Comic Rack – The New 52 Omnibus, Creative Team Changes, & A Fond Farewell

Welcome to Comic Rack! Your weekly look at all the comic news from across the industry!

The New 52 Omnibus! – (TheSource)

This one I’ve been waiting for. The entire line up of the New 52 will be featured in the omnibus, and you can now own every first issue from every new series, if you don’t already. Don’t believe me? Here are 3 reasons why you need to get it:

1. It’s big. No, really – it’s big. Weighing in at a whopping 7.9 lbs, its heft is matched only by its magnitude and scope (see: #2 on this list). They say that the human head weighs eight pounds, and while reading DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 won’t physically increase the size of your brain, lifting the Omnibus will certainly increase the size of your muscles.

2. It’s EPIC. A lot’s been said about the scope and scale of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52, and this massive tome collects it all – superhero stories and tales of horror, western yarns and chronicles of the front lines, science-fiction and even some science fact, new characters and new takes on old favorites. This represents the full width, breadth and depth of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52, collecting every single first issue from the status quo-shattering release event – including JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, ACTION COMICS #1, DETECTIVE COMICS #1, SUPERMAN #1, BATMAN #1, WONDER WOMAN #1, AQUAMAN #1 and many, many, many more. There’s no better way to feel the full weight of this historic publishing initiative than by holding it your hands. And speaking of weight, did we mention that it’s heavy?

3. It’s a great way to get into comics. Whether you’re a lapsed reader overwhelmed by the weight of canon or you’ve never read a single issue, DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 Omnibus provides a buffet – a veritable cornucopia! – of introductory stories, many of which have been specifically designed with new readers in mind.

It’s only $150! Which means I can now not get it…

Steel Joins The New 52! – (TheSource)

When the New 52 was announced, I know a lot of fans were lost and wondering what was going to happen to some of thier favorite characters. As a Bat fan I was already missing Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, both former Batgirls. But with the Superman mythos being the most affected by the ‘reboot’, a lot was sacrificed. I thought that meant John Henry Irons was MIA, but he returned on Dec. 7th to the pages of Action Comics #4.

One of the most prominent and popular African-American super heroes, STEEL will be making his debut into the world of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 on December 7.

Equal parts Superman and folk legend John Henry (to whom the name of his alter ego, John Henry Irons, is an homage), Steel will appear in ACTION COMICS #4 – written by critically acclaimed, bestselling author Grant Morrison and illustrated by Rags Morales.

When Terminauts threaten to lay waste to Metropolis in search of Superman, it falls to Steel to come to the aid of the beleaguered hero – and the Man of Steel will sure need the help of this steel-drivin’ man. But their team-up isn’t all we’ll get from Steel in this issue. ACTION COMICS #4 also features a special backup story written by Sholly Fisch and drawn by Brad Walker. The eight-page story continues the action of ACTION, showcasing a heavy metal battle between Steel and Metal-zero.

Hopefully this is just the beginning and we get to see more of Steel, not to mention more of the rest of our missing characters.

Captain Cold and the Return of the Rogues! – (CBR)

Some of the most unique and best handled villains in the DCU have to be the Rogues. The Rogues are Flash’s villains, generally led by Captain Cold. While they haven’t been seen much in the New 52, their time to shine (again) is coming. And to start it off we get to see the redesign on Captain Cold, who kind of really needed a redesign.

“A lot of it was very logical stuff. It was trying to stay true to the original,” Manapul said of the rogue’s revamp. “With him having internal powers, it actually made the most sense for him not to even have a coat or a hood. We really struggled with that for a while, especially since that’s such an integral part to the iconic look that he has. This was a good compromise. A lot of the design of it was very practical. The reason that he’s sleeveless is that we took the idea of ice in his veins literally. We’re going to see the physical manifestation of powers going through his arms, almost similar to the light glow you see cut into the Flash’s costume, but with this one, it’s obviously a colder [effect.] With regard to the hood, it was just something we couldn’t lose, you know? It’s such an iconic part of his outfit and I think — do you ever see kids, they wear hoodies when it’s warm out? The way I thought about it and the way we presented it is that the reason he’s wearing [those clothes] is that he’s just a normal guy with a cold gun.”

Including the iconic parka and hood was something Manapul originally struggled with, with the hood surviving the redesign process in deference to Captain Cold’s persona and past experiences. “It’s a personality thing. With the past that he has, he’s been screwed over a lot,” Manapul told CBR News. “There’s something comforting about being under a hood; it’s like a blanket that offers some protection. And his goggles, obviously it’s pretty similar to the original, but I’m assuming it was inspired by those Inuit sunglasses. I don’t know the exact name of them, but it was the case where the real thing looked a lot cooler than the made-up version, which kind of looked like 3D glasses. I just looked up something that was more tied to reality that ended up looking cooler.” As seen in the photos Manapul provided CBR News, the artist drew not only from an image of Inuit sunglasses, but also his own wardrobe.

There’s more about the Rogues and the redesign of Captain Cold at the link, which all sounds very interesting and respective of the intense past a lot of these characters have.

Creator Shakeup Hits the New 52 – (Newsarama /TheSource)

Generally considered as just another part of the comic industry, titles are constantly dealing with new writers and artists and new teams taking over. Even the New 52 isn’t safe as both Fury of Firestorm and Legion Lost will be receiving new creative teams.

No doubt you’ve already heard that issue #6 of LEGION LOST will be Fabian Nicieza’s last as writer.

