The San Diego Comic Con is in full swing, and though I will have lots to share with you all as a result, the convention will still be going on when this News column goes live; therefore, anything I miss I will cover with all of my favorite Heathens next week. Let’s get into it, eh?
Probably the biggest news I have read thus far out of SDCC is that Neil Gaiman is returning to Vertigo Comics with a brand new Sandman mini-series in 2013. Look for it in October or November of that year to celebrate 25 years of Sandman! J.H. Williams III will be providing the art for the mini. The story takes place right before Sandman is captured in the first issue of the original series. Some have jokingly called it “Before Sandman”, but many stories in Sandman took place before the first issue as the Sandman story was never quite linear in the way it was told. This is huge for the Vertigo imprint and for Sandman fans in particular!
Speaking of Gaiman, the writer gave his blessing for his Books of Magic character Tim Hunter to be incorporated into Justice League Dark. I cannot wait to see what Jeff Lemire does with the character.
Nathan Edmondson (Who is Jake Ellis?, Grifter) will be writing a four issue Ultimate Comics Iron Man mini-series for October with Matteo Buffangni (Daken) on the art. I may not have loved Edmondson’s Grifter, but that wasn’t because it was bad and instead just different from what I loved about the Wildstorm character. See DC? Take him off of Grifter and Marvel snatched him right up. Maybe you should have given him a new book instead of giving Rob Liefeld three of them.
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Last time I read The Compleat Terminal City, which was an outstanding science fiction noir type story. This week I didn’t want anything complex, or grim, or dirty. I wanted some action-packed, light-hearted adventure that would make me smile but not think too hard. I found that in DUNGEONS & DRAGONS VOL. 1: SHADOWPLAGUE, written by John Rogers, Illustrated by Andrea DiVito, published by IDW.
Adric Fell is a hero with a plan. Little does it matter that his plans are always bad and inevitably get his band of heroes into even more trouble. As Adric says, all plans are bad so why put too much effort into it? Joined by Bree, the less than trustworthy Halfling thief; Varis, the elf, Kahl; dwarven poet turned paladin; and Tisha, some demon type girl with very little clothing, our band of heroes gets into lots of trouble while saving the world.
If, like me, you stayed away from this because it had Dungeons & Dragons on the cover then you have made a grave, grave mistake. This is one of the most enjoyable series on the stands today, and one of the main reasons is John Rogers’ wonderful script. Essentially, Rogers has created a superhero team book without the superheroes. Each character is unique in both personality and abilities and Rogers leverages the differences for maximum entertainment value through his crisp and witty dialogue. It’s almost as if the characters know they are in a comic book and don’t take themselves too seriously. Bree the thief is stealing from everyone and everything all the time. Kahl is quite the… poet? And so it goes, but for all their differences Rogers makes this feel like a family. It’s family in the way that a Fantastic Four book is about family. Every takes care of one another but they aren’t afraid to put you in your place if need be.
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