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NYCC 2022: Joe Quesada returns, Icon vs. Hardware, John Ridley, and more!

DC‘s Jim Lee & Friends panel at New York Comic Con was full of news and reveals from amazing talent.

Marc Silvestri Talks About Batman’s Ultimate Team-Up

Lee’s longtime creative colleague Marc Silvestri was also on hand to share new art and conversation about his “buddy cop horror story”, Batman/The Joker: The Deady Duo. Silvestri talked to Lee and fans about the early days of pitching and planning the series, how his approach has evolved as both writer and artist from the start until now, why the relationship between Batman and The Joker has captivated fans for so long, and more details about what fans can expect when this seven issue limited series launches November 1, 2022.

Oscar Award-Winning Writer John Ridley – All In On DC

DC is fortunate to have an Academy Award-winning screenwriter on hand that treats his comic writing projects with the same care and commitment that he has with movies like 12 Years A Slave, Five Days At MemorialAmerican Crime, and his other movie projects. Writer John Ridley joined the panel to talk with Jim about his body of work, past and present. Ridley chatted with Lee and the audience about the current and future trajectory of Jace Fox since his move from Gotham to New York (and a sidekick?) in I Am Batman, and how the most recent story arc leads into his upcoming limited series G.C.P.D.: The Blue Wall, debuting October 18, 2022. John also discussed how he landed the job of telling the story of The Penguin, as part of DC’s Batman: One Bad Day event, revealing exclusive first look art from the one-shot ahead of its October 18 release.

Spencer Ackerman – “Building The Wall” in A New DC Black Label Series

For many, the 1990s was a comic book “renaissance,” with the birth of Lee’s own Wildstorm comics, DC’s then-unimaginable Death of Superman, and the creation of Milestone Comics. November’s DC 90’s Rewind event includes the launch of a new WildC.A.T.s. ongoing series, and a new DC Black Label limited series, Waller vs. WildStorm. Co-writer and noted national security journalist Spencer Ackerman appeared on the panel to talk about his first work for DC and how he, co-writer Evan Narcisse and artist Eric Battle plan to merge the DC and Wildstorm universes and show how Amanda Waller rose to power to become one of the most ruthless and unyielding characters in the DCU. Waller vs. Wildstorm debuts November 15, 2022.

Nikolas Draper-Ivey and Vita Ayala Return Static to Dakota in 2023

One of the brightest lights of Milestone Media’s reuniting with DC was Static: Season One, and breakout artist Nikolas Draper-Ivey, who joined the panel to talk a little about the reception that he, writer Vita Ayala and co-artist ChrisCross received after relaunching Milestone’s flagship super hero for a new generation. Fans got to see some of Draper-Ivey’s incredible art, as he spoke about taking on the new challenge of both co-writer (with Ayala) and artist for the six-issue sequel to Static: Season OneStatic: Shadows of Dakota, debuting on February 7, 2023.

Early Look at New Titles Celebrating Milestone’s 30th Anniversary in 2023

Lee’s chat with Draper-Ivey led to more Milestone news, as he shared early reveals of two titles that will be part of the celebration of this groundbreaking imprint’s 30th anniversary next year. Cover art was revealed for Icon vs. Hardware, a five-issue limited series launching on February 14, 2023. Spinning out of the epilogue of the Milestones In History anthology, this series is co-written by Reggie Hudlin and Leon Chills, and pits two of Milestone’s core super heroes against each other for the future of Dakota, as Hardware discovers a time machine and puts it to work altering the history of the world.

Fans also got the first look at the main (by Denys Cowan) and variant (by Nikolas Draper-Ivey) covers for a Milestone 30th Anniversary Special, scheduled for a February 21, 2023 release. This commemorative one-shot will feature stories celebrating the breadth and depth of the Dakotaverse, with contributions from Eisner award winner Chuck Brown, Stephanie Williams, Denys Cowan, Nikolas Draper Ivey, Yasmin Flores Montanez and others. The Draper-Ivey variant cover spotlights the story he’s writing and drawing, a team up between an adult version of Static and Batman Beyond.

