This week in Super Folk, Publishers Weekly's superhero news roundup, Astonishing X-Men’s gay wedding and its effects, DC own gay speculation plus what’s to come, new series from Boom Studios, Marv Wolfman, Doug TenNapel, digital updates from around the industry, the National Cartoonist Society and Eagle Awards, and more.
Marvel’s Same-Sex Wedding
Following a “Save the Date” teaser for Astonishing X-Men #51 released a few weeks ago, Marvel Comics said that the upcoming wedding would be a first in superhero comics, which fans surmised meant it would be a same-sex marriage. In the weeks and days prior, Marvel has been drumming up interest for the reveal (made on The View last Tuesday), that Astonishing X-Men characters Northstar and his boyfriend, Kyle, are getting married. The news has quickly become the most-talked about topic in the comic book media, eliciting widespread praise as well as the inevitable backlash, specifically in the form of One Million Moms, who are mounting a campaign against Marvel and DC over the recent prominence of gay characters in their books. The actual wedding will occur next month in issue #51 (#50 ended with Northstar proposing), and Marvel is celebrating with special wedding parties in participating retailers, as well as a “Create Your Own Wedding Variant” cover allowing readers to add their own image to the scrapbook variant by Phil Noto.
In lesser Marvel news, the publisher is offering a $5 coupon with the digital purchase of any Spider-Man comics, presumably to coincide with the release of Spider-Men #1 in two weeks. Marvel previously offered the same coupon in March to readers who ordered Avengers Vs. X-Men #1.
DC Still Mum on Gay Character
While Marvel was celebrating the marriage of Northstar and Kyle, DC Comics revealed that one of their straight characters would be introduced into the New 52 with a new sexual orientation. While the publisher has yet to reveal the character, instead only confirming that it is an “iconic” male character, many fans and critics have been speculating on who it will be. Currently, rumors purport it to be Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern and founder of the Justice Society of America. Scott, who has only briefly appeared in Earth 2 #1, does seem to fit the profile, although DC has yet to reveal the character’s identity or even hint at when it will be known.
Fall DC News
According to comic book news site Bleeding Cool, creator changes are coming to Legion of Superheroes in the fall, specifically to the 13th issue, arriving in October assuming the rumor of the September #0 issues is true. So far only the writer, Paul Levitz (former publisher of DC Comics) is set to remain on the title.
Last week DC also provided a preview for the upcoming Superman: Earth One Volume 2, the sequel to 2010’s bestseller. Out in October, the book will continue telling the story of a young Superman, before he became the “World’s Greatest Super Hero.” Writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis are taking a decidedly darker tone for the second volume, putting the Man of Steel through some particularly trying situations including the debut of a new version of the classic villain Parasite.
Ame-Comi Girls is a Go
First announced at C2E2, DC’s digital-first title Ame-Comi Girls, based on the popular line of manga-inspired statue of DC heroines, begins its weekly publication this Monday, kicking off with a three-part Wonder Woman story written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Just Gray and illustrated by Amanda Conner. In an exclusive interview with Comic Vine, Palmiotti and Gray discussed the excitement and freedom of writing outside of the main DC continuity, their version of Wonder Woman who they described as “brave” and “plucky,” and the series’ being able to tackle both “epic” and “personal” scale stories based on some of the greatest female superheroes.
New from Boom, Wolfman, TenNapel and More
A handful of new series emerged last week from the like of Boom Studios and creators such as Marv Wolfman, Doug TenNapel and Cameron Stewart & Karl Kerchl. Coming from Boom Studios in August is Michael Midas Champion, a new six-issue miniseries written by Jordan B. Gorfinkel (Birds of Prey) and illustrated by Scott Benefiel (The Incredible Hulk). The new series is a “classic fairy tale in superhero clothing” that tells the story of a young bullied boy who grows up to be a superhero only to find out that his bully has become a super villain.
ShiftyLook (publishing arm of Namoco Bandai) revealed a new comic based on Time Crisis, the popular co-op arcade shooter. The new series will be written by Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths) and illustrated by J.J Kirby (The Authority: The Lost Year).
Writer/artist Doug TenNapel (Earthworm Jim, Ratfist) is beginning a new weekly webcomic, much in the same vein as Ratfist, this time called Nnewts. According to TenNapel, Nnewts, about a race of diminutive explorer/adventurers called Nnewts, has been a sort of pet project for the author and in the works for fifteen years.
To lead up to the October release of Assassin’s Creed III, video game company Ubisoft is publishing Assassin’s Creed: The Chain, a new three-issue comic book by Karl Kerschl and Cameron Stewart, the team behind 2010’s Assassin’s Creed: The Fall. Beginning late this summer, the new series picks up where The Fall left off and ties into the upcoming video game.
At London’s Kapow Comic Convention, Peter Serafinowicz, creator of British comedy series “Spaced,” announced his foray into first comic books, Nelson, an upcoming superhero story with artist Jock (Detective Comics, The Losers). The series, originally conceived as a pilot for HBO and FX, follows Nelson, a superhumanly strong police chief with zero tolerance for crime. Serafinowicz described him as the “Credible Hulk” who patrols a “Gotham City version of London,” and said that the book will be humorous but not without a dark side. Nelson is set to come out late 2012/ early 2013.
Digital News: Godzilla, Thrillbent, Crusaders App
To celebrate the release of the new Godzilla series (written by Duane Swierczynski and illustrated by Simon Gane) last week, publisher IDW digitally released its entire library of Godzilla titles for iOS, Nook and Android. Fans who buy the new series digitally, out the same day as print, will also get special variant covers not available in print.
In a bold move, Mark Waid (Daredevil), creator and moderator of digital comics hub Thrillbent, has made all the chapters of his web comic Insufferable to be downloaded and available to file-sharing and torrent sites. Waid has been a proponent of file-sharing, often decried as the comic’s industry’s biggest threat, not seeing downloaded comics as a financial loss but instead free advertising. So far all the chapters Waid has offered have appeared on file-sharing sites, and Waid hopes the new exposure will generate increased traffic for the site.
Archie Comics has launched a new app for its revival of the Red Circle Comics, headlined by the New Crusaders (by Ian Flynn and Ben Bates). The new app uses a subscription service for 99 cents per week, and offers the entire library of comics as opposed to purchasing individual issues. Currently the only new title available is New Crusaders, broken up into six-page segments released weekly, however the app also gives subscribers access to many of the classic Red Circle comics from as far back as the 1940s including Pep Comics and The Shield.
Eagle and National Cartoonists Society Awards
The winners for both the Eagle Awards and National Cartoonist Society Awards were announced honoring a number of mainstream comic books and their creators. For his work on DC Comics’ Batwoman, J.H. Williams III received the award for Comic Books from the National Cartoonist Society. A slew of titles and creators won at The Eagle Awards including Scott Snyder for Best Writer, Frank Miller for Best Writer/Artist, J.H. Williams III for Best Artist, Dave Stewart for Best Colorist, DC Comics/Vertigo for Best Publisher, Batman for Best American Comic Book (color), and many, many more. See the full list of winners on the Comics Reporter.