IDW Publishing came prepared to Anaheim, California's WonderCon event last weekend, announcing several high profile comic book initiatives. Besides the previously discussed Womanthology ongoing series (of miniseries) and the full-length Rocketeer project by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, IDW is developing a revival of James O'Barr's The Crow with creators John Shirley and Kevin Colden; brand new Judge Dredd stories as well as reprint archival material from 2000 AD; a return of the acclaimed The Cape by Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella with art by Zach Howard and Nelson Daniel; new KISS comics written by Chris Ryall and Tom Waltz with art by Jamal Igle and Casey Maloney; a new collection of rare and unpublished Dave Stevens material; and (perhaps) final Locke & Key installment by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez; and new work by Ben McCool and Mike Costa.While the previous Locke & Key installment "Clockworks" brought closure to the major plot movements of the popular supernatural series, the forthcoming "Omega" will "wrap things up in an emotionally satisfying way," said writer Joe Hill in an interview at Comic Book Resources. That story will go on sale in the Fall, and be followed by a collection of stand-alone short stories in the vein of The Sandman: Dream Country.

Also in Joe Hill news, IDW is bringing out another The Cape project. Scripted with Jason Ciaramella and called "1969," the four-issue series will be an origin story for titular piece of clothes. Artwork will be split between original Cape artist Zach Howard and Nelson Daniels. The Cape: 1969 #1 goes on sale in July.

The most surprising IDW news to come out of WonderCon was the publisher's Judge Dredd deal, which will see a new series of Judge Dredd stories published alongside reprints of classic 2000 AD material a la IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles work. This book is to launch in the Fall and while no creative teams have been locked down yet, IDW chief Chris Ryall said legendary 2000 AD artist Simon Bisley is someone he'd like to speak with.

Also quite surprising is the revival of The Crow. Created by James O'Barr, the 1980s black and white indie book depicted a gothic anti-hero who returned from the grave to avenge the violent deaths of himself and his fiancée. The Crow has reappeared occasionally in comics stores in the forms of reprints and original licensed stories, but is probably best known as the source of one of the better 1990s comic book movies as well as the final film of actor Brandon Lee, who was fatally injured on set. IDW's new series will be written by John Shirley, author of the first film's original screenplay, and feature artwork by Kevin Colden. Ashley Wood, Kyle Hotz and O'Barr will provide covers, and O'Barr is said to be working on a brand new The Crow story of his own. The first issue of the new The Crow miniseries will come out in July.

IDW's Chris Ryall is apparently a devoted KISS fan, and will be co-writing a new miniseries based on the enduringly popular rock 'n roll band. Co written with Tom Waltz and drawn by Jamal Igle and Casey Maloney with covers by Igle and Nick Runge. Said to be a more human take on the band members' theatrical personas than seen in previous KISS comics, the first two issues will be based on the album Dressed to Kill.

Dave Stevens: Covers and Stories will be the next archival project of the late master's work, following IDW's beautiful The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures and Dave Stevens: Complete Sketches and Studies. The black and white book will compile Stevens' cover artwork for a variety of clients as well as non-Rocketeer comics and other rarely seen material. This book will be available in July.

Written by Mike Costa and drawn by Ryan Brown, Smoke and Mirrors imagines a world where magic is the prevailing force behind thought and culture, rather than science, and what happens when a theatrical magician from our world finds himself in such a place. Magician Jon Armstrong is consulting on the five-issue miniseries.

Nevsky: Hero of the People is a new graphic novel written by Ben McCool with art by Mario Guevara about the medieval Russian prince and military leader, whom McCool described as the most admired Russian in history. The book takes some inspiration from the 1938 film Alexander Nevsky, directed by Sergei Eisenstein.

Following the Kickstarter success of the massive Womanthology project, spotlighting comics created by women, IDW has commissioned a new miniseries from editor Renae de Liz. You can learn more about that project, called Womanthology: Space, in our previous post on the announcement.

Finally, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee will create The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom. IDW has enjoyed success with its anthology series The Rocketeer Adventures, featuring original work by some of the most talented creators in mainstream comics, but Waid and Samnee have the distinction of offering the first new full-length Rocketeer adventure to be published since Dave Stevens' last installment in 1995. More on that here.

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