Saturday, May 30, 2015
Friday, May 29, 2015
This is the first installment in a new feature where I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media. I’m sure you can think of other examples, so feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to suggest some other examples for future installments.
We begin with the surprisingly late introduction of John Stewart’s marine background into Green Lantern comics.
NOTE: Again, I get that you can think of other examples, but please don’t post them in the comments section. Just e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for other examples.
John Stewart’s background as an architect was present right from his first appearance in Green Lantern #89 (by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano)…
Thursday, May 28, 2015
LEGO Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom. Crime is on the run as the newly formed Justice League keeps Metropolis safe and this makes evil genius Lex Luthor very unhappy. Together with Black Manta, Sinestro and a gang of ruthless recruits, Lex builds his own league and declares them the Legion of Doom. With this super powered team of terror and a plan to attack the top-secret government site, Area 52, can Lex finally be on the verge of victory? Sound the alarm and get ready for the bricks to fly when Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League face off against the world’s greatest Super-Villains! It’s the next all-new original movie from LEGO® and DC Comics. #DCcomics #JusticeLeague #LegionOfDoom by dcentertainment
The second season of "Gotham" will see more of Harvey Dent, as actor Nicholas D'Agosto announced Wednesday via his Twitter account that he's been promoted to series regular status on the DC Comics-based Fox drama. D'Agosto was formerly recurring in the role.
"Thank you to all of you @Gotham and #HarveyDent fans for your enthusiasm," D'Agosto wrote. "I can't wait to join more of the fun as a regular in Season 2!"
In the first season of "Gotham," D'Agosto remained firmly in the heroic Harvey Dent identity, with no transformation -- yet -- into famous Batman villain Two-Face. Whether or not Two-Face will make an appearance on the second season of "Gotham" remains to be seen.
Morena Baccarin, who plays Dr. Leslie Thompkins, was announced earlier this month as also making the jump for recurring to series regular. "Gotham" is set to return to its time slot of 8 p.m. Mondays in the fall.
The stories of #Convergence may have been epic, but the amazing Variant Covers didn't disappoint either. by dccomics
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Warner Bros.' upcoming "Wonder Woman" film looks close to adding a major name to its cast: Variety reports that "Star Trek" franchise headliner Chris Pine is "in negotiations" to join the production as Steve Trevor, the DC Comics icon's frequent love interest.
Steve Trevor has existed in comic book history as long as Wonder Woman herself, both debuting in 1941's "All Star Comics" #8. Created by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter, the character is a regular fixture in most versions of the character, traditionally depicted as a military hero. In the '70s "Wonder Woman" TV series, the character was played by Lyle Waggoner.
This would mark entry into another major franchise for Pine, who stars as Captain Kirk in Paramount's "Star Trek" films, the third of which is expected to start production soon. WB's big-screen Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, will first be seen in the role in next spring's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."
Variety states that earlier rumors connected Scott Eastwood to the role, but he opted instead for a guaranteed "Suicide Squad" supporting part rather than testing for "Wonder Woman."
Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gadot in the title role, "Wonder Woman" is scheduled for release on June 23, 2017.
Marvel Studios' upcoming "Doctor Strange" film could be adding an Oscar-winner to its ranks: Tilda Swinton is reportedly "in negotiations" to join the film's cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
If the deal comes to pass, Swinton will play Strange's mentor the Ancient One -- traditionally depicted in Marvel Comics as a male character. THR reports that Marvel Studios was originally looking for a male actor in the role before changing plans and pursuing Swinton. The Ancient One was first introduced in 1963's "Strange Tales" #110 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko -- the same issue as Doctor Strange's debut.
This wouldn't be the first comic book-based film for Swinton, who appeared in 2005's "Constantine," based on DC Comics antihero John Constantine, plus 2014's critically acclaimed "Snowpiercer." She won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in 2007's "Michael Clayton."
DC seeks to stop software company from trademarking ‘Gotham’
After drawing widespread attention last week for its effort to block singer Rihanna from trademarking “Robyn,” DC Comics has turned its attention to Gotham.
In documents filed Tuesday, and first reported by Pirated Thoughts, DC has asked the United States Trademark and Patent Office to reject an attempt by software company Palantir Technologies to register “Gotham” as the name of a computer program. As the law blog notes, the product was previously referred to as “Palantir Gotham,” but for unknown reasons the company decided to drop the first half of the name, thereby attracting the watchful eyes DC’s attorneys.
Although the comics publisher doesn’t own the trademark to Gotham, it’s used the name as the primary setting of Batman’s adventures since 1940, and essentially claims common law use. Additionally, DC points to its existing trademarks for “Gotham Central,” “Gotham City,” “Gotham Girls” and “Gotham Knights,” and two pending applications for “Gotham” (both tied to the Fox television series of the same name).
DC claims Palantir’s use of “Gotham” will likely lead to confusion in the marketplace and trademark dilution.
Gotham, whose roots lie in the English village of the same name, has been used in reference to New York City since at least the turn of the 19th century, long before Bill Finger settled on “Gotham City” as Batman’s stomping grounds.
However, the publisher argues (somewhat convincingly) that through its “shepherding and careful development of the Batman character and his universe,” the Dark Knight has “become associated with certain names, marks and indicia which, in the public mind, are inextricably linked with the Batman character and which function as trademarks.” In short, when you think of Gotham, you think of Batman.
While many fans expected the end result of DC Comics' just-concluded "Convergence" event to be a streamlined, non-multiversal DC Universe, the events of Issue #8, which arrived in stores today, have resulted in the exact opposite.
When the series' final issue concludes, not only does the Multiverse remain in existence, major changes have been made to the grandaddy of all company-wide continuity-shifting events, "Crisis on Infinite Earths." As Brainiac prepares to save all of reality by transporting the heroes he had previously trapped on his patchwork world to their own realities, the über-powerful villain includes Parallax among those he sends back to face the original Crisis.
Accompanying a brief play-by-play from Telos -- the humanoid incarnation of the planet the heroes are trapped on -- which states, "Reality is resetting, stabilizing. Each world has evolved, but they all exist," we're treated to pair of two-page splashes, displaying over a dozen of the different Earths that have been saved.
Throughout the marketing of the series, DC fans have been teased with the idea that the goal of "Convergence" was to jettison the publisher's previous DCU incarnations. Co-publisher Dan DiDio described the various two-issue miniseries that made up the bulk of the event as a way for readers to "get to revisit [previous realities] again with some level of resolution," hinting that this might be the last time DC visited the continuity of Zero Hour, Flashpoint, post-Crisis and more. "there's a sense of a lot of stuff coming to an end," DiDio teased further, "but so much great stuff is about to begin."
The event's title itself indicated as much, hinting that every DC reality was set to "converge" into one. Of course, DC's Free Comic Book Day "Divergence" title was likely intended to hint at the story's actual outcome.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Monday, May 25, 2015
First things first, as with so many other "Convergence" cities, dropping the Detroit version of the Justice League in Gotham City makes no sense. However, writer Fabian Nicieza uses the terrain to his advantage, inserting both Gotham City Police Department Commissioner Jim Gordon and GCTV7 reporter Vicki Vale into a tale that shouldn't concern them. It adds a thin layer of depth to the story and gives artist ChrisCross the opportunity to draw the DC Universe's most recognizable law enforcement officer, but the battle at the heart of "Convergence: Justice League of America" #2 could have been just as well executed on the streets of Detroit.
