Hello to all you comic book fans out there, and welcome to your weekend edition of Comics Relief! Today we’ve got lots of news from Marvel, DC, IDW and more—as well as a comic book legend paying tribute to the late Alan Rickman. Read on for all the info on that, plus lots more comic booky goodness…
Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day Offering to Preview Civil War II and Introduce New Wasp
Marvel has revealed that their Free Comic Book Day offering this year of will be FCBD Civil War II #1. The special one-shot will come out just weeks before the debut of the Civil War II series by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez. This FCBD one-shot will be by Bendis and Jim Cheung, promising a “snapshot of the conflict that will split the Marvel Universe in two!” We revealed earlier this week that the new Civil War will be between Iron Man and Captain Marvel.
Even cooler, FCBD Civil War II #1 will have a back-up story by All-New All-Different Avengers writer Mark Waid and artist Alan Davis introducing an All-New Wasp. Considering that the Wasp in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp movie is set to be Hope Van Dyne, could that mean that we’ll get a version of Hope in the regular Marvel universe? I’d say bet on it. Although in the comics, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne never had a child, there was a Hope Van Dyne character who was their daughter from an alternate universe. We’ll find out for sure on Free Comic Book Day this year. [The Hollywood Reporter]
A-Force Gets a Creative Makeover This Spring
Although the all-female Avengers team A-Force series just made its post-Secret Wars debut, they are already schedule to get an all-new creative team this coming spring, with Jem & The Holograms writer Kelly Thompson and Prez artist Ben Caldwell.
Thompson was recently added to the series as a co-writer with G. Willow Wilson after the book was originally solicited. Now Thompson is now taking sole writing duties, starting with issue #5. Thompson says to expect A-Force to have “a different look and energy” than the first arc, and be bringing in “a couple exciting– and new!– guest stars.” You can see a preview for the cover of issue A-Force #5 below. [Newsarama]
Catwoman Pays Tribute to Michelle Pfeiffer
Since her first appearance in Batman #1 way back in 1940, Catwoman, a.k.a. Selina Kyle, has always been portrayed as a dark-haired beauty. The only time that Catwoman has been potrayed as a blonde bombshell type was when actress Michelle Pfeiffer played the role in Tim Burton’s 1992 sequel Batman Returns, and the first season of Batman: The Animated Series (which debuted shortly after Batman Returns, and probably wanted to tie in).
Now in the latest issue of Catwoman, issue #48 by Frank Tieri & Inaki Miranda, Selina bleaches her hair blonde when going into hiding, in an obvious tribute to Pfeiffer. In fact, references to Pfeiffer films like Scarface and Ladyhawke are thrown in for good measure, just in case you didn’t get it. You can see the panel from the issue below. [Bleeding Cool]
Star Wars’ Poe Dameron Gets His Own Ongoing Comic Series
One of Marvel’s biggest bright spots this year has been their Star Wars line of books, and they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime in 2016. Although the books have so far mostly focused on the original trilogy timeline, it now looks like The Force Awakens era is going to be touched upon in the new Star Wars: Poe Dameron series from writer Charles Soule and artist Phil Noto, coming to comic shops this April. This series will take place shortly before Episode VII, and feature Poe as he looks for the final clue to the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker. For more on this new book, check out our full story here: [Nerdist]
IDW Launches “Art Appreciation Month” This April
In April, IDW is launching “Art Appreciation Month,” with variant covers for all of their titles based on famous works of fine art. Among the covers revealed so far are Cory Smith’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles tribute to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (which you can see below) as well as variant cover to G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #227 by Juan Carlos Ruiz, where he pays homage the famous painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David. Other titles to get fine art homages as part of this promotion are Back to the Future, Star Trek, Transformers, and X-Files. [Comics Alliance]
Artist Bill Sienkiewicz Pays Tribute to Alan Rickman
As if it wasn’t awful enough that this week we had to say our final goodbyes to the amazing David Bowie, we also lost another legendary British artist when actor Alan Rickman, best known as Severus Snape in Harry Potter, Hans Gruber in Die Hard, and for dozens of other roles, also passed away from cancer at age 69.
Just like with Bowie, the comic book and entertainment community has been showing their appreciation for the late actor in all kinds of tweets and blog posts they’ve been sharing online. The best of these, however, has to be from legendary comics artist Bill Sienkiewicz (New Mutants), who did this amazing piece and posted it to his Facebook. You can see the image for youself below: [Bleeding Cool]
DC Announces John Romita Jr. Variant Covers Coming in April
For decades, artist John Romita Jr. went hand in hand with Marvel Comics. But over the last few years, Romita has switched over to rival DC Comics, first for a run on Superman with Geoff Johns, and now for an upcoming prequel to The Dark Knight Returns, with teams him up with Brian Azzarello and Frank Miller.
Now for the month of April, John Romita Jr is getting a crack at drawing almost all the DC superheroes for a John Romita Jr.-themed month of variant covers. There will be some 26 covers in total, and you can check them all out in our gallery below. [Newsarama]
IMAGES: Marvel Comics/DC Comics/IDW Comics/Bill Sienkiewicz/Lucasfilm