Dynamite Explodes At NYCC 2012 With New Remender, Waid, Ennis, Wagner And More
Dynamite Entertainment got really real last weekend at New York Comic-Con, coming out swinging with numerous new projects from an impressive roster of mainstream creators who’ve been given free rein on brand new series. Among them, Rick Remender, the Marvel Comics writer of Uncanny Avengers and Uncanny X-Force, who will collaborate with artist Paul Renaud (Red Sonja: Vacant Shell) for an all-new series called Devolution. Dynamite’s also signed up Garth Ennis, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Andy Diggle and Fred Van Lente to create more original titles for 2013.
Perhaps most recognized for its deep catalogue of comic book licenses, Dynamite’s also shaking things up in that realm with a bunch of auspicious assignments: Mark Waid and cover artist Paolo Rivera on The Green Hornet; Matt Wagner on The Shadow: Year One; Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning on Battlestar Galactica; Jim Butcher and Mark Powers on The Dresden Files; and Matt Sturges on Damsels. Additionally, Dynamite’s acquired the comic book license for the NBC series Grimm.
The projects are in various states of production, with some so new that they don’t even have names yet. We break everything down below.
“DEVOLUTION is a return to the pulp/grindhouse science fiction I built my career on starting with FEAR AGENT (and that’s also infused VENOM, SECRET AVENGERS, and UNCANNY X-FORCE),” said writer Rick Remender in a press release. “I came up with DEVOLUTION around the same time as FEAR AGENT and it’s been percolating for years. It’s incredibly fulfilling finally to be able to dive in with super talent Paul Renaud. He’s a tremendously gifted and intelligent collaborator. I wouldn’t have done the series without Paul and I appreciate [publisher Nick Barrucci] and Dynamite being so patient while we waited for the planets — and schedules — to align and make this project possible. Joining us will be my FEAR AGENT colorist Lee Loughridge and letterer Rus Wooton, longtime friends and collaborators who I respect and trust. I’m also blown away by the artists Nick has lined up for the covers as well, ranging, in alphabetical order, from Jae Lee to Alex Ross to Ryan Sook: The series will be loaded with A-list talent. We’ve got a very exciting story to tell with a heavy dose of high-octane action, character drama, a world of strange reverse mutations, and social commentary as we follow the last tribe of humans inoculated from the devolution agent as they set out on a desperate journey to try to find a way to re-evolve life on Earth.”
“Devolution is a dream project Rick Remender and I have been talking about for five years or so now,” said Devolution artist Paul Renaud. “From our early talks about our mutual love for the EC comics and adventure comics of the ’50s, it grew into a larger template where we could actually show the whole world as an hostile deadly force. As such it has become the major player in the story. After more than two hundred covers for more comics than I could name, I finally told Nick Barrucci I was really into going back to drawing a book, and doing that with Rick is exactly what I needed. Nick and Dynamite had been very excited about doing that project from the start many moons ago, and he’s played a major role into setting the whole thing in motion. We all knew such a book would require the best of us, and making this happening now is just a blast.”
Red Team written by Garth Ennis, drawn by Craig Cermak
Ennis’ new title is meant to launch a new crime line from Dynamite, and teams him with newcomer Craig Cermak. Little has been revealed about the story so far beyond that it will be seven issues, but writer Ennis had this to say in a press release: “Earlier this year, the four members of the NYPD’s elite strike unit Red Team decided to murder a suspect. And the worst possible thing that could happen… happened!”
THE DEVILERS written by Joshua Hale Fialkov, artist to be determined
“I’m thrilled to be working on such a fantastic book with the gang at Dynamite,” said Fialkov. “It’s going to be an explosive thrill ride. Guaranteed.”
“Joshua has an impressive track record and I was really impressed with Elk’s Run and Tumor. His writing is crisp and smart,” said Barrucci. “We’ve been developing The Devilers for quite a bit of time, and needed the write voice for the series. Joshua is the going to shine on this series.”
Untitled Zombie Project written by Fred Van Lente, artist to be determined
“Like a lot of things that I do, my zombie project at Dynamite mocks a genre while very much being a part of that genre,” said writer Fred Van Lente. “In a lot of zombie stories we get the beginning of plague, or the zombie apocalypse, but we skip all the military, governmental and just plain human screw ups that got us from Point A to Point B. Well, that’s all this book is about — a global disaster of this magnitude results in a lot global stupidity, and therein lies comedy. Think of this as World War Z with jokes and a B drive-in movie Grindhouse sensibility. At the heart of our story is a group of message-board experts — yes, geeks — recruited (not without real-life precedent) by the Defense Intelligence Agency to see if they can’t apply their unparalleled knowledge of the zombie genre to figure a way to solve the crisis. As a professional comics writer, will I allow Internet know-it-alls save the world, or will they all be horrifically slaughtered? I can’t wait to find out myself.”
