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Tag: DC Comics (1-10 of 20)

On the Books: R.L. Stine, comic publishers embrace the digital age

The Stephen King of children’s literature is as prolific on Twitter as he is in print. R.L. Stine has more than 18,900 tweets, and yesterday he devoted 14 of those to a new bite-sized story. Just in time for Halloween, Stine made the announcement last night:

Stine rattled off the sub-2,000 character story in about five minutes, and then told followers to go watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. [The Huffington Post]

High-profile children’s favorites haven’t always been so readily available—at least, until now. Action Comics #1, the 1938 DC Comics issue that introduced Superman, sold for $3.2 million in August. That collector might be kicking himself now. CGC Comics, an independent grading authority, has scanned the comic in full and posted it online for free consumption—and given it a 9 out of 10 rating, to boot. The comic features characters and stories besides Superman, so readers should get ready to fall in love with lost DC greats like “Zatara: Master Musician” and “Scoop Scanlon, Five Star Reporter.” [CNN]

That vintage comic isn’t the only one getting the digital treatment. Toronto-based e-reader company Kobo has added more than 250 issues of Marvel comics to its virtual collection, including The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. “Marvel is excited about our partnership with Kobo and happy to have the opportunity to provide fans, new and existing, another great way to experience our legendary content,” said David Gabriel, a Senior Vice President at Marvel. Fans will be able to enjoy the comics on Kobo’s own readers or the apps the company produces for other phones and tablets. Comic purists might welcome this news after a week of decidedly cinema-oriented announcements from Marvel. [Mediabistro]

We all know the feeling of identifying with a fictional character—but what if you shared a name with a literary creation? Next month we’ll find out just how much people are willing to pay for that privilege. On Nov. 20, the Royal Institution of Great Britain will host an event dedicated to ending torture, and authors have pledged to auction off characters in their upcoming novels to raise funds for the cause. Big names including Ian McEwan and Margaret Atwood have already signed on for what organizers are calling “the Immortality Auction.” Can’t make it across the pond for the event? Online bidding goes live on Oct. 29. [NPR]

Prepare for 'The Flash' with DC Comics' 'Season Zero'

While the Flash is gearing up for a run on his own CW series, debuting Oct. 7, you can get a jump on the scarlet speedster’s adventures today with DC Comics’ Digital First series The Flash: Season Zero.

Written by executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, along with series writers Brooke Eikmeier and Katherine Walczak, The Flash: Season Zero takes place after the pilot and before the rest of the series. It follows the young superhero as he begins to learn his powers with the help of his S.T.A.R. Labs team, under guidance of the suspicious Harrison Wells, as well as his role as protector of Central City as he faces off against newly super-empowered criminals.

While the Flash’s main Rogues Gallery, including Weather Wizard, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave, are scheduled to appear on the TV series, there’s still a limit to the scope of what the showrunners can realistically produce for television. The comic book series, however, will take advantage of artistic expertise of Phil Hester, showing The Flash take on even more outlandish foes from the DC Universe, starting with Circus Barker Mr. Bliss, and his Carnival of Metahuman Freaks.

But the comic won’t just be all spectacle. Expect more intimate moments between Barry and his supporting cast; his imprisoned father Henry Allen, mentor Detective West, best friend/unrequited love Iris West, and her new beau, Officer Eddie Thawne. With each issue containing some clues hinting at future episode storylines, the writers ultimately want this to enrich the TV viewing experience. Just don’t expect an Arrow/Flash crossover in these pages. Due to the shifting timelines between the series, the writers are saving that for the screen.

The first chapter of The Flash Season Zero is available today. New issues of The Flash and Arrow will be available bi-weekly, alternating every Monday, and they will also be collected and published monthly, the first print issue of which will be available on Oct. 1, the week before the TV series’ season premiere. Check out a sample of the artwork below by Phil Hester.

THE-FLASH-SEASON-ZERO-01.jpg

Image Credit: DC Entertainment

'Arrow' returns in digital-first 'Season 2.5' comic by Mark Guggenheim

Anxious to leap back into another season of Arrow? Waiting with baited breath for Oliver and Felicity to explore their feelings for one another? Painfully awaiting the fate of Detective Lance?

The third season of the CW superhero vigilante TV series Arrow will return in just a few weeks, but fans can start catching up now on all the Team Arrow action with DC’s digital-first comic Arrow: Season 2.5. Written by Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim and executive story editor Keto Shimizu, who both write for the show, Season 2.5 will pick up directly after the last moments of the show’s season-two finale, leading fans right up to the opening moments of the season-three premiere.

