This week in a special supersized Super Folk, Publishers Weekly's superhero news column, all the news from San Diego Comic-Con 2012 including new Sandman from Neil Gaiman, more Marvel NOW details, specifics on DC’s Zero Issues, a slew of new series from Image, Archie’s Megaman/Sonic crossover, Eisner Award winners and more.
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Returns in 2013
Perhaps the biggest news to come from Comic-Con this past weekend was the return of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman in 2013 to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of Sandman #1. The upcoming miniseries will be published by Vertigo and edited by longtime Vertigo executive editor Karen Berger (who edited the original series). It will be written by Gaiman and illustrated by J.H. Williams III (Batwoman, Promethea) and take place before the events of the original series and explore how Morpheus came to be imprisoned by the occultist Roderick Burgess. In a prerecorded video shown at the Veritgo panel, Gaiman described lack of back-story as a “failure” of Sandman that he feels the new series will set right.
2012 Eisner Awards
On Friday night, the annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony was held with a few books winning big. Daredevil took home three separate awards, for “Best Single Issue” (#7), “Best Continuing Series,” and “Best Writer” (Mark Waid). Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand won for “Best Graphic Album – New” and “Best Publication Design,” while artist Ramon Perez took home the award for “Best Penciler/Inker.” View a full list of winners here.
Avengers Vs. X-Men Expands
At Friday’s “Cup O’ Joe” panel, chief creative officer Joe Quesada revealed three upcoming spin-offs to Avengers Vs. X-Men hitting shelves in October. First up, Avengers + X-Men, written by Jeph Loeb and Dan Slott and illustrated by Dale Keown and Ron Garney, a new team-up comic and a mirror to the current Avengers Vs. X-Men: Versus. Then there’s Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences, a five-issue miniseries taking place during the fallout of AvX, The series is written by Kieron Gillen and each issue will be drawn by a different artist including Dale Eaglesham, Mark Brook, Tom Raney and Steve Kurth. Finally, A-Babies Vs. X-Babies, by Scottie Young and Guruhiru, based on the popular special variant cover for AvX #1 given out at Midtown Comics in New York.
Marvel NOW Point One
While Marvel NOW, the publisher’s soft reboot of many of its titles beginning this Fall, dominated the new leading up to San Diego, Marvel had little to add over the weekend aside from Marvel NOW Point One, a new anthology series (in the same vein as last year’s Marvel Point One) that will unify much of the upcoming Marvel Now titles. The series will star Nick Furt Jr. and contain five separate ongoing stories. Creators involved include Jeph Loeb, Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, Ed McGuiness, Salvador Larocca, Matt Fraction and more.
Prior to Comic-Con, Marvel announced the final issues for nine of its titles (Captain America, Fantastic Four, FF, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man, New Mutants, X-Men Legacy, Uncanny X-Men and The Mighty Thor) in October, many of which are presumably getting relaunched or assimilated.
Marvel’s Teaser Questions Answered
Over the last few weeks, Marvel has released images teasing a number of upcoming miniseries, promising to reveal more at Comic-Con. Well, the publisher made good on its claims at the Spider-Man Panel on Sunday. First, Minimum Carnage: a crossover event beginning in October featuring possible end of Carnage at the hands of the Scarlet Spider and Venom. Written by Cullen Bun and illustrated by Chris Yost, the event will start in a special Minimum Carnage Alpha issue, then move to Scarlet Spider #10 and #11 and Venom #26 and #27 and conclude in Minimum Carnage Omega.
Marvel also got specific on the new Punisher: War Zone five-issue limited-series, teased a few weeks ago with images of slain Marvel heroes. It was announced that Greg Rucka will write the title and Maco Checchetto will provide the art. Punisher: War Zone will be a continuation of a story in Punisher #15 and #16 (written by Rucka), in which Frank Castle squares off against a number of Marvel characters including Spider-Man and Wolverine.
Misc. Marvel News
On Friday, Marvel announced Ultimate Comics Iron Man at the “Marvel’s Ultimate Comics” panel, a new ongoing written by Nathan Edmondson (The Activity, Who is Jake Ellis?) and illustrated by Mateo Buffagini (Daken: Dark Wolverine). Beginning in October, the series will start with a story arc named “Demon in the Armor” that will contain the Ultimate Comics debut of Iron Man nemesis, The Mandarin.
Also at the “Ultimate” panel, Ultimate Spider-Man artist David Marquez has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel and will continue illustrating the series (formerly drawn by Spider-Men artist, Sara Pichelli) for “the foreseeable future.”
