This week in Super Folk, Publishers Weekly's look at the superhero industry, news of DC Comics’ next crossover while two creators announce their departure, changes at Marvel for Captain America, Thanos and Iron Man, The Walking Dead reprints and more.
Morrison and Liefeld to Leave DC Comics
Last week, two of DC Comics' top name creators, writer Grant Morrison and writer/artist Rob Liefeld, both revealed plans to leave their current titles in 2013. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Grant Morrison, one of DC’s top writers, said he would be leaving not only DC, but also superhero comics in general, behind for the foreseeable future. The Scottish-born writer has been writing superhero comics, almost exclusively for DC, for roughly two decades, beginning with reimaginings of oddball characters like Animal Man and the Doom Patrol in the early 1990s, onto the Justice League of America, and most recently runs on Batman and Action Comics. The departure is natural, Morrison said, admitting he has gotten everything out of the superhero genre that he could and is looking forward to more creator-owned work, such as his upcoming Image comic, Happy (illustrated by Darick Robertson). However, Morrison isn’t done just yet. He’s still on Action Comics and Batman: Incorporated until issues #16 and #12, respectively, and his long-awaited Multiversity miniseries and a Wonder Woman project are expected to drop next year.
A few days later, Rob Liefeld, who has worked and is working on a number of New 52 books including Hawk and Dove, Grifter, Deathstroke, and The Savage Hawkman, also announced he is leaving DC. Liefeld was one of the top creators of the 1990s comic book boom where many of his comics, such as X-Force from Marvel and Youngblood from Image (which he co-founded), sold millions of copies. His distinct, over-the-top art style was indicative of the times, but it eventually became synonymous with all that was wrong with comics when the industry bubble burst. Since then Liefeld has become a somewhat infamous character, but it hasn’t stopped him and he continues to be one of the industry’s most prolific creators. Like Morrison, he says his work at DC is done for now (although he too is not leaving until 2013) and he is going to pursue creator-owned projects.
DC’s Next Crossover Comes in 2013
In a three-part interview with ICv2, DC Comics co-publisher Dan Didio revealed that the company’s next line-wide event (the first for the New 52) will occur toward the second half of 2013. There’s been little in terms of crossovers thus far in the New 52 (just the Batman-centric “Night of the Owls” and “The Culling” in Teen Titans and Legion Lost), but the seeds are being planted for something, as Didio says, “will [unify] the line thematically.” It seems likely that the event Didio is referring to is “Trinity War,” which was promised in DC’s Free Comic Book Day issue.
Marvel NOW: Captain America’s New Costume, Iron Man Team
As part of Marvel NOW, the upcoming soft reboot of many of its top titles, Marvel revealed the new Captain America costume, the first of many updates the publisher is making to its characters. The new look, designed by Jerome Opena (Avengers) and John Cassaday (Uncanny Avengers) is meant to reflect what modern soliders wear in combat, explained editor Tom Brevoort in an interview with MTV Geek. While the costume has a number of changes, such as added buckles, kneepads and more realistic combat boots, Brevoort stressed the importance of keeping Captain America recognizable and the importance of his silhouette. The new costume makes its debut in Uncanny Avengers #1 in October.
On Monday, Marvel revealed that Uncanny X-Men writer Kieron Gillen and artist Greg Land will likely take over Invincible Iron Man come November, the latest new creative team of the Marvel NOW initiative. For months, it was rumored that Gillen would move to Iron Man, replacing longtime writer Matt Fraction and artist Salvador Larroca.
Thanos Miniseries Canceled
In the latest round of solicitations, Marvel revealed the cancelation of the upcoming five-issue miniseries, Thanos: Son of Titan, written by Joe Keatinge and illustrated by Rich Ellson, starring the intergalactic villain Thanos. At first, no explanation was given for the sudden cancelation, which went against the Marvel’s September release and recent hyping of the series ever since Thanos’ appearance in Marvel’s The Avengers. Since then, editor Steve Wacker explained the change was merely to ease the schedule of writer Joe Keatinge and artist Rich Elson.
More Walking Dead Reprints
Since celebrating the release of its hundredth issue by selling the most copies of a single issue in the last 15 years, The Walking Dead continues to be a sales juggernaut, with reprints for the landmark issue (obviously) and now for issue #97-99. The three back issues are where the story, “Something To Fear,” contained in the hundredth issue, began. The reprinted issues will receive a new wraparound cover courtesy of series artist Charles Adlard.
New Comics Mags: One Print, One Digital
Last week, two new free comics-themed magazines were announced, one digital and the other print. Infinity, edited by Russell Willis, a new digital magazine containing original content as well as author interviews and general digital comics news, available on iTunes. Off Life is an upcoming bi-monthly anthology zine showcasing new and street-level talent in the U.K. The magazine, edited by Dan Humphry, is currently taking submissions and plans to see print and local distribution in September.
New from Valiant, Sprouse, Archie
After an initial teaser image, Valiant Entertainment announced Shadowman, a new ongoing title beginning in November. The series, written by Joe Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) and illustrated by Patrick Zircher (Captain America), stars the eponymous Shadowman (whose alter ego is Jack Boniface), a character first introduced in 1992 and, late rebooted by Garth Ennis in 1997. The new series will be a reimagining of Shadowman and his origin, bearing some resemblance to the original character.
Artist Chris Sprouse, best known for his work on Tom Strong (both with writers Alan Moore and Peter Hogan), recently posted work for a new Tom Strong miniseries, Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril, written by Hogan and with inks by frequent collaborator Karl Story.
Archie Comics announced Sonic Super Digest, a new quarterly, large-format digest magazine of previously released Sonic the Hedgehog material, as well as extra content like coloring pages, making its debut in November alongside the publisher’s new Archie Comics Super Special.