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“The New DC comics stuff looks so much like stuff I would never read that it oddly fills me with hope that they are targetting the core audience they want. If a 43-year-old man looks at most of this promo stuff and goes meh, then that’s very probably a good sign for them. Best of luck to Dan D, Jim L et all for the imminent relaunch.”
DC Comics last night debuted the 30-second trailer that will air on television and in theaters to promote the September relaunch of its superhero line. Hero Complex also has a two-minute cut that will appear, presumably later today, on the publisher’s website and Facebook page.
The trailer smartly focuses on DC’s marquee characters, the superheroes a general audience will recognize — Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and the combined Justice League. That said, it’s difficult to get past the promo’s shortcomings, which aren’t limited to the generic “metal” soundtrack, or the feeling that the teaser tumbled out of 2009, when countless independent creators and small publishers were using the same techniques to animate and market their own comics to existing readers.
No, the major problem is that there’s no substance, and no excitement, to the trailer, nothing to make the “average” film-goer sit up and think, “When I get home in three hours, I just have to check out that website!” (Now what was that website again?) “All-new” doesn’t tell a non-comics reader anything; neither do Star Trek-style lens flares and tilted, static shots of characters a mainstream audience has seen fully realized on film and television.
There’s the sense that DC desperately wants to target a new audience, but doesn’t quite know how. What the publisher does instead is fall back on the approach it uses for the readers it already has. For additional evidence, look no further than the extended version of the trailer: The only differences between that and the one airing in theaters is that it’s longer, and includes the tagline, “The World’s Greatest Super Heroes … The World’s Greatest Creators.”
“DC Comics: The New 52″ kicks off Aug. 31 with the release of Justice League #1.
DC Comics has unveiled the cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams for Justice League #3, which puts Wonder Woman front and center as Lee and writer Geoff Johns “unleash the amazing Amazon […] who joins the battle against a bizarre threat! And the not-yet World’s Greatest Heroes need all the help they can get!”
The 40-page comic, which goes on sale Nov. 16, features variant covers by Greg Capullo and Lee.
Publishers | DC Comics have released details on the midnight release of Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 on Aug. 31. The publisher is offering a free over-ship of Flashpoint #5 for retailers who order 125 percent of their order for Flashpoint #1, and the publisher has noted that that these are the only two DC titles shipping that week that can be sold at midnight. The promotion is only available to U.S. and Canadian accounts; due to the Aug. 29 bank holiday, the midnight sale option will not be available to UK retailers. [ICv2]
Legal | Michael Dean looks at the recent ruling by New York federal judge Colleen McMahon that the family of Jack Kirby has no claim to the copyrights of the characters he co-created for Marvel. Dean notes, “Some legal observers were expecting Marvel to be the second major comics-publisher domino to fall when Toberoff filed on behalf of the Kirbys, but there is a key difference between Kirby’s comics work and Siegel’s: It was well established that Superman already existed as a full-blown character concept before Siegel and Joe Shuster pitched him to DC, whereas Kirby, who died in 1994, did most if not all of his Marvel work on assignment from the publisher. In the case of work for hire, the Copyright Act defines the instigating employer/publisher as the Author of the work.” [The Comics Journal]
As part of their promotion of September’s new Superman #1, DC Comics and the New York Daily News are asking fans to vote on whether Lois Lane’s new boyfriend “Jonathan Carroll is an upgrade from Clark Kent.” That’s the way the Daily News puts it, anyway. On DC’s Source blog, they phrase the question a bit differently: “Are you Team Superman or Team Jonathan?”
It’s difficult to set aside feelings about Twilight when that’s exactly what DC’s alluding to. One of the biggest criticisms of the Twilight series is that its lead character is largely defined by who she’s dating. Robin Browne (by way of Andrew Futral) put it well when she compared Twilight to Harry Potter (though her quote is often attributed to Stephen King): “Harry Potter is all about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity…Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
It’s frustrating to hear DC express Lois Lane’s story in similar terms. By asking readers to join either Team Superman or Team Jonathan, DC’s suggesting that what’s really important isn’t whatever’s going on in the rest of Lois’ life, but who she ends up with. I hope there’s much more to it than that.
All we’re seeing is two pages from Superman #1. I hope that what we’re not seeing is that “boyfriend” is a hyperbolic term and that Lois isn’t really interested in this new douchebag. I hope it’s a one-night stand. I also hope that it’s a good long time before she sees anything in Clark Kent beyond simple friendship. And vice versa, come to think of it. I hope that DC allows her to be her own character before throwing the messiness of a relationship with Clark/Superman at her. Show her dating, sure. Let’s see what kind of guys she likes. That’s part of who she is. But I sure as hell want to see what she’s like in other areas too. I hope that she’s not just a prize for Superman to win.
