The New York Comic-Con occurred online Oct. 8-11, but didn’t have the biggest bang. Still, it had enough intriguing announcements to be worth talking about.
And while big conventions like NYCC persist in calling themselves Comic-Cons, there isn’t usually a lot of comics news. Provocative panels, yes, but big announcements, no. However, there were these:
Archie Comics announced two new digests for next year, a partnership with digital platform Webtoons, and most important, the “Riverdale Presents: The South Side Serpents” one-shot in January, featuring TV’s biker gang version of Jughead. It’s fascinating to watch Archie Comics slowly ease away from the wacky teen humor that’s been its bread and butter for almost 80 years.
DC Comics provided superstar writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV to talk about “Dark Nights: Death Metal,” the ongoing crossover rewriting the DC Universe as a truly terrible place.
Marvel Comics talked about their own upcoming (December-ish) crossover, “King in Black.” This involves the biggest, baddest symbiote (think Venom) coming to Earth to make everyone miserable.
Finally, a real surprise: “Slugfest.” Based on the 2017 book chronicling the eight decades of rivalry between comic book titans Marvel and DC, this Quibi documentary series is executive-produced by directors Anthony and Joe Russo (“Avengers: Endgame”), narrated by director Kevin Smith (“Clerks”) and involves actors like Vincent D’Onofrio (“Daredevil”), Simone Missick (“Iron Fist”) and Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”). It doesn’t begin on Quibi until Nov. 9, but the “Slugfest” panel generously aired the entire first episode, and it was a delight. I didn’t know what Quibi was before, but I sure do now.
Here’s what’s new in TV:
Kate Mulgrew’s voice will come out of animated Kathryn Janeway in the new CG-animated “Star Trek: Prodigy” on Nickelodeon, where a bunch of rebellious teens find an abandoned starship. Janeway, last seen as an admiral in some Trek movie or other, will act as their mentor.
Welcome to Robert Kirkman’s second-longest-running comic book after “The Walking Dead.” “Invincible” is the story of Mark Grayson, the son of Omni-Man, an alien with the Superman suite of powers who is Earth’s greatest champion. As he matures, Grayson’s powers develop, too. His father takes him under his wing, where he discovers that the superhero world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
It’s a pretty interesting story, with lots of plot twists and fascinating characters, but what really made “Invincible” stand out was excessive violence. Kirkman went out of his way to show just how painful being a superhero could be.
“Invincible” is being adapted to an hourlong, animated show on Amazon. Kirkman is on board, of course, and promises plenty of ultraviolence. Grayson is voiced by Steven Yeun (“Walking Dead”), and Omni-Man by J.K. Simmons (“Spider-Man”).