The Vallars is a new free comic from the dazzling 3 Worlds / 3 Moons universe

I've been a fan of Jonathan Hickman's labyrinthine storytelling style since he wrote and illustrated The Nightly News in 2008. Since then, he's established a reputation as a bit of a comics visionary, with pioneering runs on Fantastic Four, Avengers, the current "Krakoa-era" X-Men, as well as plenty of creator-owned works. Last year, he launched a new Substack-based comic series called 3 Worlds / 3 Moons with Decorum artist Mike Huddleston and Thor artist Mike Del Mundo.

The creators have described 3W/3M as a "concept universe." As they explain:

It means we're building it collaboratively, in real time, from scratch.

Through comics, conversation, and process posts, you'll get the best seat in the house as we create the place we'll be telling stories in for years to come.

Over the last year, they've released a variety of short form comics, mostly world-building tales set in this elaborately designed solar system comprised of three planets and three moons, where the "seasons" essentially alternate between magic and science.

Honestly, the best way to describe it is to check out Fables and Ruins, which are kind of the foundational stories for the universe, about a father and scientist named Tajo Vallar who embarks on a doomed expedition to the dead planet that was once home to magic, in the last "season" that was so long ago it was nearly forgotten. Those are free, along with the first four chapters of Academy, which continue the tale.

3W/3M is also launching a new free comic series this week called The Vallars, which focuses on a young Tajo. To celebrate, the team are offering free 30-day subscription trials (which, if you convert to paid, will ultimately include an annual print book collection that is gorgeous, among other things). There's a lot to dig into, especially if you're into mind-expanding sci-fi fantasy universe-building, well, this should be right up your alley. It's got all your Game of Thrones and Star Wars needs, but slightly more contained(ish), with the rules laid out at the beginning. Also, the art is just gorgeous. Even when it's also kind of horrifying.

(Full disclosure: I'm also a semi-finalist in the 3W/3M writing competition)

3 Worlds / 3 Moons [Substack]