A new Swamp Thing, a new Frankenstein, and more: DC Comics will roll out more new #1s

DC Comics continues to roll out announcements of new first-issues featuring famous characters and creators in striking combinations. This morning we start off with two highly intriguing combos: Scott Snyder, who’s been doing such strong work on American Vampire, will write a new version of Swamp Thing, and Jeff Lemire, author of one of comics’ finest current books, Sweet Tooth, is taking on Animal Man. Since re-workings of Swamp Thing and Animal Man are so closely associated with other, earlier writers (Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, respectively), these re-re-imaginings are bound to be both fascinating and, perhaps inevitably, subjects of debate.

Other new supernatural/fantasy/horror-themed books that will be announced by DC Comics today and scheduled to publish in September include:

Justice League Dark, what DC terms “a band of supernatural heroes” — John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu (wouldn’t it be cool if they really were supposed to be a band?) – written by Peter Milligan.

Demon Knights, super-heroism set in medieval times, a premise that would have me yawning except that it’s being written by Paul Cornell, who did such a terrific job recently on Knight and Squire, and on Lex Luthor in Action Comics.

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, which may be the most below-the-radar promising of all. The writer is again Jeff Lemire, taking the Frankenstein monster and turning him/it into an action hero alongside other fictional monsters in the service of a government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive. This giddy mish-mash has the potential for either delicious cleverness or disastrous offal. Either way, I’m in for issue #1.

DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio told me these new titles are intended to “shake up the status quo” and to take the company and its creators “out of their comfort zone,” to inspire “new, fresh” creativity.

Twitter: @kentucker

For more: Batman publisher DC Comics to renumber all comics

Comments (66 total) Add your comment
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  • Brendan

    That Frankenstein title sounds reminiscent of the Creature Commandos feature I used to enjoy in Weird War comics back in the 80’s…

    • prescotti

      I still have these, loved those comics.

  • DanT

    I never thought I’d see the day when John Constantine is in the Justice League. Any version of the Justice League.

  • JLC

    Boy, they are going to have to be really REALLY careful with Swamp Thing. Moore’s take on the character is iconic and probably single-handedly led to the boom in supernatural comics (Hellblazer, Sandman, etc.).

    • Sina

      You are right! They do have to be carefully with Swamp Thing. Especially after the Epic 80’s movie version. The way you could see his zipper on the custume. The way he healed that Black boy back to life. The way the chick was in that t-shirt bouncing around like crazy. The way sun could make his arm grow back. You can remake a movie that good.

      • Doh!

        Oooh, sarcasm, me likey.

  • Brett

    You can almost smell the desperation as some 25 years of originality is tossed out the window.

  • Black Adder

    Cracks me up when we the fans complain and complain, yet just keep buying the comics we rant about. LOL!

    If you want the publisher to not go this way, then don’t buy any. The sales figures are what DC’ll pay attention to the most, not the complaints of old school fans (of which I’m one). DC is currently less concerned with pleasing the old schoolers like us and more about bringing in new blood fans from the realms of video games (DCU Online anyone?) and the internet, which have taken vast amounts of attentions away from comics in recent years.

    This is all about attracting new readers and a big downfall in doing that over time (for both DC and Marvel) has been the vast and confusing amount of past continuity. Hell, we’ve already been given continuity revamps up the wahzoo at DC like the three Crisis stories, Zero Hour, Hypertime…..I’d feel daunted if I were a newbie reader!

    DC realizes they can’t keep sustaining their BUSINESS just catering to a certain fanbase of pre-existing comic readers. They want to draw in new ones too.

    I’m on a wait and see with all this. I’ll wait and see how the titles of my choosing are. If I like them, great. If not, no more. ;)

  • redvector

    That Frankenstein series sounds like The Creature Commmado’s meets and or ripsoff Hellboy.

    • Black Adder

      Well Creature Commandos DOES predate Hellboy, so if either were a rip-off it’d be the other way around. ;)

  • Gabriel

    this re #-ing thing is the stupidest idea of all the things dc has done…why not just bring the new teams …this only would work if it where done like the ultimate series that marvel did ..so so stupid..

    • Jhon

      If you ever dpopred that book on your foot … *shudder*.What an amazing acquisition, m’dear and thank you for sharing such pretty pictures.

  • Russ Burlingame

    Very exciting projects, but maybe nobody told Tucker: Comics are a medium that typically have both writers AND artists.

  • Flip

    None of this interests me. The only book I am guaranteed to pick up is Judd Winick’s Catwoman.

  • Russ Burlingame

    JLC – I think they need to be careful with Swamp Thing only because this relaunch is important for them as a business plan. There have been a half-dozen or so mediocre, half-assed relaunches since Moore’s and the thing they all have in common is that they don’t “ruin” the property. The good stuff will always be there for fans to read, and DC has made Len Wein’s and Alan Moore’s stuff pretty easy to find in collected editions in recent years.

