Friday, 10 June 2011

Superman titles officially revealed

"Superman: The Man of Tomorrow" No. 1 (DC Comics)

Seventy-three years ago this month, a strange new vision arrived in American pop culture, a brawny figure in blue with a flowing red cape and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The character of Superman has flown on into film, television, video games and every imaginable corner of entertainment, but he’s always remained tethered to his first home – Action Comics has been published every month since June 1938 and, in April, became the only American comic book title to reach a 900th issue.

But, in a move that is either audacious or desperate — or a bit of both – DC Comics is making a break, at least in numbering, from the grand old series. In September, celebrated Scottish writer Grant Morrison and rising artist Ralph “Rags” Morales will start the series over with Action Comics No. 1, the 21st century version, which is one part of a huge initiative to a reach a new audience with a new interpretation of the Man of Steel and the DC Universe.

In most DC Comics, Superman is getting a costume makeover, that, as shown at the right, gives him a slightly more cosmic look (the lined blue costume and red belt and boots suggest alien-tech sleekness, and then there’s that higher, band collar) and a less Speedo-informed fashion sensibility (he loses the red trunks that he’s been wearing since the FDR years). The character will look even more different in Action Comics, judging by the promotional image further down on the right (and published here for the first time anywhere);  that image might be the all-terrain version of his costume, or perhaps a one-time flashback to his Kansas farm-boy days?

A promotional image for "Action Comics" (DC Comics)

DC co-publisher and superstar artist Jim Lee might speak to that particular mystery on Saturday when he appears at the Hero Complex Film Festival, the four-day celebration of pop culture, sci-fi and superheroes. Lee will take the stage with Geoff Johns, his collaborator on “Justice League” No. 1, which on Aug. 31 ushers in this whole new renumbering “event” (with 51 titles starting at No. 1 in September) that cannot accurately be described as a reboot of the titles. These will not be new origin stories, for instance, and key moments of the past will be preserved.

In a sense, it’s DC the company that is changing more than DC the universe. Dan DiDio, Lee’s co-publisher, is well aware of the fan angst in recent weeks, but he has bigger concerns. He is at the top of a publishing enterprise that is finding it hard to connect with young consumers who are far more likely to engage Superman as a video game than in the oh-so-retro pages of an illustrated pamphlet. The bestselling monthly comics sell only in the tens of thousands, even though Batman, the X-Men and Iron Man power billion-dollar franchises for Hollywood studios and toymakers.

“We’re trying to move not just the company but even our industry to new areas and new audiences and, hopefully, for a more healthy business — this seemed like the right time and the right moment,” DiDio said. “This is a refocusing of the energies of the company into a way that really pushes the medium toward the widest and best audience possible. This isn’t about turning around a single character or telling a new story. This is about repositioning the company for the future. What we’re trying to accomplish is to widen the breadth of our stories and the appeal of characters and go after different distribution systems.”

"Superboy" No. 1 (DC Comics)

Along with the new numbering, DC will make all of its titles available digitally via the DC website and the DC apps on the same day they hit the shelves at comic-book shops. That’s a seismic moment in the industry, and DiDio joked on Thursday that he might be working on his resume if this brave and bold charge into the unknown falls flat.

The numbering of comic book issues is an especially tender subject, and it goes beyond the obvious and considerable weight of tradition. Collectors also covet the first issue of a popular series, so the move by DC has been called a cynical stunt by many. DiDio says those fans are missing the bigger picture. “It’s more than over-boiled, I think they’re underestimating what this is that we’re doing,” DiDio said.

One thing that is clear: Among the top heroes, none of them will change more than Superman and Wonder Woman. The changes, such as a notable but still-secret shift in the status quo at the Daily Planet, will be met with fan ranting, but of course that’s part of the relationship here. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy, and DiDio and his team will be more worried when fans aren’t debating comics and their true or proper mythology.

It’s routine for DC and rival Marvel Comics to selectively ignore years of published history; the lives of characters like Superman and Spider-Man are like the most famous beaches of the world — you recognize them when you see them, but on closer inspection they change constantly with the times, the tides and the Spandex fashion sensibilities. In the 1990s alone, Superman endured marriage, death and a mullet haircut, all changes made by editors, writers and artists looking for some new way to spark reader interest.

This feels different, though. And, through all of those changes, the venerable Action Comics kept going, the sun that always came up on the shifting sands of that creative coastline. That ends with issue No. 904 in August, and plenty of fans are upset about it. But Lee says that during the last few weeks, as DC has rolled out the new plan in a series of dramatic announcements, he has watched the fan and retailer reaction go from angry knee-jerk to an intrigued engagement. Lee, perhaps the most popular artist in all of comics the past 25 years, said the tide of fan opinion is turning and that he’s seeing people “retract some of the early statements.”

"Supergirl" No. 1 (DC Comics)

The stab into the digital marketplace, and retooling characters to shed decades of back story, is to make the comics stories accessible for all those consumers who have never read a comic book but might consider it after watching the “Smallville” series finale, seeing “The Dark Knight” on cable television or noticing all the new billboards with Ryan Reynolds in the glowing emerald costume of the Green Lantern.

DC and Lee learned with a recent (and unrelated) Wonder Woman costume redesign that fans and pundits get stirred up by any change to the iconography of heroes, but he said those risks must be taken on because new generations tend to smirk when they see the tights-and-capes look that seemed so cutting edge in the radio days of the 1940s. He said a “certain level of fearlessness” is needed among the artists, who should be inspired by the past but not paralyzed by it.

“If you do it right, you want the character to be recognized as the iconic characters they are, but at the same time you want to update some sensibilities … if  you’ve been reading comics for a very long time, you can kind of overlook the bright colors and the design. You internalize them and see them as normal or acceptable,” Lee said. “If you saw someone walking down the street in that, you would view it as odd … [so] when they were interpreted and put on screen and in video games,  modifications were made, and now the question is why in the world of comics should we be any more beholden to these designs?”

Lee points out that the history of Superman is really a thousand different histories that stretch across media. ”Part of the fun of comic books is it’s not just one iconic book that is set in stone forever. It’s a massive, decades-long collaborative work that is unlike any other work in the history of literature.  And that’s one of the things we love about it.”

– Geoff Boucher LA Times HeroComplex

Parallax attacks Green Lantern of Space Sector 2815

The US Government intercept a communication between our sector neighbour and Sinestro.

Green Lantern hits cinemas in one week.

Teen Titans redesigns explained

To find out more about the new costumes on Teen Titans and who these new characters are, Newsarama talked to Booth.

Newsarama: First of all, as an artist, I imagine your starting point is what input you'’re given from DC Editorial and your writer Scott Lobdell on what they want to achieve with the looks of this team and these characters?

