DC Feature Articles - February 2002
You met them in the pages of JLA #61.
You got to know them in last month's POWERSURGE one-shots.
Now it's time to witness the DCU's newest super-firm in action! Join writer Kurt Busiek (The Avengers, ASTRO CITY) and artists Tom Grummett (SUPERBOY, Section Zero) & Wade von Grawbadger (STARMAN) as they get down to business with THE POWER COMPANY — an ongoing series that promises to be the super-team everybody will be talking about, and featuring a cover for issue #1 painted by Andrew Robinson (JSA, STARMAN).
Josiah Power is a man with a mission, a once-successful lawyer whose career was ruined due to emerging super-powers, and who has now found a new direction in life. Together with Skyrocket, Manhunter, Striker Z, Bork, Witchfire, and Sapphire, Josiah has formed the Power Company — a full-service professional super-hero firm that has partners, associates, billable hours, pro bono work, support staff, and more.
But not all the members of the Power Company are there for the same reason. Some are out to do good and save lives, while others want to make as much money as possible. One member wants glory and fame, and another just wants a good, steady job. And when the Power Company has to confront the mysterious machinations of Doctor Cyber, the team may find itself out of business before they've had a chance to set up shop!
This project is supported with a 4-color poster, house and trade ads, and a website promotion at www.dccomics.com.
THE POWER COMPANY is an ongoing series edited by Peter Tomasi. Issue #1 arrives in comic-book stores February 13 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S.
BATMAN: "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" — Month Two
The most shocking storyline to hit Gotham City since "No Man's Land" continues this month throughout most of the Batman-related titles. First is DETECTIVE COMICS #767, written by Greg Rucka and featuring the exciting debut of new series penciller Steve Lieber (Whiteout), with inks by Mick Gray (PROMETHEA)! Will Sasha say Bruce committed the murder in order to get out of jail? That same week in NIGHTWING #66 (written by Chuck Dixon with art by Rick Burchett & Rob Leigh), Dick and Barbara dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding Bruce Wayne's arrest, as Lockhaven erupts into fiery chaos! BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #26 (written by Devin Grayson with art by Roger Robinson & John Floyd) shows that not everyone who loves Bruce thinks he's completely innocent!
In ROBIN #99 (written by Chuck Dixon with art by Pete Woods & Andrew Pepoy), Alfred goes undercover to investigate a suspect in the Bruce Wayne case, and Robin and Spoiler join forces once more! Finally, in BIRDS OF PREY #40 (written by Dixon with art by Rick Leonardi & Jesse Delperdang), Black Canary picks up an unwanted sidekick in the Spoiler, while Oracle begins to learn the secret that may have led to the murder. Robin arrives just in time as the case against Bruce Wayne takes a dramatic turn, leading directly into BATMAN #600 — the first part of "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" (see related article)!
Catch the following "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" issues:
In stores February 13:
In stores February 20:
While BIRDS OF PREY #40 may be the final chapter of "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?", it's just the beginning of another new twist to Batman's mounting problems. BATMAN #600 is a special double-sized anniversary issue igniting a new storyline that ushers in a new era for the Dark Knight: "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive"!
In the 32-page lead story (by the regular creative team of Ed Brubaker, Scott McDaniel & Andy Owen), all the members of Batman's hand-picked team finally catch up with him for the first time since the events of BIRDS OF PREY #40. Convening in the Batcave, they confront Batman for his alleged crime, and for evading the criminal justice system. Dick Grayson is pushed to his limits by Batman's betrayal of someone close to him, making Grayson an orphan once again. Batman's behavior is so disturbing that it only adds to doubts of his innocence — resulting in Batman and Nightwing going toe-to-toe in an amazing display of combat between teacher and student. Will Batman make his long transition into Gotham's guardian complete by getting rid of his closest confidant?
