So many comics, so little time!
We've got what's new in the world of comic books and it involves three iconic (not to mention badass) characters: Hellboy, Red Sonja, and the Caped Crusader. Sound good? Good! Turn the page and away we go!
Dark Horse Entertainment has created a brand-new holiday that we're totally on board with: Hellboy Day! Slated for March 23 — two weeks before the Hellboy reboot hits theaters, on April 12 — the event is meant to celebrate the 25th birthday of Mike Mignola's most famous creation, a red-skinned demon destined to bring about the end of the world, but fighting on the side of the good guys.
“When I created Hellboy way back when, I never imagined he would be around long enough to celebrate a 25th anniversary,” said Mike Mignola in an official release. “I’m grateful to the writers, artists, colorists and letterers who’ve joined me in telling Hellboy stories for all these years. And, of course, so grateful to the fans. This thing could not exist without their support and it’s a pleasure every time I get to go out to meet them.”
On the 23rd, Mignola will be at Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks, California, to sign any and all Hellboy swag.
Here's the announcement flyer:
Dark Horse is also urging comic book shops to hold Hellboy-themed events at their locations on the same day, offering up promotional giveaways like a tattoo sheet, a Right Hand of Doom that doubles as a bookmark, a New York Comic Con poster, and more.
Up next, Red Sonja is getting a fresh new ongoing series at Dynamite Entertainment from writer Mark Russell (The Flintstones) and artist Mirko Colak (Conan) in 2019, the publisher announced today.
"I’m a huge fan of ancient history because there’s no clear line where the history ends and legend begins, so in a way, all ancient history is a work of fantasy," said Russell in the release. "I really wanted to write a fantasy title that allowed me to work in some of the incredible stories and themes of ancient history, in particular, the story of Tomyris, the bad-ass Queen of the Steppes, and it’s hard to imagine a better character to tell that story than Red Sonja, the bad-ass Queen of Comics."
Created by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith in the early '70s, the character of Red Sonja is a skilled warrior who lives in the same era as Conan the Barbarian, but has a much more harrowing backstory that involves murder and rape. Known for her shiny armor and deep knowledge of the supernatural, Red Sonja is based on pulp characters created by Robert E. Howard.
"There is no special mystery why I accepted the offer from Dynamite. One name, basically, was enough: SONJA," said Colak. "In my country, Serbia, Red Sonja is very popular and I have to say, I am very familiar with Sonja's world."
Here's the first artwork for Issue #1:
"Mark Russell’s take on Sonja is steeped in greater-than-fiction history, with a humongous worldview. Sonja will be the focus, but what’s exciting is to see the lore and world-building that Mark’s infusing into this new ongoing, to create a fusion of modern storytelling while placing big classical elements front and center," added series editor Nate Cosby.
Red Sonja #1 will go on sale in February 2019 and have variant covers by Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn), Joseph Michael Linsner (Vampirella), Christian Ward (Thor), and Frank Cho (Hulk). A blank edition, a cosplay edition, and and one signed by Russell will also be available.
Interesting note: Not too long ago, Bryan Singer was in negotiations to direct a live-action movie adaptation of Red Sonja.
Next up, DC will be celebrating 80 years of Batman with two new books, the publisher has announced. The respective publications are Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman — The Deluxe Edition and Detective Comics #1000.
80 Years of Batman — The Deluxe Edition features a new illustrated cover by Jim Lee. Inside, you'll find unpublished stories and essays by Paul Levitz, Denys Cowan, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Glen David Gold, Denny O’Neil, and more. It goes on sale March 19, 2019.
#1000 is an ode to the Caped Crusader's first-ever appearance in 1939. Bestselling author Peter J. Tomasi (Batman: Arkham Knight) is writing the story, with artwork by Doug Mahnke (Batman: The Man Who Laughs). The super-sized issue will also feature back-up stories by Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Dini, Christopher Priest, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, and others. It also goes on sale in March, but a specific release date has yet to be announced.
“The enduring popularity of Batman over the past 80 years speaks to the character’s multi-generational appeal,” said DC publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. “We’re proud to celebrate Batman’s cultural impact with these special releases and look forward to a year of commemorating this milestone anniversary with fans across the globe.”
Lastly, we have the news that Marvel has struck an accord with Riot Games to produce a graphic novel based on the wildly popular League of Legends video game, Marvel announced on its website today.
“Many fans of the Marvel Universe and comics share their interests and passion for storytelling with the gaming community,” said C.B. Cebulski, Marvel's editor in chief. “League of Legends is one of the most well-known games in the industry, and their unique world and extensive roster of rich characters are a perfect fit for comic books. We’re excited to partner with Riot and help build the League of Legends Universe for fans and players around the world.”
Arriving in May 2019, the book will be a collection of issues — those individual issues begin to drop on a monthly basis, starting Dec. 19. It will kick off with League of Legends: Ashe: Warmother, which will be an origin tale on Ashe, an Iceborne warrior in Runeterra dealing with her responsibilities as a leader and her own mother's high expectations.
Odin Austin Shafer, a writer for Riot Games, will make his comic book debut with this series. Nina Vakueva (Heavy Vinyl) is handling art, while Cardinal Rae (Twelve Devils Dancing) does lettering.
“We see similarities between the League of Legends Universe and the Marvel Universe, as both of them feature an array of characters with compelling and diverse backgrounds," said Greg Street, Head of Creative Development at Riot Games. "Marvel's success at developing a world through comics and creating great stories is industry-defining, and we're thrilled to be working with them to bring our own stories to life."