At Thursday’s “Next Big Thing” panel, it was announced that starting in issue #58 in October Hulk, written by Jeff Parker, will be renamed Red She-Hulk and focus on Betty Ross AKA Red She-Hulk. Joining Parker is artist Carlo Pagulayan, and, according to Parker, the series will continue to tell action-packed stories with a healthy dose of humor.
Also at the “Next Big Thing” panel, longtime Deadpool writer Daniel Way announced he is leaving the series after issue #63. The series will continue, although it is currently not known who will replace Way.
Finally, at the “House of Ideas” panel, Marvel executives talked about the publisher’s digital future, including efforts to provide all print titles with a free digital download code, more from digital imprint Infinite Comics (like a new companion issue to AvX #10 by Mark Waid, Yves Bigerel and Riley Brown), positive feedback for the Marvel AR App, Marvel’s increased social media projects including GetGlue, new Avengers Alliance Facebook game and the Marvel Advisors program.
DC Comics Breaks Down Zero Issues
DC Comics spent most of Comic-Con providing details for its upcoming zero issues in September, most of which will delve into the back-stories of each series. First up, at the “New Wave” panel, what to expect from the four upcoming series beginning in September (Talon, Phantom Stranger, Sword of Sorcery and Team Seven). According to co-writer James Tynion IV, Talon will explore both the Court of Owls history as well as the greater history of Gotham itself. Tynion also hopes the series will win over fans for Talon, who he wishes to see last a long time in the DCU. For the Phantom Stranger, writer Dan Didio promised some familiar faces in a story that will lead into the upcoming Trinity War event. Team Seven will explore where many of the New 52’s more hard-hitting heroes such as Grifter and Deathstroke got their start, and will feature Black Canary. And editor Rachel Gluckstern admitted that Sword and Sorcery (starring cult-favorite Amethyst) has been a dream project for her and will hopefully fill a high fantasy niche at the publisher. Also at the panel, it was revealed that fan-favorite character Stephanie Brown will be replaced by Barbara Gordon as Nightwing in Smallville Season 11.
At the “New 52” panel, writer Geoff Johns spoke about the changes coming to Justice League, specifically the inclusions of Shazam (currently starring in a backup) to the team, the departures of some characters, and where classic JLA stalwart Martian Manhunter fits in.
Highlights from the “Superman” panel include writer Scott Lobdell, who begins writing Superman in September, promising more on the relationship between Superman’s birth parents, that Tom DeFalco will replace Lobdell on Superboy, who will be getting a new costume soon, and the triumphant return of Krypto the Super Dog in Action Comics #13.
Over at the “Batman: Beyond the Night of Owls” panel, writer such as Scott Snyder (Batman), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Kyle Higgins (Nightwing), J.H. Williams III (Batwoman), Batman-editor Mike Marts and more talked about their upcoming #0 issues. Snyder echoed his comments last week about the return of the Joker in Batman #13 and also told fans to expect Bruce Wayne from a previously unseen time in his life in issue #0. Simone introduced Ed Benes as Batgirl’s new artist, Marts said that Batman Inc. will return to the apocalyptic future introduced in Batman #666 by Grant Morrison.
At the “Tales From The Dark and The Edge” panel, writer Jeff Lemire revealed that Frankenstein will be joining Justice League Dark as well as Tim Hunter from Vertigo’s Books of Magic.
For Green Lantern, writer Geoff Johns spilled some more details about the upcoming Third Army event, spanning across all DC’s Green Lantern books, and how it will be a precursor to something even bigger. As for the mysterious new Green Lantern (seen on the cover to Green Lantern #0), Johns promised more to be revealed. Fan should also expect a new origin for Guy Gardner in Green Lantern Corps #0, written by Peter Tomasi.
During the “Before Watchmen” panel, director Quentin Tarantino took the stage to announce a five-issue Django: Unchained miniseries, based on the original script of his upcoming movie, arriving in November.
Looking ahead at the “Meet the Publishers” panel, co-publisher Dan Didio gave some updates on a number of projects. For Multiversity, the long awaited Grant Morrison/ Frank Quitely book, Didio told fans to expect it by mid-2013. As for Batman: Earth One, writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank said that they were already working on the second volume (the first came out earlier this month). The panel also addressed the rumored WildCATS reboot, saying that they’re taking their time assembling the right creative team, but beyond that there are no solid plans. Finally, Didio said there were no plans or Wally West to appear in the New 52 at this time.
