IDW Pubwatch December 2019

IDW Pubwatch January 2020

Welcome to the December IDW Pubwatch! It’s been a busy month at IDW and I’ve got all the interesting news coming out of the publishing house as well as tons of IDW comic book reviews. Plus, I have a selection of my favourite covers from this month!

News and Announcements

Locke & Key Series Headed to Netflix

Creators of Locke & Key, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, confirmed that Netflix will be going ahead with a live-action adaptation of their comic series. The show has wrapped shooting and Hill said that he was pleased with the episodes he had seen. The adaptation has been in production hell for over a decade, but is going to be coming to life very soon. No news yet about when the series will be broadcast, but it could be some time in 2020.

IDW Launching Spanish Language Programme in North America

NEWS-IDWenespanolIDW recently announced that it will be releasing a series of Spanish language translations of its graphic novels, including George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Red Panda & Moon Bear. The new initiative will be launched in June 2020.

Netflix Releases Trailer for IDW’s V Wars

9x16-VWars-Thumb-copyIDW’s V Wars series has been adapted as a live-action Netflix series starring The Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder as Dr. Luther Swan, who stands in opposition to the bloodthirsty vampires of the series. The trailer promises a great deal of blood and gore, which reflects the tone of the comics. The series will drop on Netflix on December 5.

Newest Ninja Turtle, Jennika, to Star in Solo Series

NEWS-tmntjennika01The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles welcomed a new member this year, Jennika, and the popularity of the character has led to IDW creating a solo series for her. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika will be a three-issue mini-series exploring how the character acclimatises to life as a mutant. The series will be available from February 2020.

Featured Comics

The Addams Family: The Bodies Issue

Maria Keane (Artist), Christa Miesner (Letters), Philip Murphy (Artist), Valentina Pinto (Colours), Zoe Quinn (Writer)
November 3, 2019

Addams_Fam_BodiesIssue_cvrA01. IDW Publishing.Wednesday Addams is going through her rebellious phase. Where her parents expect her to be taking her first steps into a life of crime, she is delving into teen magazines. Shocking! Well, if it’s torture the Addamses are interested in, could you do worse than shallow beauty magazines asking people to be anything but themselves? Perhaps Wednesday is on to something! This was a fun book and an unexpected send up of the problems of society. As a standalone issue, it works brilliantly—without any context, you are immediately drawn into the family and understand the characters. I’m not a huge fan of the Addams Family, but this may just convert me.

Locke & Key: Dog Days

Jay Fotos (Colours), Joe Hill (Writer), Shawn Lee (Letters), Robbie Robbins (Letters), Gabriel Rodriguez (Writer and Artist)
November 3, 2019

LnK-DD_cvr. IDW Publishing.In this one shot of Locke & Key, we get a golden age story following three boys and their creative use of the animal key. In the next story, an adult Tyler Locke forges and uses a new key.

As someone who has read the original series and interviewed the creators, I was quite excited to read a new addition to the story. I have to say, though, I’m a little bit underwhelmed. The golden age tale felt needlessly gross, and the characters weren’t very interesting. What was happening in the background caught my eye more than the events in the foreground. The second story was too pared back—no dialogue, only a few panels about the forging of the key. I really wanted so much more from this one-shot, but I didn’t get it.

Big Hero 6 #1

Nicoletta Baldari (Artist), Hannah Blumenreich (Writer), Joe Caramagna (Writer), Christa Miesner (Letters)
November 13, 2019

BigHero_01ARIcvr. IDW Publishing.Full disclosure: I have never watched Big Hero 6. Whatever I know about it is what I’ve read in passing. I was concerned that would make it difficult to follow the stories in this issue, but it didn’t. I may not know who Fred is, but I could immediately grasp that he wants to create comic books, and that his art needs some work. All creatives can relate, Fred! I particularly loved the second story, where an adorable robot named Mini Max has to save the day. I’m a sucker for cute characters and Mini Max is definitely up my alley. Hugs to you, Mini Max!

This book was loads of fun to read but writer Hannah Blumenreich recently criticized the IDW editing process for the book, so proceed with caution.

