When Ninjak #18 hits shelves in August, it's kicking off the time-bending The Fist & The Steel crossover, in which the Eternal Warrior teams up with Ninjak for futuristic immortal ninja action.
Debuting later this month from Image Comics, The Dying & The Dead is the latest collaboration between Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim, following A Red Mass For Mars and Secret. I was able to read issue #1 in advance, in the form of a lettered "first draft," and it is immediately notable for three reasons in particular: The Dying & The Dead takes a decidedly more personal approach to the theme of mortality that Hickman's been exploring in epic fashion in his New Avengers and East of West projects; the artwork by Bodenheim is his career best, not just in terms of technical drawing ability, but in the sense of pure graphic storytelling; and the huge page count makes a compelling case for big first issues.
I've been a fan of Jonathan Hickman's work at Image ever since he hit the ground running with The Nightly News, and the thing I tend to love most about those projects is how unrelentingly high-concept they are. There's always a new hook that I've never seen before, whether it's a satire about super-powered mutant apes or an ongoing series featuring real-life historical figures involved in truly ridiculous acts of mad science. As a result, if you tell me that Hickman and artist Ryan Bodenheim, who worked together on Red Mass For Mars, are doing a new series together called The Dying and the Dead, then my first question is "what's the high concept?"
And that's when I found out that they're referring to it as "Indiana Jones for old people," and I'm pretty much sold.
Opened with a keynote address by Publisher Eric Stephenson that emphasized personalities and relationships in the comic book scene, the first Image Comics Expo in Oakland, California, came with more major publishing announcements than we expected...
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