There are a lot of great things about the Batman '66 ongoing series, but I think my favorite is how it's been expanding the Dutch-angled, pop-art universe of the original TV show beyond its three-season run. There have been new adventures for the show's roster of special guest villains, new locations, and even new characters in the form of additions like the Arkham Institute's Dr. Holly Quinn and the massive, atomic-powered Bat-Robot.
On top of all that, the not-at-all surprising success of the Batman '66 revival has expanded the universe in one of the most interesting ways by finally giving us one of the biggest missed opportunities in the character's history: A full adaptation of Harlan Ellison's unproduced Two-Face story.
I've known that this story was out there for a while because it always comes up in discussions of great superhero stories that never happened, and finally getting to read it in this week's Batman '66: The Lost Episode was a fantastic experience -- not just because the story itself was fun, but because the way it was presented was amazing.
When ComicsAlliance first heard that Gilbert Hernandez would write and draw a Wonder Woman story for DC's digital first Sensation Comics series, we were excited to see what the master Love & Rockets illustrator would would do with the character. We also assumed he'd be the author of the story about Wonder Woman as a rock star.
Anyone following Sensation Comics now knows that the rock star story was Margeurite Sauvage's excellent work, while Hernandez spun a tale about a brainwashed Diana going toe-to-toe with fellow heroes Supergirl and Mary Marvel. The first half of his two-parter, "No Chains Can Hold Her," is already available. DC sent us this exclusive preview of part two, available this Thursday.
Readers demand a lot from superhero comics: consistency, continuity, adherence to the rules of the universe, compelling heroes, magnetic villains, satisfying endings, and the list goes on.
But those of us who have been reading for years (if not decades) are chiefly looking for one big thing above all else: novelty. We want to see something we’ve never seen before; characters we recognize as the heroes and villains we love being put into scenarios and settings wholly unlike what’s come in nearly 80 years of superhero comics.
That’s notoriously hard to do. Many times, stories end up being very similar to what’s come before, and when creators do try something new, they elicit complaints from readers who don’t like particular changes or decisions. But what if you could strip away those pressures and build a superhero comic that’s so strange and unique that it’s a must-read?
That’s what Jiro Kuwata’s 1960s Batman comics, currently being republished as the DC Digital Series Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga, are. A strange combination of classic Batman comics, the 1960s Batman TV-show, Marvel-Age science-based storytelling, mysticism, cartoon physics, Tokusatsu, and of all things, Scooby-Doo, it isn’t like any comic I’ve ever read. It’s endlessly surprising, and I love it.
This week's creative team is comprised of longtime Warner Bros. Animation talent Michael Jelenic, best known for his work on Teen Titans Go!, Thundercats, and, of course, the animated Wonder Woman feature film. He's joined by veteran comics artists Drew Johnson and Ray Snyder, alumni of the famous Jolly Roger Studio, and colorist Lizzy John, whose work we've seen before in Archaia's line of Jim Henson Company comics and graphic novels. The cover comes courtesy of illustrator Paul Davey, whose contribution here represents his first comic book work, as far as I know.
As you can see in this exclusive preview, the team's story falls along the lines of the traditional adventure story with the kind of mythological, majestical scale to which Wonder Woman lends herself so well.
On November 19, DC Comics will release Batman '66: The Lost Episode, a bookshelf-format one-shot by writer Len Wein and penciller José Luis Garcia-López -- superhero comics legends, both -- adapting a previously-unknown story that Harlan Ellison wrote for the classic Adam West and Burt Ward TV show: the introduction of Two-Face. The project is a very special companion to DC's popular and critically acclaimed digital-first Batman '66 series. In addition to its prestigious veteran storytellers, the book also features inking by Joe Prado, colors by Alex Sinclair and cover art by Alex Ross, all industry leaders in their disciplines.
At New York Comic Con this past weekend, we had the opportunity to sit down with Wein and discuss the origin of the project, his friendship with Ellison, and the experience of adapting an unfilmed television episode into the comic book format.
DC Digital's Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman must be doing decent business, as the publisher announced a second digital Wonder Woman title at the Download This panel at New York Comic-Con on Sunday; Wonder Woman '77, inspired by the hit 1970s Wonder Woman TV show starring Lynda Carter. The series follows the digital-first format of the Batman '66 comic, which is based on the 1960s Batman TV show.
Written by Marc Andreyko and illustrated by various artists, Wonder Woman '77 will launch in December with a six weekly installments that will later be released in print. Further Wonder Woman '77 stories are expected to follow in the future.
For the most part, mainstream comics don’t care about fashion. But sometimes, something sneaks through and reminds us all of why this matters. Sensation Comics #7, illustrated by Marguerite Sauvage from a script by Sean E. Williams, is that rare, trembling shaft of light into the dank, Dragon Ball Z-print-button-downed basement that is the state of fashion in comics.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Letterer Saida Temofonte has been working in comics for almost 20 years for a variety of companies including Wildstorm, DC Comics, and Marvel. She is currently lettering many projects from DC's digital division, including the much-beloved Lil Gotham series. She is also a storyboard artist for film.
Of all the titles in DC Comics' "Digital-First" initiative, Batman Beyond 2.0 has been possibly the biggest surprise. Kyle Higgins and artist Thony Silas launched a series that expands the beloved Batman Beyond animated series storyline from the 1990s in exciting and unexpected ways, without losing the elements that made the Warner Bros. Animation original so popular, and fans have noticed and responded. The story of young Batman Terry McGuinness and his mentor Bruce Wayne and their adventures in Neo-Gotham, DC recently upgraded the Batman Beyond 2.0 from bi-weekly to weekly, and as of Chapter #25, Higgins brought his C.O.W.L. collaborator Alec Siegel and venerable comics veterans Phil Hester and Craig Rousseau onboard the series for what the team has promised to be a particularly dramatic new movement in the young series, one that includes a return of the Phantasm, one of Batman: The Animated Series' most rarely scene yet fan-favorite foes.
During a few spare minutes as San Diego Comic-Con, we stopped by the DC booth to chat with the Higgins and Siegel about their love for the Batman Beyond characters, their collaborative process, "Mark of the Phantasm", and their further plans for the book's future.
Next month, DC Comics will launch Sensation Comics, a digital-first anthology series featuring new Wonder Woman stories from a wide variety of creators and styles. This approach follows in the footsteps of the acclaimed Adventures Of Superman series, and is similarly structured – a new 10-page digital chapter will be released each week, and the stories will then be collected in a monthly print edition, with paperbacks presumably to follow.
During last weekend's San Diego Comic-Con, we got the chance to hang out at the DC booth and have a quick round-table conversation with legendary Love & Rockets cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez, Smallville illustrator Cat Staggs, and Vampire Diaries writer Sean E. Williams, and ask about what they have planned for their installments of the new Wonder Woman book.
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