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DC Feature Articles - July 2002

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Grayson Writes Grayson!

     He grew up as the wise-cracking sidekick to the dark avenger known as Batman, and then came on to his own as the sole protector of one of the most crime-ridden cities in the DC Universe, Blüdhaven. Now Dick Grayson is poised for an epic, globe-spanning, action extravaganza destined to change his life once again — courtesy of a brand-new creative team!

Click for Larger Image     NIGHTWING #71 is the debut issue of writer Devin Grayson (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS, NIGHTWING/HUNTRESS) and the art team of Rick Leonardi (BIRDS OF PREY) & Jesse Delperdang (DETECTIVE COMICS), with continuing covers by Michael Golden. Beginning the 4-part “Something About Mary” storyline, NIGHTWING #71 shows that Chief Redhorn’s wife has been keeping a journal. And though she may not know it, the journal implicates nearly every crooked cop and politician in Blüdhaven. Now Mary Redhorn, a middle-aged soccer mom, is suddenly the target of squads of assassins — some of which are Blüdhaven’s Police Department, others hired guns. It’s high action galore…and Nightwing’s caught in the middle. The adventure begins in Nightwing’s adopted city but will soon take him around the world!

     This issue is supported with house ads.

     NIGHTWING is an ongoing series edited by Michael Wright. The 32-page issue #71 arrives in comic-book stores July 17 with a cover price of $2.25 U.S.


     When the relaunch of the current hit CATWOMAN series began, Selina Kyle was already preparing to embark on her new life of fighting crime. But what made a bad woman want to be good in the first place? And how did Selina score enough cash to launch her new career?

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/batman/catwoman-bigscore.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     These questions and more are answered in CATWOMAN: SELINA’S BIG SCORE — a 96-page hardcover written and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke (CATWOMAN, Spider-Man: Tangled Web). Taking place concurrently with the “Slam Bradley” backups in DETECTIVE COMICS #759-762 (with a framing sequence set in the present), SELINA’S BIG SCORE finds the feline fatale presumed dead, cut off from her fortune and desperate to make a lot of When she hears about a mob train full of unmarked cash, Selina assembles a crew of professional thieves to help her take it down. She needs the money badly...but is she ready for the consequences? What follows is a hard-boiled slice-of-crime story in the tradition of The Usual Suspects — a story that doesn't pull punches, with twists and turns that leave readers constantly guessing.

     This handsome hardcover also delivers an eye-popping pinup section showcasing Selina/Catwoman rendered by some of the industry's finest artists, including Mike Allred, Shane Glines, Jaime Hernandez, Adam Hughes, Mike Mignola, Kevin Nowlan, Steranko, and Daniel Torres.

     This project is supported with house and trade ads, and a minisite at /comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/">

     CATWOMAN: SELINA’S BIG SCORE is 96-page hardcover edited by Mark Chiarello, arriving in comic-book stores July 31 with a cover price of $24.95 U.S.


/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/dcuniverse/jist-crisis.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     In the last year, living legend Stan Lee introduced ten remarkable new heroes based on the names of DC's most unforgettable characters. Joined by some of comics' greatest artists, Lee created a singular vision of super-hero adventure. Called into existence by circumstance, the heroic impulse and the machinations of the Tree of Life, the members of the JLA — Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern — are joined by five new teammates in the ultimate battle against a remarkable foe, the Deathlord of the Dream Realm, in JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE WITH JOHN CASSADAY CREATING CRISIS!

     Co-plotted by Lee and Michael Uslan (co-writer of JUST IMAGINE…JLA and the "On the Street" backups) and scripted by Lee, this full-length battle royal is illustrated by fan-favorite John Cassaday (PLANETARY, Captain America), who brings Lee's characters to life in vivid and breathtaking ways. Our heroes must learn to trust one another in the face of the nigh-unstoppable Crisis. But will betrayal doom them to defeat? And what hope can the waking world cling to if its super-heroes fail?

     An incredible tale of sacrifice and heroism, JUST IMAGINE… CRISIS showcases two covers — one by Cassaday, the other by Adam Hughes (WONDER WOMAN). Fulfilling all the promise of the JUST IMAGINE one-shots, Lee, Uslan and Cassaday deliver the culminating chapter of a project that has captured the imagination of three generations of fans. Don't even think of missing it!

