In this seventh of 12-issue maxiseries written by Warren Ellis with art by Bryan Hitch, there’s a lunatic on the loose and a dead body inside a supposedly impregnable home. Members of the justice system are being murdered by a secret army, and nobody knows what’s happening. Does the Batman have the single clue that’s the key to the whole nightmare? Here’s your first look at some incredible Hitch artwork (including one cool rendition of the Batmobile, albeit blown to shreds) and the Hitch cover for The Batman’s Grave #7.
DC has revealed some big Dark Nights: Death Metal news today! The anticipated series begins on June 16 and is now seven issues! But, it’s expanding further! The series is getting two one-shots, Dark Nights: Death MetalGuidebook #1 and Dark Nights: Death MetalLegends of the Dark Knights #1!
Ahead of September’s skip month for Dark Nights: Death Metal, DC turns up the volume and calls in reinforcements to give fans more than they ever bargained for! A week after Dark Nights: Death Metal #3 publishes on August 11, the world of Dark Nights:Metal expands with Dark Nights: Death MetalGuidebookto include stories by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Becky Cloonan, Vita Ayala, Chip Zdarsky, Christopher Priest, Doug Mahnke, Dan Panosian, Eduardo Risso, and Khary Randolph! Collected in Dark Nights: Death MetalGuidebook #1 on August 18 with a cover by Yasmine Putri, the stories in this one-shot showcase the new factions of Earth and explore the mystery of what happened to the Justice League after their battle with Perpetua.
As Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and other heroes fight to survive in the strange new landscape of an Earth turned upside down and shrouded in a realm of darkness, one cloaked figure has been observing from the sidelines, creating a guidebook to this new world and its evil leaders. Find out how Wonder Woman became the queen of Hell! Discover how Batman finds the Black Lantern ring! And see what happens when Harley Quinn takes charge of the Wasteland, finding love in the process! All this and more in this jam-packed issue exploring the new world order.
And then, because every legendary performance needs a bigger, bolder second act, Dark Nights: Death MetalLegends of the Dark Knights #1 drops on August 25 with a cover by Tony S. Daniel! This one-shot features stories from DC’s Dark Multiverse by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Peter J. Tomasi, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Daniel Warren Johnson, Frank Tieri, Tony S. Daniel, Jim Cheung, Joëlle Jones, Riley Rossmo, and Francesco Francavilla.
In this collection of short tales where demons dwell and reality is overrun by monstrous versions of the Dark Knight, learn the terrifying secrets of the new Bats Out of Hell and other creatures of the night like Robin King, whose origin is unimaginable! Plus, read about the secret buried beneath Castle Bat, the sentient Batmobile, and…how did Batman turn into a killer robot dinosaur?
August is metal as hell with Dark Nights: Death Metal #3 on 8/11, Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 on 8/18, and Dark Nights: Death MetalLegends of the Dark Knights#1 on 8/25!
Interview with comics artist/writer Jerry Ordway continues! Jerry’s been making superhero comics for DC and Marvel for 40 years. He’s the guy who made people care about Shazam and the All Star Squadron again. He inked Crisis on Infinite Earths. He’s partnered with writers like Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Michael Moorecock, and Neil Gaiman. His essay on age discrimination in the industry put a name to a significant problem in comics http://ordstersrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/03/life-over-fifty.html
In part two of our interview, we talk about why we love hand lettering, the nightmare of Superman continuity, how he approached his groundbreaking graphic novel The Power of Shazam, on working with Michael Moorecock on Tom Strong, Warren Ellis on Planetary and creating a Loki story for Neil Gaiman’s Norse mythology book!
Whether you’re new to Jerry’s work or a long time fan you’ll learn a ton about the process of inking and drawing comics (traditional and digital), industry history, Alan Moore anecdotes and why he actually likes drawing boats and buildings (and how he does it so darn elegantly).
Warren Ellis‘ newsletter gives an interesting look behind the curtains that is the comic industry. In his latest, he discusses how the current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his plans.
He reveals that the current impact on comics has ended what was his building his “own imprint at a comics publisher.” One would guess that publisher was DC where he was bringing back the Wildstorm world and an announced upcoming project has been canceled.
But, when one door closes another opens.
Ellis goes on to say he’s helping ANOTHER publisher with a new initiative. Guesses as to who this publisher is?
Here’s what he has to say:
Well, I’m having to re-plan pretty much the next two years of my life. I was building my very own imprint at a comics publisher, but the lockdown and the general fuckery of trusting your exclusive distribution in comics shops and bookstores to a single entity who immediately upon lockdown announced that they weren’t paying anybody pretty much put paid to that and the serial print comics business.
