SHUT IN THEATER: Weekend Reading 43

Well, it’s been another week, and that means it’s time for Weekend Reading 43! As usual for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, here at Stately Beat Manor, we’ll be passing the time by getting lost in a good book.

What will you be reading this weekend? We’d love to hear about your reading plans in the comment section!

Weekend Reading 43: The Matrix Comics

AVERY KAPLAN: This weekend, I’ll be reading Marvel Action: Captain Marvel: Cosmic CAT-tastrophe by Sam Maggs, Sweeney Boo, Brittany Peer, and Christa Miesner. Borne of the collaboration between IDW and Marvel, the story follows a full-scale Flerken invasion! Then, I’ll be revisited The Matrix Comics, edited by Spencer Lamm. It’s been (a very long) year since I’ve read it, so it seems like a good time!

Weekend Reading 43: The Usagi Yojimbo Saga

TAIMUR DAR: Continuing my deep dive into the original Usagi Yojimbo stories from Stan Sakai. This weekend I’ll be reading the massive collection of The Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volumes 1 and 2 that Dark Horse published a few years ago. They’re no longer in print but thanks to the libby app I’m able to read the adventures of Miyamoto Usagi from the comfort at home through my iPad.  

Weekend Reading 43: Inuyasha

ARPAD OKAY: This weekend, I’m starting Rumiko Takahashi’s manga Inuyasha. A 90s kid slash descendant of a legendary warrior is ripped through time and bound to the book’s titular half-demon to undertake a quest that will last a million trade paperbacks. I can’t undersell how much I love Takahashi’s Ranma 1/2a chaotic and hilarious and whip-smart martial arts romantic comedy. I look forward to a similar endless parade of formidable and unexpected adversaries. Powerful women. Some wild monster-demon-yokai Go Nagai looking foes as well. Probably some awkward love stories. Fun. I predict this read will be fun, a total blast, a classic that will hold up to the hype.

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For the forty-third weekend in a row, The Beat team shares their reading plans.

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INTERVIEW: Javicia Leslie on becoming BATWOMAN and the power of representation

This Sunday sees the return of The CW’s Batwoman series, albeit with a significant difference: actress Javicia Leslie has joined the series as its new lead, playing brand-new character Ryan Wilder. The addition makes Leslie the first Black woman to portray Batwoman, and the second openly gay actress to star on the series after previous lead Ruby Rose. Ahead of the second season premiere for Batwoman, Leslie sat down with members of the press to answer questions about joining the series, making Batwoman her own, the importance of representation, and much more.

Actress Javicia Leslie

The session kicked off with a question about Leslie’s first impression of Ryan Wilder. She described Ryan as “the opposite of Gotham,” showing a different perspective on the city that viewers usually get from rich and powerful characters like Bruce Wayne. As an actress with a martial arts background, Leslie said that it has helped her to do a lot of her own stunts on the series, and that it gives her a common language to use with the stunt coordinators when blocking an action sequence.

Regarding any pressure she may have felt as a new actor playing a new character joining an existing show, Leslie said she experienced the opposite. “My only job was to really create the world of Ryan,” she said, “to make sure that that felt authentic and grounded.” She said she felt confident in doing that given the solid foundation the series had already established for itself.

On the importance of Ryan’s sexuality, Leslie likened the introduction of Ryan, even before Leslie was cast, as an out lesbian to Leslie’s own description upon her casting as “the first Black Batwoman.” The actress acknowledged the role that those titles play in media, and that it highlights the importance of representation in all corners of media. “We’re reducing our representation, but it doesn’t change the population of who is a part of that community,” she said, “So that’s why it’s necessary to say it. That’s why it’s necessary to find some kind of way that finally people of that community can identify with superheroes.” Leslie said that Ryan Wilder’s sexuality is “not talked about, it exists, which is reality.” Whereas Kate Kane had a coming out story during the show’s first season, Leslie said Ryan is past that phase of her life, particularly given the character’s background as an orphan and a foster child.

Asked about Ryan Wilder’s similarities to Bruce Wayne in terms of deriving her power from the Batsuit, Leslie said she felt the same thing herself when she donned the uniform. “We’re all trying to find a way to find our superhero suit,” she said, and described Ryan as tired of having no one to protect her and her community. Leslie said her position at the intersection of Blackness, Black womanhood, and queerness, she recognized the importance and power of that representation, and praised the series for being “very specific” rather than trying to please or represent “the masses.”

In reference to what she hopes viewers take away from Ryan Wilder, Leslie said she has always felt like what she sees in superhero shows is “the opposite of me,” whereas Ryan is more relatable. “She’s not some rich, wealthy socialite. She is literally like all of us, and she’s now entering this world of fantasy. You can really imagine yourself in that world through Ryan’s journey.”

A question was asked about what Ryan Wilder’s possibly interaction with Bruce Wayne might be like. “They definitely will have their own dynamic,” Leslie said, adding that “it gets addressed right away” in the season premiere. Asked about sitting in the Batmobile, Leslie described the car as “powerful” and with its own energy even before you get into it. She praised the designers and production team who brought the car to life. “It’s super-fun and epic, and super-cool that young kids are going to get to see this Batwoman in the Batmobile.”

With a new generation of young viewers likely to see her as an inspiration, Leslie described the situation as “surreal,” and said she’s “super-excited to see little kids with big afros representing Batwoman. I wish that I had a superhero to watch on television every week that I could feel myself being represented through,” she continued, “And I just pray that this opens doors for more characters to be represented in our superhero communities.” Asked who her personal hero is, Leslie named her mom, a single mother and retired member of the Army who raised her and her brother. “If that isn’t a superhero I don’t know what a superhero is,” she said.

On the responsibility of being a role model for young children of color, Leslie described learning Black history herself as a child in a majority African-American school district, saying that she “learned Black history in a different way than I’m sure a lot of other African-American kids.” She said that all of the Black entertainers she learned about – Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, James Baldwin, and others – were not only actors and artists but also activists because they had to be. She said she remembers the moment as a child when she realized, “I want what I do in my life to make such an impact that 20, 40, 60 years later there’s a kid reading about what I was able to do for our world, for our people, and I wanted to do it through my art, through my passion.” She said she prays that her legacy is one that gives underrepresented people who view her work the inspiration to make a difference just as she was inspired by those she learned about when she was younger.

A question was asked about whether Ryan will connect with any characters during the second season in a similar way that, during the first season of the series, Kate Kane connected with a young lesbian character who ended up seeing Kate as a role model. Leslie praised the character, Parker Torres, and said she hopes they’re able to bring her back at some point. Leslie went on to say that a character introduced in the script that she just read may end up being a similar character. “I can definitely see this character being impacted by who Ryan is in Gotham, by who Batwoman is in Gotham, especially when we’re living in a world where our ‘police’ are not being held accountable for their actions. Ryan definitely is on the side of, if she were real she would say, ‘Arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor.’ That’s the perspective that she comes from.” Leslie also described an encounter that Ryan has in her early days as Batwoman in which she meets a young girl who addresses her as Batwoman. Ryan quickly says that she’s not Batwoman, but the girl says “To me you are.”

The changes to the Batsuit were mentioned, with Ryan Wilder donning her own version of the suit as compared to Kate Kane’s suit and even Bruce Wayne’s suit. Leslie said she “felt a shift in myself in owning the character” when she switched from the Kate Kane suit to Wilder’s suit. She said wearing the previous suit felt like wearing someone else’s shoes, and that the first time she put on the newly-designed costume “felt like ‘This is it. This is our Batwoman.’ At the end of the day, the suit represents a legacy. It’s not that only one person can wear the suit.” She mentions the history of Batman’s suit being donned by others when Bruce Wayne was missing or incapacitated, saying, “It’s not about the last name, it’s about the character of the person, it’s about the morality of the person, and Ryan has that. She may not come from wealth and prestige, but she’s a person that knows what’s right and what’s wrong and will always fight for what’s right.”

A questioner mentions Ryan’s drive in the first episode of the season, and how that will help or hurt her throughout the season. Leslie said, between quarantining and costume fittings, she had six to eight weeks to spend getting to know Ryan and her past, so when she first saw Ryan’s drive in the first script she understood it in the context of where Ryan came from. She also described her history with foster care – Leslie’s grandmother’s sister was a foster parent, so she has cousins who were foster kids – and how it helped her understand Ryan’s life and perspective, and her reaction to the murder of her adoptive mother. “I’m going to have that type of energy or that type of drive every time I get a chance to avenge her death or save anyone.” She said part of Ryan’s journey is in learning to focus that drive and energy in service of a bigger picture. She also teased how an event that takes place at the end of the season premiere will impact Ryan’s journey in a way that reflects the character’s strength and pride, for better or worse.

Leslie said she has not yet seen her action figure, but that she’s excited to have one. Asked about comic influences of her own, Leslie said she was raised on comic book movies and TV shows, but that she didn’t read them herself as her brother wouldn’t let her touch his collection and her mom wouldn’t buy them for her. She said that, after she didn’t develop magical powers like Sabrina the Teenage Witch when she was a teenager, Batman became her favorite hero because he’s a person who doesn’t have powers but is still a hero.

The dynamic between Ryan Wilder and Alice was mentioned as being very different from that of Alice and Kate Kane (they were sisters). Leslie said that people do things sometimes without realizing what consequences they will have for others, which is something Alice will have to face over the course of the season. “She’s unleashed a lot of evil on Gotham, but the story never follows the homeless person in the alley who was affected by what she did. So now she’s being met with the impact of her actions, so it’s definitely going to be a very interesting relationship between the two. It’s going to be a huge part of the season and in Ryan’s journey and Alice’s journey.”

Javicia Leslie debuts as Ryan Wilder in the season 2 premiere of Batwoman this Sunday, January 17th, on The CW.

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“Ryan definitely is on the side of, if she were real she would say, ‘Arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor.’ That’s the perspective that she comes from.”

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DC reveals details, character art for upcoming RWBY/JUSTICE LEAGUE crossover

Earlier today, as part of DC’s solicitations material for April 2021 titles, the publisher announced an upcoming crossover between the heroes of the Justice League and Team RWBY, to be written by Marguerite Bennett and illustrated by Aneke. Now DC has released additional details on RWBY/Justice League, including that artists Stephanie Pepper and Emanuela Lupacchino will also be working on the seven-issue digital-first series. Along with those details, DC has also revealed Aneke’s designs for the seven Justice League members featured in the story.

