Comics: Bats to blacken sky at SXSW; Green Arrow revival; and more

So many comics, so little time. Today, we have developments for three major DC properties and one Marvel IP. In this roundup, we explore Batman, Green Arrow, the Justice League, and Ghost Rider!

A swarm of over a million bats will black out the sky over Austin’s Congress Bridge at the SXSW festival in Texas this month in order to celebrate Batman’s 80th birthday, writes The Hollywood Reporter.

Using the hashtag of #LongLiveTheBat (not too snazzy if we do say so ourselves), DC will also launch the 1000th issue of Detective Comics, reveal a mural drawn by a local Texan artist, and begin to sell Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman — The Deluxe Edition. Compound that with new merch and photo opps, and you’ve got yourself quite the Bat-related shindig going on.

DetectiveComics1000MainCover

Credit: Lee, Williams, Sinclair (Courtesy of DC)

The celebration will span the entire world with promotions at Six Flags amusement parks in North America and at Warner Bros. licensed parks overseas. Even the Boys Girls Clubs of America are getting in on the super-heroic action.

Amazon, Apple, LEGO, Mattel, Funko, Crunchyroll, and Rooster Teeth are just a few of the brand partnering with DC for a massive advertising campaign centering on Gotham’s Caped Crusader.


While the current Green Arrow comic series (by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, and Javier Fernandez) is ending today with its 50th issue, it won’t stay “dead” for long.

During an appearance on DC Daily, DC co-publisher, Dan Didio, admitted that another series will arrive sometime in the near future.

“The book is still performing well, but we decided to end the story there because we wanted Green Arrow to play very integrally in a lot of the stories and events that are about to take place across the DCU,” Didio said. “Because of that, it worked counter to the way the series was going and we didn’t want to run in two separate directions, so we’re bringing one story to a close and let this other chapter [keep going], but to be very frank with you, we will have another Green Arrow book. He’s one of my favorite characters … every once in a while, you need to do a reset. We want to take a moment to reset, show how he’s a part of the bigger DCU again, and then once you do that, have the series spin out.”

This news comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that the live-action Green Arrow series (simply titled Arrow) on the CW will come to a close after eight seasons.

Green Arrow #50 went on sale today.


Now, let’s talk about the Justice League.

In Issue #19, we meet a new variation on the team after Mr. Mxyzptlk (a reality-bending DC character) sends Superman through a portal into the Sixth Dimension. Clark is attempting to stop the Legion of Doom from unleashing an ancient evil by the name of “Perpetua.” 

Superman shows back up seconds later, revealing that he was in the other dimension for 10 years. His hair is now gray and he’s sporting an immaculate suit of blue, white, and gold. He’s even got a golden diadem resting on his noggin. As the Man of Steel brings his fellow heroes through the portal, the reader meets the Justice League of the Sixth Dimension.

Future Superman Justice League #19

Credit: DC Comics

By the end of the book, however, it is revealed that this new and dignified-looking Superman is not the one from our dimension. The genuine article is stuck in a dark void and unable to escape. By the end, we’re left with one major question: “WHO IS THE FUTURE SUPERMAN?!”

Now on sale, Issue #19 was written by by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez. Artwork was handled by Jimenez with colors by Alejandro Sanchez.


And now for the single bit of Marvel news in today’s comic book news roundup: After putting the Ghost Rider onus on Robbie Reyes these last few years, the House of Ideas finally brought back the OG Rider, Johnny Blaze himself!

That being said, his appearance is more of a cameo at the end of Avengers #16 written by Jason Aaron and drawn by David Marquez.

After he’s deemed unfit for duty by the leading Avengers, Robbie is sent home, where he’s visited by Mr. Blaze, who says that he’ll “be back” and “the king of Hell will be here waiting.” Johnny continues that when they come face-to-face next time, they’re gonna take “a little ride.”

Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze Avengers #16

Credit: Marvel Comics

Robbie admits that Blaze was perhaps the greatest Ghost Rider who ever lived. Nevertheless, the man has turned into something horrifying, a monster beyond Reyes’ worst nightmares. In any case, let’s hope that we see more of Johnny Blaze from here on out.

