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ALA 2019: DC Reveals a Massive Slate of Graphic Novels Geared Towards Young Adults and Middle Grade Readers Releasing Through 2021

The 2019 convention for the American Library Association (ALA) kicked off with huge news that DC was consolidating its line under three “brands.” That left many to wonder about the future of the DC Zoom and DC Ink graphic novel lines. Launched last year, the new graphic novel imprints were focused on the young adult and middle grade readers and have been hits so far. DC followed up those concerns with an announcement of a slate of graphic novel releases aimed at those young adult and middle grade readers.

These graphic novels continue the focus on stories not part of DC’s ongoing continuity making them accessible to new fans. The releases also focus on the original mandate of YA titles being about “everyday aspirations, struggles, and triumphs,” while the middle grade releases being focused on stories about “friends, family, and growing up.”

Spring 2020 Lineup

Young Adult Titles

  • Gotham High – Written by Melissa de la Cruz and illustrated by Thomas Pitilli (February 2020)
  • The Oracle Code – Written by Marieke Nijkamp and illustrated by Manuel Preitano (March 2020)

Middle Grade Titles

  • Green Lantern: Legacy – Written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Andie Tong (January 2020)                       
Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime
Zatanna & the House of Secrets
  • Batman: Overdrive – Written by Shea Fontana and illustrated by Marcelo DiChiara (March 2020)
Batman: Overdrive
DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless
  • Anti/Hero – Written by Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta and illustrated by Maca Gil (April 2020)
  • ArkhaManiacs – Written by Art Baltazar and Franco and illustrated by Art Baltazar (April 2020)
ArkhaManiacs
My Video Game Ate My Homework

Upcoming Titles Debuting in 2020 and 2021

  • Upcoming Young Adult Titles (Not all titles are final)
    • Catwoman: Soulstealer – Adapted by Louise Simonson from Sarah J. Maas’ DC Icon prose novel and illustrated by Samantha Dodge
    • Galaxy: The Prettiest Star – Written by Jadzia Axelrod and illustrated by Cait Zellers
    • House of El Book 1 – Written by Claudia Gray and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki
    • I Am Not Starfire—Written by Mariko Tamaki
    • Mister Miracle – Written by Varian Johnson
    • Nubia – Written by L.L. McKinney and illustrated by Robyn Smith
    • Swamp Thing – Written by Maggie Stiefvater and illustrated by Morgan Beem           
    • Teen Titans: Beast Boy – Written by Kami Garcia and illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
    • Victor & Nora: A Mr. Freeze Story – Written by Lauren Myracle and illustrated by Isaac Goodhart
    • Whistle – Written by E. Lockhart and illustrated by Manuel Preitano
    • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed – Written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Leila del Duca
    • You Brought Me the Ocean – Written by Alex Sanchez and illustrated by Julie Maroh
    • Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend – Written by Alys Arden and illustrated by Jacquelin De Leon
  • Upcoming Middle Grade Titles (Not all titles are final)                         
    • Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld – Written by Shannon and Dean Hale
    • Batman and Robin…and Howard – Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown
    • DC Super Hero Girls – Written by Amy Wolfram
    • Dear Super-Villains – Written by Michael Northrop and illustrated by Gustavo Duarte
    • Green Arrow: Stranded – Written by Brendan Deneen and illustrated by Caleb Hosalla
    • Indestructibles Book 1—Written by Ridley Pearson
    • Lois Lane – Written by Grace Ellis and illustrated by Brittney Williams
    • Metropolis Grove – Written and illustrated by Drew Brockington
    • Primer – Written by Thomas Krajewski and Jennifer Muro and illustrated by Gretel Lusky
    • Superman Smashes the Klan – Written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Gurihiru
    • Super Sons Book 3: Escape to Landis – Written by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Ile Gonzalez          
    • Teen Titans Go! to Camp – Written by Sholly Fisch
    • Teen Titans Go! Roll with It – Written by Heather Nuhfer and P.C. Morrissey 
    • The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel – Written by Ryan North and illustrated by Derek Charm