Brett Booth: The initial designs I did were for the newer characters: the Charcoal Girl, and who we're calling Bugg right now. I was sort of told they wanted the new designs to be different. Their silhouettes needed to be different from the standard guy or gal in tights. So I took that to heart.

Nrama: Can you take fans into the process of how you were first approached about this version of Teen Titans, and what input you got from Scott and DC to inform your approach to the redesigns?

Booth: Let's see. I talked with Scott a bunch. Our battles were epic! Scott wanted really different, and so I went about attempting to do that. DC was really open about what we turned in. I have a feeling we could
have done any of the number of costume designs we did. And we did a lot. We even brought Jim [Lee] and Cully Hamner in to help with the Kid Flash and Wonder Girls designs.

Nrama: Is there a particular overarching theme or idea that influenced all of the designs? Or were you given ideas and notes about each individually?

Booth: Each character sort of evolved on its own. We had toyed with the idea of matching outfits but quickly abandoned that. There was a lot of back and forth about everything.

Nrama: How much back and forth was there between everyone before you came up with the final designs and was there anything particularly interesting or memorable about the process?

Booth: Wonder Girl had me, Jim, Cully , Scott, Bobbie [Chase] and Bob [Harras] going back and forth. That was the toughest one. I think I did like 8 or 9 designs or variations on her. Cully did three or four and Jim did two. We then decided to just keep her in regular clothes for a bit to get a feel for the character, so we concentrated on her bracelets and lasso.

Nrama: Can you maybe walk through each character and tell what you were hoping to achieve with each and what stands out for you as either the trickiest or your favorite part of the redesign? Let's start with Red Robin? I think fans certainly want to know how the wings came to be and why? And what do they do?

Booth: Scott wanted wings; he wanted the character to actually not get left behind all the time. I did a few designs up, more Hawkman-like, but with the cowl he looked like.. well... Hawkman. So then I got the idea
of a cape with notches cut out so it would look like feathers in a silhouette. But I was told, "No capes!" So I toyed around with the ones he has now. They are sort of both cape and wings. They can be both hard and flexible when needed. I don't want to give too much away.

The wings are more for gliding. He has some small jets on his back that can give him short bursts of power. They can become rigid and deflect bullets if needed — a Batman family staple.

Nrama: Superboy?

Booth: This was really Scott and I just wanting him to be Superboy, since he's not into spandex, The gloves are a nod to his 90's outfit. The "S" on his back is a joke — Bart put it there because on the original, he didn't
have the tattoo on that side, so it was ambiguous who it was. He's just wearing a muscle shirt and some pants and boots. Just not the traditional "S" shirt and jeans. I added the tattoo as to his design because of a misread email, but everyone liked it so we kept it. The bar code idea was added a bit later but was genius!

Nrama: Wonder Girl?

Booth: Once we decided to make Cassie not quite the super nice girl her designs sort of popped up. I was told to make the bracelets different. I wanted to keep her ties to Greece to I sort of made a set, the lasso
is more like thorny vines or barbed wire. It comes out of the armband and basically gets everywhere so she ties it off at her waist. Scott came up with the modified version of an older design I did and the star field, a nod to Donna Troy's Wonder Girl outfit.

And the shin guards are the only part of Jim's original design that survived. Bobbie Chase and Katie Kubert liked them so much I kept them on.

Nrama: Kid Flash?

Booth: This one was interesting, Jim basically took a design I did and reworked it. I frickin' loved it. But it was a bit older looking, something an older more adult superhero would wear, so Cully came in and modified the headpiece a bit to look more like Kid Flash.

Nrama: The new characters? What can you tell us about then?

Booth: The Bugg girl was originally supposed to be more tech, but I do like organic, so I drew sort of an exo-skeleton. Everyone seemed to like it so we kept it. She's got extra legs and arms she can retract to look more
human. She's in issue #2.

The other one is still under wraps for now. But when Scott mentioned to me what he wanted, I knew exactly what I was going to do. I sort of modified the smoke hair a bit for this image.

Nrama: Anything else you can tell us about designs and characters fans will see in #1 and beyond?

Booth: Bart and Conner have different outfits in issue #1 than these. There are Easter eggs here and there in the first issue so look for them!

Nrama: How do you go about “researching” or finding influences for the way teens dress today, that you think will resonate and feel true to this generation?

Booth: Google helps out. Plus Scott and I haven't completely forgotten what it was like to be a teen. But TV and movies help. I might have to suffer through some horrible, horrible things, but I will do it, especially if I can't find the remote.

Nrama: Have you seen the reaction to these costumes from fans?

Booth: I've only seen a bit, but man people can be nasty. Most has been positive, so thank you. I think we might have gone a bit farther out there than some of the other books, but the story is strong and fun and not the Teen Titans norm, so I'm hoping the art is up to snuff. But I'm sure I'll have my detractors.

Nrama: Then to finish up is there anything else you want to tell fans about the image they've seen of the new costumes in Teen Titans?

Booth: I just want to give a shout out to my partners in crime on the art side, Norm [Rapmund] and Andrew [Dalhouse]. And note this was originally just a promo piece for a meeting so it hasn't been inked and Andrew colored this up with blazing speed so this is sort of a rough piece for us.
Source: Newsarama

Fabian Nicieza talks Dick Grayson and Batman

This interview popped up on CBR and I had to cut and paste it over just to be able to read it (adverts floating over first cm of text).
Currently in “Batman,” DC Comics’ ongoing monthly comic book series written and drawn by Tony S. Daniel, Dick Grayson has been patrolling the night skies as the new Caped Crusader, picking up the reins while Bruce Wayne traverses the globe in writer Grant Morrison’s “Batman Incorporated.” While this is only the second time Dick has acted as Batman (the previous being in “Batman: Prodigal”), this is not the first time the character has put his life on the line for Gotham City, Dick being one of the few DC characters that date all the way back to the Golden Age.

Bill Finger and Bob Kane originally created Richard “Dick” Grayson in 1940. Introduced in the pages of “Detective Comics” as the son of murdered circus acrobats, Dick went on to become Robin, Batman’s sidekick and Bruce Wayne’s legal ward. His origins remained pretty much the same after “Crisis On Infinite Earths,” with Dick joining the Teen Titans as Robin before becoming the masked vigilante Nightwing. In 2009 after the “Battle For The Cowl” storyline, Dick took up the Batman persona and has been Gotham’s Dark Knight ever since.

While the current “Batman” ongoing series is both written and drawn by Daniel, “Batman” issue #713, the last issue before DC’s September relaunch, features the talents of Steve Scott and Ryan Winn on art and Fabian Nicieza writing, who is the regular scribe of "Red Robin." Nicieza swooped into THE BAT SIGNAL to talk about his issue, his feelings on Dick Grayson’s overall run as Batman, and how he became a fan of the first Boy Wonder.

CBR News: All right, so the solicits for “Batman” say Dick is at an identity crossroads--what does that mean?

