OUR 2014 PULL LIST1 of 12We’ve covered the creators primed to make an impact in 2014 and next week we’re look at the characters. But today we turn our attention to where those two forces collide: the comics themselves. Whether it's comic books, graphic novels, webcomics, or something else, there are bound to be literally millions of new pages of comics to read in 2014; none of us have time to read them all, so we’re giving you a primer for the top books to be on the lookout for as the new year dawns.
Some of our 10 To Watch For 2014 might be a given, while others might be surprises or things you might second-guess for your own list; there’s even a couple that are repeats from previous years of Newsarama’s 10 To Watch. There’s some notable absences that were left on the cutting room floor as the Newsarama staff whittled it down to ten – Sorry, Umbrella Academy! – but however you cut it, it’s about time to got to know what will be at the top of the charts and at the center of fans hearts in the year ahead.
MS. MARVEL2 of 12Meet Marvel’s newest teen hero. Following in the long teenage superhero tradition of Bucky Barnes, Spider-Man, and the X-Men, in 2014 Marvel is bringing in a new female heroine with an eye towards legacy: Ms. Marvel. Announced in early November, the new Ms. Marvel – aka New Jersey-ite Kamala Khan – doesn’t look like your typical blonde-haired, blue-eyed action hero type – and that’s a good thing. The Ms> Marvel series, which launches in February, shows series writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona carving out a new character in the legacy of their own titular heroes, but making it thoroughly modern and fun.
The media was quick to latch onto the fact that this all-new Ms. Marvel is Pakistani Indian American, but just as the United States is a melting pot for various ethnicities – so its superhero comics. Back in November, Wilson told Newsarama that she’s avoiding this “slipping into tokenism,” instead telling “the story of a true-to-life young Muslim growing up in the United States.”
SOUTHERN BASTARDS3 of 12In 2014, Jason Aaron and Jason Latour are going back to their roots. Their southern roots.
Inn 2014, Image will publish a new creator-owned series by Aaron and Latour titled Southern Bastards which the duo describe as a “southern fried crime comic.” Set in the rural setting of a fictional county in the heart of Alabama, Southern Bastards follows the big and the bad including a high school football coach with bodies buried in his end zone, crooked sheriffs, and of course some classic southern barbecue.
Although details on Southern Bastards are sparse, given Aaron’s track record with Scalped, his and Latour’s roots in the pine woods of Alabama, and their shared love of Drive By Truckers and the Southern legend Buford Pusser, this is shaping up to be memorable.
MULTIVERSITY4 of 12“Good things come to those who wait.” That’s what our parents tell us, and we hope that’s what we can expect with the promised event series Multiversity when it hopefully launches in 2014.
Hyped by series writer Grant Morrison going as far back as 2009, Multiversity is described as a nine-issue series – joined by a special prologue and epilogue issues – which shows the story of 9 characters (or families of characters) in nine distinct universes of DC’s Multiverse. Artist Cameron Stewart joins Morrison for an issue devoted to Captain Marvel titled “Thunderworld,” while frequent collaborator Frank Quitely is set to draw an issue set in a universe propagated by the Charlton heroes. The entire scope of the series – and all of the artists – has yet to be revealed, but after looking forward to this for the past five years maybe, maybe, 2014 is the year.
PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL5 of 12Before Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie were telling the story about teen heroes, they were telling it about teenage magicians – with powers derived from music. Phonogram is the series which the UK duo broke into comics on and paved the way into the halls of Marvel as well as into the hearts of many of their fans, but their popularity working on superheroes delayed their planned 2012 sequel Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl back until the completion of Young Avengers. But now with that on the precipice of a finale, Newsarama has this to say to McKelvie and Gillen:
Originally announced in February 2012, Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl follows long-time series co-star Emily Aster fighting against a part of her personality she sold to receive her powers. Gillen has said it’s about “identity, eighties music videos and further exploration of Phonogram>’s core “Music= Magic” thesis.”
DC’S NEW 52: FUTURE’S END6 of 12Can’t wait to know what’s coming next for the heroes and world of DC’s “New 52”? Well, beginning in May you won’t have to as DC Entertainment is priming to launch a weekly comic series set five years into their future titled, aptly enough, The New 52: Futures End. Announced earlier this month, the series will be lead by three heroes – Frankenstein, Firestorm, and the in-continuity debut of Batman Beyond, Terry McGuinness.
Series co-writer Jeff Lemire described the weekly event series as the “past, present and future all colliding,” and the Ran Sook cover released shows the key members of the Justice League as robots of some sort, seemingly taken over by O.M.A.C.’s Brother Eye.
And Lemire isn’t going into The New 52: Futures End alone; he’ll be joined by co-writers Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens, and will be illustrated by the likes of Jurgens, Ethan Van Sciver, Aaron Lopresti, Jesus Merino and more to be announced.
With this storyline, this creative team, and the weekly release schedule, The New 52: Futures End literally won’t let up once it launches on May 3, 2014’s Free Comic Book Day.