A Ton of New Series from Image
At Comic-Con, Image Comics announced a slew of new series, with varying levels of description, at the “Image Comics” panel on Saturday.
- Satellite Sam by Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin about the murder of a children’s show host.
- Sex by written by Joe Casey and illustrated by Peter Kowalski.
- The Bounce also written by Casey and illustrated by David Messina.
- Pretty Deadly, a female-centric western by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.
- Saviors: about a stoner who witnesses an alien invasion, written by James Robinson and illustrated by J. Bone.
- Oliver, written by Gary Whitta and illustrated by Darick Robertson.
- Reign, a fantasy series written by Chris Roberson and illustrated by Paul Mayberry.
- Lazarus, written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Michael Lark.
- Non-Humans, by Whilce Portacio.
- Nowhere Men, written by Image editor-in-chief Eric Stephenson.
- Multiple Warheads by Brandon Graham.
- Point of Impact by Jay Faerber.
- Change, written by Ales kot and illustrated by Morgan Jeske, about Atlantis rising from under modern LA.
- Comeback, from Ed Brisson, Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellare, about a time travel service that goes back in time to save lives.
- Clone, from writer Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint, written by David Schulner and illustrated by Juan Jose Ryp.
- Great Pacific, previously an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign from Joe Harris and Marti Morazzo, about oil company that takes over the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and makes it into a country.
Walking Dead #100, Invincible #100, Joe’s Comics
Sales for The Walking Dead #100, written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charles Adlard, hit 383,612 copies, ten times issue #99 (roughly 37,000) making it the best-selling comic of the last decade. The sales were boosted by a number of variant covers by big name artists such as Todd McFarlane and Frank Quitely.
Kirkman also shed some light on the upcoming hundredth issue of Invincible, teasing the death of a character. The issue arrives in January with Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker sharing art duties.
Image also announced the return of the Joe’s Comics imprint created by writer J. Michael Straczynski. The imprint is part of Straczynski’s new media company, Studio JMS, and is set to begin publishing comics in Spring 2013 with such titles as Falling Angel, Ten Grand, and Guardians to Sidekick.
IDW: Artist Editions, New Series, Ponies and Dredd
IDW had a number of big announcements at Comic-Con, beginning with three new hardcover artist editions beginning in November with Gil Kane’s The Amazing Spider-Man containing The Amazing Spider-Man #96-102, 120. In December there’s The Mad: Artist’s Edition, containing some of the magazines greatest hits by artists such as Wally Wood and Will Elder. Then in June 2013, there’s Xenozoic Tales Artist Edition, collecting the last six issues from creator Mark Schultz.
As for new series, IDW announced Lost Angeles, a new miniseries written by Kevin Eastman and illustrated by Simon Bisely and Joe Pearson. The series follows a romance between two rival gang members in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles ruled by gangs after an asteroid just misses Earth. IDW also announced Wild Blue Yonder, a new creator-owned series from Mike Raicht, Zach Howard and Austin Harrison. The new series takes place in a world where the land and sea are uninhabitable and people must take to the skies in fantastic flying machines where imminent war is approaching. The publisher also revealed a partnership with Hacbro, Inc. for a comic book based on the popular My Little Pony TV and toy series. Arriving in November, My Little Pont: Friendship is Magic, written by Katie Cook and illustrated by Andy Price, is based off the TV show of the same name, but will feature new stories.
The previously announced new Judge Dredd series found its creative team in writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Nelson Daniel, as well as work by Jim Starlin and Paul Gulacy. The new Dredd kicks off in November. IDW also announced it will be collecting 2000AD’s The Zaucer of Zilk, written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Brendan McCarthy in two oversized issues beginning in October.
Star Wars and Hellboy from Dark Horse
Dark Horse kicked off Comic-Con this year with the announcement of a brand new Star Wars series written by Brian Wood and illustrated by Carlos D’Anda, featuring characters from the original trilogy. The series is set to arrive in late 2012/ early 2013.
Dark Horse revealed a December release date for the upcoming four-issue storyline “Hellboy in Hell,” creator Mike Mignola’s return to illustrating and writing the series.
Comic-Con also brought an update on writers Gerard Way and Shaun Simon and illustrator Becky Cloonan’s previously announced Killjoys. Originally set to come out in 2010, the series is scheduled to be released in early 2013. Way said the series will deal with mature themes and likened it to Grant Morrison’s Invisibles.
