Category Archives: Marvel

Zubby Newsletter #69: Nice~!

Conan the Barbarian #12 art by Rob De La Torre and Diego Rodriguez.

This week, CONAN THE BARBARIAN #12 arrives in comic shops.

Man oh man, I’m proud of this issue, this run, this ride.

When we were building the original publishing schedule for the relaunch, Titan asked if we could do 10 issues in 12 months to try and reinvigorate the readership. 4 issue arcs with a break month between each arc.

I said “No”, we’d do 12 issues in 12 months because I really wanted the readership to get back into the habit of reading a Conan book every month. Momentum matters.

And here we are, one year later with 12 issues delivered, plus a new Free Comic Book Day teaser and the triumphant return of Savage Sword magazine. Year two production is deep underway and the long term plan for the series is solid thanks to reader and retailer support across six languages (with more to come).

These foreign edition covers feel like Conan is charging right at us!

Our whole crew, artistic and editorial, has been incredible.

Artists Rob De La Torre, Doug Braithwaite, Jonas Scharf, Richard Pace, Patch Zircher, Fernando Dagnino, Dean Kotz, Dan Panosian, Joe Jusko, and variant cover artists aplenty.
Colorists José Villarrubia, Dean White, Diego Rodriguez, and Jão Canola.
Letterers Richard Starkings and Tyler Smith.
Editors Matt Murray, Joakim Zetterberg, and Chris Butera.
Loremaster and Scholar Jeffrey Shanks.
The rest of the team at Heroic Signatures and Titan, including Fred Malmberg, Ashley Hodgkins, Marcos Cronander, Shawn Curley, Nick Landau, John Dziewiatkowski, Will O’Mullane, Ricky Claydon, Alexandra Iciek, and so many more.

They’re delivering their best, page after page, issue after issue, and I am so damn happy with how it’s turning out. This is where I want to be – building exciting long term stories with a passionate crew. It’s the kind of consistent project I’ve been wanting to sink my teeth into for years, the kind of run that can happen when creative and business interests push in the same direction and it’s the most fun I’ve had on a commercial project since Avengers. This team has enthusiasm, good communication, and professionalism all around.

Heading to San Diego in a few weeks and celebrating the momentum we’ve got is going to be such a rush.

But, now it’ll be in the hands of our readers, so-
Did we stick the landing on issue #12 and our first year?
Is it worthy of the world’s greatest sword & sorcery hero?
Read CONAN THE BARBARIAN #12 on JULY 3rd and let me know!

Make Stories in the Mighty Marvel Manner

New on my YouTube Channel, a FREE lesson from Marvel’s The Art of Storytelling course, in partnership with Proko.

If you want to start writing stories for comics, understanding the basic three-act structure is the ideal way to begin:

Start by establishing key characters, their abilities, and the setting. Introduce an inciting incident to propel the story into conflict, where characters face both external and internal challenges. Build tension and excitement leading to a climax, then resolve the core conflict while leaving room for future developments. This timeless structure helps keep your story clear, engaging, and impactful.

Get the premium course and learn Marvel Storytelling:

Check out another lesson from the course HERE on the Proko YouTube channel.

Your New Hyborian Adventures Begin Here!

Monolith, the game company behind the incredibly successful Conan Board Game, have been hard at work on a brand new tabletop RPG called CONAN: THE HYBORIAN AGE and on Thursday they released a FREE Quickstart PDF that outlines the core mechanics, includes pre-generated characters, and a sample adventure so anyone can easily get a handle on how it works.

From Left: Me, John C. Hocking, Jeb Boyt, Mark Finn, Jeff Shanks, Howard Andrew Jones.

I had a chance to run the Quickstart a few weeks ago at Robert E. Howard Days with a wonderful crew of players well known for their contributions to Hyborian adventure. We had a lot of fun kicking the tires on the rules and seeing how easy it was to get rolling, literally, and bust out some fun sword & sorcery action.

All this to say, go get that download and share the link far and wide, but if you’re a player don’t spoil the adventure ahead of time – Grab a Game Master and let them run it for you!

