Hiya, me guano stinkin’ fellas! Past week had so much news that it got hard to digest, and we are still being overfed with tidbits of news about Dark Nights: Metal. As if we weren’t getting enough of it, details for Tom King’s next arc have also been brought to light – or to dark, considering our natural environment and all that jazz.
Talking about jazz (real obscure reference, I know, I just love Richard – no nickname for obvious reasons), the Judas Contract movie was released this week and boy oh boy is it amazing. You haven’t asked for it, I was not assigned to it, but here is my unsolicited quick review: they successfully integrated Damian to the plot, which was one of my biggest worries, and the awkward Terra-Slade thing was made a bit less unsavory. Terra got an origin story to justify her actions which just makes the whole plot work better. Some parts of the original plot were left out, like Dick becoming Nightwing – for obvious reasons – and Slade’s origin story, probably because of the time limit. The animation continues to look cheap, sometimes looking like they zoomed into a low res picture, and everything gets all blurry. That is the case with all of the current DCAU though, but I’ll keep criticizing it until they improve it. Still, it is well worth it. Go watch it. Now. That’s an order.
On a slightly unrelated and more serious note, there has been some turmoil in the comics world for the past couple weeks following a statement made by Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. What was the guy’s offense, you ask me. Well, the said man has claimed that there are almost no artists that have the power of selling books. Word for word, what he said was “but I don’t know if we know how many artists, besides maybe McNiven and Coipel, absolutely move the needle on anything to be drawn”. The creative community has, of course, reacted to it by proving him wrong, and if I would bring all of those tweets over to this article it would just become too long, so I chose not to. If you want to check some of the reactions, Bleeding Cool has been covering the aftermath of this… crazy statement, to be gentle.
All I can say is: if Capullo was not on Dark Nights it wouldn’t be as big as it is. If you disagree with Mr. Alonso, go show your favorite artist some support. Tweet them, send a letter, a smoke sign, something. They deserve it. If it weren’t for artists, we wouldn’t have comics at all. Bat-grandpa also told me to express his disapproval on this regard.
Tom King, David Finch, Mikel Janin, Jason Fabok, Mitch Gerads
Start stocking canned food and go lay a mat on your bunker ‘cause a war is coming! The War of Jokes and Riddles has already been reported here at TBU, along with some of the art shared by KING when he got all excited about being able to talk about it publicly. But hey! that wasn’t all of it. Some uncolored panels by JANIN were also shared, one to illustrate the Riddler being tired of jokes, with the Riddler breaking into a prison – maybe Arkham? Another panel illustrates the Joker being tired of riddles, while he trots along the streets of Gotham, the world burning around him. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Batman story if you didn’t have him crashing through a window.
Back to the whole artists-don’t-move-the-needle issue, just look at this attempt to draw a Bat signal and imagine if Tom King were to draw his stories. Let us appreciate the existence of one Mikel Janin, who gave us the amazing cover above – and thank Steve Orlando for sharing it – and also MITCH GERADS for sharing his amazing work with us. He seems to be having a blast drawing Swamp Thing and Alfred.
James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez, Marcio Takara
So… TYNION. If you guys have been following this section, you know that I’ve already dubbed him the secretive writer out of them all. This time, when asked about what he has planned for Detective Comics after so many Batman related announcements, he just incorporates Alfred and, peacefully, goes sip some tea while everything blows up around him.
TAKARA specializes also in teasing us by sharing smalls pieces of his working process, showing a face here, a partial character shot there. This time, though, he has shown us a full, uncolored page: nothing less than his take on the Batcave, to feature in issue #954, coming out this week.
After this story arc, Takara will leave us and ALVARO MARTINEZ will be taking his duties, and he has already started working on it. His rainy Gotham skyline can be seen above. Focusing on Azrael, “Intelligence” will begin on Detective Comics #958, coming out June 14.
To close our Detective spotlight, BARROWS has finished all of his commissions for CCXP Tour Nordeste: a Batman and pixie boots, scaly pants, probably Dick Grayson Robin that has me drooling, a Joker grinning ear-to-ear while facing Batman that reminds me of Tim Sale’s take on the clown – one of my favorites -, and a masterfully done Batman with Gotham as background – just stop for a while and marvel at the way Eddy plays with light to highlight the drapes of the cape.
Let me just share with you how much I love covering Detective Comics’ group of artists. Those guys, they blow my mind to pieces.
Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Sean Gordon Murphy, Rafael Scavone, Sebastian Fiumara
What with all of the excitement surrounding Dark Nights, this group of people has been a bit radio silent on issues regarding All-Star. Worth noting is ALBURQUERQUE’s cover for issue #12 (above), part three of the arc that will be revolving around Alfred, and SEAN GORDON MURPHY confirming an eight issue count for the arc after that.
DARK DAYS & DARK NIGHTS
Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr, Jonathan Glapion, Francisco Plascencia
Remember the pencil drawing by JIM LEE for the cover of Dark Days: The Casting? It is now inked and colored (above), but I still cannot tell whether that guy on the left is Mal Duncan, Duke Thomas, John Stewart (less likely) or whoever it is.