Probably that Dick is a little confused about the solicitation copy and it's causing him agitation? That copy was very early in the process so it's not totally accurate to how the story turned out.

So what is your story in “Batman” #713 about?

It's about a boy who loses his parents to a violent crime and grows up to become a Dark Knight for a dark city!

Touché! Any other DC character you care to condense 70-odd years of history into a snappy sentence for us? Extra points if its 10 words or less.

Sugar and Spike, brother and sister with the uncanny ability to annoy. Damn, that was 12!

Now, we’ve got Red Robin, Bruce Wayne Batman, and Robin all on the issue cover--

Since the story covers many aspects and evolutions of the Bat family that means all those characters need to be involved in some way.

Will Catgirl or any of series regular writer Tony S. Daniel’s other recent “Batman” characters (Riddler, Enigma, Two-Face, etc.) be involved?

No, the story is much more an overview of who Batman has been and what his extended family is all about then it is current continuity.

Did Tony give you an outline for this issue, or were you able to come up with your own tale to end “Batman” before September’s relaunch?

No, [editor] Mike Marts just asked me to write a self-contained story that thematically encapsulates the 70-year history of the character. Sure, Mike, no prob!

Since this issue is you thematically capturing the whole history of Dick Grayson, do you personally have a favorite Dick Grayson era?

For me, personally, the Batman TV show, because that was when I was first really exposed to the character. Then the Mike Friedrich/Gil Kane shorts that started Dick on the road to independence, followed by the Marv Wolfman/George Perez “Teen Titans” and finally the Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel “Nightwing” solo series.

You said before you feel Dick is a reticent Batman as he didn’t really see himself in training to replace Batman before the “Cowl” storyline. Is Dick still reticent? Is Batman a mantle he doesn’t wish to wear anymore?

I think Dick was reticent because he never wanted to be Batman and never planned for it. The role and expectations were sort of dropped on his lap when Bruce "died." I think he is such a self-confident guy that he knew he could handle the role in his own unique way, and subsequent writers across the DCU have shown that to great effect. I think he could keep playing the role of Batman as long as Bruce thought it was necessary, but conversely, he could drop the role and call himself Nightwing or Banana Man tomorrow and he would still be the same person.

You say Dick a very self-confidant guy--as a writer, is that something you like to play up?

The few--far, far, far too few chances I've had to write him--I've always approached him as absurdly self-confident, but hopefully not arrogant. Seriously, why shouldn't he be? He wore green scaly shorts and pixie boots and he still scored the hottest alien princess in the universe.

What do you think will be lasting affect of Dick Grayson’s run as Batman on the DCU? Or will there be one?

I don't think you can predict history. Come back and ask me in 10 years!

As a fan of the character for over 40 years, I am very happy with how his role as Batman has elevated his status in the DCU--and I mean that across the board, both in the world of fiction and in reality.

I think many editors, writers and readers now see him a little differently than they might have before, and learned a lot about the character that they might not have previously considered. I also think many DCU characters see him in a new light, whereas other characters who knew him well only gained a reaffirmation of what they knew all along--that Dick is the coolest cat in town!

How do you feel Dick was viewed before his Batman run?

As the "sidekick in green shorts and pixie boots" by many readers, creators and editors. Now the smarter ones have joined the club. The club being officially called, "The Club Of Those Of Us Who Got A Clue A Long, Long Time Ago."

You’re obviously a fan--how did you first come to know and love the character?

When I first came to this country, we watched the Batman TV series on ABC and I immediately got into the character. I don't know if it was the costume or the fact I felt I could be Robin, but I didn't think I could be Batman--same reason I thought I could be Chekhov but not Kirk! I don't know, it's dorky, but I always thought any kid in shorts and green pixie boots (have we mentioned he wore pixie boots?) who could hold his own up against Batman, much less all the villains in Gotham, was cool by me.

Many writers have talked about why they think "Batman" is so enduring--but what do you like about the Batman universe? What parts of Gotham and Dick and Bruce and the rest of the gang appeal to you?

All of them. I go back a ways; I'm old enough to appreciate the Dick Sprang Gotham City as well as Neal Adams. I loved Marshall Rogers' visual approach and Mike Golden’s. My favorite Bat-art team of all time remains Don Newton and Alfredo Alcala. I don't know why, I know they might not have been technically the best, but they were my favorite. I haven't always followed Batman's titles faithfully, but on and off for 40 years I've always dropped in on Gotham to see what was percolating. Getting to play in that sandbox just a little the last few years has been a blast and I really thank Mike Marts, Janelle Siegel and Rachel Gluckstein for having given me that opportunity.

Now, DC has announced that in September they will be relaunching all their titles. Does your issue of “Batman” wrap up plot points and ongoing arcs from the larger “Batman” run?

No, geez, that would be a bit much to ask in one issue! I think the story serves to very nicely summarize the evolution of the Batman character and the Bat family, but that will be for readers to decide.

We've also heard that you are working on the new "Teen Titans" after the September relaunch. Is there anything you can tell us about that?

I can only say two things. One, though my comic book writing time is very limited right now--check out starting June 15--I am very happy that the comics I'm writing still have a DC bullet on their covers. And two, not everything you read on the Internet is correct. [Note: after this interview was conducted, it was revealed that Scott Lobdell is in fact writing "Teen Titans," while Nicieza is writing "Legion Lost."]

Overall, how do you feel about Dick's run as Batman? Were there things that surprised you about how he handled the role?

I was glad to see him "elevated" in terms of fan perception. I was glad to see editors and other writers maybe learn to appreciate the character more. The only thing that could've made it better is if I'd been able to write the arc myself!

Harry Potter prequel

Whilst doing some research for a future Starburst column, I found this intersting little tidbit.

This short prequel was handwritten and auctioned off for a fundraiser held by UK bookstore Waterstone's in 2008. Apparently it raised £25,000 and was signed with a note saying 'From the prequel that I'm not writing.'

The speeding motorcycle took the sharp corner so fast in the darkness that both policemen in the pursuing car shouted ‘whoa!’ Sergeant Fisher slammed his large foot on the brake, thinking that the boy who was riding pillion was sure to be flung under his wheels; however, the motorbike made the turn without unseating either of its riders, and with a wink of its red tail light, vanished up the narrow side street.

‘We’ve got ‘em now!” cried PC Anderson excitedly. ‘That’s a dead end!”

Leaning hard on the steering wheel and crashing his gears, Fisher scraped half the paint off the flank of the car as he forced it up the alleyway in pursuit.

There in the headlights sat their quarry, stationary at last after a quarter of an hour’s chase. The two riders were trapped between a towering brick wall and the police car, which was now crashing towards them like some growling, luminous-eyed predator.

