It’s Comics Relief time kids, where we gather the comic book news of the week so far, all together in one place for your convenience — because we’re cool like that. This week, we have news on how the latest Ms. Marvel is being used to fight bigotry, some dire predictions about the future from Stan Lee of all people, and some of the first lovely images from the upcoming volume of Superman: Earth One. But first, not-so-good news for all you ’90s babies out there waiting to see Todd McFarlane draw Spider-Man or Batman again….
Todd McFarlane Swears Off Marvel & DC…With One Exception.
For anyone out there who is waiting for the return of Todd McFarlane to the pages of Amazing Spider-Man or Batman, even for a cover or special project…well, don’t hold your breath. The Spawn creator took to his Facebook page to answer the question of whether or not he’d ever do freelance work for the “Big Two” ever again, and this is what he said:
“NO!… I WILL NEVER DRAW for Marvel or DC Comics AGAIN! But it’s not why you might think; The reason I don’t and won’t draw for them is that one of the many titles I have, at my various business interests, is that of President of Image Comics. And I take that responsibility very seriously. Image Comics is the THIRD largest comic company in North America, and as such we are in direct competition with both Marvel and DC Comics. As President of Image, I personally think it would be a conflict of interest for me to do work for a direct competitor.”
McFarlane does leave a little bit of a door open for this to happen, though, if either Marvel or DC were open to a crossover with Spawn. Sadly, I’m not sure anyone is going to be beating down his door for a Spawn crossover anytime soon. But it happened with Batman before, so…anything is possible. [Comic Book Resources]
BOOM! Studios Launches Push #ComicsForward Initiative
Comic book-inspired media is everywhere these days-from the movies to TV shows like The Walking Dead and Arrow. But how do you get the people who enjoy those things to pick up the comic that inspired it? BOOM! Studios founder and CEO Ross Richie is launching Push #ComicsForward, an initiative that will hopefully spark a movement to actively shape what the comic book industry should look like in the next 10 years.
According to Richie, “This is a conversation we see taking place already in different places throughout the industry; we simply hope to unify and amplify all of those voices under one banner, #ComicsForward, to inspire, motivate, and support comics publishers, creators, professionals, press, and fans who want to see an industry that welcomes all types of readers; what company is working toward creating a better industry? Which creators are producing content that expands the boundaries of what comics can do? Call them out! I invite you to use #ComicsForward in your posts on social media platforms, and we’ll see you there!”
Ms. Marvel Battles Islamophobia In San Francisco
Who says comics can’t be positive forces for social justice? A group of street artists in San Francisco are using the character of Kamala Khan, better known as Marvel’s newest hero to bear the title Ms. Marvel, to block out bus ads from a group called the “American Freedom Defense Initiative” that compares Islam to Nazism. (For those unaware, Kamala Khan is a Muslim Pakistani-American girl.) The artwork they pasted over the ads features Ms. Marvel saying things like “Calling all bigotry busters” and “Free speech isn’t a license to spread hate.” The organizers of this protest are a group called Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power, which runs the Facebook page where photos of the improved ads appeared, Street Cred – Advertising for the People. It’s nice to see comic book characters being used to spread tolerance and battle bigotry. [Nerdist]
DC Announces Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle Collection
You’ve seen mention here of the sad medical circumstances that former Batman artist Norm Breyfogle has found himself in after a stroke this past December. His family has created a crowdfunding campaign, but now it looks like DC Comics is getting in on the action. As of this week, the publisher announced the advance solicitation for Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle, a new hardcover collection of the highlights of Breyfogle’s work on Batman in the late ’80s and early ’90s. It seems to have been rushed to publication to help the artist out financially, which was a pretty cool thing of DC to do. Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle comes out July 7, with a cover price of $49.99, and it’s available for preorder now. [Comics Alliance]
Dark Horse Comics Gives Nathan Drake A Fancy Deluxe Hardcover
PlayStation and Naughty Dog have reached truly iconic status with their Uncharted series of games, and lead character Nathan Drake has moved beyond being an Indiana Jones knock-off and become iconic in his own right. In light of Dark Horse’s success with previous deluxe hardcover Art Of entries for similar games, like The Art of The Last of Us and The Art of Naughty Dog, Dark Horse is now launching The Art of the Uncharted Trilogy for April 2015. The new book will contain never-before-seen art from Naughty Dog spanning Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The book will have commentary from the game’s creators alongside the art, but no word yet if the book will offer a sneak peek at this year’s anticipated Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. [Comics Beat]
Stan Lee Gets Nihilistic On Us, Thinks We’re All Gonna Die In The Future
As a guest on superstar DJ Steve Aoki’s YouTube show Neon Future Sessions for Wired Magazine, Stan the Man was asked about all the apocalyptic future scenarios he’s written about, and what he thinks the future will really be like. His answer might surprise you: “I think eventually, the world will blow itself up. And eventually some nut will come along and launch a missile against another country, and they’ll launch one back, and before you know it — boom.”
Well, that’s a lovely thought. I suppose with no superheroes to save us, we’d be pretty screwed were something like that to happen, so maybe he’s right. But I’m sure that even if the world goes up in a nuclear war, Stan Lee will somehow survive it, along with cockroaches, Twinkies and Cher. Check out the video below [Bleeding Cool]
DC Previews Superman: Earth One Volume 3
Before DC re-invented their Universe with the New 52 in 2011, they launched the Earth One line of original graphic novels as updated takes on their classic characters The first one launched back in 2010 was Superman: Earth One from writer J. Michael Straczynski. Since then, we’ve had Batman: Earth One and Teen Titans: Earth One, as well as a second volume of Superman in 2012.
Well, coming out on February 4th, the third volume of Superman comes out, which is the conclusion of the story writer J. Michael Straczynski began back in 2010. Illustrated by artist Ardian Syaf, Volume 3 will introduce the Earth One version of Lex Luthor and his wife Alexandra, who have been asked to bring Superman down by the U.S. military. Although the Earth One books offer updated versions of the DC icons, some old school stuff remains that the New 52 let go of. For example, Superman still has his red undies here, and nowhere else. You can see a preview at the following link: [Entertainment Weekly]
Marvel’s Reveals First Wave Of Secret Wars: Last Days Titles
Last week we revealed that Marvel will have three distinct banners for their upcoming Secret Wars event series, with Last Days chronicling the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it today. This week Marvel announced which books would be the first to get the Last Days treatment, and two of their most popular and beloved bad guys will be front and center for the end of it all in the pages of Loki: Agent of Asgard and Magneto.
Also joining them are Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, which means writer Al Ewing has first crack at giving us the Melencholia of the Marvel Universe first, as he writes both Loki and Captain America and the Mighty Avengers. According to Al Ewing, “It’s a little strange to be on board at Marvel for the end of the Marvel Universe; there have been ‘THE END’ stories before, and I suppose part of me is always wondering what I’d do if I was given the brief of ‘this is the final story of so-and-so’… well, now that moment is here! In the present day! And it turns out this is the story I’d do.” [Comic Book.Com]
Sideshow Collectibles Announces First Ever Web Comic Court of the Dead
Sideshow Collectibles, makers of all those super fancy toys and statues based on beloved nerd properties that you drool over at conventions, have unveiled their first ever digital comic, Court of the Dead, based on the line of high end statues that the company debuted last year by creator Tom Gilliland. The first chapter of the web comics is called Oglavaeil – The Executioner, and is written by Landry Walker and drawn by Carmen Carnero. The 12-page story is currently free to read on their website. You can read it at this link. [Bleeding Cool]
Got a favorite news item this week? Let us know in the comments below.