What Are You Reading? | Strange Academy, Green Lantern, Dryad and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their ‘to read’ list lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Most of the comics in this edition came out this past week, so if you’re curious about new comics, we have some thoughts. Although a couple of older books managed to squeeze their way in between the Empyres and Green Lanterns.

Let us know what you read this week in the comments.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Run with it

New comics and graphic novels arrive this week from Jeffrey Brown, Dan Slott, RB Silva, Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Chris Claremont, Nick Derington and more.

Summer event season continues this week with part 2 of Marvel’s prelude to the big Empyre event. Meanwhile, DC offers up the final issue of Batman before he jumps into his own big event, “Joker War.” There’s also plenty of new stuff to find from IDW, BOOM!, Image, Fantagraphics and more.

If you’re wondering what to get this week, check out a few recommendations below. You can check the Comic List page to see what’s arriving in your local shop, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally. As always, you should check with your local shop on their hours, curbside pick-up and mask restrictions, due to COVID-19. Stay safe out there.

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DC announces plans for ‘Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-page Super Spectacular #1’

Liam Sharp, Geoff Johns, Darryl Banks, Mike Grell, Jeff Lemire, Ron Marz and more help celebrate DC’s 80th anniversary.

Following the footsteps of Batman, Superman, Wonder and the Flash, Green Lantern will break out into his own 80th anniversary special issue this May.

DC announced the 100-page special will include contributions from Geoff Johns, Darryl Banks, Charlotte Fullerton McDuffie, Sina Grace, Mike Grell, Jeff Lemire, Ron Marz, Denny O’Neil, Fernando Pasarin, Ivan Reis, Rafa Sandoval, Mariko Tamaki, Peter J. Tomasi, James Tynion IV, Robert Venditti and more, with a cover by current Green Lantern artist Liam Sharp. Strangely, current Green Lantern scribe Grant Morrison isn’t listed.

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‘Green Lantern: Blackstars’ debuts in November

Grant Morrison ‘rewrites reality’ in a new miniseries that spins out of his work on ‘The Green Lantern.’

DC has announced a new miniseries spinning out of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern series. If you’ve been reading that series and would rather not have it spoiled, it might be safer to stop reading now.

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Comics Lowdown: Batton Lash, Ron Smith pass away

Plus: News on Grant Morrison, Tintin, Stan Lee and more.

Batton Lash, the creator of the long-running comic-strip-turned-comic-book Wolff and Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre (later re-titled Supernatural Law) passed away Jan. 12 at the age of 65 from brain cancer.

Lash’s comics career began in the late 1970s when Wolff and Byrd began running as a weekly comic strip in The Brooklyn Paper and then later in The National Law Journal. In the 1990s, he and his wife, Jackie Estrada, formed Exhibit A Press, which began publishing Wolff and Byrd comics under the title Supernatural Law. It later migrated to the web. His other works included writing the Archie Meets The Punisher crossover as well as Bongo Comics’ Radioactive Man book, which received an Eisner Award in 2002. He also collaborated with James Hudnall on Obama Nation, a conservative political comic strip that appeared on one of Andrew Breitbart’s websites.

Many of the creators and industry professionals who knew Lash have started to share their remembrances, including Heidi MacDonald and Rob Salkowitz. The Comics Reporter has a round-up of more of them.

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Morrison + Sharp relaunch ‘Green Lantern’ in November

Hal Jordan gets a solo title that’s about ‘the everyday life of a space cop.”

Grant Morrison will return to the DC Universe this fall with Liam Sharp, as they tackle hard-nosed space crime in a new series that features Green Lantern Hal Jordan.

“Instead of the big, epic, 12-part stories, we’re focusing down on the everyday life of a space cop. Basically, it’s no more apocalypse-ending storylines,” Morrison told IGN. “The basic concept is that [Hal Jordan] is like a space cop that patrols a sector of the universe where anything can happen. We’ve made it more like a police procedural.”

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Colonel Sanders, Green Lantern take on ‘thieving varmit’ in third DC/KFC comic

Tony Bedard, Tom Derenick, Trevor Scott and Sean Parsons complete the epic Colonel Sanders trilogy.

The third mega-crossover event comic from DC Comics and KFC will arrive tomorrow on DC’s digital outlets. KFC #3 Across the Universe will also arrive in print, as a giveaway at the DC booth at Comic-Con International later this week.

Tony Bedard, Tom Derenick, Trevor Scott and Sean Parsons tell the story of what happens when you steal the Colonel’s Zinger chicken sandwiches — you get the ring.

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DC enlists Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman for ‘Green Lantern Earth One’

The ‘Invisible Republic’ team will chronicle the early adventures of Hal Jordan as part of DC’s graphic novel line.

DC Comics has recruited the all-star team of Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman to bring Hal Jordan into their Earth One line of graphic novels. Green Lantern Earth One is scheduled to arrive in March 2018.

“Approaching this as an Earth One story gives us the opportunity to go back to the core concept of Green Lantern and interpret it through the lens of a modern, grounded sci-fi story while still being true to the Silver Age roots of Hal Jordan,” Hardman said in a press release. “Having storyboarded Interstellar, this is an approach I’m comfortable with and have wanted to explore in comics. Realistic sci-fi is only the beginning of this story; we have something much more epic in store.”

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How much ‘old’ does DC Comics need?

How much “old” do you need?

That question was more hypothetical back in the spring, before DC’s “Rebirth” initiative started quantifying it. “Rebirth” was as direct a response to the New 52 as the publisher has ever given, even bringing back specific characters from the old days to help the healing process along. “Rebirth” also up-ended the normal relaunch paradigm, which seeks to streamline a character’s presentation so as to keep what works and discard what doesn’t. By contrast, “Rebirth” took the position that the status quo generally needed fixing, and specifically could use a healthy dose of what had come before.

Regardless of its inelegance, though, the New 52’s streamlining had to come from somewhere. The old regime had been in place for at least 25 years, ever since the great cosmic streamlining of Crisis On Infinite Earths. Back then, the question of “how much old” related to what the character could do without. Today, it seems like the question is what the character needs to have put back.

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