Comic-Con 2013 begins–Dynamite reveals big news with several major genre franchises

Heroes Dynamite new series

As part of its opening day reveal of San Diego Comic-Con International 2013 news, Dynamite Comics issued an unprecedented barrage of announcements.  These include a new monthly continuing the NBC television series Heroes and a return of The Twilight Zone in the form of a monthly comic book series.

Comic book writer Cullen Bunn (Marvel’s Fearless Defenders and Deadpool) will be writing the Heroes comic book series, which he describes as a Heroes Season Five, following on the coattails of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files continuations of cancelled series in comic book monthlies.  Airing from 2006 through 2010, the Heroes TV series was watched by fanboys and fangirls everywhere.  The series chronicled the lives of ordinary people whose mysterious superhuman powers brought them together as part of a giant government conspiracy via a certain guy with horn-rimmed glasses played by Jack Coleman.  The series featured a great cast of now well-known actors, including Hayden Panettiere, Ali Larter, Adrian Pasdar, Milo Ventimiglia, and Zachary Quinto.  Claire, Hiro and Sylar will play a big role in the comic book series, according to Bunn.

The Twilight Zone will feature all-new tales of superstition and science written by SDCC 2013 featured guest, comic book legend, and former Babylon 5 writer J. Michael Straczynski.  Straczynski said, “The immediate creative question to be resolved was: how do you transplant or adapt the TV anthology format into comic form?  Individual stand-alone issues don’t give the issue-to-issue continuity you need to consistently bring in modern readers, and if it’s a year-long arc, it’s not an anthology.  The solution: three four-issue arcs that are connected by theme, character, and location… so that in reading one arc you get one side of the story, with its own supernatural or science-fiction elements, then you turn the character around to another character in that sequence who has his or her own story for the next four issues… and then at the end, you connect all of these individual stories into one overlapping tapestry, so you could literally view the book as individual stories as initially published, or layer the pages to create one big story.”

Twilight Zone logo

Straczynski has written over 300 produced episodes and six TV movies.  His film credits include five produced movies in six years: Changeling for director Clint Eastwood, Ninja Assassin for the Wachowskis, Thor for Kenneth Branagh, Underworld Awakening, and World War Z for Paramount and Brad Pitt.  He has written nearly 400 published comics for Marvel, DC and Image, including The Amazing Spider-Man for seven years, followed by Thor, The Fantastic Four, and Before Watchmen.

But that is only the beginning of Dynamite’s announcements.

Howard Chaykin returns to The Shadow

Legendary writer/artist and favorite Howard Chaykin will write his first new tale of The Shadow in nearly thirty years.  The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow will take place three decades prior to the events of his acclaimed Blood & Judgment series.  Chaykin will serve as both writer and artist for this new series.  “I’m delighted and grateful to Dynamite for the opportunity to work once again on so legendary a character as The Shadow,” said Chaykin.  “My new miniseries, The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow, tells the secret story behind the Shadow’s disappearance in 1949.”  Although Chaykin hasn’t written a published Shadow story in thirty years, he has created some great covers for Dynamite’s many Shadow series.

Chaykin new Shadow

Steve Niles Revamps Army of Darkness

Comic book writer and novelist Steve Niles will revamp Dynamite’s current Army of Darkness series with his new series Ash and the Army of Darkness.  Niles will return Bruce Campbell’s hero Ash Williams back to his roots, continuing his adventures in the 1300s medieval horror/dark comedy/action realm right where the original 1992 Army of Darkness movie left off.  “My run of Ash and the Army of Darkness takes place almost entirely in the 1300’s setting. That was what made Army of Darkness stand apart.  I’m hoping readers agree,” Niles said.

Tony Lee writes new Battlestar Galactica series

Spinning out of Dynamite’s current popular classic Battlestar Galactica monthly series, author Tony Lee (Doctor Who, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Superboy) will spotlight the origin of the classic 1970s Battlestar Galactica character Starbuck (the Dirk Benedict Starbuck, not the reboot’s Katee Sackoff Starbuck) in the upcoming Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck four-issue miniseries.   “I’ve always liked the scoundrels,” said Lee. “Han Solo and Starbuck taught me a lot about life between them, so I probably owe a whole load of broken relationships and split lips during my teen years to them both.”

