The solicits are out and it’s time to take another look at the highlights here on Soliciting Multiversity! As usual, we start off with everyone’s favorite aphotic equestrian publisher, Dark Horse Comics. After an admittedly slow February, we have one hell of a month to look forward to in March (assuming the world doesn’t end by the weekend). A bunch of minis reach their ultimate conclusions, only to make way for a wave of new series, one-shots, graphic novels and quite the impressive array of hardcover and trade collections of series both old and new.
First, let’s have a moment of silence for the minis we’re seeing for the last time this month (and take a peek at their stellar covers):
Criminal Macabre: Final Night–The 30 Days of Night Crossover #4:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow–Wonderland #5:
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi–Prisoner of Bogan #5:
Emily and the Strangers #3:
To replace those five minis, we’re given four new ones, and a new ongoing! Let’s take a look at the solicits:
Holding On To The Star Wars Legacy
We said goodbye to the end of the ‘Dawn of the Jedi,’ now we say hello to the beginning of the future! It looks like Dark Horse isn’t phased by the possibility of the Star Wars license switching over to Marvel, now that Disney owns LucasArts, as they’ve announced this new ongoing title to stand side-by-side with Brian Wood’s “Star Wars” and the usual gang of miniseries:
Exploring the galaxy . . . Solo style!
STAR WARS: LEGACY–PRISONER OF THE FLOATING WORLD #1
Corinna Bechko (W), Gabriel Hardman (W/A), Rachelle Rosenberg (C), and Dave Wilkins (Cover)
On sale Mar 20
FC, 32 pages
Despite her famous heritage, Ania Solo is just a girl trying to make her way in a galaxy gone bad. But it all gets worse when she comes into possession of a lightsaber and an Imperial communications droid–and discovers she has been targeted for death!
– She’s Han and Leia’s great-great granddaughter introduced to the Legacy saga!
– In the aftermath of War, the Solo clan lives on!
– A new ongoing series!
– From the acclaimed creators of Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes!
In addition to this new series, the end of ‘Prisoner of Bogan,’ and Brian Wood’s “Star Wars” #3, we’ll also see issue #2 of ‘Fire Carrier,’ a trade collection of ‘Darth Maul–Death Sentence’ and a very exciting paperback omnibus entitled “Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1.” This collects a wide variety of stories set in the Star Wars universe that have not been collected before, including the bizarre short stories written by Alan Moore for Marvel UK! It also includes comics originally published in magazines, toys and even cereal boxes. There are some other big names involved, so you need to see the full solicit:
STAR WARS OMNIBUS: WILD SPACE VOLUME 1 TP
Mike W. Barr (W), Chris Claremont (W), Archie Goodwin (W), Alan Moore (W), Steve Moore (W), Steve Parkhouse (W), John Stephenson (W), John Wagner (W), Len Wein (W), John Whitman (W), Ryder Windham (W), Adolfo Buylla (A), Dave Cockrum (A), Alan Davis (A), Gene Day (A), Gary Erskine (A), Bill Hughes (A), Carmine Infantino (A), Klaus Janson (A), Glen Johnson (A), Cesar MacSombol (A), Pablo Marcos (A), Steve Mitchell (A), Glen Mullaly (A), Jim Nelson (A), Ron Randall (A), Walt Simonson (A), Ken Steacy (A), John Stokes (A), John Tartaglione (A), Patrick Zircher (A), Laura Allred (C), Howard Bender (C), Perry McNamee (C), Cary Porter (C), Pamela Rambo (C), Marie Severin (C), James Sinclair (C), Ken Steacy (C), Matt Webb (C), and Nel Yomtov (C)
On sale May 29
FC, 480 pages
TP, 6” x 9”
A wild collection of rare Star Wars comics, including Alan Moore’s Marvel UK tales, the three issues from Blackthorne (originally in 3-D), and a slew of stories from toy pack-ins, cereal boxes, and Star Wars Kids and Pizzazz magazines! Collects Star Wars 3-D #1—#3; Star Wars: Devilworlds #1—#2; Star Wars: Death Masque; Star Wars Weekly #60, #94—#99, and #104—#115; Star Wars from Pizzazz #10—#16; The Rebel Thief, X-Wing Marks the Spot, Imperial Spy, and The Gambler’s Quest from Star Wars Kids #1—#15; Star Wars: The Mixed-Up Droid; Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Galoob minicomic; Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Ertl minicomic; and Star Wars: Droids from Apple Jacks.
– A mega-collection of previously uncollected adventures!
More Mignola Mini Madness!
