Welcome to this week’s edition of Comics Relief. Before we move on to any other news, let us first mark the tragic passing of a beloved piece of our collective geek popular culture. I don’t care what anyone says, but 54 is just way too young.
R.I.P. Classic Marvel Universe, 1961-2015. Beloved Child Of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, And Steve Ditko. Loved By Millions. “Excelsior.”
So, in case you missed it, Marvel Comics had themselves a pretty big announcement this week. After fifty plus years, the Marvel Universe as we know it is ending as a result of the events of Secret Wars, and getting “smashed together” with the Ultimate Universe into a whole new version of Marvel continuity. To quote Keanu Reeves in The Matrix– “whoa.” Marvel has maintained a tight continuity for over half a century, and always boasted they never needed a Crisis on Infinite Earths style event to clean up their universe the way their “Distinguished Competition” has had to do many times. So why now? And just how permanent is this? For more details, check out our story on the subject right here and our analysis of what it means for the MCU on today’s Nerdist News.
Legendary Comics And Brandon Seifert Launch The Harvester This February
Acclaimed horror writer Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor, Hellraiser) is launching an all-new series for Legendary Comics beginning next month titled The Harvester. Since the dawn of time, mischievous troublemakers have been warned of his wrath, scholars have searched for traces of his existence and evildoers have been tormented by the unstoppable force that goes by a single name: The Harvester.
The series follows two rebellious investigators who hunt down the urban legend of a vengeful superhuman enforcer. The cover art was created by Eric Battle (X-Men, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman), whose work was also seen recently last year as one of the artists for the Godzilla movie tie-in Godzilla: Awakening. Issue #1 of the 10-issue series launches on February 11. Check out the cover art for The Harvester below:
DC’s Dan DiDio Reveals His “Hit List”. And Seemingly Everyone Was On It
It’s been a well known fact that DC’s Dan DiDio wanted to kill Nightwing way back in 2005, during the the original Infinite Crisis series, but series writer Geoff Johns talked him out of it. (Instead it was the Kon-El version of Superboy who got killed, and he got better pretty fast after that.) Apparently, DiDio has now revealed via his Facebook page that his kill list was actually once a lot longer than just Nightwing.
DiDio revealed a series of whiteboard pages done in early 2004 during a planning meeting for Infinite Crisis, and among those images was DiDio’s “hit list”, which had names like Jade, Atom Smasher, Wildcat, Tempest, Kyle (Rayner?) and all “non used members of Young Justice.” Even the Martian Manhunter’s name was one there. Over the succeeding years, a lot of those characters would die…and then get better. The biggest “kill” on that list? Superman’s marriage to Lois Lane. Eventually DiDio got his way and killed that as well. Hopefull it’ll “get better” someday too. [Newsarama]
Atomic Robo Makes The Full Switch From Print To Web Comic
These days, we hear a lot about web comic series making the transition to print, or at least collected editions in print. This week however, a long running print series is making the switch to digital. Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener’s Atomic Robo is transitioning to a full-time webcomic at Atomic-Robo.com this Wednesday, January 21. The whole series will be online for free, building up to the debut of volume 10, Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire, this summer. Brian Clevinger confirmed that the collected editions of Robo will remain in print and available through ComiXology, and said, “New material will be free online first and collected into issues/trades through ComiXology for folks who wants ‘em like that. We’ll also print the new stuff as trades as, y’know, they get finished.” [Comics Alliance]
Lando Calrissian Could Star In The Next Star Wars Spin-Off Series
Marvel’s new Star Wars books are breaking all kinds of sales records, and getting mostly great reviews in the process, but there is a current rumor going around that one of the new titles Marvel is launching soon will center around that smooth talkin’ scoundrel Lando Calrissian (who just so happened to make his return in this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels, voiced by original actor Billy Dee Williams.) Marvel already has both a Darth Vader and Princess Leia comic series on the schedule, and have promised many more to come. Hopefully soon we can all break out the Colt 45 and celebrate Lando finally getting his long-earned moment in the spotlight. [Bleeding Cool]
Batman Gets Super Powers, In This Week’s Issue Of Justice League
Ever wonder what a super-powered Batman would be like? Wonder no more, as in this week’s Justice League #38, as part of the “Amazo Virus” storyline, the Dark Knight finds himself with super powers for the first time ever in the New 52. For those of you who haven’t been following the story, in recent issues an accident in Lex Luthor’s laboratory released a virus which incapacitated and hospitalized most of the League members, but then the real truth behind the virus was made known, that it transformed its human hosts into meta-humans…including Batman.
According to Justice League writer Geoff Johns, “not only is it interesting to see what kind of abilities Batman might develop and how he might use it and how he might react to it, but almost as important, it’s also a hint at what the true nature of the Amazo Virus is. And you’ll see Batman actually speculate once he develops his power, because what happens is he develops this ability and it gives him an idea that this virus might be more intelligent and might be more by design than random than Luthor’s claiming.” For more, check out this week’s issue of Justice League. [Newsarama]
The Guardians of the Galaxy/Howard the Duck Crossover You’ve Been Clamoring For Is Finally Coming
The end of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy last summer had a lot of people talking about the end credits stinger, which had a cameo appearance by Marvel’s very first movie star, Howard the Duck (voiced by Seth Green no less). Although Guardians director James Gunn has stated this wasn’t any real kind of teaser for Guardians 2, Marvel Comics is running with it, doing a sequel set in the comic book universe, but still involving the team rescuing Howard from the menagerie of the Collector. So basically, you can just kind of pretend it’s a sequel to the movie. The actual crossover happens in Howard the Duck #2, hitting this April. [Hollywood Reporter]
Dynamite Entertainment Getting More Uncanny In 2015
Despite what you might think, Marvel does NOT have a copyright on the word “Uncanny” for their comics. In fact, in 2013 Dynamite Entertainment introduced us to the mini-series called Uncanny, which showcased the adventures of Weaver “who has the ability to steal knowledge and skills from other people. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Weaver dodges criminals and the authorities alike when he finds himself used as bait. While evading a shadowy organization known as Cadre, he also begins the search for the source of his own powers.”
Now creators Andy Diggle and Aaron Campbell are making a return to Dynamite Entertainment Uncanny: Season Two this year, in what is described as “a modern crime noir about humans with unnatural abilities.” The first issue hits in April, with covers from Jock and Ben Oliver, plus a subscription variant by Campbell. [Comic Book Resources]
Get Ready For The “All-New, All-Different Avengers”?
Somewhat overshadowed by the bigger Marvel news this week, the publisher also announced plans for an “All-New, All-Different Avengers” following the events of Secret Wars. The “All-New, All-Different” label is an important one at Marvel, as the second generation X-Men launched under that branding, and that version of the team went on to huge fame.
We don’t know what this could mean exactly, besides the current runs of Avengers titles coming to an end, but now that we know the classic and Ultimate Marvel universes are being mashed together, could we be seeing an Avengers team compromised of characters from multiple universes? Seems likely (fingers crossed that the Miles Morales Spider-Man makes the cut.) In the meantime, Marvel has presented us with a logo, and not much else. [IGN]
How do you feel about the big Marvel news, or any of the news items this week? Let us know in the comments below.