Bendis and Marquez jump-start the Justice League

A new era begins in ‘Justice League’ #59, which ‘includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.’

[Note: This post contains spoilers for the lead story in Justice League #59. The issue also includes a Justice League Dark installment, which was creepy and suspenseful, but won’t be discussed here.]

Last year’s trip through the Justice League’s 60-year history got as far as the start of the “Snyder Era.” (No, not that Snyder — Scott Snyder.) Because some of us still have a slight Death Metal hangover, a post on those years is still TBA. Regardless, the “Bendis Era” began this week with May 2021’s Justice League #59. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by David Marquez and colored by Tamra Bonvillain, it includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.

Chief among them is the notion that the Leaguers have lives outside this book. At the risk of being redundant, the point of an all-star team is the interaction of characters who can each carry their own features. Sure, you can craft a perfectly entertaining adventure by dropping a handful of heroes into a standalone story, but the best League runs have incorporated larger DC continuity to one degree or another. (Somewhat ironically, the Bendis Era begins just as DC has decided to have free-range continuity.)

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Morrison + Child + Franquiz + Bonvillain take a trip down ‘Proctor Valley Road’

The horror miniseries debuts from BOOM! Studios in March.

BOOM! Studios has announced Proctor Valley Road, a new miniseries from the team of Grant Morrison, TV writer Alex Child, artist Naomi Franquiz and colorist Tamra Bonvillain. The comic is being developed in partnership with NBCUniversal, who hope to turn it into a TV series.

“I fell in love with these characters when I read Alex’s original series proposal and I’ve had an amazing time working with him and with Naomi to bring them to life for a spooky rollercoaster ride that feels like Nancy Drew on ‘shrooms!” said Morrison. “Get your kicks…on Proctor Valley Road!”

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Fund Me Friday | ‘The Trap,’ ‘Foundlings’ and Christmas with Karl Kesel

Check out crowdfunding campaigns featuring John Stanisci, Emma Kubert, Kyle Higgins, Lance Briggs, Danilo Beyruth, Liana Kangas, Scott Bryan Wilson, Ross Radke 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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‘Dune meets Asterix & Obelix’ in ‘Ludocrats’

Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, Jeff Stokely, Tamra Bonvillain and Clayton Cowles team for a ludicrous new series from Image.

It’s been a long and winding road for co-writers Kieron Gillen and Jim Rossignol’s Ludocrats, a comic first announced at the Image Expo in 2015 (that’s the same year Paper Girls and Monstress were announced). Since that time, original artist David Lafuente has been replaced by Jeff Stokely, and the book is now on schedule for an April 1 (no foolin’) release.

“It’s a fantasy adventure,” Gillen said in his email newsletter. “The ‘Dune meets Asterix & Obelix’ is the most accurate way of describing it, which is why we lobbed it in the previews. There’s others. Imagine Pratchett if instead of being a kind and brilliant humanist, he was a complete shithead. Imagine the Neverending Story for adults, if not grown-ups.  Imagine imagining. We can and will go on.”

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‘Once and Future’ fills the ‘Doctor Aphra shape’ in Kieron Gillen’s heart

Check out a preview of the upcoming series from BOOM! Studios.

Fans of Kieron Gillen’s work on Doctor Aphra, The Wicked and the Divine and Die don’t have long to wait for their next fix. In advance of this week’s Comic-Con International, BOOM! Studios released a preview and a trailer for his six-issue miniseries “Once and Future,” with artist Dan Mora and colorist Tamra Bonvillain.

“I’ve just finished an issue of this before writing this newsletter, and I’m enjoying writing Bridgette and Duncan enormously,” Gillen said in his email newsletter this week. “It’s definitely filled the Doctor Aphra shape in my heart, in terms of doing blackly funny adventure fiction. In this case, with a lot of horror notes.”

Check out the trailer and some preview pages below.

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Ellis, Villalobos, Bonvillain revive ‘WildCATS’ [Update: It’s been cancelled]

The new series launches in August and follows Ellis’ work on ‘The Wild Storm.’

Update: As of March 3, 2020, Warren Ellis has said that this project is cancelled. “The artist didn’t want to draw it after all and no replacement was found,” he wrote on his blog.

Original story below:

Warren Ellis’ adventures in the Wildstorm universe aren’t coming to an end as quickly as we thought. Although The Wild Storm comes to an end in a couple of issues, DC Comics has announced Ellis will write a six-issue WildCATS miniseries that spins out of it.

“The first line I wrote down for WildCATS was: ‘Saving the human race from the human race,’” Ellis said in the press release.  “It’s a team made up of people who have seen the worst in everybody and everything, and yet still put themselves in frankly absurd amounts of jeopardy just so tomorrow might be a little bit better. And it’s a short series, so I might just kill them all. Come and see what happens. The art is great.”

And that’s the really good news is he’s working with the former Border Town art team of Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. The Vertigo series Border Town ended prematurely because of the behavior of its writer, and it was a shame the art team was caught in the wake. So it’s good to see the two of them back together, working on the flagship title of the WildStorm universe.

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Comics Lowdown: Eric M. Esquivel fired from ‘Nightwing,’ ‘Border Town’ cancelled

Plus: Free Comics Book Day, George Freeman, Marie Javins and more!

Although it wasn’t yet announced, DC Comics has said Eric M. Esquivel will no longer co-write Nightwing. The news that Esquivel was writing the book was to be revealed today in DC’s January solicitations.

The news follows the cancellation of Border Town, a well-reviewed series Esquivel wrote with artists Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. Both Villalobos and Bonvillain announced on social media they had quit the title after allegations of sexual abuse against Esquivel became public. In a piece titled “X, my experience with my abuser,” toy designer Cynthia Naugle detailed a history of abuse by a co-worker at a comic shop, who has since been identified as Esquivel.

Neither DC Comics nor Vertigo have commented directly on the abuse allegations. Esquivel, who had changed his Twitter account to private following the allegations, has now made it public again and posted several tweets in response. At Book Riot, writer S.W. Sondheimer says she will no longer cover Vertigo titles as a result of their silence on the matter.

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‘Champions’ gets a new first issue, new art team and international focus

Writer Jim Zub welcomes the ‘Wayward’ art team of Steven Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain to the series.

At New York Comic Con, Champions and Wayward writer Jim Zub was on hand to announce two new projects — including a relaunch of Marvel’s “teens saving the world” team The Champions.

The comic will receive a new #1 in January, along with a new art team — one Zub knows well. He’ll be joined by Steven Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain, who he worked with on the Image series Wayward. Zub explained the reason for the reboot on his blog.

“The response to my Champions stories has been great so far and many of the single issues have gone into second printings, but in the current retail climate the simple truth is that readers look to issue #1’s as a clear jumping on point for stories and characters,” Zub said. “When new Marvel Editor-In-Chief CB Cebulski came on board I was already announced as the writer of Champions with issue #19 and so, as other Marvel series have been getting Fresh Start issue #1’s to mark important story changes and signal to readers and retailers that they have big plans, it was decided that Champions should get the same treatment in the new year. Marvel is really happy with what I’ve been doing and they want to make sure more people know about it and get on board.”

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Thompson, Carnero blast off with ‘Captain Marvel’ this January

Carol Danvers returns to New York in a new series.

Marvel will kick off 2019 with the launch of a new Captain Marvel series, which lands just two months before the film of the same name debuts. Writer Kelly Thompson, who has been very prolific at the publisher in recent months, will work with artists Carmen Carnero and Tamra Bonvillain on the series.

This is Thompson’s second time to work on the character; she previously teamed with Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps in 2015.

Amanda Conner provides the cover for the first issue:

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