Untitled Crime Book written by Andy Diggle
“It’s not every day that a publisher offers you the chance to create a whole new world from scratch, and I’m having fun cooking up something dark, funny, violent and twisted for Dynamite,” said writer Andy Diggle. “Hard-hitting genre fiction with a twist, for readers who don’t like having their intelligence insulted. The kind of comic I want to read myself. So there’s really just one question: are you in or are you out?”
“Andy Diggle is one of the most incredible writers in comics today,” said Barrucci. “As a fan, I find each series that he writes more engaging than the previous one. I enjoyed his Hellblazer run, but when I read his Green Arrow: Year One and The Losers, I wanted to read more of Andy’s work and sought out his earlier comics series to read. And I’m glad I did. Having now read much of his body of work, I have a deep respect for his skill as a writer. After several years of exclusivity with DC and Marvel, I’m excited to finally be able to announce that Andy is working for Dynamite on a series and genre that he loves.”
Given Dynamite’s reservoir of Golden Age, pulp and other variously cultish or obscure superhero-esque artifacts, it’s hard to believe that this Green Hornet relaunch will be writer Mark Waid’s first work for the publisher. But it’s true, and he’s joined by his Daredevil collaborator Paolo Rivera on covers for what sounds to be an intriguing story that takes place in the twilight years of the Green Hornet’s crimefighting career.
“It should come as little surprise that I have an affinity for all costumed crimefighters no matter if their adventures are ‘period pieces’ or not–heroism is heroism regardless of whatever year’s on the calendar,” said Mark Waid. “With this Green Hornet project, which I’ve been percolating on for more than ten years, I’m able to meld my love of the Hornet’s legacy with a little bit of Citizen Kane and a lot of Lawrence of Arabia to tell a story never before told — the dark years of the Hornet’s later career and the one mistake he makes that nearly costs him everything.”
“I wasn’t very familiar with the Green Hornet growing up, but I always thought he looked sleek and stylish. I guess I had a soft spot for old-school heroes,” said Rivera. “I later discovered that he was designed by H. J. Ward, my favorite painter of all time. The more I learned about Ward, the more I learned about Britt Reid and Kato, including Reid’s familial ties to The Lone Ranger. I can’t wait to render my interpretation of the green team. That, and I miss Mark Waid.”
The creator of Grendel and author of numerous Batman stories as well as Dynamite’s own Green Hornet: Year One, Matt Wagner is an obvious choice to pen an origin story of pulp adventure’s leading man.
“The Shadow has long been one of my absolute favorite established characters and I’m thrilled to finally get the chance to contribute to his continuing adventures,” said Wagner. “I’m getting to help define The Shadow’s mysterious origins in a Year One story arc! For all his published history in both the pulps and comics, as well as his radio adventures, there’s surprisingly no depiction of his very first adventures as the dark-clad Master of Men. This series will explore the events that first drew Kent Allard/Lamont Cranston back to the States, how he began to assemble his vast network of agents and how he first adopted the famous black hat and cloak as his alter-ego’s disguise-secrets that, up until now…only The Shadow knew!”
Black Bat written by Brian Buccellato, artist to be determined
Dynamite’s latest pulp revival is to be Black Bat, introduced in 1939 in the pages of Black Book Detective. Written primarily by Norman Daniels under the house name G. Wayman Jones, the story goes that District Attorney Anthony Quinn was blinded by acid, but a surgery resulted in him being able to see perfectly in the day and at night. The idea was that because Quinn had spent time as a blind person, his other senses became acutely heightened, giving him an edge when his sight was eventually restored. Quinn pretended to be a blind attorney so as to protect his activities as Black Bat.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to put my stamp on classic character whose origin dates back to the time of such greats as The Shadow, The Phantom, and The Green Hornet,” said writer Brian Buccellato. “The Black Bat is had the misfortune of sharing the same monicker as arguably the most beloved superhero of all time. Interestingly though, he was a contemporary of and not a copycat or ‘rip-off’ of the Dark Knight. Tony Quinn’s origin and motivations were very unique to him. In fact, his origin and costume design influenced some very well-known comic characters that came after him.”
Beginning in January and based on the popular 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, this crossover finds the two titular heroes in pursuit of a seemingly bionic serial killer, but somehow coming to blows along the way.
“Growing up a huge fan of Steve Austin and now having such a strong admiration for the work Kevin Smith and Phil Hester have done to redefine the characters, I almost have to pinch myself that not only do I get to play in this world, but I get to tell the Steve Austin/Jamie Sommers story I’ve carried with me all these years,” said writer Keith Champagne. “Expect plenty of twists and turns before it’s all over because I’m putting both Steve and Jamie through their bionic paces. Let’s see what they look like when or if they make it out to the other side.”
