Your Complete Guide To Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1

On June 22, Marvel Comics will celebrate Pride Month with a new giant-sized one-shot spotlighting LGBTQIA+ creators and characters! A queer-centered anthology brought together by an amazing lineup of writers and artists from all walks of life, Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 will feature eight extraordinary adventures, an introduction by Vice President of Television at Bad Robot Productions Alex Phillips, and more.

From uplifting to thrilling, this diverse collection of stories take place all throughout the Marvel Universe and celebrate the themes and joy of Pride Month. And today, fans can get a first look at each one.

In last year’s Marvel’s Voices: Pride, Steve Orlando and Luciano Vecchio introduced the dreamy mutant hero Somnus, who now stars in the ongoing X-Men series Marauders. New York Times-bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders and artist duo and Eisner-nominated cartoonists Ro Stein and Ted Brandt continues this tradition with the debut of Escapade. Readers will meet this all-new trans mutant super hero in a 20-page adventure that will introduce her career as a super thief and set the stage for her exciting future.

  • Valkyrie Rúna puts on the first ever Asgard Pride celebration in television writer and podcaster Ira Madison III and artist Lorenzo Susi Marvel Comics debut.
  • Shuster and Eisner-winning writer Andrew Wheeler makes his Marvel debut alongside Patsy Walker artist Brittney L. Williams in an action-packed story about Marvel’s newest power couple-Hercules and Marvel Boy.
  • Rev up your engines for a heart-bending story across space and time in a Moondragon story by Iron Man scribe and lauded TV showrunner Christopher Cantwell and artist Kei Zama.
  • Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus-award winner Alyssa Wong and fan-favorite artist Stephen Byrne reunite the Young Avengers in a story guaranteed to please fans new and old. Byrne will also depict the team in one of the issue’s variant covers.
  • Comedy writer Grace Freud (Rick and Morty, the Eric Andre Show) brings her talents to Marvel with a story about the power of responsibility featuring the Marvel Universe’s favorite gay ginger, D-Man. She’s joined by Eisner-nominated artist Scott B. Henderson in his first work for Marvel.
  • And writer Danny Lore and artist Lucas Werneck revisit the legacy of Taku and Venomm, two Black Panther characters long left in the closet, in a tale of love and redemption!

Check out all five Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 covers following the jump, and interior artwork from each story now and celebrate Pride with Marvel Comics on June 22! For more information including a word from this year’s creators, visit Marvel.com.

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The Fugitive Doctor’s Comics Debut

Yesterday’s distribution of the Doctor Who Free Comic Book Day 2022 Edition featured The Fugitive Doctor. The comic is a lead-in to a new story arc that continues in Doctor Who Origins #1, available June 8.

In the forthcoming adventure you’ll discover why this regeneration became known as The Fugitive while she works for the mysterious DIVISION on a dangerous assignment, and uncovers something insidious is afoot.

See variant covers and sample interior art following the jump.

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Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones in Doctor Who Comics

Eisner Award-Winner Dan Slott’s Doctor Who Comics debut sees Martha Jones spin three sensational yarns about the Tenth Doctor in order to survive.

When companion Martha Jones is captured by the insatiable Pyromeths, her only hope for survival is to keep them distracted Scheherazade-style with untold tales of the Tenth Doctor facing off against his greatest foes– both classic and new.
 
This Doctor Who collection continues the time-travelling tales of the Doctor and friends. And features a bonus story starring the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler!

See variant covers and sample interior art following the jump.

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Preview Art from Ben Aaronovitch Rivers of London “Deadly Ever After #1”

“Deadly Ever After” is the next chapter in the Rivers of London series from Titan Comics. Written by Rivers of London author Ben Aaronovitch, Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel and Celeste Bronfman (Star Trek), the issue will be released May 18.

When Chelsea and Olympia accidentally break an enchantment in the woods, deadly fairy tales from a mysterious old book begin coming to life. To set things right, Chelsea and Olympia must unravel a mystery dating back to the 1800s before they become victims of a lethal sorcery.

