Taylor + Robertson have a ‘twisted’ John Constantine story coming in September

‘Hellblazer: Rise & Fall’ brings the Vertigo bad boy to DC’s Black Label for a three-issue series.

DC Comics has announced Hellblazer: Rise & Fall, a new three-issue Black Label series by Tom Taylor (Suicide Squad, DCeased) and Darick Robertson (The Boys, New Warriors). The story involves a police detective, Aisha Bukhari, trying to solve the mystery behind the bodies of billionaires falling from the sky — with some help from her childhood friend, John Constantine.

If there’s any character who screams “Black Label,” it’s gotta be John Constantine.

“This is a very twisted book,” said Taylor. “But, I actually want to give people exactly the John they’ve seen before. I want to write the bloke who steps out of the shadows with the smirk, the lit cigarette and all the answers. I want a story of shocks and sadness and triumph in the face of utter horror.”

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‘The Dreaming: Waking Hours’ arrives in August

The new Sandman Universe series will feature a nightmare named Ruin, by G. Willow Wilson and Nick Robles.

After wrapping up The Dreaming with issue #20 last month, DC Comics has announced the follow-up series by Ms. Marvel co-creator G. Willow Wilson and Euthanauts artist Nick Robles — The Dreaming: Waking Hours — will now debut in August.

The story will focus on Ruin, “the nightmare of catastrophic failure,” who finds his way into the waking world.

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McAvoy, Egerton, Dennings + more to voice ‘Sandman’ audiobook

The classic Vertigo series comes to Audible in July.

James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton and Neil Gaiman himself will bring The Sandman to Audible this summer in the first of several audio editions of the classic Vertigo comic series.

It’s an inspired cast, as McAvoy voices Morpheus, Dennings becomes Death and Egerton takes on what should be a fun role, John Constantine. They’re joined by Michael Sheen as Lucifer, Samantha Morton as Urania Blackwell, Riz Ahmed as the Corinthian, Andy Serkis as Matthew the Raven, Bebe Neuwirth as the Siamese Cat and Gaiman as the Narrator. The production will be directed by Dirk Maggs, while Gaiman will also serve as Gaiman as creative director and executive producer.

Check out the rest of the cast below:

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Lemire teases new ‘Sweet Tooth’ comics

Following the announcement of an adaptation coming from Netflix, Jeff Lemire offers some chocolate-covered hope for a new comic series.

Using a fun Twin Peaks reference, Jeff Lemire has teased the return of Sweet Tooth, the long-running Vertigo Comics series he wrote and drew.

“It is happening again…that candy bar you liked is going to come back in style,” he wrote on Twitter, as he shared some new art and a page labeled “Sweet Tooth: The Return #2, Page 13.” It’s dated April 15, and at the rate he works, he’s probably on issue #22 by now.

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‘Enigma’ returns as a deluxe hardcover edition

Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo’s classic Vertigo title returns from Berger Books.

Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo helped kick off the Vertigo era back in 1993 with Enigma, an eight-issue avant-garde miniseries that met with much critical acclaim. At New York Comic Con, Dark Horse announced that a deluxe hardcover collection of the series will be released under their Berger Books imprint in the Fall of 2020.

“I’m thrilled to be publishing this brilliant seminal work of one of Vertigo’s key launch titles, which was ahead of its time and inspirational to many,” said Karen Berger, who was running Vertigo back when it was originally published. “Dark Horse is known for publishing beautiful high-quality books, and it’s long overdue for Enigma to be presented in the fashion that it deserves.” 

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‘John Constantine, Hellblazer’ joins the Sandman Universe titles this fall

Simon Spurrier, Marcio Takara and Aaron Campbell take the character back to his roots.

After a move to the regular DC Universe, a movie, a TV show and even the announcement of a YA graphic novel, John Constantine will go back to basics in a new Hellblazer title this fall, as part of the Neil Gaiman-curated Sandman Universe line.

The day before Halloween will bring a one-shot by Simon Spurrier and artist Marcio Takara titled The Sandman Universe Presents Hellblazer. That’ll be followed by a new ongoing titled John Constantine, Hellblazer by Spurrier and artist Aaron Campbell.

“Year One was just the start. Now you get to inhabit the worlds, books and houses we built for you,” said Gaiman. “I was thrilled when I was told that John Constantine—the original, demon-haunted one who first showed up in Swamp Thing’s ‘American Gothic’ story—is coming back to his murky and dangerous roots. More magic and more darkness and not a few gods and dreams are here for you to explore.”

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‘Second Coming’ finally makes it to comic shops this week

The first issue of Mark Russell and Richard Pace’s story about Jesus and superheroes arrives Wednesday from AHOY Comics.

It’s been a long, winding road for Mark Russell and Richard Pace’s Second Coming, but this week it finally makes its way into the hands of readers.

The quick version:

  • Second Coming was originally announced more than a year ago as a part of the latest (and, it would turn out, last) wave of Vertigo books, in celebration of their 25th anniversary. The story features a superhero named Sunstar (formerly Sun-Man) becoming roommates with Jesus Christ.
  • News about the comic’s premise caught the eyes of the religious right, who petitioned DC Comics to cancel the book. They called the unreleased comic “inappropriate and blasphemous.” DC canceled it a few weeks before it was slated to hit comic shops.
  • AHOY Comics picked it up in March, with the first issue scheduled to arrive this Wednesday.

So what’s this all about? Let’s break it down …

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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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Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee’s former manager’s legal troubles grow

Plus: Stolen comics, cease and desist letters, Ted Talks, Jesus and more.

Legal woes for Stan Lee’s former caretaker and manager, Keya Morgan, continue to grow. He has been arrested and appeared in court in Arizona to face the charge of being a fugitive of justice. And he is also being sued by Joan Celia Lee, Stan Lee’s daughter.

In May, Morgan was charged with felony counts of false imprisonment of an elder adult, theft, embezzlement, and forgery or fraud against an elder adult, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court. The LAPD has revealed some of the details on why they brought charges against him.

“Morgan removed Lee from his Hollywood Hills residence to a secured Beverly Hills condominium during the late night hours of June 8, 2018,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. “Morgan was using this tactic to further deceive Lee into believing he was in danger and needed to be moved from his home to a more secured condominium where Morgan had more control over Lee.”

The LAPD will eventually extradite Morgan to L.A. to face the charges.

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