It looks like the old exclusive wars of the late 2000s are back on, as DC Comics have announced today the signing of three new top-tier names to their roster of exclusive talent. Steve Orlando, Evan “Doc” Shaner and Jesus Merino have all reached agreements with DC Entertainment to work solely on books for DC and Vertigo.

Steve Orlando’s signing spells a good sign for the upcoming DC Rebirth line of comics, as his run on Midnighter has been one of the highlights of DC Comics over the past year, and it’s exciting to see that he’ll be working on more comics for them in the future. Jesus Merino has been a DC mainstay for several years, both as an inker for artists like Carlos Pacheco, and artist in his own right. Merino relaunched the Superman title at the beginning of The New 52 with George Perez, and most recently has been working on The Flash.

Evan “Doc” Shaner’s signing is, for many, a long time coming, as he’s one of the best at capturing that classic DC aesthetic that many feel is missing from the current DC Universe. He’s currently lined up to work on the Hanna-Barbera title Future Quest with frequent collaborator Jeff Parker, and his stints with characters like Superman, Shazam and most notably Flash Gordon are signs of what he can do when given the reigns with some of the most iconic characters in comics.

This announcement follows a previous sweep of signings that included Omega Men’s Tom King, Poison Ivy’s Clay Mann and Harley Quinn’s John Timms. With convention season heating up, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more names announced as the year goes on, and it’ll be interesting to see if Marvel or any other companies announce exclusive deals with creators in response to DC’s signings.

See below for DC's full press release announcing the signings:

DC ENTERTAINMENT SCORES ANOTHER TALENT TRIFECTA!

Writer Steve Orlando, Artists Evan “Doc” Shaner, Jesus Merino Sign Deals with DC Entertainment

BURBANK, Calif. (March 17, 2016) – DC Entertainment continues to expand its roster of top name talent, announcing today that it has reached agreements with writer Steve Orlando, along with artists Evan “Doc” Shaner and Jesus Merino to create comic book content solely for the publisher’s DC Comics and Vertigo imprints.

An accomplished comics writer and scripter, Orlando is no stranger to DCE, receiving critical acclaim from outlets including Polygon.com (“Best Comics of 2015”), New York Times, io9.com (“Top 20 Comics of 2015”) and a nomination from GLAAD in the “Outstanding Comic Book” category for his run on Midnighter, the first openly gay male character to star in a comic book. Orlando has also contributed to the DC Super Hero universe with writing credits for Justice League: Darkseid War: Shazam!

“DC Comics is the home to the icons, characters and concepts that form the bedrock of modern mythology, cross boundaries and inspire people,” said Orlando. “I’m incredibly excited to add to this great tradition of storytelling exclusively, a tradition that captured my imagination as a young reader and bring it to a new generation.” “It has been and will continue to be an honor. Anyone who knows me knows comics changed my life, and I’m looking forward to showing fans how comics have impacted me in the stories I’ll be writing.”

Recently announced as the artist for DCE’s Future Quest title with writer Jeff Parker, Evan “Doc” Shaner is no stranger to DCE either, having provided art for titles like Adventures of Superman, Convergence: Shazam! and Justice League: Darkseid War: Green Lantern. “I’ve always been a fan of Doc’s work,” said Lee. “In reviewing his concepts and character sketches for Future Quest, it reminded me of some of the classic animation and comic artists of the past, like Alex Toth and Milton Caniff. It was a perfect fit for this title, and I can’t wait to see him bring his talents to more DC and Vertigo titles in the future.”

“DC Comics has a history of creators and characters that I'm very fond of as both a reader and artist, and to be asked to be part of that tradition is an incredible honor for me,” said Shaner. “Superman, Captain Marvel, The Flash, Plastic Man, and so many more-- these are some of my favorite characters of all time. I'm also particularly excited that I get to start my time at DC with reintroducing the Hanna-Barbera heroes featured in Future Quest, which are especially dear to me. This is an amazing opportunity and I'm looking forward to what's to come.”

Spanish artist Jesus Merino has been creating artwork for DC for the past fifteen years. As a penciller, inker and cover artist, he has worked on such titles as Superman, Justice League: Darkseid War: The Flash, The New 52: Futures End and The Flash, among others and is happy to call DC his exclusive home: “It’s an honor to have such a talent as Jesus on board at DC,” said Lee.
“He does a great job at combining the heroic and inspirational element of the DC mythos with a clean, dynamic and energetic style that really brings out the best in the DC characters!”

“After working with DC on so many projects, it’s great to call them my home now,” said Merino. I’ve seen a lot of changes over that time, not only in the characters, but in the company as well. With this new arrangement, I feel like the new kid in town all over again.”

Orlando, Shaner and Merino are the newest names to be added to this roster, following the announcement last month of talent signings for writer Tom King (Grayson, Omega Men, Robin War), Clay Mann (Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death) and John Timms (Harley Quinn).