This week in Super Folk, Publishers Weekly’s superhero news hub, DC Comics reveals its September #0 issues along with its “Third Wave” of New 52 titles, Marvel previews Avengers Vs. X-Men’s second act and new Man-Thing, a pair of upcoming comics from Boom Studios, May sales and more.
DC Unveils Rumored Zero Issues and Four New Titles
Last week DC Comics finally confirmed the release of special #0 issues for all its titles this September, in celebration of the one year after anniversary of the launch of the New 52. According to editor-in-chief Bob Harras, the #0 issues will contain standalone stories that either tell an origin story or reveal something surprising pertaining to the series, such as the introduction of a new Green Lantern in Green Lantern #0. DC also announced four new ongoing titles arriving in September and beginning at #0:
· Talon, written by Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing) and illustrated by Guillem March (Catwoman), follows a rogue Talon assassin after he escapes the clutches of the nefarious Court of Owls and attempts to lead a normal life.
· Sword of Sorcery, written by Christy Marx (creator of the Jem cartoon series from the 1980s) and illustrated by Aaron Lopresti (Justice League International), which sees the return of cult character Amethyst aka Amy Winston, a normal girl who discovers she’s the lost princess of a magical realm known as Gemworld.
· The Phantom Stranger, written by DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio (OMAC) and illustrated by Brent Anderson (Astro City), reveals the origin of DC Comics’ enigmatic stranger and explores his connection with Pandora, the mysterious catalyst of the publisher’s upcoming “Trinity War” storyline.
· Team Seven, written by Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) and illustrated by Jesus Merino (Superman), about a team of individuals formed to defend against a not-yet-trusted Superman in the early of days of the New 52 DC Universe.
Cancelations, New Superman Team, Briefs
DC also announced the cancelations of three series Captain Atom, Voodoo and Resurrection Man (along with Justice League International) after issue #0 in September. The news came in the wake of DC’s new series, and continues the publisher’s trend of adding and canceling an equal number of titles to maintain a total of fifty-two monthly books.
DC also announced that Red Hood and the Outlaws writer Scott Lobdell and artist Kenneth Rocafort will take over Superman beginning with issue #0 in September. Lobdell had been rumored to be the new writer a few weeks ago, and there will likely be more creator changes announced in the coming days.
Last week it was revealed that artist and DC co-publisher Jim Lee will be leaving Justice League after issue #12 in August, although chief creative officer Geoff Johns will remain as writer. Thus far there has been no word on who will replace Lee. Also in August, artist Becky Cloonan (Conan the Barbarian, DEMO) will provide guest illustrations on Batman #12 (written by Scott Snyder), with regular artist Greg Capullo returning for September’s #0 issue. Vertigo comics announced that volumes three and four of Sandman spinoff series Lucifer, which ended its 75-issue run in 2006, will go out of print. Finally, Marc-Oliver Frisch, writer and contributor to The Beat, collected sales data on DC Comics since its New 52 began last September and found that despite the publisher receiving a considerable sales spike in the months immediately following the relaunch, most series are now performing only slightly better than they were prior to the relaunch.
Marvel Revives Sabretooth
At Marvel’s most recent Next Big Thing live chat, writer Jeph Loeb, artist Simone Bianchi and editor Jeanine Schaefer talked “Sabretooth Reborn,” and their plan to resurrect the fan-favorite villain. The new storyline begins in July’s Wolverine #310 and picks up where the team’s last outing, 2007’s “Evolution” left off, and explores just how Sabretooth cheated death and also looks at the changes in Wolverine over the last five years, such as founding the Jean Grey Institute. Bianchi described implementing a more simplified structure to his storytelling, opposed to the complex panels layouts he became known for during Evolution. Loeb promised some familiar faces from Evolution including Cloak and Dagger and Romulus, and even hinted at a major cameo as well. He also assured fans that reading the Evolution storyline is not required for Reborn and that the only thing readers need to know is that Sabretooth died.
