Though he's sticking with work-for-hire titles at Marvel including FF, writer Jonathan Hickman is returning to Image Comics and creator-owned work this July.It's a four-issue miniseires titled The Red Wing, with art from Nick Pitarra, who, like Hickman, was a contestant in Comic Book Resource's "Comic Book Idol" competition. Hickman teased the project two weeks ago on his Twitter account. The series takes place in the future, where fighter pilots "also have to learn how to navigate through time." It's the first part of Hickman's "PLUS!" project, to be followed up with Feel Better Now, which, like in his earlier work, Hickman will be writing and drawing. Hickman's breakthrough works in the comic book industry were creator-owned titles at Image, including The Nightly News, Pax Romana and Transhuman. Three of his fellow Marvel writer "Architects" — Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction — have current creator-owned projects at Marvel's Icon line. Image's full press release follows:
Jonathan Hickman Debuts New Creator-Owned Series at Image in JulyBERKELEY, CA – 28 March, 2011 – No one can ever claim Jonathan Hickman is lazy. Not content with helming head-turning runs on Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors and S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention re-imagining the FF for his most recent hit, The Future Foundation, Hickman returns to Image this summer with an all-new creator-owned miniseries, THE RED WING.
"We're all pretty excited for this one," Hickman explained. "We believe we not only have a solid concept for an engaging new series, but even at this early stage, THE RED WING has that lightning in a bottle feel to it. I think people are really going to like it."
Written by Hickman, with art by amazing newcomer Nick Pitarra and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, THE RED WING marks Hickman's first creator owned work since the conclusion of the critically acclaimed A RED MASS FOR MARS.
"Nick is going to really surprise some people," Hickman said. "When the art for this starts hitting the web, and then when the finished product shows up in stores, many of them are going to wonder where this guy has been hiding. Nick's a very hungry, special, special talent. I consider myself fortunate to be working with him."
Set in a future where the best fighter pilots in the world not only have to master their craft and perfect their skills, the heroes of THE RED WING also have to learn how to navigate through time. Described by Hickman as "the greatest battle in the history of the history of three worlds," the four-issue miniseries is but the first concept to be mined by Hickman & Pitarra as part of Hickman's ongoing "PLUS!" project.
"Well, I've been promising I'd get to this for over a year, so now it's time," Hickman said. "We'll start with THE RED WING, and then I'll be writing and drawing something called, FEEL BETTER NOW, before Nick and I move on to our next exciting project. We have a busy, aggressive slate of exciting stories to tell, and, like I said before, it's time."
"It's a real privilege to be working with Jonathan and the incredible team he's assembled for THE RED WING," added Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. "Since his comics debut with THE NIGHTLY NEWS, Jonathan has been one of the most unique and visionary voices in contemporary comics, and after hearing what he has planned for THE RED WING and the rest of the PLUS! series, I can guarantee you he's not planning to rest on his laurels anytime soon!"
THE RED WING #1 (of 4), a 32-page full color comic with a cover price of $3.50, will be available for order now in the May issue of Previews and will go on sale July 6.