Nicieza does his job well and uses the deathmatch plot of "Convergence" to elevate the Justice League of America, despite pitting them against some of the more iconic heroes of the Tangent Universe. Nicieza seizes comic book convenience and bends it to maximize intensity, taking the three most recognizable and powerful members (Zatanna, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter) of this era's League out of the main battle, further spotlighting the Elongated Man, Steel, Gypsy, Vixen and Vibe. The writer masterfully avoids sending Vibe into the stereotypical persona that angered fans, gives Gypsy plenty to do and aptly describes Vixen's abilities, but Steel is really the one hero who doesn't get as much attention. Nicieza uses the Len Wein theory of writing team adventures and gives every hero a solo moment and a line of dialogue at the very least.
Nicieza uses Sue Dibny to narrate "Convergence: Justice League of America" #2. This reminds me just how much brighter the DC Universe was with Dibnys in it, especially as Sue and Ralph are able to emote without being overly dramatic or forced. It's a nice choice, underscoring the humanity of the less seasoned Justice Leaguers in the throws of battle.
ChrisCross is given over a dozen wonderfully diverse characters to work with, and he makes every panel shine. His storytelling and page layouts are well-conceived, maximizing the action and flow of the tale while showcasing the characters. He draws meticulously patched detail into Gypsy's skirt, adds shiny highlights to Elongated Man's outfit and adds wear and tear to the city around the combatants. Every character is heroic and dynamic, from the Tangent Joker to Jim Gordon. That's not to say that ChrisCross makes Jim Gordon a muscle-bound bone-breaker, but he does put Gordon in the right placement and light to own the panels he occupies. The artist clearly has fun playing with the oddities present in this adventure, from Aquaman's flared gloves (which look much different than Vibe's gloves), Zatanna's purple-and-white uniform and Elongated Man's stretch powers throughout the issue.
With more than one fight, the battle ebbs and flows, packing action and intensity into "Convergence: Justice League of America" and maximizing every penny the readers spent to acquire this comic. As the settings and action vary scene to scene, the colors from Snakebite Cortez are off the scale: dynamic when they need to be, chaotic and effective throughout and toned down to let reality sink into the panels. When Vibe uses his powers, it looks much different than Zatanna's magic or the Tangent Universe's Atom's blasts. Letterer Rob Leigh augments the battles with bombastic, comic-perfect sound effects and flowing dialogue throughout the word balloons and caption boxes.
Everything comes together in "Convergence: Justice League of America" #2, adding to a visually stunning issue. The outcome is a happy ending of sorts, but the impact of the battle upon the combatants is murky at best, especially with "Convergence" winding down soon. This issue serves as a nice sample from Nicieza, ChrisCross, Cortez and Leigh, proving that the Justice League Detroit has story potential and characters worth investigating more extensively. By the final page, I find myself wanting a Justice League Detroit miniseries from this creative team. After all, it's nice to see optimism flavor heroics once again.
On May 19, DC Comics -- the publisher of the trinity of global icons known as Superman, Batman and The Wonder Woman (Yes, I added a "The." Let's start a trend.) -- revealed a brave and bold campaign called "DC You."
"DC You," a take on the phonetic similarity to DCU, the common abbreviation for DC Universe, is the latest initiative by DC Comics to highlight the idea of that thing. You know, that thing.
A number of people have offered their opinion on this campaign, and most of them, from what I've observed, have not been positive. In fact, knives were sharpened and thrown with accuracy that would make Deadshot from the Suicide Squad give a nod of admiration.
People have asked for my opinion on Facebook, and I think I'm expected to pull out my knives, too. Do my own Deadshot move like Will Smith in next year's "Suicide Squad" film. Go for the jugular with that Midnighter-style attack maneuver and a smile. Beat down the legitimacy of the campaign's claim like Batman with his armored fist.
I'm not going to do any of that.
I'm going to give DC Comics credit for this latest initiative.
In looking at the poster campaign for "DC You", I see:
- Female characters
- Black characters
- Asian characters
- Teenage characters
- Gay characters
- Writers of color
It's clear that through this campaign, DC Comics has missed various demographics, missed cracks within its claim, but let's be honest -- that makes this no different from any campaign by DC Comics, or their competitor, Marvel Comics.
What is the last perfect campaign you remember seeing from either of the Big Two American superhero comic book publishers?
That's not the thing to me.
I didn't expect this diversity campaign to be the perfect diversity campaign, and I don't expect a publisher with diversity issues to pull out a time compression device and be able to rectify every lacking area of diversity within their organization and fictional universe in a very short amount of time.
That will take DC Comics years to rectify.
So I'm cool with the "DC You" campaign…
…because I know it's not about diversity.
It's about what lots of people have been saying it's about, which is the redirection of your attention from the thing in the not-distant past, tickling the back of your fan skull like Peter Parker's Spider-Sense.
"The New 52."
DC Comics' line-wide relaunch in Sept. 2011, the revamp of their entire universe from the beginning of time to the far-future.
A line of 52 comic books cohesively joined by the threads of a revamped mythology.
It worked for a while.
Then it didn't.
Books were cancelled and replaced with other books. Some of those books were cancelled and replaced with other books.
Reality unravels, for a campaign that was never meant to last. Never meant to be sustained.
No campaign can survive the reaper.
"DC You" is the newest link in a chain that is meant to be stronger, more relevant, longer-lasting than "The New 52".
So I applaud DC Comics for this latest initiative. Assuming that the campaign is based in sincerity and an improved company ethos, the future can only get better for mainstream comics and creators in the comic book business.
Because DC Comics will hire more writers of color, profile more characters of color, more teenagers who don't wear costumes but have extraordinary abilities, more characters who are neither heterosexual nor cisgender, more characters representing disabled persons, and more. More.
I applaud DC Comics and the future possibilities.
I also feel sorry for DC Comics.
Because its various initiatives throughout the years, its various crossover events, going back to "Infinite Crisis" and shown through the fabric and expiration of "The New 52," speaks to a deeper truth about the company. The thing that a bunch of us have said for a number of years.
DC Comics will never be the number one American publisher of superhero comics if they keep trying to out-Marvel Marvel Comics.
Think about their various course corrections with a number of DC's characters, main characters, secondary characters.
Do you honestly feel DC has a handle on Superman?
A handle on The Wonder Woman?
But things keep changing in style and approach with characters like Green Arrow.
Certainly with Black Canary.
The Black Canary of the new post-"Convergence" DC Universe is someone I don't recognize, because she seems so divergent from the Black Canary of less than a year ago.
DC Comics bobs and weaves, shifting with the direction of the winds of trends, but somehow, for some reason, it seems to do it a little too late to seem in-step.
A little later than Marvel Comics.
The narratives of the major and secondary characters and teams in Marvel Comics seem to be more about an evolution and less of a redirection.
I have no particular allegiance to Marvel Comics. I have examined and will continue to examine Marvel on a number of its corporate and intellectual property maintenance when it comes to diversity.
This is about the real diversity of DC Comics, the one that does not scream from its universe.
Marvel Comics is much closer to "the world outside your window," as per its claim, than DC Comics is. Marvel is better with their timing in relation to the cultural zeitgeist.
Its sales dominance proves it. A character like "Spider-Gwen" -- a fresh reimagination of a decades-old supporting character -- slapping the first published-in-1938 Superman all over the sales charts proves it. Its accomplishments with Kamala Khan, the Pakistani-American star of "Ms. Marvel" proves it.
So if DC Comics isn't the world outside our windows, then what is it?
Every place else.
I don't believe for a minute that Superman is relevant, because so many opportunities have been missed to make Superman relevant.
