Slugfest | Mary Jane officially becomes a superhero in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #31

Plus: News on the Witcher’s next comic series, White Widow, ‘Coda’ returns, Ram V and Filipe Andrade reunite, ‘Killer Queens’ is back, and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you. Hit the links for more information.

Marvel has been teasing Mary Jane Watson’s new power set, most notably in the recent Mary Jane & Black Cat miniseries, but the longtime supporting character will put on a costume and go full superhero in Amazing Spider-Man #31.

The oversized issue will not only feature a story by the regular creative team of Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr., but also will include a story by Celeste Bronfman and Alba Glez that features Mary Jane suiting up to become Jackpot.

Here’s a look at her costume, designed by Humberto Ramos:

Amazing Spider-Man #31 arrives in stores Aug. 9.

The Witcher returns to comics

Dark Horse has announced a four-issue miniseries featuring The Witcher, subtitled Wild Animals. Bartosz Sztybor and Nataliia Rerekina are the creative team, and above you can check out the main cover for the first issue by Rerekina and the variants by Manuele Fior, Sara Kipin and Matt Smith.

White Widow lands in her own miniseries

The White Widow, aka Yelena Belova, will star in a new miniseries this fall by Sarah Gailey and Alessandro Miracolo.

“I am beyond exhilarated to launch White Widow into her own series! Yelena Belova is an incredible character who deserves independence, community, and the opportunity to kill on her own terms. Getting the chance to work with this team at Marvel is a thrill. I can’t wait for the world to see what Alessandro and I have in store!” Sarah Gailey told The Mary Sue.

Look for the first issue on Nov. 1.

Ram V + Filipe Andrade cook up Rare Flavours

The award-winning, mega-popular The Many Deaths of Laila Starr creative team of Ram V and Filipe Andrade will reunite for Rare Flavours, a new miniseries coming from BOOM! Studios in September. It’s about a Rakshasa who likes food.

Here’s how BOOM! describes it: Meet Rubin Baksh, a demonic Rakshasa with a down-to-earth dream of becoming the next Anthony Bourdain. To make his dream come true, Rubin enlists Mo, a down-on-his-luck filmmaker, to document the world-renowned cuisine of India and the people behind the glorious, flavourful food.

Check out the various covers for the first issue above, plus some concept art from Andrade below:

Masters of the Universe: Forge of Destiny arrives in September

Dark Horse will return to Eternia for a new four-issue prequel to the Netflix Masters of the Universe: Revelations show. Masters of the Universe: Forge of Destiny is by Tim Seeley, Eddie Nuñez, Brad Simpson and AndWorld Design. Look for the first issue on Sept. 6.

Above you can see the main cover by Nuñez, plus variants by Freddie Williams II and Javier Rodriguez.

Coda returns in September

Simon Spurrier and Matías Bergara’s Coda will return in September at BOOM! Studios. It’s the story of a world where magic has died … or perhaps is just resting.

“It’s Coda. It’s Matias. It’s about what happens after the magic dies. It’s about muddling through and giant crabs and accursed moons and love and religion and kamikaze messenger-fairies and foul-mouthed unicorns and trying really really really hard not to go on quests,” said writer Simon Spurrier. “It’s the funnest and most poisonous and best thing to write, ever, and I think it might be our best work yet.”

Look for the first issue in September. Meanwhile, here’s a preview:

Kindt and Torres re-team for Subgenre

Dark Horse and Flux House, Matt Kindt’s publishing imprint, have announced Subgenre by Kindt and artist Wilfredo Torres, who worked with Kindt on Bang! It’s about a private detective in a dystopian future who has dreams about being a barbarian in a fantasy world.

“I wrote the most dense script of my career in an effort to get every idea I’ve ever had about identity, writing, genre, and fiction into one big murder mystery. I owe Wilfredo many, many dinners,” Kindt said.

The first issue of four arrives in September.

Spine-tingling Spider-Man comes to print

Marvel has announced that Spine-Tingling Spider-Man, the Marvel Unlimited digital series by Saladin Ahmed and Juan Ferreyra, will come to print this fall.

Spine-Tingling Spider-Man is one of the coolest projects I’ve ever worked on and I’m thrilled it’s coming to print,” Ahmed said. “We’re putting Peter through a grueling horror movie grinder, and that resilient spirit of his will be tested like never before! I tapped into some darkness writing this, but the real star here is Juan’s mind-blowing, visionary work – which is genuinely some of the best Spider-Art I’ve ever seen.”

Look for the one-shot on Sept. 13.

