Titan Comics PUBWATCH: October 2020

Titan Pubwatch Banner from Shades Of Magic: The Steel Prince #2

It’s spooky season! (Or spoopy season, if you’re like me and sometimes can’t spell.) What tricks and treats does Titan Comics bring us for October?  This month, we take a look at the conclusion of Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious and the newest Life is Strange series!

Titan Comics News and Announcements

October 2020 Release Schedule

Please note release dates are always subject to change.

  • Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #2, Horizon Zero Dawn #3, Adler #4: October 7th
  • Life is Strange: Partners in Time, Lone Sloane: Chaos Vol. 1, Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords Vol. 1: October 14th
  • Ms. Tree Vol. 2, Blade Runner 2019 #11: October 21st
  • Horizon Zero Dawn #4, Adler #5: October 28th

Titan Comics and Titan Books at NYCC Metaverse

Titan participated in this year’s NYCC Metaverse, the virtual version of NYCC. Check out their panels!

One of the great perks of a virtual con is that you can watch the panels anytime and anywhere. I will be catching up on a few panels I missed this week!

Doctor Who #1 Trailer Revealed (And an Art Preview)

A preview page from the upcoming Doctor Who #1
Preview art from Doctor Who #1, out November 18, 2020.

After the events of Time Lord Victorious, a new Doctor Who ongoing arrives in November, and you can check out the trailer showing Ten and Thirteen back together again—and Rose Tyler!  The series will feature the three teaming up in present-day London to fight the Sea Devils, who made their first appearance on TV during the Third Doctor’s tenure.

We also have an art preview above of the first issue, which drops on November 18th.

Horizon Zero Dawn Cover Reveal of New Machine in Upcoming Video Game

A menacing machine with red eyes crouches in the water while a woman looks on
Horizon Zero Dawn #4 variant cover by Harvey Tolibao

The fun of comics based on video game properties is that you can use the former to debut upcoming characters and settings in the latter.  And that’s just what the cover of Horizon Zero Dawn #4, out on November 4th, intends to do. The variant cover by artist Harvey Tolibao (Green Arrow) gives video game fans the first look at the Shellsnapper.  Making its debut in Horizon Zero Dawn: Forbidden West which drops in 2021, the Shellsnapper can camouflage itself in foliage for weeks at a time, using its shell as shelter and protection.  Which means you’ll most likely end up finding it when you least expect it (yikes).

December 2020 Solicitations

Titan’s highlight to close out the year will be a new Blade Runner series, dropping on December 16th.  Ash is back working for the LAPD after a life on the run, hunting Replicants once more. But two Replicants challenge her morals and choices in very unique ways.  Which path shall she choose: salvation or damnation?  The adventures of Life is Strange: Partners in Time and Doctor Who also continue on December 16th and 9th, respectively.

The December solicits also included a look ahead to 2021, with new paperback collections of Adler on March 30th and Volume 3 of Blade Runner 2019 on February 3, 2021.  And with Marvel’s The Eternals postponed to November 5, 2021, you can get ready for the movie on February 17, 2021 with the official movie special commemorative guide.

Visit GoCollect for more information on these and all other offerings from Titan this December.

First Look at The Knights of Heliopolis

A preview page from the upcoming The Knights of Heliopolis graphic novel
A preview page from the upcoming The Knights of Heliopolis graphic novel, out in April 2021

We’re thrilled to bring you an art preview of the upcoming graphic novel The Knights of Heliopolis, coming in April 2021.  This retelling of Dumas’s The Man in the Iron Mask, available for the first time in English, focuses on a member of the Temple of the Knights of Heliopolis who turns out to be the son of King Louis XVI. The graphic novel comes from the creative team of writer Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Incal, Technopriests) and artist Jérémy (Barracuda).

“Rumble in the Jungle” Graphic Novel Coming February 2021

A preview page from the upcoming Muhammed Ali, Kinshasha, 1974 graphic novel
A preview page from the upcoming Muhammed Ali, Kinshasa, 1974 graphic novel, out in February 2021.

