Dynamite Pubwatch: March 2020

Dynamite Pubwatch Banner - Red Sonja by Jenny Frison (Dynamite Entertainment)

In this month’s Dynamite Entertainment Pubwatch, Dynamite preps a Vampirella spin-off series. Welcome to the Dynamite Entertainment Pubwatch for the month of March! I’m Lisa, Dynamite is my explosive beat, and here’s this month’s news!

Dynamite Announces SacredSix spin-off series from Christopher Priest’s Vampirella run

Draculina, an African American woman with a natural perm, large gold hoop earings and the white eyes of a vampire, is pictures from the shoulders up and superimposed on the horizon. Beside her to the right and standing in profile is Panthra, An African American woman with short, golden dreadlocks who gives the reader a sultry look. In the foreground is Chastity, a muscular white woman with red hair in a punkish haircut, a black mesh top and leather bustier and leather pants. She squats, aiming her gun and holding a glowing blue sword over her right shoulder and looks to the extreme left. Behind her, something burns, filling the skyline with smoke. bats dot the horizon, obscuring Panthra's nudity.

Dynamite is scheduled to spin off Draculina from Vampirella into her own series, SacredSix, billed as a part of the “expanded Vampirella universe.”

The story will be helmed by Christopher Priest, headwriter of Dynamite’s latest Vampirella run, with art by Gabriel Ibarra with special insert pages by Jae Lee and letters from Willie Schubert, as well as colors from Mohan.  The first issue will feature covers from Lee, Lucio Parrillo (see above), Meghan Hetrick, Rod Reis, José Ladrönn, and incentive covers from Joseph Michael Linsner and Mark Texeira.

Described as a “Thematic mashup of True Blood and Sons of Anarchy” by Dynamite’s press release, it’s “a tale of two towns in rural Georgia. One is Ashthorne, an impoverished farming town with a deadly secret. Otherwise known as “Vampire Valley,” most of its citizens are vampires and sundry other ghouls, though not by choice or blood. These once-human victims are now shunned by society in the open but live peacefully and just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace. Meanwhile, the bright and shiny Sacred is a recently “manufactured” community lorded over by staunch conservatives for the express purpose of oppressing and ultimately destroying Ashthorne’s residents. This tension will escalate as the series progresses, and instigate the arrival of the group of heroines…”

The series will feature Draculina, Pantha, Nyx, Chastity and Lilith as the majority of the SacredSix (the final member will be revealed during the series’ run) going undercover in Sacred as double agents — students by days in its rarefied atmosphere, and vigilantes in the night.

SacredSix #1 will street in May.

Dynamite to Publish Jim Lee Tribute Covers in May

Red Sonja, a red-haired warrior woman in silver armor and with a brown cape, is seen sweeping her cloak protectively over a small boy. They both stare off menacingly at an unseen foe. The lighting and poses are a tribute to Jim Lee's Iconic Batman Cover for Dc Comics

After paying tribute to Todd MacFarlene in April, releasing a series of zombie-inspired covers in March and putting out a series of Valentine’s Day incentive covers in February, Dynamite will produce six covers which pay tribute to the iconic work of DC and Marvel artist Jim Lee.

The series of covers were drawn by Juan Gedeon and colored by Carlos Cabrera. The art will grace the fronts of Vampirella #11, Red Sonja #16, Vampirella/Red Sonja #9, Dejah Thoris #6, Killing Red Sonja #3 (See Above) and Death to the Army of Darkness #4. The covers pay tribute to Lee’s Superman #204, Batman #608, X-Men #1, Captain America #700, All-Star Batman & Robin #9, and WildC.A.T.s #1.

The issues will street in May.