     This project is supported with house ads, and a minisite at /comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/">

     JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE WITH JOHN CASSADAY CREATING CRISIS is a 48-page Prestige Format one-shot edited by Mike Carlin. It arrives in comic-book stores July 17 with a cover price of $5.95 U.S. [New Release Date: September 11]

The CRISIS Begins Here!

     Earth-One? Earth-Two? Infinite Earths? Where did it all start?

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/dcuniverse/crisisonmultipleearths.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     The path for the universe-altering Crisis began in the fondly remembered Silver Age tales contained within the CRISIS ON MULTIPLE EARTHS — a new 208-page trade paperback collecting the highly requested early JLA/JSA team-ups! This volume is a perfect companion piece to the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE trade paperbacks.

     Featuring the talents of writer Gardner Fox, penciller Mike Sekowsky, and inkers Bernard Sachs & Sid Greene — all guided by the vision of legendary editor Julius Schwartz — this volume also contains an all-new cover by award-winning painter Alex Ross! These incredible storytellers crossed over worlds to team up the Justice League of America (Earth-One) with their Golden Age predecessors, the Justice Society of America (Earth-Two)! Both teams combined forces to overcome world-shattering threats that would destroy their worlds! Now you can join DC’s greatest heroes in timeless adventures that changed the DC Universe for all time!

     This volume collects the first four 2-part “Crisis Crossover” adventures, reprinting JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #21-22, 29-30, 37-38, and 46-47 (1963-1966). In their initial pairing, the JLA and JSA teamed up against such villains as Dr. Alchemy, Chronos, the Wizard, the Fiddler, Icicle, and Felix Faust. In the second story, we’re introduced to the Crime Syndicate of Earth Three (Johnny Quick, Super Woman, Ultraman, Power Ring, and Owlman) — evil counterparts to the JLA. Next up, Earth One’s evil Johnny Thunder takes control of the Earth-Two Thunderbolt and begins a chain reaction that could leave Earth-One without a Justice League! Finally, the last adventure introduces the Anti-Matter Man from the anti-matter universe, who sets Earths One and Two on a deadly collision course!

     This project is supported with house ads.

     CRISIS ON MULTIPLE EARTHS is a 208-page trade paperback, arriving in comic-book stores July 10 with a cover price of $14.95 U.S.

SUPERMAN: “Return to Krypton II”

     In the first “Return to Krypton” storyline of last year, the Man of Steel made the shocking discovery that the things he thought he knew about his homeworld of Krypton were all wrong. Or were they?

Click for Larger Image     Now it seems that all is not so perfect anymore on Superman's birth planet: Radical followers of the sun god Rao are tearing the world apart! The 4-part “Return to Krypton II” storyline begins to rock the Man of Steel’s world in SUPERMAN #184 (written by Geoff Johns, with art by Pascual Ferry & Cam Smith). Superman’s father Jor-El appears at the Kent farm, looking for Kal-El — and takes him back to the strange Silver Age Krypton. But things aren’t quite what they used to be. Then in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #606 (written by Joe Casey, with art by Duncan Rouleau & Marlo Alquiza), Jor-El and Superman confront the Rao zealots, led by the evil Xon-Ur — who has harnessed the power of Krypton’s red sun. The duo also must rescue Kal’s mom Lara from their clutches.

Click for Larger Image     The following week, in SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #128 (written by Mark Schultz, with art by Karl Kerschl), Superman and Jor-El battle their way into the Temple of Rao, where at its heart, the planet’s true nature is revealed. But death may come to someone close to them. Finally, in ACTION COMICS #793 (written by Joe Kelly, with art by Ferry & Morales), it’s all-out war! And to make things worse, Krypton’s red sun is expanding, threatening to engulf the planet. Will Superman watch his homeworld die once more?

     “Return to Krypton II” has Jor-El and Superman teaming up with unlikely allies to defeat a menace on a world that shouldn't even exist. In the end, the truth about this Silver Age-style Krypton will be revealed once and for all! And Krypto's along for the ride too! All four issues of this storyline feature covers by Kilian Plunkett (LEGION WORLDS, UNKNOWN SOLDIER) that connect into one large image!