See the variant covers and sample interior art following the jump.

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Thor’s Greatest Writers and Artists Return to Asgard for Thor’s 750th Issue

Fans will get to celebrate the long and storied history of the God of Thunder with the writers and artists who helped build his legacy! Coming just in time for Thor’s 60th anniversary, Thor #24 will be a 74-page epic honoring 750 thunderous issues. When the milestone issue arrives April 27, some of Thor’s greatest legends will return to tell thrilling new tales set during their landmark runs.

Thor #24 will take place in the aftermath of “God Of Hammers,” the latest epic in writer Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein’s hit run on the title. After a scorched-earth victory that cost the God of Thunder both his hammer and his father, Thor and all of Asgard mourn Odin, unaware that the former All-Father lives on in Thor’s newly reforged hammer!

In addition to the main story by Cates and Klein, here are the all-new tales readers can look forward to:

  • Writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Oliver Coipel reunite for a story set during their redefining Thor saga
  • Legendary comics creator Dan Jurgens writes and draws an incredible Thor and Balder teamup
  • Comics icon Walter Simonson makes his grand return to Thor, writing and drawing an all-new adventure that explores the origin of his beloved creation, Beta Ray Bill
  • Al Ewing and Lee Garbett collaborate for the first time since LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD to bring you an all-new chapter for the god of mischief that leads directly into Ewing’s upcoming DEFENDERS BEYOND series
  • And prepare for a revelatory tale about Odin that only writer Jason Aaron and artist Das Pastoras can deliver!

Following the jump, check out variant cover art and Nic Klein’s design sheet for Mjolnir’s new look.

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Marvel’s Stormbreakers Covers Showcase Iconic Marvel Locales

In the latest collection of Marvel Stormbreakers variant covers, fans can be transported to various locations throughout the Marvel Universe. The technologically advanced Wakanda, the mysterious jungles of the Savage Land, the mean streets of Madripoor, and the quaint yet fearsome Doom-led Latveria are all brought to life in stunning postcard-style artwork by R.B. Silva, Peach Momoko, Carmen Carnero, and Natacha Bustos, four of the inaugural Marvel Stormbreakers program that was kicked off in 2020.

“Congratulations to the 2020-2022 class of Marvel’s Stormbreakers artists!” Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski said. “The work of all these titanic talents has been and will continue to be absolutely outstanding! I cannot tell you how excited I am to see what comes next for these eight incredible illustrators. And while this celebrated class may be drawing to a close, our Stormbreakers program isn’t going to end here.  A new class of industry-shaking talent is just around the corner, and I just can’t wait for you to see who’s next!”

Check out the four latest STORMBREAKERS covers following the jump.

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‘War’ Comic Anthology in Production in Ukraine 

By James Bacon: The Invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the horror of a modern mechanized war in Europe, viewable instantaneously, the destruction and merciless death rained down on civilians, is utterly appalling. 

From this though, art fights back. Art is a form of expression and many are horrified at what is occurring, and demonstrate this through their personal ability to portray a message, be it resistance, revulsion or rebellion. 

The focus has also brought works to the attention of readers. I found some amazing war comic images online, and hunted them down and soon found that there was an exciting Ukrainian Comic enterprise, with established comics which was pivoting to share work by artists that reflects the war. 

“WAR” is a comic book Patreon from The Will (https://www.patreon.com/TheWillProduction). The project supports Ukrainian artists and the Ukranian defense forces. The production team is creating a comic book compilation of short stories in various genres about the ‘War’, being created right now during this tumultuous time.  Artists are waiving their fees and The Will are using these to buy supplies for the defense forces. 

Artists who are already working on the project include: Kateryna Kosheleva (https://twitter.com/tokkamakart), Igor Kurilin (https://twitter.com/gentik72), Nazar Ponik (https://www.artstation.com/misterrook), Maxim Bogdanovsky and Alexander Koreškov (https://www.artstation.com/digitalfly). 

Kateryna Kosheleva’s story is in the style of a fantasy about the area of Ukraine known as KONOTOP, where many witches have lived since ancient times and the images speak for themselves. 

