Another day, another comics roundup. Our latest slew of comic book-based developments revolve around Rick and Morty, Spider-Man's alternate history in Mexico, and the final Batman story from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
Make sure your seatbelt is securely fastened because things are about to get wild!
To ring in the 50th issue of its Rick and Morty series, Oni Press is doing a special "Morty Mind Blowers" issue modeled after the Season 3 episode of the same name.
Today, Marc Ellerby unveiled the issue's cover, which he drew with Sarah Stern.
"It looks like mine and @Worstwizard's cover for the 50th issue of the Rick and Morty comic has been released!" wrote Ellerby on Twitter. "We're doing 'Morty's Mindblowers' and it's going to be a 40 page issue with loads of guest artists and writers - including a strip written by me and drawn by @TheKyleStarks."
A a sort of semi-replacement for the "Interdimensional Cable" episodes of the first two seasons, "Morty's Mind Blowers" is about Morty discovering that his grandfather, Rick (both characters are voiced by co-creator, Justin Roiland) has been erasing his worst memories for years. That's because a lot of the recollections—which involve death, murder, demonic slugs, forbidden knowledge, sexually deviant aliens, and more—are just too comically painful to live with on a daily basis.
Did you know that a Mexican publisher known as La Prensa didn't want to lose Marvel readers in Mexico after the death of Gwen Stacy in 1973, so they created an alternate line of Spanish-language Spider-Man comics where she lived instead?
No joke. Well, sort of. Let us explain...
"The Night Gwen Stacy Died" is one of the most influential Spider-Man storylines ever told, but it never became canon south of the border. This was all dredged up by IDW's president Chris Ryall, who posted on Twitter, asking:
"Just for fun: what never-before-collected comic series do you want collected?"
A user by the name of @comickeys responded with:
"In the 1970's, publisher La Prensa did not believe Mexicans would read Spider-Man after Gwen Stacy died. They created 45 original issues after Spiderman #119 where she lives, that have never been translated or reprinted. This is their marriage issue. Marvel needs to collect these!"
La Prensa itself was not a foreign branch of Marvel, but its own company, which paid Marvel for the use of its characters via licensing.
This got the ball rolling on social media and more than a few people chimed in with their thoughts on the subject. Indeed, Ron Marz, writer of Green Lantern and Silver Surfer, tweeted that he once met the artist responsible for illustrating the alternate issues, Jose Luis Duran.
Albert Calvo of Panini Comics Mexico, added further background to the story when he joined the discussion:
"That's mostly true. The real reason to have stories made in Mexico was that the translated comics from Marvel became so popular in the mid-sixties that they changed its periodicity to twice a month, so they were running out of material from the original series. The Mexican editor went to NY to ask Marvel for permission to create original material. He showed them samples from a handful of Mexican artists. Marvel selected one of them, José Luis Durán, and granted the permission. Durán and the writers had total creative freedom. Gwen was Durán's favorite character, so when she died he asked the writer to keep using her, and they did. Eventually the publisher ran into monetary problems and their line of comics, including Spider-Man were cancelled in 1973."
As ComicBook.com was first to point out, Calvo's version of events is more or less the same espoused by Reddit user, u/ajbrown141, 11 months ago. Surprisingly, longtime Spidey writer, Dan Slott, was totally ignorant of these long-lost comics.
"This *possible* Alternate-Mexican-Comic-Continuity for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, where Gwen Stacy never died, is shaking my world to its core today. What? How? Huh?! REALLY?!" he wrote on Twitter.
Other tweets include interior pages of the comics as well as Duran sitting in front of a small pile of them. In particular, @ComicsForJack posted about it last year to very little fanfare.
Stacy's death, as seen in the 1973 arc, was adapted for live-action in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, where she was played by Emma Stone.
Lastly, DC unveiled the first cover for Batman: Last Knight on Earth, the upcoming Batman limited series from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo—their final Batman story.
According to Bleeding Cool News, The three-issue storyline finds Bruce Wayne waking up in Arkham and learning that he was never the Caped Crusader. As he attempts to shed a light on his past, Bruce must also find out who (or what) destroyed the world as he navigates a post-apocalyptic DC Universe full of familiar characters.
As you can see in the tweet below, the artwork finds Batman walking against a red background, holding a lantern-looking object that contains the Joker's smile and neon green hair. The Original description of the series from last March talked about Bruce waking up in a villain-ruled world with the Joker's living head floating in a jar next to him. While the solicitation has been updated since then, it seems we'll still be getting the Joker-in-a-jar, something that's fine by us.
Released by DC's Black Label (a special imprint dedicated to limited series), Issue #1 of Last Knight on Earth goes on sale May 29.