An "X-Force" To Be Reckoned With - Marvel's Mutant Militia Turns 25
Typically, I don’t interview a creator twice about the same project. However, David Liss is a writer whom I consider to be greatly undervalued; if you never read the Black Panther stories he did with Francesco Francavilla a few years ago, you should remedy that situation immediately. We initially discussed his creator-owned Angelica Tomorrow in 2012, but along the way publishing plans (and options available to Liss) expanded, and an opportunity presented itself to bring artist Allen Byrns into the discussion.
A week or so ago saw a flurry of announcements coming out of New York Comic Con. But the deals we read about are only part of what’s going on at conventions. Last week I learned about a new project for early 2013 from David Liss, but, as I quickly realized in this interview with the writer, the early formation of Angelica Tomorrow, his collaboration with artist Allen Byrns (and published by 215 Ink) actually began at New York Comic Con 2011. As a fan of Liss’ recent work for Marvel (Black Panther: The Man Without Fear), it didn’t take a great deal of prodding to be interested in the upcoming six-issue miniseries, as I was already predisposed to be interested in “a paralyzed teenage alcoholic whose life is changed when he meets a charming amnesiac cyborg — who does not know that she was created to be a deadly assassin.”
Tim O’Shea: While many folks know you from your prose work and your great run on Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, this might be the first time people are hearing the name 215 Ink. What prompted you team with them for this project?
David Liss: I know a few guys who have published with 215 Ink, and I met Andrew DelQuadro, the company president, at NYCC last year. He was very enthusiastic about working together, and I loved the idea of being able to develop an original concept. The books I’ve done with Marvel and Dynamite have all been pulp titles — which is great, because I love pulp — but I wanted to try my hand at something entirely different. 215 Ink was willing to help me make it happen, so it was a great opportunity.
Even as Comic Book Resources reports the cancellation of Ghost Rider, a preview of Marvel’s February solicitations reveals Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive will end with Issue 529.
Spinning out of the publisher’s “Shadowland” event, the title launched in December 2010 as Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, picking up the issue numbering of the ending Daredevil as T’Challa became the new guardian of Hell’s Kitchen. The series was written by award-winning mystery author David Liss (A Conspiracy of Paper, The Ethical Assassin), joined by such artists as Francesco Francavilla, Shawn Martinbrough and Michael Avon Oeming.
The solicitation text for Issue 529 teases, “Kingpin vs. T’Challa in this status-quo changing series finale,” raising the possibility that Black Panther could relaunch, or revert to a previous title and numbering. However, October sales estimates place the series at about 18,000 copies, below Marvel’s traditional line of death, and less than the just-canceled X-23 and Ghost Rider.
Those titles join a rapidly growing list of recent Marvel cancellations that includes Alpha Flight, Victor Von Doom, Destroyers, Iron Man 2.0 and All-Winners Squad. In addition, PunisherMAX concludes in February with Issue 22.
Update (1:12 p.m. PT): Liss has commented on Twitter, writing, “Sadly the news is true. Our Black Panther run ends in February with #529. But keep reading until the end. It’s going to be a wild ride!”
Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Kevin Colden, whose comic work includes Fishtown, I Rule the Night, Vertigo’s Strange Adventures and Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper, among others. He’s also the drummer for the band Heads Up Display.
To see what Kevin and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below …
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Von Allan, creator of the self-published graphic novel series Stargazer. The first volume is still available, while the second one is due in shops in October.
To see what Von and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
With the Black Panther set to become American Panther during the Fear Itself event, the students at the Savannah School of Art and Design decided to “patriotize” other “colorful” heroes, like Green Lantern and the White Queen. Head over to their blog to see American Widow, Omega American, siblings American Witch and Quickamerican, and many more.
The second C2E2 convention, hosted by ReedPOP in Chicago, wrapped up yesterday. Here’s an attempt to round up all the comic-related news that was announced at various panels during the show. I’d be surprised if I didn’t miss something.
While Marvel and DC Comics were both in attendance and held multiple panels, Marvel dominated in terms of the number of announcements, which is no surprise — DC tends to favor announcing new projects and creative teams on their Source blog rather than at conventions these days. I only point this out after seeing the long list of Marvel announcements and the far fewer DC ones in my summary below.
• Marvel confirmed earlier reports by officially announcing the creative teams for the two “Big Shots” titles they’ve been teasing, Daredevil and The Punisher. Irredeemable/Amazing Spider-Man writer Mark Waid will pen Daredevil, with Amazing Spider-Man artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin illustrating.
“Tonally, it’s still very much a crime series, but we’re toning down the noir a bit and playing up the high adventure a bit more,” Waid told Comic Book Resources. “He’s the Man Without Fear. I want to see that constantly. I want to see him diving face-first into perils that would make Green Lantern shriek like a little girl.”
Artist Francisco Francavilla has been tearing up the comics scene as of late. He’s balancing two ongoing gigs on the Big Two’s dark super-heroes — Batman in Detective Comics for DC and Black Panther: The Man Without Fear at Marvel — and still keeps up a healthy sideline of pin-ups, cover work and some great art online.
The above piece of art is concept art for a pitch Francavilla says he’s been working on some time. At this point it’s speculative as to if this will ever see the lite of day in a published comic, but we can all dream … can’t we?
Today marks the release of Black Panther: The Man Without Fear 514, the second issue of writer David Liss‘ run documenting Black Panther’s effort to defend Hell’s Kitchen in Daredevil’s absence. In this email interview, Liss shares his appreciation of secret identities, as well as his interest in immigrant crime families and organizations, among other topics. As detailed by Marvel, this latest issue features: “Luke Cage guest stars as T’Challa’s new adventure in NYC continues! The former King of Wakanda has sworn to protect the mean streets of Hell’s Kitchen, and while battling the mob is one thing, how does he stop a killer targeting innocent people? It’s a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, as T’Challa hunts ruthless new crime lord Vlad the Impaler, while Vlad concocts a desperate and bloody scheme to entrap the mysterious new vigilante that’s ruining his plans.” My thanks to Marvel editor Bill Rosemann for the art he provided for us to share with Robot 6 readers.
Tim O’Shea: In taking an assignment placing the Black Panther in Hell’s Kitchen, what factors appealed to you most in taking the assignment?
David Liss: I loved the idea of taking a very powerful figure, stripping him of his abilities, and placing him in a new environment. Characters are most interesting when they face challenges and obstacles, and this seemed a great opportunity to take a headstrong, confident hero and put him in situations in which he would have to grow, adapt and be uncomfortable. Plus it’s Hell’s Kitchen, which means there will be lots of ass-kicking. I thought the concept rocked.