Big Blast of the Month

Death to the Army of Darkness #1
Mirka Andolfo (Cover); Jacob Edgar (Art); Ben Oliver (Cover); Sebastian Piriz (Cover); Arthur Suydam (Cover); Ryan Parrott (Writer); Sebastian Piriz (Cover)
February 12th, 2020

In a parody of the Army of Darkness movie poster, Ash Williams - a well-muscled dark-haired man with a prominent chin and a wide-open shirt - stands back-to-back with a blonde woman in tight pants holding a shotgun over her shoulder. She peers back at the viewer while Ash stares at the camera. Where Ash's right hand should be is a chainsaw. Standing next to the woman is a dog with a blue bandanna around its neck. At Ash's foot is a miniature version of himself. They stand before a star-speckled night sky with trees shading them from on high

It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to Dynamite’s Army of Darkness comic book run. The title’s been through more reboots than I can count at this point, some of them (Ash in Space, I’m looking at you) more mediocre than others (Steve Niles’ Ash and the Army of Darkness/Ash Gets Hitched arc is seminal and should be read).

Parrott and Edgar have a solid start with the brand new Death to the Army of Darkness. Parrott’s Ash is a playful, macho, yet weary and vulnerable Everyman who just wants to get the demons off his back.  His original characters are amusing without drawing all the attention away from him.

Edgar, meanwhile, produces art that draws the eyes and causes the viewer to remember Gilbert Hernandez. For a series with erratic art output, the effort put in by him is more than welcome.

The effort shows a lot of promise and makes the series worth reading.

Bangs and Fizzles

James Bond In “Reflections of Death” OGN
Greg Pak, Andy Diggle, Benjamin Percy, Gail Simone, Mark Russell, Vita Ayala & Danny Lore (Writers); Fay Dalton (cover); Dean Kotz, Luca Casalanguida, Kewber Baal, Eoin Marron, Robert Carey, Jordi Perez (art)
February 19th, 2020

Bond smokes a cigarette and points a gun at the reader against a red backdrop. to his left a blonde woman in a backless dress stands, and a woman with an afro is tied up in a red turtleneck at his right

This strong, smart story features the work of seven authors and seven artists, all of whom have united to tell a single Bond story involving the kidnapping of Moneypenny.  Though the points of view are less than cohesive, the end result is a purely Bond-like experience.

Charlie’s Angels vs. the Bionic Woman Trade
Cameron Deordio (Writing);  Soo Lee (Art); Cat Staggs (Cover)
February 5th, 2020

Cover for Charlies Angels/The Bionic Woman #1 - Cameron DeOrdio (writing), Addison Duke (colors), Soo Lee (art), Ron Lesser, Jim Mahfood and Cat Staggs. (covers). Tom Napolitano (Letters); C July 2019 Dynamite Comics

This surprisingly solid and well thought out crossover between the two ’70’s titans of female action sees the Angels hired to steal a formula that Jamie also has her sights on. Well-drawn and thought out buttkicking ensues.

Dejah Thoris Vol.3, #3
Dan Abnett (writer); Sanya Anwar (cover); Vasco Georgiev (art); Kunkka (Cover); Joseph Michael Linsner (Cover); Lucio Parrillo (cover)
February 12, 2020

This series continues to soar with its well-thought-out action and fascinating plot twists as Dejah and her troop of soldiers battle the Jeweled Killers. See our full review here.

Future Fire

Killing Red Sonja #1
Juan Gedeon (Cover); Bryce Ingman (Writer); Craig Rousseau (art): Mark Russell (Writer); Christian Ward (Cover)
March 25, 2020

Ward Cover for Killing Red Sonja #1 C Dynamite Comics 2020

A fresh Red Sonja tale picks up with the vengeance quest of a young child against Sonja for killing his wicked emperor father.

Death to the Army of Darkness #2
Mirka Andolfo (Cover); Sergio Davila (Cover): Jacob Edgar (Art); Juan Gedeon (Cover): Ben Oliver (Cover);  Ryan Parrott (Writing)
March 11, 2020

A Red-haired woman clutching a bloodstained machete in her teeth stands menacingly before the reader, holding a chainsaw in her hands. Beside her is a boxer dog with a blue bandanna, and behind them in the shadowed fog a skeleton glares menacingly in the distance. They stand on a hilltop in tanned, fall-bleached grass

Can this book survive the plot conceit of Ash’s soul being split between a dog, a sentient chainsaw, a miniature demon, a skeleton and a redheaded woman? Next month, we’ll find out.

Leftover Mortar