There was so little space between the car doors and the walls of the alley that Fisher and Anderson had difficulty extricating themselves from the vehicle. It injured their dignity to have to inch, crab-like, towards the miscreants. Fisher dragged his generous belly along the wall, tearing buttons off his shirt as he went, and finally snapping off the wing mirror with his backside.

‘Get off the bike!’ he bellowed at the smirking youths, who sat basking in the flashing blue light as though enjoying it.

They did as they were told. Finally pulling free from the broken wind mirror, Fisher glared at them. They seemed to be in their late teens. The one who had been driving had long black hair; his insolent good looks reminded Fisher unpleasantly of his daughter’s guitar-playing, layabout boyfriend. The second boy also had black hair, though his was short and stuck up in all directions; he wore glasses and a broad grin. Both were dressed in T-shirts emblazoned with a large golden bird; the emblem, no doubt, of some deafening, tuneless rock band.

‘No helmets!’ Fisher yelled, pointing from one uncovered head to the other. ‘Exceeding the speed limit by – by a considerable amount!’ (In fact, the speed registered had been greater than Fisher was prepared to accept that any motorcycle could travel.) ‘Failing to stop for the police!’

‘We’d have loved to stop for a chat,’ said the boy in glasses, ‘only we were trying -’

‘Don’t get smart – you two are in a heap of trouble!’ snarled Anderson. ‘Names!’

‘Names?’ repeated the long-haired driver. ‘Er – well, let’s see. There’s Wilberforce… Bathsheba… Elvendork…’

‘And what’s nice about that one is, you can use it for a boy or a girl,’ said the boy in glasses.

‘Oh, OUR names, did you mean?’ asked the first, as Anderson spluttered with rage. ‘You should’ve said! This here is James Potter, and I’m Sirius Black!’

‘Things’ll be seriously black for you in a minute, you cheeky little -’

But neither James nor Sirius was paying attention. They were suddenly as alert as gundogs, staring past Fisher and Anderson, over the roof of the police car, at the dark mouth of the alley. Then, with identical fluid movements, they reached into their back pockets.

For the space of a heartbeat both policemen imagined guns gleaming at them, but a second later they saw that the motorcyclists had drawn nothing more than -

‘Drumsticks?’ jeered Anderson. ‘Right pair of jokers, aren’t you? Right, we’re arresting you on a charge of -’

But Anderson never got to name the charge. James and Sirius had shouted something incomprehensible, and the beams from the headlights had moved.

The policemen wheeled around, then staggered backwards. Three men were flying – actually FLYING – up the alley on broomsticks – and at the same moment, the police car was rearing up on its back wheels.

Fisher’s knees bucked; he sat down hard; Anderson tripped over Fisher’s legs and fell on top of him, as FLUMP – BANG – CRUNCH – they heard the men on brooms slam into the upended car and fall, apparently insensible, to the ground, while broken bits of broomstick clattered down around them.

The motorbike had roared into life again. His mouth hanging open, Fisher mustered the strength to look back at the two teenagers.

‘Thanks very much!’ called Sirius over the throb of the engine. ‘We owe you one!’

‘Yeah, nice meeting you!’ said James. ‘And don’t forget: Elvendork! It’s unisex!’

There was an earth-shattering crash, and Fisher and Anderson threw their arms around each other in fright; their car had just fallen back to the ground. Now it was the motorcycle’s turn to rear. Before the policemen’s disbelieving eyes, it took off into the air: James and Sirius zoomed away into the night sky, their tail light twinkling behind them like a vanishing ruby.
Source: Copied Text

The DCU Reboot: A missed opportunity?

Last week it was revealed that all every DC Comics title would finish it's run in August ahead of a line-wide relaunch in September. As the announcements continue to roll out regarding the reboot of the DCU, I am becomming more and more alarmed by what I am reading. With each new reveal, I am becoming more of the opinion that DC are making a rather large mistake.

Below I address some of my biggest fears, try to work out where they went wrong and suggest how I would have dealt with the reboot differently (it may require a time machine).

"We're allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look,"

Now first of all, I have to stress that I think that this is a great move both for DC Comics as a business and for us as the consumers. Obviously, the move to digital comics being released on the same day, for the same price, as their printed counterparts was inevitable and DC must be commended for taking the plunge so early. The really smart move was to offer the digital+print combo pack for just a dollar more. This is what the hardcore fans want. I love reading comics on my iPhone, but they look SO much better in print.
My problem is that this could have been introduced at any time, with no need to change any continuity.

"for a more modern and diverse 21st century"

Below is a list of the 52 rebooted titles that have been announced for September.
Next to the titles, I am going to write a code. To show how 'diverse' the DCU has become, scan down the list and see how many of these titles feature straight, white men and women, or rather, don't feature one of the following minorities (extraterrestrials don't count for this):
EM=ethnic minority, HS=homosexual, D=disability, RM=Religious minority

1. Legion Lost  EM
3. Aquaman RM?
4. Hawk and Dove
5. Captain Atom
6. The Flash
7. Hawkman RM
11. Nightwing
12. Batgirl
13. Batwoman  HS
15. Catwoman
16. Batwing  EM
19. Green Lantern: New Guardians  EM
21. JUSTICE LEAGUE International  EM
22. Red Hood and the Outlaws
25. Mr Terrific EM
26. DC Presents
28. Vampire
29. Resurrection Man
30. Animal Man
31. Demon Knights
32. Static Shock  EM
33. Frankenstein, Agent of Shade
34. Voodoo  EM RM
35. Firestorm   EM
36. Justice League Dark
37. Red Lantern Corps
38. Swamp Thing
39. Wonder Woman
40. Stormwatch
41. Blackhawks
42. Sgt. Rock and the Men of War
43. All-Star Western
44. Deathstroke
45. Grifter
46. OMAC
47. Blue Beetle EM
48. Suicide Squad
49. Action Comics
50. Superman
51. Supergirl
52. Superboy

It isn't that diverse really. Especially when I'm counting Kyle Rayner and Damian Wayne, who are often drawn/coloured white (Kyle is half-Irish, half-hispanic, Damian is half-American, half-whatever Talia Al Ghul's heretage is).
Ethnic minorities: Where are Cassandra Cain, Renee Montoya, Jefferson Pierce and John Henry Irons? Where are the Great Ten or the Global Guardians?
Non-straight sexual preferences: Where are Scandal Savage and, again, Renee Montoya?
Characters with a disability: Where is Barbara Gordon? Where are the Doom Patrol?
I ask you to have a look at the creative team who crafted the comics that you read each month. Are they all straight, white men? If they aren't, then how many of them were?
As a straight, white man, I can tell you that we aren't all that great and we don't understand everyone from every viewpoint. Diversity in creative staff is just as important as diversity in your books. For every Gail Simone and Francis Manapul who have a book, there seems to be a Marcus To, Dustin Nguyen or Nicola Scott waiting on the wings.
The thing that worries me the most though is the apparent 'miracle cure' of Barbara Gordon. If this was a roll back to an earlier DCU, then fine I could accept that, but it isn't. I think that there are some large groups of people who need to know just what happened to their hero, this strong woman who refused to let a disability stop her from fighting. The explaination better be fantastic.


