Quick Hits | Rest in peace, Kazuki Takahashi

Former Wizard/DC employee Pat McCallum passes away. Plus news on Asaf Hanuka, Luke Healy, Molly Knox Ostertag, Gene Luen Yang and more.

Passings | Manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, who created Yu-Gi-Oh and worked on the Secret Reverse manga for Viz and Marvel, has passed away. The creator, whose real first name was Kazuo, was found dead after an apparent snorkeling trip in Okinawa Prefecture, according to the Japan Times.

Passings | Former Wizard Magazine Editor-In-Chief and co-founder Pat McCallum has passed away. In addition to his work on the long-running comics magazine and price guide in the 1990s and 2000s, he was an Executive Editor for DC Comics from 2011 to 2019.

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Marvel will relaunch Shang-Chi in July

Writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Marcus To will continue the adventures of Shang-Chi and his family in ‘Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings.’

The current Shang-Chi series by Gene Yang and Marcus To will wrap up with issue #12 in May, but the leader of the Five Weapons Society won’t be gone for long. Marvel has announced that the previously solicited Shang-Chi #13 wll be re-titled and repackaged as Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #1 in July.

Yang and To will remain the creative team on the series, which, as the title might have given away, will focus on the Ten Rings seen in the Shang-Chi film last year.

“It’s been such a joy to work with Marcus To over the last couple of months.  He’s a brilliant artist.  His characters are vibrant and full of energy, and he’s so good at fight choreography!” Yang said. “We’re all really excited about the new #1!  And about bringing in ten of the most powerful items ever into the Marvel Universe!”

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Yang + Chang bring the Monkey Prince back to comics next year

Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang reunite for a story featuring the character they introduced earlier this year.

Following his debut in the pages of DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration earlier this year, the Monkey Prince will leap into his own maxi-series next year from Gene Luen Yang, Bernard Chang and Sebastian Chen.

The shape-shifting superhero and his friends are inspired by the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West, which is considered one of the “four classic novels” of Chinese literature.

The first issue will arrive on Feb. 1, which is Lunar New Year.

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Whilce Portacio, Jeremy Holt + more contribute to ‘Marvel’s Voices: Identity’

The Marvel anthology will arrive Aug. 25.

Marvel has announced more details on Marvel’s Voices: Identity, the anthology they plan to release later this month that will focus on Asian creators and characters.

The anthology has slipped back from its original publication date of Aug. 11 and is now scheduled to be released Aug. 25. It follows in the footsteps of the recent Marvel Voices: Pride, Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices and Marvel’s Voices: Legacy, which, respectively, featured stories by and about the LGBTQ+, Indigenous and Black communities.

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Mail Call | Shang-Chi’s mutant sister debuts in ‘Shang-Chi’ #3

Like fireworks lighting up the night sky comes a barrage of news, previews and announcements from Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Mad Cave 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.

Gene Luen Yang and Dike Ruan’s run on Marvel’s Shang-Chi has focused both on family and legacy, and in the third issue Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu finds out he has yet another sibling — and she’s a mutant.

Zhilan is a mutant warrior with a dazzling power: she can turn music into solidified energy. According to Marvel.com, she was exiled by Shang-Chi’s evil father years ago, and now Shang-Chi is seeking her out — as is the Krakoa mutant nation, which will lead to a confrontation with Wolverine.

Check out the variant cover by Michael Cho, along with some preview pages by Ruan, below:

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Marvel announces ‘Marvel’s Voices: Identity’ featuring Asian creators

Gene Yang, Greg Pak, Jason Loo, Marcus To and more will contribute stories to the anthology.

Marvel has announced the next one-shot in their Marvel’s Voices series, Marvel’s Voices: Identity, which will focus on Asian creators and characters.

“It’s unreal to me that one of Marvel’s first Asian super heroes, Jimmy Woo, was first introduced in in 1956. He predates the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the X-Men,” Editor Darren Shan told Marvel.com. “It just goes to show that Asians have been an integral part of Marvel’s history, both on the page and behind it. So I’m incredibly excited to celebrate that with all these amazing creators, new and established, featuring some of Marvel’s greatest (and dare I say it, best) super heroes!”

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DC will introduce Monkey Prince in ‘DC Festival of Heroes’

The new character will meet Shazam! in a story by Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang.

DC Comics will introduce a new character called Monkey Prince in their upcoming anthology DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration. They also revealed more about the contents in a press release today.

