Comic Book Divas Publishing introduces a new villain!

Goldilocks issue 3 cover

Written by Jeff Hughes, Cover art by Kristi Zerga

We all know the stories – Three Blind Mice, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk… But what if those stories never existed? What if these beloved characters from our childhood were infected with a zombie virus and became brain-eating monsters? There are many story book worlds, and this viral infection has spread in Storybook World 2012. Continue reading

The Wicked + The Divine Optioned by Universal Television

thewickedthedivine_1_B

 

Deadline reported Friday that comic book series The Wicked + The Divine has been optioned for television by Universal. The Wicked + The Divine is the breakout comic series by Image about a pantheon of gods that come to Earth and live the life of rock stars. The series explores fame, fandom, and our culture’s obsession with the concept of celebrity. It’s a breakout series that has exponentially and ironically grown into a cult hit over the past year. It’s second story arc wraps next issue, so now is the perfect time to jump on board by grabbing some trades.

This follows Sex Criminals as edgier comic book fare that are being adapted to the small screen, most likely as Netflix shows or some other type of premium cable. With everything comics incredibly in vogue right now, it’s not that surprising, but it’s great to see that people are willing to take chances on the riskier, fringe stuff in addition to the four color superheroes.

WONDER WOMAN ’77: All the World’s Been Waiting for You!

Wonder Woman ’77 illustration by Nicola Scott

Reading Wonder Woman ’77 has brought me, along with many other self appointed geeks, back to a very fun era. In my particular instance, when I was a child, I had an incredibly elaborate process for watching Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman television show (yup…I just aged myself!). This involved becoming the character Diana, with whom I clearly identified and idolized. This transformative process was an obvious foreshadowing for my interest in an acting career. There were days of prep time involved that included: researching the character, finding & creating costumes, and processing or practicing the character’s essence. By the time Wonder Woman would air each week, you could find an ecstatic child (me) who would mimic every single action she did. To give you an idea of the thought I had put into this and just how much I was dressed to the “T” in my character’s garb, here’s what I had utilized to make the entire uniform:

  • My mother’s red boots, 
  • Blue underwear and a red t-shirt from my Underoos at the time. 
  • A golden belt made of yellow construction paper (or some other actual gold material), and yes, I had cut it into the shape of whatever belt style was appropriate for the season (NOTE: Season 1 belt was different than seasons 2 & 3). 
  • Rope which I had colored yellow and latched onto my belt (The rope style/draping also changed between seasons 1 and 2/3), 
  • A tiara made out of yellow construction paper with a red star drawn on it, 
  • A t-shirt on my head so that I had long hair like Wonder Woman, and…
  • Toilet paper rolls that I had cut, colored, and upon which I had drawn stars (the bracelet shape also changed between seasons).  Continue reading

DC Reveals The Cities Of “Convergence”

Not to be shown up by Marvel’s paltry attempts at uniting several disparate continuities into one in Secret Wars, DC has been working on its own universe-wide semi-reboot, putting all of their titles on hold for a two month period while they combine several cities from various disparate continuities into one in the Convergence.

Lest this sound too familiar, though, longtime DC fans may be thoroughly excited at DC’s take on the company-wide maneuver as a number of continuities thought forever lost to the sands of reboot time will be making appearances throughout the event!

Check out DC’s slowly expanding Convergence page here, as well as a preview guide featuring all of the cities hosted here by Newsarama — and io9 previously showed us some of the impacts and storylines we’ll be seeing from the various Convergence series.

For some of the highlight “cities” from the upcoming event, hit the jump.

Legion of Super Heroes, Legionnaires

Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lighting Lad — and the Superboy of the 20th Century, Clark Kent! This was one of my favorites growing up, and though the Legion has been through many a reboot and change over the years, I’m excited to see the originals make a comeback here. Along for the ride are their young clone counterparts from a later reboot — a chance to “de-age” the Legion to the teenagers that had made them interesting and relevant in the past, and revisit issues that the then-grown-up Legion no longer faced themselves.

Tangent Central City

The Tangent Universe never quite got off the ground, featuring a variety of different heroes — a female Flash and Green Lantern with very different, more mystical origins, a Superman-styled Atom, and many others, though it still holds a niche place among interesting DC spinoffs.