Damsels mixes disparate fairy tale princesses like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and The Little Mermaid into an ongoing adventure series written by Leah Moore & John Reppion (Dynamite’s Sherlock Holmes and Alice Wonderland). Featuring covers by Joseph Michael Linsner, creator of the sexy fantasy character Dawn, Damsels has been a success for Dynamite, prompting a new miniseries written by Matthew Sturges, perhaps best known as the co-writer of Vertigo’s Jack of Fables, which also dealt with similar subject matter (and characters). Sturges’ Damsels book will focus on the aquatic, as he said in a press release:
“What Damsels does for dry land, this book does for the ocean. We’ve got mermaids! Pirates! A kraken! Sirens! All wrapped up in fast-past coming-of-age story, filled with treachery, high adventure, and very probably some sharks. (And maybe even a little romance for good measure.) In short: if it’s in a fairy tale or legend, and it’s wet, we’ve got it.”
Unlike the previous Dresden Files comic published by Dabel Brothers and Dynamite, this title is an all-new story that takes place in the universe writer Jim Butcher created for Harry Dresden, a magical private detective whose Chicago-based adventures span 13 novels and one season of a SyFy television series.
“It’s an honor to be a part of a brand-new, never before seen story set in the Dresdenverse,” said co-writer Mark Powers. “Under Jim’s watchful eye, we’re doing everything in our power to create something worthy of the mythos.”
“Working with Jim, Rich and the entire Dynamite crew on Dresden has been an absolute thrill,” added artist Joe Cooper. “I love The Dresden Files. Monsters, magic and mayhem. What’s not to love? I am truly excited and honored for the opportunity to spend some time in Harry’s world. This series should have a little something for everyone. I hope fans of the book and those picking it up for the first time have as much fun reading it as I’ve had drawing it. Hold onto your hats, should be a wild ride.”
This one is something of a no-brainer given writers Abnett and Lanning’s critical and commercial success with sci-fi ensembles like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes and their own Hypernaturals for BOOM! Studios. An ongoing series based on the original television series from the 1970s, this new Battlestar Galactica title will coincide with the 35th anniversary of the show about the last surviving humans in a war against a relentless mechanical enemy from space.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Dynamite on this Battlestar Galactica project,” said writer Dan Abnett. “I’ve been a fan of Battlestar Galactica since I was a kid, and it’s going to be great for Andy and I to get our cosmically-honed teeth into such a long-standing and beloved Science Fiction franchise.”
“The original series of Battlestar Galactica was like catnip to my younger self; more than filling my rabid craving for spaceships, laser weapons, robots and alien invasions!” said writer Andy Lanning. “It had cool characters, snappy dialogue, creepy alien cyborgs, awesome space battles with fantastic special effects (it was 1978, cut me some slack) and a totally cute robot dog! So, imagine the thrill and excitement to be given the chance to develop something in the Battlestar Galactica universe: to get to play with characters and concepts that I’ve grown up with, that are such a part of my formative years. With this new series from Dynamite, Dan and I are hoping we can add to the established canon of continuity with our own take on the classic series. I know my inner 14 year old is squealing with delight at this opportunity. I’m still holding out hope that one day I’ll get my own Daggit too!”
The writer of numerous Vampirella comics in the 1990s, Tom Sniegoski returns to the cult favorite character in a new ongoing series that finds her in a Boston pub considering a job offer from none other than God himself, who dispatched angels to recruit the sexy vamp for some unknown purpose. Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci said it took more than two years to get the series off the ground, on account of Sniegoski’s hectic writing schedule.
“They say you can’t go home again… or write sexy vampiric characters who kick major ass that you started your comics career with, so you can guess my trepidation when asked by Nick Barrucci, President of Dynamite Comics, to write Vampirella again,” said Sniegoski. “But, you know what? It wasn’t so hard. I think I might’ve missed her. For my first Vampirella Strikes storyline (‘On the Side of Angels’), I’m taking our heroine to a place she’s never really been before. Sure, Vampirella has done battle with all kinds of monsters, beasts and demons of various shapes and sizes, but I wanted to take her out of her element-I wanted to push her into a world commonly believed to be one of light, and goodness, and show her that there is darkness there as well.”
“Working with Tom on this Vampirella series has been an absolute blast,” stated artist Johnny D. “I love dark, gritty subject matter, so exploring the underbelly of Boston’s streets alongside the she-devil was the best drawing experience I’ve had to date. My passion really shines through the dark clouds and smoldering dismembered demons that litter the path of Vampi that I can simply sum up as a labor of love. So sharpen those fangs and be prepared to take a bite out of this great series!”