Outland Entertainment has announced that The Sixth Gun co-creator Cullen Bunn will serve as the lead writer and architect of a new “shared multiverse” based on the works of 1980s independent comics creator Barry Blair, starting with Dragonring.
Outland acquired the rights to several of Blair’s titles back in 2016 — including Warlock Five, Elflord, Samurai and Dragonring, which were originally published by Aircel Publishing.
“Aircel Publishing was one of the most innovative and influential independent publishers of their time (and possibly of all time),” said Outland Entertainment founder Jeremy D. Mohler. “It’s an absolute pleasure to have an opportunity to expand on Aircel’s legacy with this project.”
Outland plans to crowdfund the new Dragonring comic, which will be drawn by Shannon Potratz. Bunn says the new series will be accessible to new fans. “One part sequel, one part re-imagination, this new incarnation of Dragonring is a perfect starting point for new fans,” said Bunn. “We are introducing new heroes, new villains and a new mystery.”
Story-wise, Dragonring will set up the rest of the debuting titles, which include Elflord, Samurai, Gun Fury and Demon Hunters.
“In the original series, the Dragonring was known to be a powerful artifact, but its origins and potential were never truly realized,” Bunn said. “We will be building a wild new mythology for the ring. At the same time, we will be tying it to a vast multiverse that encompasses many heroes, horrors and hair-raising adventures.”
Blair and Aircel had one of the more interesting origin stories in comics. In 1985, Blair was working for a Canadian insulation company that lost its contract with the government — so Blair convinced the owner to turn it into a publishing house that Blair would head up. This was during the black-and-white boom of the 1980s, when several independent companies began producing colorless comics for the (still fairly new) direct market. Speculators had a field day with them, as many were hard to find and had small print runs. Dragonring, by Blair and Guan Yap, debuted in 1986 and ran for 21 issues.
Aircel was eventually acquired by Malibu, and Blair, whose Elflord was arguably his most famous creation, went on to work on ElfQuest. WaRP, which published ElfQuest, went on to publish some of his other comics as well. Blair passed away in 2010 from a brain aneurysm.
You can check out some additional art from the Dragonring revival below.