Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Worlds of Wonder: Comics at the Con

We present to you the juiciest comic news from Comic-Con ... because someone’s got to do it.

AH, San Diego Comic-Con. How we love you so. Even though we’re not there, our inner fanboy compelled us to seek out and absorb every bit of information that we could sniff out in that maelstrom of pop culture.

This year, it seems that the endless stream of movie and TV revelations drowned out the comic-related news a little. So we decided to dive deep into the multiverse of Comic-Con to search for some of the most interesting comic-related news, just to save you the trouble. You’re welcome.

Star Wars goes back to Marvel

Poor Dark Horse. After years of minding its own business, churning out comic after comic for Star Wars, in swoops Disney to blow up that particular cash cow by the simple act of ... buying over the entire franchise, lock, stock and barrel.

And if that wasn’t insult enough, Marvel (which used to publish Star Wars comics way before Dark Horse, it has to be said) had to go and make a HUGE announcement that it would be releasing three Star Wars comics in 2015, even before Dark Horse’s licence runs out.

Star Wars Princess Leia #1 by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson.
Star Wars Princess Leia #1 by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson.

The first, simply named Star Wars, is written by Jason Aaron with art by John Cassady, and will focus on events after the first Death Star’s destruction; it will feature Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia. Then, there’s Star Wars: Darth Vader, by writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca, which will go over to the Dark Side and take Vader’s perspective as he copes with his defeat.

Last but not least, writer extraordinaire Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Daredevil) will be penning Star Wars: Princess Leia in March, with art by Terry Dodson.

David Mack will be providing the covers for Dark Horse's upcoming Fight Club 2 series.
David Mack will be providing the covers for Dark Horse’s upcoming Fight Club 2 series.

Dark Horse gallops on

Don’t worry about Dark Horse’s future though. It seems to be doing fine without Star Wars anyway. After all, it still has that man Mike Mignola churning out his cult favourite Hellboy and B.P.R.D. comics; titles based on Joss Whedon’s properties such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse and Firefly; as well as a healthy production line of excellent creator-owned titles such as Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT and Brian Wood’s The Massive. It also has its own superhero imprint now – Project Black Sky – which includes characters like Captain Midnight, Skyman, Ghost, Blackout, X, Brain Boy and The Occultist.

The big announcement that got us more than a little excited however, was that Dark Horse would also be publishing a sequel to cult movie Fight Club soon, in comic form! The author of the original Fight Club novel, Chuck Palahniuk himself, will be penning Fight Club 2, which will be drawn by Cameron Stewart, with covers by David Mack.

Oh. and Mignola’s writing Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. too, due out this December. Looks like these guys aren’t dark horses anymore.

Mark Waid will be penning S.H.I.E.L.D. #1, which will feature the team from the TV show Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mark Waid will be penning S.H.I.E.L.D. #1, which will feature the team from the TV show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

S.H.I.E.L.D.s up!

Never mind the female Thor and the black Captain America – the Marvel news that got us more excited was that Mark Waid (yeah, him again) will also be writing the new series S.H.I.E.L.D., which will star agent Phil Coulson and the team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents he leads in the TV show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Yes, that means characters introduced in the TV show such as Melinda “The Cavalry” May, Skye the hacker, and the Fitz/Simmons double scientist act will be making their comic book debuts soon.

Have you ever watched the series and wished that there were more superheroes in it? Well, Waid has said that the comic will be based in current Marvel continuity and be completely independent from the Marvel TV and cinematic universe; so the comic should see Coulson’s team interact with many more superheroes than the TV series’ budget would allow!

A Star Trek/Planet Of the Apes crossover? We're hoping it will involve someone yelling KING KAAAAAAHN!
A Star Trek/Planet Of the Apes crossover? We’re hoping it will involve someone yelling KING KAAAAAAHN!

Crossover chaos

Here’s a fun fact: IDW owns the licence for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Star Trek, and many more film and TV-related properties. And since comics is a medium where pretty much anything goes, the folks at IDW decided to mix up some of these licences, just for the heck of it.

So it was that IDW announced during SDCC that it would be publishing a pair of crossover titles involving properties we never thought could share universes. The titles? Ghostbusters/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Trek/Planet Of The Apes (for the record, the Planet Of The Apes license is owned by BOOM! Studios). Yeah, we didn’t see those coming either.

Anyway, IDW also announced new comics for its other licences, such as Orphan Black, Edward Scissorhands, The Garbage Pail Kids (!), and … Galaxy Quest! Never give up, never surrender!

Image Comics

We didn’t get much news from Image beyond what we already knew; but heck, we’re sticking it in the list because it is still awesome. Plus, Saga just won a bunch of Eisners, so you know the publisher is legit. If you’re not reading its creator-owned stuff right now, you’re missing out on some of the best comics in the market right now. Oh, and you too, Vertigo. Stay awesome, please.

DC's Multiversity kicks off on Aug 20 with the Ivan Reis and Joe Prado-illustrated The Multiversity #1.
DC’s Multiversity kicks off on Aug 20 with the Ivan Reis and Joe Prado-illustrated The Multiversity #1.

Multiversity beckons

Where does that leave DC Comics then? Well, amid the Batman 75 celebrations and usual New 52 announcements, it was down to a certain Grant Morrison to raise the biggest wave from the publisher, thanks to his ambitious Multiversity event, due this month.

From way back in 2009, Morrison had already laid out plans for the project, which would involve eight standalone stories set on different DC Earths (there are 52 in total, by the way), all of which would be connected in some way.

During a panel dedicated to Multiversity, Morrison revealed a map that charted the multiverse of all 52 Earths, as well as important locations and elements of the DC Universe such as the Speed Force, the Source Wall, Apokolips, New Genesis, and so on; and talked about the eight issues that would make up the entirety of the event, which kicks off on Aug 20 with the Ivan Reis and Joe Prado-illustrated The Multiversity #1.

To tell the truth, we’re still a little confused over the whole thing, but hey, it’s Grant Morrison. If it’s not confusing, he’s not doing it right. But anyway, excuse us while we go gawk at that awesome new LEGO Batmobile Tumbler they just announced.

Related story:
Eisner Awards winners

Tags / Keywords: comics , book news , graphic novels , Worlds of Wonder , DC Comics , Marvel Comics , Star Wars , Image Comics


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