Comics Lowdown: ‘Astro Hustle’ canceled after sexual misconduct allegations against Jai Nitz

Plus: Mark Alessi passes away; DiNKy award nominees and more.

Dark Horse Comics has canceled the final two issues of Astro Hustle after writer Jai Nitz was accused of sexual misconduct.

The allegations were first published on the Her Campus website by Hannah Strader, a University of Kansas student who met Nitz when he was a guest lecturer in one of her classes. Nitz, whose recent work also includes a Suicide Squad story for DC Comics, briefly deleted his Twitter account (which is now set to private) and bailed on his appearance at 2019 Planet Comicon last weekend.

“Dark Horse takes all allegations seriously. We have cancelled future issues of Astro Hustle,” the publisher said in a statement to CBR.com. “While we were unable to prevent our distributor’s shipping of Astro Hustle #2, we are also suspending our professional ties with Jai Nitz.”

Astro Hustle artist Tom Reilly addressed the cancellation on Twitter, saying it was “for the best” and showing support for the victim. And Nitz released a statement to Bleeding Cool, saying “I am stepping away from comics and public life. I am seeking counseling and trying to live a better life for my loved ones.”

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DC announces ‘Year of the Villain’ 25-cent comic

The almost-free comic arrives a few days before this year’s Free Comic Book Day.

Just prior to Free Comic Book Day, DC Comics will release a 25-cent DC Year of the Villain comic that spotlights several villains and sets the stage for future stories.

The book will include stories by Scott Snyder, Brian Michael Bendis, James Tynion IV, Jim Cheung, Francis Manapul and Alex Maleev, with a cover by Greg Capullo. Variant cover artists include Maleev and Cheung, as well as Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.

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