Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what comics and other things we’ve been perusing lately. Today our special guests are Caleb Goellner, Buster Moody and Ryan Hill, the creative team of Task Force Rad Squad, the hot new comic find of 2013. Especially if you were ever a Power Rangers fan. Or even if you weren’t, as Moody and Hill’s art is just kind of wonderful on its own. Our old friend and former colleague Graeme says it “pretty much does for Power Rangers what Jeffrey Brown’s Incredible Change-Bots does for Transformers,” and that’s a very apt description. You can download it yourself here, and pay whatever you think is fair.
And to see what Task Force Rad Squad + the Robot 6 Irregulars are reading, click below …
No small amount of drama accompanies the March solicitations, thanks to Gail Simone’s unexpected dismissal from Batgirl. There’s also turnover at Swamp Thing and Birds of Prey, potential clues to the end of “Death of the Family,” and the usual I-remember-this! commentary on collections.
FOLLOW THE BOUNCING BALL
The big stories are the departures of Simone from Batgirl and Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette from Swamp Thing. It seems particularly odd in Simone’s case because it leaves the fate of Batgirl’s current antagonist in the hands of a different writer. Maybe that means Simone’s original plans for him didn’t go over particularly well with DC, or maybe it’s something totally unrelated. Either way, looks like it’ll be at least another month (in January’s Issue 16, her last issue) before we learn anything significant. At any rate, Ray Fawkes writes two issues of Batgirl starting with Issue 18.
As of March, Jim Zubkavich is your new Birds of Prey writer, Andy Kubert draws the lead story in Batman #18, and Trevor McCarthy draws Batwoman #18. Also, in a move that threatens to have me try out Phantom Stranger, the very fine J.M. DeMatteis comes aboard as co-writer with Issue # (guest-drawn by the equally fine Gene Ha and Zander Cannon).
While I don’t think there have been any official announcements about it, word is trickling out that Grant Morrison’s “putting the sex back into Wonder Woman” project is going to be Wonder Woman: Earth One. Bleeding Cool poses it as a question, but on the most recent 3 Chicks Review Comics podcast, Greg Rucka confirms it. He also says the gig was originally going to be his.
“I, at one point, was supposed to write Wonder Woman: Earth One,” he says. “ J.H. [Williams] was going to draw it.” Unfortunately, “I was told I was not going to do it. Dan DiDio called me and told me he was giving it to someone else. And I said if you take that away from me I can no longer work for you because I have taken many a job for you, sir, on the promise of doing this and now you’re taking it away and I can no longer accept your promises any more. He had his reasons for doing it; this is not me throwing stones. This is just the way things shook out.”
August brings the preludes to the Swamp Thing/Animal Man crossover that writers Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire have been talking about for awhile now, as Team Red and Team Green take on The Rot. According to Lemire, the crossover, Rotworld, is an “epic superhero/horror story” that he’s been working with Snyder on for the past year. “Buddy Baker and Alec Holland join forces to lead a pre-emptive strike deep into The Rot, the consequences of which will tear both of their worlds apart forever,” he said on his blog.
The crossover runs through each title’s 17th issue and will feature art by regular series artists Yanick Paquette and Steve Pugh, who worked together on the above joining covers for Animal Man #12 and Swamp Thing #12.
Via Buzzfeed, DC Comics has revealed what the new Swamp Thing looks like. The antler-sporting version of the character makes his debut on the cover to Swamp Thing #8 by artist Yanick Paquette.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Robot 6 crew has been reading lately. Today our special guest is Jamaica Dyer, creator of Weird Fishes and Fox Head Stew, which can be read over at MTV Geek. She also recently did a concert report in comic form from San Francisco’s Noisepop for Spin Magazine.
To see what Jamaica and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
DC editor Chris Conroy took over DC’s Twitter feed today, and he’s been sharing concept art, pages and tidbits about some of his books all day. Conroy edits Superboy, Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Legion of Super-Heroes and Demon Knights, and here are a few of the tidbits he’s shared:
–Mike Choi will draw Demon Knights #4 (that’s his cover at the top of the post).
–Walt Simonson will draw Legion of Super-Heroes #5.
–The red-head in Superboy #1 is who most people seem to think it is.
–Cliff Chiang’s original artwork from Wonder Woman will be on display at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn beginning Sept. 24.
–Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder have “big plans” for when Animal Man and Swamp Thing meet up.
And after the jump you’ll find a whole bunch of art, which I’ll update if he posts more.
If you had told me a year ago — heck, a week ago — that Swamp Thing would be in The New York Times, in anything other than an Alan Moore retrospective, I’d have certainly laughed. But here we are, with the newspaper referencing the creature in a headline and showing off two pages of Yanick Paquette’s gorgeous art from the first issue of DC Comics’ relaunched Swamp Thing, which arrives in stores today.
