DC rebrands its publishing; Vertigo to go away at end of the year

Black Label will survive as Vertigo, DC Ink and DC Zoom all get the axe.

Rumors of Vertigo’s demise have proven to be true, as DC Comics has announced a rebranding of its content into three age-specific labels: DC Kids, DC and DC Black Label. The Vertigo imprint will be “sunset” at the end of the year, along with the DC Zoom and DC Ink labels.

“We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio in a press release. “That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material.”

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‘Legion of Super-Heroes’ returns from Bendis + Sook

A two-issue series starring DC’s myriad future characters will kick off the new series.

DC Comics’ teen heroes from the future have been in an extended break for a few years now, but that’s all about to change. DC has announced that the Legion of Super-Heroes will return to their own title by Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook following a two-issue series titled Legion Of Super-Heroes: Millennium.

This two-issue prelude will feature art by Jim Lee, Ryan Sook, Nicola Scott and others.

It focuses on “a most unlikely tour guide to the 31st Century, a familiar face to DC fans who finds herself suddenly immortal. As she learns to cope with her newfound immortality and the reason she was chosen for this quest, her 1,000-year odyssey will connect all of DC’s future timelines for the very first time.” This is interesting, as it sounds like Bendis is cleaning up or at least connecting all of DC’s future characters and timelines in a similar fashion to what he’s doing with all their spy agencies in Leviathan.

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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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Comics Lowdown: Remembering Stan ‘The Man’ Lee

Plus: ‘The Brotherhood’ writer revealed! Transformers’ growing female fan base! Plus Art Spiegelman, Stan Webb and the scariest comic panel in ages!

Following the death of Marvel legend Stan Lee on Monday, many outlets covered not only his death, but turned the focus on his wide-reaching life and legacy. Some of the mainstream coverage included:

  • The New York Times not only wrote a thorough obituary of “The Man,” but also featured a comic by Brian Michael Bendis, Bill Walko and Howie Noel.
  • Peter David, freelance comics writer and a former Marvel employee, wrote a remembrance of Lee for Vulture. “Still, there was a time where Stan became the incarnation of that line from The Dark Knight: You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. In the ’80s and ’90s, it became increasingly stylish to bash Stan, to accuse him of hogging attention for his creations from the artists. But the fact is that before Marvel Comics, comics writers and artists were anonymous. It was Stan who made the artists the centerpieces of the work, giving them snappy nicknames like ‘Stainless’ Steve Ditko, ‘Genial’ Gene Colan, ‘Larrupin’’ Larry Lieber (no, even his brother wasn’t immune), and many others. We would come to know the artists (and other writers) as well as, if not better than, members of our only families. DC editors were so disdainful of this practice that they referred to him as ‘Stan Brag,’ before eventually following suit and crediting people.”
  • Roy Thomas, a legendary comics writer in his own right, shares the memory of his last Saturday spent with Lee at the Hollywood Reporter.
  • Marvel dedicated a special section of their website to Lee, with a tribute video.

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Comics Lowdown: Chuck Wendig says Marvel fired him because of negative tweets

After posting a controversial interview, Bleeding Cool gets a new editor in chief! Plus Steve Ellis, Alex Ross, MAD Magazine and more!

Comics writer and novelist Chuck Wendig says he has been fired from Marvel “because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark [Paniccia], the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.” Wendig had just been announced as the writer of Shadow of Vader, with artist Greg Smallwood, and said he had another as-yet-unannounced Star Wars comic in the works.

In addition to various Star Wars comics, Wendig also wrote Star Wars: Aftermath, a novel that included LGBT characters and was one of the first books published after Lucasfilm ended the “expanded universe” Star Wars books. After it was published, Wendig said he received “TONS” of harassment online — “harassment that has gone on for years, harassment that has required me to contact local police and warn them of SWATting attempts, harassment across all corners of the Internet, here, FB, Reddit, YouTube. Some of it was bot stuff, obviously, or sock puppets, but some of it was pretty creepy, and very personal.”

