What Are You Reading? | World’s Finest, Shadow War Zone, Grim and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Today’s edition includes thoughts on Batman: Killing Time and a new Shaolin Cowboy miniseries coming this week.

Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments or on social media.

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Waid + Asrar team for ‘Batman vs. Robin’ this fall

The event series will run for five issues beginning in September.

If things have seemed tense between Batman and Robin lately, well … as the saying goes, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

With a post that exclaims “The Bat is out of the bag!” artist Mahmud Asrar reveals that he’s working on a new Batman vs. Robin event series with writer Mark Waid and colorist Nathan Fairbairn.

“BATMAN vs ROBIN is a five part event by Mark Waid and I coming this fall from DC Comics to shake things up for Bruce’s world,” the artist said on both Tumblr and Twitter.

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Humanoids will donate some proceeds from new graphic novel to benefit Ukraine

Portions of proceeds from ‘Makhno: Ukrainian Freedom Fighter’ will benefit the Ukrainian nonprofit Razom.

Makhno: Ukrainian Freedom Fighter arrives in stores this week, and publisher Humanoids has announced plans to donate some of the proceeds they make from it to the Ukrainian nonprofit Razom, which supplies medical aid to Ukrainian fighters on the front lines.

The graphic novel was created by Philippe Thirault and Roberto Zaghi, and was published through Humanoids’ Life Drawn imprint. It arrived in stores today.

It’s a fitting choice, as the graphic novel spotlights Nestor Makhno, the real-life Ukrainian revolutionary from the early 20th century, who served as the commander of an independent anarchist army in Ukraine. They fought the Ukrainian National Republic, the Central Powers of Germany and Austro-Hungary, the Hetmanate state, the White Army, the Bolshevik Red Army and other factions that sought to impose their authority over southern Ukraine.

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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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Waid + Mora bring Batman + Superman (+ Seinfeld?) together for ‘World’s Finest’

DC resurrects the long-running title next March.

Mark Waid made his return to DC last year with a short Dark Nights: Death Metal story, but he’ll be back in earnest next year writing Batman/Superman: World’s Finest.

The new series will feature artwork by Dan Mora and will debut in March, but readers can get their first glimpse of what to expect in Detective Comics #1050 in January.

Here’s the cover:

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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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‘How to Create Comics the Marvel Way’ by Mark Waid coming next year

The guide will walk readers through the production process of creating a comic.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to create comics for Marvel, Mark Waid is going to show you how.

Simon & Schuster will publish How to Create Comics the Marvel Way next summer. The guide will walk readers through the comic book production process from pencil roughs, inking, coloring, as well as how comic book illustration has been revolutionized through advances in digital/desktop technology.

“Putting a book like this together is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and it’s thrilling,” Waid told Marvel.com. “My goal was to write the kind of how-to I wish I’d had when I first started out. No matter what discipline is calling to you — writing, art, coloring, lettering, or all of the above — you’ll come away from How to Create Comics the Marvel Way with the tools and guidance you’ll need to bring your favorite heroes and villains to life on the page.”

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Marvel celebrates 60 years of the Fantastic Four in August

Dan Slott, John Romita Jr. Mark Waid, Paul Renaud and more contribute stories to the giant-sized issue #35.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Fantastic Four, Marvel has announced that August’s issue #35 will be special giant-sized issue featuring three stories.

The main story will featured the FF going up against all the Kangs, as the time lord and his various incarnations target the team at different points in history. It’ll be written by Dan Slott and drawn by John Romita Jr., who recently returned to Marvel after spending a few years at DC, and inker JP Mayer.

“I’ve read, and been told by much smarter people, that ‘luck is the residue of design’ so I won’t even attempt to claim I designed the events of these last few months, but I will take this kind of luck any day any time,” Romita Jr. said. “I was lucky to begin my career with Marvel and now am extremely lucky to re-connect with Marvel. That’s an enormous amount of good fortune. I sincerely thank all the folks up at Marvel, and Disney, who worked for this fortunate re-connection to happen.

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Comics Lowdown | Waid/Meyer lawsuit settled

Plus: Court rules Dr. Seuss/Star Trek mash-up book not protected by fair use, ‘Batman’ #1 auction and more!

Legal: Comics creator Richard Meyer has dropped his lawsuit against Mark Waid, according to Waid’s legal defense GoFundMe page. The suit began in 2018 after Meyer announced that Antarctic Press would publish his comic Jawbreaker. The publisher reversed that decision after a phone call from Waid, however, and Meyer successfully crowdfunded the comic instead. He also sued Waid for “tortious interference with contract and defamation.”

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The Justice League at 60, Part 7: Pantheon

With the team’s first appearance arriving in December of 1959, Tom Bondurant looks back at the different eras that have defined the Justice League over the last 60 years. This time around: JLA!

Check out part one, part two, part three, part four, part five and part six of this series!

Throughout the 1960s, Justice League of America was the standard-bearer for DC Comics’ superhero teams. In the 1970s, the series boasted an expanded roster and solid, steady Dick Dillin art. The 1980s brought sweeping, lasting changes, from Detroit to the JLI; and the early ’90s turned the League into a franchise. Still, was any of that ever really cool?

I can’t tell you for sure, but I can say this: starting in the summer of 1996, the Justice League was cool enough for Wizard. The breathless self-appointed arbiter of mainstream superhero comics’ cutting edge was all over JLA in the series’ early years, including a 1997 special issue devoted entirely to the title. It was a super-high concept executed by Grant Morrison, one of the era’s hottest writers. Of course Wizard was going to notice.

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Humanoids releases Jodorowsky + Mœbius ‘Metabarons’ story

Just in time for Comic-Con, check out a rarely seen story — and also take advantage of a great Humble Bundle.

Humanoids has released a hard-to-find Metabarons short story by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius on ComiXology this week, just in time for ComicCon@Home. You can purchase it for 99 cents.

“2020 is the 40th anniversary of The Incal,” said Humanoids Publisher Mark Waid. “With ComicCon@Home happening this week, we wanted to celebrate this anniversary by making this rare short story by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius available widely. This story plants the seeds for the great saga that would be told in The Metabarons. It is, as always, a great joy to see these two masters collaborate.”

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Ibrahim Moustafa’s ‘Count’ coming from Humanoids next year

First GN of a three-book deal will be a science fiction adaptation of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo.’

Humanoids has announced a three-book deal with Eisner-nominated creator Ibrahim Moustafa (High Crimes, Jaeger) starting with a science fiction take on the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

Count will feature Redxan Samud, a man framed for treason and wrongfully imprisoned who escapes a “hover prison” and sets out for revenge.

“Ibrahim Moustafa’s Count is phenomenal,” said Humanoids Publisher Mark Waid. “Ibrahim has taken a classic text and brought a modern sensibility to it, with widescreen storytelling and clever reinvention. This book is a signpost for the kind of graphic novels that we’ll be publishing in the months and years to come.” 

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