Put as succinctly as possible, the Forever People are a bunch of space hippies with individual powers and gimmicks, but when they're in trouble they can combine to form the Infinity Man, who is a gestalt organism. First introduced in 1971, they are part of Jack Kirby's expansive Fourth World tapestry of "New Gods" characters and comics, and the focus of a new collaboration between storyteller Keith Giffen and co-writer Dan DiDio, creators of the New 52's last major Kirby revival, the short-lived OMAC.
Welcome back to the ComicsAlliance podcast, covering the latest comic book entertainment news topics. Joining Senior Editors Andy Khouri and Caleb Goellner for this episode is CA writer Matt D. Wilson for a conversations about the the keynote address delivered by Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson to the ComicsPro Retailer Conference in Atlanta. Stephenson made a characteristically iconoclastic and not altogether unassailable presentation, urging retailers to become community leaders, abandon their support of gimmicky, high-priced publishing practices, and draw a distinction between good and bad comics.
We’ll contrast Stephenson’s remarks with those of Dan DiDio, his counterpart at DC Comics, one of the stop superhero publishers, who in an interview this week confirmed plans to double— even triple-down — on weekly comics, crossovers and 3D covers, publishing strategies that are seemingly exactly the sort of thing Stephenson that criticized.
DC Comics announced Thursday that not only is it bringing back the sometimes headache-inducing 3D covers it released with great fanfare during 2013's Villains Month in September, it's also launching yet another weekly series to accompany Batman Eternal and The New 52: Futures End.
An email from DC publicity states that the 3D covers will again hit stores in September, this time tying into a Futures End-related event that will tell stories set in a possible future, five years ahead of the current timeline (like "One Year Later" did concurrently alongside the weekly 52 event series a few years back... x5). Newsarama reports that the new weekly series will kick off in October.
Thumb through DC Comics' new releases this week and you'll find the above image -- a teaser for the upcoming Batman: Eternal weekly series -- in the back pages of a good many of them (all the books I saw, in fact).
I had to look up the artist who drew it. It's Detective Comics artist Jason Fabok, but it could just as easily be Tony Daniel, David Finch, Guillem March, Ivan Reis, Adrian Syaf, or a handful of other current DC artists. Like it or not, this is, with a few exceptions, just how DC Comics look now.
Fans found out about the panel when DC Comics announced a contest seeking an artist to draw one page of the issue. DC Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said they would personally select the artist based on submissions of a single page, and included a description of the page's four panels.
Anyway you look at it, Whoopi Goldberg has had an incredibly successful and varied career in entertainment (homegirl EGOTed, ya'll). But for some folks, her most recognizable role will forever be as Guinan from Star Trek: The Next Generation, so it seemed perfectly natural that she'd attend last weekend's New York Comic Con. But Goldberg wasn't there to bask in Next Gen fan love. Rather, the award winning actress, and co-host on The View, was on the con floor pitching her idea for a comic.
She got advice from a few celebrities in attendance -- Ronald D. Moore, Seth Green, Clare Grant, Kevin Smith, and Kristin Baur van Straten, among others -- and made her pitch to DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio and Marvel Chief Creative Office Joe Quesada.
It's a rough time to be a fan of DC's comics. The publisher has made so many problematic moves in the past couple of years that the brand is now as strongly associated with disgruntled talent and unhappy readers as it is with iconic characters like Superman and Batman.
In the wake of the inauspicious departure of the Batwoman creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, I intended to write something about DC's editorial troubles. I got as far into the opening paragraph as noting, "I have to write quickly because there'll be another fiasco along any minute," before another fiasco came along - the Harley Quinn try-out controversy.
At this stage, talking about any individual incident at DC as a blip seems too narrow. A good week is now a blip for DC. The company has profound problems, and the question we have to ask is, can it be fixed?
When DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee asked artists to try out for a gig drawing one page of Harley Quinn #0 by sending in a sample page, it seemed like the major criticisms would be the standard push-back for art or design contests: One person gets paid even though potentially thousands of fans do the work.
But then people took notice of one of the panels, which depicts Quinn naked in a bathtub, readying herself to pull a string that would dump plugged-in toasters, blow dryers and other electronics in the water. Anti-suicide groups including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness felt DC was making light of suicide. Others called it exploitative. Now, DC is officially addressing those criticisms.
In the wake of the current Batwoman creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman departing the book because of editorial mandates that lead character Kate Kane and fiancé Maggie Sawyer could not go through with their marriage, DC Comics has announced the series' new writer: Marc Andreyko, the writer of the publisher's well-received Manhunter series, which ran from 2004 to 2009.
In November, DC Comics will launch its new Harley Quinn series by the writing team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with a #0 issue. The art team on the book will be a murderer's row of talents, including Conner, Darwyn Cooke, Walter Simonson, Paul Pope, Sam Keith, Tony Daniel, Art Baltazar and perhaps...you.
According to a DC press release, signed by co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, the company's holding an open talent search for someone to draw one page of the issue, which is scheduled for release November 6.