Sunday, October 04, 2009

(Hopefully) coming in 2010: Batman's Skull #1

If, like me, you spent a portion of your Saturday evening checking the Internet for comics news, you may have already heard that controversial DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio and artist Philip Tan were announced as the new creative team for DC's struggling and creatively troubled The Outsiders ongoing series (a comic that must hold some sort of record for creator turnover, as the creative team changed three times before the first issue landed in shops).

I liked this quote from DiDio that the Robot 6 post excerpted from DC's official announcement:

This is an exciting time for me both personally and professionally. I have been a fan of The Outsiders since their inception and with Pete Tomasi moving on to some very exciting projects in 2010, I have been afforded the opportunity to work with some of my favorite characters. Most importantly, this also gives me the chance to work with the immensely talented Philip Tan, and together I hope we can meet and exceed all expectations for this series.

People have expectations for Dan DiDio, or Philip Tan, or The Outsiders comic? Huh.

The more exciting news is that the writer DiDio will be replacing is Peter J. Tomasi, who DiDio told Newsarama's Vaneta Rogers will be leaving the book to work on something that he "can't talk about that now, but it definitely has to do with the post-Blackest Night universe."

That I find very interesting, being something of an Aquaman fan. Now, DC could launch pretty much anything as an ongoing post-Blackest Night I suppose—never in a million years would I have expected them to launch a Magog ongoing, or either of the Red Circle ongoings, for example—but it's hard to imagine any of the various Lantern characters getting a new title post-Blackest Night. DC's already tempting fate having two GL ongoings and spending about a year on a GL-centric crossover story.

Since smart money is one the book ending with Hal Jordan or someone harnessing the "creative energy" of white light to resurrect at least the popular Black Lanterns, I've long assumed the story would end with Martian Manhunter, Aquaman and others coming back to life (Once they killed off Tempest, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, I think a mass-resurrection at the end became guaranteed).

Aquaman seems like the most likely of the dead Justice Leaguers to get his own book, having carried on off-and-on for so long, and having had a few years off now. So if I were going to bet money on what Tomasi's post-Blackest Night title might be—and man, what a dumb thing to bet money on; do Vegas odds-makers do stuff like that?—I would bet that it's a new Aquaman ongoing.

But again, DC's recent publishing decisions have indicated they could honestly publish just about anything. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Tomasi's new title were The Adventures of Batman's Skull (which, judging by how well comics featuring Batman and/or a guy walking around carrying and occasionally licking Batman's skull are doing versus everything else on the latest sales charts, maybe Batman's Skull would out-sell Aquaman anyway).

Back to Outsiders, Rogers also has an interview with Tan about the book here, which may be worth a read if you like either the Outsiders or Tan (I'm not really a fan of either, although the original Jim Aparo-drawn volume of the title was pretty awesome).

Sounds like Tan will be re-designing Geo-Force, Katana and Black Lightning's costumes, which is cool, since their ever-changing costumes are all almost always pretty awful. (Good luck, Tan! I'm rooting for you!)

If you do give the Tan interview a read, come back and explain to me a) what Tan's talking about with the script style...does he just mean old Marvel style, where Stan Lee or whoever writes a synopsis, Jack Kirby or whoever draws the page however he wants, and then Lee or whoever comes back and writes the dialogue? (If so, I might wanna check out an issue of Outsiders to see if the reason I've hated Tan's previous work so much was that he honestly can't draw full-script style, but kicks-ass with the "plot script style" style) and b) who the hell those characters are supposed to be in that little black and white drawing, also posted to the left here. One's apparently bald and has an S-shield, which makes me think Steel, but if so that's a pretty wretched image of Steel. The other looks like a bulked-up Anthro with a Nazi hair-cut and Geo-Force accessories. So I guess maybe it's Geo-Force...? But then, why would his head shine like the bald and/or metal-encased head of the other figure, if the other figure is Steel...?


Robert Repici said...

You know what the best news to come out of this announcement is? That DiDio is going to pick up on some story threads that were left hanging from Brad Meltzer's "Last Will and Testament". And I'm actually only being a little sarcastic. I want to see another Deathstroke vs. Geo-Force fight! Other than that, it might be best to just forget that "Last Will and Testament" actually happened.

Kid Kyoto said...

Dunno about Batman's skull but I'd bet the Adventures of Alfred the Butler could outsell Aquaman.

Sorry, we all have our favorites and no one can say Aquaman hasn't had his share of chances but the boy don't sell. Even Kurt Busiek can't sell him, it's the character, not the marketing, not the creative team, the character.