Welcome back to The Rundown, our daily breakdown on comic news stories we missed from the previous day. Have a link to share? Email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– During this weekend’s Anime Expo, Marvel’s “Ultraman” co-writer Mat Groom revealed there will be a Marvel Universe crossover series sometime next year. Details were vague, but teaser artwork showed Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel battling kaiju while Ultraman, Ultraseven, and Ultraman Taro look on. This will be the fourth Ultraman title published by Marvel, following “The Rise of Ultraman,” “The Trials of Ultraman,” and the upcoming “The Mystery of Ultraseven” (which starts August 17), all of which were written by Mat Groom with Kyle Higgins.
– Via Twitter, James Roberts has revealed the upcoming “Transformers: Best of the Rarities” (which he curated) will include five, never-before-seen black-and-white strips by writer Simon Furman and artist Robin Smith from 1989. These comics were intended for The Sunday Times‘ Funday Times supplement, but were pulled before they could be published, and their existence had been a secret until now. “Transformers: Best of the Rarities” will be released by IDW Publishing on August 3, and feature many more rare Transformers comics from the U.S., UK and Australia.
– Viz Media released a new one-shot by writer Tatsuki Fujimoto (“Chainsaw Man”) and artist Oto Toda (“To Strip the Flesh”). Titled “Just Listen to the Song,” the comedic manga tells the story of a boy who tells a girl he has a crush on her by releasing a music video. It is the latest one-shot from Fujimoto, whose recent, dramatic/non-fantasy comics “Look Back” and “Goodbye, Eri” (which he also drew) have garnered critical acclaim. “Just Listen to the Song” is available to read for free in English on Viz’s website right now.
– Marvel announced Raphael Saadiq will serve as composer and music producer on the upcoming animated series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. A Grammy Award winner, Saadiq was a member of the ’90s R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!, and has produced music by countless artists, including Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Solange Knowles, and John Legend. A behind-the-scenes featurette features Saadiq discussing how the show will reflect the real-world diversity of New York with various music genres, and reveals Lunella Lafayette/Moon Girl voice actress Diamond White will sing the theme song. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will premiere sometime on Disney Channel and Disney+ in 2023.
– As was first pointed out by The Direct, Disney+ has changed the onscreen title of the Jessica Jones series to AKA Jessica Jones. It is unknown why, especially since the show is still listed under its original name, although it is possible Marvel intends to distinguish it from a new Jessica Jones project. AKA Jessica Jones, a play on the title of Jessica’s original comic “Alias” (a name rendered unusable by the Jennifer Garner series), was the originally intended name for the show at ABC, where showrunner Melissa Rosenberg developed it before it became part of the Netflix Marvel shows.
– Christian Bale has revealed two of his Thor: Love and Thunder co-stars who were cut from the film: Peter Dinklage (who played the Dwarf king Eitri in Avengers: Infinity War), and Jeff Goldblum (reprising his role as the Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok.) “I got to work with Peter Dinklage. That’s not in the final film, but he’s fantastic,” said Bale. “I got to work with Jeff Goldblum — he’s not in the final film either. As you see, lots of stuff ends up on the cutting room floor even though it’s beautiful, brilliant stuff.” Dinklage and Goldblum join Lena Headey, who was also cut from the film, and is now being sued by her former agency Troika partly because of it. Thor: Love and Thunder releases Friday, July 8.
– Finally, Leigh Baulch, one of the most influential figures in British comics publishing and retailing, retired last week from the Titan Entertainment Group. Baulch, who served as Group Operations Director, had been with Titan since starting as Design Studio Chief in 1986, and was the founder of the comic book store chain Forbidden Planet. His credits as an artist outside Titan included drawing Spider-Man for Marvel UK, and doing the initial design work for Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” — according to Gaiman, Baulch also introduced him to the series’ cover artist, Dave McKean. You can learn more about his life and accomplishments at Down the Tubes’s report.