by Fabian Rangel Jr & Alexis Ziritt
Image Comics has created a near perfect system for themselves by having a strong eye for talent and a writer/artist friendly financial model. Years ago they published comics by then unknown creators such as Jonathan Hickman, Rick Remender & Matt Fraction, those creators made great comics at Image, Marvel noticed and signed said creators, creators go on to be some of Marvel’s most popular writers, writers go back to Image at height of popularity to publish creator owned work superior to their Marvel work, other famous creators notice and follow suit; and within a few short years Image has a catalogue of ongoing series from creators that have worked on/or are currently working on ultra popular properties such as The Avengers, Batman, X-Men, Justice League, Star Wars, Superman, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine ect The question then becomes; where do the up and comers level up? Where are we going to find to find the next Hickman, Remender & Fraction if those spots are all filled at Image? Similar imprints like BOOM! & Oni seem content to pick up the creators from the big two that Image doesn’t have room to publish instead of taking chances on up and coming talent while Darkhorse, Dynamite & IDW are still driven by licensed content. So where are the next great comics creators coming up from? Enter Black Mask and the creative talents behind Space Riders, a company and creative team that has upended the circular nature of comics talent.