– IDW Publishing has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, laying off 39% of its workforce. In addition, Davidi Jonas, son of principal IDW owner Howard Jonas, has taken over as CEO. The layoffs include the company’s entire marketing and PR staff, and half of the editorial staff, including publisher Nachie Marsham. Reasons for the layoffs given include the cost of SEC regulations, declines in revenue from the gaming division, and the absence of the Locke & Key Netflix series.
– Todd McFarlane’s Spawn made a surprise appearance in the pages of ”Killadephia” #30 this week. The vampire crime series from Image is written by Rodney Barnes and drawn by former “Spawn” artist Jason Shawn Alexander. Barnes expressed gratitude to McFarlane “for lending us his baby for a spell.” The issue explores SeeSaw’s dealings with the occult, earning him the ire of the Image icon. It is available in comics shops now.
– Mad Cave Studios announced a six-issue pulp adventure series, which colorist Paul Little calls “equal parts Where Eagles Dare, Indiana Jones, and ‘Hellboy.’” Set in 1952, in the aftermath of World War II, “Project Riese” will be written by Zac Thompson, with art from Jeff McComsey. The story follows a ragtag group of treasure hunters who have discovered the fabled map of the Owl Mountains, and the horrors and fortunes they discover on their journey. Little provides colors and Justin Birch will handle letters. Issue #1 is due out August 2 of this year.
– In more Transformers news, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson will star in the upcoming animated prequelTransformers One. The animated feature will explore the origins of the rivalry between the Autobots and Decepticons. Hemsworth will voice a young Optimus Prime, while Johansson plays Elita, and Brian Tyree Henry will portray the villainous Megatron. They join a cast that includes Keegan-Michael Key (as Bumblebee), Jon Hamm (Sentinel Prime), and Laurence Fishburne (Alpha Trion.) Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley helms the project, due out in theaters on July 19 of next year.
– Paramount has also announced that Rhianna will play Smurfette in Paramount Animation’s The Smurfs Movie. The film, based on the iconic Belgian comic and animation characters created by Peyo, will be a live-action/animation hybrid. The actress/singer made the announcement at the Las Vegas theater owner conversation CinemaCon, Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino. Chris Miller (the first Puss in Boots) directs from a script by Pam Brady (Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken). It’s set to hit theaters on Feb. 14, 2025.
– The upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender animated movie has a release date. The joint production between Nickelodeon Animation, Paramount Animation, and Avatar Studios, is due out October 10, 2025. No plot details have been announced, but it’s believe to be set in the aftermath of the original series, but before The Legend of Korra, focusing on Avatar Aang after the defeat of Fire Lord Ozai. Lauren Montgomery directs while original series co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino produce. This will be the first in a planned trilogy of features building on the original show’s lore.
– The Gotham Knights game received a “massive update” across all platforms. The new update includes Heroic Assault: The Kelvin Incident, a new 15-floor raid available in New Game Plus mode or after finishing all the side villain missions. This includes new gear and suits for play.
– Finally, DC’s upcoming “Batman Adventures” omnibus will include a never-before-reprinted comic. In addition to the full run of the Batman: The Animated Series tie-in comic, the 1,176 page collection will feature the comic book adaptation of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. It joins not only the full run of the series and its annuals, but also “Mad Love,” and a story from “Batman Black & White.” The omnibus includes work from writers Kelley Puckett, Martin Pasco, and Paul Dini, and artists like Mike Parobeck, Ty Templeton, and Bruce Timm. The hardcover collection is due out September 5.