An end, and a new beginning, for ‘Astro City’

With the final issue of the current volume due out in April, writer Kurt Busiek reveals the title’s future.

DC Comics’ solicitations for April 2018 reveal that the latest volume of Astro City, currently published as a part of their Vertigo imprint, will end with issue #52. But don’t panic: writer Kurt Busiek says Astro City will be back, as a graphic novel rather than a comic series.

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Lost Kirby/Kane ‘Prisoner’ comic coming from Titan Comics

An unpublished Prisoner comic by Jack Kirby, Gil Kane and Steve Englehart accompanies a new comic series by Peter Milligan and Colin Lorimer.

Titan Comics announced last fall plans to publish a new comic based on the cult classic TV show The Prisoner, and now they’ve revealed more details about what they have planned for Number 6 next July.

First up is printing a “lost” Prisoner comic by Steve Englehart, Jack Kirby and Gil Kane. This special oversized collectors edition will contain the entire 17-page Kirby strip, the first six pages of which were inked and lettered by Mike Royer, as well as 18 pages of pencils drawn by legendary comic artist Kane. The comic was originally intended to be published by Marvel back in the 1970s; read more about it here.

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Allred, IDW celebrate 25 years of Madman with limited edition hardcover

‘Madman: Quarter Century Shindig’ will contain more than 450 pages of Frank Einstein’s adventures, hand-picked by creator Mike Allred.

IDW and Mike Allred are teaming up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Madman with a limited-edition hardcover hand-curated by the character’s creator.

Madman: Quarter Century Shindig is an oversize hardcover collection and is part of IDW Limited’s Artist Select series. It will include more than 450 pages of Madman adventures, all hand-picked by Allred and spanning the character’s history. IDW’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall’s interview with Allred will open the book.

“For over two decades now, Mike Allred’s art and storytelling have thrilled readers like myself,” said Ryall. “Really, it’s impossible not to look at a page of Mike’s art and not have it put a huge smile on your face. So IDW is very excited to be able to celebrate this anniversary of Mike’s work on Madman and offer up this amazing new collection.”

Madman, a.k.a. Frank Einstein, first appeared in Creatures of the Id back in 1990. Since then he’s appeared in comics published by several companies, including IDW, Image, Oni Press and Dark Horse, as well as Allred’s AAA Pop.

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Superman puts his pants back on for ‘Action’ #1000

Milestone issue will include new stories by Brian Michael Bendis, Jim Lee, Curt Swan, Marv Wolfman, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, John Cassaday, Scott Snyder and more.

The world returns to sanity again in April with the landmark Action Comics #1000, which features a slew of creators telling tales about Superman and, more importantly, the return of his famous red trunks.

Debuting in Action Comics #1 way back in 1938, the red trunks helped Clark Kent’s alter-ego fight for truth, justice and the American way for almost a century — that is, until the launch of the New 52 in 2010. Dc co-publisher Jim Lee redesigned many DC characters at the time, including Superman — and the new, super-hip redesign had no room for outside undies or his classic red boots. The move was controversial, just like any change to the status quo in superhero comics, and eventually spawned petitions from fans to return to the classic look. Now it looks like those voices have finally been heard by DC.

Action Comics #1000 represents a watershed moment in the history of not just comic books, but entertainment, literature and pop culture,” said Lee. “There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design.”

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‘300’ prequel gets a release date

Frank Miller’s ‘Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander’ arrives from Dark Horse Comics in April.

Frank Miller’s prequel to his hit graphic novel, 300, will arrive in April from Dark Horse Comics.

Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander follows Persian King Xerxes as he sets out to conquer the world to avenge his father Darius’ defeat and create an empire unlike anything the world has ever seen — until the hardy Greeks produce a god king of their own, Alexander the Great. This five-issue series boasts issues with 30+ plus pages of story and features wrap-around covers in a deluxe collector format. Miller will write and draw it, while Alex Sinclair will provide colors.

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‘Barrier’ jumps to print on Free Comic Book Day 2018

Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente’s pay-what-you-want digital comic lands at Image as a five-issue, weekly miniseries coming next May.

Diamond Comics Distributors has announced the 12 Gold Sponsor comic book titles for 2018’s Free Comic Book Day, which includes titles from DC, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW and more. While many publishers use the opportunity to kick off events or new series, Image is doing something interesting this year — their FCBD title is Barrier #1, bringing to print Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente’s pay-what-you-want digital comic.

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‘Cyber Force’ reloads in 2018

Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill and Atilio Rojo revive Marc Silvestri’s first Image title.

An Image Comics original returns next year as Marc Silvestri’s Cyber Force reboots in March, courtesy of Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill and Atilio Rojo.

“I’ve always loved Cyber Force,” said Hawkins. “These heroes are more technologically based, and we’re very close to transhumanism as it is! This story has a philosophical slant to it that is very appropriate to the changing times we’re in.”

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Archie Comics announces new ‘Dick Tracy’ series

Michael Moreci, Alex Segura, Thomas Pitilli and Dee Cunniffe team up to bring the yellow-clad detective back to comic books.

Hold on to your fedora — Dick Tracy will return to comic books next April, courtesy of Archie Comics.

The series will be co-written by Roche Limit and Hoax Hunters writer Michael Moreci and Archie Comics co-president (and crime novelist) Alex Segura, with art by Thomas Pitilli and colorist Dee Cunniffe.

“Dick Tracy has always been a character that stands shoulder to shoulder amongst the best–Superman, The Shadow, Conan the Barbarian, Spider-Man, you name it,” Moreci said in a press release. “There’s been so many great Dick Tracy stories over the past 75 years, and that’s such a testament to his versatility, his amazing–unbeatable–rogues gallery, and what he represents.”

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‘Black Hammer’ saga continues in ‘Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows’

Artist Max Fiumara joins writer Jeff Lemire on a new miniseries spinning out of the Eisner Award-winning series.

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s award-winning, best-of-2017 list making and genre-defying Black Hammer returns next year with a new series, but that isn’t the only Black Hammer story to look forward to. Dark Horse has announced another spinoff miniseries, Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows by Lemire, Abe Sapien artist Max Fiumara, colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Nate Piekos

Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows follows the first Black Hammer spinoff, Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil, which is out now. The “dual-narrative” story stars Golden Age superhero Doctor Star, an aged crime fighter trying to reconnect with his son, who he hoped would take over his superhero identity.

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