Here’s how DC describes the series:

RWBY/Justice League introduces fans of manga and superheroes to the Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince of Remnant, fighting with Team RWBY. A new Grimm is running rampant across the island of Patch, and Ruby and Yang must team up with a young red and blue-clad farm boy to stop it! Meanwhile, Blake meets a mysterious woman who’s suddenly appeared on Menagerie, but her purpose for being there remains a secret. And why does she act like she hasn’t been around modern society?

DC has published multiple RWBY comics since 2019, but this miniseries will be the first time the characters interact with heroes from the DC Universe. Check out Aneke’s character designs for the Justice League, as well as the cover for the first issue by Mirka Andolfo and more info from DC on the series, below. RWBY/Justice League #1 arrives digitally on Tuesday, March 9th, with a print release date of April 27th.

Following the fun and excitement of comic book limited series like gen:LOCK and the first RWBY, Rooster Teeth and DC are joining forces once again, this time to combine the worlds of their popular anime/manga series with the World’s Greatest Super Heroes in RWBY/Justice League, a weekly Digital First series debuting on participating digital platforms such as Comixology, Amazon Kindle and Apple on Tuesday, March 9, with new chapters released every week. RWBY/Justice League will also be released in print as a monthly seven-issue series, launching Tuesday, April 27. Each print issue will contain two digital chapters.

Written by Marguerite Bennett (Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman, RWBY, DC Comics Bombshells) and featuring art by Aneke (Future State: Batgirls), Stephanie Pepper (The Mummy) and Emanuela Lupacchino (Future State: Gotham City Sirens, Birds of Prey), this seven-issue monthly miniseries brings Team RWBY face to face with DC’s paragons of justice.

RWBY/Justice League introduces fans of manga and superheroes to the Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince of Remnant, fighting with Team RWBY. A new Grimm is running rampant across the island of Patch, and Ruby and Yang must team up with a young red and blue-clad farm boy to stop it! Meanwhile, Blake meets a mysterious woman who’s suddenly appeared on Menagerie, but her purpose for being there remains a secret. And why does she act like she hasn’t been around modern society?

Featuring a stunning cover by Mirka Andolfo (RWBY, Harley Quinn, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman) and a card stock variant cover by Simone Di Meo (Future State: Harley Quinn), this unique team up is sure to be a hit with fans of superheroes and manga alike!

For more information on RWBY, check out the series homepage at www.roosterteeth.com/series/rwby. For information on Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the World’s Greatest Super Heroes, check out the DC Comics website at www.dccomics.com, and follow on social media @DCComics and @thedcnation.

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The digital-first crossover series debuts in print in April 2021.

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There will be no Arrowverse crossover in 2021 due to COVID-19

One of the staples of The CW’s Arrowverse of DC Comics-inspired TV shows has been the annual crossover. Once between just Arrow and The Flash, the crossover grew as the lineup of Arrowverse series expanded, with last year’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover spanning five series (plus a sixth if you include the ‘red skies’ tie-in on Black Lightning). The upcoming year of Arrowverse series will look a little different, though, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the effects is a big one: as reported by EW, there will be no Arrowverse crossover in 2021.

In May a planned crossover between Batwoman and the upcoming Superman & Lois series was announced, which may or may not have featured characters from other series as well. A lot has changed since then, though, including the departure of Ruby Rose from the former series, the casting of Javicia Leslie as new Batwoman Ryan Wilder, and the delay of the return of all of The CW’s series as a result of the pandemic, which still at this point has no real end in sight. Earlier this week Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries confirmed to EW that the smaller crossover had been scrapped.

The cancellation of this year’s Arrowverse crossover is not a huge surprise, given the production restrictions in place in order for the series to safely film amid the pandemic. It also makes a little sense that The CW would have dialed back on the crossover after the absolutely massive Crisis event, which was essentially the Arrowverse’s equivalent of Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame, bringing all the characters together against an existential threat to reality and fundamentally changing the shape of the universe going forward. There’s really no way to one-up that.

Still, it’s a little disappointing that there’ll be no crossover this year. It’s always fun to see all of the characters from the different shows bounce off of each other, and with her series set to conclude after the end of its upcoming sixth season, who knows if we’ll have another opportunity for Melissa Benoist‘s Supergirl to team with the rest of the universe’s heroes. Maybe she’ll pop in to Central City for an ice cream cone with Grant Gustin‘s Barry Allen.The production safety restrictions in place due to the pandemic have scuttled plans for a BATWOMAN/SUPERMAN & LOIS crossover.

The Arrowverse officially returns with the season premiere of Batwoman on Sunday, January 17th. Black Lightning, The Flash, and the series premiere of Superman & Lois will follow in February, while Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow will return later in the year.

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The production safety restrictions in place due to the pandemic have scuttled plans for a BATWOMAN/SUPERMAN & LOIS crossover.

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Comics Crowdfunding Round-Up: ENDLESS MOONS, THE COLOR GUARD, and 3 more campaigns we love

Welcome to The Beat’s crowdfunding round-up: a collection of some of our favorite campaigns from the week including one-shots, on-goings, anthologies and everything in-between! This week we’re checking out the sci-fi adventure series, Endless Moons, the all-ages story of courage and high school, The Color Guard, and more.

Let’s get started!


Endless Moons #1

Creators: Tommy Jauregui (writer), Nicolas Giacondino (artist)
Goal: $2,840
End date: February 9, 2021
Goodies: A digital copy is $9, a physical version is $17, and higher tiers include deluxe versions and bundles. 

A science-fantasy adventure following the story of Dazel, a young bounty hunter from the Endless Moons. Part of #MAKE100!

Endless Moons is a story of space travel and forgotten heritage. A bounty hunter named Dazel is out, living the life of a smuggler, when she joins a new crew and is en route to the planet Migena, but her plans are cut short when one of her new crewmates attacks a Galactic bazaar. This first issue is already completed. It’s 32-pages, illustrated in black-and-white, and available to check out over at the campaign page. 

Become a backer here.

The Color Guard #1

Creators: Ryan Little (writer), Scott Malin (artist), Fahriza Kamaputra (colorist)
Goal: $1,000
End date: February 3, 2021
Goodies: A PDF is $10, a physical version is $12, and higher pledges include more from publisher Plastic Sword Comics.

The first of two 55 page issues. A humiliated flag girl must conquer her shame and carry her banner high to defeat a mysterious evil. 

Alyssa knows something that it seems no other high schooler does: being on the color guard is super rad. Being the only one waving a flag, teens do what they do and are quick to judge, but it’s not long before Alyssa stumbles onto a century old mystery that only she can stop. The Color Guard is a sweet, action-packed story for readers of all ages, focusing on having the courage to do what you love. This first issue is 55-pages, fully-colored, and there’s an 8-page preview available now.

Become a backer here.

Cult Heroes: Issue 1

Creators: Raymond Estrada (author)
Goal: $1,500
End date: February 13, 2021
Goodies: Grab a PDF for $7, get a physical version for $15, or pledge more for variant cover bundles, posters, and more.

A Comic Book Series About Killing Your Heroes. 

Premise aside, Cult Heroes is a comic with style. Looking at its short preview, it’s immediately clear that Estrada has an eye for framing a scene and setting a tone, eliciting the pulp of classic comics and simultaneously flipping them on their heads. Cult Heroes follows Jamie, who’s the daughter of a retired hero and now dealing with the legacy she’s left with. This campaign will fund the first of four issues in the series, each fully-colored and sitting at around 24-pages.

Become a backer here.

The Polar Paradox: #1 of a 2 part MAKE 100 sci-fi adventure

Creators: Frank Martin (writer), Antonio MAstria (artist), Chinedu Campbell (variant artist)
Goal: $2,500
End date: February 2, 2021
Goodies: Grab a PDF for $5, get a print edition for $10, or pledge more for the theme song, deluxe editions, and more.

When research scientists go missing, an elite team of rescue divers head under Antarctica to unravel a mystery at the end of the Earth.

If you’re the type of nature-nerd whose brain vibrates knowing that 95% of the ocean floor is unexplored – boy is this the campaign for you. Inspired by series like Fantastic Four and Lost in Space, The Polar Paradox follows the trail of a diving team out looking for clues as to where a missing research team has gone. On their way, they encounter a world more alien than anything outside our atmosphere, and a mystery that could unravel the world as we know it. This campaign is the first of two 24-page issues, and you can check out a preview over on the campaign page. 

Become a backer here.

Ruination #1 – New fantasy adventure comic series

     

Creators: Giulia Lalli (line artist), Kaytee Brown (colors), Matías Zanetti (letterer), Nicole D’Andria (editor), Rio Burton (cover artist), Ryan Bis (writer/creator)
Goal: $500
End date: February 11, 2021
Goodies: A digital copy is $4, a physical version is $8, and higher tiers include prints, additional comics, and variant covers.          

First issue of an indie comic series about young soldiers exploring foreign worlds in order to save their own.

A story for our times, Ruination is a fantasy adventure series following a group of people born into a world ravaged by war, and who are now taking its fate into their own hands. Keila, Jalen, and Dante will have to overcome their own histories of violence and come together if they hope to stop war from breaking out once again. This first issue is ready to hit the printers, which means that copies will be in backers’ hands as soon as March. Ruination will be an ongoing series with a 28-page debut issue.

Become a backer here.


Plus, don’t forget to check out last week’s campaigns!

 

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Plus, CULT HEROES debuts its pulpy critique on modern superheroes.

