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On today’s episode, Michael breaks down the most useless of the holidays and has an idea of two on how to revamp and jazz up President’s Day. Plus, Michael has a tv show pitch involving spotting the gay man, pet food stamps and spoilers from Batman, Inc. #8 involving the death of … (don’t listen to this podcast unless you want this ruined for you). Be sure to click the Like / Tweet buttons to help promote The Michael Show!
Greg Rucka ( Action Comics, Batwoman, Detective Comics, Punisher) was recently interviewed about his current relationship with the Big Two, Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Here’s a clip.
When asked about creator ownership, he replies:
“The dirty little secret is that those Image guys made all these deals and almost to a man failed to deliver. They burnt Hollywood horribly on letting comics talent actually be a part of the production of the material they sold.
I’ve reached the end of my Work For Hire rope. I’m enjoying The Punisher, but that’s not mine, it’s Marvel’s, and l knew that going in. I have spent a lot of my comics career in service of other masters, – and I’ve had enough of that for now. I’m sick to death of the way the Big Two treat people.
I gave seven very good years to DC and they took gross advantage of me. That’s partially my fault, but not entirely. At this point, I see no reason why I should have to put up with that, I can sink or swim on my own.
You are seeing a grotesque Hollywoodisation of the two main companies. There was at least a period where I felt that the way they wanted to make money was by telling the best story they could; now the quality of the work matters less than that the book comes out. There is far less a desire to see good work be done.
Dan DiDio has gone on record, and this is the same man that said Gotham Central would never be cancelled as long as he was there, telling people what a great book Gotham Central was, but it never made any money.
Well, take a look at your trade sales! That book has made nothing but money as a trade. What I’m now being told is, ”lt was never worth anything to us anyway.”So, you know what? They can stop selling the Batwoman: Elegy trade and stop selling the Wonder Woman trades and everything else I’ve done, because clearly I’ve not done anything of service and those guys aren’t making any money off me.
Right now, where the market is, I have no patience for it.
My run on Punisher ends on #16, and we are then doing a five-issue mini called War Zone and then I’m done. That’s it! The Powers-That-Be at Marvel, without talking to me, decreed that he’s going to join a team on another book.
That’s their choice, they own him, but I don’t have to be happy about it. I am glad I had the opportunity to work on the character and I’m proud of the work I’ve done.
Despite what the publishers say, their interest in the talent is minimal now, the interest is only in promoting the financial worth of their properties. That was not the case as of two or three years ago, when there was an ‘Exclusives war’, but that’s all gone by the wayside now. Ultimately, they are saying, “We don’t need you,’ because they can get a million more just like you.
For every person who passes on the opportunity to write Spider-Man or Superman, I guarantee there are 5000 hungry writers who would give their eye-teeth to do it. But just because they want to do it, it doesn’t mean they are capable of doing it. It comes down entirely to Warner Bros. realising what they owned but had not exploited. At the end of the Harry Potter franchise, they went “Oh, crap, we need something else fast’, looked over at Marvel’s very very successful film program.
DC are playing catch up with Marvel, because of things like The Avengers breaking six hundred million domestic. That’s a lot of money, I don’t begrudge Warner Bros wanting to make bank it would be like blaming a shark for eating, but l do think that the pursuit of that financial windfall bears a detrimental effect on the creative and artistic side.”
It looks like Wonder Woman might be making a return to prime-time network television — again.
More than a year after NBC passed on a Wonder Woman pilot, Vulture reports that a new series starring the DC icon is in very early development at The CW, with the working title of “Amazon.” It’s said to be at the script development stage at this point, written by Allan Heinberg — a TV and comic book veteran, whose credits include The O.C. and Marvel’s Young Avengers, plus a 2006 run on the Wonder Woman comic book.
The series is said to be a Smallville-esque take on the character, depicting Wonder Woman’s early days.
Wonder Womanbecame a household name with the Lynda Carter-starred series that ran on ABC and later CBS for three seasons, from 1976 to 1979; Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley’s 2011 Wonder Woman pilot starring Adrianne Palicki received a mix of abundant pre-release hype and persistent bad buzz, and was ultimately not picked up as a series.
DC Comics announced at their DC Entertainment-All Accesspanel Sunday at Fan Expo Toronto that a new Justice League will be forming in 2013.
Justice League of America will be an ongoing series written by Geoff Johns and drawn by David Finch.
“This is a very different kind of team book,” said Geoff Johns in a press release. “On first glance, people might think the heroes of the Justice League of America stand in the shadows of Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League, but Green Arrow, Katana, Martian Manhunter, the new Green Lantern, Stargirl, Vibe, Hawkman and Catwoman thrive in the shadows.
“Why they’re formed, why each member joins, what they’re after and who the society of villains is they’re trying to take apart will all be clear in the first issue when it hits early 2013. David and I are really focused on delving deep into what it’s like to not be a member of the big seven and why, sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”
Although Johns is writing two Justice League comics now, he implied that they would have different tones, comparing the new Justice League of America comic to JSA, a book Johns wrote for more than 100 issues. Both books feature characters who aren’t considered “A-List,” he said.
Johns had already hinted about there being the possibility of another team in Justice League #8, when Steve Trevor approached Green Arrow about “another team” he could join. Johns said Steve Trevor would be the leader of the new JLA, and A.R.G.U.S. would be attempting to control the team.
