Slugfest | Spawny returns to kill off … Spawn?

Plus: News and announcements on ‘Uncanny X-Men,’ ‘Gilt Frame,’ Godzilla, Blacksad, ThunderCats and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you that we haven’t otherwise covered. Hit the links for more information.

McFarlane Productions has been on a roll introducing Spawn into various genres, and this summer they’ll return to the world of humor and satire with Spawn Kills Every Spawn. Like the previous Spawn Kills Everyone and Spawn Kills Everyone Too, this comic features the tiniest Spawn, Spawny, deciding to kill another set of comic characters — the Spawn universe.

Written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob “Sketchcraft” Duenas and colorist Robert Nugent, the five-issue miniseries sees Spawny arrive at a Spawn convention filled with Spawns from around the multiverse, all of whom are more popular than him. So he decides to become the most popular by eliminating the competition.

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Image Comics will publish Sabir Pirzada’s ‘Dandelion’

The graphic novel anthology will include stories drawn by Martín Morazzo, Vanesa R. Del Rey, Eric Koda and more.

Ms. Marvel writer Sabir Pirzada has a new project coming from Image Comics this summer — Dandelion, an anthology graphic novel featuring “climate crisis-infused tales” drawn by several different artists.

“It’s been a grand undertaking to gather some of the industry’s hottest artists, and build a shared continuity where they could take inspiration from one another in illustrating a wide range of genres that all add up to a larger world of speculative fiction with a mystery unfolding in the background: who is the founder of the Dandelion ship?” Pirzada said. “We are excited to present a unique reading experience as can only exist in an anthology graphic novel format.”

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Jurgens + Perkins bring ‘The Bat-Man’ to Black Label

‘The Bat-Man: First Knight’ will kick off in March.

Dan Jurgens and Mike Perkins will revisit the earliest version of Batman — The Bat-Man — in a new three-issue miniseries kicking off next year. The Bat-Man: First Knight looks at one of Batman’s earliest cases “through an acutely modern lens.”

While this is Jurgens’ first Black Label title, it isn’t the first time he’s tackled tales of the 1930s-era Batman, as he worked on Generations: Shattered, which featured that early version of the character.

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Ed Brubaker + Sean Phillips will tell us ‘Where the Body Was’ in December

The award-winning team presents a stand-alone suburban mystery graphic novel that draws from Brubaker’s life.

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, creators of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Criminal and Reckless, have a graphic novel coming out from Image Comics at the end of this year — Where the Body Was, which will arrive in December.

Colorist Jacob Phillips, who has worked with the duo in the past as well as on his own projects like That Texas Blood, will join them on the project. Described as “a true crime podcast crossed with a long-lost diary,” Brubaker said he’s drawing from his own life for this one.

“This is a story I’ve been trying to find a way to tell for half my life,” said Brubaker. “Inspired by a bunch of wild things that happened when I was a teenager in Southern California—from small time crimes to a murder plot—this book is kind of a diorama of a crime scene, with all the action confined to one small neighborhood… And it even comes with a map. I can’t wait for our readers to get their hands on this one, just in time for the Holidays.”

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‘That Texas Blood’ spinoff miniseries will explore the past of Ambrose County

Creators Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips will tell the story of ‘The Enfield Gang Massacre’ this August.

That Texas Blood, one of my favorite comics from the past few years, is getting a spinoff miniseries this summer that will explore the past of Ambrose County, Texas, the comic’s setting.

Writer Chris Condon and artist Jacob Phillips will tell the story of The Enfield Gang Massacre in a six issue miniseries at Image Comics. Condon said he unknowingly set the stage for the new series in the back matter of a previous issue.

“Way back in That Texas Blood issue seven’s back matter, I mentioned ‘the Enfield Gang’s reign of terror in the 1870s’ which ended in a ‘shootout.’ That got Jacob’s imagination going and he wondered if we’d ever see that (or, more importantly, if he’d ever draw it). And, well, now we’re here,” said Condon. “That may have been the catalyst, but the truth is that I’ve always wanted to tell the story of the origin of Ambrose County, a birth fraught with violence and terror.”

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Brubaker + Phillips’ ‘Night Fever’ arrives next year

The award-winning duo have a new graphic novel in the works at Image Comics.

Image Comics has announced a new graphic novel from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips that’s coming out next year. The publisher describes Night Fever as a “Jekyll-and-Hyde story of a man facing the darkness inside himself.”

Colorist Jacob Phillips, who has worked with the duo in the past as well as on his own projects like That Texas Blood, will join them on the project.

Night Fever is a story that’s been scratching at the back of my skull for a long time now and man, is this a weird one,” said Brubaker. “Inspired partly by old Black Lizard noir novels and weird and sexy European comics from the 70s, this book is a dark trip into what being alive right now feels like, but hopefully a thrilling one for our readers, too. I know it’s the best art of Sean’s entire career, which feels almost unbelievable. But it’s true.”