Special Guest Joe Quesada Reveals Details on His Return to DC

Even though Jim likes to keep his panel lineup secret to surprise people with big news, he always keeps an ace-in-the-hole extra secret to really catch the audiences off guard. Today was no exception, as artist and former Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada took the stage.

Quesada left Marvel earlier this year to pursue his own personal projects and he’s clearly starting off with a bang, as he announced that he’d be designing covers for DC titles in 2023, exclusively revealing his variant cover art for Batman #131 (January 3, 2023), and Batman #132 (February 7, 2023).

“The Artist’s Experience: from Brotherman to Batman” shares insights into the creative process of top African-American comic book artists

The Society of Illustrators has announced a dynamic new installation coming to the museum that delves between the pages of comic books and explores the artists’ process. “The Artist’s Experience: From Brotherman to Batman” on display from June 15 through October 29, 2022. The exhibit celebrates some of the top African-American artists in the comic book industry, and was co-curated by renowned culture journalist and writer Karama Horne and Eisner Award-nominated artist and writer Shawn Martinbrough, whose work will be featured along with over sixteen other talented artists. 

This special exhibition showcases the works of independent and mainstream creators, such as Dawud Anyabwile, founder of the landmark Brotherman Comics, the longest running, independently published American Black comic book and Eisner Award-winning, DC Comics and Marvel artist Denys Cowan, co-founder of Milestone Media.

Also featured are Eisner Award-winning artists Afua Richardson, Alitha Martinez and John Jennings, as well as veteran artists Larry Stroman and Darryl Banks.

Artwork from award-winning artist Ronald Wimberly, founder of the experimental art magazine THE LAAB (whose Prince of Cats graphic novel is currently being adapted to film by Spike Lee), Khary Randolph, Jamal Igle, Micheline Hess, Sanford Greene, Eric Battle, Marcus Williams, Chuck Collins, Damion Scott and Robyn Smith will all be on display, as well.

“The Artist’s Experience: From Brotherman to Batman” runs from June 15, 2022 to October 29, 2022, with a Juneteenth Opening Night Celebration on June 16th from 6pm-9pm at the Society of Illustrators located at 128 East 63rd Street New York, NY.

DC and Milestone Reveal more details about Milestones In History

DC and Milestone Media have revealed new artwork and story details on their upcoming one-shot anthology, Milestones In History. Initially announced during last year’s DC FanDome, this anthology combines an unprecedented collection of writers from traditional literature, entertainment, culture, and social activism with celebrated comic book artists to celebrate Black people throughout world history.

The stories and talent for this 96-page spectacular include:

  • “Born in Africa – Mother of the World:” Rocket chronicles the history of “Lucy,” the collection of Australopithecus Afarensis fossil bones discovered in Ethiopia in a story by New York Times best-selling novelist Alice Randall and artist Eric Battle. In a second story, “The Brilliant Black Russians: Pushkin and His Family of Genius,” Randall teams up with artist Don Hudson and Jose Marzan Jr. to tell the story of Russian poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin
  • “The Many Queens of Sheba:” Virgil Hawkins (Static) has a tough time keeping his mind on his school project when he’s paired with his high school crush Raquel Ervin (Rocket) as they discuss competing origins of The Queen of Sheba, in a story from writer Amy Chu and artist Maria Laura Sanapo
  • “You Will Follow A Great Man:” The history of military commander and statesman Hannibal Barca, told by award-winning sci-fi, mystery and fantasy writer Steven Barnes, with art by comic book vets Ron Wilson and Mike Gustovich
  • “The Dumas Legacy: “Icon and Rocket recount the history of the family of The Three Musketeers writer Alexandre Dumas is in a story by award-winning author and educator Tananarive Due, with art by Jamal Yaseem Igle and Chris Sotomayor
  • “Ace,” the story of trailblazer Eugene Bullard, the first African American to fly in combat and the only African American pilot in World War I, is told by television and film writer Pat Charles and comic book artist Arvell Jones
  • “Spirit Step” chronicles the life of anthropologist, activist, dancer, and creator of the Dunham Technique of dance, Katharine Dunham, is highlighted in a story by writer Karyn Parsons, with art by Francesco Francavilla
  • In “Controversy,” writer and activist Touré and artist Ray-Anthony Height celebrate the life and career of musical icon Prince
  • Horror and Sci-Fri writer Melody Cooper and artist Domo Stanton celebrate two more aeronautical pioneers in “The Sky’s The Limit” – Bessie Coleman, stunt pilot and the first Black female to earn a pilot’s license, and physician, engineer, and former NASA astronaut Mae Jemisin, the first Black woman to travel into space

