Rob Williams and Mike Dowling's social media thriller Unfollow has managed to weave contemporary culture commentary into a tense survival game akin to Battle Royale or The Hunter Games. Vertigo has provided us with an exclusive preview of next month's installment of Unfollow as The 140's numbers begin to drop like flies.
A while back, I wrote about how skeptical I was that a Martian Manhunter solo series could ever really work, and I don't know if I have ever been proven wrong as hard as I have been by the last few months. Somehow, Rob Williams, Eddy Barrows and Ben Oliver have discovered the magic formula that makes that character work, and it involves going way over the top.
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.
This week’s Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad April Fools' Special #1 by Rob Williams, Jim Lee and Sean “Cheeks” Galloway was a fun, cameo-laden romp that saw Harley return to her roots as a psychiatrist for the criminally insane and try to cure the likes of Man-Bat, Killer Moth and Scarecrow. However, the one-shot also served as a jumping off point for one of the biggest books of DC Rebirth with a surprise cliffhanger that saw a classic DC character looking a lot more like their Pre-Flashpoint self.
The issue is drawn mostly by Jim Lee, but during the psychiatry segments the art duties are handed over to Sean Galloway whose trademark cartoon style is a stark-contrast to the cross-hatching and gritted teeth of Lee, but it works surprisingly well. Over the course of the issue, Harley ends up in a fight with the Justice League, in a sequence drawn by Lee, and comes to the conclusion that the superheroes are the real bad guys, and that’s when the reveal kicks in.
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.
I'll admit that I've been a little skeptical about the idea of the Martian Manhunter holding down a solo book. I even wrote a column a while back about why I'm not sure if it could ever work, but one of the biggest problems that I identified back then was that his origin story feels like something that's been done on a much grander scale with Superman. So if you're going to fix him, well, maybe giving him a new origin story is a good place to start.
And in case you missed it, that's exactly what happened this week in Martian Manhunter #10, in which Rob Williams, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Gabe Eltaeb give us a brand new origin for J'onn J'onzz --- and it is both completely bonkers and completely awesome.
Assuming you're shopping in the UK or online, this week marks the release of 2000 AD prog 1961. It's this year's Christmas special, with a full hundred pages of not only the usual dose of thrillpower, but also... well, whatever the Christmas equivalent of that concept is, I suppose. Merrypower? Thrilljollies? Listen, I'm still pretty new to this whole thing.
Point being, there's plenty of yuletide fun to be found in this week's issue, and as you might expect, absolutely none of that fun is being had by Judge Dredd, the stone-faced grinch of Mega City One's law enforcement, who is spending his Christmas doling out grim justice to snowmen who have come to life. No, really: It's Dredd vs. Frosty in this week's issue, and you can check out a preview below!
The weekend is here! Put down your paperwork, throw your stationery out of the window, and do a victory spin in your office chair, because it’s time to catch up on that greatest of all media: comics! What’s been going on this week? There’s so much comics that there’s no way anybody can keep up with all of it — so Weekender is here to catch you up on some of the stories you may have missed, and some of the best writing about comics from the past few days.
Vertigo is making a big push with its 12 new series this fall, with an impressive roster of creators including Gail Simone, Holly Black, Peter Milligan, Gilbert Hernandez, Darwyn Cooke, and Micheal Allred.
Survivors’ Club, The Twilight Children, Clean Room and Art Ops launch next month, followed by Unfollow, Slash & Burn, Red Thorn and Jacked in November. The four books rounding out the dozen are Sheriff Of Babylon, Lucifer, New Romancer and Last Gang In Town, all launching in December and solicited in this month's Previews catalog.
We have an advance look at those solicitations, and with it your first comprehensive look at the new Vertigo line-up. Check out the covers, creative teams, and synopses below, in order of release:
With most of its major hits and standout series having run their course months or years ago, Vertigo has been due for a renaissance for a while now. Judging from the announcements made at San Diego Comic Con late on Thursday, the publisher may be rallying, with 12 new series set to launch in the closing months of 2015 at a rate of one new issue #1 every week.
Those 12 titles include a couple of previously announced books that have been rescheduled, but enough new announcements to suggest that Vertigo means to impress with its ambition. Sci fi and the supernatural are inevitably well represented, and the roster includes veteran talents, emerging names, and a few cross-disiplinary transfers in the form of novelists Lauren Beukes and Holly Black — the latter on a relaunch of Lucifer — and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.