Titan Comics PUBWATCH: March 2021

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

March likes to come in like a lion and out like a lamb.  The lion is still around where I call home. But the lamb is now tentatively stepping into the picture, with the promise of warmer weather and longer days. This month, we take a look at the finale of Doctor Who, and two series debuts: Blade Runner Origins and Minions Sports!

Titan Comics News and Announcements

March 2021 Release Schedule

Please note release dates are always subject to change.

    • Blade Runner 2029 #3: March 10th
    • Minions Sports #1: March 10th
    • Blade Runner Origins #1: March 10th
    • Cutting Edge: The Devil’s Mirror #2: March 10th
    • Blade Runner Origins #2: March 24th
    • Adler Vol. 1: March 30th

Titan Comics June 2021 Solicitations

WWAC fan favorite V.E. Schwab is back!  The Shades of Magic writer spins off another one of their novels in Extraordinary #1. Debuting on June 23rd, the series will explore more from the world of the Villains novels.  Extraordinary focuses on Charlotte Tills, a woman with the ability to foresee a person’s death — including her own.

We also have some advance solicitations for collections that will prove fine vacation reading into the summer months and early fall.  A new volume of Ms. Tree stories, Ms. Tree: The Cold Dish comes on September 8th.  A few weeks prior, the first volume of Blade Runner Origins will drop on August 18th.  And in July, the two Cutting Edge series (The Siren’s Song and The Devil’s Mirror) will get a combined hardcover edition.

Magazine fans can honor heroes old and new in June. First up is Star Wars Insider #203, dropping on June 8th, and all about everyone’s favorite space dad: The Mandalorian.  Two weeks later, celebrate eight decades of Steve Rogers punching Nazis with Marvel Comics – Captain America: The First 80 Years.  

Visit GoCollect for more information on these and all other offerings from Titan in June 2021.

Titan Free Comic Book Day Titles Announced

The 2021 edition of Free Comic Book Day returns to a one-day celebration this year on August 14th, and Titan Comics will have two titles as part of the lineup: Blade Runner and Life is Strange.  The Blade Runner comic will link together the stories (and creative teams) from Blade Runner 2029 and Blade Runner: Origins. And the Life is Strange comic will kick off the new arc for the series, featuring a new character that will play a key role in the world of Max, Chloe, and Rachel.

Art Preview: Doctor Who: Missy #1

A page from Doctor Who: Missy #1, where a brunette woman in Victorian attire confronts a man with a goatee who appears to be behind bars.
A page from the upcoming Doctor Who: Missy #1 by Jody Houser and Roberta Ingranata

One of the most iconic portrayals of The Master was none other than Michelle Gomez’s Missy, who will be getting her own Doctor Who comic series in April.  That series will also serve as a celebration of the golden anniversary of the Master’s first appearance on television, in the January 1971 story Terror of the Autons. We have a first look at one of the pages of the debut issue above, where Missy confronts one of her past faces.

Doctor Who: Missy #1 drops on April 14th.

Titan Comics at WonderCon@Home

Titan will have three panels at the upcoming virtual WonderCon, taking place on March 26th and 27th.

On March 26th at 10:00 AM PT, you can go behind the scenes of next month’s Doctor Who: Missy and celebrate 50 years of the Master.  Take a lunch break and come back at 1:00 PM PT to discover the world of Blade Runner Origins with writers Mike Johnson, K. Perkins, and Mellow Brown. Later that day at 3:00 PM PT, you can learn all about the newest Minky Woodcock series, Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla #1 with writer/author Cynthia Von Buhler.

See the full schedule of programming at WonderCon@Home.

Art Preview: Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla #1

A page from Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla, where a redheaded woman in a red dress fights off sailors on a ship.
A page from the upcoming Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla #1 by Cynthia von Buhler

April is the month for fearless women at Titan. Not only does Doctor Who: Missy debut on April 14th, but detective Minky Woodcock also returns that same day in Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla.  We have a first look at the debut issue above, where Minky’s working her way out of the first of many sticky situations.

What I’m Reading

We have some fun with Minions, dive into the history of some Blade Runners, and say farewell (for now) to the TARDIS.

Minions Sports! #1
Renaud Collin (artist), Stephane Lapuss (writer)
March 10, 2021

In a sports stadium, three minions stand on an awards podium. The Minion in the first place spot is celebrating with part of their trophy, the majority of which has fallen on the third place Minion, while the second place Minion looks on in shock.
Minions Sports #1 by Stephane Lapuss and Renaud Collin

To get you in the right frame of mind for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the Minions are here with all sorts of athletic-themed hijinks. From golf to hockey, track and field to ski jumping, these adorable little banana-colored creatures manage to cause just enough trouble in the wide world of sports along the way.

If you recall from my previous reviews of Minions! Paella, Minions comics were not something I expected to enjoy, but pleasantly did.  And that continues on with this series.  The mishaps and misadventures are never malicious or prolonged, with each sequence a page or two.  Stephane Lapuss builds the tension and delivers the punchline in each sequence effectively, no small feat given there’s little if any dialogue.

