Slugfest | X-Men, Terminator, ‘Galaxy of Madness’ + more

Today’s round-up includes news and announcements on ‘Life of Wolverine,’ Gatchaman, the Energon Universe, ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you that we haven’t otherwise covered. Hit the links for more information.

Marvel has revealed the cover and more details on the highly anticipated new X-Men title by Jed MacKay and Ryan Stegman, which is part of the bigger X-Men: From the Ashes line that follows the end of the current Krakoa era.

The new title will feature Cyclops leading a team that handle “explosive mutant-specific issues without restrain,” with the first threat being “an existential new enemy that rises out of the remains of Orchis.”

Both MacKay and Stegman are happy to be here.

“Taking on the X-Men is always a daunting prospect, but I’m extremely psyched to take this team of mutants back into the world with Ryan,” MacKay said. 

X-Men #1 cover by Ryan Stegman

“When I first got into comics, drawing X-Men was THE job you wanted as an artist,” Stegman said. “To have the opportunity now is mind-blowing.”

Here are a few more details on what to expect from the title: FROM THE ASHES! Krakoa is gone, Orchis has fallen… but the X-Men remain, always. Cyclops leads, because that is what he does. Beast builds, because that is what he does. And from their new home in Alaska, the X-Men raise a flag of defiance. Mutant business is their business. Join Cyclops, Beast, Magneto, Psylocke, Magik, Kid Omega, Temper, and Juggernaut as new forces in the world move into position, battling for the destiny and philosophy of the mutant species.

The first issue arrives in comic shops on July 10.

Dynamite Entertainment announced that they’ve picked up the license to make comics based on the big movie franchise The Terminator. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first Terminator film, and while specific details on projects weren’t shared, they did note that the agreement will allow them to create “new stories in the rich world of The Terminator universe, as well as to bring classic stories back into print for fans.”

This is the second time Dynamite has had the Terminator license, as they published a handful of them between 2007-2011. Numerous other publishers, including IDW, Dark Horse, Now Comics and even Marvel have released Terminator comics in the past.

Mad Cave Studios will publish Galaxy of Madness by Magdalene Visaggio, Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma. The retrofuturistic series will kick off on June 19.

“What an incredible, insane book this has been to work on,” Visaggio said. “Mike and Taki poured their heart and soul into this wild ride and it comes through on every page as they bring to life the complicated, convoluted, and deeply-felt world of Galaxy of Madness. It’s a tall order for a book – ten issues done in a deliberately outdated style of psychedelic fever dreams and textured, contradictory relationships, and I’m so happy that Mad Cave was willing to take a chance on the most ambitious comic series I’ve ever penned.”

Marvel will release Jim Zub and Ramón F. Bachs’ Life of Wolverine Infinity Comic in print this July. It was released around the same time as the X Lives of Wolverine storyline and attempted to tell Wolverine’s life story in chronological order, a daunting task for any creator.

Dark Horse has announced a comic book adaptation of the podcast Midst, which is a “reality-bending, sci-fantasy space western.” Each oversized issue of the three-issue miniseries will explore the Midst cosmos and its characters. The first issue by Colin Lorimer and Alejandro Aragón focuses on siblings Rowan and Ogden Shearwater, whose postal ship crash-lands on a “mysterious new landmass.”

Mad Cave has revealed a bit more about their plans for Gatchaman, including a couple more variant covers for the main series and some details on the Gatchaman: Ken one-shot. Above you’ll see variants for Gatchaman #1 by Sanford Greene and Mike Deodato, Jr., as well as covers for the one-shot by Tommy Lee Edwards and Chris Batista.

Edwards is writing the one-shot as well, working with artist Mindy Lee. It has the subtitle of “Deathmatch” and involved Ken investigating an underground gambling ring tied to Galactor.

“I’m so excited to be writing Mad Cave’s first Gatchaman special issue focusing on one specific member of the Science Ninja Team,” he said. “Deathmatch is my love letter to Ken the Eagle, a heroic and idealistic anime character that helped shape my childhood. We’ve crafted this comic as an adventure tale to satisfy a deeply familiar fanbase, while introducing unique stories and completely new characters. I honestly feel like I’ve been training for this challenge my whole life!”

