This week in Super Folk, Publishers Weekly’s superhero news central, DC Comics’ gay character revealed, new and returning series from Image, Dynamite, IDW, Hermes and more, digital news including a Kickstarter for Cerebus, Marvel news, and more.
DC Comics’ Gay Reveal
After Marvel Comics announced mainstream comics’ first gay wedding within the pages of Astonishing X-Men, it came to light that DC Comics was planning to introduce a formerly straight character in its New 52 with a new sexual orientation. Mass speculation ensued and rumors swirled until it was revealed that Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, was now officially a gay man. Although briefly appearing in Earth 2 #1, the new, gay Alan Scott makes his official debut in issue #2, out this week. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, series writer James Robinson explained that his decision to make Scott gay came as a result of reinventing the Justice Society for the New 52 along with no longer being able to write Scott’s gay son, Obsidian, who was lost in the editorial reshuffling. He also described Scott, who is a powerful media mogul as well as a superhero, as an “honorable, Type-A” man who is very much the same heroic leader he always was, and stressed that his homosexuality is “just one aspect” of his character.
Much like Marvel’s wedding announcement before it, news of DC’s new gay character also quickly spread, popping up in the mainstream media and even becoming a trending Twitter topic. And again, One Million Moms, who also protested Marvel, came out against DC for its depiction of gay lifestyles in its books. However, the group was forced to shut down its Facebook page after it was flooded by support for the publisher’s decision. Since then, Robinson has said he plans to introduce more gay characters into the DC Universe.
Kolins on Legion, Sciver on Plasticman
In other DC news, artist Scott Kolins (The Flash) recently admitted to working on a number of issues of Legion of Super-Heroes, beginning with September’s #0 issue. This fits with the previously rumored creator changes (aside from writer Paul Levitz) coming to the title in September. A few months ago, artist Ethan Van Sciver told fans he would be leaving The Fury of Firestorm (which he currently co-writes and provides covers for) to work on some other projects including an undisclosed graphic novel with writer Gail Simone (Batgirl). Last weekend at Phoenix Con, Van Sciver said that he’s been working on a new horror graphic novel featuring Plastic Man, DC’s zany, shape-shifting hero who has so far been absent from the New 52.
Digital News – Cerberus, Diamond Digital, Image, Deep Comix, etc.
Last week, Dave Sim, the controversial creator of the self-published opus Cerebus, announced a Kickstarter project to release a digital edition of High Society, one of the series’ most popular books. The author’s $6,000 aim was quickly met within hours, raising over $30,000 from over five-hundred backers. The new digital edition will feature a number of add-ons including behind-the-scenes bonus material, audio and video commentary by Sim, and more. Once the book is released, Sim plans to continue with the rest of Cerberus’ sixteen volumes.
Last week, Diamond Digital, the digital service created by Diamond Distributors, let go two staff members: web development manager Jeff Dillon and programmer Lev Schneider. This comes along with the departure of director of digital distribution David Bowen. A spokesperson explained the decision, saying that Diamond Digital was seeking “web programmers with different skill sets,” and Michael Murphy, CEO of iVerse (which DD runs on) said the finished service (currently in beta) will not be delayed any further and the wait has been to add retailer requested features.
Image Comics debuted a new version 3.1 upgrade for its Comixology iOS app, featuring a new interface, wider search options, HD displays, faster loading times and more. The new app is meant to utilize the iPad’s capabilities, and Image hopes the more intuitive design and functions will help fans share and discover Image vast library of titles.
Also making its debut was Deep Comix, a new digital comics reader that utilizes innovative mobile technology to give readers a new comics reading experience. While it’s currently available only as a teaser in Apple’s App store, Deep Comix boasts deep potential for reading comics interactively such as giving the user the ability to shift a panel’s view, more intuitive panel progression, and animation-like movement.
Finally, Ape Entertainment is launching a free Dreamworks Animation Comics app for the iPhone and iPad. The app will contain comics based on many of Dreamworks animated movies including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and more. Most of the issues will be priced at $1.99 each, with free previews also available.
New From Image, Dynamite, IDW, and more
Like all weeks, a number of new and returning series emerged on the comics landscape, beginning with Image’s Shadowline imprint’s upcoming medical horror miniseries, Harvest. The five-issue series, written by AJ Lieberman and illustrated by Colin Lorimer, begins in August and follows an ex-surgeon who hunts down wealthy recipients of illegally obtained organs in order to reclaim the stolen body parts.
On Monday, Dynamite Entertainment announced Jennifer Blood: First Blood, a new ongoing prequel to Garth Ennis’ Jennifer Blood, beginning in September. Written by Mike Carroll (2000AD) and illustrated by Igor Vitorino (Green Hornet) delves into Jessie Blute’s past which involves her uncle murdering her father, her mother’s subsequent suicide, her own faked death and new life, and finally her quest for revenge. Also from Dynamite comes Hollowland, an adaptation by Tony Lee (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) of author Amanda Hocking’s self-published zombie books.
IDW unveiled the Secret Battles of Genghis Khan, a new eighty-page graphic novel written by Daryl Gregory and illustrated by Alan Robinson, hitting shelves in July. The book chronicles the story of the famous Mongol conqueror, from his humble tribal childhood to his own search for an heir to his vast empire. IDW also announced the July release of The Creativity of Steve Ditko, a new 200-page hardcover that showcases the life and works of the legendary artist behind such characters as Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, The Question and Hawk and Dove. The book is written by Chris Yoe, who previously released 2010’s The Art of Steve Ditko.
Returning from Dark Horse, Hermes and Oni
Along with the announcements of new series were the returns and reprints of a number of comics from Dark Horse, Hermes Press and author Greg Rucka. First, Dark Horse announced a new Rex Mundi story from creator Arvid Nelson beginning in Dark Horse Presents #15, the August issue of the publishers ongoing anthology series. The story will take place before the events of the main series, focusing on the theft of a holy scroll from Paris in a world where magic exists and Europe is controlled by the Catholic Church. Dark Horse also revealed two upcoming hardcover omnibus editions of the original Rex Mundi series, with the first arriving in September.
Hermes Press announced two reprinted graphic novels from the Agent 13 series, a spy comic based on TSR’s roleplaying game originally released in the 1980s, out in September. The new books will contain two stories by Dan Spiegle with artist Bruce Dixon and feature a new cover by Howard Chaykin.
Finally, writer Greg Rucka (Punisher) revealed the next arc in his Stumptown series, arriving in September from Oni Press. Rucka didn’t say much about the new story titled “The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case,” but was adamant about remedying the problems that plagued the first book, promising to release the new series on a regular schedule with no delays.
Marvel: Punisher in ‘Nam, Gillen and Land to Iron Man?
Last weekend at Phoenix Con, writer Garth Ennis spoke about his FuryMAX series as well as his plans for Nick Fury after the current Bay of Pigs-era miniseries concludes. He revealed that he’ll be sending Fury to Vietnam where he’ll meet a young soldier by the name of Frank Castle, who would later come to be better known as the Punisher.
Finally, comic news site Bleeding Cool passed along a rumor concerning the future of Iron Man and how the current Uncanny X-Men team of writer Kieron Gillen and artist Greg Land may take over the book following. For the last many rumors have spread concerning the future of some of Marvel’s top creators including Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Aaron, following the conclusion of Avengers Vs. X-Men. Iron Man, currently by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca, seems to be heading toward a shakeup, and at the Kapow Convention last month Gillen did mention how Tony Stark is a sought after character to write.