After the wild success of titles like Saga and The Manhattan Projects throughout 2012, a steady return to the realm of science fiction was to be expected. What we didn’t quite anticipate, though, was how on board the rest of the industry would get with the sci-fi revival we seemingly have on our hands.
New York Comic Con wrapped up this past weekend and brought about a slew of new announcements, with everyone from Image to DC’s Vertigo imprint getting in on the action.
As Vertigo approaches its 20th anniversary, Editor Mark Doyle is making sure we have plenty to be excited about. Joining the already announced return of Neil Gaiman to the pages of Sandman, it was revealed that Batman’s Scott Snyder and Animal Man’s Jeff Lemire are preparing new creator-owned stories for early 2013.
1. THE WAKE
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Sean Murphy
Scott Snyder is taking his first major foray into science fiction alongside illustrator Sean Murphy, following the duo’s collaboration on American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest. Entitled The Wake, it’s being touted as, “[a] big, twisted, sprawling science fiction and horror epic. All of which begins with a single, terrifying discovery at the bottom of the ocean.” With this creative team at the helm, this is certain to be one of next year’s must-have books.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Jeff Lemire
Jeff Lemire wasn’t content with letting his DC cohort take the entire spotlight, mind, announcing his latest written and illustrated book Trillium – a love story across time itself. Boasting a dual narrative spanning 1,800 years, the story follows the connection of an explorer in the early 20th Century to a botanist in the late 32nd. They fall in love, and in doing so bring about the end of the entire universe. That sounds like something we can get behind. After dipping his toes into the waters of sci-fi earlier this year with the mind-bending The Underwater Welder, this certainly has our interests piqued.
3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Steve McNiven
Elsewhere, as part of Marvel NOW!, the house of ideas finally unveiled the return of their cosmic universe. Brian Bendis and Civil War’s Steve McNiven are tackling Guardians Of The Galaxy, (coming Feb 2013), with Iron Man joining series mainstays Star Lord, Groot, Rocket Raccoon and Drax for some high-octane adventures in the stars.
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Ming Doyle
The creator-owned revolution is continuing over at Image Comics, with the publisher hell-bent on setting some of the biggest names in modern comics free, with just their imaginations to hold them back. Brian Wood and Ming Doyle’s Mara is shaping up to be a must-read as its December release date draws closer. Set in a future obsessed with sports and war, Wood is exploring the implications of one of its nation’s heroes developing superpowers live on television.
5. EAST OF WEST
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Of course, no Image Comics announcement would be complete without writer extraordinaire Jonathan Hickman showing his head. Not content with spearheading the new wave of Avengers titles over at Marvel and penning the two ongoing series at Image, the writer announced his latest miniseries; East Of West alongside FF artist Nick Dragotta. A western set in a dystopian future, it follows a futuristic interpretation of the four horsemen of the apocalypse on a mission to assassinate the president of the United States. With Hickman, once you see those title credits role, it will all fall into place.
Superheroics will always have a stranglehold over the comic medium. It has been that way since Superman first lifted that ford deluxe above his head back in 1938. Thankfully, the fans have spoken and the creators have listened, and 2013 is shaping up to mark a seminal return of science fiction to a medium that has served it so well over the years.