Mail Call | New release dates for the Milestone revival

Catch up on news and announcements from Dark Horse, Vault Comics, DC, Z2 and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

DC Comics has modified their plans for the upcoming Milestone Media relaunch. The three launch titles — Static, Icon and Rocket, and Hardware — will no longer arrive digitally before they come out in print. Instead, they’ll be released in both formats on the same day, as well as on DC Universe Infinite. Both Static and Icon and Rocket will come out later, but Hardware will be published earlier than originally announced. The new dates (and creative teams for each title) are:

  • Static: Season One, written by Vita Ayala, with layouts by CHRISCROSS, finishes by Nikolas Draper-Ivey with covers by Khary Randolph launches in print and digital on June 15.
  • Icon and Rocket: Season One, co-written by Reggie Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Doug Braithwaite and covers by Taurin Clarke launches in print and digital on July 27.
  • Hardware: Season One, written by Brandon Thomas, with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz with covers by Mateus Mahanini, launches in print and digital on August 10.

DC Comics has released a preview of Detective #1035, which features a Batman story by Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora, and a Huntress story by Tamaki and Clayton Henry. The Batman story will feature Batman’s new nemesis, Mr. Worth, while Huntress deals with the death of a friend.

Diamond reveals Skottie Young’s FCBD arT

Diamond Comics Distributors has revealed the commemorative artwork they plan to use for Free Comic Book Day this year, which is the 20th anniversary of the event. Skottie Young’s artwork will appear on posters and T-shirts celebrating the event:

“Free Comic Book Day is a celebration of imagination and storytelling,” Young said. “It’s a day of discovery for new and old readers and on the 20th anniversary, it is more important than it has ever been!” 

The shirt can be ordered through comic retailers; it’ll be available in the April edition of Diamond’s Previews publication.

Valiant’s FCBD comic includes X-O and more

Valiant Entertainment has revealed more details about their Free Comic Book Day offering this year, titled Valiant Uprising. It will include a new X-O Manowar story by Dennis Hopeless and Emilio Laiso; a preview of The Harbinger #1 by Jackson Lanzing, Colin Kelly and Robbi Rodriguez; a look at Ninjak #1 by Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido; and a sneak preview of Cullen Bunn and Jon Davis-Hunt’s Shadowman.

Witchblood cover homages Jonah Hex

Vault Comics has already announced a second printing of Witchblood #1, which comes out next week, and they’ve revealed the cover, above, which pays tribute to José Luis García-López and his cover for Jonah Hex #1. The new cover is by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel, and the second printing will arrive in shops April 28.

Radio Apocalypse delayed

Speaking of Vault, they also announced that the upcoming title Radio Apocalypse by Ram V, Anand RK, Aditya Bidikar and Tim Daniel has been delayed until October for COVID-related reasons

“Anyone who has read Ram and Anand’s other work knows just how exceptional their creative efforts truly are,” said Vault Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Adrian Wassel. “COVID has thrown a wrench into every aspect of our lives, and yet somehow we’ve all learned to keep moving forward. Still, the last thing we want to do is rush what will be a singular and masterful series, and so we’ve decided to hold the Radio Apocalypse release just a bit longer. I promise, it’s worth it.”

Cover Not Final coming in June

AdHouse Books has announced plans to publish Cover Not Final: Crime Funnies by Max Huffman. Per the description. it’s a collection of “intertwined stories, paranoid conspiracy and soft-boiled noir bubbles under every aspect of daily life— and at the center of it all is Career Criminal, the tuxedo’d conduit between our square world and its cosmic underbelly.”

More Norse Mythology coming in June

Dark Horse has announced another six-issue miniseries adapting stories from Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, as P. Craig Russell and artists like Matt Horak, Mark Buckingham, Gabriel Walta, Sandy Jarrell and Lovern Kindzierski turn Gaiman’s prose into comics. Russell will provide the covers, with David Mack providing variants for each issue.

