Russell + Allred send Superman on ‘an unforgettable journey through U.S. history’ in ‘Superman: Space Age’

The three-issue prestige series will offer ‘head-spinning iconography, top tier characters, twists, thrills, and chills,’ according to its artist.

Second Coming co-creator Mark Russell and Madman creator Mike Allred will team up for a unique look at the Man of Steel in Superman: Space Age. The three-issue prestige series kicks off in July.

“This is a dream project for me,” Russell said. “Not only because I get to work with a genius like Mike Allred, but because I’ve always found Superman such a philosophically fascinating character, one which forces us to ask how different would the world be if we chose to be our best selves?”

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Humanoids will preview ‘The Incal Universe’ on Free Comic Book Day

Mark Russell, Yanick Paquette, Pete Woods and more will contribute new stories based on ‘The Incal.’

Humanoids’ Free Comic Book Day offering for 2022 will preview an ambitious new graphic novel line based on The Incal, the classic graphic novel by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius.

“Four decades after its publication, the world of The Incal remains a shock to the system and a transcendent work,” said Humanoids CEO Fabrice Giger. “This new Incal Universe project, to which Alejandro Jodorowsky has given his blessing, will open the door for a new generation of readers to discover all new adventures featuring John Difool, the Metabaron, Kill Wolfhead and the Incal.”

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Ahoy expands the ‘Wrong Earth’ multiverse with one-shots by Simone, Waid + more

‘The Wrong Earth: Trapped On Teen Planet’ will kick off the series of one-shots next March.

Mark Russell, Gail Simone, Mark Waid and more will help expand the multiverse introduced in The Wrong Earth, the humorous superhero comic created by Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle. Publisher Ahoy Comics has announced five one-shots by five different creative teams that will arrive next year.

If you aren’t familiar with The Wrong Earth, imagine Adam West Batman and the Batman in The Dark Knight Returns switching worlds. Ahoy’s title featured the campy Dragonflyman of Earth Alpha switching places with the gritty Dragonfly of Earth Omega, resulting in chaos, a pretty clever comics miniseries and subsequent sequels.

And now imagine that multiverse getting bigger.

“Words will be written, words will be deleted, and nothing will ever be the same,” Peyer said. “This is Crisis on Infinite Earths, minus the line-wide consequences that made it interesting. This is Secret Wars without toys. This is the kind of epic, superheroic storytelling that publishers and CFOs love, where the tail of wealth-enhancing variant covers wags the dog of art.” 

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Russell + Lieber serve up the ‘One-Star Squadron’ in December

The new title features DC characters trying to make a living as superheroes.

Red Tornado, Power Girl, Plastic Man and several other B-list DC heroes will team up to make a buck while saving the world in One-Star Squadron.

Mark Russell, Steve Lieber and Dave Stewart will bring together a “ragtag group of heroes,” led by Red Tornado, who use an app to answer the call for justice — or attend your kid’s birthday party, for a fee.

“One of the things I love about this project is that [Mark Russell] and I get to imagine what it would be like to live from gig to gig, entirely at the mercy of distant corporations and their mercurial customer base,” Lieber said on Instagram.

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‘Darkhold’ continues in November with Wasp + Black Bolt

Jordie Bellaire, Claire Roe, Mark Russell and David Cutler will bring the next chapters in the event series to life.

Marvel has announced two more of the one-shots from their upcoming Darkhold event series, which features the infamous mystical tome causing problems for the Marvel Universe. Following the “Alpha” issue in September will be a series of one-shots featuring different characters “recruited to combat the Darkhold’s horrifying effects,” starting with Blade and Iron Man in September and Black Bolt and Wasp in October.

Colorist and writer Jordie Bellaire and artist Claire Roe are the creative team for Darkhold: Wasp, while Mark Russell teams with artist David Cutler on Darkhold: Black Bolt.

“As a writer, it’s a joy to get to write a character who spends even more time inside their own head than you do,” Russell said. “So Black Bolt is a writer’s dream character and when I heard which other creators were involved with the series, I was totally on board, like someone who’d unwittingly bought a house in a really great neighborhood.”

