THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER: LOTS GOING ON IN COMICS THESE DAYS!

KC Carlson and his hired muscle.

KC Carlson and his hired muscle.


A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson

Previews hits shops today, so let’s take a look at some things on sale this July that I thought might be interesting. (And you can pre-order them NOW!)

MARVEL COMICS

History of the Marvel Universe #1

History of the Marvel Universe #1


Mark Waid: History of the Marvel Universe #1 (of 6) and Invisible Woman #1 (of 5) — Mark Waid is one of those guys who loves to make connections, especially when it adds to or enhances what we know of comic book continuity. I’ve known him, on and off, for something like 30 years, and I’m always amazed at the energy he summons whenever he’s relating (or occasionally inventing) new connections! Sometimes it’s coming up with a construct that makes outrageously obscure connections between comic book characters and/or their histories. Other times, it’s a missing piece of the puzzle that fell off the table decades ago, and he just now found it again while he was dusting. He’s the perfect guy to write a new History of the Marvel Universe. You’ll be amazed when you see it. The art is by Javier Rodriguez with lots of covers by Steve McNiven, Nick Bradshaw, Rodriguez himself, and even a time-traveling John Buscema!

Invisible Woman #1

Invisible Woman #1


Mark’s also writing the six-issue Invisible Woman miniseries that starts in July with artist Mattia De Iulis and covers by Adam Hughes (and variants by Stephanie Hans, Steve McNiven, and Jack Kirby)! This is the first time that Susan Storm-Richards has solo-starred in her own miniseries, and it’s based on an espionage mission for SHIELD many years ago . . . And if that wen’t enough, Waid teams with writer Al Ewing and artists Carlos Gomez & Alex Lins on Secret Warps: Soldier Supreme Annual #1, a 40-page one-shot also in July. I could be wrong, but it seems that Secret Warps is a twisted version of Elseworlds-like stories told elsewhere. (Of course, Secret Warps is also a play on words for Marvel’s now famous/infamous Secret Wars events.) (The concept first appeared during the Infinity Wars event last year – Ed.) Several other Secret Warps stories are also out in July, featuring bevies of other slightly twisted versions of classic Marvel characters. Good to see Marvel having some fun!

Marvels Epilogue

Marvels Epilogue


Also of note this month is Marvels Epilogue — featuring a brand-new 16-page Marvels story by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross, said to be a standalone epilogue to the classic Marvels graphic novel by those aforementioned gentlemen. The story is a “Marvels” look at the “All-New, All-Different” X-Men of the 1970s — and features the now-retired Phil Sheldon and his daughters visiting Manhattan to see the Christmas lights. And then the Sentinels attack… This story is accompanied by a behind-the-scenes look at its making, as well as other special features for a total of 40 pages.

House of X #1

House of X #1


This Marvels Epilogue happens to be the perfect set-up to lead into two important mutant-related miniseries: House of X #1 (of 6) by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz, and Powers of X #1 (of 6) by Hickman and R.B. Silva. It says here “there have been four seminal moments in the history of the X-Men. 1) Giant-Sized-X-Men 2) X-Men 3) Age of Apocalypse 4) New X-Men.” I’m pretty sure that guys like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, and Neal Adams (to name just a few) might disagree with this. And I think it actually says a lot that Marvel is wasting our time listing old comics series instead of telling us what’s going to be great (hopefully) about these two new series. Perhaps there isn’t any work to show yet, other than the handful of pieces in Marvel Previews (which are mostly pictures of characters standing around or posing). As Stan might say, “Sheesh!”

Powers of X #1

Powers of X #1


I’ll reserve judgment until I actually see/read the new books. C’mon Marvel… Prove me wrong.

DC COMICS

Year of the Villain

Year of the Villain


DC Comics’ Year of the Villain event kicks off on Wednesday, May 1, in a special 32-page comic priced at only 25 cents (just three days before this year’s Free Comic Book Day on Saturday May 4). Year of the Villain spotlights many of DC’s most infamous bad guys and girls in several stories written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion, and Brian Michael Bendis. Artists include Alex Maleev, Jim Chung, and Francis Manapul, with a cover by Greg Capullo. There will also be three variant covers for Year of the Villain: Lex Luthor by Maleev, The Batman Who Laughs by Chung, and The Cheetah by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.

This seems to be pivotal for the Justice League, as Lex Luthor steps up assembling his Legion of Doom for the final push to replace Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the League as the rightful leaders of not only mankind, but the universe itself. The last issue (#6) of The Batman Who Laughs is important because events there also play out in the FCBD issue (see below), leading into a new series debuting this summer.

Event Leviathan #1

Event Leviathan #1


Meanwhile, Bendis and Maleev will start messing around with a new status quo for DC’s dark world of espionage and terrorism in Event Leviathan — which will have major ramifications in upcoming issues of Superman and Action Comics.

