Comics Lowdown | All hail the king as ‘King Spawn’ #1 sells nearly 500,000 copies

Spawn continues its big comeback with big numbers. Plus: news on censorship in Texas, Tim Drake’s big revelation, Kim Dwinell, ‘Chickaloonies’ and more.

Todd McFarlane’s Spawn is coming back in a big way this year, as the creator launches a universe of titles built around the character. Spawn’s Universe #1 set a sales record for the 21st Century for Image Comics, and it looks like the first issue of King Spawn has already broken it, with a reported 497,000 pre-orders.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, that puts King Spawn #1 in the same neighborhood as DC’s Action Comics No. 1,000, which has pre-orders of an estimated 504,000 copies, and Detective Comics No. 1,000 with its 574,705 copies. So it’s a respectable neighborhood.

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Nguyen + Lemire team up for a tale about Dick Grayson’s early career

‘Robin & Batman,’ a three-issue, prestige-format miniseries, kicks off in November.

The creative team behind the hit creator-owned titles Descender and Ascender are trading space operas for street crime, as they team up for a new miniseries focused on the Boy Wonder and his bat-themed mentor.

Robin & Batman, a three-issue, prestige-format miniseries by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen, will debut in November. As the title suggest, the story will focus Robin, in this case Dick Grayson early in his career as a crimefighter.

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What Are You Reading? | ‘Robin,’ ‘Seconds,’ ’20 Fists’ and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately — from older stuff like Night Force and Seconds to more recent releases like Robin, Transformers/My Little Pony and more.

Let us know what you read this week in the comments or on social media.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | 35 years later, Barry Windsor-Smith’s ‘Monsters’ arrives

This week brings another Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips joint, a new Robin series, ‘The Marvels,’ new takes on Shadowman and the notorious Clone Saga, and much more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital this week. This week brings new debuts from Kurt Busiek, Yildiray Cinar, Cullen Bunn, Jon-Davis Hunt, Joshua Williamson, Paul Cornell and, 35 years in the making, a new graphic novel from Barry Windsor Smith.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit ComicList for this week’s full list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘Infinite Frontier,’ ‘Nocterra’ and more

This week brings new comics by Keanu Reeves, Dan Rather, Scott Snyder, Tim S. Daniel, Chris Samnee, Peach Momoko, Kalinda Vazquez, Carlos Gómez, Tyler Boss and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide each week to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital. This week sees a new one-shot setting up the return of DC’s regular titles, more King in Black tie-ins, new comics by Scott Snyder and Keanu Reeves, and much more.

Also this week I’m happy to welcome aboard Brigid Alverson, who will be helping to cover manga and other things she finds interesting each week.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit ComicList for this week’s full list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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The State of Future State, Part 3

JK, Shane and Tom continue their look at DC’s Future State titles, this time around focusing on ‘Dark Detective,’ Superman/Wonder Woman’ and more.

We’re back with part three of our discussion about of DC’s Future State comics, as Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant and I talk about the first issues of Dark Detective, Superman/Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, Robin Eternal and Kara Zor-El, Superwoman.

As always, the timeline DC provided helps put the timing of these stories into context:

You can also read part one and part two of our roundtable on other, earlier DC Future State titles.

And away we go …

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Jeffrey Brown sends Damian Wayne to middle school in ‘Batman and Robin and Howard’

The new graphic novel about the Boy Wonder going to class will arrive in November.

Damian Wayne will meet his match in the halls of his local middle school in the upcoming graphic novel Batman and Robin and Howard, by Jeffrey Brown.

The story will feature Brown’s trademark style, which has appeared in books like Incredible Change-Bots, the Sulk trilogy, Space-Time, Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, Clumsy and the Darth Vader and Son line of books from Lucasfilm.

According to DC, the project “offers a down-to-earth look at Gotham’s two most famous heroes packed with laughs, whimsy and clever life lessons sure to please fans of Batman and Brown alike.” DC’s library of titles aimed at middle school kids has been growing exponentially since it was announced a few years ago, and Brown seems like the perfect creator to recruit for their efforts on that front. If this isn’t followed by a Batman and Son book, I’ll be crushed. Money on the table, DC!

