DC Debuts Black Label Imprint Focused on Standalone Works
DC Entertainment announced plans to launch DC Black Label, a new imprint that will publish standalone series and graphic novels by many of DC’s most acclaimed writers and artists.
DC Black label will allow artists to craft personal and distinctive works based on DC’s characters in works outside of the regular story continuity of DC Universe series. The imprint will look to publish works in the tradition of such acclaimed backlist graphic novels as Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killer Joke and Watchmen and Darwyn Cooke’s The New Frontier.
Black Label executive editor Mark Doyle said artists recruited for the new imprint will include such popular DC creators as writers Brian Azzarello, Kelley Sue Deconnick, John Ridley, and artists Frank Miller, John Rominta Jr., Greg Capullo, and Lee Bermejo. The books will feature a variety of formats—including book collections of miniseries and original graphic novels—and release schedules to highlight the vision behind each project.
“DC Black Label offers leading writers and artists of any industry the opportunity to tell their definitive DC stories without being confined to canon,” explains Doyle. “We are carefully crafting each series to fit the vision of the creative team.”
The new imprint will launch with six new titles, beginning in August with Superman: Year One by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr., a retelling of Superman’s origin story on the 80th anniversary of the legendary character. The initial list of books will also include Batman: Last Knight on Earth by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, a new and surreal story pitting the Dark Knight against the Joker; and Batman: Damned by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, a supernatural tale that teams Batman with paranormal hero John Constantine.
In addition there will be Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Jemenez, a story retelling the lost history of the Amazon rise to power; Wonder Woman: Diana’s Daughter by Greg Rucka (artist to be announced), a story about the return of Wonder Woman to a world from which she had disappeared; and The Other History of the DC Universe by John Ridley (artist to be announced), a series of stories that analyze the social perspectives of such DC superheroes as John Stewart, Vixen, Supergirl and Rene Montoya.
DC copublisher Jim Lee emphasized that the launching of the imprint illustrated the importance of “standalone, often out-of-continuity projects featuring our most iconic characters,” and he pointed to such acclaimed and bestselling works as Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
“Creating DC Black Label doubles down on our commitment to working with all-star talent and trusting them to tell epic, moving stories that only they can tell with the highest levels of creative freedom,” Lee said.