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Comics: Wolverine & Blade claw one-shot; Free Comic Book Day plans; more

By Josh Weiss
Wolverine & Blade

Two fierce Marvel characters go head-to-head, DC announces their exciting releases for Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) next month, and Mark Millar's partnership with Netflix continues to bear creative fruit — all in comic news today.

A one-shot from Marvel will pit Wolverine against the greatest vampire hunter in the world: Blade. The book, titled Wolverine vs Blade, will be written by Marc Guggenheim (X-Men: Gold) and drawn by Dave Wilkins (Star Wars: Darth Vader And The Ghost).

"This is a book that's been — not kidding — 10 years in the making. I couldn't possibly be more excited for it to finally see publication. I think it's worth the wait," Guggenheim told Monkey Fighting Robots' Matthew Sardo on Twitter. The writer also praised Wilkins' artwork.

You can check out the official cover in the tweet below:

In terms of story, no specific details have been released, other than the fact that readers will get to see two of the greatest hunters in the Marvel Universe fight one another.

Wolverine vs Blade Special #1 arrives in July.

A number of major comic publishers have announced their plans for Free Comic Book Day, which takes place on Saturday, May 4 (aka Star Wars Day!).

For instance, DC is celebrating a few days early on May 1 with free books from its young reader imprints, as well as a 25-cent original exclusive.

That exclusive is Year of the Villain, which you'll be able to download on and Comixology. Comprising 32 pages, the special publication highlights DC's most iconic villains with stories by Brian Michael Bendis, Scott Snyder, and James Tynion IV. Artwork was handled by the likes of Alex Maleev, Jim Cheung, and Francis Manapul.

Fans can also get a free chapter of Under the Moon: A Catwoman tale, a graphic novel written by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart, which goes on sale May 7. This FCBD Gold comic book comes with a first look at Teen Titans: Raven, a graphic novel by Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures). And lastly, two free chapters of Dear Justice League will serve as the FCBD Silver comic book. Featuring characters like Superman and Hawkgirl, the graphic novel, going on sale August 6, was written by Michael Northrop and drawn by Gustavo Duarte, 

Check out the covers for the DC releases in the gallery below:

Over at Oni Press, Ghost Hog, a two-story Silver Offering from Eisner-nominated cartoonist Joey Weiser (Mermin) will be available during the holiday. Weiser has a full Ghost Hog graphic novel going on sale three days after Free Comic Book Day.

The title is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: the ghost of a pig named Truff helps out denizens of the forest with her friends, Claude and Stanley. "Truff" is a cute little reference to the fact that swine are often trained to weed out rare truffles in the wild.

Ghost Hog Free Comic Book Day
Ghost Hog front cover

The full, 168-page Ghost Hog graphic novel goes on sale Tuesday, May 7.

Netflix is getting into the world of comic books with Mark Millar, whose comics like Jupiter's Legacy are being turned into shows and/or movies by the streaming titan. This week, the partners announced a new sci-fi comic book series, Space Bandits.

Described as "a female led sci-fi story, described by Millar as a female Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid set in space with a massive and exciting cast of characters," the upcoming comic will be drawn by Matteo Scalera and published by Image.

Space Bandits #1 front cover

With a "First Limited Legends Cover" by Howard Chaykin, fans can pick up this book for just 75 cents, the price of comics when Millar was just a kid. In the way of plot, the story follows Thena Khole and Cody Blue, two of the universe's most wanted felons/heist pullers. After the two are betrayed by their crews, they put the heists on hold to get revenge.

"I love writing female-led stories in everything from Reborn to Empress to Hit-Girl to Jupiter's Legacy and, of course, our recent Magic Order at Netflix. I also love writing big, fun sci-fi things. In a world with a billion superhero properties and gloomy, rain-soaked dystopian sci-fi, there's a gap in the market for sci-fi that's upbeat and fun and I wanted to combine all this into a big, high-octane story," Millar said in an official statement. "I've been working on this as a property for Netflix since last summer and now I'm being joined by the brilliant Matteo Scalera for the comic-book translation of this story. The guy's a genius and I've followed him for years. Having him draw this is like someone you've always had a crush on going out on a date with you. He's just amazing."

Space Bandits #1

Fans can also order a series of special covers illustrated by some of Millar's favorite artists (like Chaykin) that he's loved since high school and wanted to work with for years. The first five will all go for 75 cents with any afterwards selling for $3.99. 

Issue #1 goes on sale Wednesday, July 3. The order deadline cutoff is Wednesday, July 10. The comic will also be available to buy on digital platforms like ComiXology.