2019 COMIC BOOK DEBUTS — MUCH MORE INTERESTING THAN 1920 COMIC BOOK DEBUTS

(WHY? BECAUSE THERE WEREN’T COMIC BOOKS BACK THEN!)

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson


A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson

It’s true, there weren’t. Sure, there were comics strips, but it would be a little while before somebody decided to put together a collection of these sequential strips in a pamphlet-like format — and even later until folks got the idea to create new characters and series (like Superman in 1938). And just look what’s happened since then…

SPEAKING OF WHICH… DC COMICS DEBUTING IN JANUARY

Young Justice #1

Young Justice #1


One of the current Superman writers — Brian Michael Bendis — is debuting his own little corner of the DC Universe in January with the launch of a line of books under the name of Wonder Comics. (As in, makes you Wonder, don’t it?…) In an essay which opens the latest issue of DC Previews, Bendis outlines his plans for the new publishing group, which will launch in January 2019 with the revival of Young Justice and the debut of an all-new series called Naomi.

The original Young Justice comic book debuted in 1998 (20 years ago!) with the core team of Superboy, Robin, and Impulse, quickly adding Wonder Girl, a new version of Arrowette (the original not seen since the Silver Age of comics), and a new character, Secret. This original Young Justice series and team were created by writer Todd Dezago and artist Todd Nauck.

It caught on pretty quickly and eventually, pretty much every teenage character of that era of the DCU would stop by or guest star — including a kid version of Lobo called Li’l Lobo (until he renames himself Slobo). Also, the Justice League of the era assigned Red Tornado to “keep an eye on the kids”, and I bet you can guess how well that went over.

Young Justice was one of the better DC series of that era, balancing great action/adventure stories with off-the-wall humor and absurdity. It wrapped up around 2003 with the publication of Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day, which, as the title implies, has many of the characters growing up a bit and assigned to different super-teams. (It was also quite ambitious for its time, also (somewhat) tying into the Outsiders series of that era, Infinite Crisis, and (retroactively) the DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy.)

In the Bendis-written Wonder Comics version of Young Justice (illustrated by Patrick Gleason), he promises to “bring back your favorite characters from Young Justice past, and in great Young Justice tradition, we’re introducing you to brand-new voices and energies.” Superboy, Robin, and Impulse are quite prominent in the promotional material! Let’s hope we also see some of the girls.

Naomi #1

Naomi #1


Naomi, on the other hand, is an all-new character for the DCU. Again written by Bendis (with David Walker), art is by Jamal Campbell. Naomi is being promoted as having a very different and unique relationship to the DCU. The Young Justice (and maybe other) characters are shown with Naomi in the publicity art. Both titles will begin in January.

The Other History of the DC Universe #1

The Other History of the DC Universe #1


Moving beyond Bendis, I must say that The Other History of the DC Universe (written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley with art by Alex Dos Diaz) is intriguing to me, since I’m such a sucker for “alternate histories” of the DCU (and their rich history in publishing them — as confusing as they are sometimes…) TOHotDCU (wow, that’s a funny abbreviation…) promises “to reframe iconic moments of DC history and chart a previously unexplored sociopolitical thread as seen through the prism of DC Super Heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups.” So… probably NOT too much like Crisis on Infinite Earths, then… The focus in the first issue is on Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning), and future issues will feature Karen (Bumblebee) and Mal (Pick-An-Identity) Duncan, Tatsu Yamashiro (Katana), and Renee Montoya (from the Bat-titles). The Other History of the DC Universe will be a five-issue miniseries of 64-page issues. It begins in late January.

Mysteries of Love in Space

Mysteries of Love in Space


Mysteries of Love in Space: Published just two weeks before Valentine’s Day, this 80-page one-shot will feature stories of love on other planets starring Superman, the New Gods, Green Lantern, Starro (!?!?!?), Hawkgirl, and even the Teen Titans’ new sensation, Crush! Eight romantic tales that will Fly You To The Moon!

