Dan Abnett pens a song about ‘Rai’

The Valiant title gets a theme song, courtesy of its writer and the band A Sound of Thunder.

Valiant Entertainment will revive Rai on Wednesday with a new title, by Dan Abnett and Juan José Ryp. But Abnett isn’t just writing the series; he also wrote a Rai theme song that’s been recorded by the metal band A Sound of Thunder.

You can hear a snippet of the song, titled “Break Free,” below:

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‘Quantum & Woody’ returns by Hastings and Browne

Valiant brings back the popular duo in January.

Valiant Entertainment has announced the return of one of their most popular titles, Quantum & Woody.

The duo — and the goat, of course — will return in January from Christopher Hastings, Ryan Browne, Ruth Redmond, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and editor Heather Antos.

“They hunt a serial kidnapper, they clash with a brain monster, they stop government assassinations, they go undercover at a haunted high school, they take on a new mentor, and perhaps most excitingly… they get some new powers,” Hastings said about the new title.

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It’s all about the hair in Valiant’s ‘Roku’ miniseries

Cullen Bunn and Ramón F. Bachs take the deadly assassin on a globe-trotting adventure.

Roku, the former-lover-turned-adversary of Valiant’s Ninjak, will star in her own four-issue miniseries, courtesy of Cullen Bunn, Ramón F. Bachs, Stéphane Paitreau and Dave Sharpe.

“Roku is perhaps the deadliest assassin in the Valiant Universe, and this is her first solo series,” Bunn said on his blog. “I’m sending her on a globe-trotting adventure where she will not get a chance to catch her breath. This is The Killer meets Hard-Boiled meets Replacement Killers meets John Wick… with psychic assassins.”

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Comics Lowdown: Eric M. Esquivel fired from ‘Nightwing,’ ‘Border Town’ cancelled

Plus: Free Comics Book Day, George Freeman, Marie Javins and more!

Although it wasn’t yet announced, DC Comics has said Eric M. Esquivel will no longer co-write Nightwing. The news that Esquivel was writing the book was to be revealed today in DC’s January solicitations.

The news follows the cancellation of Border Town, a well-reviewed series Esquivel wrote with artists Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. Both Villalobos and Bonvillain announced on social media they had quit the title after allegations of sexual abuse against Esquivel became public. In a piece titled “X, my experience with my abuser,” toy designer Cynthia Naugle detailed a history of abuse by a co-worker at a comic shop, who has since been identified as Esquivel.

Neither DC Comics nor Vertigo have commented directly on the abuse allegations. Esquivel, who had changed his Twitter account to private following the allegations, has now made it public again and posted several tweets in response. At Book Riot, writer S.W. Sondheimer says she will no longer cover Vertigo titles as a result of their silence on the matter.

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Comics Lowdown: Chris Ryall rejoins IDW; Joe Illidge out at Valiant

Plus: top comics and graphic novels at comic shops in November! Next ‘Dog Man’ book gets a 5 million copy print run! Kieron Gillen plays ‘Die,’ for real! And much more!

Chris Ryall, who left IDW Publishing in March after serving as editor-in-chief for about 14 years, has rejoined the company as president, publisher and chief creative officer.

“IDW is where I’ve spent the majority of my career, and I consider the company and its employees like family, so I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to return,” Ryall said in a press statement. “I believe that IDW has very significant opportunities to become even more valuable and important, and I am excited to further expand on what I started with the company nearly 15 years ago. I am also eager to help the company celebrate its 20th year anniversary in 2019 in varied and creatively invigorating new ways.”

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Comics Lowdown: Mark Waid’s attorney asks for dismissal of Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit

BOOM! Studios cancels ‘Husband and Husband’ collection after plagiarism charges! Image stops selling DRM-free digital comics directly! Chicago Sun-Times drops two pages of comics! Plus: Chip Zdarsky, NaNoWriMo, best of 2018 lists and more!

Mark Waid’s legal representative has asked the U.S. District Court for the Western district of Texas to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by Richard C. Meyer. The civil lawsuit was filed in September and claims “tortious interference with contract and defamation.” You can read the motion on Newsarama.

“[Meyer] asserts claims against Mr. Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. These claims are completely meritless. But the problem at the outset, and which is proper to address, is that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Waid,” reads the motion. “Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify any allegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a single phone call between Mr. Waid, who was in California at the time, and a San Antonio publishing company. That is far short of the necessary substantial connection with Texas to justify personal jurisdiction.”

Mark Waid and Richard Meyer have GoFundMe campaigns going to pay for their legal fees, both of which have reached their goals.

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Comics Lowdown: Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra passes away

Mark Waid sued, and gets a new job! Vertigo prepares for NYCC! Plus Ryan Ferrier, Jason Lutes, John McCrea and more!

Passings: Carlos Ezquerra, 2000 AD artist and co-creator of Judge Dredd, has passed away, the Guardian and the Hollywood Reporter both reported this week. The 70-year-old artist was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010, and the disease returned this year.

“It is difficult to put this into words, but we have lost someone who was the heart and soul of 2000AD. It is no exaggeration to call Carlos Ezquerra one of the greatest comic book artists of all time, and his name deserves to be uttered alongside Kirby, Ditko, Miller, Moebius and Eisner,” reads a statement issued by 2000AD. “Yet this doesn’t really do justice to someone whose work was loved by millions and has had an influence far beyond the comic book page. From Judge Dredd to Strontium Dog, from Rat Pack to Major Eazy, Carlos has left us with a legacy of stunning and distinctive work that was and always will be 2000 AD. He has been one of the pillars, producing the same dynamic, enthralling and arresting art we always loved him for. We thought we had many more adventures to come from the master, so we are devastated to discover we were wrong.”

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Valiant unleashes ‘Harbinger Wars 2’ on two fronts next May

Each issue will feature two stories for the standard $3.99 price.

Valiant is following up their 2013 Harbinger Wars event series with the aptly named Harbinger Wars 2 — which will actually feature two complete stories in each issue detailing two different “fronts” in the war.

Each 44+ page issue will feature two complete, full-length 22-page stories “chronicling dueling fronts in the nationwide battle that will soon consume the Valiant Universe’s most powerful forces,” according to Valiant. Matt Kindt and Tomás Giorello will chronicle “the head-on collision of the Harbinger Renegades and the newly returned X-O Manowar,” while Eric Heisserer, Raúl Allen and Patricia Martín of Secret Weapons fame “will thrust Livewire and her new team of recruits into the center of a power struggle with the potential to tear America apart.” Each issue will cost $3.99 — so essentially you’re getting two comics for the price of one.

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Valiant’s Shadowman meets Rae Sremmurd in new crossover

Eliot Rahal and Renato Guedes reveal what happens when the hip-hop artists meet the supernatural guardian.

Remember way back in 1993 when Aerosmith guest-starred in an issue of Shadowman? I think he helped prevent Steve Tyler’s soul from being stolen or something. In that tradition, Valiant has announced another comic/music crossover, as Shadowman prepares to meet the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd.

“Comic books are a form of entertainment. I get to make all the sounds and effects in my head. It’s just like you use your imagination – you go through the pictures and the pictures are always awesome. It’s like an escape from reality,” said Rae Sremmurd’s Slim Jxmmi. “Valiant – they have really good storylines. The art is always on point. I never know what to expect. X-O Manowar is one of my favorites. The Delinquents is cool. Bloodshot is fucking awesome. I love Valiant.”

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