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DC Feature Articles - October 2002


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Loeb & Lee on BATMAN monthly!
BATMAN #608

Click For Larger Image     Ever since the news broke last spring, fans and readers alike have waited breathlessly for this moment: Jim Lee pencilling Batman! You’ve seen the sketches and previews in Wizard: The Comics Magazine. You read about it online. You’ve been awed by the posters and banners at the summer conventions. Now, one of the most anticipated events of the year is here!

     BATMAN #608 is the start of “Hush” — a 12-part, uninterrupted storyline where superstar artist Lee unleashes his talent on one of DC’s greatest icons. Joining Lee is someone who is no stranger to the World’s Greatest Detective: writer Jeph Loeb, who has spun such classic maxiseries as the Eisner and Wizard Award-winning BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN and BATMAN: DARK VICTORY, and who now brings his powerful storytelling abilities to the monthly title. Beautifully inked by Scott Williams, “Hush” is a bold new adventure in the life of the Dark Knight, and surely will set a new standard for Batman stories for years to come.

     The details of “Hush” have been kept tightly under wraps, as it features more surprises than readers can imagine. What we can tell you is that it features a wide array of friends and foes from the Batman cast, including Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, the Joker, Two-Face, Huntress, and — before it’s all done — a certain Man of Steel. There will be action, murder, mystery, romance…and death in a story that will keep you guessing right up until the end!

     This project is supported with a full-color poster, Wizard: The Comics Magazine preview, house and trade ads, and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

     BATMAN is an ongoing series edited by Bob Schreck. Issue #608 is 32 pages and arrives in comic-book stores October 23 with a cover price of $2.25 U.S.


THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN
HARDCOVER

Click For Larger Image     The eagerly anticipated sequel to BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is gathered together for the first time with THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN — a 256-page hardcover written and illustrated by Frank Miller with magnificent colors by Lynn Varley.

     This incredible volume, designed by multiple award-winner Chip Kidd, features an introduction by Miller commenting on returning to the world he created fifteen years ago. The book includes the complete 3-part story, plus sketches, color samples and other never-before-seen material.

     It’s been three years since the events of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, and everything is just fine — at least on the surface. What the world at large doesn’t know is that it’s a total sham. A perfectly choreographed, pretty little world where everything that’s ugly, or even potentially disturbing, is all nicely wrapped up with neat little ribbons and swept under the carpet.

     Only he knows better. He’s watched it fester to near-breaking point, and it’s time for the only free man left who can effect any real change to bring it all down around their ears once and for all.

     The Dark Knight returns once again with a vitality unseen since the first years of his war on crime. Together with his army of Bat-soldiers, including Carrie Kelly — formerly Robin, and now the new Catgirl — the Dark Knight wages a new war on a diseased world that’s become completely lost.

     THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN features appearances by such DC icons as Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, the Atom, the Question, and more. But are they still the World’s Greatest Heroes?

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS — NEW EDITION
HARDCOVER

     Over five years since it was last published in hardcover form, one of the most groundbreaking comic-book tales ever created returns in a new hardcover edition, also featuring a dust jacket designed by Chip Kidd!

Click For Larger Image     Writer/artist Frank Miller’s classic tale BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS — NEW EDITION is a 224-page saga of a dark world and even darker knight. Joined by inker Klaus Janson and frequent colorist collaborator Lynn Varley, Miller reinvented the Batman story with this masterful tale taking place ten years after the Dark Knight retired from crimefighting.

     But crime itself has not gone away, and the man who was Batman is unable to exorcise the bitter memories of his parents’ murders — making the long suppressed voice of his vigilante side aching to break through once more.

     The Dark Knight returns in a blaze of glory, fighting a new generation of crime in Gotham City. And he is not alone — soon he is joined by teenager Carrie Kelly who becomes an all-new Robin to complete the Dynamic Duo. But can they handle the likes of Two-Face and the Joker, when time has only made them crazier and deadlier than ever? And what of a certain Man of Steel, who disapproves of his former crimefighting friend’s methods?

     THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS has been hailed as a comics masterpiece and is one of the most influential stories ever told in this medium. If you’ve never read this seminal work, then here’s your chance to experience it in a handsome new hardcover volume.

     These projects are supported with a full-color poster, house and trade ads, and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

     THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN is a 256-page hardcover arriving in comic-book stores October 30 with a cover price of $29.95 U.S. BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS — NEW EDITION is a 224-page hardcover arriving in comic-book stores October 30 with a cover price of $24.95 U.S. Note: A softcover version of THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN will be available no earlier than April, 2003. [New Release Date: November 6]


JLA: TERROR INCOGNITA
TRADE PAPERBACK

     They’re baaaaaaaaack!

