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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Mail Call | The Avengers brace for ‘World War She-Hulk’

Plus: More news and announcements from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, AfterShock, Top Cow, Skybound 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.

Marvel is dusting off a classic event title for an upcoming Avengers storyline — “World War She-Hulk,” which references the popular “World War Hulk” story from 2007.

The new storyline will find She-Hulk declared a global menace, so the Winter Guard decides to bring her in.

“When the Russian Winter Guard invade Avengers Mountain to arrest She-Hulk, it sets off a global espionage adventure that takes us from the notorious assassin training academy of the Red Room to an undersea kingdom on the verge of violent revolution,” said writer Jason Aaron. “Along the way, traitors will fall, regimes will crumble and the dark evolution of Jennifer Walters will reach its bloody red crescendo, all as we build toward the epic events of Avengers #50.”

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Skybound will celebrate its 10th anniversary with ‘Skybound X’

New stories featuring Rick Grimes, Clementine, Science Dog, Ultramega and more will appear in the five-issue weekly anthology series.

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Robert Kirkman’s Skybound will publish a five-issue miniseries featuring character from across their line, including a few new ones.

Skybound X will run weekly in July and will include new stories featuring The Walking Dead, Ultramega, Manifest Destiny, Rednecks, Stillwater, Excellence, Birthright and more. Each issue will feature a Rick Grimes 2000 story, which spins out of The Walking Dead #75 and features the re-teaming of Invincible creators Kirkman and Ryan Ottley for a different take on The Walking Dead saga. Also, Clementine from The Walking Dead Telltale Games will make her comic book debut.

“Surprise! Did you really think we would let Skybound’s 10-year anniversary pass us by without bringing back some of our favorite characters?” Kirkman said. “We are forever thankful for our community’s support over the past decade and are honored to share this special series with the larger Skybound family. None of these characters have such monumental journeys without the fans, so Skybound X is for all of you!”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Scott Snyder on ‘Nocterra’

The writer of ‘American Vampire,’ ‘Death Metal,’ ‘Batman’ and more discusses his newest creator-owned title, his Best Jackett Press imprint and more.

Scott Snyder has been in the driver’s seat for many of DC’s biggest projects over the last decade or so, including crossover titles like Metal and Death Metal, and of course his runs on Batman and Justice League. At the same time, he’s also kept a foot in the creator-owned world, writing titles like American Vampire, Wytches and Undiscovered Country, among others.

Last summer, he hit the gas on his creator-owned work, launching a Kickstarter for Nocterra, a new creator-owned series with Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey that’s coming out from Snyder’s Best Jackett Press imprint. The crowdfunding effort brought in more than $200,000 and set the stage for the launch of the Nocterra ongoing title, which debuted last month from Image Comics. The explosive first issue introduced readers to truck driver Val Riggs, a woman who lives in a world where the sun stopped rising 10 years ago, plunging humanity “into an everlasting night that turns all living creatures into monstrous shades.” The only defense is artificial light; luckily Riggs’ 18-wheeler is heavily illuminated.

I spoke with Snyder about the comic, its villain, the differences between launching a creator-owned comic vs. a DC title, his plans for Best Jackett Press and more.

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Top Cow announces supernatural noir series ‘Syphon’

The three-issue miniseries by Patrick Meaney, Mohsen Ashraf and Jeff Edwards begins in July.

Patrick Meaney, who worked on the comic book documentaries Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods and The Image Revolution, among others, is trading his camera for the keyboard as he writes a new miniseries for Top Cow.

Meaney will team up with Mohsen Ashraf and Jeff Edwards for Syphon, a three-issue “fantasy noir” miniseries about a supernatural empath.

Syphon explores how much of a burden we can take on ourselves in trying to help others and the world around us,” said Meaney. “After the past few years of world events, it feels extremely relevant to ask, how much can you do to try and save the world before you destroy yourself.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: G Romero-Johnson on ‘SFSX: Terms of Service’

The artist of the newest volume of the queer science fiction tale discusses her process and approach to creating the new story.

Sfsx (Safe Sex) was a stunning book when it was published in 2019. Writer Tina Horn was new to comics, but the journalist and podcaster took to the language of comics in a really exciting way. The queer science fiction tale was like nothing else in comics. The dystopic series is returning in a new graphic novel coming out from Image Comics. Writer Tina Horn and editor/designer Laurenn McCubbin and other members of the team are back with a new artist, G Romero-Johnson.

