Like many of you who follow the podcast or read the reviews on the website, I am a huge fan of comic books. I’ve loved them since I was a kid and always looked forward to not purchasing new books featuring my favorite characters, but also learning about what books some of my favorite writers and artists are currently working on.
With the current health situation gripping the world, the comic book industry has taken a pretty big hit recently resulting in new books not being released and leaving many of the great stories I’ve enjoyed in limbo while I and others wait for their triumphant return.
While I’ve been waiting to continue the adventures of these characters, I decided to reach out to some of the writers who craft these stories in order to satiate my need for more. I am grateful that many of them responded with quotes about what I and other fans can look forward to when their stories return.
Here are a few of the responses I received and the stories they are referring to.
Bitter Root – Image Comics
The Image Comics series about the Sangyere family and their monster hunting adventures is one of the most original and entertaining books currently available. The story pits an African American family against the forces of the supernatural during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s. The last issue saw the family fighting to save one of their own from an infection slowly transforming him as a new threat looms. David F. Walker, co-writer of the series told me:
“As things were just starting to happen with COVID-19, we were getting ready to go to press on Bitter Root #8, #9 was wrapping up production, and Chuck and I were finishing the script for #10, which will be end of the second story arc. Since that time, the pause button has been hit on many aspects of the comic industry, including printing and distribution. None of this changes the content of issues #8 and #9. As a team, we have discussed the ending for #10, and have come to the conclusion that it needs to be reworked. We are still committed to ending this arc in a way that is consistent with the story we’ve told so far, but at the same time we want to leave readers feeling a bit more hopeful that what were originally working toward. To put it in broader terms, we need to make the end of #10 less like Empire Strikes Back, without making it more like Return of the Jedi.”
Bitter Root #8 is expected to be released June 10th.
Aquaman – DC Comics
DC Comics King of Atlantis has been navigating some rough seas lately in this series and the cliffhanger that issue #58 left me with continues to fuel speculation on what will happen to Arthur when the series returns. With Mera in charge of Atlantis, Arthur has returned to Amnesty Bay to make a life for himself and settle in some new friends. Unfortunately, old enemies and the politics of Atlantis continue to get in the way of his peace and he and Mera struggle to maintain their relationship amid the demands of the crown. When Black Manta levels an assault on Amnesty with a new weapon, a very pregnant Mera comes to the aid of her ex-husband, putting herself and their unborn child in jeopardy. In order to save Arthur, Mera pushes her powers to their limits and ends up in a coma. With the stability of Atlantis in peril and Arthur getting a crash course in fatherhood, an unwelcome return threatens both a sleeping Mera and the child she and Aquaman share.
With a story this engaging and brilliantly paced, I reached out to writer Kelly Sue DeConnick to ask her what readers can expect when the series returns. She responded by telling me; “As for what readers can expect? Oh, nothing short of conspiracies brought to light, new relationships, old relationships taking new forms, bad blood in the water, new blood in the water, a surprise wedding or two, betrayals, and hints of sweeping changes to come. Basically, everything you ever wanted in an Aquaman comic. Now I just have to write it.”
Aquaman #59 will be released May 27th.
Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda – Marvel Comics
I recently interviewed Jim Zub on the podcast and we talked about his series Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda. The series follows a clandestine group of operatives led by T’Challa who operate behind the scenes and intervene in missions Panther keeps the Avengers away from. The team includes an eclectic roster including Mockingbird, Ka-Zar, Gorilla Man, Wasp, Okoye and others. The current storyline follows the team as an army of dragons has descended on Avengers mountain in an attempt to locate and destroy Fin Fang Foom and the Agents of Wakanda are all that stand in the way.
Jim Zub promises that the team will get right back into the action when the series returns, teasing an invasion of Panther’s home Wakanda. “ Black Panther’s Agents of Wakanda form the front line against an alien invasion rampaging across Earth, but the enemy’s powers are vast and unknown. Weapons, psychic spirits, ancient magic — T’Challa prepared for war, but not even he could have foreseen the forces now brought to bear against his homeland. If the Great Vibranium Mound is lost to these invaders, our planet will follow…”
Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #8 will be released July 8th.
Conan the Barbarian – Marvel Comics
Zub is also the writer for Conan the Barbarian. After taking over the title from Jason Aaron, he plunged the Cimmerian into a new land and a new adventure. Conan finds himself in a unknown land in the midst of a celebration with a long and dark history. After celebrating and besting a skilled warrior in combat, Conan finds himself plunged into an underground maze called the Crucible. With a handful of warriors from all over, Conan must find a way to escape while also keeping an eye on his new allies. After escaping one deadly trap after another, a murder will shake the party and place Conan as the likely suspect.
Zub told me about the arc; “Conan is trapped in a death cult dungeon called “The Crucible” filled with traps, creatures and other warriors fighting to survive and triumph. Our Cimmerian hero has pulled together a small crew of contestants to work together to try and overcome the challenges before them, but he’s not sure if any of them can be trusted and what they might do when things get desperate.”
Conan the Barbarian #15 returns July 15th.
Those are just a few of the comics I look forward to reading when they return. What comics are you currently reading or catching up with until new comics return? Let me know by leaving a comment or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and your pick might be featured in a future episode.