“You’ll see why they’re selected, and why this team is going to give the real Justice League a run for its money, because the relationships in this team are going to be incredibly significant,” Johns said. “There’s going to be a real learning curve with all the teams, but has the benefit of a true leader in Steve Trevor. Steve Trevor has a heart and soul that’s going to bring these characters that, on first glance, might not ever gel — what does Stargirl ever have in common with Catwoman? How’s that going to work?”
Johns said Catwoman, who has already been established as a thief in her own ongoing, only joins the team because she “wants” something. Vibe joins when his older brother recruits him, although neither thing he’s not worthy, according to Johns. Vibe had already been hinted as a character Johns would write because he showed up his Trinity War teaser image in DC’s Free Comic Book Day issue.
Most notably for fans of Justice Society of America, the new JLA team written by Johns will include Stargirl, a character Johns created for his first DC title and included in his acclaimed run on JSA. The writer said the character is around 17 or 18 years old and is very “exuberant, positive and optimistic.”
“She’s slightly different,” Johns said of the New 52 version of the character. He said the new Stargirl got her start on Hollywood Boulevard, but she goes against everything that young Hollywood stands for, because she’s a true hero. Johns said readers will also see how she’s connected to Starman and Pat Duggan, who was her stepfather and served as “S.T.R.I.P.E.” in the pre-New 52 continuity.
Ben Affleck could be the leader of the Justice League, if Warner Bros. has their way. The actor and director is being called upon for his latter skill, Variety reports, and is expected to speak to studio executives this week.
Affleck, who directed The Town for the studio is reportedly the only potential director who has received the script to Justice League, written by Will Beall. The script was commissioned in the summer of 2011.
Warner Bros. wants to get the assemblage of DC superheroes, traditionally including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and more, on the big screen sooner rather than later, following the success of The Avengers, Marvel’s superteam.
If a Justice League film does hit the fast track, with or without Affleck, it likely still wouldn’t premiere until 2015 — the same year the just-confirmed Avengers 2, written and directed by Joss Whedon, looks to be hitting theaters.
Home to such superheroes as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, DC has struggled to find the same success on the big screen as its Walt Disney Co.-owned rival Marvel Entertainment — despite having a better known collection of characters.
Nolan’s Batman movies have been its only hits of the past decade, surrounded by modest flops such as 2006′s “Superman Returns” and 2009′s ”Watchmen” and such major money-losers as 2010′s”Jonah Hex” and last year’s ”Green Lantern.”
As a result, top Warner executives had hoped that Nolan, who is producing next summer’s Superman reboot “Man of Steel,” would agree to serve the same role on the studio’s “Justice League,” which may hit theaters in 2015. ”It was a conversation we had,” Warner Bros. film group President Jeff Robinov said. “Obviously anything you can get Chris involved in is great.”
However, Nolan has declined the studio’s overtures, the filmmaker confirmed last weekend in interviews promoting the release of his final Batman installment.
Like all the Hollywood studios, Warner craves new film franchises, which tend to perform best overseas, generate sequels and drive sales of DVDs, toys and other ancillary products. But none of the DC movies currently in the works has a producer, director or cast, save for Zack Snyder’s $200-million-plus “Man of Steel.”
As a result, it will likely be at least three years before a new DC title hits the big screen, according to several knowledgeable people close to Warner Bros. who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Debuting in front of The Dark Knight Rises, not one but two teaser trailers for 2013′s Man of Steel are now out, a domestic and an international clip. Each has a different voiceover, but otherwise the same shots of a young Superman, fishing, hitchhiking and taking flight.
Domestic, with narration by Kevin Costner’s Jonathan Kent:
Rocksteady Studios is developing a new Batman video game for 2014, Variety reports, one that would take place before Arkham City and Arkham Asylum and also feature members of the Justice League.
This is just one of the series of projects that Warner Bros. is developing reportedly in a coordinated branding effort to maximize the Justice League intellectual property and whet audience appetites for an eventual Justice League film.
Varity ties the game it to one of several recent projects — citing efforts including last year’s New 52 relaunch; CW’s fall-debuting Arrow TV series and the Lego: The Piece of Resistance movie, featuring animated Batman and Superman. The Hollywood trade also cites the projects as efforts to prepare the market for what’s next in a world with no more Christopher Nolan Batman movies. Variety calls it Time Warner’s “mandate to monetize its stable of iconic superheroes.”
In addition to a Justice League movie, which Warner hopes will be ready for 2015 (a script by Will Beall is in the “polish” stage), Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green are writingThe Flash, and Michael Goldenberg has been hired to write Wonder Woman. All three worked on 2011′s Green Lantern film.
Though WB execs declined to comment on the article, Variety reports that the studio plans to reveal their upcoming film plans for DC’s characters within the next several months.
When DC’s “New 52″ launched last year, the Joker may have lost his face, but that doesn’t mean he’s done tormenting Bruce Wayne.
In October’s Batman #13, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo will kick off a Joker storyline titled “Death of the Family,” utilizing the villain in what DC has announced is a “dark, horrifying, unnerving” way.
