Think Batman is tough? Well, my friend, you could give him a licking!
Okay, I’ll ask you to forgive that. What I really mean is, you could lick the postage stamps that bear Batpics. The stamps might be already available and if they’re not, you’ll be able to get them soon – “just in time for the New York Comic Con,” promises an article in last Monday’s USA Today.
This isn’t the first time that heroes from DC Comics pantheon have made their way onto postage stamps. One of the stranger gigs I’ve ever participated in had several of us comics guys sitting at a table in The Museum of Comic Art and autographing post cards and sheets of stamps illustrated with the likes of Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Aquaman and other superdoers including, yes, Batman. The people in front of us then took the signed items to the next table where employees of the United States Postal System marked the stamps with a cancelation notice, thus proving to any who cared that the stamps/post cards were purchased on the day they were first available.
I guess the what we signed and the postal folk canceled were pretty nifty items for both stamp collectors and comics fans and receiving an imprimatur from a living, breathing government agency was further evidence that comics had struggled from the underbelly of American publishing into the Region of Respectability. The stuff I just mentioned was, as noted, not limited to just Batman, but the Dark Knight stands (and swings) solo on the new issues. (The USA Today piece doesn’t mention Robin.)
Why this particular distinction? The newspaper quotes DC’s co-publisher Jim Lee: “Batman is the most popular superhero of all time…” Is he? Let’s not argue. But is this paragon an appropriate subject for postage stamps? I mean, shouldn’t stamps commemorate exemplars of political achievement – the Washington/Jefferson/Roosevelt crowd – or civilization-altering inventors – your Fultons, your Edisons, your Carvers – or genuine heroes who sacrificed themselves for the national good? Note that “genuine”: it excludes movie stars as well as cartoon characters, with the exception of Jimmy Stewart, who flew 50 bomber missions.
Okay, we’ll take “no” for an answer.
We hereby admit fictional stalwarts into the company of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington Carver and the rest. But can you at least grant that the made-up people should symbolize achievement and maybe nobility? King Arthur types. Maybe even Sherlock Holmes. What does Batman symbolize? Childhood tragedy. Obsession. Urban darkness.
Well…maybe Batman does belong on postage because the grim things he represents are a part of life and maybe there should be room on our signage for the less cheery aspects of our national experience.
Naw. Let’s stick with fantasy. Wasn’t there a Mickey Mouse stamp a while back?
I’m a big fan of crowdsourcing — for comics and graphic novels on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. So far I’ve only watched from a distance, calling attention to special projects and generally being a cheerleader for the ambitious creatives involved in these passion projects.
That was until DC Comics asked me to participate in their crowdsourced We Can Be Heroes fund-raiser — part of their ongoing initiative to raise money for and awareness of the plight of the hungry in the Horn of Africa.
My “bosses” gathered a veritable Who’s Who of some of DC and Warner Bros. most talented creators and said I could hang out with them and help a worthy cause in the process. We’re signing super exclusive and limited run graphic novels, animated movies, caps, T-shirts, prints and other assorted products (Did I mention you can have yourself written into a DC Comic? Or that none other than Jim Lee will come to your town and paint a mural on your wall?) with all the money going to fight something far more destructive than anything Lex Luthor has ever come up with on his worst day.
The best part about this campaign? It really does give the fans the opportunity be the hero here: every dollar you commit goes directly to International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps and Save the Children to help fund their efforts on the ground in the Horn of Africa. Every donation, no matter how small, helps.
In this particular case the goal is to raise $100,000… and we’re halfway there!
So please, take a moment – -watch the video — find one of the multitude of special incentives from the likes of Scott Snyder, David Goyer, Greg Pak, Kenneth Rocafort, Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, James Tucker, Mike Carlin… and some guy named Scott Lobdell!
Is it a donation? Is it a special purchase?
Call it what you will… it is an opportunity to help a worthy cause!
It’s a chance to show that, really, We Can Be Heroes.
Legendary Comics launches their first series today with The Tower Chronicles: Geisthawk – Volume 1, from Matt Wagner and Simon Bisley. The 48-page prestige format release begins a new universe that represents the kinds of comics Legendary intends to explore. The Tower Chronicles is the tale of John Tower, a supernatural bounty hunter. His missions lead him into mankind’s most dangerous places to banish poltergeists, demons, and other supernatural evils that plague his “sometimes respectable” patrons.
The first issue sports two different covers, one from Bisley, perhaps best remembered for his work on Lobo in the 1990s, and Jim Lee, DC Entertainment’s co-publisher, inked by his usual partner Scott Williams. The series is being inked by Rodney Ramos, the journeyman inker best known for his work on Transmetropolitan.
