What Are You Reading? | ‘King in Black,’ ‘Legion,’ ‘Teddy’ 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. We’ve got a packed room today, as we talk about comics from the last few decades or so — including old Spider-Man and Milestone Media, as well as newer stuff like Wretches, Batman/Catwoman and King in Black.

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

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Our favorite comics of 2020

See what comics, graphic novels, comic strips and more the Smash Pages team enjoyed in 2020.

As we continue our look back at 2020, the Smash Pages crew offer their personal picks and perspectives on their favorite comics, comic strips and graphic novels from the year. Hopefully you’ll see something in this post that you haven’t read yet but will take some joy in discovering.

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Image Comics to publish March’s ‘Karmen’ in the U.S.

Originally published in Europe, the comic will land in the United States next March.

Image Comics has announced plans to publish Karmen by Spanish creator Guillem March in the United States next March.

Originally published by Dupuis in Belgium as a graphic novel, Karmen will be translated and published as five single issues (with a collection following, no doubt).

The story is about a woman named Catalina, who recently committed suicide and is taken under the wing (quite literally) of a “strange and quirky” angel named Karmen.

Karmen is a story about what it takes to make a real change in life. After working on it for six years, I can say I´ve put my all into this project,” said March. “I decided to write the script because I´m a much better storyteller when I´m doing the whole thing. If you know me from my superhero work, I´m sure Karmen will surprise you. I can´t express how proud I am of this book, and how happy I am that it will finally be released in print for the U.S. audience.”

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Image announces ‘Two Moons’ by Arcudi + Giangiordano

The new horror/action series set during the U.S. Civil War debuts in February.

B.P.R.D. and Rumble writer John Arcudi is working with artist Valerio Giangiordano on a new series coming from Image Comics, called Two Moons.

“Two Moons” is Virgil Morris, a young Pawnee soldier fighting for the Union in the Civil War. “When he is suddenly confronted with his shamanic roots, he discovers horrors far worse than combat as the ghosts of his past reveal the monstrous evil around him,” the press release reads.

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‘Dead End Kids’ returns from Gogol + Cviticanin in January

‘Dead End Kids: The Suburban Job’ explores the lives of the kids from the first series post-9/11.

Frank Gogol and Nenad Cviticanin will team up once again for Dead End Kids: The Suburban Job, a sequel to the previous Dead End Kids series about teens who searched for the killer of one of their friends in the late 1990s. This new series follows the kids into the 2000s as they deal with their trauma following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.

“At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write more Dead End Kids, but with the success of the first book, I started to wonder if there was more to say,” said Frank Gogol. “I decided to go back to the core concept of the original series — childhood trauma and how it affects us as we get older — and I kept coming back to this idea of September 11th.” 

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NYCC: Archie announces Line Webtoon deal, South Side Serpents comic

The ‘Beyond Riverdale with Archie Comics’ panel during NYCC’s Metaverse brought news on upcoming comics releases.

Archie Comics announced several new comics projects today in conjunction with the virtual New York Comic Con, including a new partnership with the popular webcomics site Webtoon, a South Side Serpents one-shot and more details on the upcoming Riverdale: The Ties That Bind graphic novel.

The virtual version of the New York Comic Con, a.k.a. Metaverse, kicked off today, with virtual panels, exclusive merchandise and more. You can join in on the Metaverse website or on the New York Comic Con YouTube page, where all of today’s panels are available.

You can watch their panel in full below:

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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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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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The Justice League at 60, Part 8: Fantasy Drafts

In this edition, Tom Bondurant dives into the “Crisis Cycle” era that defined the Justice League before the New 52 kicked in.

For a series which only lasted five years, there’s a lot to talk about with regard to Justice League of America volume 2. Much of this involves events outside the series, both in DC’s other comics and with the people producing them. Meanwhile, the “comics blogosphere” came into its own, intensifying fan scrutiny and offering real-time commentary on controversies. This post won’t go too deeply into all that extratextual drama; but rest assured it was there, and it crept inevitably into the work.

With that said, let’s get started.

The Legends miniseries begat Justice League International and the Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare miniseries begat JLA. The 2006-2011 Justice League of America similarly traced its roots to 2004’s Identity Crisis, written by novelist Brad Meltzer, pencilled by Rags Morales and inked by Michael Bair. Featuring the murder of a superhero’s spouse and reaching back into the League’s hidden history, Identity Crisis kicked off a “Crisis cycle” that churned through DC books for the next several years.

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