Slugfest | Get ready for ‘The Gimmick’

Check out news and announcements featuring the X-Men, Captain Marvel, The Last Barbarians, Harrower, The Archies in India and more.

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

Ahoy Comics has announced a new project by writer Joanne Starer (Sirens of the City; Away From Here) and artist Elena Gogou (Quests Aside) — The Gimmick, which is “how I imagine the Coen brothers would tell a story about the wrestling business,” Starer said.

Colorist Andy Troy, letterer Rob Steen and editor Tom Peyer round out the creative team.

Here’s the description: The Gimmick centers on Shane Bryant, a wrestler whose successes in the ring haven’t helped him develop the perfect, crowd-pleasing persona. That’s despite the fact that Shane also possesses superhuman strength. And when he accidentally, violently dismembers an opponent on live television, Shane is forced to flee to Tijuana and build a new identity for himself both in and out of the ring. But even as Shane finally creates his elusive “gimmick,” his new world is threatened by unfinished business from his old one.

“The idea for The Gimmick actually came about a few years ago when I was telling my boyfriend stories about my time working in the wrestling business, and he said, ‘You need to write a wrestling comic.’ I laughed and responded, ‘If I did, it would be about how gross the business can be. It’d just be some scumbag wrestler doing scumbag things.’ He said, ‘Yes. I would read that.’ Well, hopefully you will too,” the writer added.

The first issue arrives in March.

‘Shang-Chi: Master of the Ten Rings’ will wrap up Yang’s run on the character

Marvel has released a first look at Shang-Chi: Master of the Ten Rings, the January one-shot that wraps up Gene Luen Yang’s work on the character. The story features Shang-Chi traveling back in time to meet a much younger version of his villainous father, Zheng Zu.

Shadowline announces The Last Barbarians

Image Comics/Shadowline have announced a new series by Brian Haberlin and Geirrod Van Dyke — The Last Barbarians, a story Haberlin says is “essentially a D&D campaign.”

Here’s the description: You’d think in a fantastic world full of giants, magic, and flying fish, it would be a world of possibility. But you’d be dead wrong here! Sylv is a jack of all trades; she can fight with the best of them, pick most pockets, and even cast a third-level spell or two. It’s too bad for her that if you aren’t a member of a guild, you are persona non grata: completely outcast from adventuring. That might be fine, except she has her disabled seven-foot-tall brother to take care of. If she can’t find a job to support them both, they’ll be dead in a ditch in a matter of weeks. So now her only hope is a quest from a sketchy cleric who promises only a true hero can save the day. Sylv has a lot of skills…and she’ll need them all to survive this hero’s journey!

Look for the first issue in February.

Small town horror lurks in Harrowers

The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode writer Justin Jordan and Guerillas artist Brahm Revel have a new series coming out from BOOM! Studios next year — Harrower, which is about “a horrifying ancient legend that lurks within a small, forgotten town.” The miniseries kicks off in February.

Torrent launches next February

Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, X-Men Gold, Star Wars: Revelations) and Justin Greenwood (The Old Guard: Tales Through Time, Future State: Gotham) will re-team for a new superhero series, Torrent, from Image Comics. It stars a new hero, Crackerjack, who suffers a tragedy and crosses the line from hero to vigilante.

“Michelle gets dragged through hell and back, pitting her against all levels of villains and heroes alike! It has been insanely fun to draw a super-hero book overflowing with action, not to mention getting to team up with so many of my pals and frequent collaborators,” said Greenwood. “Marc has built a rich world of incredible characters and we are having a blast putting them through the meat grinder. It’s exactly the kind of vicious, kinetic comic I’d been champing at the bit to draw, and it looks amazing thanks to Rico’s bold colors and Keith’s great design.”

Look for the first issue on Feb. 15.

Dark Horse teams with Trackers Earth for a new graphic novel

Dark Horse is teaming up with Trackers Earth for a new graphic novel titled Trackers Presents: Captain Nick & The Explorer Society—Compass of Mems. Trackers Earth is an organization that teaches kids things like wilderness survival skills and tracking, and the new graphic novel will be co-written by one of their co-founders, Tony Deis. He’ll be joined by Grey Allison and Michelle McCann, as well as artists Thomas Pitilli, Lukas Ketner, Liezl Buenaventura and Troy Peteri. The graphic novel will arrive in stores next June.

Cosmic Ghost Rider soars again

Marvel has announced that Stephanie Phillips and Juann Cabal are working on a new Cosmic Ghost Rider series, featuring the interstellar killer who used to be Frank Castle. The first issue will tear its way into stores in March.

Jeremy Haun presents Hauntology

Image Comics will publish Hauntology, an anthology of short stories written and drawn by Jeremy Haun, in May of next year. Haun created all the stories while in lock down during the COVID pandemic.

“All of our lives changed in 2020. More than we could ever imagine,” said Haun. “My way of dealing with all of that, as much as possible, was taking all of the things we were all dealing with—confusion, loneliness, fear, and anger—and then telling weird little horror stories about them. I’ve always loved short stories. I’m just fascinated by what writers like Laird Barron, Nathan Ballingrud, Clive Barker, Joe Hill, and Stephen King do with prose. There are a lot of anthologies in comics. I wanted to do a true short story collection. Haunthology is a love letter to that.”

The Archies head to India

With a new Archie movie set to begin filming in India, Bill Golliher and Dan Parent will introduce a new character to the Archie cast — Prasad Arora, a Bollywood star who catches the attention of Betty and Veronica. He’ll debut in a new graphic novel, The Archies in India, this January.

“Bill Golliher and Dan Parent have a long history at Archie and always know how to bring a new face to the gang in the right way,” said Archie Comics Editor-in-Chief Mike Pellerito. “Prasad Arora has a great first appearance to build from, and I’m looking forward to more stories with him. Given Dan and Bill’s long track record of creating top notch stories and having enjoyed several trips to India themselves, this story really sings.”

Captain Marvel and the X-Men battle the Brood

Captain Marvel and the X-Men will cross over next year as they face a foe both are intimately familiar with — the alien Brood. You might recall that Carol Danvers was with the X-Men when they were taken captive by the Brood back in the 1980s in a storyline that led to her becoming Binary.

The crossover runs in X-Men #19-21 and continues into Captain Marvel #46-48.

More Spawn 30th anniversary covers

Image has revealed even more variant covers for their December comics featuring Spawn as part of their big 30th anniversary celebration. Check out covers for Golden Rage #5, Image! #9, Junkyard Joe #3, Love Everlasting #5, Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog #11, and more.

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