Earth-A, Earth-3, Angor, Injustice

Based on the Lawless League, the Crime Syndicate, the Extremists from the 90s Justice League Europe run, and the recent Mortal Kombat-produced fighting game, each of these four worlds features a twisted form of DC’s heroes: one corrupted, one left without morality, one evil set of Marvel villain analogues, and one of parallel, evil counterparts like Ultra-Man and Owlman. In addition to the Flashpoint universe, the evil villains of these worlds could well serve as foils and story hooks for several books when the domes amongst the cities drop. (It’s worth mentioning that this could also mean seeing the Champions of Angor — an analogue of the Avengers — in other Convergence stories. One can hope.)

Earth-S, Earth-Four, Earth-X, San Diego

Many of the comic companies that once stood on their own now find their own homes in the Convergence after being swallowed up by DC. Earth-S brings us a world where Captain Marvel, aka SHAZAM!, is the first in the First Family of its Fawcett heroes; Earth-Four holds the adventures of old Charlton characters like Blue Beetle and Captain Atom; Earth-X bears the original Silver Age Freedom Fighters, including Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, and the Human Bomb; and San Diego serves as the center point for the original WildStorm universe, including Gen13 and the WildC.A.T.S.

Gotham City

At least nine variations of Gotham have made their way into the Convergence, including Pre-Crisis Earth-One, Pre-Flashpoint, Flashpoint Gotham, Batman Beyond Gotham, Gotham by Gaslight, Injustice Gotham, Stan Lee’s Just Imagine Gotham, the modern post-Flashpoint Gotham, and the vampire-inspired Red Rain Gotham City. Just in case you thought that the often Gotham-and-Batman-heavy modern iteration of DC would be at all upset by the transition in the Convergence event. (In fairness, I’m pretty excited to see some crossovers with the Batman Beyond line, and Pre-Crisis Batman always had a little bit of zany to him.)

Also situated here are some great pre-reboot stories, including Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, Dick Grayson and Babs Gordon as Nightwing and Oracle, and an all-female Justice League!

Metropolis

Not to be outdone, Metropolis has at least nine incarnations of its own: Pre-Crisis Earth-Two, Pre-Zero Hour, Earth-Three, Kingdom Come, Generations, and the “Imaginary” Superman Red/Blue — as well as the time-shifted 30th Century Legion, 31st Century Legion, and the 853rd Century Justice League A of *DC One Million*. Elseworld’s Finest, a gender-reversed Earth-One, may also feature either Metropolis or Gotham, as well, and has been listed as another entry into DC’s Convergence. No word on whether the 2012 re-imaginings of Power Girl and the Huntress as Earth-2 characters stranded on the new Earth-1 will be making an appearance, though.

El Inferno, Earth-2, Moscow, Darkest Knight, Dreamworld, New Frontier

From the Western heroes of Justice Riders to the Darkseid-conquered Earth-2, from the Russian-raised Superman of Red Son to Gotham’s Green Lantern to the 60’s-inspired Dreamworld, several Elseworlds-style re-imaginings of the DC heroes have been brought into this new event and universe. Of these, Howard Chaykin’s 50’s-inspired DC: The New Frontier re-imagining receives a well-deserved place in the Convergence after receiving an animated movie and an Eisner Award, among others.

Many other worlds will appear as part of Brainiac’s collection of domed cities, including the original post-apocalyptic Jonah Hex; Kamandi, Last Boy on Earth; Skartaris, home of the Warlord; Cap’s Hobby Shop; and the forward-thinking, science-fiction Twilight.

Of these, which am I most excited to see, you ask (besides the return of Ryan Choi as the Atom not a minute too soon)?

Earth C-Minus

That’s right — it’s the return of CAPTAIN CARROT and the JLA (Justa Lotta Animals)! This series was a particular favorite of mine as a kid, and maybe more so to revisit as an adult — not only because it was still willing to address the themes other comics did with a self-aware, light-hearted air, but because the characters that started as pastiches of the Justice League (Fastback, the super-speed turtle, or Alley Kat Abra, the feline Zatanna) grew to have their own storylines, characters, and their own engaging tales, no pun intended.

Will this allow DC to finally create new ongoing stories in the world of Captain Carrot, or any of these other myriad worlds?

As you can hear in our last Geekly Roundup, reboots sometimes are the hardest because they take away not only the versions of the characters that you have come to love, but sometimes nullify the journeys those characters undertook to become those versions, leaving it as though they’d never existed.

