Hey comicbook fans, Masked Man here, asking what is the deal with DC Comics huh? As we all know Grand Pooh Bah, Dan Didio left the company as few months ago and now the near future of DC is in influx. Oh, and of course the Covid-19 is still making it hard for everyone in the industry.
But over at DC, there has been rumblings for months of what is/was to be called Generation Zero. The main rumor was that DC was going to replace Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Wonder Woman and others with the next generation of heroes. Some how the current heroes would all be too old (with Dan Didio's new DC timeline), so Jonathan Kent (current Superboy) would be Superman, Luke Fox (Batwing) would be Batman and Wally West (the African American one (yes, there are two of them now) would be the Flash. This was all to kick-off with DC's Free Comicbook Day issue, “GENERATION ZERO” - but. Covid-19 put an end to free comicbook day and Dan is no longer in charge. So, now what? Well, DC hasn't really said.
That is, until Scott Snyder, the man behind the BATMAN: THE COURT OF OWLS started to address his upcoming crossover event: DARK KNIGHTS: DEATH METAL. Which is the follow up to DARK KNIGHTS: METAL. A rather insane affair of DC centric metal (including Batmanium- @#$% you not) and the introduction the Dark Multiverse. From which, The Batman who Laughs came from, not to mention the Over-Monitor and World Forger. This then led to Snyder's (basically unfinished) Justice League run of the Monitor's mommy Perpetua trying to restore the Multiverse to Doom (the way she intended when she created the Multiverse (apparently the hand the Krona saw was her's)). Now, did you get all that? Well now, DARK KNIGHTS: DEATH METAL is not only going to (supposedly) finish that tale, it will also refine DC's Continuity! You now, the way we all thought DOOMSDAY CLOCK was going to, but failed. But, I gotta ask... really? Look we all love DC comics, but one can only assume Dan Didio was fired for his constants re-inventing of the wheel (Note: the unofficial word is that Dan created a hostile work environment, and that's why he was let go. But really? After 17 or so years, now it's a hostile work environment?). But his Crisis trilogy (IDENTITY CRISIS, INFINITE CRISIS & FINAL CRISIS) and his reboot trilogy: New 52, Convergence & Rebirth, failed to have lasting impact. And screwed up the DCU more than the Anti-Monitor ever dreamed of.
And now DC gives continuity power to Scott Snyder, who told CBR.com DARK KNIGHTS: DEATH METAL would be: “It's Batman with the Lord of the Dead, it's Wonder Woman, Queen of Hell, and it's Apokolips Superman with the Darkseid arm and the rock 'n' roll hair and chainmail”!? It really seems DC has a serious problem. Now don't get me wrong, I sure hope DARK KNIGHTS: DEATH METAL is great and fixes everything. But to use Darkseid as an example, to illustrate DC's overall problem: Darkseid- in theory, one of the greatest comicbook supervillains of all time. So much so Marvel basically stolen him when creating Thanos. Thanos has a long list of epic and icon stories. Darkseid has like maybe one (the Great Darkness Saga)? On top of that Darkseid is fames for loosing his powers and getting mugged and Geoff (DC Creative Head) Johns turned Darkseid into a baby. WTF DC? Well be that as it is, grab your popcorn because DARK KNIGHTS: DEATH METAL starts this June (pandemic pending), it will surely be like DARK KNIGHTS: METAL, which Snyder described as "a celebration about comic book lunacy."
In another fun DC tidbit. It seems DC is continuing their war against shelter-in-place, by finding a new printer. Their main printer Transcontinental Printing in Canada has shut down so they moved to the non-shut down LSC Communications in Missouri. Apparently they have used LSC in the past, so it's unclear how permanent a move this is.
Over at Marvel, their big event EMPYRE, is on track for July. With shades of the old DC crossover event INVASION, the Kree and the Skrull have team-up to conquer the Earth. Sounds almost as shakey as Captain America becoming a Nazi, doesn't it. While the Avengers are ready to kick-butt, the Fantastic Four are pushing for a diplomatic solution. The series will be written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott, with art by Valerio Schiti and Marie Gracia.
Marvel also has FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS coming in August. Which is billed as the first Fantastic Four comic ever drawn by the iconic Neal Adams. Based on Neal's insane stories for DC recently, I say thankfully he won't be writing it. That job goes to the equally talented Mark Waid. The story appears to entail a team-up of sorts between the FF, the Silver Surfer and Galactus himself, to take on the new menace of Antithesis.
Also in August Marvel will be kicking off MAESTRO. The infamous future Hulk turned evil dictator, from the mini-series HULK: FUTURE IMPERFECT. Though I gotta say, dragging out a popular one off character for the early 90's sounds more like a DC move than a Marvel move- but I'm willing to bet getting readers back to the comicbook store after sheltering in place so long is one of the reasons it's getting made. The story will be the origin of Maestro himself, written by his creator, the great Peter David. Sadly George Perez is not listed as the artist, as he has gone into “mostly” retirement. Infact, not sure who the artist is, as none is listed. Aside from popular Hulk artist Dale Keown being listed as the cover artist.
In the rumor mill, Jeph Loeb is supposedly heading back to comicbook writing. For years he has been one of Marvel TV's top creative forces. But now that Kevin Feige is in charge of TV, Loeb and everyone else has to find new jobs.
What an exciting time to be a comicbook reader eh? Well that's all I care to talk about today- though I would be remissed if I didn't mention the passing of industry vet, Marty Pasko. This guy has resume longer than my arm! Writing for DC in the 70's and 80's, and TV (live action and animated) in the 80's and 90's (he has a claim to fame of being the guy who named Ookla the Mok in THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN). More recently, he's worked as a group editor for DC, handing all their branded content. As Kevin Smith would say, big bucket of win and he will be missed.
Talk to you later,
Tom "Masked Man" Fremgen