Welcome comics fans one and all, to your weekend edition of Comics Relief! It’s been a big week for comics news, but to start things off — and to help celebrate Pride Month — we have news on the first mainstream comic to prominently feature a transgender hero. Read on for all the details…
New Transgender Hero Chalice to star in AfterShock Comics’ Series Alters
Transgender issues have been at the forefront of public discourse lately, although the comics world has been admittedly slow to catch up. Not for much longer though, because coming up this September, Hellblazer writer Paul Jenkins and artist Leila Leiz are getting ready to introduce Chalice—a transgender superhero with the power to manipulate gravity—in their new AfterShock series Alters. The new book is set to feature a large amount of new heroes, but Chalice will be a main character in the series.
While speaking to the New York Times, Paul Jenkins talked about how a fan named Liz Luu was the inspiration behind Chalice, despite the fact that the idea for the book had always included a transgender hero. Luu suggested a hero who “can only be herself when she’s not herself,” because she hadn’t come out to her family yet, and could only present as a female while in costume. It’s such an obvious idea, it’s kind of shocking it took this long for it to happen. Black Panther artist Brian Stelfreeze will provide covers for the series, with Tamra Bonvillain on colors. Jenkins and Leiz’s Alters will go on sale this September. [CBR]
Love and Rockets Set to Return this Fall
One of the most acclaimed indie comics of all time is the Fantagraphics series Love and Rockets, which has been in some form of publication since 1981. Now series creators Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez — aka “Los Bros Hernandez” — are reviving Love & Rockets as a monthly ongoing series once again.
Gilbert Hernandez’s story picks up on the long-running saga of his “locas” of Palomar, Mexico, with the character of Fritz learning of a grandchild she never knew she had. Jaime returns to Hoppers 13 as Maggie tries to relive her punk years but finds her old friends from that time don’t. Volume 5 of Love and Rockets is scheduled to hit September 28. [Newsarama]
Yusuke Murata Draws Exclusive Cover to Japanese Spider-Verse Collection
When Marvel’s 2014 Spider-Man multiverse-spanning crossover event Spider-Verse gets its second collected edition in Japan this fall, it’ll come with an all-new exclusive cover by One-Punch Man manga artist Yusuke Murata. Murata had already created a cover for Japan’s first Spider-Verse collection, and when the two volumes are placed side-by-side, the two volumes will create a one giant, epic scene showing many of the multiversal spider-heroes in one big battle scene.
This is not the first time Murata has drawn Spidey or characters from the Spider-side of the — previously, Murata created covers for collections of other Spider-Man storylines, including Spider-Island and Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows. You can see both Spider-Verse covers side-by-side below: [CBR]
A New African-American Woman takes over the mantle of Kick-Ass
Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. are set to return to their creation Kick-Ass—but this time with a twist. A new hero is set to take over the green and yellow costume from Dave Lizewski in Kick-Ass: The New Girl, featuring a young African-American woman, one who will come with a new home city and a new supporting cast.
The new book will be drawn by series co-creator John Romita, Jr. who has committed to work on the book for three years, according to Millar. For the full story on Kick-Ass: The New Girl, be sure to read our full story on the subject by clicking on the following link: [Nerdist]
Movie Franchise The Raid Coming to Titan Comics
This seems to be in the very earliest stages, but it appears the action movie franchise The Raid from director Gareth Evans is coming to UK publisher Titan Comics. When it’s coming out exactly is still a mystery, although all signs point to sometime this fall. How the kinetic action franchise will translate to a comics is anyone’s guess, but consider this another feather in the cap of Titan Comics, who have recently acquired a lot of very cool licenses, like Doctor Who, Penny Dreadful, and more. [Bleeding Cool]
The Late Michael Turner Has a Variant Cover for Justice League #1
The late artist Michael Turner—founder of Aspen Comics and creator of Fathom—is kind of like the Tupac of comics: he’s been sadly gone for nearly a decade, but left so much unpublished work behind, new art of his is still always coming along. Case in point? The Justice League #1 variant cover, featuring the DC Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
The Justice League #1 variant will be sold individually, and as a set — which also includes Turner’s black and white sketch — exclusively through Aspen Comics. Pre-orders begin at 9 a.m. Pacific on June 26 on AspenComics.com. Both Turner’s Batman #1 and Justice League #1 will also be available in limited quantities at the Aspen Comics booth (#2321) at Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 21 to July 24. You can see the color version of the cover down below: [Comics Beat]
Latest Marvel NOW! Teasers Hint at a Big Divide
We’ve known for a few weeks now that a new iteration of Marvel NOW! was coming this fall, set after the events of Civil War II. But is it just a re-hash of an old branding, or something more? These latest teasers released from Marvel suggest there is still going to be a divide among the heroes of the Marvel universe once the current Civil War is over. But so far, it looks like it’s a divide between well established characters, and lesser known or newer ones, like Captain America and Mosaic, or Dr. Doom and Ms. America Chavez. You can see all the new Marvel NOW! teasers so far in our gallery below:
Images: DC Comics / Marvel Comics / AfterShock / Fantagraphics / John Romita Jr.