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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.
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.