Image’s Solicits Feature the Return of Casanova, Criminal, and other Creator-Owned Comic Things

Image’s solicitations for January have been put online, revealing a slate of new comics including the return of two familiar series. The first is the return of Casanova for a fourth volume, with Fabio Moon taking turn on the series alongside Matt Fraction. The second is Criminal’s return, with Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips bringing back perhaps their best-known comics work. As well as those, there’s also the 250th issue of Spawn, a new book from Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim, and an OGN from ‘I Kill Giants’ co-creator Ken Niimura.

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First things first, though – the reprint scheme. It looks like Image plan to reprint a load of their trades next year, with new printings for books like East of West, Spawn, Chew, Battle Pope and a host of others. This seems quite savvy for a few of the books – I think Chew is about to hit TV screens as a cartoon in the new year, so putting out fresh collections of the start is wise. Spawn, as well, to tie in with the big issue #250 (which is a pretty incredible feat, as well, it has to be said). I’m not sure why some of the books are being reprinted, but the Hack/Slash omnibuses should prove pretty popular nevertheless.

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The Ken Niimura book will be called Hensin, translated into English for the first time. This is a collection of short stories all set in Japan, featuring a range of different characters. I don’t know much about Niimura’s work other than it tends to get a whole bunch of awards whenever he puts out a new book – it’s pretty neat to see Image publishing an English translation of an admired work of manga.

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Next up is a 48-page one-shot special for Criminal, marking the return of Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser and Ed Brubaker’s seminal crime series. Each arc of the series is a different story entirely, set in different eras and with a different cast. The one recurring feature, I believe, is the existence of someone called “Teeg Lawson”. This one-shot will put a spotlight on that character in particular, so we’ll have to see just why the creative team have decided now is the time to tell his story.

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Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim have worked together several times in the past – their newest will be “The Dying and The Dead”, which sounds like it should be the title to the last issue of ‘The Wicked and The Divine’. Matt Meylikhov at Multiversity has parsed together a few details on what the book seems to be about, and it’ll have a double-sized first issue, as is the nature of an Image book nowadays. Hurrah!

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Spawn reaches the 250th issue in January, with Todd McFarlane writing and drawing the 60-odd page storyline which seems poised to culminate the story of the current Spawn mantle-wearerer… and bring back the very first Spawn, Al Simmons. Greg Capullo, who made his name on the series, will be returning to do a variant cover for the issue. Image note that this is only the second time that a creator-owned series has hit 250 issues – I’m drawing a blank as to what the other one was. Anybody?

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Finally we come to the fourth volume of Casanova, a much-loved series which kinda goes right over my head. You have to nod agreeably at it’s success, however, and with Fraction now ascended to a higher tier of belovedness recently – this should be a huge launch, I’d imagine.

You want to see all the solicits? You do. Then head here.

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