Slugfest | Spawny returns to kill off … Spawn?

Plus: News and announcements on ‘Uncanny X-Men,’ ‘Gilt Frame,’ Godzilla, Blacksad, ThunderCats 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.

McFarlane Productions has been on a roll introducing Spawn into various genres, and this summer they’ll return to the world of humor and satire with Spawn Kills Every Spawn. Like the previous Spawn Kills Everyone and Spawn Kills Everyone Too, this comic features the tiniest Spawn, Spawny, deciding to kill another set of comic characters — the Spawn universe.

Written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob “Sketchcraft” Duenas and colorist Robert Nugent, the five-issue miniseries sees Spawny arrive at a Spawn convention filled with Spawns from around the multiverse, all of whom are more popular than him. So he decides to become the most popular by eliminating the competition.

“From the very outset of our first miniseries starring our adorable little maniac, fans have been bugging me to bring him back once again for another series of mayhem,” McFarlane said. “This time around, the wonderful art by Rob puts so much detail into the pages, I think readers will be going back through each book to find all the visual Easter Eggs he has planted within the story. And Jon Layman has brought his own sense of absurd cuteness to this story so that you are both shocked and smiling at what is unfolding in front of you. The overwhelming support for this tiny, little character has been quite surprising to me.”

Spawn Kills Every Spawn #1 arrives in stores July 24.

Marvel has revealed the cover and more details about the first issue of this August’s new Uncanny X-Men title by Gail Simone and David Marquez.

Part of the From the Ashes publishing initiative that follows the end of Krakoa, Uncanny X-Men will feature Rogue setting up a new base of operations for Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Gambit and Jubilee in New Orleans. Providing a “light in the darkness” for their kind, the team will face a “fearless, malignant power” that’s hunting mutants.

“Most of my time lately has been spent trying to keep my brain from exploding right out of my skull from this book,” Simone said. “It’s either the fun of all my favorite mutants acting in surprising and wonderful ways, the impossibly brilliant work of the art team, or the thrilling collaboration with all the other writers, but somehow every DAY is just filled with some kind of manic joy. Ever since I took the book, I’ve been scribbling notes and plots and bits of dialogue day and night. I feel like a kid at a carnival.”

Uncanny X-Men #1 arrives Aug. 7.

Matt Kindt will team up with his mom for a new miniseries coming Dark Horse Comics and Flux House imprint. Gilt Frame is described as “an eccentric and electrifying crime thriller starring the most unlikely detective duo in the history of murder mysteries.”

“Although it is a privilege and thrill to collaborate with someone of Matthew’s caliber and of his generation, the real joy and value is personal,” said Margie Kraft Kindt. “What a bonus at this time of life, the gift and pleasure of so many hours and days in the company of a grown-up son, sitting across from each other at our partner table, settling into our chairs as we brainstorm plot twists. Each of us takes on the roles of our characters. I develop the energetic persona of the star of Gilt Frame, the take-charge Meredith Pearson — Aunt Merry to her beloved nephew and best buddy, Sammy — while Matt shoots out dialogue for him. We toss around how they would play off each other — so completely immersed in the exhilarating work we are both passionate about, that every once in a while, we stop and ask each other, ‘Are you getting this down?’”

The 64-page Gilt Frame #1 is due in comic shops on Aug. 7. You can see the covers for all three issues above.

Chris Claremont and Edgar Salazar will revisit the X-Men’s time in the Australian Outback in Wolverine: Deep Cuts. If you were reading the Uncanny X-Men back then, you might remember that Wolverine wasn’t around when the Reavers showed up to attack the X-Men. This new miniseries will detail the secret mission he was on before everything went to hell for the X-Men.

The Powerpuff Girls will return to comics courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment, Kelly Thompson and Paulina Ganucheau.

“I have to say, I am a very big fan of The Powerpuff Girls,” said Thompson. “So much so that when I was young — just out of art school — I even wrote a few short stories and began to storyboard them in hopes I could get a job on the show! So this just feels… exactly right. I was over the moon to get the offer.”