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Zdarsky + Phillips team for the hardboiled ‘Newburn’

Image Comics will publish the first issue of the ongoing series in November, which also includes a back-up by Nadia Shammas and Ziyed Yusuf Ayoub.

Chip Zdarsky and Jacob Phillips will team for a noir detective story centered on the New York underworld in November, as the Stillwater writer and That Texas Blood artist team up for Newburn from Image Comics.

“I love the satisfaction that comes from crime procedurals, so the chance to do that in comic form, while crafting a massive story about a fictional New York underworld, was something I couldn’t wait to do,” Zdarsky told CBR.com. “And Jacob is the perfect artist for the book! His work is gritty and full of heart and he’s bringing it all to this book.”

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Mail Call | ‘That Texas Blood’ returns with a new story arc in June

Today’s round-up includes announcements and previews from Marvel, DC, Skybound, Image, Dark Horse 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.

That Texas Blood, the excellent small-town noir series by Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips, returns next month from Image Comics with a new story arc that delves into Ambrose County’s past, “blowing off some of that desert dust and seeing what lurks beneath,” Phillips said.

That Texas Blood #7 will arrive in comic shops on June 30.

“Returning to Ambrose County and these characters is like going home in many ways. They feel like old friends more than old creations and none more so than Sheriff Joe Bob Coates. I’m beyond excited to explore a bit of Joe’s past in this next story arc as we travel back in time to 1981. We’ll see new places, meet new people, and explore ideas we haven’t before. I’ve always believed that the beginning years of any decade are the hangover of the previous one, and I am absolutely thrilled that we are allowed to dissect this over the next six issues with our merry band of Ambrose Countians,” said Condon. “But don’t be fooled, we aren’t viewing the past through rose-colored glasses. I’ve said before that Texas is America’s mystical land, but every fantasy world has a minotaur lurking in the dark or a dragon breathing through smoking nostrils over armor-clad corpses. Our Texas is no different. The shadows there stretch to the horizon, devouring all light. But there are some who see the darkness and strike a match to light the way. I hope that you’ll join us on our trip down Highway 90, into the heart of Ambrose County and into the dark depths of the past. But don’t you fret, we’re not out of matches yet.”

Check out the first issue’s covers:

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What Are You Reading? | Red Goblins, celestial avatars, Klan smashers and Texas blood

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their ‘to read’ list lately.

Like I said last week, summertime is the right time for crossovers and comics. This week brought us a taste of Empyre, Marvel’s big crossover event featuring the Avengers, The Fantastic Four, the Kree, the Skrulls, the Blue Area of the Moon, the Swordsman and all that crazy cosmic space action Marvel fans have come to know and love. You can see Carla’s thoughts on it below, along with a list of comics Shane has been buying for his kids and Tom’s thoughts on two politically minded books from DC.

You can tell us what you’ve been reading in the comments below or on social media.

Shane Bailey

Lately my kids have started wanting to read more comics. My little one has always been into them, but now the older kids are as well. So I let them pick out their own comics to read on comiXology Unlimited.

My 9 yr old son picked Amazing Spider-Man: The Red Goblin by Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen, and he loves it. He wouldn’t stop commenting on how crazy scary Norman Osborn is, how it was gross when Carnage bit the head off a rat, and during one issue when the Goblin had a captive and was interrogating him, he wondered aloud over who it was, making guesses and gasping when he found out who it was and that Norman knew who Spider-Man was. It’s great seeing him get excited at things that are old hat for me. It made me appreciate those moments more.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Building toward ‘Empyre’

New comics arrive this week from Terry Moore, Mark Russell, Steve Rude, Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and more.

The summer crossover season gets in full swing at your local comic shop this week; following the release of Dark Knights: Death Metal last week, Marvel delivers the start of their big cosmic event, Empyre. This week also brings several debuts from IDW, AHOY and Image, among others … it’s almost starting to feel like comics have returned to normal.

If you’re looking for something to get this week, check out a few recommendations below. You can check the Comic List page to see what’s arriving in your local shop, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally. As always, you should check with your local shop on their hours, curbside pick-up, mask requirements, etc. due to COVID-19. Stay safe out there.

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Faerber + Guglielmini return to the world of ‘Near Death’

Image will publish ‘Over My Dead Body,” an OGN set in the same world as ‘Near Death,’ in January.

Jay Faerber, Simone Guglielmini, Gigi Baldassini and Ron Riley will return to the world of Near Death in an original graphic novel set to be released by Image Comics in January. Titled Over My Dead Body, the story features Markham, a contract killer serving time who is tasked with saving the prison warden’s daughter.

“Since the moment Near Death ended, Simone and I have been planning the next step in Markham’s path to redemption,” said Faerber. “We’re thrilled to unveil this new thriller that serves as a continuation of that series, but is presented in a fresh, accessible format for new readers.”

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