What Are You Reading? | Death Metal and more

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

Speaking of this week’s comics, the big release this week was probably Dark Knights: Death Metal #1, DC’s big crossover series. Although the pandemic slowed down its release, it’s appropriate that it came out right here at the beginning of summer, kicking off the season with something big and brash and, as Carla puts it, “Stupid.” Summertime is the right time for crossovers and comics.

Oh, hey, welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what we’ve been reading. You can play along in the comments or on social media if you’d like.

Let’s get to it …

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Warren Ellis writing T-Rex Batman is the news the world needs right now [Update: No, it’s not]

Ellis joins many other writers in two anthologies that tie into DC’s ‘Death Metal.’

Update, June 30: Following allegations of sexual misconduct, DC Comics has removed the Warren Ellis-written story from Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1. And good riddance to it.

Original story:

DC Comics put out a press release today detailing two new titles related to their upcoming Death Metal event by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 and Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1 are both anthologies, containing various stories related to the event by a host of creators.

The guidebook will “showcase the new factions of Earth and explore the mystery of what happened to the Justice League after their battle with Perpetua,” while the Legends title will be “collection of short tales where demons dwell and reality is overrun by monstrous versions of the Dark Knight.”

Including T-Rex Batman, as written by Warren Ellis.

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DC announces the metal-er ‘Death Metal’ miniseries

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo get the band back together for a sequel to the ‘Metal’ event series.

If DC’s Metal event wasn’t “metal” enough for you, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are coming back in May for an encore — Dark Knights: Death Metal. It promises to be “metal-er” than Metal. Metal!

“I’ve been waiting to do this story since we finished Dark Nights: Metal,” said Snyder. “As much as it was a complete event, we left some threads hanging there for sure. I’d hoped that if people liked the first series enough, we’d have a chance to set up something bigger, and that’s our plan for Death Metal.”

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DC shares details on their 2020 Free Comic Book Day titles

Wally West and Wonder Woman take center stage in this year’s ‘gold’ title.

DC has revealed the contents of their two Free Comic Book Day 2020 titles, which were first announced in December without any details.

Their gold title, Generation Zero, “sets the stage for the past, present and future of the DC Universe, ” according to the press release. It will feature Wally West, who has gone through a lot recently in DC continuity, if you’ve been following the story that started in Heroes in Crisis.

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McFarlane’s ‘Spawn’ celebrates 300 issues in August

Greg Capullo, Scott Snyder, J. Scott Campbell and more help celebrate the milestone.

Todd McFarlane’s Spawn will reach its 300th issue in August, and the creator has gone all out for the big occasion.

“I created Spawn back when I was a teenager hoping to someday break into the comic book industry,” McFarlane said in a press release.  “Now, over 40 years later, not only was I able to have a career drawing and writing comics, but Spawn has been by my side for most of that journey. Even more exciting, Spawn is becoming the longest running creator-owned comic in the world!”

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Darkseid unleashes the zombie apocalypse on the DCU in ‘DCeased’

New miniseries kicks off in May from by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano and James Harren.

In their latest round of solicitations and through an article on IGN, DC Comics has officially announced DCeased, a zombie story written by Tom Taylor with art by Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano and James Harren. Like the original Marvel Zombies, this story will take place outside regular DC continuity — so expect a high body count.

“While the characters are the ones everyone knows so well, this is very much its own thing,” Taylor told IGN. “The reason being, the stakes are real. We can tell a story without holding back. No one you love is safe. Even the icons can fall.”

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‘Detective’ #1000 to feature Dini, Lee, Bendis, Cloonan, Ellis and more

DC Comics has unveiled the line-up for Detective Comics #1000, the landmark issue that arrives in stores in March.

The comic will feature short stories by a variety of creative teams, from classic Batman creators like Denny O’Neil, Paul Dini and Kelley Jones, as well as more recent creators like Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Tom King.

“Following in the footsteps of the blockbuster Action Comics #1000, Detective Comics #1000 is going to be a must-have for every kind of Batman fan,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio. “Everyone we asked to be a part of this monumental issue immediately said yes and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on the comic book.”

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DC announces ‘Year of the Villain’ 25-cent comic

The almost-free comic arrives a few days before this year’s Free Comic Book Day.

Just prior to Free Comic Book Day, DC Comics will release a 25-cent DC Year of the Villain comic that spotlights several villains and sets the stage for future stories.

The book will include stories by Scott Snyder, Brian Michael Bendis, James Tynion IV, Jim Cheung, Francis Manapul and Alex Maleev, with a cover by Greg Capullo. Variant cover artists include Maleev and Cheung, as well as Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.

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DC’s Black Label imprint to offer out-of-continuity comics from ‘top talent’

DC Comics has announced Black Label, a new imprint aimed at giving creators the freedom to create out-of-continuity stories and future “perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books.”

“Many of our perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books were produced when we unleashed our top talent on standalone, often out-of-continuity projects featuring our most iconic characters, a prime example being Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns,” DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee said in a statement about the new imprint. “Creating DC Black Label doubles down on our commitment to working with all-star talent and trusting them to tell epic, moving stories that only they can tell with the highest levels of creative freedom.”

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