Image Comics held its now traditional pre-San Diego one-day show on Thursday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and unveiled an impressive roster of new titles for the coming year that includes new work by familiar names such as Warren Ellis, Jason Aaron and Gail Simone; plus an encouraging number of relative newcomers and unknowns. Check out our rundown of all the news and announcements.
InvincibleRobert Kirman (W), Ryan Ottley (A)
The perennial title from Kirkman's Skybound imprint will venture into reboot territory (but the publisher seems to be using the word with tongue firmly in cheek) as Mark Grayson time travels to his own past and potentially disturbs his own future.
HuckMark Millar (W), Rafael Albuquerque (A)
Seemingly a superhero take on Huckleberry Finn, about an unassuming and kindly small town kid with learning difficulties and, yes, superhuman powers. Millar is not the writer you'd normally turn to for a sensitive treatment of living with disability, but maybe he's mellowed? Albuquerque's presence guarantees it will at least look great.
Codename: BaboushkaAntony Johnston (W), Shari Chankhamma (A)
A former Russian mafia enforcer now living as a New York socialite by night and a black ops agent by... later at night. Covers come from some of the best in the business, including Tula Lotay, Annie Wu, Leila del Duca and Kate Leth. Presumably this is a book about a sexy female spy where the sexy isn't exploitative. The focus is clearly on celebrating female heroes, and the comics will include backmatter essays that do exactly that.
HeartlessWarren Ellis (W), Tula Lotay (A)
The Supreme: Blue Rose team reunites for a horror series about a musician haunted by her spooky past. Lotay promises that it will defy people's genre expectations.
Camp MidnightSteve T. Seagle (W), Jason Katzenstein (A)
A 120-page graphic novel about the only human at a monster summer camp. Seagle says the book is intended to capture the same audience that follows his work with Man of Action on the Ben 10 animated series.
RingsideJoe Keatinge (W), Nick Barber (A)
A behind-the-scenes look at the world of professional wrestling. As I know nothing about professional wrestling, I'm not sure if this book is definitely not for me, or very much for me?
ExpiredJimmie Robinson (W), Richard Pace (A)
A supernatural thriller about a homeless veteran trying to save the soul of a ghost from the devil. It sounds ambitiously weird, with the hero needing to panhandle for change to feed a meter that allows him to see the ghost, and a taco truck that provides demon hunting paraphernalia. Part of Jim Valentino's Shadowline imprint.
ThrowawaysCaitlin Kittredge (W), Steve Sanders (A)
Conspiracy thriller about a couple of test subjects from a program to create psychic soldiers, who go on the run and try to expose the bureaucrats that ruined their lives. Rooted in real life stories of CIA experimentation. (But maybe not real life stories of psychic powers. Or is it?)
AxcendShane Davis (W/A), Michelle Delecki (I), Morry Hollowell (C)
A depressed teen signs up to beta test an online game and finds himself one of a group of real-life superheroes. Their presence isn't welcomed by the world at large, and the new heroes have to level up to prevent a nuclear holocaust.
Faster Than LightBrian Haberlin (W), Skip Brittenham (A)
Aliens bring faster-than-light travel technology to the human race. Presumably the human race finds some way to mess it up royally. Astronaut comics are basically de rigueur at Image Expo.
Hadrian's WallKyle Higgins, Alec Siegel (W), Rod Reis (A)
Another astronaut-based series. This particular astronaut is attempting to atone for broken relationships by taking on a dangerous outer space mission.
Cry HavocSi Spurrier (W), Ryan Kelly, Nick Filardi, Lee Loughridge, Matt Wilson (C)
A military-vs-monsters story, illustrated by Kelly. The twist here is that the three color artists, Filardi, Loughridge and Wilson, will each work on different story threads. That's an intriguing idea that could really help people understand and appreciate what colorists bring to comics.
VirgilSteve Orlando (W), JD Faith (A)
Previously a Kickstarter project; a 'queersploitation' drama about an outed Jamaican cop on a roaring rampage of revenge across the country to try and rescue his lover. Exactly the sort of queer genre stories the industry is depressingly short on.
Blue MondayChynna Clugston-Flores (W/A)
Image will publish the fifth volume of Clugston-Flores' SoCal rock and roll teen comedy series, as well as reprinting the previous volumes, plus the standalone mini-series Scooter Girl, all of which were originally published by Oni Press.
Sunset Park Ronald Wimberly (W/A)
A sinister force is remaking Brooklyn in Sunset Park, a gentrification fable that's a kind of epistolary tale, piecing together a tale from journals and ephemera found in an abandoned studio. Wimberly also mentioned Slave Punk: White Coal, which sounds like a fantasy take on the roots of the Civil War. Both books sound extraordinary, and exactly the sort of original work we're lucky to see from a creator of Wimberly's talent.
The One %Kaare Andrews (W/A)
A modern Robin Hood tale about a wealthy man working to balance the books and bring the very wealthy to justice for their crimes. The book might be interpreted as a reaction against Marvel; Andrews spoke about still feeling like a visitor there after working with the publisher for 16 years.
Black MagickGreg Rucka (W), Nicola Scott (A)
A supernatural police procedural. Nine issues a year in magazine format. This project has apparently been in the works for five years, which explains why it feels like there's been a 'Rucka/Scott police procedural'-shaped hole in the world for the past five years.
The GoddamnedJason Aaron (W), R.M. Guera (A)
The Scalped team take on... The Bible? Yes, it's a story of the sinful wicked world before the Flood, featuring cavemen fighting dinosaurs. A comic you can take to church! It's been a while since we've had a good sweary Image Comics title.
The Other SideJason Aaron (W), Cameron Stewart (A)
A deluxe reissue of Aaron and Stewart's 2006 Vertigo miniseries about the Vietnam war, telling stories from the point of view of new recruits on both sides of the conflict.
CrosswindGail Simone (W), Cat Staggs (A)
A very freaky Freaky Friday, in which a put-upon housewife swaps lives and bodies with a put-together hit man. Expect a comic with a lot to say about gender and status.
The Private Eye Brian K. Vaughan (W), Marcos Martin (A)
The digital series is coming to print courtesy of Image. Vaughan also announced that he and Martin will write a Walking Dead story for release through his online Panel Syndicate imprint.
SnotgirlBryan Lee O'Malley (W), Leslie Hung (A)
A dark comedy about a fashion blogger with severe allergies, whose online persona is much more glamorous than her real life, and who becomes envious of a rival who seems effortlessly composed.