Mail Call | Fantastic Four take a ‘Road Trip’ in December

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

Fresh from saving the Earth from being destroyed by the sun in Empyre, the Fantastic Four will get a much-needed vacation in a one-shot by new Iron Man scribe Christopher Cantwell and artist Filipe Andrade. It’s titled Fantastic Four: Road Trip, and it features family fun, a station wagon … and a Reed Richards experiment gone wrong.

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DC FanDome: Reaction + news round-up

Although there weren’t any big comics announcements during the second day of DC FanDome, the company did reveal a few small tidbits.

This weekend DC presented the second round of their DC FanDome event, which featured pre-recorded virtual panels on their comics, movies, TV shows, video games and much more.

Although some viewers complained of technical issues when everything went online on Saturday morning, the event this time was much smoother and easier to absorb than the first day of the event, which took place back in August. For that one, everything was streamed on a continuous loop, which made it difficult to figure out when certain panels were going live — and if you didn’t have eight hours to dedicate to watching it, you were going to miss something.

This time around everything was posted on-demand style, so you could easily pick and choose what you wanted to see. If you just wanted to see the comics panels, you could pull those up and watch them without having to sit through a panel on the Flash TV show, for instance. Across five different channels, they had a LOT of content, and like before, it was only up for 24 hours. Which is a bummer — if you missed it, it’s gone, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. They could easily put at least some of it up on their YouTube channel.

If you did miss FanDome, here’s a round-up of some of the comic news that came out of the event.

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DC announces ‘Rorschach’ by Tom King + Jorge Fornés

The Black Label title featuring a character created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons will be set 35 years after the end of the ‘Watchmen’ maxiseries.

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen continues to be mined by DC Comics for story ideas some 30+ years after the 12-issue miniseries debuted. Although it enjoyed a long tenure as a “hands off” project while DC built its graphic novel business on its back, in recent years, post-Paul Levitz, the gloves have been off, starting with Before Watchmen in 2012 and the more recent Doomsday Clock, which brought the Watchmen characters into contact with the DC universe. These projects were done without the support or approval of Moore, who has “angrily” distanced himself from anything Watchmen due to his ownership dispute with DC (among other reasons).

Which brings us to today, in a world where Watchmen is not just a very well-regarded comic from the 1980s, but also a very well-regarded HBO show. DC has announced a new Rorschach 12-issue series by Tom King and Jorge Fornés that sounds like it has more in common with the TV show than the original comic.

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What Are You Reading? | Red Goblins, celestial avatars, Klan smashers and Texas blood

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their ‘to read’ list lately.

Like I said last week, summertime is the right time for crossovers and comics. This week brought us a taste of Empyre, Marvel’s big crossover event featuring the Avengers, The Fantastic Four, the Kree, the Skrulls, the Blue Area of the Moon, the Swordsman and all that crazy cosmic space action Marvel fans have come to know and love. You can see Carla’s thoughts on it below, along with a list of comics Shane has been buying for his kids and Tom’s thoughts on two politically minded books from DC.

You can tell us what you’ve been reading in the comments below or on social media.

Shane Bailey

Lately my kids have started wanting to read more comics. My little one has always been into them, but now the older kids are as well. So I let them pick out their own comics to read on comiXology Unlimited.

My 9 yr old son picked Amazing Spider-Man: The Red Goblin by Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen, and he loves it. He wouldn’t stop commenting on how crazy scary Norman Osborn is, how it was gross when Carnage bit the head off a rat, and during one issue when the Goblin had a captive and was interrogating him, he wondered aloud over who it was, making guesses and gasping when he found out who it was and that Norman knew who Spider-Man was. It’s great seeing him get excited at things that are old hat for me. It made me appreciate those moments more.

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‘Strange Adventures’ becomes a Black Label title

Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Evan “Doc” Shaner and Clayton Cowles’ Adam Strange maxi-series will be aimed at readers over 17.

DC has announced that Strange Adventures, the upcoming Adam Strange maxi-series by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Evan “Doc” Shaner and Clayton Cowles, will now be a Black Label title and will carry an “Age 17+ content descriptor” on the cover.

“As Strange Adventures was coming together, we had to take a step back and look at what made the most sense for the project,” said DC Group Editor Jamie S. Rich. “Since its tone and themes are more in the vein of Mister Miracle than, say, Tom King’s work on Batman, we decided that it made more sense to give Strange Adventures its own space, where Tom, Mitch, Doc and Clayton could follow the story to all the different places it might take them.”

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DC announces ‘Strange Adventures’ by King + Shaner + Gerads

Adam Strange will fly again in 2020.

It started with teases this weekend — Tom King and Mitch Gerads, the award-winning team behind DC’s Mister Miracle miniseries, have a new project in the works. That fans, naturally, kept asking about.

“So here’s the deal. It doesn’t come out for awhile, so SDCC might be a little early to announce it,” Gerads said on Twitter. “BUT DC has told us if the Eisners go well for us tonight then we can announce it tomorrow! So fingers crossed! I’ve got covers and info ready to go!”

Things went very well for them at the Eisners Friday night, and DC was true to their word — this morning they announced via Twitter Strange Adventures, featuring Adam Strange, by Tom King, Mitch Gerads and — get this — Evan “Doc” Shaner, a man who was born to work on Adam Strange.

The tweet came with two images:

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King to leave ‘Batman’ for new ‘Batman/Catwoman’ title

Tom King and Clay Mann will launch the 12-issue series in January.

Following rumors earlier this week that writer Tom King would leave Batman earlier than expected, DC Comics has made it official: King’s work on the title continues through December, when the “City of Bane” story will wrap up in Batman #85. A new, as-yet-unrevealed creative team will take over the title in January 2020, when DC will launch Batman/Catwoman by King and artist Clay Mann.

Batman, which currently comes out biweekly, will shift to a monthly schedule in January. Batman/Catwoman is being billed as a 12-issue maxi-series.

“We’re making changes to our comic book publishing line to set DC up for continued success,” said DC’s editor-in-chief Bob Harras. “We’re starting with the bestselling Batman comic after ‘City of Bane’ wraps up in December. ‘City of Bane’ is an incredible story and an integral part of our overall ‘Year of the Villain’ campaign, and a new Tom King and Clay Mann Bat/Cat series in 2020 fills the gap once BATMAN begins to ship monthly.”

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Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee’s former caretaker charged with elder abuse

Plus: Jonathan Hickman details his plans for the X-Men, comic sales in April and more.

Stan Lee’s former caretaker and manager, Keya Morgan, has been charged with felony elder abuse. The charges include felony counts of false imprisonment of an elder adult, theft, embezzlement, and forgery or fraud against an elder adult, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

A warrant for Morgan’s arrest had been issued. The 43-year-old memorabilia collector was served with a restraining order by Lee’s family last summer, when they accused him of elder abuse. Lee passed away in November.

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DC’s Walmart-exclusive stories headed to comic shops

DC Comics announced at WonderCon that stories by Brian Michael Bendis, Tom King and others will be released in the direct market.

DC Comics answered a question at WonderCon that’s been in the minds of readers and retailers — will the stories they’ve released exclusively to Walmart ever be collected and available in comic shops?

The answer is yes, as DC announced at their publisher’s panel today that stories like Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derington’s Batman: Universe will be collected and released in the direct market.

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