Igor Kurilin is working on a story depicting the action at Snake Island. 


And the cover is by Nazar Ponik.


War Comics have a long and varied history, but such direct support is new, yet laudable given the horrendous circumstances faced by these creatives. 

“The Will” is a Ukrainian alternative history fantasy comic, with a strong steampunk theme, looking at events during 1917-1920, presenting a struggle for truth and freedom. There is also “The Prince’s Will”, a different series featuring anthropomorphic hamsters. 

While these comics are in Ukrainian, the Will is also a publishing house, and as can be seen from their website, they are working to license and help their stories reach a further audience: The Will Production.

Fans will be personally challenged. War Comics are often anti-war, the arts, literature, culture lean towards civil resolutions, protest for sure. There is a known history of fans fighting in wars, and also abstaining. We are often able to dissociate ourselves from the tax we pay being used for god knows what, yet personal choices can and will be made. A country is fighting for its survival, a people have been brutally attacked, and while here on File 770 we know that there are Russians who hate Putin and this War equally, there is an actual existential fight that has been taking place in Ukraine now over a month since the invasion. 

I cannot imagine how it is for a fan, comic artist or writer to wake to shelling, to curfews, to whatever is left of a city like Mariupol, to know an invading force of aggressors control parts of one’s country, to have seen millions have to leave their home, displaced, refugees, fleeing. How hard and devastating that must be. 

Yet here we have some art, that captures the moment, that is really good to look at, that is accurate and well-drawn during adversity, and we see artists supporting their national defense forces, doing what they feel is best under dreadful circumstances, brave and admirable.

[We have permission from The Will to use these Facebook and Patreon Images.]

Marvel Heroes Face Off Against Fortnite Fighters In New Covers

The Marvel Universe will collide with Fortnite once again this June in a brand-new limited comic series–Fortnite X Marvel: Zero War. To gear up for this saga, fans will be able to see their favorite Marvel heroes in showdowns with iconic Fortnite characters on new variant covers released throughout May.

Fans can look forward to the following matchups brought to life by the industry’s leading artists:

  • Captain America (Sam Wilson) and Omega
  • Captain Carter and Cuddle Team Leader
  • Captain Marvel and Dark Bomber
  • Ghost Rider and Raider
  • Iron Fist and Fade
  • Hellcat and Lynx
  • Joe Fixit and Rippley
  • Silk and Blaze
  • Spider-Man 2099 and Drifter
  • Venom and Big Mouth

Check out the first 8 covers following the jump.

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45 Years of 2000AD

By James Bacon: Forty-five years ago or thereabouts, on February  26, 1977, the first ‘prog’ of 2000AD was released by IPC magazines. The second issue dated March 5 a week later saw the debut of Judge Dredd. Since then, Rogue Trooper, Nemesis the Warlock, Halo Jones, Sláine, Judge Anderson, Strontium Dog, Roxy and Skizz, The ABC Warriors, Bad Company and Proteus Vex are just some of the characters and stories that have emanated from the comic that was started by Pat Mills and John Wagner. Some have gone on to be in computer games, especially as the comic was purchased by Rebellion developments in 2000, and Judge Dredd has been brought to the silver screen twice. 

Addictive and enjoyable stories of the fantastic, written and drawn by some of the greatest comic creators of the latter part of the 20th century, they often related to the current, utilizing Science Fiction to obscure issues about violence or subversiveness, but reflecting metaphorically about the now of the time. Judge Dredd was an extrapolation of how bad authority could become. A number of stories came too close to the bone in the 1970’s including in Prog 71 and 72 which featured the Battle of the Burger Barons story with McDonald’s led by Ronald McDonald and Burger King going to war. If that wasn’t enough, Prog 77 and 78 featured many characters, such as the Jolly Green Giant, Col. Sanders, The Michelin Man and although most companies didn’t engage, Jolly Green Giant did sue, and this story has not been reprinted.

