DC spent the day rolling out announcements about the Batman books in anticipation of its line-wide September relaunch…with one conspicuous absence until the very end.
So, Bruce Wayne is reclaiming sole possession of the mantle of the Bat, while Batman and Detective Comics are swapping creators: Batman writer/artist Tony Daniel will be taking over Detective Comics, while ‘Tec writer Scott Snyder is taking over Batman with artist Greg Capullo of Spawn fame. Both books will star Bruce Wayne rather than his protege and stand-in Dick Grayson beneath the cape and cowl.
J.H. Williams III has commented on last week’s news that DC Comics is again postponing the debut of the eagerly anticipated Batwoman, saying, “This was not our choice, and as to why, I’m not at liberty to really discuss.”
The series, by Williams, W. Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder, previously had been set to premiere in February. However, in January the publisher rescheduled the first issue for April, the date that appeared in the sneak peek included in last week’s comics. But even as those books arrived in stores, the publisher was canceling solicitations for Batwoman #1-2.
“It’s a bit ironic that the release has been pushed back again considering that DC decided to show preview pages this same week,” Williams wrote Saturday on his blog, where he also previewed the cover for Issue 3.
He assured fans that “work is still commencing,” with the latest delay allowing the creators to complete more work: “The only real downside is that solicits were pulled on us twice, making readers heads spin, wish that didn’t happen, but it has, let’s just make the best of it. I’m fast approaching the middle of issue 3’s interior art, Haden and I’ve started working on script for issue 8, the first 5 covers are done, and Dave [Stewart] has had issue 2 in his hands for his special magic touch.”
DC has yet to announce a new release date for Batwoman #1.
Even as DC Comics previewed Batwoman #1 on Wednesday, word circulated online that the publisher has again canceled orders for the first two issues for resolicitation at a later date.
The move, revealed Tuesday in an email to retailers and confirmed by Comics on the Green and The Launchpad, marks the second delay in as many months. The highly anticipated series, by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder, previously had been set to debut in February. But in January, the publisher rescheduled the first issue for April — a date that appears in sneak peek included in this week’s DC titles.
Although Batwoman, which spins out of Williams and Greg Rucka’s acclaimed run on Detective Comics, was widely expected to debut last summer, Williams explained in January that was never the case.
“February had been decided on the launch date by the company with reservations about that from me,” he wrote on his blog. “I felt that was a bit too soon in a realistic look at work progression. One of the reasons for this was that I had been seriously committed to making appearances around the world over this past year. I think maybe 3 months or more of work loss occurred during that time. I kept trying to point this out whenever discussions about schedule came up. When first discussing the launch date earlier last year we had originally wanted April 2011, and now ironically that is what we have. Only after solicits stating otherwise, causing some unnecessary frustrations.”
As DC Comics’ solicitations confirmed yesterday, the much-anticipated debut of the Batwoman series has been moved from February to April — the date that writer-artist J.H. Williams III notes he originally wanted.
“Some think that this book was to launch last July,” the award-winning artist writes on his blog, “this was never the case, this was speculation on the part of some. The book was also never to launch in November either. The zero issue which came out at that time was never in the original plans, but was done as a bit of a reminder as requested by DC, and to set the stage, this of course took out time of the work already in progress. February had been decided on the launch date by the company with reservations about that from me. I felt that was a bit too soon in a realistic look at work progression. One of the reasons for this was that I had been seriously committed to making appearances around the world over this past year. I think maybe 3 months or more of work loss occurred during that time. I kept trying to point this out whenever discussions about schedule came up. When first discussing the launch date earlier last year we had originally wanted April 2011, and now ironically that is what we have. Only after solicits stating otherwise, causing some unnecessary frustrations.”
Williams, who’s collaborating on Batwoman with W. Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder, says his schedule was further complicated by the addition of the covers for the high-profile Batman Inc. (He’s since bowed out of that assignment, with the cover for Issue 5 being his last.)
“Even though there has been issues raised in the scheduling and plans being jumped the gun on, DC acknowledges for the greater good of the project we need more time,” he continues. “I’m glad that they saw this was a good idea, this will help maintain a certain standard that we’ve already set in place.”
Visit Williams’ blog for more of his comments, and to see his covers for Batman Inc. Batwoman #1 is set to debut on April 27, according to the DC Comics website (the solicitations released yesterday say April 6).
DC Comics’ Batwoman will undergo another delay, with the publisher moving the series’ debut from February to April.
