Mail Call | Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day titles

Get ready for Free Comic Book Day, which is coming up this Saturday. Also check out news from DC, Image Comics, IDW, AfterShock Comics 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’s Free Comic Book Day offerings for this year have been somewhat confusing — at one point Chip Zdarsky was mentioned as contributing — but the company has put out a press release detailing what you specifically can from them this coming Saturday.

Marvel will have two books, as previously announced — Spider-Man/Venom and Hulk/Avengers, both of which will tease upcoming storylines for the four titles represented.

As previously reported, Amazing Spider-Man is getting a new creative team AND a new person under the mask, as infamous clone Ben Reilly returns to take on the mantle of Spider-Man. One of the new writers of Amazing, Zeb Wells, will team with artist Patrick Gleason for a story featuring Reilly as Spider-Man. It will be accompanied by a Venom story by the new creative team of Ram V., Al Ewing and Bryan Hitch “in a glimpse that will show you just how twisted their upcoming run will be.”

Then, in the second title, Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley will present a look at their upcoming run on Hulk. And Jason Aaron teams up with Iban Coello to “present the dangerous new threat that the Avengers will face in the next arc of his hit Avengers run.”

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Mail Call | Green Lantern Tai Pham returns in a new graphic novel next year

A round-up of recent announcements from DC, Marvel, IDW, Image, Diamond 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.

Tai Pham, the Green Lantern that debuted in the pages of the Green Lantern: Legacy graphic novel, will return in 2022 in Green Lantern: Alliance.

Pham’s adventures will once again be told by Minh Lê and artist Andie Tong, as he once again comes face-to-face with his nemesis, Xander Griffin, but this time he’ll have some help from a new Kid Flash.

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Marvel announces five ‘Heroes Reborn’ one-shots

Peter Parker, Magneto, Baron Zemo, the Imperial Guard and more join in on the alternate reality event.

Marvel has announced that the upcoming Heroes Reborn event miniseries will be accompanied by five one-shots that take place in this new world created by the Phoenix — one where the Avengers never formed.

They’ll feature characters and themes that should be familiar to readers of both Marvel and DC; with the Squadron Supreme being the Marvel universe equivalent of the Justice League, it’s not surprising that some of these one-shots get a little “meta” in their homages.

They are:

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DC launches ‘Let Them Live!’ on DC Universe Infinite

A lost Suicide Squad story written in 2011 surfaces on DC’s digital comics system.

When DC relaunched their DC Universe Infinite service last month, they promised exclusive content for subscribers. Today brought the first DCUI-exclusive comic, titled Let Them Live!: Unpublished Tales from the DC Vault, featuring a “lost” Suicide Squad story by Jim Zub, Tradd Moore, Felipe Sobreiro and Nate Piekos.

The story will be the first of several released by DC under this title, which seems like a way for them to clean out their files and share comics that were commissioned but never published. In fact, each issue will feature a framing sequence by Elliott Kalan, Mike Norton and Marissa Louise starring Ambush Bug — who has taken a job as a night janitor at the DC offices, where he finds the unreleased comics and provides commentary.

Future issues will include:

  • Let Them Live! #2 — a Nightwing story by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Jorge Corona, Mat Lopes and Carlos M. Mangual — debuting Feb. 16 with a frame story by Elliott Kalan, Mike Norton and Marissa Louise. Let them Live! #3 — a Batman story by Scott Bryan Wilson, John Paul Leon, Dave Stewart and Deron Bennet — debuting 3/2 with a frame story by Elliott Kalan, Mike Norton and Marissa Louise.
  • Let them Live! #3 — a Batman story by Scott Bryan Wilson, John Paul Leon, Dave Stewart and Deron Bennet — debuting March 2 with a frame story by Elliott Kalan, Mike Norton and Marissa Louise.
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Fund Me Monday | ‘Thomas River,’ the return of Skullkickers and more

Check out recent projects from Jim Zub, Edwin Huang, Doug Wagner, Brian Stelfreeze, Iron Circus Comics and more.

Crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, as comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. The internet also allows creators to sell their creations direct to fans, through sites like Gumroad, Big Cartel and of course their own websites. If you’re looking to buy something from or support a creator directly, you’ve come to the right place. And that’s a good thing to do, now more than ever.

Send any suggestions of your own to jkparkin@yahoo.com.

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Marvel reverses decision on several ‘digital only’ titles

Issues of ‘Hawkeye: Freefall,’ ‘Ant-Man’ and more will now be printed.

After stating they would only release digital copies of several titles that were held up by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdown by Diamond Comics Distributors, Marvel has told retailers they will now release print copies of most of those titles, including issues of Hawkeye: Freefall, Ant-Man, Ghost Spider and Valkyrie: Jane Foster.

