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Super Heroes

Dogged Determination

Hound Heroes is a new superhero graphic novel series for some of the youngest readers, available now from Scholastic. “Meet the Hound Heroes: Fearless Captain Chihuahua, the big-hearted Great, Great Dane, super-speedy Poodle Girl, cyborg pup Power Pug, and the loveable yet irritating Super Sheep Dog. Together they make up earth’s furriest heroes! In this first adventure, the Hound Heroes’ origin story is revealed when a spaceship crashes in their backyard, giving them super powers! But they aren’t the only ones who benefit — neighborhood alleycat The Claw also gains powers, and she only wants one thing: To destory the Hound Heroes!” Okay, so it’s more for “dog people” than it is for “cat people” — unless you’re into super-villains perhaps! Hound Heroes Volume 1: Beware The Claw is written and illustrated by Todd Goldman.

image c. 2021 Scholastic

A Hero With Cat-itude

Look, we didn’t come up with that, they did! Please don’t hurt us… Max Meow is a new full-color graphic novel series from Random House, written and illustrated by John Gallagher. The first volume is called Max Meow: Cat Crusader. “Max is just a regular cat in Kittyopolis, trying to make it big as a podcaster, until he accidentally takes a bite of a Radioactive Space Meatball at his best friend Mindy the Scientist’s Secret Lab. Then before you can say meowza, Max becomes… (drum roll!)… The Cat Crusader! Being a super hero is fun (Super strength? Check! Flying? YES!!!) – but not if you get so cocky, you forget your best friend! Will Max learn to listen? Will he and Mindy make up? And together, can Max and Mindy save Kittyopolis from the evil Agent M and Big Boss?!” Also be on the lookout for volume 2, Donuts and Danger. Fun side note: John Gallagher is currently the art director of Ranger Rick magazine.

image c. 2020 Random House

You Think YOUR Dog Is Cool…

Recently we came across Lacey & Lily, a new full-color graphic novel for young readers from Darby Pop Publishing. According to Previews, “A quick-witted pre-teen (Lacey) and her extraordinary dog (Lily) must unravel the mystery connected to a pair of super-powered hero costumes while simultaneously navigating middle school… and saving the world.” Written by Dave Dellecese and illustrated by Andrew Cieslinski, Lacey & Lily just hit the shelves. The official web site has lots of interactive stuff too.

image c. 2020 Darby Pop Publishing

Beware of Fowl Language

Well this slipped by us back in March — and here it is, from Archie Comics no less! “If you like comic books designed to make you laugh that also feature bright and colorful super hero action, giant robots piloted by evil billionaires, and looking at ducks dressed like people, you’ll love Super Duck #1! Super Duck is the greatest hero of New Duck City. Brash, arrogant and virtually unbeatable, he’s defeated all threats to the city and routinely foils the schemes of his greatest rival, criminal genius and corporate billionaire Dapper Duck. However, when Dapper takes to the streets with a giant mechanical monster, will Super Duck prove once more to be the heroic champion everyone knows and loves or is his goose finally cooked?” Super Duck is written by Frank Tieri and Ian Flynn, with art by Ryan Jampole and Matt Herms. As you can see, the publishers go out of their way to point out this comic is for mature readers!

image c. 2020 Archie Comics

Heroes and Beasts, Together Again

Again, something big we missed this summer. So, time to catch up! Dog Days of Summer is a one-shot comic collection from DC. “‘Who let the dogs out?’ DC does this summer as we unleash the beast within and join Krypto and Superman, Bat-Cow and Batman, Wonder Woman and Ferdinand, and many more for eight sun-kissed stories in this can’t-miss animal-sized spectacular!” Featuring a great big herd of writers and artists, it’s still available on the shelves.

image c. 2019 DC Comics

Are You Offended?

Look, we’re just going to quote this direct from the folks over at Cartoonbrew — no way we could explain it any better. “Four new animated series based on Marvel characters are in the works at Hulu. The shows will collectively lead up to a special event bringing them all together titled The Offenders. All of these projects will target mature audiences. Jordan Blum (American Dad!) and comedian/actor Patton Oswalt are writing M.O.D.O.K., about an evil mastermind with limited body mass and big plans. Hit Monkey, with Josh Gordon and Will Speck as writers, follows a Japanese snow monkey transformed into a vengeful assassin in Tokyo’s criminal underworld. Set in Los Angeles, Tigra & Dazzler Show follows a pair of ‘woke’ female heroes pushing to stand out in a city full talented people. Comedian Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) have been tasked with writing the project. Lastly, there is Howard the Duck, centered on the publisher’s notorious anthropomorphic bird trapped in the human world. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Dave Willis (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) are writing this dark comedy and will also executive produce. Comic writer Jeph Loeb (also a producer on Smallville and Lost) will act as executive producer on all four projects, as well as the crossover finale. No writers have been announced yet for the crossover finale, in which all of these characters will ‘form a team no one asked for’ to save the world.” Got all that? No word yet on a release date for these shows, but we’ll be watching!

image c. 2019 Hulu

Does Whatever A Spider Pig Does

While we wait to see if Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse can turn its Golden Globe and Annie Awards into an Oscar triumph, word has come out that the film will be available digitally at the end of this month and on DVD March 19th. The official press release includes this interesting tidbit: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse arrives filled with engaging bonus materials that are fun for the whole family and give fans even more of the unique comic book style action that they loved in theaters with more than 90 minutes of bonus content. In his very own original short, Spider-Ham: Caught In a Ham, fan favorite Spider-Ham defeats his greatest foe, delivers sidesplitting puns, and get sucked into another dimension! It actually can get weirder!” Animation World Network has the full release and a link to the preview video for the new 2D short also.

image c. 2019 Sony Pictures Animation

(Cat)Bird… Man!

The comic largely passed us by this year, but now Dark Horse have a new trade paperback compilation of Angel Catbird — written by none other than Margaret Atwood, creator of The Handmaid’s Tale. “A genetic engineer caught in the middle of a chemical accident all of a sudden finds himself with superhuman abilities. With these new powers, he takes on the identity of Angel Catbird and gets caught in the middle of a war between animal/human hybrids. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, educational, and pulp-inspired superhero adventure–with a lot of cat puns.” Illustrated by Johnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain, The Complete Angel Catbird is available now.

image c. 2018 Dark Horse Press

Those Other Furry Superheroes Too!

At last! A cool high-quality ashcan we saw last year at San Diego Comic Con is now being printed by Arcana Studio: The Los Valiants Volume 0 graphic novel. “From writer/colorist Edgar Delgado (Ultraduck, Superior Spider-Man, Darth Vader) comes a collection of 7 short stories about Featherbay’s resident superhero, Ultraduck and his friends from Canis Hill. Together they are Los Valiants!” If you remember Ultraduck then you know the quality of art you’ll find here.

image c. 2018 Arcana Studio