Preview: Adventure Time: Jake SC

Adventure Time: Jake SC

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writers: Christopher Hastings, Shane Houghton, Chris Houghton, Polly Guo, Josh Lesnick, Derek Fridolfs, Box Brown, Nicole Andelfinger, Max Davidson, David DeGrand, James Asmus
Artists: Zachary Sterlin, Shane Houghton, Chris Houghton, Polly Guo, Josh Lesnick, Derek Fridolfs, Box Brown, Anissa Espinosa, Ian McGinty, Luca Claretti, David DeGrand, Cristina Rose Chua
Colorists: Josh Ulrich, Maarta Laiho, Whitney Cogar, Eleonora Bruni,
Letterers: Steve Wands, Mad Rupert, Taylor Esposito, Mike Fiorentino
Cover Artist: Design
Price: $9.99

It’s Adventure Time with Jake and you! Join Jake on the most algebraic adventure imaginable with tales all about the best canine pal you could ask for in the Land of Ooo. From teaching everyone how to cook to teaming up with Finn to fight every foe imaginable, Jake’s adventures are perfect for fans of all ages!

Collects the best Jake centric stories from Adventure Time™, Adventure Time™ Comics and the Adventure Time™ Specials!

Adventure Time: Jake SC

Preview: Looney Tunes #249

Looney Tunes #249

(W) Derek Fridolfs (A/CA) Robert Pope, Scott McRae
In Shops: May 22, 2019
SRP: $2.99

If you can’t catch them, stop them! When Wile E. Coyote installs new traffic lights throughout the desert to slow down the Road Runner, he sees more than red when they malfunction, sending Yosemite Sam and the highway patrol after him in hot pursuit. Will the Coyote be able to outrun the law if he can’t outchase a bird?

Looney Tunes #249

Preview: Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? #98

Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? #98

(W) Derek Fridolfs (A) Randy Elliott (CA) Derek Fridolfs
In Shops: Apr 17, 2019
SRP: $2.99

When the Mad Scot invades a local festival, it’ll take more than a noisy pipe and drum band to scare it away. The Mystery Inc. gang will search all highland and lowland to capture him. Lang may your lum reek, Scooby-Doo-you’re a long time dead!

Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? #98

Preview: Looney Tunes #248

Looney Tunes #248

(W) Derek Fridolfs (A/CA) David Alvarez
In Shops: Mar 27, 2019
SRP: $2.99

Blacque Jacque Shellacque is back-and he’s in pursuit of gold karats and Bugs Bunny wants golden carrots, leading them both up the beanstalk to fulfill their desires. But what they find instead is a giant problem that wishes to pet them and squeeze them. What goes up, Doc, must come down…if they hope to escape from Hugo the giant!

Looney Tunes #248

DC Reveals the Creative Lineup for Detective Comics #1000

DC Comics has unveiled full story details on the landmark 1,000th issue of Detective Comics, debuting on March 27, 2019. The 96-page Detective Comics #1000 celebrates the Dark Knight through a series of seven-to-nine-page standalone short stories from an all-star collection of the top writers and artists in Batman’s recent history including Tom King, Tony Daniel and Joëlle Jones, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, Warren Ellis and Becky Cloonan and more.

The full lineup of stories, writers and artists to be featured in Detective Comics #1000 is:

“Medieval,” by Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke

Appearing in DC’s comic book continuity for the very first time, a new and mysterious version of the Arkham Knight will be debuting in a story that looks at Batman’s encounters with his villains throughout his career through the Arkham Knight’s eyes—but the Knight’s scheme remains to be seen.

“Batman’s Longest Case,” by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

One of the most popular talent teams in the history of the Dark Knight delivers a tale in which Batman follows clues around the world, leading him back to his home in Gotham City and to a secret organization that has been keeping tabs on him for years.

