A justice league sized smattering of DC Comics news from March 11th - 13th, 2013!
New "Man of Steel" poster released!
With the promotional engines rolling at the competition for "Iron Man 3" and "The Wolverine" debuting in movie theaters later this year, it may be easy to forget that Warner Brothers is releasing a new Superman film this year. However, "Man of Steel", directed by Zack Synder and produced by Chris Nolan will come out on June 14th and the May issue of "Total Film" will feature an exclusive image on its cover. It provides not only another look at Superman (Henry Cavill) and his "New 52" inspired costume, but the first real look at Amy Adams as the iconic heroine Lois Lane. The film will also star Russel Crowe (Jor-El), Kevin Costner (Pa Kent), Diane Lane (Ma Kent), and Michael Shannon (General Zod).
The plot to the film remains a closely guarded secret, although it will involve a new version of the iconic origin as well as a conflict with the "Phantom Zone" villains - shades of "Superman 2" circa 1980. Not only is the success of this film crucial to erase the memory (and losses) from 2006's "Superman Returns", but it is the lynch pin for any potential plans for a "Justice League" film - or any DC superhero film which doesn't involve Batman. Rumors have emerged of Nolan becoming the "godfather" of any DC superhero films in general, but such things will be moot if "Man of Steel" fails. Will such lofty expectations and pressures be too much for even Superman to overcome? Or will the "man of steel" overcome both armor and mutants this summer?
"Batman: Year Zero" kicks off this summer!
DC Entertainment has announced via a press release that their regular "Batman" team of writer Scott Synder and artist Greg Capullo will kick off an 11 part saga retelling Batman's origins in a tale called "Batman: Year Zero". Much like the recent "Death in the Family" crossover, it pays homage to a similarly titled story from the late 1980's - in this case, "Batman: Year One" from 1987.
Synder notes that it's not a "redo" of the origin of Batman; it is "a new story showing how Batman became who he is in the New 52". DC's relaunch of their entire line of comics in fall 2011 wasn't a complete overhaul of their continuity akin to 1986's "Crisis on Infinite Earths", but has reset many franchises to the point that many writers and editors have to recreate things as they go. Even Batman's saga has been edited slightly. Thus, while his origin will still involve dead parents in an alley, a mugger, bats and a one man caped crusade, it may not be the same as prior versions. It also allows Synder yet another high profile Batman saga to retell.
"JLA" relaunch sets sales record!
Diamond Distribution have released their sales data from February, which not only shows that "Justice League of America #1" by Geoff Johns and artist David Finch was the top selling comic for last month, but it has set a DC Comics record for February sales, period. Moving over 307,000 copies with the aid of an astonishing 50 variant copies, it is the best selling DC comic for that month since at least 1996 - surpassing such material as "Marvel vs. DC #3" and perhaps even "Superman: The Wedding Album" from later in '96. This final figure will rise once inevitable reprints will be issued.
In general sales news, while DC didn't overcome Marvel in unit or dollar sales, they owned three titles in the top five and nine within the top 25 sellers. Both "Batman" and "Justice League" are still selling well over 100,000 copies an issue even as of a 17th issue, while most of Marvel's successes rely on debut issues. On the downside, the recently launched "Katana" debuted in the top 80 with barely over 27,000 copies sold - which is a sign the title will struggle to last beyond 10-12 issues. It would be a quicker exit than "Voodoo" and another rare solo series starring a non-white heroine unable to click. Batman spin-off "Talon" is also nearing cancellation range before a sixth issue.