His schedule just couldn’t keep up with a monthly series right now. It’s a bummer because Fabian and I had discussed some really cool ideas for the series, but I understood his reasons, and we parted on a positive note with hopes that someday we can reteam on something else down the road.

So I needed to hire a new writer, someone I felt could take the groundwork laid by Fabian and strive for even greater heights. No small task!

In discussions with my fellow editors, one name came up that intrigued the heck out of me: Tom DeFalco.

A master storyteller, not to mention Marvel Comics’ former Editor-in-Chief, Tom seemed the ideal candidate. He understands how to build characters from the inside out and make us care about them. He makes the fantastic feel gigantic and yet at the same time all too human and flawed. He puts his characters through the wringer, crafting entertaining tales that compel us to keep reading.

DeFalco is a legend among legends, and I have no worries about his ability to take over from Nicieza. Now on to Firestorm:

Another up-and-coming writer is joining DC’s writing team for their “New 52” titles, as Joe Harris takes over Fury of Firestorm in March.

As Newsarama reported yesterday, Harris will be co-plotting with current co-writer Ethan Van Sciver, replacing departing writer Gail Simone. The comic tells the story of teen heroes Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond, who both possess nuclear powers they can combine to become “Fury.”

Harris begins with issue #7 on Fury of Firestorm. Van Sciver is drawing interiors for both #7 and #8, although he told Newsarama that Yildiray Cinar is still the regular artist for the ongoing.

The creative change is one of several that will hit DC comics early next year, as the initial storylines on the once-brand new comics all finish at around the same time. Some of the replacement writers are people who have been around the comic industry for years, like Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens and Tom DeFalco. But the shake-ups also include additions of relative newcomers like Josh Williamson and now Joe Harris.

Abnett and Lanning Talk Resurrection Man – (CBR)

The New 52 brought us a lot of new titles, and new looks for old titles, but it also did one better. It gave old series a new chance to shine, like Resurrection Man. This series from the 90’s is reimagined by the same team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning who brought us the original series, so its another chance for them to handle yet another resurrection.

Originally written by comic book duo Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Jackson “Butch” Guice, the very first “Resurrection Man” followed Mitch, a man able to come back to life when he died, with each resurrection granting him a new super power. The new “Resurrection Man,” still written by Abnett and Lanning but with art by Fernando Dagnino, also follows amnesiac Mitch as he tries to fill in the blanks in his life and get the hang of his continually changing powers while playing with the same themes and tone of the first series. But now Mitch has a host of new problems, chief among them an angel and a demon sent by Heaven and Hell, respectively, and tasked with forcibly collecting Mitch’s immortal soul.

Speaking with CBR News about this new reimagining of the ’90s comic series, original creators and writers Abnett and Lanning eagerly dove into discussing the challenge of bringing back the Body Doubles for modern readers, why Mitch shouldn’t trust either Heaven or Hell, and details about DC’s upcoming trade paperback collection of their original ’90s series.

There’s a huge interview with both writers at the link.

Gray & Palmiotti Discuss The Ray – (IGN)

Can we still call it the New 52 if they add more titles? Well, yes, we can, because DC is covering all the bases with the treasured comic money maker; Mini-Series! Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti discuss their take on The Ray, a hero untouched so far in the New 52.

IGN Comics: Starting off with something easy, how did you guys get involved in writing The Ray?

Jimmy Palmiotti: With the New 52 and everything changing at DC, reworking the characters and all that craziness, the guys at DC approached us with The Ray because we have a history writing the character in Freedom Fighters and they thought we’d be a good fit for the book. They wanted a new concept, new origin and new character and approached us from that angle. They also gave us the good news that Jamal Igle would be the penciller on the project, so from there we just dug in and gave them a couple of pitches. The one they wound up liking is the one you can find on stands tomorrow.

IGN: Okay, so it was something DC approached you guys about. Did you guys have any pitches ready to go in the off chance they’d ask you to tackle the character again, or did you basically start from scratch once they approached you with the gig?

Palmiotti: You know, we had to come up with the pitches pretty quick [laughs]. But no, we weren’t sitting on an idea for The Ray. Being the wonderful freelancers that we are, we just wait for the phone to ring and see what kind of work they ask us to do. But this was DC asking us if we’d be interested, first off, and if we had something new and interesting to bring to the table. And we certainly did.

It wasn’t like we pitched them the idea, although that happens with some of the other books we do. Because of what’s going on with the New 52, and because we’re already doing All-Star Western, we thought it would be nice to have something else going on. So when we got the call about The Ray, we were pleasantly surprised, because it’s a character we really like.

Justin Gray: It was also the chance to do something completely new and separate from everything else, without any kind of continuity to adhere to.

Andy Kubert’s Justice League Variant – (CBR)

Showing his first work since the DC Universe-altering Flashpoint, Andy Kubert pencils a variant cover to Justice League #4, and its pretty awesome.

We are going to end today on a bit of a down note, but an important one.

Its a sad time in comics when we lose not one, but two legendary creators. Jerry Robinson, who created the Joker, Robin, Two-Face, Alfred and a slew of other characters passed away at the age of 89. – (MTVGeek)

Also passing was Joe Simon, the co-creator of Captain America and long time editor at both Marvel and DC. He died at the age of 98. – (Newsarama)

Our hearts go out to their families, and you can read more about both of their careers that shaped the industry we all love at the links above.

We’ll see you next week here at the Comic Rack!

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