BSG Starbuck logo

Women creators take on Red Sonja

Although the ink on Gail Simone’s Red Sonja Issue #1 is barely dry, Dynamite announced the upcoming Legends of Red Sonja prestige format miniseries celebrating the character’s 40th anniversary.  Legends of Red Sonja will bring together Simone with women creators Marjorie M. Liu, Mercedes Lackey, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Rhianna Pratchett, Leah Moore, Tamora Pierce, Blair Butler, Nancy Collins, Meljean Brook, Nicola Scott, and Devin Grayson.  Blair Butler commented “I’m honored and exceedingly intimidated to be included in this group of talented creators,” and Tamora Pierce said “It will be a ground-breaking, multilayered view of a character who has been brawling through comics for decades!”

Voltron, Robotech and Bob’s Burgers coming soon

Japanese franchises Voltron and Robotech will soon be teaming up in a crossover series, just in time for Voltron’s 30th anniversary.  And the animated TV series Bob’s Burgers will be coming to Dynamite, soon, too, in the form of an ongoing monthly comic book series.  No creative team has yet been announced for these series.

Alice Cooper to star in his own series

Alice Cooper will star in an upcoming comic book series, slated for release in 2014.
“We’re doing many cool things with Dynamite, beginning with a new comics series which I am very excited about.  I always say that the best thing about being in a comic book is that they draw you with great abs!” said Cooper.  “Artistically, for me there is hardly a better medium.  There is so much you can do in the form of a comic that we’d never been able to do on stage.  It’s just a different way of storytelling, and it really has almost limitless possibilities.  We’re looking forward to stretching the existing boundaries of the comic medium again.  We have new stories to tell, but we’ll do it with the same theatrical, sinister sensibility that comes with the name ‘Alice Cooper’.  This is just the beginning!  Welcome to my NEW Nightmares!”

Alice Cooper

Peter Milligan pens Terminal Hero

Writer Peter Milligan (Shade the Changing Man, X-Statix, Hellblazer) will be creating a new series entitled Terminal Hero.  “Terminal Hero is about one poor bastard’s rollercoaster ride through a world that he’s trying to make sense of.  It’s about how far you’d go to stay alive,” said Milligan.

Duane Swierczynski pens Ex-Con

SDCC 2013 special guest Duane Swierczynski will be writing a series in the Dynamite Crime Line of comic books with an all-new thriller called Ex-Con.  “This is the first time I’m actually writing a full-on hardboiled crime comic,” said Swierczynski. “I love crime stories with unreliable narrators… but our guy is unreliable in a completely different way.  I’m hoping readers of my crime novels (like Fun & Games and The Wheelman) will feel right at home with Ex-Con.”

James Robinson pens Grand Passion

Dynamite also announced writer James Robinson will be creating a new series called Grand Passion. Grand Passion is definitely a departure from what I’ve been doing in the last few years.  This series is about two wayward characters Doc and Mabel — one a cop, the other a crook — who are fated to fall in love at first sight even as Mabel swears she’ll kill Doc if it’s the last thing she does,” Robinson said.  “It marries elements of a Harlequin romance with hard-boiled crime and takes it off in a direction that’s surprising, funny, violent, and sexy.  I’m very excited to roll up my sleeves and immerse myself in writing this tale.”  The Eisner Award winning Robinson has written plenty in his career, from the screenplay for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to the popular monthly series Justice League: Cry for Justice.

New editions of The Heart of the Beast and The Last Temptation

Finally, Dynamite announced that The Heart of the Beast, the graphic novel written by Dean Motter and Judith Dupré, featuring painted artwork by Sean Phillips (Sleeper, Wildcats, Batman, Hellblazer, Fatale, Incognito, and Criminal), will celebrate its 20th anniversary with an all-new prestige format edition, and The Last Temptation, the graphic novel collaboration between SDCC 2013 special guest author Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper with art by Michael Zulli, will return in a fully remastered Deluxe Edition printing celebrating the 20th anniversary of the project, the first printing since its original Marvel run to be presented in color.

C.J. Bunce

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