The Justice League at 60, Part 10: Rebirth on repeat

Tom Bondurant wraps up (for now) his series looking back at 60 years of the Justice League with a look at the most recent era.

Check out part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, part six, part seven, part eight and part nine of this series!

The New 52 lasted four years and nine months, from August 31, 2011 to May 25, 2016. On each of those Wednesdays, DC Comics released one universe-changing big-event issue and one issue of Justice League. In 2011 it was Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1; and in 2016 it was Justice League #50 and the DC Universe Rebirth special. All were written by Geoff Johns, still one of DC’s main guiding forces even as his attention shifted away from comics. The DCU Rebirth issue kicked off a months-long apology-in-print marked by “Rebirth” banners on all of the superhero books’ covers. This publishing strategy aimed to reintroduce elements of the DC Universe which the New 52 had stripped away, including the pre-New 52 Superman – who, as a distinct character, had been living in a sort of multiversal fishbowl – and the classic version of Wally “Flash” West. Among other things, this meant that Superman was now the newest member of the Justice League, since he replaced his late New 52 predecessor.

Although those cover banners were gone by February 2018, in terms of continuity we may still be in the “Rebirth” era today. Among other things, DCU Rebirth set up Doomsday Clock, the 12-issue miniseries from Johns and Gary Frank. Going on sale November 22, 2017 (cover date January 2018), it would explain how Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan had changed the DC timeline into the New 52, and how he would change it back.

Well, back-ish.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Matt Lubchansky

The associate editor of The Nib discusses their work on the recent anthology ‘Be Gay Do Comics.’

Matt Lubchansky is the Associate Editor of The Nib and there, in their webcomic Please Listen To Me, and in New York Magazine, Mad Magazine, and other outlets, they create deeply and overtly political comics that are also absurd and satirical.

Lubchansky cited The Far Side as one of their great influences, and that sense of absurdity and play can found in all their work. Earlier this year Lubchansky was a finalist for the Herblock Prize, and The Nib and IDW have just published a new collection Be Gay Do Comics. We spoke about their career, coming out, autobiographical work and the upcoming anthology FlashForward.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘Three Jokers, ‘Department of Truth’ and more

Check out new comics this week from Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds, Gene Yang, Jody Houser, Dike Ruan, Dan Slott, Paco Medina and more.

We are back with a look at what’s arriving in comic shops, bookstores and on digital this week.

If you’re wondering what to get this week, check out a few recommendations below. You can check out Comic List to see what’s arriving in your local comic shop, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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Terry Moore to launch ‘Serial’ in January

Zoe, the breakout supporting character from ‘Rachel Rising,’ will star in the series.

Strangers in Paradise creator Terry Moore has announced his next project — Serial, a 10-issue series that will star Zoe, one of his “most beloved characters.”

Zoe first appeared in the pages of Rachel Rising. She’s a young girl who was possessed by a demon for 50 years before she was able to free herself and then team up with Rachel against it. She appeared most recently in Five Years, which brought together characters from several of Moore’s comics.

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What Are You Reading? | ‘X of Swords,’ ‘Green Arrow’ and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately — including comics from the past, present and future.

Let us know what you read this week in the comments or on social media.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Michael Avon Oeming

The award-winning writer and artist discusses his latest work, ‘After Realm,’ the influence of Norse mythology on the story and much more.

Michael Avon Oeming is the award-winning writer and artist of books like Powers and The Mice Templar, Takio and Hammer of the Gods, Bastard Samurai and The United States of Murder, Inc. In recent years he’s drawn Cave Carson for DC’s Young Animal imprint, and wrote and illustrated Dick Tracy Forever at IDW. His current ongoing project is After Realm, which comes out quarterly from Image Comics.

The story of an elf named Oona, After Realm takes place after Ragnarok. Oeming has been using Kickstarter to help fund the series, but other readers can pick up the third issue this week. It’s a story of battling trolls and other creatures, a tale of exploration and crafting maps, of rediscovering what has been lost. As Oeming and I discussed, Oona is very much a hero for this moment, in ways that he never could have anticipated. We spoke recently about epic fantasy, how the meaning of myth is in the telling and the personal nature of a story that might seem anything but.

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Comics Lowdown: Archie goes day-and-date on ComiXology Unlimited

Covid, ComiXology, and ‘Contradictions.’

Big news from Archie Comics, which this week began releasing all its comics on the ComiXology Unlimited service the day they come out. This is the first time a publisher, other than ComiXology itself, has put its comics on the all-you-can-read platform on the publication date. The Beat has a good piece putting this move into perspective, noting that Archie has been publishing fewer single-issue comics of late, and that these comics are also available day-and-date on the free (to the user) library service Hoopla.

IDW Entertainment has set up a new initiative within its Kids, Family, and YA division that will focus on developing original material for young readers. Erika Turner has been named senior editor of original content at IDW Publishing; she comes to IDW from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she was senior editor of their Versify imprint. On the IDW Entertainment side, Jeff Brustrom is the new vice president of kids, family, and animation, and Daniel Kendrick is the director of animation; both will work on developing animated properties.

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Ewing + Schiti raise their ‘S.W.O.R.D.’ in December

The new Marvel series spins out of events in ‘Empyre’ and ‘X of Swords.’

Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti, the creative team behind the recent Empyre: Aftermath Avengers comic, will pull S.W.O.R.D. out of its sheath this December.

If you read that Aftermath issue, you know that Abigail Brand, who most recently worked with Captain Marvel as part of Alpha Flight, wasn’t happy that the Avengers and Fantastic Four never called her during Empyre. She quit Alpha Flight, and the last two pages showed a dark future for the new Kree/Skrull Alliance led by Hulkling — thanks to Brand and her new team.

But despite the foreshadowing in Empyre, this is actually an X-title and will tie into that line, as part of the aftermath of the just-started X of Swords crossover — which ends in November, right before this one debuts in December.

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The Justice League at 60, Part 9: High collars and wide screens

It’s time for a relaunch: take a look back at the Geoff Johns-helmed New 52 relaunch of ‘Justice League.’

Check out part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, part six, part seven and part eight of this series!

When the comprehensive history of DC Comics is written, I hope it goes into exhaustive detail on the conception, execution and ultimate retraction of the New 52. Let’s be clear right from the beginning: I did not love the New 52, but I didn’t hate it either. It represented DC’s willingness – although maybe not its best efforts – to try new approaches with key characters and to revive non-superhero genres.

As the spring of 2011 wound down, DC was wrapping up a couple of year-long biweekly series, Brightest Day (co-written by Geoff Johns) and Justice League: Generation Lost. The former followed a handful of superheroes who had been revived in Blackest Night – including Justice League stalwarts Aquaman, Hawkman, Firestorm and Martian Manhunter – while the latter was a Justice League International reunion that saw them trying to stop their old buddy-turned-baddie Maxwell Lord. Meanwhile, the Bat-books, Superman and Wonder Woman were each in the middle of altered-status-quo storylines.

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