Through Secret Wars’ Battleworld and the upcoming Convergence, both DC and Marvel have taken a couple months to celebrate, revive, and continue storylines both old and new, and while company-wide events can be frustrating, these offer us an opportunity to celebrate the things we loved most about these worlds past and, if not to receive some closure, to at least see just a small part of how that journey continued after we’d thought they were lost.

At least, until they all start killing each other.

But what’s a good company-wide event without that, I guess?

Ben Fried-Lee is a blogger, podcaster, baseball fan, and avid comic book reader based in the Bay Area. When he has time, he still reads comic books on the iPad you dropped and broke last week. Don’t cut your finger.

DC Pulls Controversial Batgirl Joker Variant at Artist Request

For the 75th Anniversary of the Joker, DC Comics has been releasing a series of variant covers for many of their books, depicting the Joker invading the different stories of the DC Universe. It’s a tried and true tactic, but one that backfired in their face when they revealed the variant for Batgirl #41, as drawn by Raphael Abuquerque. Now, after an outcry from fans, the artist has requested that DC pull the cover entirely.

The cover, which hearkens back to the Alan Moore story “The Killing Joke,” was found to be disturbing by many in the community. We have the picture below the jump break, but please be warned it can be pretty triggering.

In the story, “The Killing Joke,” the Joker shows up at Barbara Gordon’s house and puts a bullet in her spine as she answers the door. It’s been interpreted by many after the fact (with some solid evidence) that the Joker also sexually assaulted the character, making this cover inappropriate both to fans and to the character.

Days after the cover was revealed, the #changethecover campaign picked up on Twitter, and today, Abuquerque released a statement explaining that he had requested DC not run the cover. Here it is:

My Batgirl variant cover artwork was designed to pay homage to a comic that I really admire, and I know is a favorite of many readers. ‘The Killing Joke’ is part of Batgirl’s canon and artistically, I couldn’t avoid portraying the traumatic relationship between Barbara Gordon and the Joker.For me, it was just a creepy cover that brought up something from the character’s past that I was able to interpret artistically. But it has become clear, that for others, it touched a very important nerve. I respect these opinions and, despite whether the discussion is right or wrong, no opinion should be discredited.
My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art. For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled. I’m incredibly pleased that DC Comics is listening to my concerns and will not be publishing the cover art in June as previously announced.
With all due respect,
Rafa

That’s a classy response, and I respect him for it. He made clear that it was not his intention to create the reaction he did, but still took responsibility for it. More artists could learn from this.

Then DC released their own statement:

We publish comic books about the greatest heroes in the world, and the most evil villains imaginable. The Joker variant covers for June are in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Joker.Regardless if fans like Rafael Albuquerque’s homage to Alan Moore’s THE KILLING JOKE graphic novel from 25 years ago, or find it inconsistent with the current tonality of the Batgirl books – threats of violence and harassment are wrong and have no place in comics or society.
We stand by our creative talent, and per Rafael’s request, DC Comics will not publish the Batgirl variant. – DC Entertainment 

In other words, “You shouldn’t have been offended, you suck, we know best.” Great work, DC, clearly you’re still very much in touch with your fandom.

What do you guys think? Should the cover have been removed?

UPDATE: DC’s stance has been clarified – not by DC, of course. Batgirl writer Cameron Stewart tweeted out this today:


Something to clarify, because DCs statement was a little unclear. @rafaalbuquerque did not get threats. People OBJECTING to the cover did.
— Cameron Stewart (@cameronMstewart) March 17, 2015


That makes DC’s response make a little more sense…but perhaps they need to get one of their writers (or, based on Rafael’s statement above, one of their artists) to draft up their responses in the future.

The Return of Battle Chasers

Joe Maduriera’s beloved and often-delayed property that made him a comics superstar in the 90s is making a return as both a video game and a new comic book, Polygon revealed today. Not many details were revealed, other than the game would be a roleplaying game that allowed you to play as classic Battle Chaser characters, and that the comics would appear in three issue arcs, the first one tying up the cliffhanger from fourteen years ago. There’s no funding or publisher for the game or comic in place yet, so maybe take this whole thing with a grain of salt, but it’d be nice to see the property return from the dead. Check out some concept art below the jump.