Wednesdays are almost back to being an important day of the week. New periodical comics are returning tomorrow after nearly a two-month absence (well, for publishers not named DC, anyway). With Diamond finally returning to new single-issue distribution, there’s still some question about what new comic Wednesday is actually going to look like this week.
First, something we definitely know: what’s coming out this week. Here’s a quick breakdown of the single-issue comics Diamond has on their list of new releases for the week:
- BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #14
- GHOSTED IN LA #10 (OF 12)
- JIM HENSON STORYTELLER GHOSTS #2 (OF 4)
DARK HORSE COMICS
- KILL WHITEY DONOVAN #5 (OF 5)
- BATMAN GIANT #4
- DAPHNE BYRNE #4 (OF 6)
- DCEASED UNKILLABLES #3 (OF 3)
- DOLLHOUSE FAMILY #6 (OF 6)
- JUSTICE LEAGUE #44
- JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #20
- PLUNGE #3 (OF 6)
- RED HOOD OUTLAW #45
- SUPERMANS PAL JIMMY OLSEN #10 (OF 12)
- THE DREAMING #20
- RED SONJA #15
- DUNGEONS & DRAGONS INFERNAL TIDES #3 (OF 5)
- MARVEL ACTION AVENGERS #10
- STAR WARS ADVENTURES CLONE WARS #1 (OF 5)
- BIRTHRIGHT #43
- DEADLY CLASS #44
- LUDOCRATS #1 (OF 5)
- SAVAGE DRAGON #248
- BELLE OATH OF THORNS #6 (OF 6)
- DOCTOR WHO 13TH SEASON TWO #4
- FIVE YEARS #9
- GOON #10
- KILLSWITCH #4
- MIRKA ANDOLFOS UNSACRED #5
- RED AGENT ISLAND OF DR MOREAU #4 (OF 5)
- YEAR ZERO #1
- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #69
This lineup is much smaller than a typical pre-shutdown Wednesday, which is to be expected. Many areas of the United States are still under stay-at-home orders, including larger coastal states like California and New York, and several publishers have promised reduced output during the summer months as a way to help retailers experiencing limited-to-no customer traffic as a result (if they’re even able to open at all).
Also noticeably absent from this lineup of new releases is Marvel, who has opted instead to resume new releases next week, and to take a staggered approach, alternating single-issues and collected editions for a few weeks before finally getting back to normal in July. Marvel’s only new releases this week, then, are a handful of digital-only titles that were formerly print series, including Hawkeye: Freefall and Ghost-Spider.
And then there’s DC. They’ve had new books out for a few weeks now — and on Tuesdays no less — having sourced alternate distribution from newcomers Lunar Distribution and UCS Comics Distributors (secretly retailers DCBS and Midtown Comics in disguise, respectively), so their output for this week already looks to be pretty much back to normal.
While Diamond appears to still be sticking with Wednesday as their new release day across the board, the big question around DC is how they plan to get the three weeks’ worth of titles that have already released through Lunar and UCS into the hands of Diamond customers. The list of new DC releases from Diamond for this week includes a mixture of both brand-new books and titles that have already been released in past weeks:
- BATMAN GIANT #4 (previously released 4/28)
- DAPHNE BYRNE #4 (OF 6) (previously released 4/28)
- DCEASED UNKILLABLES #3 (OF 3) (brand-new)
- DOLLHOUSE FAMILY #6 (OF 6) (brand-new)
- JUSTICE LEAGUE #44 (previously released 5/12)
- JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #20 (previously released 5/12)
- PLUNGE #3 (OF 6) (brand-new)
- RED HOOD OUTLAW #45 (brand-new)
- SUPERMANS PAL JIMMY OLSEN #10 (OF 12) (brand-new)
- THE DREAMING #20 (previously released 4/28)
DC only had three new titles release on 4/28, their first day of distribution via Lunar and UCS, and all of those books are out from Diamond this week. A new printing of Batman #89, which also released from Lunar/UCS on 4/28, is also out this week. Two of the five new titles previously released on 5/12 are also included in this week’s schedule.
Completely absent from this week’s DC books are any of the seven single issues that were released on 5/5, or the remaining 5/12 titles. Those titles include:
- Batman and the Outsiders #12 (previously released 5/5)
- DC Super Stars #17 (Facsimile Edition) (previously released 5/5)
- The Flash #753 (previously released 5/5)
- The Green Lantern Season Two #3 (previously released 5/5)
- Hawkman #23 (previously released 5/5)
- House of Whispers #20 (previously released 5/5)
- Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #4 (previously released 5/5)
- Harley Quinn #72 (previously released 5/12)
- Lois Lane #10 (previously released 5/12)
- Metal Men #6 (previously released 5/12)
All of those titles are now slated for release from Diamond next week, presumably in addition to whatever else is already scheduled from DC for the week (on this, though, the ‘next week’s releases’ page on PreviewsWorld is unreliable, as the Generation One one-shot is still listed for next week and we all know that’s not happening).
So that’s an idea of what’ll be out in shops this week, and a little bit of next week. As for what the shopping experience is going to be like, I’d have to guess for a lot of people it’s going to be, well, pretty weird. If stores are able to open and customers are able to get into them, they may be required to wear masks and gloves. Retailers may alternately require that customers wash and sanitize their hands when they enter and exit the store. Limited numbers of customers in the store at a time also seems likely, and limited (if not outright prohibited) browsing of titles on the shelf also seems likely, as multiple people thumbing through books was already a great way to spread germs before there was a global pandemic to contend with. Some stores, like the Texas-based Space Cadets, have implemented measures like these for all of their customers, even checking temperatures for customers before they enter the store.
And that’s all if you’re even allowed in your local comic book store. Many shops are still limiting sales to curbside pickup or delivery. I know my shop (which is just north of Seattle), and many of the other local shops, will be operating this way for at least the next few weeks.
Even if the shopping experience is different, and even if the output is limited, there’s still no question that I’m excited to be able to get new single-issue comics again. That weekly ritual has been one that I (and I’m sure many others) have missed. If you’re able to get out, let us know what your experience is like, and if you’re not, let us know what you’re expecting when you’re able to do so. Most of all, enjoy yourself, but also be smart and stay healthy out there.