Dynamite’s Pulpy Crossover and Evil Ernie’s Return
Three of Dynamite Entertainment’s pulp heroes, The Shadow, The Spider, Zorro and The Green Hornet, will star in Masks, an upcoming crossover from writer Chris Roberson and artist Alex Ross. The series marks Ross’ return to full interior work after nearly a decade of mostly layouts and covers. The series, beginning later this year, takes place in a 1930s where the New York government has created a corrupt police state where crime runs rampant.
Dynamite also announced the return of 90s Chaos! Comics character Evil Ernie in Ocotober with a new eponymous series. Written by Jess Blaze Snyder and illustrated by Jason Craig, Evil Ernie follows Ernest Fairchild as he hunts for his 666th kill in order to complete a deal with the Devil, but it executed before he can, leading into an origin story.
Archie’s Video Game Crossover, KISS and Dixon
Another groundbreaking crossover is coming courtesy of Archie Comics, except instead of pulp heroes, its video game characters teaming up. Beginning next year, Megaman and Sonic the Hedgehog will star in a twelve-issue miniseries written by Ian Flynn (who writes both Archie’s Sonic and Megaman titles) with art by Patrick Spaziante. Editor Paul Kamisnki compared the crossover to a big budget movie that fans have been wanting ever since the Archie began publishing both characters.
Archie also announced Archie Vs. KISS, written by Alex Segura and illustrated by Dan Parent. The new miniseries is a follow-up to he pair’s Archie Meets KISS where the famous metal band visited Archie and friends in Riverdale.
Writer Chuck Dixon joins Ian Flynn and artist Mike Norton on the Archie’s upcoming “New Crusaders: The Lost Crusade” digital series, part of the publisher’s revamp of the Red Circle line of characters.
All the Rest From San Diego
Oni Press announced print editions for two popular webcomics, as well as two new digital series. Diesel Sweeties, by R. Stevens, will collect the 12-year webcomic in a series of volumes beginning next summer. Double Fine Action Comics, by Scott C, will get a new printing of volume 1 (released in 2008) in addition to another two books. The publisher also revealed A Boy & A Girl by Rich and Nourigat, and Buzz! By Panagariya and Stone, which will make their debut digitally before their eventual print run.
At the Top Shelf panel, artist Eddie Campbell revealed a new From Hell Companion slated for a March 2013 release. The new book is by the original From Hell team of writer Alan Moore and Campbell and will tell the story of Jack the Ripper from a new angle. The book will also feature behind the scenes writings from Moore and sketches from Campbell.
David Lloyd, artist of V For Vendetta (written by Alan Moore), announced a new anthology comic book called Aces Weekly. Beginning in Sepember, each issue of the new series will contain six ongoing three-page stories from such talents as John McCrea, Phil Hester, Kyle Baker, David Hitchock and Lloyd himself.
Archaia announced a new series based on the popular Japanese manga, Cyborg 009, by Shotaro Shinomori. The re-imagined series, written by F.J. DeSanto and Billy Cramp and illustrated by Marcus To, will once again follow the story of nine people unwillingly made into robotic fighting machines by the nefarious Black Ghost Organization, but with a modern, Western spin. The new Cyborg 009 is set to debut both in digital and print forms next year.
Publisher First Second announced The Ren, a new graphic novel from writers Joe Illidge and Shawn Martinbrough, and is illustrated by Grey Williamson. The Ren centers on a group of black musicians in the early 20th century amidst a culture of organized crime.
In February, to celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Aspen Comics is launching a new 10-for-10 initiative, debuting a new #1 issue each week for ten weeks. All the debut issues will be $1 and of the ten, five will be based on existing Aspen properties and five all new series.
To follow up the previously announced The Tower Chronicles, out in September by Matt Wagner and Simon Bisely, publisher Legendary Comics announced another two additions to the trilogy, beginning “Shadow Walk” by writers Mark Waid and Max Brooks (World War Z) and illustrated by Shane Davis. Legendary is also publishing The Majestic Files, written by J. Michael Straczynski and artists Geoff Shaw and Matt Banning. The series takes place in Roswell, New Mexico and takes another look at the infamous landing that took place there.
Finally, Bongo Comics and publisher Matt Groening launched the new Simpsons Comics App for iOS, offering fans both new and reprinted Simpsons comics such as Bart Simpson, Radioactive Man, Simpsons Comics and more. The app is set to offer at least two comics each week and new material within a month of its print release.