The weekend is here! Put down your paperwork, throw your stationery out of the window, and do a victory spin in your office chair, because it’s time to catch up on that greatest of all media: comics! What’s been going on this week? There’s so much comics that there’s no way anybody can keep up with all of it — so Weekender is here to catch you up on some of the stories you may have missed, and some of the best writing about comics from the past few days.
If there's one thing we have learned throughout the history of comics, it's that if you joke about something ridiculous long enough, then eventually, it's probably going to happen. Which, I imagine, is how we got the upcoming variant cover for IDW's Judge Dredd where the stone-faced lawman of the future finally meets Archie Andrews.
Okay, okay, so right now, it's only a variant cover as part of IDW's upcoming celebration of Archie's 75th Anniversary, which will see a pretty amazing set of covers where IDW's various titles --- including Transformers, Jem and the Holograms and Star Trek --- meet up with Riverdale's favorite teens. Check them out below!
When I'm looking for something to read, there are certain things that will make me pick up a book immediately. It's probably the same way with you, and while I think we all have the usual soft spots for a favorite villain or a cool plot point, every now and then you run across a story title that's just so weird that you absolutely have to see how it all plays out. This, for the record, is the reason for about 90% of my back issue purchases, and was basically the leading theory on how to design a DC Comics cover for about thirty years.
What I'm getting at here is that when I was looking at the stories included in the new Judge Dredd Complete Casefiles v.10 paperback and I saw that there was one called "The Fists of Stan Lee," I pretty much dropped everything so that I could read it. And yes: It is, in fact, Judge Dredd fighting Stan Lee. Just, you know. Not that Stan Lee.
Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's Empire has had a pretty strange publication history. First there were two issues through the short-lived Gorilla Comics imprint at Image, then those later became the #0 issue of a seven-issue series from DC, and just last year, the story of a world where the ultimate supervillain actually succeeded in taking over the world was reborn as a webcomic at Thrillbent, Waid's webcomics concern, with new pages going up weekly.
This week, however, IDW Publishing announced that the series was returning to the printed page. As the first part of a partnership between IDW and Thrillbent, Empire: Uprising will collect the digital chapters as a monthly series starting in April.
As part of the short-lived Gorilla imprint of Image Comics in 2000, frequent collaborators Mark Waid and Barry Kitson launched Empire, a creator-owned title about the reign of a supervillain who succeeded where so many others failed, and actually conquered the Earth, uniting it under his brutal, iron-fisted rule. The initial run only lasted two issues, but a few years later, Waid and Kitson finished the first story arc under the DC Comics banner, and in so doing created something of a cult classic that some fans still regard as their best work together -- work that includes The Legion of Super-Heroes, JLA: Year One and Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold.
Now, fourteen years after Golgoth first took control of the world, Waid and Kitson have returned to Empire, releasing it as a webcomic through Thrillbent's monthly subscription model, whereby you get access to the entire Thrillbent catalogue for $3.99, and a free download of Empire volume 1.
To find out more about the return of Empire, we spoke to Kitson about the initial idea, how he approached designing a world that had been conquered by evil, and where he and Waid intend to take the very long awaited Empire volume 2.
In a Wednesday blog post, Waid unveiled what he's calling "Thrillbent 3.0," which adds another layer of content that Waid is calling a sort of "Hulu Plus of comics." Fans can pay a $3.99 monthly fee -- about as much as the cover price for most Marvel single issues -- to access a collection of titles including a revived version of Waid, Barry Kitson and Chris Sotomayor's Gorilla Comics/DC series Empire. There's also a free new app available for iOS that gives fans mobile access to the material.
One of the most significant -- and to many readers, one of the most exciting -- developments in comics in the last few years has been the growth of Image Comics, with many of the most popular writers and artists in the industry currently producing much, if not all, of their creator owned work through the publisher. As such, Image Expo has become a highly anticipated event, as publisher Eric Stephenson uses the annual show to announce several upcoming books from both established and new talent.
Today's Image Expo continued that tradition, as more than a dozen new titles were announced, from Ed Brubaker, Grant Morrison, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Burnham, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender and more.
A comic by Cullen Bunn and Barry Kitson is pretty exciting to begin with, but with next month's Captain America & Iron Man #634, they've raised the bar. Why? Because in that issue, two of the mightiest Avengers of all are going to be facing the single deadliest threat of their long and storied careers: The Perilous Parkour of Batroc the Leaper!
On sale this week from Marvel Comics is FF #5, continuing the long awaited "War of Four Cities" storyline. Written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by guest artist Barry Kitson, the story finds Mr...
Welcome back to our (admittedly delayed) annotations of Jonathan Hickman's hugely successful run on FF, formerly Fantastic Four! Chris Eckert of Funnybook Babylon and Savage Critics and I have been taking a look at every issue to provide annotations for readers that explore the book's connections with the rest of Hickman's work and the run's influences from all over the Marvel Universe...