The Joker storyline is expected to spill over into other Bat-family titles, as DC revealed that “the grave consequences of his reemergence will be felt by not only the Bat-family, but by all of Gotham City.”
“Death of the Family” will bring back Joker after the character appeared briefly inDetective Comics #1 in September 2011. However, in that issue, the character had his face literally removed at the end of the issue, and has not been seen again in the New 52 universe.
Now that he’s returned, he presumably has a very different face.
“Wait ’til you see him,” Snyder said. “Greg’s sketches literally gave me chills. Point blank: This is Joker like you’ve never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn’t going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a wild ride.”
The “Death of the Family” storyline will be the first major Joker story within DC’s relaunched universe. The publisher has already confirmed that storylines like The Killing Joke are still in continuity in the New 52, and that Joker did injure Barbara Gordon and kill Jason Todd. But represents the first time he has served as a major villain within a new story for the younger, New 52 version of Bruce Wayne.
“Basically, this is my big exploration of the Joker, my Arkham Asylum or The Killing Joke, only bigger in scope. Bottom line: it’s the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell. This is Joker completely unleashed. He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up. And now he’s back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened.”
Although DC has not confirmed when the rest of the Batman comics may tie into “Death of the Family,” of particular interest to readers would be the New 52 versions of meetings between Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd with the Joker, in the titles Batgirl and Red Hood and the Outlaws.
It’s been evident for months now that Marvel had big plans for their publishing line following Avengers vs. X-Men. Now it’s clear what that is: An initiative dubbed “Marvel NOW!” that will include multiple series launches/relaunches and creative team shifts starting in October.
“This ain’t no reboot,” Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said in the Entertainment Weekly print article revealing Marvel NOW!, seemingly differentiating it from DC’s “New 52″ revamp last year. “It’s a new beginning!”
Uncanny Avengers: A blended Avengers/X-Men book written by Rick Remender and illustrated by John Cassaday , with a cast including Captain America, Thor, Rogue and Havok. Remender is quoted by EW as calling the series a “bridge book” “that can delve into both worlds,” though post-AvX tension will be apparent. Starts in October.
All-New X-Men: As long-rumored, Brian Michael Bendis is writing the X-Men, specifically the original five. Still teenagers, they time travel to the present-day Marvel Universe, and aren’t pleased with what they find. “It’s not a time-travel story like Back to the Future,” Bendis is quoted. “It’s a time-travel story like Pleasantville,” the writer says, with character drama more important than the sci-fi aspect. Art from Stuart Immonen; starts in November.
Avengers: Now a biweekly series written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Jerome Opeña, the book will include “18 or more” Avengers team members, and, as the article states, “feature a combination of one-off stories and longer, galaxy-spanning multi-issue arcs.” Starts in December.
“Marvel NOW!” is also an extension of the digital “ReEvolution” initiative announced earlier this year, with AR recaps on the cover of each #1 issue under the banner, plus codes for free digital copies as Marvel has been providing with each of their $3.99 titles since June.
The EW piece also includes a full look at the Joe Quesada-illustrated image glimpsed on Monday, including new costumes for multiple characters including Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Cyclops, Spider-Man and the Hulk; Cable with an eyepatch; prominent placement of “cosmic” Marvel heroes Nova and Rocket Raccoon; the new Nick Fury introduced in Battle Scars; and what appears to be a floating helmet.
Keep reading The Michael Show in the coming days for much more on Marvel NOW!.
Green Lantern Vol 3 #144. Might be worth a quick peek. If only for scenes like this, with Kyle Rayner and Alan Scott. Why? With DC Comics relaunching an “icon” character gay…Alan Scott is on top of that list.
It’s now been one year since DC Comics announced The New 52 — the relaunch and realigning of their DC Universe continuity — and since that time fans have had a lot of questions about the nuts and bolts of the reality.
A new timeline was established that so far maintains the heroic age truly began about five years ago. The World War II heroes of the Justice Society have been removed from the mainstream reality again and inhabit Earth 2. Superman is no longer married to Lois Lane — in fact, he hasn’t even dated her yet. Barry Allen has never dated Iris West, and Batman had four (or five) apprentices in a span of five years.
While several story arcs seem to be progressing quite nicely, there are still new and lingering questions amongst fans. Some are curiosities about what is being set up to be told in the future. Some are genuine concerns and confusion about where continuity stands for some characters and events. Most of the universe was rebooted, but contradictions have been rising and it hasn’t helped that the Batman and Green Lantern histories are apparently largely unaffected by this universal restart.
SHOULD WE IGNORE PARTS OF BATMAN INC.?
We were told time and time again that the Bat-books are relatively untouched by the changing continuity of The New 52 DC Universe. The idea seemed to be that most of Batman’s adventures with the Justice League never happened and Tim Drake’s career as a member of Young Justice is non-existent, but they still had their own adventures in Gotham.
Batman Incorporated began before The New 52 relaunch, and theLeviathan Strikes one-shot is said to take place months before all the new issue #1′s, explaining why Dick Grayson has not yet returned to his Nightwing identity and why Barbara Gordon still requires a wheelchair. In fact, Barbara’s physical state means that parts of Batman Incorporated need to take place at least 6 months before Batgirl #1.