I’m helping out another publishing partner with a new initiative – we’re calling that PROJECT GENEVA, and the contracts have been exchanged — but my hoped-for happy few years alternating tv work with releasing streams of new original comics material into the world is not to be.
Warren Ellis‘ Castlevania show for Netflix is about powerful old men who want to bring the world down around them and the OT3 who say “nope” to all that. I’m joined by two critics who know their anime way better than I to talk about the show: Kat Overlandis a freelance culture critic and the small press editor at Women Write About Comics. Leslie Lee the 3rd is a writer and host of Struggle Session.
We open with a Spoiler-free discussion of if you should watch the show. Answer: yes, there are lesbians. And the Byronic is actually likeable.
This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Wolverine: Not Dead Yet
With a new Wolverine series have started last month, I wanted to take a look back at one of the very first Wolverine story arcs I read that wasn’t reprinted from older comics. I didn’t know it at the time, but Not Dead Yet was written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Lenil Francis Yu. When I first read this story, I wasn’t as concerned with knowing who had written it because I didn’t follow creators at the time, only the characters. Only Wolverine and the X-Men.
Originally published in Wolverine v. 2 #119-122 back in the late 90’s, the story was both my first introduction to American comic books and how they were laid out with the advertisements, the page sizes, the recap pages and the preview page with Stan’s Bulletin Box. It really was a transformative experience in how I experienced my comic books at the time as I went from the UK reprint magazines to the real thing. They were unlike anything I could get my hands on at the time; the reprint mags contained three issues, were slightly smaller, and had only minimal personality to them that wasn’t in the original comics. The other comics I was reading at the time were all weekly anthology magazines too – there wasn’t a dedicated 30 odd pages to a single comic and all the little extras that go with it. Looking back on those single issues now, I feel that we’ve lost something along the way as technology has progressed and the need for previews in comics has decreased – but that could just be the nostalgia talking.
This is quite possibly one of my favourite Wolverine stories that I’ve ever read. It’s certainly the one I will always point readers to if given half a chance. The story takes place during the time Wolverine had no adamantium in his body, it is told both in the present and the past by use of flashbacks that serves to emphasize the relationship between the ol’ Canuckle head and a Scottish assassin called McLeish who eventually sets his sights on our favourite mutant. Wolverine is being hunted by one of the best, a man who has planned for years to be able to take down the nearly unkillable Canadian mutant with adamantium bones, but what he doesn’t know is that Wolverine’s bones are no longer coated with the metal, and Logan is suddenly much more vulnerable than he used to be. I keep coming back to this story every few years, and I have mentioned it several times on my blog, too. It’s available in trade paperback format, and I highly suggest you pick it up.
I mentioned earlier how I didn’t realize who the creative team was when I read this story more than twenty years ago. In all honestly, it was for another 40 issues of Wolverine when Frank Tieri and Sean Chen started writing the book. So it was years later that I finally realized that Warren Ellis wrote the book, and I remember being somewhat surprised. I’d read and enjoyed a lot of his stuff over the years, but never realised that one of my favourite stories was penned by him.
Wolverine: Not Dead Yet has a timelessness to it that’s only betrayed by the amount of payphones and the style of cars and the odd fashion choice if you’ve a keen eye for those things. This is a tale that focuses less on Wolverine being a superhero and instead takes him back to the shadowy underworld of his past in a much more grounded setting. There’s no spandex in sight, and consequently the story has more of an immediacy to it. This was a time when Wolverine would frequently get his fightin’ togs on when he had a chance, and in Not Dead Yet he doesn’t have that chance.
When it comes to classic Wolverine stories, Not Dead Yet is seldom counted on the list, and one could ask if I would hold it in such high esteem had I not read it at such a formative time in my life. The answer is an easy yes; I read a lot of stories around that time, but none have stayed with me the same way Not Dead Yet has. The story still holds up to this day, and is honestly one of the most common places I’ll start with when going through the back issues of Wolverine in my comic boxes. That‘s why I wanted to focus on this as an Underrated gem this week.
That’s all we have for this week, folks. Come back next time when there’s something else Underrated to talk about.
(W) Warren Ellis (A) Kevin Nowland (A/CA) Bryan Hitch In Shops: Mar 11, 2020 SRP: $3.99
The Batman is trapped in the most dangerous house in Gotham City, trying to protect Commissioner Gordon from a secret army out to kill anyone involved in the justice system. The war on the law has only just begun.
(W) Warren Ellis (A/CA) Bryan Hitch In Shops: Jan 15, 2020 SRP: $3.99
Why did a blackmailer become a murderer? How does the Batman survive an opponent who can kill him with his own mind? Find out all this and more in the latest chapter of the 12-issue series from writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch!