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Comics Relief: SANDMAN: OVERTURE Gets Deluxe Hardcover, Marvel’s CIVIL WAR Becomes A SECRET WAR, & Our First Look at the New AVENGERS

In today’s edition of Comics Relief, we have news on the forthcoming hardcover release of Neil Gaiman’s return to the world of the Endless in Sandman: Overture, our first glimpses into just who will be the All-New and All-Different Avengers, and Anthony Bourdain’s return to comics with a sequel to his graphic novel Get Jiro. But it wouldn’t be a Comics Relief column without something pertaining to Marvel’s upcoming Secret Wars, and this first item shows how Marvel is mixing and matching an old war with a new one…

Marvel’s Secret Wars Gets More Civil

The latest Marvel event to become part of the Secret Wars is one of the most brutal (and divisive) stories in the publisher’s recent history, one that was as loved and as reviled by fans in equal measure. I’m talking about Mark Millar’s and Steve McNiven’s Civil War, which is going to be the basis of the third Captain America movie which comes out next year. Now that chapter of Marvel history is going to be part of Battleworld, this time from the creative team of Charles Soule and Leinil Yu, and is scheduled for sometime in July.

The new series will take the hero vs. hero story well past its original end point, according to Soule: “If you look at the ideas that that story had, Iron Man thought superheroes should have to register with the government, and become something of a police force; Captain America thought that that was restricting the central freedoms of this country. It was a debate of security versus freedom. We’re taking that basic idea and expanding it to a larger canvas. The Registration Act is all in the past at this point. It’s more of a world drastically changed based on a superhero war, and it’s a huge story and it’s fun to be able to involve every Marvel character there is.” []

DC/Vertigo Announce Two Hardcover Collections Featuring the Work of Neil Gaiman This Fall

The Sandman: Overture deluxe edition hardcover by Neil Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III will hit comic stores this November, and will be comprised of the six previously released issues (look for issues #5 and #6 later this year), which tell the story of Dream before the events of the original Sandman series. The collection will include the spectacular gatefold featured in the first issue. In addition, there will be extra exclusive material including pages from the Special Editions, script pages, and more.

Alongside the Sandman: Overture collection, Vertigo is finally releasing Free Country: A Tale Of The Children’s Crusade. This marks the first time The Children’s Crusade issues #1 & #2, written by Neil Gaiman, Alisa Kwitney and Jamie Delano, will be collected since the mini-series’ original release back in 1997. The two-issue miniseries follows the Dead Boy Detectives who are on the case when several children go missing in a small English town. A series of strange and unexpected twists take them to Free Country, a place that dates back a millennia, where children never grow old and are free from the abuse and tyranny of adults. In addition to the original stories, the collection will include a new chapter completing the story in the way Neil Gaiman originally envisioned. The new chapter will be written by Toby Litt (Dead Boy Detectives) and drawn by Peter Gross (The Books of Magic).

Marvel Begins to Unveil The All-New, All-Different Avengers

We already know that Marvel will be introducing the All-New Avengers in May. And now, we are finally getting an idea of who will be on the team. Based on the just released teaser image, the new Ms. Marvel as well as the new female Thor will both become members, as well as Nova and the Vision. There are still three blacked out characters in the illustration by Jerome Opena, and if Marvel follows their usual procedure, they’ll likely reveal the rest of the characters in a series of follow-up images, so it probably won’t be too long before the full team is revealed. We can guess that at least one of the blacked out members is the new Captain America, Sam Wilson. Anyone out there want to guess who the rest are?

Anthony Bourdain’s Get Jiro! Gets a Prequel OGN From Vertigo

DC’s Vertigo imprint has announced a follow-up to their 2012 OGN Get Jiro! which is set to get an all-new prequel graphic novel. The new book is called Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi, and will  be written by world famous chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, along with his co-writer Joel Rose, and feature art from Ale Garza with a cover by Dave Johnson.