Current + Upcoming Releases

  • Dungeons & Dragons: Fortune Finder – TPB released June 5th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #12 – releases July 3rd (previously June 26th).
  • Life of Wolverine – One Shot – releases July 3rd.
  • Savage Sword of Conan #3 – releases July 10th (previously July 3rd).
  • Conan the Barbarian Vol.2: Thrice Marked For Death – TPB releases July 16th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #13 – releases July 24th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #14 – releases August 21st.
  • Savage Sword of Conan #4 – releases August 28th.

  • Upcoming Appearances

    I’ve added a store signing to my schedule – Heroes World comic shop in Richmond Hill (just north of Toronto) is celebrating 23 years in business with a weekend full of events and giveaways.

    I’ll be there this Saturday, July 6th from 1pm-3pm.

    Heroes World received permission to sell Conan the Barbarian Vol. 2: Thrice Marked For Death 10 days early, so if you’re in the area pick up an advance copy there, buy other books at the shop (they’ll be well stocked), or bring other Zub comics you want signed.

    This and Fan Expo Canada will probably be my only local signings this year, so don’t miss out!

    July 6, 2024 Heroes World Richmond Hill, ONT, CANADA
    July 25-28, 2024 San Diego Comic-Con San Diego, CA, USA
    Aug 1-4, 2024 Gen Con Indy Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Aug 16-18, 2024 Fan Expo Chicago Chicago, IL, USA
    Aug 22-25, 2024 Fan Expo Canada Toronto, ONT, CANADA
    Oct 17-20, 2024 Gamehole Con Madison, WI, USA

    Links and Other Things

    • Last week I mentioned Raina Telgemeier appearing on TV and this week, she and Scott McCloud have announced that they’ve collaborated on a new graphic novel coming out Spring 2025 called The Cartoonists Club. People Magazine has the scoop. This is going to be huge and could usher in a whole new generation of cartoonists.

    • The upcoming Batman: Caped Crusader animated series is looking great, a fun fusion of the classic animated series style with a pulpy throwback feel inspired by the original comic run that kicked off in 1939. I’m excited to check it out in August.

    • My friend Matt John, who is helping develop the Conan tabletop RPG I linked earlier in this newsletter, has a new prose anthology out now called To Walk On Worlds. It has eleven short stories that cover a fantastic range of pulp action-adventure.

    I hope your summer is going well and, for all my fellow Canadians – HAPPY CANADA DAY!

    Talking Thunderbolts and Conan With Near Mint Condition

    When I was at Lexington Comic Con I spoke to Near Mint Condition about working on titles like Thunderbolts, Wayward, and Conan the Barbarian.

    Talking Murderworld on

    Ray Fawkes and I spoke to Ben Morse at all about the winding road to developing, pitching and finally releasing our twisted Marvel Murderworld story. Check it out!

    Thunderbolts #5 Reviews

    Our final issue arrived over the holidays. What did reviewers think?

    Graphic Policy: 8/10 “…a fine ending to the series. But, it leaves us wanting more. Gutsen Glory and Eegro deserve arcs of their own exploring their history and backgrounds. Hopefully we get more with Zub at the hub. The series has balanced mystery, action, humor, and a great team dynamic and deserves more to expand all of that and entertain readers more.”

    League of Comic Geeks: 10/10 “Honestly a great conclusion. I’m hoping for another mini or at least a Hawkeye mini to follow this.”

    Primary Ignition: “The way Zub balances the comedic and the dramatic is the key to the formula that makes his incarnation of Thunderbolts work. Here’s hoping we do, indeed, see more.”

    Super Powered Fancast: 8.6/10 “I like the conflict and how it is personal for the characters, especially Clint. The action is great and I love that the story still keeps its comedic edge throughout.”

    Weird Science Marvel Comics: “The pacing is smooth and brisk, the dialog is excellent, and the feel-good ending leaves the Thunderbolts on a hopeful note for the future.”