Avengers #16 is now on sale everywhere.


From: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/comics-bats-to-blacken-sky-at-sxsw-green-arrow-revival-and-more

James Gunn’s Superman horror flick Brightburn has a new trailer

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn’s latest film is a return to the superhero formula — sort of. Brightburn is the story of child from another planet, and the good-intentioned midwestern couple that adopts him when his craft crash lands on their property.

But it doesn’t turn out exactly like the story you’re familiar with.

Gunn (and screenwriters Mark Gunn and Brian Gunn, James’ cousin and brother, respectively), are asking the age-old question “What if Superman was a bad idea?” And there’s no mistaking their intentions: From the flight, to the laser vision, to the red cape, this is a story in the shadow of Superman.

Rather than the Kents, Brightburn will feature Mr. and Mrs. Breyer, played by Elizabeth Banks and David Denman, with the young Jackson A. Dunn (that’s Dunn with a D, not another Gunn) as their adopted son whose middle school moodiness turns out to be a bit too much to handle.

In the comics world, there are plenty of stories of Superman being a menace to the world instead of a help. Only this fall, DC Comics’ DC House of Horror anthology special kicked off the Halloween festivities with a 10-page story in which Superman proves to be an alien monster child with terrible powers who immediately murders the Kents and soars off to menace the world.

Brightburn will hit theaters on May 29.

From: https://www.polygon.com/2019/3/6/18253569/brightburn-james-gunn-superman-horror-movie

‘Brightburn’ Trailer: Superman Meets ‘Carrie’ in James Gunn’s Superhero Horror Movie

brightburn trailer

What if Superman wasn’t good? It’s a nightmare dreamt up by plenty of comic book writers, supervillains, and Batman himself, but the new James Gunn-produced horror film plays out that scenario in full. Brightburn imagines a Superman origin story that goes horribly wrong, in which an alien, superpowered young boy decides to use his powers for evil.

Brightburn Trailer

From the alien ship crash-landing in front of an unsuspecting couple to the powers of super strength and flight to the red cape, Brightburn plays with some very familiar imagery. The trailer even recalls that of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel: dreamy, sun-washed, vivid — but with a terrifying twist. Those dreams become nightmares as the young boy Brandon (newcomer Jackson A. Dunn) adopts a sinister persona that he uses to kill and torture people.

Cast out by his bullying schoolmates, and even by his adopted father, Brandon’s story has shades of Carrie — which follows a supernaturally-gifted teen as she wreaks havoc after being horribly bullied. Brightburn puts forward how easy it would be for a superpowered young boy to adopt a twisted mindset and become the monster instead of the superhero.

Brightburn stars Elizabeth Banks, who reunites with Gunn after the filmmaker directed her in the cult horror film Slither. She’s joined by Meredith HangerDavid DenmanMatt JonesGregory Alan WilliamsJennifer Holland and more, with a script from Brian and Mark GunnDavid Yarovesky, a frequent Gunn collaborator, directs while Gunn and the The H Collective produce.

Here is the synopsis for Brightburn:

What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.

BrightBurn hits theaters on May 24, 2019.

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From: https://www.slashfilm.com/brightburn-trailer-2/

CCAD appears in latest Superman comic

The Canzani Center on the campus of the Columbus College of Art Design is featured in the most recent issue of Action Comics — before it’s blown to smithereens

The Columbus College of Art Design isn’t just a place for creative-minded students to hone their artistic skills. In the latest issue of Action Comics, starring Superman, it’s also apparently a great location for clandestine meetings and epic battles.

Unfortunately, the Canzani Center on CCAD’s campus isn’t able to survive an explosive confrontation between Amanda Waller — a high-ranking government official in the DC Comics universe — and Leviathan, a fictional criminal empire.

The issue’s writer, Brian Michael Bendis, included the locale — and its destruction — in an apparent nod to his guest appearance in September at the college during the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival.

