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.
Suicide Squad as a franchise is known for shocking deaths when readers least expect it; it was a fundamental part of the original John Ostrander, Kim Yale & Luke McDonnell run.
Regular deaths keep the readers on their toes, and drive home the core concept of the franchise --- but this week's Suicide Squad #2, by Rob Williams, Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair, took a shocking turn when it killed off one of the most iconic members of the team, and brought back an unexpected villain.
As far as Suicide Squad is concerned, DC's big Rebirth event couldn't have happened at a better time. Right as there's a big budget Hollywood movie out featuring Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, and Harley Quinn, the entire universe is giving readers the chance to hop back in on the ground floor with a brand new Suicide Squad #1 from Jim Lee, Jason Fabok and Rob Williams.
Next week the world goes Suicide Squad crazy with the release of the much promoted feature film starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. DC Comics is capitalizing on the buzz by launching a number of new Suicide Squad titles to coincide with the film's release, including a brand new volume of the titular series, and we've got a preview of Suicide Squad Rebirth #1 by Rob Williams, Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion.
Rob Williams and Mike Dowling's social media thriller Unfollow has managed to weave contemporary culture commentary into a tense survival game akin to Battle Royale or The Hunter Games. Vertigo has provided us with an exclusive preview of next month's installment of Unfollow as The 140's numbers begin to drop like flies.
A while back, I wrote about how skeptical I was that a Martian Manhunter solo series could ever really work, and I don't know if I have ever been proven wrong as hard as I have been by the last few months. Somehow, Rob Williams, Eddy Barrows and Ben Oliver have discovered the magic formula that makes that character work, and it involves going way over the top.
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.
This week’s Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad April Fools' Special #1 by Rob Williams, Jim Lee and Sean “Cheeks” Galloway was a fun, cameo-laden romp that saw Harley return to her roots as a psychiatrist for the criminally insane and try to cure the likes of Man-Bat, Killer Moth and Scarecrow. However, the one-shot also served as a jumping off point for one of the biggest books of DC Rebirth with a surprise cliffhanger that saw a classic DC character looking a lot more like their Pre-Flashpoint self.
The issue is drawn mostly by Jim Lee, but during the psychiatry segments the art duties are handed over to Sean Galloway whose trademark cartoon style is a stark-contrast to the cross-hatching and gritted teeth of Lee, but it works surprisingly well. Over the course of the issue, Harley ends up in a fight with the Justice League, in a sequence drawn by Lee, and comes to the conclusion that the superheroes are the real bad guys, and that’s when the reveal kicks in.
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.
I'll admit that I've been a little skeptical about the idea of the Martian Manhunter holding down a solo book. I even wrote a column a while back about why I'm not sure if it could ever work, but one of the biggest problems that I identified back then was that his origin story feels like something that's been done on a much grander scale with Superman. So if you're going to fix him, well, maybe giving him a new origin story is a good place to start.
And in case you missed it, that's exactly what happened this week in Martian Manhunter #10, in which Rob Williams, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Gabe Eltaeb give us a brand new origin for J'onn J'onzz --- and it is both completely bonkers and completely awesome.
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