An example of unfortunate agelessness may be the ‘Invasion’ story of Bill Savage that featured in 2000AD in the 1970’s and 2000’s. ‘Invasion’ themed stories were common throughout British comics, from Will O the Whistle in Victor to Holocaust Squadron in Warlord. These stories with a hard hint of Jingoism and usually with an Eastern European or Asian aggressor invading Britain, extrapolated on a Third World War scenario. The Pat Mills and Gerry Finley-Day story ‘Invasion’ and subsequent anti-authoritarian ‘Savage’ with art by Charlie Adlard had a more thoughtful approach. Although one felt that the Invasion theme was now confined to history, to be considered and analyzed, it appears that it is suddenly and dreadfully now a current situation. 

In the 1980’s the comic Crisis, a considered and thoughtful ongoing anthology from the 2000AD stable featured stories with a hard political view, reflecting on subjects from the Northern Ireland Troubles, Tiananmen Square to near future Third World War with multinationals exploiting poorer countries. Recently readers have been offered further stories which drive political thoughtfulness, and this has been most prominent with Dreadnoughts, which took an insightful near future look from now at the creation of the Judges, who become the police, detective, judge, jury and executioner all in one in the Judge Dredd historical timeline. Prog 2270 celebrated the anniversary with a Brian Bolland cover. 

A confluence of occurrences is now about to occur, which through design or synchronicity will offer various opportunities to fans to see, engage and share appreciation for ‘The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’.

A celebration of 45 years of 2000 AD will occur online and free on this weekend on March 26 and 27 on 2000 AD’s social media channels and YouTube, and Rebellion’s dedicated Twitch stream. This two-day event has a considerable amount of talent engaging with fans, while all panels available to watch on YouTube afterwards. The full schedule is available here: https://2000ad.com/news/the-galaxys-greatest-full-schedule-announced

Comic creatives who have been announced include John Wagner, Pat Mills, Mick McMahon, Brian Bolland, Garth Ennis, Rob Williams , Alex de Campi (Archie vs Predator), Sean Phillips,  Vincent Deighan (Frank Quitely), Jock, Anna Morozova, Micheal Carroll and John McCrea amongst others. A full list of creatives is available in the Rebellion website https://2000ad.com/2000ad-45th-anniversary/

The 2000AD team have also invited a wide and varied selection of 2000AD readers from other professions, and this will see Ian Rankin, Lauren Beukes, Louie Stowell discussing their view as authors, Kelly Kanayama looking beyond  borders in 2000AD with British writer currently in Seattle Arthur Wyatt, Irish writer Michael Carroll and American artist Chris Burnham and fascinatingly Ministers for Parliament Stella Creasy and Alex Sobel on a panel with political journalist Ian Dunt on a panel discussing politics in 2000AD with MIke Molcher. How often have elected politicians been on panels? 

Pat Mills and John Wagner will also be interviewed and with a total of 21 programme items, it’s a comprehensive weekend of online activity. 

James with Calum at Glasgow. Where has that two years gone?

Also on March 26, the Commando and British Comic swap meet is being held at the 29th Glasgow Scout Group, Cameron Halls in Glasgow. The one-day event features a number of guests, Commando and 2000AD artist Graeme Neil Reid, 2000AD artist Colin MacNeil, Commando editor Calum Laird and Commando writer Colin Maxwell. The event will be occurring in person, and there are Covid precautions in place. The previous iteration of the Glasgow event took place on March 13, 2020 and based on the success of the Watford Swap meet and return of comic conventions and marts, a number of fans are travelling to it. The late Ian Kennedy who passed away on February 5 this year was due to be a guest, and he will be well remembered by those present, and missed.

Starting at 10:00 a.m., entry to the event is a pound for adults and kids go free. All proceeds from the door, raffle and other fund raising activities go to 29th Glasgow Scout Group. The venue is a 15-min train ride from Glasgow Central.  These swap meets are great fun, low key relaxed events where there is considerable chat, and where one can find fans helping one another out. 

Although there is a clash with the 2000AD online event, this writer will be joining those heading north. 

