Superheroes In The Sun

The summer months are upon us!

Let’s not waste all this glorious sunshine.

Take your comic books outdoors. Bask in the glow of that giant, burning orb as you follow the adventures of your favorite characters, whether they’re Marvel, DC, independent or some imprint.

Grab a stack of books, a bag of snacks and set up shop in your favorite lawn chair, under the heat of our solar system’s yellow sun. It is the source of Superman’s powers after all.


It seems like every month I’m Nerding Out about Neil Gaiman.

Sure, since mid-June I’ve been hooked on his new book, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane,” but July brought news about his imminent return to Vertigo’s world of “The Sandman.”

Yes, yes … we’ve known this new series was coming since last year’s Comic-Con, but now it’s finally scheduled for release.

DC/Vertigo’s “The Sandman: Overture” will print bi-monthly beginning Oct. 30. Written by Gaiman, of course, the series will be drawn by J.H. Williams III and will tell a story about Morpheus and his world set before the start of the 75-issue series.

Gaiman’s last story about characters in the realm of “The Sandman” was more than a decade ago. In total, his comic book series has sold more than seven million copies throughout the world, and has been translated into in nine languages.

Forget red capes, adamantium claws and anything called “Trinity War,” this is the most important comic book happening of the year.


Last month’s column was all about how “Everything Old Is New Again.”

Well, in recent days it’s been announced that several 1980s TV shows will be getting the comic book treatment.

According to The Associated Press, everything from “Punky Brewster” and “Saved by the Bell” to “Knight Rider” and “Miami Vice” will soon be released as comic books.

Of course, television shows becoming comic books isn’t anything new. I’ve still got an old issue of the original “Saved by the Bell” comic to prove that! As well as a short run of “True Blood” comics.

But anyway, Lion Forge Comics and NBC Universal have teamed up to develop, write, illustrate and publish books based on those shows from the 1980s, bringing Crocket and Tubbs as well as Kit and Screech back into our lives.

The comics are set to be released later this year through iTunes, Amazon’s Kindle Bookstore and other online providers.


Elsewhere in the industry, BOOM! Studios now has one of the largest stables of characters and titles of any independent publisher.

According to The Associated Press, BOOM! Studios recently acquired Archaia Entertainment, whose titles include “Mouse Guard” and “Fraggle Rock.” As such, BOOM! Studios will continue publishing its comics and graphic novels under Archaia as an imprint while expanding its own roster of titles and graphic novels.


Earlier I made a joke about ignoring “Trinity War.”

I kid, I kid. The thing’s just starting. On store shelves now is “Trinity of Sin: Pandora” – the first in a series of three books about the woman connected to the creation of the New 52!

Before the New 52, DC kept its WildStorm and Vertigo properties separate. However, since “Flashpoint” the company’s merged all its characters back into one universe – keeping Vertigo solely a place for creator-owned content.

It’s hard to believe that this tie-in is finally happening, since DC’s been teasing us with bits about Pandora since the summer of 2011.

Pick up this prequel to Trinity War and read as Pandora goes on a blood-soaked mission to hunt down the horrors she inadvertently unleashed upon the world. How will she save the DCU? And more importantly, how will this all lead to a fight between the three Justice League teams in the coming months?

That’s right, the three Justice League teams will apparently go at it fighting this summer. But for what reason? We don’t yet know.

Not familiar with DC’s New 52? Well, there’s the classic Justice League with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other big names. Then there’s the Justice League of America with Martian Manhunter, Katanna and Green Arrow. Plus there’s DC’s supernatural team, called Justice League Dark, with characters like John Constantine, Deadman, Zatana and Frankenstein.

The story gets underway this coming Wednesday in Justice League number 22.


I just recently came across a stack of “Spawn” comics at a house sale. Thanks, Nate Arnone! So, in terms of a trivia question for this month, tell me: What is Image Comics and how did it come to be? Skip to the “Assorted Etceteras” section at the end of this month’s column for the answer.


Looks like predictions about Vision joining the Avengers in the next Joss Whedon movie could prove true.

The Associated Press has reported that Vision will be brought to prominence in a new comic series from Marvel, titled “Avengers A.I.”

Are you a reader of the just-concluded “Age of Ultron”? Looks like this is the next big jump-on book. “At the center of it all is Hank Pym, a founding member of the classic Avengers,” wrote The Associated Press. Pym created both Ultron and Vision, and it looks like this book’s bringing Vision onto the field from the sidelines.


The San Diego Comic-Con is only days away. The event begins Thursday, July 18.

Get your Twitter accounts and other social media feeds ready, as they’ll soon be inundated with news from all the regular nerd-centric sources. What’ll be the big news this year, I wonder!?

More from me in a month’s time, but first, in answer to this month’s trivia question: Image Comics was formed in the early 1990s when eight creators became frustrated with the “Work For Hire” practices and policies at places like Marvel Comics. The initial eight were Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Whilce Portacio and Chris Claremont. Marvel’s stock feel $3.25 when the news about Image and the creators became public.

Of the initial eight, all but Claremont and Portacio went on to found Image. In organizing Image, the creators had two key provisions: “Image would not own any of the creators’ works” and “No Image partner would interfere – creatively or financially – with any other partner’s work.”

A lot’s happened in the years since! Jim Lee’s WildStorm went to DC and Image now prints “The Walking Dead,” among other comics not around when the publisher launched. Just neat to stumble across all those early issues of “Spawn” and think back to the time when the comic company was just being created.

Nerding Out With Nick Dean is a monthly column about comic books, movies and more. For more, visit Nerding Out With Nick Dean. blog spot. com.