Marvel will debut the new character Somnus in ‘Marvel’s Voices: Pride’

Steve Orlando, Claudia Aguirre and Luciano Vecchio bring the new character to life.

The Marvel’s Voice: Pride anthology arrives in June, and when it does, it will bring the debut of a new character — Somnus, who will appear in a story written by Steve Orlando and drawn by Claudia Aguirre.

“Somnus, Carl Valentino, is inspired not only by my own family history, but by my experiences with past generations of LGBTQ+ folks from across the country, people I wouldn’t have met without comics,” Orlando said. “While there is still plenty of work to do, we’ve also come a long way as a community. Somnus is a chance to explore how my own late queer relatives may have felt, living in more prejudiced times. He’s also a chance to celebrate past generations as a whole and acknowledge the strides we’ve made that they may not have lived to see.”

The character was designed by artist Luciano Vecchio, who also provides a variant cover featuring Somnus:

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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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AfterShock makes a Seismic shift to YA content

The company launches a new line of young adult comics, starting with ‘Rainbow Bridge’ by Steve Orlando, Steve Foxe and Valentina Brancati.

AfterShock Comics will begin publishing comics aimed at young adults under a new imprint, Seismic Comics, starting with Rainbow Bridge by Steve Orlando, Steve Foxe and Valentina Brancati.

“AfterShock’s mission has always been to push readers out of their comfort zones and defy expectations – providing top creators and up-and-coming storytellers with an opportunity to tell the stories they’ve always wanted to tell in the ways they’ve always wanted to tell them,” said Editor-in-Chief Mike Marts. “With Seismic Press, our mission is to apply the same high-quality approach to content, talent selection and presentation but extend it to a much wider audience and demographic.”

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Marvel announces ‘Marvel’s Voices: Pride’ #1

The anthology will feature new stories by Kieron Gillen, Olivier Coipel, Steve Orlando, Anthony Oliveira, Tini Howard, Vita Ayala, Kris Anka, Javier Garrón and more.

Marvel has announced their plans for Pride Month, which include a new issue of their Marvel Voices featuring their “first-ever queer-centered special spotlighting Marvel’s growing tapestry of LGBTQ+ characters.” They also plan to have a series of variant covers drawn by Phil Jimenez.

Contributors to the anthology issue include Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Kieron Gillen, Olivier Coipel, Steve Orlando, Anthony Oliveira, Tini Howard, Vita Ayala, Kris Anka, Javier Garrón and Luciano Vecchio, who provides the issue’s cover.

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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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Orlando + Piazzalunga explore the death and return of a superhero in ‘Project Patron’

“Altruism is often greed in a well-designed mask.”

Steve Orlando and Patrick Piazzalunga will explore the death and (faux) rebirth of a superhero in a new series for AfterShock Comics.

Project Patron is “The Death of Superman” meets Voltron, as the powers that be decide to create a “reploid” of their world’s greatest — and now dead — superhero. That reploid is controlled by a team of anonymous pilots.

“When the world loses its greatest hero, those in power fear what we’ll do without him, so they bring him back to life the best they can and replace him with a Reploid. This is the story of the team that pilots that Reploid, the people secretly behind the Patron’s continued heroism, and the incredible sacrifices they make,” Orlando said. “Piloting the Patron Reploid might be the greatest thrill in history, but it comes at a price: total anonymity, and a gig where every flight knocks a year off your life. The pressures on the team are enormous… so when a tragedy strikes at the heart of Project Patron, the world hangs in the balance as the greatest secret in modern history trembles on the brink of revelation.”

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Marvel will celebrate Man-Thing’s 50th anniversary next year

Steve Orlando and Francesco Mobili put Man-Thing at the center of a worldwide threat, starting in ‘Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1.’

Marvel will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the debut of Man-Thing next year with three comics featuring the muck monster by Steve Orlando and Francesco Mobili.

Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 kicks things off, “the start of a three-part Marvel Universe-spanning saga that will redefine one of Marvel’s most unique characters for a new age.” Each issue will focus on a different corner of the Marvel Universe, starting with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

“It’s a huge honor to be asked to make my debut as part of a character’s anniversary. There’s an incredible amount of faith and opportunity there, and it’s something I never take lightly!” Orlando told the website Bloody Disgusting. “It is honestly amazing to be welcomed to Marvel and tell this nailbiter of a story that’s going to remind people just how unique Man-Thing is. He’ll be better positioned than ever to shock and scare readers and villains alike, but first he’ll have to survive an attack that cuts him to his core and sets the Marvel Universe ablaze.”