Featuring an introduction from the heroes of the Dakotaverse, by Reggie Hudlin with art from Janhoy LindsayMilestones In History also includes at what’s next for the super heroes of Milestone in “Things to Come,” by Reggie Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan.

Milestones In History arrives in comic book shops and on participating platforms on Tuesday, June 21. 

Preview: Hardware: Season One #6

Hardware: Season One #6

(W) Brandon Thomas (A) Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz
In Shops: May 31, 2022
SRP: $3.99

Mercenaries, police, backstabbing businessmen, and more have all tried to keep Curtis Metcalf down. His reputation is in tatters, his suit nearly destroyed, and his body beaten, and still nothing can stop Curtis from getting his revenge. It’s time for Edwin Alva to realize just how big of a mistake he made in underestimating the power of Hardware’s rage!

Hardware: Season One #6

Preview: Hardware: Season One #6

Hardware: Season One #6

(W) Brandon Thomas (A) Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz
In Shops: May 31, 2022
SRP: $3.99

Mercenaries, police, backstabbing businessmen, and more have all tried to keep Curtis Metcalf down. His reputation is in tatters, his suit nearly destroyed, and his body beaten, and still nothing can stop Curtis from getting his revenge. It’s time for Edwin Alva to realize just how big of a mistake he made in underestimating the power of Hardware’s rage!

Hardware: Season One #6

Preview: Hardware: Season One #5

Hardware: Season One #5

(W) Brandon Thomas (A) Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz
In Shops: May 03, 2022
SRP: $3.99

Out of the frying pan and into the fire! Curtis Metcalf returns to Dakota with a bounty on his head and Reprise is looking to collect! But what chance does Hardware have against a man who can make an army of himself at a moment’s notice?

Hardware: Season One #5

Preview: Hardware: Season One #5

Hardware: Season One #5

(W) Brandon Thomas (A) Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz
In Shops: May 03, 2022
SRP: $3.99

Out of the frying pan and into the fire! Curtis Metcalf returns to Dakota with a bounty on his head and Reprise is looking to collect! But what chance does Hardware have against a man who can make an army of himself at a moment’s notice?

Hardware: Season One #5

Review: Nocterra: Blacktop Bill SPecial

Nocterra: Blacktop Bill Special

Nocterra was a very interesting series when it debuted. In a world plunged in darkness it followed Val, a ferryman who hauls cargo through the dark world while dodging the horrors that awaits. When Val is hired to drive two individuals, she finds herself being pursued by Blacktop Bill, a mysterious villain we’re told little about. Nocterra: Blacktop Bill Special pulls back the curtain, promising the origin of this shroud of a character and it sort of delivers. But, is this something we really need?

With a story by Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel, we’re told the origin of Blacktop Bill and it’s honestly a bit yawn inducing. Basically, Bill likes to kill. He’s a hitman’s hitman. He’s a killer’s killer. Does that really add anything to the character? We know Bill is a killer. We know Bill can drive. He’s a force of nature and after reading this “origin” the character was better off remaining a mystery.

