With Comic-Con International: San Diego only having completed its Preview Night and first full day of events, it’s safe to say there are still plenty of major announcements on the way from the various comics publishers, but here’s what’s been released so far:
• IDW and DC will have a Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover. The six-issue mini-series is scheduled to begin in October and is written by Chris Roberson with art by Jeffrey and Phillip Moy. The series features the original series Enterprise crew (Kirk, Spock, and others) interacting with six Legionnaires from the “Great Darkness Saga” era. Covers are by Phil Jimenez with variant editions by Keith Giffen, Steve Lightle, Mike Grell, and Gabriel Rodriguez.
IDW also announced that it will publish several series set in the universe of James O’Barr’s The Crow in 2012, including an adaptation of the new Crow movie.
Popeye is returning to comics via IDW and a licensing deal with King Features Syndicate. Additional licensing announcements have already been announced at Comic-Con as well.
An oversized hardcover collection of 144 pages of John Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man art was also announced by IDW for 2012 release. The book’s pages are scanned from Romita’s original art, including all blue pencil notations and Wite-Out corrections.
• Marvel is following DC’s lead, although on a more limited scale, with day and date digital releases of its titles. While, beginning in September, DC plans to release all 52 of its relaunched titles digitally the same day the printed editions hit stores, starting July 27, Marvel will release Amazing Spider-Man #666 and the “Spider Island” tie-in titles digitally the same day. At its “Marvel Digital: What’s Next” panel Thursday, Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing David Gabriel said that by the end of the year Marvel’s major Spider-Man and X-Men titles would be available digitally the same day as the print editions. The X-Men titles will join the digital program beginning with Uncanny X-Men #1 and Wolverine and the X-Men #1. Gabriel said that other titles would join the program at easy jumping-on points, such as #1 issues. ICv2.com noted in its coverage that Amazing Spider-Man #666 had a special retailer incentive.
Marvel is also putting a mirror up to a couple of its properties with the introduction of Evil Deadpool (a character made of patchwork bits that have been cut off the original Deadpool) and Villains for Hire. The latter series isn’t as evil as it initially sounds with Misty Knight leading a team of villains, a la DC’s Suicide Squad.
Fans of The Twelve will be happy to know that the series is back on track for completion with #9 scheduled for release in February 2012. J. Michael Straczynski has completed and handed in all of the 12-issue series’ scripts.
Writer Jonathan Hickman pledged that his new Ultimates title would come out monthly, as opposed to its predecessors’ spotty release schedule.
• Archie has announced that Kevin Keller will receive his own ongoing series after the four-issue run in Veronica. A “future version” of the character will also appear in the alternate history Archie Universe shown in the magazine-sized Life with Archie: The Married Life.
• DC announced at its “Flashpoint” panel that a double-page spread in Flashpoint #5, scheduled to ship Aug. 31, brings events of that alternate history mini-series to the relaunched DC Universe in September. Hints were also dropped that the recently released Flashpoint #3 had additional clues to the upcoming changes.
Over at DC’s Vertigo imprint, The Unwritten will move to a twice-a-month format with full-numbered issues (32, 33, 34, etc.) advancing the main plot, while decimal issues (32.5, 33.5, 34.5, etc.) focus on characters and sub-plots. Also, Hellblazer will not end, despite John Constantine’s appearance in the mainstream DC Universe.