    Murderworld: Spider-Man #1 Reviews

    Part 2 of our Murderworld story arrived this week in comic shops to wrap up 2022.
    What did reviewers think of it?

    Biff Bam Pop!: “Zub and Fawkes have an uncanny ability to make you quickly care about the new characters they’re introducing, a skill not every writer can lay claim to.”

    But Why Tho: “Whilst the barbarism remains and the creators seem to delight in murder, there are other elements being introduced that twist the horror of the book. As the group has been thinned, the games have started to come into effects that are more terrifying than the straight slaughter. It’s constantly energetic, and with the rest of the Marvel Universe starting to get involved, the potential for disaster has escalated. “

    Caped Joel: 8/10 “This is definitely unlike anything else I’ve read this year. Just a fun story with a good premise, interesting characters, and high stakes.”

    Comic Book Club: “I had a very fun time reading this and it works really well…A lot of great twists in here too.”

    Comic Book Resources: “Karami’s style really shines in his characters’ expressions, which are incredibly animated and emotive. He uses hatching and texture to tease out subtle nuance and make bold statements. His character design is very dynamic and well-considered, which comes to fruition in the brilliant final full-page spread.”

    Comic Book University: “Holy crap, this is really good…I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in the Big Two before, where heroes are cast aside, where the main villains aren’t the main thing…I’m reading this comic book and I’m entranced.”

    Comic Watch: 9.2/10 “…another fun and funny romp that highlights how gloriously insane Arcade is when he gets to actually do what he always wants to do: kill people in complicated and entertaining ways. Zub and Fawkes are doing an outstanding job telling this story, and the art teams haven’t missed yet.”

    Monkeys Fighting Robots: 8/10 “…a fun and entertaining issue. Jim Zub and Ray Fawkes continue to make this series an enjoyable one. No one knows what will happen next, and that’s the most exciting thing about this book.”

    One More Comic (Spanish): 10/10 “One of the most daring, intelligent and visually creative series that can be read right now…a chilling and amazing chapter.”

    Spider Cents: “Murderworld is a new series that came out of nowhere. It’s easily one of my surprise hits of 2022 and God I’d give anything for an MCU adaption using the actual actors as the LMDs.”

    Spider-Man Crawlspace: “…the art team does an excellent job in portraying a large portion of the different wall-crawlers from all sorts of universes.”

    Theron Reads Comics: “The big success of Murderworld: Spider-Man is in how it delivers another fantastic spectacle for Arcade fans. The homicidal redhead is only on panel a few times in this issue, but he has no shortage of quippy, pointed, and mocking dialogue on voiceover to the contestants.”

    Too Dangerous For a Girl: “…artist Farid Karami produces interesting compositions throughout, always in the service of the story. And the final image is a superb quiet cliffhanger, a tsunami of side-eye. I don’t know Karami at all, but I hope we see lots more from him.”

    We Have Issues: “That’s the coolest thing about this book. Arcade’s the main character and everyone else could die at any moment.”

    Fandom Sessions Interview

    I spoke to the crew at the Geek Network as part of their Fandom Sessions podcast interviews all about my recent projects, including Murderworld, Thunderbolts, Conan the Barbarian, and Rick and Morty VS Cthulhu. You can listen to it below, or head to their website for more podcast listening options HERE.

    Zub Comics Arriving March 2023

    Story – Jim Zub and Ray Fawkes
    Art – Lorenzo Tammetta
    Cover Paco Medina

    The grand finale! The big prize! Bodies are piled high and only one person can win it all! Arcade’s darkest game comes to a close and anything can happen…especially if Natasha Romanoff has something to say about it.

