Fan Expo Canada
Spinning out of his recent appearances in Amazing Spider-Man, Morbius the Living Vampire will once again sink his teeth into an ongoing series. Starting in January, the character who first antagonized Spider-man in Amazing Spider-Man #101 by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane will appear in a new comic by Hell Yeah writer Joe Keatinge and Journey into Mystery artist Richard Elson.
The new series starts in January and was announced at the Amazing Spider-Man panel today during Fan Expo Canada.
“What Dan Slott and company has been doing with Morbius lately has injected a new life into the character and I was already adoring it,” Keatinge told Newsarama. “Dan really, really gets what motivates a character in the Marvel Universe, especially in the Spider-Man corner. In said corner, they’re largely all tragic characters trying to do better. In the case of Peter Parker, the result is usually for the greater good. In Morbius’ case, everything just keeps going to Hell. As a writer, there’s a lot to work with.”
Although he started as a villain, Morbius was always more of a flawed character who got a raw deal vs. being an actual bad guy. A biochemest with a rare blood disease, Morbius ended up giving himself vampire-like powers and bloodthirstiness when he tried to cure himself. When he wasn’t fighting Spider-Man, you could find him teaming up with the Legion of Monsters or even starring in his own series as a part of the 1990s “Rise of the Midnight Sons” crossover event.
FanExpo Canada wraps up today in Toronto, and both Marvel and DC were there this weekend announcing various projects:
- DC Comics will relaunch the Justice Society by writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Scott. The new adventures of the JSA will be set not on the “New 52″ Earth, but on Earth-2, as they were before Crisis on Infinite Earths combined DC’s multiple Earths into one big sandbox back in the 1980s. “Everyone’s saying, ‘How can there be superheroes before the five years?’ We’re actually bringing back Earth-2,” Robinson said.
- Marvel announced Brian Wood will write for the publisher once again, in a teaser that seems to point a finger at a Wolverine project.
- Marvel’s Alpha Flight has been upgraded from a limited series to an ongoing.”We’ve got Taskmaster showing up, we’ve got Wolverine and other characters journeying north to find out what’s going on with Alpha Flight,” said co-writer Fred Van Lente. “We learn that Alpha flight’s actually a member of a super, super team called The Commonwealth of Heroes. I’m very excited about writing those characters — I love them a lot and it’s going to be a good time.” The Commonwealth of Heroes? I am intrigued. CBR has more details in an interview with Van Lente and Greg Pak, where they mention that Captain Britain and MI-13 will play a role in the Commonwealth Heroes.
- In addition to Jill Thompson, other artists working on the upcoming Shade miniseries written by James Robinson include Gene Ha and Darwyn Cooke.
- Marvel will publish a five-issue miniseries called Destroyers, by writer Fred Van Lente and artist Kyle Hotz. The book will feature The Thing, the Beast, A-Bomb, She-Hulk, Karkas the Deviant and Devil Dinosaur. “A lot of this series is about how monsters feel about being monsters and how comfortable they are with it. Hank McCoy is probably the most comfortable in his furry blue skin. He’s got an analytical mind. In this story, a colleague from his past gets murdered. That sets him on a quest to solve a mystery and puts him on a collision course with the Destroyers,” Van Lente told CBR.
- Marvel also announced the return of two more CrossGen properties — Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in December by writer Peter Milligan and artist Roman Rosanas, and Route 666 in February by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Peter Nguyen. Both are four-issue mini-series.
Although usually not active on the weekend, DC’s The Source blog had two tidbits today coming out of Fan Expo Canada.
The first has to do with the return of the Justice Society. According to DC’s The Source blog:
There’s been plenty of speculation about the Justice Society in The New 52 – and we can now confirm that they will, in fact, be back! As with everything else with DC Comics – The New 52, however, there’s a significant twist. What is it? We’re not saying. Just. Quite. Yet.
“It’s everything you want, but not what you expect,” promises Eddie Berganza, DC Comics Executive Editor.
As Brian Cronin pointed out, word from the convention is that James Robinson and Nicola Scott are working on the series which will be set during an as-yet unspecified time period – on Earth-2.
Speaking of Robinson, the Source also announced Jill Thompson as the artist on Shade #8. The standalone issue — set in Paris in the early 1900s — is something Robinson wrote specifically for Thompson, reminiscent of the standalone stories Robinson would write when he was doing Starman. Shade #8 comes out next May.
Marvel is heading north to Fan Expo Canada Aug. 25-28, and they’re bringing an exclusive Dale Eaglesham-drawn variant cover for Captain America #1. Cap, however, is nowhere to be seen; instead Wolverine and Alpha Flight sport Cap-like shields for the hometown crowd. The “variant” shields worn by Puck and Guardian are really nice touches.
