Slugfest | BOOM! announces a second ‘I Heart Skull-Crusher!’ arc

Today’s round-up includes news on SDCC, Power Rangers, Something is Killing the Children, Groo, Venom War and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you. With the San Diego Comic Con rapidly approaching, you’ll probably see more of these over the next few weeks. Hit the links for more information.

As a part of their annual “Road to SDCC” announcements, BOOM! Studios has revealed that Josie Campbell and Alessio Zonno’s I Heart Skull-Crusher! will continue in October.

The BOOM! Box series was announced late last year and began in March as a miniseries, but it looks like it has grown into something more.

“Josie Campbell and Alessio Zonno have even more action-packed, hilarious hijinks in store for us,” said BOOM! Studios Editor Elizabeth Brei. “The new arc is funny, chaotic and shockingly touching, just as you’d expect from Trini and the rest of her Screaming Pain Ball teammates! We’re so excited for readers to discover the surprises still to come!”

But this isn’t the only thing BOOM! has announced leading into SDCC. They’ve also announced plans to sell a preview of Minor Arcana, the upcoming series written and drawn by Jeff Lemire. The $30 ashcan will feature an exclusive variant cover:

And Lemire added that it will have “rounded corders emulating a Tarot card,” which sounds pretty cool.

And then they’ll have several items from the BRZRKR collection — BRZRKR of course being the series by Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt and Ron Garney that broke all sorts of Kickstarter records and brought comics back to Hall H in San Diego a couple years back.

As you can see above, they’ll have a convention exclusive of the upcoming BRZRKR: A Faceful of Bullets by Jason Aaron and Francesco Manna, with a cover by InHyuk Lee. There’s also BRZRKR: Fallen Empire Pen & Ink #1 with a Spot UV treated cover illustrated by Andrew K. Currey, an ashcan of BRZRKR: The Lost Book of B and more. You can find out more details on what they’re selling and when, as some will only be available on certain days of the convention, here.

And speaking of BRZRKR: The Lost Book of B

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, so let’s correct that.

BRZRKR: The Lost Book of B is a new one-shot by the original record-breakin’, Hall H takin’ creative team of Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, Ron Garney and Bill Crabtree. It’ll focus on the immortal BRZRKR’s time as a weapon for the notorious Ghengis Khan.

“BRZRKR was such a large scale project that I think we all needed to recover afterward…but I think we all had a feeling we’d be back,” Kindt said. “This one is bigger and crazier than anything we’ve done before. Whatever you’re expecting, flip it upside down and multiply it by a thousand.”

Look for it on comic shelves in August, unless of course you’re at SDCC, where you can get a preview ashcan.

Let’s stick with BOOM! for a minute, as also in August, they’ll release Power Rangers: Infinity #1, an oversized issue featuring a new team of Power Rangers that’s described as “off-kilter.” This one spins out of Power Rangers: Darkest Hour, and it’s by Sam Humphries and the artist team Brandt&Stein.

“Fans are already saying that out of all the Power Rangers comic books that reference hockey goalies AND Jane Austen, Power Rangers Infinity is the greatest of all time,” Humphries said. “I’m truly honored, and I absolutely couldn’t have done it without Ted and Ro. Not only is their art hilarious and heartbreaking, but they never once said it shouldn’t be done. Not one time!”

Look for it in stores Aug. 21.

BOOM! will also publish S.I.R., a title about motorcycle jousting, by cartoonist Fell Hound.

“My favorite genre on the planet is romantic dueling in the likes of Revolutionary Girl Utena and Gundam: The Witch from Mercury. So naturally that manifests itself into re-imagining Fight Club as a ’90s shojo anime on motorbikes!” Hound said. “S.I.R. is a story about fighting for true love in the motorcycle combat ring, while fending off your inner demons with the blazing headlights of genuine human connection. I’m so excited to be working with Ele, Becca, and Elizabeth to bring this book to life!”

The first issue will arrive in stores Aug. 14.

Dark Horse and Gearbox, makers of the video game (and upcoming film) Borderlands, team up for a new miniseries set in that world — Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands: Land of the Giants.

Writer Paul Tobin, artist Luisa Russo, colorist Heather Breckel and letterer Deron Bennett craft the story of Tiny Tina’s latest game-within-a-game tabletop RPG adventure “featuring bounty hunters, Fatemakers, and a whole lot of explosives.” The first issue of three will arrive Aug. 14.

Image Comics has announced Standstill, a new miniseries by writer and colorist Lee Loughridge, and artist Andrew Robinson. The eight-issue series is about a psychopath who steals a device that allows him to stop time.

“Nearly nine years in the making, this is the longest sequential run for Andrew Robinson in well over a decade,” Loughridge said. “This may just be his career best.”