This issue also features backup stories celebrating the glory of this enduring character, with all-new "forgotten" tales of Gotham's Dark Knight. "The Mystery of the Black Bat" (written by Brubaker with art by James Tucker) is an homage to the works of Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. "Joker Tips His Hat" (written by Ed Brubaker with art by Stefano Gaudiano & Eric Shanower) is an homage to the "new look" Batman defined in the mid-to-late '60s by Carmine Infantino and others. The final backup, "The Dark, Groovy, Solid, Far-Out, Right-On and Completely With-It Knight Returns," (written by actor/comedian Patton Oswalt with art by Sergio Aragonés) is a humorous look at Batman done in a style reminiscent of the '70s humor book PLOP!
The "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" storyline will run in only a few Batman-related titles every month, culminating in July's BATMAN #605. In order to more easily follow the "Fugitive" storyline, each tie-in issue will carry a unique "puzzle piece" graphic in an upper corner of the cover to signify it as part of the story. When put together, the pieces ultimately form the cover image to BATMAN #605. Look for "blacked-out" puzzle pieces in the next several months of solicitations to clue you in on "Fugitive" tie-ins!
This issue is supported with house and trade ads and a web promotion at www.dccomics.com.
BATMAN #600 is a 64-page issue edited by Bob Schreck, arriving in comic-book stores February 27 with a cover price of $3.95 U.S.
2001 saw the launch of one of the most unexpected projects in comic-book history, as legendary comics creator Stan Lee introduced his take on some of the greatest names of the DC Universe. With art by luminaries spanning from Joe Kubert to Jim Lee, these issues saw the debut of Stan's distinctive versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash, and their team, the JLA. In February, the second wave of JUST IMAGINE... one-shots begins, introducing five bold new characters from the mind of Stan Lee, beginning with a teen hero whose name is the only thing you'll recognize about him in JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE WITH JOHN BYRNE CREATING ROBIN!
Illustrated by Byrne (SUPERMAN & BATMAN: GENERATIONS II, X-Men: The Hidden Years) with inks by his X-Men collaborator, Terry Austin, JUST IMAGINE...ROBIN co-stars Stan Lee's version of Batman. But would we do something as traditional as putting together a new version of the Dynamic Duo? Not likely! An orphan gifted with great agility and intellect, the boy who would one day become Robin fell prey to the mysterious machinations of Reverend Dominic Darrk, who now orders him to attack Batman. Will the reluctant Robin find the strength to defy Darrk's commands? And what are Darrk's ultimate plans for him? The answers begin to unfold here!
Rounding out this issue are two covers — one by Byrne & Austin, the other by award-winning WONDER WOMAN cover artist Adam Hughes — and a backup "On the Street" story written by Lee and Michael Uslan, with art by the legendary John Severin (DESPERADOES: QUIET OF THE GRAVE). Subsequent issues will introduce Stan's versions of Shazam (illustrated by Gary Frank), Catwoman (illustrated by Chris Bachalo), Aquaman (illustrated by Scott McDaniel), and Sandman (illustrated by Walter Simonson). All this sets the stage for the knockdown-dragout final installment, which we just had to call CRISIS, co-starring all the heroes introduced in the JUST IMAGINE... one-shots and illustrated by John Cassaday (PLANETARY, Captain America)!
This project is supported with house ads.
JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE WITH JOHN BYRNE CREATING ROBIN is a 48-page one-shot in the Prestige Format, edited by Mike Carlin. It arrives in comic-book stores February 13 with a cover price of $5.95 U.S. [New Release Date: February 27]
Lady Shiva is known to be the premier martial artist in the DC Universe. She is unbeatable in combat — and if you face her, chances are you won't survive for a rematch.
And yet Cassandra Cain, Batgirl, faced Lady Shiva in BATGIRL #8 — and managed to sucker-punch the great fighter and walk away alive. But Shiva promised to be back for another fight, and this time…it really is to the death!
