John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake have a pretty amazing track record. The long-time collaborators are probably best known for their work at DC with titles like The Spectre and Martian Manhunter --- and for the creation of Johnny Karaoke, an extremely minor Batman villain that I might be the only actual fan of --- but now, they're reuniting for a new project. It's called Kros: Hallowed Ground, and it's the story of a vampire hunter taking on the undead at the Battle of Gettysburg.
To fund the new book, Ostrander and Mandrake launched a Kickstarter campaign this week, and to be honest, I'm not sure they've invented a unit of time small enough for how fast I hit that link to get this comic.
Over the past couple of weeks, DC Comics' Convergence event has resulted in some of the most exciting and most bizarre announcements since the company threw out their previous shared universe canon in favor of the "New 52" reboot -- especially since the core idea of next April's big crossover is that they're bringing back a bunch of the versions of characters that they got rid of for a big battle against the new batch. Last week was particularly enticing for long-time fans, teasing us with Greg Rucka's return to writing Renee Montoya in The Question and Gail Simone going back to the fan-favorite pairing of Nightwing/Oracle.
This week, they've attempted to top that with a whole new roster of books, and this time they're set in a pre-Flashpoint Metropolis. The second week's launches will see the return of characters from 1996's Kingdom Come and the landmark Justice League International, plus Louise Simonson writing Steel. Of course, we're also getting Azrael and the return of Larry Hama to writing Batman, so someone out there needs to stop wishing on the Monkey's Paw already.
Q: Just re-read Gotham Central and it got me wondering, what's the deal with the Spectre? -- @BatIssues
A: The Spectre was originally created in 1940 by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, but it's worth noting that some sources -- including legendary editor Roy Thomas, who's about as big a fan of DC's Golden Age titles as you're likely to find -- give Siegel full credit for the whole concept, and that's the first interesting point. After all, Siegel is, as you may have heard, the co-creator of arguably the most enduring and significant character in comics history, who's known for his incredible physical strength: Slam Bradley.
Tuesday marked the second annual Image Expo, the banner event where Image Comics announces its slate of upcoming projects for the year to come. Last year's expo featured announcements of a slew of new comics; this year's had a similar abundance of news, so much of it from established Marvel creators that comics creator Phil Hester took it upon himself to (probably jokingly) announce via Twitter that Marvel's creator-owned imprint Icon "is done."
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