Comics Lowdown | Zunar is in trouble again

Plus: A new graphic novel looks at Japanese Americans who resisted internment.

Zunar’s cartoon critiquing the minster of the state of Kedah, who canceled the festival of Thaipusam. The cleaver says “No Thaipusam” and the caption on the right reads “Kedah’s inhabitants lived in peace until he came.”

The Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar is in trouble with the law again. Police in the state of Kedah have summoned him to appear before them on May 7 (the original date, given in the linked article, was May 2 but it was rescheduled) for violating the country’s sedition law, a much-criticized relic of its colonial past, with a cartoon criticizing the Kedah state minister’s decision to cancel the traditional Tamil Hindu festival of Thaipusam.

Zunar got into lots of trouble during the tenure of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whom he mocked endlessly for his corruption; Razak was not amused and his government repeatedly raided Zunar’s studio, confiscated his books, banned him from traveling, and brought charges against him that could have led to lengthy prison sentences. The pressure eased once Najib was voted out.

Ironically, Zunar’s latest skirmish coincides with World Press Freedom Day, which was Monday; several national and international groups have criticized the Malaysian government for its repressive stance.

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Azzarello + Maleev send the Suicide Squad after the Joker in a new Black Label title

‘Suicide Squad: Get Joker!’ will run for three issues, starting in July.

Brian Azzarello and Alex Maleev are sending the Suicide Squad on a somewhat personal mission for at least two of its member — to stop the Joker.

The DC Black Label title Suicide Squad: Get Joker! will run for three prestige format issues, starting in July.

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‘The Conjuring: The Lover’ headlines a new horror imprint from DC

DC Horror will feature ‘new frightening tales from both well-known and new storytellers that will keep fans spooked and entertained.’

DC has announced they are launching a new horror imprint this summer, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The first title, The Conjuring: The Lover, will kick off in June and ties into the WB film franchise of the same name.

“From early titles like House of Mystery and House of Secrets to current series featuring Swamp Thing and John Constantine: Hellblazer, DC has always been the home of great horror comics and characters,” said Marie Javins, DC editor-in-chief. “DC Horror continues this tradition with new frightening tales from both well-known and new storytellers that will keep fans spooked and entertained.”

Over the years DC has released many comic book adaptations, tie-ins and sequels for various films and television programs in the Warner Bros. library, including Lost Boys, Supernatural and probably more that I’m forgetting. The Conjuring: The Lover is the latest, and like many before it will fill in the gap between the last film and the next film — the upcoming The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.

The comic will be written by screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and comics writer Rex Ogle with art by Garry Brown and covers by Bill Sienkiewicz.

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DC reveals the final four in their ‘Round Robin’ brackets

The fans have spoken.

Earlier this month DC kicked off their 2020 Round Robin competition, pitting 16 comic book pitches against each other, March Madness style, and letting fans vote on the one they wanted to see become a real comic.

For round one, they revealed the pitch, but refrained from identifying the creative teams until voting for that round closed. Fans went into round two knowing who would be working on each entry, and here’s how the voting landed:

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DC returns to the Animated Universe in ‘Justice League Infinity’

Almost 15 years after ‘Justice League Unlimited’ ended, DC launches a new comic set in that same world.

Like they did with the recent Batman: The Adventure Continues, DC will revisit their 1990s/2000s Animated Universe — sometimes called the “Diniverse” after Paul Dini — with Justice League Infinity.

The Dc Digital First series will feature stories from the world shown in Justice League Unlimited, which went off the air in 2006. JLU producer James Tucker and series writer J.M. DeMatteis will team with artist Ethen Beavers on new stories about Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and many more.

JLU ran for three seasons on Cartoon Network and was best known for its revolving cast that would grow or shrink as needed, pulling in characters from all over the DC universe. So expect to see that in the comic. Hopefully we’ll get to see a Question/Huntress/Green Arrow/Black CAnary team-up at some point as well.

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Shazam! spins out of ‘Teen Titans Academy’ into a new miniseries

Tim Sheridan, Clayton Henry and Marcelo Maiolo present a new story about Billy Batson.

Tim Sheridan, writer of Teen Titans Academy, will team with Clayton Henry and Marcelo Maiolo for a new miniseries starring the World’s Mightiest Mortal, Shazam!

