DC Add 26 New Titles, Change Loads of Books Around, Cancel Several: The New 49 Begins

This week DC dominated the comics news cycle by announcing their plans for the post-Convergence landscape. After a few months of Brainiac smashing alternate realities into one another for fun (which is the plot of Convergence, in case you were wondering) the company will launch 26 new books, and change the creative teams for many of their other books.

Several books are cancelled as part of this new branding – Supergirl, Batwoman, Swamp Thing, Klarion and Earth 2 amongst them. However, quite a lot of cancelled titles are actually going to rebrand into new books with a similar presence, as is the case with cancelled titles like Batman & Robin, or Constantine.

What follows is a look at each of the 49 books DC are putting out in June…

Batman Beyond: Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang

Batman Beyond is currently the star of “Future’s End”, the weekly series which is due to conclude shortly and is expected to wipe Earth 2 out of existence. In that book, the Batman of the Future has been sent into his past (which remains five years into our future) so I guess the book will keep him in that time period.

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Bat-Mite: Dan Jurgens and Corin Howell

A Bat-Mite series is bizarre, but Corin Howell – who appeared in “Hire This Woman” at Comics Alliance recently – seems like she’s going to jump on the book and turn herself into a comics star. That’s her character design you can see above.

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Bizarro: Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte

Corson is a writer for many of DC’s animated properties, indicating further that the company are looking to hire in people across their brand (Green Arrow is currently written by the showrunners for Arrow, for example). When this was announced, Zainab Akhtar said this seemed like a waste of Duarte, so I have to assume that he’s a very good artist indeed. Well – you can see that from the art above, I guess.

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Black Canary: Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu

One of the most buzzed-about comics, from what I can tell. Graeme McMillan was surprised that Marvel didn’t give Wu her own title following her brilliant work on Hawkeye, and I have to agree with that – that was a starmaking turn, and DC have really struck gold by getting her for this book. Fletcher is currently writing a quite mardy version of Black Canary over in Batgirl, so I assume this book, billed as a punk rock road trip, will continue on with that characterisation.

Constantine: The Hellblazer: Ming Doyle & James Tynion IV and Riley Rossmo

If Bizarro is a waste of Duarte, then Constantine is definitely a waste of Riley Rossmo, whose work on books like Rasputin has really marked him out as one to keep an eye on. This is going to be a continuation of the PG-rated Constantine, written once more by Americans. And! After the last few years of that combination proving to be utterly awful, I really can’t imagine this’ll be any good at all, either. But it’ll have nice art, I guess.

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Cyborg: David Walker and Ivan Reis

The book I’m most excited for, as Shaft writer David Walker gives Cyborg his first ongoing series. This is being done to capitalise on the character’s upcoming appearance in the “Batman Vs Superman” film, which should give the book some attention. Walker’s writing on Shaft has been excellent, and he seemed really excited to be writing the Justice League hero. Reis as artist is a show of faith from DC, as he’s one of the biggest and best artists.

Dark Universe: James Tynion IV and Ming Doyle

Apparently due to cross over with Constantine, this’ll be the new version of “Justice League Dark”.

Green Lantern: Lost Army: Cullen Bunn and Jesus Saiz & Javi Pina

Many of the Green Lantern books have been cancelled, so we’ll have to see what’s going on here. There’s no indication where any of the five Green Lanterns are going to be placed as part of this revamp, so the success of the book will likely rest on who stars in it.

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Doomed: Scott Lobdell and Javier Fernandez

This’ll have to be something to do with Superman, but this is a really strange title to give a book. It doesn’t rest on established characters or branding, and in the past DC have really struggled to get sales on books with new concept titles. Lobdell, also, hasn’t been doing particularly inspiring work at the company. This doesn’t yet have anything to grab me.

Earth 2: Society: Daniel Wilson and Jorge Jimenez

So this is where Earth 2 heads to once the weekly series ends, it appears. Wilson is currently ‘showrunner’ on Future’s End: Earth 2, which has been an absolutely dire and completely incoherent mess thus far. Again, this doesn’t look promising, but let’s wait and see.

Dr. Fate: Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew

Sonny Liew at DC! That’s the big draw of this series, which promises a new-look version of DC’s mystic character. Liew working on the series guarantees that it’ll be worth having a look at when it comes out, even though I have to admit I know next to nothing about the character.

Harley Quinn/Power Girl: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner and  Stephane Roux

This’ll be a popular title, as Harley Quinn’s team nip over for a second book. I think this is a limited-series story six issues long, though could be wrong? Harley Quinn is one of DC’s most popular titles, and bringing the much-loved Power Girl into the mix will only add to that. This’ll be huge, I reckon.

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Justice League of America: Bryan Hitch

Bryan Hitch heads over to DC – isn’t he partway through an Image book at the moment? – to both write and draw one of their big team books. Hitch is a big get for this sort of story, although he tends to work best when he’s got a writer with him. Again, this’ll rise or fall based on who the team are – and if Hitch can get the issues out on time.

Justice League 3001: Keith Giffen and Howard Porter

Brilliantly, the Justice League 3000 team just add an extra year to their series.

Martian Manhunter: Rob Williams and Ben Oliver

This seems like it’s got real potential. Rob Williams has written bits and pieces at DC over the last few months, and Oliver was last seen as the best part of “Multiversity: The Just”. Manhunter has always seemed out of place in the New 52, thanks to some rather poor storytelling that hinted at lots of strange background details which never got followed up on coherently. I’d like to see the creative team take him and give him a real personality, and sense of purpose.