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A Tom Taylor BATMAN title, GREEN LANTERN, and more in the DC Comics April 2021 Solicitations

DC Comics has released their solicitations text and images for comics and collections scheduled to ship in April 2021. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Previously-announced new titles, including:
  • In more new Batman comic news, writer Tom Taylor and artist Andy Kubert team for Batman: The Dark Knight, a six-issue miniseries which takes the hero to Europe on the trail of a new villain
  • With the final issue of The Green Lantern out in March, April sees the debut of a new GL ongoing series, simply titled Green Lantern, by Future State: Green Lantern writer Geoffrey Thorne and artist Dexter Soy
  • The digital-first Challenge of the Super Sons miniseries from writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Max Raynor arrives in physical form
  • A seven-issue RWBY/Justice League crossover miniseries by writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Aneke debuts
  • In new backup stories:
    • Batman begins a new Ghost-Maker feature by James Tynion IV and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
    • Detective Comics kicks off a two-part Huntress story written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Clayton Henry
    • Superman continues the “Tales of Metropolis” feature with the return of Ambush Bug, which has this writer very excited personally
  • On the noteworthy/interesting collected edition front, the late ’70s Flash storyline featuring the death of Barry Allen’s wife, Iris Allen, is collected in a hardcover for the first time, so a new generation of readers can be introduced to classic Flash villain Clive Yorkin
  • Also Flash-related is the first volume of collections for the Impulse ongoing series by Mark WaidHumberto Ramos. Collections for this series have been solicited and cancelled several times before, but hopefully DC follows through on the series this time.
  • The most surprising collection solicited has to be for the six-issue Krypto the Superdog miniseries, which was a tie-in to the mid-’00s animated series. And really, more comics should star super-powered dogs.

All this and much more ahead in the DC Comics solicitations for April 2021. Check out the full text and images below.

(Click images to enlarge)

GREEN LANTERN #1
written by GEOFFREY THORNE
art by DEXTER SOY
cover by BERNARD CHANG
card stock variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
1:25 card stock variant cover by ALEX MALEEV
ON SALE 4/6/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVERS $5.99 US
As this new Green Lantern series begins, the newly formed United Planets and the Guardians of the Universe hold an intergalactic summit to decide who can best serve and protect the cosmos from danger. With the majority of Green Lanterns called back to Oa, John Stewart arrives alongside Teen Lantern Keli Quintela, whose powerful gauntlet could be one of the most powerful and unstable weapons in the universe. With the entire landscape of the universe in flux, is this the end of the Green Lantern Corps…or a new beginning?

ROBIN #1
written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art and cover by GLEB MELNIKOV
wraparound variant cover by GLEB MELNIKOV
team card stock variant cover by ANDY KUBERT (minimum order 250 copies)
1:25 variant cover by RICCARDO FEDERICI
ON SALE 4/27/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVERS $4.99 US
After learning of the deadly League of Lazarus tournament, Damian Wayne has a new mission: winning the tournament and prove he is the greatest fighter in the DC Universe! But first he must find the secret island where it’s all going down! This brand-new solo Robin series will force Damian Wayne to find his own path away from both sides of his family! New mysteries! New supporting cast! First appearances of new characters! And lots of fights!

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1
written by TOM TAYLOR
art and cover by ANDY KUBERT
card stock variant cover by ANDY KUBERT
1:25 card stock variant cover by RICCARDO FEDERICI
blank card stock variant cover
ON SALE 4/13/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 1 OF 6 | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVERS $4.99 US
An epic tale begins that will take Batman on a harrowing, action-packed European adventure in a new miniseries by superstar creators Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert!
A horrific tragedy in the United Kingdom sends a very personal and deadly message to the Dark Knight—one that will draw Batman out of Gotham City to investigate! From the moment he lands in Europe, Batman will face a difficult investigation and unheard-of adversaries and find the assistance of a partner once more—all in the hunt for the villain known as Equilibrium!
New villains! New allies! A thrilling overseas adventure begins for the Dark Knight, starting with an extra-sized 26-page debut story!

THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON #1
written by JOHN RIDLEY
art by TONY AKINS, TRAVEL FOREMAN, and MARK MORALES
cover by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
card stock variant cover by KEN LASHLEY
ON SALE 4/6/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | 1 OF 4 | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
DIGITAL FIRST
A new miniseries by Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley and artists Tony Akins and Travel Foreman begins!
Readers now know that after the events of Future State, Tim Fox is the next Batman…but what’s his origin story? Why has he been estranged from Lucius Fox and his family for so long? Connected to the dramatic events of March’s Infinite Frontier #1, these questions and many more will be explored in this thrilling new digital first miniseries!

THE BATMAN & SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERIES #1
written by IVAN COHEN
art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
ON SALE 4/13/21
$2.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
It’s an all-new, all-ages series that teams the Dark Knight with Scooby-Doo and the sleuths of Mystery Inc.! When Batman discovers his original purple gloves have gone missing, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo travel back in time to Batman’s Year One era to solve the case! Will this “Glove Story” have a happy ending?

CHALLENGE OF THE SUPER SONS #1
written by PETER J. TOMASI
art by MAX RAYNOR
cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
variant cover by SIMONE DI MEO
ON SALE 4/13/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 1 OF 7 | FC | DC
The boys are back! Picking up where the sensational Adventures of the Super Sons left off, the sons of Batman and Superman are back in the spotlight and ready to give evil a good spanking. But are Robin and Superboy in over their heads this time? A mysterious woman from beyond time has appeared to the DCU’s favorite sons, and her arrival heralds certain doom (that’s a hint, everyone) of things to come! In fact…it seems she’s sent the boys on a bogus journey that they’ve already…returned from? Huh? What did the boys learn when they were whisked away? Why on earth do they have to save the Flash from instant death? Tune in for the first chapter in the most epic odyssey Robin and Superboy have ever been on!

HARLEY QUINN BLACK + WHITE + RED TP
stories and art by various
cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
ON SALE 5/11/21
$19.99 US | $25.99 CAN | 224 PAGES | FC | DC
ISBN: 978-1-77950-995-6
For the first time in print, 19 short tales of Gotham City’s craziest clown princess are presented in nothing but black, white, and bold splashes of red. See how Harley’s story unfolds in worlds beyond the DC Universe, in the alternate timelines of Batman: White Knight, Harleen, and the Harley Quinn animated series! Witness her darkest hours and her happiest moments! Behold a—wait a second, did she just…win an underground rap battle?!
An incredible array of talent from across the comics industry have put their reputations in jeopardy to bring you these stories. So show a little gratitude, will ya?
This volume collects Harley Quinn Black + White + Red Digital Chapters #1-17 in print for the first time—along with two all-new, never-before seen stories by writer David Mandel (Veep) and artist Adam Hughes; and Harley’s co-creator, writer Paul Dini, with legendary Batman: The Animated Series artist Kevin Altieri!

RWBY/JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
art by ANEKE
cover by MIRKA ANDOLFO
card stock variant cover by TBD
ON SALE 4/27/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 1 OF 7 | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
The DC Universe and the world of RWBY collide in this new miniseries! Discover the Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, and Diana Prince of Remnant as Team RWBY comes face to face with new versions of DC’s paragons of justice. A new Grimm is running rampant around the island of Patch, and Ruby and Yang must team up with a young farm boy to stop it! Meanwhile, Blake meets a mysterious woman who’s appeared on Menagerie, but what is her purpose? And why does she act like she hasn’t been around modern society?

ACTION COMICS #1030
written by PHILLIP KENNEDY JOHNSON
art by DANIEL SAMPERE
backup story written by BECKY CLOONAN and MICHAEL W. CONRAD
backup story art by MICHAEL AVON OEMING
cover by MIKEL JANÍN
card stock variant cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
ON SALE 4/27/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $5.99 US
“Warworld Rising” starts here! A new chapter in Superman’s life begins as the challenges of Dark Nights: Death Metal are causing Clark Kent to feel…a change in his powers. Is it possible the Metropolis Marvel could be losing a step? His struggles in taking down the creatures from the Breach would suggest as much! If he’s going to continue to protect the people of Earth, he’ll have to adapt—especially with threats like Mongul out there waiting to launch their biggest attacks on the Earth yet. That’s right, those are Warworld battleships just outside our orbit, and they are heading straight for us!
Meanwhile, in the Midnighter backup story, the bad boy of the Authority has to figure out what Andrej Trojan is up to in the present if he ever wants to get back to Future State and swap places with the Midnighter of 2021, whom he left stranded on Warworld.

SUPERMAN #30
written by PHILLIP KENNEDY JOHNSON
art by SCOTT GODLEWSKI
backup story written by SEAN LEWIS
backup story art by SAMI BASRI
cover by JOHN TIMMS
card stock variant cover by INHYUK LEE
ON SALE 4/13/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $5.99 US
Superman has received a signal from distant space. An old friend is in deep trouble, and only the Man of Steel can help him. By the time Superman and his son get there, though, the alien who sent the signal is nowhere to be found, and his people appear to be enthralled by a shamanistic storyteller who warns of an ancient grudge with the malevolent Shadowbreed. This leaves Clark and Jonathan Kent to ponder just who sent them the distress message, but before they can find the answer, they’ll discover that an ancient grudge still has very current consequences. Kicking off a new story line, this issue pairs Phillip Kennedy Johnson with his Future State: Superman: House of El collaborator, artist Scott Godlewski!
Meanwhile, in the “Tales of Metropolis” backup story it’s…the return of Ambush Bug? Say it ain’t so!

AMERICAN VAMPIRE 1976 #7
written by SCOTT SNYDER
art by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA, TULA LOTAY, and RICARDO LOPEZ ORTIZ
cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
variant cover by JORGE FORNÉS
ON SALE 4/13/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 7 OF 10 | FC
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+
Before Skinner and Pearl reunited and the Beast returned—before 1976—the fight to protect humanity persisted.
This special anthology issue presents new stories from the unseen era between American Vampire: Second Cycle and American Vampire 1976, bridging the VMS’ turbulent past with a nation’s uncertain future.
Jim Book and Pearl will test their new partnership on a mission to uncover new DNA technology in the fight against the Beast, Travis, and Gus enjoy a rare carefree moment in exile, and a deathbed vision reveals the truth about George Washington’s pact with the Council of Firsts and America’s role as a haven for persecuted monsters.

BATMAN #107
written by JAMES TYNION IV
art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
backup story art by RICARDO LOPEZ ORTIZ
card stock variant cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA
1:25 card stock variant cover by RICCARDO FEDERICI
ON SALE 4/6/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $5.99 US
Tensions are sky-high in Gotham City following the events at Arkham Asylum, and public opinion and unrest are starting to boil over. The Dark Knight has his hands full juggling the investigation of the reappearance of an old enemy and the rise of a new gang in Gotham called the Unsanity Collective…Gotham City is getting more dangerous by the minute!
Plus, in part one of “Legend of the Ghost-Maker,” James Tynion IV and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz tell the most insane tale of action and adventure featuring Batman’s frenemy Ghost-Maker! This one is not to be missed!

