Roger Stern returns to the Avengers with ‘Avengers: Loki Unleashed’

Artist Ron Lim joins the legendary Avengers writer for a new one-shot.

Longtime Avengers scribe Roger Stern, who put the team through its paces back in the 1980s, will return to comics for a one-shot pitting his era of the team against Loki.

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Houser + Mooney weave ‘The Web of Black Widow’

New series starts in September.

The Black Widow will get another series in September, this time by the team of Jody Houser and Stephen Mooney. The Web of Black Widow “finds a mysterious figure exploiting the hero’s past. And in response, the Widow may have to go off the grid.”

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Comics Lowdown: New player in town: Graphite digital comic subscription service

Plus: Steve Morrow passes away, New York Times stops editorial cartoons, and more!

The New York Times reports on a new digital comics service, Graphite, that operates on a subscription basis, like ComiXology Unlimited. Graphite will offer a free version with ads, and their premium ad-free version is priced at $4.99 a month, a buck cheaper than ComiXology Unlimited, but their real selling point is automated recommendations:

On other platforms, recommendations are typically offered by editors, said Tom Akel, Graphite’s chief content officer. “Ours takes into account your user behavior, what you’ve watched before, what the pool of people around you liked and cross references that the same way a Netflix algorithm will,” he said.

The real test of a digital comics service, of course, is content. Graphite’s lineup will include BOOM! Studios, Tokyopop, Dynamite, IDW and the children’s publisher Papercutz, but not Marvel or DC (both of whom have their own subscription services). This is a choice that seems to make sense for the smaller publishers; as BOOM!’s Filip Sablik commented, “We’ve had free content available for multiple years, and it hasn’t cut into our Comixology business. In fact, it has continued to grow.

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Marvel reveals ‘Strikeforce’ for September

New title by Tini Howard and German Peralta features “ruthless” heroes.

After teasing a new “ruthless” super team last week — perhaps one to compete with the Savage Avengers at the Ruthless Olympics — Marvel’s The Pull List program has unveiled a new title, Strikeforce.

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Lemire offers updates on ‘Inferior Five,’ ‘Family Tree’

Both series will debut this fall.

In his email newsletter, comics creator Jeff Lemire gave updates on two previously announced comic book projects this week.

“My long gestating project with the great PHIL HESTER, called FAMILY TREE, will finally launch in November from Image Comics,” Lemire said. “Phil is working on issue 3 as I write this and I’ve written seven scripts so far. Eric Gapstur will be joining us as the inker, and Ryan Cody will be coloring. Will Dennis is editing.”

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Pop goes the Deadpool in this SDCC exclusive

The Merc with a Mouth has a surprise for you in this fun toy, which will be released at Comic-Con this July.

Deadpool has been featured in some pretty fun Comic Con International exclusives in the past, like the Deadpool as Sheriff Woody LEGO figure and of course the Funko Pop! Chimichanga truck, but this might be my favorite.

At this year’s big CCI in San Diego, Entertainment Earth will sell a Deadpool Jack-in-the-Box:

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Comics Lowdown: Unearthing info on Golden Age comics artists

Plus: Matthew Inman, Seth, May sales and more.

Above: A panel from Dotty, by Jane Krom Grammer

Comics scholar Carol Tilley has unearthed new information about several Golden Age comics artists, and she presents the first fruits of her research on her blog: An account of the life and work of Jane Krom Grammer, who drew (and perhaps colored) the comic Dotty in Supersnipe Comics in the mid-1940s. Tilley has found Grammer’s pay stubs for comics that had previously been attributed to another artist, and in conversation with Grammer’s daughter, she fills out the rest of her biography.

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Hero and his sidekick clash in ‘Banjax’ #1 [Preview]

Rylend Grant and Fábio Alves team up on a new title from Action Lab Entertainment.

“Banjax” is my new favorite word. It’s a verb that, according to Merriam-Webster, means to “damage” or “ruin.” When it’s a noun, it means “A mess or undesirable situation made as a result of incompetence.” Finally, it’s also the title of a new comic from Action Lab Entertainment.

Aberrant writer Rylend Grant has teamed with artist Fábio Alves, colorist Edson Ferreira and letterer HdE for Banjax, “a dark and decidedly wicked superhero noir that pulls no punches, that suffers no fools, that repeatedly gets knocked down, but always gets back up again with a smile,” according to the press release.

Here’s the book’s description:

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Powell + Jensen team for ‘Two Dead’ this fall

New graphic novel from Gallery 13 explores crime and racism in the Deep South after World War II.

Van Jensen and Nate Powell will team up on a new graphic novel this fall for Simon & Shuster’s Gallery 13 imprint. Two Dead, according to Paste, is about “crime, conspiracy, racism and insanity in the post-World War II Deep South.”

“Van and I started collaborating on Two Dead before I began drawing the March trilogy, believe it or not, shifting focus over the years and evolving past its genre parameters,” Powell told Paste. “Finding the right approach for this story was in part thanks to those years re-imagining its format, scope, historical relationships, and how it speaks to the world of 2019. Along the way, each book I drew concurrently with Two Dead helped pave the way for its final form—Come Again allowed me to embrace the power of genre, just as March better equipped me to finding the personal focus within a larger historical context. I’m always eager to bring my home state to life through comics, and each book doubles as a love letter to Arkansas in all its contradictory beauty.”

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