Howdy Inter-Webbers. I’m Matt Cohen, and I dig villains.
Sure, I enjoy the occasional hero now and again, but since an early age I can remember enjoying - if not empathizing - with Comic Book super villains. There is something so infectiously addictive about reading the exploits of men and women (and other creatures… I mean, we are talking comics here, folks) who have zero shame, zero pretenses, and zero morals. When a character is not tethered by worries and fears, when they are a being of pure purpose and driven to that goal, there is some level of primal thinking in all of us that goes, “I wish I could do that.” Not necessarily committing crimes and taking over the world, but rather the attraction to living a free and guiltless life. It seems, well… Fun.
But, shockingly enough, no mainstream comic company has ever dedicated an ongoing series to a supervillain. Sure, there are some exceptions and slight distinctions (Thunderbolts), but for the most part baddies are relegated to supporting appearances and one shots.
Not anymore, they’re not.
With the help of the world famous Jesse Rivers, I have put together a list of books coming out this year (IN OUR IMAGINATIONS… fun ) that showcase the badguy in all of us (and, more specifically, in the Marvel and DC universes)
And so, without futher ado, Jesse and I present you with our slate of upcoming series, all starring those we love to hate… Supervillians!
Reading glasses, kids.
Born on a Monday:
Starring: Solomon Grundy
Premise: How would you feel if you knew you couldn’t die? Happy - nay, thrilled, one might think. One hasn’t met Solomon Grundy, then. Set in the backwoods and marshy bayous of southern Louisiana, BORN ON A MONDAY gives us a closer glance at the man who can’t die. Grundy doesn’t want fame, he doesn’t want money, and he surely doesn’t want power. As a man who can’t die, he simply wants what he can’t have - Peace. Set to the gorgeous and somber pencils of Mike Mignola, this will be a modern fairy tale that leans heavily on the tragic side. You won’t want to miss it.
Artist: Mike Mignola
Starring: Dr. Curt Conners
Premise: Jeckyl and who? For years, one of the most compelling figures in comicdom has been the heart wrenching tale of Dr. Curt Conners, the man who would be the Lizard. A simple man who fooled with things beyond his understanding and wound up paying the ultimate cost. By day a conflicted and brilliant scientist searching for a cure to his madness - By night, a bloodthirsty monster bent only on carnage and destruction. Told in a sprawling, traveling type tale, The Lizard finds Dr. Conners on the run across the backwoods of America, from the authorities, the superhero community, and worst of all - Himself. Can Curt find a cure before the monster overshadows the man?
Artist: Bernie Wrightson
Starring: Sebastian Shaw, Donald Pierce, Harry Leland, Mystique
Premise: The most powerful, the wealthiest, the most influential private club in the world has seen better days. Sebastian Shaw resides over the remnants of what once the most cunning and threatening force in the mutant universe. His queens are dead or in prison. His rooks decimated. He and three men are all that remain. All the money and social/political ties in the world can’t bring the once glorious club out of its slump. It seems all hope is lost for the storied Hellfire Club. That is, until a new queen comes into town. Black? White? More like blue. That’s right, Mystique is now the leader of Hellfire, and you all know the saying… Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Artist: Jim Lee
Starring: Dr. Doom
Premise: We’ve seen plenty of books about Victor Von Doom, arguably the greatest supervillan in Marvel Comics history. Plenty of them. What we never see are books about the lives Doom affects on a daily basis. A lot of people forget, but besides from being an ego-maniacal supervillian bent on conquering earth, Doom is also the leader of a nation. And that nation is made up of many interesting and diverse characters who both worship and revile their glorious leader. LATVERIA is simply that, a look at the small landlocked European nation from the top to the bottom, from Victor Von Doom himself to the lowliest serf who lives in his mighty shadow. Take a peek behind the iron curtain. You might be very surprised what you find.