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE #5
written by JORGE JIMENEZ, MARIKO TAMAKI, JAMAL CAMPBELL, KIERON GILLEN, and LEE WEEKS
art by JORGE JIMENEZ, EMANUELA LUPACCHINO, JAMAL CAMPBELL, JAMIE McKELVIE, and LEE WEEKS
cover by LEE WEEKS
variant cover by JENNY FRISON
The Riddler variant cover by GARY FRANK
PRESTIGE FORMAT | ON SALE 4/27/21
$5.99 US | 48 PAGES | 5 OF 6 | FC | DC
The penultimate issue of the acclaimed return to Batman Black & White is here with a look at some of Gotham City’s most twisted and compelling souls.
• Superstar Batman artist Jorge Jimenez writes and illustrates a story starring Bruce and Damian Wayne as they try to prepare for a sting operation as Batman and Robin, with Damian questioning Bruce’s methods every step of the way.
• Multiple Eisner Award-winning writer of Detective Comics Mariko Tamaki and fan-favorite artist Emanuela Luppachino show what’s become of Gilda Dent, former bride of Two-Face and current scourge of super- villains.
• Jamal Campbell, acclaimed co-creator of Naomi and Green Lantern Jo Mullein from Far Sector, tells a story that spans the full history of Nightwing.
• Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, the celebrated team behind Phonogram, Young Avengers, and The Wicked + the Devine, make their DC debut with a story that pits Batman against the Riddler in a way you’ve never seen before!
• And finally, legendary comics artist Lee Weeks writes and draws a story that has the ghosts of Jim Gordon’s past coming back to haunt him!

 

BATMAN: URBAN LEGENDS #2
written by CHIP ZDARSKY, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, BRANDON THOMAS, and CECIL CASTELLUCCI
art by EDDY BARROWS, RYAN BENJAMIN, MAX DUNBAR, and MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
cover by HICHAM HABCHI
variant cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA
variant cover by DERRICK CHEW
PRESTIGE FORMAT | ON SALE 4/13/21
$7.99 US | 64 PAGES | FC | DC
The new Batman anthology series continues! In part two of Chip Zdarsky and Eddy Barrows’s epic Batman/Red Hood story, Jason Todd has taken a man’s life, and now his mission is to keep the dead man’s young son safe. But Batman plans to take down Jason before he can make another mistake.
Then, in chapter two of Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Benjamin’s senses-shattering tale, Cole Cash earns his pay as personal bodyguard to billionaire Lucius Fox, but what led him to Gotham in the first place? How does the mysterious HALO Corporation play into it all? And which Bat-Family character does he have an unfortunate meeting with in this chapter?
And in part two of Brandon Thomas and Max Dunbar’s epic Outsiders story, see Katana’s perspective on what brought the Outsiders to Japan, who wants her dead, and what her ultimate punishment will be for no longer having her husband’s spirit in the Soultaker sword.
Plus, Barbara Gordon has identified a citywide system hack from a foe she faced before as Batgirl…but this time around, Babs may have found a way to defeat her for good as Oracle!

BATMAN/SUPERMAN #17
written by GENE LUEN YANG
art and cover by IVAN REIS and DANNY MIKI
card stock variant cover by RODOLFO MIGLIARI
ON SALE 4/27/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
In a world where Superman’s rocket never reached Earth, the Dark Knight and his sidekick discover a startling rift between dimensions. On the other side? A world where Martha Wayne survived, and Bruce never grew up to be Batman! Not only that, but a strange alien has emerged from the rift who’s faster than a locomotive and can leap tall buildings in a single bound…the Superman of Metropolis! When these worlds collide, the architects of this alternate history are revealed, and the only ones who can thwart their deadly experiments are the Batman and Superman of Earth-0! It’s a dynamic dual-world adventure!

BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #6
written by NEAL ADAMS
art and cover by NEAL ADAMS
ON SALE 4/20/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 6 OF 6 | FC | DC
It all comes down to this…the final meeting of the Batmen! Ra’s al Ghul’s plan to dominate Gotham crashes against the will of Bruce Wayne and Matches Malone, as the city’s power grid faces the wave of the future!

BATMAN/CATWOMAN #5
written by TOM KING
art and cover by CLAY MANN
variant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
variant cover by TRAVIS CHAREST
ON SALE 4/20/21
$4.99 US | 32 PAGES | 5 OF 12 | FC
CARD STOCK COVERS
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+
Batman’s two loves collide, and the smash-up could be dangerous not just for the Caped Crusader, but for The Joker as well. In order to prove her mission is righteous, Phantasm takes Catwoman out on a hit against one of the men responsible for the disappearance of her son. Unfortunately for Selina Kyle, this isn’t the first time she’s gone behind Batman’s back to try to do the right thing, so she’s far too aware of how bad a turn this whole affair could take. Also, in the future, it’s Harley Quinn, ready to avenge Mistah J!

CATWOMAN #30
written by RAM V
art by FERNANDO BLANCO
cover by JOËLLE JONES
card stock variant cover by JENNY FRISON
ON SALE 4/20/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
The Riddler revealed that he knows details about Poison Ivy’s whereabouts. Now, after the Riddler has been gravely wounded, Catwoman brings him to be patched up by Alleytown’s less-than-scrupulous medics. Now on the mend, Riddler points Selina in Ivy’s direction—but is he telling the truth, or wrapping her up in another one of his riddles? Meanwhile, the Penguin’s come to realize that enlisting Father Valley to take out Catwoman may have been a mistake and finds himself asking whether he hired a hit man…or inked a deal with the devil himself.

CRIME SYNDICATE #2
written by ANDY SCHMIDT
art by KIERAN McKEOWN
backup story art by BRYAN HITCH
cover by JIM CHEUNG
variant cover by TYLER KIRKHAM
ON SALE 4/6/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 2 OF 6 | FC | DC
With Starro ravaging the planet and controlling superheroes and villains alike, the fate of the world rests in the hands of Ultraman, Superia, and Owlman—in other words, win or lose, humanity is doomed!
Question of the month: What famous Gotham foes are held in Owlman’s cave?
Plus, in the backup story, witness the origin of Owlman in a tale illustrated by superstar artist Bryan Hitch!

DETECTIVE COMICS #1035
written by MARIKO TAMAKI
art and cover by DAN MORA
backup story art by CLAYTON HENRY
card stock variant cover by LEE BERMEJO
ON SALE 4/27/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $5.99 US
Introducing Mr. Worth! When his daughter is killed during the brutal crime wave gripping Gotham City, eight-foot-tall stack of muscle and money Roland Worth sets out on a path of revenge toward the prime suspect in the crime: Batman! The Dark Knight has been framed for murder, and to make matters worse, this grisly deed seems to be connected to yet another emerging villainous force on the horizon. It’s a rogues gallery explosions and this time there’s no mansion on the hill for Bruce Wayne to mount his counterattack!
Plus, part one of “Huntress and the Hunted!” This two-part story zeroes in on Gotham’s own Violet Vengeance! In this chapter, her world is rocked by the gruesome murder of a dear friend…but there’s more to this sinister scene than meets the eye!

THE DREAMING: WAKING HOURS #9
written by G. WILLOW WILSON
art and cover by NICK ROBLES
ON SALE 4/6/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+
Seduced by the sensual wiles of the realm of Faerie, Ruin and Heather After have not only been separated from the angel Jophiel, they’ve completely forgotten why they even set foot in this delightful place. But Faerie’s charms (literally) are lost on Jophiel, and he remains firmly on a mission…unfortunately for him, the king of Faerie has his own ideas on just what Jophiel’s power can do for him!

FAR SECTOR #11
written by N.K. JEMISIN
art and cover by JAMAL CAMPBELL
variant cover by MIRKA ANDOLFO
ON SALE 4/6/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 11 OF 12 | FC
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+
Everything is coming to a boil as we lay the groundwork for the Far Sector finale in this, our penultimate issue! Riots are breaking out across the City Enduring as its citizens realize that there are political shenanigans disrupting their way of life and subverting the will of the people. To quell this unrest, @BlazeofGlory is threatening to unleash a terrible weapon upon her own people. Jo has to race against the ticking clock of a Green Lantern ring that is rapidly losing power to bypass the city’s entire defense forces and stop this attack from above.

THE FLASH #769
written by JEREMY ADAMS
art by DAVID LaFUENTE and BRANDON PETERSON
cover by BRANDON PETERSON
card stock variant cover by ZI XU
ON SALE 4/20/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
After an accident pushes Wally West into the time stream, the former Kid Flash lands in the body of his onetime partner, Impulse. Now sprinting through the 30th century side by side with the mysterious (and, yeah, ridiculous) Gold Beetle, Wally must uncover what’s causing the destructive explosions that keep propelling him through time and the bodies of other speedsters.

HARLEY QUINN #2
written by STEPHANIE PHILLIPS
art and cover by RILEY ROSSMO
card stock variant cover by DERRICK CHEW
ON SALE 4/27/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
Ya sure you wanna double down on this gimmick? Awright already—I’ll do it! Harley Quinn back again to tell ya that my mission to help heal Gotham City has already hit some bumps in the road. The awful Hugo Strange—psychiatrist, fitness freak, and expert on tiny glasses—is trying to deal with Gotham City’s clown problem, and get this! The city is endorsing him while everyone keeps giving me grief! The only person who believes in me is my new sidekick, Kevin. You’re going to find out some real dark stuff about him in this issue, too! We’re both going 
to have to keep our guard up, ’cuz Hugo has an army of creepy orderlies he’s about to send after us.

THE JOKER #2
written by JAMES TYNION IV
art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH
backup story written by JAMES TYNION IV and SAM JOHNS
backup story art by MIRKA ANDOLFO
variant cover by LEE BERMEJO
variant cover by BRIAN STELFREEZE
1:25 variant cover by RICCARDO FEDERICI
ON SALE 4/13/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVERS
As the dust settles on Arkham Asylum and tragic recent events, The Joker is the most wanted man in the world—and powerful forces are lining up around the globe to hunt him…but where exactly is the Clown Price of Crime? Jim Gordon, facing his twilight years haunted by the madman, knows where to start the hunt, and he’s been given the go-ahead to pursue him…but will he be willing to pay the price? And what shocking revelation will Gordon stun Batman with before he departs?
And in the backup story, within the walls of Blackgate Penitentiary, Punchline has become the target of the Queen of Spades from the Royal Flush Gang. It’ll take everything Punchline has just to survive, while on the outside, Bluebird digs deeper into Punchline’s horrific past!