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Lois Lane to star in new YA novel

FALL-OUT

Although she hasn’t been treated particularly well in cinemas lately, there’s plenty to like about Lois Lane that isn’t related to Superman. A hard-nosed investigative reporter with an army brat upbringing and a tenacious attitude, it’s kind of remarkable that, outside of a few comic books, Lois Lane hasn’t had more time in the spotlight. But next year, that will change: Lois Lane is making the transition from comics to prose next year in Lois Lane: Fallout, a new young adult novel. READ FULL STORY

Breaking down 'The Multiversity,' the 'Inception' of event comics

Comic books, like movies, have a pervasive blockbuster culture. Much like studios flood multiplexes each summer (and increasingly, the entire year) with big-budget, effects-heavy popcorn flicks, the Big Two publishers—Marvel and DC—churn out “event comics.” These are seasonal miniseries that mash up the biggest characters in the craziest stories. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don’t—and whether they’re good or bad rarely matters. They sell.

But as easy as it is to wax cynical about both blockbuster movies and event comics, sometimes something comes along that’s worth all the hype. That promises spectacle and smarts and mind-bending twists. An Inception of sorts.

The Multiversity is the Inception of event comics. Kind of. It’s also much, much stranger.

Masterminded by writer and mad genius Grant Morrison, The Multiversity has been in the works since 2009, when Morrison first spoke of the project. Since then, the details have changed a bit—he intended for it to be released the following year, for example—but the goal has always been the same: a wildly ambitious story spanning the 52 worlds of the DC Comics multiverse, which this story effectively maps out for the first time.

A nine-issue miniseries, The Multiversity consists of two framing stories at the beginning and end, a guidebook, and six single-issue stories each focusing on a different universe. One of these comics, the seventh, will take place from the readers’ perspective, promising to make them the world’s first real superhero. Morrison also says, both in interviews and within the narrative, that that comic is haunted, cursed somehow.

This is not your average comic book—unless you want it to be. Taken out of context, The Multiversity functions very well as a propulsive blockbuster of a story, one about a group of heroes plucked from different realms who band together to fight a malignant force that threatens the entire multiverse. It’s like The Avengers, but with quantum physics. And since each subsequent issue sets up an entirely new universe, you could presumably read the whole series as a fun romp through wildly different takes on your favorite DC characters.

But then there are the strange parts. The pages and panels that don’t quite fit. That hint at something more.

Morrison is known for his metatextual take on superheroes. In iconic runs on characters like Batman, Superman, and the X-Men, Morrison has proven himself to be a master at taking decades of stories and compressing them into a single memetic idea that he then explores in five dimensions. In a medium where fans are obsessed about which stories “count” and contribute to an ongoing narrative, Morrison instead holds that they all do. So what if Carver Ellis, the black Superman of Earth 23, isn’t the “main” Superman—he’s just as fictional, and therefore just as real.

“One world’s reality is another’s fiction,” says anthropomorphic rabbit hero Captain Carrot (Earth-26) in The Multiversity’s first issue. Comic books, the characters discover, are the “messages in bottles from neighboring universes,” the glue holding the overarching narrative of The Multiversity together.

Of course, you the reader experience other worlds in much the same way, and Morrison isn’t one to let that opportunity pass him by. As the threat to the multiverse crosses into different worlds across different comic books, it will eventually attack this one—the real world in which you are reading this very article.

“The bad guys in Multiversity who are attacking the entire multiversal structure are also attacking the real world, and this comic [the seventh] is their only way through right now,” Morrison said in an interview with Comics Alliance. “So it becomes the reader versus the bad guy on the page. I think it’s actually quite scary, this thing. It scared me!”

That, in a nutshell, is what makes The Multiversity a one-of-a-kind comic book. It’s simultaneously a celebration of superheroes and the comic book medium, a meditation on the role of fiction in the real world, and an experiment in modern mythmaking. It could be a disaster. It could be fantastic. But it doesn’t start until you read it.

You’ll see.

Wonder Woman arrives in Gotham in DC's 'Sensation Comics'

On Wednesday, DC Comics will release Sensation Comics, a Wonder Woman anthology that exists outside the New52 Continuity, the next step in their Digital First comic book line. The series is made to be accessible to casual readers who may not be caught up on the continuity reboots and relaunches that DC Comics have put forth over the years; the story brings back the pre-New52 Oracle identity of Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl), and it boasts ComiXology driven digital accessibility matched with the top-notch creative talent pairings. (And yes—paper purists will be pleased to know they do a great job on the print editions.)

The Amazon Princess’s adventures this time around are written by Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) and Amanda Deibert with art by Ethan van Sciver (Green Lantern, Flash: Rebirth) and Cat Staggs. Simone and van Sciver previously collaborated on “The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men.” Working in the digital format is still a new experience for both creators, though ultimately they want to convey the essence of Wonder Woman and what makes her stand out from Superman, Batman, and other heroes.

