Trees is a science fiction comic book series by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, published by Image Comics. The first issue was published May 28, 2014. The narrative begins ten years after the arrival of massive and silent alien presences who stand on the surface of the earth like the “Trees” of the title, not moving and seeming to take no account of human life and society. While a high concept science fiction story, the series also concerns itself with a cross-section of social and cultural issues as experienced by the characters, including policestates, feminism, economic disparity, and transgender identity.
Spawn enjoyed considerable popularity upon its initial release in the 1990s. Comic book collecting was enjoying a marked upswing at the time, fueled by the speculator boom looking for the next hot book that would jump in value after its release. McFarlane had enjoyed superstar status among comic fans with his work on Spider-Man, which had featured McFarlane’s name prominently as both writer and artist. McFarlane’s subsequent break with Marvel and the formation of Image Comics was seen by many as a sea-change event, changing the very way in which comics were produced. Wizard, on May 2008, rated “The Launch of Image Comics” as No.1 in the list of events that rocked the Comic Industry from 1991 to 2008.
The first issue of Spawn was very popular with sales of 1.7 million copies. During Spawn’s second year of publication, Wizard noted that “The top dog at Image is undoubtedly Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, which, without the added marketing push of fancy covers, polybagged issues, or card inserts has become the best-selling comic on a consistent basis that is currently being published. Sales slumped around the time of Spawn #25, but by Spawn #45 it was again a consistently strong seller.
Battle of the planets was revamped by Top Cow Productions with a new twelve-issue limited series starting in 2002. The series was originally planned as an ongoing comic, but low sales led to its cancellation at issue 12, which ended the series with a cliffhanger. A two-issue mini, Endgame (originally listed as Coup De Gras), was solicited in 2005, and was meant to tie up the loose ends, but never made it to print.
Thief of Thieves is a monthly comic book series published by Image Comics‘ Skybound imprint which premiered in 2012. Created by Robert Kirkman, the comic centers on Conrad Paulson, a highly successful thief who quits the business and begins a new life stealing from other thieves. The series will feature a rotation of writers, including Nick Spencer on the first story arc, and art by Shawn Martinbrough. The first three issues sold out upon release, and a television series based on the comic is in development at AMC.
Set in a world where all chicken and other bird meats are illegal, after a catastrophic outbreak of the bird flu that killed 23 million Americans, Chew centers on Tony Chu, a police detective who is a Cibopath (pronounced “see-bo-path”). Tony becomes a vice cop with the Philadelphia Police Department, and when on assignment, trying to find people smuggling chicken, he enters a black market chicken restaurant on invitation from the U.S. FDA. He has a bowl of chicken soup only to find he gets a psychic impression of the cook killing people and putting them into the soup. He goes to bust the cook, only for the cook to kill himself outside the restaurant. Chu eats a bite of the cooks tongue to find out the names of the rest of the victims. He is fired from his job with the Philadelphia PD and gets hired on to the FDA by an agent named Mason Savoy, who is also a cibopath.
Mark Millar & Greg Capullo join forces to create the smash hit sci-fi / fantasy story: REBORN. Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you—the good and the bad.
In 1993, Dale Keown began publishing his character Pitt at Image Comics. Pitt #1 was the second best-selling comic book of November 1992, surpassed only by the collector’s edition of Superman (vol.2) #75. In 1995, publication of Pitt was moved over to Full Bleed Studios (Dale Keown’s own company).
Pitt is a human/alien hybrid, created by an alien race known as the Creed, genetically engineered to serve as a killing machine. He appears more alien than human, with red, pupil-less eyes, gray skin, absence of a nose, sharp oversized teeth and large talons.
The series is set in a matriarchal “alternate Asia” riven by war between the Arcanics, magical creatures who sometimes can pass for human, and the Cumea, an order of sorceresses who consume Arcanics to fuel their power. The main character, Maika, is an Arcanic who is set on learning more about, and avenging, her dead mother. According to Liu, among the series’s themes are the inner strength required to withstand constant dehumanization, as well as the power of friendship among women.
The first, triple-sized issue of Monstress received critical praise. Writing for Kotaku, Evan Narcisse called it “a gorgeous comic book about racism, war and slavery”, noting the intricate detail of Takeda’s manga-inspired art. In the A.V. Club, Caitlin Rosberg described the leading characters, all women, as “deeply flawed and showing layers of nuanced characterization that you don’t often see in comic books”, and appreciated the series’s “sense of in-between-ness—(…) neither traditionally Western nor manga, paced like a novel but drawn like a comic”.
As with Superman: Red Son, Millar claims that the concept for the series occurred to him when he was a child. In this case, it came to him after his brother told him that there were no superheroes any more because they had all disappeared after a great war with their respective supervillains. It was modified from a pitch by Millar for a Secret Society of Super-Villains series.
1986, the year of the aforementioned war in which the supervillains took over and made their world “darker and grittier”, has real world significance to the world of comic books. It marks the publication of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, and the completion of the 1985-86 Crisis on Infinite Earths series.
Rob Liefeld told Wizard magazine in 1994 that he was inspired by Gene Roddenberry and Steven Spielberg to create Prophet. The character first appeared in Youngblood #2, released by Image Comics in July 1992. Prophet was originally intended to appear in the pages of Marvel Comics‘ X-Force. Liefeld explained to Wizard: “He was going to show up around #6 or #7 in my original plans, and the cover to Youngblood #2 originally had X-Force members looking on instead of Youngblood members. I soon decided that I was going to work on stuff that was creator-owned, so I pulled the character of Prophet and saved him for later.”
The storyline in Youngblood led directly into Prophet’s own title, which lasted eleven issues (including a zero issue). A second series, written by Chuck Dixon, premiered in 1995 and lasted eight issues. A one-shot was released in 2000 by Awesome Comics.