     This storyline is supported with a minisite at /comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/">

     SUPERMAN #184, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #606, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #128, and ACTION COMICS #793 are all 32-page issues edited by Eddie Berganza. They arrive in comic-book stores July 10, 17, 24, and 31, respectively, with a cover price of $2.25 U.S. each.


     Have you ever wondered if time is speeding up around you? That each passing year may be flying by at an increasingly accelerated rate?

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/dcuniverse/flash-timeflies.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     Well, wonder no longer. The true answer is…it is. And Wally West — otherwise known as the Fastest Man Alive, the Flash — is prepared to get to the bottom of this phenomenon in THE FLASH: TIME FLIES, a 48-page Prestige Format one-shot speeding into comic-book stores this July!

     Written by John Rozum (MIDNIGHT, MASS, XOMBI), with art by Seth Fisher (GREEN LANTERN: WILLWORLD), TIME FLIES finds Wally flung ahead in time to an amazing future world where he seeks a fugitive from our era who is behind this temporal acceleration. A man who, thanks to the very same Speed Force that Wally taps into, moves every bit as fast as the Flash!

     But it’s a vastly different world they’re on, where both men are complete strangers who don’t know the rules! And they’d better be quick studies before they’re exploited by futuristic forces who want to control them both!

     TIME FLIES is a fast-paced, mind-bending, action-packed thrill ride, with amazingly detailed artwork by Fisher that is an absolute wonder to behold. Be sure to be quick in catching a copy before it flies off the shelves!

     This project is supported with house and trade ads.

     THE FLASH: TIME FLIES is a 48-page Prestige Format one-shot edited by Joey Cavalieri, arriving in comic-book stores July 10 with a cover price of $5.95 U.S. [New Release Date: July 17]


/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/beyond/samuraijackspecial1.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     The origin story and first great adventure of the samurai star of Cartoon Network’s hit show makes its debut as a spectacular super-sized comic! The SAMURAI JACK SPECIAL is a 64-page one-shot written by Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky (DEXTER’S LABORATORY), with art by Lynn Naylor & Bill Wray, and featuring a painted cover by Wray!

     Long ago, in a distant land, a young emperor used the power of an enchanted sword to defeat and banish the powerful shape-shifting wizard Aku. Years later, the unthinkable happens: Aku returns. Moments before his capture, the now-elderly emperor sends the enchanted sword into hiding — and sends his young son away to grow up mastering the warrior arts of all the world’s cultures.

     The boy becomes a man and a samurai, determined to avenge his father by defeating Aku once and for all. But Aku has one more trick up his sleeve, and hurls the warrior through time into a future where Aku is all-powerful and controls Earth with evil force.

     The warrior’s name is Jack…Samurai Jack. And he’s determined to find a way back home somewhere in this new, hostile land — if he doesn’t lose his life defending its inhabitants against Aku first!

     SAMURAI JACK SPECIAL #1 is a 64-page one-shot edited by Joan Hilty, arriving in comic-book stores July 31 with a cover price of $3.95 U.S.


     Sugar…spice…and everything nice…

     These were some of the ingredients chosen to create the POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE, opening in the U.S. in July — and DC Comics is proud to bring you the official comic book adaptation! It’s the never-before-told story — summarized in the opening credits of the hit Cartoon Network TV show — of the Powerpuff Girls’ creation, their first, super-destructive week of life, and their initial brush with archenemy Mojo Jojo!

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/beyond/ppgmovie-image.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE: THE COMIC is written by the show’s head writer Amy Rogers, with art by Phil Moy, Christopher Cook & Mike DeCarlo. In the crime-plagued city of Townsville, an accident in the good-hearted Professor Utonium’s laboratory (involving Chemical X) creates three little girls with kick-butt super-powers! Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles find themselves welcomed into a new and exciting world. But when their super-powered child’s play wrecks the city, they suddenly become criminal outcasts. The Girls become the pawns of the Professor’s scheming simian ex-lab assistant — Mojo Jojo — who plans to “monkey” with Townsville in an incredibly evil way!

     Thrill to the girls’ first big adventure, and watch as they rescue a kidnapped Professor from the clutches of Mojo Jojo while winning over the hearts of the population of Townsville!

     THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE: THE COMIC is a 48-page one-shot edited by Joan Hilty, arriving in comic-book stores July 17 with a cover price of $2.95 U.S. Retailers, please note: THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE: THE COMIC is timed to arrive within two weeks of the movie's scheduled release date (July 3). If for any reason the release date should change, the comic adaptation will move accordingly. [New Release Date: July 3]


     When it first appeared on newsstands in 1952, no one could have known the scope of its eventual success — least of all the men who brought it into existence. It was just another 10-cent comic book, one of hundreds of titles that crowded the country’s shelves and vied for the attention of a fickle and mercurial audience. It was called MAD, and it promised "Humor in a Jugular Vein."

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/beyond/madarchives1.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     MAD delivered on that promise in spades, and now the first six historic issues are reproduced in their entirety in the MAD ARCHIVES Volume One — a 224-page oversized hardcover (8 1/2” x 11”) written by Harvey Kurtzman, with art by Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Will Elder, and John Severin! Celebrating fifty years of one of America’s most popular humor magazines, this introductory volume features a foreword by current MAD Magazine co-editor Nick Meglin!

     Under the guidance of Kurtzman, one of history’s most gifted storytellers, MAD redefined satire for an entire generation of readers — children and adults alike. And while it began as just one of an entire line of titles from visionary publisher William M. Gaines’s E.C. Comics, MAD eventually outsold and outlasted them all, transforming itself from a bimonthly comic book into a monthly magazine that continues publication to this day. Popular culture, both in America and abroad, would never be quite so complacent again. Discover for yourself where it all began.

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

     MAD ARCHIVES Volume One is a 224-page oversized hardcover (8 1/2” x 11”) arriving in comic-book stores July 17 with a cover price of $49.95 U.S. [New Release Date: July 31]


     “The best of the best.”
     — Roy Thomas, from his foreword.

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/dcuniverse/allstararchives8.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     With the induction of new writers and artists who revitalized the series, the adventures of the Justice Society of America reached a high point in the stories collected in ALL STAR ARCHIVES Volume Eight.

     This 208-page hardcover reprints ALL STAR COMICS #34-38 (1947-1948), featuring writers Gardner Fox, John Broome and Robert Kanigher, with artists Joe Kubert, Alex Toth, Carmine Infantino, Lee Elias, Paul Reinman, and others, and a cover by Win Mortimer. Writer and Golden Age enthusiast Roy Thomas provides the foreword.

     The latter half of 1947 was a banner period for the JSA. New writers with new approaches joined new artists with more sophisticated styles to raise the bar for comics’ premier super-team. And it was a time of supreme villainy: the Wizard, Per Degaton, the Injustice Society of the World, and more — history’s most vile characters.

     As a bonus, toss in guest appearances by Superman and Batman as members of the team, and this collection sets a high water mark for DC’s greatest heroes!

     ALL STAR ARCHIVES Volume Eight is a 208-page hardcover arriving in comic-book stores July 31 with a cover price of $49.95 U.S. [New Release Date: August 14]


     With one mighty word, “Shazam!,” cub reporter Billy Batson became the World’s Mightiest Mortal, the original Captain Marvel! One of the most popular super-heroes following his debut in 1940, his comic-book adventures ended in 1953.

     Several years later, Captain Marvel would become one of the most vital members of the DC Universe, continuing to make a place for himself in comic-book history. But imagine there had been one last publication before his hiatus — a 1953 Annual featuring the World’s Mightiest Mortal and his family in their greatest stories. A “lost” issue that never saw print...until now.

Click for Larger Image     SHAZAM! FAMILY ANNUAL #1 (1953) is an 80-Page Giant reprinting stories from CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES #18, CAPTAIN MARVEL, JR. #12, and THE MARVEL FAMILY #1 and #10. Written by Otto Binder, with art by C.C. Beck, Mac Raboy, Pete Costanza, Jack Binder, and Bud Thompson, this volume contains four exciting adventures of the Marvel Family! Witness the debut of Mary Marvel, the World’s Mightiest Girl! Watch the Marvels as they battle the villainy of Captain Nazi! Thrill as the Marvel Family combats the evil Sivana Family! And cheer as they face the deadly Black Adam for the very first time!

     This project is supported with house ads.

     SHAZAM! FAMILY ANNUAL #1 (1953) is an 80-Page Giant arriving in comic-book stores July 24 with a cover price of $5.95 U.S.