But I do believe a man getting hit with a Zeta-beam and transported to an alien world, where he fights strange creatures, deals with super-science, and becomes embroiled in politics and affairs of the heart, is crazy, a good kind of crazy, the crazy that was the foundation of the DC Universe.
The DC Comics that Darwyn Cooke, whether by intention or result or both, wrote a love letter to with his brilliant graphic novel "The New Frontier."
The DC Comics being celebrated with its latest event, "Convergence".
The DC Comics not trying to have gravitas, not trying to be the world outside our windows.
The DC Universe.
The DC Multiverse.
No gravity. No politics. No rape. No dismemberment.
The DC Universe is not relevant.
The DC Universe is, however, at its best, the place where anything could happen.
That is the diversity at the real core of "DC You." The promise yet to be made real once again, residing on the quantum level beneath the atomic.
"DC You" is not a campaign in my mind.
It's what DC is supposed to do.
It's what we should expect DC to do.
It's good, but not impressive.
Impressive is knowing what is best about you and embracing it.
Impressive is seemingly unlimited imagination month after month.
Impressive is when a group of young people in the 31st century populate a world that looks like the future.
Feels like the future.
Impressive is predicting the world to come, and showing us that better world, providing fiction that leads the charge to the better world.
Having a staff of people who, in all of their diversity, can shepherd the better world.
DC Comics has had such luminaries and trailblazers as Archie Goodwin, Karen Berger, Dennis O'Neil, Jenette Kahn, Neal Pozner, Christopher Priest, Dick Giordano, Paul Levitz, Rich Johnson, Murphy Anderson and more in its ranks.
Those people pushed the medium forward.
Let's see if DC Comics can do that, be its best, do what is best, every day and always, without a campaign to bring attention to themselves.
A friend of mine made a good point when he sent me this list of people.
Diane Nelson, President
Jim Lee, Co-Publisher
Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher
Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer
James Tucker, Supervising Producer of DC Animation
Kevin Tsujihara, WB CEO
This group of people reflect some of the diversity that should be intrinsic to DC Entertainment and DC Comics on all levels.
I don't, for one minute, expect them to be a Justice League, because their culture should not have any injustice within its ranks, within its ethos.
I would like to see them become a legion of superheroes.
Joseph Phillip Illidge is a public speaker on the subjects of race, comics, and the corporate politics of diversity. In addition to his coverage by the BBC and Publishers Weekly, Joseph has been a speaker at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Digital Book World's forum, Digitize Your Career: Marketing and Editing 2.0, Skidmore College, Purdue University, on the panel "Diversity in Comics: Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexual Orientation in American Comic Books" and at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art in New York City.
Joseph is the Head Writer for Verge Entertainment, a production company co-founded with Shawn Martinbrough, artist for the graphic novel series "Thief of Thieves" by "The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman, and video game developer Milo Stone. Verge has developed an extensive library of intellectual properties for live-action and animated television and film, video games, graphic novels, and web-based entertainment.
His graphic novel project, "The Ren," about the romance between a young musician from the South and a Harlem-born dancer in 1925, set against the backdrop of a crime war, will be published by First Second Books, a division of Macmillan.
Joseph's newest comic book project is the upcoming Scout Comics miniseries "Solarman," a revamp of a teenage superhero originally written by Stan Lee.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
See what's in stores this August with complete August solicitation info and covers from Marvel, DC, Image Comics, IDW, Dark Horse and more!
The classic noir novel becomes a comic, Mulder & Scully return, plus the latest from "Transformers," "G.I. Joe" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
DC's Bombshells comic arrives, Clark Kent's world remains upturned, Bruce Wayne remains MIA and Donna Troy's role comes into focus.
Plus, the latest from "Walking Dead," Lazarus," "ODY-C" and "Outcast," and the "Jupiter's Circle" finale!
The skirmishes across Battleworld continue to heat up as "Secret Wars" rages on in Marvel's August 2015 solicitations.
An all-new "Sleepy Hollow" miniseries and new work from Justin Jordan, Christopher Sebela and more headline the publisher's August offerings.
Matt Kindt brings his saga to a close in "New MGMT," the "Buffy Season 10" crossover heats up, "Adam.3" and "King Tiger" debut and more in August.
Friday, May 22, 2015
For the almost two years, writer Greg Pak and artist Aaron Kuder have delivered a steady supply of super stories for the Man of Steel in the pages of "Action Comics", but following the line-wide "Convergence" event, the creative team are finally going to tell the truth. That's "Truth" with a capital "T" as it's the name of a new arc that will permeate all of the Superman Group titles -- "Action Comics," "Superman," "Superman/Wonder Woman" and "Batman/Superman.".
The story, which Pak and Kuder outline in this interview with CBR News, examines a major change to Superman's status quo as he no longer possesses an out-of-this-world power level nor does he no longer maintain his secret identity of Clark Kent. "Truth" also finds Superman without his trademark super-suit, a decision that Kuder reveas came about organically as part of the storytelling and not as part of an editorial edict. Pak also shared his thoughts on the impact of having both "Action Comics" and "Superman" written by Asian Americans -- as Gene Luen Yang is now writing the latter -- and what the Last Man of Krypton represents to readers that belong both literally and figuratively to two worlds.
CBR News: Greg and Aaron, you have now been on "Action Comics" together for nearly two years. How has the recent hiatus brought on by "Convergence" affected your run when it status back up in June?
Greg Pak: We obviously started planning for this many months before "Convergence" hit and comics is non-stop and you always need to be hitting deadlines, so even though there seems that there has been this enormous two-month gap, we were still working towards our deadlines. You've got to love it. That's what is most exciting about working in comics. It's this break-neck thing. You come up with crazy ideas. You talk about them. The next day, you are writing them. And by the next week, someone is drawing them -- and in a month, they're on the shelf. It's crazy how fast things can move.
At the same time, like you said, Aaron and I have been working on the same character for almost two years now and all throughout this, we've really come to understand each other's take on the character and really sync up and find ways to collaborate well and reach that next level with the character.
Aaron Kuder: When you start getting in the head of your co-creator and feeling the direction that they want to go in and you want to go in, [that] takes time but we really hit the ground running. One of the first characters that we redeveloped was Lana Lang and I think in our discussion of how to handle her and flesh her out as a character in the New 52, we realized that we were on the same page both creatively and with the direction that we wanted these characters to go.
Pak: We hadn't worked with each other before but our editor Eddie Berganza made the suggestion and it just worked. We clicked. We were fortunate. And Aaron is right, it really first came together when we started talking about updating Lana. Aaron jumped right in and made some great suggestions and it all made sense.
Obviously the events of the past few months have greatly changed how Superman operates in Metropolis and within the DCU. Are we going to get a different Clark and a different Superman in "Action Comics" #41?
Pak: Absolutely. There is a whole new look, a whole new power-set or power levels, and a whole new status quo. The world was changed and Clark is going to have to deal in a big way. Everything has changed so it's a huge challenge for Clark and all of the supporting cast and it's going to be a huge amount of fun to explore.
Aaron, what about his look? Superman lost his costume in the Sneak Peak DC recently released. And I sound like a fashionista, but what will Superman be wearing this summer?
Kuder: [Laughs] On the Internet, if you get a 50 percent positive and a 50 percent negative reaction to something, you count that as a success, and I think that's what we've got with the new look -- but I think the problem is that people are calling it a new costume. And really, it's just a t-shirt and jeans. It's not a new costume. The new look came from the story. I realized that there was a whole bunch of new looks that came out at exactly the same time, but no one came to us and said that Superman needed a new look. No one said that we needed to jazz him up or change him in any way. What happened is that we fleshed out the story and more and more it became obvious that the path that Clark is going down needed it's own design, and now he's in his comfy clothes.
