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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

COMIC BOOKS 101: COMIC BOOKS TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR IN 2017

In 2016 Both Marvel and DC had their own version of companywide “reboots” to help improve sales and streamline their stories. For Marvel, the events of Secret Wars II opened up an “All New-All Different” Marvel Universe which saw the collapse of the multiverse (similar to DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths) and “new” faces taking over for many beloved iconic characters. DC likewise followed up their New 52 line up with Rebirth! A way to slightly rework some of the areas that were lacking in their New 52 line up and get characters “back to basics”. Now with both companies seemingly back on track, what does 2017 have in store for them? Also what the heck is going on over with all those other indie comic book companies? Read on to see some of the big happenings coming in 2017!

 

1-      MARVEL’S MONSTERS UNLEASHED

Creative Team: Cullen Bunn, Various Artist (Steve McNiven, Adam Kubert, Leinil Yu, Salvador Larroca, Greg Land)

Premise: It’s pretty much anyone NOT involved in Inhumans vs X-men, taking on the biggest and baddest monsters Marvel has thrown together. Releasing in time for the 100th birthday of Iconic Legend, Jack Kirby-This series hopes to honor his memory by giving as great a monster story as some of the series Kirby helped create.

Scully’s Take: This should be a fun “blockbuster movie” style story, that I hope doesn’t have any major consequences on the Marvel U. I kind of just want it to be heroes teaming up (even better if it’s random team ups) battling crazy large monsters. DC just had a similar type story in their Batman books, but I believe this will feel far grander. Talent wise can’t really go wrong with Cullen Bunn and that all-star artist line up either. I think this will be a fun series!

2-      The Kamandi Challenge

Creative Team: A lot! No like seriously, a lot of people.

Premise: Not to be outdone by Marvel, DC announced awhile back with Rebirth they would be re-introducing their challenges (getting random creative teams together to tell a story on a set character). Well the character chosen is none other than Jack Kirby creation, Kamandi. The cool twist to the concept here is, all of it is one story with each creative team taking over at one point and then handing it off to the next (like a relay race).

Scully’s Take: I was never a big fan of the character so this does little for me, but I do like the idea behind it and wouldn’t mind seeing maybe other obscure characters getting used down the line.

3-      BATWOMAN: REBIRTH

Creative Team: Marguerite Bennet, James Tynion IV, Steve Eptin.

Premise: Kate Kane flies solo, as part of the second wave of upcoming “Rebirth” Titles set to debut in Feb 2017. Epting is an amazing artist (see his recent work on Velvet from Image Comics) and Marguerite Bennett is perfect for this character. Hopefully the writing doesn’t interfere too much with what is going on over in Detective Comics, but I think that’s why James Tynion IV will be involved to help keep everything cohesive.

Scully’s Take: I really REALLY enjoyed Batwoman’s New 52 run. I liked the idea she took on some of the more “supernatural” threats against Gotham. I’d like a return to that, but we’ll see.

4-      WILDSTORM RELAUNCH

Creative Team: Warren Ellis, Various artists.

Premise: After seemingly having a terrible transition into the DC Universe, Warren Ellis is taking the Wildstorm characters off into their own unique imprint (similar to the successful Young Animals imprint). What does this mean for the DCU? Probably nothing as no one other than Midnighter seemed to have any impact whatsoever and It seems for now he and Apollo will be staying in the DCU. Not much else is known about the stories, creative teams etcexcept Warren Ellis will be ushering it all in with a one shot called “The Wild Storm #1”.

Scully’s Take: This will bomb. The characters aren’t that iconic, most people have moved on that remotely enjoyed them in the 90s, and honestly if handled better, they would have flourished more in the DCU just under better writers. This will be a flash in the pan imprint and end up folding before the years over.

5-      INVINCIBLE-THE END OF ALL THINGS!

Creative Team: Robert Kirkman, FCO, Ryan Ottley.

Premise: Creator Robert Kirkman announced that issue #144 will be the end of Invincible, one of the longest running Independent titles currently on the market (aside I think from Savage Dragon). Kirkman has been writing since day one, with mostly Ryan Ottley (and Cory Walker) on art duties. The series has created one of the most realistic, yet fun superhero comic books out on the market!

Scully’s Take: If you haven’t read Invincible, you’re simply missing out. There are few books out that truly are able to consistently be amazing in both art and storytelling. While the series has definitely run its course and thankfully Kirkman knows when to let it fade into the sunset (as oppose to so many other Marvel/DC books with horrible re-boots/retcons, etc), I personally will still miss the story of a young naïve kid, who had to grow up way to fast to protect a galaxy.

6-      AMERICA

Creative Team: Gabby River, Joe Quinones

Premise: Not much is known about the characters solo series (aside from the creative team) but the character America Chavez has been winning over fans since her debut in Jose Casey and Nick Dragotta’s Vengeance miniseries, and Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers series. Recently, the character was seen as part of Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort’s ULTIMATES series, which showed her once again being the big muscle and helping taking down some major galactic threats.

Scully’s Take: I think it’s cool Marvel is showcasing a queer female lead character, which is definitely something that wouldn’t have been seen before in the past. How good the series will be is really up in the air, but I’m guessing it will have to do a lot with dimension warping due to her abilities and possibly a connection to her past (she comes from a Matriarchal society that’s kind of full of stuck up types). I’ll definitely be giving this a look over and see how it goes.

7-      MARVEL’S RESURRXION

Creative Team:  Various

Premise: From the fall of out Death of X and Inhumans vs X-men, Marvel will be launching a bunch of new X-Books, featuring some of the popular mutant characters. Jean Grey, IceMan, Cable, and other titles will be launching with various creative teams.

Scully’s Take: Who cares? I mean that in a nice way. I think having X-men Gold and Blue could be cool again, but the X-men books have been bogged down so much with redundancy and dull crossover events that I just can’t bring myself to care about this. Maybe once a few series launch I’ll be swayed but most likely a lot of these books will be cancelled fast (looking at you ICEMAN) and the others will just fade into obscurity.

 

While many new books will be (or have already been) announced (looking at you Snyder/Capullo DC project, and secret Geoff Johns project) for 2017, the above events/series are pretty good titles for readers to dig into. While Invincible is ending, it just serves as a great reason for new readers to pick up the series; soon you’ll be able to get it all in various trades/omnibus style formats! While X-men aren’t really my thing anymore, these new series could potentially be great for incoming readers or those who have fallen away from the mutants. Maybe I’ll be wrong and The Wildstorm Universe imprint will be great (It is being handled by Warren Ellis after all), so who knows! That’s the fun of “new”. What are you readers looking forward to for 2017? Sound off in the comments below!

 

-Jeremy Scully

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.