It appears that parts of the recent Batman storylines and most of the Green Lantern storylines will remain intact. Other stories however, have been completely wiped out. Either do it for everyone or leave it alone. This is why Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis had no effect. They made the most minor of changes, which of course began to lead to big problems. If you have an opportunity to start everyone from a common ground, then you should use it. I'm not saying that everyone should be rest to how they were in 1980 (for example), but if I change the history of Wonder Woman completely and leave the Batman titles relatively unchanged, then I develop some serious problems pretty quickly. If everyone is changed to a similar degree, then we can explain the changes by quite simply saying 'that happened differently in this reality'. When we know that we can refer to Blackest Night for Green lanterns, but not The Flash though, it becomes very confusing for ardent DC fans, let alone new readers. Looking at the Batbooks, we have a deaged Bruce Wayne, who has apparently trained four Robins and has a ten year old son. This means that he has to have been Batman for at least eleven years (need at least a year before Ra's Al Ghul would take notice of him). The only way I can see this working is if he was 18 when he first donned the cape and cowl (putting him only seven or eight years older than Dick). If Batman has been around for eleven years, what does this mean for Superman or Wonder Woman? Have they been around that long or are the just starting out? Are we going to have three former Robins all with more experience than The Flash?
I don't think so. The more that is released about the reboot, the more it looks like we will simply see a near line-wide deage, costume redesign, the odd tweak to history and the occasional major facelift (see Teen Titans, Batgirl). This 'reboot' is probably not going to change things much more than the initial 'One Year Later' stories did in 2006.

Where did it start going wrong?

Quiver. In hindsight, it began with Oliver Queen's resurrection in 2000/1. Though I didn't buy the reason that he came back to life, the first three years or so of Green Arrow were good, but without a plan in place for his supporting cast, it quickly went off the rails. I started to get the feeling that he had been brought back with no real reason other than; Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow that we know.
I knew it was really going south however in April 2005. I was sat in a New York City hotel room and had just turned the final page of Batman #638 to reveal that the Red Hood was in fact, Jason Todd returned from the grave. The only thing that has shaped Bruce Wayne more than his failure to protect Jason Todd was his parents' murder. The death of Jason Todd had set the tone for all of Tim Drake's early adventures as Robin.
The years since have seen the resurrection of many characters. Some have been recieved well, some haven't. The problem though is how their resurrection affects what has been built in the time in between their death and new life. In the case of The Flash, Barry Allen's return has effectively relegated Wally West from the Premier League of superheroes to the lower leagues. His fans will constantly be looking for 'his time' to shine; will this year be his year?
The only return from the grave that has sat well with me has been Hal Jordan. This is because of the plan for how to use the character and how to integrate him back into the universe. The four Earth Green Lantern's were all given clear roles within the new line-up. The Green Lantern line has continued to be strong since.
The constant micro-management style of changes that we've been dealt (Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown, Final Crisis, Brighest Day and now Flashpoint) has caused as many problems as it's solved. Surely it you want to bring back the Silver Age characters, a line-wide reboot would have been the way to do it?
To me this new DCU reboot seems like more of the same micro-management. If you're going to change it, then change it. If you want it to be instantly accessible, then do it. Crossovers must stop. Having to buy several books to understand a story shouldn't happen. I feel really sorry for new readers who are being advised to read Grant Morrison's Batman & Robin. They're in for a real shock when Bruce just strolls back into the mansion like nothing happened. It's not exciting or a mystery to be solved for most new readers, it is unwelcoming and off-putting. If a character's current state can't be described in a short blurb, then they have become too complicated.
Earlier this year I put some DC books in the classroom for the children to read (age 5-7). These books included a character profile page which summed up everyone in the book in two sentences. These weren't overly simple, they were bang on.
If children of five can grasp who these characters are in a couple of sentences, then I'm sure that new comic readers from 13-90 would be able to read a simple recap page.
Dark Horse's Star Wars books do this really well. They give a quick summary of the story and explain when in the Star Wars timeline the book is set.
If DC adopted this, then we could have stories set at any time in our favourite characters' careers. This is something we've seen hints of (Legends of the..., ...Confidential, recently Teen Titans: Cold Case and Batman: Orphans), but for whatever reason has never really seemed fully supportred by fans or editorial. Perhaps DC Comics would find this useful in distinguishing Earths for multiverse tales.

Why did certain books never sell as well as they could have?

Advertising. It's really that simple. If you aren't advertising a book to the audience that you already have, then how on Earth do you expect new readers to jump on board?
Many DC fans know how great books like Birds of Prey or Red Robin have been for the past year or so. The crime is that not every DC Comic fan knew that they were so good. Give us real teases, not pencil previews in the back of comics, not crossovers that make us sample a title. Talk it up. Build some hype. Take out a page ad space in your own magazines. USE YOUR ANIMATION STUDIO!! WB are pumping out three DTV animated features each year. Why haven't we seen a focus for Tim Drake? Kyle Rayner? Jamie Reyes? Heck, even Jonah Hex got a short, but that was only because the movie was coming out. Take a harder tack with the execs (who axed Batgirl: Year One and Teen Titans: Judas Contract) and make them see how these will work in conjunction with the comics to sell each other. The same goes for motion comics. Batgirl: Year One has been availiable on iTunes for nearly two years. I have an iPhone with the DC Comics app, I browse the DC message boards and visit the main site at least once a week, I check The Source daily, Facebook, twitter, Newsarama, you name it. I've watched all the animated features and shorts. How the hell did it take me TWO YEARS to find out about this?
Yes, they are in business to make money, and movie tie-ins sell, but DC Entertainment need to stop trying to use movies to sell these and start thinking about how the animated features, series and motion comics can be used to sell print and digital comics. The more people that buy comics regularly, the more people will be likely to buy the animated features.
How about a series of 5-10 minute shorts to play in front of new Young Justice episodes? A new short for each episode. Each short would showcase a different character in the DCU. Viewers could vote for which they want to be the next feature. This would build some hype for the feature and for each of the books that had been made into a short.