“I actually had the basic story kicking around for years—two all-star teenagers who start as rivals but end up becoming friends to save homecoming,” Brown told dccomics.com. “When I had the chance to do a book with DC Kids, that story finally came together in my mind. Robin seemed like the perfect character to throw into the situation—someone used to being the best, only to realize sometimes they were only second best.”

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Robin leaps out into his own series by Williamson + Melnikov

The new ongoing will launch in April.

Damian Wayne will become the latest Robin to branch out into his own ongoing series, courtesy of Joshua Williamson and Gleb Melnikov.

“Being a big fan of Damian Wayne, I’m really excited about getting him back on a hero’s journey,” Williamson said. “Gleb is the perfect artist to tell this story as we show readers Damian’s growth, in a new adventure that navigates his legacy, his connections to Batman, Talia Al Ghul and kicks off an important story in the DC Universe.”

Robin, now unaffiliated with either Batman or the Teen Titans, will investigate something called the League of Lazarus tournament, which he plans to enter and win to “prove he is the greatest fighter in the DC Universe.”

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DC sails into an ‘Infinite Frontier’ in 2021

New creative teams and directions arrive in March, along with a one-shot to kick it all off.

After a reality-altering crossover in Dark Nights: Death Metal over the last few months and a look into the future with DC Future State in January and February of next year, DC will chart a new path in its regular ongoing titles in March, starting with a one-shot called Infinite Frontier that’ll kick everything off.

Infinite Frontier #0 really feels like the beginning of a new era of DC Comics, a time when anything is possible,” said writer Joshua Williamson. “We’re taking the aftermath of Dark Nights: Death Metal and combining it with the best things we love as storytellers about the DC Universe, resulting in bold, fun, and exciting new directions. There are a lot of teases to new story lines, surprises, and mysteries for the year set up in Infinite Frontier #0 that you won’t want to miss.” 

Dc has already revealed new titles and creative teams for March over the last few weeks, and the release of their solicitations for that month lay it all out. Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

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DC to publish ‘Super Sons’ digital title

Peter J. Tomasi returns for a third run starring Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne.

Peter J. Tomasi, who wrote DC’s previous two series starring Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne, will once again bring Superboy and Robin together for Challenge of the Super Sons.

The DC Digital First series will debut Dec. 14. Joining Tomasi for the 14-part series are artists Max Raynor, Jorge Corona and Evan Stanley, with Raynor set to draw the first chapter.

“Stories about Jon and Damian at this time in their lives allows me to tap back into those early years of my own life of being a crazy kid, while also allowing me to mine the fertile ground of my own son’s current adventures, which in turn helps keep me tapped into the general zeitgeist of today’s youth and what they’re going through and thinking about,” Tomasi said. “Jon and Damian are so different—the angel and the devil on your shoulder so to speak—with each one having such a distinctive backstory and perspective that the drama between them is organic and damn easy to bring to life on the page. Best of all, it’s a helluva lotta fun!”

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Artist Tom Lyle passes away

The artist of ‘Robin,’ ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Strike!’ and many other titles suffered a brain aneurysm in October.

Tom Lyle, co-creator of Stephanie Brown from DC’s Batman books and artist of titles like Robin, Spider-Man and Starman, passed away today at the age of 66.

Lyle suffered a brain aneurysm in October, which required him to be placed in a medically-enduced coma and to have surgery to remove a brain clot. According to artist Phillip Sevy, funeral details are still being finalized.

Lyle’s artistic career began in earnest in the 1980s, when he worked on titles like Airboy and Strike! for Eclipse. In 1988, he and writer Roger Stern teamed up to create a new version of Starman for DC Comics, bringing Will Payton into the DC universe.

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Holy cowabunga: Batman, Ninja Turtles team up for action figure sets

GameStop will offer these figures from DC Collectibles exclusively this fall.

Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have met many times now, both in the pages of comics and in an animated movie. So the only logical place this relationship could go next is action figures.

DC Collectibles will release a series of action figures from both universes, as the Bat family and the Turtles appear in two-packs that’ll be exclusive to GameStop starting in September, with a price of $49.99 each, or $249.99 for the whole set.

Check them out below:

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