No less than three new Mignolaverse minis debut this month, and the first is his personal take on the Iron Man concept. There have been dozens of indie deconstructions of popular superhero archetypes, not all of them good, but Mike Mignola is one of the few you can trust to do a great job each time. I’m looking forward to this one, especially with John Arcudi handling the scripting and Jason Latour on art duties. It’s only going to be two issues, and will be independent of the rest of the Mignolaverse, so if you’ve been waiting for a time to sample what these guys are capable of without getting too invested, this may be the perfect place to start:
SLEDGEHAMMER 44 #1
Mike Mignola (W/Cover), John Arcudi (W), Jason Latour (A), and Dave Stewart (C)
On sale Mar 13
FC, 32 pages
August 1944: a man in a suit of iron armor drops from an American warplane onto a French battlefield, where he attempts to fight his way through an army of Nazis and the massive war machine they keep protected in an armory.
– Cover by Mike Mignola!
– Mike Mignola’s version of Iron Man!
– Artwork by Jason Latour (Captain America).
“Mike Mignola’s vast world of Hellboy, the B.P.R.D. and other characters have taken on a life of their own.” –USA Today
In other Mignolaverse news, we’ve got two new BPRD minis to look forward to. “A Cold Day In Hell” is a two-issue miniseries picking up where “Return of the Master” left off, which I suppose makes it coincide with the preceding mini, “The Abyss of Time.” The other is a follow-up to “1948,” by none other than Brazilian twin super-stars Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá! I can’t wait, just check out Fábio’s awesome cover:
B.P.R.D.: VAMPIRE #1 (of 5)
Mike Mignola (W), Fábio Moon (W/A/Cover), Gabriel Bá (W/A), and Dave Stewart (C)
On sale Mar 27
FC, 32 pages
After the horrific events of B.P.R.D.: 1948, we follow one doomed agent’s quest for revenge against a clan of vampires and their Gorgon-eyed queen Hecate.
– From the pages of Hellboy!
– A direct sequel to the critically acclaimed B.P.R.D.: 1948!
– From the Eisner Award-winning creators of Daytripper!
More Dragon Age
Our final new series is a three-issue mini set in the universe of the Dragon Age RPGs, written in part by the franchise’s lead writer, David Gaider. I’ll admit I have overlooked these games and the associated novels and comics, but I do know this cover is pretty brutal:
DRAGON AGE: UNTIL WE SLEEP #1 (of 3)
David Gaider (W), Alexander Freed (W), Chad Hardin (A), Michael Atiyeh (C), and Anthony Palumbo (Cover)
On sale Mar 27
FC, 32 pages
Allied with the world’s most feared warrior race–the qunari–the pirate Isabela, and the rogue Varric, King Alistair brings battle royale to the evil mage responsible for his father’s disappearance!
– Story by David Gaider lead writer of the Dragon Age games and novels!
– An essential addition to the Dragon Age canon!
– Perfect entry point into this epic fantasy!
A One-Shot Triple Play
Spinning out of the pages of Dark Horse Presents are three one-shots, collecting the stories “Buddy Cops,” by Nate Cosby and Evan Shaner, “Mister X: Hard Candy,” by Dean Motter, and “Wild Rover Featuring The Sacrifice” by Michael Avon Oeming. The first is a fun little comedy a-la Dragnet, the second is a reboot of the classic Comics’ Greatest World superhero, and the last is a rather touching story about a man confronting the demon that has cursed his family to alcoholism. While many of these post-DHP one-shots have only collected previously published material, each of these has expanded from 24 pages to 32, and include bonus materials and brand-new covers. “Wild Rover” even has a backup story written by Oeming and drawn by Victor Santos. For the sake of brevity, I won’t post all three solicits (check the full list if any pique your interest), but I do enjoy the solicit and new cover for “Buddy Cops:”
Nate Cosby (W) and Evan Shaner (A/Cover)
On sale Mar 13
FC, 32 pages
EXPLOSIONS! MONSTERS! BEER! Dark Horse proudly(ish) presents Buddy Cops, the classic tale of a demoted space cop and a 1970s android that hate each other and beat up evil things. Get ready to enjoy the laugh-inducing odd couple of Uranus and T.A.Z.E.R. as they take on gigantic orangutan and vegetation beasts while debating the sexualization of toasters! MONSTERSWAT!
– Features a brand-new cover, 24 story pages, and never-before-seen Buddy Cops material!
Rounding out the last of March’s solicitations of brand new material are four OGNs from some very talented creators. In the interest of time, I’ll let the solicits do most of the talking, but I will point out that “Dragon Resurrection” has a preview up on the the Dark Horse website.
Peter Bergting (W/A/Cover)
On sale May 15
FC, 136 pages
TP, 7″ x 10″
In the Old Town of Stockholm, where myths are alive and creatures of folklore haunt the night, an extraordinary young woman named Jennie is caught in the scheme of a cadre of villains who control the means to free the Domovoi–the lethally dangerous, poltergeist-like spirit of the entire city!
– Acclaimed artist and writer Peter Bergting European folklore to this darkly modern fairy tale!
