– At this point, DC’s latest summer event series from Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, FLASHPOINT, has sold a debut issue. DC’s main blog, “The Source”, has released a promotional image that is a map of the “world of FLASHPOINT” (http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/files/2011/05/flashpointmapv6.jpg). The premise of the event is that Barry Allen, the second “Silver Age” Flash who recently returned to life after over 20 years in the afterlife, has woken up and his entire world has changed. Something was done in the past so that the world of the DC Universe has now changed around him. If this sounds a bit like Marvel’s AGE OF APOCALYPSE from 1995, or HOUSE OF M from 2005, that is only because it does. Aside for BOOSTER GOLD, no other major DC comics is tying into FLASHPOINT itself; instead, DC is issuing a slew of mini-series to tie into it. In related news, BOOSTER GOLD #44, which is the first FLASHPOINT crossover issue, will be getting a reprint, which will do well to save the book from near cancellation range for a few months (http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/05/20/booster-gold-44-back-to-press/). Given that BOOSTER GOLD saw a sales boost from it’s BLACKEST NIGHT tie-in, this was pleasant if not unexpected news.
– The BIGGEST news around DC Comics is the rumor that after FLASHPOINT wraps in August, September may bring about either relaunches for a lot of titles, a change to the general DC Universe properly (akin to their line-side reality warp stories like CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, INFINITE CRISIS or even ZERO HOUR of the 90’s), or some combination of both (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/05/17/dc-looking-to-relaunch-everything-in-september/). As revealed in DC’s solicitations for August, aside for a SUPERMAN BEYOND #0 one shot from Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema, virtually all of DC’s ongoing titles are coming to the end of their current arcs all at once (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=32351). While it has been a loosely kept secret that WONDER WOMAN is due for another sort of relaunch or creative re-think of her universe, DC has yet to reveal if this will be true for their entire line. DC has also announced via their blog that FLASHPOINT #5 will be the only comic they ship on August 31st (http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/05/13/flashpoint-friday-the-war-between-the-amazons-and-the-atlantians-has-arrived/). It would seem odd to sell a new ACTION COMICS #1 a few months after selling at least two prints of ACTION COMICS #900, but keep in mind former Marvel editor-in-chief Bob Harras is now the editor-in-chief of DC Comics. As a final element to this puzzle, the L.A. Times has announced that Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will be guests at the Hero Complex Film Festival on June 11th, and they’ll make “bombshell announcements” about DC Comics at this venue (http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/05/23/geoff-johns-and-jim-lee-plan-to-drop-dc-bombshells-at-hero-festival/). The dilemma with this is that while several DC series need a breath of fresh air – WONDER WOMAN and SUPERMAN specifically – DC have done reality warping shifts to their universe so often that it almost becomes a bad joke. Two of Gail Simone’s books (SECRET SIX and BIRDS OF PREY) as well as a slew of smaller titles have actually seem very small sales gains in April based on little more than positive criticism to creator runs; would it be wise to risk messing with that to relaunch the bigger books yet again? At any rate, with overall comic sales line wide being shaky in 2011 and Marvel still outselling DC, they have to do something to compete besides coast on Green Lantern and Batman.
– Warner Brothers has officially released the first image of Tom Hardy as Bane from “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES” via some sort of online puzzle game. Since this is the Internet, that merely meant one person had to access it and then spread it around like chicken pox (http://blog.newsarama.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/bane-xl.jpg). As shown, Hardy does wear a mask, but it looks more like a gas mask (probably to help distribute his “venom” steroid to him) than it appears in the comics, where it looks more like a Mexican wrestling mask. Virtually no alternate media adaptation of Bane that has arisen in film (“BATMAN & ROBIN”) or various TV animated series have adapted his mask faithfully. Many adaptations make the mask look more like make-up so Bane’s face can emote more; other adaptations seem to believe that delving into “leather fetish” gear is better than invoking a wrestling image. The irony is an emotionless mask never seems to hinder Spider-Man in alternate media. In addition, as the Chris Nolan directed film is in production, three more actors have been added to the cast (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118037408). The first is Matthew Modine, who is best known as Pvt. Joker from “FULL METAL JACKET”; the second is Tom Conti (“REUBEN, REUBEN”); and the third is 11 year old Joey King (“BATTLE: LOS ANGELES” and “RAMONA AND BEEZUS”). Their roles are unknown at this time.
– Warner Brothers continues to reveal more about their “GREEN LANTERN” film with yet another official trailer (http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/167353-new-green-lantern-trailer). While focus groups claim that movie audiences prefer trailers that leave little of the plot to the imagination (at least in an era where theater tickets are more expensive than home video), this could turn out to be an odd experiment in which WB seeks to thwart the film being pirated online by releasing the entire film in 2-5 minute intervals and occupying internet pirates into a game of Puzzle Film Editor. After all, if “GREEN LANTERN” flops, or even under-performs, it will jeopardize any DC superhero film that isn’t yet more Superman or Batman.
– Felicia Henderson speaks to Comic Book Resources about her STATIC SHOCK SPECIAL which she writes as a tribute issue to the late Dwayne McDuffie, who died in February (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=32411). It got some criticism because it was seen as DC’s attempt to cash in on his death, since it was announced days later and no proceeds are going to his surviving family. From her end, she sees it as a proper tribute issue. If WB really wanted to honor him, they’d finally give the Emmy winning “STATIC SHOCK” cartoon series a proper DVD release. Four seasons, Emmy winning, on network television (as well as great rerun ratings for a few years), and all it got from Warner Home Video was one five episode release around 2003-2004 and that’s it.
Last Week’s DC Comics News – http://icedjamb.com/comic-books-in-new-york/dc-comics-news-for-5-16-11-nbc-passes-on-ww-human-target-canned-more
This Week’s Indie Comics News – http://icedjamb.com/comic-books-in-new-york/indie-comic-news-for-5-23-11-eastman-returns-to-tmnt-at-idw-more-goon
Last Week’s Marvel Comics News – http://icedjamb.com/comic-books-in-new-york/marvel-comics-news-for-5-17-11-thor-still-1-spider-island-spin-off-s-more