Comics have been recycling, revamping, and rebooting their characters nearly as long as there have been comics. As somebody who’s been reading and collecting for around 30 years at this point, I can’t even guess how many new “#1” issues I’ve seen for long-running characters over the years. Sometimes it’s just a publicity stunt to generate heat for a floundering series, and sometimes it’s something much bigger, like DC’s “New 52” universe-wide reboot. But where it can be more worthwhile is in visiting characters that aren’t as popular as they once were and giving them a new spin. Characters like the iconic pulp hero Flash Gordon, who is returning to the comics page today in a new series from Dynamite Entertainment.
Fans were chomping at the bit when it was revealed that Ridley Scott’s Prometheus was indeed a prequel set in the world of the Alien films. And while Prometheus disappointed many due to script problems and lunk-headed characters, it was still gorgeous, full of ideas, and a voyage that left us craving more of one of cinema’s most compelling science fiction settings. While a Prometheus sequel is in the works, fans won’t have to wait until it hits theaters to explore more of that universe. Dark Horse is launching Fire and Stone, an interconnected set of comic miniseries this fall, exploring and further uniting the worlds of the Prometheus, Aliens, and Predator films. Whatever revelations await us, one thing is clear: the cover art is bloody gorgeous.
If you were a wee sci-fi fan coming of age in the 1980s, there’s a chance you might recall a Saturday-morning series called Captain Power and the Soldiers of The Future. If you think that sounds like just a thinly veiled vehicle to sell toys, you would be right — but only half right. See, while the show was indeed shilling for a toy line, the creative forces behind the show, including a young up-and-coming writer named J. Michael Straczynski, had something more ambitious in mind, creating a show that was surprisingly dark and well ahead of its time. Well, now Captain Power may be staging a comeback, and legendary comic artist Neal Adams could be along for the ride.
No matter how much you love any given incarnation of the Doctor, his adventures must inevitably draw to a close at some point. Of course, that’s the case with any story — they can’t just carry on forever (as my class-action lawsuit against The NeverEnding Story will attest) — but the nice thing about Doctor Who is that, every time one Doctor bows out, another takes the stage. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what Peter Capaldi brings to the table, but having just rewatched the show’s modern seasons, I do feel a little bit nostalgic about David Tennant and Matt Smith’s respective takes on the time lord. If you feel the same, we’ve got some good news: two new ongoing comic book series will chronicle further “untold” adventures of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors!
Love him or hate him, there’s no question that Harlan Ellison has had one hell of a colorful life. He joined a street gang to bone up on their world before he wrote a book about the subculture. He was fired on his first day at Walt Disney Studios after riffing on the idea of a pornographic movie starring Disney characters…within earshot of Roy Disney. He has earned a reputation for being contentious, vociferously opinionated, and possessed of a bountiful talent for revenge. To this day, one of the most legendary anecdotes about the writer is the story of him butting heads with Gene Roddenberry over Ellison’s script for Star Trek’s “The City on the Edge of Forever.” Now, nearly 50 years later, Ellison’s original teleplay for the episode is being adapted into a comic book miniseries by IDW Publishing.
If you’re a long-time fan of David Weber’s acclaimed Honor Harrington series, but you’ve never really gotten into comics, Image just gave you the perfect excuse. Today marks the release of the first issue of Tales of Honor, a new ongoing comic series set within the so-called “Honorverse.” On the other hand, if you’re a comic fan who’s never sampled Weber’s books, this new comic is part of a larger multi-media plan eventually culminating — if all goes as planned — in an Honor Harrington movie. So if you like it, you’ve got no shortage of related material to dive into.
For the uninitiated, the so-called Honorverse is a military science fiction series focused on the titular main character, a military officer in the service of the Star Kingdom of Manticore. She ticks off all the usual badass bullet points: loyal, dedicated, a tactical genius, and more than capable of holding her own whether she’s commanding a starship or putting your ass on the mat in person. The art by Jung-Geun Yoon is gorgeous, and writer Matt Hawkins has several other Image series under his belt, including Think Tank and Aphrodite IX. You can check out cover art and the first few pages of issue #1 in the gallery below, and head over to the next page for a full rundown of today’s science fiction comic releases.