Valiant, Ales Kot and Adam Gorham Team Up for ‘Dead Drop’

Earlier this week I got to do an announcement interview with Ales Kot for a new four-issue Valiant miniseries called ‘Dead Drop’ which’ll be starting in May. With his Zero collaborator Adam Gorham as artist, Kot’s storyline reads like something utterly crazy, where five of the strangest lead characters all team up to try and save New York from an alien chemical weapon which gets loose in the black market.

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X-O Manowar and Archer will be respectively the stars of issues #1 and then #2, but the next issue sees Neville Alcott (from Ninjak) and Quantum & Woody demi-villain Beta-Max sharing a story together, before Agent Cujedo then rounds things out in the final part of the story.

It’s all very impressively manic, and if you head to CBR – oh, go on, you’ll like it – you can find out more details from the book.

Archie Relaunch… Archie, with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples

Something interesting lurks at Archie Comics, as the company seem to be following on the success of ‘Afterlife with Archie’ and ‘Sabrina’ with another monthly series in 2015. This time, however, they’re going back to their roots, for a relaunch of Archie as a serial comic starting in March. The creative team? Mark Waid and Fiona Staples.

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Yep – THE Fiona Staples of Saga. She’s done some work with Archie in the past, with a cover or two for some of their other titles – but this seems like she’s going to be continuing two ongoing series at once. In the press release announcing the series, Archie are clear on the point that they aren’t going to completely change Archie forever. More, this seems like a deliberately-engineered jump-on point for new readers.

The book will follow Archie right from the start, establishing a World where Betty and Veronica aren’t yet vying for his attention, and Jughead has yet to eat his first burger (well perhaps that bit won’t be true). The company will continue on with their digests, but this new book will see Waid revisiting some of those old stories and bringing them up to be a little more contemporary.

It’s a pretty unexpected move from the company, but clearly one spurred along by the success of their recent horror line. With a new line of superhero books next year, Archie seem to be trying hard to push themselves out into the single-issue market. That’s certainly a strong creative team (although we may have to see how long they stay on the series) to kick things off. Mark this down as an particularly unusual but promising series for 2015.

Nobrow’s 2015 Lineup Features Books from Wren McDonald, Jen Lee, and More

Zainab’s spotted (or announced – who has time to read these things in specific detail?) a load of new books Nobrow will be releasing in 2015. Four, specifically, including work from William Exley and Joe Sparrow. Here’s a quick run down of each – I say rundown, but what I mean is the blurbs officially produced for each, lovingly copied and pasted from Comics & Cola.

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Vacancy by Jen Lee (projected release in April): ‘In a disheveled and ransacked backyard, a dog named Simon has been forgotten by his owners. Simon breaks free and partners with a raccoon and a deer who take him into the woods. But Simon realizes he is not quite ready to live in the wild. And in the abandoned areas of the town strange things begin to happen. . . .Vacancy explores the ways that animals think; how they internalize their changing environment and express their thoughts, fears, or excitement.’

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Cyber Realm by Wren McDonald (projected release in August): ‘Before “the end” took place, all technology and robotics were locked away in a place deep underground known as the Cyber Realm. Now the technology that it stores is used by the King to bully the people into submission.Cyber Realm blends the best of sci-fi with honest and dark humor. It takes reality, breaks, twists, and rebuilds it into a new vision of the world.’

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Golemchik by William Exley (projected release in June): ‘Abandoned by his friends, one young boy goes searching for fun—and finds a golem on the hunt for the same. But as the two go about living out their dreams of having the best summer ever, the boy realizes that golems don’t know how to take it easy. To save his town, he’ll have to get his new friend under control!’

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The Hunter by Joe Sparrow (projected release May): ‘In a time centuries before our own, one arrogant hunter has grown bored of sport. Only the legends of a mythical beast excite him now, but when he goes hunting for the creature he quickly discovers that he is outmatched. Because this beast is not any mythical animal but is composed of all the hunted prey killed in the past, and it is most certainly out for revenge.’