Look for the first issue to arrive in July, featuring a cover by Ganucheau and variants by Leonardo Romero, Karen S. Darboe and Nicoletta Baldari.

Writer Ryan Parrott and artist Lalit Kumar Sharma will take a “What if?” approach to the Firefly universe in Firefly: ‘Verses. The one-shot answers the question, “What if the Browncoats had won?” and comes out from BOOM! Studios on July 31.

Scarlet Witch #3, which arrives in August, will feature the return of Lore. If you don’t remember Lore, she was Wanda’s demonic counterpart from 1994 Scarlet Witch miniseries by Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett and John Higgins. Check out her redesigned look by Russell Dauterman, along with his cover for the issue and a variant by Joelle Jones, above.

Dynamite is following up the big launch of their ThunderCats series with Cheetara, a new solo series focused on the heroine. It’ll be written and drawn by Soo Lee.

“There are some very cool things about Cheetara that have been overlooked in the original cartoon, things that I really want to make the center of her story,” Lee said. “She’s also iconic and very strong, it makes sense she gets her own series. It’s a look into one of the most important supporting characters.”

You can see the main cover by Lee up above, along with some concept art and variant covers for the first issue by Sozomaika, Lesley “Leirix” Li, Rebeca Puebla and Edwin Galmon.

Graphic novels

The Die team of Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans and Clayton Cowles will reunite for a new graphic novel titled We Called Them Giants. It’s about a girl named Lori who wakes up to find the streets empty and nearly everyone gone — until something new arrives. Image Comics will publish it in October.

IDW will publish Godzilla: Monster Island Summer Camp by writer Rosie Knight and artist Oliver Ono this summer. The graphic novel is about a young girl who discovers her art camp has been transformed into an “extreme sports nightmare,” and her wanderings away from it lead her to a portal that takes her to the world of monsters, where she befriends Minilla, the Son of Godzilla.

Look for it to arrive in stores Aug. 12.

Dark Horse Comics will release Small Town Spirits by Zack Keller, Gabriele Bagnoli, Valerio Alloro and Frank Cvetkovic on Oct. 29. The graphic novel is about a small town in Ireland that annually hosts the Spirit Games at Halloween, and how a rivalry between two if the town’s families leads to “a supernatural floodgate of mischief, magic and monsters that threatens to destroy his town.”

“When I found out that Halloween came from Ireland — just like my family, the Fitzgeralds — I jumped at the opportunity to get reacquainted with my roots by writing this book full of charm, cheer and maximum spooky chaos,” Keller said.

Also coming from Dark Horse in October is Eric Drooker’s third original graphic novel, Naked City: A Graphic Novel. Described as a comedy, the new graphic novel by the creator of Flood asks the question: “Is it possible for an artist to survive in the 21st Century?” As a young singer poses for a painter who has shifted from landscapes to nudes, both of them learn about the purpose of art and the meaning of success. 

Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido’s Blacksad will return in November with a new graphic novel, Blacksad: They All Fall Down, Part Two, which of course follows the previous volume with a similar title. The English-language edition is translated by Diana Schutz and Brandon Kander, and newly lettered by Tom Orzechowski and Lois Athena Buhalis.

The new volume continues the story of private investigator John Blacksad as he tries to save a friend from the electric chair.

“Juan and Juanjo have created a quintessentially American hero, letting him—and his impeccable moral compass—loose in a 1950s noirish New York City, but remember that all of this is originally conceived and written in Spanish,” Schutz said. “So, Dark Horse’s English-language edition of Blacksad allows us to take better advantage of the creators’ love of mid-century Americana by playing to the authentic linguistic rhythms and idioms of the time period. Editor Jenny Bingham-Blenk and I are very fortunate to work directly with Juan and Juanjo on the series, and their dedication to all aspects of the Dark Horse edition just flat-out makes for a better book. The incredible support of our English-language readership along with the many Eisner and Harvey Awards that Blacksad has won are, I think, a testament to that.”

Image Comics will release Heretic, a new graphic novel by novelist Robbie Morrison and artist Charlie Adlard, in October. Set in Belgium in 1529, it features real-world scholar Cornelius Agrippa, the first man to successfully defend a woman accused of witchcraft.


