What the Heck Happened? Comics News for the Week of 2/18/24 – 2/24/24

This is one of my favorite column’s to present to you squad members. This was a busy week of comics related news. There were some series announcements and cover reveals along with some major publisher news, and we want to share it all with you.

We get a ton of announcements from publishers and other sources, and we are going to through the old inbox and let you know what’s out there and coming soon.

ComicsPro Comic Industry Conference

Right now, this weekend, from February 23 -25, The ComicsPro Comic Industry Conference is taking place in Pittsburgh, PA. There will be plenty of news that comes out of this meeting of comic retailer, wholesalers, distributors, and publishers.

PCS’s own Ed Catto is onsite at the show and is sure to fill us in on all the scoops which we will cover soon. The first big piece of news is that DC Comics is returning to Wednesday for its day of new releases. DC had changed from Wednesday to Tuesday when they split from Diamond Distribution back in 2020, and it appears they will return to make Wednesdays #NCBD for all.

New X-Men Action Figures

Coinciding with the buzz over the upcoming Disney+ animated series X-Men ’97, Mondo now has a new line of 1:6 Scale figures based on the original animated series and just released the Rogue and Gambit figures for purchase. They are amazing looking and will be a must for any collectors who are fans of the X-Men and/or that amazing show.

Press Release:
Mondo is adding fuel to the hot X-Men momentum that’s been growing for the past few weeks with their newly announced X-Men The Animated Rogue 1/6 Scale Figure – Regular Edition (MSRP: $210) and X-Men The Animated Gambit 1/6 Scale Figure – Regular Edition (MSRP: $200) which are both now available!

Rogue and Gambit, one of Marvel’s famous pairs of romantic interests, are designed in their 90s Animated look and sculpted with precise detail, making them absolute must-have collectibles that any X-Men fan will want!

If you haven’t seen the trailer for the new show. You can check it out here.

Briar Returns in May

Briar, the highly acclaimed series co-created by Christopher Cantwell and published by Boom! Studios, is returning in May for new adventures. We are big fans of this series and Cantwell’s writing in general and are excited about this new arc where Cantwell is joined by Alex Lins on art. Briar #5 will be released on May 15, 2024.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

Press Release:

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 21, 2024) – The smash hit, dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty returns! Eisner Award-nominated writer, producer, and director Christopher Cantwell (Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body, Halt and Catch Fire) is joined by rising-star artist Alex Lins (Hellcat, Crypt of Shadows) for the next chapter of the unforgettable dark fantasy BRIAR!

In the wake of slaying Deadcrawl, Grendrid’s deadly henchman, Briar Rose and her companions have become quite the band of bounty hunters with a reputation for murder and mayhem that belies their chivalrous intentions. But overzealous local authorities are not the only foes Briar will face, as Spider hatches a plan that will get them closer than ever to Briar’s malevolent fairy godmother–to the castle of Grendrid herself!

“Briar focuses on people who have fallen out of the grander story, or feel they have no place in it at all. This book is what happens when the entire fairy tale comes apart, and only a few, fringe characters are left to pick up the pieces, having to forge their own radical destinies instead of being handed happy endings,” said writer Christopher Cantwell.

A Special New Batman Collection Is on Its Way

The esteemed publisher The Folio Society is producing a new collected edition of classic Batman comics.

I know. Yes. Another Batman collection. However, here me out. The Folio Society prides itself on craftsmanship and presentation, and this tome is sure to be a star in any bookshelf. Also, this incredible collection of stories is selected and curated by the one and only Jenette Kahn, legendary former publisher of DC Comics. The list is impressive as is the production of this book.

Here is an excerpt from the Press Release:

(February 19, 2024) The Folio Society, independent publisher of beautifully illustrated hardback books, in collaboration with DC, will celebrate the 85th anniversary of the first comic book appearance of DC’s Dark Knight Detective with the release of DC: Batman. Created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, Batman first appeared in 1939’s Detective Comics #27 and since then the Dark Knight has stood as a symbol of determination, courage and justice to generations of fans for over 80 years. Batman is one of the most iconic fictional characters in the world, and is a self-made Super Hero, notable not for his super powers, but for his intelligence, determination, and tech savvy.

This collectible compilation includes twelve seminal comics, by a host of iconic writers and artists— including Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Marshall Rogers, Frank Miller, Dave Mazzucchelli, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland and Kelley Jones—all selected and introduced by former DC President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of DC, Jennette Kahn. Along with the 320-page one-of-a-kind deluxe book, DC: Batman also comes with a stand-alone replica copy of Batman #1. Scanned in its entirety from an original 1940 copy, the replica copy of the Batman #1 comic book, which includes the original back-up strips and vintage ads and introduces DC’s Clown Prince of Crime, aka The Joker, and The Cat, who would come to be known as Catwoman.

“Trauma is a through-line in the Batman mythology,” writes Jenette Kahn in her introduction. “It has made psychopaths of Batman’s foes and brought him to the edge of madness himself. Batman’s battle is not just against criminals and crime. He fears the day he’ll look into a mirror and see, not Bruce Wayne’s face, but The Joker’s.” The first woman at the helm of the legendary comic book publisher, Jenette Kahn helped transform comics into a sophisticated art form during her 27-year tenure from 1976 to 2002.

You can order the collection directly from The Folio Society here.

Crocodile Black Is the Latest New Original at Boom! Studios

Brilliant writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson and artist SOM are bringing a new creator owned story to Boom! Studios this spring. We have been shown a couple of covers, and we are excited. According to Johnson:

Crocodile Black is a story about dark reinvention. It’s about hidden trauma, unchecked obsession, the power that masks give us, and a dead man’s black crocodile-skin boots. It’s about a COVID-era kid with no prospects finding something he never knew he wanted, and using it to become someone he never knew he wanted to be: a dangerous man.”

Crocodile Black #1 will be in stores and available digitally on May 8, 2024.

EC Comics Is Returning Through Oni Press

One of the most interesting things that we learned this week is that Oni Press has partnered with the estate of Bill Gaines to bring back EC Comics and has lined up an murderer’s row of top notch talent to help with the launch and ongoing series.

We wrote about it here, and talked about it on this week’s SquadCast. You can check that out here.

Well, that about wraps up everything we have for this week. Stay tuned for more updates like this one coming at you more frequently.

Also, make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss anything that is going on at Pop Culture Squad.