This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on December 30, 2016.
2016 is finally drawing to a close and it has been a really great year for comics. If you’re skeptical on that account, just be sure to take a look at our best comics of 2016 list. It’s time to look ahead now and see what 2017 has to offer. There are bound to be lots of great surprises and continuing series, but those are either impossible or too easy to predict. What’s really worth keeping an eye on are the newest launches of the new year.
In the first few months alone there are a variety of events, mini-series, and ongoing comics that should excite and thrill just about any comics fans. We’ve looked through the earliest solicits and announcements of 2017 and selected 6 of the most exciting premieres coming early in the year. Be sure to keep an eye on all of these as a great way to kick off a new year filled with new comics.
Launch Date: January 18, 2017
It seems like Inhumans Vs. X-Men has only just begun, but Marvel is wasting no time in launching their next big crossover. It looks like while the other two groups are fighting amongst themselves, The Avengers and other heroes will be kept busy by Monsters Unleashed. This new event will put the spotlight on Marvel’s proud tradition of monster comics and kaiju-like villains. Afterall, before Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created The Fantastic Four, they were publishing monster books on a monthly basis.
In addition to Marvel classics like Fin Fang Foom and Orrgo the Unconquerable, Monsters Unleashed will be revealing a new gargantuan threat call the Leviathons. These beasts threaten to overrun the Earth and leave nothing but a husk behind. It’s a battle that will fill every part of the Marvel Universe from the streets of Manhattan to space itself. If you’re looking for epic-scale action and lots of gnarly looking villains, then Monsters Unleashed will be the first must-buy comic of 2017 for you.
The Kamandi Challenge
Launch Date: January 25, 2017
The only promise from the big DC Rebirth announcement yet to be fulfilled is the launch of The Kamandi Challenge. Luckily, it’s arriving in January just in time to kickoff the 100th birthday year of legendary comics creator Jack “The King” Kirby (August 28, 2017 to be exact). This 12-part mini-series will feature 12 distinct collaborative teams writing one story. It’s a relay race in comics form where each new team gets to continue the story as left off by the previous one.
This comic has all the makings to be something truly legendary. Its premise is untried and encourages lots of invention. Its creators are the cream of the crop at DC Comics. And its source material is one of the greatest creations of one of the medium’s greatest creators. Each new issue of The Kamandi Challenge ought to deliver new reasons to celebrate. We can’t wait for it to begin in January.
Launch Date: February 15, 2017
After leading the team of Bat-allies to success in Detective Comics, Batwoman is receiving her own series in the second wave of Rebirth titles that all start in February. This is a delight for a variety of reasons, none greater than the character herself. Fans have been going gaga over Detective Comics for good reason, and the team book has highlighted what an incredible superhero Kate Kane is. Her not having to share page space with others is good cause to celebrate.
The creative team behind this launch is just as exciting. Steve Epting returns to superhero comics after providing a (possibly temporary) conclusion to Velvet at Image Comics. Teamed up with writers Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV, he’s part of a real all-star lineup here. Together this creative team should deliver some truly thrilling tales with one of DC’s most underutilized characters.
Launch Date: February 15, 2017
After the success of the Young Animal launch this fall, it’s no surprise to see another pop-up imprint appearing so quickly from DC Comics. This time the publisher will be reviving its Wildstorm properties under the leadership of Warren Ellis. Ellis’ familiarity with the characters and universe combined with his standing in comics makes him well suited to guide this particular initiative.
Starting with The Wild Storm #1, the many characters and ideas of this particular universe will be taken back into their own world (after being merged in Flashpoint) and given room to breathe. Both the potential of Wildstorm and the great setup of these pop-up imprints provides plenty of reasons for old and new fans to get excited. If it’s anywhere near as successful as Young Animal, then Wildstorm will be the talk of 2017.
“The End of All Things”
Launch Date: February 22, 2017
It was recently announced that Robert Kirkman would be bringing Invincible, one of Image Comics’ longest running series, to a close with Invincible #144. The build to that issue is already shaping up to be a true superhero epic though. “The End of All Things” is the title of Invincible’s final story and it will be 12-issues long, kicking off this March.
Throughout the series run it has regularly provided readers with space-spanning battles, gruesome deaths, and plotlines packed with characters. All of that is bound to build to an ending capable of satisfying even the most demanding superhero reader. With the Viltrumite Empire in reconstruction and a recent betrayal, it looks like Invincible may still have its biggest surprises hidden up its sleeve.
John Wick Comes to Comics
Launch Date: Early 2017
If you saw John Wick in theaters, then you already know exactly why this announcement is so exciting. In addition to producing some of the best action scenes in decades, the first movie in this now-expanding franchise delivered just a small taste of a complex world. Coins, hotels, and secret vaults all alluded to a global assassin order that everyone wanted to know more about.
Now we can learn more about that world, in addition to getting more of John Wick’s adventures, in comics form. While movies are locked into strict time limits, comics will allow creators to flesh out answers to all of our burning questions. We don’t know exactly what (or how soon) to expect Dynamite’s adaptation of this great new franchise, but whenever it arrives in 2017, it will be cause for celebration.