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Back in the 1980s, before OGNs and trade paperbacks were as prominent as they are now, Marvel had an over-sized graphic novel series that did things like introduce the New Mutants, kill Captain Marvel and, on occasion, feature creator-owned work by the likes of Jim Starlin, Walt Simonson and Dave Cockrum, among others.
Once I discovered the joys of the comic shop, I made it my mission to buy up as many of Marvel’s graphic novels as I could, whether they featured Marvel’s characters or not. I remember Cockrum’s graphic novel, The Futurians, fondly; I of course was a fan of his work on X-Men, and the Futurians featured his incredible artwork coupled with a pretty cool story that begged to jump from the pages of that graphic novel into a regular series. Lodestone published a three issue mini-series, and a #0 issue was published by Aardwolf back in the 1990s. And now, some 25+ years after that first graphic novel, the Futurians return, courtesy of Clifford Meth, David Miller and Kickstarter.
Meth, who has been attempting to get the Futurians up on the big screen, talks about a new mini-series coming this summer on his blog:
First at bat is the new Avatar mini-series from David Miller Studios. This is the first time Cockrum’s “Andrew Pendragon” gets top billing. As David Miller explains, “Avatar returns to his English home for a family funeral and encounters an ancient evil from his past; an evil that could consume all of Great Britain.” Issue #1 features a cover by Greg Larocque, who was drawing DC’s Flash back when my buddy William Messner-Loebs was turning in the finest scripts that title ever saw ever (note the double use of the word ever). The incomparable Michael Netzer and inker Joe Rubinstien will be joining the series with issue #2.
And Miller talks about his motivation for wanting to bring the characters back on a Kickstarter page he set up to raise funds to create the series:
When I was 10 years old I encountered Dave Cockrum’s work in the pages of “LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES”. In that one moment I instantly became a fan of comics, Dave Cockrum and consumed with the desire to work in the comics industry. Dave was my idol and my inspiration and I am thrilled to be able to further the adventures of one of his greatest creations: THE FUTURIANS.
I am starting with a mini-series starring my favorite character from the FUTURIANS: AVATAR!
I have 2 issues of a 4 issue mini-series completed and the first issue will be solicited in the May Diamond Comics Previews catalogue for books publishing in July. I have tried to do this comic the way I think Dave would have liked: A color, monthly comic with top talent on board. But doing a quality monthly comic with a professional staff incurs heavy production costs and that’s why I am launching this pledge drive.
The book is solicited in the most recent Previews, and you can check out preview pages over on Miller’s website.