As you may have noticed from all our recent Batman '89 content, comic books are pretty big on celebrating anniversaries. There's only one problem: You sort of need to wait for those anniversaries to actually happen, and we as readers have never been all that great with the concept of patience. I mean, does anyone really want to wait around until the 2060s to celebrate the centennial of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Marvel Age of Comics?
Marvel Comics certainly doesn't, which is why they're gearing up for a series of 100th Anniversary Specials, set to be released next month -- 50 years before those anniversaries actually happen. For the Avengers, Marvel's tapped Orc Stain and Wonton Soup cartoonist James Stokoe to reveal the future of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Today, we've got an exclusive look at Stokoe's characteristically frenzied, hyper-detailed pages from the upcoming one-shot special, which includes such compellingly weird concepts as an Avengers team made up of Beta Ray Bill, Rogue and Doctor Strange; a sentient Stark Tower; an America lost to the Negative Zone; and the Mole Man -- because the Mole Man has always been weird enough. We spoke to Stokoe about why he chose the heroes and villains to populate the Avengers of 2061, and what he sees for comics as a business in the next 50 years.
There's still several weeks before James Stoke‘s Wonton Soup gets collected in a new 6 x 9" trade paperback by Oni Press, but the publisher is aiming to whet readers' appetites for the previously out-of-print comic in a glorious 30-page preview of the upcoming Wontomnibus. Have some water handy, though, we don't want you burning your tongue.
The new Godzilla film opening this weekend will be the 30th to star the worlds' most famous giant monster. Toho made 28 Godzilla films in Japan, divided by fans into three cycles, each with their own continuity—the Showa series, the Heisei series and the Millennium series—and then there was the ill-fated 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed film that served as a sort of How Not To Make a Godzilla Movie cautionary tale for the makers of the new film.
While the movies are undoubtedly Godzilla's source turf, he's expanded his territory into other media over the years, from cartoon series to prose novels to video games -- and, of course, comic books, which he's been starring in for nearly 40 years now. With that in mind, we present a helpful primer for the King of Monsters' adventures on the paneled page.
Marvel went to C2E2 armed with a plethora of publishing announcements for the Chicago crowd, focusing largely on special projects like miniseries and some pretty cool-sounding Original Sin tie-ins, but with a couple auspicious new series as well. In an inspired bit of comic book casting, Our Love Is Real and Avengers A.I. writer Sam Humphries will write the The Legendary Star-Lord, a new series drawn by Paco Medina starring the Guardians of the Galaxy leader. In similarly agreeable news, fan favorite X-Men leader Stormwill star in a new ongoing series, this one courtesy of Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
On sale throughout April, What If? Age of Ultron is a weekly five-issue series written by Joe Keatinge that takes the central story mechanism of Marvel's Age of Ultron -- what would happen to the Marvel Universe if Hank Pym had never created the malevolent artificial intelligence Ultron -- and applies it to some of the publisher's iconic heroes. What would happen in a world without the Wasp? What would happen in a world without Thor? And so on.
What If? Age of Ultron is particularly notable for its artist roster, which includes Chris Stevens on covers with interiors and variants by talents not typically associated with Marvel titles. Among them, Ming Doyle, Piotr Kowalski, Mico Suayan, Ramon Villalobos, Raffaele Ienco and James Stokoe, whose variant cover for issue #2 you're seeing here for the first time.
The trailer for the new Godzilla movie is a really tense little film on its own, offering up only glimpses of the titular monster while Bryan Cranston and various other humans -- such as Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen who are playing Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, respectively, in Avengers: Age of Ultron -- lose their collective minds. It's gripping.
James Stoke's sufficiently blown up in recent years with the acclaimed launch of his ongoing Orc-Stain series at Image, the collection of his stylized Godzilla: Half Century War story at IDW and other high-profile projects, but the series many fans discovered him through has been getting harder and harder to find of late. That all changes in July when Oni Press reissues the first two volumes of Stokoe's Wonton Soup in a single trade paperback collection (a Wontomnibus???) sporting a brand new cover.
Prophet's success can be measured not just in awards and critical acclaim, but in the way other creators have praised it. No matter who your favorite writer or artist is, there's a good chance that Prophet, Image's sci-fi series written by Brandon Graham and illustrated by the team of Simon Roy, Giannis Milonogiannis, Farel Dalrymple and Graham, ranks among her or his favorite current titles. So it's no surprise that Prophet #39 features artistic contributions from the likes of James Stokoe, Ron Wimberly, Helen Maier and more.
Image Comics has provided ComicsAlliance with a six page preview of Prophet #39,as well as a teaser image highlighting the group of artists who contributed to the issue, and you can check them all out below.
When you do the type of work that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund does -- protecting the First Amendment rights of creators -- some of the top talent in the industry will do what they can to support. One of the latest examples comes courtesy of Brandon Graham, James Stokoe and Simon Roy, as the three artists sketched bookplates for the CBLDF, and the results are pretty great.
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