The first-ever C2E2 — Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo — is all but over, and no doubt Brigid and Michael will have more to say about the whole experience here soon. For now, here’s a roundup of news and info coming out of various panels from today, to go with our roundups from Friday and Saturday.
- The X-Men vs. vampires storyline, whose teaser last week set off Ultimate Avengers writer Mark Millar, will run in a relaunched adjective-less X-Men title by novelist Victor Gischler and artist Paco Medina. Gischler, who fans know from his work on Punisher and Deadpool for Marvel, is no stranger to vampires, having written the novel Vampire a Go Go. “It’s going to be a nice fresh look at vampires,” Gischler told Marvel.com about his first story arc in the new title. “I think people are going to be pretty impressed.” The series begins in July.
- September brings another new X-title, as X-23 gets her own solo series written by Marjorie Liu, who wrote the recent X-23 one-shot. “X-23 is a loner at heart, but she’s been forced into a team setting for quite some time now,” Liu told Comic Book Resources. “A pack, if you will. And those conflicting instincts to be alone – and with others – will continue to tug at her. So yes, there will be a rotating supporting cast – a couple of former X-Men who, against their better judgment, will try to mentor Laura. Or at least, be there for her when she needs mentoring. That won’t be without conflict, though – physical and emotional.”
- Wolverine: Weapon X will be replaced by a new Wolverine title by Jason Aaron and Renato Guedes, with covers by Jae Lee. In it, Wolverine goes to Hell. “His soul goes to Hell, and we’re going to see what happens when he’s not around to be in control of his own body,” said editor Jenine Schaefer. The first issue ships in September. Meanwhile, the former Wolverine title, now called Dark Wolverine, will get another title change, as it becomes Daken: Dark Wolverine in September. Liu, Daniel Way and Giuseppe Camuncoli will remain as the creative team.
At the risk of repeating something already covered in JK’s convention roundup, there’s at least one publishing announcement from this weekend that deserves another look: Marvel has turned to novelists Seth Grahame-Smith, Jonathan Maberry and David Wellington for the next installment of its Marvel Zombies franchise.
Maberry, author of Patient Zero, already is familiar to Marvel readers for his “Wolverine: Ghosts” short, Punisher MAX: Naked Kill one-shot and his upcoming run on Black Panther. Wellington penned the Monster trilogy of zombie-apocalypse novels — Island, Nation and Planet — the Laura Caxton vampire series, and the werewolf novel Frostbite.
And Grahame-Smith made a splash a few months ago with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a widely publicized mashup that combines the 1813 Jane Austin classic with elements of zombie fiction. His follow-up is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The three will join comics writer Fred Van Lente on the five-issue Marvel Zombies Return, which debuts in September. According to CBR’s panel report, each issue will spotlight different characters: Spider-Man, by Van Lente and artist Nick Dragotta; The Avengers, by Van Lente and Wellington Alves; Wolverine, by Maberry and Jason Shawn Alexander; Iron Man, by Wellington and Andrea Mutti; and The Hulk, by Grahame-Smith and Richard Elson.
I’m not really a fan of the zombie sub-genre, and I haven’t read any of the previous Marvel Zombies miniseries, but this seems like a pretty smart move by the publisher to keep the franchise fresh (so to speak) and to potentially expand the audience.
Also, I like what I’ve read of Wellington’s work serialized online. So it definitely has that going for it.