Category Archives: COMICS/PRINT

Conan Comes to Titan Comics

Marvel Comics’ publishing rights to Robert E. Howard’s classic Cimmerian Conan have once again expired, as announced back in June, finding a new home at Titan Comics.

The character, made famous in the pages of Weird Tales magazine back in the 1930s, has seen a storied journey as his rights have bounced from one publisher to another. Howard, the father of the “Sword & Sorcery” genre, only wrote Conan for a few short years, completing 21 stories (and starting another 17) beginning in 1932, up until his suicide in 1936 at the age of 30.

Conan 115
Conan the Barbarian #115 (1980), art by John Buscema

Many of his unfinished works were completed by other authors (Wheel of Time‘s Robert Jordan among them) and published after his death. In the decades since Howard’s death, the character has seen numerous iterations but endured his popularity. Perhaps no print version though is more recognized than the one put out by Marvel Comics starting in 1970, written by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith to start, and later by John Buscema. The look of Buscema’s Conan, which he drew on and off from 1980 till 1999, is, in my mind, the definitive version of the character.

Savage Avengers #5 (2019)

The comic license for Conan would stay at Marvel for over 30 years before Dark Horse picked it up and started publishing Conan books in 2003. After an extended run with the character, Marvel reacquired the rights in 2018, where they have integrated him into the main continuity pretty heavily, teaming him with a team of Savage Avengers and teaming him up with Dr. Doom and Kang the Conqueror to stop classic Conan villain Kulan Gath.

Upon releasing the rights, Marvel chose to send the character back to his Hyborian Age, giving him a fitting send-off as he sacrifices his place in the present to send the rest of the team home, thus leaving the door open for a possible reunion down the road. But for now, Titan Comics will take the reigns.

As announced by CBR back on Halloween;

CBR can exclusively reveal that Titan Comics, working alongside entertainment studio Heroic Signatures, will be co-publishing a new, ongoing Conan the Barbarian comic book series. Launching in July 2023, the series will see the return of longtime Conan scribe Jim Zub (Thunderbolts, Uncanny Avengers), and feature the artwork of illustrator Roberto De La Torre (King-Size Conan, Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and colorist José Villarrubia (Promethea, Sweet Tooth). Sharing a first look at De La Torre’s art for the title, Titan promises, “This will kick off a brand-new, exhilarating series of comics of characters from across the Conan and wider Robert E. Howard mythos!”

Those names should be familiar to Conan comic fans. Jim Zub wrote on Marvel’s recent run of Conan the Barbarian, as well as recent work on Red Sonja, Thunderbolts, Murder World, D&D-based stories with Rick & Morty and Stranger Things.

For the art side of things, Roberto De La Torre will pencil the series. I love the look of De La Torre’s Conan, and he seems like a great choice for Titan’s launch. He worked on a lot of the recent Conan stuff at Marvel, including with Zub on Barbarian.

And the colorist will be José Villarrubia, who previously worked on King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel for Dark Horse back in 2012, and more recently on Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher: A Grain of Truth. He also did the original run of Sweet Tooth for Vertigo.

Before the new series in July however, Titan will release the old Roy Thomas stories in Omnibus form, much like Marvel and Dark Horse have done before.

Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith
Titan Comics, HC (776 pages) – $125.00
On Sale June: 14, 2023

Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema
Titan Comics HC (968 pages) – $150.00
On Sale June 28, 2023

Todd McFarlane: Like Hell I Won’t Documentary To Kick Off Syfy Fan Fest

SYFY has released the official trailer for its first original documentary Todd McFarlane: Like Hell I Won’t, which will be making its world premiere as the opening film for SYFY Fan Fast. It also happens to coincide with San Diego Comic-Con’s first-ever Virtual @Home edition, which will be starting later this week.

Directed by David Oster, Todd McFarlane: Like Hell I Won’t follows the titular rebel who, at the beginning of his career, was turned away by numerous comic publications. He decided that since no one was recognizing his talent, he would take matters in his own hands. McFarlane eventually became the CEO of McFarlane Toys and President of Image Comics and Legendary Artist. The doc provides an in-depth view behind the mastermind that brought us Spawn and some of Marvel Comic’s most well-known artwork. It paints a portrait of his struggles to navigate and upend the status quo in the comic and toy industries.