How I would have relaunched the DCU

I'll try to keep this as succinct as possible because, I'll grant, relaunching an entire universe is not an easy task and lets face it, the challenge is supposed to be to create an accessible DCU. A DCU that new readers can delve straight into. If I can describe the entire universe in a couple of sentences, then I think the professionals should be able to have all questions answered by the end of September.
Basically, we'd be rolling the entire DCU back to roughly Year 8 or 9 of it's existence as well as scattering some of it's more mobile American heroes throughout the globe. Bear in mind that this is a starting point for something new, not to retread old ground.
I'll start with Batman, since he is the true centre and flagship of DC Comics.
Roll back in time to Bruce is Batman, Dick is Nightwing, Jason is still dead, Tim is Robin and Barbara Gordon is Oracle. Nightwing protects Bludhaven and occasionally trips up to Gotham. Oracle travels the country with the Birds of Prey (Black Canary, Huntress and Zatanna).
For the most part, side-kicks and extended families would be cut. Superman and Supergirl protect Metropolis. Oliver Queen protects Star City as Green Arrow. Wally West is the Flash. Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner are sector partners, taking turns to do tours of duty on Earth and supporting the Green Lantern Corps in space.
Aquaman has the largest 'family', with Aqualad (Jackson Hyde), Tempest (Garth) and Aquagirl (Tula). This is quite simply because he is King of an Oceanic Empire and these are his apprentices, who he is training to act as his representatives. Kings are busy after all.
Jefferson Pierce's Black Lightning mentors Static Shock.
Jason Rusch would be the main host of the Firestorm matrix, which contains the concious imprints of it's previous hosts (including Ronnie Raymond and Prof. Stein).
Jamie Reyes is the Blue Beetle, Ryan Choi is The Atom, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are reincarnated into Egyptian bodies, Wonder Woman lives in Greece, Hawk & Dove are trans-atlantic sisters on different sides of the English private/state education systems.
I'd take the Golden Age heroes out of continuity and put them back into Earth-2.
The Justice League would be co-ordinated by Martian Manhunter and contain representatives from around the world. So Superman (USA), Aquaman (Atlantis), Wonder Woman (Greece), Dr. Light (Japan), Kapitán Atoma (Russia), Cap'n Marvel (Austrailia), Bhūgōla (Indian version of Terra) as well as the Green Lanterns and Firestorm.
The Outsiders, an infiltration unit, would be run by Nightwing and contain Green Arrow, Black Lightning, Cyborg, The Flash and the Atom. They are the CIA to the Birds of Prey's FBI.
Reflecting their age, the Teen Titans haven't assigned a leader, they ebb-and-flow in leadership roles. Robin, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, the Ravager, Static Shock, Empress, Hawk & Dove (part-time), Aqualad and Aquagirl (rotating).
Checkmate would be a corrupt government agency, seeking to influence the paths of dozens of countries. That title would follow agents as they begin to unearth the horrible truths about their organization.
The Coven would focus on Black Alice, Traci 13, Raven and other, original, characters who have their feet in pools of magical power.
 As well as having books that focus on different genres (Magical, mysteries, superhero, spy thriller, sci-fi), placing the books more globally would give the books distinct and different flavours. Already we can see a diversity in cultures and ethnicity as well as personalities and attitudes. It would be unlikely that two characters given the same problem would handle it in exactly the same way.
Again, these would just be the starting points, familiar characters could be reintroduced as long as editors were careful adapt their background to the new world that they'd be introduced into.

Am I wrong about the prospects of the DCU? Would you have rebooted differently?

Hitman Absolution Trailer E3 2011

Thursday, 9 June 2011

What will be DC's 52 titles? UPDATED: 52 & done!

DC Comics are rebooting in September with all new #1's and revamped continuity. DC have stated that there will be 52 number 1's launched in September and that every comic will be released both digitally and in print on the same day.

Here is the press release as seen in USA today:

Starting this summer, the publisher will re-number its entire DC Universe of titles, revamping characters such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and others from its 76-year history for a more modern and diverse 21st century.

The first book to be released under this new era: Justice League No. 1, out Aug. 31. The series by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee reunites the famous lineup of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

Johns promises a focus on the interpersonal relationships within DC's trademark superteam. "What's the human aspect behind all these costumes? That's what I wanted to explore," he says.

In September, an additional 51 first issues will make their debut, introducing stories that are grounded in each character's specific legend but also reflect today's real-world themes and events. Lee spearheaded the costumes' redesign to make characters more identifiable and accessible to comic fans new and old.
"We really want to inject new life in our characters and line," says Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC with Lee. "This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today's audience."

In an even more important move in the competitive comics industry, DC is making all of the re-numbered titles available digitally via apps and a DC website the same day they arrive in comic shops. It marks the first time that a major comics publisher has done so with its popular superhero titles.

The company has come in second to Marvel every year since 2002 in market share, according to Diamond Comic Distributors.

While the two companies are making millions off movie adaptations of their comic books, print sales for both have dropped in recent years, as new technology gives readers many more options.

"We're allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look," Lee says.

"Having the ability to give people access to these comics with one button click means we're going to get a lot of new readers."

As excited as Dan DiDio is about DC Comics' newest initiative, the company's co-publisher knows he can walk the hallways of the DC Comics offices in Manhattan and pick up the same vibe from his co-workers.
"If we can convince the people here we're doing something brand-new and fresh, we have a good chance to really get the people outside on board," DiDio says.
DC will re-number its entire line of superhero titles, beginning with all-new No. 1 issues starting Aug. 31 — 52 in all, including a new Justice League No. 1. Fittingly, the publisher put its creative superteam on its trademark superhero superteam.

Guided by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee, Justice League will begin its first year with an updated secret origin reflecting DC's new initiative, giving the group a reason for coming together that it lacked when the league first appeared in 1960. And while it will ultimately boast 14 members, at its core will be DC's A-list do-gooders: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman.

"The approach is very much about who they are behind the masks and how they interact together and how these personalities mix," explains Johns, DC Entertainment's chief creative officer. "With the world's greatest superheroes, how does that team actually work? Do they all get along? Being able to pull together and see how that relationship is forged and continues to grow has to be at the heart of that book."

For Lee, working on a team book is a different experience than a Superman or Batman, both of which he illustrated in recent years.
"When you have a Green Lantern mixing with a foil like Batman, you get scenes that are comic-book history. There's the epicness of it all. You're dealing with iconic characters and you want to give them all equal grandeur and weight."

In the rollout of the revamped DC Universe, some titles will return, a lot of titles won't, and DC will have a wider range of books starting in September, DiDio says. In addition, three-quarters of the creative teams will be shuffled around — series that are successful and writer/artist combinations that work well together won't be tweaked too much, he says.

"We've got a new set of creators coming in with new voices in the DC Universe," DiDio says. "We really want to bring a new energy and excitement to our books."

The characters also are getting a makeover. While most of the specifics are still top secret, Lee says he worked with both staff and freelance artists to redesign costumes in a contemporary way as well as alter the physicality of many heroes and villains to modernize the DC Universe.

"You're trying to have your cake and eat it, too," Lee says. "You're trying to keep the iconic elements there, but at the same time freshen up the look so that people are intrigued by what they're seeing and hopefully come and sample the wares."

