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DC Feature Articles - April 2002

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A bold experiment in adventure!

     They've battled the greatest threats the imagination can offer! And some of their teammates (plus all of their predecessors) have died in action. Now, a group of teens — whose talents have been honed in simulation after simulation — must face the greatest adventures of all within an all-too-real world of monsters and mysterious dangers!

Click For Larger Image     LAB RATS is a new ongoing series set in the DC Universe, written and drawn by fan-favorite John Byrne (SUPERMAN & BATMAN: GENERATIONS, JUST IMAGINE...ROBIN) — who is no stranger to telling thrilling stories of heroic, troubled youths facing seemingly unstoppable foes.

     In LAB RATS #1, readers are introduced to the research subjects of the "Campus," a scientific institution whose goals are unknown and methods are...unorthodox, to say the least. Exploiting the nothing-to-lose spirit of the teens who live there (nicknamed "Lab Rats" by one of the group's most disaffected members), the scientists of the Campus pit their test subjects against incredible dangers — including, in the first issue, dinosaurs! And while these simulations may not actually be real, they still cost the life of one of the kids! After that heartbreaking loss, the team is sent away from the Campus for a much-needed vacation. But the DC Universe is filled with threats to make these kids wish they'd never left the lab they called home.

     Unlike the young heroes of some of Byrne's acclaimed earlier team books (Uncanny X-Men, John Byrne's Next Men), the members of LAB RATS have no special powers to protect them. They do have an abundance of bravery, heroism, and personality that make their adventures even more thrilling! Down the road, the "Rats" meet a cast of characters that will include some familiar faces...including a certain Man of Steel!

     This experiment's just getting started, and the results will surprise you!

     This project is supported with house and trade ads, and a website promotion at

     LAB RATS is an ongoing series edited by Mike Carlin. The 32-page issue #1 arrives in comic-book stores April 10 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S.



     Hal Jordan was one of the greatest Green Lanterns who ever lived, and his life as a Green Lantern affected far more people than anyone could have known. Now, the pieces he has left in his wake are coming together, and the results will shock and amaze readers…offering exciting new possibilities for the future of the Lantern legacy.

Click For Larger Image     GREEN LANTERN: LEGACY — THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF HAL JORDAN is a remarkable 112-page hardcover written by Joe Kelly (JLA, ACTION COMICS) and illustrated by Brent Anderson (KURT BUSIEK'S ASTRO CITY, Rising Stars) & Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin), chronicling the life of a tragic hero through his times of heroic bravery to his final attempt at redemption. Starting at Hal's funeral, LEGACY follows Tom Kalmaku, Hal's mechanic and confidant through his career as Green Lantern, and portrays the betrayal Tom felt after Hal's fall from grace.

     Tom then is left to deal with the greatest of Hal's legacies: a young boy claiming to be Hal's son, who has a connection to one of the universe's greatest powers. But first the pair must discover why a dark figure has come from outer space to make sure no descendant of Hal Jordan survives.

     Interweaving action and drama from Hal's heroic career with the reactions of loved ones, LEGACY is a sweeping tale of family, friends, vengeance…and redemption.

     This project is supported with house and trade ads.

     GREEN LANTERN: LEGACY — THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF HAL JORDAN HC is a 112-page hardcover edited by Bob Schreck, arriving in comic-book stores April 24 with a cover price of $24.95 U.S. Retailers, please note: This project is a resolicitation. All previous orders have been cancelled. A trade paperback edition will not be offered with an in-store date earlier than October, 2002.


     It's the overmuscled match-up you thought you'd never see again! We've witnessed the Man of Steel working side by side with Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon before in the SUPERMAN & SAVAGE DRAGON: METROPOLIS one-shot. But that wasn't the first time these two titanic heroes met!

Click For Larger Image     Larsen writes and pencils a pulse-pounding prequel story of their initial encounter with SUPERMAN & SAVAGE DRAGON: CHICAGO — a 48-page Prestige Format one-shot that's loaded with Larsen's quirky brand of action. Joined by inker Al Gordon (TOM STRONG) for the interiors, Larsen also pencils the arresting cover art that's painted by popular, multiple award-winning artist Alex Ross!