Pak: [Laughs] In "Action Comics" #41, you're going to find out where that t-shirt comes from.
Kuder: And you also find out in the Sneak Peek preview where the old look goes.
Pak: But like Aaron said, there is an emotional point and a story point to all of this. It was a blast developing the storyline at the last Superman summit and while we were all talking, Aaron was drawing, so all of these story beats and all of these emotional beats of this journey that this character is going on came to life right there while Aaron was sketching it out at the summit. It was all very organic and when you read the story, we hope that resonates with you.
The "Truth" story arc is crossing over between all of the Superman titles like "Doomed" did last year. As storytellers, do you enjoy world-building with multiple creative teams or would you rather stay more tightly focused on your own storylines?
Pak: Both of those are a blast. There is something really special when it's a really small piece and you just do this crazy thing in your little corner and we've had lots of opportunity to do that kind of stuff. That's incredibly fun. But there's also something glorious when you are working on something that branches out from something larger that other folks are contributing to too.
The other writers and artists on the Superman books are amazing. I love being in a room with folks like Peter Tomasi and Gene Yang and John Romita Jr. because I learn a lot just by hearing other people talk. It's a lot of fun.
Kuder: And slightly intimidating.
After "Doomed," which was a blockbuster-y superhero/sci fi epic, you went smaller -- or at least Smallville-ier -- with your very spooky "Horrorville" arc. Genre-wise, is "Truth" a Grisham-esque courtroom legal thriller? From the solicited cover for "Action Comics" #42, it looks like Superman is on trial and the solicit copy asks, "Who will stand by Clark Kent?"
Pak: [Laughs] I don't think there is a courtroom in sight but it is a grittier storyline because we have a Superman that can be injured and that is in physical risk all of the time in a really great way [for storytelling]. The stakes are really high. At the same time, the series is called "Action" and you are going to see tons of action. That part doesn't change. And there is a great mystery in this storyline that runs through all of the Superman books, and there will be a huge payoff in that regard. The huge attraction of this story is also the idea that you can have really great emotional arc for all of these different supporting characters and also for the new characters that we are creating. There is a new character named Lee Lambert, who you will meet in "Action Comics" #41, and she is going to be awesome. The storyline introduces folks like that, as well, and sets up really great characters arc for them.
And I should note that "Truth" is not a traditional crossover. It's not one of these insanely tightly weaved things where you have to read one book to be able to understand another book. "Truth" establishes a new status quo for Superman but each of the separate books is telling a separate story. They all fit together in a certain way but it's not a like a traditional crossover. Of course, you do want to read them [laughs] because they're all going to be awesome, but don't be scared away crossover fatigue if that's a concern.
Lois Lane obviously plays a major role in this arc but as discussed, you have heavily featured Lana Lang in "Action Comics" since you started your run. Will Lana continue to play a role and why do you think that she resonated so well with readers -- both new and old?
Pak: You will find out all about Lana in "Superman/Wonder Woman." Pete Tomasi is doing great stuff with Lana over there. This is another fun thing about the arc is that we got to shuffle around some of the characters. We have Jimmy in "Action" for the first time in a while, which is cool.
Kuder: It's refreshing for us to take this iconic character and keep the core idea of what a hero is and what Superman is and turn it all on its ear and because we're doing that, there is all of these other side benefits for the supporting cast and tried and true villains.
And the tried and true villain featured in the "Truth" story arc is going to be…
Pak: That is too big a spoiler. [Laughs] Read the book.
Greg, I have not done too much research but I think it's safe to say for the first time in 75 years, two Asian Americans are writing "Action Comics" and "Superman." What does that say not only for the diversity at DC Comics but the overall growth of diversity in comics?
Pak: I've known Gene for years and I love what he does and I am thrilled that DC tapped him for "Superman." I literally jumped up and down when I heard that he was on the book. It totally made sense for me when I came onboard "Batman/Superman" and then "Action" because without even thinking about it, there are ways that Superman resonated with me, and that's because he's an immigrant and he belongs to multiple worlds. Those kinds of things resonate with all kinds of people and certainly with me as an Asian American. On a personal level, I grew up in Texas and moved to New York City and Clark grew up in Smallville and moved to Metropolis. There are a million different things that allow you to click with a character but the immigrant experience is certainly a big part of Superman. He was created by children of Jewish immigrants and many folks smarter than me have traced what that means in those early stories. And I think that is the thing that reflects or resonates with tons of other folks, as well.
Kuder: I think that you can see that in our fanbase too. A whole lot of the more vocal members of our fanbase are from other countries and it's a beautiful thing to see.
Pak: He's a great character that has resonated with a whole bunch of people from different backgrounds, and it's exciting to have a diverse group of people telling those stories, as well.
"Action Comics" #41 by Greg Pak & Aaron Kuder goes on sale June 3, but you can get an early look at the Man of Steel's future with complete 8-page story in "DC Sneak Peek: Action Comics."
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Bryan Hitch's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Cover. #DCcomics #JusticeLeague #JusticeLeagueOfAmerica by dcentertainment
Bryan Hitch's cover to JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1 (out June 17) is pretty incredible, don't you think? by dccomics
For Selina Kyle, life as Gotham City's Queen of Crime is far from easy and far from over.
After ascending to the head of the Calabrese Crime Family as part of DC Comics' weekly "Batman Eternal" series, the anti-hero known as Catwoman had any number of major life shakeups over the past six months at the hands of new writer Genevieve Valentine. Her family ran into an all-out mob war with players like Black Mask and the Penguin. She was forced to call in a hit on her own cousin the course of the bloodshed. A brief abandonment of the costumed identity by Selina led to the arrival of competing Catwoman Eiko Hasigawa. And then in an unexpected twist, Selina and Eiko struck up a romantic relationship -- confirming that the classic Batman character was bisexual.
On June 10, Valentine and new series artist David Messina continue the crime-tinged tale with a brand-new starting point in "Catwoman" #41. CBR News spoke with the writer about the lessons she's learned in her first major comics gig, how Selina's character will be reacting to the challenges of running the family both in and out of costume and what the arrival of fan-favorite character the Spoiler will mean for the series as it moves into DC's June relaunch. [EDITOR'S NOTE: DC Comics declined two questions in this interview regarding the confirmation of Selina Kyle's sexual identity and her romantic relationship with Eiko Hasigawa.]
CBR News: Your run on "Catwoman" is one of the comics technically continuing amid DC's June relaunch, but I've gotten the sense that issue #41 is a sort of "re-pilot" for Selina's mob high concept as a whole. How did you work in your story to treat that issue as a brand new #1?
Genevieve Valentine: Our first arc with Selina at the head of a mob family was such fun to work on, but it was also trying to establish the new world in which Selina's embroiled: after the events in "Batman Eternal," we wanted to make Selina a player in Gotham's wider story. So we've seen the families she's up against, the neighborhoods that are up for grabs, and the idea that trying to rebuild a city on mob money is a morally grey and politically tricky enterprise. This arc was about making Selina face the reality that this position was always going to skirt the edge of moral compromise even for someone as ruthless as she is. That first arc was the opening moves of a larger chess game; when she decided to take back the mantle of Catwoman in order to do what she couldn't otherwise do, the queen stepped onto the board.
With #41, we re-enter that world -- a world in which it looks like Selina has finally balanced being both the head of the Calabrese family and Catwoman. But of course, sometimes disaster finds you, and after suffering a big shakeup, Selina's thrown into a whole new set of problems as Gotham threatens to come apart around her.
Of course, it's not as if the "Family Business" arc you delivered before "Convergence" didn't happen at all. Let's catch up on some of the major moments that have had an impact on Selina's life, starting with the recent mob war with Black Mask. By the end of your last story, the ground had shifted significantly with Selina gaining Penguin as a somewhat untrustworthy ally without completely shutting down Sionis' operation. Where do you see this conflict developing in the future, particularly considering Catwoman's role torn between the "mobsters" and "masks" factions in Gotham's underworld?
I think that conflict is at the heart of this arc. It's an unusual position for her to be in; she's got a much less complicated relationship with her masks than a lot of the Gotham crew, and those stakes have now changed, which leads to new considerations (is Eiko a partner in crime or is having two Catwomen dangerous? What happens when the Calabreses find out? When will Black Mask give up on the politics and go right to the source of the trouble?). Plus, she realized in the last arc that the moral demands of being a long-term crime boss in Gotham might be too much for her to bear -- she's not used to taking on that level of responsibility, especially not for actions that can hurt so many. She'll be trying to reconcile that as the mob war comes closer and closer to her doorstep -- and her cousin Antonia begins to look at her with a new eye.
The original pitch for your series of "Selina Kyle as a major Gotham crime boss" was one of the more significant changes in the character's history. Since you took that task on as a new-to-comics writer, what has been the biggest lesson you've learned about telling this story now that you have one arc under your belt?
I think for a character who has so much history, especially for a character whose past is often so deliberately messy or murky, a major (and ongoing!) lesson is the degree to which you try to keep characterization without getting overly tangled up in specific past events -- especially on the heels of a plot pivot like this. The leap to mob boss was a big move for Gotham and the wider plot there, but it never felt like a big move for Selina: the more you thought about it the more sense it made. For example, she's never one to take up the burden of leadership, but she's been through so much that it makes sense that she'd want to set things right -- and that her idea of what's acceptably "right" is different than most people's. And she's deeply intelligent; people who know the character wouldn't doubt she could rise exactly as high as she needed to. The trick is making sure that while comics by their nature move back and forth in a shared plot, the core of the character is there.
Thankfully, we're past the point in comics where LGBT characterizations are earth-shattering news that people freak out about. What kind of reader response have you seen to Selina's newfound status as a bisexual woman? Was it what you were expecting?
The response has been incredible -- amazing and supportive of the character and the storyline. A lot of fans were excited, and that was awesome, but everybody also seemed to take it as, like you said, no big deal for her, which was how we had approached the relationship in the first place -- just another part of her character that we're getting to see.
Speaking of fan reactions, we know that Spoiler is coming back starting with issue #42, which I'm sure will have more than a few people taking notice. What drew you to Stephanie Brown as a character, and how does her history with Selina from "Eternal" help complicate the story of your new arc overall?
I love the idea of Catwoman's Gotham being one to which misfits are drawn, and where the past can come back to haunt you. I definitely think the way Selina handled things with Stephanie in "Eternal," there was no way Stephanie -- a natural scrapper who feels, among other things, abandoned -- wasn't going to come back and demand a rematch. She's also not the kind to be easily discouraged, which means that no matter how Selina reacts to her being in town, there's a sense that Stephanie's here for her own answers, and plans to stay until she gets them.
Looking to the future, we've seen hints of you expanding the series out to include other faces of Gotham like the Penguin. That aspect of Selina's crime life has been more a part of "Batman Eternal" than it has been this series, but now that "Eternal" is over, are there some secrets of that story's finish that will influence where you go next?
There are definitely faces from Eternal we'll be seeing in the next arc of "Catwoman" -- some more expected than others! But as the conflict expands throughout the underworld, she'll be dealing with more people who are hoping to take advantage of the entropy. There are also events elsewhere in the Batverse that will have aftershocks in Selina's neighborhood; she's been deeply focused on what has to be done close to home, but as she takes this war wider, we get a wider lens on Gotham as well.
David Messina joins you as artist here, and while I understand the book will remain similar in noirish tone to what it's been in the past, I feel like he's going to be designing things in a more unique manner. What has his contribution to the book done to change how "Catwoman" feels starting June?
Garry [Brown] was so important for giving us that sleeker Selina and building a noirish Gotham around her -- those great deep shadows and unexpected layouts establishing what Selina's playing at now and the world in which she's moving. David's picking up on that noir tone and running with it in more detail, which is a lovely mirror as Selina's own position gets more complicated; we're watching her conflicts play out in close-up, but on the wider level, the world around her has gotten trickier; every diner's packed with details, and there's an opera house in #41 that's just stunning.
Your first arc on the book was very much about Selina finding her own way to take on the responsibilities of the family business while also attempting to have a positive influence on Gotham. Has writing that story emboldened you to set similar goals for your work in comics? In other words, what have you taken from that first story that will change the way you write "Catwoman" moving forward?
There's such a great history for the character, but in the same way Gotham is an elastic town, she's got an elastic story, where there's a lot of room for her within the DC mythos that Mark [Doyle, the Batman group editor] and company have been excited to explore. The last arc of Catwoman was a chance to tell a really great story for Selina that made the most of her sly smarts and set up some characters that could give her a run for her money, in one way or another, and the reader response has been incredible. This arc is where all those delicate things start to go to pieces, and in some ways that's even better (bonus: a chance for more "Borgias" quotes, which seems fitting). Family, love, action, honor, and some stealing (of course)!
When you knew you were moving forward with the book during DC's big relaunch, what did you immediately want to do? And what did you want to change from your opening arc to keep momentum going?
I was lucky enough to get word relatively early that Mark and DC wanted me to be the ongoing writer, so we could make plans to lay out that more complicated mob aspect, which was definitely high on my list; I wanted to make it clear that whatever the outcome is, this battle had been fiercely fought. But I also wanted to make sure that she wouldn't be staying away from the Catsuit forever, because that's such a huge part of who she is, and she's been feeling the loss of that part of her identity pretty keenly. (We're also setting up some corrupt-police conflict, and the return of some potential enemies, because Selina didn't have enough to worry about!) In the new arc, we'll be deepening some of the relationships she's newly established -- with her cousin Antonia, with Ward who respects her but sometimes questions her, with Eiko to whom she's gotten close, with Mason who's made a family claim she can't trust -- and also take a look at some of the relationships from people who knew her before all this: Batman, Penguin, and some of those returning faces. This next arc is a great opportunity to explore some of these changes. I'm really looking forward to working with David on balancing the new look he brings to the book with the noir aspects of the material, and it's a great point from which to explore how being a mob boss has changed her, and who she fundamentally still is. I can't wait.
"Catwoman" #41 by Genevieve Valentine and David Messina goes on sale June 10 from DC Comics.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
DC Comics' line-wide "Convergence" event is nearly over, and the new, post-"Convergence" universe is nearly ready to be unveiled! Now, for the third week in a row, DC has released ten all-new 8-page stories starring the best and brightest of the DC "YOU," including tales from "Batman Beyond," "Batman/Superman," "Grayson," "Suicide Squad," "Robin: Son of Batman" and more!
Legendary writer Neil Gaiman's most famous comic book creation is "The Sandman" for DC Comics/Vertigo, but he's also made his mark on Marvel Comics as well. First with 2003's "Marvel 1602," a miniseries which recast Marvel characters as heroes and villains of the Elizabethan era. Gaiman followed up his Marvel debut with 2006's "Eternals," which took a new look at Jack Kirby's titular Space Gods. His most recent contribution to the Marvel Universe came in 2013 where he introduced the angelic warrior Angela, originally created in the pages of "Spawn," into Marvel's shared universe.
