Big news from DC Comics today, who for the past three years have been in an era that will always be known as the New 52. According to the announcement, DC Comics will be dropping the New 52 banner after the upcoming two-month long Convergence event, which will begin a new direction for the comic line. The word relaunch is being thrown around a lot, though this feels different from their New 52 reboot announcement from years ago.
In June we will see fresh new creators and a more modern approach to comics, as Co-Publisher Dan Didio promises “a new era for the DC Universe which will allow us to publish something for everyone, be more expansive and modern in our approach and tell stories that better reflect the society around us. Whether you’ve been a DC fan your whole life, or whether you are new to comics – there will be a book for you beginning in June.”
Out of the current run of titles, which will all be ending prior to Convergence, 25 ongoing series will remain with unaltered numbering. Joining these titles will be 24 new #1’s, featuring some retooled characters from the previous runs and a few great new series helmed by some very impressive creative teams. This new direction looks to keep old fans of the characters happy, while welcoming new readers and modernizing the line with fresh creators and visions of these historical characters. The official announcement continues below.
DC Comics will be keenly focused on going back-to-basics with its legendary characters, like BATMAN, SUPERMAN and WONDER WOMAN, while also reinventing key characters, such as BLACK CANARY, BIZARRO, CYBORG and STARFIRE, with a new contemporary tonality to ensure a diverse offering of titles. Top writers and artists, as well as emerging fresh voices, are on board to help create an expansive lineup of comics that appeals to a broad audience of fans.
Depicting some of these iconic characters in a more contemporary light include National Book Award finalist Gene Luen Yang who will join artist John Romita Jr. in the ongoing adventures of SUPERMAN. Comic superstar artist Bryan Hitch will write and draw new tales of the world’s greatest heroes in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. The pitch perfect team of Garth Ennis and John McCrea returns to DC Comics for a limited series called SECTION EIGHT featuring characters from their popular Hitman comic. VERTIGO creator Ming Doyle will be lending her talents to DC Comics, penning CONSTANTINE: THE HELLBLAZER along with newcomer artist Riley Rossmo.
“More than ever before, DC Comics fans are being exposed to our rich portfolio of characters through multiple sources, including an unprecedented number of highly successful TV shows, video games and upcoming major motion pictures,” said Co-Publisher Jim Lee. “We are looking to extend that experience within publishing to ensure there is a comic book for everyone. For example, fans of the ARROW television show may want more stories about BLACK CANARY. Now they can find modern, fresh takes on the character in the pages of her standalone series both in stores and digitally.”
Breakout star, Brenden Fletcher, co-writer behind the all new, highly successful BATGIRL book will also be writing the new BLACK CANARY series launching in June. Fan favorites Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti will be the creative team on new titles STARFIRE and HARLEY QUINN/POWER GIRL and will continue to helm the perennially bestselling HARLEY QUINN.
“Beyond character and creators, the June slate will showcase different styles and approaches to storytelling as we add offbeat, irreverently funny titles such as BIZARRO, BAT-MITE and PREZ,” said Lee. “Truly there will be something for everybody as we simultaneously celebrate our rich legacy while embracing new voices and concepts.”
A first look at upcoming storylines will be the focus of DC Entertainment’s Free Comic Book Day issue – DC COMICS: DIVERGENCE – available Saturday, May 2, featuring three 8-page previews for the June releases of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s BATMAN, as well as Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s launch of the Darkseid War within JUSTICE LEAGUE featuring the biggest villains in the DCU – Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, and Gene Luen Yang’s DC Comics debut with celebrated artist John Romita, Jr on SUPERMAN. More than half-a million free issues of the DC Entertainment sampler will be given away at comic book retailers globally.
“In this new era of storytelling, story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry,” said DiDio.
Three years ago we heard very different statements from the DC publishers, as they premiered a new continuity amid numerous editorial problems with creators during the early years. It sounds like DC learned a lot from the New 52 with Didio’s closing statement, and is looking to allow creators something of a hassle-free universe to tell the proper stories. All the released art for the new titles can be found below:
As for the surviving ongoing series, here they are: Action Comics, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, Detective Comics, Batman/Superman, Catwoman, Deathstroke, The Flash, Gotham Academy, Gotham By Midnight, Grayson, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Harley Quinn, Justice League, Justice League United, Lobo, Secret Six, Sinestro, New Suicide Squad, Superman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman
What do you think of DC’s proposed new direction? Are you a continuity nut who can’t even or a story nerd who couldn’t be happier? Which of the new titles are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments section below or join the discussion on the Grizzlybomb Facebook page!
Images: DC Comics