Comic retailers who gathered in Los Angeles this weekend to see what DC Comics will be publishing in 2003 might have felt a bit of déjà vu: Some of these new titles are a bit familiar ...
But if the new "Teen Titans" and "Outsiders" sound familiar to fans of the 1980s incarnations of the books, and Neil Gaiman's Endless and "Sgt. Rock" are also familiar iconic figures to DC readers, the books (mostly) have a new twist.
The flashbacks continue with new Archive Editions, the return of "Astro City," lots of new projects by Warren Ellis and "Epicurus the Sage."
And, of course, DC didn't forget their bread-and-butter titles, which plenty of Batman, JLA, Superman and other established superhero titles on the way in 2003.
DC didn't present everything they'll be publishing in 2003, but the following is their list of highlights intended to get retailers (and readers) worked up to a pre-ordering fever pitch.
All titles are ongoing unless otherwise indicated.
All VERTIGO titles are suggested for mature readers.
All information is subject to change.
ASTRO CITY: LOCAL HEROES
(W) Kurt Busiek (A) Brent Anderson (C) Alex Ross (E) Ben Abernathy5 issues, 1Q 03
The acclaimed title returns in February as a series of miniseries. Thefirst, ASTRO CITY: LOCAL HEROES, runs five bimonthly issues, kicking offwith three stand-alone stories that reintroduce the heroes and villains ofAstro City, followed by the tale "Dark Ages."
CBR News note: Busiek told CBR News the above information is somewhatinaccurate. For full details, see CBR News' new Busiek interview, availableonline now.
AT DEATH'S DOOR
(W/A) Jill Thompson (E) Karen Berger
Graphic novel, 3Q 03
Dangerous, romantic and fun - it's Death, manga-style! Set during the"Season of Mists" storyline, AT DEATH'S DOOR finds The Sandmancontemplating what to do with the Key to Hell. At the same time, Death,Delirium, and Despair throw Hell's escapees a party, one that quickly getsout of control. The three Endless sisters must figure out how to save theday and the afterlife...not to mention the carpet.
(W) Jeph Loeb (P) Jim Lee (I) Scott Williams (E) Bob Schreck
The best-selling series kicks into overdrive as the second story begins!The Dark Knight - accompanied by Catwoman - drops into Metropolis, only torun afoul of Superman! What could bring these uneasy allies to the brinkof war? How do you stop the unstoppable Man of Steel? Who can outwit theWorld's Greatest Detective? Who will be left standing? Watch for theanswers in January's BATMAN #611!
BATMAN: ILLUSTRATED BY NEAL ADAMS
(W) Dennis O'Neil and various (A) Neal Adams and various
Hardcover, 2Q 03
The art that initiated the modern look of the Dark Knight is collected in a3-volume hardcover series that includes stories from BATMAN, DETECTIVECOMICS, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, and WORLD'S FINEST! Plus, covers fromthose series and others!
BATMAN: CHILD OF DREAMS
(W/A) Kia Asamiya (Adaptation) Max Allan Collins (E) Andrew Helfer
Hardcover, 1Q 03
>From the mind of Kia Asamiya, creator of manga hits Silent Moebius andSteam Detectives, comes a unique manga take on the Dark Knight - a mammothadventure featuring Batman in action in both Gotham and Tokyo, locked inmortal combat with his greatest enemies! This massive hardcover edition istranslated into English by acclaimed mystery and comics writer Max AllanCollins (ROAD TO PERDITION).
BATMAN: DEATH AND THE MAIDEN
(W) Greg Rucka (A) Klaus Janson (E) Matt Idelson
9 issues, 2Q 03
Wayne Enterprises has been quietly sealing up sites where Ra's Al Ghulmight create a Lazarus Pit. Now Ra's' life is waning and he can't do theone thing that would extend his existence. At the same time, Taliarecognizes that with her father gone, she finally may be able to expressher feelings for Bruce Wayne. But are Batman's actions - denying Ra's whathe needs to survive - tantamount to murder?
