It figures that the weekend I’m out of communication with the civilized world – sleeping in the fields of Manchester, Tennessee and attending four straight days of nigh-constant music – the comic book world gets bombarded with news concerning cancellations, new titles, and anniversary events! Well, here’s a little rundown of DC’s weekend activities and how they will affect “The Endless Reel”
‘NEW 52’ THIRD WAVE & ZERO ISSUES ANNOUNCED
Announced this weekend, September will be see every title under the ‘New 52’ banner receive their very own “Issue Zero” to commemorate the anniversary of DC’s imprint relaunch. Every issue will get a ‘Zero’ issue in September, continuing with their 13th (or 5th, in the case of ‘Second Wave’ titles) issue in October. DC has also announced FOUR new series being added to the ‘New 52’ lineup, bringing the total number of titles to a whopping 55, seeing as Justice League International will be ending in August, with an Annual issue in September.
The first new title is Talon, a spin-off from Scott Snyder’s Batman that will feature Calvin Rose, the only assassin to ever escape the Court of Owls. Snyder’s work on Batman over the past year has been phenomenal and the Court’s influence over Gotham is a vast entity that’s only been scratched at the surface. Hopefully, Talon will be as good as Snyder’s current work, though it will be written by co-plotter James Tynion IV. Second is the Dan DiDio-helmed Phantom Stranger, a character we were only offered a glimpse of in this year’s Free Comic Book Day issue, The New 52 #1. The Stranger’s connection to magic seems more overt in the ‘New 52’ universe, but his mystery will most likely be just as enigmatic and tight-lipped as before. Sword of Sorcery will be DC’s newest mystical jaunt with a fan-demanded “Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld” tale coupled with a “Beowulf” back-up story by Tony Bedard with art by Jesus Saiz. “Amethyst” will be written by Christy Marx and pencilled by Aaron Lopresti, whose work on Justice League International has be great for it’s entire run. Finally, Team Seven will merge the DC and Wildstorm universes even further with an – obviously – team-based series set in this universe’s pre-superhero days with characters like a young Steve Trevor, Dinah Lance (Black Canary), Amanda Waller, a pre-Grifter Cole Cash, Alex Fairchild, John Lynch, and the Deathstroke: Slade Wilson. T7 will be written by Justin Jordan with art by Jesus Marino.
Come September, I’ll be covering all “Issue Zero”s for Talon, Sword of Sorcery, Phatom Stranger, and Team Seven to determine which series (or two) I’ll add to the list of regularly scheduled coverage in October. Based on page hits and ‘+1’s, I’ll make a decision.
GREEN LANTERN #0 TO POSSIBLY INTRODUCE ARAB GL
In DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering this year, The New 52 #1, the final pages of the issue revealed a massive fight between some of the most iconic characters from the ‘New 52’ so far, along with an array of reintroduced characters like Elemental Woman (from Flashpoint), Black Adam (supposedly), the Atom, Vibe, as well as a mysterious new Green Lantern that seemed to have darker skin.
Now, with promotional art from Green Lantern #0 coming this September, we can see this new Green Lantern busting through the cover with an Arabic phrase tattooed on his right arm. Roughly translated to courage, bravery, or fearless – appropriately – the tattoo marks a second drive toward diversity for the Green Lantern brand in less than a month, considering Green Lantern Alan Scott’s announced sexual orientation. While this new GL’s first image also has him brandishing a handgun for some reason, it’s safe to say DC isn’t looking to make one of it’s most iconic and famous characters a ‘bad’ person in any way. But everything is relative, and next year’s promised “Trinity War” event seems to be part of this new GL’s story.
DC CANCELS THREE MORE ‘NEW 52’ TITLES
After announcing four new titles being added to the ‘New 52’ lineup, bringing the total to 55 starting in September, DC quickly announced, just today and only one two days after it’s initial announcement, the cancellation of three more titles on the heels of Justice League International in August. While they will still receive their “Issue Zero”s, Captain Atom, Resurrection Man, and Voodoo will all end in September, making way for the ‘Third Wave’ titles. While all three titles were performing poorly, Resurrection Man is a featured title here at “The Endless Reel” and will be missed, along withe Justice League International. Both JLI‘s Annual issue and Resurrection Man‘s “Issue Zero” will be covered here in September to give them proper send-offs.
In cancellation-related news, Dan DiDio did also announce that DC Universe Presents #0 will feature the Blackhawks, Hawk and Dove, O.M.A.C., and Mister Terrific, all characters whose series were cancelled during the ‘Second Wave’ back in May. This shows that DC is committed to it’s characters, even if their series don’t work out. This means that, hopefully, we’ll see more of Mitch Shelley and the JLI in the future, somewhere in the pages of the ‘New 52’.