Midnighter: Steve Orlando and ACO

Steve Orlando, from Image’s “Undertow” series, gets to launch a series featuring Midnighter, one of the most popular characters from The Authority and a character who’s been showing up in Grayson recently. When asked if he’d make the series “super-gay” by Oliver Sava, Orlando said YES. So that’s good news.

Mystic U: Alisa Kwitney and TBA

Alisa Kwitney is an editor and writer who’s doing the Batgirl issues of Convergence, featuring Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake. My guess would have to be that one or more of those characters will then head into this book?

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Omega Men: Tom King and Alec Morgan

A team of alien superheroes, three members of the Omega Men have shown up in the New 52 Universe so far: Primus, Kalista and Tigorr. Convergence writer Tom King is handling the series, which suggests this could be one of those books which’d usually be seen as a second-tier title but secretly has an important role to play (like Trinity of Sin before it)

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Prez: Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell

This is SO STRANGE. Prez is based on a short-lived series where an 18 year old lad became President of the United States. How the heck are they going to bring this one back?! Of all their titles, this is the most bizarre arrival. I think the image above suggests the new Prez is a teenager girl.

Red Hood/Arsenal: Scott Lobdell and Denis Medri

Red Hood and the Outlaws has been cancelled, and replaced by two new books. Lobdell carries over onto this one of them, with the two male characters put into a team-up series. Arsenal likely’s been boosted into the title of the series following the character being brought wholesale into the “Arrow” TV series.

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Robin, Son of Batman: Patrick Gleason

As Batman & Robin’s been cancelled, Damien Wayne’s instead going into his first solo series. The artist for that series, Patrick Gleason, will here be taking on both writing and pencilling duties, interestingly. Damien recently came back to life and got superpowers, so that’ll probably be a big part of this book.

Section Eight (limited series): Garth Ennis and John McCrea

Ennis and McCrea created these characters as part of “Outlaw”, one of their most-loved books. There they appeared as a joke superhero team with completely stupid powers and ambitions – the creative team returning here will likely make for a really funny, dark story.

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Starfire: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner and Emanuela Lupacchino

Here’s the big one, if you ask me. Conner has redesigned Starfire to give her a much better outfit, and Emanuela Lupacchino – one of the most underappreciated artists in comics at the moment – is onboard to launch the character into an ongoing series. There’s a lot of love for Starfire online and at conventions, and I think this’ll be another astute choice of pitch from Palmiotti and Conner.

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We Are Robin: Lee Bermejo and Khary Randolph

An intriguing book, which is pretty mysterious right now. This seems like it’ll be a street-level sort of book, possibly filled with new characters who’ve been inspired by Robin? Street vigilantes, perhaps. Or, hey, maybe I’m misreading it and this’ll have all the Robins doing a team-up.

 

Those are the new titles – here are the titles which remain pre-and-post Convergence:

Action Comics: Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder

No creative team change here.

Aquaman: Cullen Bunn and Trevor McCarthy

Cullen Bunn heads to Atlantis, as Jeff Parker leaves the series as writer.

Batgirl: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher, Babs Tarr

No creative team change here, unsurprisingly!

Batman: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

No creative team change here.

Detective Comics: Brian Buccellato & Francis Manapul

No creative team change here.

Batman/Superman: Greg Pak and Ardian Syaf

No creative team change here.

Catwoman: Genevieve Valentine and David Messina

David Messina comes in as artist for the series, which has been a low-key, involving comic now it has Valentine onboard.

Deathstroke: Tony S. Daniel

No creative team change here.

The Flash: Robert Venditti & Van Jensen, Brett Booth

No creative team change here.

Gotham Academy: Becky Cloonan & Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl

No creative team change here.

Gotham By Midnight: Ray Fawkes and Juan Ferreyra

Ben Templesmith moves off the book as artist.

Grayson: Tom King & Tim Seeley, Mikel Janin

No creative team change here.

Green Arrow: Ben Percy and Patrick Zircher

Zircher’s been doing the weekly “Future’s End” series, but with that one over he now heads over for Green Arrow. Arrow’s been one of the main characters in the weekly, so this seems like a sound fit for Zircher.

Green Lantern: Robert Venditti and Billy Tan

No creative team change here.

Harley Quinn: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner, Chad Hardin

No creative team change here.

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Justice League: Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok

No creative team change here. The new storyline with Darkseid and Anti-Monitor looks like it’ll be coming into place.

Justice League United — TBA

Jeff Lemire has confirmed that he’s left this book – and DC as a whole, I think? – now. The direction of the book going forward is completely up in the air at the moment.

Lobo: Cullen Bunn and Cliff Richards

No creative team change here.

Secret Six: Gail Simone and Dale Eaglesham

I think this is Eaglesham’s first issue as artist – he did all the design work for the book, but Ken Lashley drew the first arc.

Sinestro: Cullen Bunn and Bradley Walker

No creative team change here.

New Suicide Squad: Sean Ryan and Carlos D’Anda

No creative team change here, I think

Superman: Gene Luen Yang and John Romita, Jr.

One of the biggest changes, as Gene Luen Yang becomes the main Superman writer! As Greg Pak noted, that means both of the main Superman titles are now being written by Asian-Americans. Yang is utterly brilliant, and I’m really excited to see what he brings to one of DC’s biggest books.

Superman/Wonder Woman: Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke

No creative team change here.

Teen Titans: Will Pfeifer and Kenneth Rocafort

No creative team change here.

Wonder Woman: Meredith Finch and David Finch

No creative team change here. (Damn!).

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