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He-Man, ThunderCats Team for After-Prime, After-School Special in New DC Comic

Oh, the power of comics. Thirty years ago, this was unimaginable – the goofy cartoon with the best cheese-to-fun ratio, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and the cartoon with the slickest animation and coolest characters, The ThunderCats, were the top of the top in terms of after-school entertainment. Two fun shows with the two most-iconic swords; two shows with decidedly different vibes; shows that could coexist in a TV-watching lineup but never in the same story or space, save for the imagination or perhaps the toy box.

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The Cats Came Back! Josie and the Pussycats Getting Relaunch

It’s undoubtedly a case of saving the best for last.

Archie Comics has announced that, in the spirit of its recent title relaunches — Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, etc. — that have incorporated a modern sensibility into the Archie classics, that Josie and the Pussycats are set to come roaring back in September.

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DC Universe: Rebirth #1 Preview — Take My Money

We were on the receiving end of a preview copy of DC Universe: Rebirth #1, the 80-page kickoff to the next iteration of the DC universe. Yes, it’s already reboot time again. We’ll keep this review spoiler-lite; of course, there are dicks across the Internet who’ve done all the spoiling you could desire if you want to seek those out. The long and short: DC has made one major change that guarantees we’ll be shelling out more dollars, as will others of our ilk, nerds of a certain age, who perhaps love the 15 years that followed the original Crisis on Infinite Earths best of all. And there’s another major change incorporating a DC property that was not part of the DC Universe proper into that universe — this is the change we’re significantly less excited about.

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Get Excited About the Future: Early Future Quest #1 Review

Future Quest #1 is the opening salvo in DC Comics’ revamp of several classic Hanna-Barbera properties. We’re due to see strange new versions of the Flintstones (evidently moved from Bedrock to Uncanny Valley), Scooby-Doo, and a Mad Max-like take on Wacky Races. The Future Quest title seemed both the safest bet, putting action heroes in an action comic, and the most ambitious, since there are potentially dozens of heroes and villains to incorporate from the various franchises involved, which include Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Frankenstein Jr., The Galaxy Trio, The Impossibles, Birdman, and Mighty Mightor.

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Alien, Predator and Judge Dredd Meet! Comic Titans Do Battle In New Series

Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens

It had to happen eventually. Judge Dredd, the lawman of the future has come across many a foe in his time ranging from fighting Lobo to twisted versions of himself. So it is no surprise when we hear he is soon to go against both the xenomorphic menace of the alien, and the hunting skills of the predator all at the same time.

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Betty & Veronica: Hughes’ New Series Boasts A Zillion Awesome Variant Covers

Comics legend Adam Hughes is set to both script and illustrate a brand-new series about America’s original Frenemies, Betty & Veronica. Betty & Veronica #1 hits stores on July 20, and will not only feature a beautiful regular cover by Hughes himself, but 23 more spectacular versions of Riverdale’s best-known beauties (and a blank sketch cover which may or may not be beautiful and may or may not feature Betty and/or Veronica. Cuz, you know, it’s blank.)

We have put EVERY DANG ONE in a slide show below. While they’re all sweet as a malted from Pops’ Chocklit Shoppe, our favorites are D (Stephanie Buscema), S (Ramon Perez), E (Cliff Chiang), H (Veronica Fish), and W (Chip Zdarsky). What are yours?

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SuperF*ckers Forever? We wish! New Mini Series Launches in August

Here’s the worst thing about Top Shelf/IDW announcing its new series, SuperF*ckers Forever: it’s a misleading title. Because it’s not “forever,” it’s only a five-issue mini. Dammit.  A mere five issues of Jack Krak, Grotessa, Grotus, Computer Fist and all the rest of tthe dysfunctional, drug-addled, self-indulgent, indifferent-to-crime, immature, grotesque and hilarious cast that sprung from writer/artist James Kochalka’s innovative brain.

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