Boxing fans cannot forget the date October 30th, 1974.  That was the day of the famous “Rumble in the Jungle,” the fight between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman.  And a new graphic novel will bring that fight to life next year. Muhammed Ali, Kinshasa, 1974 will use photojournalist Abbas’s personal photo archive of the fight to look at the event in a new perspective.  Written by John-David Moran (Wolverine) with art from Rafael Ortiz, the most watched live television event of its time will come to graphic novel form in February 2021. (You can also read an interview with Moran here.)

What I’m Reading

Adler starts to reach its climax with #4 with Irene Adler and company in quite a predicament.  Ten is also in a bit of a predicament as well, but will he get out of it in Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #2?   And then Max and Chloe make their long awaited return in Life is Strange: Partners in Time #1!

Adler #4
Simon Bowland (letterer), Paul McCaffrey (artist, colorist), Lavie Tidhar (writer)
October 7, 2020

Against a fiery background, a red haired woman in arm wields a small sword, while a blond woman with curly hair holds a ray gun
Adler #4, by Lavie Tidhar and Paul McCaffrey

Amazons.  Why does it always have to be Amazons?  Ayesha goes on the offensive, putting Adler, Miss Havisham, and Jane in a corner on her attack on Miss Havisham’s house.  Luckily, Miss Havisham is prepared with plenty of guns (and ray guns) for this ray gun fight.  Unexpected help comes in the form of “Your Majesty,” a man older than his years (perhaps immortal) who wants to know Ayesha’s plans. Could this turn the tide against her? Quite possibly, but Ayesha’s machine that we saw before was only a means to an end: that end being mass carnage.

Now that we have Ayesha’s plan, things kick into high gear with less talking and more punching…at least for this issue’s opening act.  That showdown itself would have made for a compelling fourth issue if it was the issue’s sole focus, but it gets abruptly interrupted with more character exposition from someone called “Your Majesty.” It’s hinted that this is a person of grand stature in Adler’s world, but why wasn’t he mentioned until now?  If the purpose of this appearance is to just dump information and leave, it’s a waste of a character.  But after a very slow start, Lavie Tidhar starts getting ready for the fifth and final issue in grand fashion. And it promises to be worth the wait.

In our first large-scale fight scene, color plays an important role here to help keep track of sides.  The Amazons are in brown, Miss Havisham sticks with white, Jane in olive green, and Adler clothes herself in vibrant reds and purples.  It keeps the eye moving, especially as face and body features for our female characters are fairly standardized.  Throughout this series, I always enjoyed how much Paul McCaffrey leans into steampunk in his artwork but doesn’t let it overtake every art element.  But when he’s unbound in the aesthetic it’s brilliant to see.  With “Your Majesty,” he creates a man being kept alive by all manner of machine. If you ever wondered what a steampunk take on an oxygen tank would look like, Adler #4 has it.

As I progress through this series, I wonder if this was plotted for a longer tenure (either longer page count per issue or more issues) and the writers are trying to make a 6 or 12 issues series fit in a smaller box.  There are many wonderful things about Adler, including fun steampunk art and a high stakes script with its heart in female empowerment.  It just seems to be a series that can’t fit into the format it’s been given. And in that way, it’s much like its main character herself.

Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #2
Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist) Jody Houser (writer), Roberta Ingranata (artist), Richard Starkings of Comicraft (letterer)
October 7, 2020

The Tenth Doctor, holding his sonic screwdriver, is surrounded by Daleks.
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #2, by Jody Houser and Roberta Ingranata

There’s an old saying: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  But the Hond, enemy of the Daleks, isn’t the Doctor’s friend.  As he says, “standing in between two genocidal maniacs never is a comfortable place to be.” These gelatinous-like beings have more of a death wish than the Daleks, so it’s no wonder why they’re scared, especially when the traditional Dalek shoot-to-kill only makes them stronger.  And they are lying in wait just outside Skaro’s atmosphere, ready to strike.  But just what are they, exactly?  The clue lies in one cry from a Hond scout they imprisoned on Skaro: HURTS!

The Hond themselves are pain made flesh, and the salve to that pain is to wipe out all other life. It’s a brilliant and subtle metaphor for mental health.  In interviews, the creative team mentioned how excited they were to create villains that could make the Daleks quake in their eye stalks.  And what’s scarier than pain that you can’t control, pain with no end in sight?  I don’t know if this was the original intent of the script, but as the franchise has tackled mental health more than once, it’s not surprising.