That’s all well and good, but readers are getting a bit confused when DC refuses to address the continuity/chronology of the many Robins in the new DCU and creators remark at San Diego Comic-Con that Stephanie was not a Robin, yet Batman, Incorporated clearly says that this part of her history remains true. And while we’re told in the pages of Justice League that the team has not had any new members in the five years since it formed, Leviathan Strikes includes remarks of Metamorpho’s “Justice League days.” Was he a member but only for a short time now? Was he just an associate or consultant on a few cases?
WHAT IS N.O.W.H.E.R.E.?
Seriously. What is it? For months now, this shady organization has been present in every issue of Superboy and Teen Titans. It’s a big deal in the new title Ravagers. And yet, nine months into The New 52, we don’t even know what the acronym stands for. On top of that, we don’t know what the group really wants.
N.O.W.H.E.R.E. has an interest in metahuman teenagers and has been forcing them into “survival of the fittest” scenarios. Why? To create some ultimate metahuman army to take over the world? If so, it seems like a waste to just kill the less powerful/formidable teens, surely they would be useful as cannon fodder if nothing else. How long has N.O.W.H.E.R.E. been around and what else is it up to? Is this a private organization or a government project that went rogue?
At SDCC last year, writer Scott Lobdell stated that Superboy was still the creation of Cadmus and that his pre-Young Justice adventures were still in continuity. Yet the new comics have shown this is clearly not the case and N.O.W.H.E.R.E. seems to be responsible for his birth. I say “seems” because in the first issue of Superboy, the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. doctors themselves seem unaware of Superboy’s exact origins and question it. Who’s running this group when they aren’t even sure what they’re working on?
And why would you give Superboy a costume with Superman’s symbol and then act surprised when he realized he must be connected to the famous alien superhero?
WHO KILLED ALEX DEWITT?
You know the phrase “women in refrigerators”? Well, Alex DeWitt was the woman who was literally found in the fridge. A love interest to the Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, she was a very strong, opinionated woman who was essential to helping the young man mature into a stronger hero. And then Major Force showed up and, seemingly for the pleasure of it, killed her and stuffed her in the fridge just to show Kyle that he meant business and was a dangerous person.
Alex’s death has been a major part of Kyle’s character ever since. Her ghost has haunted him (sometimes literally) and it’s not an event he’s ever gotten over. It also made Major Force his first archenemy.
But here’s the thing: Major Force was given powers because someone attempted to recreate the project that created Captain Atom. Essentially, he was the evil Captain Atom, with the same abilities. But in The New 52, Captain Atom has only been around for a few months. and there is no Major Force yet. So… who killed Alex years ago?
HOW LONG HAS BATMAN BEEN OPERATING?
The Justice League formed roughly five years ago and Superman made his debut just under six years ago (Action Comics #1 took place six months before Justice League #1, and said he’d been operating for a few months already). We’ve been told that Batman (and Hal Jordan) had been operating as heroes before Superman’s debut and that the world at large was simply unaware.
But just when did Batman begin? If we presume that Dick Grayson became the original Robin after Superman’s debut but before the formation of the Justice League, then Batman was probably operating for at least three or four years earlier (taking into account his solo adventures and the previous timeline). So let’s say Batman has been around for nine years. Well, his son Damian Wayne is 10. When exactly did Batman meet Ra’s al Ghul and Damian’s mother Talia in the new reality? Before he was ever Batman?
Another problem arises when you consider that Batman’s origin is still said to be Batman: Year One. But if that story features the birth of James Gordon Jr., then it must take place almost 20 years ago since James seems to currently be in his late teens, if not older. So has Batman been operating for 20 years now, meaning he was running around for at least 14 years before Superman and the first Robin showed up?
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE GORDON FAMILY?
Previously, Barbara “Babs” Gordon was Jim Gordon’s niece (named after his wife, Barbara), whom he adopted when she was a young teenager, after her parents died. A later story implied that Jim Gordon may have even been her biological father. Later on, Mrs. Gordon left and took James Jr. with her. After a divorce, James reunited with his old partner Sarah Essen, who served in the GCPD and was even commissioner for a while. Jim and Sarah were married, but her life later came to a tragic end at the hands of the Joker.
In the new reality, however, Babs reveals to readers that Jim Gordon’s wife Barbara left on her own, leaving both kids behind. What’s more, Babs and Mrs. Gordon seem to be directly related, rather than an adopted parent. And Babs mentions that Jim Gordon “never” remarried. So what happened to Sarah Essen? Did she never reunite with Jim in the new reality? Did they reunite but never marry? And if Babs/Batgirl is the biological daughter of Jim Gordon and Barbara Gordon, then that brings us back to wondering about the timeline and continuity of Batman: Year One and who that baby is that is being born, and is said to be Jim’s first child.
WAS THERE ANOTHER TALKING GORILLA?
Sometimes, editors and writers appear to just miss something, or perhaps don’t double check with other books. It can lead to a few continuity gaffes. In The New 52, there are conflicting accounts on whether there was or was not a previous group of Teen Titans that existed before the current team. Exactly how much Batman is trusted by the government and law enforcement changes depending on whether you’re reading the Bat-titles, Justice League or Justice League International.
In Flash right now, title hero Barry Allen is meeting the villain Gorilla Grodd for the very first time. This is Grodd’s first encounter with a true human enemy and we can see in the story that Barry is startled to learn that there are gorillas that can talk. He makes it very clear he’s never encountered such a thing before.
Yet “five years ago,” in the pages of Justice League, Barry Allen and Hal Jordan speak very glibly and matter-of-factly about how they joined forces to stop a talking gorilla a while back. Did Barry forget this seemingly memorable case? Was that not Grodd but some other speaking gorilla such as Mallah, or Detective Chimp, or the Ultra-Humanite? All of that’s possible, but then why is Barry so shocked when he meets Grodd and finds Gorilla City? A simple remark could’ve explained this away, such as Barry saying, “Wow, I met one talking gorilla before, but a whole city? Weird.”
WHAT MAJOR EVENTS TRULY HAPPENED?
It’s been nearly a year and fans still aren’t clear on certain things. The Death of Superman seems like it couldn’t have happened now, but if it didn’t, then how did the cyborg Hank Henshaw come to destroy Coast City? Blackest Night is said to have still happened, but what about all those scenes with characters who no longer exist in the new reality and are now said to be inhabitants of the parallel world Earth 2?
Batman’s “death” and time-exile evidently still happened, and we assume Darkseid was still responsible. But that happened in the pages of Final Crisis. If that’s still true, the events of that story must have been very different since Billy Batson and the other Shazam-characters don’t have powers yet, and since a major part of that story revolved around Barry Allen coming back from the dead — which in the new reality definitely didn’t happen since recent issues of Flash make it clear that Barry has never traveled in time, or to other universes before.
Except that for time when he did in in Flashpoint. Wait, if Barry is aware that he somehow traveled to another timeline at the end of that story, why is he so surprised by time travel and the nature of the Speed Force in the pages of his own comic? Huh.
Writer James Robinson Shines a Light on DC Entertainment’s Latest Gay Superhero, Earth-Two’s Green Lantern
Unlike most modern gay superheroes, Alan Scott Green Lantern has had a long 72-year history with DC Comics.
Though married with children, Scott’s character was no stranger to LGBT issues. His son, Obsidian, was gay. Scott accepted and supported his son’s orientation but, continuity-wise, none of that counts anymore. When DC revamped its entire line of heroes with the “New 52″ relaunch last September, Alan, his son, and their long history with the DC Universe simply vanished.
When DC reintroduced Scott last month as the CEO of a giant media corporation in Earth-Two #1, people were more curious about his new costume than about his sexuality — that is, until DC Entertainment’s co-publisher Dan Didio slipped the news on May 20 that they would reintroduce a previously straight and iconic DC hero as one of their “most prominent gay characters.”
Enter Eisner-Award-winning comic veteran James Robinson. With a writing résumé including multiple stabs at Alan Scott and the Justice Society, Robinson has also made headlines for revealing another DC character, Starman, to be gay. Read on as Robinson addresses how Alan Scott became gay, Scott’s redefined role in Earth-Two, and the state of diversity in comics.
What was the process behind making Alan Scott gay? What was the discussion between you and editorial?
In Alan’s prior version, he had been an old man with a gay son [Obsidian]. And removing that character from the DC Universe bothered me — the fact that we were taking a gay character out of circulation. And it occurred to me: Why not just make Alan Scott gay? He’s still interesting, he’s still a dynamic hero, a great man, but he happens to be gay. So I suggested that to Dan, and to his credit, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. He was like, “Yeah, sure, that sounds great.” So there wasn’t a huge editorial think tank; it was just an idea that got put forward and was accepted.
You’ve written Alan Scott before in other Justice Society titles, though as straight. Is there any difference in how you’ve written the character now that he’s gay?
No. He’s attracted to men, and that’s the only difference. He’s going to be the leader of the team; he’s this dynamic hero, this type-A personality. In his private life, he’s this giant of the media industry. He is someone that you trust and believe in. He’s willing to die for the planet; he’s willing to die for the people of the world. He just also happens to be gay. I’m trying to make it one part of his personality, as opposed to it being the one identifying factor of him as a man.
How will other characters in Earth-Two, and even Alan himself, address his orientation?
Alan is already out when we realize he’s out in issue 2. There isn’t a coming-out moment. And I see that Alan Scott is a dynamic, type-A personality. At some point in his past, he realized that he was gay, so he said, “OK, I’m gay.” He accepted it and moved on with his life. He just lived it, you know? So as we’ll learn, Alan Scott is out. He has nothing to hide. He’s proud of who he is. By and large, the world has accepted him as that. And his teammates will accept him as that.
Are there any plans for his romantic life? Should we expect boyfriends or partners down the line?
He’s a tall, handsome, blond guy. He’s definitely going to have some romance in the future, but I’m concentrating on setting up the character and setting up the world for the first story arc. So that’s something that will unfold as we get more into his private life in the future.
What would your response be for more conservative readers who might not fully embrace this change?
I can’t worry too much about that. I have to look at the world and what’s the right thing to do, and what the right characters should be in these comic books. People that tend to be a little more hesitant to have these characters in comics need to just move with the times and realize that it’s a diverse world and there are brave, gallant, interesting people who happen to be gay. They should just get to know them and realize that we all just have to get on with life and stop hating each other.
