When your main characters are Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, you're going to need to have big stories, and big powerful villains. Not just physically intimidating villains, but those who bring a broader sort of power to the table. And as we reach a turning point in "Better Together," the first storyline of Trinity, written and illustrated by Francis Manapul, the mastermind behind the entire plot has come to light, and it's just that sort of powerful villain: Mongul.
What may go down as one of the worst years in recent memory is slowly crawling to a close, and while we wish it good riddance and hope against hope that 2017 will be an improvement, there is some small solace in looking back over the year that's passed and figuring out what stuff from it was the best. That's right, it's "Best of..." list time, and today we're taking a look at the Best DC Covers of 2016.
When DC launched its Rebirth universe, one of the big promises was that it was going to put the baby back in the bathwater and restore some of the elements that the DCU had lost in the New 52. Connections between characters had been restored, and there's even a hint of a history that goes far beyond the truncated five years that kicked off in 2011 with Justice League #1.
But even with that mission statement, there were elements of the past that I thought might never make it back into continuity. Now, though, I'm not sure there are any limits to what's coming back, because I have seen the most unexpected return of the year in the pages of Francis Manapul's Trinity #1. In case you missed it, The Rainbow Batman is back!
Max Landis is a divisive figure in modern pop culture, to say the least. The son of acclaimed director John Landis, he burst on the scene as the writer of the found-footage film Chronicle, about three friends who gain immense superpowers and find their friendships tested. He’s also known for his online rants about how Rey from Star Wars is a Mary Sue, or defending the casting of Scarlett Johansson in Ghost of the Shell.
So he’s a man with opinions who likes to share them. He also recently finished up his first miniseries at DC Comics, Superman: American Alien, backed up by an impressive roster of A-list art talent, including Nick Dragotta, Jae Lee and Jock. The series follows Clark Kent at various points in his life from childhood through to his early days as Superman, and takes a more grounded approach to the Man of Steel, but often skims and bounces off the ground a bit too hard.
DC Comics hosted a special livestream event at WonderCon in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon to unveil the creative teams behind its DC Rebirth event, which relaunches the entire DC Universe line with new issue #1s and multiple double-shipping titles. The relaunch will set the future course of DC Comics at a time when fans are wondering whether the company will embrace a new and diversifying audience or double down on serving a shrinking core audience.
The event was introduced by DC All Access host Tiffany Smith, with DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio and chief creative officer and Rebirth chief architect Geoff Johns introducing and interviewing the creative teams as they joined them on stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The week's over! You did it, and did it in sensational style. But while you've been off working and living and doing all those things that humans do, what have you missed in the world of comics? With Weekender, ComicsAlliance is here to give you a heads-up on some of the stories that you might have overlooked, and to showcase some great writing on comics for you to enjoy over pancakes this weekend.
One of the most pleasant surprises of the New 52 relaunch was Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato's run on The Flash. With clever, Will Eisner-inspired titles pages and chaotic compositions that emphasized movement rather than structure, Manapul's layouts were impressive without being superfluously...flashy. Eye-popping, complex designs weren't slathered across every page; they were saved for the moments when it best served the story. So it's not too much of a surprise that his work on Detective Comics looks completely different.
Where The Flash was colorful and kinetic, the current story in Detective Comics is a dark mystery, and appropriately, Manapul takes a different approach.
Drawing comics is time-consuming, sometimes crushing, occasionally rewarding, and almost impossible to quit if you love it. And it helps if you get to do it around other artists who love it as much as you do.
Those are some of the key takeaways from Comic Book Artists: Next Generation, an AT&T U-Verse documentary about the artists at Toronto's R.A.I.D. Studio (a.k.a. the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design; though it's not a real Royal Academy in the strictest sense). The studio has ten resident artists, but the half-hour documentary shines a light on four key players: Ramón Pérez, Marcus To, Francis Manapul and Kalman Andrasofszky.
In the process of writing my article about muscles vs curves, and how the big dudes of superhero comics typically fail to represent the tastes of most androphile women, I gathered a collection of images and recommended artists from my correspondents that illustrate the sort of art they'd love to see more of -- but which there's sadly very little of compared to all the T&A fan-service targeted at straight men.
I had far too many recommendations to put in the article, so I've compiled the collection (and a few personal favorites) into a very special one-off post. The collection includes pin-ups, fan art, sketches, and some traditional superhero art from artists who aren't afraid to put a little male eye candy in their work!
As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits -- or as I like to call him, Namor.
Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it's my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I'm fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I'd find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.