INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
One of comics’ earliest and most spirited creator-owned heroes is aiming to return to comics — and he needs your help to do it.
The sci-fi swashbuckler Sabre, created in the mid-’70s by legendary Black Panther and Killraven writer Don McGregor, is aiming for a comeback with a new miniseries now seeking funding on Kickstarter. The series, titled Sabre: The Early Future Years, sees McGregor teaming with the revolutionary 1980s artist Trevor Von Eeden to tell the first new Sabre story in 30 years. On the Kickstarter page, McGregor promises everything from swordplay and flintlock lasers to robot stallions and nocturnal trackers.
Black Lightning co-creator Tony Isabella, whose relationship with DC Comics can be kindly described as contentious, would like you to know that, yes, he’s seen the announcement about the character’s reintroduction in DC Universe Presents — and, no, he doesn’t want to comment on it.
“You don’t have to e-mail me, private message me, phone me, or post links on my Facebook page,” he wrote on his blog. “My only public comments to date have been ‘Words fail me’ and, to my friend Dan Mishkin, ‘Forget it, Dan. It’s DC Town.’ But, really, if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written about Black Lightning and DC’s continued refusal to honor its agreements with me, and if you have half a brain, you already know how I feel about the news.”
Mishkin is, of course, co-creator of Blue Devil, who’ll share the spotlight with Black Lighting, as well as co-creator of Amethyst, who will anchor the upcoming Sword of Sorcery anthology. He’s already spoken publicly about the relaunch of Amethyst, telling Comic Book Resources he thinks “what they’re setting out to do isn’t worth doing” because of central changes DC is making to the character. His former collaborator Gary Cohn was more blunt, saying, “I really don’t have anything to say about Amethyst that I haven’t said many times before, except maybe, R.I.P.”
Isabella has long contended he’s the sole creator of Black Lightning, a character who wasn’t introduced under a work-for-hire agreement but rather a partnership between he and DC. It was only after he sought to buy out the publisher’s interest in the character following the cancellation of the first series in 1978 that he says DC declared artist Trevor Von Eeden as Black Lightning’s co-creator.
The new Black Lightning will debut alongside the new Blue Devil in October’s DC Universe Presents #13. The five-part story by Marc Andreyko and Robson Rocha will team the two disparate heroes in a scenario the writer has likened to Lethal Weapon and Moonlighting.
Marvel tends to revisit its past with a specificity that DC doesn’t duplicate. In projects like World’s Greatest Comic Magazine!, What If?, the current X-Men Forever, and (apparently) the upcoming Clone Saga miniseries, Marvel not only spins new stories out of particular points in continuity, it attempts to give particular creative teams the second chances at closure which the fates denied them. Of course, DC does quite a bit of looking back itself, but most of the time it’s not facilitating such second chances. Still, there are certain points in DC’s publishing history which seem to ask for their own “what if” moments; so I’m going to talk about a few of those today.
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