The first issue will arrive in stores Aug. 21. Above you can check out Robinson’s cover and a preview of the first issue, along with a variant cover by Cary Nord.

Dark Horse will return to The High Republic era of Star Wars with another all-ages title, Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures: Echoes of Fear. The miniseries by George Mann and Vincenzo Riccardi is about a Jedi and his Padawan investigating the mysterious Echo Stones, which can enhance the power of the Force.

The four-issue miniseries begins Aug. 21.

Following a successful first volume, Liam Sharp returns to the Arthurian world of StarHenge in Ore: A StarHenge Graphic Novella.

Ore: A StarHenge Graphic Novella blurs the line between illustrated books and comics, with a blistering, hard sci-fi saga of epic proportions,” said Sharp. “The graphic novella expands the StarHenge universe with a galaxy-spanning saga focusing on the Ur-Queen after her physical death. Becoming an agent of vengeance against the implacable might of the CAST—alien AI wearing human skin faces—she fights a losing battle in search of a single idea that might tip the balance…”

The graphic novel will arrive from Image Comics on Aug. 7.

James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera will celebrate five years of Something Is Killing the Children with a zero issue in September. The story will feature Erica Slaughter and detail “the brutal hunt preceding her arrival in Archer’s Peak.” Look for it from BOOM! Studios on Sept. 25.

Writer Sam Humphires, artist Giovanni Fabiano and colorist Gloria Martinelli will explore the early years of Firefly’s fearless leader in Firefly: Malcolm Reynolds Year One.

“It was such an honor to tell the first year of the Unification War and the formative years of Mal,” Humphries said. “Unfortunately for him, the war isn’t as glorious as we’ve been led to believe. Giovanni, of course, killed it, and when you read this book you’ll be able to say you saw him when.”

The first issue will land in stores Sept. 4.

Writer Zack Kaplan, artist Chris Shehan, colorist Francesco Segala and letterer Justin Birch will enter a Dark Empty Void in September. The five-issue miniseries from Mad Cave Studios is about a group of scientist who create a black hole in a lab, but when they lose control over it, all sorts of weird things start emerging from it — including a teenage girl.

Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier’s Groo will return in a new miniseries in September titled Groo: Minstrel Melodies. As the title suggests, this one focuses on the minstrel who follows Groo around and sings about his adventures.

BOOM! has announced plans to publish an adaptation of A.C.H. Smith’s novelization of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. Writer Kyla Vanderklugt and artist Giorgio Spalletta will adapt the novel based on the film into comics, with the first issue arriving in September.

Mad Cave Studios will publish Prairie Gods, an anthology of horror stories by Shane Connery Volk, in September. The five-issue series will feature five different stories featuring revenants, aliens and a race against the devil.

“I love short stories, comic books, B-movies and rock’n’roll,” said Volk. “I put a little bit of everything into my first creator owned series, Prairie Gods! Action, sci-fi, westerns and thrillers come together in a small prairie town with big supernatural secrets—and even bigger characters. It’s like a B movie marathon in comic book form. Coming soon to a comic shop near you!”

Marvel’s Venom War will continue in September, a crossover event that will find the various symbiote heroes and villains choosing sides in a war between Eddie Brock, the original Venom, and his son Dylan, who took on the Venom symbiote when Eddie went off to fulfill his duties as the King in Black.

The crossover only grows in scope this fall, as Marvel will publish 10 titles that tie into it this September. Double digits! In addition to the titles that debut in August, the new tie-in issues include:

  • Venom War: Deadpool by Cullen Bunn and Rob Di Salvo, a three issue miniseries that sees Bunn return to two characters he worked on in the past
  • Venom War: Daredevil by Chris Condon and Lan Medina, which appears to be a one-shot
  • Venom War: Lethal Protectors by Sabir Pirzada and Luca Maresca, which features Silver Sable and the Life Foundation symbiotes teamiung up.
  • Venom War: Wolverine by Tim Seeley, Tony Fleecs and Kev Walker, because you can’t have a crossover without Wolverine

Speaking of Venom War, Chris Giarrusso is creating variants for the main series; check out his takes on the covers for issues 1 and 2 above.

Dark Horse Comics will release another miniseries stemming from their ongoing partnership with Ubisoft — Assassin’s Creed Mirage: A Soar of Eagles, which ties into the most recent Assassin’s Creed video game. Writer Michael Avon Oeming, artist Mirko Colak, colorist Lauren Affe and letterer Jimmy Bettancourt will tell a tale of young Fuladh, set before the events of the game.