Like Boba Fett and so many more Blacktop Bill wasn’t just cool based on his actions but also his look and most importantly the mystery. The readers didn’t need to know his origin the appreciate the threat that Bill is in the first volume of the series. He presented himself as such. So, saying he’s a really good killer doesn’t add a whole lot to the situation. There’s no tragedy here. There’s no major event that turns him into what he is.

The biggest question, the “armor” he wears now isn’t really explained at all, that’s being saved for another story. So, in the end we’re told the killer is a killer and enjoys is and he should be feared. It’s everything we already know. It doesn’t add anything really to his story beyond he’s good at his job.

Denys Cowan‘s art is the highlight of the comic. He keeps Bill in the shadow never really showing us much of the man. The panels with Bill have the reader straining and attempting to get a peak of what he looks like but always coming up empty. Cowan is joined by Kent Williams on ink, Chris Sotomayor on color, and Andworld Design on lettering. There’s something interesting in seeing the world of Nocterra without the darkness and it all feels rather mundane and average, which is sort of the point. The visuals drag the reader in to show us how normal Bill is… beyond the killing. If that was played up a bit more there might have been something a bit disturbing and more intriguing about the issue. But, it looks nice, so there’s that.

Nocterra: Blacktop Bill Special takes some of the mystery of the character away and adds little in its place. It’s an issue we don’t really need and feels like material you’d find and as a backup story throughout a few issues. This is one for the hardcore Nocterra fans but be prepared to have the real questions not answered.

Story: Scott Snyder, Tony S. Daniel Art: Denys Cowan
Ink: Kent Williams Color: Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.1 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Batman/Catwoman Special Brings Romance in January and Honors John Paul Leon

The Batman/Catwoman series has been showing us the romance between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle as it has changed over their lives, but what about their connections from BEFORE they became costumed adventurers? The upcoming Batman/Catwoman Special (on shelves Tuesday January 25) traces the life of Selina Kyle from its earliest days to her entry into the criminal underworld and reveals that Bruce was a presence in her life all along. Whether fate or coincidence, it’s even more of a reason why the Bat/Cat romance is one of the most enduring love affairs in all of comics.

Now expanded to celebrate the legacy of iconic artist John Paul Leon, whose untimely passing after a long battle with cancer shocked the comics world this past May, this special will feature the work Leon completed for the original story plus tributes to the renowned artist created in his name by some of his closest friends and admirers. Bernard Chang, Shawn CrystalMitch Gerads, and Dave Stewart will bring the original story to its conclusion, lettered by Clayton Cowles, while comics’ top artists gather to celebrate Leon’s creative legacy through pin-up pages and essays in the special, including Lee Bermejo, Denys Cowan, Joëlle Jones, Dave Gibbons, Walter Simonson, and more.

Batman/Catwoman Special #1 will publish on January 25, 2022 with a cover by John Paul Leon and variant covers by Lee Weeks and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Original Story “Interlude”

  • Tom King – Writer
  • John Paul Leon – Artist (p.1-13), Breakdowns (14-20) and Cover
  • Bernard Chang w/Shawn Crystal – Artists (p.14-20)
  • Mitch Gerads – Artist (p.21-38)
  • Dave Stewart – Colors (p.1-20)
  • Clayton Cowles – Letterer

Pin Ups

  • Lee Bermejo
  • Deny Cowan
  • Becky Cloonan
  • Klaus Janson & Dave Stewart
  • Rick Leonardi & Dave Stewart
  • Chris Batista
  • Dani & Tamra Bonvillain
  • Ibrahim Moustafa
  • Clay Mann & Seth Mann
  • Vanesa del Rey
  • Dave Johnson
  • Joëlle Jones
  • Shawn Martinborough & Chris Sotomayor
  • Khary Rhandolph & Emilio Lopez
  • Tula Lotay
  • Dave Gibbons
  • Walter Simonson & Laura Martin
  • Jon Bogdanove & Sian Mandrake

Essays

  • Michael Davis
  • Kurt Busiek
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