This week in Super Folk, PW Comics World’s superhero news hub, series endings and beginnings at Dynamite, Marvel and Image, familiar faces return to the DC Universe, retailers ready for Uncanny Avengers launch, Spawn gets political and more.
Endings at Dynamite, Marvel, Image
Last week, a number of series conclusions were revealed from publishers Dynamite Entertainment, Marvel and Image Comics. On Thursday, Dynamite announced that Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s acclaimed creator-owned series The Boys is ending with issue #72 in November. The Boys, a darkly humorous and graphic takedown of superheroes starring a motley group of behind-the-scenes agents, was originally published by DC Comics' Wildstorm imprint when it began in 2007, but later moved to Dynamite after DC execs became uncomfortable with the series’ mature-themed, superhero-bashing content. Since then the series has continued, and has had a number of spinoffs and regular artists including Russ Braun and Peter Snejbjerg. The extra-sized final issue, containing bonus pin-ups and a cover gallery, arrives in November.
Another creator-owned series ending is Image Comics’ Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker, written by Joe Casey and illustrated by Mike Huddleston. Although it was planned as an eight-issue miniseries from the start, the final, eighth issue, which was released last week, suffered a ten-month delay and created a rift between the two creators, making it unlikely the two will collaborate on any kind of follow-up or sequel.
With Marvel NOW, the upcoming revamp of many of its top titles, fast approaching, Marvel Comics revealed the end or near end to a number of series in its latest round of solicitations. Avengers Academy, written by Christos Gage and illustrated by various artists, is ending with the conclusion of the “Final Exam” storyline in issue #39 in November. Avengers Academy began in 2010 and featured a cast of young heroes learning to be full-fledged heroes. The solicits also confirmed the end of writer Brian Michael Bendis’ years-long run on the Avengers where he worked on both Avengers and New Avengers since 2005, transforming the franchise as well as having a hand in most of the major happenings in the Marvel Universe. The writer’s last work with the series will be part of the ongoing Avengers Vs. X-Men event. He’s not going far, though. Following his departure from the Avengers, Bendis is writing a new X-Men series as part of Marvel NOW, and is rumored to be helming the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy relaunch.
Marvel also announced it has discontinued its Premiere Classics line of hardcover collections. The line of affordable hardcover collections began in 2006 and has featured classic storylines from over five decades of comics including Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s run on Wolverine, The Death of Captain Marvel, Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man.
Beginnings at Dynamite and DC Comics
But where there are endings in the comic book industry, so too are there new beginnings. While Garth Ennis is closing the book on The Boys, Dynamite announced that he and frequent collaborator Carlos Ezquerra are returning one last time to their war series Battlefields with the all new Battlefields #1: The Green Fields Beyond Part 1. The series first began in 2008 with the three-issue Battlefields: Night Witches, and continued with Dear Billy and The Tankies in 2009 and later a nine-issue monthly in 2010, all of which have since been collected in six trades and two hardcover editions. The new series, beginning in November, takes place in 1951 during the Korean War and stars the Tankies as they fight off Chinese opposition despite being stranded in the war torn Korea.
DC Comics has begun to tease the return of the New 52 Joker in October’s Batman #13, written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo. The Joker has largely been MIA from the New 52 after literally losing his face in last September’s Detective Comics #1 (written and drawn by Tony Daniel), but Snyder and Capullo’s new take on the character looks to put an extra-disturbing, possibly voyeuristic twist on the Clown Prince of Crime.
(SPOILER ALERT for those who have not read Wonder Woman #12)
The final page of last week’s Wonder Woman #12 (written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Cliff Chiang) kicked off the arrival of the New Gods to the New 52. Created by Jack Kirby in the early 1970s after his move from Marvel to DC Comics, the New Gods have starred in a number of miniseries and are an ever-present force of good (and evil) in the greater, more cosmic side of the DCU. Although the villain Darkseid has already appeared in Justice League, the issue signals the return of other fan favorites including Orion, Metron and Mister Miracle.
Vertigo (an imprint of DC Comics) announced it is bringing back Ghosts, a ghost themed anthology series originally published throughout the 1970s, in time for Halloween. The 80-page issue will contain work from creators such as Geoff Johns, Paul Pope, Gilbert Hernandez and the late Joe Kubert.
Avatar Press also has plans for Halloween, as the publisher announced a new monthly Night of the Living Dead comic, making its debut on October 31st. The new series, titled Night of the Living Dead: Aftermath, is written by David Hine (The Darkness) and illustrated by artists including German Erramouspe (Starcraft: Frontline) and frequent NOTLD artists John and Edison George.
On the Horizon
Very early details on a few notable comics emerged last week, beginning with what’s next from cartoonist Jeff Smith (Bone, RASL). In an interview with Paste Magazine, Smith said he is working on a new comic, one that is humorous and more akin to Bone than RASL. Elsewhere, artist Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) admitted to working on a new book with writer Neil Gaiman for Dark Horse. And finally, despite Vertigo canceling Northlanders, writer Brian Wood’s series containing Viking stories, earlier this year, the writer admitted on his blog to having about fifteen scripts of related material to write, something he’ll get to once his run on Dark Horse’s Conan the Barbarian is over.
Image: Spawn Gets Political, More Invincible Teasers, Cyber Force Update
With the presidential election coming up in November, the ending to Spawn #225, by Todd McFarlane, will differ depending on whether incumbent Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney wins the election. If that wasn’t enough, the issue’s cover is an homage to the famous cover of Watchmen #1.
Image Comics continued to roll out more teasers for issue #100 of Invincible, written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley, each showing the hypothetical death of a different major character. Whether one, all or none of these characters will meet their end won’t be known before the milestone issue drops in January.
The 20th anniversary Cyber Force Kickstarter campaign closed out at $117,135, $42,135 dollars over its goal of $75,000, and a new high point for an American comic book publisher. The project’s goal is to use the funds to relaunch the series and offer the first five issues for free. The new issues written by series creators Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins and illustrated by Khoi Pham, are scheduled to arrive in Spring.
Misc: Uncanny Avengers Parties, Hyrule Historia, Contraband Exclusive
Last week, Marvel announced a new retailer event program for the release of Uncanny Avengers #1 on October 10. The publisher will provide participating retailers with an “Uncanny Avengers Party Kit,” containing posters, issues with special variant covers, pins, etc. Marvel instituted a similar plan earlier this year for the release of Avengers Vs. X-Men #1.
Dark Horse announced a January publication date for the (already bestselling) The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, a 272-page compendium containing creator notes, concept art, a Zelda comic by Akira Himekawa, and the official Zelda timeline.
Contraband Comics, publisher of the upcoming Blindside, announced an exclusive deal with digital comics platform iVerse Media to distribute digital editions of its titles. This comes a few months after Valiant Entertainment signed an exclusive digital deal with Comixology.