Welcome one and all to your weekend edition of Comics Relief! To start things off today, we finally have details on Marvel’s first big event of 2017. Read on for all the details.
Marvel Releases Monsters Unleashed Details
A few weeks back, Marvel revealed that their upcoming MU event was not short for Marvel Universe as everyone thought, but was in fact short for Monsters Unleashed. Now, the publisher is releasing details of just what this series is all about, and it’s something that takes Marvel back to its earliest Jack Kirby era roots.
The crossover event will feature a massive, simultaneous attack on the Marvel Universe by all of the giant monsters from the company’s earliest days. Yes, you read correctl: all of them. According to Marvel EIC Axel Alonso, “If there ever were a monster who stood 10 stories high or taller and created mayhem in the Marvel Universe over last several decades, they’re gonna be in the story.”
The writer for this event is Cullen Bunn, and it will feature a variety of Marvel’s best artists, like Steve McNiven, Leinil Yu, Adam Kubert, Salvador Larroca, and Greg Land. The five-part bi-weekly series begins in January 2017. For more info, click on the following link [Entertainment Weekly]
Comics Sales Hit Nearly 20 Year High In August
People have been predicting the death of the monthly comic book for something like fifteen years now, but based on this past August, it would be hard to keep beating that particular drum. This week, Diamond Distributors reported that they had shipped over 10 million “non-promotional” comic books to comic book shops in August 2016, the first time this mark has been achieved “in nearly twenty years.”
The reason for the bump? DC Rebirth mostly, which is kicking all kinds of ass and bringing in tons of lapsed readers. Also as part of this initiative, a new Harley Quinn #1 came out, which also went through the roof. According to independent sales tracking by Comichron, the last time it can verify more comic book units sold to the Direct Market was December 1996. [Newsarama]
Two Major DC Characters Died This Week. Well…Maybe Just One (Spoilers)
Speaking of DC Rebirth, two major deaths happened this week in the pages of some of DC’s most high profile books. OK, one was a death and the other…well, we’ll get to that. First off, in Suicide Squad #2, the book lived up to its premise when Captain Boomerang bit the big one on a mission, showing that regardless of whether the character was in the movie or not, they might not make it back from the mission. Maybe even Harley Quinn! (Ok, not her, she’ll always live. Because rea$on$).
The other “death” was the incredibly well written demise of Tim Drake, aka Red Robin, who valiantly died saving his teammates by taking on the brunt of a drone strike by himself in Detective Comics #940. The issue was incredibly well written and illustrated by James Tynion and Eddy Barrows. But wait! Turns out, at the end, Tim was transported to the lair of the mysterious “Mr. Oz.” a hooded figure who fans all believe to be Ozymandias from Watchmen. Apparenty, Tim needed to be taken “off the board.” We’ll have to wait and see just what that means.
Scott Snyder Teases Possible Spin-off for Batman’s Latest Partner, Duke Thomas
Speaking of Batman’s long list of partners and sidekicks, the latest to join the family is Duke Thomas, who until recently was the star of the book We Are Robin. Except, he’s not Robin anymore, not exactly. He’s currently partnered with the Dark Knight in the pages of All Star Batman and going by the codename “Lark”, in a yellow version of Bruce’s costume. (He might want to rethink that codename though).
Now writer Scott Snyder is teasing that Duke might be the next Bat sidekick to get his own comic, saying in an interview that he is “trying to do a series with Duke, alongside other creators. I think we have something really special here with Duke, and I have a long runway with this character in terms of setting him up here and trying to do a series with him myself, with other creators, as well, once he is up and running.” [CBR]
Dustin Weaver Pays Homage To The 7 Original Image Comics Founders
Back in 1992, seven of the most popular comic book artists at Marvel broke off from the publisher at the peak of their fame and founded Image Comics, a company that changed the face of the industry and thrives today (although publishing very different material). Now artist Dustin Weaver is honoring the seven founders of Image Comics and their original creations for the publisher.
Weaver has drawn pin-ups of Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood, Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.S. (co-created with Brandon Choi), Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon, Jim Valentino’s ShadowHawk, Marc Silvestri’s Cyberforce, and Whilce Portacio’s WetWorks.
The artist and writer has a special link to Image Comics. In 1993 while suffering from Hodgkin Disease, Weaver was invited to visit Homage Studios, which back then was the home to Lee, Silvestri, and Portacio. Weaver later interned at Lee’s Wildstorm imprint, and even worked on some of Lee’s books, thus starting his career. You can see all of the images by clicking on Weaver’s Tumblr here. [Newsarama]
Marvel “Items of Power” Stickers Coming for iOS 10
Attention Marvel fans: the company has announced the Marvel Stickers Collection, available on the App Store for iMessage for iPhone and iPad users with the release of iOS 10. Pretty much every major franchise and character is covered here, from Spidey to the Guardians of the Galaxy. Well, almost everybody…the X-Men characters and the Fantastic Four are, of course, missing. When it comes to those characters, whose movie rights are tied up by Fox, Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter has taken a cue from Faye Dunaway’s portrayal of Mommie Dearest — “If he doesn’t like, he’ll just make you disappear.” Marvel Stickers are now available on the App Store for iMessage for $1.99 per collection. [Bleeding Cool]
Heroes for Hire and Gwenpool Getting Holiday Specials in December
In the last Comics Relief, we revealed how DC was planning a new Holiday Special this December. Well, Marvel has Christmas plans as well, and have released details on their two Holiday themed comics for the month of December. In Power Man & Iron Fist: Sweet Christmas Annual, the two heroes face off against demonic toys, and in the Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix It Up, Gwen teams up with likes of Spidery and Deadpool. You can see the covers for both issues, by Jamal Campbell and Salva Espin, respectively, in our gallery below. [CBR]
Images: Marvel Comics / DC Comics / Dustin Weaver