Welcome to the Dynamite Comics Pubwatch for the month of July! I’m Lisa, Dynamite is my explosive beat, and here’s this month’s news!
Jordie Bellaire Preps Red Sonja/Vampirella Crossover
With the twosome recently having met Riverdale’s Betty and Veronica, the time is ripe for a brand-new crossover featuring everyone’s favorite barbarian and vampiress.
The ongoing series will be written by Bellaire, who is also still on BOOM!’s extremely successful Buffy reboot. Handling the art will be Drew Moss, with Rebecca Nalty on colors and Becca Carey on lettering. Covers will include art by Terry and Rachel Dodson, Julian Totino Tedesco, Babs Tarr, and Bellaire coloring in a piece by Leonardo Romero. Moss is slated to contribute two “then and now” covers, which will compare his art to that of other, classic Vampi and RS artists like Frank Frazetta.
Bellaire promises that this will be a full-on team-up set in the late ’60s. New to the modern world, Vampirella bumps into the even more confused and displaced Red Sonja, and together they try to figure out what happened and why they’ve been thrust into the modern world.
The first issue will be released in September.
Dynamite Issues Hardcover Reprint of Gail Simone’s Red Sonja Run
For those who missed out on the comic in its first run, the first fourteen issues of Simone’s take on Red Sonja’s mythos will be re-released as a hard cover omnibus in September.
Chastity To Be Reborn as Regular Series
Having purchased the Chaos! Comics universe’s characters several years ago, Dynamite has struggled to do something meaningful with them. This September, they’ll take a proactive step and reboot Chastity, One of Chaos!’s prime pieces of real estate.
In this new continuity, Chastity, a punk rocker turned vampire turned burlesque dancer, is kidnapped and planted on a mysterious cruise ship. They don’t know Chastity is a vampire, and they’re going to find out in a very, very harsh way.
The series will have Leah Williams behind the typewriter and Daniel Maine behind the easel, and the first edition will feature covers by Clayton Crain, Nick Bradshaw, Catherine Nodet, David Nakayama, and Jay Anacleto. There will also be a J. Scott Campbell “Carve Out” cover. No letterer or colorist has been assigned to the book yet.
The book will be released in September.
Red Sonja Collectible Coins Coming In September
Like collectible coins? Like Red Sonja? Then September is going to be your month, because Dynamite is going to be releasing gold-plated John F. Kennedy half-dollars stamped with Red Sonja’s mug!
The coins will retail for about $30 each and feature art by Lucio Parrillo and J. Scott Campbell.
Big Blasts of the Month
Vita Ayala (Writer), Paulina Ganucheau, Emanuela Lupacchino, David Mack (Covers), Ariana Maher (lettering), Rebecca Nalty (colors), Jordi Perez (Art)
I keep singing the praises of Dynamite’s Xena series, and I won’t stop doing it ’til I know the darn thing’s gonna survive!
The third issue takes Discord, Xena, and Gabrielle and plunges them into life in the Mirador Basin in Mexico, where they become the quarry for a push-pull conflict between a goddess, a priest looking to restore his own god to life, and Discord’s utterly shiftless laziness.
Funny, beautifully drawn, action-packed and gay as hell: this is a comic that’s perfect in many ways, and if you’re not reading it you’re missing out on a lot.
Bettie Page Unbound #1
David Avallone (writer), Scott Chantler, Julius Ohta, John Royle and Mohan, David Williams and Kelsey Shannon (Covers), Sheelagh D (color flats), Taylor Esposito (letters), Julius Ohta (art), Ellie Wright (colors)
This was the surprise of the year for me. Funny, bloody, cheesecakey, and super interesting plotwise, the series spins off of Dynamite’s main Bettie continuity without losing a single bit of nuance.
Warned that Armageddon is coming, Bettie leaps into a portal to chase down an alien figure intent upon bringing chaos. She finds herself inhabiting Red Sonja’s body and kicking all kinds of butt during her temporal displacement, and she kinda likes the power it gives her.
“Unbound” works wonderfully as a fun AU tale and provides so much more than the occasional raised eyebrow to its reader.
Bangs and Fizzles
Rainbow Brite TPG
Paulina Ganucheau (Cover), Jeremy Whitley (Writer), Brittney Williams (Art)
It takes awhile for this one to really get cooking, but cook it does, in spite of my early estimations. Modernizing the tale of dedicated color guardian into something fun, fresh, and relatable for children, Whitley and Williams have a lot of fun playing with the readers’ expectations while putting out a pretty nifty comic.
Along the way there are lessons to be learned about love, friendship, and loyalty, and all of them are delivered with rapid-fire confidence. If you have a kid in your life, they’re bound to love this.
Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #2
Laura Braga, Fay Dalton, Robert Hack, Dan Parent, Cat Staggs (Cover art), Amy Chu (writer), Maria Sanapo (art)
Nothing in this book should work as well as it does, but the amiable goofiness Chu maintains throughout the series really shines through here. Betty, Sonja, Vampirella, and Veronica suspect something nasty’s afoot when a chemistry teacher shows up dead, but none of the authorities believe them—so they launch an investigation of their own.
Self-aware without being ridiculous, memorably witty (Veronica’s reaction to Red Sonja chomping into a steak at Pops: “Oh, you’re on the Paleo diet!”) and very well drawn, the series continues to be a solid standout on Dynamite’s roster.
Ones to Look Forward To:
Vita Ayala (Writer), Erica D’urso (Art), Paulina Ganucheau, David Mack, Rachel Stott (covers)
As I’ve said in my reviews, Dynamite’s Xena reboot is one of the best things going in comics today. Watching Xena, Gabrielle, and Discord try to figure out how to stay warm and alive in the frozen tundras of pre-colonization Alaska should be incredibly fun!
For those who missed out on the last arc of Xena comics Dynamite put out, here’s a tidy way to catch up on the Shultz run of the book.
Red Sonja: Lord of Fools (One Shot)
Bob Q, Katie O’Meara (Art), Mark Russell (Writer) Christian Ward (Cover)
A must-not-miss issue for folks who want to be prepared for the next arc! This one wraps up Red Sonja’s last and prepares her to plunge into an upcoming reboot!
Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #3
Laura Braga, Fay Dalton, Robert Hack, Dan Parent, Cat Staggs (Covers), Amy Chu (Writer), Maria Sanapo (Art)
This fun series continues apace as the threesome team up and try to bring the villain stalking Riverdale High’s halls to justice. But that might be far harder than anticipated. The series is smooth, good bloody fun that provides easy joy.