Batman's 75th anniversary came during an incredibly eventful year for the Caped Crusader, and not just in terms of celebratory publications and commemorative events.
After former Vertigo editor Mark Doyle took over as Batman group editor in February, things changed, and not just for Batman himself. Supporting characters such as Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon shifted into new roles. The world of Gotham expanded with books that focused on unexplored corners, like the GCPD's supernatural unit, or the city's mysterious prep school. Even the mainline Batman titles, Batman and Detective Comics, told bold stories that weren't typical Batman fare. Creators pushed into new territory and took chances with their books, and as a result the Batman line looks much different than it did at the beginning of 2014.
Mark Doyle deserves the credit for steering the line and bringing in the creators who made these changes. Comics Alliance sat down with Doyle and DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras to look back on Doyle's first year as Batman group editor, and to look ahead to 2015, as DC relocates to new offices in Burbank, California.
On November 26th, DC releases the first issue of Gotham By Midnight, a new series by Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith that blends black magic and police procedurals, and exposes the supernatural shenanigans that go on below the surface of Batman's hometown. Along with recent successes Gotham Academy, Arkham Manor, and the newly-revamped Batgirl, the book is part of a substantial overhaul and expansion of DC's Bat-family of titles under editor Mark Doyle.
ComicsAlliance sat down with writer Ray Fawkes to get some insight on what he and Templesmith have planned for Detective Jim Corrigan -- who longtime DC fans know is the original host of the vengeance of God, the Spectre -- and his shadowy squad of GCPD operatives.
It's safe to say that former Vertigo editor Mark Doyle has been blowing our minds since he took over as editor of DC's Batman line, launching and relaunching titles like Batgirl, Grayson, and Gotham Academy that feel exciting, entertaining, and refreshingly different from DC's "house style." Now add another title to the pull-list; the horror series Gotham By Midnight, by Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith.
Gotham By Midnight tells the story of the Gotham City Police Department's horror beat, the "midnight shift" that deals with monsters, ghosts, and a creepier class of creep. The book is headlined by a familiar name from the Bat-universe, Detective Jim Corrigan -- who happens to be host to the vengeful divine force The Spectre. It sounds like Gotham By Midnight has the potential to be a very left-of-center Gotham Central.
Despite all the big publishing news to come out around or during last month's San Diego Comic-Con, the new comic book that remains most anticipated by many superhero fans -- and by others who don't yet know they're waiting for it -- is Batgirl. Perhaps the one DC or Marvel comic that really does deserve a new #1 issue, Batgirl's youthful and stylish revamp at the hands of Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr and Brenden Fletcher was met with massive electronic response when it was announced just ahead of the San Diego show, generating all but countless pieces of fan-art as well as some criticism from current readers for seemingly abandoning the darker aesthetic values of the three-year-old New 52 title.
There's a lot to unpack about the new Batgirl and we only had a few minutes with her new creative team in which to do it at SDCC. Read on for remarks by series co-writer and layout artist Cameron Stewart, co-writer Brenden Fletcher, and finishing artist (and, perhaps, spiritual guide) Babs Tarr.
DC Comics' upcoming Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl is one of those ideas that's so good that it's amazing that it took a full 75 years of Batman comics for it to actually happen. Set in a prestigious private school in the middle of Batman's hometown, Gotham Academy will debut this October following the adventures of two young students at a private school in a city known mostly for its truly staggering population of supervillains.
One assumes that hijinks will ensue, but to find out more, ComicsAlliance's Juliet Kahn spoke to Cloonan, Fletcher and Batman group editor Mark Doyle at San Diego Comic-Con.
Creators Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's mind-bending, centuries-spanning Vertigo Comics horror/sci-fi series The Wake comes to an end today, and it has covered a lot of ground in its 10 issues -- which is quite an accomplishment for a book that takes place in a world almost entirely covered by water.
A mix of horror and mythology spanning three different time periods, The Wake features a group of scientists, led by Dr. Lee Archer, attempting to uncover the secrets of a vicious Merman-like creature captured by the U.S. government. As Dr. Archer and her team do their best to discover the truth, the creature -- with the ability to invade their thoughts, granting them each what they believe to be their heart's desires -- has other plans. The creature unlocks many of mankind's myths of the sea -- and, consequently, itself -- and propels a wild-eyed, high adventure narrative that traverses centuries and brings in monsters, pirates, super-science, post-apocalyptic cultures and some of the most haunting psychological horror Vertigo's published in years.
Throughout, the Eisner-winning series has taken the emotional, intellectual and philosophical and made them manifest on the page with some highly innovative and bold storytelling techniques, such as when, after five issues of following Dr. Lee's adventure, the book jumps hundreds of years into the future to focus on a new protagonist and her cybernetic dolphin. The final issue takes that approach to a whole other level, telling a creation myth while providing closure for the characters. It's quite an accomplishment, and we talked with Snyder and Murphy about how they pulled it off.
In what will doubtlessly prove to be a very good move on DC Comics' part, the publisher has named Mark Doyle as the new Group Editor of its bestselling Batman line. Replacing Mike Marts, who announced a move to Marvel as Senior Editor earlier this month, Doyle will oversee the Dark Knight through the character's 75th anniversary and comes to the Bat books from Vertigo, DC's mature readers line, where he worked -- and will continue to work -- on such favorites as The Wake, American Vampire and Trillium.
2013 was a great year for comics. It feels like a similar statement is made after every year concludes, but 2013 unquestionably saw exceptional work from several creators, across multiple publishers and genres within the medium. To close out the year, we offered what we felt to be the best comics of the year, highlighting dozens of writers and artists whose creative output we felt deserved to be celebrated.
But now we want to hear from you. Readers often offer us their opinions, via the comment section or social media, as to what they’re enjoying, or what they think we missed. Now we’d like you to let us know with your vote, as this week we’re launching the first annual ComicsAlliance Reader Choice Awards. We’ll have two categories per day throughout the week, and you can vote more than once if you like, though you’ll have to wait an hour at least before coming back to vote again. Voting will be open until February 11 at 10 a.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winners shortly after.
You can cast your vote after the cut for the best editor of the year.
Following the recent announcement that Karen Berger will be stepping down as Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of Vertigo, DC Comics has sent out a press release revealing that Shelly Bond, a near 20 year veteran of the imprint, will be promoted to Executive Editor. Additionally, editor Will Dennis and associate editor Mark Doyle have also been promoted.
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