Marvel Previews: Avengers Vs. X-Men #6, Infernal Man-Thing
Next week’s Avengers Vs. X-Men #6 kicks off the second half of the event, following the cliffhanger ending in issue #5. Marvel has released a preview of the issue, written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Olivier Coipel (Thor). The issue will delve into “Pax Utopia,” the world created by the Phoenix Force now that it has found five new hosts in Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Namor and Magik. Marvel also provided a preview of the upcoming Infernal Man-Thing #1, the final story written by the late Steve Gerber and illustrated by Kevin Nowlan. Beginning next month, the new storyline revolves around the mystery of the “Screenplay of the Living Dead Man,” a mystery only the Man-Thing can solve.
Teasers, Artists and New Series From Boom, Image, Dark Horse
Last week Boom Studios released teaser images its upcoming comic, Freelancer. Little is known about Freelancer other than a pair of images each showing an armed girl in racy clothes with the tagline “She’s a Freelancer.”
Writer Ian Brill is self-publishing Dracula New World Order, a one-shot that reimagines the classic villain as part of the 1% (made up entirely of vampires) after the world economic collapse. Joining Brill are four artists, including Tonci Zonjic, Declan Shalvey, Gabriel Hardman and Rashan Ekedal, each drawing one of the comic’s four chapters. The comic will be available digitally and in a limited print run available at only a handful of retailers on June 13th.
Image comics released a preview for Wild Children, the upcoming comic by Ales Kot and Riley Rossmo that follows what happens after a group of high school students go to school with guns, LSD and a camera, and explores the ideas of youth, disinformation, revolt and more.
In an interview with MTV Geek, writer Si Spurrier discussed his upcoming superhero alien apocalypse series, Extermination, its origin and the dynamic between the books two protagonists. The story is told in two parts: one before the “Exterminaion” in which aliens invade the earth and enslave humanity, and after as superhero Nox and super villain Red Reaper must team up to save the world. Spurrier highlighted the book’s intentional over-the-top ad bizarre elements, especially in the pre-extermination segments, to poke fun at the superhero genre while still reveling in its super serious tones.
Finally, Dark Horse revealed that artist Vasilis Lolos (Northlanders, Pixu) will join Brian Wood for September’s Conan the Barbarian #8, following Becky Cloonan and most recently James Harren. The new story arc takes place in Conan’s homeland Cimmeria, where Conan and an unusually unsure Belit battle an “imposter Conan [and] his vicious army.”
Digital News – TMNT App, American Flagg, iVerse
On Tuesday IDW and Nickelodeon to launched a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles app exclusively for Apple devices, offering all thirteen issues of the new series, as well as one-shots and even some of the old black-and-white issues. The publisher also announced the entire run of the new TMNT series on Comixology for Android and Kindle users.
Dynamite has begun to release the entire run of Howard Chaykin’s 1980s classic series, American Flagg, digitally through Comixology for Apple, Android, Kindle devices and the web. Currently the first twelve issues, recolored and restored, are available as individual issues or as one graphic novel.
Digital comics provider iVerse is updating its Comics+ app, adding a number of new features including more options for publishing and promoting original content, a stronger connection to libraries and lending services and increased social network integration.
Big Numbers for May
2012 has been a very good year for the comics industry thus far, with nearly every month posting higher sales numbers than that of 2011, and May seems to have been the best so far. According to industry news site ICv2, May 2012 was up 43.76% in dollar share over last year, made up of a 45.12% increase for comics and 41.24% for graphic novels, although sales received a substantial boost from having an extra ship week. DC Comics had seven of the top ten selling comics, with Marvel claiming both the #1 and #2 spots with Avengers Vs. X-Men #3 and #4. DC’s Justice League Volume 1 and Batman Volume 1 took the two top spots for graphic novels, which closed the marketshare gap behind Marvel slightly, with 32.73% to Marvel’s 35.32%. Image comics followed with 7.19%, then IDW a 4.8%, Dark Horse ay 4.75% and Dynamite at 2.55%.