The bestselling series Crossover by creative masterminds Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw with Dee Cunniffe and John. J. Hill sizzles with fan frenzy and both Crossover #1 and Crossover #3 will be rushed back to print in order to keep up with the unrelenting customer demand.
In Crossover #3, there are monsters and robots falling from the sky! Mysterious (and familiar??) superheroes joining our intrepid gang on their journey to event ground zero! The story continues with the series’ most explosive and shocking issue to date! Don’t miss this one, folks. If you do, it just might drive you… mad.
Crossover #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN218668) and Crossover #3, second printing (Diamond Code JAN218669) will both be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 24.
Image Comics‘ President Todd McFarlane has announced his attempt at creating his own multi-character, interconnected comic book universe. His stated goal is to establish a shared fictional universe over time in the vein of what the other comic industry giants, Marvel, and DC Comics, have accomplished with their comic book universes.
The announcement was given by McFarlane during a first look presentation at the Direct Market Retailers at the Annual ComicsPRO Conference.
The character Spawn, created by McFarlane, will be at the forefront of the initial launch of new titles, but the long-term goal is that Spawn will become but one of many characters that will succeed not only in the comics industry but in many mediums across the globe.
McFarlane will capitalize on the twenty-eight-year success story of Spawn, which has seen sales increase between 150 to 600% from pre-pandemic orders. The Spawn title currently is a top 5 monthly selling title on the Diamond Distributors Top 100 Chart. Recently, a new release of a Spawn figure on Kickstarter set a new Kickstarter record, in its category, for raising just under $3.5 million in 30 days. That figure was also recently awarded the prestigious People’s Choice 2021 Toy of The Year (TOTY) by The Toy Association, Inc.
As part of his announcement, McFarlane announced four new titles coming out in 2021, with three of them continuing as regular monthly titles, meaning that there will be an opportunity for fans of the Spawn character and his new expanding world to get their stories from it on a weekly basis instead of just twelve times a year.
In June, in what McFarlane is calling “2021 the year of Spawn,” comic retailers will be able to order Spawn’s Universe #1. This will be a book that will set the stage with a story that will then spill out into the other new monthly titles. The first title will release in August with a book called King Spawn #1. The character Spawn will now join the rare company of stalwart characters, like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, that will have multiple monthly books for the same title character. It will also mark the first time in twenty-eight years that anyone can buy a monthly issue #1 Spawn book. It gives McFarlane hope of reaching a new generation of readers that missed out on the initial launch of the Spawn back in 1992.
In October comes the second new monthly called Gunslinger Spawn. This title character has been a huge hit among the fanbase over the past year, and each of his appearances has garnered enthusiasm at the stores and online.
Finally, there will be a new #1 team book, which will band five characters together to fight against forces too big for any of them to take on alone. That book is titled The Scorched. Spawn, Redeemer, Gunslinger, Medieval Spawn, and She-Spawn begins the group’s adventures. However, McFarlane promises a rotating cast of heroes over the coming months to keep the roster of heroes fresh. He also said that he would be bringing in new major villains into the fold, too.
To lend a creative hand on some of this expanding list of titles, McFarlane has recruited an all-star list of comic book creators such as Art Adams, Jason Shawn Alexander, Carlo Barberi, Brett Booth, J. Scott Campbell, Greg Capullo, Donny Cates, Jim Cheung, Mike del Mundo, Javier Fernandez, David Finch, Jonathan Glapion, Kevin Keane, Aleš Kot, Puppeteer Lee, Sean Lewis, Sean Gordon Murphy, Ben Oliver, Stephen Segovia, Paulo Siqueira, Marc Silvestri, Marcio Takara, and Frank Quitely, as well as others he will be announcing in the coming months.
There are moments in film, comics, television, and books where the hero discovers their inner power and the tide begins to turn against evil. In Transformers: The Movie it was Hot Rod opening the Matrix and turning into Rodimus Prime. Those moments can bring tingles and excitement as good begins to triumph over evil. King in Black #4 delivers that moment multiple times in the penultimate issue of the event.