JUSTICE LEAGUE #60
written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
art and cover by DAVID MARQUEZ
backup story written by RAM V
backup story art by XERMANICO
card stock variant cover by KAEL NGU
ON SALE 4/20/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $5.99 US
Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Aquaman, and Hawkgirl join forces with Black Adam to fight an all-new world conqueror! But how do they stop the unstoppable power known as Brutus? Enter new mega-power sensation Naomi, who comes face to face with the League and brings along Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons for a blockbuster battle for the ages—with a last-page cliffhanger that will leave everyone guessing what’s next!
And in the backup tale, the new Justice League meets the new Justice League Dark, and the demon Etrigan calls the team to action—but Batman has other plans. This team needs a leader, but what twisted secret prevents Zatanna from stepping forward? Plus, Ragman makes a startling discovery—one that may cost his life!

MAN-BAT #3
written by DAVE WIELGOSZ
art by SUMIT KUMAR
cover by KYLE HOTZ
ON SALE 4/6/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 3 OF 5 | FC | DC
Kirk Langstrom’s mental state has been deteriorating for years, but in the wake of his violent altercation with the Suicide Squad, he’s found himself on the verge of a complete emotional collapse. Luckily (or unluckily) for Kirk, Dr. Harleen Quinzel is offering pro bono—and entirely unsolicited—psychological counseling. As Harley delves deep into his damaged mind, she uncovers tragic events that set the stage for his transformation into Man-Bat in the first place. Will her psychotic brand of psychology help Kirk make peace with his inner demons or leave his mind even more fractured than it was?

NIGHTWING #79
written by TOM TAYLOR
art and cover by BRUNO REDONDO
card stock variant cover by JAMAL CAMPBELL
ON SALE 4/20/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
Dick Grayson has inherited Alfred’s fortune, a puppy, and a whole lot of questions. Who is Mayor Zucco, and what is her relation to the man who murdered Dick’s parents? What sinister plans does Blockbuster have for Blüdhaven? What kind of dog food is best for a three-legged puppy? To answer these questions, Dick’s going to need a little help from his friends—past and present.

RORSCHACH #7
written by TOM KING
art and cover by JORGE FORNÉS
variant cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
ON SALE 4/13/21
$4.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC
CARD STOCK COVERS
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+
Wil Myerson might have been the creator of Pontius Pirate, the most popular comic in history, before he put on the Rorschach mask and tried to kill a would-be president, but he’s not the only artist who worked on the character. Other artists fell under Wil’s influence, and now all these years later, his more renowned acolyte has fallen sway to Laura, the #1 Myerson superfan. Is it possible she influenced another comic book legend into playing vigilante? The key here is that tape the detective is trying to decipher, the one with the séance that has been haunting him since the very first issue! All this and a cameo by Dr. Manhattan to boot!

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? #109
written by DEREK FRIDOLFS
art by SCOTT JERALDS
cover by DEREK FRIDOLFS
ON SALE 4/20/21
$2.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
Fred’s skills are well-known around town for creating many of the traps used to capture monsters. When he is invited to test out the new Coolsville Escape Room complex, the gang tags along to help out. But can Fred and his friends now escape being trapped by a creepy chimera haunting the halls? Or will it be game over for Mystery Inc.?

SENSATIONAL WONDER WOMAN #2
written by ANDREA SHEA
art and cover by BRUNO REDONDO
variant cover by JOSHUA “SWAY” SWABY
ON SALE 4/6/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
DIGITAL FIRST
Wonder Woman receives a distress call from Artemis…on Warworld! In order to escape Mongul’s clutches, the two Amazons will have to put aside their differences and find a way to work together.

SUICIDE SQUAD #2
written by ROBBIE THOMPSON
art and cover by EDUARDO PANSICA
card stock variant cover by GERALD PAREL
ON SALE 4/6/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
With the power of Superboy now under her control, Task Force X mastermind Amanda Waller sends the hero into Arkham Asylum to rescue Peacemaker and bring Talon—the famed Court of Owls assassin—back to join the new Suicide Squad. With lives hanging in the balance, the teen clone must decide if he’s going to assist Waller, even if it means getting his hands a little bloody along the way.

SUPERMAN RED AND BLUE #2
written by CHUCK BROWN, ROBERT VENDITTI, STEPHANIE PHILLIPS, DAN PANOSIAN, and JASON HOWARD
art by DENYS COWAN, ALITHA MARTINEZ, DAN PANOSIAN, JASON HOWARD, and others
cover by NICOLA SCOTT
variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
variant cover by DAVID CHOE
PRESTIGE FORMAT | ON SALE 4/20/21
$5.99 US | 48 PAGES | 2 OF 6 | FC | DC
Explore the world of Superman in a way you’ve never seen before. Five brand-new stories, a visual tour de force, with only the Man of Steel’s signature colors. There are tales starring Clark Kent, the original Superman, including a showdown with his most tenacious foe, Lex Luthor—but there is also a great space adventure with Val-Zod, the Superman of Earth-2, going up against an amped-up version of Prometheus. And then there is Cyborg Superman, a warped reflection of the real deal, with a mission as opposite to Superman’s as any could be. But no matter how out there the situation gets, it always comes back to the one man and the planet he loves and has sworn to protect—and the people he inspires, young and old.

THE SWAMP THING #2
written by RAM V
art and cover by MIKE PERKINS
card stock variant cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA
ON SALE 4/6/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
The trials of Levi Kamei, the new avatar of the Green, grow darker as the Pale Wanderer’s bloody spree leaves a trail of death across the Sonoran Desert. While his “lessons” begin to show Levi the true nature of what he is becoming, it is Jennifer Reece who’ll show Levi that he must contend with his past and his trauma in order to stop the murderous wraith. Will Levi Kamei grasp his newfound place in this world as the Swamp Thing? Or will his fears consume him before the new avatar can even take root? Find out as this eternal conflict of life and death comes to a head!

SWEET TOOTH: THE RETURN #6
written by JEFF LEMIRE
art and cover by JEFF LEMIRE
ON SALE 4/13/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 6 OF 6 | FC
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+
Once upon a time a young boy with antlers lived in a little house under the earth. He had a father and two nannies. They raised him to be good and to obey their every command. They said they loved the boy, and maybe some of them did, but Father? Well, he only loved himself. Father says the boy is a weapon against those who stand in opposition to humanity, while the rebellious Undersider dissidents believe the child to be the second coming of a mythological savior from the past. Haunted by dreamlike memories of a life he never lived and hunted by the man who created him, the boy must choose what and who he will be, and bring this chapter of his life to a close.

TEEN TITANS ACADEMY #2
written by TIM SHERIDAN
art and cover by RAFA SANDOVAL
card stock variant cover by PHILIP TAN
ON SALE 4/27/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
The questions mount around the new school formed by the original New Teen Titans: What’s going on with Billy Batson’s access to the powers of Shazam, what dark secret is Raven’s new pupil Dane hiding, and who’s masquerading as the new Red X?

TRUTH & JUSTICE #3
written by DANNY LORE
art by RAY-ANTHONY HEIGHT
cover by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
variant cover by JOSHUA “SWAY” SWABY
ON SALE 4/20/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
What kind of man is John Constantine? Mage, con man, and a few other choice descriptors not fit to print—but sometimes, he tries to be a good guy. When he tries to stop a young teenager from getting in deep with Papa Midnite, he is faced not just with the past as he’d like to remember it, but with exactly the kind of wizard he really is. Can John help, or is he going to drive someone else into the very shadows he wanted to save them from?

WONDER WOMAN #771
written by BECKY CLOONAN and MICHAEL W. CONRAD
art and cover by TRAVIS MOORE
backup story written by JORDIE BELLAIRE
backup story art by PAULINA GANUCHEAU
card stock variant cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
ON SALE 4/13/21
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $5.99 US
Wonder Woman’s adventures through the Sphere of the Gods continue as she embarks on a quest with the cunning Ratashok to search for answers. Something is changing the rules of the Norse afterlife, and it’s up to our hero to set things right. Now she must face warriors and beasts of mythic proportions, starting with the Nidhogg! Can our Amazon Princess survive this staggering serpent?
Meanwhile, in a seemingly simpler time in our hero’s life, a younger Diana continues her journey to uncover the secret behind the scriptures that hold the hidden history of Themyscira. Is she ready for the truth? Or will it change her perception of “paradise” forever?

BATMAN BY JOHN RIDLEY THE DELUXE EDITION HC
written by JOHN RIDLEY
art by NICK DERINGTON, LAURA BRAGA, OLIVIER COIPEL, and DUSTIN NGUYEN
cover by LADRÖNN
ON SALE 6/29/21
$17.99 US | $23.99 CAN | 128 PAGES | FC | DC
HARDCOVER | 7.0625″ x 10.875″
ISBN: 978-1-77951-126-3
Light the Bat-Signal! Legendary screenwriter John Ridley takes over Gotham City in a new way! Writing the world’s most popular superhero, Batman, Ridley brings his storytelling expertise to DC!
Whether his story is told in black and white or captured in brilliant colors, Batman’s adventures keep everyone guessing…even the World’s Greatest Detective. Follow the iconic tales of the Dark Knight in Batman by John Ridley The Deluxe Edition.
Collects Future State: The Next Batman #1-4, stories from Batman Black & White #1 and Batman: The Joker War Zone #1, and a brand-new story by John Ridley with art by Dustin Nguyen.