Pulling back and looking more at the comics industry as a whole, how do you think comics have developed in diversifying the character base, and not even just in terms of orientation but race, nationality, and religion?
Well, I think that comics are trying to do that, especially, I think, with DC, Marvel, and Archie. People are aware that the world is more diverse, that all heroes aren’t white Anglo-Saxons. There’s diversity in life, and there’s diversity in the types of heroes we have. If you look at the brave men and women coming back from serving abroad in the armed forces, there are lots of different colors and religions and sexual orientations. So I think that comics are reflecting that more and more. But I should point out that for me, personally, what I believe was the first gay kiss in comics, I did that in 1998 in Starman [#45]. So I’ve been trying to do this for a while, and I think I’ve been pretty successful.
That actually brings up another question. You’ve had a history of writing other LGBT characters, like Starman, and DC has a selection of other LGBT characters, like Batwoman, Midnighter, and Apollo. Is there anything different about Alan Scott in how he’ll approach his orientation compared with other LGBT characters that you have written or that DC has published?
That’s an interesting question. I think the main difference is that Alan Scott is this heroic, dynamic man. He will be very much the leader of the Justice Society, and a figurehead. Often, I think, gay characters, with the exception of Batwoman, are part of a team but are often aside, somewhat. Alan’s going to be at the forefront of this team, leading it, being someone that is loved and admired by the people of Earth-Two. So that’s a subtle difference that I will be adding, trying to not just present a positive gay role model but someone that is a type-A superhero.
And beyond Alan’s orientation, are there any other changes to the character?
The way he gets his powers and what they derive from will be different. He has a power ring, but he is literally the storehouse for the energy of the Earth. So he is literally the Green Lantern of Earth-Two. There isn’t a physical lantern; he is the lantern. That makes him a powerhouse on Earth-Two on the level with Superman, so there’s that element to him, as well.
Fantastic. Is there anything else that you wanted to mention?
I just wanted to say that I appreciate the interest, and I hope that people enjoy this book and support him and want to see where the adventures of Alan Scott and the rest of the team in Earth-Two go in the future.
At the Kapow convention in London, DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan DiDio announced that an existing character previously established as straight would be revealed to be gay in an upcoming storyline. Though there’s no still word on exactly which character he was talking about, the resulting media coverage has revealed some clues to help narrow down the list.
In a piece from ABC News, DC’s senior vice president of publicity Courtney Simmons stated that it’s a male character, being quoted as saying, “One of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June.”
DC’s publicity blog The Source covered the news without making any reference to sexual orientation, writing, “there will be a big, upcoming twist for a key DCE character coming soon.”
If all these indicators prove to be accurate, DC will be revealing that a male character who is both “iconic” and “key,” but hasn’t yet been seen since last September’s New 52 relaunch, is gay — so adjust your guesses accordingly.
Here is a rundown of the top 3 guesses who The Michael Show thinks it is:
Alan Scott, Earth-2 Green Lantern
Jay Garrick, Earth-2 Flash
Wally West, the Flash
In September, DC Comics publishes zero issues of the New 52, to celebrate the year anniversary of the revamp. Some books however, it seems, may not make it that far. Justice League International #12 will be the last issue of the series.
An interesting decision as it outsells the like of Suicide Squad, Superboy, Birds Of Power, Green Arrow and more.
The Justice League solicitations point to a rather large revamp however. Justice League finishes an arc saying “A shocking last page that will have the world talking about this special, extra-sized issue!”, Justice League International solicitations tells us “It’s the funeral for ROCKET RED. • Several members resign from the team – who will be left?”
Well no one, if it’s the last issue. The Justice League International Annual #1 features Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio writing, with Jason Fabok on art, picking up plot points from the cancelled OMAC, and tying in with this “shocking” Justice League #12 ending, as well as Blue Beetle #12 somehow.
The DC Comics adaptation”Arrow” got special treatment as the first promo shown to the audience, even before network President Mark Pedowitz began the customary rundown of the new fall line-up.
Starring Stephen Amell (“Private Practice,” “Hung”) as millionaire bad boy Oliver Queen and his superhero alter ego Green Arrow, the Greg Berlanti-produced series appears to have a tone and look very close to Christopher Nolan’s Batman. Dark, brooding and filled with exciting action.
In other words, it could reach beyond a fanboy base to appeal to viewers who found WB/CW’s long-running comicbook hit “Smallville” a little corny.
We’ve known for awhile that the former Captain Marvel will now be known as Shazam in the New 52.
Writer Geoff Johns ”Well, there are a lot of reasons for the change. One is that everybody thinks he’s called Shazam already, outside of comics. It’s also, for all sorts of reasons, calling him Shazam just made sense for us. And, you know, every comic book he’s in right now has Shazam on the cover. So I think just by embracing that and calling him Shazam.”
The character of Shazam now has a glowing lightning bolt on his chest replacing the regular yellow part of the costume, lightning is emitting from all over, and a hood obscures his face. Gone is the “big red cheese,” revealing this New 52 version as a darker character.
A bigger image is certainly coming soon, and you can click here for pages showing Billy Batson’s new look courtesy of artist Gary Frank. Shazam debuts as a backup story in Justice League #7, due out March 21, 2012.