(D) Jim Lee (S) Tim Bruckner
Scheduled to coincide with the release of the final issue of Jeph Loeb'sand Jim Lee's "Hush," this powerful rendition of the Dark Knight isdesigned by Lee and sculpted by Tim Bruckner.
BATMAN/SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN: TRINITY
(W/A) Matt Wagner (E) Bob Schreck
3 issues Prestige, 2Q 03
Legendary comics creator Matt Wagner defines the relationships among DC'striumvirate of flagship characters in this powerful 3-part miniseries. Setearly in the three heroes' careers, this powerful story pits them againstvillains including Bizarro and Ra's al Ghul - and maybe one another.
BEWARE THE CREEPER
(W) Jason Hall (A) Cliff Chiang (E) Will Dennis
5 issues, 2Q 03
>From out of the night strikes the Creeper, mysterious hero of the 1920s'Parisian art set and bane of the local gendarmes. As her antics againstthe bourgeoisie escalate and the law closes in, one question desparatelyneeds answering: just who is the Creeper...and what does she want?
BIRDS OF PREY: THE COMIC
(W) Various (A) John Van Fleet and Various (E) Lysa Hawkins
1 issue, 1Q 03
Inspired by the hit series on The WB! Like SMALLVILLE: THE COMIC, theBIRDS OF PREY one-shot includes two comics stories plus specialbehind-the-scenes info!
CAN'T GET NO
(W/A) Rick Veitch (E) Karen Berger
3 issues, 3Q 03
The fertile imagination of Rick Veitch unites with VERTIGO for CAN'T GETNO, a one-of-a-kind story produced in a cool newformat. Up-and-comer ChadRoe's world becomes a ball of confusion when he awakens to find himself amarked man - marked from head to toe with super-indelible, permanent ink.Now a freakish outsider, Chad embarks on a cross-country odyssey into aworld where the rules of "civilization" no longer apply - both for himselfand humanity.
CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN ARCHIVES
(W) various (P) Jack Kirby (I) Wallace Wood and various
Hardcover, 2Q 03
One of Jack Kirby's first forays back into heroic adventure comics at thedawn of the Silver Age is collected in the 2-volume CHALLENGERS OF THEUNKNOWN ARCHIVES. Rocky Davis, Professor Haley, Red Ryan, and Ace Morganform the quartet living on borrowed time - and on adventuring across theglobe!
EPICURUS THE SAGE
(W) William Messner-Loebs (A) Sam Kieth (E) Scott Dunbier
Graphic novel, 3Q 03
One of the best-loved projects from DC's Piranha Press is brought back intoprint as a single Homage title, including a rarely-seen story from thePiranha anthology FAST FORWARD - plus a brand-new, 36-page story byEPICURUS creators William Messner-Loebs and Sam Kieth. Suggested formature readers.
(W) Bill Willingham (A) various (C) James Jean (E) Shelly Bond
One of VERTIGO's new success stories continues its momentum with theDecember release of the collected edition FABLES: LEGENDS IN EXILE. InMarch, Bryan Talbot illustrates a stand-alone issue set in the Civil War,as Jack of the Tales takes on the ultimate foe: Death! Then, originalseries penciller Lan Medina returns for a 2-part spy caper that brings theseries back to New York City. And coming next summer: the FABLES ANNUAL,written by Bill Willingham with art by P. Craig Russell, Craig Hamilton andWillingham.
(W) Grant Morrison (P) Chris Weston (I) Gary Erskine (C) Carlos Segura(E) Karen Berger
All the pieces of the puzzle fall into place this winter as writer GrantMorrison answers every question: What is The Hand? Who are Man Green/ManYellow? Where is The Crack? The Dark Secrets of planet Earth unfold forNed Slade as he begins his final initiation as a garbage man and faces theultimate revelation of life, death, identity, and the beyond.
FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
(W) Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis (P) Kevin Maguire (I) Joe Rubinstein(E) Dan Raspler
6 issues, 3Q 03
1980s nostalgia takes on a whole new meaning as the creative team behindJUSTICE LEAGUE reunites for this 6-issue miniseries! Maxwell Lord is back- and he's determined to reassemble the old Justice League, including Fire,Ice, Blue Beetle, and Booster Gold to take on a space-born threat. Butwill the current JLA allow this to happen? Whose side will Batman take?(Here's a hint: The old Justice League never threw him out!)
THE GOLDEN AGE SPECTRE ARCHIVES
(W) Jerry Siegel (A) Bernard Baily
Hardcover, 1Q 03
In 1940, writer Jerry Siegel followed the success of Superman with anotherindelible creation: The Spectre! Now, DC collects these classic, GoldenAge tales from the pages of MORE FUN COMICS in Archive form, with art byBernard Baily!
GREEN ARROW and GREEN LANTERN
(W) Judd Winick and Ben Raab (A) Charles Adlard (E) Bob Schreck
Two of the DCU's most popular heroes team-up and tangle in "Black Circle:Urban Knights," a 6-issue biweekly storyline running through GREEN ARROWand GREEN LANTERN this spring! But these heroes don't exactly seeeye-to-eye as they attempt to stop an intergalactic crime syndicate fromestablishing operations on Earth. Following this fast-paced tale, JuddWinick takes over as the new GREEN ARROW writer, while Ben Raab assumes thereins on GREEN LANTERN.
(W) David S. Goyer, Geoff Johns and various (A) various (E) Peter Tomasi 8 issues, 2Q 03
Find out what makes Earth's first super-team tick in this miniseriesfeaturing numerous adventures that lead up to all-out battle! Thisminiseries features lead stories written by Goyer and Johns, with art bySal Velluto, Dave Ross, Barry Kitson, Mike McKone, Phil Winslade, StephenSadowski, and others. Plus back-up stories written by Michael Chabon, JephLoeb, James Robinson, Brian Azzarello, and others, illustrated by MichaelLark, Darwyn Cooke, Howard Chaykin, Tony Harris, Tim Sale, and Eduardo Risso.
JLA ACTION FIGURES
The modern-day versions of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes come to comicsshops everywhere next fall as a line of action figures including WonderWoman, the Flash, Superman, Aquaman (in his new look), and many more!
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN Volume 2
(W) Alan Moore (A) Kevin O'Neill (E) Scott Dunbier
AMERICA'S BEST COMICS
As the first two sold-out issues of Volume 2 have been collected in acompendium edition and a second printing of has been rushed to press, AlanMoore is starting to think about the next adventure. All we can say isthat the League of 1898 was not the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
(W) Andy Diggle (A) Jock (E) Will Dennis
Ongoing series, 3Q 03
The hot new British team of writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock deliver thegoods this summer in THE LOSERS. Targeted for assassination after theydiscover an international drug-trafficking organization, a team of U.S.Marines - nicknamed "The Losers" - survives an attempt on their lives...and God help those responsible. It's wide-screen action, espionage,political intrigue and more as the CIA learns the real meaning of fightingdirty.
THE MANY WORLDS OF TESLA STRONG
(W) Peter Hogan (A) various (E) Scott Dunbier
1 issue, 3Q 03
AMERICA'S BEST COMICS
Tesla must find Solomon and bring him back from another dimension. Alongthe way, Tesla encounters the super-powered Tesla Terrific, Tesla of theJungle, Tesla, Protector of Millennium Crater, and more. Featuringspectacular art by Chris Sprouse, Adam Hughes, Michael Golden, JasonPearson, José Luis García-López , Frank Cho, Claudio Castellini, Phil Noto,J. Scott Campbell, Arthur Adams, and Karl Story!
THE NEW FRONTIER
(W/A) Darwyn Cooke (E) Mark Chiarello
6 issues Prestige, 3Q 03
Set at the dawn of the Silver Age, THE NEW FRONTIER focuses on the pre-JLAadventures of Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, J'onn J'onzz, and Oliver Queen, plusthe Suicide Squad, Challengers of the Unknown, and many others! DarwynCooke, writer/artist of last summer's best-selling CATWOMAN: SELINA'S BIGSCORE, chronicles the changing face of the DCU as it moves from postwaroptimism to Cold War dread to a New Frontier of heroic adventure.