All right, now let’s shift over to some recently revealed variant covers …

Witchblade will return from Top Cow later this month, and Image has revealed two variant covers for the issue by J. Scott Campbell and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Next month the Avengers will face off with xenomorphs in Aliens vs. Avengers, and in anticipation this month Marvel has special “Marvel Vs. Alien” variant covers on several of their titles. These include Amazing Spider-Man #53 by Tony Daniel, Deadpool #4 by Greg Land, Vengeance of the Moon Knight #7 by Stephen Segovia and Sensational She-Hulk #10 by Joshua Cassara.

If you liked the Marvel/Coca-Cola ad that came out earlier this year, you might dig these variant covers featuring Coke and various Marvel characters that are coming in August. They will include Avengers #17 by Cory Smith, Deadpool #5 by Jan Bazaldua, Vengeance Of The Moon Knight #8 by Salvador Larroca, Fantastic Four #24 by Todd Nauck​​​​​​​, Scarlet Witch #3 by Ron Lim and Deadpool Team-up #1 by Paco Medina.

With a new Dazzler series on the horizon, Marvel has revealed additional variant covers for the first issue, which arrives in September. They’re by Kaare Andrews, Yasmine Putri and Marguerite Sauvage.

But before the first issue of Dazzler arrives, Marvel is unleashing a disco inferno with these Disco Dazzler Variant Covers, which put various Marvel characters in a boogie wonderland. They include Avengers #17 by J. Scott Campbell, Daredevil #12 by Scott Godlewski, Deadpool #5 by Annie Wu​​​​​​​, Doctor Strange #18 by Marguerite Sauvage​​​​​​​, Fantastic Four #23 by Ben Su​​​​​​​, Incredible Hulk #15 by Todd Nauck​​​​​​​, Uncanny X-Men #1 by Pablo Villalobos, Amazing Spider-Man #55 by Luciano Vecchio​​​​​​​, Immortal Thor #14 by Lee Garbett​​​​​​​, Miles Morales: Spider-Man #23 by Karen Darboe​​​​​​​, Vengeance Of The Moon Knight #8 by Giuseppe Camuncoli​​​​​​​, Venom #36 by Rickie Yagawa​​​​​​​, Werewolf By Night: Red Band #1 by Jeremy Wilson​​​​​​​, X-Factor #1 by David Lopez​​​​​​​, X-Men #2 by Olivier Vatine, Incredible Hulk #16 by Edwin Galmon​​​​​​​, Scarlet Witch #3 by Jessica Fong, Amazing Spider-Man #56 by Joelle Jones​​​​​​​, Captain America #12 by Elizabeth Torque​​​​​​​, X-Force #2 by Phil Noto and Avengers Assemble #1 by Anand Ramcheron.

Then in September, Marvel will release a series of covers featuring Marvel characters and Godzilla. This follows the recent omnibus of the old 1970s Marvel Godzilla comic that Marvel released. The covers will appear on:

  • Daredevil #13 Godzilla by Nick Bradshaw
  • Exceptional X-Men #1 by Leinil Francis Yu
  • Fantastic Four #25 by Greg Land
  • Immortal Thor #15 by Jonas Scharf
  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man #24 by Romy Jones
  • Scarlet Witch #4 by Mitsuhiro Arita
  • Spider-Boy #11 by Lee Garbett
  • Captain America #13 by Phil Noto
  • Spider-Gwen: The Ghost-Spider #5 by Inhyuk Lee
  • Vengeance Of The Moon Knight #9 by Taurin Clarke
  • Avengers #18 by Ario Anindito
  • Dazzler #1 by Elizabeth Torque
  • Deadpool #6 by Paco Medina
  • Incredible Hulk #17 by Andrei Bressan
  • Venom #37 Godzilla by Dave Wachter
  • X-Men #4 Godzilla by Chris Samnee
  • Amazing Spider-Man #58 by Leo Romero
  • Avengers Annual #1 by Pete Woods
  • Phoenix #3 Godzilla by Rickie Yagawa
  • Uncanny X-Men #2 by David Baldeon
  • Wolverine #2 by Roge Antonio

X-Men: From the Ashes kicks off today with the release of X-Men #1, with more on the way. Here are a few more variant covers Marvel has revealed for the big launch, starting with two more for NYX #1, which comes out later this month:

Those are by Rickie Yagawa and Pablo Villalobos. Then there’s this one, for the third issue by W. Scott Forbes for issue #3:

X-Force #1, out later this month, gets another variant by Skottie Young:

And let’s wrap it up with a few more for next month’s Uncanny X-Men #1:

Those are by Stephen Segovia, John Tyler Christopher, Scott Koblish, MR Garcin and yes, Jim Lee, as a “hidden gem” cover. Yes, a Jim Lee cover on an X-Men comic, something I never thought I’d see again.

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