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL: WAR OF THE MULTIVERSES TP
written by SCOTT SNYDER, JAMES TYNION IV, JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, MARK WAID, GAIL SIMONE, MARIKO TAMAKI, JEFF LEMIRE, CECIL CASTELLUCCI, CHRISTOPHER SEBELA, MAGDALENE VISAGGIO, KYLE HIGGINS, REGINE SAWYER, CHE GRAYSON, MARGUERITE BENNETT, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, and JUSTIN JORDAN
art by TRAVIS MOORE, FRANCIS MANAPUL, MEGHAN HETRICK, DANIEL SAMPERE, RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE, MIRKA ANDOLFO, CHRISTOPHER MOONEYHAM, DEXTER SOY, SCOTT KOBLISH, PAUL PELLETIER, ALEX MALEEV, SCOTT KOLINS, ALITHA MARTINEZ, BRUNO REDONDO, INAKI MIRANDA, ROB GUILLORY, and MIKE HENDERSON
cover by DAN MORA
ON SALE 5/18/21
$19.99 US | $25.99 CAN | 176 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77951-006-8
As Earth has been taken over by the Dark Multiverse, the Justice League battles to survive! Stand with our heroes as they prepare for what may well be…the final fight of their lives.
What do the world’s mightiest heroes feel right before combat? As the Dark Multiverse envelops the Earth unveil how the heroes prepare for war in what could be their last stand…if the Justice League knows anything, it’s that heroes never go down without a fight!
Collects Dark Nights: Death Metal The Last 52: War of the Multiverses #1 and Dark Nights: Death Metal The Last Stories of the DC Universe #1.

THE AUTHORITY BOOK TWO TP
written by MARK MILLAR, DOSELLE YOUNG, TOM PEYER, JOE CASEY, and others
art by FRANK QUITELY, DUSTIN NGUYEN, ARTHUR ADAMS, and others
cover by FRANK QUITELY and TREVOR SCOTT
ON SALE 5/25/21
$39.99 US | $53.99 CAN | 504 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-788-4
As the 21st century dawns, a battle-hardened Authority turns its attention to a previously unchallenged class of villains—the invisible power brokers who manipulate the world’s political figureheads to advance their own selfish interests. The powers that be, however, didn’t get where they are by playing nice. They’ve made plans for every contingency—including teams of insanely powerful superhumans with sentient, city-size, interdimensional spaceships. So when the Authority begins to seriously upset their hard-won networks of control, the backlash that results is as swift as it is devastating. But as bad as things get, these attacks are still comprehensible on a human scale. The same can’t be said for what is following in their wake.
This volume collects The Authority #13-29, The Authority Annual 2000 #1, and stories from WildStorm Summer Special #1, along with an introduction by Tim Miller, director of Deadpool.

BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE TP
written by ALAN BURNETT and PAUL DINI
art by TY TEMPLETON and others
cover by DAVE JOHNSON
ON SALE 6/1/21
$19.99 US | $25.99 CAN | 208 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-789-1
From Alan Burnett and Paul Dini, the visionary producers of Batman: The Animated Series, comes a collection of all-new stories and adventures that turn Batman’s world upside down!
Starting off with an attack on S.T.A.R. Labs in Gotham City by a giant robot that steals an entire room of the laboratory! Batman is going to have to stop it before it can cause more harm…and with Lex Luthor freshly back in Gotham, he knows where to start his search. Will Batman be able to topple the billionaire before he leaves Gotham?
Collects Batman: The Adventures Continue #1-8.

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT DETECTIVE VOL. 5 TP
written by ALAN GRANT and ARCHIE GOODWIN
art by NORM BREYFOGLE, STEVE MITCHELL, DAN JURGENS, and DICK GIORDANO
cover by NORM BREYFOGLE
ON SALE 5/25/21
$24.99 US | $33.99 CAN | 280 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-965-9
In these 1990s stories, the Dark Knight Detective travels to Japan to honor a long-standing debt…one that will leave him facing off against the very master who trained him!
The Dark Knight will also have to deal with haunting memories from his past as he encounters the Street Demonz again, but now he’s older—now he’s ready to protect others.
And then there’s The Joker…
Collects Detective Comics #612-614 and #616-621, plus Detective Comics Annual #3.

BATMAN: UNIVERSE TP
written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
art and cover by NICK DERINGTON
ON SALE 5/11/21
$17.99 US | $23.99 CAN | 176 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-583-5
In this story written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Nick Derington, Batman is pushed to his limit as he sets off in search of an item with incredible destructive powers—and embarks on a journey across the DC Universe! It’s a race to the finish line as Batman chases the Riddler from Gotham to Gorilla City and beyond, with the fate of humanity in the balance. Guest stars include Vandal Savage, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Deathstroke, Jonah Hex, and more! Collects Batman: Universe #1-6.

BIZARRO COMICS THE DELUXE EDITION HC
stories and art by various
cover by MATT GROENING
ON SALE 6/22/21
$49.99 US | $65.99 CAN | 432 PAGES
7.0625″ x 10.875″ | FC | DC
HARDCOVER
ISBN: 978-1-77951-012-9
Where else could the world’s greatest alternative cartoonists run rampant through the DC Universe in utterly unhinged stories? Bizarro, an imperfect duplicate of Superman who does everything backward, tries drawing comics, concocting stories in which Wonder Woman participates in a poetry slam, baby Superman torments his baby-sitter…and that’s just the start!
This deluxe edition collects the two anthology titles Bizarro Comics and Bizarro World, with a cover by the legendary creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening! Includes stories and art by acclaimed creators including Kyle Baker, Jeff Smith, Ivan Brunetti, Paul Pope, Hunt Emerson, Carol Lay, Roger Langridge, Mark Crilley, Dave Cooper, Eddie Campbell, Tony Millionaire, James Kochalka, Harvey Pekar, Peter Bagge, and many more!

FABLES COMPENDIUM TWO TP
written by BILL WILLINGHAM
art by MARK BUCKINGHAM, STEVE LEIALOHA, JIM FERN, SHAWN McMANUS, MICHAEL ALLRED, and others
new cover by MARK BUCKINGHAM
ON SALE 5/11/21
$59.99 US | $78.99 CAN | 1,064 PAGES FC
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+
ISBN: 978-1-77950-944-4
Fables Compendium Two starts with the story “Arabian Nights (and Days),” when foreigners start showing up in Fabletown—much to the dismay of longtime residents–plunging Fabletown into a culture clash of dire proportions! Prince Charming is in over his head and must call on the help of a Fable character not seen in these pages for far too long…and this is one wish he can’t take back.
This collection takes on a life of its own, ending with the postwar story “The Dark Ages”—but if the Fables knew the consequences, they might not have gone to war at all.
Collects Fables #42-82.

THE FLASH VOL. 14: THE FLASH AGE TP
written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art by RAFA SANDOVAL and STEPHEN SEGOVIA
cover by HOWARD PORTER
ON SALE 5/11/21
$19.99 US | $25.99 CAN | 216 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-923-9
Meet Paradox: a new time-traveling villain with a tragic backstory who poses a big threat—and carries a big grudge against the Flash. With the Flash about to be erased from time and space, the only person who can help him defeat this foe…is Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash? Can Barry Allen really trust his greatest enemy? And does he even have a choice?
As Paradox accomplishes his mission to make the world see the Flash as a monster, both the Flash and the Reverse-Flash are trapped in a 25th-century Central City that hates everything about the Flash legacy. Can Barry return to his own time and defeat Paradox? Or is too late to undo the damage that’s been done?
Collects The Flash #88, The Flash #751-755, The Flash Annual #3, and the lead story from issue #750!

THE FLASH: THE DEATH OF IRIS WEST HC
written by CARY BATES
art by IRV NOVICK, RICH BUCKLER, ALEX SAVIUK, DON HECK, and others
cover by DICK GIORDANO
ON SALE 6/1/21
$39.99 US | $53.99 CAN | 280 PAGES | FC | DC
HARDCOVER
ISBN: 978-1-77950-967-3
Can the Fastest Man Alive outrun his worst nightmare?
The Flash can’t outrun the loss of his wife, but nothing will stop him from hunting down her killer. Follow along as Barry Allen races to find out who is responsible for the death of his wife, Iris…and hold them responsible.
This title collects stories from The Flash #270-284.

FLASH/IMPULSE: RUNS IN THE FAMILY TP
written by MARK WAID and MARTIN PASKO
art by HUMBERTO RAMOS, OSCAR JIMENEZ, and others
cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS and WAYNE FAUCHER
ON SALE 5/25/21
$34.99 US | $45.99 CAN | 376 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-948-2
Impulse, the Flash’s hyperactive descendant from the 30th century, has landed in the present and is ready to make a superhero name for himself!
Due to his hyper-accelerated metabolism, Bart Allen was aging fast—like, really fast—and was raised in a 30th-century virtual reality simulation. So when he winds up in our era, he sees the world as one big video game—and he’s got a lot to learn. Luckily, Bart has a mentor named Max Mercury, and if anyone’s up to the task, it’s the zen master of the Speed Force. In this collection, Bart adjusts to life in the 20th century, keeping the town of Manchester, Alabama, safe from threats like White Lightning and Gridlock. Also in this title, Savitar’s machinations in the Speed Force cause Impulse, the Flash, and other super-speedsters to lose their speed!
This volume collects Impulse #1-12 and The Flash #108-111.

HARLEY QUINN AND POISON IVY TP
written by JODY HOUSER
art by ADRIANA MELO and MARK MORALES
cover by MIKEL JANÍN
ON SALE 5/18/21
$16.99 US | $22.99 CAN | 152 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-598-9
During the catastrophic events of Heroes in Crisis, Poison Ivy was killed, and Harley Quinn holds herself responsible. But when Ivy is resurrected, Harley decides to take care of her best friend, who has evolved into a creature as much flora as fauna. What, then, is Harley to do when Ivy reveals she’s had enough of the humans who not only killed her, but are destroying the environment day by day? Can Poison Ivy entice Harley to join her in the plant world, or will Harley have to prove herself by stopping whatever plot Ivy is cooking up? Collects Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #1-6.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GALAXY OF TERRORS TP
written by SI SPURRIER and JEFF LOVENESS
art by AARON LOPRESTI, ROBSON ROCHA, and others
cover by DOUG MAHNKE
ON SALE 5/18/21
$16.99 US | $22.99 CAN | 128 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-937-6
After answering a distress signal from distant space, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern discover an abandoned cargo ship full of young aliens! When the League attempts to return the children to their home planet, they are met with awe, terror, and war! Thus begins a new story line that will take the League to an unknown and war-torn planet, overrun with new species, a perilous mystery, and an otherworldly adversary. As the team faces off with different uncertainties and battles rogue factions, can the League save a population that hates and fears them? Or will it threaten any hope the Justice League has of returning home?
This title collects Justice League #48-52.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW 52 OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC
written by GEOFF JOHNS, JEFF LEMIRE, and others
art by JIM LEE, SCOTT WILLIAMS, GENE HA, GARY FRANK, TONY S. DANIEL, IVAN REIS, JESUS SAIZ, PETE WOODS, PAUL PELLETIER, MIKEL JANÍN, DOUG MAHNKE, DAVID FINCH, DANIEL SAMPERE, PATCH ZIRCHER, and others
cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
ON SALE 6/22/21
$125.00 US | $163.00 CAN | 1,248 PAGES
FC | DC | 7.0625″ x 10.875″
HARDCOVER | ISBN: 978-1-77951-066-2
In a world where superheroes operate under a cloud of suspicion from the public, loner vigilante Batman has stumbled upon a dark evil that threatens to destroy the Earth as we know it. Now, faced with a threat far beyond anything he can handle on his own, the Dark Knight must trust an alien, a Scarlet Speedster, an accidental teenage hero, a space cop, an Amazon warrior, and an undersea monarch. Will Superman, the Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman be able to put aside their differences and come together to save the world? Or will they destroy each other first?
This first of two omnibus editions collects Justice League #0-23; Aquaman #14-16; Justice League Dark #22-23; DC Comics — The New 52 FCBD Special Edition #1; Justice League of America #1-7; Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #11; Constantine #5; and Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1-3.

KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG TP
written by JESSE LEON McCANN
art by MIN S. KU and JEFF ALBRECHT
cover by SCOTT JERALDS
ON SALE 6/1/21
$9.99 US | $13.50 CAN | 144 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK | 5.5″ x 8.5″
ISBN: 978-1-77950-927-7
Ruff, ruff, and away! Come along on the exciting, all-ages adventures of Krypto the Superdog!
He might have just been a pup when he left Krypton, but Krypto the Superdog is all grown up and ready to protect his new family and his new home, Earth! Whether traveling through space, working with other superdogs, or making jokes about Streaky napping the day away, Krypto is ready for any adventure!
Collects Krypto the Superdog #1-6.

SHAZAM!: THE WORLD’S MIGHTIEST MORTAL VOL. 3 HC
written by E. NELSON BRIDWELL
art by DON NEWTON and others
cover by MICHAEL CHO
ON SALE 5/18/21
$49.99 US | $65.99 CAN | 336 PAGES | FC | DC
HARDCOVER
ISBN: 978-1-77950-946-8
In 1973 DC brought back one of the most beloved superheroes of all time: Shazam! With the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury, Shazam is one of humankind’s most powerful champions!
In these tales, the World’s Mightiest Mortal fights against villains including Satan! Plus, don’t miss the return of Captain Nazi, Kull, and everyone’s favorite talking tiger, Mr. Tawny!
Collects stories from World’s Finest Comics #253-270 and #272-282 and Adventure Comics #491 and #492

SUPERMAN VOL. 4: MYTHOLOGICAL TP
written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
art by IVAN REIS, DANNY MIKI, KEVIN MAGUIRE, and JOHN TIMMS
cover by JOHN TIMMS
ON SALE 5/25/21
$19.99 US | $25.99 CAN | 248 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-572-9
Superman continues to aim for peace in the galaxy, and the United Planets could be the perfect solution. But an old enemy is about to return to force Superman to fight with everything he has in order to protect it! It’s the Man of Steel versus Mongul in this epic fight to save the United Planets and the peace it will ensure—and Superman is determined to win.
If Superman fails, it means the fall of the United Planets.
And old foes give way to new ones as Superman is confronted with deadly warriors from the real of magic and the furthest reaches of the cosmos. Introducing Xanadoth and Synmar!
Collects Superman #20-28.

SUPERMAN: ACTION COMICS VOL. 4: METROPOLIS BURNING TP
written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
art and cover by JOHN ROMITA JR. and KLAUS JANSON
ON SALE 5/11/21
$16.99 US | $22.99 CAN | 144 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-698-6
Leviathan is making its move on Metropolis, and they’re looking to recruit Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom to increase their power base! But will that be enough to take on Superman’s city? Because the Man of Steel has friends of his own…and it’s time to call on the Justice League and their teen counterparts, Young Justice, to take a stand against the forces of evil and stop Leviathan from reducing Metropolis to rubble!
Don’t miss this colossal story arc collected from Action Comics #1017-1021!

SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL VOL. 3 HC
written by JOHN BYRNE, JERRY ORDWAY, and JIM STARLIN
art by JOHN BYRNE, JERRY ORDWAY, CURT SWAN, DAN JURGENS, RON FRENZ, ARTHUR ADAMS, and others
cover by JOHN BYRNE
ON SALE 6/1/21
$49.99 US | $65.99 CAN | 464 PAGES | FC | DC
HARDCOVER
ISBN: 978-1-77950-966-6
John Byrne’s bold reinvention of the Superman mythos continues, in stories featuring Green Lantern, Brainiac, Booster Gold, Lex Luthor, and more!
In this hardcover collection, Byrne is joined by fellow acclaimed comic book veterans such as Arthur Adams and Jerry Ordway, in stories including the Man of Steel against Toyman, Superman teaming with Green Lantern, and a day at the circus that turns into an encounter with Brainiac! Plus, Byrne teams with legendary Superman artist Curt Swan for the galaxy-faring Superman: The Earth Stealers!
This volume collects Superman #12-15, Adventures of Superman #436-438, Action Comics #594-597, Superman: The Earth Stealers #1, Action Comics Annual #1, Superman Annual #1, Adventures of Superman Annual #1, and Booster Gold #23.

YOUNG JUSTICE BOOK 2: GROWING UP TP
written by GREG WEISMAN and KEVIN HOPPS
art by CHRISTOPHER JONES and LUCIANO VECCHIO
cover by CHRISTOPHER JONES
ON SALE 5/18/21
$24.99 US | $33.99 CAN | 272 PAGES | FC | DC
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-77950-924-6
In these stories inspired by the hit animated TV series Young Justice, Superboy, Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Miss Martian, and Artemis make their way to Atlantis to foil Ocean-Master’s plan to purify the underwater city. Then, the team must fight off the menace known as Kobra, as well as defeat an army of warrior gorillas in the dangerous Gorilla City!
Plus, the Young Justice team adds to its ranks in an effort to battle the impending invasion by the Collector of Worlds, and one of the DC Universe’s favorite villains, Brainiac!
Collects Young Justice #14-25.

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Full solicitations text and images for DC Comics single issues and collections scheduled to arrive in stores in April 2021.

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King & Walta’s VISION is the comic you need to read to understand WANDAVISION

I’m surprised by my excitement over WandaVision, premiering today on Disney+. The Scarlet Witch and The Vision have never held much appeal for me, neither in their comics source material nor the streamlined Marvel Cinematic Universe versions played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, respectively. It’s not that I necessarily dislike them, but that I don’t know what I’m supposed to like about them.

Yet my interest in the streaming series was piqued when I heard that it would take inspiration from the landmark 2015-2016 The Vision comic book series written by Tom King and drawn by Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Not only is it one of the best superhero comics of the 2010s, but it’s characterized by social commentary and a haunting weirdness that, if the WandaVision creators learned the right lessons from it, could pull the TV drama out of the humdrum formula that’s plagued the MCU for over a decade.

The Vision, which features colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by Clayton Cowles, and an issue penciled by Michael Walsh, is one of a number of different superhero comics to emerge in the 2010s that were characterized by a lack of traditional superheroics. Charles Soule and Javier Pulido’s She-Hulk falls into this same category, as does King’s own Mr. Miracle with artist Mitch Gerads: recognizable, decades-old superheroes are the stars, but there’s not much in the way of crimefighting or superhero-on-supervillain action.

To borrow the parlance of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye, King and Walta’s The Vision follows the titular android superhero (created by Roy Thomas, Stan Lee, and John Buscema in 1968) on his “days off.” But whereas the former series is characterized by relatively mundane concerns between superheroic action, like adopting a dog and protecting his neighbors from comically predatory real estate gangsters, the latter’s inherently sci-fi-oriented protagonist emphasizes the eerie darkness of his attempts to lead a mundane life.

Vision #1 hip hop variant by Vanesa Del Rey, a homage to the cover of Wiz Khalifa‘s album Rolling Papers.

In the debut issue–which a bevy of critics voted as one of the greatest first issues of all time–we’re introduced to The Vision’s new suburban home “at 616 Hickory Branch Lane, Arlington, VA, 21301.” Note that Arlington is just south of Washington DC, so Vision could presumably ride the metro to Tom King’s real residence in the nation’s capitol with ease. What’s more, we’re introduced to three new characters, built by The Vision himself with his own synthetic hands: his wife, Virginia, and his teenage children, twins Viv and Vin.

Readers well-versed in sci-fi tropes a la Frankenstein or The Terminator may expect that The Vision’s family would become evil, or turn on their creator. After all, Vision’s “father,” the supervillain Ultron, turned against his creator, Hank Pym/Ant-Man. (Most people will be more familiar with the movie version of Ultron’s origin, in which he’s created by Tony Stark/Iron Man/Robert Downey Jr., but the general narrative structure is basically the same). Shortly thereafter in the late-60’s pages of The Avengers, Ultron created The Vision as his “son,” and in turn the Vision defied his genocidal father by becoming a good guy and joining The Avengers to defeat his creator.

As dark as King and Walta’s The Vision is, rote questions like “can we trust artificial intelligence” and “can robots feel love” have little bearing on the themes of this book. Sure, the Vision family struggles to fit in with their human neighbors who are understandably uneasy about the robots in town who don’t look or talk like “real people.” We, as readers, are immediately confronted by the eeriness of the Vision family, which is often played for uncomfortable laughs. But their essential humanity, in the sense that they experience real emotions like love and grief and embarrassment and anger, are never really in question.

Instead, by juxtaposing an android family with their suburban surroundings, King and Walta illustrate the depressing phoniness of suburban life. The Vision family may be robots, but they’re not as plastic as the white picket fence myth that their human neighbors desperately hang to. It’s a damning portrait of an essential, heartbreaking truth about the American dream: it has to be bought into with social currency. Our attempts to fit into the American ideal that’s sold to us through capitalism and white supremacy are no less robotic than Vision and Virginia play-acting their way through eating cookies with the sniveling middle-aged couple that lives down the street.