(W) Warren Ellis (A) Colleen Doran (E) Will Dennis
Hardcover, 2Q 03
Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran weave a sci-fi mystery in this fascinatinghardcover graphic novel. When a flaming space shuttle comes crashing backto Earth after being missing for 10 years, readers will discover the truthabout what's really out there!
(W/A) Dave Gibbons (E) Karen Berger
Hardcover, 4Q 03
Best friends Bok and Lel want only one thing in life: to be part of theOriginals, the coolest gang in the city. Life in the Originals takes themon a fast-paced journey fueled by drugs, tribal loyalty, first love, andinter-gang violence.
(W) Judd Winick (P) Tom Raney (I) Scott Hanna (E) Eddie Berganza
Ongoing series, 3Q 03
Nightwing leads this new team into action in a monthly ongoing title!These new Outsiders may not fight the glamorous battles. They may not makethe front page or the evening new.s But these 20-something heroes arewhere they need to be, taking on threats no one else will!
CBR News note: Get the full scoop on "Outsiders" and Winick's other2003 work for DC in CBR News' new interview with Winick, available now.
(W) Warren Ellis (A) John Cassaday (E) Scott Dunbier
Ongoing series, 2Q 03
Jakita Wagner, Elijah Snow and the Drummer return! The story picks up witha tale of Anna Hark, who's determined to carry out her father's dream ofenhancing humanity's existence through technology - no matter who stands inher way!
(W/A) Kyle Baker (E) Joey Cavalieri
Graphic novel, 4Q 03
>From the mind of writer/artist Kyle Baker comes this brand new Plastic Manepic that finds Plas falling in love with a G-Woman investigating a murderthat seems to have been committed by…Eel O'Brian? It's up to Woozy Winksto clear Plas's not-so-good name…if he doesn't get the hero thrown inprison, that is!
(W) Warren Ellis (A) Cully Hamner (E) Ben Abernathy
3 issues, 2Q 03
Paul Moses tries to retire from a life as a CIA assassin - but he's forcedto pick up his guns again when the new CIA chief orders him killed! Afast-paced, explosive miniseries courtesy of Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner!
(W) Warren Ellis (P) Paul Gulacy (I) Jimmy Palmiotti (E) Ben Abernathy
3 issues, 2Q 03
One person with the right information, training and equipment can do moredamage than a regiment of soldiers…and that's the sort of person loose inWashington, D.C. Kiva Reed is about to uncover the real power behind theU.S. government: organized crime!
THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS
(W) Neil Gaiman (A) various (C) Dave McKean (E) Karen Berger
Hardcover, 2Q 03
Two-time New York Times best-selling author and Hugo-award winner NeilGaiman returns to VERTIGO with THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS. Thisoversized, deluxe collection contains 7 new short stories, each focusing ona member of the Endless and brought to life by an international dream teamof artists including Milo Manara, Miguelanxo Prado, P. Craig Russell,Barron Storey, and Bill Sienkiewicz, and many others. THE SANDMAN veteranDave McKean provides an excquisite new cover and book design.
SGT. ROCK: BETWEEN HELL AND A HARD PLACE
(W) Brian Azzarello (A) Joe Kubert (E) Will Dennis
Hardcover, 3Q 03
>From legendary artist Joe Kubert and red-hot 100 BULLETS writer BrianAzzarello comes this all-new graphic novel featuring Sgt. Rock as you'venever seen him. Deep in Hurtgen forest, struggling against both the enemyand the questions raised by war itself, Rock and the men of Easy Companybring readers face-to-face with the soul-crushing horrors of war.