BATGIRL #25 is a special extra-sized issue that may be Cassandra's last. Written by Kelley Puckett with art and cover by Damion Scott & Robert Campanella, it's the rematch fans have been clamoring for — but the outcome won't be what anyone expects! In SECRET FILES GUIDE TO THE DC UNIVERSE 2001-2002, we saw Lady Shiva preparing for this fight, and in BATGIRL #23 Cassandra trained hard…but is Batgirl really ready? Who ends up as the #1 martial artist in the DC Universe after this? Or, to put it another way: How strong is Cassandra's death wish?
This issue is supported with house ads and a web promotion at www.dccomics.com.
BATGIRL #25 is a 40-page issue edited by Michael Wright, arriving in comic-book stores February 6 with a cover price of $3.25 U.S.
In another time and place — an Elseworld, if you will — a rocketship blasted off from an exploding planet Krypton and landed not in Smallville, Kansas, but rather war-torn, 14th-century feudal Japan. It was a time of great strife caused by a mysterious and oppressive dictator feared throughout the land of the rising sun: the indestructible "Shogun of Steel!"
JLA: SHOGUN OF STEEL is a 64-page Prestige Format Elseworlds one-shot written by Ben Raab (LEGEND OF THE HAWKMAN) and featuring the stunning artistry of Justiniano (BEAST BOY). When the baby from Krypton grows into a man, Hoshi, he is convinced by a ragtag band of warriors — Elseworlds versions of the Flash, Hawkman, and Batgirl, among others — to join a rebellion against the oppressive and cunning "Shogun of Steel." Together with Hoshi, these warriors journey far to the Shogun's impregnable Fortress of Solitude, but what they face is far deadlier than any of them could have imagined — and the shock of the Shogun's connections to Hoshi's origins may be too great for Hoshi to bear.
Raab and Justiniano pull out all the stops in this Elseworlds epic that offers a surprising twist to the familiar myths of the Man of Steel and the World's Greatest Heroes!
This project is supported with house ads.
JLA: SHOGUN OF STEEL is a 64-page Prestige Format Elseworlds one-shot edited by Joey Cavalieri, arriving in comic-book stores February 6 with a cover price of $6.95 U.S.
In the wake of the universe-shattering events of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, the main creators of that company-changing event — writer Marv Wolfman and penciller George Pérez — were called upon to restructure and reorder the history of the DC Universe. Joined by inker Karl Kesel, they had the unbelievable task of unifying the decades-long accumulation of historical facts from multiple Earths into a cohesive whole for a new history of the single-universe DCU.
Now that project, THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE, returns in a new 104-page trade paperback edition — featuring an all-new painted wraparound cover by Alex Ross (KINGDOM COME)! Narrated by Harbinger (a central figure from CRISIS), THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE brings readers back through time and space to the dawn of creation, and continues to the end of recorded history — as Harbinger reveals "the history of heroism." Featuring an appearance by virtually every character in the DC Universe at that time (circa 1986), this unusual project (featuring a combination of beautiful art with prose) laid the foundation for all to come from the new DCU.
The CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS trade paperback — already in its second printing — has been an unanticipated sales phenomenon. And now THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE — with its first new printing in 13 years — is sure to capitalize on that success, at it makes the perfect sequel and bookshelf companion piece to CRISIS.
This project is supported with house ads.
THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE is a 104-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores February 20 with a cover price of $9.95 U.S.
STARMAN: A STARRY KNIGHT is the seventh collection of the critically acclaimed STARMAN series, co-written by Eisner Award-winning writer James Robinson and JSA's David S. Goyer, and featuring the art of Peter Snejbjerg, Steve Yeowell, Wade von Grawbadger, and Keith Champagne. Reprinting STARMAN #47-53, A STARRY KNIGHT features a painted cover by Tony Harris.
Starman, accompanied by his comrade Mikaal and a Mother Box-produced hologram of his father, Ted Knight, begins a galaxy-spanning quest with one near-impossible goal: to find the brother of his lady love, Sadie. But an encounter with a mysterious Dark Colossus sends our reluctant hero spiraling through time and space — to share adventures with the Legion of Super-Heroes, to visit the long-dead planet Krypton (where he meets the father of Superman), and to the planet Rann where he battles alien invaders alongside the legendary Adam Strange!
