Slugfest | A look at DC in August

Olympus: Rebirth, The New Champion of Shazam, DC Saved by the Belle Reve and more arrive in August.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you. This edition focuses on DC’s August announcements, of which there are many. Hit the links for more information.

Like Marvel, DC released their solicitations for August this past Friday (You can find the complete listings on Newsarama or The Beat) and they included several new titles and big storylines that I may or may not have already covered here on Smash Pages. So, here’s a round-up of what to expect and what looks interesting, but first, here’s what I’ve previously covered:

Lee Bermejo returns to the world of Batman for Batman: Dear Detective. DC describes it as “One part prestige art book, one part compelling noir tale” in the solicitation, but IGN has more details:

Less a traditional comic than an illustrated prose tale, Dear Detective is a 56-page graphic novella that repurposes many of Bermejo’s previous Batman covers to tell a new detective noir story. Those familiar images are accompanied by text in the form of letters written to the Dark Knight himself.

Azrael — he’s the guy who replaced Batman briefly, back when Bane broke Batman’s back — returns in a new six-issue miniseries, following his recent appearance in Urban Legends. It’s by Dan Watters and Nikola Čižmešija, whose Urban Legends story also gets collected in August. Interestingly, Azrael’s co-creator, Joe Quesada, returns to draw a variant cover featuring the character.

As the rest of the DC Universe battles the literal forces of darkness in Dark Crisis, the World Without a Justice League one-shots continue to tell alternate universe stories of the dead JLers. August puts the spotlight on John Stewart in a story by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Fernando Blanco, with a Hawkgirl back-up by Nadia Shammas and Jack Herbert.

I mean, I love this one for the title alone: DC Saved by the Belle Reve #1 is an anthology of back-to-school stories in the tradition of DC’s holiday specials. It features stories by Art Baltazar, Franco, Andrew Aydin, Becky Cloonan, Tim Seeley, Scott Kolins, Mike Norton and more, starring the Suicide Squad, Gotham Academy, Tiny Titans and more.

It looks like Harley Quinn is going weekly in August as everyone’s favorite astronaut prepares for a trip to space. Harley Quinn #18-21 by Stephanie Phillips and Georges Duarte sees the clown princess head for the moon to fight a monster, and it all wraps up in that months’ Harley Quinn Annual.

Heroes never die, they just move on to new adventures. Queen Hippolyta of Themyscira may have met her end in the Trial of the Amazons storyline, but now she’s being welcomed into Olympus by the rest of the gods. Olympus: Rebirth is by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, with artist Caitlin Yarsky.

Mary Marvel takes the spotlight in this new take on Shazam!, as Josie Campbell and Evan “Doc” Shaner give the longtime hero her first solo series, The New Champion of Shazam.

With the big Black Adam movie on the horizon, DC is giving some of the JSA members who will appear in it their own one-shot. This one features Cyclone, aka Maxine Hunkel, along with a Black Adam back-up story, by Cavan Scott, Bryan Q. Miller, Maria Laura Sanapo and Marco Santucci.

Green Lantern Tai Pham returns in another YA graphic novel from DC, following his debut in the pages of the Green Lantern: Legacy. Pham’s adventures will once again be told by Minh Lê and artist Andie Tong, as he comes face-to-face with his nemesis, Xander Griffin, but this time he’ll have some help from a new Kid Flash. Also on the YA front, DC will release a second graphic novel by Shannon and Dean Hale with artist Victoria Ying, focused on a young Princess Diana and Princess Nubia:

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