Wally West can’t stop running

Tom Bondurant recounts the history of Wally West, from reluctant superhero to generational avatar.

For many superhero-comic readers of the 1980s and ’90s (not to mention viewers of the Justice League animated series in the 2000s), Wally West was the Flash – the fastest man alive. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino for January 1960’s The Flash issue #110, Wally gained super-speed just as his idol did, by being doused in Barry Allen’s laboratory chemicals and struck by lightning. Today Wally has become a symbol of DC Comics’ superhero legacies, so much so that his role in 2016’s DC Universe Rebirth special signaled a wholesale return to a previous timeline. However, when editorial fiat dispatched him in 2011, Wally had arguably done everything he’d set out to do. Indeed, Wally’s history includes a couple of prominent retirement periods already. Now he’s inherited Metron’s Mobius Chair and Doctor Manhattan’s powers, but the question still remains: What’s left for Wally West?

Wally started out as Kid Flash, sidekick and sometimes backup-feature star. At first he wore a kid-sized Flash costume, so his more familiar duds (acquired in March 1963’s Flash #135) represented a significant step in his development. He was a charter member of the Teen Titans from its primeval beginning (June-July 1964’s Brave and the Bold #54) to its February 1978 dissolution (Teen Titans #53). Shortly thereafter, in 1978’s DC Special Series issue #11, writer Cary Bates and artist Irv Novick had Wally tell his family that he would only be Kid Flash through the end of his college career; and upon graduation, he’d retire from superheroics.

Continue reading “Wally West can’t stop running”

The Justice League at 60, Part Two: Setting The Standard

Tom Bondurant continues his look at the different eras that have defined the Justice League with an overview of the team’s early years.

Check out part one in this series here!

On or about Dec. 29, 1959, newsstands received new issues of 10 comics series. Next to the four different Archie Comics titles and two Prize Comics romance series were four DC books: Sugar & Spike #27, Detective Comics #276, Strange Adventures #113 and (cover-dated February-March 1960) The Brave and the Bold #28. Like its fellow DC series Showcase, B&B had switched to rotating features and had just concluded three issues’ worth of the spy-centric Suicide Squad. Therefore, dominating B&B‘s cover this month was the title of the newest feature, Justice League of America.

Thanks to Strange Adventures #113, Starro the Conqueror was not the only tentacled menace on that day’s newsstands; but he was the only one being fought by a quintet of familiar superheroes. Martian Manhunter had been around for a few years in Detective; just a few days before, DC had published new issues of Flash and Wonder Woman; and on New Year’s Eve, readers would find a new Aquaman tale in Adventure Comics #269. The relaunched Green Lantern was the newest of the group, having concluded his three-issue tryout a month or so earlier, in Showcase #24. (GL’s solo book wouldn’t start until May 24, 1960.)

Continue reading “The Justice League at 60, Part Two: Setting The Standard”

The Justice League at 60, Part One: Eight Eras

With the team’s first appearance arriving in December of 1959, Tom Bondurant looks back at the different eras that have defined the Justice League over the last 60 years.

The Justice League of America debuted on Dec. 29, 1959, in the pages of February-March 1960’s The Brave and the Bold #28. Therefore, since we’re in their 60th anniversary year, and since the feature is going through yet another transition, it’s a good time for a retrospective. This is an overview, so subsequent posts will examine each League era in more detail.

Although the JLA wasn’t the first all-star super-team – the Justice Society of America turns 80 on Nov. 22, 2020 – it casts a very long shadow over those which followed. Everyone from the Avengers to the Zoo Crew compares and contrasts with the League in one way or another. Indeed, there may not have been a Marvel Comics if (as the legend goes) its publisher hadn’t wanted a series to capitalize on the popularity of Justice League of America. Nevertheless, those groups’ successes have turned the League into something of a default. The Teen Titans are younger, the Justice Society is older, the X-Men are persecuted, the Defenders are ad hoc, etc. Over the years the League has tried its own various tweaks in attempts to stay relevant; but ultimately it’s reverted to the mean – a group of the “World’s Greatest Super-Heroes,” matched against comparable threats.

Continue reading “The Justice League at 60, Part One: Eight Eras”

Lemire gives an update, reveals art from new ‘Sweet Tooth’ comic

The new series will come out under DC’s Black Label imprint.

