Mail Call | The Hellfire Gala guest list includes mutants, Avengers … and Eminem?

As Marvel’s mutant event gets closer, take a look at what’s in store at the big party — and afterwards.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

It seems like we’ve been talking about Marvel’s Hellfire Gala forever, and Marvel’s publicity team has been working on overdrive to hype up the big X-Men event. And they aren’t stopping now! I’ll do a broader round-up over the weekend, but for this one we’re strictly looking at Marvel’s mutants.

As for the gala, Marvel announced this week that you can expect to see some familiar faces at it — and not just from the world of comics. The potential guest list includes real-life celebrities like Eminem, Conan O’Brien, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Ira Glass, Pete Alonso and possibly more.

“The Hellfire Gala will be the culmination of months of anticipation, and as one of the biggest nights in X-Men history, it only made sense that the nation of Krakoa would invite some of the world’s biggest stars to witness it for themselves,” said Mike Pasciullo, Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Marvel. “We thank all of our special guests for joining us for this exclusive in-world event, along with the incredible artists who brought them to life on the page.” 

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Rest in peace, John Paul Leon

The artist of ‘Static,’ ‘The Winter Men,’ ‘Earth X’ and many other comics projects passed away at the age of 49.

Multiple sources are reporting that artist John Paul Leon, whose work included Static, The Winter Men, Earth X, Batman: Creature of the Night and the upcoming Batman/Catwoman Special, has passed away. He was 49 when he died.

According to a press release from his family, Leon had battled cancer for 14 years. He is survived by his wife, his daughter and an older brother. Artist Tommy Lee Edwards has set up a Gofundme page in honor of Leon, with proceeds to go to Leon’s daughter’s future education.

DC Black Label editor Chris Conroy shared the news on Twitter. “It seems the news is out. Last night we lost John Paul Leon, one of the greatest draftsmen in the history of comics, the kind of artist that EVERY artist revered,” Conroy wrote. “Those who loved him had some warning, but not enough.”

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Hulk, Spider-Man and more headline Marvel’s 2021 Free Comic Book Day titles

Jason Aaron, Chip Zdarsky, Greg Smallwood and more will contribute to this year’s offerings from the House of Ideas.

Marvel has shared the covers and a few more details on their two 2021 Free Comic Book Day titles, which between the two of them will include stories featuring the Avengers, Hulk, Venom and Spider-Man.

Marvel’s gold title, Avengers/Hulk, features a cover by Ryan Ottley:

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The gods are among us in Higgins + Watanabe’s ‘Ordinary Gods’

The new science fiction/epic fantasy series begins in July.

Kyle Higgins and Felipe Watanabe are bringing an epic new series to Image Comics. Ordinary Gods will kick off with an extra-sized issue in July.

“Sometimes an idea is so good, it’s impossible to ignore. Even if it initially seems impossible to crack, you circle back to it time and time again, bringing with you new life experiences and concepts learned from other projects. And even if it takes ten years before you’re ready to announce the book to the world, that’s okay. Because, as Ordinary Gods will be exploring, everything’s connected for a reason,” Higgins told SYFYWIRE. “This is a book that I’ve been working on for many years, alongside an incredible cast of artistic partners and collaborators, to try to tell a generational action epic that spans eras, worlds, dimensions and the connections between them all. And that’s just issue one.”

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Emilia Clarke comes to comics with ‘M.O.M.: Mother of Madness’

Marguerite Bennett and Leila Leiz team up with the ‘Game of Thrones’ star for a comic about a superhero mom.

The Mother of Dragons is writing about a different M.O.M. in a new miniseries for Image Comics. Actress Emilia Clarke is working with co-writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Leila Leiz on M.O.M.: Mother of Madness.

The story is about a single mom/scientist/superhero.

“We’re always calling mothers superheroes, and I’m like, ‘What if they were? What if they legitimately were superheroes?'” Clarke told Entertainment Weekly. “Maya has had a very hard life, and she finds herself in a place where everything that makes her unique, she hates and is ashamed about. It’s only in the discovery of her powers that she finds her true acceptance of who she is.”

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Azzarello + Maleev send the Suicide Squad after the Joker in a new Black Label title

‘Suicide Squad: Get Joker!’ will run for three issues, starting in July.

Brian Azzarello and Alex Maleev are sending the Suicide Squad on a somewhat personal mission for at least two of its member — to stop the Joker.

The DC Black Label title Suicide Squad: Get Joker! will run for three prestige format issues, starting in July.

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AHOY announces the new comedy series ‘Snelson: Comedy is Dying’

Paul Constant, Fred Harper, Lee Loughridge and Rob Steen will introduce the world to Melville Snelson in August.