The Dispatch was unable to reach Bendis, but after the issue was released last week, the Cleveland native tweeted that the idea came to him as Tom Spurgeon, editor of the comic-news website The Comics Reporter, interviewed him in the Canzani Center.

I was sitting on this very stage being interviewed by @comicsreporter thinking it was a great place for an assassination, went back to my room and wrote that… https://t.co/iBOA8BGzkT

— BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (@BRIANMBENDIS) February 28, 2019

“I was sitting on this very stage being interviewed by (Spurgeon) thinking it was a great place for an assassination, went back to my room and wrote that,” tweeted Bendis, who lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Alisa and four children.

In issue 1008 — featuring the art of Steve Epting — the Canzani Center and part of the campus’s iconic red “Art” sign are first seen as Waller enters the building for a top-secret rendezvous. Things go south after Leviathan makes an assassination attempt on Waller’s life, with an apparent gas leak leaving the building in ruins.

CCAD’s inclusion in Action Comics — which introduced the Man of Steel in 1938 and is now published by DC Comics — was a happy surprise to students and instructors alike, said Laurenn McCubbin, assistant professor in the comics and narrative practice program at CCAD.

“We had no idea that it was coming,” McCubbin said.

Bendis, 51, has won five Eisner Awards for both his creator-owned work and his work on various Marvel Comics books, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, and The Avengers.

He was the primary creator of “Ultimate Spider-Man,” which introduced the character of Miles Morales — featured in Academy Award-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — and is the co-creator of the comic series “Alias” featuring Jessica Jones. He won a Peabody Award for his work as the co-creator and consulting producer of Netflix’s “Jessica Jones.”

McCubbin said she has known Bendis for 10 years and was the one who had the idea to invite him to CCAD as a guest speaker. After she saw the homage, she couldn’t resist needling him a bit.

“I laughed really hard and I texted Brian and I asked him, ‘Did you have a good time? Did you blow us up on purpose?’”

 

elagatta@dispatch.com

@EricLagatta

From: https://www.dispatch.com/entertainmentlife/20190304/ccad-appears-in-latest-superman-comic

CCAD appears in latest Superman comic

The Canzani Center on the campus of the Columbus College of Art Design is featured in the most recent issue of Action Comics — before it’s blown to smithereens

The Columbus College of Art Design isn’t just a place for creative-minded students to hone their artistic skills. In the latest issue of Action Comics, starring Superman, it’s also apparently a great location for clandestine meetings and epic battles.

Unfortunately, the Canzani Center on CCAD’s campus isn’t able to survive an explosive confrontation between Amanda Waller — a high-ranking government official in the DC Comics universe — and Leviathan, a fictional criminal empire.

The issue’s writer, Brian Michael Bendis, included the locale — and its destruction — in an apparent nod to his guest appearance in September at the college during the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival.

The Dispatch was unable to reach Bendis, but after the issue was released last week, the Cleveland native tweeted that the idea came to him as Tom Spurgeon, editor of the comic-news website The Comics Reporter, interviewed him in the Canzani Center.

I was sitting on this very stage being interviewed by @comicsreporter thinking it was a great place for an assassination, went back to my room and wrote that… https://t.co/iBOA8BGzkT

— BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (@BRIANMBENDIS) February 28, 2019

“I was sitting on this very stage being interviewed by (Spurgeon) thinking it was a great place for an assassination, went back to my room and wrote that,” tweeted Bendis, who lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Alisa and four children.

In issue 1008 — featuring the art of Steve Epting — the Canzani Center and part of the campus’s iconic red “Art” sign are first seen as Waller enters the building for a top-secret rendezvous. Things go south after Leviathan makes an assassination attempt on Waller’s life, with an apparent gas leak leaving the building in ruins.

CCAD’s inclusion in Action Comics — which introduced the Man of Steel in 1938 and is now published by DC Comics — was a happy surprise to students and instructors alike, said Laurenn McCubbin, assistant professor in the comics and narrative practice program at CCAD.