BOOM! Studios has announced Cursed Pirate Girl: Malodious Mutiny, a hardcover and softcover collection of Cursed Pirate Girl material by Jeremy Bastian. It arrives in stores this September.

Image Comics will publish a complete compendium paperback edition this September of Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s 2012 horror series Revival. It will include Revival #1-47, as well as the Free Comic Book Day Revival short story, the Revival/Chew crossover one-shot, an art gallery featuring Jenny Frison’s, covers for the series and more.

“When we created Revival we always saw it as one, massive self-contained story with a beginning, middle and end,” said Seeley. “So we’re really happy to release it as one, massive self-contained volume in the Image Compendium series, joining a bunch of classic must-read titles.”

Look for the Revival Compendium to arrive in stores Sept. 11.

Image Comics is adding another way to buy Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ hit series Saga — as 6×9 trim-size editions. The first one will be available Sept. 11.

Dark Horse Comics will release a library edition of Tyler Crook’s The Lonesome Hunters. The collection will include both The Lonesome Hunters and The Lonesome Hunters: The Wolf Child, which tell the story of an old monster hunter and his new protege practicing their trade. Look for it to arrive in stores Oct. 1.

Speaking of Crook, another work by the artist is also getting the deluxe collection treatment. The Complete Harrow County will collect 1,078 pages of Harrow County material by Crook and his collaborator, writer Cullen Bunn. It arrives in stores at the end of October.

The seminal graphic novel run by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles superstar Sophie Campbell artist is getting collected in new editions. Oni Press has announced The Wet Moon 20th Anniversary Omnibus series. Each edition will feature new covers and a new introduction by Campbell.

“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I did the first Wet Moon book. I am so old,” Campbell said. “How I feel about my work on Wet Moon has always been super complicated for me both as a person and an artist, but putting these omnibus editions together feels like maybe it’ll be closure, in a way, emotionally and creatively. I’m tempted to go back and change all sorts of stuff like the CGI additions in the old Star Wars movies but I’m hoping it’ll be cathartic to have it all out there in one place, warts and all.”

Variant covers

Let’s wrap things up with a look at some of the variant covers that have been announced recently, starting with the second printing cover of Rat City #1, which comes out from Image Comics this Wednesday:

Marvel and Disney’s variant cover line featuring mash-ups of famous Marvel covers with Disney characters have proven successful, it seems, as they continue to roll more out. Here are three more of them by Nico Picone (Amazing Spider-Man #53, featuring the Avengers), Donald Soffritti (Amazing Spider-Man #55, featuring the X-Men) and Claudio Sciarrone (Amazing Spider-Man #57, featuring a classic Hawkeye/Ant-Man team-up):

The father and son creative team of  Sean and Jacob Phillips has created a line of connecting covers for Skybound’s The Walking Dead Deluxe, which will appear on issues 91-96:

The new Cult of the Lamb comic will arrive from Oni Press on June 5, featuring the work of writer Alex Paknadel and artist Troy Little. It’ll also feature covers by Carles Dalmau, Little, Tony Fleecs and Juni Ba, which you can see below, along with some preview pages from the first issue:

The X-Men relaunch coming this summer is proving to be one of the hot comic stories of 2024, and as new first issues arrive, so do the variant covers. Here’s a look at the variant covers for Phoenix #1 by Aka, Rose Besch and Greg Land:

And here are covers for NYX by Artgerm, Rogê Antônio and Todd Nauck:

And here are the variants for X-Men #1 by Tony Daniel, J. Scott Campbell and George Perez:

And here are some variants for Uncanny X-Men #1, by David Marquez, Leinil Francis Yu, Luciano Vecchio and Adam Kubert:

Dwellings creator Jay Stephens will provide variant covers for the EC Comics revival by Oni Press. Check out his covers for Epitaphs from the Abyss #1-2 and Cruel Universe #1, which pay homage to old EC Comics covers:

Finally, we’ll end with three more variants for the upcoming Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime #1 by Pepe Larraz, Frank Miller and Skottie Young:

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