    Arcade’s circus-style contests have been a punchline in the past, but writers Ray Fawkes (One Soul, Constantine) and Jim Zub (AVENGERS, CONAN THE BARBARIAN) and artist Lorenzo Tammetta are here to put the “murder” back in “Murderworld.” Don’t miss it!
    32 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$3.99

    Story – Jim Zub
    Artist – Troy Little and Leonaro Ito
    Cover – Troy Little

    It’s R’yleh happening! In the final confrontation of the Smith-Sanchez Lovecraftian horror saga, family turns on family, and the battle for pop culture relevance is waged between Rick and Cthulhu—with devastating stakes. Morty embraces his eldritch identity and finds comfort in the supportive arms of his adoptive old-god father. Summer will mete out divine retribution in the name of Azathoth. Rick has lost ground at home against the Color Out of Space, and must abandon his daughter to fight this evil at its source: Cthulhu.

    Murderworld: Avengers Reviews

    What did reviewers think of the opening salvo of our Murderworld story? Read on and find out…

    AIPT: 8/10 “If you were ever interested in Arcade’s awful game and how it functions, give Murderworld: Avengers a shot. You’ll respect the story and its done-in-one arc, even if it’s dark and tragic.”

    AR Comics:“This first issue had no business being this good…This was so much better than I thought this was going to be…An action-packed awesome first issue.”

    Blerd Without Fear:“I like the fact that Jim Zub was able to come with a way to take the Squid Game formula and upgrade it in a very Marvel way. I think it’s really cool.”

    But Why Tho: 9/10 “Murderworld: Avengers is a surprising, unrelenting killing spree. It is jaw-dropping in its bravery, unleashing death on a devastating scale on ordinary people. The slow pace sucks you in before displaying the carnage in front of you.”

    Caped Joel: 9/10 “I love how topical it is, bringing in some of the best elements of Fortnite, Squid Game, and everything else in the big Battle Royale trend that we seem to be riding right now. I love its critiquing of internet and YouTube culture, and I appreciate it even more because, well, I am a YouTuber and content creator so this stuff was always going to strike a chord with me.”

    Chillmonger: “I recommend getting this comic just so you can go on the ride!”

    Comic 8/10 “Murderworld: Avengers #1 winds up being one of the most pleasant surprises of the week in comics, and I look forward to seeing where this particular tale goes from here.”

    Comic Book Club: “The reason why they make it work is – Arcade is a fun character, Murderworld is fun, the twist they find by the end there is fun and, as usual, it’s well executed.”

    Comic Book Corner: “This is a great, great book. Anything that has Murderworld attached to it for the next few months, you’re going to want to check it out…Go to your shop. Pick it up. It’s absolutely phenomenal.”

    Comic Book Resources: “…the storytelling pivots in a surprising direction just when the reader presumes the outcome is a foregone conclusion. In fact, Murderworld: Avengers pulls out all the shocks and stops and lives up to its nefarious name, as it delivers more jaw-dropping moments than Squid Game.”

    Comic Book University: “This was a really good story. Can’t wait to see what happens next. The art was fantastic. I really loved this first issue.”

    Comic-Watch: 8.5/10 “The enjoyment here is found in watching contestants drop like flies in wonderfully violent ways and getting caught up in how Paul is managing to survive the contest. It’s also fun watching Arcade in full bloom, able to shine as the crazy killer he’s always billed as but rarely gets to be.”

    Cranky Comic Review: “I’m a sucker for Murder-Deathtrap books…I dug the ending. The ending was good enough to put it high on the list.”

    Geek’d-Out: “I’ve been a fan of Jim Zub’s Marvel work for a while and his script with co-writer Ray Fawkes is snappy fun, while artist Jethro Morales matches the tone perfectly, especially with Matt Milla’s candy-coated colors befitting that of a carnival-like theme park. If you’re someone who prefers small, self-contained storylines, then you can’t go wrong with this one.”

    Infinity Flux Comics: “This book is Teen+, but I would still be a little cautious because this is deceivingly adult with the amount of violence and shocking moments…It goes from one surprise to another surprise that’s just crazy.”

    League of Comic Geeks: “This book is essentially just Murderworld used to its full potential, none of that plot armor from being a superhero, just purely Murderworld as it should be, and that’s the draw, that’s exactly why it’s so good.”

