DC Relaunches ‘Klarion’ And Goes Outside The Box With Genevieve Valentine & Garry Brown On ‘Catwoman’
The Comic-Con 2014 season of big announcements is definitely upon us, and today, DC Comics has two that are very interesting. The first is that Catwoman is getting a new creative team in the form of novelist Genevieve Valentine and Five Ghosts artist Garry Brown, tying into the big shakeups coming to Gotham from the pages of Batman Eternal.
As for the previous writer of Catwoman, Ann Nocenti, she’ll be joined by artist Trevor McCarthy (Batwoman, Nightwing) in a new title, relaunching Jack Kirby’s Klarion the Witch Boy for the New 52, with a focus on using magic as a metaphor for technology.
As revealed at io9, Valentine and Brown’s arrival on Catwoman (along with Jae Lee on covers) comes in the middle of a pretty big change-up for the Batman titles since they became the responsibility of new group editor Mark Doyle. Not just in terms of story, although the impending end of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “Zero Year” and the ongoing storyline of Eternal are certainly building to some pretty big things. More telling — and to be honest, more exciting — than that, though, has been the debut of Grayson and the announcement of titles like Gotham Academy and Arkham Manor seem to be pushing the actual direction of the titles into new and interesting things.
Obviously, Catwoman’s been around since 1940 and she’s had her own ongoing series in one form or another since 1993, but Valentine and Brown are certainly both new creators, at least to DC. While Brown has had success with Five Ghosts at Image, Catwoman represents Valentine’s first work on comics, with her previous work coming in the form of novels.
Klarion the Witch Boy, on the other hand, hasn’t had quite so consistent a track record. Originally introduced by Jack Kirby in The Demon in 1973, he’s been used off and on ever since as a foil for various heroes, including the teenagers of Young Justice. It’s worth noting, however, that his first role as a protagonist came not too long ago, when Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving rebooted the character as an escapee from a society of subterranean leather-clad magical pilgrims as part of the Morrison-helmed Seven Soldiers metaseries.
Aside from the hair-horns, Nocenti and McCarthy’s take seems to be completely separate from either of those, with Nocenti explaining that she wants to use Klarion and his use of magic to explore ideas of technology and how it shapes our lives, in the same way that characters like the X-Men and the Hulk were reactions to the pervasive fear of atomic warfare and radiation that came with the Cold War. It’s a very interesting idea, and as a writer, Nocenti certainly has the chops to pull it off — her classic run on Daredevil explored the nature of violence and identity in some of the most engaging action stories of all time, and she’s been bringing the same level of metaphorical understanding to characters with everything she’s done at DC’s New 52 over the past few years as well.
That said, Klarion isn’t quite as surprising as some of DC’s other announcements. If nothing else, it continues DC’s apparent trend of finding as much value in their villains as protagonists as they do from their heroes, continuing the theme set not only by Catwoman, Harley Quinn and New Suicide Squad, but by massive corporate events like Forever Evil.
Both Catwoman‘s new creative team and Klarion #1 arrive from DC in October.