Happy Back to the Future day everyone, and welcome to our mid-week edition of Comics Relief! In today’s installment, we’ve got news on a long forgotten Star Wars character making a comeback (sort of) as well as news on geek icons Stan Lee and William Shatner joining forces to conquer all media. First off however, here’s a little image from an upcoming Marvel book to cap off your Back to the Future Day celebration….
Deadpool and Cable Do Their Best Marty McFly & Doc Brown Impressions
In a nice bit of serendipity, comic book artist Reilly Brown released his cover for the second issue of Marvel’s upcoming limited series Deadpool and Cable: Split Second today, October 21st, which, as you probably are aware by this point, happens to be Back to the Future Day. The cover, which features Deadpool and Cable in the classic Marty McFly and Doc Brown poses from the movie poster, was completed some time ago, but it was just a happy “accident” that it was released to the public today. You can check out the full cover below. Deadpool and Cable: Split Second #2 arrives in stores in January, 2016. [Reilly Brown via Bleeding Cool]
Marvel Pays Homage to an Almost Forgotten Star Wars Character
In the galaxy of Star Wars, before there was Jar-Jar Binks there was Jaxxon. Jaxxon was an eight-foot-tall green rabbit, who just also happened to be a bounty hunter and friend of Han Solo — one of the first Star Wars characters created outside the films. He first appeared in Marvel’s Star Wars issue #8 in 1978, the first issue to go beyond the story of the movie. Jaxxon was created by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin in homage to Bugs Bunny, who in the old 1940’s cartoons often addressed strangers with the nickname “Jackson.”
He appeared several times after that, until (allegedly) George Lucas deemed the character “too silly” and Marvel removed him from the comics. Considering Lucas would make Jar Jar Binks some twenty years later, it’s a bit baffling, but there you have it. Jaxxon has only made sporadic appearances since then, but he’ll be making a cameo again on a Marvel Comics cover very soon, as the variant cover of Star Wars: Vader Down #1 has The Dark Lord facing off against none other than Jaxxon, in an image by artist Chip Zdarsky. The issue comes out on November 18, and you can see a preview of the cover below: [Comics Beat]
Writer Jason Aaron Signs Exclusive Marvel Deal
While we’re on the subject of Star Wars and Marvel, the biggest success story at Marvel this year wasn’t Secret Wars or Spider-Man or anything else, it’s the off-the-rails success of their newly relaunched Star Wars brand. At the forefront of all this is writer Jason Aaron’s ongoing Star Wars title, which launched this past January for over a million copies, a sales feat not accomplished since the ’90s.
Now Marvel has announced that writer Jason Aaron has renewed his exclusive agreement with the publisher. Aside from Star Wars, Aaron currently writes The Mighty Thor, now starring Jane Foster as the owner of the hammer Mjolnir, as well as Doctor Strange. In a statement, Aaron said, “I’ve worked with Marvel for a number of years on a lot of different titles and had a lot of fun along the way, but right now I am seriously having the most fun I’ve ever had in my entire career. Between The Mighty Thor, Doctor Strange and Star Wars, I have enough cool stuff on my plate to keep me happy for many many months to come.” This exclusive deal doesn’t affect Aaron’s creator-owned works at Image Comics. [Newsarama]
Comixology Has Huge Grant Morrison DC/Vertigo Sale
Attention, all you fans of the brilliant and eccentric writer Grant Morrison out there, specifically fans of his work at DC Comics and Vertigo over the years: As of right now, ComiXology has a huge sale on a rather large chunk of the author’s work at the DC, with most collections at least half off, and some even more so.
For about $4.99 a pop, you can get volumes of The Invisibles, Doom Patrol, We 3, and also his more mainstream DC superhero fare like Batman, JLA, Flash, and Final Crisis. Also included in the complete run of his little known (but very ahead of its time) superhero book Aztek: The Ultimate Man, which he co-wrote with Mark Millar. The Grant Morrison/DC sale ends on October 26th. You can access ComiXology’s Morrison sale by clicking here. [Comics Alliance]
William Shatner & Stan Lee Join Forces; Comics World Trembles at Their Might
William Shatner and Stan Lee: Aside from both men being shameless hams, they’re also two true icons and ambassadors of geek culture, and neither show any sign of slowing down, even though they are both in their twilight years. And yet, somehow they’ve never worked together….until now. The two have formally announced that they are working together for the very first time with the new comics imprint called Shatner Singularity. The imprint will release Stan Lee’s latest graphic novel, and also publish additional works by Shatner himself. More details are expected to be announced at Comikaze Expo 2015 during a panel that takes place on Sunday, November 1. [Comic Book Resources]
Marvel to Create More Characters for the Chinese Market
China has become the largest market for American films outside of the U.S., as evidenced by the massive opening of Ant-Man in that country this past week. While promoting the film at an event in China, Marvel’s Jeffrey Reingold and VP of Animation Steve Wacker told the audience that Marvel is working on creating characters that will “appeal to Chinese markets.” By that, one assumes, he means creating new characters that are ethnically Chinese.
Although Marvel has a handful of high profile Chinese characters, like Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu, as well as various minor X-Men characters and others, a push for diversity is always a good thing. While the main focus is Chinese characters for the Marvel films, chances are they’ll be introduced in the comics first. So don’t be surprised if a lot more Chinese characters start popping up in the comics here real soon. And let’s all hope that they’re not all just martial arts stereotypes. [Newsarama]
Iconic Green Lantern/Green Arrow Cover to Go up for Auction
The “Bronze Age of Comics,” from about 1970-1985, isn’t talked about as much as other eras like the Golden, Silver or Modern Ages of comics, but it did produce many important and relevant titles. One of the first of those was Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76, the first issue that paired the two emerald heroes together, and began a turn toward comics dealing with real world social issues.
Many cite this particular comic, with art by the legendary Neal Adams, as the first official “Bronze Age” book. Now, Heritage Auctions is going to auction off the original artwork for this cover, with full cooperation from artist Neal Adams, with proceeds going towards the Hero Initiative. The auction begins on October 30th, so if you’ve got the means and the money, this historic cover, which you can see below, could be yours. [Bleeding Cool]
IMAGES: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, BossLogic, comiXology