     A heaping helping of Metropolis heavies — including Metallo, Brainiac and Silver Banshee — have hightailed it to the Windy City to join forces with the Savage Dragon's major group of foes, the Vicious Circle. With such a united force of nasties on hand causing mayhem, the City of Tomorrow may not have a tomorrow. Now Superman must form an uneasy alliance with the Savage Dragon to rid two cities of two sets of super-villains! Just who is behind this riotous rampage that wrecks two towns? The answer will surprise you…

     This project is supported with house and trade ads.

     SUPERMAN & SAVAGE DRAGON: CHICAGO is a 48-page Prestige Format one-shot edited by Joey Cavalieri. It arrives in comic-book stores April 3 with a cover price of $5.95 U.S. Copublished by Image Comics.


Click For Larger Image     When the legendary Will Eisner was drafted for service during World War II, he left his most famous creation — the Spirit — in the more-than-capable hands of the Quality Comics staff. The comprehensive collection of one of comics' most enduring characters continues to chronicle that era with THE SPIRIT ARCHIVES Volume 7 — a 224-page hardcover reprinting the newspaper Spirit sections from July 4 to December 26, 1943.

     Written by noted novelists Manly Wade Wellman and William Woolfolk, with art by luminaries such as Lou Fine, Volume 7 features a cover by Eisner and an introduction by comics historian R.C. Harvey about the creation of the Spirit simulacrum "Midnight" by Jack Cole.

     In this exciting volume, the Spirit must face: Ellen Doran framed for a dance marathon murder(!); a police pursuit after a prominent businessman is found dead, with the Spirit a prime suspect; the Maestro, a mysterious villain with a big grudge against big bands; a shipyard saboteur; a kidnap by a couple of dangerous gun-toting women; a construction site colonized by a murderous ex-con; and much, much more!

     THE SPIRIT ARCHIVES Volume 7 is a 224-page hardcover, arriving in comic-book stores April 10 with a cover price of $49.95 U.S. [New Release Date: April 4]

Surf's Up!

Click For Larger Image     In the first months of 2002, Stan Lee's JUST IMAGINE... universe has introduced two shocking new characters based on familiar DC names: Robin, an embittered teen with a surprising lack of connection to his world's Batman; and Shazam!, a man-monster unlike DC's "World's Mightiest Mortal." In April, Stan introduces perhaps his most daringly different JUST IMAGINE... take on a DC character yet, in JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE WITH SCOTT McDANIEL CREATING AQUAMAN!

     Joined by McDaniel (BATMAN, NIGHTWING) & inker Klaus Janson (BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, BATMAN: THE 10-CENT ADVENTURE), Stan introduces Ramon Raymond — an environmentalist devoted to unlocking the mysteries of the oceans which cover the vast majority of the Earth's surface, and the power inherent in water, which makes up most of the human body. His research leads him to investigate the biological characteristics of animals that live underwater, and puts him in grave danger from a shark attack! Luckily, this attack takes place in the vicinity of the mysterious green mist that has played a vital part in other JUST IMAGINE... one-shots, causing Ramon to be transformed into a being unlike any other on Earth! Now Ramon can transform the mass of his body into water, project blasts of water from his hands, and function both undersea or on the "Aquaman" capable of bringing those two worlds into harmony.

     But such harmony is not the goal of Reverend Dominic Darrk and his Church of Eternal Empowerment, which makes Raymond the target of Darrk's evil minions. Will the most powerful of the second "wave" of JUST IMAGINE... heroes be able to master his strange new abilities and defeat his enemies before Darrk's minions cause great harm to both Aquaman's loved ones and the environment he is sworn to protect? There's only one place to get the answer!