It’s just that based on DC’s marketing so far, I don’t hope it very strongly.
When DC Comics confirmed on Monday that, as of its September relaunch, the 15-year marriage of Clark Kent and Lois Lane never happened, the publisher tossed in another juicy relationship detail: “Lois Lane is dating a colleague at the Daily Planet (and his name isn’t Clark Kent).” Could it be Steve Lombard or Ron Troupe? Perry White or Jimmy Olsen?
It turns out it’s none of those. Instead, the New York Daily News tells us this morning, Lois’ boyfriend is … Jonathan Carroll. No, not the award-winning fantasy author. The blond beau is a new character debuting in September’s Superman #1, where, judging by the preview, he receives a shirtless introduction to Clark and the readers.
Superman #1, by George Perez and Jesus Merino, goes on sale Sept. 28. Expect more details to emerge at Comic-Con International during this afternoon’s “DC Comics: The New 52″ presentation and Friday’s Superman panel.
Updated: DC has released a better-quality preview of Superman #1. You can see Jonathan’s two-page introduction after the break.
Warming up for a grueling Comic-Con International schedule, DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio held a virtual convention panel last night on Facebook for fans who can’t make it to San Diego. Highlights from the Q&A include:
• DC no longer has the rights to Archie’s Red Circle superheroes.
• Stephanie Brown will remain part of the DC Universe following the September relaunch. However, DiDio won’t reveal where she is just yet. “Sorry, but we are keeping some secrets,” he wrote, “and one of them involves Stephanie.”
• He’s sticking by his earlier remarks about the status of the Justice Society, saying “the official answer on JSA is that ‘They’re resting’.”
• When can we expect the release of Dark Knight: Boy Wonder, the planned six-issue conclusion of Frank Miller and Jim Lee’s All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder? “Probably when he is The Teen Wonder.”
• Asked whether we’ll ever see the new version of Who’s Who in the DC Universe announced in December 2009, DiDio replied, “the question is not who’s who but when’s when.”
DiDio’s first actual Comic-Con panel, “DC Comics — The New 52,” kicks off at 2 p.m. Thursday in San Diego.
Cosmic Book News snagged a copy of the DC Comics: The New 52 preview a day early — street dates be damned! — and uploaded scans of the opening pages of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League #1, the vanguard of DC’s line-wide relaunch. It’s an entertaining enough sequence, with Gotham City’s finest pursuing Batman across rooftops as he, in turn, chases some sort of raggedy cyborg villain, only to come face to face with Green Lantern for the first time.
But it’s the first panel, above, that captured my attention, as it establishes the events as unfolding “five years ago,” “when the world didn’t know what a super-hero was.” That the first issue of Justice League takes place in the past isn’t a surprise, but the time frame may be. It could also prove tricky for Batman’s history.
Publishing | DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio talks about the gay and lesbian characters appearing in the company’s books come September, including Batwoman and WildStorm imports Apollo, Midnighter and Voodoo: “When we looked at trying to incorporate some of the characters that inhabited the WildStorm universe Apollo and Midnighter are two characters that have always popped out. Not because of what they represent, but they’re just strong characters in their own right and [they] were able to represent a story, a style of character that wasn’t represented in the DC Universe. There’s more of an aggressive nature with those characters that will interact interestingly with other characters and allows us to tell more and better stories.” [The Advocate]
Publishing | Todd Allen, Tom Foss and Graeme McMillan react to the list of changes to the “younger, brasher and more brooding” Superman who will inhabit the DC Universe following the September relaunch. [Indignant Online, Fortress of Soliloquy, Blog@Newsarama]
Ahead of its solicitations for October, set for release at 2 p.m. PT, DC Comics has announced it will publish all 52 first issues from its September relaunch in a hardcover collection.
Due in stores on Dec. 7, the staggering 1,216-page DC Comics: The New 52 will retail for $150. Contents include:
• JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
• ACTION COMICS #1 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales
• BATMAN #1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
• GREEN LANTERN #1 by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke
• SWAMP THING #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
• STORMWATCH #1 by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda
• TEEN TITANS #1 by Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth
• And 45 more!
Just ahead of Comic-Con International in San Diego, the New York Post has unveiled a first look at what’s apparently the actual cover for September’s Action Comics #1, part of DC Comics’ line-wide relaunch.
