Image Comics Marks 30th Anniversary! Demythifying 2022 Celebrations!
We began building up to Image’s 2022 milestone by looking back at its publication history particularly its notable series launches:
Now we look forward with the top 10 topics concerning 2022 and Image Comics’ 30th birthday.
(1) Prophet Replaces Youngblood In Image Festivities!
How will Rob Liefeld honor the first ever Image Comics title with Youngblood #1?
Well, since Liefeld no longer owns Youngblood, he’ll turn to Prophet, who he does own, and debuted in Youngblood #2 in 1992.
While Prophet’s own series first launches in 1993, Liefeld will release a remastered version of Prophet #1 in February 2022.
Liefeld has said that he has multiple Prophet plans in the works for 2022 including a Prophet #50 culminating all the numbering from across the various Prophet series.
Brigade and Supreme will also have 30th birthdays in 2022.
Brigade Returns was a successful Kickstarter a few years ago.
Bloodstrike and Troll have 30th anniversaries in 1993.
Could his new team book EKO-92 debut to fill his Youngblood void?
Or this unspecified team later believed to be the Defiants?
If you’re hoping for a return to the Infinite beyond issue #4 with Robert Kirkman that is not happening as Liefeld has stated “Because of my desire that my work looking the way I intended… it’s over“; the scuttlebutt was that Kirkman wanted the art to look more Liefeldy, but it didn’t because Liefeld was not inking is own work.
All that said, Liefeld was quite prolific in the 1990s and there are quite a few 30th anniversaries to come for his properties in the next decade beginning in 2022.
(2) Todd McFarlane Started Celebrations Already!
May 2022 will see Spawn’s 30th anniversary.
McFarlane announced the launching of 3 companion series to Spawn in 2021.
The final one launches on January 12, 2022.
Will we see more series launches in 2022 due to the massive sales success of his new series?
(3) Erik Larsen Remains Image Comics’ Iron Man, But Will He Party?
In June 2022 the Savage Dragon will celebrate his 30th anniversary of the character’s first full appearance and Image Comics debut.
Although, Paul Dragon would have debuted in June 1982’s Graphic Fantasy #1 and the Savage Dragon had a cameo in February 1986’s Megaton #3.
Freak Force also celebrates their 30th anniversary in September 1992 first debuting in Savage Dragon #4 before getting their own series in December 1993.
It is not yet clear what Larsen’s 2022 plans are for his characters’ milestones.
(4) Jim Valentino Planning A Commemorative Comic Book For ShadowHawk!
August 2022 also marks ShadowHawk’s 30th anniversary.
Creator Jim Valentino has indicated he is working on an issue to celebrate the milestone.
More to come on that with Badrock likely redone due to his Youngblood affiliations.
Valentino is also releasing the Definitive Timeline of Image Comics, warts and all, in February 2022.
Also, Valentino recently announced that in the summer of 2022 artist-writer Philip Tan will be doing a ShadowHawk one-shot titled “Who is ShadowHawk?” with Shadowline.
(5) Marc Silvestri To Celebrate More Than CyberForce!
October 2022 marks CyberForce’s 30th anniversary.
As part of his celebrations Silvestri’s Top Cow Studios will be releasing the Cyberforce Complete Collection Vol. 1 in 2022 after a successful Kickstarter.
As a result, the Complete CyberForce Volume 1 lands, in hardcover and trade paperback it seems, in stores in June 2022.
2022 is also expected to see the launch of a new Witchblade series, moved from 2021 to some time in 2022, to celebrate the character’s 25th anniversary.
The series is expected to launch with Witchblade #1/2.
The series is expected to be helmed by writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Ariel Kristantina. The 1/2 issue above was part of a successful Kickstarter for the Completed Witchblade Volume 2 hardcover.
In 2022, the Darkness will get a new series to celebrate his 25th anniversary as Marc Silvestri works with artist Christopher Mitten to relaunch the series; it had been planned for a January 2022 launch, but has been delayed.
We’re also expecting a new Darkness #1/2 and Darkness Complete Collection Volume 2 based on the successful Kickstarter.
The second volume looks promising.
(6) Will DC Comics & Jim Lee Join The Celebrations?
Image Comics founder Jim Lee sold his WildStorm imprint to DC Comics in November 1998 and the agreement took effect in January 1999.
August 2022 will mark Wild C.A.T.s #1’s 30th anniversary and DC Comics has already been assembling the team over the last year.
Deathblow, Stormwatch and Union will all celebrate 30th anniversaries in 2023.
Perhaps a new Wild C.A.T.s series coming from DC Comics?
(7) Will Whilce Portacio Finally Launch Fortress?
While Wetworks won’t celebrate it’s 30th anniversary until June 2024, Portacio is recognized as an Image Comics founder; his Wetworks series is now owned by DC Comics as part of its Wildstorm purchase from other Image Comics founder Jim Lee.
However, when Image Comics launched its Image United crossover event in 2009, featuring the properties of Image Comics founders, as he couldn’t use Wetworks, Portacio contributed Fortress.
Fortress was supposed to spin off on his own series.
Even though Image United won’t be completed, having seen only 3 issues of the core title released, there doesn’t appear anything stopping Fortress from being launched.
Will we see Fortress launch in 2022?
Whilce Portacio was part of a recent successful Kickstarter, with Brian Haberlin, to collect his Stone series in an Omnibus.
So, some Stone in the stocking for Image Comics’ 30th?
(8) Robert Kirkman Is Ready For 2022!
While not a founder, Robert Kirkman was made an Image Comics partner in 2008; the name be familiar to you as he is the co-creator of pop culture smash hit the Walking Dead as well as Invincible among others.
June 2022 will see the launch of a Walking Dead in trilogy of graphic novels as announced by Kirkman starting with Clementine by writer/artist Tillie Walden.
Kirkman may have more surprises in store for 2022.
(9) Other Notable Projects for 2022!
Writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples return with Saga #55 in January 2022 on the road to the promised conclusion in Saga #108.
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank are expected to follow-up their successful Geiger series from 2021 with Junkyard Joe in 2022.
They duo have also promised future series beyond 2022.
Kurt Busiek and his artist colleagues announced that they have returned to Image Comics and are bringing back Arrowsmith, Astro City, Free Agents, Shockrockets, Superstar: As Seen on T.V., The Wizard’s Tale and The Autmnlands for new adventures in some cases plus collected editions of their earlier exploits in all cases.
Image is also expected to release more new (and possibly returning) series from new and veteran creators throughout 2022 as as per their usual publication plan.
(10) Will Marvel Get In On The Party?
Considering I mentioned DC Comics earlier, I thought you may be interested in Marvel too as it owns one former Image Comics character in Angela (due to a legal dispute between industry titans Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman) who celebrates her 30th anniversary in March 2023.
She debuted in Spawn #9 and in more recent years debuted for Marvel in June 2013’s Age of Ultron #10.
From fallen angel at Image Comics to Thor and Loki’s sister at Marvel; oh what a journey it has been. It is not known whether Marvel will acknowledge her 30th anniversary, like it recently did for Deadpool and X-Force by Image founder Rob Liefeld, in 2023, but certainly not in 2022.
What else have you heard or read of Image Comics’ 30th anniversary plans?
Are you excited for 2022? Happy New Year!
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