EXCLUSIVE: "Hercules" Returns in New Marvel Series by Abnett & Ross
Note: This week’s post, and probably next week’s, get pretty number-heavy. Also, this week’s post contains a lot of history and background data. I have tried to make it all entertaining, but consider yourselves warned. Either way, there’s still the Futures Index.
Starting this week, the Batman line gets a makeover. Gotham Academy, from writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher and artist Karl Kerschl, is a delightfully spry addition to the Bat-landscape. Amid a franchise dominated (not unreasonably) by stylized, unflinching urban avenging, GA’s unique perspective is both welcome and necessary. Waiting in the wings are new Batgirl and Catwoman creative teams, as well as new titles Arkham Manor and Gotham After Midnight. (The three new books apparently take the places of Batman: The Dark Knight, Batwing and Birds of Prey.)
All look promising, and each offers a new look at a seldom-seen aspect of the Batman mythology. Moreover, it’s vitally important for DC to reach out to a diverse audience, particularly one that may have felt underappreciated over the past few years.
However, all this innovation comes at a time when the in-name-only New 52 has been stuck for a while at around 40-odd series. Only 21 of the original 52 ongoings are still being published, although books like Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and Deathstroke have been relaunched with new volumes. Similarly, we might view Grayson and Justice League United as continuations of Nightwing and the New-52 version of Justice League of America.
In today’s installment of “What’s New in the New 52,” DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras introduces readers to Cheshire, teased as a character from Jason Todd’s past who’ll soon appear in Red Hood and the Outlaws “to shed a little bit more light” on the character’s origins. However, unveiling of the character design created a little confusion in the comments section, as Cheshire has already been introduced to the New 52.
Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Cheshire debuted in 1982’s New Teen Titans Annual #2 as a mercenary who frequently the team, but she eventually fell in love with Roy Harper, and the two had a child. Over the years, she was affiliated with the Secret Six and Deathstroke’s Titans, but that was all before DC’s 2011 relaunch.