(W/A) various (E) Mark Chiarello
Top artists take on comics' top heroes - and much more - in this new,ongoing series! Every issue gives a single artist room to create originalstories in a variety of styles. Among the talent already slated to forSOLOare Mike Allred, Brian Bolland, John Cassaday, Darwyn Cooke, RichardCorben, Dave Gibbons, Scott Hampton, Adam Hughes, J.G. Jones, Kevin Nowlan,Paul Pope, Tim Sale, Bill Sienkiewicz, Walter Simonson, Brian Stelfreeze,Bruce Timm, John Van Fleet, and Matt Wagner.
SUPER FRIENDS!: DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SETS
April is SUPER FRIENDS! month - and what better way to celebrate than withthe SUPER FRIENDS!: DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SETS. The first of these sets, instores in April, includes the SUPER FRIENDS!: SUPERMAN AND LEX LUTHORDELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET and SUPER FRIENDS!: WONDER WOMAN AND CHEETAHDELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET. Both include Super Friends! logo bases and funaccessories, and come in full-color window boxes. Other sets for next yearinclude GREEN LANTERN AND SINESTRO, AQUAMAN AND BLACK MANTA, ROBIN ANDRIDDLER, and BATMAN AND SCARECROW.
(W) Jeph Loeb (P) Ed McGuinness (I) Cam Smith (E) Eddie Berganza
The Dark Knight and the Man of Tomorrow join forces against their greatestfoes - and the greatest, most insidious threats the world has ever seen!This series also features numerous guest stars from both heroes' worlds!
(W) Mark Waid (P) Leinil Yu (I) Gerry Alanguilan (E) Dan Raspler
12 issues, 2Q 03
He's the world's most powerful hero - but where did his amazing abilitiescome from? This 12-issue maxiseries looks at the dramatic episodes ofyoung Clark Kent's life as he discovers the truth about his home planetKrypton…and about himself!
(W) Chuck Austen (A) Danijel Zezelj (E) Eddie Berganza
12 issues, 1Q 03
SUPERMAN: METROPOLIS looks at the Man of Steel's world through the lens ofJimmy Olsen, the city's best news photographer. But now Jimmy has a rival:Rebecca Hagen, a photojournalist who finds herself drawn to Metropolis… andto the mysterious Tech virus that's slowly taking over the city!
SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY
(W) Kurt Busiek (A) Stuart Immonen (E) Joey Cavalieri
4 issues Prestige, 1Q 04
Mixing action, spectacle and characterization, SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITYlooks at Clark Kent at four stages of his life: adolescence, youngadulthood, maturity, and retirement. This non-continuity story begins asteenage Clark Kent discovers his super-powers, only to become an object ofattention!
(W) Geoff Johns (P) Mike McKone (E) Eddie Berganza
Being a teenager isn't easy - and nowhere in the DCU is that more evidentthan in the relaunched TEEN TITANS, starring Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy,Cyborg, Superboy, Starfire, Impulse, and Raven. In character-driven,action-filled tales, this reborn super-team tackles problems that today'steens face, as well as such menaces as Deathstroke the Terminator, BrotherBlood, and the Scarecrow!
CBR News note: Geoff Johns, the busiest man in comics, talks to CBRNews about "Teen Titans" in a new interview available now.
(W) Alan Moore and Peter Hogan (P) Yanick Paquette (I) Karl Story (E)Ben Abernathy
6 issues, 3Q 03
AMERICA'S BEST COMICS
In the world of Terra Obscura, it's been almost three years since theevents of TOM STRONG #12 - and after 30 years in suspended animation, theheroes of that strange world must struggle to catch up! But as TomStrange, Mystico, the Green Ghost and other heroes suffer throughdisorientation, their deadliest foes continue to amass their forces…whilethe Terror 2003 Program enacts its authority!
