Just months after the first-ever collected edition of Bill Mantlo and Butch Guice's Swords of the Swashbucklers was officially funded via Kickstarter, Dynamite Entertainment today announced that the series will be revived with Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow writer/producer Marc Guggenheim at the helm.
The Swords of the Swashbucklers #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' October 2017 Previews catalog, and slated for release in December.
"Swords of the Swashbucklers has long been a favorite of mine and it remains one of the great high concepts in all of comics, which is unsurprising when you consider that Bill Mantlo and Butch Guice were the creative forces behind it," Guggenheim said in a statement. "I'm humbled to continue their work and looking forward to introducing this remarkable comic to a whole new audience."
Artist Butch Guice launched his comics career in the 1980s with Rom and Micronauts and became a perrenial favorite at Marvel and DC Comics. Throughout the years, he has illustrated the most recognizable heroes and heroines in public consciousness in the pages of Action Comics, Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, JLA Classified, New Mutants, Uncanny X-Men, and many more.
"I am both humbled by and extremely grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support the Swords of the Swashbucklers Kickstarter launch received earlier this year, and am excited to see these characters being published again for fans old and new," Guice said. "My participation in telling the adventures of Raader, Domino, and the gang hold a very special place in my memory, and it is extremely gratifying to discover they are so fondly remembered by others as well. Thank you to everyone who has hand a hand in putting this launch together, and thank you to the many people who have helped make this revival happen."
Bill Mantlo rose through the Marvel ranks in the 70s and 80s to become one of their Bullpen's most dependable writers. He scripted over 500 Marvel comic books including Spectacular Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Micronauts, and Rom: SpaceKnight. Known for his far-flung cosmic adventures and colorful personalities, Mantlo would be partly responsible for bringing to life Rocket Raccoon, the star of the 2014 blockbuster film, Guardians of the Galaxy and this May's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
At the height of his career, Bill Mantlo was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in New York City. He suffered a closed-head brain injury that severely impaired his memory, mobility, and fine motor skills. For twenty years, he resided in a rehabilitation center, where staff assisted with nearly all of his physical activities, but recently Mantlo was able to finally return home.
"Earlier this year, a Kickstarter campaign was set up to fund the re-release of Bill Mantlo's & Butch Guice's The Swords of the Swashbucklers," said Mantlo's brother Michael Mantlo. "By ALL accounts it was a tremendous success, and now, after more than a quarter of a century out of print (and out of sight), the epic space opera has returned in a gloriously remastered edition AND in a new series that will continue the adventures of Domino Drake and the crew of the Starshadow! The hope is that this endeavor will introduce the Mantlo/Guice masterpiece to a whole new generation of fans. On behalf of Bill Mantlo, I'd urge everyone to carry this wondrous story far into the future by signing on for the journey through the purchase of these books. Not only will you get to enjoy a magnificent tale, you will also be helping support Bill Mantlo finally being able to improve his quality of life, and having the opportunity to experience the joy of knowing just how loved and respected he is by the comic book community."
Dynamite will begin shopping the film and television rights shortly.
Last year, when The CW's superhero shows -- including Guggenheim's -- adapted Mantlo's Invasion! storyline as a crossover event, Guggenheim helped to raise over $500 for Bill Mantlo's care with an Invasion!-themed eBay auction.
"We are so proud that we were able to achieve our goal and bring attention to Bill Mantlo's heartbreaking story, but we could not have accomplished this incredible feat without the help of our fans, backers, and all of the amazing creators we work with on a daily basis that rallied the support for one of their own," said Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "By bringing on the always incredible Marc Guggenheim to serve as writer, we can guarantee the new series will show the proper respect for Bill Mantlo's work, while introducing an entirely new generation to the series that inspired so many of the great creators throughout the comic book industry today!"
No art team is yet announced.
Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of The Swords of the Swashbucklers #1 with their local comic book retailers. The Swords of the Swashbucklers #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play,Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.