With most of its major hits and standout series having run their course months or years ago, Vertigo has been due for a renaissance for a while now. Judging from the announcements made at San Diego Comic Con late on Thursday, the publisher may be rallying, with 12 new series set to launch in the closing months of 2015 at a rate of one new issue #1 every week.
Those 12 titles include a couple of previously announced books that have been rescheduled, but enough new announcements to suggest that Vertigo means to impress with its ambition. Sci fi and the supernatural are inevitably well represented, and the roster includes veteran talents, emerging names, and a few cross-disiplinary transfers in the form of novelists Lauren Beukes and Holly Black — the latter on a relaunch of Lucifer — and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.
As announced last month, Prog 1950 of 2000 AD in September will see the return of one of the long-running magazine's most fondly-remembered series, 'Bad Company'. Created by writer Peter Milligan, artist Brett Ewins, and inker Jim McCarthy, the series follows a ragtag group of soldiers as they fight a dire guerrilla war against the alien threat of the Krool.
A gripping, paranoid look at modern warfare, the series was characterized by Milligan's biting scripts and Ewins' visceral artwork. Sadly, Brett Ewins passed away earlier this year, making the return of 'Bad Company' a bittersweet experience, and re-framing the new work as a tribute to Ewins' memory.
As 2000 AD readies for the return of the troops, ComicsAlliance spoke to Milligan about his time working with Ewins, and what prompted him to bring back the Bad Company.
I've written before about how one of the best things about Batman is how adaptable he is as a character. Owing largely to the fact that he descends from pulp vigilantes but was refined for the world of superheroes, he can work in almost any kind of story, from gritty, street-level crime to world-traveling adventure, and even the occasional trip to space alongside the Justice League. But the one thing that you very rarely see from Batman is a story where he has to deal with the supernatural.
I think there's a good reason for that, and it has a lot to do with his origin. Ghosts and demons and other assorted haints are, after all, an indication of an afterlife, and the more you remind readers that, in comics at least, death is a transitional inconvenience rather than a permanent state of being, the more they start to wonder just why this guy is so mad about a couple of murders. But that said, it has been done on occasion, and it has never, ever been done as well as it was in Peter Milligan, Kieron Dwyer, Dennis Janke and Mike Mignola's Dark Knight, Dark City, which is out this week in a new paperback.
We at ComicsAlliance are suckers for a good mystery, and over the past six issues Peter Milligan and Leandro Fernandez's The Names has proven to be exactly our cup of tea – this high-suspense psychological financial thriller follows Katya Walker, a woman seeking information about her husband’s sudden death, who comes into conflict with a world-dominating techno-financial cabal called The Names, and finds herself in an uneasy partnership with her stepson Phillip, fighting for her life while searching for answers.
It's a story full of brutal action, advanced technology, hairpin plot twists, and carefully layered concepts, populated by psychopathic murderers, mind-controlling financiers, corrupt cops, and mysterious digital beings known only as "The Dark Loops" – and, courtesy of DC/Vertigo, we're excited to bring you this exclusive first look at pages from issue #6, which hits comic shops next week!
This past September, Vertigo launched Peter Milligan and Leandro Fernandez's nine-issue limited series The Names. It's the story of Katya Walker, a woman who finds herself searching for answers after her husband's apparent suicide and fighting for her life against a world-dominating techno-financial cabal known only as the Names. We last spoke with Milligan six months ago, just before The Names #1 was released, and now that the story has reached its halfway point, we're excited to follow up with another in-depth conversation about the series.
Marvel has announced plans to publish a Miracleman Annual this New Year's Eve that feature the publisher's first original Miracleman story, by the X-Statix team of Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, and a long-lost Johnny Bates story by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Joe Quesada. The book also features a cover by Gabriele Dell'Otto and a variant cover by Bone's Jeff Smith.
Miracleman, originally called Marvelman, was created by Mick Anglo in 1954 as a British analog of Fawcett's Captain Marvel (now Shazam). The character was revived in the early 1980s by Alan Moore as part of the era's deconstruction of the superhero motif, but ownership of the character later fell into a protracted dispute.
Today sees the release The Names #1 by Peter Milligan and Leandro Fernandez. Published by Vertigo and described as Kill Bill meets The Wolf Of Wall Street, the book tells the story of Katya Walker, a woman who is thrown into a web of financial and technological intrigue after the sudden suicide of her husband -- a suicide that we learn in the first pages of issue #1 was not committed out of despair but at the behest of a man called the Surgeon, working for a world-dominating cabal of financiers known only as the Names. Dubious that her husband would take his own life, Katya's search for the truth takes the reader through a violent, decadent and technologically advanced world of money and power that teaches the young woman not just about the chilling reality of how the world works, but about the role her husband was subtly preparing her to take should the Names ever go too far.
Drawn in a wildly expressive and sexy style by Leandro Fernandez with delicate, mood colors by Cris Peter, The Names is has some aesthetic and narrative similarities to Vertigo's revenge epic 100 Bullets, but with a very contemporary theme obviously inspired by current events such as the Global Economic Crisis and, presumably, the enduringly frustrating fact that its cruel architects have not been brought to justice.
ComicsAlliance sat down with Milligan to talk about the real-world inspiration for The Names, his plans for the project, and to break down some special moments from its first issue.
A few weeks ago, we covered the announcement of Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel, the new miniseries from Valiant by Peter Milligan and Cary Nord, and showed off some of Nord's absolutely stunning art. If, however, you are one of our more sharp-eyed readers, you may have thought "hey, these pages don't have the color or lettering that I usually see in my superhero comics! I wonder what they'd look like if they were finished?"
Wonder no more, dear reader! Today, you can have a look at the first six pages of the story in beautiful color, complete with Milligan's dialogue. The story focuses on an adventure from the early days of Gilad Anni-Pada, one of a trio of immortal brothers that also includes Armstrong (of Archer & Armstrong), and it gives Nord's artwork an amazing opportunity to shine.
It's a very interesting time to be a Valiant comics fan. While the company's roster is made up of titles that revive the classic Valiant properties of the 1990s, they've proving to be anything but predictable in terms of content and presentation. Over the last six months alone, they've launched insane promotional campaigns, kicked off major crossover events, brought back long-time favorite creative teams, announced new projects from major creators, and gained acclaim for a publishing approach that seems more or less like "bring in topnotch talent, let them work their magic, and have fun".
Later this year, the company will release its first book named for an character that didn't have a counterpart in the '90s Valiant line: Punk Mambo #0, a special one-shot issue written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Robert Gill focusing on the mohawked voodoo priestess first introduced in the pages of Shadowman. Described by Valiant as the story of how Punk Mambo migrated from crusty British high society to the dark world of American voodoo, and how she returns to her origins to discover "the punks and the voodoo priests she used to know have cleaned themselves up, and she’s a loud, belching ghost from their past, come to break in the new furniture…and break some faces!"
ComicsAlliance readers are getting the first look at three different covers to issue #0, and an exclusive conversation with writer/creator Peter Milligan about his plans for the character and her
I think we can all agree that the biggest problem with modern life is that there's just aren't enough violent barbarians severing heads for our amusement and enjoyment. It's a problem, but fortunately, the fine people over at Valiant are stepping up to the plate to help out.
This November, Valiant is launching Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel a new three-issue miniseries by the team of Peter Milligan and Cary Nord, focusing on Gilad, one of a trio of immortal brothers, and a mysterious mission that he undertook in the tenth century that will presumably result in severed heads. Alot of severed heads.
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