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Comics Relief: THE INHUMANS Turn 50, Marc Silvestri on BATMAN, And Some Amazing Comic-Style STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Art

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the very first Comics Relief of the very last month of 2014! We’ve got plenty of exciting comic booky goodness for you today, including more retro fun from DC’s Convergence series, the return of Howard the Duck to comics, and perhaps most importantly, the long awaited return of William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. and Theodore “Ted” Logan to pop culture at large. So let’s get started, shall we?

DC Announces Last Batch of Convergence Tie-In Books

This week, DC Comics unveiled the last series of tie-in books for their upcoming Convergence event, and much like the previous week’s books, these comics are an enormous treat for fans of the old school Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe. We’ve got books featuring the Pre-Crisis Earth 2, home of the original Justice Society of America from the Golden Age; Earth 3, home of the classic Crime Syndicate; Earth 4, home of the former heroes of Charlton Comics, like Blue Beetle and Captain Atom; Earth S, home of the Shazam family, and finally Earth X, residence of the Freedom Fighters, who fight a World War II that never ended. There is one book among these that doesn’t figure into any pre-Crisis alternate Earths, and that one features notorious time traveler Booster Gold. Could Booster be the key to this whole Convergence thing? Magic 8-Ball says “duh.”  [EW]


Is Batman in Artist Marc Silvestri’s Future?

So looking even further ahead into DC’s future beyond Convergence, what can fans expect? Another New 52-style reboot, or just going back to the way things were before Convergence hit? Or are we looking at a whole new slew of #1 issues from DC? According to Bleeding Cool, at least one of those post-Convergence plans centers around legendary artist and Image co-founder Marc Silvestri drawing a new Batman title, one he has secretly been working of for some time. Also, expect lots of high profile relaunches of various titles when the dust all settles from Convergence. [Bleeding Cool]


Artist Phil Noto Awakens the Force With Some Amazing Star Wars Art

You might recognize artist Phil Noto’s work from his great covers for Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or his art for books like Black Widow and Ultimate X-Men for Marvel, and even Batman for DC. But Noto is apparently also a mega Star Wars fanboy, as no less than a day passed after the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit, than Noto created a very professional looking poster style image featuring the new characters featured in the trailer, played by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. Oh, and that cute little ball droid thingy everyone likes, and the Millennium Falcon of course. Oh, and that lightsaber.  Check out the image below. []


 ICYMI: BOOM! Studios Officially Announces the Return of Bill & Ted In An All-New Comics Series

Yesterday we here at Nerdist had the good fortune of having the exclusive news of the long awaited return of ’80s/’90s film icons Bill and Ted, in a new six issue mini series from BOOM! Studios titled Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return, from creator Brian Lynch (Angel: After the Fall) and artists Jerry Gaylord and Ian McGinty. For more details and a look at some art, you should really click right here.


Howard the Duck Returns in New Ongoing Series From Marvel in Spring, 2015

Howard the Duck, once chiefly known as the star of the very first Marvel movie (which was a notorious flop) had a quick cameo at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, which has made him a hot property once more. Not only is he getting a new omnibus edition, but in March he’s getting an all-new ongoing series by Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals) and Joe Quinones, in which the talking duck from another planet sets up shop in the Marvel Universe as a private investigator. Howard the Duck was a big cult hit book in the seventies, which is why he got a movie in the first place. Can success happen again for our Howard? Marvel sure hopes so. Issue #1 of Howard the Duck hits in March 2015. [EW]


Jonathan Hickman’s Manhattan Project Goes On Hiatus, Plans a Return in March 

The most recent issue of Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra‘s Manhattan Projects, their series from Image Comics about the alternate history spinning out of the end of World War II,  revealed that the series will be taking a hiatus over the next few months while the creators mess around with the book’s format. In the last issue, Hickman had this to say: “The book and team will be on hiatus until March when Manhattan Projects will return with a few, but rather significant, changes. Nick and I always knew that when the comic got to a certain point we would be changing format, as Manhattan Projects was always intended to eventually be a book where we could tell any kind of story — in any genre — we wanted. We were also aware that doing so would mean that we would be changing the entire structure of the book. Gone will be the sprawling ensemble narrative that moves each individual character’s story incrementally along, and replacing that will be tight arcs focusing on a single (or few) characters.” The Manhattan Projects is set to officially return in March of 2015 with a new arc, “The Sun Beyond the Stars.”  [Comics Alliance]


League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier Finally Gets Full Release

Around a dozen or so years back, DC Comics was all set to publish the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier with a vinyl record, as recorded by League author Alan Moore himself. For reasons that infuriated Moore, and led to his leaving DC for good, DC decided that one of the songs sounded too much like the theme from Fireball XL5 and changed their minds about releasing it. They also changed their minds about selling the book in the United Kingdom period, although copies found their way around eventually.

Cut to several years later, and Knockabout Comics in the UK got the rights to finally sell and distribute The Black Dossier with the record. At first they started selling The Black Dossier with a free copy of the vinyl record , but only in person in their shop, Now it appears they have decided that they are comfortable selling the record, free with the graphic novel, on their online store. So after so many years, fans will finally be able to get their paws on the album legally. Alan Moore is probably still mad though. Just because.  [Bleeding Cool]

Marvel Launches The Inhumans 50th Anniversary Variant Covers

I never thought I’d see the day, but right now the Inhumans are a super hot property, thanks to storylines on TV’s Agents of SHIELD, not to mention officially getting a movie of their own in a few years. To help celebrate the sudden trendiness of the heroes of Attilan, Marvel has announced an Inhumans variant cover for each month of 2015, starting with the all-new Uncanny Avengers #1. The Uncanny Avengers #1 variant from artist Ladronn is the first in a series of variant covers celebrating the 50 years since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby debuted the Inhumans, in 1965’s Fantastic Four #45. In February, the first variant’s companion piece, also by Ladronn, will be released as a variant cover for Guardians of the Galaxy Team-Up #1, and will showcase the newer generation of the Inhumans. In March, Thor #6 will then feature a variant cover by Pasqual Ferry. []


Free Comic Book Day 2015 Officially Announced

Last but not least, next year’s Free Comic Book Day now has an official date- Saturday, May 2nd 2015. Conveniently enough the day after Avengers: Age of Ultron is released in theaters. This years, the free comics are being reduced down to fifty this year (still a huge amount.) The Gold Sponsor comic books will be announced December 11th and the Silver Sponsor comics will be announced December 17th.  A complete listing of all fifty FCBD titles, including the twelve “Gold Sponsor” and thirty-eight “Silver Sponsor” comic books can be found in the January issue of Diamond Comic Distributors’ Previews  catalog, on sale at all comic book shops December 24th, 2014.  You can also check on FreeComicBookDay.Com for updates.


What do you think of today’s top stories? Let me know in the comments below.

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