Slugfest | ‘Batman/Spawn’ gets an ‘inks only’ edition

Today’s round-up includes news and announcements on ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ Brian Michael Bendis, Keanu Reeves, Shakespeare, ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you from comics creators, publishers and more. Most of this edition includes all those end-of-the-year announcements I missed because I was on vacation. Hit the links for more information.

DC and Todd McFarlane have announced Batman/Spawn Unplugged, an uncolored and unlettered version of the recent crossover comic by Todd McFarlane and Greg Capullo.

“It’s always exciting whenever us artists can present our work in as unfiltered a manner as possible,” said McFarlane. “This book will let you see the true skill of how Greg Capullo does his masterful storytelling… and every line that we both put down.”

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Bendis launches new content + a new comic on Jinxworld on Substack

The creator has added paid tiers to his newsletter and will offer a new ‘Fortune and Glory’ story and comics classes through it.

Although he’s had a free newsletter on Substack for awhile now, writer (and comics instructor) Brian Michael Bendis has announced plans to offer paid tiers with additional content through the platform.

That additional content will includes an educational series of videos titled Creation: The Series that will serve as a multimedia sequel to his Words for Pictures book that offers instructions on writing for comics. He’s also planning a series of videos with artist Taki Soma called Masterclass that will “pass on some of the very best and hardest lessons learned” during their time in the comics field. And if you’re looking for comics, Bendis has you covered — he plans to syndicate the sequel to Fortune and Glory through Substack, which is titled Fortune and Glory: The Musical.

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Bendis + Edgar bring ‘The Ones’ to Dark Horse

The four-issue miniseries kicks off in November.

Brian Michael Bendis’ Jinxworld will grow by one this fall as the award-winning writer teams with artist Jacob Edgar and colorts K.J. Diaz for The Ones.

The story will feature characters from multiple mythologies and multiverses who were told they were “The One” — think Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the kid from Good Omens, Highlander, the “One and Only” Richochet from WWE and everyone else given that label — only, not actually those characters, but new ones created for this comic. They’re brought together to defeat, naturally, The One.

“Jacob is an amazing artist and creating this brand-new, fun-as-hell world with him has been one of the greatest delights,” Bendis said. “Wilson and the rest of The Ones are among my absolute favorite creations I’ve ever been a part of and I can’t wait to introduce you to all of them.”

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Mail Call | Tynion, Brombal + Goodhart debut ‘Christopher Chaos’

Plus: News and updates on ‘Darkskulls,’ ‘The Bone Orchard Mythos,’ ‘The United States of Murder’ and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes from comics creators, publishers and more. Hit the links for more information.

If you aren’t following James Tynion IV’s TinyOnion newsletter, then you likely missed the launch of his newest comic last week — The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos. He’s released the first chapter for free via his Substack newsletter.

“This is a comic for folks who like teenage angst and horror monsters,” Tynion said. “I’ve always liked books that don’t fit neatly into one category or another. You’ll see some trappings of young adult storytelling here, but when the horror kicks in we don’t hold back. And we don’t hold back on the language either. Hell, it’s not like teens do, anyways. It’s not a superhero bit, but it doesn’t shy away from some of my favorite superhero tropes. It’s not a YA story, but it similarly doesn’t shy away from the best of those tropes. I think when I first started kicking it around in the back of my mind I thought of it as ‘A queer horror answer to Invincible.'”

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What Are You Reading? | A whole lotta Moon Knight

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately, from Noah Van Sciver, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Si Spurrier and more.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Today’s reviews include a whole lot of Moon Knight, plus Amazing Spider-Man, Brubaker and Phillips’ Reckless and much more.

Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments or on social media.

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Mail Call | Doctor Strange journeys to the ‘Nexus of Nightmares’ in April

Check out news and updates from Marvel, DC, Image, Jeff Lemire, Brian Michael Bendis and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes from comics creators, publishers and more. Hit the links for more information.

Although Doctor Strange might currently be dead in the Marvel Universe, Marvel still has stories to tell about Stephen Strange’s past. April brings not only rain this year, but also Doctor Strange: Nexus of Nightmares, by Marvel veteran Ralph Macchio and artist Ibrahim Mostafa.

The one-shot will feature the Sorcerer Supreme taking on Nightmare and Baron Mordo, as they attempt to use Strange’s own nightmares against him. The one-shot comes out April 20, with a cover by Todd Nauck.

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‘Naomi’ returns for a second miniseries from DC Comics

Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker and Jamal Campbell reunite for ‘Naomi: Season 2.’

Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker and Jamal Campbell will continue to explore the mysteries behind their creation Naomi as the Justice League member leaps into her second solo series next year.

Naomi: Season 2 will run for six issues starting in March and will feature some of Naomi’s new friends since she joined the League — including Black Adam and Superman. DC also promises the return of the villainous Zumbado from her first series.

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DC announces ‘Justice League vs. Legion of Super-Heroes’

Brian Michael Bendis and Scott Godlewski will bring two of DC’s powerhouse teams together in an adventure that spans time.

Two eras of DC’s greatest superheroes will team up to face a “great darkness” in a new miniseries that begins in January.

Brian Michael Bendis and Scott Godlewski will bring together the Justice League and the Legion of Super-Heroes — two teams Bendis is very familiar with — in Justice League vs. Legion of Super-Heroes. But “vs.”? I thought they were teaming up?

The story involves “The Great Darkness,” according to DC, which seems to suggest this might have a tie to what I consider the greatest Legion of Super-Heroes story of all time, “The Great Darkness Saga.” So maybe can we expect an appearance by Darkseid as well.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Brian Michael Bendis on ‘Joy Operations’

The Jinxworld creator discusses his newest comic, ‘Joy Operations’ with Stephen Byrne; the move to Dark Horse; and more.

Brian Michael Bendis has made so many comics over the years. For some people, he will always be the writer of Ultimate Spider-Man, one of the great Daredevil writers, the co-creator of Jessica Jones and Miles Morales, and one of a handful of creators who helped shape the Marvel Universe in innumerable ways. Others know him for his more recent work at DC Comics as the writer of the Superman titles, Justice League and other books, co-creating and co-writing Naomi in addition to curating the Wonder Comics imprint at the company. For others, he’s the writer behind Powers, Takio, Pearl and Cover. And for some of us, he will always be the man behind Jinx and AKA Goldfish

It was announced this summer that Bendis’s Jinxworld imprint is moving to Dark Horse Comics, which will include new editions of older comics, continuations of series, and brand new projects. The first to launch is Joy Operations, a five-issue miniseries drawn by Stephen Byrne (Wonder Twins) that launches in November. I spoke with Bendis recently about the science fiction saga, and how (and why) he’s returning to the drawing board with a new series.

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Bendis moves his Jinxworld titles to Dark Horse

The line of titles that includes ‘Pearl,’ ‘Cover’ and the upcoming ‘Joy Operations’ moves from DC to the Oregon-based publisher.

After stints at Image Comics, Marvel and DC Comics in recent years, Brian Michael Bendis’ Jinxworld line of creator-owned titles now has a new home at Dark Horse Comics.

The deal will include a new title, Joy Operations, which Bendis will write and artist Stephen Byrne (Wonder Twins) will draw. Many of the Jinxworld titles published by DC over the last few years, including Pearl and Cover, will also move to Dark Horse. THR said Bendis also has plans to release new editions of previous titles, like Powers, through the publisher. Bendis’ exclusive contract with DC, Jinxworld’s previous publisher, ended earlier this year.

“I am so proud to call Dark Horse Comics home! From Dark Horse Presents all the way up to Black Hammer, Dark Horse has been at the forefront of the kind of creator-owned comics I personally adore and aspire to. This partnership has been brewing for a very long time,” Bendis said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “Mike Richardson, Daniel Chabon and everyone else at Dark Horse has welcomed us with open arms and it’s very exciting to start rolling out our brand-new epics like Joy Operations and reintroduce you to some of our classic Jinxworld titles like PowersTorso and Jinx. Any of my friends will tell you I wished those books were published by Dark Horse back when we first made them. To the future!”

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Bendis and Marquez jump-start the Justice League

A new era begins in ‘Justice League’ #59, which ‘includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.’

[Note: This post contains spoilers for the lead story in Justice League #59. The issue also includes a Justice League Dark installment, which was creepy and suspenseful, but won’t be discussed here.]

Last year’s trip through the Justice League’s 60-year history got as far as the start of the “Snyder Era.” (No, not that Snyder — Scott Snyder.) Because some of us still have a slight Death Metal hangover, a post on those years is still TBA. Regardless, the “Bendis Era” began this week with May 2021’s Justice League #59. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by David Marquez and colored by Tamra Bonvillain, it includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.

Chief among them is the notion that the Leaguers have lives outside this book. At the risk of being redundant, the point of an all-star team is the interaction of characters who can each carry their own features. Sure, you can craft a perfectly entertaining adventure by dropping a handful of heroes into a standalone story, but the best League runs have incorporated larger DC continuity to one degree or another. (Somewhat ironically, the Bendis Era begins just as DC has decided to have free-range continuity.)

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Mail Call | Fantagraphics 40% off sale, Batman, Pearl Jam and more

Rounding up news from IDW, DC, Image and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Fantagraphics is holding a 40% off clearance sale on their website right now, which ends this Saturday. There’s a lot of good stuff to choose from, including volumes of the Mome anthology, Dungeon Quest, some Michael Kupperman books, Roger Langridge’s Fred the Clown and more.

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