This year seminal British publisher and #1 provider of Thrill-Power, 2000 AD is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is throwing a big old bash in London on February 11th. As part of the celebrations, a number of 2000 AD's licensees have put together an amazing roster of art and merchandise to commemorate the anniversary, including new prints from Sean Phillips, Carlos Ezquerra and Mick McMahon along with statues, pins and more.
In the latest of our galleries celebrating the best covers of the year, we're looking at the best covers from IDW.
IDW maintained its impressive and diverse line of licensed properties in 2016, from Ninja Turtles to Little Ponies, as well as ambitiously expanding and collating its Hasbro properties under the "Revolution" banner, and reviving and reinventing the Micronauts, M.A.S.K., and Rom.
So far the ThreeA Marvel crossover figures have largely been characters with a bit more of a fantastical bent. We've seen Iron Man, the man who lives inside a suit of armor. We've seen Doctor Doom, a calculating genius... who lives inside a suit of armor. We've seen Ultron, a literal walking suit of armor, and even the company's new Spider-Man figures feature the Peter Parker's alter-ego as a mechanical construct (though a little Peter is also included).
Now the talented team at ThreeA is finally putting its trademark spin on the first true, non-powered, non-armored hero since starting the line. This August, ThreeA will give us Ashley Wood's take on Marvel's senior Soviet spy, the Black Widow.
Though the floor presence for ThreeA was much more condensed at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, there were still some very nice surprises hidden away in the Lucite displays. During the show, ThreeA announced new partnerships with Hasbo, Geof Darrow, and Giannis Milonogiannis, as well as debuting an all-new Spider-Man figure for Marvel. The 2000 AD license is still rocking and rolling as well, with new products digger deeper into the British comic magazine's history. ThreeA is still focused on its own original ideas, but the injection of these outside brands has given the company some new ground to explore with its signature style.
"The bottom line is it’s fun. As ThreeA grows, it’s fun to bring people in," said Ashley Wood, co-founder and designer at ThreeA. "Geof Darrow, Paul Pope, even the Hasbro stuff, it’s all exciting. This is my way of being a fanboy. The nostalgia of the Hasbro stuff is exciting, and I’m a fan of the artists. I know them. I’ve known them for years. To be able to create these totems, these 3D abstractions of their ideas, it’s a very difficult process, but it makes it fun. With the Hasbro stuff, the idea is to twist it, maybe push it to the edge a bit."
Finally, ThreeA's Steel Age Batman has made an appearance. Teased ahead of San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year on Instagram, and then at the show itself with a massive banner (which you might have missed given its auspicious hanging spot), ThreeA's finally unveiled the first official images of its unique take on the Dark Knight. If you want to get technical, Steel Age Batman was actually teased all the way back at SDCC 2014, but that was just a concept image and announcement of the deal between ThreeA and DC Comics. It's taken more than a year for the Bat to actually surface.
If there's one thing that we're definitely on the record as loving here at ComicsAlliance, it's task forces made up of color-coded heroes --- and it's even better if they all have some sort of specialty. And fortunately for us, we're only a week away from getting a new one in the form of Ashley Wood's String Divers.
Based on a line of action figures from Wood's 3A toys, String Divers follows the adventures of a team that sets out to battle tiny, tiny problems in the "worlds within worlds," apparently by punching them until they are no longer problems. The comic is written by IDW editor Chris Ryall with art by Judge Dredd's Nelson Daniel, and if a premise that sounds like Power Rangers meets Micronauts is something you're into, good news: We've got an exclusive extended preview to check out below!
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Much as threeA Toys, IDW and other publishers work to feed demand, the art of Ashley Wood seems to get consumed so fast that it often develops an air of exclusivity. This was literally the case this past fall when the Jonathan Levine gallery in New York City hosted a collection of the Australian creator's fine art paintings.