The news was revealed online yesterday by retailers The Lauchpad and Comics on the Green. “What a surprise,” the latter wrote on the store’s Twitter account. “… It’s a JH Williams book, of course it’s not going to be on time.”
A spokesman for DC, which previewed art from the first issue just two weeks ago, didn’t respond this morning to a request for comment.
The much-anticipated comic, by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder, initially was scheduled to begin in July, but instead DC released a one-shot in November designed to serve as a primer for the ongoing series.
This delay is only the latest bump in the road for the new Batwoman — lesbian socialite Kate Kane — whose introduction in summer 2006 was met with a hail of mainstream-media coverage, perhaps far more than the publisher had anticipated. A long-rumored Batwoman series faced one setback after another until finally, in February 2009, it was confirmed that the long-awaited Batwoman comic by Greg Rucka and Williams would become an arc of Detective Comics, timed to coincide with the “death”-induced absence of Batman. Their tenure ended in December 2009, with Detective #860, followed by a three-issue arc by Rucka and Jock.
The same month their acclaimed “Elegy” arc ended, Rucka revealed he and Williams would continue the story in Batwoman. But in April, Rucka announced he was walking away from the character, and from DC Comics. Less than two weeks later, the publisher confirmed it was still committed to Batwoman, with Williams sharing writing duties with Blackman and art duties with Reeder.
(via DC Women Kicking Ass)
Retailing | Rich Johnston confirms that Diamond Comic Distributors is developing a digital comics service that, in the words of a company representative, “will be entirely focused on driving sales of digital comic-related content through brick and mortar comic book specialty retailers.” No details were made available, but an official announcement is expected “in the near future.” In the meantime, Johnston gathers initial reactions from several retailers. [Bleeding Cool]
Publishing | Amit Desai, who has worked at Warner Bros. since 2004, has been named as DC Entertainment’s senior vice president, franchise management: “In his new role, Desai will develop and implement the individual franchise plans for Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, MAD Magazine, Vertigo titles, and other DC properties. This will include driving wider cross-promotional support across all Time Warner divisions.” [press release]
Publishing | Alex Segura, former publicity manager at DC Comics, has been hired by Archie Comics as executive director of publicity and marketing. [press release]
With his artwork on the Batwoman feature in Detective Comics, longtime artist J.H. Williams III cemented his position as one of the most forward-thinking illustrators in comics today. Following healthy attention this year at various awards ceremonies, DC Comics greenlit an ongoing Batwoman series and the chance for Williams to step up as both an artist and a writer. For Williams, it’s a longtime dream come true after furtive previous writing work on anthologies and miniseries, and a chance to fully embrace the process of creating comics — from the ground up.
Chris Arrant: Let’s start with an easy one – what are you working on today?
J.H. Williams III: I’m working on the tale end of Issue 1 of Batwoman, on the art side specifically. Then I’m going to put the finishing touches on a couple other scripts for the series.
Arrant: After [writer Greg Rucka's] departure, you were the natural choice to continue Kate’s story – especially given the intense nature of the creation of the character, as well as your own writing background. But this is undoubtedly your biggest writing gig yet – so what did you do to freshen up your skills on plotting and dialogue?
Williams: Well , the first thing I did was examine the direction of the series so far. There were certain plot elements Greg planned on following up on that I’m going to avoid in case he plans on returning and pursuing those. But besides that, it was just a matter of taking a look at the material and seeing what sort of angle we could take that might not be expected. At the same time, it needs to feel natural as to what came before it. It was a matter of doing brainstorming, figuring out what the series needed, a lot of invention, and plans for a creating a rogue’s gallery that Batwoman can call her own.
DC Comics’ much-anticipated, but somewhat delayed, Batwoman title will be teased in November with a zero issue before kicking off in February as an ongoing series.
According to the DC Universe blog, the Batwoman #0 one-shot is “an artistic collaboration” between J.H. Williams III and Amy Reeder, who will alternate story arcs on the monthly series. It’s co-written by Williams and W. Haden Blackman.
Officially announced in April, but unofficially revealed some four months earlier, Batwoman initially was set to debut last month. The series follows on the heels of the critically acclaimed “Elegy” storyline in Detective Comics by Williams and writer Greg Rucka.
“Batwoman #0 has been a great experience in that it’s a real combination of everyone’s efforts due to the nature of the story and how it’s constructed,” Williams tells The Source. “It has been a real pleasure. This special ‘bridge’ issue straddles between what came before and what is to come, but manages to be its own unique thing. Its unusual construction allows two threads of content to run simultaneously, building to a greater whole, hopefully creating an interesting reading experience.”