“Manufacture for Use,” by Kevin Smith and Jim Lee

The fan-favorite director of Clerks and one of Batman’s most visionary artists present a story that cuts between Batman fighting his greatest villains and his attempts to track down the gun that killed his parents.

“The Legend of Knute Brody” by Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs and John Kalisz

The villains of Gotham speak, documentary-style, about that one henchman they each hired who was the absolute WORST at his job, constantly screwing up their plans.

“The Batman’s Design” by Warren Ellis and Becky Cloonan

Warren Ellis pens “The Batman’s Design” with Becky Cloonan, the first woman to draw Batman in the main comic series, in a story of Batman pursuing a pack of technologically enhanced mercenaries into a warehouse, where they think they’ve trapped him.

“Return to Crime Alley” by Denny O’Neil and Steve Epting

A direct sequel to O’Neil’s classic “There Is No Hope in Crime Alley,” from Detective Comics #457, in which Leslie Thompkins takes Batman to task for his addiction to violence, which, in her mind, perpetuates the horror that birthed him.

“Heretic” by Christopher Priest and Neal Adams

Two of the biggest powerhouse writers and artists in the comic book industry work together on a story featuring Batman helping a young man escape from Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins— who then turned up in Gotham, dead. Batman travels to Tibet with a message for the League.

“I Know” by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

The creative team behind SCARLET takes a unique future look at Batman and the Penguin. The Penguin comes to an elderly, wheelchair-bound Batman to tell him of the time that he learned Batman was Bruce Wayne—and to explain why he never did anything with that information. This story is available to read in its entirety on DCComics.com.

“The Last Crime in Gotham” by Geoff Johns and Kelley Jones

Superstar writer Geoff Johns and famed artist Kelley Jones tell a future story where the future family of Batman and Catwoman face off in a battle with the family of The Joker and Harley Quinn.

“The Precedent” by James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez

The team of James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez return to DETECTIVE COMICS after their highly successful Rebirth run, in a story of the night Bruce Wayne made the decision to bring Dick Grayson into his dark world, ending with the classic candlelight oath.

“Batman’s Greatest Case” by Tom King, Tony Daniel and Joëlle Jones

Groundbreaking BATMAN writer Tom King is joined by Tony Daniel and Joëlle Jones, who share artistic duties on the story. Presented using parallel story threads, Bruce Wayne visits his parents’ grave while Batman assembles his entire coalition of allies around him.

In addition to the above stories, Detective Comics #1000 will feature additional art from Mikel Janín and Amanda Conner, as well as a two-page spread from Jason Fabok depicting the current state of the Batman universe and its heroes and villains.

To further celebrate the Caped Crusader’s 80-year legacy, Detective Comics #1000 will offer an extensive retailer variant cover program. Hard-core collectors will want to get their hands on this series of variant covers showcasing the Dark Knight through various decades from iconic Batman artists such as Steve Rude, Michael Cho, Jim Steranko, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Tim Sale, Jock and Greg Capullo—plus an homage to Jerry Robinson’s cover of November 1942’s Detective Comics #69 by Bruce Timm.

This 96-page oversize collector’s edition issue will be available at comics retailers and digitally on March 27, 2019, for $9.99.

Detective Comics #1000

Preview: WWE: Forever #1

WWE: Forever #1

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Brent Schoonover, Michael Kingston, Lan Pitts, Derek Fridolfs, Arune Singh
Artists: Brent Schoonover, Michel Mulipola, Carlos Magno, Derek Fridolfs, Kendall Goode
Colorisst: Matias Laborde, Doug Garbark, Fred C. Stresing
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Cover Artists:  
    Main Cover:
Rahzzah
    Preorder Cover: Kendall Goode
    Unlockable 1 Per Store Connecting Cover: Marco D’Alfonso
Price: $7.99

Get ready for some old school action in this all-new special focusing on WWE Legends.