     Like all the JUST IMAGINE... one-shots, each copy of JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE WITH SCOTT McDANIEL CREATING AQUAMAN has two covers — one by McDaniel & Janson, the other by the award-winning Adam Hughes (WONDER WOMAN). This issue also features an "On the Street" backup story written by Michael Uslan, with art by Ramona Fradon (AQUAMAN, Brenda Starr)!

     This project is supported with house ads.

     JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE WITH SCOTT McDANIEL CREATING AQUAMAN is a 48-page one-shot in the Prestige Format, edited by Mike Carlin. It arrives in comic-book stores April 10 with a cover price of $5.95 U.S. [New Release Date: April 24]


     The Fifties.

     A decade of hula hoops, sock hops, UFOs, drive-in movies, atomic paranoia, and Gotham City’s greatest hero: Batman!

Click For Larger Image     It was a decade in which the Caped Crusader charted through bold new territories and new kinds of adventures! Now the best Batman stories of that era are collected in BATMAN IN THE FIFTIES — a 192-page trade paperback written by Bill Finger, Edmond Hamilton, France Herron, David Vern Reed, David Wood, and Joe Samachson, with art by Dick Sprang, Sheldon Moldoff, Bob Kane, Charles Paris, Stan Kaye, and others.

     With the success of new technologies, and with American children looking to the limitless possibilities of space, science-fiction entertainment was the talk of the times. As a result, the World’s Greatest Detective was destined for newer — and zanier — adventures than ever before, fighting giant robots, kooky aliens and talking apes, to name just a few. And while it may have left the Dynamic Duo’s heads spinning, it was ten years of unparalleled fun for kids of all ages!

     The sixteen tales collected here exemplify this lighthearted time of sci-fi crime-fighting. So please join our hero, along with Robin, Batwoman, Bat-Mite and Ace the Bat-Hound, as we time-travel back to… BATMAN IN THE FIFTIES!

     This project is supported with house ads.

     BATMAN IN THE FIFTIES is a 192-page trade paperback, arriving in comic-book stores April 17 with a cover price of $19.95 U.S. [New Release Date: April 24]


     For years he fought alongside Gotham City’s greatest protector, the light to Batman’s irrepressible darkness. Against all manner of foe he braved inconceivable odds, ever skirting the line between heroism and death.

Click For Larger Image     His name is Dick Grayson, and his earliest adventures as the Boy Wonder, sidekick to the mysterious Batman, are revealed in ROBIN: YEAR ONE — a 200-page trade paperback collecting the hit miniseries written by Chuck Dixon (ROBIN, NIGHTWING) & Scott Beatty (THE JOKER: LAST LAUGH), with art by Javier Pulido (The Incredible Hulk), Marcos Martin (LAST LAUGH, BIRDS OF PREY) & Robert Campanella (BATGIRL).

     Before he became Nightwing, Dick was the first to don the mantle of Robin. When his parents fell victim to the machinations of a mobster, the young orphan was taken under the wing of millionaire Bruce Wayne — known to a precious few as Gotham's Dark Knight, Batman. For months Grayson trained in the ways of crime-fighting, until at last he was ready to patrol the night with his mentor. But the training ground and the threats of the real world are two very different things. For the newly anointed Robin, it would be a baptism of fire.

     Batman gave Robin purpose, but the evil of the world would shape Dick's destiny. ROBIN: YEAR ONE is the tale of Robin’s tragic beginning, which shaped him into one of the world’s greatest heroes!

     ROBIN: YEAR ONE is a 200-page trade paperback, arriving in comic-book stores April 3 with a cover price of $14.95 U.S.

"World Without Young Justice"

     The teen team sensation known as Young Justice first formed as a group in JLA: WORLD WITHOUT GROWN-UPS, where one young boy became the powerful Bedlam, separating the adults and kids of the world into two different Earths. But Robin, Superboy, Impulse, and the rest of the young heroes managed to stop Bedlam's plans…leaving the young boy in a coma ever since.