In the monthly "Angela: Asgard's Assassin," writers Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett along with artists Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans continue fleshing out the Marvel Universe history and exploits of their title character and her companion, the sorceress Sera, in a unique series that utilizes both a main narrative and sub story each issue.
This June, Gillen, Bennett, Hans and a rotating team of sub story artists combine Angela with Gaiman's first Marvel creation in the "Secret Wars" series "1602: Witch Hunter Angela" which casts Angela and Sera as members of a holy order of monster hunters in a Battleworld domain inspired by "1602."
CBR News spoke with Gillen and Bennett about Angela and Sera's roles in this new world, the supernatural beings they hunt, switching writing roles on the series and the artists that will bring the series' sub stories to life.
CBR News: Kieron and Marguerite, in "1602: Witch Hunter Angela" Marvel asked the two of you to put one Neil Gaiman concept into another. How does that feel?
Kieron Gillen: It's fundamentally very amusing! It's one of those things where the idea was sort of suggested and we thought, "Yeah that makes a lot of sense. We could have fun with this."
Both Marguerite and I are big fans of the real world period and Neil Gaiman. So the idea of me doing Gaiman style material is not exactly a new riff. "Journey Into Mystery" very much could be read as dancing with "The Sandman." In fact there are explicit sections of "Journey Into Mystery" that are engaged with "The Sandman." My Nightmare was sort of explicitly a "Sandman" piss take. [Laughs] I say that with love.
I mean, the first line that my Nightmare says in "Journey Into Mystery" is "He's ripping me off!" He's of course talking about the Serpent, but he's also saying it to camera. There was, shall we say, a meta reading of that in terms of my mea culpa.
Anyway though, there's a natural synergy here! Angela is a bounty hunter and she hunts monsters. In the setting of 1602 mutants are monsters. So here Angela has a purpose and it's a bit loaded. [Laughs]
Over the years the 1602 reality has been revisited in several sequels. How does your take on 1602 compare to what readers have seen before? Have any events gone differently or characters pushed in different directions?
Marguerite Bennett: So much of the creation of our world comes from transgressing borders and the interaction of different cultures with each other to bolster and progress this civilization, and in "Secret Wars" the strict nature of those borders prevents all of that. So there are some things where we're trying to be logical and take it to its projected historical conclusion; the ways these societies took shape. There's no way you can get to 1602 though, as it was in Neil Gaiman's original series [Laughs] without the influence of these other nations that now don't exist.
It's even down to things like the increasing tensions with Spain and France. Well, Spain and France don't exist! [Laughs] So we decided that we were just going to have a lot of fun with it and make it more of an alternate history. So as opposed to making it exceedingly and off puttingly monocultural it's much more multiethnic.
I'm a huge fan of the North African influences, Stephanie [Hans] included. We've got a lot of things that maybe, logically should not appear but we think adds to the richness of the story and we think it's going to be a lot more fun to get to explore in that capacity.
It's an alternate history of a way this place could have arisen. So we have the Guardians of the Galaxy being this sort of traveling troupe.
Gillen: Marugerite's riff on the Guardians is delightful. I say that full of admiration and joy. It's much more thoughtful than my riff. By way of example, I did a M.O.D.O.K. In the first issue you meet Elizabethan M.O.D.O.K., which is probably worth the entrance money alone, though doesn't exactly speak to the higher intellect.
In the 616 Marvel Universe Angela and Sera have their own personal codes and believe in each other. In this reality, however, they act in service to the king and battle his demonically enhanced enemies. Do they believe in a larger cause?
Gillen: Angela is defined by her relationship to a completely unquestioning order structure that she has to live by and she often chafes against that. That's a key thing though. What the actual system of order and law is almost doesn't matter. It's more how Angela feels about it.
In terms of Sera? Sera is a storyteller in the era of the great Elizabethan playwrights and poets. Marguerite especially gets a chance to riff on Marlowe. The Faustians are explicitly a "Faustus" reference, especially since in the story we have Marlowe talking about how annoyed he is they're using that name.
So Sera is a storyteller in an age of great storytellers.
Bennett: As far as their dynamic, being members of this holy witch-hunting order creates an interesting strain on their relationship. It's something that fuels their affection and passion for one another and it's also something that distracts them, pulls at their loyalties -- which vow do you hold more dear? Your love or your God?
So perhaps there's a conflict where one believes in the cause much more than the other?
Bennett: Yes, and what they consider the actions that will benefit the greater good and the preservation of their realm. Or which actions will preserve their relationship and each other.
In the Battleworld domain of 1602 Sera is part of a holy order that fights supernatural beings. Will that impact her sorcery skills at all?
Bennett: That's something we're playing a little close to the chest. It will be fun. We're not shying away from that. It's more that when the witchcraft is in service to the Lord, our God/Doom, it gets categorized as a miracle instead. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Kieron mentioned them earlier so I wanted to talk about the the targets Angela and Sera will pursue in this series, the Faustians. Are these reimagined Marvel characters or new creations? And are they sinister figures or will their motivations be less clear than simple black-and-white?
Bennett: We will ideally see a full spectrum of grays -- of people doing things they believe are virtuous which come to be horrifying, or are so warped by their needs and perspectives that they never considered the consequences. You're definitely going to see some known faces from the Marvel Universe, which we had a really great time in choosing.
There will be cases of people choosing to make what are essentially deals with the devil for their own gain. There will also be cases of people making these deals out of desperate straits. Those instances are where we'll ask questions about Angela and Sera's sense of sympathy. Can they even have a sense of sympathy within the structures of their moral codes and holy order? How much do they get to negotiate the vows that they took? Where is there a chance for their personal identities beneath the mission that they believe in?
How will Angela and Sera's hunt for the Faustians unfold? Is "1602: Witch Hunter Angela" comparable to a story about cops chasing a killer?
Bennett: Yes, there is a larger villain that they're hunting, and in each of the issues we're going to be dealing with someone who's wound up in this grander villain's wake; someone who has made a deal. So they're piecing together how they can destroy this dealmaker with the consequences this dealmaker has left behind for other people, the Faustians.
Earlier you mentioned the Guardians of the Galaxy and M.O.D.O.K. Are there any other 1602 incarnations of characters you can talk about?"
Bennett: Oh goodness! You're going to see Bucky Barnes [Laughs] which I'm very enthusiastic about. We needed the most handsome man you could picture and there were various arguments. We were thinking maybe Gambit, but then we didn't want to hit the Witchbreed note again too hard. [Laughs] So we elected pretty, pretty Bucky Barnes.
In "Angela: Asgard's Assassin" Kieron pens the main narrative story and Marguerite tackles the sub story, but I understand the two of you are sort switching chairs for this series and Marguerite will write the longer story while Kieron tackles the shorter one. What prompted you to switch roles?
Gillen: If someone is going to do lead on the dance floor they should allow another person to take their turn as well. I'm very happy to move forward and backward. That's a bad metaphor! You got me when I'm jet lagged!
I had my plans for the first arc before Marguerite came on. So it was like, "Here's the story. This is what I've got to do, and here's kind of the commissions." Marguerite and me then kind of built the story. We chewed over the concepts, put our ideas out, and then Marguerite put them into what she though her narratives should be and we discussed them from there.
