Archive for the ‘News’ Category

SDCC Wrap-Up, Part Three

July 30, 2008

And finally, some miscellaneous SDCC news…

One cool announcement was that Paul Dini is going to be writing an ongoing Zatanna series starting, I believe, in January.  Dini’s a great writer; I’ve loved his stuff going as far back as the earliest episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, and he continues to do great work on Detective Comics… we’ll just forget Countdown ever happened, shall we?  Dini’s love for Zatanna is obvious, as he wrote the episode “Zatanna” for BTAS, he wrote the Justice League Unlimited episode that guest-starred her, he wrote a Zatanna one-shot a few years ago, he wrote her into his ‘Tec run a few months ago, and he essentially married her.  I don’t doubt he’ll do a great job with this new series.

Next up is big Batman: R.I.P. news.  Following the conclusion of Grant Morrison’s story in October, Detective Comics and Batman will cross over for two months for two special stories.  First will come a two-parter written by classic Batman writer and editor Dennis O’Neil that will examine whether Gotham city can survive wthout the Batman.  Following that, Neil Gaiman (Neil frickin’ Gaiman!), who should need no introduction, will write a two-parter with art by Andy Kubert entitled “What Ever Happened To The Caped Crusader?”.  The title is an obvious nod to the classic Alan Moore-penned “What Ever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?” that closed the book on the Silver Age Superman, which should give some indication of the importance of this new story.  Gaiman’s tale will span the entirety of the Dark Knight’s history, and serve as a sort of “final” Batman story.  At the same time, it will presumably help to set up the post-R.I.P. status quo, which might revolve around someone other than Bruce Wayne donning the cape and cowl.

Lastly, because I seemingly can’t let a post go by without plugging Geoff Johns, it was revealed that an upcoming eighth-season episode of Smallville will be written by (you guessed it) Johns, and will introduce the Legion of Super-Heroes for the first time ever in live-action!  Johns is doing great work revitalizing the classic Legion, and his love for the characters and respect for their history is obvious, so I have high hopes for this episode!  The classic Legion first appearance story should be fairly easy to adapt to Smallville: Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl appear in present-day Smallville with amazing powers and high-tech flight rings and tell Clark that he will one day grow up to become a great hero that will inspire a thousand years of human and alien achievement, and as a result they want to make him an honourary member of their team.  Together they will presumably have some kind of adventure, or, if Johns wants to make the Legion out to be huge jerks like they were in the original story, the Legionnaires will force Clark to perform super-feats to prove his worthiness to them.  Because, y’know, serving as a universal source of inspiration for an entire millenium apparently isn’t quite enough to get you into a superhero club in the 31st century.  It’s about standards, people!

SDCC Wrap-Up, Part Two

July 29, 2008

Moving along from Geoff Johns-related news for a minute, DC also announced two major initiatives to broaden the DC Universe by bringing in characters from other companies.


In the first case, upcoming issues of Teen Titans and Justice League Of America will see the introduction of characters from the fondly remembered Milestone Comics imprint of the ’90s.  The Milestone characters were created by Dwayne McDuffie and other African American creators to provide a welcome bit of ethnic diversity to the comic book marketplace.  While none of the series lasted more than a few years, one character — Static — was popular enough to spawn an award-winning cartoon that ran for several seasons.  While Milestone was its own entity and existed as its own continuity, the series were published by DC, and for years fans have been begging DC to work out some sort of deal whereby the characters could be brought into the DC Universe itself.

Now, that has happened.  Fortunately, McDuffie is currently the writer of JLA, and as such is in the perfect position to introduce DC readers to Icon, the “big gun” of the Milestone universe.  At the same time, Static will apparently be showing up in Sean McKeever’s upcoming Terror Titans miniseries before joining the Teen Titans soon thereafter.  This is great news not just for African American comics fans looking for more characters that they can identify with, but for all DC readers that enjoy cool characters.


Independently, DC also announced that the classic Archie Comics superheroes have been licensed by DC, and will appear in the DC Universe proper by way of upcoming issues of Brave And The Bold.  Despite what may pop into your head when you hear the term “Archie superheroes”, these characters are not the Riverdale gang dressed up in tights and capes, but rather actual superhero characters that first appeared in the 1940’s.  In fact, one of the most prominent heroes, The Shield, might look like another Captain America rip-off, but actually pre-dates Cap by a full year.  I don’t have much knowledge of these characters, but they look cool.  My only misgiving is that this deal doesn’t seem to have the permanence of the Milestone announcement, in that this is a licensing deal, not a full acquisition of the characters on DC’s part.  As a result, there’s always the possibility that Archie could decide to take the characters back as soon as they become popular.  While we’d still have (hopefully) gotten some good stories out of it, this would make the whole endeavour seem kind of pointless in retrospect…


Still, excited!  More later.

SDCC Wrap-Up, Part One

July 28, 2008

As I’m sure everyone with even a passing interest in comics knows by now, the San Diego Comicon has just concluded, after running from last Thursday to yesterday evening.  I’m going to take a few minutes and run down the list of exciting DC-related announcements.


At the top of the list has to be Flash: Rebirth, which is a miniseries by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver that will be debuting in January.  After Barry Allen’s shocking return in Final Crisis, Rebirth will pick up where that series leaves off and presumably reintroduce Barry as DC’s main Flash going forward.  Normally this is the kind of thing that would worry me, for two reasons: one, I’m a big fan of Wally West as the Flash, and two, Barry had such a great send-off in the original Crisis that I’d usually be loathe to see that undone.  But Geoff Johns is my favourite writer right now, and quite possibly my all-time favourite, so the idea of seeing him build up the Flash mythology like he’s done the Green Lantern mythology is tremendously exciting.  And since Johns is such a huge Wally West fan himself, I trust him to do well by that character too.  Hopefully the mini will leave the Flash status quo in a place similar to the GL status quo, with every Flash that readers have loved over the years viable and with their own unique place in the DC Universe.


Another exciting Johns-related announcement is the upcoming New Krypton storyline that will run through all three Superman books (Action Comics, Superman, and Supergirl) and introduce over 100,000 Kryptonians to Earth who would much rather conquer the whole planet and rename it “New Krypton” than live side by side with the inferior human species.  These Kryptonians will presumably come from Kandor, the city that Brainiac is responsible for miniaturizing and removing from Krypton shortly before its destruction.  Johns has been doing a great job reintroducing classic elements of Superman continuity into our post-Infinite Crisis “New Earth” continuity: Clark as Superboy, Superboy in the Legion, the Phantom Zone criminals including General Zod, Bizarro World, the different colours of kryptonite, and most recently the ultimate version of Brainiac with the original’s history of being an emotionless android that shrinks cities and imprisons them.  Now, following naturally out of the Brainiac storyline will come a reintroduced Bottle City of Kandor, and an entire population of Supermen and Superwomen on Earth.  I can’t wait to see where Johns, James Robinson, and new Supergirl writer Sterling Gates take this story!


More later…