Star Wars: Adventures: Pomp and Circumstance

John Barber (Writer), Kevin Burke (Writer), James Gilarte (Writer), Matt Herms (Colors), Charlie Kirchoff (Colours), Mauricet (Artist), John Jackson Miller (Writer), Valentina Pinto (Artist and Colours), Jon Sommariva (Artist), Chris ‘Doc’ Wyatt (Writer)
November 13, 2019

StarWarsAdventures_PompAndCircumstance-cvr. IDW Publishing.What a fun collection of Star Wars stories! We get Luke trying to be a diplomat, and having to be rescued by Leia. Chewie taking a spa-day that turns into an escape from fellow smugglers. Poe making an unlikely ally on a hostile planet. And we get two great stories featuring Kazuda Xiono and the crew of the Colossus! The art could have been better—it’s a bit too goofy for my liking, and I didn’t like how light Poe’s skin tone was in a few of the stories. Otherwise, I enjoyed the fun jaunt through one of my favourite galaxies with so many of my favourite characters!

Tangled: Hair and Now

Rosa La Barbera (Artist), Monica Catalano (Artist), Katie Cook (Writer), Chris Dickey (Letters), Giuseppe Di Maio (Artist), Vita Efremova (Colours), Ekaterina Myshalova (Colours), Eduardo Petrovich (Artist), Tomatofarm Color Team (Colours)
November 13, 2019

Tangled_Hair and Now_MOCK. IDW Publishing.This was a fun little book that will definitely appeal to fans of the Disney film. I particularly enjoyed the second story about the protagonists getting stuck in magic paintings. I did sometimes feel like the pacing was a bit off, most exemplified in the first story which I felt dragged a little bit. It could easily have been a few pages shorter if we had got to Rapunzel’s plan a bit faster. There’s plenty of humour in the book, which got a chuckle out of me. Fun book, but could have done with some tightening.

After the Spring: A Story of Tunisian Youth

Hélène Aldeguer (Writer), Frank Cvetkovic (Letters), Edward Gauvin (Translation)
November 20, 2019

AfterTheSpring-cvr. IDW Publishing.The Arab Spring changed the face of the Middle East, but it didn’t bring the resolution that so many believed it had. This book follows four people as they navigate their life in Tunisia—the future seems bleak, even though they all love their country. What can they do to change their circumstances and help Tunisia?

This is a stark book—not only in the stories it depicts, but in its art. You can see how hopeless the four protagonists feel—so much so, that one of the characters, Chayma, actively plans to leave the country. This book isn’t designed to give readers hope or closure—you are left wondering what happens to the characters after the events in the story. However, you do get an intimate portrait of life in Tunisia—what it was like for people within their homes, the conversations they had with families and friends, the protests they participated in on the streets, the jobs they fought for or lost.

You get to walk a mile in the shoes of people who we have seen as paragraphs of text in news stories, and that is the power of this graphic novel—getting a slice of life of a distant land and knowing its people. And hoping that things will be better for them once the last page is turned.

Glow vs The Babyface #1

Aimee Garcia (Writer), AJ Mendez (Writer), Christa Miesner (Letters), Rebecca Nalty (Colours), Hannah Templer (Artist)
November 20, 2019

Glow_BabyFsace_Acvr_01. IDW Publishing.A stowaway in the Glow arena ends up being more trouble than she’s worth. Meanwhile, Sam is trying to choose one person who can be the face of Glow against a smear campaign against them. Definitely not the best day for the Glow team.

This was fun! I felt like I got to know more about the Glow team and the workings of their show. I particularly loved Carmen, who clearly has too good a heart for the evil world around her. I can’t wait to read more and I do hope the Glow team manage to come out of all of this unscathed.

Star Trek: Picard – Countdown #1

Kristin Beyer (Writer), Angel Hernandez (Artist), Mike Johnson (Writer), Joana Lafuente (Colours), Neil Uyetake (Letters)
November 27, 2019

Star Trek - Picard—Countdown #1. IDW Publishing.Admiral Picard helms a mission to relocate Romulans soon to be affected by a supernova. Alongside his first officer, Lieutenant Commander Raffi Musiker, Picard heads to the forbidden planet to evacuate the Romulans—only to find out that the Romulans may have lied about something very important.

I loved this first issue and it’s got me even more excited for the upcoming Picard series than I already was. Picard is his usual self here—steadfast, noble, unwavering in his belief in equality. The Romulans? Not so much. I can’t wait to see what happens next and how it all ties into the new TV show.

Best Covers

Honourable Mentions

Dungeons and Dragons: Infernal Tides #1

Glow vs The Star Primas

The Cape Fallen

Thanks for joining me on this Pubwatch!

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books, or video games. E always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media. Louis' podcast, Stereo Geeks, is available on all major platforms. Pronouns: E/ Er/ Eir