Mail Call | Marvel announces FCBD titles, partnership with TASCHEN

Today’s round-up includes news from Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse and more.

Marvel will publish three Free Comic Book Day titles in 2022, the publisher announced last week.

The titles include Avengers/X-Men, which will “lay the groundwork for an event that will erupt across the Marvel Universe in 2022,” as well as a Spider-Man/Venom title for the second year in row and Marvel’s Voices, the anthology that features diverse creators and characters. It will include both new and previously released material.

Free Comic Book Day is scheduled for May 7, 2022.

Marvel has also recently announced a partnership with book publisher TASCHEN for a series called The Marvel Comics Library, which will collect classic Marvel comics into an extra-large format. The series will start with Spider-Man. Vol. 1. 1962–1964. The next titles in the series will be Avengers. Vol. 1. 1963–1965, Fantastic Four. Vol. 1. 1961–1963 and Captain America, all scheduled for release in 2022 and 2023.

Dark Horse celebrates Grendel, The Amazing Screw-On Head

Dark Horse Comics will celebrate anniversary milestones next year for two of their properties. First, Matt Wagner’s Grendel will turn 40 in 2022, and Dark Horse will publish second editions of their Grendel Omnibus line in honor of the milestone.

“When I first created Grendel, I could only dream that the character and concepts would have a life and resonance beyond the initial storyline.  Now, forty years into this dark and sprawling saga, I can look back on an epic narrative that’s always provided as many thrills and surprises for me as it hopefully has for its readers,” Wagner said.

The first volume, which collects Grendel: Devil by the Deed; the short story collections Grendel: Black, White, & Red and Grendel: Red, White, & Black, and Grendel: Behold the Devil, will arrive in stores June 8.

Also on the schedule is a 20th anniversary edition of The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects, the graphic novel by Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart. The new hardcover edition will also feature 40 pages of new material.

“As proud as I am of the Hellboy stuff, the stories that make up the Screw-On Head collection are actually my favorite things I’ve done,” said Mignola. “They are the most ME, they are as close as you’re going to get to looking inside my head and seeing the stuff that runs around in there. A while back I started work on another of my odd non-Hellboy things, Axorr, Slayer of Demons. Eventually I hit a snag and never finished it, but was really happy with the nineteen pages I did finish, and I’m super happy that they are finding a home here in the new expanded 20th anniversary edition of this book. This is where they belong. If there is just one true ‘Mignola’ book to have, I think this is it.” 

Silk returns in January

Marvel has another Silk miniseries slated for January and have released a preview of the first issue by Emily Kim and Takeshi Miyazawa:

War’s End miniseries will explore a darkness from Cybertron’s past

Brian Ruckley, the architect of IDW’s monthly Transformers continuity, and artist Jack Lawrence will team up for a spinoff miniseries featuring the return of an ancient evil to the Transformers’ home world of Cybertron: Exarchon, who not even Megatron likes. Tranformers: War’s End will run for four issues starting in February.

Batman/Catwoman Special will feature a tribute to John Paul Leon

One of the last things artist John Paul Leon was working on before his death in May was Batman/Catwoman Special, which was originally scheduled for July. Unfortunately, Leon was unable to finish the issue, so DC enlisted a few of his fellow artists to complete the comic, including Bernard Chang, Shawn Crystal, Mitch Gerads and Dave Stewart.

In addition, DC has expanded the issue to include several pin-ups and essays that pay tribute to Leon, by Lee Bermejo, Denys Cowan, Joëlle Jones, Dave Gibbons, Walter Simonson, Kurt Busiek, Michael Davis and more.

The Batman/Catwoman Special is now scheduled to arrive in stores Jan. 25. It’ll feature a main cover by Leon (above) and variant covers by Lee Weeks and Bill Sienkiewicz:

February brings Archie’s Love & Heartbreak Special

Archie Comics will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a themed anthology that comes out Feb. 9. The Archie: Love and Heartbreak Special will feature stories by Thomas Pitilli, Stephanie Cooke, Sina Grace, Lisa Sterle and Iolanda Zanfardino starring Veronica and Dilton, Kevin and Devon, and Betty and Jughead.