     In a new collection featuring the World’s Greatest Heroes, some of the JLA’s deadliest foes return. During the team’s battle with the alien sentergy known as ID (reprinted in JLA: DIVIDED WE FALL), the horrifying White Martians were set loose!

Click For Larger Image     JLA: TERROR INCOGNITA is a 144-page trade paperback featuring the epic storyline written by Mark Waid, with art by Bryan Hitch & Paul Neary (who provide the cover) and Mike S. Miller & Dave Meikis. After years of psychic imprisonment the White Martians have returned to wreak vengeance on their captors — the JLA — with a plan to systematically destroy each of our heroes and disable the Earth’s ability to create their one weakness: fire! Can even the combined might of the JLA triumph over an army of invisible, super-strong telepaths bent on galactic conquest?

     Reprinting JLA #55-60, TERROR INCOGNITA also collects THE JOKER: LAST LAUGH crossover issue (written by Chuck Dixon & Scott Beatty with art by Darryl Banks & Wayne Faucher) that featured a “Jokerized” version of Doctor Polaris wreaking havoc on Earth’s magnetic poles. Plus, a classic Christmas tale titled “'Twas the Fight Before Christmas” (written by Waid with art by Cliff Rathburn & Neary), in which our heroes learn a most important holiday lesson during a fight with the demon Neron.

     This project is supported with house ads.

     JLA: TERROR INCOGNITA is a 144-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores October 9 with a cover price of $12.95 U.S.


JLA: A LEAGUE OF ONE
SOFTCOVER

     One of the grandest, most breathtaking adventures of the JLA unfolds in this 112-page softcover graphic novel written and fully painted by the brilliantly gifted Christopher Moeller (LUCIFER covers).

Click For Larger Image     JLA: A LEAGUE OF ONE is an epic in which the Justice League is divided against itself in a heartbreaking battle to the death. An ancient, evil dragon awakens from his subterranean slumber once again to menace a world that’s forgotten such monsters of flame and guile ever existed. But the new world of today has its own Round Table of protectors in the form of the JLA.

     When Wonder Woman goes to the infallible Amazon oracle and learns that the JLA is destined to die in battle against the dragon, she must make the most difficult decision of her life — embarking on a terrible, unwinnable quest to thwart fate, putting her at odds with those she loves most. In A LEAGUE OF ONE, Superman, Batman and the rest of the League learn that while some heroes may be Wonder Woman’s match, none surpass her. A LEAGUE OF ONE is a sumptuous visual feast, a rich tapestry of storytelling that is poetic in its soaring beauty.

     This project is supported with house ads.

     JLA: A LEAGUE OF ONE is a 112-page softcover edited by Dan Raspler, arriving in comic-book stores October 16 with a cover price of $14.95 U.S. [New Release Date: October 23]


BATMAN: THE DYNAMIC DUO ARCHIVES Volume One
HARDCOVER

Click For Larger Image     With Batman’s 300th appearance in DETECTIVE COMICS, editor Julie Schwartz decided to give Batman and Robin a “new look.” In 1964, the sales on these characters — believe it or not — were low and in need of a kick-start. But in the hands of Schwartz’s talented team of writers and artists, the Dynamic Duo were revitalized and regained their popularity!

     By popular demand, DC inaugurates a new Archive series with BATMAN: THE DYNAMIC DUO ARCHIVES Volume One — a 240-page hardcover advance-solicited for arrival in February. Written by Gardner Fox and John Broome, and illustrated by Carmine Infantino & Joe Giella, these celebrated stories have never been collected before! THE DYNAMIC DUO ARCHIVES Volume One gives comics fans the opportunity to watch a new editorial approach grow and mature.

     This volume reprints DETECTIVE COMICS #327-339 — considered to be the first “Silver Age” adventures of Batman & Robin. Some of the pulse-pounding tales you can expect within include “The Joker’s Last Laugh,” “The Man Who Stole From Batman,” “Batman’s Super-Powered Punch,” and “Batman Battles the Living Beast-Bomb!” All this, plus an Elongated Man story!

SILVER AGE BATMAN & ROBIN DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET

Click For Larger Image     Following the success of the SILVER AGE SUPERMAN & LOIS LANE DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET, DC Direct is proud to present the much-demanded Dynamic Duo featured in the SILVER AGE BATMAN & ROBIN DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET — advance-solicited to arrive the same week as the BATMAN: DYNAMIC DUO ARCHIVES Volume One!

     As a child, Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents and dedicated his life to combating crime as Batman. After Dick Grayson’s parents were killed by gangsters, Wayne took the boy in and trained him to become Robin, the Boy Wonder. Now the classic Silver Age look of Batman and Robin is immortalized in this Deluxe Action Figure Set, sculpted by Tim Bruckner.

