SDCC 2018: IDWs Big News Panel Reveals Spooky Star Wars, A Black Crown Debut In Plain Sight, and A Writer For Spider-Man

by Noah Sharma

Keith Davidson, opened with a thank you to the fans, telling the audience, “We love being the publisher that can make a product for every single one of you.”. He then introduced Editor-in-Chief John Barber, Shelly Bond (curator/editor of Black Crown), Matteus Santolouco (TMNT artist), Derek Charm (artist on Powerpuff Girls and Star Wars: Adventures), Cavan Scott (writer Star Wars: Adventures), Denton Tipton (Disney and Star Trek editor), Jonathan Maberry (V-Wars).

“I have a hard time keeping secrets”, opened Bond, but gladly unloaded one by announcing the only Black Crown announcement for SDCC 2018, the only one they needed in her view. Having looked for a crime comic par excellence, Shelly Bond was happy to announce Lodger from David and Maria Lapham. The main character goes by many names but has been hiding among the art on display in the IDW booth. It’s appropriate as the shapeshifting(?) lodger hides in plain sight as a travel blogger who rents rooms across America, destroying his host’s lives. It’s a stripped down, black and white comic and will see one of the hosts hunting the lodger down for revenge.

IDW is wrapping up their Transformers line, but those twelve years have just been a ‘lead up’ to Go-Bots by Tom Scioli. If anyone has seen even a scrap of Scioli’s Transfomers vs. G.I. Joe you’ll know that this is no mere knock-off and Barber called it Scioli “unleashed”. Are the Go-Bots servants, are they positioning to become the new masters, or something else entirely?

The next book was George Romero’s Road of the Dead written by Maberry. Maberry knew George Romero and actually snuck in to see Night of the Living Dead as a child. Road of the Dead was Romero’s last film and it takes zombies as far over the top as they can go. This prequel follows a woman who might have the cure to the zombie plague struggling to get to a safe location to conduct her research, but the entire world is out of get her cure, which they think is complete. It will be a three-issue miniseries.

Mateus Santolouco is looking at Oroku Saki in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder in Hell. Santolouco thinks that the most interesting part of the current IDW turtles is the reincarnation plot thread and that was immediately what he knew he had to focus on.

Shredder is, in some ways, a victim of destiny in Santolouco’s mind, born into the Foot Clan and tosses throughout lives and centuries. Having made peace with Splinter just before his death, Shredder’s spirit is in flux. Readers will learn what made Shredder who he was and why he did what he did, while he discovers his role in the tapestry of fate that the demi-gods of the Turtles world have created.

Numerous members of the panel worked together on Star Wars Adventures: Tales From Vader’s Castle. The project has been a long time coming and will arrive as a weekly miniseries in October. Cavan Scott adores Universal horror movies and it’s all a huge homage as a ship crashes on Mustafar and he crew must take shelter in the castle on the hill. As they wait out the night, they tell horror stories including a Clone Wars story called “Count Dooku Prince of Darkness”, a witch story with young Han and Chewie, and “Night of the Gorax”, an ewok story Scott never thought they’d let him do. It’s an all-ages spooky celebration that all comes to a head as the crew realize that they’ve stumbled into the sanctum of Darth Vader.

But of course the titular big news was the new partnership with Marvel Comics. The first title debuts in November, a Spider-Man book with art by Fico Ossio. It will feature Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Spider-Gwen! Barber said that it was a goal to make sure that these feel like real Marvel books, books that middle grade readers can relate to and that doesn’t patronize or read as saccharine. He also announced the writer of the book, Delilah Dawson

“Welcome to Spider-Man.” he called to her.

“I jumped up and down so much when I found out that I chipped a tooth,” she revealed.

Peter, Miles, and Gwen are all really intelligent kids who still feel like outsiders, said Dawson in response to a question about what excited her about the book. Ossio feels very passionate about presenting a Latino Spider-Man.

An Avengers series with art by Sara Pitre Durocher will follow in December and Black Panther will get a book this January.

The line is designed to be complete and accessible with no crossovers between books…yet.

One fan asked if the Marvel books would be ongoing series, prompting a “Yeah! Probably!” from Barber. There’s a plan to collect three issue stories into collections for book stores but other than that there’s a desire to follow what works, potentially swapping in and out different series and characters. Nevertheless, these will be “persistent” series and stories.

Santolouco declined to say if we’ll be seeing any other TMNT villains in hell.

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