The team of Michael Kingston & Michel Mulipola return to document the rise of the Excellence of Execution, Bret Hart; Brent Schoonover tells a tale of what happens when Bobby “The Brain” Heenan attempts to kidnap Matilda the Bulldog, and Lan Pitts & Carlos Magno reveal a showdown between Razor Ramon and Ted Dibiase at a jewelry shop, and more!

WWE: Forever #1

Your First Look at the Legends in WWE: Forever #1

BOOM! Studios and WWE have revealed a first look at WWE: Forever #1, the all-new oversized one-shot special featuring action-packed stories of the greatest WWE Legends on-sale January 30, 2019.

You’ve never seen the Legends like this before! The team of Michael Kingston & Michel Mulipola return to document the rise of the Excellence of Execution, Bret “Hitman” Hart. Brent Schoonover recounts when Bobby “The Brain” Heenan attempted to kidnap Matilda the Bulldog. Lan Pitts and Carlos Magno bring us a showdown between Razor Ramon and Ted DiBiase at a jewelry shop. Arune Singh and Kendall Goode reveal the true origin of the partnership between Money Inc. tag team partners Irwin R. Schyster and Ted DiBiase. Derek Fridolfs shows us what happens when the electrifying Junkyard Dog gets pushed too far! 

WWE: Forever #1 features a main cover by Rahzzah, along with a wraparound preorder cover by Kendall Goode and a variant cover by Marco D’Alfonso that will connect to variant covers for WWE #25 andWWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special.

WWE: Forever will be available for sale on January 30, 2019.

Preview: Teen Titans Go! #31

Teen Titans Go! #31

(W) Matthew K. Manning, Derek Fridolfs (A) Agnes Garbowska, Derek Fridolfs (CA) Dario Brizuela
In Shops: Nov 21, 2018
SRP: $2.99

When Robin catches Starfire, Raven and Cyborg making paper airplanes, he warns them that they’re dangerously close to unlocking “The Deadliest Art”: origami. Then, the Titans are shunned by social media elites when a bad after-action photo reveals them as “Posers.” Can they finalize a successful stance in time to defeat their next great menace?

Review: Marvel Knights #1

In the cemetery, the blind man does not know who he is, or why he has come to this particular grave at this moment. He doesn’t know the burly police officer with the wild story who has approached him. Or the strangely intense man who sits in the rear seat of the patrol car, his eyes flashing green. But all of that is about to change. Because Matt Murdock is beginning to remember…

In a colorless world without heroes, the spark of light…must come from the dark…

Celebrating 20 years, Marvel Knights is back in a limited series dubbed… Marvel Knights. Written by Donny Cates, Marvel Knights #1 is a weird mix of a story that hearkens a little back to the original series but also going off in a weird direction that makes it all feel like some event story.

Heroes, really everyone, don’t remember who they are. Something is blocking their history and identities. The issue focuses mainly on Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, as he is drawn to the grave of Karen Page not knowing why. Approached by Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, he’s brought himself to remember who he is and the issue is him running around like a crazy attempting to connect with everyone, except they don’t remember either. What’s going on? Why? No idea.

The first issue is an enigma on multiple fronts leaving us to wonder what the hell is going on. The original Marvel Knights to me was both a mature line and a line that could explore different aspects and stories of classic characters bogged down by continuity. This, kind of feels like a weird mix of the two and it sort of works.

The art by Travel Foreman with ink by Derek Fridolfs, color by Matt Milla, and lettering by Cory Petit is good with a certain style that reminds me of some of the original Marvel Knights releases. That art is a little inconsistent though as the first ending to the comic has an odd manga flair to it that just doesn’t look like the rest of the comic.

The first issue is intriguing, it’s definitely not what was expected. It’s a literal puzzle that feels more like an event than “Marvel Knights.” That’s not bad and this is one to judge after a few more issues but this debut is a headscratcher.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Travel Foreman
Ink: Derek Fridolfs Color: Matt Milla Letterer: VCs Cory Petit
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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