To say that Greg Rucka had a profound impact on DC Comics in the 21st Century is underselling things quite a bit. After arriving on the scene in the late '90s, he became one of the few writers to have written all three of DC's biggest characters, with critically acclaimed runs on Action Comics and Wonder Woman. It was on Batman, however, where he made his biggest impact, as one of the writers for the year-long No Man's Land crossover, the relaunched "New Gotham" era of Detective Comics, and cowriter of the enduringly influential Gotham Central.
Today, we begin an in-depth look back at Rucka's tenure on the Dark Knight, starting with No Man's Land, both the comic and its surprisingly popular novelization, in which Gotham City becomes a dark dystopia following a cataclysmic earthquake; his feelings about the core idea of Batman; and his frustrations on seeing the Joker show up in the pages of Superman.
Marvel really likes to spread its announcements around at San Diego Comic-Con, and that's never more evident than at the publisher's final panel of the weekend, which it calls 'Next Big Thing', possibly because Columbo has a prior claim on using the phrase, 'One More Thing,' just as you're getting ready to leave.
The major new announcement out of the Next Big Thing panel is that Marvel is finally going to publish a new S.H.I.E.L.D. book (which I'll henceforth refer to as SHIELD, because no-one has time for that much punctuation). Mark Waid will write the new series, with Carlos Pacheco on issue one and a rotating team of artists thereafter. Agent Phil "Cheese" Coulson will be the book's lead, and each issue will tell a self-contained story.
Okay, so there's good news and bad news. The good news is that ComiXology is having a massive sale on Batman comics, and has knocked a bunch of them down to 99¢ each, which means that you can grab some great stories on the cheap. The bad news? Since this whole thing is in honor of Batman's 75th anniversary, they've put 750 comics on sale, plus a handful of graphic novel collections. All things considered, that's a pretty good problem to have, but still, that can be pretty overwhelming.
Fortunately, we're here to help. As the World's Foremost Batmanologist, I've sifted through the sale to bring you safe bets for what you should be grabbing during the sale. Assuming you've got the obvious ones -- like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and the recent runs by Morrison, Snyder, and Capullo -- here's what to grab next!
As much as I love Batman, and I think the record will show that I love Batman a whole heck of a lot, I haven't really been looking forward to sitting down and cracking open the new Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years hardcover. Last year's Superman anniversary hardcover was a disaster of revisionist history, 300 pages that would have you believe that one of the world's greatest superheroes did nothing for seven and a half decades but cry. With that in mind, I had no idea what DC Comics was going to do with Batman. If you'd asked me to bet on it, I would've put good money on a prediction that they'd craft a narrative that acknowledged Batman only as a scowling vigilante, consumed with vengeance and every bit as crazy as the villains he fought.
But it turns out I didn't have to worry. The Batman hardcover is exactly what it says it is -- a celebration of Batman across different eras, with a roster of stories that highlights one of the character's true strengths: How well he works across different kinds of stories.
Kansas City's Planet Comicon has steadily grown into what may be the biggest comics and pop culture convention in the Midwest. After spending several years in the Overland Park Convention Center, a mid-sized facility in a suburb of Kansas City, last year Planet Comicon moved to Bartle Hall, a much bigger facility in the heart of downtown. This year, the convention doubled in floorspace, drew cosplayers likes flies to vinegar, and brought in a litany of television and pop culture stars, including legendary rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, pretty much the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the puffy one himself, Sir William Freaking Shatner.
But this site is called ComicsAlliance, and what we really care about are the comics and the creators who make them. Click onwards for a sometimes-blurry Blackberry camera gallery of guests, friends, and artist alley residents of one of the fastest-growing cons in the country.
It's no secret that Greg Rucka's last experience writing for Marvel left the award-winning writer frustrated. But time passes and fences are mended, and as we've seen so often in the past, it's never too late for a creator to return. Sometimes all it takes is the right project.
So while it may not be a surprise, it is certainly welcome news that Rucka will be returning to Marvel to write an ongoing solo series starring the younger Cyclops from All-New X-Men, collaborating with illustrator Russell Dauterman. And what appealed to Rucka about the project wasn't just his affinity for the Marvel character, but the fact that he has a son around the same age.
Following the well-received launch of Lazarus, Greg Rucka is continuing his focus on creator-owned comics, as today Dark Horse announced Veil, a five issue miniseries written by Rucka and illustrated by Toni Fejzula. The series marks the award-winning writer's first creator-owned collaboration with Dark Horse.
It looks like fans excited by the prospect of a high-production-value film adaptation of writer Greg Rucka and artist Marco Checchetto's recent run on The Punisher will have to wait for something officially sanctioned by Marvel.
The publisher has issued a cease-and-desist order against filmmaker Mike Pecci for his planned film, The Dead Can't Be Distracted, which he says could have been the pilot to a full Web series. That won't be happening now, at least without some serious intervention from Marvel itself.
Greg Rucka's Eisner Award Winning Queen and Country comic is one step closer to getting a cinematic adaptation at 20th Century Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, actress Ellen Page (X-Men: The Last Stand, Super, Inception) is in negotiations to star as British Special Operations Section operative Tara Chace in what could become a series of espionage films.
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