Written by Donny Cates, things look dire as the issue begins. Knull has dominated the world, killed Eddie Brock, and subjugated most of the world’s heroes. But Cates has been hinting at another who might defeat Knull. If Knull represents darkness, someone, or something, must be the light. It’s been pretty obvious for a while that we’d eventually find out who the who or what is in this event and this is the issue where that all becomes clearer.
King in Black #4 features a showdown between Dylan and Knull with Dylan being the clearest current threat to the wannabe god. It’s a solid showdown as Dylan takes his stand showing all it takes is a single individual to make a change. It being a kid feels all the more symbolic as it is so many kids over recent years that are leading the way. But Dylan is just a catalyst. The comic is full of “fuck yeah” moments as heroes begin to free themselves and make their attacks against Knull. We don’t get one “Rodimus” moment, we get multiple resulting in a crescendo of excitement of “hells yes” beats. All building to the issue’s finale with the big reveal Cates has been hinted at.
Cates is helped by Ryan Stegman who nails every beat. Along with JP Mayer on ink, Frank Martin on color, and Clayton Cowles on lettering, the crescendo is clear in the art. The battle goes from what feels like a “psychic landscape” to the physical world and it just ups the awe with every opportunity. There’s so many moments that are memorable, the art brings home Cates’ concepts with a blast. Cowles lettering is key as he depicts Knull giving him his own font. It emphasizes the character’s evil stance and without it, the character wouldn’t work as well. It’s a perfect combination and team.
The issue also features our first look and Peach Momoko‘s Demon Days. The short backup comic features an English Adaptation by Zack Davisson, and lettering by Ariana Maher. Momoko takes the X-Men into a fantasy world rooted in Japan and its mythology. The result is a story that’s beautiful to look at but the story itself doesn’t feel quite unique enough. Taking characters and just making them samurai and animals isn’t new or different. So, this is one to wait and see. As a teaser for the first issue and series, it doesn’t excite and quite land.
King in Black #4 is a hell of a comic that’ll get you pumped and excited. There’s just one more issue left and this could leave us with a hell of a change to the Marvel landscape. Marvel has stumbled with events in recent years but King in Black #4 has delivered with every issue and is their best in a long time. It brings popcorn excitement and this issue helps lights our darkest hour.
Story: Donny Cates, Peach Momoko Art: Ryan Stegman, Peach Momoko Ink: JP Mayer Color: Frank Martin Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Ariana Maher English Adaptation: Zack Davisson Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Donny Cates (A) Nic Klein (CA) Olivier Coipel Rated T+ In Shops: Feb 17, 2021 SRP: $3.99
DOCTORS FOSTER & BLAKE, READY YOUR SCALPELS! Once upon a time, Jane Foster and Donald Blake were more than friends. With Blake at her side, Jane could’ve shared the very throne of Asgard. Now…they are about to become the bitterest of enemies. And if Valkyrie falls, she’ll have lost more than a crown. All of the Ten Realms are at stake – not to mention the life of All-Father Thor!
(W) Donny Cates, Jed MacKay, John Ridley (A) Chris Bachalo, Jesus Saiz (A/CA) Jorge Fornes Parental Advisory In Shops: Feb 10, 2021 SRP: $4.99
THE BEST THERE IS BY THE BEST THERE ARE! The groundbreaking series continues! Thrill to the Marvel Comics debut of Oscar winner JOHN RIDLEY 12 Years a Slave, The American Way) as he and JORGE FORNÉS bring LOGAN to Japan, where he will question his honor as he clashes blades with the SILVER SAMURAI! Then, it’s back to his X-FORCE days with JED MacKAY and JES S SAIZ, as WOLVERINE must stop A.I.M.’s plot for the red planet! And, nothing can prepare you for the unstoppable team-up of DONNY CATES and CHRIS BACHALO as Wolverine has a run-in with…COSMIC GHOST RIDER?!