A ’90s comedian will fight against cancel culture and his own irrelevancy in the new AHOY Comics series Snelson: Comedy is Dying. The miniseries is written by Paul Constant, with art by Fred Harper, colors by Lee Loughridge and lettering by Rob Steen.

Snelson: Comedy is Dying is more than just a surprisingly violent, unfortunately sexual, thoroughly filthy comedy about an irrelevant older comedian who refuses to give up his ‘edgy’ material from the 1990s,” Constant said. “It’s also a janky-ass carnival ride through the weird griftopia that’s built up around cancel culture, and a skewering of all the money-grubbing controversy seekers who can’t seem to shut up about how silenced they are.” 

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Dark Horse to publish a new ‘Masters of the Universe’ miniseries

‘Masters of the Universe: Revelation’ will serve as a prequel to the Netflix series executive produced by Kevin Smith and Rob David.

Dark Horse Comics an d Mattel are teaming up for a new miniseries featuring He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Masters of the Universe: Revelation will serve as a prequel to the Netflix animated series of the same name.

Kevin Smith and Rob David, executive producers of the Netflix series, conceived the story for the new comics. Joining them on the comic are writer Tim Sheridan, artist Mindy Lee and cover artists Stjepan Sejic and Dave Wilkins.

“When the Masters of the Universe franchise first launched nearly 40 years ago, each action figure came with a comic book to enable children to further explore the world of Eternia,” said David. “Now, in partnership with Dark Horse, we will go back to our roots to set-up the upcoming ‘Masters of the Universe: Revelation,’ television series with a world-shattering comic book tale.” 

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Return to Bunn + Crook’s ‘Harrow County’ this July

Dark Horse will publish ‘Tales from Harrow County’ by Bunn and artist Emily Schnall this July.

Writer Cullen Bunn is planning return trip to Harrow County this summer, and he’s inviting you along for the ride.

Along with new artist Emily Schnall, Bunn will return to the world he created with Tyler Crook for a new four-issue series: Tales from Harrow County: Fair Folk.

“It’s been too long since we’ve visited Harrow,” Bunn said. “But I’m so glad that this is the story that will welcome us back! There’s a big world to be explored, and this time around we’re delving into the realm of the fey folk as much as the realm of the haints. We’re going to answer a few questions, too, such as how Bernice dealt with her dear friend Emmy leaving. This time out, we’re joined by Emily Schnall, who fits right in among the good folks of Harrow. I absolutely love her version of these characters, and I think longtime fans of the book will love her work, too!”

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DC returns to the Animated Universe in ‘Justice League Infinity’

Almost 15 years after ‘Justice League Unlimited’ ended, DC launches a new comic set in that same world.

Like they did with the recent Batman: The Adventure Continues, DC will revisit their 1990s/2000s Animated Universe — sometimes called the “Diniverse” after Paul Dini — with Justice League Infinity.

The Dc Digital First series will feature stories from the world shown in Justice League Unlimited, which went off the air in 2006. JLU producer James Tucker and series writer J.M. DeMatteis will team with artist Ethen Beavers on new stories about Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and many more.

JLU ran for three seasons on Cartoon Network and was best known for its revolving cast that would grow or shrink as needed, pulling in characters from all over the DC universe. So expect to see that in the comic. Hopefully we’ll get to see a Question/Huntress/Green Arrow/Black CAnary team-up at some point as well.

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Titan announces a second ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ miniseries

‘Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation’ begins in July.

Titan Comics is following up last year’s Horizon Zero Dawn miniseries with a second arc, titled Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation. The comic is based on the video game of the same name, which came out in 2017.

Returning for this second story are writers Ben McCaw and Anne Toole. They’ll be joined by artist Elmer Damaso, who previously worked on Titan’s Robotech title.

“All of us who worked on the story – myself, Anne Toole, Annie Kitain, and Ari Martinez – feel humbled by the praise the series has received,” McCaw said. “During the writing process, we could only hope that fans would connect with the characters the same way we do, and it’s gratifying to hear that we succeeded.”

Peach Momoko is providing the first issue’s main cover:

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Romance blooms as heads are bashed in ‘Savage Hearts’

Aubrey Sitterson, Jed Dougherty, Lovern Kindzierski and Taylor Esposito team up on a new miniseries from Dark Horse.

Dark Horse Comics has announced another new series from writer Aubrey Sitterson, followed March’s announcement of The Worst Dudes. The new title, Savage Hearts, is a collaboration with artist Jed Dougherty, colorist Lovern Kindzierski and letterer Taylor Esposito.

It’s also a romantic comedy — albeit one that also features barbarians, dinosaurs and evil sorcerers.

“I can’t imagine restricting myself to a single genre,” Sitterson said. “That’s why I’m so fortunate to have the support of Dark Horse Comics and editor Brett Israel, whether it’s on fight comic soap operas, raunchy sci-fi mysteries, or sexy jungle romcoms.”

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