Slugfest | Have a very ‘Criminal’ Christmas

Catch up on recent news and announcements on Criminal, Dragon Age, Blue Beetle, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Prism Stalker and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you from comics creators, publishers and more.

Image Comics is serving up a Christmas treat for Criminal fans in the pages of their Image! 30th anniversary anthology. Creators Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have created a Christmas story starring Teeg Lawless in a take-off of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.

“I’ve been wanting to do a Christmas-themed Criminal story since we first started the book,” said Brubaker. “So, Sean and I had a blast returning to that world for ‘Teeg’s Christmas Carol.’ Twelve pages of bad dad Christmases and history lessons.”

Phillips drew the cover, which features a cigarette puffing, Santa-hat wearing Teeg:

Image! #9 is due in stores on Dec. 28, and will also feature a new Dead Eyes story by Gerry Duggan and John McCrea, a new short by Bitter Root co-creator Chuck Brown and artist Steven Statz, plus stories from Geoff Johns and Andrea Mutti, Kieron Gillen and Steve Lieber, Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli, Dean Haspiel and more.

Return to Thedas in Dragon Age: The Missing

cover by Matt Taylor

Dark Horse will return to the world of Bioware’s Dragon Age video game series in a new comics miniseries next year titled Dragon Age: The Missing. The miniseries will be written by George Mann with art by Kieran McKeown and colors by Michael Atiyeh.

The story will feature two mainstays of the previous Dragon Age game, Inquisition: the rogue dwarf named Varric and Scout Harding, who was always there to introduce whatever hostile environment you were planning to tackle next. The story will serve as a prequel to the fourth game in the series, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. Dark Horse also plans to release a boxed set of its previous Dragon Age stories.

Marvel vs. Planet of the Apes

Marvel, which regained the license to do Planet of the Apes comics earlier this year, will release a series of variant covers featuring Marvel characters interacting with POTA’s apes in February.

DC’s Primer returns next year

DC will publish a sequel to 2020’s Primer next year, titled Primer: Clashing Colors. Jennifer Muro, Thomas Krajewski and Gretel Lusky return to the character they created in a new graphic novel that will also feature the Teen Titans.

In the second volume of DC’s middle grade Primer series, Ashley wants nothing more than to be taken seriously as a Super Hero—she can’t help it that things don’t always go as planned! And when the Teen Titans roll into town chasing after their infamous nemesis, Deathstroke, Ashley just knows this is her chance to prove that Primer has what it takes to join the team.

Primer: Clashing Colors arrives in stores Sept. 5.

IDW will publish a prequel to the Dungeons & Dragons film

Next year’s big Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves film is getting a graphic novel prequel, courtesy of IDW. Subtitled The Feast of the Moon, the graphic novel will be written by Jeremy Lambert and Ellen Boener, with art by Eduardo Ferigato and Guillermo Sanna.

“I can’t begin to describe how fun it was to open up my notebook filled with scribbles for old D&D campaigns and start a new chapter for a different kind of story,” Lambert said. “What I love about these characters is that they aren’t the brave, gallant, all-powerful warriors that will forever win the day—they’re regular people, just like you or me. They’re emotionally messy, and they are completely in over their heads.”

Look for it in stores in January.

Blue Beetle: Graduation Day will be released in English and Spanish

Blue Beetle: Graduation Day, one of the entrants in DC’s Round Robin competition in 2021, will debut later this month in both English and Spanish. DC announced this in a dual-language press release. The miniseries, by writer Josh Trujillo and artist Adrián Gutiérrez, features Jaime Reyes’ return to his own solo comic.

Here’s a look at some of the English and Spanish pages side by side:

Blue Beetle: Graduation Day #1 arrives Nov. 29.

Get a ‘No-Prize’ variant cover in February

Old school Marvel fans will remember the fabled “No-Prize” that Stan Lee and others would give out to fans for various reasons, including helping solve continuity errors. Those early No-Prize envelopes that Marvel would send out are coming back in February — as, of course, variant covers for issues of Amazing Spider-Man, Black Panther and Hulk.

prism Stalker gets a sequel at Dark Horse

Dark Horse has announced plans to release the sequel to Sloane Leong’s Prism Stalker, which was released by Image Comics back in 2018. Prism Stalker: The Weeping Star will returnto the world of Eriatarka for a new story featuring Vep.

D+Q look forward to 2023

Drawn and Quarterly has teased several of their 2023 releases on their website recently. In the spring, look for the 24th issue of Seth’s Palookaville, which “offers readers an invitation into the world and varied artistic practice of the iconic cartoonist.”

In the fall, they plan to release a new book by Chris Oliveros titled Are You Willing to Die for the Cause?, which is about the Front de libération du Québec — or in English, the Quebec Liberation Front, a socialist movement aimed at removing the English from Quebec in the 1960s.

Also in the fall comes Blackward by Lawrence Lindell, which is about an inclusive support group formed for “awkward Black folks” at a local community center.

Moon Girl forms a roller derby team in her upcoming title

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will return in their own ongoing series next month, but they will not be coming alone. Writer Jordan Ifueko and artist Alba Glez will introduce a new team of Inhuman kids assembled by Lunella to — get this — form a roller derby team. I didn’t know how much I needed this new title until I saw those five words.

The new team includes Tasha, a charismatic girl with pink-streaked curls and the power to grow, change, and control her hair; Will, who has feathers up and down his arms, as well as the ability communicate with birds; Devinder, an energetic boy with super speed; and Olivia, who glitters and wears a holographic bow.

Here’s a look at some of the inside pages:

Covering Iron Man, Avengers + Bloodline

Finally, let’s do a round-robin of some recent covers revealed by Marvel — starting with the cover to Bloodline: Daughter of Blade #1:

As previously reported, Bloodline #1 arrives in February and is by Danny Lore and Karen S. Darboe. Ryan Stegman drew the cover.

Then we have two connecting variant covers by Phil Jimenez for the upcoming Avengers Assemble crossover event:

These are for Avengers Forever #12 and Avengers #63, and feature several decades’ worth of Avengers.

Finally, the new Invincible Iron Man title by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Juan Frigeri will debut in December, and here’s a look at several variant covers for the first issue:

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