MARVEL COMICS

Conan the Barbarian #1

Conan the Barbarian #1


Conan the Barbarian #1 & 2: That’s right! Marvel got the license back to publish the NEW adventures of Conan the Barbarian beginning in January by writer Jason Aaron, artist Muhmud Asrar, and covers by Esad Ribić. There are a million variant covers (give-or-take several hundred thousand…), and it looks like Conan’s been collecting a whole bunch of new hardware since the last time we’ve seen him. (How does that guy walk, anyway!?) Of course, I’ll want the Skottie Young variant and will never be able to find one! (sigh!) So, I’ll have to settle for the Blank variant and tell people it was actually the Magic Etch-a-Sketch variant and… Oops!

True Believers: What If Conan Walked the Earth Today?

True Believers: What If Conan Walked the Earth Today?


Also, the True Believers reprints this month are dedicated to classic Conan issues/covers! Only a buck apiece!

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Wraparound cover

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Wraparound cover


Guardians of the Galaxy #1: Being promoted with a #WhoAreTheGuardians hashtag, the wraparound variant cover shows a few dozen characters, so there seem to be more (much more) than the last time I read this series. It’s by the Thanos Wins creative team of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw! Plus, Groot looks funny! (I’m a dead man, now!)

Captain Marvel #1

Captain Marvel #1


Captain Marvel #1: Yay! Captain Marvel is back in a regular ongoing series, just in time to tie into some movie or other… (Hey, Roger, what movie was that again!?) This series is by Kelly Thompson (writer) and Carmen Carnero (draw-er). There are also a few really pretty variant covers by Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, Joe Quesada, and more. The regular cover is by Amanda Connor and Paul Mounts and features several versions of the character! It’s also a return to Earth for Captain Marvel after a long time away. Hope she has a big DVR drive!

Black Widow #1

Black Widow #1


Black Widow #1: Somehow, she’s back from the dead. (Gotta love comics!) She keeps trying to be a hero, but she just keeps getting killed. I hope that doesn’t happen in this issue! It’s by writers Jen & Sylvia Soska with art by Flaviano and a cover by Clayton Crain set in Times Square on New Year’s Eve! (A new comic book cover trend?!?)

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1


Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 & 2: Written by Tom Taylor (X-Men Red). Apparently it’s all about Spider-Man being a bad neighbor. Juann Cabal is the artist, and there are too many variant cover artists (including the ever-reliable TBA) to list here. Stupid Marvel.

Invaders #1

Invaders #1


Invaders #1: It’s a new version of the Invaders, now set in the present (instead of the WWII era), but this time it’s the Invaders vs. Namor! Question: Do these guys from WW II actually like the stupid body armor they are wearing on the cover of this issue? Written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Carlos Magno and Butch Guice. Variant covers alert.

Champions #1

Champions #1


Champions #1: The Champions have gone global! There are dozens of new members under Ms. Marvel’s leadership. So, of course, there’s some dark secret… (Spider-Man’s feet smell bad after crime-fighting?) By Jim Zub and Steven Cummings.

Fantastic Four #6

Fantastic Four #6


Fantastic Four #6: Surprise! Galactus has returned to devour the Earth… and only one man can save us: Doctor Doom! So where are the Fantastic Four? There’s even a nice Bill Sienkiewicz variant Ben Grimm cover — so where the heck is he? Sheesh!

Man Without Fear #1

Man Without Fear #1


Man Without Fear #1-5: Daredevil is apparently gone. So other people star in this miniseries including Foggy Nelson (#1), the Defenders (#2), the many loves of Matt Murdock (#3), the Kingpin (#4), and a mysterious Guardian Devil (#5). Are you ready for five new Daredevil ongoing spin-offs! (Kidding!…kidding!…)

Age of X-Man Alpha

Age of X-Man Alpha


And then there’s something called Age of X-Man Alpha #1 which has no useful plot information at all, so good luck trying to order that one with nothing to go on…

Marvel Comics Presents #1

Marvel Comics Presents #1


However, Marvel Comics Presents #1 is back for a new 40-page story about Wolverine in the 1940s! Plus WWII tales about Namor and Captain America.

