At a time when it seems that Image Comics and other “third party” publishers seem to be gaining ground in terms of both unit and market share, the swift rise of incoming publisher AfterShock Comics has proven fascinating. Launched in April and teasing deals with top creators (such as Garth Ennis) in July, Comic Book Resources posted their latest press release today (September 9) regarding their first slate of titles. Due up in December are the publisher’s first four comics by such creators as Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Marguerite Bennett!
Each of AfterShock Comics’ first four titles will come out in December, one title per week for that month. Kicking things off will be “Replica” by writer Paul Jenkins (“Spider-Man”, “Batman: the Dark Knight”, “Wolverine: Origin”) and artist Andy Clarke (“Judge Dredd”, “Batman”). It seems to involve a hero who can replicate himself akin to Multiple Man. Next up will be “InSeXts” by Marguerite Bennett (“Batgirl”, “A-Force”) alongside artist Ariela Kristantina (“Wolverines”). Third will be “SuperZero” by the writing team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (who collaborated on “Power Girl” and “Harley Quinn) with art by Rafael de Latorre. Last, but not least, will be “Dreaming Eagles” by Garth Ennis (“Punisher”) and artist Simon Coleby (“2000 A.D.”) which will debut on New Year’s Eve day. The press release also lists other creators involved in projects coming in 2016: “Other top writers and artists who recently inked deals with AfterShock include John Layman (Chew, Detective Comics, Batman Eternal), Szymon Kudranski (Penguin: Pride and Prejudice, Avengers), Sam Kieth (The Maxx, Sandman, Batman), Ray Fawkes (Constantine, Bat- man Eternal, Mnemnevore), David Hine (Batman, District X, Mutopia), Alberto Ponticelli (Unknown Soldier, Dark Knight) and Ryan Parrott (Batman: Gates of Gotham, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, and NBC’s Revolution)”.
The founders of AfterShock Comics are four men from different areas who seem to be pooling all of their experience to create a modern company with an eye towards multi media franchises. Mike Marts, a former top editor for Marvel and DC Comics, is their editor-in-chief. Joe Pruett, a former writer for Marvel Comics, is the co-CEO. The second co-CEO is Jon Kramer, a former producer for reality TV shows, while Michael Richter, a former Facebook and eBay executive, is the third co-CEO. It seems that Marts’ experience with both of the “big two” has allowed him to lure some top creators to their new company, which is critical for the success of their first few titles. Sales figures for such a launch won’t be known until mid January 2016, but it will be fascinating to see how well they stack up.