Welcome to the weekend “Batman Day” edition of Comics Relief! To celebrate the Dark Knight’s big day, we’ve got a few Bat-related news items in today’s column, including every variant cover released (so far) for this year’s third and final chapter in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight saga. But before we get to the Bat, we have news on another long-gestating project over at Marvel that might be finally seeing the light of day in the not-too-distant future. Read on for more info…
Is Genndy Tartakovsky’s Luke Cage Mini-Series Finally coming to Marvel after 8 years?
Way back in 2007 or so, animator Genndy Tartakovsky, best known for his shows Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and the original 2D Clone Wars series, as well as the movie Hotel Transylvania, announced a 1970’s-era set Luke Cage four-issue mini-series for Marvel. For various reasons, the book never happened, despite a lot of promo artwork being shown by Marvel at the time.
Then this week, in an interview with IGN, Tartakovsky revealed that not only has he already written and drawn much of the series, he’s very down to finish it. He says “The deal was, I agreed to do the comic as long as I had no schedule, and I actually finished all the pencils and part of the inking, and it was just a matter of continuing on. Then I think I got into Sym-Bionic Titan, and then into the features, and then I got too busy — and I think my contact at Marvel left. I actually just found them last week, all my pencils, and I was like, ‘Oh, this still stands up! It’d be fun to finish it.”
Nevertheless, Marvel’s Tom Brevoort heard Tartakovsky’s comments loud and clear, and replied to a fan’s question on whether or not Marvel was still interested in publishing the series, to which he said “Sure, he should reach out to me.” With Luke Cage getting a TV show via Netflix next year, wouldn’t now be the perfect time to bring this series out? Captain America: White happened after seven years of false starts, so anything is possible, I say. Make it happen Marvel! [Comic Book Resources]
Marvel Announces Mockingbird and Moon Knight Series for 2016
While Luke Cage may be coming to All-New Marvel, the publisher has announced two other characters are getting new series starting next year. First one at the plate is Mockingbird; the former Mrs. Hawkeye has gone from “long dead girlfriend of famous male hero” to being a primary player on TV’s Agents of SHIELD in just a few short years. Now Marvel has announced, at this year’s Diamond retailer’s summit in Baltimore, that Bobbie Morse will be getting her own ongoing series, written by novelist Chelsea Cain. No artist or release date was given for the new series, although it is expected sometime in early 2016. Chelsea Cain recently wrote for the character of Mockingbird in the S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary one-shot that came out recently. Could that one-shot a “backdoor” pilot for the new series? It’s looking pretty likely.
Also announced for All-New, All-Different Marvel is a new ongoing series for Moon Knight in 2016, coming from writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood. Smallwood provided art on one of the story arcs of the previous Moon Knight series, and is joined by colorist Jordie Bellaire who worked on the entire last volume. In this latest series, Marc Spector is a forced resident of a mental institution. According to Lemire, “I want to write one of the very best Moon Knight stories ever, One that touches on every aspect of the character’s history and also breaks new ground and shows readers a Moon Knight they’ve never seen before.” [Newsarama, Comic Book]
Dark Horse to celebrate 30 Years with special anniversary variant cover series
Next year, Dark Horse Comics turns 30, and to celebrate, they will be releasing a series of 30th Anniversary variant covers featuring a variety of the company’s characters and creators. Kicking off the birthday festivities in January will be a special Dark Horse 30th Anniversary variant for the Hellboy Winter Special drawn by the character’s creator, Mike Mignola. Expect a lot more variants to be previewed before year’s end, and it should be pointed out – 2016 is Dark Horse’s 30th B-day and the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s movie Aliens, a property that has had a long standing with Dark Horse. They’ve got to be cooking something up with that anniversary in mind, right? [Bleeding Cool]
Image Comics to release special limited edition Bitch Planet hardcover edition
One of the most talked about new series coming from Image Comics over the past year or so has been Bitch Planet from writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Valentine De Landro, a dystopian sci-fi book which centers on a group of women imprisoned off-world for being “non-compliant” towards men.
Now, in a special push to celebrate Local Comic Shop Day on November 28th, DeConnick, De Landro, and Image Comics have partnered with ComicsPRO, a retail association comprised of comic book shops, to release a special limited hardcover edition of Bitch Planet‘s first volume. According to the Image press release, “participating retailers will have exclusive, and in some cases, limited items debuting from supporting publishers.” This special hardcover edition of Bitch Planet features cover art by artist Filipe Andrade and is limited to only 750 copies, so good luck in getting a copy; to quote another female-centric dystopian tale, “may the odds be ever in your favor.” [Comics Beat]
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers coming to BOOM! Studios in January 2016
Earlier this year, BOOM! Studios made ’90s kids all across the world happy when they announced they would begin publishing a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic in partnership with Saban Brands. Now it’s been officially announced that issue #0 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers will debut from BOOM! in January of next year.
The series will be written by Kyle Higgins, best known for his work on DC Gotham books such as Batman Eternal and Nightwing, and with an artist to be named at a later date. The #0 issue will also include a short story that was released as part of a promotional campaign during this past summer’s San Diego Comic Con. You can see the new White Ranger cover below, and for the rest of the covers for the first issue, click on the following link: [Entertainment Weekly]
DC “Coloring Book” Covers coming in January
“Adult Coloring Books” have become all the rage lately, with Marvel putting out a Secret Wars coloring book as well as a Deadpool one in recent months. Now, rival DC is going to try to one-up them, as the publisher has announced that coming in January, they will launch a themed variant line of black and white covers. Not the usual “black-and-white” sketchbook kind, but ones that are specifically made to get colored, Crayola style. The first artist announced for this new series is Dave Johnson, who is doing a Batman related cover, as revealed at the Baltimore Retailer’s Summit this week. No doubt more will turn up by the time DC releases their January 2016 solicitations next month. [Bleeding Cool]
More Dark Knight III Variants Revealed
DC is planning an avalanche of variant covers from a series of comics’ biggest names, with some forty covers announced so far, for Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello’s highly anticipated first issue of Dark Knight III: The Master Race. DC has now released several more covers this week, this time from artists like Kenneth Roccafort, Ivan Reis, ArtGerm, Tim Sale, Dave Gibbons and Michael Allred.
If you’re looking for clues as to what the series is about via the cover previews, you’re out of luck though; so far, all the covers are homages to the classic Dark Knight Returns (with one an homage to the less beloved Dark Knight 2.) You can check out their newly revealed covers, along with all the other covers revealed so far, in our gallery below. The first issue of The Dark Knight III: The Master Race hits on November 25th. [Comic Book