Welcome to another edition of Comics Relief, where this week we ponder just what the heck is up with all these Marvel events making a return, try and guess just what Mark Millar has got up his sleeve, and more. So let’s get started with the latest from Marvel’s seemingly endless teases surrounding Secret Wars. Or at least what we think is Secret Wars...it is a secret after all….
Marvel Teases Years of Future Past, Planet Hulk, and Armor Wars
Marvel continues to tease old events coming back in a new way this week, as they released images for X-Men: Days of Future Past (or actually Years of Future Past), Planet Hulk, and Armor Wars, all said to be coming in Summer 2015. The Years of Future Past image is from artist Art Adams, who a lot of fans might remember as the cover artist for Classic X-Men back in the day as well as New Mutants, making this retro cover even more appropriate. Marvel still is being secretive about what all these old events coming back means, but the general consensus is that it all has something to do with Secret Wars.
Female Characters in Comics
Here’s the good news: According to some recent research by FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver’s website that applies data to various subjects (most famously American elections), the ratio of female to male characters in mainstream superhero comics is improving, and more LGBT characters are showing up in Marvel and DC’s pages. Having said that however, it seems the numbers still aren’t that encouraging. According to the report, “female characters make up only 30.9 percent of the DC universe and 30.6 percent of the Marvel universe.” I guess some improvement is better than no improvement, but it shows we have quite the ways to go still.
Mark Millar’s Mystery Project
Mark Millar is one of those comic book writers who likes to talk a big game about upcoming projects, and you can add another one to that list; on his message board, he’s been teasing a 10-issue series that has a lot of people guessing that this could be his first DC Comics work since 2003’s Superman: Red Son, and possibly involving some of those characters again. Posting a page of artwork this morning on his message board, Millar asked members to guess the artist, the project and which “well-known superheroes” are shown, promising that all would be revealed soon. He then offered four clues as to what the project is, stating:
1/ These are huge superheroes.
2/ I have written TWO of these characters before.
3/ It relates to a very major series (or is that special project?) I have written in my past.
4/ The last time I worked with this artist is the gift that keeps on giving.
Clark Kent, is that you? If you ask me, it looks like the classic Justice League at the offices of Sterling Cooper & Partners from Mad Men.
Did Grant Morrison almost write Spawn (again)? Bleeding Cool seems to think so. They ran a rumor last summer that Morrison was planning a follow up to his three issue stint on the book from the nineties in a new series, but it wasn’t announced at either San Diego or New York Comic Cons. Instead, a new Spawn series from Brian Wood called Spawn Resurrected was announced instead. However, a very senior source told Bleeding Cool that a number of artists had been approached to draw the book, and sold on the idea that it would be written by Morrison doing the writing. It hasn’t materialized yet, but could it still eventually be in the pipeline? Who knows! That Grant Morrison is a busy man after all.
The Flash, DC’s latest television star, turns 75 years old next year (well, the Jay Garrick version does, but why pick nits.) To celebrate, DC is releasing a 17 different variant covers in January, all featuring the Scarlet Speedster zipping his way through classic DC cover images. Check them all out here.
The first issue of the New Ms. Marvel series, which features an all-new Muslim-American teenager in the role, wasn’t expected by many to be a success, but it has just joined the ranks of such books as Justice League #1 and Avengers vs X-Men#1 in getting a seventh printing. Getting a seventh printing is no small achievement these days, so congrats to writer G. Willow Wilson and everyone else involved.
Marvel may be adding Star Wars to their line-up very soon, but long time Star Wars rights holder Dark Horse isn’t quite done with the Galaxy far, far away just yet; Dark Horse is the latest in a long line of publishers to offer up a “Humble Bundle” comics package, and this one is all Star Wars comics. This is about $190 worth of comics available in the deal, and all it takes is $15 to get everything. The proceeds can be split any way buyers want between Dark Horse and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The comics are available in CBZ and PDF formats, and are DRM-free. The offer ends Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. Pacific time.
So the Harley Quinn Annual coming up from DC Comics has created quite the controversy; the scratch n’ sniff cover smells like…well, check out the house ad for the actual comic, it kind of speaks for itself
What do you make of today’s top stories? Let us know in the comments below!