There’s still not a lot known about DC’s new Earth 2 series set to debut this May, other than the creative team of writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Scott, and that it’s set to star the Justice Society.
Exactly what form this Justice Society will take isn’t yet clear, and on Friday DC revealed a variant cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado that features alternate versions of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, rather than familiar Justice Society characters like Alan Scott, Jay Garrick and Wildcat.
In January, Robinson gave this Earth 2 tease: “Earth 2 is a world that’s very like our own, but at the same time vastly different. It has known great conflict and danger…a dark menace defeated but at a great cost both to the Earth and to its superheroes of that time. Now, in the present as new menaces emerge to attack the Earth, so new heroes must emerge too, learning to work as a team (or perhaps Society is a better word) while facing these new threats head-on. Who are these heroes? Will their powers include speed, bestial fury, and maybe even green light? Wait and see.”
Here’s how DC described Earth 2 in its original announcement: “The greatest heroes on a parallel Earth, the Justice Society combats threats that will set them on a collision course with other worlds.”
That was the conversation I found myself in many, many years ago. “What would happen if you dropped Aquaman in the middle of the desert?”
I didn’t expect DC Comics to answer me.
This is a preview of Aquaman #5 courtesy of Wired, out from DC Comics tomorrow, by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
He’s done gangbusters for DC Comics, taking C-list character Animal Man, whose return to the DC Universe from DC Vertigo had been lacklustre at best, and turned him into a surprise critical and commercial hit as part of the DC New 52.
So it’s only natural that DC might tap him for any other bright ideas.
From a well placed source the current tittle tattle around the Batbooks is that Jeff Lemire will write a new series entitled The Robins, starring Damien, Jason, Tim and Dick.
Batman And Robin has recently specialised in featuring as many Robins as it can – but The Robins will do all that but with a lot less Batman.
No mention of Stephanie Brown as of yet. Neither Jeff Lemire nor DC Comics returned emails sent from Bleeding Cool.
“Lego Batman” is really popular; as in, sold over 11 million copies since releasing back in 2008, popular.
While other Lego videogames have performed well – the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” adaptations – the Dark Knight’s turn with virtual plastic blocks has outpaced them all.
So, it should come as no surprise that Warner Bros. and Traveller’s Tales have decided to create a follow-up game. The fact that the sequel adds more superheroes into the mix – DC heroes, natch – actually sounds pretty great.
Announced by Warner Bros. this morning, “Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes” isn’t only a mouthful of words, it’s also apparently filled with more familiar faces than its predecessor. While the original game allowed you to play as either Batman or Robin, “Lego Batman 2″ will also feature Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. It’s like a mini Justice League – except for some reason this Justice League is eerily mute and made of plastic.
At the end of last year, Bleeding Cool revealed DC Comics and DC Entertainment would be getting a new logo, to replace the relatively recent DC Spin/DC Swoosh designed by Josh Beatman of Brainchild Studio from 2005, which itself replaced the DC Bullet designed by Milton Glazer from 1976.
A new symbol has now been submitted for trademark protection. It is meant to be the letter D flipping back to show the letter C. It looks like it may just be a new logo for DC Comics. There’s no colour, because no colour is being applied for trademark. So it could be any and every colour.
When the 2005 logo was unveiled, it was universally panned. Now it seems to be rather liked, especially since its appearance at the beginning of a number of movies and TV shows has given it a little animation and familiarity.
Before she was Batgirl she served a brief stint as Robin and before that she was the Spoiler. Now, to me it never matter if Step was Robin, Spoiler or Batgirl. I love Steph as a character. When reading Robin, I always looked forward to issues that featured her. Chuck Dixon did an amazing job developing her.
So why am I talking about Stephanie Brown? I came across some pictures — and now I think I am in love.
I’m not sure how I came across peachykiki.com but I am glad I did. Peachykiki, a.k.a. Alexandra Threw, has been making costume for over 8 years and has been wearing them to conventions. One of the costumes she made was of Stephanie Brown as Robin. I love her.
Sadly there is only two because they are amazing. Upon further
stalking searching I discovered Alexandra Threw had a Facebook page were I was able to find some more Stephanie Brown Robin pictures.
All I can say now is I think I am in love with Alexandra now.
This is truly a dive into comic Geekness. Enjoy…
DB Hughes writes conspiracy theories for Bleeding Cool:
The origin of the story dates back to an Adventures of Superman Annual I’m told was meant to be published in 1988. Unfortunately, the story was shelved due to the editorial decision to shy away from annuals (which is why there is a gap in annuals between 1987 and 1990). By the time annuals came back, they were parts of crossover events (Armageddon 2001), so the 1988 story remained shelved.
The 1988 story would later be published as a throw away special released to store shelves the week before Superman died in 1992′s Superman #75. This special story is that of the modern Sand Superman, and it was seemed designed to be the escape hatch in case the Clark / Lois relationship (engagement / secret ID reveal / etc) didn’t work out.