     Batman stands approximately 6 1/4" tall while Robin stands approximately 5 3/4" tall. Both action figures feature eleven points of articulation. This set also includes two 1" long Batarangs, a 12" long Batrope with a suction cup, and a (9 1/2" wide x 4 1/4 deep x 3/4" tall) base in the shape of a Gotham City rooftop. Both figures and accessories are packaged in a 4-color window box.

     BATMAN: THE DYNAMIC DUO ARCHIVES Volume One is a 240-page hardcover. It is advance-solicited for arrival in comic-book stores February 12, 2003 with a cover price of $49.95 U.S. The SILVER AGE BATMAN & ROBIN DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET is advance-solicited for arrival in comic-book stores February 12, 2003. Please consult your retailer for pricing information.


SUPERMAN/BATMAN: WORLD’S FINEST — NEW EDITION
TRADE PAPERBACK

     Superman…Batman. Metropolis…Gotham City. Light…Dark. Yin…Yang.

Click For Larger Image     They are the World’s Finest heroes, and they couldn’t be more different. One is a shining beacon of hope and protector to the citizens of the sparkling city of Metropolis. The other hides in shadows and strikes fear into the evildoers who dwell in crime-ridden Gotham City.

     But they have more in common than they realize. For one, they’re both orphans of a sort. These similarities, as well as their differences, are explored in full in SUPERMAN/BATMAN: WORLD’S FINEST — a new edition of the 160-page trade paperback written by Dave Gibbons, with art by Steve Rude & Karl Kesel, and a painted cover by Rude.

     You also couldn’t get two more different villains than Lex Luthor and The Joker. Defeated over and over by their heroic counterparts, the two criminal masterminds decide to make a deal: switch both cities and adversaries — and maybe, they’ll be rid of the World’s Finest once and for all!

     Gibbons’s masterly script explores the deep psychological contrasts and conflicts that drive each hero in their quests for justice, while Rude’s & Kesel’s beautiful renderings of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight will take your breath away!

     SUPERMAN/BATMAN: WORLD’S FINEST — NEW EDITION is a 160-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores October 9 with a new, lower cover price of $14.95 U.S.


BIRDS OF PREY — NEW EDITION
TRADE PAPERBACK

     The first collection of BIRDS OF PREY stories is back in print, just in time for the new TV series to debut on the WB network!

Click For Larger Image     BIRDS OF PREY — NEW EDITION is a 208-page trade paperback featuring a new cover by Matt Haley & Wade Von Grawbadger (which will soon be offered as a DC Direct poster!). In these action-packed stories, Black Canary puts the past behind her — with more than a little help from Oracle — adopting a new costume and a new attitude as she faces threats in an array of international locales. As a rocky partnership develops between the Canary and the wheelchair-bound Oracle — who offers (sometimes unwanted) counsel via satellite uplink — the Canary is assisted by unlikely allies such as Catwoman, the Huntress and Lois Lane! Along the way, the duo face drug smugglers, human slave traders and a man who has wronged not only the Canary, but the Catwoman and Huntress as well!

     Written by Chuck Dixon (with Jordan B. Gorfinkel), and illustrated by Gary Frank & John Dell, Haley & Von Grawbadger, Stefano Raffaele & Bob McLeod, and Jennifer Graves & Stan Woch, this collection reprints the duo's first pairing in the BLACK CANARY/ORACLE: BIRDS OF PREY one-shot, the 4-issue BIRDS OF PREY: MANHUNT miniseries, and the BIRDS OF PREY: REVOLUTION one-shot. Plus, the BIRDS story from SHOWCASE '96 #3 is also included.

     Featuring one of the most original and dynamic pairings of crime-fighting heroines, BIRDS OF PREY reveals the intense relationship that still has comics fans talking — and that inspired the TV show!

     BIRDS OF PREY — NEW EDITION is a 208-page trade paperback, arriving in comic-book stores October 2 with a cover price of $17.95 U.S.


THE SHAZAM! ARCHIVES Volume Three
HARDCOVER

Click For Larger Image     With one mighty word — “Shazam!” — young Billy Batson becomes the World’s Mightiest Mortal! THE SHAZAM! ARCHIVES Volume Three is a 216-page hardcover continuing the early adventures of Captain Marvel — written by C.C. Beck and others, with art by Beck, George Tuska, Mac Raboy and Pete Costanza.

     The adventures of Captain Marvel really start hitting their stride in this volume, featuring an introduction by movie producer Michael Uslan and reprinting stories from AMERICA’S GREATEST COMICS #1, CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES #2 & 3, and WHIZ COMICS #21-24 (1941). With the release of the Captain Marvel movie serial, Fawcett Comics began to diversify its top super-hero with a Captain Marvel Club for its readers, merchandise and the comics introduction of characters from the serial.