“We had no idea that it was coming,” McCubbin said.

Bendis, 51, has won five Eisner Awards for both his creator-owned work and his work on various Marvel Comics books, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, and The Avengers.

He was the primary creator of “Ultimate Spider-Man,” which introduced the character of Miles Morales — featured in Academy Award-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — and is the co-creator of the comic series “Alias” featuring Jessica Jones. He won a Peabody Award for his work as the co-creator and consulting producer of Netflix’s “Jessica Jones.”

McCubbin said she has known Bendis for 10 years and was the one who had the idea to invite him to CCAD as a guest speaker. After she saw the homage, she couldn’t resist needling him a bit.

“I laughed really hard and I texted Brian and I asked him, ‘Did you have a good time? Did you blow us up on purpose?’”

 

elagatta@dispatch.com

@EricLagatta

From: https://www.dispatch.com/entertainmentlife/20190304/ccad-appears-in-latest-superman-comic

Jimmie Tramel: Decades-old courtroom clash opened door for Marvel’s ‘Captain Marvel’ movie

Whenever Jimmie Tramel posts new content, you’ll get an email delivered to your inbox with a link.

Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

From: https://www.tulsaworld.com/entertainment/movies/jimmie-tramel-decades-old-courtroom-clash-opened-door-for-marvel/article_064e821e-4462-5b28-ad50-ee811d2c5062.html

Superman Sunday – Superman #7: The Comic Source Podcast Episode #707

In this episode we discuss;

Superman Sunday – Superman #7

The Comic Source Podcast

Episode #707

Jace breaks down issue #7 of the Superman title. as Jon Kent returns to earth. What does this mean for the Kent family and will ti bring Lois and Clark back together?

Superman #7

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis, Artists – Ivan Reis, Brandon Peterson Jason Fabok, Inker – Oclair Albert, Colorist – Alex Sinclar, Letterers – Josh Reed Carlos M. Mangual

From: https://lrmonline.com/news/episode-707/

Superman, Jimmy Olsen, and Adam Strange Get Ready for Leviathan in Action Comics

I very nearly started this preview of Action Comics #1008 with “Who would have guessed Steve Epting would be an AMAZING Superman artist?” I realized about halfway through typing it, though, that this is an incredibly stupid thing to write. Literally everyone would have guessed that. Even me, once I thought about it for the briefest of seconds.

The initial surprise was seeded by the work I know him best from. His time on Captain America with Ed Brubaker and New Avengers with Jonathan Hickman is decidedly not-Supermannish. Cap was all about putting Steve Rogers in a hole so deep he could barely climb back out of, breaking him with his own past. New Avengers was the opposite and simultaneously darker by an almost ridiculous amount – ripping down the entire multiverse, while also tearing down the moral centers of the characters who mostly occupied the moral center of the Marvel Universe. That makes him an obvious natural fit for the Dad of all Superheroes, right?

Unsurprisingly, it does. First of all, he’s an impossibly talented artist who can do action and mood unlike just about anybody in the business. He can stand Superman up as an icon and have him feel every bit as powerful and inspirational as Quitely or Curt Swan or any of the other greats from the past. Secondly, he’s inked by Astro City’s Brent Anderson, who puts more sweeping iconography in every panel of that book than other guys can fit in a two page spread. And finally, he’s perfect for Action Comics in particular because it’s been building Metropolis and Superman’s rogues as much as its been adding to the main character, while the “Leviathan Rising” storyline moves a lot of the secret agencies and societies of the DC Universe into place, so there’s the espionage-tinged coolness we loved him for during his Marvel days. This is basically a job we never realized we needed Epting on for all our lives.

Let’s dig into the details of Action Comics #1008, shall we?

“The superstar creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Steve Epting dig into the DC Universe in this sweeping espionage epic that’s shattering the agencies—and heroes—dedicated to protecting the world! As the D.E.O. falls, only Jimmy Olsen may hold the answers to helping Superman and Lois Lane uncover who’s behind the attacks rocking the DC Universe’s biggest clandestine organizations. And when the Suicide Squad’s Amanda Waller makes a shocking discovery, can she help the trio understand the truth before the balance of power shifts to Leviathan forever?”