So on our first arc I was pretty much plotting by myself and then Marguerite came on and we changed that. We kind of put our ideas together. Now Marguerite does the tight plotting and we discuss things some more. Then Marguerite does the fifteen-page story and I do the five-page shorter one.
In this role I feel like I'm filling the narrative role that Marguerite did, but I also feel like I'm being a guest rapper in some ways. I'm coming in and dropping a killer verse and then leaving. It's fun.
Did I mentioned I'm jet-lagged? I'm jet-lagged.
I was going to use a tag team wrestling metaphor, where one of you is on the apron and then is eventually tagged into the ring by the other.
Gillen: I think that works. I would use your metaphor because me using a music metaphor might be a little bit hackneyed. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Marguerite, for the other story in "1602: Witch Hunter Angela" you'll be working with your "Asgard's Assassin" collaborator, Stephanie Hans. How is it penning a larger story for her? And what's it like for you moving from five pages up to fifteen each issue?
Bennett: Oh, man. It is so daunting! [Laughs] But this team has just been so splendid. Kieron, Stephanie, Phil [Jimenez] Wil [Moss], Jon [Moisan, the book's editors] down to [inker] Le Beau Underwood and [colorist] Romulo Fajardo.
Everyone is bringing their absolute best. So there's always this joyful pressure of "how dare I bring them any less than my best" also. When we did "Angela" #5 in the five-page Sera sub story she actually does this full battle song epic poem with rhyming quatrains and everything. [Laughs] So I sat there into the night trying to count the meter and making sure the rhythm and the time worked. It was so ridiculous and intense.
That's how I feel about trying to come up with a story that is worthy of this Neil Gaiman universe, worthy of the team I've got, Kieron and Stephanie and everyone involved, and worthy of the readers who care about these characters.
It seems like Stephanie is a perfect fit for this world. She's got this dreamy ethereal style that appears especially suited for this supernatural and quasi medieval domain of Battleworld.
Bennett: Absolutely. I was looking at art for "Angela" issue #6 today and oh my gosh, I got chills! [Laughs]
Did Stephanie get to redesign Angela's costume for this time period?
Benett: Yes! Her designs are just incredible. She put together a Pinterest for it and we've been going back and forth. She knows all this stuff about weaponry, costume design and functionality. Stephanie is so terrific! I cannot sing her praises enough.
We've talked quite a bit about the over story. Kieron, let's move to the sub stories of "Witch Hunter Angela." I understand your story in #1 serves as sort of a prologue for this series, correct?
Gillen: Yes, back at the summit when me and Wil Moss were first talking about the "Secret Wars" stuff and the idea of "1602" came up, this was my immediate idea. It's like, "We open like this. And then this happens. Angela stabs this person. Hard cut to the rest of the story." It's kind of like the James Bond before credits cold open. It explains the context of the world. It explains what the world is like, and it shows what Angela is like in it.
So we're doing "1602" and Marguerite especially is someone who's really into the cadences of the time. I must admit the biggest influences on my stuff in this outside of "1602" is the second series of "Blackadder." This is basically the Elizabethan era of "Blackadder" and that's a very broad comedy. To me, that's when "Blackadder" got good. It's a brutally scathing pastiche of everything Elizabethan. There's a character called Flashheart and my Angela sort of enters the story like Flashheart does.
Bennett: I'm the lucky one, here -- I'm just getting these scripts and Kieron makes me laugh so hard at the horrible puns and the jokes. I love it. I love how quick and crackling his dialogue is. Kieron is always terrific.
Kieron, for that first story you're working with Marguerite Sauvage, who is perhaps best known for her covers including one she did for your for your Image Comics series "The Wicked + The Divine." It looks like she's a great fit for this series since a lot of her art involves powerful women and also has an almost ethereal quality to it.
Gillen: I love her. It was actually Wil's suggestion and I liked that because minimizing the names involved in a project is good for me. I prefer that everyone involved with the book was called Marguerite. [Laughs] It would make things easier.
We pick our cover artists for "WicDiv" very carefully. We want them to be beautiful objects. So Marguerite did a cover for us and then Wil suggested her and of course he didn't know she was doing a cover for us. I was like, "Yes! That sounds like a very good idea! Let's do that that!" So I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does with the pages.
She's great at design, and if you're doing a period story whether it's "Mad Men" or "1602" the costumes are a big part of it. Marguerite is very strong there. She's a really good cartoonist, and as you said her women characters are regal and imperious. I really like what she can do.
We can't talk about all of them yet, but we can discuss two other great artists you'll be working with: Irene Koh, who's doing the art for your story in issue #2, and Frazer Irving is working on issue #3.
Gillen: Yes, weirdly Irene is a friend of a friend. I've been following her work for awhile. She often works with a friend of mine, a games journalist named Cara Ellison. They do bits and pieces together, and obviously Irene does more stuff in comics.
This is one of the things I find really appealing about working with a different artist. It's like, "You look really interesting. Let's do a short project together and see how it works." It's kind of like our last issues of "Young Avengers"; the jam issues. It's a similar sort of thing.
So Irene is somebody I'm really excited by. I think she has an interesting sensual line. I really want to see what she does
And Frazer is an old friend. I've known him for about a decade now at least -- I suddenly now feel very old. His "Gutsville" was coming out around the same time the original "Phonogram" was. We had done an issue together before. We did a Doctor Strange story called "The Cure" which was in "The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange," a black-and-white anthology that came out a few years ago.
He's a guy who I find incredibly powerful. I think his work was great then and has only gotten better. He owns his palette. His palette is fundamentally Frazer and it's creepy. There's nothing that isn't creepy about Frazer's story. I mean, there's a reason why we wanted him for the "Wicked + the Divine" cover he did.
We start with Marguerite who has a very lively color scheme and the story is very much going to speak to the artist.
Finally, I understand like all of the "Secret Wars" series, "1602: Witch Hunter Angela" isn't just a fun, one-off alternate reality look at your main characters. It will be a story that will have some lasting impact on Angela and Sera's status quo post-"Secret Wars" as well.
Gillen: Oh no, our story is entirely disposable! [Laughs] I can literally see Marvel PR throwing a brick at my head. No -- it's very much building on what we've done and setting the route for where's next.
Issue #6 of "Angela" has this feeling of "Fuck! We've got to go and do this thing immediately!" And then the Marvel Universe ends. We leave the characters in an awful place. So it's kind of like "What's going to happen?" And then we go to this very, very different place.
Bennett: This series will definitely have lasting consequences. It's not like, "Oh, this happens in a closed off environment and has no effect on what's happened before and what is yet to come." We play so much with the nature of time and life and death that no one is safe. I just want everyone to know that. [Laughs]
I'm so happy to be involved with this book. As Kieron will tell you we're being very clever. It's like, "Oh, you're doubling down on Gaiman out of coincidence!" [Laughs] Oh, my sweet summer children.
Gillen: A big part of our thinking was the important pieces that we create in this story are immediately going to slam back into things. That's the best way of putting it. So yes, this is a 1602 version of Angela, but there are profound and meaningful echoes that will travel forward. That was part of the planning.
Bennett: I also want to really thank our readers for how absolutely supportive they've been through all of this. I really hope they enjoy it. In a way there's a tone shift because of "Secret Wars" and the nature of the 'verse that we're getting into. Angela and Sera have been the heart of this story from the beginning though and if you love them and their dynamic you're going to have a great time.
Gillen: This is fun. I'm really excited especially with where we're going. "Secret Wars" excited me a lot, and where we're going after is exciting. It's kind of like Angela has seem to have found her place. She's a weird character, our Angela. She's not very likable. There's a deep amount of charisma and sadness with her, but she's not somebody who would be fun to be around. There's a level of awful compellingness to her.
