Every month, comic publishers release their solicitation announcements to provide information to readers and retailers on comics that are coming out in three months’ time, but there’s so much information dropped at once that a lot can slip through the cracks.
This month in DC's January solicitations, we've got some surprising guest stars, some surprising guest artists, and the debut of one of the most ambitious books DC has published in a decade.
That is until yesterday at the Diamond Retailer Breakfast, when DC officially announced that the title would arrive next February as part of the second wave of Rebirth comics that also includes Justice League of America and the just-announced Batwoman. Peter J. Tomasi will be writing the title --- which features the adventures of Superboy and Robin --- with rising star Jorge Jimenez handling the art.
A while back DC announced plans to revive Jack Kirby's Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth in January in a form that, to say the least, is a little unique. It's called The Kamandi Challenge, and the idea --- loosely inspired by 1985's DC Challenge and its game of storytelling hot potato --- is that the twelve-issue series will feature a new creative team, randomly paired together from a list of twelve writers and twelve artists for each issue, each picking up the story where the previous team leaves off.
It's an interesting way to mark the 100th anniversary of Kirby's birth in 2017. In advance of New York Comic-Con, DC has revealed a first look at some of the artwork from the series, plus new details of how the creative teams will approach the story.
Superman and the Eradicator have an epic fight on and around the moon in Superman #6, by Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Mick Gray. Superboy --- that is, Superman's son Jonathon Kent -- is also on hand, although he wisely gets out of the Eradicator's way, and Lois Lane is there too, but this is the Lois that's Superman's wife and Jon's mom, not the one who became Superwoman. Mind you, she does have some Batman armor that enables her to survive in space. There's a lot going on here, clearly.
This week, in Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Doug Mahnke's Superman #5, Superman finally decided that the best thing to do about the Eradicator would be to take the fight outside of Metropolis, so he took it to the one place that he knows he has the advantage.
In case you missed it, this week saw Superman and Lois Lane fighting the Eradicator in the Batcave. No, the other Batcave. The one on the moon.
When it comes to the Superman books, we are living in an age of terrifying uncertainty. Like, seriously, I have read every single Superman comic that has come out since DC's latest relaunch, and right about the time the Eradicator showed up to fight Post-Crisis Superman because New 52 Superman was dead, I had to admit that I had no idea how we got here. But with all that uncertainty comes a thrill of excitement, and this week, Superman #4 gave us not one, but two surprising returns, courtesy of Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason.
The first one is actually not all that unexpected: It's Bibbo Bibbowski,the lottery-winning former heavyweight champ best known for being Superman's #1 fan. Considering that he was a staple of Superman's supporting cast in the '90s, his appearance isn't exactly shocking. The guy he's arm-wrestling, though? That one's a surprise.
It’s been noted by more than a few people that the current storyline running through the Superman family of books strongly represents the classic “Reign of the Supermen” event from the mid-'90s, where four new Supermen rose up to attempt to fill the absence left by The Man of Steel following his death fighting the monster Doomsday.
Currently, we have Lex Luthor, Kenan Kong, Lois Lane and the original Pre-Flashpoint Superman, plus his son Jonathan, all now operating under the Superman banner, as well as Supergirl, Steel and the Cyborg Superman. DC isn’t done there though, as this week’s Superman #2 by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray and John Kalisz saw the return of another would-be Superman straight from the '90s.
In the mid-eighties, DC Comics tried a bizarre experiment known as the DC Challenge, a story told by twelve different creative teams over twelve comics, with the catch being that each issue would end on a cliffhanger that the next team would have to get themselves out of. Announced at Emerald City Comic Con, DC is reviving the series in the form of Kamandi Challenge, thirteen creative teams over twelve issues telling one complete story with the classic Jack Kirby character, Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth.
The original DC Challenge featured the likes of Elliot S! Maggin, Mike W. Barr, Dave Gibbons, Gene Colan and so many more legendary creators. and featured the additional caveat that they could use any DC Comics characters, except ones they were currently working with elsewhere. The series culminated in a jam-packed final issue which was divided among six of the previous creative teams.
In the first issue of Alan Moore, Joe Bennett and Keith Giffen's run on Supreme, there's a line about how superhero universes always tend to get really in those last few months right before the universe corrects itself with the latest revision to continuity. With DC's big Rebirth event just over the horizon, that's something that's been on my mind a lot lately, partially because of the inevitable feeling that we're stuck in a holding pattern, and partly because it feels like a pretty accurate description of what's been going on in the pages of Superman.
In this week's Superman #51, Peter J. Tomasi and Mikel Janin are bringing the Man of Steel face-to-face with his mortality with the first part of "The Final Days of Superman." That in itself isn't that weird - Superman's been in mortal peril at least twice a month for the past few decades - but the way they're going about it but that has just enough strangeness on every level to be downright fascinating.
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.
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