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Comics Relief: The Official Guidebook to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Coming

It’s time for the weekend edition of Comics Relief, and in today’s column we’ve gathered news on the first line of books that’s coming from new comics company Aftershock Comics, as well as news about Harley Quinn’s new ongoing series, and more. First off though, Marvel is bringing back an old concept from back in the day to chart a much more recent version of their universe. Read on for more details….

Get Ready for The Official Guidebook to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

If you were a kid growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, one of the key ways to understand the complex and decades-long mythologies behind the characters and their backstories at Marvel was the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe series, which listed every character from the company, from A-Z, with comprehensive biographies for everyone. (DC had a similar series at the same time, called “Who’s Who in the DCU.”)

Now Marvel is bringing the Official Handbook back…but for the Marvel Cinematic Universe instead. The first, focusing on 2008’s Iron Man, will kick off the series next month. A second book, covering both The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2, will hit in November. The guidebooks will include “Fast Facts” regarding the various interweaving characters in the MCU, production stills, and movie-to-comic comparisons. [Comic Vine]

Valiant Comics Gives Unity a Comedic Send-off

Publisher Valiant Comics has announced the end of its main team book Unity with December’s issue #25, a 48-page finale that chronicles the end of the team at the climax of Book of Death. Interestingly enough, Unity won’t end with a huge action-packed traditional finale. Instead, it will celebrate the team with an all-comedic issue. Unity #25 will feature work from Valiant creators like Matt Kindt and Kano, and legendary cartoonist Fred Hembeck, along with writers from The Daily Show and The Late Show with Steven Colbert, as well as the comic book debut of Tom Scharpling, co-host of the long-running radio show and podcast The Best Show. [Newsarama]

Harley Quinn Gets Second Ongoing Series with Harley’s Little Black Book

Created as a sidekick character for The Joker in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn has since become one of the biggest characters at DC, and is in fact DC’s biggest selling female character, cited by most female comics fans as their favorite character (which is slightly disturbing, because unlike, say, Wonder Woman or Batgirl or Catwoman, she’s defined by an abusive relationship with a psychopath who abuses her and she keeps coming back for more. But I digress…)

Based on Harley’s popularity, it was only a matter of time before she got a second ongoing series, which DC just announced for a December release. In Harley’s Little Black Book, Ms. Quinzel will be teaming up with a different DCU character each time, and in her first issue she’s starting with Wonder Woman. The series will be brought to us by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti on a bi-monthly basis. To read more about the new Harley book, click on our story here.

Believe it or Not, Marvel is Giving the Deadpool/Gwen Stacy mashup Gwenpool her own comic

In a sure sign of the Apocalypse, Marvel has announced a one shot issue in December for Gwenpool, the mashup of Gwen Stacy and Deadpool that started out as a gag variant cover, which is now taking on a life of its own. The Gwenpool one shot will be coming with art by Langdon Foss, Guruhiro, and Kris Anka, but before that, she’ll debut in November’s Howard the Duck #1, before getting her own comic, written by Gerry Dugan, Charles Soule, and Christopher Hastings. And hopefully the idea of Gwenpool ends there for all time. But probably not. [Comics Beat]

Aftershock Comics Announces First Line-up of Titles and Creative Teams

A few months back, Marvel editor Mike Marts announced he was leaving the company for AfterShock Comics, and in that announcement he said the various high-profile creatives that would be working on new series for the upstart publisher. Now we know what those series are and when they’re coming out, as Aftershock has made official the titles, teams, and release dates for its first four titles. All four are set to hit shelves in December, with new titles from Paul Jenkins and Andy Clarke, and Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina, leading the way.

Here’s the full list, as provided by AfterShock:

Replica, debuting December 1 from writer Paul Jenkins (Batman: The Dark Knight, Spider-Man, Wolverine: Origin) and artist Andy Clarke (Batman, Judge Dredd); InSeXts, debuting December 9 from writer Marguerite Bennett (Batgirl, Sleepy Hollow, A-Force) and artist Ariela Kristantina (Wolverines, Deep State);
SuperZero, debuting December 16 from writers Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn) and Jimmy Palmiotti (Deadpool, Jonah Hex, Daredevil), and artist Rafael de Latorre; and Dreaming Eagles, debuting December 30 from Garth Ennis and Simon Coleby (2000 AD, The Authority).

[Comics Alliance]

Rocket Raccoon & Groot team up for new series

After stealing the show in last year’s hit movie Guardians of the Galaxy, it was only a matter of time before Rocket Raccoon and Groot got their own ongoing series together as a duo. Marvel has announced a December release for Rocket Raccoon and Groot, a new ongoing series. The series will be done by the writer and artist of the recent Rocket Raccoon series, Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade, and Marvel has described this as a continuation of that series but with a new #1 issue. [Newsarama]

Does Carrie Kelly Become the New Batgirl (or Batwoman) in Dark Knight III?

And finally, we leave you with this teaser image for December’s second issue of The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, which features a grown up Carrie Kelly, the girl Robin from Dark Knight Returns, wearing a Batman costume and being taken away to prison. The solicitation for the issue doesn’t tell us much more than what the image shows us, but it poses an interesting question about just what the heck this comic is going to be about. Check out the image from series artist Andy Kubert above. [IGN]

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