After teasing the return of Sweet Tooth to comics in May, creator Jeff Lemire has revealed more details about his work on the new series in his email newsletter.

He said the new series will fall under DC’s Black Label imprint, and like the original, will be written and drawn by Lemire and colored by Jose Villarrubia.

“I know a lot of Sweet Tooth fans are anxious to know story details and also apprehensive because they liked how I ended the old series, and don’t want me to do anything that will ruin that,” Lemire wrote. “All I can say is that I had all of these exact same concerns and it wasn’t until I came up with an idea that I really believed in that I considered going back to the world of Gus and the gang.”

Continue reading “Lemire gives an update, reveals art from new ‘Sweet Tooth’ comic”

Mail Call | BOOM! reveals plans for Power Rangers, Dune and more

See the latest news and announcements from DC, Marvel, BOOM!, Image and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

BOOM! Studios has announced not just one but two different new series starring the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, both written by Ryan Parrott. The first, titled Mighty Morphin, will feature art by Marco Renna and the introduction of a mysterious Green Ranger:

Continue reading “Mail Call | BOOM! reveals plans for Power Rangers, Dune and more”

‘American Vampire 1976’ wraps up the series this fall

Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s former Vertigo title returns for its last ride in October.

Skinner Sweet, the lovable, deadly star of Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s long-running, Esiner-winning American Vampire, will take one more ride in October.

The former Vertigo series will find new life this fall as a nine-issue miniseries, American Vampire 1976, under DC’s Black Label banner.

“Scott, Rafael, and I, we cut our teeth together on American Vampire 10 years ago,” said Executive Editor Mark Doyle. “Returning to finish the story we started a decade ago is a thrill. Working on American Vampire 1976 has been so creepy and cool, especially because the parallels between ’70s paranoia and today are really chilling.”

Continue reading “‘American Vampire 1976’ wraps up the series this fall”

DC announces ‘Rorschach’ by Tom King + Jorge Fornés

The Black Label title featuring a character created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons will be set 35 years after the end of the ‘Watchmen’ maxiseries.

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen continues to be mined by DC Comics for story ideas some 30+ years after the 12-issue miniseries debuted. Although it enjoyed a long tenure as a “hands off” project while DC built its graphic novel business on its back, in recent years, post-Paul Levitz, the gloves have been off, starting with Before Watchmen in 2012 and the more recent Doomsday Clock, which brought the Watchmen characters into contact with the DC universe. These projects were done without the support or approval of Moore, who has “angrily” distanced himself from anything Watchmen due to his ownership dispute with DC (among other reasons).

Which brings us to today, in a world where Watchmen is not just a very well-regarded comic from the 1980s, but also a very well-regarded HBO show. DC has announced a new Rorschach 12-issue series by Tom King and Jorge Fornés that sounds like it has more in common with the TV show than the original comic.

Continue reading “DC announces ‘Rorschach’ by Tom King + Jorge Fornés”

Mail Call | Grifter coming to ‘Batman’ following the Joker War

Rounding up news from DC, IDW, Humble Bundle and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Trick or treat: DC Comics will release not one but two Halloween specials this October, the equivalent of getting a full-sized candy bar instead of those fun-sized ones.

The first one features Swamp Thing with stories by James Tynion IV, Tom King, Tradd Moore, Emma Rios and more. The second, titled DC: The Doomed and the Damned, will feature stories by Marv Wolfman, Ken Porter, John Arcudi, Saladin Ahmed, Riley Rossmo, Travis Moore and more. It’ll feature short stories starring Batman, Madame Xanadu, Man-Bat, Green Lantern, Etrigan and more.

Continue reading “Mail Call | Grifter coming to ‘Batman’ following the Joker War”

Mail Call | Defend-ing the Hero Initiative, new ‘Bad Karma’ and more

Plus: News from DC, Image, Humble Bundle and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

DC Comics has announced a change in the variant covers for the upcoming The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1. The cover shown below, by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn, will replace one from Bill Sienkiewicz that they first showed us in May.

Continue reading “Mail Call | Defend-ing the Hero Initiative, new ‘Bad Karma’ and more”