Drawn by series artist Rags Morales, the cover is obviously different from the one that premiered last month, playing up action — lowercase “a” — rather than the iconic imagery of the original Action Comics #1. The art in the Post is small, but it appears as if the numbers of the police cruisers are “19” and “38,” the year the series, and Superman, debuted. It’s possible that the earlier cover could be used as the variant; however, the solicitation credits that to Jim Lee and Scott Williams.
The newspaper notes what was already fairly clear: that while most of the relaunch titles, including Batman and Green Lantern, “will showcase DC’s iconic heroes when they’re well into their careers,” Action will dwell on the early adventures of the Man of Steel — during which he wore blue jeans, a T-shirt and a little red cape.
“We felt it was time for the big adventures of a 21st-century Paul Bunyan who fights for the weak and downtrodden against bullies of all kinds, from robot invaders and crime lords to corrupt city officials,” writer Grant Morrison says, building on his earlier description of the superhero as “a Bruce Springsteen version of Superman.” “The new look reflects his status as a street-level defender of the ordinary man and woman.”
Update: DC has released a larger version of Morales’ cover, along with additional details about Action Comics and Superman, confirming earlier reports that Clark Kent and Lois Lane aren’t married in the New DCU: “Clark Kent is single and living on his own. He has never been married. […] Lois Lane is dating a colleague at the DAILY PLANET (and his name isn’t Clark Kent) and she has a new position with the paper.” Read the rest after the break.
Comic-Con International has unveiled the cover art for this year’s souvenir book, featuring the core of DC Comics’ new Justice League lineup by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair. The 192-page book will be available for free to attendees of the July 21-24 event in San Diego.
The image will also grace the Official CCI 2011 T-shirt, which will be available at the Comic-Con Boutique (Booth #2515) for prices ranging from $18.95 to $24.95, depending on size. More details about the souvenir book, T-shirt and other convention exclusives are available on the Comic-Con website.
Despite her depictions on promotional materials and the covers for the debut issues of Justice League and her own title, it appears as if Wonder Woman will once again don star-spangled shorts come DC Comics’ September relaunch.
The evidence emerged this morning with the announcement of the DC Comics: The New 52 preview book that will be released next Wednesday in comic shops and at Comic-Con International in San Diego. In the upper left-hand corner of the cover is a slightly modified version of Cliff Chiang’s art for Wonder Woman #1, with the Amazon Princess now sporting shorts for the first time in more than a year — when Jim Lee’s divisive costume redesign was introduced as part of J. Michael Straczynski’s short-lived new direction for the character.
Wonder Woman #1, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, will be released on Sept. 21.
If you’re perplexed by the denim-clad Man of Steel on the cover of Action Comics #1, Grant Morrison has two words for you: The Boss.
“With what we’re doing he’s wearing jeans and a T-shirt – a Bruce Springsteen version of Superman, that’s the angle we’re taking,” the writer tells London’s Metro. “The cape’s still indestructible but the rest is picked up in a shop.”
I’m not sure precisely what that means, but if it leads to Jimmy Olsen becoming the Steven Van Zandt of the New DCU — complete with flowing bandanna — I’m all for it.
The relaunched Action Comics, by Morrison and artist Rags Morales, has been touted as the writer as a “big beginning” and a “new chapter” for the 73-year-old character. “We want to introduce a take on Superman that’s going to be so different that no one can expect what might happen next,” Morrison promised in a video address released last month. “One of the things we’re going to do in this book is also to show you how Superman is, who he is, why he ended up wearing the costume that he wears. And to show kind of a different side to the character than we’ve ever seen before.”
To Metro, Morrison adds: “I want to solve some of the problems that have grown up around the character. People now ask: ‘Why the hell would he dress up like that?’ I want to make Superman a more contemporary character. We’ll be changing how he looks, dresses and behaves. He’ll be more like the Superman who appeared in 1938 – more socially active and a champion of the oppressed.”
Action Comics #1 is set for a Sept. 7 release.
Warner Bros. has unveiled the 10 designs for the official Comic-Con International bags, which this year include promotional art for DC Comics’ relaunched Justice League, Cartoon Network’s Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Batman: Arkham City.
More than 130,000 of the oversized bags, described by Entertainment Weekly as the San Diego convention’s “ubiquitous accessory,” will be available to those attending the July 20-24 event. This year, for the first time, the 24-inch by 28-inch bags convert into backpacks. Other designs include The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Looney Tunes Show, ThunderCats and LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7.
Check out the designs for Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Batman: Arkham City after the break, and visit TheWB.com to see the rest.