With 2016 behind us, it’s time to look ahead into the future. In the world of entertainment there is a lot of excitement in store in movies and on TV. Marvel has a lineup of epic films in development and DC is starting to really hit its stride with the upcoming “Wonder Woman” and “Justice League” films. That being said, you might be glad to know that there’s even more excitement coming within the pages of your favorite comics and graphic novels.
What do you have to look forward to? Well, we can tell you that change seems to be a major theme for most superhero comics in 2017, while many graphic novels and new titles seem to be focusing on horror. To give you just an sample of what to expect, we’ve put together this list of 15 comics to look forward to in the New Year.
15. DEADPOOL THE DUCK
One of the most anticipated Marvel comic of 2017 revolves around an amalgam of a sardonic duck trained in quack-fu and an immortal anti-hero mercenary. That’s right, Deadpool the Duck is coming, but is he the duck with the mouth… or the merc with the bill? “Deadpool the Duck” has Wade encounter Howard on a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D; unfortunately (or very fortunately), Deadpool turns up in the wrong place at the wrong time, causing him and Howard to merge together and begin fighting for control.
Written by the talented Stuart Moore with artwork by Jacopo Camagni (who knows how to do Deadpool justice), “Deadpool the Duck” promises oddity and hilarity in equal measure. As strange as it might seem, the two have more in common than just a satirical or nonsensical nature. It’ll be fascinating to see what they bring out of each other if they don’t end up killing one another (no doubt because Deadpool started it) within the psyche of this mercenary mallard. “Deadpool the Duck” begins January 4th.
14. INJUSTICE YEAR TWO: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
As with any Comic Book publisher, DC Comics has multiple universes that branch from different properties. “Injustice: Gods Among Us” was a successful fighting game in 2013 (with a sequel on the way), which saw Superman snap and take over the world after accidentally killing his wife and unborn child thanks to the Joker’s diabolical meddling. It created the basis of an award-winning fighting game and a series of critically-acclaimed comics revealing the years leading up to the events in the game and those that take place thereafter.
With the series finishing earlier this year, it’s time for fans to start building their collection. “Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two” will be released in a complete collection on the 11th of January. Published by DC, and written by Tom Taylor with artwork by the likes of Mike S. Miller and Bruno Renaldo, the series will reveal how Superman strengthened his rule over the world and what happened when the mighty Green Lantern Corps attempted to take the tyrant down.
Before George RR Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire,” before JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” there was the epic “Beowulf,” which has been told and retold for more than a thousand years. Now, writer Santiago Garcia has united with artist David Rubin to bring you a retelling of the tale unlike any other. For those who don’t know, Beowulf began as an epic poem, written in Old English, about a hero hailing from modern day Scandinavia, who arises to save the realm from vicious monsters of incredible strength and viciousness. Against all odds, he faces and defeats Grendel, a monstrous troll-like creature, followed by his monstrous mother and finally, a mighty fire-breathing dragon.
Like the epic poem, Image Comics’ graphic novel will be split into three parts for each monster Beowulf faces. Garcia has stated that the graphic novel’s story will remain faithful to the ancient tale about heroism, honor and warfare, while at the same time offering a more modern perspective. The title will be released on the 11th of January.
12. MONSTERS UNLEASHED
January 18th promises a monstrous amount of action, starting with Marvel’s “Monsters Unleashed” series, written by Cullen Bunn with artwork from Adam Kubert, Greg Land, Salvador Larroca, Steve McNiven and Leinil Yu. Much like “Beowulf,” this series will see Marvel’s mightiest heroes take on vicious monsters from across the 616 Universe. Characters that were once in the background will be brought to the forefront and monsters that were once forgotten will now play a huge role, according to Bunn.
Brunn has also said, “It’s a story about the heroes of the Marvel Universe [waking] up one morning and out of nowhere, giant Marvel monsters start descending on the Earth and attacking in force. The super heroes have to put aside their differences, they have to mobilize extremely quickly in order to combat the monsters that are suddenly appearing all over the world.” The story will lead to multiple spin-offs and change the new Marvel Universe in a big way, though the writers have obviously been quite secretive about specifics. They have said that “Monsters Unleashed” will bring “something new and exciting that we think will be a very valuable new player in the Marvel Universe.”
Marvel has some big plans for the X-Men, plans they’ve been teasing since Fall 2016, with their mysterious teaser banner stating only “An Ending. A Beginning.” It’s the end of the war between the Inhumans and the mutants who are fighting for survival after discovering that the Terrigen Mist that creates Inhumans and is engulfing the Earth is also toxic to mutants.
However, that enigmatic tease can mean a lot of things and few details have been released. What we do know is that Spring 2017 will see the release of several X-Men titles branching from the final part of the “Inhumans vs X-Men” story arc. “ResurreXion,” from which “X-Men Gold,” and “X-Men Blue” will stem, will hopefully be a return to form for the X-Men, as well as the Inhumans, with more details being released about upcoming tie-in titles like “Iceman,” “Jean Grey,” “Cable,” “Weapon X” and “Generation X.” That all begins when “Inhumans vs X-Men” #3 is released on the 25th of January.
