Last week, Image publisher Eric Stephenson somewhat controversially pointed out that 60 year old superheroes in cross-branding synergy oriented mega-publicity events and licensed video game comics were probably not the path to future prosperity for the comic book industry. Naturally, this was met with the appropriate
outrage, defensiveness, and butthurt passion that one might expect from this purveyors and readers of soulless, vapid traditional comics. Despite this, Image hasn't learned their lesson, and they continue to announce innovative new books with diverse concepts by top industry talent and up and coming creators.
Take this press release we received earlier this week for a new comic from MORIARITY writer Daniel Corey and artist Mark Dos Santos, RED CITY. RED CITY follows an intergalactic private eye trying to find a missing ambassador's daughter in a futuristic city on the planet Mars. What the hell, Image? You could have just did an adaptation of TOTAL RECALL or bought the comic rights to JOHN CARTER from Marvel if you wanted to make a comic on Mars. No one wants to read something new!
Just for a laugh, here's the press release:
RED CITY IS A HIGH STAKES CRIME NOIR... ON PLANET MARS
Femme Fatales and rival alien mobs collide in this new series.
Brimming with political conspiracy and raging with rival alien mobs, nothing is ever as it seems on the streets of RED CITY. Writer Daniel Corey (MORIARTY) and artist Mark Dos Santos bring you a whole new take on American crime noir, coming this June to Image Comics.
In the wake of a system-wide civil war, hard-nosed interplanetary investigator Cal Talmage is given a simple mission to find a missing ambassador’s daughter in Mars Central City. It all seems routine at first, but an experienced vet like Cal knows when trouble is brewing.
Coming off a run on the acclaimed series MORIARTY, also published by Image Comics, writer Daniel Corey brings you a new mystery that combines femme fatales and hard-boiled heroics with classic science fiction. Federal Security Officer Talmage just wants to be left alone, but with a girl in danger, a corrupt mayor in power and the lives of an entire race at stake, he’s got some tough choices ahead, because no one comes out clean in this town.
“You might say RED CITY is like L.A. Confidential on Mars,” said Corey. “Ellroy and Chandler shaking hands with Bradbury. We’ve got a likable-but-troubled cop who tackles a complex case in the midst of a vast criminal conspiracy, and it happens to take place on Mars. The really exciting thing is that we’re building an entire world, and the art of Mark Dos Santos brings a retro-futuristic vibe that will make RED CITY the most dangerous place in the New Solar System.”
The first of four issues of RED CITY arrives in stores 6/11, and can be pre-ordered using Diamond code APR140490.
Image didn't stop there though. They sent us a total of three press releases about new books this week. The next one was for something called WILDFIRE, a comic that explores the hot topic debate over genetically modified food inside the framework of a story of a team of scientists working on an accelerated plant growth experiment that goes horribly wrong. Written by Matt Hawkins with art by Croatian artist Linda Sejic, this story has the nerve to address a current, relevant issue without dividing up all the heroes in a shared fictional universe and pitting them against each other in a ham-fisted conflict that will rock said shared fictional universe to its very foundations. I mean, come on.
PANIC SPREADS LIKE WILDFIRE IN THIS REALISTIC SCIENCE-FICTION TALE
Is genetically modified food an end to world hunger or the beginning of the Apocalypse?
Coming this June from Minotaur Press, Top Cow publisher Matt Hawkins (THINK TANK, TALES OF HONOR) teams up with artist Linda Sejic in a haunting story that gives a Sinclair-eque speculation of the future spoils of genetically modified food consumption.
Dan Miller is a plant biologist working with a small team perfecting an accelerated plant growth process. When things start to go wrong, Los Angeles finds itself careening toward unforeseen disaster.
"Wildfire came out of an obsession I had researching genetically modified food," said Hawkins. "When I discovered that both pro and con are shamelessly lying and covering up facts I wanted to do something fun, but rooted in the core science of what they're doing and the debate. This is basically a disaster story unlike any before!"
WILDFIRE #1 arrives in stores on 6/11, and will be available for $3.99. It can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code APR140497. Cover B, featuring art by Stjepan Sejic, can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code APR140498.
Adding insult to injury, Image sent one more press release, this time for a book titled THE SUPERANNUATED MAN from Ted McKeever. Well, okay, now we're talking. It's got the words "super" and "man" in the title, two hallmarks of a proper comic book. We're not sure what "annuated" means, but it sounds kind of like "annual," which means it probably comes with a sweet chrome-plated 3D variant cover. Let's see...
Oh, what the fuck? It's set in a future where mutated, intelligent animals rule the world and stars one lone dude scavenging on the scraps of humanity in a dystopian wasteland? It also sounds like it contains metaphors, and worse, metaphors that have nothing to do with penises or six-month old political talking points presented using elementary school level reasoning. Image really is trying to destroy the comic book industry.
HUMANS ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES IN THE SUPERANNUATED MAN
A new dystopian series follows one man’s fight for survival.
Ted McKeever (MINIATURE JESUS, Metropol) introduces a chilling dystopia in THE SUPERANNUATED MAN, the first of a six-issue miniseries from Shadowline.
By the time most people realized it, they were no longer in charge of the world we know. In an unspecified future, the small seaside town of Blackwater has now been taken over by advanced and mutated animals. Most of the humans that lived there are now either dead or gone, but one old man remains—a man called HE—who scavenges off the scraps and refuse of humanity’s past on the outskirts of Blackwater, and doggedly defies the new tenants.
HE lives a life of solitude in Blackwater is a seaside town bordered by a carbon sea of inky blackness, and populated by animals that have been mutated for reasons connected to the sea. “But it's the animals who are threatened by something they do not understand completely. And for years, there has been a growing inferiority tone of indifference and distrust towards him because of his aloof and self-sustaining ‘humanity,’” revealed McKeever. “He is the unknown. An outsider who refuses to join in. He will not conform to their rules. And what they can't understand, or bend to their ways, they will crush.”
THE SUPERANNUATED MAN #1 arrives in stores on 6/4, and will be available for $3.99.
THE SUPERANNUATED MAN #1 can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code APR140493.
The Outhouse is really disappointed to have to tell you about these books. We thought about just keeping quiet and hoping nobody noticed them, but ultimately, we felt it was best that we alerted you to their presence so that you weren't caught off guard while shopping for one of twenty-seven ongoing Avengers or Batman titles one unsuspecting Wednesday. No need to thank us - we view this as a public service.