The recent emphasis on diverse characters such as lesbian superheroine Batwoman, Hispanic hero Blue Beetle and African-American adventurer Cyborg (who will be a core member of Johns and Lee's new Justice League) also will continue.

"He's a character I really see as the modern-day, 21st-century superhero," Johns says of Cyborg. "He represents all of us in a lot of ways. If we have a cellphone and we're texting on it, we are a cyborg — that's what a cyborg is, using technology as an extension of ourselves."

There will also be a lot of diversity in the products as well, DiDio promises. "It's not just about straight superhero characters and stories. We're going to use war comics, we have stories set in mystery and horror, we've got Westerns."

While Lee allows that this kind of wholesale change is risky for DC, it's far more perilous to play it safe and not periodically examine these characters and how they relate to the readership.

"It's part of our jobs to make sure that these characters stay dynamic and relevant," Lee says. "And that's what drove us on a creative level to make these kinds of changes."

DC: The Source promise more reveals and information in the coming months, but not everything will be spoiled before September:
If you know us, you know we both hate secrets. In fact, you might’ve seen one (or both) of us have a grin or two on a convention panel recently. Why? Because it’s hard to keep a secret as big as the news we shared yesterday.
DC Comics will be making history this September. We’ll be renumbering the entire DC Universe line of comic books with 52 first issues. We’re publishing innovative storylines featuring our most iconic characters helmed by some of the most creative minds within the industry.
Not only will this initiative be compelling for existing readers, it’ll give new readers a precise entry point into our titles. And on top of that, all of these titles will be released digital day-and-date across the board.
Yesterday was just the beginning. After all, we don’t want to spoil the many surprises we have up our sleeves. It’s so important to us to make sure you maintain those feelings of excitement and unexpectedness when you pick up a new issue of our books.
We’re energized and looking forward to have you come on this journey with us as we make history this September.
–Jim Lee & Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publishers

Big changes indeed. I still haven't made my mind up if I think it is a good move or not. Certainly for Superman and Wonder Woman, a reboot is welcome, but Green Lantern, Birds of Prey and most of the Batman line are really strong at the moment.
Below, in capitals, are the ongoing titles so sale in August. Titles in italics are the changes that I think will be made and the additional titles that will bring us to a total of 52. Where I have written 'cancelled?' indicates titles that I think might go due to the shake up, but don't think that they will be directly replaced.
I will update this post as titles are announced. I will leave my original guesses untouched so that comparisions can be made. Bold & green=confirmed.

1. ADVENTURE COMICS replaced with Legion Lost

7. SUPERMAN/BATMAN cancelled?
10. BATMAN AND ROBIN renamed Nightwing
11. RED ROBIN renamed Robin
12. BATGIRL cancelled?
13. BATMAN INCORPORATED replaced with Batwoman
Batman Inc will return in 2012 as a 12 issue maxi-series called Batman: Leviathan
15. GOTHAM CITY SIRENS cancelled? replaced with Catwoman
I think that the Bat-clan will be stripped down to be as simple as possible. Bruce is Batman, Dick is Nightwing, Jason is the dead Robin, Tim is Robin and Kate as Batwoman. Batman Inc and Damian are too steeped in backstory. They'll either be heavily modified or cut.
19. GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD WARRIORS replaced with Green Lantern: New Guardians

As much as I like Kyle, I worry that he'll be cut from the DCU. I think that we could actually be cut down to two Green Lanterns: Hal and John.

JUSTICE LEAGUE International
22. TITANS cancelled?
23. TEEN TITANS renamed Young Justice
25. SECRET SIX as Suicide Squad
31. POWER GIRL cancelled?
33. JONAH HEX as All-Star Western
36. Aquaman
37. Martian Manhunter
38. Wondergirl
39. Blue Beetle
40. The Flash
41. Hawkman
42. Doom Patrol
43. Sgt. Rock
and the Men of War
44. Red Circle
45. Static Shock
46. Outsiders
47. Arsenal
48. Firestorm
49. Challengers of the Unknown as
Justice League Dark
50. Red Lantern Corps
51. Swamp Thing
52. Hellblazer
Mr Terrific
DC Presents
Captain Atom

Red Hood and the Outlaws
Animal Man
Demon Knights

Frankenstein, Agent of Shade
Resurrection Man
Hawk and Dove

Special update for 9th June:
52 and DONE!
Superman titles will be officially announced tomorrow, but I've seen unofficial confirmation of Superboy, Supergirl, Superman and Action Comics. So that is, as they say, that. I've also heard that Batman Beyond will continue.
Looking at my original predictions, I don't think that I did too badly. Remember bold&green=confirmed.

What do you think of the final line up?

Suicide Squad and Blue Beetle announced

These both look pretty good!

"Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! They’re a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they’re sheer suicide! Who will be the first to crack under the pressure? Find out in SUICIDE SQUAD #1, written by Adam Glass (FLASHPOINT: LEGION OF DOOM) with art by Marco Rudy (THE SHIELD)."

It’s not easy being Jaime Reyes. He has to deal with high school, family and all the drama that comes with being a teenager. Also, he’s linked to a powerful scarab created by an alien race who seek to subjugate planets – or annihilate them. It’s up to one teen hero to turn this instrument of destruction into a force for good in BLUE BEETLE #1, written by Tony Bedard (GREEN LANTERN CORPS) and illustrated by Ig Guara (FLASHPOINT: GRODD OF WAR) and Ruy Jose.

DC's War and Western comics

Welcome To The Edge

Stormwatch is a dangerous super human strike force whose existence is kept secret from the world. Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo. And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds. Featuring a surprising new roster, STORMWATCH #1 will be written by the critically-acclaimed Paul Cornell (Superman: The Black Ring, “Dr. Who”) and illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda.

Warfare: Past and Present

Blackhawk is an elite group of mercenaries made up of brave men from around the world equipped with the latest in cutting-edge hardware and vehicles. Their mission: Kill the bad guys before they kill us. A set of contemporary tales that battle the world’s gravest threats, BLACKHAWKS #1 will be written by Mike Costa and illustrated by Ken Lashley.
The grandson of the original Sgt. Rock assumes the command of Easy Company, a team of crack ex-military men financed by a covert military contractor, as they brave the battle-scarred landscape carved by the DC Universe’s super-villains. SGT. ROCK AND THE MEN OF WAR #1 is contemporary military story fighting under modern conditions, and will be written by Ivan Brandon and illustrated by Tom Derenick.
Even when Gotham City was just a one-horse town, crime was rampant – and things only get worse when bounty hunter Jonah Hex comes to town. Can Amadeus Arkham, a pioneer in criminal psychology, enlist Hex’s special brand of justice to help the Gotham Police Department track down a vicious serial killer? Featuring back-up stories starring DC’s other western heroes, ALL-STAR WESTERN #1 will be written by the fan-favorite Jonah Hex team of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and illustrated by Moritat.

