We've known for a while that Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods is coming to TV in 2017, as a series on the Starz network, but it turns out it's also coming to comics, as a Dark Horse series adapted by P. Craig Russell with art by Scott Hampton and others.
The plan is to adapt the novel over 27 issues, which will be collected in three hardcovers (and presumably paperbacks down the road). The story arcs are titled Shadows, My Ainsel, and The Moment of the Storm. Russell will also provide some interior art, as will Walt Simonson, Mark Buckingham, and Colleen Doran.
A while back DC announced plans to revive Jack Kirby's Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth in January in a form that, to say the least, is a little unique. It's called The Kamandi Challenge, and the idea --- loosely inspired by 1985's DC Challenge and its game of storytelling hot potato --- is that the twelve-issue series will feature a new creative team, randomly paired together from a list of twelve writers and twelve artists for each issue, each picking up the story where the previous team leaves off.
It's an interesting way to mark the 100th anniversary of Kirby's birth in 2017. In advance of New York Comic-Con, DC has revealed a first look at some of the artwork from the series, plus new details of how the creative teams will approach the story.
Walt Simonson, Laura Martin and John Workman's Ragnarok is an epic in every sense of the word. It's the story of Thor --- the Norse god, not any other comic book characters of the same name that you might be thinking of when you hear the words "Walt Simonson" --- returning to life as a rotting but vengeance-driven warrior in a world that's already seen its apocalypse and forming an uneasy alliance with a dark elf assassin sent to finish him off for good.
If you're not sold already, you can read an exclusive preview right here, in which Thor's alliance with Regn gives way to an agreement that one of them is more than likely going to kill the other, assuming they both survive for the next 40 pages.
It's been a while since we've seen an issue of Walt Simonson, Laura Martin and John Workman's Ragnarok, but that doesn't mean that I've forgotten for a second how awesome it is. If you somehow missed the first six issues, it's an epic that marks Simosnon's return to Thor --- just not the Thor you probably associate with him. Instead, Simonson is drawing more heavily on Norse mythology for the story of a world after the battle at the end of all things, where Asgard is in ruins, the enemies of the Gods have taken over the world, and Thor himself is barely clinging to life, driven by duty and revenge.
Needless to say, it is basically amazing.
Next week, the series returns to kick off its second arc, as a Dark Elf assassin sets out to finish the job and kill Thor for good. Check out an exclusive preview!
There is probably no superhero comic better known for the lettering of its sound effects than Walter Simonson's 1983-1987 run on Marvel's Thor. John Workman's lettering on that seminal, still-beloved run was so integral that it's difficult to imagine those comics without it. Workman's big, bold DOOMs, THOOMs and KRAKATHOOMs hit readers' eyes and imaginations like graphic hammer blows. Simonson's art alone could tell powerful, affecting stories, but Workman's lettering really made those Thor comics sing... and scream and thunder and crash and splinter.
How fitting then that the most recent Thor comic, featuring a brand new star character wielding Mjolnir to protect Midgard, should also have such a highly distinct sound effect style, and yet have those sound effects stand out in a completely different way than those of the Simonson/Workman Thor comics of yore.
For any other creator, Thor would've been enough. It's a four-year masterpiece, one that I've frequently called the single best run of superhero comics of all time thanks to its perfect blending of comic book action and the high fantasy of Norse mythology, and that's not a really difficult argument to defend. There are issues with bone-shattering larger-than-life battles, and there are issues that hit so hard emotionally that I still get a little choked up thinking about them, and there are issues that do both at the same time. Thirty years later, it still holds up as an unparalleled high point of the genre, and for any other creator, that would be enough.
For Walt Simonson, born this day in 1946, it was just the tip of the iceberg.
The '90s were an era of amazing comic book crossovers. This was especially true at Dark Horse, where the licenses for Terminator, Predator, Aliens and even Robocop all resided at one time or another, giving the company the ability to mix and match these action film brands for some truly epic encounters. In fact, one such crossover was the impetus for a series of mini-series starring Detroit's number one lawbringer. Written by Frank Miller and drawn by Walt Simonson, Robocop vs. The Terminator played out like a fever dream from fans of the franchises, pitting the man formerly known as Alex Murphy against the entirety of Skynet in the future. The series was such a hit, it even spawned a set of video games for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.
Last summer, NECA continued its fan-favorite retro video game figure series with a collection based on the classic Robocop vs. The Terminator. The line provided a few different Robocops and a few different T-800 Endoskeletons and battle-damaged Terminators, all of which got paint schemes based on their 16-bit interpretations. However, outside of the proposed Terminator dogs (unreleased to this point), it seemed like NECA was finished with the license. Until this week.
You might not realize it, but we're currently living in a Golden Age of licensed crossovers. I mean, really, you can go out right now and pick up a comic about the Ninja Turtles hanging out with the Ghostbusters and it'll be a rewarding experience that ties in logically to both ongoing series about those characters, and when you really think about it, that's mind-blowing. There was, after all, a time not too long ago when the big boom brought us a new installment of Such-and-Such vs. So-and-So almost every month, and getting excited for any of them was almost always a recipe for disappointment.
Except, that is, for the time Frank Miller and Walter Simonson decided to do a book about RoboCop fighting the Terminator and gave us the greatest crossover of all time.
Check out this gallery of some of the greats in Terminator comic art (such as Simon Bisley and Paul Gulacy), a few famous Terminator lovers (Dan Hipp and Brandon Graham, to name two) and some incredibly talented fan artists' take on the world of the T-800, the Connors, Skynet and all that other future stuff.
I like to think I do a pretty good job keeping up with what's out on the stands, but somehow, some way, I managed to completely miss IDW's Ragnarok from Walt Simonson, Laura Martin, and John Workman, until just this week --- and believe me, I'm kicking myself for it. Ragnarok offers action-packed high adventure and sweeping storytelling from some of my favorite creators in comics, with a story that hooked me from the first page.
Of course, the bright side to coming late to the book is that I managed to catch up on the first three issues all at once rather than wait, and with how much I loved it, I'm pretty sure the bimonthly schedule that the book seems to be on would've been a nightmare. If you've been on the fence about picking up Ragnarok, here's five good reasons to give it a shot.
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