As expected, SNYDER has been asked a lot about Dark Nights over this week. To sum it all up, it will be a six issue event all contained within itself, so you won’t have to read the tie-ins, but there will be plenty of them since the event is in full coordination with Rebirth – that is, do expect to see a lot of Geoff Johns’ fingers all over it (I myself am a bit hesitant when it comes to editorial interference). It will involve all of the DCU, not only the Bat-family (and they will show up apparently), but it won’t be an earth-shattering, universe-altering event. What it will do is provide threads for plot lines coming in 2018, since it will extend from August 2017 to January 2018 if the six issues are released on schedule every month.
After this information marathon, I would like to take a break to admire this most awesome signing by Frank Miller on CAPULLO’s The Dark Knight Returns copy. If you are feeling a bit lazy to watch the full 16 seconds of the video, it is a Milleresque Batman saying “For Greg! Stop drawing! You’re making us look bad!”. I wonder how much this copy would be worth in an auction. Probably a lot.
Hope Larson, Chris Wildgoose, Eleonora Carlini, Inaki Miranda, Mat Lopes, Jon Lam
What was I saying about them Bats smashing through glass roofs and windows again? This WILDGOOSE drawing just proves my point, not that it needed much proving anyway.
On another obvious point that needs no proving, HOPE LARSON expresses something that has been on the back of our heads for a long time: why is everyone a red head? It’s not like all of those people are Scottish or something.
Now to a bit of trivia: Scotland and the Isle of Ireland (both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, because I’ve done my geopolitics homework) are said to be the places with most red heads per capita. Despite me not finding any reliable sources on this, I could tell from when I went there that it did seem to be a correct assumption. Best places to do a Babs casting if the Batgirl movie does happen, if you ask me. Or a Poison Ivy. Or Batwoman. Or Starfire. You know.
How come doesn’t Nightwing have an overseas base there? Somebody please turn that into canon.
James Tynion IV, Marguerite Bennett, Steve Epting
Nothing from those guys regarding Batwoman, but Steve Orlando has shared three DC covers for issues coming out July, including Batwoman #5. As you can see above, it shows Kate uncomfortably being forced by Safiyah to shoot at something or someone.
Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Marcus To, Chris Sotomayor
Dick Grayson, ladies and gentlemen. We all know the amount of jokes made involving this guy. Be it about his name or his alias, there is always something arising – and now I have my mind set on puns. I guess talking about the puny Robin will lead to that.
So besides the uncolored panel by FERNANDEZ above, what we have about Nightwing this week does not come from his current creators, but over from All-Star Batman’s area, presented by Mr. Scott Snyder and Mr. Sean Gordon Murphy.
Mr. Grayson’s backside is canon-wide famous by now (here comes another Midnighter reference from Grayson, I guess I miss the guy). So when asked if there will be any Night-booty in Metal, Snyder couldn’t help but make a pun: Buns of steel.
As if it weren’t enough, autocorrect systems around the globe have been providing us with yet another pearl. After Nite-Wing, we now have the possibility of a Nightwong coming our way. Do read the replies for this tweet by Sean because Boy, are they a Wonder.
I can’t stop, somebody help me.
RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS
Scott Lobdell, Dexter Soy, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Veronica Gandini
It’s the debut of Jason and his troupe in this section! Not that I haven’t been keeping tracks on those guys, they are just too quiet.
If you haven’t been following RHATO, this week’s issue #9 will have the trio heading to Qurac to investigate the disappearance of the Bow of Ra (not Ra’s al Ghul, Ra the sun god of ancient Egyptian mythology). Qurac is said to be in the solicitations the place where the Joker killed Jason, thus this issue #10 cover by Nicola Scott with colors by FAJARDO, a reference to the classic A Death in the Family cover.
Issue #9 will also see the return of DEXTER SOY to Red Hood and the Outlaws. To celebrate his return, he has made a poll on his Twitter: should Jason’s sleeves be rolled up to his biceps or to his forearm? I myself think that he would have them unevenly rolled to his forearms. If you also have an opinion on this much important issue, go over to the comments section – or to Soy’s Twitter – and share your thoughts.
This section is mainly about comics, but KEVIN CONROY returning to any Batman related project will always have a place here. A little teaser for Batman/Harley Quinn was released together with The Judas Contract and he will reprise his role from Batman: The Animated Series.
Not only is the animation going to be in Bruce Timm’s style, but the script was also written by him. Also returning will be Loren Lester, the voice of Dick Grayson in Batman: The Animated Series.
Another Batman-dash-someone coming is the Elmer Fudd crossover. Tom King has shared a panel by LEE WEEKS that gives us an idea of what it might look like. It must be Bat season!
Dark Knight III has been having some variant covers by renowned artists, and as we get closer to its end some of them have been sharing their art. Not only do we have LEE BERMEJO’s take (shown above), but JIM LEE has also published not only his finished pencils but also his early composition study for it.
FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA has recently been moved from All-Star Batman to the honorary members gallery, and this week he has given us his take on a 1935 noirish Batman.