10. DARTH MAUL
Darth Maul is one fan favorite that people have been curious about since the reshaping of the “Star Wars” universe. His comics-based stories preceding “The Phantom Menace” film were made non-canon, for the most part, so the upcoming comic could re-shape him for the new “Star Wars” universe. The upcoming mini-series, written by Cullen Bunn with artwork by Luke Ross, will explore Darth Maul’s past and his fall to the dark side, as well as his temptation away from it.
Bunn has said that the series would help bridge the two depictions of the character — “the warrior seen in ‘The Phantom Menace’ and the cunning strategist of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ and ‘Star Wars: Rebels.'” The mini-series will also include appearances by Darth Sidious and show us just what he’s like as a teacher. Of course, you can probably guess he’s not a very good one… at least ethically speaking! For those eager to see Darth Maul in a new light, you can look forward to “Darth Maul” #1 on February 1st.
9. BALTIMORE: THE RED KINGDOM
Beginning in 2007, with the novel, “Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire,” the story of Lord Baltimore has been filled in and expanded through Dark Horse’s comic series, “Baltimore,” written by Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy. Lord Baltimore was once a soldier whose family had been destroyed by a vampire, Haigus, whom Baltimore hunted down and killed only to find that his vengeance was still incomplete. The upcoming “Baltimore: The Red Kingdom” will see Lord Baltimore missing, while a great evil in the form of The Red King takes over the world.
The miniseries will be written by Mignola and Christopher Golden and illustrated by Peter Bergting. It’s the final series of the epic 41-issue-long vampire saga, and teases the climactic and fittingly horrific ending to it all, with Baltimore seemingly absent for the moment when real vengeance for his family, killed by a monstrous vampire, could finally be realized. This conclusion, beginning with “Baltimore: The Red Kingdom” #1, will be released on the 1st of February.
8. BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1
Kate Kane has become quite a popular character as the undaunted Batwoman in “Detective Comics,” which is why she’ll once again be receiving her own comic series this year, beginning with “Batwoman: Rebirth,” which will help fit her into DC’s post-New 52 universe. Fans of the character will be glad to know that she’ll finally be getting the attention she deserves.
The one-shot comic, written by Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion, illustrated by Steve Epting and Ben Oliver, will explore Batwoman’s origins and her future as she attempts to take down the syndicate spreading a new bio-weapon called Monster Venom. It’s a storyline following the events of the current “Detective Comics” story arc, in which Batwoman is tasked with leading a new group to defend Gotham City, a group consisting of Clayface (Basil Karlo), Orphan (Cassandra Cain), Red Robin (Tim Drake) and Spoiler (Stephanie Brown). The one-shot will be released on the 15th of February, followed by Batwoman’s own comic series in March.
7. THE OLD GUARD
On February 22nd from Image Comics comes a new series about Andromache of Scythia and her brave comrades, all of whom are bound by immortality and try to find their way through the 21st century. Written by Eisner Award-winning writer, Greg Rucka and illustrated by renowned artist Leandro Fernandez, “The Old Guard” will explore morality and mortality. Rucka has said, “Our main character is tired. She’s been around a really long time and it is long since passed the novelty phase.”
The protagonist, Andromache (or Andy) will narrate throughout the series and refer to her past often. It’ll explore the relationships between each character, affected by the turmoil and views of their respective ages. Two of the characters, for example, come from the First Crusade — an Italian knight and one of the Moors. Rucka has said “they keep killing each other, and then they wake up again, which resulted in them going, ‘this is pointless.'” The series looks as though it will portray immortals with a bit more realism than many films, books and comics have done in the past, which is an exciting prospect, indeed!
6. HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D: 1954– GHOST MOON
After his end in “Hellboy in Hell” #10, our favorite paranormal investigator, Hellboy, is set to return on March 8th in Dark Horse’s “Hellboy and the B.P.R.D 1954— Ghost Moon” #1, this time hunting ancient Chinese demons in Hong Kong’s infamous Kowloon Walled City. Mike Mignola returns to co-write with Chris Roberson, though he unfortunately will not be involved in the artwork. On the other hand, Brian Churilla and Dave Stewart will be illustrating the story, which is enough to turn our frown upside-down!
The writers and artists researched heavily into the period in which the story is set, with a focus on the British spy network in the Far East at the time. Brian Churilla has previously worked with Marvel Comics, writing and illustrating “The Secret History of D.B. Cooper,” which features adventures comparable to those of Hellboy’s, though perhaps on a lesser scale. That being said, his artwork is sure to bring new life to the character, as well as the historical setting in which he finds himself. And as far as we’re concerned, any new Hellboy is a good thing!
