DC Comics, though, is stepping up its game big time, releasing a brand-new book that is appealing and exciting for new readers and a must-read for loyal DC superhero fans.
“It’s got a lot of story in it and a lot of revelations and a lot of secrets that are revealed both of the past and the future,” says Justice League writer Geoff Johns, who writes the main section of the New 52 special.
“It’s a really important book to what we’re doing with Justice League and a whole lot of other books in DC Comics. And it’s free.”
The issue, which will be available in comic shops all over the USA today (find one close to you at FreeComicBookDay.com), will feature six previews of new DC books including Earth 2, Dial H and Batman Incorporated. (DC also has an all-ages Superman Family Adventures issue out on Free Comic Book Day, and a preview of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo graphic novel from its Vertigo imprint.
The major attraction of the New 52 special, though, is Johns’ story, featuring art by Justice League illustrator Jim Lee, Kenneth Rocafort, Ivan Reis, Gene Ha and others. Lee contributes a gorgeous, action-packed, four-page gatefold spread. “You can’t do that digitally,” Johns says.
The story features Superman and Batman, naturally, but also the mysterious hooded lady Pandora — who was introduced in Johns’ Flashpoint event series — and brand-new characters as well as folks who haven’t been back for a while.
One individual who appears and will play a role in upcoming DC storylines in the newly relaunched universe is Vibe, the old Justice Leaguer from the 1980s who last popped back up — literally, from the dead — in Johns’ Blackest Night series as a member of the Black Lantern Corps.
“I can’t remember the last time someone requested to see him,” Johns says, laughing. “That’s the whole point, though, I like new challenges.
“It’s fun to see a mix of some of the classics, some of the obscure and a lot of new stuff.”
Introducing new heroes and villains, and those who haven’t been around for a while, allows a wider breadth of readers to meet characters for the first time. That’s the key for accessibility and avoiding regurgitation that Johns wants in the Free Comic Book Day issue as well as his monthly book.
“I thought battling Darkseid was great for the League’s first mission, and that’s what Graves is for the second arc,” Johns says of Justice League. “For me, it’s all about progressing the characters forward with these new takes, new mythologies, new ideas, new everything.”