“It has been an absolute delight working with the slate of artists assembled for our adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology,” says Russell. “Sending the artists the layouts and then seeing their finished pages come rolling back in, each having brought their own unique artistic vision to the page, has been great fun.” 

Teddy Swims comes to comics

Singer-songwriter Teddy Swims is teaming up with Z2 Comics for a new kid’s graphic novel, titled Teddy Swims Presents: Swimmy and the Valley of the Last Song. The graphic novel is written by Grace Freud and illustrated by Fred Stresing.

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamed of building my own universe of characters and stories that everyone can enjoy, especially children,” Swim said. “I believe so strongly that the job of a musician or anyone with a platform should use it to guide and influence the upcoming generation in a positive way! And for the adults I always want to do anything I can to preserve that child in all of us because it’s the most important part of us! That being said, developing a comic book has always been a dream of mine! I hope you fall in love with Swimmy’s adventure as much as I have. Here’s to dreaming even bigger and making this a series!”

Erik Larsen to wrap up Ant in June

Savage Dragon creator and Image Comics CFO Erik Larsen has obtained the rights to Ant, a comic created by Mario Gully and published in the past by both Image and Arcana Comics. Larsen helped out with the initial storyline published by Image, but it was never completed — until now.

“Back when I was the publisher I brought Mario Gully’s Ant over to Image and Mario and I talked at great length as to how the book could be retooled in order to be integrated into the Image Universe. I ended up putting a lot of thought into the character and concept,” explained Larsen. “I saw the character’s potential from the very start.”

It’s been 14 years since the last issue of Ant appeared, but now Larsen will release Ant #12 in June, which brings the first volume to a close. But he’s also planning more Ant comics in the future.

“I found there was a lot I wanted to say and a lot that I wanted to do,” Larsen said. “I started digging in on an origin story and it just kept expanding and expanding. Pretty soon I had all kinds of plots dancing around in my head and numerous directions the book could go. Work has begun on a new ongoing Ant book. But first—the concluding chapter of the old one—at long last.”

Ant #12 comes out June 9.

Star Wars Pride Month covers

Marvel has announced that in addition to the Phil Jimenez Pride Month covers they previously shared, they’re also planning to release Pride Month variant covers for several of their Star Wars comics, including Doctor Aphra (above, by Jan Bazaldua and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg).

Kane and Able collects strips by Kane + Able

Image Comics has revealed that Shaky Kane and Krent Able are teaming together for the aptly named anthology Kane and Able. It will feature a variety of stories by the duo.

Here’s a preview:

“This one had to happen! In the tradition of Godzilla and Kong, and Siegfried and Roy. Kane and Able have finally teamed up to ride the Action Park white-knuckle-head flume of comic book kulture! Only a book this big could do it justice!” said Kane.

Learn to letter in a new book by Nate Piekos

Letterer Nate Piekos is putting together a book to teach people how to letter comics, called The Essential Guide to Comic Book Lettering. Image Comics will publish it in October.

Jim Lives trailer

Image Comics has released a new trailer for Jim Lives: The Mystery of the Lead Singer of The Doors and the 27 Club, the follow-up to Paolo Baron and Ernesto Carbonetti’s Beatles graphic novel, Paul Is Dead. The new book comes out June 21.

Red Room goes Pg-13 for FCBD

Fantagraphics has released more details on the Free Comic Book Day version of Red Room by Ed Piskor that they plan to release as part of the event. The new series launches in May and will wrap up its first four-issue arc right around the time that Free Comic Book Day arrives. The FCBD issue, though, will be 100% original material, and while the series itself is for mature readers, the free issue will be rated PG-13.

Red Room is a cyberpunk, outlaw, splatterpunk comic that you can’t unsee once you feast your eyes on the mayhem,” said Piskor. “Think of Red Room as modern day E.C. Comics, infused with the dream of Black Mirror. These are subversive, stand alone stories that are all part of a larger, twisted narrative.”

Fantagraphics also revealed three variant covers they have planned for the first issue, by Piskor, Jim Rugg and Peach Momoko:

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