SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
Writers James Tynion IV and Noah J. Yuenkel have teamed with artist Matt Fox for UFOlogy, a six-issue miniseries debuting April 1 from BOOM! Studios. Set in the Midwest, the story centers on two teens, Becky and Malcolm, who uncover a mystery involving aliens that somehow traumatized both of their parents more than a decade ago. To mark the launch of this new series, BOOM! Studios asked artist Alison Sampson to create a Jackpot Variant, which will only be one for every 100 copies of Fox’s main cover.
Sampson shared with ROBOT 6 the creative process behind her cover:
We’re no strangers to covers with a lot of characters around here, and the comic with the claim to fame as the most packed cover ever is 2008’s G.I. Joe: America’s Elite #25 by Chris Lie.
Now as with all things in the Larry Hama-led franchise, Cobra is giving the Joes a run for their money in a new variant cover by Adam Riches. To celebrate G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #212 (a turning point issue in Hama’s resurrected title promising “The Death of Snake-Eyes”), IDW and Florida retailer Emerald City Comics tapped the frequent Joe toy artist to draft a Cobra-heavy companion piece to the original cover showcasing every snake that ever fought for the ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.
From Cobra Commander and Destro to the more obscure likes of Headman and Crystal Ball, they’re all there and available for order from Emerald City’s web store. But are there more Cobras than the 236 Joes on the original cover? Compare the pair after the jump.
Next month Dark Horse will release a collected edition of Murder Book by writer Ed Brisson and a variety of artists — Declan Shalvey, Simon Roy and Johnnie Christmas, among them — with a new cover by Michael Walsh (based in part on one of his designs for a previously released volume of Murder Book stories).
Dark Horse’s Associate Editor Jim Gibbons was kind enough to share with ROBOT 6 some of the cover process for the new Murder Book trade paperback, due out March 18.
As Comic Book Resources noted earlier this month, painter Alex Ross is creating limited-edition variant covers for Marvel’s new Star Wars titles that will be sold exclusively through the artist’s online store at AlexRossStore.com. We’ve already seen the painting of Luke Skywalker created for Star Wars #1, but today ROBOT 6 can exclusively reveal the Alex Ross Store variant for Star Wars: Darth Vader #1.
Oni Press has revealed Bryan Lee O’Malley’s variant cover for the first issue of Kaijumax, the comic by Zander Cannon (Heck) about an island prison for giant monsters.
The acclaimed creator of Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, O’Malley draws some of the island’s inmates in a chibi form so adorable you wished the comic had its own line of collectible plush toys. In front is protagonist Electrogor, whose only desire is to escape and return to his hungry and frightened children. On his right is Hellmoth, the tattooed nod to Mothman, who’s sure to be a favorite.
Skottie Young has revealed his variant cover for the landmark 250th issue of Spawn, set for release Jan. 28 from Image Comics.
The 64-page issue, written by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and illustrated by Szymon Kudranski, marks the climax of the current story, clearing the way for the return of Al Simmons and the introduction of the new creative team of Paul Jenkins and Jonboy Meyers.
For years after the ill-fated 1986 film, Howard the Duck was considered a joke character by many. However, the March-debuting new series from writer Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals) and Joe Quinones (Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell) looks to be taking Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik’s character more seriously than most recent depictions, while still having fun.
The latest evidence: a variant cover by Paul Pope — making a rare Marvel appearance — for Howard the Duck #1, revealed on Twitter earlier today by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. The cover channels Shakespearean pathos with a downright somber-looking Howard, albeit juxtaposed with a rubber ducky.
Pope’s full cover follows below.
Acclaimed illustrator Yuko Shimizu, perhaps best known to comics readers for her Eisner-nominated work on Vertigo’s The Unwritten, is branching out into the DC Universe with a cover for an upcoming issue of Detective Comics. And for the past few weeks, she’s been offering her Facebook followers a glimpse into the cover process, from reference material and initial sketch to inking details and finally, last night, a taste of colors. Alas, that may be all we see until DC releases the solicitations for that issue.
“Alright, this may be the last share,” Shimizu writes. “For the final result, please see it on an upcoming cover of DC Universe’s Detective Comics. My editor is on vacation, so I am not certain which month this is going to be.”
See some of Shimizu’s process below, and more on her Facebook page.
Counting down to the landmark 250th issue of Spawn, Todd McFarlane has given fans a glimpse into the cover process for Issue 248 — “only two more issues until AL SIMMONS returns!!” — penciled by Syzmon Kudranski and inked by McFarlane himself, which goes on sale Nov. 5.
“It’s pretty COOL to see how it all comes together,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “There’s a lot of work that goes into this comic stuff.” He also offered a reminder about the art contest for Spawn #250, noting that he’ll start collecting submissions on Nov. 1.
First Second has provided ROBOT 6 with the first look at the cover for Last Man: The Chase, the third volume of the martial-arts fantasy by Bastien Vivès, Balak and Michael Sanlaville.
Originally published by Casterman, Last Man is an homage to American pop culture that centers on Richard Aldana, a cigarette-smoking, leather jacket-wearing stranger who enrolls in the gladiatorial-style games of a medieval fantasy world, but insists on relying on his martial-arts skills rather than magic.
First Second will begin releasing Last Man in March with The Stranger, followed in June by The Royal Cup and in October by The Chase. The remaining volumes will be published in 2016.
Legendary Comics has debuted Shane Davis’ cover the first issue of Epochalypse, the upcoming sci-fi adventure written by Jonathan Hennessey and drawn by the Superman: Earth One artist.
Set in a dystopian world where a space-time phenomenon causes 600 years of history to collapse into one era, forcing societies from the past, present and future to coexist, Epochalypse centers on a defiant Resynchronization Officer — part of an elite team tasked with ridding futuristic artifacts that threaten the laws of time — who leads a manhunt for an elusive scientist and a notorious outlaw in a bid to save history.
Epochalypse #1 goes on sale Nov. 19.
With the debut of DC Comics’ Arkham Manor just a month away, Eric Canete revealed the process for his spectacular alternate cover for the first issue. Although the images by themselves are informative and impressive, the artist’s accompanying commentary makes for an entertaining read.
Announced in late June alongside Gotham Academy, Arkham Manor finds the world’s most dangerous criminals transplanted to stately Wayne Manor after catastrophe strikes Arkham Asylum.
With Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey’s Tooth & Claw set to launch in November, Image Comics has debuted variant cover by fan-favorite artist Alex Ross for the series’ second issue, which details a full menagerie for the fantasy series.
“The world in Tooth & Claw is kind of a quasi-medieval fantasy, joined with classical designs,” Ross said in a statement. “That made me think of paintings like The Raft of the Medusa, and I wanted to capture that feeling, with the characters and situations from the series. Although really, the only reference I had was the Pogues album, Rum, Sodomy & The Lash, so in a way, that was my reference and my inspiration.”
DC Comics’ Selfie Variant Month posed a particular problem for Batman ’66, the digital-first series set in the world of the 1966-1968 television show, decades before the introduction of smartphones, or even digital cameras. Cover artist Joe Quinones could’ve gone with an instant camera, of course — what screams “1960s” more than a Polaroid Model 20 Swinger? — but instead he came up with a solution that’s both funnier and in keeping with the tone of the TV series.
Fan excitement last year over The Complete Zenith!, collecting the lost 1980s superhero saga by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell, was tempered both by the unresolved rights dispute and the roughly $150 price tag for the limited edition (still, the 1,000-copy print run sold out). However, as promised, Rebellion is preparing to release four non-limited hardcovers collecting the entire story — and it has provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive first look at their interlocking covers.