     Volume Three finds the “Big Red Cheese” facing his most nefarious foe, Dr. Sivana, who shrinks poor Billy Batson and the lovely Beautia down to insect size, where they face a myriad of microscopic menaces! Sivana also returns in a second tale with a mysterious paralyzing gas to confound our hero, and, just for good measure, a third story as the brains behind a primitive foe that goes by the name of the Beast Ruler. But that’s not all! This volume also contains the very first appearance of the Three Lieutenants Marvel and the comics introduction of Whitey Murphy (from the movie serial). Plus, Captain Marvel confronts the menace of a ship-scuttling saboteur, intrigue in a temple in Central America, spies at our nation’s capital, ocean-going saboteurs, invading spider men from Mars, pirates, arsonists, and more! As a bonus, a 2-page text piece is included which was the first installment of a prose adaptation of the serial The Adventures of Captain Marvel.

     THE SHAZAM! ARCHIVES Volume Three is a 216-page hardcover arriving in comic-book stores October 30 with a cover price of $49.95 U.S. [New Release Date: November 13]


JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED: BATMAN WALL PLAQUE

Click For Larger Image     DC Direct has been a leader in comics-related product, ranging from action figures to statues to posters and much more! Now a brand new product line will be hitting comic-book stores early next year, with the addition of Wall Plaques!

     From the hit Cartoon Network animated series comes the JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED: BATMAN WALL PLAQUE — advance-solicited this month for arrival in January, 2003. This is the first in an exciting new line of fully-sculpted wall reliefs that will also feature Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Superman, and the Flash!

     The Dark Knight is shown as he appears in the Justice League animated series, in a hand-painted, cold-cast porcelain wall relief sculpted by John G. Mathews. The Wall Plaque measures approximately 4 1/2” tall x 8” wide x 2 1/2” deep, and is packaged in a 4-color box. Liven up your walls by collecting all five JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED WALL PLAQUES in 2003!

     The JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED: BATMAN WALL PLAQUE is advance-solicited. It arrives in comic-book stores January 22, 2003 with a price of $39.95 U.S.


DOOM PATROL #13

     They’re comics’ strangest super-team…and they’re about to get even stranger…

Click For Larger Image     The Doom Patrol has gone through their share of weird and deadly adventures — from the final tragic mission of the original group, to the current incarnation’s first outing as a corporate super-team! But nothing’s prepared them for what happens in DOOM PATROL #13, the first of a 2-part story featuring the wild and visionary drawings of guest-artist Seth Fisher (GREEN LANTERN: WILLWORLD, THE FLASH: TIME FLIES)!

vJoined by regular writer John Arcudi and artist Tan Eng Huat (who returns to interior art duties with issue #15) on covers, Fisher illustrates a tale that will have fans talking. Robotman finds a tie-pin in a strange antique box — a pin that once belonged to Dr. Niles Caulder, the chief of the original Doom Patrol. And once Robotman makes the connection, he and the entire modern-day team are transformed into…the original team?!?

     Old and new fans alike will be dying to know what this means for the future of comics’ beloved team of super-misfits!

     DOOM PATROL is an ongoing series edited by Andy Helfer. Issue #13 is 32 pages and arrives in comic-book stores October 2 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S.


The return of Kara Zor-El!
SUPERGIRL #75

     With her personal journeys ended — no Earth Angels, no Chaos Streams, no demons to fight — Linda Danvers now can claim to be the one and only Supergirl, right? Wrong! When a spacecraft crashes down outside Leesburg, Supergirl races over to the destroyed craft to look for survivors, and finds...Supergirl?!?

Click For Larger Image     Fifteen-year-old Kara Zor-El makes her debut again for the first time in SUPERGIRL #75, written by Peter David and featuring the new art team of Ed Benes (GEN13, CODENAME: KNOCKOUT) & Alex Lei, and cover artist Rob Haynes! No hoaxes. No imaginary stories. No Elseworlds here. This is Kara Zor-El, and Linda Danvers — no stranger to conflicts with duality — becomes immersed in a mystery that will shake her very identity and existence. Who is this young girl wearing the “S”? Where did she come from, and how does she have more powers and abilities than Linda? Is this part of a larger dilemma, and if so, who else is involved? Linda’s going to have more than her share of questions over the next several months, and she very well may not like the answers, nor will she like the fates that await both her and Kara.

     SUPERGIRL #75 is a great jumping-on point for the next stage of Supergirl’s life, a story for which writer David plans on pulling out all the stops. Two Supergirls. One outcome. The question to ask: Which one?

     This issue is supported with house ads and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

     SUPERGIRL is an ongoing series edited by Mike McAvennie. Issue #75 is 32 pages and arrives in comic-book stores October 23 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.