Time for your weekend edition of Comics Relief, where in today’s installement, we lead with the surprise cancellation of one of Marvel’s most popular titles. Read on for all the details….
Marvel Cancels Darth Vader – Spidey Better Watch Out for Force Chokes.
Despite its position as one of Marvel’s best selling titles, the publisher has decided to cancel their Darth Vader ongoing series with August’s issue #25. According to writer Kieron Gillen “It was a situation where, you know, we’ve always said all the way through, from Darth Vader #1, that this was a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. And we kind of looked where we were after (crossover event) Vader Down, and we realized we were probably actually nearer to the end than we thought we were. And it was a situation where we were like, ‘Okay, it’s better to actually end this story in a way which we think is the most effective. We don’t want to pad it out extraneously.’
Of course, just because this is the end of this particular iteration of a Darth Vader solo series, it doesn’t mean we won’t get another one down the line, especially since all the Star Wars titles have been doing really well for Marvel overall. And you know it’s hard to keep a good Sith Lord down. [IGN]
Artist Darwyn Cooke Receiving Palliative Care For Cancer
This is the kind of news you hate having to report, every single time you have to report it. Darwyn Cooke, the incredible retro-style illustrator best known for his epic mini-series DC: The New Frontier (which was later adapted as an animated film) is receiving palliative care for an aggressive form of cancer. This was reported in a blog post by Cooke’s wife, Marsha. In a post labelled simply as “fuck cancer”, she said the following:
“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce Darwyn is now receiving palliative care following a bout with aggressive cancer. His brother Dennis and I, along with our families appreciate the outpouring of support we have received. We ask for privacy as we go through this very difficult time. Urgent inquiries please contact David Hyde [email protected]”
Besides New Frontier, Cooke is best known for his four adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels at IDW. He won the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue for his work on Solo #5 in 2005, and he designed the current Catwoman costume for DC back in 2002, which the character still uses. In the world of animation, Cooke also worked on beloved shows like Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series for Bruce Timm, and he animated the opening titles sequence for Batman Beyond. From everyone here at Nerdist, our thoughts are with Darwyn Cooke and his family. [Comic Book]
Dark Horse Releasing Smite: The Pantheon War OGN
Publisher Dark Horse Comics has just announced a collected edition for its three-issue digital-first series Smite: The Pantheon War, which is based on the hit MOBA Smite: Battleground of the Gods video game. This would collect the entire run by writer John Jackson Miller and co-writer Jack Banish and artist Eduardo Francisco.
Smite: The Pantheon War is set in “an age where gods live among the mortals over which they rule. The worship of mortals is needed by the gods to maintain their divinity—but the number of gods has swelled, and there are fewer mortal faithful for the individual gods in each pantheon.” Dark Horse’s Smite: The Pantheon War OGN is due for a December 28, 2016 release. [Comic Book Resources]
DC Shuffles Last Pre-Rebirth Issues of Justice League
Before the big Rebirth hits at the end of the month, some changes are coming to previously solicited titles at DC which are closing out the New 52 continuity. It now appears that Justice League #51 is being published with the previously solicited contents of issue #52’s story. This is after DC already delayed Justice League #50 and #51 by pushing Justice League #50 from April to May, pushing #51 into June.
Justice League #51 will now be written by Dan Abnett with art from Paul Pelletier, in a story that originally supposed to fit into the #52 slot. Issue #51 is now shipping June 8. Justice League #52 will now come from the creative duo of Dan Jurgens and Paul Pelletier and is currently scheduled for a June 22 release, the same month as the last issue. [Comics Beat]
Frank Miller Drawing More Dark Knight After All
Speaking of DC Comics and delays, lets talk a little bit about Dark Knight III, one of the more schedule challenged books in recent memory. Although the series has only been co-plotted so far from original Dark Knight Returns creator Frank Miller, leaving the art chores to Andy Kubert, Miller has been drawing much of the mini-comics that come inside each issue. And he apparently plans to continue doing so, as he now plans to draw the mini-comic that comes with Dark Knight III #5 all by himself. Issue #5 was supposed to ship this past February, and is now scheduled for release on June 15th. [Bleeding Cool]
New Chinese Super-man joined by Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman.
One more bit of news on the DC tip — although we’ve known for a while that as part of DC Rebirth, the publisher is introducing a new Chinese hero as another Superman, but know we’ve leared that there will be a Chinese Batman and Wonder Woman as well. In the advance solicitation for August’s issue of New Super-Man #2, it says “when Kenan Kong was imbued with the powers of Superman, he didn’t waste any time using them! Now it’s up to the New Bat-Man and New Wonder-Woman of his home country to bring our hero back down to earth—just in time to stop the attack of the deadly Sunbeam!” You can see the cover preview for New Super-Man #2 down below. [CBR]
Marvel Previews Civil War II “Reenactment” Covers
The latest wave of variant covers for Civil War II are paying their respects to Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s original Civil War event series. Marvel has unveiled the first batch of its “Reenactment” Civil War II variant covers, where current versions of its characters recreate scenes from the original mini-series. In this wave are covers for Invincible Iron Man #9 by Tom Raney, All-New Wolverine #9 by Joyce Chin, Ultimates #8 by Mike McKone, Ms. Marvel #8 by Siya Oum, and New Avengers #12 by Greg Land. You can check them all out in our gallery below: [Newsarama]
Images: DC Comics / Marvel Comics / Dark Horse Comics / Lucasfilm