Welcome to your mid-week edition of Comics Relief, comics fans! To start our collection of comics news off this week, we have the scoop on a long gone character from Spider-Man’s past that I’m not entirely sure anyone was really clamoring to have back. But they are back anyway, like it or not. Read on for all the details!
Marvel announces the return of another long-dead character (Spoilers for Clone Conspiracy)
Proving that absolutely no one stays dead in comics forever, even characters no one really liked in the first place, Marvel Comics revealed Wednesday as part of their ongoing Spider-Man-centric Clone Conspiracy storyline that the mastermind villain behind Peter Parker’s current drama is none other than Ben Reilly, the infamous Spider-Clone who also once went by the name the Scarlet Spider.
Dan Slott’s The Clone Conspiracy has had Spider-Man dealing with a medical tech company called New U, which was producing “miracles”, bringing people who were once believed to be fatally sick or gravely wounded back from the brink of death. Peter naturally thought this all too good to be true, and he was right — turns out the people “saved” go a wee bit crazy.
But the leader of New U wasn’t Peter’s old nemesis Miles Warren, AKA the Jackal, as he once thought. Turns out it’s none other than Ben Reilly, the Spider-Clone was was once thought to be the real Peter Parker himself. Last time we saw him was 20 years ago, where he literally melted away in front of Peter. But what’s a little disintegration between clones? The new Clone Conspiracy story is only half over, so we’ll see if Ben Reilly sticks around this time. If he does, I hope he gets a better costume and name than “the Scarlet Spider.” [Comic Book]
Go behind-the-scenes of Marvel’s Monsters Unleashed
Another Marvel event coming soon is Monsters Unleashed, a five-issue miniseries which hits stores in January, which features Marvel’s heroes fighting off the giant monsters who ruled at the publisher before the era of super-heroes. Now Marvel has released a special behind-the-scenes video detailing the event, and giving fans a sneak peek at the artwork. You can watch the full video above.
Frank Miller may be working on a DC World War II heroes comic
Frank Miller is still knee-deep in Dark Knight III: The Master Race, but it seems he won’t be done with DC Comics once that story has concluded. During a panel featuring Miller at the recent Brazil Comic-Con Experience, the Sin City creator revealed plans for what he hopes will be his next DC project, saying “I have a fixation by World War II and I’m talking to DC on a project with their heroes at that time.” Could this be the big DC Rebirth version of the Justice Society of America relaunch that’s been hinted at? Or a Superman story set in WWII? Only time will tell. [CBR]
Batman writer Tom King teases the return of The Legion of Super-Heroes
Aside from the JSA, another missing team from DC’s history that might be making a comeback soon is the Legion of Super-Heroes. Although the team has always had strong ties to the Superman family, they are now being teased by writer Tom King in the pages of Batman.
In recent issues of Batman, we see Legion founder Saturn Girl is, for some reason, in Arkham Asylum. In an interview, King said “We saw one of the pieces in Batman #9 with Saturn Girl, who was also in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 and plays a role in the story going forward. She’s in Gotham City, and she is in Arkham Asylum… We’ll see what that means both to her and the Legion of Super-Heroes.” [CBR]
Valiant Comics details X-O Manowar relaunch
Last week, Valiant Comics released a teaser image for their new X-O Manowar relaunch, and now we have the details on this new series. According to the official description, writer Matt Kindt will begin this new iteration of the character “by separating Aric from his armor and sending him to a far-flung alien planet and continue into a yearlong science-fiction epic split into different arcs.”
Each of these arcs will be drawn by a separate rising star artist, with each artistic interpretation meant to reflect the different stages of Aric’s latest journey. We’ll go from “Soldier” to “General” to “Emperor” to “Visigoth.” X-O Manowar #1 is set to hit stores March 22, 2017, and for more info on the new series, be sure to click on the following link: [Entertainment Weekly]
Jack Kirby’s only Justice League work to finally get reprinted after 30 years
When most people hear the name Jack Kirby, they think of the man who co-created the bulk of the Marvel Universe icons, like The Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, etc. And while he did work at DC for a time, and created their vast New Gods mythology, he isn’t known for any significant runs featuring their iconic characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
Except once. In 1984, as a tie-in to their Super Powers toyline, DC produced a series of mini-series featuring the Justice League under the Super Powers banner, and drawn by the legendary Kirby. This is the only time Kirby drew characters like the Flash, Green Lantern or Wonder Woman, and they are all now finally being collected in hardcover format after thirty years. The collection will come out on August 29th for $34.99, and it will collect Super Powers Vol. 1 #1-5, Super Powers Vol. 2 #1-6 and Super Powers Vol. 3 #1-4. [Bleeding Cool]
Civil War II gets 8 extra artists to help finish series
Brian Michael Bendis’ current crossover epic Civil War II got an extra issue to wrap up from Marvel, but artist David Marquez is getting some help to wrap this sucker up. Seven additional artists are joining Marquez to complete the delayed final issue.
Civil War II #8 will now have 32 pages by Marquez with eight additional pages, which are being described as a “special top secret interior sequence”, will be drawn by artists Esad Ribic, Leinil Yu, Adam Kubert, Alan Davis, Mark Bagley, Marco Rudy, and Daniel Acuna. The release date for Civil War II #8 remains set at December 28, an eight-week delay from the originally solicited November 2 release date. [Newsarama]
Images: Marvel Comics / DC Comics / Valiant Comics