, the Extreme Studios/Image Comics/Awesome Comics character created by Rob Liefeld and for whom Alan Moore wrote a highly regarded run in the mid-1990s, is coming back, though it's a little hard to say whether the character will look all that familiar to fans.

Image Comics released a rather cryptic press release for Supreme: Blue Rose, a new series by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay, in which it promises to re-introduce Supreme in a whole new way. The new series premieres July 23.

Historically, Supreme -- civilian name Ethan Crane -- has effectively been Moore and co.'s stand-in for Superman, with his own Lois Lane (reporter Diana Dane) and Lex Luthor (mad scientist businessman Darius Dax). The narrative history is fairly complex and known for its layers of meta-commentary on superhero fiction as well as its lack of quality reprints.

Fortunately, it seems extremely (heh) unlikely that Ellis and Lotay's new book will have much if anything to do with what's come before, at least insofar as strict continuity, and will reveal itself to be something more radical, perhaps along the lines of Prophet, the Liefeld creation more or less re-created by Brandon Graham and his collaborators into an epic science fiction saga.

Here's how Ellis described his idea for the new series:

One day I woke up with an idea, that came out of nowhere, for how to extend this most strange and storied of "analogue" properties into a new space. A new floor on top of Alan Moore and Rob Liefeld's house. And, since I had some time on my hands that year, I emailed Image, and we got my friend Tula Lotay involved—and her work will be a revelation to people.

There's also some teaser text in the release:

You are not dreaming.
We are trying to communicate with you.
Local reality has been reinstalled.
Things have gone wrong.
The revision has corrupted.
Finding Ethan Crane is your supreme priority.
We are speaking to you from the ultimate bunker within the structure of multiversal time.
Do not trust Darius Dax.
We are all going to die.

What does it all mean? Who is the character in the teaser Image? Is that the new Supreme, considering that Ethan Crane is apparently lost? Guess we'll just have to wait and see when the first issue drops in July from Image.

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