Here's something I want you to do right now: Take a moment and just try to imagine explaining this week's high-profile new releases to someone who was reading comics ten, maybe even five years ago. It would take hours, and by the time you'd dealt with all the incredulous reactions and clarified all the ways that we got to this point, you'd still have to launch into your third act with "and there was also Scooby Apocalypse, where the cast of Scooby Doo meets at Burning Man right before the world is destroyed by nanotechnology."
What I'm getting at here is that it's a weird book --- and more than that, it's exactly the weird book that we all knew it was going to be ever since it was announced. The question, then, is whether it's weird enough.
We now have a better look at DC's upcoming Scooby Apocalypse, the sci-fi Scooby Doo update, written by J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen, with breakdowns by Giffen and pencils and inks by Howard Porter, thanks to a preview at TVGuide. The book is part of a larger relaunch of Hanna-Barbera properties by DC, which also includes Flintstones, Future Quest (a Jonny Quest/Space Ghost team-up book), and Wacky Raceland. Scooby Apocalypse #1 is available in stores and online on May 25.
In the mid-eighties, DC Comics tried a bizarre experiment known as the DC Challenge, a story told by twelve different creative teams over twelve comics, with the catch being that each issue would end on a cliffhanger that the next team would have to get themselves out of. Announced at Emerald City Comic Con, DC is reviving the series in the form of Kamandi Challenge, thirteen creative teams over twelve issues telling one complete story with the classic Jack Kirby character, Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth.
The original DC Challenge featured the likes of Elliot S! Maggin, Mike W. Barr, Dave Gibbons, Gene Colan and so many more legendary creators. and featured the additional caveat that they could use any DC Comics characters, except ones they were currently working with elsewhere. The series culminated in a jam-packed final issue which was divided among six of the previous creative teams.
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.
Legends of Tomorrow #1 is one of the weirdest comics DC has put out in quite a while. Despite the name, it doesn't seem to have much to do with the Legends of Tomorrow television show --- unless Metamorpho and the Metal Men are joining the cast sometime in the next season, which would be amazing, the only connecting thread to the comic is Firestorm, and even then, the comic's Firestorm is made of two completely different people than the show's. As good as it is to see DC using the TV show to get eyes on a comics anthology --- and as solid as those stories might be --- it seems like a bit of a strange approach.
But then you get to Sugar & Spike, and that's when you realize that the name of this comic is nowhere near being the weirdest thing about it. No, the single most bizarre thing about this book --- and the thing that makes it a must-read for me --- is that Keith Giffen and Bilquis Evely are doing the most unexpected reboot of the year.
DC Comics’ upcoming Hanna-Barbera line of comics is one of the boldest decisions Warner Bros has made with those properties in a long time, and DC seem committed to treating the individual series as just as important as its main line of superhero books. With veteran creators like Keith Giffen on the books, DC is throwing its full weight behind the new line, and has unveiled new variant covers for Scooby Apocalypse and Future Quest by superstar artists like Steve Rude, Neal Adams and Bill Sienkiewicz.
Q: In light of your recent discussion of Copra, what's the best comic riffing on another comic? -- @davidwynne
A: Listen, Dave, if we're honest with each other here, the answer is definitely Batman. He might not have been riffing on a comic, but it's hard to get around the fact that those earliest adventures were just Bill Finger and Bob Kane filing the serial numbers off the Shadow and putting him into a slightly more ridiculous outfit. I mean, the guy even has an autogyro, and if that's not a dead giveaway, I don't knoW what is.
But at the same time, Batman only really gets good once he evolves into his own thing. If you're talking about comics that were created with the clear intention of riffing on something else and staying that way for the duration (and I say this knowing there's a whole lot of good riffing in Jack Staff), there's really only one answer: It has to be Supreme.
Listen, I gotta tell you about this dream I had last night. It was so weird 00- DC comics had launched a line of comics based on Hanna-Barbera cartoons, but they were doing these completely bonkers takes on all of them. Like, Scooby-Doo was set in the apocalypse and Scooby had a techno-monocle that allowed him to communicate through emojis, and Wacky Races was mashed up with Mad Max: Fury Road, and they even got one of the designers from the movie for it, and there was a big crossover with Space Ghost and Jonny Quest. And the weirdest thing of all was that the Flintstones were just the Flintstones, but drawn by Amanda Conner. Bizarre, right?
Wait a second... I'm just catching up on the news, and --- holy cats. It wasn't a dream. DC Comics is actually doing a Hanna-Barbera line with post-apocalyptic Wacky Races and emoji-monocle Scooby-Doo. This is actually happening.
At a time when most of comics was tiptoeing around the notion of gay, bi and lesbian people existing – much less being portrayed well – The Legion of Super-Heroes was making text out of subtext with characters such as Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass, and doing it during one of the series' most creatively daring periods.
Yet as the fate of the character Shvaughn Erin illustrates, a step forward for some can often leave others behind.
The Marvel Comics line is about mid-way through its giant line-wide crossover event Secret Wars, in which reality has been rewritten by god-emperor Doom, and the heroes have been re-imagined more than a dozen times over in different domains paying tribute to stories from throughout Marvel's publishing history.
One of those domains is a version of House of M, another reality-rewriting crossover event that cast the Marvel heroes in different roles, which ran ten years ago. House of M launched the current era of Marvel events, kicking off a steady steam of universe-shaking storylines that continues into Secret Wars. To mark the tenth anniversary of House of M, and ten years of event-driven storytelling, we're asking you to determine which of these events was the very best.
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