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Comics Relief: Image Expo News Galore, WITCHBLADE Ending, & More

Last week it was seemingly all Marvel news; well, in this weekend’s edition of Comics Relief, Image Comics strikes back with tons of news and announcements from the Image Comics Expo which was held this past week in San Francisco. Read on for all the juicy details…

Image Comics Announces 19 New Series at Image Expo

This week at Image Expo, the company’s own pre-Comic-Con, one-day-only convention designed to showcase their own comics (and not get overshadowed by Hollywood) some nineteen new series from the publisher were announced, as well as a reboot of Robert Kirkman’s Invincible… Which is only kind of/sort of a reboot, as they’re not renumbering the series or changing creative teams. Here are some of the highlights from the wave of new announcements:

Codename Baboushka: The Conclave of Death

What if the sexy Russian Bond girl was actually the hero? Written by Antony Johnston (The Fuse) with art by Shari Chankhamma (The Sisters’ Luck), and letters by Simon Bowland, Codename Baboushka is an action-packed modern pulp spy thriller. Full of high-stakes thrills in exotic locations, Codename: Baboushka follows a kick-ass female hero in the style of James Bond and Modesty Blaise!


The cutting edge story of a suave, sharp hitman from Chicago and a seemingly unremarkable housewife from Seattle, and how they accidentally end up switching lives. It’s a suspense fantasy full of sex, violence, and the blackest of humor. Written with sardonic wit by Gail Simone and stunningly realized by Cat Staggs, Crosswind will be one of the most talked about books of the year. Simone assured fans: “This is the comic that might make Dr. Wertham come back from the dead to try to ban comics again.”

The Goddamned

Southern Bastards writer Jason Aaron, artist R.M. Guerra of Scalped, and colorist Giulia Brusco turn their attention to… The Bible in The Goddamned. Before the great flood, the world is filled with violence and wickedness. In just a couple thousand years, humanity has gone from paradise to depravity and ruin. God is beginning to seriously regret having ever created man in the first place.

Welcome to the world of The Goddamned, an all-new, ongoing series to launch from Image Comics in November 2015. Set just before the Biblical flood, in a world so out of control with violence and depravity, God is just about to pull the plug. “It’s part caveman adventure story, part stark and brutal western,” said Aaron. “And did I mention there are dinosaur?s Imagine if Quentin Tarantino was hired to direct the movie version of the book of Genesis. That’s pretty much what we’re aiming for.”


Bestselling writer Mark Millar (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass) will team up with artist Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire) for an all-new project to be titled Huck. Millar said of the project: “All the best old comics were about people you didn’t expect becoming empowered. Peter Parker wasn’t a classic hero; he was a lonely teenager. Matt Murdock was blind; Tony Stark had a heart condition; Doctor Donald Blake couldn’t walk without a stick. So we wanted to do something incredibly sweet about a small-town guy with learning difficulties who could do all these amazing things.

He’s the purest, most decent character you’ve ever seen in a comic book. A big guy who just wants to help people and does it in secret so nobody even knows he even exists. It’s the ultimate feel good comic. A Frank Capra superhero story I guess about a small town and a close-knit community and an amazing guy they just all want to shelter from the outside world. He’s Captain America meets Forrest Gump. He’s just a nice guy in a very classic mold.”

For more on the other new Image books coming soon, click on this link for the full rundown: [Newsarama]

Brian K. Vaughn To Write The Walking Dead

Along with all the new series that were announced at Image Expo, there was also one very special announcement grabbing headlines-Saga and Y:The Last Man writer Brian K. Vaughn would be writing an arc of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead along with artist Marcos Martin on art duties. Vaughn also revealed at the Image Expo that Robert Kirkman had been pursuing them to bring the digital comic The Private Eye to Image Comics for some time, eventually working out a deal for a print edition at Image, in exchance for Vaughn and Martin doing  The Walking Dead story. No date has been given yet for Vaughn’s Walking Dead story, or whether it will run in an issue of the ongoing series, or be a special mini-series all its own. [Newsarama]

Top Cow Ending Witchblade After Twenty Years

Top Cow Productions is going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Witchblade this October in a rather unusual way, as they’ve announced plans to end the series with October’s issue #185. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Top Cow’s COO Tom Hawkins said “The end of the ongoing ‘Witchblade’ series with issue #185 is the end of Sara Pezzini as the Witchblade bearer; she doesn’t die, but has loose ends to wrap up before her ‘retirement.’

“One of her key character traits has always been that she didn’t want the Witchblade to fall into the hands of a woman who would use it for evil. Long term fans will be pleased with how her character wraps up. We’ve been planning for the 20th anniversary for a long time now, and the timing just worked out that we could do it this way.”

The final issue will feature a main story by regular series writer Ron Marz, along with a backup co-written by Hawkins and creator Marc Silvestri. A variety of “Witchblade” artists past and present will contribute to the issue. [CBR]

Dark Horse Announces Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Dark Horse Comics is teaming up with Activision Publishing for an all-new series written by longtime G.I. Joe writer Larry Hama and drawn by Marcelo Ferreira (Transformers.) According to the press release, The Call of Duty: Black Ops III comic book series “follows an elite group of cybernetically enhanced soldiers as they wage a secret war across a futuristic, war-torn world transformed by technology. Fans will be able to receive a free exclusive minicomic at Comic-Con in San Diego next week , available at te Dark Horse Comics (booth #2615) Call of Duty: Black Ops III #1 will hit comic shops on November 4, 2015. [Newsarama]

Alan Moore’s From Hell Gets New Collected Edition

Alan Moore and Eddie Cambell’s From Hell was their comic book opus, based on the life and killings of Jack the Ripper, and was published from 1986 to 1989, with a collected edition coming in at a whopping 572 pages. A companion book was published some years later, detailing all the various conspiracy theories that have sprung up over the years surrounding the Ripper that ultimately inspired Moore and Campbell.

Now, Top Shelf is combining From Hell and the From Hell Companion in a enormous new slipcase set which will be available this coming September. From Hell was made into a movie starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham back in 2001, but a far more faithful adaptation is being planned as a television series for the FX network soon, which is said to cover much of the ground the original film left out, so now would be a great time to reacquaint yourself with the original book. [Bleeding Cool]

After Four Years, Tokyopop Returns

Here’s some news manga fans have been waiting quite a while for; the long awaited return of Tokyopop. Tokyopop was the largest manga publisher in the United States not too many years ago, with the licenses to top-selling manga such as Sailor Moon, Battle Royale,GTO: Grand Teacher Onizuka, and more. The company shut down back in 2011, but now Tokyopop has announced its long awaited return, with panels planned for this weekend’s Anime Expo as well as Comic-Con International the following weekend in San Diego.They will also be looking to license “hidden gems that are not yet noticed” from small or independent publishers, as well as art books and collectors editions. [Anime News Network]

Todd Nauck’s Disney Exclusive Ant-Man Poster

One of the more exclusive posters for Marvel’s Ant-Man movie isn’t going to be available at Comic-Con next week, but somewhere else just as expensive (but probably easier to get into) – Disneyland. The new poster, by longtime comics artist Todd Nauck, best known for his runs on books like Young Justice, Spider-Man and others, will be only available at the Pizza Port restaurant in Tomorrowland in Disneyland in Anaheim starting July 17. Park guests will have the opportunity to purchase the limited-edition print for $5.99 at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port, and as an added bonus, Todd Nauck will be on hand from 2-4:30 p.m. on July 21, 2015, to sign the new print as well as his Avengers print. You can check out the poster below: [Disney Parks]

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