That's kind of our thing. We're looking at what roles are not filled in the Marvel Universe. I kind of wanted to make her awkward and interesting. We dig deep into that vein. We want to leave people wondering, "What on Earth is this woman going to do next?"
"1602: Witch Hunter Angela" #1 arrives June 10, 2015 from Marvel Comics.
Neil Gaiman's Legacy Lives As Marvel Preps "1602: Witch Hunter Angela" For "Secret Wars" Monday, March 16th, 2015
The first season of "The Flash" wrapped just last night on The CW, but it's the nature of fans to wonder what's next as soon as possible -- and when a debut season ends like "The Flash" did, clearly the folks behind the series are inviting a high degree of speculation.
Luckily, there's no need to rely solely on wild guesses -- the show's executive producers, namely Andrew Kreisberg, have already revealed some rather solid hints on what to expect for "Flash" season 2, even with it four or more months away, not to mention the teases in the season finale itself. Here's a look at what "Flash" fans can expect for sure in the second season of the DC Comics-based hit.
- Birth of the Multiverse: Prior to last night's finale, Grant Gustin revealed that season two of the show will feature a Multiverse of sorts as Barry travels to parallel Earths -- specifically Earth-One and Earth-Two.
- Jay Garrick?: Last week, a set photo from "Flash" emerged that depicted both a Time Sphere and what appeared to be original Flash Jay Garrick's helmet. We saw the event depicted in the set photo come to pass in last night's episode when Garrick's Flash helmet popped out of the wormhole. When you toss in the fact that Gustin has mentioned a visit to Earth-Two, Garrick's traditional home reality, and Daniele Panabaker namedropped the classic DC hero during a recent Reddit AMA, it seems likely that we'll get to meet the first Flash next season.
- Even more speedsters: Jay Garrick's helmet is just the latest hint at the breadth of the Speed Force. "The Flash" showrunners have been talking about Wally West since before the pilot even aired, and a post-finale chat with THR indicates even more are on the way. "We are going to introduce a few more speedsters next year and a bunch more villains," Kreisberg said. "How they and those villains come about is part of the surprise of season two."
- Tom Cavanagh ain't gone: While it looked like Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne met the most final end imaginable in the season one finale (he was wiped out of existence!), Kreisberg said in a few post-episode interviews that Cavanagh will still be a series regular in season two. He also mentioned that he hopes to work with Matt Letscher, the man who played Eobard's true form, again. Considering that season two might include a trip through the Multiverse, it's possible that Cavanagh could play an unaltered -- and therefore not evil -- Harrison Wells next season.
- Rick Cosnett's probably not gone either: While Cosnett's Eddie Thawne won't be a regular next season following his death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Kreisberg did say that death on shows like "Arrow" and "Flash" aren't always permanent. It's possible that Cosnett could appear again in alternate realities or flashbacks, or they could even resurrect him like they're about to do with Caity Lotz's Sara Lance. Still, unlike Cavanagh, Cosnett will not be a series regular next season.
- More "Arrow" crossovers: It's no secret that the first full-on crossover between the two shows went over big, with fans and network execs. So while it was probably a no-brainier to make it an annual tradition, it was nice to hear it re-confirmed recently that yes, "Arrow" and "The Flash" will continue to populate each others' adventures with more than just the occasional inter-city cameo.
- Robbie Amell's return: As one-half of the current Firestorm incarnation, Amell's absence from every teaser for "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" has kept fans guessing as to what will happen when the hero sets up shop outside of Central City. And while the star's lips remained sealed as far as what the spinoff holds for his and Victor Garber's shared character, Amell told CBR News earlier this week, "I can tell you that I will be in Season 2 of 'The Flash.'"
- "Legends" cast pulling "triple duty": With three shows on the air, it's been revealed that certain cast members will rack up appearances on "Flash," "Arrow" and "Legends of Tomorrow" next season. Gustin specifically mentioned that Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) would be two of the characters going for the CW/DC hat trick next year. Additionally, with Robbie Amell confirming his "Flash" return, it's a good bet Garber's Prof. Stein will be appearing on at least two of The CW's series.
- Cisco and Caitlin -- metahumans?: In one of last night's shocking reveals, Eobard Thawne hypothesized that the particle accelerator accident that created the metahumans also had an effect on Cisco, which is what has allowed him to see the "vibrations" from the timeline that Barry Allen erased a few episodes prior. Additionally, the Flash raced past an image of Caitlin Snow in her Killer Frost persona from the comics while traveling through the wormole. Panabaker spoke about becoming Killer Frost in a recent Reddit AMA. In hindsight, it's possible all of her comments were referring to the brief shot in the season finale, but there's still a chance we'll see more of Killer Frost next season.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Producer Greg Berlanti covers VARIETY magazine with The Flash and Supergirl. #DCcomics #TheFlash #Supergirl by dcentertainment
DC Comics' August 2015 solicitation text and cover images are here, revealing an early look at the publisher's releases planned for late summer. As usual, much of it was already announced -- such as the upcoming "DC Comics Bombshells" series by the all-Marguerite team of Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage -- but there's plenty more to uncover.
Coming up this August, the new Batman will encounter a new villain, Harley Quinn is set for an all-star road trip and the Martian Manhunter is set to pop up in an expected series -- here are highlights from DC's August 2015 solicitations.
- Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have a rather strong track record for their additions to the Batman mythos -- the Court of Owls has already made it to animation in "Batman vs. Robin" -- and they're doing it again in August's "Batman" #43. That issue is set to introduce a new villain named Mr. Bloom, targeting Gotham City early into the new Batman's cape crusading tenure.
- The trio of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman -- who starred in the "Gotham City Sirens" series a few years back -- are set to reunite in the "Harley Quinn Road Trip Special" one-shot, co-written by the regular "Harley Quinn" team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti and illustrated by Bret Blevins and others. The story seems to be exactly what the title implies -- Harley, Ivy and Selina road trippin' across the USA.
- While the "Martian Manhunter" solo series continues in August with issue #3, J'onn J'onnz is also slated to guest star in "Section 8" #3, from the "Hitman" creative team of Garth Ennis and John McCrea. The Manhunter is set to volunteer as part of the team, and as the solicitation text asks: "What is J'onn J'onzz thinking?"
- Not only has the title "Hellblazer" returned in soon-to-debut ongoing series "Constantine: The Hellblazer," issue #3 (featuring art by Vanesa R. Del Rey) is set to introduce Georgiana Snow as "the Heckblazer," and yes, you read that correctly.
- August looks to bring a healthy amount of interconnectivity between the Bat-titles, with Damian Wayne guest-starring in "Bat-Mite" #3, and the new Batman appearing in "We Are... Robin" #3.
- Vertigo series "Coffin Hill" closes in August with issue #21: "Coffin Hill is full of stories, and Eve Coffin’s comes to an end as enemies old and new converge on her town and her family one last time."
- DC and Warner Bros.' animated features get a new spotlight with a new series of combination hardcover/Blu-ray sets, pairing the original story with the animation it inspired. Scheduled for release on Sept. 1, the sets will include "The Death of Superman" hardcover paired with the "Superman: Doomsday" Blu-ray, "Batman: Year One" in print and animation and several more.
- Fans of superpets of both good and rage-filled dispositions can enjoy the Streaky the Super-Cat and Dex-Starr (of the Red Lanterns) plushes offered in the August solicitations, advance solicited for release in November.