    • JLC

      I guess I keep forgetting that the comics companies keep playing the “reboot game.” This one is supposed to be different, but I know it’s going to turn out same-old, same-old. I know it’s impossible to “ruin” a character, but it’s still a bummer that they feel the need to do this.

      • Sith Lord J

        It doesn’t Matter to DC they are wiping the Killing Joke from their comic history with Barbara Gordon returning as Batgirl.

      • apO

        They can wipe The Killing Joke from comic history but that still won’t ruin the book for me. I will still read it and still love it. The Dark Knight Returns doesn’t take place in DC Continuity but that doesn’t take away my enjoyment of the book

  • DanT

    It all comes down to the creative teams and how entertaining the books are. Numbering and continuity are side issues you have to teach yourself to ignore.

  • MWeyer

    I love how Marvel are taking shots at DC for doing this when they started the whole renumbering craze (Wolverine has had at least six “#1″ issues) and also retconned twenty years of Peter Parker/Mary Jane marriage storylines out of existence.

    • Boniswa

      They’re not geittng the whole book, Gary, just the cover. I’m assuming a big bonfire or a trip to the recycler.

  • Christopher Kaufman

    DC has been the most innovative company in regards to comicbooks (not movies) period. From Vertigo to this relaunch, I can say I’ve never been more excited. This takes NOTHING away from what they have accomplished in the past.

    • Michelle

      I call paid shill on this comment.

      • Sandhya

        ksenri1 on April 16, 2011 etzel33! Wind turbines have a little accessory called ‘vane’ which detects the direction the wind is coming from and turns the turbine into that direction…dooooh!!!

  • Esox

    This all will be in place until the next Epic Universe Threatening Crisis, and then everything will go back to normal..except for a few minor costume changes.

    • DavidJ

      Ha ha, you’re probably right. But still, as an old DC fan I’m all for this. The continuity and mythology has gotten so muddled and complex by this point that things really did need to be reset and simplified a bit.

      • JLC

        That’s what they said about Crisis on Infinite Earths 25 years ago. I guess we should check back again 25 years from now.

      • David

        How about a story in each comic that resolves itself? Why do you need to read 50 issues to resolve a plot?

    • Mike and Ike

      What the frig is a crisis on infinite earths?

      • MWeyer

        Major DC event in 1985 that restructed their universe (which had about a dozen different Earths filled with their own seperate heroes) into a more managable continuity. Damn good story too, awesome George Perez art.

      • JLC

        What MWeyer said. When DC rebooted their line in the early 60s(!), they stated that all the 30s and 40s Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. stories had happened on a parallel Earth. Same with other characters that existed on other Earths. Crisis wiped out all the Earths but one, and melded all the continuities into one. A lot of characters “ceased to exist,” although I understand a lot of the Crisis has been undone over the last two decades. (Hence the need for another reboot.)

      • mark

        Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985 rewrote all the history of the DC Universe, eventually negating all the stories that happened in the past 40 years before it. This allowed DC to get rid of much of their convoluted history and start fresh. They did a reboot again, around 2008-2009 with Infinite Crisis, wiping out some of the past 25 year. We are in a cycling down reboot loop with comics getting rebooted faster and faster. Just look at Wonder Women that just rebooted this year.

      • Mike and Ike

        Thanks for the explanation, even though it made my head spin. You do realize that this doesn’t sound at all appealing to someone who has never read comics regularly before. It sounds like a mess. And I read somewhere that they are releasing 52 new starts. Do they really think a new reader is going to be turned on by this? I mean, really? REALLY? Even if I had the money to buy them, I’d still run for the hills. Way too much.

      • Mike and Ike

        By the way, when you say ‘DC Universe’, is that like the Star Trek world where all the star treks take place in the same universe? Because I always thought Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman were all on the same planet. Except on Smallville. Warner Brothers won’t let Batman in Smallville. Oh, forget it. I give up.

      • JLC

        M&I, the “Marvel Universe” has always been better integrated than the “DC Universe” because Marvel/Timely wasn’t nearly as popular as DC through the 40s and 50s. Hence, it was easier for Stan Lee to have all his characters interact on one Earth (although I understand Marvel is a bit of a mess now, too). DC kind of came off the rails in the 60s when they created new versions of The Flash, Green Lantern, etc. and had to explain all the old versions (and the Superman, Batman, WW that interacted with them). Hence, the multiple “Earths.” Yes, it is confusing.

      • JLC

        Plus, while Batman, Superman and other DC characters do interact in the same “world,” it’s a little different because they were originally created separately, so they come from different made-up cities like Metropolis, Gotham, etc. Marvel had the benefit of setting everything in the “real” world, i.e. New York City, so they never had to explain all the different mythical towns. Again, confusing.

  • Bizzaro Mike

    Except Swamp Thing the rest of the title look awful…not wasting my $$$ even to try these…second rate characters in third rate books…

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