New Jersey-based comic publisher Dynamite Entertainment didn’t wait for Comic-Con International: San Diego to open its doors to the public to begin making some announcements. Over the past 48 hours, the licensed comics publisher has announced nearly a dozen new books, from creator-owned series by James Robinson and others, TV shows like Bob’s Burgers and Twilight Zone coming to comics, and even a Pacific Rim-style robot showdown between Voltron and Robotech.
Arguably the biggest piece of the puzzle coming out of SDCC so far for Dynamite is news that the cult TV series Heroes from 2006 is returning to life with a new series continuing that unfinished story, written by Sixth Gun’s Cullen Bunn. Described by Bunn as “Heroes Season 5,” the comic series is said to focus primarily on the characters of Claire, Hiro and Sylar.
ICv2 is reporting that Dynamite has also secured a deal with visual effects company Rhythm & Hues for the movie/TV rights to the Chaos Comics’ character Chastity. TV writer/director Scott Winant (Tue Blood, My So Called Life) is locked in as Chastity’s director and showrunner, seemingly indicating it’ll becoming a television series rather than a standalone movie. Chastity is part of the storied Evil Ernie franchise and one of the preeminent characters in the 1990s “bad girl” trend.
For The Twilight Zone, Dynamite has enlisted famed Hollywood/comics writer J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, World War Z) to pen the series, which focuses on strange stories of science, superstition and the supernatural. The original television series, which ran from 1959 to 1964, quickly became one of the medium’s quintessential programs, spawning three revivals, one movie, a radio series, and even a popular theme park attraction for Disney.
The animated comedy Bob’s Burgers is coming to comics, with Dynamite working to bring the signature art style of the Sunday show straight onto the comics page. Although the creative team for Dynamite’s Bob’s Burgers comics series has yet to be announced, the publisher says they are working closely with Fox to replicate the dynamic of the Emmy-nominated program.
Turning from burgers to robots, Dynamite is taking its well-received Voltron title and putting it head-to-head against another robot franchise: Robotech. The crossover is being masterminded by Harmony Gold’s Tommy Yune, who’s well-versed on robot drama in comics and animation. After this crossover miniseries, Dynamite says it will go forward with an ongoing solo Robotech series of its own.
Speaking of classics, Dynamite is also dusting off a forgotten comics classic – the 1994 graphic novel The Heart of the Beast by Dean Motter, Judith Dupre and a then-young Sean Phillips. This series, originally published by DC’s Vertigo imprint, follows a New York City bartender as he gets mixed up in the decadent art world of the 90s with a big dose of dark love and modern horror. Dynamite is releasing this overlooked Phillips’ work in a prestige format to celebrate its 20thanniversary next year.
Another return Dynamite is hosting is the return of comics legend Howard Chaykin to the world of the pulp hero the Shadow. In 1986 Chaykin revamped the Shadow for DC in a controversial four-issue series, and this new series – titled The Shadow: Midnight In Moscow -- sees Chaykin write and draw the previously untold story behind the Shadow’s disappearance in 1949.
On the creator-owned front, Dynamite continues to invest in the creative spirit with announcement of new series by comics writers James Robinson (Grand Passion), Peter Milligan (Terminal Hero) and Duane Swierczynski (Ex-Con). Although Dynamite’s best known for its licensed work, the publisher has long been doing creator-owned with Garth Ennis’ successful line of Battlefields books.
After the blockbuster sales success of Gail Simone’s Red Sonja revamp, Dynamite is doubling down on the flame-haired fighter with a new anthology series titled Legends of Red Sonja written by a who’s who of female comics writer. The creative team consists of names like Kelly Sue DeConnick, Marjorie Liu, Lea Moore and others, including prose novelists such as Nancy Collins and Mercedes Lackey. Described as the brainchild of Simone, the book was compared in tone to the memorable Batman: Black & White series by DC from a decade ago.
And finally, Dynamite is reviving its connection to the undead by bringing back the Army of Darkness serieswith comics’ preeminent horror writer, Steve Niles. Based on the third Evil Dead movie starring Bruce Campbell, this new series titled Ash And the Army of Darkness sees Niles rebooting the comic and starting from the ending of the 1992 film and going forward on a new and darker path. Joining Niles on this book is Dynamite’s Masks artist Dennis Calero.