MIRACLEMAN7 of 12The prodigal son of superhero comics is finally coming home in 2014. Marvel has seemingly cut through the layers of red tape to finally usher the storied UK hero Miracleman back onto comic shelves with new stories.
Originally created in 1953 as a not-so-subtle homage to Fawcett’s Captain Marvel after his series was cut short by DC’s lawsuit, Mick Anglo’s gold-studded hero grew in time to the fertile grounds for two generations of future comics greats to make a name for themselves. The series was one of the earliest to deal with mature themes in the superhero genre, with storytellers like Alan Moore, Alan Davis, Neil Gaiman, Rick Veitch and others showing the rewards and consequences of what being a superhero actually is.
It all begins in January’s Miracleman #1, which reprints Alan Moore (titled “The Original Writer” at the request of Moore) and Alan Moore’s run on the title, with the series eventually seguing Gaiman and Mark Buckingham’s abbreviated run which was cut short during its original publication. Marvel will then publish the never-before-seen final issues of Miracleman by the duo, with the tease that it could lead to more down the road.
UNTITLED DEATH OF THE WATCHER SERIES FROM MARVEL8 of 12In Marvel Comics’ lore, you knew an event was big when Uatu the Watcher showed up to observe. But in a new, as-yet untitled miniseries scheduled for 2014, it all begins when Uatu is found dead. This murder mystery on a truly cosmic scale is to be written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Mike Deodato Jr., and was announced via an ambiguous postcard sent to retailers in early November.
Although details are non existent save the creative team and the postcard image shown here, it’s probable that the series is a late continuation of the short story from 2011’s Marvel Point OneAvengers Vs. X-Men, Age of Ultron and the debut of Sam Alexander as Nova, before ending with a cryptic line that an individual or group known as “the Unseen” would be killing the Watcher to gain “all of his secrets.” That original short was by Ed Brubaker and Javier Pulido, but with Brubaker leaving Marvel soon after that publication it looks as if Aaron and Deodato have stepped in to tell the story teased in 2011.
Expect more details about this as-yet untitled series in the coming weeks.
BATMAN: ETERNAL9 of 12Batman is the hardest working man in the DCU, appearing in nearly a half dozen series of his own as well as in Justice League. And in 2014 he’s bound to get a lot busier, but he’s calling in help.
In early 2014 DC Entertainment will launch a weekly series entitled Batman Eternal that will “set the stage for a new Gotham” according to series showrunner Scott Snyder. Snyder will be joined by writers James Tynion IV, John Layman, Ray Fawkes and Tim Seeley along with artists such as Jason Fabok, to create a sort of backbone for the Bat-family of titles telling both an over-arching story as well as underexplored elements of DC’s dark city.
Since the original announcement in October, DC and the various creators involved have pulled back the curtain with ominous interviews, tweets and preview art, promise a change in status quo for some of Gotham’s finest as well as the “New 52” debut of the cult-favorite character, Stephanie Brown.
While we were hoping for a Christmas teaser image to follow up the Easter egg filled Thanksgiving pin-up, we’ll have to be content here at Newsarama to warm our hearths with what we already know about Batman Eternal in preparation for its 2014 debut.
SECONDS10 of 12What do you want after the six-course meal that was Bryan O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series? Seconds, of course.
In July, O’Malley will release the follow-up to his New York Times Bestselling series with a new, auspicious series titled Seconds. Set in a titular small-town restaurant inspired by the cartoonist’s own time spent working at a Toronto restaurant in the early days of Scott Pilgrim, Seconds centers on a “loveable spaz” named Katie who works at the eatery.
While some people might consider a story set in a restaurant droll, O’Malley has promised that Seconds is “funny and weird and kind of big and crazy despite the mundane setting.”
WONDER WOMAN: THE TRIAL OF DIANA PRINCE11 of 12There have been rumors, accusations and conjecture about the role Wonder Woman has in the modern world – and in 2014, Grant Morrison is going to put her on trial.
In the upcoming graphic novel Wonder Woman: The Trial of Diana Prince, Morrison and Swamp Thing artist Yanick Paquette are aiming to create an essential volume to sum up the Woman of Wonders. Originally titled Wonder Woman: Earth One, this 120 page graphic novel is shaping up to do for the Amazonian demigod what All-Star Superman did for the Man of Steel.
In an interview with USA Today earlier this year, Morrison explains that this graphic-novel length story is a “mother and daughter story” between Hippolyta and Diana. In it, Diana runs away from her homeland with the mortal man Steve Trevor, and is put on trial by her mother and her fellow Amazons for her crimes.
Morrison is actively reacting to perceived pre-judgments on the Wonder Woman character by creators, fans and armchair critics about her role in modern fiction, saying that Wonder Woman: The Trial of Diana Prince is “kind of asking Wonder Woman to justify herself, which I feel has almost been what the character’s had to do for a long time.”
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