Monkey Prince will debut in a story written by Gene Luen Yang with art by Bernard Chang. Per the release, Monkey Prince is inspired by the Monkey King, legendary hero of Chinese mythology and the classic tale Journey to the West. In Yang and Chang’s 12-page story, “The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes,” Monkey Prince battles and teams up with Shazam! to defeat Dr. Sivana and a Chinese deer demon spirit.  

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‘Shang-Chi’ ongoing series debuts in May from Yang + Ruan

The new series will pit the new leader of the Five Weapons Society against other Marvel heroes.

Gene Luen Yang and Dike Ruan, whose Shang-Chi miniseries recently wrapped up, will continue to tell stories about the Master of Kung Fu. Marvel has announced the two creators will helm a Shang-Chi ongoing series, which starts in May.

Now the leader of the Five Weapons Society — the evil organization once run by his dad — Shang-Chi’s new status quo will put him on a collision course with some of Marvel’s other heroes, including his form Avengers teammates.

“I’m very, very thankful for all the support that we got for the Shang-Chi miniseries. I mean, the first two issues sold out,” Yang told Marvel.com. “I’m thrilled that we get to continue the story of Shang-Chi and his siblings in the Five Weapons Society. We’re going to show how Shang-Chi’s brand-new role affects the rest of the Marvel Universe. We’ll have him interact with old friends and new foes… and even old friends who become new foes. Dike Ruan and I are already hard at work. The stuff I’ve seen from Dike so far has been his best yet.”

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DC reveals additional creative team changes after ‘Future State’

DC held several panels at Brazil’s CCXP to announce new titles, creative team changes and more.

For two months, DC will focus on the future of the DC Universe as they present DC Future State in January and February. Limited series starring future version sof Superman, Batman, Wonder and more will temporarily replace their regular titles.

Come March, though, many of the creators bringing Future State to life will stay on to work on the ongoing titles as well. DC revealed many of these creative changes during CCXP, a big comics convention held in Brazil. This year, the event was held virtually, of course, and DC used it as an opportunity to highlight several of these changes.

Here’s a rundown of what we know so far on what to expect from DC’s regular line-up when it returns in March after their two-month hiatus:

(Note: I’ve updated this based on the press release from DC that came out Dec. 7, with new details and artwork)

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Gene Yang, The Nib and more win 2020 Harvey Awards

Awards ceremony will be held this Friday.

The Harvey Awards have announced their 2020 award recipients through their outlet of choice, The Hollywood Reporter. The awards announcement comes several days before a virtual ceremony that’s supposed to be part of New York Comic Con and MCM Comic Con’s Metaverse event.

So why are they announcing them now? Who knows — 2020 is weird. But hey, here are the winners:

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Mail Call | Dark Horse to bring several comiXology Originals titles to print

A round-up of news from DC, Marvel, Titan Comics, IDW and more.

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

ComiXology announced this week that they’ve struck a deal with Dark Horse to bring several of their comiXology Originals digital titles to print, starting with four titles next spring: Afterlift, Breaklands, Youth and The Black Ghost.

“We were always hopeful comiXology Originals books would get into readers’ hands via comics retailers and book stores, and Dark Horse is a terrific collaborator to work with to do so, with an unmatched history of supporting creator-owned projects alongside unmatched distribution expertise. This deal fortifies the ability for these stories to reach customers like never before,” said David Steinberger, comiXology co-founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to be working with Dark Horse.”

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Comics Lowdown | IDW ‘has parted ways’ with Publisher Jud Meyers

Plus: How the pandemic has impacted Scholastic and VIZ Media, the ‘Thundarr the Barbarian’ comic that almost was and more!

IDW Publishing has “parted ways” with Jud Meyers, who they had named as their new publisher on July 22.

“IDW Publishing has parted ways with Jud Meyers and would like to thank everyone for their discretion,” the company said in a short statement. Meyers was named publisher after longtime publisher Chris Ryall departed the company, but was then placed on administrative leave a few days after the announcement.

Publishing: Publisher’s Weekly looks at Scholastic’s fourth-quarter and full year results for fiscal year 2020, which ended May 31 for the company. Not surprisingly, given the COVID-19 pandemic, they were down significantly compared to last year. Revenue was down $187 million, or almost 40%, leading to a 10% drop in their full-year revenue for FY20.

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