THUNDERCATS/BATTLE OF THE PLANETS
(W/A) Kaare Andrews (C) J. Scott Campbell (E) Jeff Mariotte
1 issue, 2Q 03
WILDSTORM/TOP COW PRODUCTIONS
Two classic 1980s casts cross paths in this epic that sends Lion-O andG-Force's Commander Mark to each other's respective homelands! The twoteams don't dare trust each other - but they'll have to if they're going todefeat the combined might of Mumm-Ra's magic and Zoltar's technology! Thisstandalone issue is copublished with Top Cow Productions and followed bythe one-shot BATTLE OF THE PLANETS/THUNDERCATS.
THE TITANS/YOUNG JUSTICE: GRADUATION DAY
(W) Judd Winick (A) Alé Garza (E) Eddie Berganza
3 issues Prestige, 3Q 03
When a mysterious woman from the future makes an explosive entrance at aS.T.A.R. Labs site, it results in the death of one of the founding membersof the Teen Titans! Can either team carry on, knowing that they might havesomehow prevented this tragedy? This miniseries leads directly into twonew series: OUTSIDERS and TEEN TITANS!
(W) Warren Ellis (P) Amanda Conner (I) Jimmy Palmiotti (E) Scott Dunbier
3 issues, 3Q 03
He's a Zen gangster. She's a wirehead camgirl. Together, they don't fightcrime. When they run afoul of the Quarry Gang, a berserk, criminal mob(and believe us, that scarcely begins to describe them!) living in thesummit of a pyramidal, riverside tower, the result is a gunfight on thefrozen River Thames, a Vespa ride down a hundred-story building, and muchmore! Suggested for mature readers.
(D) Kevin Nowlan (S) Barsom
VERTIGO's 10th Anniversary celebration reaches DC Direct with a series ofmini-busts! Designed by Kevin Nowlan, sculpted by Barsom, with theconsultation of Neil Gaiman, the first wave of VERTIGO MINI-BUSTS includesMORPHEUS and MERV PUMPKINHEAD, then goes on to DESIRE, THE CORINTHIAN,LUCIFER, DESPAIR, DANIEL, DELIRIUM, DESTINY, DEATH, and DESTRUCTION.
(W) Brett Lewis (A) John Paul Leon (E) Will Dennis
8 issues, 3Q 03
What ever became of the U.S.S.R.'s super-soldiers after it collapsed? Theanswer may be found in THE WINTERMEN! Kris Kalenov is a fallen war heroturned mobbed-up rent-a-cop who spends his days drinking and taking bribesin the "New Russia." While pursuing a seemingly dead-end kidnap case, Kriscomes face-to-face with his past and uncovers old secrets that may awakenthese super-powered sleeping giants.
WILDCATS Version 3.0
(W) Joe Casey (P) Dustin Nguyen (I) Richard Friend (E) Ben Abernathy
WILDSTORM/EYE OF THE STORM
The Halo Corporation makes waves in the world of business as the newWILDCATS continues to garner critical acclaim! They say you can't teachan old dog new tricks, but Grifter has to learn the art of corporatemaneuvering if he's going to survive. And watch for more familiar facesfrom the past in upcoming issues, including Dolby and C.C. Rendozzo.Suggested for mature readers.
(W) Walter Simonson (P) Jerry Ordway (I) P. Craig Russell (C) AdamHughes (E) Ivan Cohen
Deprived of her memories and her gods-given abilities, and without hercostume, lasso and bracelets, Diana must fight off a horde of monstrousfoes and find her way back to Earth from the Cryptocombs - the Cemetery ofthe Gods - all while protecting a mysterious clay statue of a baby girl!The 6-part "The Game of the Gods" begins in WONDER WOMAN #189! Then, inissue #195, Greg Rucka takes over as regular writer!
Y - THE LAST MAN
(W) Brian K. Vaughan (P) Pia Guerra (I) José Marzan, Jr. (E) SteveBunche
The critically-acclaimed adventures of Yorick Brown, the last man on Earth. As our hero journeys across the "unmanned" landscape, bloodthirstyDaughters of the Amazon, Israeli intelligence, and an attractive youngwoman all have their own designs on his fate. Who is the mysterious figure feeding the Israeli officer information on Yorick's whereabouts?