Gatchaman #1 and Gatchaman—Ken: Deathmatch both hit shops June 26.

Skybound plans to release their Free Comic Book Day issue focused on their Energon Universe as a non-free comic a few days later. Energon Universe Special 2024 #1 will have the same content as the Free Comic Book Day issue, but will be available with different covers. Above you can see the main cover by Daniel Warren Johnson and Mike Spicer, cover B by Lorenzo De Felici, variant covers by Tom Reilly and Stephen Green, and some preview pages from the issue.

Dark Horse has announced another miniseries tying into the video game Cyberpunk, titled Cyberpunk 2077: Kickdown. It’s by Tomasz Marchewka, the principal writer of the Cyberpunk 2077 expansion Phantom Liberty, with artist Jake Elphick, colorist Jason Wordie and letterer Frank Cvetkovic. Above you can check out the main cover by Elphick, along with variants by RUDCEF, André Lima Araújo and DOFRESH.

With her foot on the pedal of the hottest ride in Night City, the daughter of a famed carjacker is out to fix the past. Fire up the engines, street racing action is taking over. With a crowd of gangsters, racers, and criminals, word is spreading fast—and that is all according to plan. Meet new characters from the world of Cyberpunk 2077 as the underbelly of this corrupt world kicks it into fifth gear.

The first issue of four comes out July 3.

Oni Press has announced How Could You, the debut graphic novel by Ren Strapp. It’s about four students navigating their lives and loves at the end of their college careers.

How Could You is for anyone who made mistakes, who spoke unkindly, who were selfish, who lost friends, who lost themselves,” Strapp said. “It’s for people stumbling into adulthood, carrying guilt over faux pas, betrayal, and not making amends when you could. I hope this book finds you and tells you you’re not alone.”

Oni will release it in December.

Mad Cave Studios has announced an English language edition of Mark McGuire and Alain Chevarier’s Clay Footed Giants. It’s about two fathers trying to deal with the trauma of their pasts before it can impact their families.

“Alain and I met on a basketball court in Montréal during a parent-kid activity on a subzero Sunday morning,” said McGuire. “He showed me photos of haunting paintings probing his grandfather’s prisoner of war experiences. We decided to make a graphic novel together exploring society’s evolving understanding of gender roles, parenting and trauma. Over six years as we wrote and rewrote our story, I saw our characters magically come to life in Alain’s delicate pencil strokes. Talking about my struggles helped me realize I wasn’t alone, and that sharing our story might help others.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman took some time away from the Turtles’ 40th anniversary to draw this variant cover for Wolverine: Blood Hunt #1, which comes out in June as part of the bigger Blood Hunt event at Marvel.

Speaking of, Wolverine also graces this variant cover of Blood Hunt: Red Band Edition #2, which comes out May 22. It’s by Blood Hunt artist Pepe Larraz.

Oni Press has revealed another variant cover for Toxic Summer #1, the new series by Derek Charm. It’s by White Boat artist Francesco Francavilla, and it lands in stores in May.

Marvel’s upcoming X-Force relaunch brings not only a new first issue and a new team, but also new variant covers by David Nakayama, Tony Daniel, Clayton Crain and Mahmud Asrar.

Finally, DC has announced a series of variant covers based on José Luis García-López famous DC Comics Style Guide. which he created in 1982 to provide a consistent look for DC’s heroes in comics, animation, merchandising and more.

“The model sheets in the DC Comics Style Guide became the standard reference for DC artists and license holders working on DC releases for decades and, thanks to García-López’ timeless character work, has continued to influence many DC artists and fans to this day.” The covers will appear in July on Batman #150, Green Arrow #14, Green Lantern #13, Shazam! #13, Superman #16, The Flash #11 and Wonder Woman #11. Oh, and if you’re wondering about that last image in the gallery, it won’t appear as a variant cover, but I thought it seemed like a good way to declare this “the end” of Slugfest.

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