Darkwing Duck to Return in 2015 for New Ongoing Series

The much-loved BOOM! Studios run on Darkwing Duck is to be collected into a giant omnibus next year – but that’s just the start of it, as Joe Books have teased that the collection will then lead into a new ongoing series for the character in 2015. This is rather surprising – but welcome – news, as Darkwing Duck was believed to be a victim of the Marvel/Disney merger from a few years back.

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One of BOOM!’s most popular books, Darkwing Duck is, obviously, based on the Disney property. When it was announced that Disney were to be buying Marvel, it quickly came to public attention that this likely meant the end of BOOM!’s associations with Disney properties like The Muppets and Darkwing Duck. Although it’s been brought to my attention (see the comments to this piece) that this isn’t the case, nevertheless Darkwing Duck did eventually conclude with issue #16.

Now it’ll be returning under the guidance of editor Aaron Sparrow, who has rewritten and tweaked the run somewhat for a ‘Definitively Dangerous Edition’ in January, which will also feature new pages, art, and a special epilogue. It’ll be coming out in January 2015.

However, in the post announcing this news, Joe Books also say that this will be leading into a new ongoing series for the character later on in 2015. Sparrow will be writing the series, along with the returning creative team of artist James Silvani, colourist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Deron Bennett. You can expect to hear more on the return of the series shortly.

NYCC’14: Lemire and Perez Relaunch Hawkeye, Spencer and Rosanas Launch Ant-Man

Last few bits of NYCC news from Marvel, promise! They did also announce a new Gamora series from screenwriter Nicole Perlman, but I don’t consider that news until they tell us who the artist is. SO INSTEAD here’s news of two upcoming solo series from Marvel, one of which you’ll have seen coming for a while.

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Ant-Man gets his own series just in time for next year’s movie, with Scott Lang as the man inside the helmet. Written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Ramon Rosanas, the series remains vague due to this frustratingly dull announcement interview posed to Spencer. From the questions asked, we basically know nothing about the book aside from maybe Iron Man will show up. Let’s wait on that one, then.

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Comics’ other great Ramon, Ramon Perez, will be stepping into the shoes of David Aja/Annie Wu and taking on the most tricksy job in comics – coming in as artist for Hawkeye. He’ll be joined on the book by writer Jeff Lemire. The creative team have been very careful to let people know that ‘Hawkeye’ will remain a term which stretches, so both Kate Bishop and Clint Barton will remain tied to the series. Sana Amanat will edit the series, and the three speak to CBR here.

This is Lemire’s first ongoing work at Marvel, after doing a story in an anthology a few years back. Moved on from his DC contract, he’s clearly interested in racing around the world of comics for the time being – he has work at Valiant, Dark Horse, everywhere, it seems. Hawkeye looks to be moving in a different direction to the previous tone from Fraction/Aja (which, if I’m being honest? Got boring for me fairly quickly, and became something for acclaim-seekers rather than anyone else) by broadening out the focus. The new arc will be looking at Clint Barton’s past as well as present, fleshing his life out a little for readers.

One more post and we’ll all be done with NYCC ’14!

NYCC’14: Vertigo Announce New Titles from Gail Simone and Tim Seeley

At their panel yesterday, Vertigo announced the launch of two new comics in 2014, in the form of ‘Effigy’ by Tim Seeley/Ziggy Marcone and ‘Clean Room’ by Gail Simone and Jonathan Davis-Hunt.

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Effigy will be an ongoing series, and marks the first Vertigo work from Seeley – who has recently been making rather a name for himself at DC, with his writing on Grayson and Batman Eternal. The series will be about a former child star who flees back to her childhood home after being embroiled in a sex-tape scandal. Rather than finding a safe haven, however, she instead stumbles into a mystery which resembles a storyline from her old TV show. Curious. A satire of celebrity culture, it seems, you can read a little more about it over at CBR.

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Clean Room, on the other hand, is a psychological horror with covers from Jenny Frison (as above!). Written by Simone and drawn by 2000AD mainstay Davis-Hunt, this follows a reporter investigating a mysterious church which claims it can cure all ‘disorders’ in a ‘clean room’. When her partner is killed whilst the investigation takes place, Chloe steps her investigation up a few notches. You can find more about the book over at The Mary Sue.

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