The Beat reports that Marvel sent a message to retailers this week that print copies of many of these titles would ship to them starting in August. The list of comics and their release dates are:

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Natural 20: ‘Stranger Things’ to cross over with ‘Dungeons & Dragons’

Jim Zub, Jody Houser, Diego Galindo, Michele Assarasakorn and Nate Piekos will descend into the depths of licensed comics.

Writer Jim Zub shares the news that he’s working with Jody Houser on Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons, a new four-issue mini-series being co-published by Dark Horse Comics and IDW, who have the respective comics licenses for the two properties.

They’ll be working with the art team of Diego Galindo, Michele Assarasakorn and Nate Piekos. The announcement was made during Wizards of the Coast’s D&D Live 2020 online event.

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Exhibitors, creators pull out of ECCC over coronavirus concerns [Updated]

Emerald City Comic Con offers refunds to attendees who aren’t comfortable attending.

Multiple exhibitors, including DC Comics, Dark Horse and Penguin Random House, have announced they will no longer attend this year’s Emerald City Comic Con, citing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19). Seattle, ECCC’s host city, has seen nine people die of the virus since Feb. 26.

In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, DC Comics said they are cancelling all of their convention appearances for the rest of March.

In addition, several comics creators, including Jim Zub, Jen Bartel, Benjamin Percy, Richard Pace, Christian Ward and Jody LeHeup, have said they will no longer appear at ECCC.

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By Crom, Zub + Antônio take over ‘Conan’ with issue #13

The new team takes over in February, with E.M. Gist on covers.

Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian is getting a new, yet familiar, creative team in February, as Jim Zub and Rogê Antônio will take over the title with issue #13. E.M. Gist will provide covers.

Both Zub and Antônio have worked on the character in recent months; Zub wrote him in Avengers: No Road Home and Savage Sword of Conan, while Antônio drew the upcoming Conan 2099. They follow Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar on the title.

“Rogê’s line art is going to knock people out,” Zub said in an email. “It has a strong visual tie to the incredible work Masmud Asrar has been doing on the core title this year, but also manages to carve out its own distinct look. E.M. Gist‘s covers are classic pulp fantasy fare with all the grit and earthiness I could hope for. It’s a heck of a creative line up and I’m doing everything I can to live up to their top notch storytelling skills. Deep thanks to editors Mark Basso and C.B. Cebulski for this incredible opportunity and Jason Aaron for setting a high bar on the issues preceding mine.”

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Canadian creators unite for new ‘Alpha Flight’

A one-shot featuring three stories about the Canadian super team arrives in September.

Marvel is all about the one-shot specials in September, as they continue to celebrate their 80th birthday with special projects. You’ve got Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz doing New Mutants; Erik Larsen, Gerry Conway and Mark Bagley on Amazing Spider-Man; Roger Stern returning to Avengers; and, heck, you’ve even got Obnoxious the Clown in a Crazy one-shot.

But wait — there’s more! Also announced for September is a one-shot featuring a whole bunch of Canadian creators tackling Canada’s No. 1 team, Alpha Flight. Jim Zub, Scott Hepburn, Jed MacKay and more will contribute to Alpha Flight: True North.

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Zub + Medina assemble “Agents of Wakanda” this September

New team spins out of Jason Aaron’s ‘Avengers.’

In Avengers #12, Jason Aaron introduced a new team of “Secret Avengers” called the Agents of Wakanda, who carry out various missions for the Black Panther under the guidance of Okoye. Agents like the original Wasp, Ka-zar, Gorilla-Man and Fat Cobra carry out secret missions and gather intel to help the bigger Avengers team.

Now those secret missions are becoming unclassified, as writer Jim Zub and artist Lan Medina team for Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda

“This book is Kirby-fueled Mission: Impossible,” Zub said in an email.We’re taking the kind of fun and frenetic action that movie-goers enjoyed so much in the Black Panther film and combining it with mysteries and mayhem in the Marvel Universe.”

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Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee’s former manager’s legal troubles grow

Plus: Stolen comics, cease and desist letters, Ted Talks, Jesus and more.

Legal woes for Stan Lee’s former caretaker and manager, Keya Morgan, continue to grow. He has been arrested and appeared in court in Arizona to face the charge of being a fugitive of justice. And he is also being sued by Joan Celia Lee, Stan Lee’s daughter.

In May, Morgan was charged with felony counts of false imprisonment of an elder adult, theft, embezzlement, and forgery or fraud against an elder adult, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court. The LAPD has revealed some of the details on why they brought charges against him.

“Morgan removed Lee from his Hollywood Hills residence to a secured Beverly Hills condominium during the late night hours of June 8, 2018,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. “Morgan was using this tactic to further deceive Lee into believing he was in danger and needed to be moved from his home to a more secured condominium where Morgan had more control over Lee.”

The LAPD will eventually extradite Morgan to L.A. to face the charges.

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