Currently at the Cartoon Museum in central London to tie in with the  celebration of 45 years of 2000AD with a Dredd @45 focused exhibition of eight pieces, and they span a considerable amount of time, and give a quick look at the character. There is a lot more to see at the Cartoon Museum. 

Later in May on the 28th & 29th, Lawless will take place at the Doubletree in Bristol. This convention, a celebration of all things 2000AD with talks, panels, and a large number of artists and writers, will be occurring in Bristol.  There’s a community feel to the event, but this is fed by the professionals. At the last one in 2019, comic artist and historian David Roach kindly brought some of his art collection, to share with fans all by the late Carlos Ezquerra who was being celebrated. Lawless attracts large numbers of professionals but welcomes hundreds of fans. Cosplay is a strong component, Judges from many territories appear, and every year more ingenious characters from the world of Judge Dredd make an appearance. With 29 comic professionals announced as guests, including Brian Bolland, John Higgins, Mike Dorey, Karen Holloway, Abigail Bulmer and Sally Jane Hurst, it presents excellent coverage of the whole history of the comic, as well as the unique opportunity to meet, engage, share a pint with and chat to professionals.  

Our Irish Fan in London will hopefully report on some of these ongoings.

Reading Daily Comic Strips Online

By Daniel Dern. Back in the pre-Internet (or even CompuServe, Well or BBS) days when I was growing up, I would get my daily fix of comic strips and single-panel cartoons (Peanuts, Andy Capp, B.C., Blondie, Gasoline Alley, Steve Canyon, etc.) from our local daily paper (The Bergan Record) — several pages’ worth. (I don’t recall whether they were carrying Pogo.)

These days, the Boston Globe has barely a full page of strips — and they’ve been smallified to near-unreadability.

Fortunately, comic-carrying newspapers are, of course, all (also or only) online these days, but even then, some require subscriptions (fair enough), and to get all the ones you want. For example, online, the Washington Post, has about 90, while the Boston Globe is just shy of a paltry one-score-and-ten. And (at least in Firefox), they don’t seem to be visible in all-on-one-page mode, much less customize-a-page-of.

So, for several years now, I’ve been going to the source — two  “syndicates” that sell/redistribute many popular strips to newspapers:  ComicsKingdom.com ($19.99/year) and GoComics.com.  (Free, or $1.99/$19.99/year).

(Note, GoComics pricing not visible anywhere obvious — the only places on the site I see any info are https://www.gocomics.com/profiles/sign-up/plan, which approximates the monthly price, and https://www.gocomics.com/help#freetrial1, which gives the annual price, but succinct info doesn’t reveal itself until you’ve started the signup process. I confirmed my pricing by looking at my account settings. Sheesh.)

Comics Kingdom carries comics syndicated by King Features, and includes current and Vintage comics from Amazing Spider-Man to Zits, including plus about a dozen political cartoons. They also have a translated-into-Spanish grouping. You can access the current and previous week’s strips with a free account; you’ll need a Premium account to access Vintage strips and the 60,000 strip library beyond the past week.

GoComics is from Andrews McMeel Universal , “the largest independent syndicate,” and says it is “the web’s largest catalog of syndicated newspaper strips, political cartoons and webcomics” offerings go from Aaggghhh to Ziggy, including translated-to-Spanish (including Calvin & Hobbes), in addition to comic strips, offers offers web comics.. (FYI, GoComics includes Winsor McKay’s Little Nemo, BTW.) GoComics also offers (sells) strip-related merchandise — books, calendars, prints, pins, and one or two each DVDs and plushies.

Currently, I’m following about a a dozen of so strips on each. (We still get the Boston Globe in two-dimensional cellulose, or I’d be digitally getting another dozen or so.)

For less than a buck a week ($19.99×2/52, so a smidge over six bits), it lets me get most of my morning fix in a simple batches.

But not all. I’m still getting XKCD and QuestionableContent direct from their own sites, in particular.

It’s a predictable good way to start my at-desk morning.

But I still miss having four pages of daily strips (sized big enough for even aging eyeballs) and more-than-six pages of Sunday strips.