Dynamite Pubwatch: April 2020

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

In this month’s Dynamite Entertainment Pubwatch, reboots are announced for both the Bettie Page license and The Green Hornet…that is, if Dynamite unpauses its book launches.

Welcome to the Dynamite Entertainment Pubwatch for the month of April! I’m Lisa, Dynamite is my explosive beat, and here’s this month’s news!

Dynamite Joins Other Comic Makers In Pausing Book and Digital Releases in wake of COVID-19; Release Humble Bundles and Waves of First Issues Instead.

In the wake of multiple comic book retailers, including Diamond Distributors, temporarily shuttering in the wake of COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders, Dynamite has announced that it will pause all new releases, both digital and practical, starting with issues slated to be released April 1st.

“This decision is in keeping with the industry at large, supporting all business partners in the most responsible manner, and making sure all fans are served the stories they desire on a level playing field,” reads a press release from the company, issued on March 30.  “Book market releases that have not already been shipped are on pause as well.”

“Dynamite has already announced developing returnability options for retailers and a reshaped release schedule for comics intended for release in July and available to preorder in May. Fans are encouraged to continue reading and purchasing the comics they love at this time through whichever means they prefer, to support this community and art form cherished by many.

“These decisions will be reevaluated and updated as the industry develops in this period.”

Dynamite has responded to the challenge of keeping eyes on the company with no new releases in sight by partnering with Comixology for three waves of first issues, all offered for free for an undefined amount of time.  The issues offered include Xena: Warrior Princess #1 (the 2016 version) and their Bob’s Burgers series.

Dynamite Creates James Bond Humble Bundle to Benefit the National Coalition Against Censorship.

James Bond Origin #1 Cover A. Written by Jeff Park. Drawn by Bob Q. Published by Dynamite Entertainment. September 5, 2018.

If none of those number ones are grabbing your eyes and you have a little cash to spare, a James Bond-centric Humblebundle is being offered by Dynamite, with proceeds going to the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Buyers can begin at the $1 tier and start with a large assortment of issues #1-7 of the various Bond offshoots Dynamite has published. $8 adds issues #7-11 to the pile. And a $15 donation adds on graphic novels and one-shots like James Bond: Moneypenny.

All in total, the bundle—which currently has no end of sale date—offers 70 issues and 2,240 pages at its highest tier.

Bettie Page License to Relaunch in June

A shapely brunette woman - Bettie Page - sits on a director's chair before a background of lush foliage. She's wearing a revealing fairy costume with one strap drooping off her of shoulder She wears a flower crown and is giving the camera a sassy look, a script in her hand. In the shadowed foreground there's a dark-haired woman, a movie camera and kelig lights, revealing this to be a movie set

After a long-running series featuring Bettie as a universe-jumping secret agent, Dynamite is rebooting the license and giving Ms. Page a new, fictionalized background.

According to a press release, “Bettie has moved from New York to Hollywood sometime around 1954. She’s transitioned into more minor acting work, with theater success and bit parts in B-movies. Though she’s still challenged navigating the sticky swamp of producers, perps, pumps, and pushers who call La La Land home and want a piece of the pie – and Bettie. The question is – does Bettie Page find trouble, or does trouble find her? Signing on for a supporting role in a “tastefully sensual” fantasy film set on an idyllic tropical island, she’s wrapped up in a new environment and colorful cast of characters. Until someone is murdered and a massive storm hits!”

Karla Pacheco will take over as headwriter for the series, which is described as being inspired by “dusty, dog-eared Hammett and Chandler novels, the breezy feel of vintage “LOOK” magazines, classic episodes of Murder She Wrote, the salacious naughtiness of Hollywood gossip rags and even Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke’s Catwoman!” The rest of the creative team includes Vincenzo Federici on art, colorist Rebecca Nalty and letterer Becca Carey. Covers will be provided by  Junggeun Yoon, Kano (pictured above), Joseph Michael Linsner, and Stephen Mooney.  Riki Le Cotey will appear on the cosplay cover, and there will be two photographic covers of Page, one of her clad, the other unclad.

If all goes well, the series will launch in June.

Green Hornet Series to Relaunch in June; Scott Lobdell to Headwrite

A man wearing a mask and a fedora crouches in a defensive position. There's an infant in a onesie in his arms, and in his right he holds a pistol. The background is laced with bullet holes, and the shade of the inks used are green in tone

Dynamite will celebrate its tenth anniversary of publishing the adventures of the Green Hornet this year by rebooting the iconic character’s series.

In this new series, Kato and the Green Hornet will be protecting an alien baby from harm, with Dynamite offering no further details in its press release.

Scott Lobdell will write the new run, with Anthony Marques providing art, a cover and colors. Letters will be etched by Taylor Esposito. Cover artists for the first issue include Lee Weeks (see above), Dave Johnson, Mike McKone, Leonardo Romero, and Walter Geovani.

The book is slated to street in June.

Big Blast of the Month

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

Sometimes, a sword-and-sorcery epic like Red Sonja can lose some of its luster as time goes on, becoming morally simplified as the days go on. Killing Red Sonja is an exception to the rule, a morally complex tale in which vengeance becomes a slippery slope, a child’s game and an amusing folly.

Cyril, son of Dragan the Magnificent—an evil sorcerer slain by Red Sonja to claim her throne—seeks revenge on the warrior queen. He uses multiple methods to slake his anger and try to drive her toward death, eventually seeking the council of a boar enchanted by evil. The boar leads him to a magic he cannot control nor understand, leading to chaos.

There are no white hats in this series, only grey ones, trying to follow their hearts and do what feels sound. The art is gorgeous, and the subtle watercolor shading of the art is particularly lovely.

Bangs and Fizzles

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

This series continues to hold up, even under the weight of its extremely quirky premise, by grounding itself in its likable characters. We (and Ash) know they’re all just chunks of his soul, but each new character works as a different being all their own.  It’s overall a fun ride.

Dejah Thoris Vol.3, #4
Dan Abnett (writer); Sanya Anwar (cover); Vasco Georgiev (art); Kunkka (Cover); Joseph Michael Linsner (Cover); Lucio Parrillo (cover)
March 11, 2020

This fascinating, complex story centers Dejah in a conflict that’s gripping, even pulse-pounding. See our full review here.

Future Fire

Our coverage of upcoming titles is suspended until Dynamite resumes shipment of comics.

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