5. AMERICAN GODS: SHADOW
Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel, “American Gods,” has quite a year up ahead. In April, we’ll see it adapted to television on Starz starring Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon and Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday. But first, on March 15th, you’ll see it adapted to comics with “American Gods: Shadow” #1, written by P. Craig Russel and of course, Neil Gaiman himself, with artwork by Scott Hampton, who’s brought life to titles like 1992’s “Batman: Night Cries,” as well as DC’s “Sandman” series (also by Gaiman).
“American Gods: Shadow” follows the titular Shadow, who has just been released from prison to find his wife dead. Alone and that much emptier, he takes a job as a bodyguard for the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, a conman who seems to know far too much about Shadow. Before he knows it, Shadow is cast into a world of dying Old Gods and the younger, more powerful New Gods. Lovers of literature and comics (or anything Sci-Fi or fantasy-related) are sure to enjoy this one.
4. DEADPOOL: BAD BLOOD
This seems to be a great year for Deadpool fans. After you’re finished with “Deadpool the Duck” you can get your copy of Deadpool’s first ever original graphic novel, “Deadpool: Bad Blood,” written by Chris Sims, Chad Bowers and Rob Liefeld, who also does the illustration. It is set for release on March 28th. The graphic novel follows Deadpool as he tries to figure out where and how he came to make an enemy in Thumper, who keeps beating the hell out of Wade. That’s just about all Liefeld and company are willing to reveal about the character.
The writers are being very secretive about this one, not even revealing what Cable and Domino’s role will be in the story, other than the fact that they have one. If you have any doubts, remember that it’s Rob Liefeld, creator of the character (alongside Fabian Nicieza), and this is a story he’s wanted to tell for 20 years. You can rest assured that whatever story takes place in “Deadpool: Bad Blood,” it’ll be a great one… or at least something that will get people talking.
3. SUPER SONS
Superman and Batman are nothing short of legendary in the DC universe, so you could probably imagine that any kids either of them had would be under a lot of pressure. That’s exactly what the “Superman and Batman: Saga of the Super Sons” comic of the ’70s was about, Clark Kent Jr. and Bruce Wayne Jr. trying to make their fathers proud, that’s what strengthens their bond, so much so that they’re pretty much like brothers. Over the years, however, the DC universe has shifted and changed, and Superman and Batman both have new sons in the mainstream DC universe.
“Super-Sons” #1, written by Peter Tomasi, with artwork by Jorge Jimenez, will be released in April and follow Damien Wayne as a 13-year-old Robin and Jonathan Kent as a 10-year-old Superboy. They’re set to fight alongside each other as well as against each other, though probably not as dramatically as that sounds. Aside from the clear artistic and dramatic differences, “Super Sons” is part of the “DC: Rebirth” relaunch and will help reset the DC universe with elements from the New 52. Unlike their predecessors, these guys are being set up to last and it’s something we don’t want to miss.
2. JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR
Free Comic Book Day, first held in 2002, was first held because of the attention given to comic-based films. Now, we have a film-based comic to look forward to this May, when “James Cameron’s Avatar” by Dark Horse Comics is set to be released. It’s been 7 years since the film’s release. David Cameron has promised an expansion to his world through sequels, but these films seem to have been hindered by the inner workings of Hollywood, so there’s plenty of reason to get excited about this comic. The story, written by Sherri Smith and illustrated by Doug Wheatley, will expand on the characters and settings introduced years ago through Jake Sulley, and will take place during and after the events of the film.
This is just the beginning of a 10-year partnership deal, which means there’s a lot more up ahead. The world of James Cameron’s “Avatar” film is beautiful and rich, and any expansion of that world, in any form, is something to look forward to while we wait for the highly-anticipated sequels.
1. JOHN BYRNE’S WONDER WOMAN
For fans of John Byrne’s work, you can look forward to the first ever collection of his 1994-1995 “Wonder Woman” comics. The collection contains issues #101-113, wherein Wonder Woman faces the likes of Doomsday and Sinestro, who seem to have returned from the dead. Book one follows her as she tries to figure out how and why they’ve returned while trying to survive. You’ll see her overcome the greatest foes even when the odds are stacked against her. Arguably the best part of the series was seeing Wonder Woman face the ever-evolving Doomsday, who seems to grow more monstrous with every step, forcing Diana to push past her limits, and even then… it may not be enough.
The legendary John Byrne, who has worked on “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four” and “Superman,” focused on Wonder Woman as a superhero and eventually brought Diana to divinity, exploring other characters such as Hippolyta by giving her the title of Wonder Woman while Diana was busy being the goddess of truth. As contentious as it was, his run built on the character a lot, even when it focused on other characters donning the tiara, showing us more about what distinguished Diana as Wonder Woman. Look out for it on the 30th of May.
What other comics and collections are you looking forward to in 2017? Let us know in the comments!
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