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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Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘X of Swords’ begins

New comics arrive this week from Fabian Nicieza, Ron Garney, Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Dan Panosian, Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter and more.

We are back with a look at what’s arriving in comic shops, bookstores and on digital this week. There are several first issues coming out, including new titles from Dan Panosian, Daniel Kraus, Fabian Nicieza, Ron Garney and of course the big X of Swords crossover event featuring Marvel’s merry mutants (with swords!)

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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DC announces changes for its ‘DC Universe’ app

As video content moves to HBO Max, ‘DC Universe Infinite’ will focus on comics.

As expected, DC announced changes this week to its DC Universe app, as it shifts from an “all-in-one” video/comic delivery system into one that focuses mainly on comics. The service was launched in 2018.

Original TV shows like Titans, Young Justice, Doom Patrol and Stargirl were once the big selling point of the platform, but all of those properties are finding new homes now, mostly on HBO Max, but also on The CW, in Stargirl‘s case. The release states that original shows and “classics” — as the app included many older DC movies and shows as well — will migrate to places like HBO Max, but the price point will stay the same. The service costs $7.99 a month, or $74.99 for one year (even with the loss of content).

“Our fans love the platform’s robust library of comic books and, with the transformation, we will not disappoint,” said DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee. “I’m excited to share that not only will DC Universe Infinite members still be able to read all of the great comics that they’ve enjoyed but new issues are debuting on the platform quicker than before, digital first exclusives are being created, and the members-only events will begin as soon as possible. There has never been a better time to be a DC fan!”

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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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Mail Call | Fantastic Four take a ‘Road Trip’ in December

A round-up of news from DC, Marvel, Image and more.

Fresh from saving the Earth from being destroyed by the sun in Empyre, the Fantastic Four will get a much-needed vacation in a one-shot by new Iron Man scribe Christopher Cantwell and artist Filipe Andrade. It’s titled Fantastic Four: Road Trip, and it features family fun, a station wagon … and a Reed Richards experiment gone wrong.

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DC FanDome: Reaction + news round-up

Although there weren’t any big comics announcements during the second day of DC FanDome, the company did reveal a few small tidbits.

This weekend DC presented the second round of their DC FanDome event, which featured pre-recorded virtual panels on their comics, movies, TV shows, video games and much more.

Although some viewers complained of technical issues when everything went online on Saturday morning, the event this time was much smoother and easier to absorb than the first day of the event, which took place back in August. For that one, everything was streamed on a continuous loop, which made it difficult to figure out when certain panels were going live — and if you didn’t have eight hours to dedicate to watching it, you were going to miss something.

This time around everything was posted on-demand style, so you could easily pick and choose what you wanted to see. If you just wanted to see the comics panels, you could pull those up and watch them without having to sit through a panel on the Flash TV show, for instance. Across five different channels, they had a LOT of content, and like before, it was only up for 24 hours. Which is a bummer — if you missed it, it’s gone, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. They could easily put at least some of it up on their YouTube channel.

If you did miss FanDome, here’s a round-up of some of the comic news that came out of the event.

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Comics Lowdown | Dog Man once again rules the best-seller charts

Plus: News on ‘Fun Home,’ Vault Comics, IDW, DC’s new GM and more.

Not surprisingly, Dog Man has once again claimed the top spot on best-seller charts for USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Indie Bound, Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail, among others. It’s the ninth book in Dav Pilkey’s popular kids graphic novel series to land at No. 1 on the best-seller chart.

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Christian Cooper writes a new comic about his Central Park encounter

The comics writer makes his return in the first issue of DC’s ‘Represent!’ which is now free to download.

DC has released the first issue of a planned digital-first series called Represent!, featuring a story by Christian Cooper, Alitha E. Martinez, Mark Morales, Emilio Lopez and Rob Clark Jr. “It’s a Bird” is available to download for free.

Cooper, a former Marvel editor, was thrown into the national spotlight earlier this summer when a white woman walking her dog in New York’s Central Park called the cops on him and said as African-American was threatening her life — just because he asked her to keep her dog on its leash. The incident occurred on the same day that George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His story in this first issue is a fictionalized account of that encounter.

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DC resurrects ‘Batman: Black and White’

The anthology series spotlighting the Dark Knight returns in December.

DC has announced the return of Batman: Black and White, the popular series from the 1990s that featured rotating creators telling stories about Batman, his friends and his foes — all in black and white.

This new iteration will be a six-issue, prestige-format, $5.99 miniseries with an impressive lineup of creators on tap to produce colorless tales of the Dark Knight.

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