Tag Archives: Gail Simone

10 Things to Learn from the March DC Comics Solicitations

The March solicitations for DC Comics have been released. Check it out. Here are my thoughts about what we’ve been shown this month.

1. Reintroductions. Several titles for the month of March focus on the reintroduction and reinterpretation of old characters from the pre-New 52 era. Some of the seem to be All New All Different and other look to be about the same. Still, they say they’re brand new, so maybe we’re still missing something.

The H.I.V.E. has traditionally been an enemy of the Teen Titans, however it appears to be focusing on Metropolis and therefore will come to blows with Superman. The H.I.V.E. has been subject to several changes to its core concept over the many years. It was originally a group of unnamed villains brought together to fight the Teen Titans, then it became a much bigger organization, until finally being taken over by the Queen Bee and becoming her actual ‘hive’. Time will tell how the group will be portrayed here. It could be something completely new.

Zealot will be joining Stormwatch in issue #18 and she appears to be creating problems for the group’s dynamic duo of Apollo and Midnighter. Zealot is a Kherubim, an alien race that has been at war with the Daemonites for thousands of years. If the conflict between these two races is still canon I think it’s likely that DC is building up to the introduction of the Wildcats. Grifter is now without a title and now that Spartan and possibly something to do with Mr. Majestic are being introduced in February, I think once Zealot plays her part in Stormwatch she could be showing up elsewhere.

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What is Happening to Vertigo?

Karen Berger has left Vertigo. If you don’t know who that is you should probably learn. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Vertigo since its inception in 1993. She’s not just leaving the company, she’s apparently leaving the industry in general, desiring a “professional change.” Karen Berger has been a legend in her field for the past twenty years, helping to usher in titles like SandmanHellblazerV for VendettaFablesPreacherThe Invisibles100 BulletsY: The Last ManAmerican Vampire and many many others. It’s hard to think how the comic book imprint will function without her guiding it.

Perhaps that’s just what DC Comics wants, though. Recently, Vertigo has been on shaky grounds. A few years back DC changed their contract language, essentially taking away royalties if a creator’s comic doesn’t sell well. That sounds fair, but the company now holds their standards as high as 50,000 units sold, which Vertigo books never reach. Meaning all creators, even if their title is successful will miss out on royalties that they once were entitled to. This seems to be stemming from an idea that Vertigo isn’t really the moneymaker it used to be and DC has been left footing the bill for underperforming titles more than they prefer.

While Vertigo still pays their writers the most in the creator-owned community, their previous contract changes have caused popular Vertigo creators to move their work to other comic book publishers. DC now owns 50% of the media property rights for all their Vertigo titles and, understandably, people don’t like that.

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Get Into The All-New Atom

The All-New Atom: My Life In Miniature (#1-6)
The All-New Atom: Future/Past (#7-11)
The All-New Atom: The Hunt For Ray Palmer (#12-16)
The All-New Atom: Small Wonder (#17-18, 20-25)

Do you know about the old Atom? You should, but even if you don’t, that won’t stop you from enjoying the new one. The Atom is a character who can shrink down to minuscule size to fight crime. That is actually a useful power when you need to be stealthy and you get the chance to explore tiny civilizations or dive into the human body. He can also punch people in the face really hard when he shifts his molecular density. The All-New Atom comes into possession of the Bangstick, a staff that allows him to fly and shoot energy blasts, so he does pack some heat.

The Atom as we know him today was created by the legendary Gardner Fox in 1961. It was part of National Publications’ (soon to be DC Comics) effort to revitalize and reintroduce their super-heroes after they had fallen out of favor in the 1950s. This era would be known as the Silver Age of comics, begun by the revamp of the Flash from Jay Garrick to Barry Allen, Ray Palmer replaced the Golden Age Atom, Al Pratt, as well. While the concept of the Flash remained intact, the Atom was reinvented for a new generation. Al Pratt was simply a really short man who fought crime with his fists. With science-fiction booming, the Atom was now a man of science who developed a way to shrink himself and decided to fight crime. He was one of the first Justice League recruits and even mentored a new group of Teen Titans for a time, but no one likes to talk about that anymore.

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