– Myth-tinged adventure in the tradition of Hellboy and B.P.R.D.!
DRAGON RESURRECTION TP
Mark Byers (W), Lin Zhang (W), Lyan Zhang (W), Erfan Fajar (A), Sakti Yuwono (C), Beny Maulana (C), Yenny Laud (C), and Vosa Wang (Cover)
On sale May 15
FC, 128 pages
TP, 7″ x 10″
Discovering the remains of an actual dragon frozen in the mountains of Tibet, Chinese adventurer Jesse Chang sends a DNA sample to her geneticist twin brother Jack, who sets to work unlocking its potential to improve the human genome. But when a rogue American general learns of the discovery and kidnaps Jack, Jesse is forced to use the untested formula on herself, unleashing the ancient powers of the dragon.
– Extended preview available at Digital.DarkHorse.com!
– Script by Emmy-nominated producer Mark Byers!
EXILE TO BABYLON TP
David Lapham (W), Patric Reynolds (A/Cover), and Matthew Southworth (A)
On sale May 22
FC, 96 pages
TP, 7” x 10”
In 2040, a private military operative of reeducated gang members–the Blackshield Angels–are the only hope of liberating a vital fuel supply from a criminal overlord. Blackshield’s best agent struggles through betrayal, love, and a seemingly unending war zone–Zone 12–to complete his mission through a dangerous world where tattooed warlords reign supreme and giant satellites watch men from above like gods.
– Soon to be a major motion picture.
– By Eisner Award—winning writer David Lapham (The Strain).
MISTY CIRCUS TP
Victoria FrancÃ©s (W/A/Cover)
On sale May 29
FC, 64 pages
TP, 7” x 9”
Renowned artist of the dark fantastic Victoria FrancÃ©s first made a splash in the US with her dreamy, sensual paintings in the Favole trilogy. Now, FrancÃ©s returns with a gorgeous storybook for all ages. The tale of little Parisian boy Sasha and his poignant misadventures is at once heartwarming and melancholy, combining a sweetly gothic story with arresting, beautifully painted illustrations.
– The latest work from award-winning Spanish fantasy artist Victoria FrancÃ©s!
– For fans of gothic romanticism, fairy tales, and magic.
Collections For Your Collection
March is not just a great month for new material, however. We’ll also see five hardcovers, three omnibi (including the aforementioned “Star Wars: Wild Space”) and six trade paperbacks. It’s the omnibi I’m most excited about. The first is Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’s samurai epic “Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 1,” collecting over 700 pages of the classic series for the bargain price of $19.99! “Lone Wolf and Cub” had a profound impact on both Japanese manga and American comics, and on artists as diverse as Frank Miller, Stan Sakai and Max Allan Collins. It was one of the first and most successful properties translated and published in the US by Dark Horse Manga. The story is about a disgraced samurai and his quest for revenge–while all the while caring for his three-year-old son, who is his traveling companion.
The last is “Trigun Maximum Omnibus Volume 3,” which gives us over 600 pages for the same price. It follows the continuing adventures of the notorious gunslinger Vash the Stampede on the post-apocalyptic desert world known as Gunsmoke. In this volume, Vash goes head-to-head with his brother Knives and his plant army. I’ve only read a little bit of the manga myself, but I’ve seen the anime adaptation from start to finish and greatly enjoyed this wonderful mish-mash of the comedy, western and science fiction genres.
Here is the full list of hardcovers:
- The Art of Remember Me
- Eerie Archives Volume 13
- Korak, Son of Tarzan Archives Volume 1
- The Manara Library Volume 5: More Adventures of Giuseppe Bergman
- Mass Effect Library Edition Volume 1
And the trade paperbacks:
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 3: Guarded
- The Chronicles of King Conan Volume 5: The Black Dragons & Other Stories
- Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men
- Freaks’ Amour
- R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned
- Star Wars: Darth Maul–Death Sentence
And A Whole Lot More!
Of course, that’s not all Dark Horse is releasing in March. “Dark Horse Presents” #22 will feature an interview with everyone’s favorite “Shaolin Cowboy” creator and all-star artist Geof Darrow, a new story by Howard Chaykin, “Alabaster,” “The Victories,” “Fish Police” and more. We’ll also see new installments of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9″ and “Angel & Faith” (with the great Archie homage alternate cover, above), Stan Sakai’s “47 Ronin,” Francesco Francavilla’s “The Black Beetle: No Way Out,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Hellboy in Hell,” “The Massive,” and “Mind MGMT,” to name but a few. Also, there’s a pretty sweet “Baltimore” T-shirt I’ll probably be ordering, and a 6.75″ model of the Mass Effect Alliance Normandy ship that fans will surely be interested in. As always, you can check out the full solicits to see everything I didn’t have the time to cover. Coming up next, DC!