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Grumpy Old Fan | Cornucopia 2012: Predicting the next wave

The Brave And The Bold #1, all-new for 1955

Since the end of 2011 is right around the corner, it’s as good a time as any to look forward to what DC may bring us in the next year. The fun part is, the (relatively) eclectic New-52 relaunch has made these sorts of predictions a little less accurate. Nevertheless, I think DC remains a fairly conservative publisher overall, at least in terms of the kinds of comics in its superhero-centric main line, so we can make some educated guesses. The fact that all but one of the New 52 featured well-established characters (and the 52nd was Batwing, buoyed by Batman Incorporated) doesn’t exactly hurt either.

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Accordingly, we start with two of DC’s most prolific titles which haven’t yet been reintroduced in the New-52 context: Adventure Comics and World’s Finest Comics (or, as you might know it, Superman/Batman).  Both were on the pre-relaunch roster, but neither appears likely to make a comeback. Pre-relaunch, Adventure had become the second Legion of Super-Heroes title, following a brief run of Geoff Johns/Francis Manapul Superboy stories. The New 52 has since filled both roles, both with Legion Lost and the Legion: Secret Origins miniseries, and with the revamped Superboy. Adventure could come back as an anthology, but the New 52 already has the ongoing DC Universe Presents and the miniseries My Greatest Adventure for spotlights and new-character tryouts. As for Superman/Batman, changes to the Man of Steel’s overall outlook may include this relationship. Put simply, I don’t see the New-52 Superman teaming up with the (same old?) Batman on a regular monthly basis — at least, not right now.

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Infestation #1

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 to spend at the comic store this week, the first thing I’d grab would be Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s New York Five #1 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99), the follow-up to New York Four (obviously), their contribution to the much-loved-by-me-at-least Minx imprint. Really, almost everything else pales into comparison, but I’ll also go for IDW’s Infestation #1 ($3.99, which I was convinced came out last week), the fun opener for the zombie crossover that’s about to go across their licensed line for the next few months. My superhero fix for the week comes from Paul Cornell and Pete Woods’ always-entertaining Action Comics (#897, DC Comics, $2.99), which pits Lex and the Joker against each other, and Age of X: Alpha #1 (Marvel Comics, $3.99), which starts off another reality-altering timequake or something for the X-Men. I’m not expecting much from this, to be honest, but Mike Carey has proven me wrong before…

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Detective Comics wins GLAAD Media Award

Detective Comics #854

Detective Comics #854

Batwoman’s starring turn in DC’s Detective Comics was honored Saturday night as outstanding comic book at the 21st annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City.

Presented by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the awards recognize media for their representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and issues.

The critically acclaimed run on Detective Comics, which began in June with Issue 854, featured Batwoman in a lead story by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III, and The Question in a co-feature by Rucka and Cully Hamner. Both characters are lesbians.

The new Batwoman, Kate Kane, was introduced in summer 2006 amid a hail of mainstream-media coverage. But a long-rumored Batwoman series faced one delay after another, which some chalked up to DC’s nervousness about the potential effect the character’s sexual orientation could have on the lucrative Bat-brand. Finally, in February 2009, it was officially announced that Batwoman would step into the void left by the “death” of Bruce Wayne and become the star — temporarily, at least — of DC’s longest-running title.

Rucka revealed in December that he and Williams will reunite later this year for a Batwoman solo series. Their Detective run ended with Issue 860, and was followed by a three-issue arc by Rucka and Jock.

Renee Montoya was created for Batman: The Animated Series, but debuted first in March 1992 in Batman #475. A Gotham City police detective, she played a prominent role in the acclaimed series Gotham Central, in which she was confirmed as a lesbian. She assumed the guise of The Question after the death of Vic Sage in 52.

The other nominees for the GLAAD Media Award were Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Madame Xanadu, Secret Six and X-Factor.

Talking Comics with Tim: Cully Hamner

Cully Hamner's The Question

Cully Hamner's The Question

Cully Hamner is an artist who never disappoints me. So I was immensely pleased that he and I were able to finalize this email interview in the chaos of the holiday season just in time for our one-year anniversary at Robot 6. We start the interview discussing his current collaboration with Greg Rucka on The Question co-feature in Detective Comics. From there, due to the film that is currently in production and the trade paperback collection that was released in mid-2009, we discussed his 2003/2004 Homage/Wildstorm collaboration with writer Warren Ellis, RED. There’s so many projects I could have discussed with Hamner, but I’m grateful he was willing to discuss RED to the degree he did. Hamner is clearly an artist who looks forward, not back–which makes me appreciate his indulging my RED interest in this discussion.

Tim O’Shea: How hard is it to convey emotion with the Question, the face is taken out of the dynamics, but you do still give a hint of her facial dynamics in certain scenes?

Cully Hamner: It’s a matter of considering that, even though you see no specific facial features, the planes of the face are still there and will react to light and shadow. It’s not a total blank, you know, Renee’s real face is under there, along with a range of expressions. So, when I look at it like that, it becomes a much simpler thing than you might think. So, what I do is just go ahead and draw an outline of the modeling on the face, and Dave McCaig (and before him Laura Martin) colors over that, and then drops my linework into a color. It’s not a full range of emotion like a detailed face would have, but I’ve been able to get across a few things well enough. Seems to work.

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