This week in Super Folk, Publishers Weekly's superhero news rundown, Marvel NOW news including series details and covers, DC’s crossovers and guest artists, upcoming releases from Image and IDW and more.
Marvel NOW: Series Details
Marvel continued to flood the comics industry with more information on Marvel NOW, the “soft reboot” of many of its top titles beginning in October. After a series of teaser images announcing new creative teams on titles such as Captain America, Iron Man and Fantastic Four, Marvel confirmed said creators began to provide cover art and some details on the new direction of the upcoming series.
Thor: God of Thunder, written by Jason Aaron (Wolverine) and illustrated by Esad Ribic (Ultimates), will be an epic saga that spans the entire lifetime of Thor, from a young deity to his eventual reign as the King of Asgard. Aaron is also introducing Gorr the God Butcher, a new villain to Thor and the Marvel Universe.
In Indestructible Hulk, writer Mark Waid (Daredevil) and artist Leinil Yu (Super Crooks) plan to bring the character “back to center,” with Waid comparing what he’s done on Daredevil (to much acclaim) as a model for the new Hulk.
Few story details were provided for Captain America, but both writer Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force) and artist John Romita, Jr. (Avengers Vs. X-Men) both want to take Cap in a new direction while not straying too far from what previous writer Ed Brubaker established over the last seven years.
Simon Spurrier (Extermination) and Tan Eng Huat’s X-Men Legacy is going to be told from X-Men Rogue’s perspective and center on the mutant Legion. Spurrier, a British writer who began writing for 2000 AD, expressed his affinity for contained stories, although he plans to intersperse them within overarching arc in the new series.
For Fantastic Four and its sister title, FF, writer Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man) plans to keep the two series linked in terms of plot, but will keep them separate thematically, when he begins writing both in October. For Fantastic Four, with artist Mark Bagley (Avengers Assemble), Reed Richards takes his family on an interstellar road trip of time and space that will focus heavily on the family aspect of the series, while in FF, with artist Mike Allred (iZombie), will star a new offbeat team of Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa and Miss Thing, with more quirky stories in the reminiscent when Fantastic Four were first introduced in the 1960s.
Then there’s Deadpool, co-written by comedian Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan (The Infinite Horizon) with art by Tony Moore (Venom), is going to be as zany as ever, with the titles first arc pitting the “Merc with a Mouth” against a horde of zombified dead presidents.
Aside from the new creative teams, Marvel also revealed the end to Defenders (currently by Matt Fraction and Jamie McKelvie) series, which will conclude after issue #12 in November, likely due to Fraction’s responsibilities on Marvel NOW. Journey Into Mystery, though, is not suffering the same fate, and will continue in October with writer Kathryn Immonen (Avengers Vs. X-Men Versus) and artist Valerio Schiti (Infestation). Finally, Marvel announced that writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel) and artist Stefano Caselli (The Amazing Spider-Man) will take over Avengers Assemble beginning in issue #9 in January. On Monday, in the publisher’s latest “Next Big Thing” live conference call, DeConnick admitted that Marvel’s The Avengers was a big influence on her and that she hopes to give the series the same blockbuster feel.
Fall Crossovers and Guest Artists at DC
Last week, DC Comics announced “He’l on Earth” an upcoming crossover in Superman #14, Superboy #14 and Supergirl #14, out in November. The story follows new villain He’l, an evil Kryptonian with enhanced physical and mental capabilities, as he ravages through all three titles, leaving the members of the Super family in his wake.
Also in the latest round of solicits, DC revealed more on “Hawkman: Wanted,” an upcoming crossover between Hawkman, Green Arrow and Deathstroke in each of the titles 14th issues. In it, there’s a bounty on Hawkman, who finds an ally in Green Arrow and an enemy in Deathstroke.
DC also announced a number of guest artists on upcoming issues on many of its titles, presumably to keep the New 52’s monthly schedule intact. First, instead of regular artist Ivan Reis, Pete Woods (Legion Lost) will illustrate Aquaman #14 in November, featuring a fight between Aquaman and the villainous Ocean Master. Artist Pascual Alixe (Thor: Heaven & Earth) will fill in for regular artist Kenneth Rocafort for Red Hood and the Outlaws #14 in November, where Superman confronts the Outlaws over ties to black market alien technology. Beginning in October, writer Tom DeFalco (Superboy) is filling in for Kyle Higgins on Nightwing #13-14 with a story that pits Dick against Lady Shiva. Finally, writer/artist David Lapham (Age of Apocalypse) will take over art duties and join writer China Miéville on Dial H #6, out in November.
Over on the digital side, DC revealed a new schedule and creator line-up for Legends of the Dark Knight, its weekly digital-first Batman title, including Joshua Fialkov (I, Vampire) and Phil Hester (Green Hornet), Jeff Parker (Hulk) and Gabriel Hardman (Secret Avengers). See the full list here.
Upcoming from Image, IDW, Valiant and Thrillbent
Last week, Image Comics announced it was publishing Valentine, writer Alex de Campi and artist Christine Larsen’s popular webcomic, as a graphic novel in September. Valentine Volume 1: The Ice Death, opens on a solider from Napoleon’s defeated army who is tasked by a dying superior to deliver a mysterious package to France. However, the soldier and the package are sought by monsters who roam the Earth in search of a way to return to their realm.
After an initial teaser that promised the death of a character in the upcoming 100th issue of Invincible during Comic-Con, Image released a new teaser perhaps revealing that the one to die may be the series titular character, Invincible (AKA Mark Grayson). The answer will be revealed when Invincible #100, written by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and illustrated by Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley, hits stands in 2013.
Along with a new Judge Dredd series in the works (as well as the upcoming movie) IDW is giving fans of Mega City One’s most brutal cop more of what they want, announcing a new series of Dredd reprints by some of the titles most celebrated creators. The reprints begin in November with Judge Dredd: The Complete: Brian Bolland, which will feature the inimitable British artist’s work in color for the first time.
IDW also announced the return of classic comic strip boxer Joe Palooka in a new six-issue series imagining him as a mixed martial arts fighter. Written by Mike Bullock and illustrated by Fernando Peniche and Matt Triano, the comic was originally released digitally, but will see print later this year.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources, writer and digital comics champion Mark Waid, revealed some of the upcoming titles to his digital comics site, Thrillbent. Such titles including “Field Trip” by Gail Simone (Batgirl), “The Gas Kat Prowls” by Kurt Busiek (Astro City), “The Eight Seal” by James Tynion IV (Batman Annual) and “Arcanum” by John Rogers (Dungeons and Dragons). The new series are set to debut in Fall.
Finally, while speaking on the recently revived publisher’s new titles in an interview with MTV Geek, Valiant executive editor Warren Simon mentioned that a something of a crossover is scheduled to hit the Valiant Universe come May 2013.