Whether due to use-it-or-lose-it legal concerns about trademarks, or simply to remind everyone of exactly what it owns, DC Comics has come up with a variety of ways to recycle old titles, ranging from the 1997 Tangent event to the anthologies Mystery in Space and Ghosts to the short-lived National Comics revival.
This week the company brought back Young Romance, the title of the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby-created comic that was published from 1947 to 1975, as a Valentine’s Day special featuring a half-dozen stories of romance in the New 52 DC Universe.
An interesting mix of creators are involved, an interesting enough mix to merit a look at what they might do with some of these characters and couples in eight pages. So join me for mini-reviews of every story in Young Romance: The New 52 Valentine’s Day Special.
As if drawing the monthly Superman comic for DC weren’t enough, Kenneth Rocafort just signed up for more work in 2013: a series of sketches done daily and posted online.
Titled “Mitografia” (Italian for “Mythology”), this new blog showcases Rocafort’s daily sketches done inside a moleskin. You can see Rocafort’s art every month in Superman, but the art you’ll see here is more expressive and cartoonish than what you’re used to from the artist on Superman or previous books. And best off all, he posts a new sketch every day!
Thanks to creators’ rights issues and the way DC Comics (and its corporate parent) chooses to treat the families of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, a tragic, dissonant pall hangs over discussions of Superman. It makes a minor status-quo change, like the one used to hype this week’s Superman Vol. 3 #13, seem even more trivial. It’s often hard to reconcile the rich and fairly fascinating development of the world’s first superhero with the knowledge that the character’s creators didn’t (and their families don’t) share equitably in Superman’s attendant success.
Because Superman is so long-lived, the events of Superman #13 are a consequence of that success. They arise out of the perceived need to modernize a character who’ll be 75 years old next spring. However, the issue offers more subtle clues that the New 52 Superman may be changing in ways the hype doesn’t directly suggest. While I cannot ignore creators’ rights, today we’ll look at those clues primarily in the context of Superman’s overall history.
Now, when I say “larger history” I’m not kidding. As you know, Jerry and Joe’s creation debuted in 1938′s Action Comics Vol. 1 #1. Kal-L, son of Krypton’s Jor-L and Lora, was rocketed to Earth from his doomed homeworld, found by John and Mary Kent, and raised as their son Clark. After their deaths, he left his rural home for Metropolis, and as Superman fought there for truth and justice throughout the 1940s.
In a week in which the debuts of Batman and Wonder Woman fired on all cylinders, you have to think DC Comics didn’t expect the spotlight to be stolen by the first issues of Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws. Alas, online discussion over the past 48 hours hasn’t been focused on the accessibility of the former or the potential of the latter (if indeed either demonstrates accessibility or potential). Instead, it’s centered on a bra-flashing Selina Kyle engaging in aggressive costumed sex with Batman, and a semi-amnesiac Starfire who’s become little more than an emotionless sex mannequin.
I feel as if I should be worked up by the depictions but, to be honest, I’m just deflated by the whole thing. The best I can muster is, “Sigh … again?” and maybe, “This is the kind of storytelling and characterization you relaunched your entire line for?” But here are some of the highlights of what others are saying on the subject:
• Winick’s statement to Newsarama about the response to Catwoman #1: “This is a Catwoman for 2011, and my approach to her character and actions reflect someone who lives in our times. And wears a cat suit. And steals. It’s a tale that is part crime story, part mystery and part romance. In that, you will find action, suspense and passion. Each of those qualities, at times, play to their extremes. Catwoman is a character with a rich comic book history, and my hope is that readers will continue to join us as the adventure continues.”
While there’s already been plenty of discussion online about Starfire’s shrinking, and improbable, costume on Kenneth Rocafort’s cover for Red Hood and the Outlaws #2, a commenter on the Comic Book Resources message board noticed that the fan service doesn’t stop there.
Peel your eyes away from Starfire’s gravity-defying brassiere and allow them to travel up the image — click to enlarge — at, oh, a 70-degree angle. Keeping going. To your left, but leaning to the Red Hood’s right. Once you see it, you won’t be able to un-see it … there you go! In case you ever wondered why Jason Todd didn’t don those tiny green shorts again following his resurrection, there’s your answer.
“Clearly the explosion had an adverse effect on his anatomy,” wrote Free-Man, who made the initial catch. “Or just really tight leather pants. I dunno.” Replied thewhtGuardian: “Either way it explains his anger, I’d want to take a sword to somebody too if my junk was all contorted.”
Red Hood and the Outlaws #2 is due in stores on Oct. 19. You’ll probably want to pre-order this issue, though, because as commenter Jake V noted, “DC knows what Jason fans really want.”
Although it seems like DC’s big relaunch announcement came out an eternity ago, it actually took the publisher less than two weeks to roll out the 52 titles and their creative teams for the big relaunch/reboot/overhaul coming in September. Now that the cats are out of their respective bags, I thought I’d see where various creators and characters will land after the reboot.
So I went back through DC’s August solicitations to see who was writing or drawing what, and tried to map everyone to their post-relaunch project — if they had one. However, looking at DC’s August solicitations, there seem to be several fill-in issues, so where appropriate I tried to map the most recent ongoing creative teams to their new projects (for instance, I consider Gail Simone and Jesus Saiz the regular creative team for Birds of Prey, even if they aren’t doing the last two issues before September hits). Keep in mind that I just went through the ongoing series and skipped over all the miniseries … of which there are a lot, what with Flashpoint winding up in August.
It’s also worth noting that although several creators didn’t appear in the “big 52″ announcements, that doesn’t mean their tenure with DC is necessarily over — some, like Frazer Irving, have said they have future projects that haven’t been announced. So I tried to note where creators have talked publicly about their post-relaunch plans with DC (or lack thereof, as the case may be). The same could probably be said for some of DC’s characters as well. Or, as Gail Simone said on Twitter: “Again, September is NOT THE END. There’s still plans for characters that we haven’t seen yet.”
So let’s get to it ….
PepsiCo and Lipton are releasing a new flavor of Brisk Iced Tea this summer — Brisk Green Tea with Mango Dragonfruit. And with a name like that, it naturally will have a promotional tie-in with the big Green Lantern film that opens next week.
As you can see to the right, the can features Ryan Reynolds/Hal Jordan and other members of the Green Lantern Corps. Following the Green Lantern promotional period, a new comic-inspired design by Kenneth Rocafort will appear on the packaging. Rocafort is the artist on the DC Comics reboot title Red Hood & the Outlaws, which comes out in September.
From the press release:
In keeping with Brisk’s tradition of putting creative control of the package artwork into the hands and heart of an artist, Brisk and Warner Bros. Studios chose well-known DC Comics artist Kenneth Rocafort to give Green Tea with Mango Dragonfruit a look that aligns with both what’s inside and the epic film, Green Lantern. The artwork reinforces the unique connection between green tea and the “green energy” that fuels the “Green Lantern” Corps, and serves as the first of a two-series design partnership. Following the Green Lantern promotional period, a new comic-inspired design by Kenneth will live on all Green Tea with Mango Dragonfruit packaging.
“I’m excited about this unique partnership with a progressive brand,” says Kenneth Rocafort. “It’s not every day that an artist is given the opportunity to create art in this way.”
You can see Rocafort’s packaging designs and read the entire press release after the jump.
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.