April showers bring May flowers, and much is in bloom at Titan Comics.
Titan Comics News and Announcements
What’s kicking off summer in the world of Titan Comics? Plenty of new comics, new graphic novels, and new magazines.
July sees the debut of Blade Runner 2019, as well as new arcs for both Bloodborne and Tank Girl. The Doctor gets to meet up with someone from her past in Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #10. V. E. Schwab’s second arc of Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince also concludes with Maxim facing his ultimate test in the titular “Night of Knives.” The month also sees the debut of the new Watch Dogs series, based on the popular video game.
Titan has announced advance solicits for some new hardcover editions of classics as well. 1960s British science fiction comic Dan Dare comes to life for a new generation in a reprint of the first two years of strips this September. A new Elric: Stormbringer volume (also dropping in September) will feature a new cover and an introduction by Alan Moore. And there will be more Tank Girl Color Classics, collecting another two years of fully colored Tank Girl comics.
For fans of Titan’s magazines, July brings movie specials for Spider-Man: Far From Home and Disney’s Artemis Fowl. July’s Star Wars Insider dives deep into Return of the Jedi and debuts the Skywalker Saga Survey, a chance for fans to vote on all their favorite moments from the first nine films.
New Assassin’s Creed Story
If you’ve been missing Assassin’s Creed, this fall brings a new story from the franchise with Assassin’s Creed: The Fall & The Chain. Daniel Cross has been having some hallucinations of a past life in early twentieth-century Russia as an assassin. Join Daniel in his rise through the Assassin Brotherhood, subsequent fall, and rise to the Templars, featuring the creative team of Cameron Stewart (Fight Club) and Karl Kerschl (Robotech, Isola).
Assassin’s Creed: The Fall & The Chain will debut in October 2019, and is available to order in the May PREVIEWS magazine.
Congratulations to Wrath of Fantomas artist Julie Rocheleau, nominated for an Eisner with Vero Cazot for the graphic novel About Betty’s Boob, in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material category! Karl Kerschl, artist on the upcoming graphic novel Assassin’s Creed: The Fall & The Chain, received Eisner nominations as well for his work on Isola in the Best Penciller/Inker category and the Best Cover Artist category.
DC TV Hero TITANS Toys Make Their Debut
If you want to bring home Constantine, Supergirl, or The Flash, here’s your chance. This October, Titan will debut 3″ TITANS vinyl figures from all four of the DC TV shows. The figures feature photo realistic head sculpts and a dynamic body form, with some characters featuring special accessories. You’ll be able to collect Oliver Queen (Arrow), Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Supergirl), Barry Allen/The Flash and Zoom (The Flash) and several characters from Legends of Tomorrow. Toy hunters will also have two rare chase figures to find for their collections.
Want to Work for Titan?
Titan Comics is currently looking for a new Editorial Assistant based in London for several different magazines and comics. Further details are available in this tweet. Those interested have until May 17, 2019 to apply.
What I’m Reading
In addition to picking up the latest from two of our favorite ongoing series, this month’s reviews see the return of an old friend.
Shades of Magic: The Night of Knives #5
Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist), V. E. Schwab (writer), Budi Setiawan (Artist), Rob Steen (letterer)
May 8, 2019 (print and digital)
Maxim Maresh is back! With the defeat of the Pirate Queen, Maxim extends his stay in Verose and gets a job commanding the military. But Maxim has an uphill battle to gain the respect of the rank and file, who see him as a spoiled royal slumming until it’s time to go home to his life of luxury. There’s a challenge called the “Night of Knives” (ROLL CREDITS) that can help Maxim earn respect with his soldiers. But is he up to the challenge?
V. E. Schwab takes well-worn tropes and presents them in fresh ways. She also continues to exhibit her deft skill in balancing her presentation of information, giving enough so the reader can follow the story, but not resulting to an exposition dump. She holds back to keep the audience intrigued while slowly escalating the tension. And there’s some room for needed humor when Maxim finds a night out at the bar a bit more than he can handle.
We have a new artist for this installment in Budi Setiawan, who hones the character design from the previous series but keeps things unique with darker shading and rougher pencil lines. Colorwork was excellent in the previous issue, particularly in depictions of the mystical aspects of Verose, and continues to be excellent here. We can see hints of what is to come later in the series from Enrica Eren Angiolini’s colors.
Readers who may not have read the previous series can jump on easily here thanks to a brief primer at the start of the book, but it certainly could not hurt to reread the first arc to grasp all of Maxim’s backstory and put this arc in proper context. Existing fans will be happy to see the Verosian adventures continue. Welcome back, Maxim. We’ve missed you.
Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #6
Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist), Jody Houser (writer), Roberta Ingranata (artist), Comicraft’s Sarah Jacobs (letterer), Comicraft’s John Roshell (letterer), Viviana Spinelli (colorist), Richard Starkings (letterer)
April 10, 2019 (print and digital)
The Doctor and company vanquish the Silurean flesh eaters pretty quickly in Guelders before jumping through time to sixteenth-century North Carolina at the heart of Cary’s Rebellion. And as you may suspect, Graham, Yaz, and Ryan know about this bit of history from the Hidden Human History podcast. This second location and its connection to the podcast now has the attention of the Doctor. Why is the TARDIS taking her here? The Silureans are also in residence in early America, evidenced by a patient the team finds with Silurean bite marks on her arm. As the team contemplates this discovery, we have the appearance of some old friends.
Houser takes what could be a throwaway concept in the podcast and makes it the heart of the story. What a reward for detail-oriented readers! I admit to overlooking the importance of the podcast, thinking it was an element of humor. Now it is the center of this story, and that story unfolds at a thoughtful, deliberate pace that keeps the reader hooked. Roberta Ingranata keeps her characterization realistic, with a nice balance of shadowing and gentle contouring. Setting and action are rendered very well, with rich detail in backgrounds and action lines that jump off the page. And as in the previous issue, Enrica Eren Angiolini’s colors show her skill in adapting to any situation on Earth or in space.
Someone better install Stitcher on the TARDIS because it’s time to binge Hidden Human History to get to the heart of this mystery.
Tank Girl: Action Alley #4
Alan Martin (writer), Brett Parson (artist, letterer)
March 20, 2019 (print), May 1, 2019 (digital)
It’s a fight for their lives in Marsofu for Tank Girl and friends with Booga taking the lead on making things right for Barbera. But he can’t do it alone. Fortunately, our new friends from the previous issue rise to the occasion and, along with the Tankmaster, bring Marsofu and its suits to their knees. After bidding Barbera farewell, it’s back to the original road trip plan: getting to Tank Girl’s dying (adoptive) mother. But surprise! She’s not dying. Just dying to show off a new member of the family. Defeated, it’s time for the team to head home. But what’s that strange light coming from the sky? And why does Tank Girl want to head toward it?
This is another dialogue-heavy issue, which takes away from the great action in the first half of the issue. I wish Martin had let Parson’s great artwork tell the story more. Parson shows skill in drawing action, lettering, and character detail. But with so much dialogue, this gets pushed off to the side. The climactic action scenes of this issue deserved better. The final meeting with Tank Girl’s mom plays as an anticlimactic trope, but Martin makes it fresh and fun. It’s also one of those moments where he does pull back from words, giving Parson a chance to show how defeated our travel party is in their faces. You can just hear the sad trombone in the background as everyone heads home.
This series has been my first foray into the Tank Girl franchise, and it’s been nothing but fun. In our revival-centric culture, this is one revival with staying power.