Wereewolf by Night gets a one-shot this fall

Werewolf by Night appeared in a pretty great special on Disney+ last Halloween, so it’s great to see the character is getting some comic love this fall. The oversized one-shot written by Derek Landy and drawn by Fran Galán will also feature Elisa Bloodstone and a unique approach to how it is colored:

In the shadows of black-and-white night, Jack Russell races to halt the sacrifice of a young girl at the hands of monsters. Elsa Bloodstone, in all her colorful monster-hunting glory, isn’t far behind. But can they put their differences aside long enough to save the day? And what would such a partnership even look like?

Look for it on Sept. 13.

Hexagon Bridge premieres in September

Image Comics has announced Hexagon Bridge, the impressive-looking debut comic from Richard Blake. It’s about explorers who end up trapped in a parallel dimension and the efforts to rescue them by a clairvoyant child and a robot. This five-issue miniseries will hit shelves this September.

Here’s a preview:

Killer Queens gets a sequel this summer

The Eisner Award-nominated Killer Queens will return this summer with a new miniseries by writer David M. Booher, interior artist Bradley Clayton, colorist Harry Saxon, letterer Lucas Gattoni and cover artist Chris Ables.

Killer Queens 2 kicks off on Aug. 9, and Dark Horse has already announced that the trade paperback collection will arrive in March of next year.

Vault teams with Skullcandy

Skullcandy, maker of wireless speakers, headphones and other music-related tech, will team with Vault Comics for a line of headphones and other audio accessories to accompany special editions of Vault’s upcoming Headshell graphic novel line.

The partnership will kick off with a set of limited edition headphones, only available with purchase of the special limited edition copies of Dying Inside, the upcoming graphic novel from writer Hannah Klein, artist Lisa Sterle and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. You can see a preview of the graphic novel here.

Bad Karma comes to print

Bad Karma, the Panel Syndicate digital series by Alex de Campi, Ryan Howe and Dee Cunniffee, will arrive in print this fall, courtesy of Image Comics. Look for the hardcover collection in November.

Takio: The Complete Collection arrives in February

Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s Takio, which is about two adoptive sisters who gain superpowers, returns next year from Bendis’ Jinxworld imprint at Dark Horse. The publisher will collect the original graphic novel and the sequel miniseries into one volume, Takio: The Complete Collection.

“Takio is a true family affair and a labor of complete love made with the same energy and spirit of Miles Morales and Riri Wiliams,” said Bendis. “I know that fans of those characters will be delighted with this entree into a fun new superhero family. Wait till you meet the super sisters of Takio!”

What If We Were …? returns

Axelle Lenoir’s What If We Were …? returns for a second volume later this year from Top Shelf. The game of make believe turned real will continue as Marie and Nathalie must face off with their black magic-wielding physics teacher in this new volume.

Frank Miller draws a new cover for daredevil

I’ve mentioned before that Frank Miller is back at Marvel doing variant covers, and with a new Daredevil series set to launch this year, it’s only fitting that he’d do a variant cover for the first issue.

rapper Tem Blessed writes Planet Blu

Dark Horse will release Planeta Blu Volume 1: Rise of Agoo in October by activist and rapper Tem Blessed and artist Michael LaRiccia. It’s about a group of teens who gain magical powers and team up with the animals of the world to battle the climate crisis.

“As young boys, Mike and I read Dark Horse Comics,” said Blessed. “Now as men with families, we have the opportunity to partner with this iconic publisher that inspired us to build worlds and tell stories. We are honored to carry on the Dark Horse legacy and share images and words that embolden the youth to dream beyond a bleak future. I am not saying that this book will solve climate change but I forsee that Planeta Blu – Rise of Agoo will ignite the mind of someone that will. This remixed and revised version of Planeta Blu – Rise of Agoo is destined to send colorful shockwaves of optimism past challenging times well into the future.”

Marvel puts Mark Brooks in the corner

Mark Brooks’ “corner box” variant covers continue this month and next, as the adorn the covers of Avengers #4, featuring the 1990s era Avengers team, and X-Men #25, which features the “Australia Outback” version of the team (plus a few others):

The Scourge comes for everyone in August

Marvel’s upcoming Dark Droids crossover series will run through several of their Star Wars titles as something called The Scourge turns the galaxy’s robots into psychotic killers. Artist Rachael Stott puts the spotlight on some of the Scourge’s targets in a series of variant covers that will appear on all five issues of the main Dark Droids miniseries.

Blade battles an ancient power in a new series this month

Finally, there’s a new Blade series arriving from Marvel later this month, which will pit the daywalker against a supernatural threat called the Adana. It’s by Bryan Hill and Elena Casagrande, and here’s a preview of the first issue:

And let’s not forget the variant covers; check out some cool Blade art by Kaare Andrews, Stefano Caselli, John Tyler Christopher, David Marquez, Frank Miller, Peach Momoko and Tom Reilly:

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