Artist: Alex Ross
Starring: Red Skull, M.O.D.O.K, Sin, Crossbones, Arnim Zola, Baron Zemo, Batroc the Leaper
Premise: With the death of Steve Rogers, the members of his rogues gallery faced a dire dilemma. What do the world’s most hell-bent villains do when they have accomplished their one and only goal? Sell their services to the highest bidder, of course. A villainous “Heroes for Hire“, each issue will find the Axis trying to bump of a villain’s caped archenemy (for a hefty fee). Had enough with your respective foe? Just give the Axis a call. And let’s face it… They killed Cap. Does anyone else really stand a chance? (Guest starring everyone’s favorite Frenchie, Batroc the Leaper, as the Axis’s “neutral” contact on the outside world.)
Artist: Jack Kirby
Premise: The Anti-Booster Gold. Taskmaster, the deformed and devious (and yet freakin’ hilarious) villain, has decided that he is too much man for one time period. With the help of a stolen time travel device (Dr. Ivo really should lock his doors at night) and a laundry list of targets, Task travels through time gathering powers and fighting techniques (and causing all sorts of mayhem) from famous heroes and infamous villains alike. Where is Task headed? Only to some of the most beloved and well known stories in comic book history! When Gwen Stacy got thrown off the bridge, Task was there. When the Beyonder decided it was time to hold a Secret War, Task was there. When Jean Grey bit the dust (both times), Task was there. In fact, Taskmaster is damn near everywhere. The question is… Will you be?
Artist: Joe Madureira
Starring: Joker and Harley Quinn
Premise: What happens when you mix a sociopathic clown, his longtime girlfriend, a stolen red convertible, and the open road? You’ve got the premise for the delightfully twisted new love story “MAD LOVE“. Joker and Harley Quinn take off from Gotham with only their sick minds to guide them, and there is no telling what these two lovestruck psychos will get into. WIth dazzling artwork by comic great Darwyn Cooke, this book is sure to please even the most jaded fans. Romance has never been so damned complicated.
Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Starring: Vandal Savage, Mr. Zsasz, Weather Wizard, Dr. Light, Calendar Man and Gorilla Grodd
Premise: PRISON BREAK with powers. Five men (and one ape) decide they have had enough of being incarcerated in Gotham’s most notorious “Looney Bin” and hatch a plan to escape. Only problem? Let’s face it - If there was only one problem, they’d be out by now. Join us each issue as we continue the episodic saga of six villains who only want their freedom… or are there other motives behind the breakout? With more twists then a roller coaster, be sure to tune into what will become the gold standard for serial sagas.
Artist: Dave Gibbons
The Wonderfully Woeful Misadventures of Mr. Mind:
Starring: Mr. Mind
Premise: The evilest kids book around! Told in the style of a Dr. Seuss story, each issue follows Mr. Mind on his quest to destroy earth and enslave all humanity. He’s so cute! Marvel as Mr. Mind ravages alien planets. Amaze as he conquers lost civilizations. Drop your jaw as he shops for those tiny spectacles he is so fond of wearing. And remember - “Death, destruction, all at one time - Just come along with Mr. Mind!!!”
Artist: Jeff Smith
Starring: The Mad Hatter
Premise: After years of being viewed as a joke, as a gimmicky c-lister obsessed with hats and frankly out of his mind, Jervis Titch has had a revelation. He is not mad, rather it’s the world that lacks sanity. In a fit of eerie calm, he burns all his hats save one. We all know Jervis has dabbled in mind control on the past, but what happens when one can control one’s own mind? And what if that mind is a jumbled mess of psychosis and paranoia? The Hatter is not so mad anymore… no, he’s the mellowest he could ever be. And he has a mission. To cure the world of its inherent insanity. His method? One murder at a time… A shocking and graphic relaunching that will propel an oft laughed at buffoon into one of the most dangerous and evil villains comic books has ever seen. Be there… If you can stand the madness.
Artist: Matt Cohen
If only the above were true folks… If only. We’re working on it. Like what we came up with? Hate it? Leave a comment in the message section and be heard from the herd.
Tune in next week for a look at the new film STEPBROTHERS. I promise, there will be fun had.
And as always kids,
“Keep em’ bagged and boarded”
-Matt Cohen is currently wondering why he doesn’t write comics for a living.
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