be rather difficult to do. It’s everything you want in a blockbuster crossover, and an easy recommendation to just about anyone. — Matthew Aguilar


Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel

The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
(Photo: DC Comics)
  • Written by Ryan North
  • Illustrated by Derek Charm
  • Published by DC Comics

Yes, John Constantine is arguably one of the darkest characters in DC’s mainstream arsenal. Yes, the idea of placing his character and the larger Justice League Dark lore into a graphic novel for young readers might seem absurd at first — but honestly, that’s part of the beauty of it. Mystery of the Meanest Teacher follows a younger version of the magician to a boarding school in Salem, where he uncovers a conspiracy that his teacher might really be a witch. With the help of “Anna”, a young magician who seems to be Zatanna, and a friendly demon named
Etrigan, the group sets out to figure out the truth, and discover their own magical powers along the way. This has the makings of a fun, spooky entry point for the young and young at heart to dive into the character, especially with a stellar team of Ryan North and Derek Charm at the helm. — Jenna Anderson


Power Rangers Unlimited: Edge of Darkness #1

Power Rangers Unlimited Edge of Darkness #1
(Photo: Dan Mora, BOOM! Studios)
  • Written by Frank Gogol 
  • Art by Simone Ragazzoni
  • Colors by Igor Monti
  • Letters by Ed Dukeshire
  • Published by BOOM! Studios

Astronema and Ecliptor grabbed the spotlight in the first Power Rangers Unlimited one-shot, Heir to Darkness, and now it’s Phantom Ranger’s time to shine in Power Rangers Unlimited: Edge of Darkness. Writer Frank Gogol takes the most mysterious Ranger in the franchise and adds new context to his role in the mythos as well as major elements to his character, but it’s actually how intertwined he is with some of the franchise’s biggest forces and how effortlessly Gogol pulls it off that is perhaps the most impressive feat. Meanwhile, Simone Ragazzoni, Igor Monti, Sabrina Del Grosso, and Ed Dukeshire deliver a feast for the eyes, but the real magic is when the humanity of the characters comes through, which is pretty impressive when your lead character doesn’t take their helmet off. It’s an issue with answers and even more questions, and one Rangers fans won’t want to miss. — Matthew Aguilar


The United States of Captain America

The United States of Captain America #1
(Photo: Alex Ross, Marvel Comics)
  • Written by Josh Trujillo, Christopher Cantwell
  • Art by Jan Bazaldua, Dale Eaglesham
  • Colors by Matt Milla
  • Letters by Joe Caramagna
  • Published by Marvel Comics

It’s Captain America’s 80th anniversary, and to celebrate, we’ve got one of my picks this week: The United States of Captain America #1. The first in a limited series, The United States of Captain America celebrates the character’s legacy by taking Captain America on a journey. The shield has been stolen, so Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson head out on a road trip across the country to find it, and, along the way, they’ll encounter others inspired by the idea of Captain America to defend their own communities – and the shield thief wants them dead. The issue sets up an interesting framework to examine not just the legacy of Captain America but the very idea of the character, all while bundled up in a mystery with real stakes. If you’re a Captain America fan, you will want to check this one out. — Nicole Drum


Usagi Yojimbo: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1

Usagi Yojimbo The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1
(Photo: David Petersen, IDW Publishing)
  • Written by Stan Sakai
  • Art by Stan Sakai
  • Colors by Ronda Pattison
  • Letters by Stan Sakai
  • Published by IDW Publishing

There are nearly 40 years of Usagi Yojimbo comics for readers to discover in 2021, which ought to seem like a gift but can also be intimidating for the uninitiated. Luckily, IDW Publishing has been reprinting the greatest stories from Stan Sakai’s masterful saga in color. This week marks the return of “The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy,” one of the series’ earliest and most memorable adventures. New readers will find this to be a perfect entry point filled with character introductions and a relatively self-contained story filled with ninjas and schemes. Those already familiar with this tale, like myself, will be rewarded for revisiting it with the addition of Ronda Pattison’s colors. Their style is a perfect match for Sakai’s using a relatively flat palette to match the clean forms and quick pacing on the page. It’s a beautiful update that revitalizes one of the most familiar and beloved tales in the Usagi canon. — Chase Magnett


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