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.
While DC Comics has been killing it in a number of areas since the launch of its Rebirth initiative, one area that perhaps hasn't been getting enough attention is the amazing variant covers the publisher is putting out. From Tim Sale providing monthly covers on Batman to Jenny Frisson's upcoming work on Wonder Woman, DC has been going all out with some beautiful variants.
The publisher has provided ComicsAlliance with an exclusive first look at the Action Comics cover for late-October and variants for Action Comics, Detective Comics, The Vigilante: Southland and Batman Beyond.
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.
Writer Tom King and artists Clay Mann and John Timms have all signed contracts to produce work exclusively for DC Comics. Tom King has met with great acclaim writing Omega Men, Robin War, and Vertigo's Sheriff of Babylon, as well as co-writing Grayson with Tim Seeley. Clay Mann is the artist on the current Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death miniseries written by Amy Chu. Before that his DC credits included covers on Batgirl and Batman Eternal. John Timms has made his name working on Harley Quinn and its spin-off Harley's Little Black Book.
Last week saw Batman villainess Pamela Isley ditch the leafy costume and come back to her, ahem, roots: life as a working scientist. Written by Amy Chu and drawn by Clay Mann, Poison Ivy: Cycles of Life and Death is a four-issue miniseries that sees the character working at a lab while looking for some kind of balance between her plant and human nature.
The series is also a murder-mystery where the prime suspect is the lead character, which makes for a fun, twisty story, seen through the perspective of a lady who really doesn't care for humans that much anymore. Or does she? ComicsAlliance caught up with Chu to find out how the series came together, and what readers can expect from Ivy over the next few issues.
Valiant Comics' shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Steve Morris knows Valiant inside out; J.A. Micheline is new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, and Morris has the answers.
Over the last month Steve has introduced JAM to the superpowered Harbinger team and the brainwashed assassin Bloodshot. For the next assignment, though he set JAM homework of a more cosmic nature --- the flagship Valiant series X-O Manowar. If that wasn't enough, it's also finally time to talk about the British Enigma that is Ninjak. She gamely accepted the mission --- and now they're back to talk about it!
One of Gotham's greatest villains is getting her own series for the first time in January, when DC releases Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death by writer Amy Chu and artist Clay Mann. This six-issue series tells the story of Pamela Isley attempting to hold down a respectable job at the Gotham Botanical Gardens, even as her reputation inevitably makes her a suspect in some manner of plant-related murder.
On the surface, Valiant's Ninjak is an almost silly fantasy character: He's a hyper-capable ninja with the word "ninja" in his name. He's also a British spy. He lives in a castle.
The first issue of the new Ninjak series by writer Matt Kindt and artists Clay Mann and Butch Guice certainly embraces those preteen wish-fulfillment elements, but adds some surprising depth, too, with character flashbacks and quieter moments that dig deep into who this updated version of Colin King really is.
We sat down with Kindt to talk about how he struck a balance between the silly and the serious in the new series, as well as the trippy sci-fi action of Divinity, his new Valiant series with artist Trevor Hairsine, which debuted earlier this month.
AW SNAP Y'ALL, NINJAK IS BACK!
Seriously, folks, I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. Ninjak, if you don't know, is a ninja named Ninjak, and my love for him just based solely on that is as pure and unironic as you are likely to find, and I've been waiting for him to slice his way back into an ongoing series since Valiant first relaunched. But if that simple fact isn't enough for you, here's something that might get you a little more interested: The new ongoing series, kicking off in March from Matt Kindt, Clay Mann and Butch Guice, is hitting shelves with 40 pages per issue, including a full length lead and a new origin story, all for $3.99. And it also involves Ninjak fighting a lady whose hair can cut through metal and start fires.
Could we have found... the perfect comic book?
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!