It’s the calm before the storm that is New York Comic Con, but we still have plenty of announcements in your mid-week edition of Comics Relief, staring with the return of an Oscar winner to the world of comics. Read on for all the details.
John Ridley Returns to Comics With American Way Sequel
Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years A Slave, American Crime) is set to return to the medium of comic books with The American Way: Those Above And Those Below, uniting with his series artist Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The six-issue monthly miniseries hits shelves in 2017 and will be published under DC’s Vertigo imprint. Staying true to the original The American Way, this sequel will explore historically significant sociopolitical and racial themes which are still relevant today. The story will pick up in 1972, when social and political tensions in America were at an all-time high.
In a statement Ridley said, “On the 10-year anniversary of the series, it feels both fantastic and appropriate to be able to return to The American Way. Though I have been very blessed over the last decade in both film and television, there is a very special sense of accomplishment that comes with seeing your work on display at the local comics shop.”
The series tracks an alternate timeline in which costumed superheroes fall into disgrace during the turmoil of the 1960s, and a man named Jason Fisher—one of the few “heroes” who still operates in the public sphere—finds both resistance and outright hostility from the very people he is trying to help, who see him not as a savior, but as a tool of the heavy handed police force that targets America’s young, black men through racial profiling. Jason’s dilemma: to uphold the law, or to serve the people. The new series arrives in summer, 2017.
Neil Gaimain’s American Gods comes to Dark Horse Comics
Before it arrives on televison on the Starz network next year, Neil Gaiman’s modern fantasy novel American Gods is receiving a comic book adaptation starting in 2017 from Dark Horse Comics. The new comic will be written and laid out by longtime Gaiman collaborator P. Craig Russell, and will feature art from Scott Hampton and covers from Glenn Fabry. The series is going to be made up of three story arcs comprising 27 issues.
In a statement from creator Neil Gaiman, he said, “There’s a tremendous amount of excitement, in my house and in the world, about the American Gods TV series coming up on Starz. What we’ve managed to keep a secret until now is that there is something just as exciting out there: American Gods, the comic…. the American Gods comic is going to be an astonishing, faithful, and beautiful adaptation.” The first arc, entitled American Gods: Shadows, will begin in American Gods #1 on March 15, 2017. You can check out Glenn Fabry’s first promo image for the series above. [Newsarama]
Vampirella returns, puts on clothes
Comics’ first lady of bloodsuckers Vampirella is getting a revamp (pun intended) from Dynamite Entertainment, the publisher revealed in a pre-NYCC announcement. And she’ll be coming with an A-list pedigree, as writer Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) is re-teaming with frequent collaborator artist Jimmy Broxton. The introductory issue will only be $0.25, so you have no excuse not to buy this one.
“I’m delighted to be writing a Vampirella that takes onboard everything she’s been and moves it forward into a new setting, where the gothic meets science fiction,” said Cornell in the press release. He went on to say, “I’m hoping especially to find a female audience.” The fact that Vampirella seems to be wearing clothing this time and not just strings might help. You can see promo art for the new series above. [CBR]
The Spirit receives all-new mini series in 2017
Dynamite Entertainment has also revealed ahead of NYCC that Francesco Francavilla is writing and drawing a new series featuring Will Eisner’s The Spirit, titled The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers. The five issue mini-series will arrive in early 2017, and will see the hero attempt to solve the mystery of a string of seemingly unrelated disappearances and deaths in Central City.
In a statement, Francavilla said, “I couldn’t be more honored and humbled to have been asked to do a story with one of the icons of the comic universe. I’m not going to lie — tackling one of Maestro Will Eisner’s most famous creations and following in the steps of my dearest friends Darwyn Cooke and Matt Wagner is not gonna be an easy task, but I’ll make sure my love for the character, for those legendary creators, and for the medium will show. And I hope readers will be along with me on this new ride!” [Comics Alliance]
Riverdale TV adaptation gets its own comic series
The upcoming CW Riverdale TV series was inspired by Archie Comics, and will now, in turn, inspire a comic of its own. The new comic will be written by showrunner and Archie Comics CCO Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and the members of the show’s writers’ room, along with art by illustrator Alitha Martinez. The one-shot Riverdale comic, which will arrive early next year, will then be followed by an ongoing series set in the universe of the TV show.
The new show will offer a bold, subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring small-town life and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade, and feature modern takes on the characters of Archie Andrews, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Jughead, and Kevin Keller. In addition to the core cast, Riverdale will introduce other characters from Archie Comics’ library, including Josie and the Pussycats. You can see a preview for the cover of the one-shot above.
Green Lantern set to visit The Planet of the Apes
After crossing over with the characters from Star Trek at IDW, DC’s Green Lantern is now heading to the Planet of the Apes. Publishers BOOM! Studios and DC made the announcement this week that a six-issue Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern miniseries is set to arrive in February 2017, and they have just released a teaser image announcing the story, which you can see above. The creative teams and cover artists are set to be announced after NYCC. All I can say is I hope we see Dr. Zauis with a power ring at some point. [CBR]
Marvel reveals Divided We Stand variant covers
And finally, Marvel is debuting more variant covers for their post Civil War II “Divided We Stand” storyline, and they’ve revealed seven so far: Avengers #1, Champions #2, Deadpool & The Mercs For Money #5, The Unworthy Thor #1, Solo #2, Foolkiller #1, and The Unbelievable Gwenpool #8. You can see the covers in our gallery below. [Comic Book]
Images: DC Comics / Marvel / Dynamite Entertainment / BOOM! Studios / Archie Comics / Dark Horse Comics