Covered: Dan Jurgens’ original designs for Ben Reilly

Marvel has revealed several variant covers for their upcoming Ben Reilly: Spider-Man miniseries, and chief among them is a look at the unused costume designs Dan Jurgens did for Ben Reilly back in the 1990s. This was from around the time that Jurgens was working on Sensation Spider-Man.

“Back in 1995 when we were launching the new Sensational Spider-Man series with Ben Reilly taking over as Spidey, we decided to tweak his costume,” Jurgens said. “Mark Bagley and I each took a swing and Mark’s classic design—quite appropriately—was the winner. I filed the art away and pretty much forgot about it until the new series came up in a recent conversation and I happened to think of it. Definitely cool now that, after all these years, this other version will finally see the light of day as one of the variants to Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #1. It’s even more cool to be drawing Ben again, with regular variant covers for the duration of the series!”

The comic will also come with covers by Steve Skroce, Alex Maleev and Skottie Young, in addition to a new cover by Jurgens:

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #1 comes out next month.

LEGO Ninjago Comes to comics in April

Skybound has announced the first title they’ll release as part of their licensing deal with LEGO: LEGO Ninjago Garmadon. It’ll be written and drawn by Tri Vuong, who is also doing Everyday Hero Boy for the publisher.

“It’s been such a great opportunity to play within the LEGO universe,” said writer/artist Tri Vuong. “The LEGO® NINJAGO® franchise has all the qualities that I love in a story; action, adventure, humor and compelling characters. In our new series, we’re paying homage to the LEGO® NINJAGO® franchise while expanding the mythology with new stories on this beloved property.”

The first issue of five arrives in stores April 6.

Image announces The Official Image Timeline

Image co-founder Jim Valentino has put together The Official Image Timeline, which the publisher will release in February. It promises to chronicle all of the company’s history — “warts and all.” I wonder if it will mention the proposed union by their employees (who should be receiving their ballots this week)?

“I’ve worked diligently on this Timeline for the past year, trying to stay as true to the facts as possible, regardless where they lead,” said Valentino. “While I sincerely hope that fans, new and old, will enjoy this illustrated journey through the last 30 years—I also hope that this Timeline will put to rest, once and for all, the misinformation and misunderstandings of what Image is and what it has strived to be.”

League of Super-Pets come to comics

With a movie featuring the voice of The Rock set to debut next year, DC Comics has announced a graphic novel, DC League of Super- Pets: The Great Mxy-Up. The graphic novel is aimed at readers ages 8-12 and is by writer Heath Corson and artist Bobby Timony.

Covered: Miss Minutes’ ‘Timeless’ cover

Captain Carter isn’t the only Disney+ star to make her way into comics — Miss Minutes, the breakout character from Disney+’s Loki series, will make her comic book debut on a variant cover for the upcoming Timeless one-shot. The cover is by Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado, and the one-shot arrives in stores Dec. 29.

Cursed Pirate Girl returns in January

Jeremy Bastian’s Cursed Pirate Girl will return in January for a new one-shot subtitled The Devil’s Cave. Here’s a look inside:

Angel returns in January

Also coming in January from BOOM! is a new take on Angel, Buffy’s vampiric boyfriend. The eight-issue miniseries is by Christopher Cantwell, Daniel Bayliss, Patricio Delpeche and Becca Carey.

“I love writing character ensemble stories, stories about seemingly random individuals who suddenly find themselves trapped in the orbits of others. Angel has one of the best ensembles to ever grace the TV screen, and theirs is a story about a family of choice,” said Cantwell. “When BOOM! approached me, I leaped at the chance to honor and celebrate the original series in a fresh way, pulling on some loose threads and weaving new ones.  It takes all the characters and plays 52 card pick-up with them, reshuffling their roles and identities into a literal alternate universe that LOOKS and FEELS like Angel, but is also something else entirely.” 

Marvel celebrates 30 years of Carnage

Marvel’s other symbiote has a big birthday coming up next year, and to celebrate 30 years of the homicidal maniac, Marvel will release Carnage Forever, a one-shot with stories by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Ty Templeton, Edgar Salazar, Ram V and more. It slashes its way into stores Feb. 23.

Marvel’s Voices: Legacy returns in February

Marvel will release a second issue of Marvel’s Voices: Legacy in February, which will feature African-American creators and characters. Look for stories featuring Sam Wilson, Luke Cage, Moon Girl and more by Cody Ziglar, Victor LaValle, Natacha Bustos and more.

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