Lots of huge news has been pouring out of the Image Expo lately! First off was the announcement of a book by former Captain America team, Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting who will collaborate on a new series called Velvet. It is described as a Moneypenny-esque character named Velvet Templeton leaving her desk job to return to the field. The creative team says it will be in-line with their Cap work, but “more grounded and twisted.”
J. Michael Straczynski, who recently re-launched his Image comics imprint Joe’s Comics with series Ten Grand, also announced that he’d be bringing two of his own series previously published by Marvel’s creator-owned Icon imprint to Joe’s Comics. First up, ‘The Book of Lost Souls (with ‘A Distant Soil’ creator Colleen Doran) and secondly, Dream Police. Also reported was he’s also working with renowned artist Bill Sienkiewicz on a six-issue miniseries titled Alone, which apparently is set to “deconstruct comic book storytelling.”
Matt Fraction whose Image series Satellite Sam with Howard Chaykin debuted this week was also in attendance at the Expo to announce he also be writing an outer space version of The Odyssey titled Ody-C, with art from Christian Ward. Set to drop in 2014 the book was described as, “the male characters are women and the female characters are male, a gender-swapped super-cosmic take on Greek myth.”
The team of Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera who previously worked on Marvel’s Secret Avengers together are reuniting for Black Science, announced for November. Remender himself said, “If you enjoyed Fear Agent, I think this’ll be right up your alley. It’s about a member of the Anarchist League of Sciences.”
The writer also announced he’d also be writing Deadly Class at Image which is about a high school for assassins and inspired by the writer’s experiences growing up “in the ’80s hardcore scene.”
Jason Aaron whose Marvel exclusive contract just ended was on hand to announce a new creator-owned title with artist Jason Latour called Southern Bastards. The team who previously worked on Wolverine together said it was best described as ‘The Dukes of Hazzard by way of the Coen brothers.’ The main villain of the piece is a high school football coach who is just as at home burying bodies under the bleachers as he is at winning trophies. Set in a fictional southern town, it is coming soon.
Mark Millar, who is already making waves at Image with his creator-owned smash Jupiter’s Legacy, appeared at the Expo via a pre-recorded video from his native Scotland, to announce ‘MPH’ a collaborative effort with artist Duncan Fegredo. Millar said that this was his attempt to create a superhero universe in the Marvel sense and that MPH is as important to it as the creation of the Fantastic Four was to Marvel.
So what do you guys think??? For me, Image Comics have been the most exciting and creative comics publisher of the last five years and these latest book announcements further cements this. Image are allowing creators more control over their properties and an avenue to tell the stories they want free of restraint which is why we are seeing all this amazing talent here. I can only see this trend continue and that’s a good thing for the comics industry and all of us. FTN will keep you posted!