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Russell + Tiesma + Popov bring ‘Deadbox’ to life in August

The new horror title will take readers to Lost Turkey, where a cursed DVD machine holds the town in its grip.

Vault Comics has announced a new horror series from the team of writer Mark Russell, artist Benjamin Tiesma, colorist Vladimir Popov and designer Tim Daniel. Deadbox is about a town caught in the grip of “a cursed DVD machine.”

From the cover it looks like it’s a cursed Redbox, but for trademark reasons I’m sure they couldn’t say that. But somebody call The Last Blockbuster, because this could be good news for them.

“I wrote Deadbox as a horror story, not just about a cursed DVD rental machine, but also about the feeling of being trapped, boxed if you will, in a town that doesn’t get you and a place you will never feel at home in no matter how long you live there,” Russell said.

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Russell + Izaakse team for ‘Fantastic Four: Life Story’

The six-issue miniseries will tell the story of the Fantastic Four across 60 years.

Following in the footsteps of Spider-Man: Life Story, Marvel has recruited Mark Russell and Sean Izaakse for Fantastic Four: Life Story. Each issue of the six-issue miniseries will be set in a subsequent decade, starting with the 1960s, and tell the story of the life of the Fantastic Four against the historical backdrop of each decade.

“What I’ve always loved about the Fantastic Four is how it reduces the cosmic struggle of human survival to the scale of a family squabble while treating personal relationships as a matter of truly galactic importance,” Russell said. “Weaving their story and their world into our story and what’s happened in our world over the last sixty years was an important reminder to me of how smart it is to approach life like that.”

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Comics Lowdown is back!

Your roundup of essential comics news is back, with an Angoulême update, cussin’ Stan Lee and more!

Big publishing news: Bertelsmann, the parent company of Penguin Random House, announced the day before Thanksgiving that it will buy Simon & Schuster. This will affect graphic novels and manga in a big way, because PRH and S&S distribute a LOT of graphic novels and manga.

In a series of Tweets, Ed Chavez sketches out what the manga landscape will look like, and why it matters. ICv2 lists all their comics/distribution clients; keep in mind that this is in addition to the graphic novels the companies themselves publish under a variety of imprints: Random House has RH Graphics and Pantheon (which publishes the works of Chris Ware and other literary graphic novels), and S&S has Gallery 13 and, just announced, two new lines of graphic novels for young readers.

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‘Second Coming’ returns in December with ‘Only Begotten Son’

Mark Russell, Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk return for more stories about Jesus and his superhero roommate.

Ahoy Comics has announced a sequel to Second Coming subtitled “Only Begotten Son,” which will debut at the end of this year. Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk and Andy Troy will return to tell the controversial — and also funny, touching and just plain awesome — story of Jesus and his roommate, the superhero Sunstar.

According to the solicitation text Ahoy shared, the new series will “turn back time to witness the interplanetary origin of Sunstar! Warning: portrays science denial, mass extinction and real estate sales!”

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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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Smash Pages Q&A: Mark Russell on ‘Billionaire Island’

The writer of ‘Second Coming’ discusses his new release from Ahoy Comics, which imagines an island where the rich escape from the end of the world.

Mark Russell has made a name for himself as one of the leading satirists in comics and a deeply subversive writer. I think it’s fair to say that no one envisioned The Flintstones or Snagglepuss the way that Russell wrote them, as these complex, thoughtful and tragic stories that addressed social issues in such pointed ways.

In addition to those books, there’s the two books where, with Shannon Wheeler, he reinterpreted The Bible (God is Disappointed in You, Apocrypha Now). He also wrote The Wonder Twins series for DC, which recently wrapped up, and Second Coming, which was originally going to be published by Vertigo, but the company dropped the series about Jesus becoming roommates with the world’s mightiest superhero. 

Russell is back with a new series from Ahoy Comics, Billionaire Island. Taking place in 2044, it concerns an artificial island where the wealthiest can take their money and avoid the problems that come from dealing with humanity – and all the problems that the wealthy created. It is funny and outrageous – and someone is probably working on how to build such an island as we speak. I spoke with Russell about the book, being outrageous and taking guidance from Winston Churchill.

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