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Dave Cockrum passed away in 2006, but his life’s work lives on in the minds of his fans and in the epic contributions to Marvel’s X-Men, DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes, and elsewhere. And now, Aardwolf Publishing is looking to raise funds to release a never-before-seen chapter in Cockrum’s creator-owned series The Futurians, titled aptly enough, The Futurians Return.
Cockrum created The Futurians in the early 1980s following the success of the relaunched Uncanny X-Men, jumping into creator-owned with an inaugural volume published by Marvel before releasing another three issues through an upstart publisher. The series follows a group of superhumans whose powers come via a transmission from the future intended to help prevent a major disaster. Led by a hobo-turned-businessman Vandervecken (or alternately, the Dutchmen), the Futurians are assembled and quickly tasked with confronting the threats they were empowered to stop.
“The Futurians takes everything that Dave learned from his X-Men experience and adds Dave’s love of science fiction,” says Aardwolf Publisher Clifford Meth. “The characters are all very different and at once very real, likable — they interact well together. And of course there’s Dave’s practiced, old-time storytelling techniques that he culled from Murphy Anderson and Neal Adams and Wally Wood. He was a studied artist who also understood that design must work in service of story.”
The Futurians Return will contain a new 22-page story Cockrum created before his passing, as well as a second tale he drew based on a story by Meth. The book is rounded out by pin-ups from the likes of Jim Lee and Bill Sienkiewicz, and a tribute written by Neil Gaiman.
In just over two days, The Futurians Return Kickstarter has already surpassed its $6,000 funding goal. Aardwolf is offering a variety of original art as pledge rewards, and a bonus digital edition that will contain everything the print edition has plus Cockrum’s original penciled and a digital additional pin-ups. The minimum pledge to receive the physical book is $25, with the digital edition available for pledges as low as $5.