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Comics Relief: Creative Changes Coming to DC’s THE FLASH

Time for your Wednesday edition of  Comics Relief, kids! Today we’ve got lots of Marvel announcements, but first news on creative changes to DC Comics’ Scarlet Speedster. Read on for the details…

Writer Van Jensen announces departure from The Flash

Writer Van Jensen has been chronicling the adventures of Barry Allen in the pages of The Flash for two years now, but he has just announced his departure from the title with the following tweet:

With news of Scott Snyder leaving Batman (the title, if not the character), this seems to be the first of many big shake-ups coming to DC with their big Rebirth initiative. Jensen has some creator-owned work to get excited about though, as a follow-up tweet revealed. “As for me, I’ve spent most of the past 4 years focused on the DCU,” Jensen wrote. “It’s time for me to focus on my own stories…” [Bleeding Cool]

Reports of the death of the comic book industry have been greatly exaggerated

These days, it’s popular to point out that comics don’t sell like they used to and will soon vanish. Mind you, network TV shows get a fraction the ratings that they used to, and album sales are a pale imitation of that they once were, yet all of these media still continue on. In any case, there is now actual proof that comics sales have increased significantly in the past five years.

A report at Comichron, a site that tabulates comic book sales data, shows that in January of 2016, the Top 300 comics of the month sold about 6.49 million copies in total. Compare that to January of 2011, when overall sales hit an all-time low of 4.4 million copies, likely the lowest sum since the 1930s. While the growth isn’t enormous, it’s nothing to sneeze at either. So why the bump? Two major things happened since early 2011 — the explosion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a little show called The Walking Dead, both of which have drawn new fans to the comics. So don’t let anyone tell you the growth of comic book media hasn’t affected the comics themselves — the proof is in the pudding. [Comichron via io9]

All-New Marvel initiative results in over thirty sold out books

Speaking of bigger sales, Marvel seems to be pretty pleased with how well their All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative has been doing sales-wise. The company has released a video trumpeting over thirty sold out first issues of their various books, which you can check out below. [Marvel]

Get your first good look at the All-New Wasp

We’ve known that an all-new version of the Wasp was coming to Marvel soon, in one of their Free Comic Book Day issues, and now we’ve got a glimpse at what the character will look like. This Alex Ross illustration below is scheduled to be the cover to May’s All-New All-Different Avengers #9 by Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar.

It’s interesting to note that the new Wasp’s costume design looks a whole lot like the MC2 Universe character Red Queen, also known as Hope Pym. That Hope Pym is where the makers of the movie Ant-Man got their inspiration for Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne, at least in name. I think it is safe to say we are getting more Marvel Comics and MCU synergy here. [Newsarama]

Is this the comic book equivalent of Six Feet Under?

Anthony Mendez, the narrator of The CW’s Jane the Virgin, is bringing his family business in cemetery work to comics in a new series called Mike Tomb, an upcoming motion comic produced by his company, Strip Dot Voice LLC. Writer Stephen L. Stern is adapting the story from a screenplay from Mendez, with art by Joshua Zingerman. Mike Tomb is described as a story which “follows a Dominican-American headstone maker, Michael Gonzalez, who develops a serious illness and decides to leave the family business to pursue his dreams. Unfortunately, a family secret threatens to send Michael to his grave early.”

In a statement, creator Mendez said, “Industry giants like Marvel have transitioned into the motion comic and digital space creating more opportunities for voice actors like myself. My hope is that this mix of fictional and true stories with an American of Latino descent at the center, will inspire more Latinos to create their own work as well as express themselves in new ways and on their own terms.”

Mike Tomb is scheduled to be released later this year. [Newsarama]

Spidey’s first appearance about to sell for a crazy amount of cash

While Amazing Fantasy #15, the very first appearance of Spider-Man from 1962, hasn’t yet sold in the millions like Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1 or Batman’s in Detective Comics #27, it’s still one of the comic world’s most prized issues. Now a near-mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 is going up for auction, and is expected to sell for more than $400,000 later this month.

According to Lon Allen, managing director of the comics department at Heritage Auctions, “this comic has the potential to realize the highest price ever paid at public auction for a Spider-Man comic book. It could soar well past our estimate.” It might even get close to Clark and Bruce’s $1 million dollar pricetag. [Comic Book Resources]

The Marvel Universe gets the Apocalyptic treatment in new variant cover series

Looking to tie in to Fox’s upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, the folks at Marvel are bringing us the Apocalypse Wars in April across the three main X-titles: Uncanny X-Men, Extraordinary X-Men, and All-New X-Men. Now Marvel is tying in that crossover to the rest of the Marvel Universe, at least thematically speaking, in a series of variant covers that show just what the characters of the Marvel Universe would look like if they got the whole “Horseman of the Apocalypse” makeover. You can check out all the seven covers revealed thus far in our gallery below. [IGN]

IMAGES: DC Comics / Marvel Comics / Strip Dot Voice LLC / Image Comics


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