With the lives of his friends on the line, STARMAN: A STARRY KNIGHT pits Jack Knight against impossible odds on a journey that he hopes finally will lead him back into the arms of his beloved Sadie.
This project is supported with house ads.
STARMAN: A STARRY KNIGHT is a 192-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores February 27 with a cover price of $17.95 U.S.
The first appearance of the Barry Allen Flash is one of the most important moments in comics, as it marks the birth of the Silver Age! Now another history-making milestone of the Silver Age can be seen in THE FLASH ARCHIVES Volume 3 — a 224-page hardcover reprinting THE FLASH (first series) #117-124, which includes the "Flash of Two Worlds" story (from #123) that reintroduced the Golden Age Flash and first mentioned the concept of an "Earth-Two!"
Written by John Broome and Gardner Fox, and featuring art by Carmine Infantino, Joe Giella and Murphy Anderson, Volume 3 also features an introduction by DC Executive Vice President & Publisher (and longtime fan) Paul Levitz on the impact "Flash of Two Worlds" had on the fledgling world of organized comics fandom. No other story influenced the landscape of the DC line of comics over the next two decades more than THE FLASH #123, establishing the parallel-world concept that was prevalent in the DCU for decades — until the arrival of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS in 1985 which brought back a single universe.
But that story isn't all that's great about Volume 3! Drawing upon one of the greatest Rogues Galleries in all of comics, the issues collected herein feature some of the Flash's finest foes — including the return of the Mirror Master and the Trickster, and featuring the first appearance of Captain Boomerang! Plus, more of The Flash's greatest allies and co-stars: Kid Flash and the Elongated Man! It's no wonder the Silver Age Flash is one of the most fondly remembered series in the history of the medium!
THE FLASH ARCHIVES Volume 3 is a 224-page hardcover arriving in comic-book stores February 6 with a cover price of $49.95 U.S. [New Release Date: January 30]
A vicious, mind-controlling villain has succeeded in his lifelong goal: he's conquered the world. Now the heroes who once protected us from this villain are his army to command. There is no free will, no free thought…and no more JSA.
Prepare yourself for the return of the Justice Society of America's greatest adversary, the Ultra-Humanite, in JSA #33 — beginning a 5-part epic entitled "Stealing Thunder." Cowritten by returning writer David S. Goyer (STARMAN) & Geoff Johns (THE FLASH), "Stealing Thunder" features art by Leonard Kirk (SUPERGIRL) & Keith Champagne (STARMAN), with additional art on #33 by Keith Giffen & Al Milgrom, and covers by Rags Morales.
A handful of underground heroes remain untouched by the Ultra-Humanite: a band of rebels led by perhaps the least likely JSA associate. Rising from the ashes with the help of Sand, the villainous Icicle and several other members form the "all-new, all-different" JSA. Discover the new Crimson Avenger's terrifying connection to the original; the new abilities and powers of the revamped Hourman; and witness the final fate of one of the original JSA members. Watch the team that started it all as they set out to free their fellow heroes and take back our world!
JSA #33 is a 32-page issue edited by Peter Tomasi, arriving in comic-book stores February 20 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S.
THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN #3
Let's be honest — you don't want to know what really goes on in this issue before you get a chance to watch it unfold for yourself. So let's just say that it's our humble opinion you aren't going to be disappointed! Miller and Varley bring their considerable talents to bear on the Batman epic of the decade!
Because THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN #3 contains so many shocking surprises, we'll offer you more "sneak peak" art from issues #1 & 2 in this month's Previews. Enjoy!
THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN #3 is an 80-page Prestige Format issue edited by Bob Schreck arriving in comic-book stores February 27 with a cover price of $7.95 U.S. [New Release Date: July 31]
Note: Feature Articles for WildStorm/ABC/Homage and Vertigo comics may be found on their respective pages.