Another exciting key character will make an appearance in Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill’s Crossover #4 on shelves this February from Image Comics.
In keeping with Crossover’s reputation for surprise cameos from beloved comic book icons, the final cover will remain a secret until the day it goes on sale. Eager fans will just have to be sure to pre-order copies of Crossover #4 with their local comics shop and then await for the surprise of who will join Madman and The Paybacks in this upcoming installment of one of the hottest, buzziest series in stores.
In Crossover #4, Ellie, Ryan, Otto and the mysterious Ava delve deeper into the mystery behind THE EVENT on their fateful journey to the dome and the epicenter of the greatest CROSSOVER in comics history!
Crossover #4 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, February 24.
Crossover #4 Cover A Shaw – Diamond Code DEC200197
Crossover #4 Cover B Allred – Diamond Code DEC208835
Crossover #4 Cover C Blank – Diamond Code DEC208787
King in Black #3 continues the entertaining Marvel event delivering hints as to what’s to come. Knull has taken over the world bringing darkness to everywhere. There’s a glimpse of hope though. Eddie Brock’s son, Dylan, is channeling an unknown power, the light to defeat the darkness of Knull.
This is the first stand as a small group of heroes need to band together and fight back. Writer Donny Cates delivers another solid issue as what the fight back begins. Though it’s realistically a losing battle, Cates infuses the fight with hope. The heroes feel like heroes doing battle against impossible odds.
Cates delivers that with an interesting narrative. The narrator is a mysterious character who doesn’t make their presence known until the end. But, what’s said is what’s really intriguing. There’s hints as to what’s to come. Dylan’s power is coming from something, someone. Knull is darkness which means there’s someone that’s the opposite. Who is that? Get your speculation going as it’s sure to be someone big and really shake things up post event.
The issue is also very cinematic with action sequences that deliver some emotional resonance. The arrival of Thor to battle, Iron Man’s actions, these are moments that deserve to be on the big screen. They’re larger than life and that’s due to the art of Ryan Stegman.
Stegman continues to be one of the most exciting artists out there. His work with Cates has been fantastic and the duo are just in sync with what they deliver on the page. The images are jaw dropping at times. The moments really deliver that punch as things begin to go south. Everything looks fantastic no matter how over the top it all is. Stegman is helped by the ink of JP Mayer, color of Frank Martin, and lettering by Clayton Cowles. In a story that involves a world engulfed in darkness, the team keeps things colorful. It never feels “dark” but definitely gives you the sense of that world. The lettering is fantastic with Cowles giving such personality to Knull and his controlled through the choice of lettering and styles.
King in Black #3 continues an epic story. While it foreshadows things a bit too much the end of the comic made me forgive that with a new player on the field. Things really feel epic but at the same time the issue and story stays focused on a small cast. There’s been a string of misses as far as major events in recent years but King in Black continues to impress and exceed expectations.
Story: Donny Cates Art: Ryan Stegman Ink: JP Mayer Color: Frank Martin Letterer: Clayton Cowles Story: 8.65 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.65 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
The final issue of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s hit run on Venom will arrive in April. The all-star creative team will be saying farewell to a character they helped redefine in a special milestone issue: Venom#200. With the revolutionary work on the symbiote mythology, the team’s incredible run will leave a lasting impact not only on the character of Venom but on the Marvel Universe as a whole.
The landmark issue will pick up after the events of King in Black. Over the years, Cates and Stegman have torn Eddie Brock’s life asunder while introducing new villains and uncovering long-hidden mysteries about the nature of symbiotes.
Throughout their run, they’ve explored Venom’s very nature as a Marvel hero. This issue will reveal what Venom’s future holds. But in Knull’s wake, what even remains of Marvel’s Lethal Protector?
Venom#200 will also feature a who’s who of artists who contributed to Cates and Stegman’s incredible run. Pick up this historic end of an era when Venom#200 hits stands in April.