DC’s Year of the Villain event will also contain many clues about Batman’s upcoming battle with Gotham’s villains in “City of Bane” this summer.

YEAR OF THE VILLAIN: THE OFFER appears in:

Action Comics #1013

Aquaman #50

Batgirl #37

Batgirl #37


Batgirl #37

Batman #75

Batman and the Outsiders #3

Catwoman #13

Deathstroke #45

Detective Comics #1008

Detective Comics #1008


Detective Comics #1008

The Flash #75

Harley Quinn #63

Hawkman #14

Hawkman #14


Hawkman #14

Justice League #28

Justice League Dark #13

Nightwing #62

Red Hood: Outlaw #36

Supergirl #32

Superman #13

Superman #13


Superman #13

Teen Titans 32

The Terrifics #18

Wonder Woman #75

Wonder Woman #75


Wonder Woman #75

That’s a lot of bad guys! It’s a different take for a major superhero event, to focus so much on the evil antagonists. I’m not actually excited by this so much as curious to see how they make it work.

FCBD! FCBD! WHAT’S THAT SPELL? FCBD!

Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale (Special Edition)

Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale (Special Edition)


On Free Comic Book Day (Saturday, May 4), DC will release two free comics spotlighting their young reader imprints: DC Ink (young adult) — Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale — and DC Zoom (middle grade) — Dear Justice League. Both feature new takes on classic characters and a focus on the future by providing material for kids to meet well-known elements of the DC universe.

Avengers

Avengers


Marvel is offering a new FCBD Avengers #1 and FCBD Spider-Man #1 starring Miles Morales! Plus… Venom! But don’t forget… there are dozens and dozens of other FCBD offerings from dozens and dozens of other publishers! FCBD is an awesome time to find out what’s going on in comics beyond just Marvel and DC!

Welcome to the Whedonverse

Welcome to the Whedonverse


Both Westfield Comics stores in Madison, WI, will have healthy supplies of most of the Free Comic Book Day offerings, so stop on by! Johanna and I will be joining the Westfield staff (Josh and Wayne!) at Westfield Comics East, so please come in to pick up some comics and say Hi!

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THESE FOLKS HAD THEIR OWN COMIC BOOK?

Lois Lane #1

Lois Lane #1


DC’s Super-Journalists Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are each getting their own six-issue miniseries beginning in July! Lois’s mini debuts first, by writer Greg Rukka, artist Mike Perkins, and with a variant cover by Jenny Frison. It looks like a tale of conspiracy, intrigue, and murder, as Lois discovers a threat to her husband (you know who!) and a plot involving international power brokers and world leaders. (Lois fans should also check out Adam Hughes’ variant Lois Lane cover for Superman #13!)

Jimmy Olsen #1

Jimmy Olsen #1


Meanwhile (in his miniseries), Jimmy Olsen must die! (aka: Tuesday.) In order for this not to happen, Jimmy must tour the bizarre underbelly of the DC Universe where he finds death, destruction, giant turtles, and more! (Oh, SO much more! I want Porcupine Jimmy! Or maybe Jimmy in drag! Oh, I bet they won’t let him do that anymore… ) As put together by the genius team of writer Matt Fraction and artist Steve Lieber, this is a centuries-spanning whirlwind of weird that starts in Metropolis and ends in Gotham City. And then DC kills Jimmy! (Really, it says that! They better not…) Jimmy Olsen #1 debuts just five days after my birthday. I’m SO happy!

WHAT’S BLACK AND WHITE AND READ ALL OVER?

Batman: Black and White Omnibus

Batman: Black and White Omnibus


If you like cool-looking stuff (or are just colorblind), the book to order this month (although it doesn’t ship until next January) is the Batman: Black and White Omnibus.

It’s 912-pages of all the B&W material from all the various Batman: Black and White miniseries over the years, as well as other places which featured a B&W Batman story. Here are just a few of the contributors: Neal Adams, Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Brian Bolland, Ed Brubaker, John Buscema, Cliff Chiang, Darwyn Cooke, Paul Dini, Warren Ellis, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Adam Hughes, Geoff Johns, Dave Johnson, Jim Lee, Dwayne McDuffie, Sean Murphy, Dennis O’Neil, Paul Pope, Alex Ross, Walter Simonson, Ryan Sook, and Bruce Timm.

BTW, it seems like DC is now experimenting with cardstock variant covers on certain titles (mostly their high-selling superhero titles) for a slightly higher cover price than their normal floppies. If interested, check ‘em out.

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KC CARLSON SEZ: Johanna and I are scrambling like crazy to get caught up on watching all the Marvel Studio movies on Blu-ray (in order) before seeing Avengers: Endgame on Saturday morning. I’ll probably get so excited that I’ll fall asleep from exhaustion!

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. Can’t believe the X-Men books are irritating me. Again. (And they’re not even out yet… Sheesh…)

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