EXCL. PREVIEWS: New Art From "Ultimate Spider-Man," "Darth Vader" and More

Each week AXEL-IN-CHARGE -- CBR's weekly Friday afternoon Q&A with Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso -- features not only his thoughts on the latest industry matters, but also a peek inside upcoming Marvel releases.

This past Friday's installment included Alonso sharing word that Marvel has sold more than 2 million "Star Wars" comics since January, and that "Darth Vader" #1 was the top dollar share book in February. "[Editor] Jordan D. White and C.B. [Cebulski] have done a superb job procuring the right talent and telling the right types of stories, and David Gabriel and his sales and marketing team have done an astounding job promoting this," the editor-in-chief said.

With that came the reveal of "Darth Vader" artist Salvador Larroca's cover to issue #4 of the series, scheduled for release on April 8.

Alonso also praised this past week's debut of "Howard the Duck" #1, which he deemed "$#@%ing hilarious." "The chemistry between [writer] Chip Zdarsky and [artist] Joe Quinones is off the charts. They've found just the right balance between humor and high adventure, and people are really responding to it."

Here are black-and-white interiors from "Howard the Duck" #2 by Quinones, along with a color page from a backup story running in the same issue drawn by Rob Guillory. The issue's expected out on April 8.

"Howard the Duck" isn't the only humor series currently finding success at Marvel, as noted in CBR's interview with Alonso. "'[The Unbeatable] Squirrel Girl,' 'Howard the Duck,' 'Deadpool,' 'Rocket Raccoon' and 'Ant-Man' are all very funny books -- although 'Ant-Man' is more of a 'dramedy' than a comedy -- but for different reasons." Speaking of that dramedy, here are pages from the Nick Spencer-written "Ant-Man" #4 illustrated by Ramon Rosanas and scheduled for release on April 8.

The fate of Miles Morales and the rest of the heroes of the Ultimate Universe looks murky due to the impending "Secret Wars," and this week's AXEL-IN-CHARGE also included a peek inside "Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man" #12;l the last currently scheduled issue of the series, due out April 8. It's written by Brian Michael Bendis -- who's been writing "Ultimate Spider-Man" since 2000 -- and illustrated by David Marquez and Justin Ponsor.

Catch up with CBR's AXEL-IN-CHARGE archives!

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