It’s all part of a solid, if brief, profile of Scott Snyder that charts the writer’s three-year comics rise from minor Marvel gigs to Vertigo’s American Vampire to Detective Comics to a key role in DC’s New 52, penning Swamp Thing and the high-profile Batman.
After the break, check out two more pages from Swamp Thing #1, which Comic Book Resources gave 4 1/2 stars. Batman #1, by Snyder and Greg Capullo, arrives in stores Sept. 21.
The delays behind [Batman Inc.] are a combination of slowness on Grant and Yanick’s part. Yanick does all of his work on a digital pad and his art process requires a whole lot of lead time that Grant Morrison just doesn’t give him. On the Saturday morning, Grant had just e-mailed Yanick 12 pages of script for issue #5 when Yanick’s deadline for the art is in 1 week…so yeah, expect some more delays for issue 5 unless they get a fill-in artist.
—ComicBookDaily.com’s David Diep, reporting from this past weekend’s Wizard World Toronto convention, on what he learned about the future of DC’s flagship Bat-book, Batman Incorporated—presumably straight from artist and con guest Yanick Paquette himself.
A look at the solicit as posted on DC’s website shows that the book is scheduled for release on April 20. But the company still has it running with a J.H. Williams III cover that was actually used on issue #3 when it finally came out two weeks ago, likely because that issue was originally supposed to come out in January and thus had an “iconic” cover as part of that month’s line-wide cover gimmick, which was obviously no longer in effect. Issue #5 is now slated to run with the cover you see above, also by Williams…who is himself the co-writer/co-artist of the even more delay-plagued Batwoman. On the other hand, the company just signed the prodigiously talented artist Chris Burnham, who made a splash as the co-artist of the climactic Batman & Robin #16 and was already on board to draw Batman Incorporated #4, 6, and 7, to an exclusive contract. So there’s still some joy in Gotham after all.
UPDATE: In the comments below, Paquette himself steps in to clarify, saying that to the best of his knowledge DC hasn’t delayed issue #5 yet, Morrison’s been rock-steady schedule-wise recently, the Williams cover above has always been planned for this issue, and he himself is the one to blame for the schedule hiccups if blame someone we must. He also points out I coulda emailed him to ask him about this stuff, which: fair enough. (In all fairness to me, though, I never said the book was officially delayed, or that the cover above had been created for any other issue.)
DC Comics revealed today the cover to the second issue of Batman Inc., the new Grant Morrison-written title featuring Bruce Wayne recruiting various Batmen around the world. The cover, by interior artist Yanick Paquette, suggest the Dark Knight will head to Asia for his recruitment campaign. The second issue of Batman Inc. arrives in December.
Yesterday brought the first look at the first issue covers for the Batman: The Return miniseries and the ongoing Batman: The Dark Knight, both of which kick off this fall. And today brings the first issue cover for Batman Inc., the ongoing by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette:
Batmen? The riddle of Grant Morrison’s post-Batman and Robin, post-Return of Bruce Wayne, post-Batman: The Return work with the Dark Knight has just been solved: Morrison and frequent collaborator Yanick Paquette will launch an ongoing series titled Batman Inc. The book will see Bruce Wayne joined by a number of characters wearing the mantle of the Bat.
“All I’m going to tell you up front is basically it’s almost a team book,” Morrison explained today during DC’s Batman panel at Comic-Con International, where the book was announced. “I was looking at the Brave and the Bold cartoon which I love and I wanted to do that kind of thing — Batman with other people. We’re come up with a structure that let’s us do kind of a team book.”
Speaking to CBR’s Jonah Weiland, DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said the concept has been in the works for years. “This was in place even prior to Batman R.I.P.,” he said. “When [Morrison] came out with his two to three-year plan of what he wanted to do with Batman, we were building to this point.”
All told, it’s a pretty novel solution for the question of who would be Batman once Bruce Wayne returned to find his former protege Dick Grayson wearing the cape and cowl. As DiDio put it, “A lot of people have come to us and said, ‘When Bruce Wayne returns, who’s gonna be Batman?’ The answer is ‘more than one.’”
Morrison, Finch, Cornell, Paquette, Snyder, Daniel, Tomasi, Gleason, Scott…Larroca?: A Batman news round-up
Not since Bane broke all the lunatics out of Arkham Asylum has Batman had this eventful a week. Perhaps to avoid the avalanche of news coming out of San Diego next week, DC has spent the past few days announcing a slew of new Batman projects and creative teams. And heck, even Marvel got in on the act, sorta…