    Monkeys Fighting Robots: 9/10 “Murderworld Avengers #1 offers readers a good script from Zub and Fawkes with a story that makes us believe no one is safe. The art elegantly brings to life the beautiful chaos that is Murderworld. There may not be a more exciting book on the shelves this week.”

    Next issue: “This is a really, really fun comic…It has some fun twists and turns and once you think you’re safe, then it comes at you even harder!”

    Pop Culture Philosophers: “I loved this book. I thought it was great…It takes unexpected turns and twists and then it has an ending and I’m like ‘whaa~aat?!’ I really liked this book.”

    Pros and Cons: “This was a pleasant surprise…It moves at a really fast clip. Call me dark and it is a bit horror-tinged for the superhero world, but I thought it was a blast! I strongly recommend this.”

    Theron Reads Comics: “Zub and Fawkes at last give Arcade the chance to do what every fan of the character always wants: kill, kill, and kill some more. Paired with Morales’s art and Milla’s expressive colors, this is a win.”

    We Have Issues: “Very cool story. Very cool concept. I really enjoyed it.”

    Zub Comics Arriving February 2023

    Story- Jim Zub & Ray Fawkes
    Art- Luca Pizzari
    Cover- Paco Medina
    • Under the harsh light of the moon there is no escape, and with only a handful of contestants left, anything can happen!
    • Murderworld is a life-or-death game of treachery and tragedy brought to you by Jim Zub (Conan the Barbarian, Avengers: No Surrender), Ray Fawkes (One Soul, Constantine) and, illustrated by Luca Pizzari!
    • Arcade and his schemes have been a punchline in the past, but this contest is no joke. Each issue ups the ante, and this penultimate chapter has some of the biggest twists yet. Don’t miss it!
    32 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$3.99

    Story- Jim Zub
    Art- Troy Little, Leonardo Ito
    Cover- Troy Little
    Pnakotus, the glittering, triumphant city of the Yith, is populated by the greatest minds of all time, including some rude new guy who won’t get with the program. Who wouldn’t want to spend eternity in this idyllic, definitely-not-hiding-anything intellectual utopia?
    In Shops: Feb 15, 2023
    SRP: 3.99

    Story- Jim Zub
    Art- Sean Izaakse, Netho Diaz
    Cover- David Nakayama
    Redeeming justice, like lightning!

    Super-powered crooks take hostages in Staten Island? A dimensional rift tears open in Chinatown? Monsters running amok at the Met? Call in the Thunder! New York City’s finest are here to save the day: Hawkeye, Spectrum, America Chavez, Power Man, Persuasion and the all-new cyber-soldier called Gutsen Glory! You know ’em, you love ’em: They’re the Thunderbolts!

    In the aftermath of DEVIL’S REIGN, the Big Apple has big problems, and it’s up to a new group of Thunderbolts to turn things around. But when Clint Barton is tasked with heading up this squad, the first opponent he’s going to have to face…is himself.

    Collecting THUNDERBOLTS (2022) #1-5.
    120 PGS./Rated T+ …$17.99
    ISBN: 978-1-302-94711-8
    Trim size: 6-5/8 x 10-3/16

    Story- Jim Zub
    Art- Giovanni Valletta
    Cover- Lucio Parrillo
    Past, present and potent futures collide and a sacrifice will be paid in blood! Is Red Sonja truly unbreakable or is this her final stand?

    As we head toward 2023, the 50th anniversary of the She-Devil With a Sword, Dynamite’s newest sweeping story of sword & sorcery high adventure comes to a climactic conclusion from writer Jim Zub (Conan the Barbarian, Dungeons & Dragons, Avengers) and artist Giovanni Valletta (John Wick, James Bond)!
    In Shops: Feb 22, 2023
    SRP: 3.99

    Murderworld: Avengers Launches Today!

    June 20, 2004: I teased on Livejournal that Ray Fawkes and I had a cool story idea we were cooking up-

    18 years later: MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS launches TODAY at your favorite comic shop!

    Some ideas take a bit longer than others to come to fruition.😜