The shape, or lack thereof, of the Hond, is also another superb design decision.  Giving a concrete structure or shape to a concept that really doesn’t have one – like pain – would make no sense.  So the choice from Ingranata to render them as structureless, invertebrate-like creatures emphasizes their intent and torment.  The art elevates the vision of the script.

Now with the Hond out of the way, the Daleks revert back to their old ways.  Which means Ten is in a bit of a pickle.  Fortunately, another one of his selves (Thirteen) shows up to save the day.  Houser’s script handles that question about paradoxes as it should, though the tone of the conversation indicates that in terms of comic canon, this may appear before the “Blink” crossover that concluded earlier this year.  I do wish a little more time was given to details on the Doctor’s faces.  They have the look of a quick sketch to them to cover the basic facial features. And even those seem ever so slightly out of proportion to the size of the face.  This was a problem that plagued Titan’s Doctor Who comics in their early days, and I don’t want to see it come back.

As intended, Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #2 does wrap things up in its final issue, and the high quality we saw in the debut carries to the conclusion. But the final page does leave the door open a crack.  What does Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor have to do with the Dalek’s plans?  Guess I’ll have to start digging into the rest of this event to find out.

Life Is Strange: Partners In Time #1
Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt (letterer), Andrea Izzo (colorist), Claudia Leonardi (artist), Richard Starkings (letterer) Emma Vieceli (writer)
October 14, 2020

During a clear desert night, one woman sits atop a van looking at the sky, while two others lean against it, bored. A deer watches the scene.
Life is Strange: Partners in Time #1, by Emma Vieceli and Claudia Leonardi

It’s not just one road trip, but two!  Chloe, Rachel, and Max (and eventually some of Rachel’s co-stars) make their way to Florida following the High Seas.  And in an alternate timeline, Chloe is also traveling with The High Seas—and Tristan, who crossed over to the new timeline.  (To keep track, we will call the one with Max, Chloe and Rachel “MaxTimeline,” and the one with Chloe and Tristan “TristanTimeline.”) In MaxTimeline, Max uses her powers to save one of Rachel’s co-stars from meeting his untimely demise.  And in the TristanTimeline, Tristan sleeps while Chloe explores (and misses Max).  But when Chloe returns to Tristan, she realizes what he knows. Max exists in an alternate reality.  Now the plan is to figure out how to bring her home.

If that entire summary confused you, you’re not alone.  It’s been ten months since the last Life is Strange comic.  So, I would certainly recommend that you re-read the last arc as a refresher before you read this issue. And while there is a handy summary of events in the first pages, this issue is not for someone new to the comic side of the franchise.  But the beauty is in the breakdown, and the script finds a way to handle two similar but very different timelines well.  And it all keeps the warmth, quiet reflection, and joy that is a hallmark of this series.   That’s no easy feat when you’re juggling two parallel stories that run simultaneously.

I do wish it was easier for us to see the shift from timeline to timeline, because there are shared characters.  There’s subtle cues like changes in Chloe’s hair color (aqua in one, violet in the other), but the casual eye might miss that kind of cue.  Changing base tone for colors or different art styles are two ways to do this, and they can be subtle enough so not to disrupt the story.  But I am looking forward to seeing the variety of landscapes these road trips have to offer.  This series never did shy away from color, and here the vast desert sky and bright red rocks make you pause with the same wonder as Max and her friends.

I’m so glad this layered, nuanced series is back. But I fear the extremely long break may prove difficult for casual readers to return from.

Kate Kosturski

Kate Kosturski

Librarian by day, comics nerd by day and by night. Also published at Geeks OUT and Multiversity Comics (where she is also the social media manager for the site). Originally from New Jersey, now of Connecticut and New York City. Raging feminist your mother probably warned you about. Body positivity and LGBTQ+ advocate. Lover of good whiskey, Jensen Ackles, Doctor Who, Funko Pops, knitting, Hamilton, and the New York Mets. Will defend the Oxford Comma to her deathbed. Find her on twitter at @librarian_kate

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