That leaves the heavy lifting of building the world of each of these vignettes to artist Renaud Collin. Leaning hard on the “show, don’t tell” aspect of sequential storytelling, Collin weaves in humor and charm, all with a modern aesthetic that looks straight out of animation. (That should be no surprise; he has a background in computer animation.) I also remain impressed by his commitment to detail, especially in the larger two-page spreads. This is an artist who knows how much little touches make the difference.

While we wait for the next Minions film next year, we have plenty of madcap Minion entertainment to tickle our funny bones.

Blade Runner Origins #1
Mellow Brown (writer), Jim Campbell (letterer), Fernando Dagnino (artist), Mike Johnson (writer), Marco Lesko (colorist), K. Perkins (writer)
March 10, 2021

A Black Man with white hair stares off to the left, while in the foreground, a woman's eyes stare directly at the reader.
Blade Runner Origins #1 by Mellow Brown, Mike Johnson, K. Perkins, and Fernando Dagnino

(Content warning: this comic depicts an act of suicide.)

Blade Runner has been to 2019 and 2029. And now it’s time to jump to the past for an origin story about the first Replicants and Blade Runners. In Blade Runner: Origins, LAPD Detective Cal Moreaux finds himself caught up in this world as he investigates a suicide at the extremely secretive Tyrell Corporation in 2009.  The deceased is Tyrell scientist Dr. Lydia Kine, who was working  on the next Replicant model.  But that model escaped.  And that’s when Cal realizes that her suicide may be a cover-up for something deeper.

Like the Minions comics, this was another franchise that never initially interested me.  And then I sampled the comics and got hooked.  That’s thanks to Mike Johnson’s writing, which immerses you in the Blade Runner world while simultaneously building it.  With assistance from two writers with television experience, you have a team that knows the balance between show and tell.  And having that balance is necessary in any kind of mystery story to keep the reader engaged.  Now, the solicit for the title does give the crux of this first issue away.  As such, you do go into this issue knowing what to expect and how things conclude.  But there are still mysteries woven throughout, particularly in the opening pages that feature an off-world battle in the past and Cal’s very ill sister in the present.

I love the noir look the art team brings to this title, because it reminds the reader that this is a mystery first, and a sci-fi story second. It’s markedly different than past Blade Runner stories, with a more muted color palette. But artist Fernando Dagnino and colorist Marco Lesko still find the beauty in this apocalypse with their punctures of warm and brighter colors and attention to detail in scenes large and small.  Those are moments that draw the eye in, setting up character motivations or mood – – and they add that extra touch to the script.

The previous Blade Runner series melded sci-fi and mystery beautifully.  And while this one looks to be more of the latter, sci-fi fans will no doubt want to know how the Blade Runners got their start.

Doctor Who #4
Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist), Comicraft’s Sarah Hedrick (letterer), Jody Houser (writer), Roberta Ingranata (artist), Richard Starkings (letterer)
February 10, 2021

Rose, a blond haired woman, stands with a large machine gun with the UK flag in the background
Doctor Who #4 by Jody Houser and Roberta Ingranata

First off, we really have to talk about how great this cover is.  For the most part, the Doctor Who covers feature the titular character front and center.  So it’s a nice treat to see cover artist Claudia Ianniciello highlight Rose, the companion that helped bring back the series for the modern era.

It’s also a nice touch for a character the series promoted as integral to this new storyline but really wasn’t.  Compared to the last arc, there was a much better balance of each Doctor and their companion team.  This series leaned more into the story from the Thirteen era and less of Ten and Rose.  And when you consider the beauty in Rose’s complexity in the TV series, it’s a shame that was sacrificed here.  Rose was promised to us as a mercenary in an alternative history. But this was a mercenary that sat around with not a lot to do.

Missed opportunities aside, this final issue does what it’s supposed to do: wrap things up.  The Doctors find Tesla and Edison, avoid a paradox, and set history right. All this is not without sacrifice, as the Skithra Queen realizes just what her role in this story is to be, and the change in history results in sacrifice for Rose. (That latter one does lead to a nice Rose-Ten moment near the end, showcasing his deep love for her.) And as Houser has done in series past, we get a peek into what’s coming next for the Doctor: the return of an old friend. Perhaps that’s a smart move, getting the spotlight back on Thirteen and the fam.

Letterers are some of the most unsung parts of a comic’s creative team, so I want to give praise here to Comicraft’s Sarah Hedrick and Jim Starkings for their skill in lettering and word balloons for the Skithra Queen.  Using more jagged fonts and word balloons and a color choice of blood-red emphasizes how off-world the Skithra are. If this was television, her speech would be electronically distorted to get that tone.  With the right choice of color and font, we get that aural tone in a more visual form.

The main Doctor Who series now takes a bit of a break to highlight Missy, starting next month.  Hopefully, the success of that series will set the stage for a now long-overdue time for Rose Tyler in the spotlight.

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