Man-Thing was created by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway and Gray Morrow. making his first appearance in 1971’s Savage Tales #1. Since then, he’s had his own ongoing title, several miniseries and has appeared in other comics like Avengers and Thunderbolts.

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Mail Call | New ‘Avatar,’ ‘Abbott’ and a ‘Batgirl’ debut

Check out recent news and announcements from DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Following the end of the Joker War storyline, DC’s current Batgirl series will wrap up with its extra-sized 50th issue this Tuesday. DC has revealed that this issue will also see the debut of Ryan Wilder, the character taking over the Batwoman mantle on The CW’s Batwoman TV show.

Will this new character also take over as Batwoman in the comics? I guess we’ll find out. You can see a preview of that issue here.

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The Justice League at 60, Part 10: Rebirth on repeat

Tom Bondurant wraps up (for now) his series looking back at 60 years of the Justice League with a look at the most recent era.

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

The New 52 lasted four years and nine months, from August 31, 2011 to May 25, 2016. On each of those Wednesdays, DC Comics released one universe-changing big-event issue and one issue of Justice League. In 2011 it was Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1; and in 2016 it was Justice League #50 and the DC Universe Rebirth special. All were written by Geoff Johns, still one of DC’s main guiding forces even as his attention shifted away from comics. The DCU Rebirth issue kicked off a months-long apology-in-print marked by “Rebirth” banners on all of the superhero books’ covers. This publishing strategy aimed to reintroduce elements of the DC Universe which the New 52 had stripped away, including the pre-New 52 Superman – who, as a distinct character, had been living in a sort of multiversal fishbowl – and the classic version of Wally “Flash” West. Among other things, this meant that Superman was now the newest member of the Justice League, since he replaced his late New 52 predecessor.

Although those cover banners were gone by February 2018, in terms of continuity we may still be in the “Rebirth” era today. Among other things, DCU Rebirth set up Doomsday Clock, the 12-issue miniseries from Johns and Gary Frank. Going on sale November 22, 2017 (cover date January 2018), it would explain how Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan had changed the DC timeline into the New 52, and how he would change it back.

Well, back-ish.

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Orlando + Tinto investigate the death of compassion in ‘Commanders in Crisis’

The new series debuts from Image Comics in October.

Following his well-received runs on comics like Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman and Midnighter, Steve Orlando will next take his superhero sensibilities to Image Comics for a creator-owned series, Commanders in Crisis, with artist Davide Tinto (IDW’s Marvel Action: Spider-Man).

Commanders in Crisis is all the energy and creativity I’ve served for the past five years, now completely unchained!” said Orlando. “No rules, no restraints, the type of strange and passionate ideas that brought me into the medium in the first place. Comics should be bold, comics should be big, and comics should be badass. This is my first freelance launch since 2015, and we’re taking a nuclear shot across the bow. No vanilla vengeance here! This is a fight for comics as they need to be.”

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Orlando + Tormey reopen the book of the ‘Darkhold’ at Marvel

The notorious tomb returns to the Marvel Universe — lands in the hands of Doctor Doom.

Former DC-exclusive writer Steve Orlando will make his debut for Marvel on a book of mystical proportions — Darkhold, named for the evil text that exists within the Marvel Universe. Darkhold Alpha #1, which suggests it’s tied to a bigger event, will come out in June.

Orlando will team with artist Cian Tormey on the comic, which features a cover by Greg Smallwood.

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DC announces line-up for milestone ‘Wonder Woman’ #750

Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Joëlle Jones and more contribute to the Amazon’s anniversary celebration.

Wonder Woman’s 750th issue arrives in January, and DC has revealed an all-star line-up of talent to help her celebrate.

The 96-page issue will include contributions from popular Woman Woman scribes Greg Rucka and Gail Simone, as well as Vita Ayala, Marguerite Bennett, Jeff Loveness, Kami Garcia, Shannon and Dean Hale, Mariko Tamaki  and current Wonder Woman writer Steve Orlando.

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