Welcome to Thunderdome, fair reader. The San Diego Comic Con news cannons are loaded up and the first shot has been fired by Dark Horse Comics, who wrapped up more than a week’s worth of strategically placed announcements last night to give us all a rundown of what their next 10 months will look like, and honestly, the word “ambitious” comes to mind.
Let’s not bury the lead here, Fight Club 2 is on the way and it is coming in the form of a ten issue comic book series that will be written by Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk and illustrated by Cameron Stewart. We have more details on Fight Club 2 here.
As I said, there are a dozen books that Dark Horse has officially announced, but while Fight Club 2 is certainly the most noteworthy, Dark Horse’s focus on fresh IP is certainly also worth a bit of celebration, especially in that they are leaning on Jeff Lemire (The Black Hammer) and old hands, Brian Wood (Rebels) and Matt Kindt (PastAways) as the anchors of their lineup.
I’m a huge admirer of Lemire’s past creator owned work like Underwater Welder, Lost Dogs, and Trillium, but while I’ve come to admire (and it took some time) Lemire’s illustration work, what I’ve seen of Dean Ormston’s work on The Black Hammer makes me think that his timeless, Golden Age-style works better for this particular tale. Besides Ormston’s work, I’m also excited to see Kelly Fitzpatrick’s alive color work in Shaun Simon and Tyler Jenkins’ trippy-seeming Neverboy and the team-up of Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson on Ei8ht, a sort-of remake of Albuquerque’s web-comic, Tune 8.
If all of this sounds appealing to you, perhaps you should check out the synopses that we’ve included below for these books and the others that Dark Horse is pushing. If it doesn’t sound appealing to you, then sit back, relax and wait for the next headline, because they’re gonna start coming in bunches soon.
Colder: The Bad Seed (10/22/2014) Paul Tobin (W) and Juan Ferreyra (A)
Life goes on for Declan Thomas after his deadly encounter with the psychotic Nimble Jack, but Declan’s strange powers continue to develop, offering him a profound connection with the nature of insanity. Little does he know that the malevolent Swivel wishes to pick up where Nimble Jack left off!
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. (12/3/14) Mike Mignola/John Arcudi (W) and Alexander Maleev (A)
A bizarre series of murders and rumors of something worse lead Professor Bruttenholm to send a young Hellboy to a Brazilian village on his first mission. Hellboy and a small group of agents uncover something terrible in the shadows of a sixteenth-century Portuguese fortress…
Lady Killer (1/7/2015) Joëlle Jones/Jamie S. Rich (W) and Joëlle Jones (A)
The Schullers are every bit the American family: father, mother, and twin girls. Daddy has a good job, and though he works in the city, he can afford a nice house for his family in the suburbs. It’s a good place for the kids to grow up, away from the crime and questionable morals of city life. But what if the crime and the violence aren’t that far away? What if Mom isn’t just a housekeeper and a cook, but she’s also a highly paid professional assassin?
Dead Vengeance (1/21/ 2015) Bill Morrison (W) and Stéphane Roux (A)
It’s 1940, and a phony body on exhibit in a carnival sideshow suddenly springs to life and shambles away. Not so phony after all, he is John Doe, radio commentator and archenemy of Detroit’s notorious Purple Gang. But why did he disappear in 1930, and why did the mayor, the mob, and the cops all want him dead?
Ei8ht (2/2015) Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson
Welcome to the Meld, an inhospitable dimension in time where Joshua, a chrononaut, finds himself trapped. With no memory or feedback from the team of scientists that sent him there, he can’t count on anything but his heart and a stranger’s voice to guide him to his destiny.
Neverboy (3/4/2015) Shaun Simon (W), Tyler Jenkins (A) and Kelly Fitzpatrick (C)
In what world do you belong?
Neverboy, an abandoned imaginary friend, wants the real world. Julian Drag, a struggling artist, wants the imaginary.
When Neverboy’s drugs wear off, the surreal hangover he’s been running from sets in. And a trip down the rabbit hole is just what Julian has been dying for. When these two meet, the real and the imaginary worlds collide in absolute chaos. Julian and Neverboy, the dreamer and the dream, will have to face who they are in order to put things right again.
The Black Hammer (3/11/2015) Jeff Lemire (W) and Dean Ormston (A)
They were the greatest heroes of a lost era. But the age of heroes is over, and Abraham Slam, Col. Weird, Golden Gail, Barbalien, and Madame Dragonfly have been wiped out of continuity! Following a cosmic battle known only as the Event, the heroes awoke on a farm in a small town they are unable to leave, with the massive iron hammer of a fallen teammate the only reminder of the world they came from. As their tenth anniversary on Black Hammer Farm nears, they’ve largely given up on any chance of return, until the arrival of the Black Hammer’s daughter throws their new existence into chaos! The Black Hammer is part human drama, part multiverse-spanning adventure, and part journey into the DNA of the superhero genre!
PastAways (3/18/2015) Matt Kindt (W) and Scott Kolins (A)
When a deep-time research mission goes awry, four future explorers find themselves stranded in our present, where a side effect of their mission grants them unexpected immortality! As further time breaches cause dinosaurs to appear in Greece and buildings from the future to crash into Toronto, the unlikely heroes find themselves humanity’s best line of defense from the onslaught of time itself! The team achieves worldwide fame, and their adventures become more and more bizarre, even as their failure to get back to their own time leads to infighting and catastrophe!
Rebels (4/2015) Brian Wood (W), Andrea Mutti (A) and Jordie Bellaire (C)
From Brian Wood, the creator of DMZ, Northlanders, and The Massive, comes Rebels, a gritty, ground-level look at the men and women who fought to win independence from tyranny and those who would stand in their way.
Co-creator Andrea Mutti (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) illustrates the opening story, introducing us to the Green Mountain Boys, America’s first militia, and one young couple’s journey across the battlefields of New England. Colorist Jordie Bellaire and cover artist Tula Lotay complete the team with gorgeous palettes and striking illustrations.
Harrow County (4/8/2015) Cullen Bunn (W) and Tyler Crook (A)
“Her earliest memories were of the taste of freshly turned earth and the bleating of goats.”There’s them that say you ought not get lost in Harrow County. Because once you lose your way among the pines and briar thistles and those sweet-smelling scuppernong, you won’t never find your way back. Born on the very day a hateful witch was put to violent death, seventeen-year-old Emmy has always felt a bit lost . . . but never alone. The deep, dark woods surrounding her home crawl with ghosts, goblins, and the restless dead. These haints whisper to Emmy, promising her that she has great power, warning her that the people of Harrow County want her dead.
Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird (5/20/2015) Caitlín R. Kiernan (W) and Joëlle Jones (A)
A year after Dancy Flammarion’s death in a burning barn, her seraph comes to collect her from a hell of her own creation. A new evil haunts the sun-scorched back roads and ghost towns of the American South: murderous twins who command a legion of ghouls. Once again, Dancy must face down demons, both those who walk the world unchallenged and those in her own shattered mind.
Fight Club 2 (5/2015)Chuck Palahnuik (W) and Cameron Stewart (A)
For more info on Dark Horse and all the rest, just hit our SDCC content hub!