War is Hell #1

War is Hell #1


In celebrating 80 Years of Marvel Comics, they are releasing several 32-page one-shots with different genres, starting this month with Crypt of Shadows #1 (horror stories), Journey Into Unknown Worlds #1 (odd sci-fi & terror!), and War Is Hell #1, including a new WWII story by Howard Chaykin and “War Glammer”, a tale set in modern Afghanistan.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #1

Uncanny X-Men Annual #1


Marvel’s being cagey with their info about Uncanny X-Men #8-10 and Annual #1, which makes me think that they are leading into yet another restart sometime soon. These mutant guys sure like their first issues, don’t they? Intriguingly, the cover of Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 features at least nine different versions of Cyclops!

Marvel Knights 20th #6

Marvel Knights 20th #6


The Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary miniseries comes to an end in January, and Marvel’s promising “a secret that may shatter the very foundation of the Marvel Universe!” Again? These comic book universes are never going to be old enough to drink!

Avengers #12

Avengers #12


Avengers #12 presents an all-new Secret Avengers team, based in Wakanda! Say howdy to Gorilla Man, Ka-Zar, and the other new Agents of Wakanda. Meanwhile, Avengers #13 introduces the Iron Fist of 1,000,000 B.C.! Why?…

Immortal Hulk #11

Immortal Hulk #11


He may be the Immortal Hulk, but he’s also in Hell! (and in good company!) in Immortal Hulk #11 & 12.

Tony Stark: Iron Man #8

Tony Stark: Iron Man #8


Anybody remember the classic Iron Man story “Demon in a Bottle”? Well, it had to happen… Tony Stark: Iron Man #8 introduces “Digital Demon in a Bottle!” Is he addicted to his cell phone? Can you see Tony Stark on Tinder?

Captain America #7

Captain America #7


Artist Adam Kubert joins writer Ta-Nehisi Coates in Captain America #7, where Cap is wanted for murder! Cover by Alex Ross.

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #4

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #4


Black Panther vs. Deadpool #4 (of 5) — A classic Marvel team-up gone terribly wrong! Only one issue left!

Doctor Strange #10

Doctor Strange #10


Doctor Strange #10 is actually Doctor Strange #400!!! (Please don’t make me do the math!) It’s a 48-page story with art by Jesus Saiz, Chris Bachalo, Kevin Nowlan, and even more artists doing writer Mark Waid’s bidding. I bid for Mark Waid once. Please don’t make me tell that story… Waid waves his hands a lot, and a magical story will appear! And then later Dr. Strange appears in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #39, but that wasn’t Waid’s idea. (I think.) (This job is hard.)

Wolverine: The Long Night Adaptation #1

Wolverine: The Long Night Adaptation #1


Wolverine is finally back in Return of Wolverine #5 in January. That same month, Wolverine: The Long Night Adaptation #1 (of 5) debuts — based on the hit scripted podcast “Wolverine: The Dark Night” written by Benjamin Percy with art by Marciko Takara. Meanwhile, Dead Man Logan encounters Mysterio who means to set in motion the massacre at the crux of Logan’s apocalyptic future timeline. Say that five times really fast!

X-Force #2

X-Force #2


Mutant logic: X-Force has been framed for murder! To clear their names, they reluctantly team-up with the young Cable and Deathlok. Maybe X-Force #2 might explain more.

Uncanny X-Men 3D #1 (#268)

Uncanny X-Men 3D #1 (#268)


Marvel is reprinting the landmark Uncanny X-Men #268 in 3-D by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. Which is now old enough that everybody has to wear glasses to read it. 3-D Glasses, that is! (included)

Kirby Is Fantastic! King-Size HC

Kirby Is Fantastic! King-Size HC


Marvel is now doing some super-Giant “King-Size” volumes featuring classic Jack Kirby artwork. Problem is, they’ve neglected to mention the actual dimensions of this oversize treat (nor show us the actual cover) which makes it really difficult to recommend it. Which I really want to (it includes all the early classic FF stories by Stan and Jack), but I just can’t without all the info. Perhaps Marvel should resolicit this next month — including the dimensions of the book! It’s the least Marvel should do for a 320-page $100 hardcover!

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KC CARLSON wrote this column under the influence of a lot of cold medicine and very little sleep. He promises not to do it again. (At least this week…)

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. I’m actually too tired to be irritated this week. But wasn’t the season premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow awesome! Made me wish I was actually at Woodstock!

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