Welcome comics fangirls and fanboys to your weekday edition of Comics Relief! To start things off this week, two of the biggest names at Image Comics are teasing the return of one of their more recent creations. Read on for all the info.
Todd McFarlane hints at the return of Haunt
Several years back, the two most important Image Comics names, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and The Walking Dead’s own Robert Kirkman, collaborated on a comic called Haunt, which featured artwork by Greg Capullo, Ryan Ottley and McFarlane himself. The series ran for 28 issues between 2009 and 2012, and revolved around the supernatural hero Daniel Kilgore (ugh, that name), a priest haunted by the spirit of his murdered special agent brother. Now McFarlane is teasing the return of this character via Facebook. Is Haunt a character anyone is dying to see again? It seems one way or another, this guy is coming back, although not sure if it’s “by popular demand” or not. [CBR]
Darth Maul to receive his own Marvel mini-series
He was easily the best part of The Phantom Menace, and even George Lucas admits it was a mistake to kill him off so fast (the character has since returned on Clone Wars and now Rebels). Now, the mysterious backstory of Darth Maul will be explored in a new Star Wars Marvel mini-series coming next year.
The five-part Darth Maul mini is coming from the creative team of writer Cullen Bunn and artist Luke Ross, and will apparently take place before The Phantom Menace, when Maul began training under Darth Sidious. For more on this new mini-series, be sure to click on our full story at the following link [Nerdist].
UK’s Mr. Bean comes to comics
Attention, British comedy lovers! Dabel Brothers Publishing has announced a comic series based on the classic British TV comedy, Mr. Bean, with the first issue realeasing in spring of 2017. Mr. Bean will be illustrated by Ricardo Jaime, but no other members of the creative team have been announced.
Created by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, Mr Bean premiered on the British channel ITV in 1990. The 14-episode series has since been aired in more than 190 countries around the world, including the United States, and has appeared in two movies as well. You can see a promo image for the new series above [CBR].
DC puts the brakes on supposed Frank Cho Wonder Woman series
In last week’s Comics Relief, there was a quote from artist Frank Cho saying that a new Wonder Woman series was coming from him as writer/artist, and that DC Comics has all but approved it. This is after his leaving Wonder Woman as cover artist due to conflicts with writer Greg Rucka. He said as soon as Rucka was gone, DC would put out his Wonder Woman project.
Well, not so fast. In a statement to Newsarama, DC said there are “no current plans for a Wonder Woman/Frank Cho project.” That is despite Cho saying that they were “in negotiation” with the publisher for a new series. While I’m relieved a Cho-written and drawn Wonder Woman series is probably not going to happen (he’d probably indulge his tendency towards cheesecake way too much, which is fine for Bettie Page but not Diana), I still think his Wonder Woman covers were perfectly within the character’s guidelines, and he basically got fired for his other work. By making this premature announcement, time will tell if we ever see if Cho drawing a Wonder Woman series now. [Newsarama]
George Perez boycotting conventions in red states
George Pérez is one of the most legendary comic book artists of all time, known primarily for his work on Avengers, Justice League, New Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the successful reinvention of Wonder Woman in the mid ’80s. (He also happens to be yours truly’s favorite comics illustrator of all time). Pérez is a proud Puerto Rican-American, and as such has come out in protest of United States’ President-Elect Donald Trump by pledging not to attend any conventions or comic functions in any “Red States.” Pérez explains that he feels threatened by Trump’s statements and actions, for both himself, his wife, as well as his family and friends.
In a statement to Newsarama, Pérez said, “Mine is really a meek protest, but it is all I could think of. My actions won’t really cost anyone anything. No one will be hurt if I don’t come to conventions. In fact, I am the one who will lose a substantial source of income. I can live with that. My friends, my family and many of my fans deserve that much and so much more, from me.” For more on Pérez about his decision, head over to the following link: [Newsarama].
Deathstroke’s son Jericho make a (not so surprising) revelation
Speaking of George Pérez, some of his best known creations (together with writer Marv Wolfman) were mercenary Deathstroke, and his mute son Jericho, who was a member of the Teen Titans. Originally portrayed as a sensitive artist type, both Perez and Wolfman considered making him gay back in the day, but ultimately chose against it. Pérez once told the website Gay League, “While Marv and I did discuss the possibility of Joseph Wilson being gay, Marv decided that it was too much of a stereotype to have the sensitive, artistic, and wide-eyed character with arguably effeminate features be also homosexual.”
Well, that was the ’80s, and this is 2016. In the current DC Rebirth Deathstroke series, Jericho is portrayed initially as being straight, announcing to his sister his impending marriage to a woman. But then — bombshell! — it turns out Jericho is bisexual, and has been having a relationship with Deathstroke’s armor designer, the superpowered (and much older) Dr. Ikon. Scandalous. It’ll be interesting to see how this is handled from now on, as media in all its forms really doesn’t know how to handle bisexuality at all. You can see the panel where the secret is revealed above [Bleeding Cool].
Canadian pulp hero Freelance gets a 2016 upgrade
Chances are you’ve never heard of 1940s pulp hero series Freelance. But now Canadian publisher Chapterhouse Comics is rebranding the character for a new generation. Thunderbolts writer Jim Zub is getting together with Andrew Wheeler and artist Vaneda Vireak for what they are calling “a modern update mixing Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stargate, and a bit of James Bond sexiness.”
So how is Freelance going to be updated for 2016? For starters, now he’s a gay man. Said writer Wheeler, “One of the ways we’re doing that is by placing a gay hero at the center of the story. There still aren’t many superhero comics or genre stories out there with gay leads, and that’s crazy. Chapterhouse is doing its part to change that, and they’re doing it with one of Canada’s oldest homegrown heroes. That makes a big statement, and is hugely important to me. There were no comics out there like this when I was a kid.” You can check out the cover for Freelance #1 above.
Images: Image Comics / DC Comics / Marvel Comics / George Perez / Chapterhouse Comics / Dabel Brothers