Shazam!, aka Billy Batson, is currently appearing in Teen Titans Academy as one of the students being taught by Nightwing and company. You might remember from the previous Shazam! series, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, (or if you saw the film) that Shazam!’s foster siblings also gained the power of Shazam! Apparently they’ve all lost their powers, though, and Billy’s powers have become unreliable — which is what led him to Titans Island in the first place.

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#Bwahaha: Blue Beetle + Booster Gold take on social media in new miniseries

‘Blue & Gold’ by Dan Jurgens and Ryan Sook will go online in July.

Get ready, internets — Blue Beetle and Booster Gold are coming for you.

DC has announced that the duo will get an eight-issue miniseries this summer from the team of Dan Jurgens and Ryan Sook.

Blue & Gold, based on the description, returns the team to their more comical roots, as Booster Gold enlists Blue Beetle’s aid in becoming a social media star.

“To be clear, this is the third, maybe even fourth time this project has been on my board, the first in ’88 or ’89,” Jurgens said on Twitter. “Nice to have it become a reality and even better to have the incredible Ryan Sook drawing it. So good!”

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The Superman family of titles expands in July

Tom Taylor, John Timms, Grant Morrison, Mikel Janin and more tell new tales of the Man of Steel, the Woman of Tomorrow and the Son of Kal-El.

DC Comics has announces several changes to its Superman titles for this July, including the launch of three new titles.

Launching in July will be:

  • Superman: Son of Kal-El by Tom Taylor and John Timms, focusing on Jon Kent. It replaces the regular Superman title.
  • Superman and the Authority, a new miniseries by Grant Morrison and Mikel Janin.
  • The previously announced Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow miniseries by Tom King and Bilquis Evely.

Here’s a rundown of the new titles + storylines from DC:

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Mail Call | The Avengers brace for ‘World War She-Hulk’

Plus: More news and announcements from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, AfterShock, Top Cow, Skybound and more!

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Marvel is dusting off a classic event title for an upcoming Avengers storyline — “World War She-Hulk,” which references the popular “World War Hulk” story from 2007.

The new storyline will find She-Hulk declared a global menace, so the Winter Guard decides to bring her in.

“When the Russian Winter Guard invade Avengers Mountain to arrest She-Hulk, it sets off a global espionage adventure that takes us from the notorious assassin training academy of the Red Room to an undersea kingdom on the verge of violent revolution,” said writer Jason Aaron. “Along the way, traitors will fall, regimes will crumble and the dark evolution of Jennifer Walters will reach its bloody red crescendo, all as we build toward the epic events of Avengers #50.”

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DC puts the spotlight on Batman’s associates this summer

The Signal and the Huntress are the first to take center stage in ‘Batman Secret Files.’

In addition to Batman: Urban Legends, Future State: Gotham and various back-up features in the regular Batman books, DC has announced Batman Secret Files, “a new monthly series of one-shots featuring Batman’s partners in crimefighting.” Just in case you weren’t getting enough Batman in your life.

The first one will feature The Signal in a story by Tony Patrick with art by Christian Duce, while the second will focus on the Huntress, by the inspired team of Mariko Tamaki and David Lapham.

Here are the details on each from DC’s press release:

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Christmas comes in July in the ‘Batman/Catwoman Special’

Tom King and John Paul Leon team up for the story of Catwoman before she was Catwoman.

The Eisner-nominated team of Tom King and John Paul Leon will reunite for a one-shot interlude to the Batman/Catwoman comic book maxiseries. Dave Stewart joins them on colors.

Batman/Catwoman Special arrives in July, tracing the life of Selina Kyle from he early days to her arrival in the criminal underworld, showing how Bruce Wayne factored into her life during that time.

It also sports a fun holiday cover:

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DC will introduce Monkey Prince in ‘DC Festival of Heroes’

The new character will meet Shazam! in a story by Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang.

DC Comics will introduce a new character called Monkey Prince in their upcoming anthology DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration. They also revealed more about the contents in a press release today.

Monkey Prince will debut in a story written by Gene Luen Yang with art by Bernard Chang. Per the release, Monkey Prince is inspired by the Monkey King, legendary hero of Chinese mythology and the classic tale Journey to the West. In Yang and Chang’s 12-page story, “The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes,” Monkey Prince battles and teams up with Shazam! to defeat Dr. Sivana and a Chinese deer demon spirit.  

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