Black Widow and Captain Marvel writer Kelly Thompson jumps back into creator-owned comics with Image Comics & Substack

Black Cloak cover excerpt
Black Cloak cover excerpt (Image credit: Meredith McClaren)

Marvel Comics writer Kelly Thompson is returning to the realm of creator-owned comics with two projects which she'll debut on a new paid tier to her Substack email newsletter.

Thompson's first Substack-first comic will be Black Cloak with co-creator/artist/colorist Meredith McClaren. Thompson and McClaren previously worked together on the original graphic novel Heart In A Box.

Kelly Thompson

(Image credit: Kelly Thompson)

"Black Cloak is our first comic to launch on Substack," Thompson tells Newsarama. "A classic 'hard-boiled' detective story set in a futuristic fantasy world where the 'technology; is magic-based and the world is full of 'fantasy' characters that don't always get along and all have motives for murder."

Thompson will follow that in 2022 with The Cull, co-created and drawn by rising star artist Mattia De Iulis. The two worked together on the digital-first series Jessica Jones.

"[The Cull] is a sci-fi fantasy adventure following a group of high school friends who venture to a forbidden local rock to make a short film, only to find themselves in another world...and when they return home, everything has changed and it's been years, not days," says Thompson.

(Image credit: Meredith McClaren)

Substack is an online platform known mainly for newsletters. In recent months, several comics creators including James Tynion IV, Skottie Young, Ram V, Chip Zdarsky, and Jonathan Hickman have launched paid-subscription newsletters with Substack - newsletter which will include new comics created by them and various collaborators.

While these comics will debut on the Substack platform, Thompson says they will later be published in print with Image Comics.

"I know it's important to a lot of people to be able to hold print copies in their hands, and so I'm happy to assure people that these comics will eventually be beautiful Image books - which I am very excited about!" Thompson says. 

"But I do want to add that I think what the 'subscribe to my Substack' avenue is offering is more than just reading cool's about being part of an experience in building a comic. Watching it change and grow before your eyes, and being one of the insiders that not only get a peek behind that curtain, but the chance to engage with a community about it."

Earlier this year Kelly Thompson spoke with us in-depth about her current Black Widow run.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)