This story has been reported on widely, with stories from Deadline, io9, the Verge, Vulture and more. Update: Wendig has a post answering many of the questions he’s received since he went public with this news.

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Bendis’ Wonder Comics line to feature ‘Young Justice,’ ‘Wonder Twins’ and more

David Walker, Sam Humphries, Joe Quinones, Patrick Gleason and more join Bendis for his curated imprint.

Shortly after Brian Michael Bendis signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics, the publisher announced that the writer of Action Comics and Superman would also oversee a curated/”pop-up” imprint that would “feature some of Bendis’ all-time favorite characters in very unique and unusual situations, combined with new characters created specifically for this new imprint.”

Today at the New York Comic Con, DC publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee hosted a “Meet the Publishers” panel where Bendis revealed more details about his imprint. The imprint, Wonder Comics, will feature four “teen-focused, in-continuity comic books scheduled to debut in early 2019.”

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DC reveals more titles from their younger readers lines

The publisher dropped a whole bunch of new titles coming to their DC Ink and DC Zoom lines, aimed at middle-grade and young adult readers.

After revealing the creative teams for several upcoming books in their new younger readers line in June, DC Comics announced the next wave of titles coming from their new DC Ink and DC Zoom imprints.

The lines were first announced back in February — DC Zoom, aimed at middle grade readers (8-12 years) and DC Ink, aimed at young adult readers (13 and older). Publisher Jim Lee spoke about the initiative during DC’s Meet the Publisher panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego today.

“There are a lot of people who are hungry for our material and our characters but we’re not necessarily producing the things they want,” Lee said. “So we’re trying to reach those new audiences with different sizes and formats.”

There are a lot of interesting names on the list of creators, including several that comics fans should recognize, like Louise Simonson, Gene Luen Yang, Stuart Moore, and the awesome duo of Art Baltazar & Franco.

Here’s look at all the titles that have been announced thus far, taken from the official press release:

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Support free speech with these ‘retro’ CBLDF designs

Get shirts, hats, phone cases and more featuring artwork by Frank Miller, Jeff Smith, Mike Allred, James Kochalka, Jim Lee and many others.

Over the years comic creators have donated artwork to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for use on membership cards, T-shirts and other premiums. Many of them quickly sold out and haven’t been available for a while — until now. CBLDF has launched a Threadless shop, offering shirts and other items featuring some of their “retro” artwork.

For instance, you can get a shirt featuring Mike Allred’s Lady Liberty drawing, which graced the cover of a CBLDF anthology in 2014. There’s also Frank Miller’s Defiant Fist, which would look great on a throw pillow. Or this patriotic Bone artwork, if you’re looking for something for the kids. Additional artwork by Cliff Chiang, Terry Moore, Jim Lee, Judd Winick and more can also be found on the site.

Proceeds benefit the fund, so head on over to Threadless to check them out.

Geoff Johns steps down at CCO of DC Entertainment as Jim Lee steps up

Johns signs exclusive with Warner Bros./DC Entertainment to create films, TV and comic books, including a pop-up imprint at DC Comics called ‘The Killing Zone’ and a new Shazam! comics series.

DC Entertainment announced today that Geoff Johns will leave his executive position as president and chief creative officer to focus on the “hands-on” creative side, as he launches Mad Ghost Productions and signs an exclusive deal with the company to create comics, TV shows and films full time. Jim Lee’s duties will now include those of the Chief Creative Officer, in addition to his co-publisher role at DC Comics with Dan DiDio.

“I took on a role at DCE because I love the characters and this universe more than anything. But, I want to spend my days writing and on set. I’m thrilled to get back to a more hands-on creative role. It’s a dream job on dream projects, reaching even deeper into DC’s vast pantheon of characters,” Johns said in a statement. “I’m also excited to continue to work with the amazing team at DCE and my colleagues at Warner Bros.”

Johns took on his CCO role in 2010, and they added “president” to his title in 2016. The change follows the departure of Johns’ boss, Diane Nelson, who left the company last week.

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