/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/dcdirect/ccs-owlman-figure.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     Before the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, there existed an Earth Three — where the evil counterparts to the members of the JLA reigned supreme as the deadly Crime Syndicate! Now, one of the most fondly remembered teams of villains is also a series of highly collectible action figures!

     The CLASSIC CRIME SYNDICATE ACTION FIGURES are advance-solicited for arrival in November. Originally appearing in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #29 (which is reprinted in the CRISIS ON MULTIPLE EARTHS TP, also solicited this month), the Crime Syndicate were one of the most popular villain teams of the Silver Age.

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/dcdirect/ccs-superwoman-figure.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     Johnny Quick was an arrogant super-speedster whose powers almost enabled him to run away with victory over the JLA. Owlman is the brains of the Crime Syndicate, a diabolical master planner whose highly advanced mind allows him to momentarily dominate the will of others. Power Ring possesses a mystical ring of almost limitless power, given him by a mad holy man. Superwoman is a renegade Amazon warrior, possessing great strength and wielding a magic lasso capable of reshaping itself into almost anything at her command. And Ultraman, the powerhouse of the Crime Syndicate, gained a new super power every time he was exposed to Kryptonite.

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/dcdirect/ccs-ultraman-figure.jpg" target="_blank"> Click for Larger Image     The JOHNNY QUICK, OWLMAN, POWER RING, and SUPERWOMAN ACTION FIGURES all stand approximately 6 3/8” tall, while the ULTRAMAN ACTION FIGURE stands approximately 6 5/8” tall. All five figures feature multiple points of articulation and come with a base in the shape of the Crime Syndicate shield, with their names individually printed in gold. The POWER RING figure also comes with a Power Battery, and a one-size-fits-all PVC Power Ring for the consumer.

     And for the first time ever, beginning with the CLASSIC CRIME SYNDICATE line of action figures, DC Direct introduces new 4-color resealable blister packaging. Now collectors can remove figures from their packaging and put them back!

     The CLASSIC CRIME SYNDICATE: JOHNNY QUICK, OWLMAN, POWER RING, SUPERWOMAN, and ULTRAMAN ACTION FIGURES are all advance-solicited for arrival in comic-book stores November 13. Please consult your retailer for pricing information.

The murderer…revealed!

     Since January, all of comicdom has anxiously waited for the secret to the mystery that has rocked Gotham City and the DC Universe to its core: “Who murdered Vesper Fairchild?”

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/batman/batman605.jpg" target="_blank"> Click For Larger Image     Finally, the answer is revealed in BATMAN #605 — an extra-sized conclusion to the “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive” storline that puts the final puzzle piece into place. But now that we know who really killed Vesper, the next question is: why?

     Written by Ed Brubaker, with art by Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens, BATMAN #605 features a cover by Phil Noto (BIRDS OF PREY) that assembles all the puzzle pieces from the covers of all the “Fugitive” chapters into a complete portrait of the killer (incomplete version is shown here).

     The entire Bat-crew assembles at the cave for the revelation. But identifying the murderer and capturing him are entirely different matters. And a mind sharp enough to frame Bruce Wayne would have to be very, very difficult to snare…

     BATMAN is an ongoing series edited by Bob Schreck. Issue #605 is a 48-page issue arriving in comic-book stores July 24 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S.

John Byrne's Man of Steel Returns!

/comics/solicitations/2002-07//comics/solicitations/2002-07/dcuniverse/labrats04.jpg" target="_blank"> Click For Larger Image     In July's LAB RATS #4, John Byrne returns to the exploits of the Man of Steel in an unexpected way, as his newest creations must solve a mystery involving Superman in Part 1 of a 3-part time-travel adventure spanning fifty years!

     Launched half a century into the future as part of yet another experiment, the Rats discover a devastated Metropolis…and a sad story that only an elderly Jimmy Olsen may be able to explain. But what caused Metropolis to fall so far, so fast? And where was the city's greatest champion in its time of need? While the Rats struggle to unravel the secrets of the future — and wonder if they can return to their own era — the city's mysterious master is pursuing his own agenda. The masked ruler of this broken world blames the long-absent Superman for Metropolis's woes, and his identity will surely shock the Rats…if they live long enough for the unmasking!

     LAB RATS is an ongoing series edited by Mike Carlin. The 32-page issue #4 arrives in comic-book stores July 3 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S.

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