In this week’s edition of Comics Relief, we’ve got details on Brian Michael Bendis’ departure from the world of the X-Men, the return of a long-dead character in DC’s Convergence event, and news on how you can finally get the entire run of Spawn digitally. But first, news on a much needed costume make0ver for the Last Son of Krypton, who is also receiving an all-new power upgrade this week.
Superman Gets New Power, And An Updated Costume
In this week’s Superman #38 by Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr., the Man of Steel is set to receive an all new power: a massive energy blast that acts as an extension of his heat vision. The catch: when Supes used this power, it totally depletes him, making him an ordinary human for a full 24 hours until he solar charges once again. This new vulnerability helps writer Geoff Johns rejuvenate Superman’s world a little bit.”It’s something that is going to be very unstable and something that Superman’s going to have to deal with for quite a while.”
Much more necessary than a new power, though, is a new costume, which he’s also getting in this issue. The Jim Lee-designed “armor” for Superman has been his look since the New 52 launched, and although many celebrated the removal of the red undies, the rest of the costume was bulky and overdesigned. I mean, who needs armor less than Superman? The newer version looks much more streamlined with far less piping and stitching all over the place. The classic cut of the boots are back as well, and the v-neck collar is gone. Having said that, what is with those fingerless gloves?? [USA Today]
Todd McFarlane’s Spawn Finally Comes To Digital
Todd McFarlane and Image Comics’ Spawn is one of the longest-running independent comic on the market, coming out continually since it premiered in 1992. Now the entire 250 issue run of Spawn is going to finally be available digitally on a variety of platforms, including comiXology.com, iBooks, Google Play, and ImageComics.com. With issue #250 hitting soon, this is the perfect opportunity for fans to immerse themselves in over 23 years of history.“For fans waiting to jump back into Spawn, this is the perfect time,” said McFarlane. “Issue #250 marks the long anticipated return of the original Spawn, Al Simmons.” ComiXology will offer exclusive bundling, for a limited time. From February 4-9, customers can choose from the following bundles:
Included with each bundle purchase is exclusive content from issue #250 featuring behind-the-scenes material that is not available anywhere else in digital or print format. [imagecomics.com]
The Master of Kung Fu Returns To Marvel
Before he was a member of the Avengers, Shang-Chi was the Master of Kung Fu, in a popular series which ran from 1974 to 1981, far outliving the Bruce Lee/martial arts craze that spawned the book in the early seventies. Now, thanks to the events of the upcoming Secret Wars series, Shang-Chi is getting a title of his own once more. Marvel will be releasing a Master of Kung Fu mini-series written by Haden Blackman and illustrated by Dalibor Talajić, focusing on Shang-Chi in the mystical land of K’un Lun, whose remains form a part of Battleworld. This time, Shang-Chi’s world will feature different versions of Marvel characters like the X-Men and others, all given a martial-arts style makeover. [Comic Vine]
Michael Golden Draws The Walking Dead For Wizard World
Artist Michael Golden isn’t a name you hear too often these days, which is a shame, as he was truly one of the great artists of the eighties and nineties. His work was all over books like the Uncanny X-Men, where he was the co-creator of Rogue. Wizard just announced that the latest The Walking Dead #1 variant cover for the very first Wizard World Indianapolis will be drawn by Golden. The cover will be given to all full-price attendees of the con, while the VIP ticket holders will received a black & white version. [Bleeding Cool]
Check Out A Preview of Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy’s Chrononauts
Although announced a while back, it has been some time since we’ve heard anything about the upcoming “buddy cop/time travel” series Chrononauts, from the creative team of Mark Millar (Kick Ass) and Sean Gordon Murphy (The Wake) which is set to come out on March 18th from Image Comics. In this new series, mankind begins to explore time the way we know to explore space, but with disastrous results. Image has provided a new preview of the art in advance of the book’s March debut, and if you weren’t excited before, you will be now. You can check out the preview art at this link: [Previews World]
Former Atom Ryan Choi Returns In DC’s Convergence
One of the more controversial choices DC has made in recent years was the killing off of Ryan Choi, the successor to the mantle and powers of the Atom, back in 2011. One of the few high profile Asian American heroes, his death was seen as a step back for diversity in comics. When the New 52 launched later that year, many expected to Choi to be the Atom for the new continuity, as the New 52 placed a higher profile on representing diversity, but it wasn’t to be.
However, Ryan Choi (and original Atom, Ray Palmer) are set to come back in the pre-Flashpoint universe as part of Convergence with the two part Atom series by Tom Peyer and artist Steve Yeowell. According to Peyer, “I was given only one outright request, (bring back Ryan Choi) which I was happy to comply with because it’s something I’d have wanted to do anyway.” Hopefully DC will find a regular place in the DCU post-Convergence era for Ryan Choi when all is said and done. The first of two issues of Convergence: The Atom hit in April. [Newsarama]
Brian Bendis Announces He’s Leaving The Mutant World With Uncanny X-Men #600
Marvel has announced today that Uncanny X-Men series will see its issue numbering jump to #600 in May to reflect the series’ longevity before the two most recent relaunches, and they also announced that Uncanny #600 will also be Brian Michael Bendis’ last on the X-books as well, after nearly three years (he will be finishing his run on All-New X-Men as well). “Over the course of the last few years, I will have written almost 90 issues of X-Men. That’s a good run!”
During his run on the title, Bendis had the Beast bring the original five X-Men from the past into the present, causing all kinds of chaos for both Wolverine and Cyclops’ teams. Whether or not that issue is resolved before he leaves the book (or before Secret Wars begins) is still a question mark. Chris Bachalo will be the main artist for issue #600, along with Stuart Immonen, Kris Anka, Mahmud Asrar and other artists to be revealed. Bendis also says that he’s “put in some requests” to bring in unnamed X-Men creators of the past in for the oversized issue (maybe trying for a Chris Claremont/John Byrne reunion? I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one Bendis. But stranger things have happened.) The oversized Uncanny X-Men #600 arrives in May. [Comic Book Resources]
Restored Version of Very First Batman Appearance Set To Grab Big Bucks At Auction
A restored copy of Detective Comics #27 from 1939, which of course is the very first appearance of Batman, is expected to bring in more than $100,000 in a Feb. 20 sale held by Heritage Auctions. This would be only the second restored copy of that issue reach that milestone, although several restored copies of Action Comics#1 have broken $100,000. A CGC-graded 4.5 copy of Batman #1 is expected to fetch more than $65,000 in the very same auction. [Antique Trader via Comic Book Resources]
Excited about Superman’s new powers and costume, or any of the news items this week? Let us know how you feel in the comments below!