The DC Universe’s Loose Cannons

A metahuman mercenary who made a living taking out the toughest targets, Deathstroke will reclaim his fearsome legacy by any means necessary in DEATHSTROKE #1, a new series from rising star Kyle Higgins (Batman: Gates of Gotham) and artists Joe Bennett and Art Thibert.
Ex-black ops agent Cole Cash is a charming grifter that few can resist. And yet he’s about to be branded a serial killer when he begins hunting and exterminating inhuman creatures hidden in human form – creatures only he can see. Can the biggest sweet talker of all time talk his way out of this one when even his brother thinks he’s gone over the edge? Find out in GRIFTER #1, written by Nathan Edmondson with art by CAFU and BIT (the team behind T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS).
A man loses control of his life as the omnipresent Brother Eye transforms him against his will into a powerful killing machine OMAC #1, written by DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio and co-written and illustrated by Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish.

Source: DC Comics Blog

Arkham City gameplay UPDATED

Right we now have the footage from G4, Machinima, IGN and Gametrailers. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Fabian Nicieza on the end of Red Robin

Fabian has been a great creator, who took the time out to talk to fans on the DC Comics message boards. Today, he had this to say about the changes to DC Comics:

Now that the info is officially out from DC, I can say two things:

1) I am incredibly disappointed that my run on RED ROBIN is over. Tim Drake is one of my favorite characters in comics and getting to write him (again) was a real pleasure for me, as was working with artists as talented (and professional!) as Marcus and Ray each and every month. I've watched Marcus grow from a good artist to a GREAT artist and I can't wait for the chance to work with him again!
The editors I've worked with on the title, Mike, Janelle, Sean and now Rachel & Rickey, have been consistently supportive of everything I wanted to do and always smart about how to make things better.

I wish Tim well in the future. I know how excited Scott is to write Teen Titans and I expoect that'll be reflected in the new title. Besides, Scoot and I go way back and he knows that if I'm not happy with what he does with Tim, I'll fly out to L.A. on a moment's notice and kick his ass in. Which I can do while my hands are busy working on a Legion Lost script...

2) As for my new assignment, well, I was fully prepared to say, "No Thanks" to any offer DC made once they told me Red Robin was ending its run. Comics are just a very small part of a very large workload for me now (the kids sports-themed virtual world I've been working on for 3 years launches a free preview next week! TV commercials and everything! --- check it out starting June 15th!).
I have to be emotionally engaged to whatever I write. Comics writing has to be a pleasure for me, not necessarily "commerce."
So, I was ready to say "no" and they said... Wildfire? Dawnstar? Timber Wolf? Trapped in the present? You tell us why....

So far this is the biggest disappointment of the whole affair, not only have they cancelled the best book and split the best creative team, but it looks like they are going to ignore all the good work that they did on the book as well.

DC's young super teams for September's reboot

Seven heroes from the 31st century have traveled back to the present day. Their mission: Save their future from total annihilation. When the future tech they brought with them fails, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world and an ultimate struggle to survive. LEGION LOST #1 will be written by Fabian Nicieza and illustrated by Pete Woods, fresh off an acclaimed run of Action Comics.
In the 31st century, the Legion of Superheroes is reeling from the loss of seven of their finest — and trying desperately to keep their youngest recruits alive against a series of terrible new threats. LEGION OF SUPERHEROES #1 will be written by fan-favorite Legion writer Paul Levitz and illustrated by Francis Portela.

The Next Generation of Justice

teen_titans_promoTim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard when an international organization seeks to capture or kill super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he must team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and a hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash in TEEN TITANS #1, by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.
Promo art to the left, actual cover to the right.
Virgil Hawkins has been gifted with incredible electrical powers. Adopting the persona of Static, he faces super-powered street gangs, raging hormones, homework, and girls in STATIC SHOCK #1, co-written by John Rozum and Scott McDaniel, with McDaniel also illustrating along with Jonathan Glapion.
It’s up to the living avatars of war and peace to root out the hidden forces who look to plunge the country into a deadly civil war in HAWK AND DOVE #1. The exciting new series will be written by Sterling Gates and illustrated by legendary superstar comics artist Rob Liefeld.

Source: DC Comics Blog

Cancelled Superman and The Flash video games?

If these are real, how on EARTH or even Krypton did they not get made?
Remember, these were cancelled, so will look very rough, but they give you an idea.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Stranger DC titles announced UPDATED!

 Things are taking a stranger turn in the mysterious side of the DCU...

DC Comics continues to roll out announcements of new first-issues featuring famous characters and creators in striking combinations. This morning we start off with two highly intriguing combos: Scott Snyder, who’s been doing such strong work on American Vampire, will write a new version of Swamp Thing, and Jeff Lemire, author of one of comics’ finest current books, Sweet Tooth, is taking on Animal Man.

Since re-workings of Swamp Thing and Animal Man are so closely associated with other, earlier writers (Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, respectively), these re-re-imaginings are bound to be both fascinating and, perhaps inevitably, subjects of debate.

Other new supernatural/fantasy/horror-themed books that will be announced by DC Comics today and scheduled to publish in September include:
• Justice League Dark, what DC terms “a band of supernatural heroes” — John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu (wouldn’t it be cool if they really were supposed to be a band?) – written by Peter Milligan.
• Demon Knights, super-heroism set in medieval times, a premise that would have me yawning except that it’s being written by Paul Cornell, who did such a terrific job recently on Knight and Squire, and on Lex Luthor in Action Comics.
• Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, which may be the most below-the-radar promising of all. The writer is again Jeff Lemire, taking the Frankenstein monster and turning him/it into an action hero alongside other fictional monsters in the service of a government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive. This giddy mish-mash has the potential for either delicious cleverness or disastrous offal. Either way, I’m in for issue #1.

DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio told me these new titles are intended to “shake up the status quo” and to take the company and its creators “out of their comfort zone,” to inspire “new, fresh” creativity.

Source: Shelf-Life

And more from the DC Comics Blog:

A cult favorite character returns in a new series written by his classic creative team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Joining them is JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST artist Fernando Dagnino. RESURRECTION MAN #1 is the story of a hero who wakes up with new powers each time he’s killed.
Vampires threaten to bring ruin to the DC Universe in I, VAMPIRE #1 by rising star Josh Fialkov and artist Andrea Sorrentino. Tortured by his centuries-old love for the Queen of the Damnned, Andrew Bennett must save humanity from the violent uprising of his fellow vampires, even if it means exterminating his own kind.
Priscilla Kitaen has just found out she’s a monster. A half-alien hybrid, the woman known as Voodoo must confront the secrets of her past to make sense of the nightmare her life has suddenly become. VOODOO #1 will be written by Ron Marz with art by Sami Basri.