The modern Sand Superman story is much like the old 70′s story; an explosion of synthetic kryptonite causes irradiated sand to mimic and absorb all of Superman’s powers; and Superman also found that this new creature was absorbing some level of his intelligence. At the 1988 story’s climax, a powerless Superman fights the Sand Superman in the Fortress of Solitude. Superman realizes that the only way to beat the Sand Superman is to stop fighting and give the sand creature everything he’s got; so Superman grabs the sand creature causing a massive explosion. We do not see the aftermath. The story ends with a rather ambiguous Superman / Luthor conversation in which Superman alludes to the fact that he won the battle by becoming the sand creature. The story is set before Clark and Lois began dating.
If you go back and look at stories between 1988 and 1992, you find several story situations that kept pointing at the Sand Superman door.
There’s a story where Superman is battling the demon Blaze; she brags about her magic axe being Superman’s doom due to his weakness to magic. Blaze strikes Superman with the magic axe only to watch it inexplicably break on Superman’s chest. The only explanation we get is Superman saying, “Guess it wasn’t as magic as you thought.”
There’s the “Time and Time Again” storyline in which a massive explosion causes Superman to absorb temporal energy; and explosions allow him to access the energy and time travel (just like an explosion was part of the catalyst for the power drain that created sand creature). Superman’s costume also gets darker due to the effect of absorbing the temporal energy just as the sand creature’s colors became darker as it absorbed more power.
Another story features Superman infected with some ancient virus that’s killing him. As Superman gets near death, he takes on a sand like appearance; and he is cured by exposure to kryptonite that doctors brought in to weaken Superman’s skin for surgery. The doctors are baffled at why the kryptonite saved Superman, and it is never explained. In fact, it is only the stories after the sand creature’s place in continuity where we see that kryptonite no longer seems to rob Superman of any power at all; it simply causes him pain (likely because he psychologically believes it should cause him pain).
Then there is the Death of Superman story itself. I watched a QVC special at the time where Walt and Louise Simonson were helping sell autographed sets of the series. During the special, Walt opened the issue of Man of Steel that introduced John Henry Irons; Walt pointed out the page that seemed to show kind of transfer between Superman and John Henry Irons; Walt emphatically noted that this was important. Did I mention that Superman had been in a massive explosion just before grabbing John Henry? Later in the same issue, we see Irons rip the roof off of a moving car with his bare hands (no armor).
As the Reign of the Supermen came to a close, we see the return of the Superman who fought Doomsday; but he’s powerless. The sun isn’t giving Superman back his strength, and that only makes real sense if the sun isn’t the source of his strength. Superman teams up with the other heroes and confronts the Cyborg Superman; the Cyborg rips open a hose spewing pure kryptonite radiation, but the Eradicator steps in to block the flow before it hits Superman. Power is transferred between the Eradicator and Superman; Superman suddenly gets his powers back. Green Lantern notes just a few pages later that there are massive levels of kryptonite radiation in the room; Superman is seen flying around in the green clouds with a smile on his face.
In the issues that followed, a robot at the Fortress of Solitude keeps trying to tell Superman that recent destruction at the fortress has uncovered something important he needs to see. Superman is too busy to pay it much mind. The storyline leads to November of 1994 with “Dead Again”; Superman finds a dead Superman body.
I believe this is where DC planned to reveal the truth, but they pulled back (instead making the story part of some nonsense Brainiac plot). Why would DC pull back?
Do you know what was happening at Marvel at this time? In October of 1994, Marvel had rushed together a story we know as the Spider-Clone saga; a story in which we discover the real Peter Parker had been replaced by a clone years ago. There was nothing to back this idea up; there was no years of planning in place; this Spider-man clone thing just appeared out of thin air. But it was a good way to beat DC’s Superman story to the punch. I believe the Superman story was shelved because of the Spider-clone saga, but the story was not dead. DC appeared to be biding its time.
The Final Night event comes and Superman loses all of his power when the sun goes out. The sun comes back, but Superman’s powers do not. Again, the sun is not the source of his power. Superman goes on a quest to try to regain his power, and he finds himself facing an alien electrical being. Superman wins the battle after surviving a large explosion. Superman’s powers come back for awhile. Then Superman starts inexplicably turning into an electrical being (just like the one he fought when he got his powers back).
Grant Morrison introduces us to the world of DC One Million. In his story, Superman leaves earth to wander the universe; during this time, Superman “absorbs” over a dozen new powers. Superman’s appearance on returning to earth features a darker costume and glowing yellow eyes (much like the sand creature had at first).
During Infinite Crisis, Superman loses his powers in final confrontation with Superboy Prime. One year later, Superman’s powers return. The powers only return after Lex Luthor collects all kryptonite on planet earth and stores it under Metropolis.
I believe wholeheartedly that the real Superman died in 1988 and his body was left in the frozen debris of the first Fortress of Solitude. Until the time Flashpoint changed things, the Superman we read each month was the sand creature who simply believed he was the real Superman.
Now…it never happened
Smallville Season Ten ended as it always should have done. Clark Kent ripping the glasses from his face, pulling at his shirt, about to take flight from the top of the Daily Planet.
And that was that – aside from a bedtime story from Chloe to her son.
What happened next?
Bryan Miller, story editor and writer for the series, is to write a new novel, tellling the story of what happened to the Smallville cast after the end of the TV series in continuity. With Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight and Nine doing so well in comic book form, this seems a rather natural move.
Whether there will be more novels, who else will write them, and whether or not they will appear in comic book form as well, guess we’ll wait until the official announcement to find out.