Click For Larger Images     Now the power of Bedlam has reawakened and returns to change forever the lives of our young heroes in "World Without Young Justice" — a 5-part storyline beginning in April in YOUNG JUSTICE #44. The action then crosses over into IMPULSE #85, ROBIN #101 and SUPERBOY #99, and concludes in YOUNG JUSTICE #45 (solicited next month), with the covers for all five issues by superstar Humberto Ramos!

     This time around, Bedlam uses his extraordinary powers to prevent the members of Young Justice from ever coming to be…and succeeds! But instead of simply wiping our heroes from existence, new versions take their place! In YOUNG JUSTICE #44 (written by Peter David with art by Todd Nauck & Lary Stucker), meet the all-new Young Justice, including a bigger Wonder Girl, a male Secret, and a deadly Arrowette! Their mission: to save Jason Todd from being murdered by his parents!

Click For Larger Image     In IMPULSE #85 (written by Todd Dezago with art by Carlo Barberi & Walden Wong), we learn that Bedlam has captured Impulse and forced our hero to create hundreds of "scouts" — alternate Impulses running through the time stream creating havoc and changing DCU history! In ROBIN #101 (written by Jon Lewis with art by Rebecca Woods & Andrew Pepoy), Tim finds himself back in Gotham City, but things are amiss — beginning with the triumphant return of…Tim's mom?!? But isn't she dead? Unfortunately things only get stranger from there, as it seems a mystery girl is out there fighting crime…as Robin! Then in SUPERBOY #99 (written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Dan DiDio with art by Anthony Williams & Walden Wong) we rewitness the death of Superman in his battle with Doomsday. In the aftermath, a clone is born. The clone's name? Doomsboy! Wait…Doomsboy?!?

Click For Larger Image     So just what has happened to the Young Justice we've grown to know and love? The answer can only be found in the concluding chapter, the following month's YOUNG JUSTICE #45! Can the planet survive as a "World Without Young Justice"?

     This storyline is supported with house ads.

     YOUNG JUSTICE #44 is a 32-page issue edited by Eddie Berganza, arriving in comic-book stores April 3 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S. IMPULSE #85 is a 32-page issue edited by Joey Cavalieri, arriving in comic-book stores April 10 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S. ROBIN #101 is a 32-page issue edited by Matt Idelson, arriving in comic-book stores April 17 with a cover price of $2.25 U.S. SUPERBOY #99 is a 32-page issue edited by Mike McAvennie, arriving in comic-book stores April 24 with a cover price of $2.25 U.S.


     He was Superman as a boy, a teenager learning how to handle his amazing powers while growing up in Smallville. She was the Man of Steel's young cousin, a fellow survivor from the doomed planet Krypton growing up in Midvale. Now the two Teens of Steel, Superboy and Supergirl, have been brought together in THE SILVER AGE SUPERGIRL AND SUPERBOY DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET!

Click For Larger Image     DC Direct proudly presents the second deluxe figure set to feature characters related to Superman, following the successful sold-out SILVER AGE SUPERMAN AND LOIS LANE DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET. Superboy stands approximately 6" tall, while Supergirl stands approximately 5 3/4" tall, and both figures feature multiple points of articulation and come with an extra set of hands. Best of all, this set also comes packaged with Superboy's pet Krypto (approximately 1 7/8" tall x 2 3/4" long) and Supergirl's pet Streaky (approximately 1 1/2" tall x 2 1/2" long) — both of which feature articulation too!

     All figures include a clip on the back that allows a string to be attached from which it can be hung. This deluxe set also includes a scale replica billboard. The PVC billboard stand measures 6 1/2" wide x 3 1/4" high. The stand holds a card stock insert (approx. 6" wide x 3 3/4" tall) that has 4-color art on both sides — one side featuring the famous "Welcome to Smallville" message with an illustration of the Boy of Steel, and other side featuring a "Welcome to Midvale" message. Packaged in a 4-color window box.

     THE SILVER AGE SUPERGIRL AND SUPERBOY DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET is advance-solicited, and arrives in comic-book stores August 7. Consult your retailer for pricing information.

Note: Feature Articles for WildStorm/ABC/Homage and Vertigo comics may be found on their respective pages.