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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Bendis takes over all the Supermans as Jinxworld moves to DC and a “curated” imprint from the writer looms.
Former Marvel stalwart Brian Michael Bendis’ first work for DC will be on Action Comics #1000, but it won’t be his last opportunity to tug on Superman’s cape.
DC Comics has announced the writer’s plans at his new home, which includes a whole lot of Superman, the return of his Jinxworld books and a brand-new “curated” imprint. They’ll also release a 25-cent sampler, called DC Nation #0, spotlighting not only Bendis’ work but that of his fellow writers Tom King and Scott Snyder.
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Edited by Paul Levitz, ‘Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman’ will include essays and past ‘Action Comics’ stories, including one by Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster that was given to Marv Wolfman when he was a kid.
With plans for the 1,000th issue of Action Comics in place, DC Comics revealed more details about the hardcover collection they previously announced that will accompany the milestone issue.
Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman, edited by former DC Publisher Paul Levitz, will feature several past Superman stories along with essays. The collection will also a never-before-published 12-page story from original Superman writer Jerry Siegel with art by the Joe Shuster Studio titled “Too Many Heroes.”
“The found Siegel and Shuster story is a true treasure with a fascinating backstory,” Levitz said. “Back when DC did regular tours of the New York office, it was common for fans to get original art that would have been otherwise disposed of as a tour souvenir. As a young fan on a tour Marv Wolfman found this Superman story and kept it all these years. It’s incredible to think that Marv not only rescued this unpublished story, he then went on to become one of DC’s most prolific writers, and shared the story with DC to publish as part of this special new collection.”
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Milestone issue will include new stories by Brian Michael Bendis, Jim Lee, Curt Swan, Marv Wolfman, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, John Cassaday, Scott Snyder and more.
The world returns to sanity again in April with the landmark Action Comics #1000, which features a slew of creators telling tales about Superman and, more importantly, the return of his famous red trunks.
Debuting in Action Comics #1 way back in 1938, the red trunks helped Clark Kent’s alter-ego fight for truth, justice and the American way for almost a century — that is, until the launch of the New 52 in 2010. Dc co-publisher Jim Lee redesigned many DC characters at the time, including Superman — and the new, super-hip redesign had no room for outside undies or his classic red boots. The move was controversial, just like any change to the status quo in superhero comics, and eventually spawned petitions from fans to return to the classic look. Now it looks like those voices have finally been heard by DC.
“Action Comics #1000 represents a watershed moment in the history of not just comic books, but entertainment, literature and pop culture,” said Lee. “There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design.”
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Oversized issue + a hardcover will help celebrate the milestone.
At the New York Comic Con, DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee revealed the company’s plans for the upcoming 1000th issue of Action Comics, which is set to arrive next March.
Plans include an oversized edition of Action #1000 featuring a story by Peter Tomasi and Dan Jurgens, as well as “an all-star talent line-up writing back-up stories,” including a story co-written by DC COO Geoff Johns and Superman film director Richard Donner. They’ll also publish a hardcover book celebrating the 80th anniversary of Action Comics #1.
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With a name inspired by a staple of the comic convention scene, DC Collectibles has announced a new line of “Artist Alley” vinyl statues that “merges indie design with the most iconic characters in the DC Universe.” Batman, Superman, Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman and more get the 3-D treatment in 2018.
“The motivation to create a line celebrating radical new artists stems from years of visiting cons and being impressed by the raw talent and artwork on display,” said Jim Fletcher, Executive Creative Director, DC Collectibles, in a statement. “When we decided to launch DC Artist Alley, we approached visionaries we felt would best represent the line, while bringing their own creative signature to our classic characters.”
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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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Everyone knows someone affected by cancer. Even Superman. But maybe he can do something about it.
Writer/artist Stephen Sonneveld has released Superman vs. Cancer, a 70-page webcomic where the Man of Steel goes to any length to finally stop this pervasive and all too common disease.
Obviously this is not an official DC Comics release. Described as “for portfolio purposes only,” Superman vs. Cancer is clearly not pretending to be canon, but its use of not only Superman’s mythology and the larger DC Universe contributes to a story that is emotionally resonant and affecting, even disarming.
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According to Stephen Downer: “So over the last year, I started drawing every member of the ‘90s JLA. I’m a huge fan of Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s version of the League, and I wanted a project. I’m gonna start posting one of these each day until I run out.”
Here we go with Day 1: Electric Superman!
90s JLA, Day 2! Wonder Woman. I really like the way Howard Porter drew Diana during his run. I tried to capture a bit of the feel of his version of the character. I think this is the first proper Wonder Woman I’ve drawn, actually.
Batman! ‘90s JLA Day 3. This version of the Batman costume is one I love a lot. Dark blue-gray color scheme, with extra-pointy ears, shoulders and fingertips. Scary, but still more “superhero” than “gritty urban vigilante”.
1990′s JLA, Day 4. Superman! Behold the glory of ‘90s Mullet Superman. So beautiful. *sheds tears
’90s JLA, Day 5! The ‘90s versions of these iconic DC superheroes were my first exposure to them in many cases. Kyle Rayner was the first Green Lantern I knew, and I thought he was awesome.
December 19 Update
Day 6: Wally West, The Flash. This guy is in my top three favorite superheroes list, right after Batman and Superman
1990s JLA, Day 7: Green Arrow! Connor Hawke Green Arrow, specifically. One of those legacy superheroes that was genuinely cooler than the original. (This was when Oliver Queen had, what, one good story to his name?) Oliver Queen got much cooler, but I’ll always like this guy. And dig that Reid Loessberg–ian jawline!
Day 8: Martian Manhunter. Not too much to say about this, except that Martian Manhunter is really awesome.
Bearded, harpoon-hand pirate king Aquaman is my absolute favorite version of the character. He seems like an example of the ‘90s “extreme badass” cliche that actually turned out to be great.1990s JLA.
Day 10!: It’s Zauriel! You know, that time a full-on angel started hanging out with the Justice League? I drew the pre-superhero-costume version to start with. I’ll have his full superhero version coming up down the line a bit.