The new prequel graphic novel will will depict Jiro’s beginnings as he juggled working for his mob boss father and pursuing his dream of becoming a chef. According to Bourdain. “I wanted to take the story back to its beginnings — in Japan (albeit a slightly-in-the-future, dystopic Japan), and indulge my own enthusiasms for both the place and the many classic genre films that have been made there. This is fun for me.” Get Jiro: Blood And Sushi will hit comic store shelves and be available for digital download on October 20, 2015. [Comic Book Resources]

Oni Press Announces Two New Titles, Lion of Lora and Blood Feud 

Oni Press has announced two new books from a pair of high profile comics creators for release later this year; first up is Lion of Lora, an original graphic novel by Christos Gage (Avengers Academy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine), Ruth Fletcher Gage (Netflix’s Daredevil series), and Jackie Lewis, and comes out on August 5th. This OGN is based on the true story of 17th century Italian Joshua Javanel, who leads a persecuted Christian sect known as the Waldensians against the oppression of a tyrannical duke. According to Gage, “The Waldensians are Ruth’s ancestors, so the story of Joshua Janavel is a personal and important one to us, but it’s also a universal tale of the struggle for freedom, family and a safe place to call home.”

The other book announced as coming soon from Oni is from writer Cullen Bunn and Drew Moss (Terrible Lizard), and Nick Filardi (Helheim) called Blood Feud, which is described as a “Southern tale of vampires, necromancers, horrific spiders and family feuds that survive beyond the grave.” It’s subtitled “A Vampire Yarn… With Spiders.” According to Bunn, “It’s a story that’s been with me for years, and the characters are, in one way or another, people who were important in my life, especially while I was growing up in rural North Carolina and Missouri. Spider Creek, the town in which this horrific little tale takes place, may be fictional, but it’s also very real…Blood Feud is also my chance to re-team with Drew Moss and Nick Filardi. This is a story of humor and horror in the vein of movies like Fright Night and Phantasm and Evil Dead 2, and I couldn’t think of two better co-conspirators to bring this story to life!” Blood Feud is set to come out in October from Oni. [Comics Beat]

Fresh Romance Looks To Bring “Women’s Comics” Into The Modern Era

For decades, romance comics were a staple of comic book fiction, until daytime soaps more or less filled the demand that existed for “women’s stories” and comics aimed at a female audience in general all but vanished. Starting in May, creator Janelle Asselin is looking to bring romance comics into the 21st century when she launches Fresh Romance, a romance comics digital magazine and the main title for her brand-new imprint, Rosy Press. While the book isn’t quite erotica, it will be R-rated, so expect something much racier than the romance book of years past.

Among the pretty stellar line up of creators announced for the book are Sarah Vaughn, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Winifred Searle, Kate Leth and Sally Jane Thompson. Fresh Romance will include period romance alongside LGBT love stories, as well as an advice column, a fashion report, and more. Each of the monthly issues will contain three stories, some ongoing and some standalone, with each story being collected and released in its own ebook after concluding its run in the magazine. [Comic Book Resources]

Artist Stephen Byrne Gives Us His Own Idea For A Wonder Woman Redesign

After artist J. Scott Campbell released his own redesigned Wonder Woman costume as a response to DC’s latest new look for the character, other artists have followed suit giving Diana a new set of clothes. Getting the biggest attention is artists Stephen Byrne’s redesign, which  he recently posted on Twitter, and seems to have received a lot of positive attention from fans online.

Personally, it’s a little too “street clothes” for me, and reminds me of Clark Kent’s “costume but not a costume” from the TV show Smallville. Something like this would be perfect for that proposed CW Wonder Woman prequel series Amazon that never happened (she even has a messenger bag, so she could put her school books in it, because you just know a CW Wonder Woman show would have her in high school or college.) For the actual comics though, I think I want a COSTUME costume.


Got a particular comics new item you’re stoked about? Got any idea who the rest of the new Avengers might be? Let us know in the comments below!

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