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Comics Relief: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Get Another Ongoing Comic, Grant Morrison & Jim Lee Collaborate on MULTIVERSITY, And ORPHAN BLACK Comes To IDW

Welcome to this week’s edition of Comics Relief! Today we’ve got news on the BBC’s popular Orphan Black television series coming to comics, and a 1990s retro explosion over at DC Comics. But first, the box office champions of 2014 are quickly becoming Marvel’s latest mega-franchise, as they add yet another title to their already impressive roster…

Marvel Launches Sixth Guardians of the Galaxy Ongoing Comic 

One gigantic worldwide blockbuster hit movie, and suddenly these guys think they’re the X-Men or something, sheesh. This February, Marvel will launch their sixth ongoing Guardians of the Galaxy related title with Guardians Team-Up, from writer Brian Michael Bendis, with art and cover for the first issue by none other than Art Adams. This joins Guardians of the Galaxy, Legendary Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, and Guardians 3000. Actually, it’s really seven titles if you count the upcoming Marvel Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy comic, which is based on the new animated series that’s coming from Disney XD. Marvel, we love these guys as much as anyone, but slow your roll! Too much of a good thing often leads to overkill. I mean, look at what happened to the X-Men line, and the Deadpool line, and the Batman books….actually, never mind, just keep doing what you’re doing Marvel.  In comics, there is obviously no such thing as too much of a good thing. [USAToday]


Dynamite Teams Up With Comicsfix  On A Digital Subscription Format

Dynamite Entertainment has entered into a partnership with Comicsfix to offer their titles on a subscription-based digital platform, offering all of their available comics to subscribers for a monthly fee of $9.95, essentially using the Netflix model, but for comics. Some of the books already available are the first two volumes of Garth Ennis’ The Boys, Gail Simone’s Legends of Red Sonja, and Project Superpowers, which featured covers by Alex Ross; more single issues and full series from Dynamite will continue to be added every week on Comicsfix. [Comics Beat]


DC’s Convergence Week Two Is A ’90s Nostalgia-Fest

In last week’s Comics Relief, we shared the first details of week one of DC’s tie-in books to their crossover Convergence series. All the books for the first week of Convergence seem to be centered on characters as we left them before the switch to the New 52 happened back in 2011. This week, DC released details on their second week of tie-in books, and it’s a total 1990’s Nostalgia fest, with books centered on the DCU just prior to the Zero Hour mini-series from 1994. Which means we’ve got hook-handed Aquaman, Azrael as Batman, Hal Jordan as Parallax, Catwoman in her purple tights, and even the Matrix version of Supergirl (never thought to see her again.) Even more ’90s awesomeness in these tie-ins is that the characters of the ’90s DCU will be facing off with their counterparts from the Kingdom Come Earth. Which is fitting, since Kingdom Come, although an alternate Earth to the main DCU Earth, came out in 1996. [Blastr, Hitfix]


BOOM! Set To Collect Noir Inspired Series Hit: 1955

Coming this December from BOOM! is the collected version of Harvey Award nominated noir series Hit: 1955, the four-issue series written by Bryce Carlson and drawn by Vanesa R. Del Rey. The story looks at the twisted history of the Los Angeles Police Department and of the cops who did some under-the-table wetwork in an attempt to clean up the streets. This book collects the complete four-issue limited series, features the never-before-seen prose short story, “Bonnie,” and includes an introduction by American crime author Duane Swierczynski. [Bleeding Cool]


Marvel Debuts Ant-Man #1 Shrinking Variant In January

With his own movie coming out next summer, Marvel is making sure they’ve got a new ongoing comics series in the pipeline for just when the movie hits, with Ant-Man #1 coming this January from the creative team of Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas. The new series will feature the Scott Lang version of the character, presumably since that’s the version that the movie will have. Now as an added incentive, the first issue will have a “shrinking variant” cover, drawn by Ed McGuinness. Each individually numbered cover will feature Ant-Man at a different size, with no two covers having him at exactly the same size. According to Marvel’s David Gabriel, “this is completely unlike any cover we’ve ever attempted; we’ve even had to utilize new technologies to make it happen. Each variant is completely unique. Each and every cover will feature a different sized Ant-Man. No two are identical!” The first issue of Ant-Man hits January 7th, 2015. []


Dark Horse Officially Announces The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover

For a period of about five years, from 1982 till about 1987, the Masters of the Universe line of toys made billions for Mattel, and defined action figures for a whole generation. Tons of art for tie-in comics and promotional material, not to mention the animated series, was produced during this time, and now Dark Horse Comics has collected much of that art for a new hardcover book, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. set to hit stores in April, 2015.

According to Dark Horse’s advance solicitation for the book, this will be a “comprehensive retrospective chronicling He-Man’s decades-long, epic journey from toy, to television, to film, to a true pop culture phenomenon.” The book will include rarely seen images of concept sketches, prototypes, restored art from primary He-Man illustrator Earl Norem, and more from Mattel’s archives, as well as interviews with people like Paul Dini, who got his start on the animated series, and even big-screen He-Man himself, Dolph Lundgren. [Comic Book Resources]


DC Superstars Grant Morrison & Jim Lee Team Up For Multiversity: The Mastermen

Two names that have been synonymous with DC comics for the past decade have been Grant Morrison and Jim Lee, the latter of whom is now co-publisher of the company. Somehow though, these two comics titans have barely ever worked together, except for their aborted relaunch of Wildcats from around 2006 or so that only lasted one issue; Grant Morrison simply pulled the plug on it after bad reviews. Now these two are getting another chance together, with Multiversity: Mastermen #1, which features the inhabitants of Earth-10.

According to the official description, “Imagine a world where the Nazis not only won World War II but went on to direct world culture for the next 60 years with the help of an orphaned, alien super-weapon known as Overman! But hope is not lost! Rising from the ashes of oppression are a diverse band of heroes raging against the fascist regime – a band of heroes known as THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS!” It looks like Earth-10 will be based on the old pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Earth-X, only with a Nazi Superman element added into the mix. All I know is that Morrison + Jim Lee = me on board. [Newsarama]


Orphan Black Comes To IDW in February 

One of the BBC’s most popular shows on both sides of the Atlantic for the past few years has been Orphan Black; now IDW is bringing the clone saga to comics this coming February, with an all-new mini-series series from the show’s  co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, who are using the series to expands on the saga with all-new material exclusive to the comics. According to IDW’s official solicitation for the first issue, this includes “clues and Easter eggs for the highly anticipated third season, coming in April.”

Each issue will explore the life of a different clone, starting with Sarah, and the first issue alone will have eight different covers. Art for the first issue comes from Szymon Kudranski (Spawn, Detective Comics.) If you’re a hardcore Orphan Black fan and want to have every variant cover without hunting them all down, IDW will also be issuing a deluxe collectible box, which includes all eight standard covers. [Comic Book Resources]



Which of this comics news items are you most amped up for? Let us know in the comments below.

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