Heavy Metal is the title of a legendary sci-fi and fantasy comic magazine for adults … and perhaps precocious teens interested in more daring material, or who consider Wonder Woman a tad underdressed. It could also be used as a term to describe the sensibility of so much comic-book pop these days, particularly as it skews toward anti-heroes, irreverence and iconoclasm, and R-rated edge and aesthetic. So far, 2016 has been a bit of a crude and bruising head-banger’s ball. See: Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Negan on The Walking Dead.
If you’re looking for more imagination and diversity from this allegedly mature perspective — like, say, a story about insect erotica – you might want to investigate the medium of comics itself. This year has already given us Patience, a fine new graphic novel from Daniel Clowes. This week sees the release of Marvel’s Black Panther, written by acclaimed journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates. And on April 27, Heavy Metal itself will meet the moment with its first issue from its new editor-in-chief, celebrated comic book author Grant Morrison.
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The Scottish scribe was recruited to the brand last summer by Jeff Krelitz, co-CEO of Heavy Metal, and Kevin Eastman, the magazine’s publisher (and a comics legend himself, having co-created Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Now, we bring you an exclusive first look at Morrison’s debut, a 140-page effort that includes seven comic stories from an international group of artists. We’ll begin with the three different covers created for the issue. We’ll conclude a look at Morrison’s own contribution to the collection, as well some insight on what fans of the venerable magazine can expect in subsequent issues. And in the space between: insect erotica.
NEXT: Heavy Metal’s three different covers