Heroes & Villains: A Double Dose of Dark Horse With “Killer Queens #1” & “Malika: Warrior Queen Volume 1 “

Man oh man do I have a lot to cover today and almost no time and space in which to do it. Let’s get it.

Here’s an easy to digest list to start things off!

Spider-Man: No Way Home: What a fantastic first trailer! EiC Andy Burns and I worked together to get the Trailer Time posted as quickly as possible when the trailer dropped in the dead of night on Monday. Easily the most fun I’ll probably have in bed this week. See, I was in bed when I posted the story. Andy wasn’t here. There were a lot of great moments in the trailer but it really came together for me when we saw A PUMPKIN BOMB and heard a sinister laugh.

Getting Yelled At: I’ve started frequenting a diner at the end of my street for breakfast. The food is cheap and plain…just like me. Perhaps out of an overabundance of caution I have begun to mask up again while in public and while on my way into the restaurant on Saturday I passed an older fellow. I heard him mumble something along the lines of “Covid…not real…don’t need masks…” or some such. Obviously, my decision to mask up offended him deeply so I turned and offered a curt “shaddup” which he probably heard about as well as I heard him. I stewed about this until my chocolate chip pancakes arrived.

Painting: “Distant Shore” has overtaken “English Hollyhock” for the color of my living room. I’ve also been advised I may have “too much” blue and that other colors should be considered. Situation developing.

Now, on to comics!

Killer Queens #1
David M. Booher (W)
Claudia Balboni (A)
Dark Horse Comics

Regrettably, I missed that Killer Queens hit stands last week so if you hurry you still may be able to snag a copy at your local shop! I’ve really enjoyed Booher’s work on the Canto books so I was looking forward to checking Killer Queens out…and promptly spaced on the release date.

Here’s the blurb!

Meet Max and Alex. Reformed intergalactic assassins for hire. On the run. Also super gay. Their former boss–a fluffy monkey with a jetpack–is hot on their tail to take back his stolen ship. They gotta eat, so they take a mission from Alex’s old flame. Your standard no-kill, casualty-free kidnapping recovery from a nearby moon. Only complication? Half the moon is ruled by a fascist dictator hostile to foreigners. They’re the Killer Queens, so what could possibly go wrong?

Join rising star David M. Booher (Canto, Alien Bounty Hunter) and an all-LGBTQ creative team as they tackle issues of love, xenophobia, and the terror of fascist dictatorships in this hilarious sci-fi epic.

I’m quite pleased to inform you that my enthusiasm for this title was not misplaced! If it wasn’t readily apparent in the above blurb, Killer Queens is a ton of fun and I hope that this title spawns several follow up mini-series just like Canto did.

Advance Alert!

Malika: Warrior Queen Volume 1
Roye Okupe (W)
Chima Kalu (A)
YouNeek Studios / Dark Horse Comics

It’s a double dose of Dark Horse this week! I was particularly excited when the email from Dark Horse came through regarding their partnering with Roye Okupe’s YouNeek Studios which was founded to bring African stories to a global audience.

“What we are trying to do over the next few years is create a compelling and immersive universe with our own twist. How? Well, the YouNeek YouNiverse is a massive, interconnected universe of sci-fi, fantasy and superhero content spread across multiple timelines with stories told from an African perspective. Is this ambitious? Yes. Is it impossible? Not at all. With this monumental partnership with Dark Horse and the impeccable history, support and infrastructure they bring to the table, we will finally be able to achieve our ultimate goal: create, for a global audience, content that empowers African creatives and storytelling.”- Roye Okupe

As longtime readers of this column know, I’m always on the look out for something new and different in comics. If anything comes to define my tenure on this column, I hope that’s it. What Okupe’s going to be doing with the YouNiverse has the potential to be really amazing and over the next couple of months they’re coming to the table with a little something for everyone out there.

First up will be Malika: Warrior Queen Volume 1 which will be out on September 7th.

Following the exploits of queen and military commander Malika, who struggles to keep the peace in her ever-expanding empire, Azzaz, this historical fantasy is set in fifteenth-century West Africa and created by an all-star team from Nigeria. In this action-packed graphic novel, African history mixes with drama, politics, betrayal, romance, and dragons!

An absolutely epic tome at 336 pages I’m currently working my way through the book and it most certainly has its hooks into me. I love that it’s being presented in one cohesive volume as opposed to monthly chapters. The chapter breaks provide fascinating context and, if I’m honest, a bit of much-needed education if you’re woefully behind on your world history like myself.

Malika: Warrior Queen takes some impressively large swings at universe building and I’m eager to check out the forthcoming titles Iyanu: Child of Wonder and E.X.O.: The Legend of Wale Williams which will be out September 23rd and October 19th respectively.

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