Despite all the hype about movies, TV shows, and video games, there are still comics panels and comic related news coming from San Diego Comic Con. Many of the announcements were made before the show, but there were few awesome surprises for almost every company, including Marvel, Dark Horse, and some especially interesting ones from IDW.
Marvel Announces the “Cataclysm” Event for the Ultimate Universe
This is a given, but Marvel has way too many events. “Age of Ultron” hadn’t even ended, and there were teasers about “Infinity”, “Battle of the Atom”, and the “Inhumanity” events. However, “Cataclysm” could be a decent story for several reasons. First, it will only cross over into the three titles at the most. The Ultimate Universe has thirteen years of continuity to catch up with, but only three books (Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimates) so it’s easier to know what’s going on in it. This event can be followed in full without breaking the bank for tie-ins. Second, it marks the reunion of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, who wrote and drew the first 111 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man and created the Ultimate Universe from scratch. This reunion works because Bendis said that this story will be centered around Spider-Man even though Galactus was teased as the Big Bad. Finally, this could be the last story in the Ultimate Universe. Because of “Age of Ultron”, a hole has been ripped between the regular and Ultimate Marvel universes threatening the Ultimate Universe’s survival. Also, an alliance of Reed Richards, The Hulk, Quicksilver, and Kang the Conqueror powered by the Infinity Gauntlet has killed key heroes like Iron Man and The Thing. “Cataclysm” could mark the swan song of the Ultimate Universe, and it is fitting that it is written and drawn by the people who brought it into being.
Chuck Palahniuk Announces a Fight Club Sequel
Seventeen years after the novel and fourteen years after its film adaptation, Fight Club is getting a sequel, which will be a graphic novel written by its original author Chuck Palahniuk. No artist has been announced yet, but Pahlaniuk has been in talks with creators from Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse. The Fight Club sequel will be released in single issue form then collected into a trade paperback or hard cover. It will be set ten years after the events of the first novel and will follow an older Jack, who is married to Marla and bored of his suburban life. Like in the novel, Tyler Durden will return and instigate Jack into action. Because of publishing contracts, the comic won’t be released until 2015 which means Palahniuk will have plenty of time to revisit his characters and write older versions of them. Hopefully, this comic will be as influential on the iGeneration as Fight Club was to Generation X.
Walt Simonson Returns to Asgard in IDW’s Ragnarok
Known for his legendary run on Marvel Comics’ Thor from 1977-1986, Walt Simonson returns to write the characters from Norse mythology that inspired the heroes and villains of Thor. Recent projects by Simonson have included a fill-in arc of Indestructible Hulk which guest starred Thor and some covers for DC’s Sword of Sorcery so it seems like Simonson is ready to revisit the worlds of fantasy and mythology which have given him great success. This project has been in development hell for 15 years, but IDW will release the first issue in 2014 along with a reprint of his 1983 sci-fi comic Star Slammers. Simonson hasn’t regularly written and drawn a comic for several years, but this is the kind of project that his knowledge of Norse mythology would be perfect for. If anyone should adapt the story of the twilight of the Gods and the death of Thor and Odin, it should be Walt Simonson.
Nightcrawler Returns in the new Amazing X-Men series
One of the most beloved members of Chris Claremont’s X-Men team and a character that is a complex balance of faith and swashbuckling, Nightcrawler was killed saving Hope Summers, the mutant messiah from Bastion in the 2010 “Second Coming” crossover. With Bamfs, who are little, mischievous versions of him, making multiple appearances in Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men series, the time is ripe for him to return. This series will also wrap up the Azazel plot thread that has been dangling for quite a while in Wolverine and the X-Men. Amazing X-Men will act as a sequel to the “Battle of the Atom” event and involve Wolverine and team of X-Men searching hell for Nightcrawler. One of those X-Men is a first timer: Firestar, who is reunited with fellow Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cast member Iceman. There are a lot of X-Books, but Jason Aaron has brought a great balance of humor, action, and characterization to his run on Wolverine and the X-Men and should succeed with the help of artist Ed McGuinness.
Husband/Wife Team Collaborate on Harley Quinn
Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner are two of the most talented people in comics. Jimmy Palmiotti helped start the Marvel Knights imprint with Joe Quesada and is in the midst of a seven year run on Jonah Hex and All-Star Western with co-writer Justin Gray. Amanda Conner was recently nominated for a Reuben Award for her work on Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre and has collaborated with Palmiotti before on Power Girl. Harley Quinn will focus on Harley’s life outside the Suicide Squad, and Palmiotti and Conner say that they will develop her supporting cast and delve into her character, including her relationship with Joker. Harley Quinn is a beloved character, who has endured since her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series and deserves an ongoing series. Hopefully, this book will be full of fun, mayhem, and moral ambiguity and act as a quirky alternative to the dour nature of most of DC’s books.