DC Comics will resurrect its well-regarded anthology Batman: Black and White beginning in September with six double-sized issues.
Originally published in 1996 as a four-issue miniseries, the anthology was the brainchild DC’s Vice President of Art Direction & Design Mark Chiarello, then a Batman Group editor, who sought out such top creators as Bruce Timm, Joe Kubert, Bill Sienkiewicz, Neil Gaiman, Ted McKeever and Katsuhiro Otomo to offer their own interpretations of the Dark Knight — in black and white.
The concept was revived in 2000 as a series of backup features in Batman: Gotham Knights, featuring contributions by the likes of Alex Ross, Paul Dini, Warren Ellis, Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, Paul Pope, Steve Rude, Harlan Ellison, Paul Grist, Darwyn Cooke, Jill Thompson and Mike Mignola. That title ended in 2006, but several Batman: Black and White have since been adapted as motion comics by Warner Premiere and DC Entertainment, and inspired numerous statues released by DC Direct.
According to the solicitation text provided to MTV Geek, September’s Batman: Black and White #1 will feature stories by Chip Kidd and Michael Cho, Neal Adams, Joe Quinones and Maris Wicks, John Arcudi and Sean Murphy, and Howard Mackie and Chris Samnee. Priced at $4.99, the 48-page first issue is scheduled to arrive Sept. 4.
Last week DC Comics released a teaser image for their new teen superhero series The Ravagers series by writer Howard Mackie and artist Ian Churchill, which debuts in May following a crossover between their other teen books, Legion Lost, Superboy and Teen Titans. The team didn’t look too familiar to me beyond Fairchild, the former Wildstorm character who led Gen13 who has been popping up in Superboy lately, and I speculated that the team was made up of other former Wildstorm characters.
And of course I was wrong.
Mackie discussed the line-up with Newsarama’s Vaneta Rogers, and it’s a line-up the includes a bunch of names that should be familiar to longtime Teen Titans readers:
- Let’s start with the guy shooting the wave motion gun out of his chest, on the left … which means we’ll also have to talk about the girl on the right holding lightning. Apparently they are the New 52 versions of Thunder and Lightning. Back in the old DCU, they were half-Vietnamese twins, one with the power to control thunder and, um, one with the power to control lightning. I think the last time we saw them was during the Salvation Run miniseries where they were used to power Lex Luthor’s teleportation machine and send him home.
- As folks pointed out in the comments section, the lady in the middle there is Terra, who Mackie called “abrasive.” The name Terra, of course, has a long and sorted history with the Titans, dating back to the Judas Contract storyline. The name’s been used by a couple other characters since then.
- And with Terra on the team, it only makes sense that Beast Boy would also be there … although in the New 52 he is now red instead of green. I bet Terra breaks his heart at some point, poor guy …
- The monster-looking guy in the back is called Ridge, who I don’t recall ever seeing before.
And although she isn’t shown in the above image, Mackie confirmed that Rose Wilson would play a role in the book, as would the newly designed version of Warblade.
Red Giant Entertainment has recruited several top names in the comics industry to contribute to Japan Needs Heroes, a graphic novel that aims to raise money for the Japan Society, a non-profit organization that has created a special disaster relief fund to aid victims of the Tohoku earthquake in Japan.
A press release that went out today from comiXology, which will distribute the book digitally when it is released, listed Stan Lee (who will provide the forward), Peter David, Ron Marz, Mike Deodato, Larry Hama, Jimmy Palmiotti, Elaine Lee, Amanda Conner, Howard Mackie and Brandon Peterson as contributors. You can find a list of additional creators on the book’s Kickstarter page, which Red Giant is using to fund the printing.
“My wife is from Japan,” said Benny R. Powell, CEO of Red Giant, “and her family still lives there. We hear daily reports of the fear and uncertainty they face. I realized we had to do something. Comics have a power to reach massive audiences and that’s a powerful thing. As more and more creators join our cause I believe we can raise a lot of money to help. This transcends any genre, medium, or publisher. This need is bigger than anything our world has ever faced, and we truly believe that together we can make a difference.”