Mail Call | ‘X-O Manowar’ returns, ‘Death Metal’ one-shots and more

A round-up of news from DC, Marvel, Image Comics, Valiant and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

The Dark Nights: Death Metal event grew again this week, as DC announced two new anthology one-shots for November prior to releasing their full November solicitations.

The first one is focused on Lobo and is titled Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hours Exxxtreme! #1. It will feature “Uncle Lobo” telling “familiar yet freaky stories of the DC Universe, exactly as he remembers them: with blood and guts and exxxtreme gratuitous violence.” The creators involved include Frank Tieri, Becky Cloonan, Dale Eaglesham and more, with a cover by Kyle Hotz.

If that one isn’t ridiculous-sounding enough, the second one, Dark Nights: Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs “offers the curious—and the brave—a glimpse into the nightmare realities that the Batman Who Laughs has created in tales by creators who know what it means to have a truly twisted sense of misfit humor.” As you can tell by the cover, one of those worlds features evil super pets. It includes stories by Amanda Conner, Patton Oswalt, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Snyder, Brandon Thomas, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Chad Hardin and more.

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CCI@Home: Legendary Comics announces ‘Head Wounds: Sparrow’

New project from Oscar Isaac, Bob Johnson and John Alvey will be written by Brian Buccellato and drawn by Christian Ward.

During their Comic-Con@Home panel yesterday, Legendary Comics announced a new graphic novel called Head Wounds: Sparrow, that was developed by childhood friends Oscar Isaac (a.k.a. Poe Dameron from the most recent Star Wars trilogy), Bob Johnson and John Alvey, and will be written by Brian Buccellato and drawn by Christian Ward.

The story originated with Johnson, who had Stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma and used writing as a way to cope with his illness. During the panel, he said he had a dream where he had been shot in the head, but no one could see the wound — so no one could help him. Head Wound is about a cop who has a psychic “head wound” that pulls him into the war between angels and devils.

“Bob Johnson has a mind and a soul like no one else,” Isaac said. “Our friendship and creative collaboration has spanned nearly three decades. I couldn’t be more excited to bring his unique and singular vision of Head Wounds: Sparrow to life with the incredible group of artists we’ve assembled.”

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Curt Pires teams with his dad for ‘the most personal and raw comics I’ve been a part of’

Curt Pires, Tony Pires and Alex Diotto present ‘Olympia,’ coming in November from Image Comics.

Wyrd writer Curt Pires‘ next project is not only a love letter to superhero comics, Jack Kirby and Spielberg movies — it’s also very personal. His co-writer, Tony Pires, is also his father, who passed away from cancer, and they conceived the comic while Tony was in the hospital.

“We started working on Olympia just about three years ago when my father was first hospitalized as a means of giving us something to look forward to, to hope for, in dark times. All these months later the book’s finally coming out, even after he’s left us,” said Curt Pires. “Beyond any Extratextual reasoning I can throw at you, though, this is just good comics. Plain and simple. It’s a love letter to the Spielberg movies we loved so much smashed against the cosmic epicness of the Jack Kirby joints that laid the foundation of our modern entertainment landscape. These are the most personal and raw comics I’ve been a part of, and I hope you’ll join us.”

The stories they imagined together are being brought to life by artist Alex Diotto, who previously worked on Brigands and Southern Dog for Action Lab.

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Ward + Kivelä bewitch bullets in ‘Tommy Gun Wizards’

Christian Ward writes a new comic featuring Al Capone and magic.

Eisner-award winning artist Christian Ward will take a rare turn as writer in Tommy Gun Wizards, a new miniseries coming from Dark Horse Comics this summer.

Ward, who co-created ODY-C and has worked on Marvel titles like Thor and Black Bolt, is joined by artist Sami Kivelä, who worked with Saladin Ahmed on Abbott and on Zenescope’s Realm War, among other comics. Ward will provide covers as well as colors on the interior art. He’ll also draw back-up stories for each issue.

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Add Christian Ward’s abstract science fiction designs to your wardrobe

The ‘Thor’ and ‘Black Bolt’ artist launches his own Threadless shop, featuring three designs.

Many comic artists have launched their own T-shirt sites through websites like Threadless. Christian Ward, artist on Thor, Black Bolt and the upcoming Invisible Kingdom, joins them with three new designs on his dedicated shop.

The London-based artist and illustrator’s work combines influences from fine art and pop culture into colorful, surreal patterns. Books like ODY-C and The Ultimates brought his science fiction designs to the page, and the three shirts he’s debuted carry that same atheistic to your torso. Check’em out today.

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Berger Books adds ‘Invisible Kingdom’ from Wilson + Ward to its line-up

The ‘epic multi-part sci-fi saga’ about a religious conspiracy debuts next year.

Dark Horse’s Berger Books imprint, headed up by former Vertigo editor Karen Berger, welcomes a new book by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward into the fold next year — Invisible Kingdom.

“It’s a delight to be working with my mentor Karen Berger once again, especially on such an exciting project,” said G. Willow Wilson in a statement. “Christian Ward’s art is truly visionary—this is one of the most dynamic collaborations I’ve ever been involved with. I can’t wait to show the world what we’ve cooked up.”

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