One could argue that The Vision is a horror comic. I’m not sure if I’d characterize it that way, but it shook me to my core. I grew up in the suburbs. I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I never fit in. It wasn’t for lack of trying; I didn’t set out to be an outcast. Perhaps I would’ve had an easier time if I embraced how weird my peers apparently thought I was at an early age. Instead I desperately tried and failed to present a synthetic version of myself that would be acceptable to my neighbors, not unlike the Visions studiously trying to present themselves as a typical American family. I wore Aeropostale and American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch, but they were hand-me-downs, as that was what my family could afford. I played sports, but I was too clumsy and never enjoyed them anyway. I tried to be funny, but nothing I could say was ever funnier to my classmates than my lisp, which many took as an opportunity to shower me with homophobic and ableist slurs.

“GREG SILBER!” My seventh-grade band teacher once shouted at me in front of the whole class. I was probably reading a book, and was terrified. Ever since preschool, I avoided getting into trouble at all costs, and had no idea what I could’ve done wrong. “MY OFFICE, NOW!”

“What’s wrong?” I asked as I walked in. One of the other band teachers was there, as was my geography teacher. The latter once accused me of plagiarizing a big assignment, telling my parents that my vocabulary was “too advanced” for me to have written myself. It was bullshit, but he was one of the “cool” teachers. I was more disappointed that he didn’t like me.

“Say your name,” my band teacher said.

“G-Greg?” I said, with the sinking feeling that I knew where this was going.

“Your full name,” he insisted.

“Greg… Silber,” I said, lisping the “S” as I always did and still do to this day.

The teachers chuckled and sent me back to my seat, and I quit band (and trumpet altogether) the next school year.

The word I kept coming back to during my adolescence, whether in my journals or, later, in therapy, was “robot.” It didn’t feel as though my peers, or indeed, many of the adults in my life, saw me as a real person. I was a robot put on this earth to amuse them. Mock Greg’s lisp and see how long he can pretend to ignore you until he puts up his middle finger. “Accidentally” knock him into a wall on the way to class, because it’s hilarious and what’s he gonna do, hit back? If you’re lucky maybe he will snap and shout obscenities at you or throw something across the room, and that’s extra fun because faculty will only notice Greg’s outbursts, and then you can play the victim.

I tried to train myself to be stone-faced throughout all this, like a robot. Just going through the motions from one activity to the next, pretending that there wasn’t so much more I wanted to do, so much more I had to say. I saw robot-like behavior in others, too. Keeping up with the latest fashions, repeating the same cruel jokes day in and day out. Did they really think the routine we were forced into was normal? Did they even want to be normal?

This may seem like a weird road to go down in a discussion of a Marvel superhero comic. But suburban ennui is the heart of The Vision. Tom King has proven to be a rather controversial writer, due to both his writing itself and scrutiny of his CIA experience. But I think one reason why The Vision is his most unimpeachable work is because of the universality of the melancholy and trauma it explores at the heart of contemporary society. That it’s a comic about robots and superheroes only underlines how much ghastly cynicism we’re expected to accept on an everyday basis.

If you’re intrigued by WandaVision – heck, even if you have no interest in Marvel whatsoever – King, Walta, Walsh, Bellaire, and Cowles’ The Vision is a must-read. It’s a story that takes an outlandish premise and brings it startlingly close-to-home, in a way that could only be achieved through comics.

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How the Visions of Virginia influenced the Westview-set Disney+ series.

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FANDOM FLAMES #2: Back in time with nostalgic fandom

Weirdly, just before I started writing this column, all about nostalgic fandom, I discovered the 90s sitcom The Nanny (now streaming on Pluto TV and the Roku app), which I knew about from scrolls through Tumblr, but which I had never actually watched before. It’s an entirely nostalgic experience, even if the show is as old as I am. It hearkens back to earlier days of the sitcom when multi-cam ruled the airwaves and single-cam was a rarity. The laugh track isn’t a laugh track — there was an actual audience, and the characters are so much more than overblown stereotypes.

All this to say, nostalgia is very compelling right now…and a more nostalgic fandom has certainly emerged within the past year and a half. You get people longing for the days of Spirk (Spock/Kirk) mailing lists, you get fan artists and writers recreating zines, and you get the sea shanty phenomenon that’s taking place right now. Sure, the sea shanty is popular everywhere, but I first saw it appearing on Tumblr, not TikTok.

There are also shows other than The Nanny which are experiencing a resurgence. The one that I’m thinking of in particular is M.A.S.H.; yes, the 70s/80s sitcom that takes place during the Korean War, but which is decidedly a statement on the Vietnam War. There was a whole to-do about it over last summer: appropriately titled “Hot M.A.S.H. Summer,” it saw people writing fanfics, writing meta, creating fan art, and just generally losing their minds. Hawkeye/BJ is the most popular ship, but there’s a lot of love for the show just in general.

People are also really into older movies, black and white films in particular. Gifs are very popular, partially for the aesthetic. But it also speaks to the popularity of cable channels like TCM, which many classic Hollywood aficionados watch on a regular basis.

Nostalgia can be a danger, but in the case of nostalgic fandom, it also allows for a renaissance of classic television and films and music. Shows that were underappreciated for years celebrate a new fandom, and older fans get to join in the fun too…that is, if the younger corners of fandom let them in, which is another column for another time.

I’ve written a lot about nostalgia in the past, longing for better times, especially in messy times. The truth is, there’s no such thing as better times or better, older media — there’s good media and bad media no matter the time they were made in. For every Nanny, there’s a Schitt’s Creek; for every M.A.S.H., there’s a Cobra Kai. For every quality classic movie, there’s a quality contemporary movie.

So, nostalgic fandom, keep a hold of your old media, whether physical or streaming, although I would recommend grabbing physical copies of anything. You never know when the nostalgia will be yanked from Netflix or Hulu and put onto…Peacock.

The post FANDOM FLAMES #2: Back in time with nostalgic fandom appeared first on The Beat.

Nostalgic fandom is here to stay, for the foreseeable future.

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A Year of Free Comics: Have a taste of THE SWEETNESS OF SALT

In The Sweetness of Salt by shooshell (A.K.A. Michelle), which you can read on Tapas now, Leah is a young witch who is feeling lost in her life. In order to gain some perspective, she visits her Aunt Cecelia’s seaside cottage (which she can only access by magically summoning a key).

Everything a witch needs!

Soon, Leah is relaxing at the beach and trying to gain some peace of mind when a mermaid surprises her. Leah panics and runs back to her Aunt’s house, but the mermaid follows her, transforming into human form to bring back Leah’s bucket (also, she’s naked, so it’s an especially flirty meet-cute). After introducing herself as Sha, the mermaid agrees to return to Leah’s house for dinner at sundown.

Leah goes hunting for seafood in the ocean.

When Sha arrives for their date, Leah has a full meal prepared (and she even lets Sha borrow a dress – I guess the Children of the Sea aren’t much for clothes). But can a witch and a mermaid find common ground? And is it possible that there may be consequences to a romance between the pair?

Sha in The Sweetness of Salt

The Sweetness of Salt boasts a very cute romance and some beautiful art, with the depictions of aquatic life and seafood each being especially well done.

Leah and Sha share a romantic meal in The Sweetness of Salt.

In addition to reading The Sweetness of Salt on Tapas, you can also catch up with the series on Webtoon, if you’d prefer.

Did someone say Fisherman’s Stew?

And if you’d like to support the comic, you can do so through Michelle’s Patreon and Ko-Fi pages. And you’ll want to follow Michelle on Twitter and on Instagram to keep up with the latest updates to The Sweetness of Salt!

The post A Year of Free Comics: Have a taste of THE SWEETNESS OF SALT appeared first on The Beat.

The comic follows a Surf’n’Turf romance between a witch and a mermaid.

The post A Year of Free Comics: Have a taste of THE SWEETNESS OF SALT appeared first on The Beat.

Dark Horse announces new anti-harassment and discrimination policies

Dark Horse Comics has released details on new anti-harassment and discrimination policies the publisher has been developing. The information was released publicly via social media this afternoon.

The post, seen above, reads as follows:

For transparency, updates from Dark Horse Comics:
With the help of outside HR Consultant, McGeachy Consulting, Dark Horse leadership has been reflecting, discussing and implementing new and updated policies to ensure the safety, happiness, and well-being of all employees.
Here are the measures that we have instituted:
• An updated Code of Conduct policy that we are asking all employees, creators, and business partners to uphold
• A more in-depth anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy, which includes a clear reporting policy, for employees across all departments and divisions
• A newly formed Employee Relations Committee that manages, guides, and directs any significant employee relations issues that arise at Dark Horse
• A newly formed HR Executive Committee focused on implementing HR strategy, planning, and policy
• Identification and introduction of new company values assembled into a Culture Document helping to define and inspire our workplace culture

Beginning this year, an annual series of harassment and discrimination prevention training sessions will be implemented for all our employees. Dark Horse will continue taking the necessary steps forward to prevent harassment and discrimination within the workplace. We can and will do better.

We are optimistic about the future as we continue to improve and update our company policies. It continues to be our goal to be a company in which every single person feels valued and where every person feels safe from harassment or discrimination of any kind. While there is more work to be done in the many months ahead, we remain deeply committed to positive change in the workplace.
The new policies and practices represent a first public step for Dark Horse following last year’s surfacing (and resurfacing) of sexual assault and harassment allegations against former Dark Horse editor Scott Allie. Allie was first reported to have groped creator Joe Harris in 2015, at a time when he was editor-in-chief at Dark Horse. In September of that year Allie stepped down to become executive senior editor for the publisher, a month before the groping incident was first reported. Following the report Allie continued on at Dark Horse until 2017, when he departed the company. In the intervening years he continued to freelance edit books for Dark Horse, including Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy titles and Gerard Way‘s The Umbrella Academy. Following last year’s assault allegations, Dark Horse finally severed all ties with Allie, though the fact that it took them that long to do so given Allie’s (well-known) history proved troubling to many in the industry.
Still, one can see room for ambiguity and/or improvement in Dark Horse’s new policies and how they’re going to be enforced. The Beat has reached out to the publisher for clarification on several of the pieces of the policy, which we’ll update this story with once we receive.

The post Dark Horse announces new anti-harassment and discrimination policies appeared first on The Beat.

The policy changes come in the wake of last year’s severing of ties with former editor Scott Allie.

The post Dark Horse announces new anti-harassment and discrimination policies appeared first on The Beat.