Putting Jimmy Olsen on the cover, and at the center of the “Leviathan Rising” story so far, is a great reminder of how important this character should always be to the Superman mythos, and how much fun he can be as an action (sorry) character. If Jimmy as a proactive adventurer was good enough for Jack Kirby, he’s good enough for Brian Michael Bendis and Steve Epting. All of this and Adam Strange, too? 

Action Comics #1008 Cover - Leviathan Rising

Take a look at the preview pages below. The Den of Geek family wants to extend our well wishes to Flash writer Joshua Williamson, who is apparently missing or has met some other nefarious fate, if the corkboard on page one is to be believed…

Action Comics #1008 Preview Page 1

Action Comics #1008 Preview Page 2

Action Comics #1008 Preview Page 3

Action Comics #1008 Preview Pages 4  5

All this and an Esad Ribic variant cover, too? See for yourself…

Action Comics #1008 Cover Variant

Action Comics #1008 is on sale this week!

From: https://www.denofgeek.com/us/books/dc-entertainment/279524/superman-jimmy-olsen-adam-strange-leviathan-action-comics

See What Michael B. Jordan Would Look Like As DC’s New Superman

On the one hand, it seems crazy that DC doesn’t have another Superman movie in the pipeline. He’s literally the most popular comic book character ever created, and DC has an entire on-going universe they’re trying to create. At the same time, DC clearly has things planned out and for a while and it’s hard to see where there would be room for a Superman movie. Shazam!, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey are already set to be the next three DC universe films. There’s an unrelated Joker movie on the way and Aquaman 2 was just given a release date. Add in the fact that there will be a new Batman movie in there someplace as well, and DC’s calendar is getting crowded.

From: https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2467687/see-what-michael-b-jordan-would-look-like-as-dcs-new-superman

WB Boss Addresses Failure of DC’s Shared Universe, Teases Less Focus on Batman and Superman

The DC Comics cinematic franchise seems to be back on track after the success of Aquaman while anticipation for Shazam! continues to grow. But after the setback of Justice League, it seems like Warner Bros. Pictures will focus on developing stand-alone movies moving forward, with Superman and Batman taking a backseat.

While speaking with the LA Times, Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara spoke about the new strategy for DC-based movies going forward, teasing that there could be a renewed focus toward a shared universe in the future.

“The upcoming slate, with Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track,” said Tsujihara. “We have the right people in the right jobs working on it. The universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. That’s not to say we won’t at some point come back to that notion of a more connected universe. But it feels like that’s the right strategy for us right now.”

When asked what caused the change in their strategy, the WB boss pointed toward one very specific turning point that revealed a future of possibilities, showing that they don’t need to rely on Batman and Superman in the future.

“What Patty Jenkins did on Wonder Woman illustrated to us what you could do with these characters who are not Batman and Superman,” Tsujihara explained. “Obviously, we want to get those two in the right place, and we want strong movies around Batman and Superman. But Aquaman is a perfect example of what we can do. They’re each unique and the tone’s different in each movie.”

While Batman might not be the focus moving forward, Warner Bros. has not forgotten about their flagship hero. In fact, they seem to be taking that direction with the Caped Crusader in their next film.

Writer and director Matt Reeves explained why The Batman will be disconnected from the other films, possibly revealing why they needed a change from Ben Affleck’s version.

Aquaman is going to be very different from the Todd Phillips Joker movie, and that’s going to be different from Shazam and Harley Quinn,” Reeves told the Hollywood Reporter. “Warners believes they don’t have to try to develop a giant slate that has to have all the plans for how it’s going to connect. What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters.”

We’ll see the next phase of the DC Comics movie universe when Shazam! premieres in theaters on April 5th.

—–

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From: https://comicbook.com/dc/2019/02/28/wb-boss-teases-future-of-dc-comics-connected-universe-less-focus/

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