To amp up that contrast, the first story sees Wonder Woman swooping into Gotham to deal with Batman’s Rogues Gallery at Oracle’s behest, where her characteristic compassion will be tested. And with several super-villains and psychos on the loose, the fun comic book superheroine will likely make good use of her Greek-god arsenal, with weapons like the greatly under-appreciated boomerang tiara.

Below, see a preview and read an introduction (from the comic book’s solicit) of what happens when Paradise Island meets Arkham Asylum.

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Image Credit: DC Entertainment

SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #1
Written by GAIL SIMONE and AMANDA DEIBERT
Art by ETHAN VAN SCIVER and CAT STAGGS
Cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER

Diana Prince: Amazon warrior, ambassador to Man’s world, or champion of women in need? All of the above! This digital-first anthology series will bring some of comics’ greatest talents to Themyscira, and give them leave to explore Diana, her world – and ours!

Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver kick things off when Oracle calls for help after the entire Bat-Family gets sidelined. But when Wonder Woman steps into the breach, Gotham City’s criminals get the surprise of their lives! Then, Amanda Deibert and Cat Staggs take Diana to school, where she meets her biggest fan!

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'Trillium' and 'The Bunker' are time-travel comics about the present

In some ways, pop culture is a form of passive time travel. Any given work is informed by the time in which it was made, and the act of creation is also an act of preservation—our books and shows and music are all bits of dilated time, worlds perfectly preserved for us to visit at will and think of all the ways in which we have changed.

As complex a subject as time travel can be, almost all time-travel stories start with a simple choice: forward or backward? Regardless of which is chosen, or how complex the means by which that decision is made, the result is often the same: We, the readers, learn what we will become or attempt to fix what we were.

Time-travel stories, then, never really make the most poignant statements about the past or the future, but the present.

Released simultaneously in the first week of August, Trillium by Jeff Lemire and The Bunker Vol. 1 by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari are both graphic novels about time travel that succeed by focusing on something human and personal rather than getting caught up in the whys and wherefores of their sci-fi.

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DC Entertainment launching 'Arrow' and 'Flash' digital comics

The CW’s returning hit show Arrow and the upcoming The Flash might be based off of well-known comics, but the shows themselves are about to get digital comics of their own.

DC Comics announced that it is creating Arrow: Season 2.5 and The Flash: Season Zero to launch this Fall. In the new digital series, which will be written by the showrunners of Arrow and The Flash, the stories will fit into the timeline of the show, giving fans a glimpse at what happens when the show isn’t on the air. For Arrow fans, that means everything from “Olicity” action to meeting new characters.

First reported by TV Guide, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim will write the comic alongside fellow Arrow writer Keto Shimizu. “It will take us from the end of season two right up to the beginning of season three,” Guggenheim told TV Guide. “We’ve tried to put in all the elements that people like about the show, so there will be Oliver and Felicity banter. We’re going to see what’s happened to Detective Lance after he collapsed in the season finale. A good chunk of the burning questions left over will get answered in the tie-in comic.” READ FULL STORY

DC Comics gives Batgirl a hip new costume and a Brooklyn-esque life

Batgirl, meet Girls.

On Thursday, DC Comics announced that a new creative team will be taking over Batgirl this October with a story that has protagonist Barbara Gordon losing everything in a fire and starting over from scratch. The new creative team consists of co-writers Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart, along with artist Babs Tarr.

The team broke the news over at MTV, dishing on what readers can expect from their run: after losing it all, Barbara Gordon moves to Burnside, Gotham’s hip, Brooklyn-esque neighborhood, for grad school and good times.

“That’s where we kick off our run,” Fletcher told MTV. “Introducing this part of the city known for expensive coffee, fixie bikes, vintage shops and breakout bands.” READ FULL STORY

Wonder Woman returns in digital-first 'Sensation Comics' issue -- EXCLUSIVE COVER

Ever since her cover debut on Sensation Comics back in 1942, Wonder Woman proved that superheroics weren’t just a boy’s club, joining Superman and Batman as the top-selling comics of the day. Now, more than 70 years later, Princess Diana reclaims her top spot with DC Comics’ new weekly, digital-first anthology series Sensation Comics, alongside the popular Adventures of Superman and Legends of the Dark Knight.

DC’s digital-first series are a way to put out non-continuity-driven stories by a rotating cast of creators who, unbound by the New52 Universe, can feel free to tell stories about the characters from any point in their vast history and deliver their unique takes. For both casual and die-hard fans, it provides accessible, well-crafted tales about the greatest superheroes of the DC Universe on a weekly basis, readable on all digital formats via DC’s ComiXology app and then collected in print afterward.

Below is the exclusive cover of Sensation Comics issue 2, by artist Gene Ha: READ FULL STORY

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