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DC Comics news: Two relaunches and more "Man of Steel" sequel updates

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"Teen Titans" and "Suicide Squad" not canceled; they're relaunched!

At the start of the year, it seemed as if DC Comics was on a cancellation binge, with quite a few titles slated to end in this month via the dreaded "final issue" notice statement in solicitations. A hint of this was revealed last week, with "Justice League United" set to fill the spot left by the end of "Justice League America". Now, IGN has officially confirmed that both "Teen Titans" and "Suicide Squad", two books being "canceled" this month, will return with new creative teams and a fresh number one come July.

"Teen Titans" will be handled by Will Pfeifer and Kenneth Rocafort on July 16th. Both worked together on "Red Hood and the Outlaws", while Pfeifer also gained some fame, or infamy, as the first writer of the "New 52" version of "Catwoman". Critics often hammered him about his work and choice of artists being exploitative towards female characters. The roster for the title will be Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Raven, and Bunker. As IGN speculates, since "Teen Titans GO!" has been the lone survivor of the "DC Nation" block on Cartoon Network, DC Comics likely wants to maintain their comic in print as long as possible.

On July 9th, "Suicide Squad" will be back under the creative team of Sean Ryan and Jeremy Roberts. Ryan was best known for some work on spare "Flashpoint" material in 2011, while Roberts was the winner of an art contest for "Harley Quinn #0" and has apparently impressed DC Comics enough to land a regular gig on a monthly title after that and a fill-in issue of "Stormwatch". Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Amanda Waller will remain on the cast as they are joined by Deathstroke (star of his own canceled comic), Black Manta, and Joker's Daughter (who has proven to be a hot new character in terms of guest spots during "Forever Evil"). They first mission will apparently a "ripped from the headlines" quest into Russia. Vladimir Putin is likely a godsend to writers who are still not used to being unable to use Soviets as stock characters for "evil" since the fall of the USSR in 1991.

It seems that with sales not being as stable as DC Entertainment had hoped from their line wide relaunch in 2011, they are taking a page from Marvel's handbook. Instead of "canceling" a book, they merely relaunch it with a fresh number one to get a sales boost. The dilemma is this tactic has been so worked to death by Marvel that it has ceased having lasting gains, yet DC Comics appear to have little choice but to roll the dice with it anyway.

Three more join the cast to "Man of Steel" sequel, including Holly Hunter!

Warner Brothers have announced the addition of more actors to their still untitled sequel to "Man of Steel", tentatively due in theaters May 6th, 2016. The biggest of these actors is Holly Hunter, an Academy Award winning actress whose last brush with superheroes was voicing Elasti-Girl in 2004's "The Incredibles". Her co-stars will include comic book movie veterans Tao Okamoto (fresh off "The Wolverine") and Callan Mulvey, who just appeared in "300: Rise of an Empire" (the film sequel to an adaptation of Frank Miller's comic, "300"). According to the studio, their characters won't be any specific comic book beings but characters "newly created for the film". Latino Review is speculating that Hunter will either play Dr. Leslie Thompkins, or a character who essentially replaces the role Thompkins played as a surrogate mother figure to Batman in the comics (and was left out of the Chris Nolan Batman films for unknown reasons).

The film, tentatively dubbed "Batman vs. Superman", will star Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor alongside returning "Man of Steel" stars Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), and Laurence Fishbourne (Perry White). It will be directed by Zack Synder with a script by David S. Goyer that has been rewritten at least once by Chris Terrio. The debut of this film was already pushed from summer 2015 to avoid any competition from Marvel Studios, and currently will be head to head with a third "Captain America" film.

Goyer, meanwhile, speculates that Warner Brothers would "love" to emulate Marvel Studios' success with a cohesive universe across film and TV. However, after such a gross understatement, he worries that it may be "too early" for Warner Brothers to do it. This clash of corporate studio zeal towards a goal regardless of cost and at least one major producer wanting to slow things down for a proper push may wind up being more exciting than any superhero film. The bottom line is that despite a successful trilogy of Batman films, DC Entertainment's rival have left them in the dust with their own series of superhero blockbusters in addition to affiliated blockbusters with additional rivals such as Sony and Fox, and much is riding on the success of this unnamed "Man of Steel" sequel. It will remain to be seen if it can live up to such expectations.

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