Politics | Warren Ellis joins the list of creators who want nothing to do with Heavy Ink after Travis Corcoran’s inflammatory remarks. At The Daily Cartoonist, Ted Rall pushes back on the outrage, saying, “If I only bought from companies and individuals whose political beliefs I agreed with, I wouldn’t be buying much.” [Warren Ellis, The Daily Cartoonist]
Conventions | Now there’s even more of Fan Expo Canada to love: The self-proclaimed “largest combined gaming, horror, comic, science fiction and anime event in the country” is expanding from three to four days, Aug. 25-28, 2011. [Convention Scene]
Manga | A Chinese artist named Xiao Bai is this year’s winner of the Japanese government’s International Manga Award. The prizewinning entry, Si loin et si proche (So near and so far), was published in Belgium last year. [Monsters and Critics]
At last weekend’s Fan Expo Canada, cartoonist James Turner (Nil, Rex Libris) debuted several color posters spinning out of his graphic novel Warlord of Io from SLG Publishing.
He calls the above poster “Tiki Mek”! Expect Turner to have a larger print run available on his website in the coming months. He’s also working on posters featuring his characters from Nil and Rex Libris.
Also, James is letting us run two exclusive short comics he’s done. Read on, faithful readers …
Organizations | Friends of Lulu, the comics advocacy group whose struggles have come to light in recent months, is in danger of losing its tax-exempt status as a charitable organization. Johanna Draper Carlson reports the 16-year-old group appears on the Internal Revenue Service’s “List of Organizations at Risk of Automatic Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status,” which includes organizations “for which the IRS does not have a record of a required annual filing for 2007 and 2008, and whose 2009 return, due on or after May 17 and before October 15, 2010, has not yet been received.” [Comics Worth Reading]
Publishing | One year ago today, Disney announced its intent to acquire Marvel Entertainment. James Hunt looks back at the purchase and its effects: “A year on, the content of Marvel’s books has seen no significant shift. It’s true that the year-long ‘Dark Reign’ meta-arc has recently given way to a more upbeat, optimistic ‘Heroic Age’ meta-arc, where heroes are heroes and villains are villains, but mature readers comics such as Punishermax, Deadpoolmax and, yes, the sequel to Kick-Ass are all still coming out. If Miramax could aim its product at adults from within Disney’s backyard, so, it seems, can Marvel.” [Den of Geek]
Fan Expo Canada, the 15-year-old comics and pop culture extravaganza, kicks off Friday afternoon at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The three-day event is actually composed of five smaller conventions — Comic Book Expo, Sci-Fi Expo, Horror Expo, Anime Expo and Gaming Expo — but as this is a comics blog, we’ll focus primarily on that element.
Publishers ranging from DC Comics and Marvel to BOOM! Studios and Udon will have programming or booth presences at the show. Comics guests include guests of honor Stan Lee and Gary Frank, as well as Adrian Alphona, Yoshitaka Amano, Hitoshi Ariga, Brian Azzarello, J. Bone, Tim Bradstreet, Ross Campbell, Scott Chantler, Michael Cho, Olivier Coipel, Darwyn Cooke, Dan DiDio, Adam Kubert, Andy Kubert, Jeff Lemire, Doug Mahnke, Alex Maleev, Francis Manapul, Steve McNiven, Amy Mebberson, Paolo Rivera, Chris Sprouse, Cameron Stewart, Jill Thompson and Ethan Van Sciver.
On the film and television front, the convention will feature Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, William Shatner, Summer Glau, Michelle Forbes, Dean Stockwell, Felicia Day and James Marsters, among others.
The Toronto Star previews Fan Expo with a nice profile of cartoonist Jeff Lemire (Essex County, Sweet Tooth, Superboy). “I guess if you stop and think about all the early success, you can kind of get caught up in worrying about living up to it,” says the 34-year-old Toronto resident. “But at the end of the day I just have so much work to do.”
She was the top-billed star of the Wizard World conventions in Toronto and Anaheim — and briefly the victim of a case of mistaken identity with Warren Ellis. But now Eliza Dushku, the Joss Whedon mainstay who starred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse, has quietly been dropped from the guest lists of both shows.
Is this a victory for the shows’ Con War rivals, Fan Expo (the same city as Toronto) and Reed’s Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (the same weekend as Anaheim), a sign that Wizard’s rapid convention-circuit expansion isn’t making it any easier to attract big-name talent, or just schedule churn?