Despite the influx of movies, TV shows, and games, comic books are still the heart (and namesake) of Comic-Con. And this year’s nerd blowout saw the debut of a ton of awesome new comics hitting shelves as soon as early August.
It’s dizzying to keep track of everything coming out of the San Diego Convention Center show floor, but the new comics listed below are stand-outs that are sure to be worth adding to one’s growing long boxes. From celebrated poets writing Black Panther to the return of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, here are all the coolest new comics announced over the past weekend.
Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook (Titan Comics)
NBA Legend, documentarian, and Jeet Kune Do practitioner Kareem Abdul-Jabaar is also a giant nerd (seriously, he’s seven foot tall) and is making his comic debut with Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook featuring Mycroft Holmes, the older brother of the iconic Sherlock. After writing a novel starring Mycroft last year, Kareem has transferred to comic books with publisher Titan Comics along with Raymond Obstfeld.
A lifelong fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Victorian sleuth, Abdul-Jabaar described his Mycroft as “more swashbuckling and over the edge” than in other interpretations. The first of the five-issue volume will be released August 3.
All-Star Batman (DC Comics)
There are plenty of Batman books to pick up, especially right now with DC’s ongoing Rebirth. Acclaimed Batman author Scott Snyder is moving on into All-Star Batman, a new series beginning with a five-issue arc featuring Batman and Two-Face, drawn by John Romita Jr.
Described by Snyder as “my Long Halloween”, All-Star Batman made a splash at Comic-Con with a kick-ass preview page featuring Batman wielding a chainsaw over Black Spider. If nothing else, All-Star Batman is going to be totally bonkers. It comes out August 8.
Black Panther: World of Wakanda (Marvel)
It was a big freaking deal when National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates announced he would be writing the next volume of Marvel’s Black Panther, and it was an even bigger deal when the book came out and totally kicked ass. Now, building upon the success of Coates’s ongoing series, Marvel is expanding with Black Panther: World of Wakanda, which will be co-written by Coates along with Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay and acclaimed poet Yona Harvey.
“It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done, and I mean that in the best possible way,” Gay told the New York Times. Black Panther: World of Wakanda arrives on shelves in November, after New York Comic Con.
Inhumans vs. X-Men (Marvel)
While Civil War II rages on, two groups of the Marvel Universe finally come to blows in Inhumans vs. X-Men from Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule, and artist Leinil Yu. The Terrigen mists — biological gas that awakens within individuals their Inhuman DNA, and is also poisonous to mutants — reach their climax, saturating all of Earth’s atmosphere. The mutants of Marvel regularly face annihilation, but this time the threat of annihilation comes from the pesky Inhumans, who have ticked them off one too many times in recent years. Yeah, it’s time to fight back.
On a meta-level, Marvel intends to use Inhumans as a replacement for the X-Men due to the latter’s complicated cinematic rights, which are held by Fox. So expect Inhumans vs. X-Men to get pretty close to breaking the fourth wall without Deadpool.
Oh, and speaking of Deadpool…
Deadpool: Back in Black (Marvel)
Wade Wilson is getting close with the alien symbiote (the same one that created Spider-Man’s pal Venom) once again in Deadpool: Back in Black from Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin, both veterans of Marvel’s Merc with the Mouth.
Taking place after the original Secret Wars from the ‘80s, Back in Black explores an untold chapter in Deadpool’s history when the symbiote attaches to Wade after being rejected by Spider-Man. A modern “period piece” that is rare in mainstream comics, Deadpool: Back in Black will include plenty of characters and attitudes not seen since the ‘80s — which includes Deadpool himself, who debuted in 1991.
“He hasn’t evolved into the Wade Wilson we know and love today,” Bunn told ComicBook.com. “Which is a little terrifying if you really think about it.”
Cougar and Cub (Action Lab)
Indie comics author Nick Marino is writing Cougar and Cub for Action Lab Comics, a unique superhero dramatic comedy with an accidentally timely story. After the hubbub over Batman and Batgirl having sex in The Killing Joke, Cougar and Cub sincerely explores the idea of a superhero having sex with her side-kick and the drama that follows.
The comic (drawn by Daniel Arruda Massa) is full of high-energy, like a Saturday morning cartoon gone awry, and will be worth a gander when it comes out in October/November this year.
Injustice 2 (DC Comics)
It’s been three years since the release of Injustice: Gods Among Us, the DC superhero fighting game made by NetherRealm Studios. But the comic book prequel Injustice never stopped running, and writer Tom Taylor will continue work into its sequel Injustice 2, timed to release with the actual game also titled Injustice 2 in 2017.
“The new game takes place two years after the first Injustice, and this new series fills in the time in between,” Taylor told THR. “You have the world in turmoil. It essentially needs rebuilding, and the guy to do that is Batman. So you have Batman essentially trying to rebuild the world while other forces try to prevent that, or rebuild it in their own image. So he’s got to bring other heroes — like Harley Quinn — to do so. And then you’ve got characters like Supergirl, who’s showing up for the first time.”
Faith #2 onwards (Valiant)
Valiant’s superhero series starring the plus-sized Faith was already released earlier this year via successful mini-series, and the book continues after Comic-Con with Faith #2 coming August 24. Written by Jody Houser with art by Pere Perez and Marguerite Sauvage, Faith will meet her arch-nemesis for the first time, who looks like a cut from the Lex Luthor cloth.
Doctor Strange/The Punisher: Magic Bullets (Marvel)
2016 has been the year for Marvel’s lesser-known superheroes coming to the forefront: Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and soon Doctor Strange (in a movie starring Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch) and the Punisher (played by The Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal in Season 2 of Daredevil). Now, Marvel is pairing these unlikely fellows together in a book from John Barber, Doctor Strange/The Punisher: Magic Bullets.
When a mafia organization attains a supernatural power, the street vigilante Punisher goes to the Marvel Universe’s expert on sorcery, Doctor Strange, for help. Posed to blend magic with the gritty, Magic Bullets may be one of the most unique books ever to come out of Marvel. And considering this is a publisher whose strongest hero is Squirrel Girl, that’s saying something.
Serenity: No Power in the Verse (Dark Horse Comics)
Firefly fans are among the most dedicated in modern geekdom, still carrying the banner for a show whose too-soon cancellation happened nearly fifteen years ago. But no one can’t stop the signal, because Firefly (under the alternate title Serenity, from the 2005 feature film continuation) will forge on in another new comic series from Dark Horse.
While dealing with some tensions that have emotionally divided the ship, the crew of the Serenity receive a call that leads them to search for a missing friend whose disappearance is shrouded in mystery. Written by Chris Roberson (iZombie) and Georges Jeanty, the first issues of Firefly: No Power in the Verse goes on sale October 26.
Power Rangers Annual #1 (Boom! Studios)
Boom! Studios’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers by Kyle Higgins has been one of the most successful titles published by the label, and it has quickly expanded into a flexible property with its first spin-off Power Rangers: Pink already underway. While Higgins’s book is still continuing, Comic-Con was an opportune time for Boom! to reveal details over the first Power Rangers Annual issue — a collection of stand-alone stories from a variety of creators published once a year.
According to Bleeding Cool, the first Power Rangers Annual will include concept plots like the complicated day in the life of Jason, the heroic Red Ranger, a Marguerite Bennett story involving Trini and Kimberly throwing a party that “gets complicated,” as well as Angel Grove bullies Bulk and Skull getting superpowers of their own. The Annual goes on sale in August.