SFSX: Terms of Service is currently being kickstarted and G Romero-Johnson was kind enough to take a few minutes to talk. A cartoonist and illustrator, she’s made comics like Sweet Insecurity and The Red Side of The Moon and her work has appeared in anthologies including Stratos and the upcoming Nectar.

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Top Cow to publish J. Gonzo’s ‘La Mano del Destino’

The collection of Gonzo’s original six-issue miniseries arrives in May.

Here’s one I missed when Image’s solicitations came out for May, but Top Cow reminded me of it with a press release: After self-publishing six issues and crowdfunding a bilingual flipbook, J. Gonzo‘s epic luche libre comic La Mano del Destino will be collected and published by Top Cow in May.

“Top Cow is a place where creative ideas win,” Gonzo said in a press release. “If you look at their current projects, or even their back catalog, there is a rich variety of story types and approaches that is unlike most other publishers or studios. They are less interested in a homogeneity of some house style and truly promote the best, creative ideas. It really is an ‘artist’s company.’”

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Image Comics maps the route to eternal life in ‘Compass’

The adventure comic from Robert Mackenzie, Dave Walker and Justin Greenwood debuts in June.

Robert Mackenzie and Dave Walker, who worked on Lazarus Sourcebook with Greg Rucka, will team up with artist Justin Greenwood for a new adventure series set in 13th century Britain, titled Compass.

Compass was born out of our desire to tell a story of discovery without colonialism, of adventure without exploitation—something with the verve and energy of the pulps, but with a perspective that hadn’t been seen much in that genre,” said Mackenzie. “Getting there was its own process of discovery, and it’s been a joy to work with co-creators who have the talent to truly unearth Shahidah‘s quest. I’m so pleased to be able to share Compass with the world.”

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A sunflower-farmer death cult and serial killers inhabit the world of ‘Vinyl’

The new Image Comics miniseries by Doug Wagner, Daniel Hillyard and Dave Stewart debuts in June.

Doug Wagner and Daniel Hillyard, the creators of Plastic, are teaming up again on Vinyl, a new miniseries from Image Comics. They’ll be joined by colorist Dave Stewart for a comic about serial killers, death cults and friendship.

“This is all Daniel Hillyard’s fault,” said Wagner. “He asked if I thought we could create a story about serial killers, inhuman monsters and a cult of sunflower farmers all trapped together inside an underground bunker. I mean, you have to do that, right?”

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Joe Benitez’s ‘Lady Mechanika’ moves to Image

The character takes the spotlight in one of Image’s Free Comic Book Day offerings in August.

As revealed in the 2021 Free Comic Book Day offerings announcement, Joe Benitez’s steampunk comic Lady Mechanika is moving to Image Comics. The entire backlist of the comic will be reprinted by Image, with plans for a new series coming later this year.

“I’m very excited that Lady Mechanika is moving to Image!” said Benitez. “We hope this move will provide an opportunity to share the series with a new, wider audience, and also give us more time to focus on our creative strengths while letting the experts at Image handle publishing and marketing. We have so many stories to tell, hopefully this will help us get more of them out faster. The next story arc we’re calling ‘The Monster of the Ministry of Hell-th’ will deal with a piece of Lady Mechanika’s haunted past. Check out a preview of the new book in our FCBD issue!”

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Star Wars, Blade Runner, InvestiGators among the 2021 Free Comic Book Day gold sponsor comics

This year’s Free Comic Book Day on Aug. 14 will include titles from Marvel, IDW, Dark Horse, Titan and more.

Diamond Comics Distributors has announced the 12 gold sponsor titles that retailers will offer on Free Comic Book Day this year. This year’s event will take place Aug. 14.

“This year’s lineup of titles has something for every kind of comic fan,” said Ashton Greenwood, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. “We can’t wait to once again share the FCBD experience with fans, especially on our landmark 20th anniversary! We hope fans will safely visit their local comic shops to celebrate and to pick up a few of the great titles available this year.”

Missing from the list is DC Comics, who no longer use Diamond to distribute comics to U.S. retailers. DC has indicated their plans to participate, however.

The titles were curated by more than 20 comic shop retailers who make up the FCBD Selection Committee. The Gold Sponsor titles come from Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Archie Comics, BOOM! Studios, Macmillan/First Second Books, Penguin Workshop, AfterShock Comics, Titan Comics, TOKYOPOP and VIZ Media.

This year’s gold sponsor books are:

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