The months of August and September of 2011 were two months that, in terms of comic book sales, were owned by DC Comics. With the launch of the company’s “New 52” initiative, many new and/or lapsed comic book readers were enticed to pick up and read the art form again. Even more importantly, many of those readers seemed to have stuck around over the last eleven months.
Some have gone on to say that DC actually saved the floundering comic book industry. I’m not so evangelical in my beliefs, but DC did do good, by and for, a great many people over the last year.
This month, they’re attempting to re-fire what they started in 2011 by publishing a line-wide #0 issue for every title. This particular issue will be a sort of “origin” tale for a superhero or superhero team – a great jumping on point for even more new readers. The issue will also plant seeds for pivotal 2013 storylines. Two such issues stand out this week.
Justice League, with it’s cast of the most super of superheroes, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash and others, has always been DC’s tent pole series. Over the last year, writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee have produced the Michael Bay version of comics: a little bit of story and a lot of “BOOM!”
Over the last few issues, Justice League has also contained a back-up story, slowly telling the reimagined origin of troubled child Billy Batson – the kid that will eventually become the magical hero known as Captain Marvel. You may know him better as “Shazam!” That’s him on the cover above.
There are many a fan (this one included) that has been waiting a long time to see Captain Marvel take center stage once again – and that’s what happens in this #0 issue: the long-waited-for (well, since the beginning of the New 52 last year) origin of Shazam!
As a bonus feature, we’ll also get a back-up story that gives the origin of the mysterious character called Pandora. She actually made a cameo appearance in every new first issue published by DC Comics last fall – and plays a major role in the company’s upcoming universe-wide storyline called “Trinity War”.
Yeah. We needs to know. So, you know, make the run and pick this book up!
Written by: Christy Marx and Tony Bedard
Illustrated by: Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan and Jesus Saiz
Published by: DC Comics
File this under slightly obscure and quite niche. Back in the early 1980’s, DC Comics published a coming-of-age sword and sorcery series called Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld. Geared more towards young girls, it’s history comprised of a 12-issue limited series, a 16-issue monthly series, an annual, a special and then a 4-issue mini series (illustrated by the wonderful Spanish artist, Esteban Moroto). I, along with a few others, really enjoyed Amethyst back in the day. I think I still have drawings that I made of the various characters lying around here somewhere…
Anyway, Amethyst told the tale of young teenager, Amy Winston, who discovers that she is actually the orphaned princess from the magical Gemworld. On this earth, you see, she’s just a girl. But in the Gemworld universe, she rides flying pegasi, wields a sword and battles the dark Lord Opal and the Lords of Chaos for control of the land.
Today, DC’s bringing her back in Sword and Sorcery, reimagined by writer Christy Marx, best known for her work on animated television shows like G.I. Joe, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Joining her on art duties is Aaron Lopresti, whom I’m really looking forward to see on this title.
Sure, there’s a little bit of nostalgia that draws me into this title, but write-ups on Sword and Sorcery feel fresh – as does that Lopresti artwork! Plus, it’s got a great title. Who can say “no” to the words “sword” and “sorcery”?
Not me. Not you. Make the run to your local comic shop and check out this #0 issue.
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!