Ultraman, Blink, Sleeper Agent, Human Target and more slug it out in our first Slugfest comics publishing news round-up.
Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you from comics creators, publishers and more. Hit the links for more information.
Ultraman returns in August
Marvel has announced a third Ultraman miniseries by Kyle Higgins, Mat Groom. and Davide Tinto. Subtitled ‘The Mystery of Ultraseven,” the story will include “an enigmatic new Ultra and a secret that has remained hidden for decades.”
Check out news, announcements and previews from Image, DC, BOOM! Studios and more.
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.
When Venom returns in a new series from Marvel later this fall, it’ll be co-written by Al Ewing and Ram V. Each writer, it turns out, will be writing a separate character in the series, as the book focuses both on Eddie Brock and his son Dylan.
“How me and Ram are working together—we’re a band, essentially. Every issue is a new single, every trade is an album, and Eddie and Dylan are our instruments,” Ewing told Marvel.com. “They’re similar, but they make different notes, produce different sounds, build different stories. And for a while—so you should get used to it now—we’re going to be taking turns in the spotlight, playing Dylan songs or Eddie songs, while the other band member stays in the background. As each new single comes out, you’ll see how it fits together, forms one big concept album—or maybe a symphony. And then, when we’re ready, we bring all the instruments in for the crescendo—and that’s going to be something to hear.”
Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley will launch a new Hulk title in November, as Al Ewing, Ram V and Bryan Hitch take on Venom.
With Al Ewing and Joe Bennett’s run on Immortal Hulk coming to close AND Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman wrapping up their run on Venom, Marvel has announced their plans for both titles, which will relaunch in the fall.
The Hulk will relaunch in a new title simply called Hulk, by Cates and Amazing Spider-Man artist Ryan Ottley. Writers Al Ewing and Ram V, meanwhile, will tag-team on Venom, with art by Bryan Hitch.
“Marvel just gave me the keys to the strongest one there is,” Cates told Marvel.com. “Haha… oh boy. You guys are just not ready for this. You’re about to find out what happens when Ryan Ottley and I get angry… and guess what? Well… pretty sure you’re gonna like us a lot when we’re angry.”
‘Sinister War’ pits teams led by Doctor Octopus and Vulture against each other, with Spider-Man caught in the middle.
Spider-Man will find himself caught between two factions of villains in July in Sinister War, a miniseries that ties into Nick Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and, in fact, was teased in the “post-credit scene” in this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #64.
“Nick Spencer always goes big,” Editor Nick Lowe told Marvel.com, “and this is his biggest story yet through this series and the concurrent issues of Amazing Spider-Man, so clear some room on your ‘Best Comics Ever’ shelf.”
Andy Schmidt and Kieran McKeown will build a new Earth-3 and Crime Syndicate next year.
We know that the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal will set us up for DC Future State in January, but it will also set up the return of the DC Multiverse — and a new Earth-3, the home of the villainous Crime Syndicate. And this “anti-Justice League” will receive its own miniseries in March, by writer Andy Schmidt and artist Kieran McKeown.
Schmidt said they plan to rebuild Earth-3 from the ground up, showcasing new versions of Ultraman, Super Woman, Owlman, Power Ring/Emerald Knight, Johnny Quick and Atomica (she’s the evil version of the Atom, if the name isn’t as familiar as the others).
“Kieran and I were given a once a lifetime opportunity to build a world from the ground up,” said writer Andy Schmidt. “We’re establishing the Crime Syndicate’s origin story for the first time—how and why they came together. And we’re not taking it lightly. You’ll find that you’ve entered a fully realized world—this is the story of the Crime Syndicate, but it’s also the story of Earth-3 and it moves fast and pulls no punches.”
The New 52 lasted four years and nine months, from August 31, 2011 to May 25, 2016. On each of those Wednesdays, DC Comics released one universe-changing big-event issue and one issue of Justice League. In 2011 it was Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1; and in 2016 it was Justice League #50 and the DC Universe Rebirth special. All were written by Geoff Johns, still one of DC’s main guiding forces even as his attention shifted away from comics. The DCU Rebirth issue kicked off a months-long apology-in-print marked by “Rebirth” banners on all of the superhero books’ covers. This publishing strategy aimed to reintroduce elements of the DC Universe which the New 52 had stripped away, including the pre-New 52 Superman – who, as a distinct character, had been living in a sort of multiversal fishbowl – and the classic version of Wally “Flash” West. Among other things, this meant that Superman was now the newest member of the Justice League, since he replaced his late New 52 predecessor.
Although those cover banners were gone by February 2018, in terms of continuity we may still be in the “Rebirth” era today. Among other things, DCU Rebirth set up Doomsday Clock, the 12-issue miniseries from Johns and Gary Frank. Going on sale November 22, 2017 (cover date January 2018), it would explain how Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan had changed the DC timeline into the New 52, and how he would change it back.
Throughout the 1960s, Justice League of America was the standard-bearer for DC Comics’ superhero teams. In the 1970s, the series boasted an expanded roster and solid, steady Dick Dillin art. The 1980s brought sweeping, lasting changes, from Detroit to the JLI; and the early ’90s turned the League into a franchise. Still, was any of that ever really cool?
I can’t tell you for sure, but I can say this: starting in the summer of 1996, the Justice League was cool enough for Wizard. The breathless self-appointed arbiter of mainstream superhero comics’ cutting edge was all over JLA in the series’ early years, including a 1997 special issue devoted entirely to the title. It was a super-high concept executed by Grant Morrison, one of the era’s hottest writers. Of course Wizard was going to notice.
Wally West and Wonder Woman take center stage in this year’s ‘gold’ title.
DC has revealed the contents of their two Free Comic Book Day 2020 titles, which were first announced in December without any details.
Their gold title, Generation Zero, “sets the stage for the past, present and future of the DC Universe, ” according to the press release. It will feature Wally West, who has gone through a lot recently in DC continuity, if you’ve been following the story that started in Heroes in Crisis.
The 80-page issue will kick off a new storyline, ‘The Flash Age,’ in addition to featuring stories by Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns and more.
As revealed in their solicitations for February 2020, DC Comics has announced the line-up for next year’s Flash #750, a prestige format issue with contributions by Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Bryan Hitch, Francis Manapul, David Marquez, Riley Rossmo and more, in addition to series writer Joshua Williamson.
“The Flash is one of my favorite DC characters,” said Williamson in the press release, “so it’s an honor to work on The Flash #750 with so many returning Flash legends! It’s a showcase of awesome talent, each telling a story that celebrates what we love about the Flash and the Flash family. And what a perfect place to kick off our next epic storyline ‘The Flash Age!’ 2020 is going to be a big year for The Flash. It all starts in this massive issue.”
The 12-issue series will take readers into the minds of Batman and Alfred.
Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, the team that reignited the comics medium with their take on The Authority at the turn of the century, will reunite for a new Batman maxi-series. Kevin Nowlan joins Hitch on art.
Titled The Batman’s Grave, the 12-issue series will see the Dark Knight take on a case that “forces him to inhabit the mind of a murder victim with a half-eaten face—without filling the empty grave next to those of his parents.”
“My very first work at DC was two issues of Legends Of The Dark Knight,” begins Ellis, “so it’s been 25 years since I did a full-length story with the Batman. I’ve decided to revisit the crime scene where my career in American comics began, and I’m so grateful that my old comrade Bryan Hitch is doing this midnight run with me. It’s been too many years since we last did a long campaign together.”