The Tower Chronicles: Geisthawk – Volume 1 waswritten by Wagner (Grendel and Mage) in consultation with Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary Pictures. It’s interesting to note that the copyright is shared by Wagner and Legendary. The story is set in contemporary times but clearly has supernatural elements starting with Tower himself and the monsters he is charged with apprehending. As usual, Wagner’s writing is clear and never less than interesting to read. Bisley’s claustrophobic, dark artwork is great for the monsters, less so for the people inhabiting the pages.
The first serial is part of a trilogy, Wagner has told the media he has already written a total of eight volumes so the adventures are only just beginning.
The comic imprint is a subsidiary of Legendary Pictures which has co-produced countless films including many in the genre such as 300 and The Dark Knight trilogy. Editing the line is Bob Schreck, formerly of Dark Horse and DC Comics. Last year, the company debuted with Frank Miller’s former Batman project, Holy Terror.
Wagner and Schreck are taking reader questions over at the title’s Facebook page. There, additional background on the world and characters are presented, along with previews of subsequent stories
Before continuing, I must say mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.
I made a major error last week. My terrific correspondent in last week’s column is not Bill Hannigan. He is Bill Mulligan. As in – sing along, folks – m-u-double l-i-g-a-n spells Mulligan. I cannot explain it, but can only blame it on my menopausal mind. A hundred thousand apologies to Bill.
• • • • •
So last week I went to Vector Books, my local comics emporium, and picked up Justice League #12 (by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and David Finch, with kudos to those gentlemen and everyone involved for terrific writing and gorgeous artwork).
In case you need reminding, it’s the issue with The Big Kiss.
But it is not a kiss of love.
It is a kiss of longing.
It is a kiss of confusion.
It is a kiss of desire.
The desire to know.
Who am I?
Where do I belong?
Am I capable of love?
Can you love me?
Can I love you?
Do you know?
If you do, tell me.
I need to know.
Longing and confusion.
Straight or gay or bi, these questions are at the heart of our relationships, our selves.
When we are in the womb, we are cocooned in an aquatic nest. Our every need is met. The only sound we hear is a muffled whoosh-whoosh, and it comforts us. We are at peace. We know we are not alone.
Then suddenly we are separated from the waters of life, the warmth and the comfort and the muffled sounds of love, and we are thrust into a harsh world of brightness and cold and noise. We are helpless as we are poked and prodded and laid against cold medal. We want to go back. But somehow we know that we can never go back, and we cry for that world where we were safe, where we were loved. And we are afraid that is gone forever.
But it is not gone forever, for we discover that in this harsh world there will be others who will love us, who will protect us and care for us, who will understand our fears and our confusion and our longing, because we will discover that these others are feel these things, too. And we will look to each other for that comfort and that warmth and love which will banish the fear and the loneliness and the confusion always hovering at the edges of our consciousness.
The desire to know ourselves.
The desire to know another.
The desire to not be alone.
The desire to share.
The desire to love.
Human emotions we don’t normally equate with super-heroes, especially mythic heroes such as Wonder Woman and Superman. But we build our heroes on the frail foundations of our humanity, so we should not be surprised when they reflect these frailties back upon us.
The hero’s journey is our journey.
TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten Continues With The Big Con
Hello, everyone! After last week, I figured it’d only be fair that I give Wizard World a little hand up, since I was so quick to toss them into the gutter. Suffice to say I saw a ton of responses via Facebook, Twitter, etc. in support of my disappointing feelings at this past Wizard World Chicago. So, with all eyes from their ivory tower now squarely pointed at me*, I shall make an epic journey for Wizard, giving them the laundry list of things I’d like to see them do to reclaim their former convention glory.
Remember what started this whole shebang – comic books. Just because you can’t lay claim to the publishing giants does not mean with some delicate planning, you can’t land the amazing creators behind said publishers. Suffice to say, if you bring them, the fans will come. People love Marvel and DC. But they don’t come to the convention just because there’s a chance to see DC Direct action figures and snag some Marvel posters. More often than not? The mainstay of your crowd – the real comic fans – want a chance to meet the creators behind their favorite book. Whatever Wizard did to shun so many artists and writers? Well, it’s time to send out some apologetic gift baskets, and comp the way for the names that will draw in the most people.
And if you should be so lucky to entice a gaggle of cool creators, the next step is simple: plan a convention that celebrates the medium through intelligent discussion and good old-fashioned fun. What this means? Programming. Even in the larger convention halls, your crowd can peruse the show floor in about two hours, if they take it slow. This means that there is time in every show-goers’ schedule to enjoy something more than just spending their money.
In my youth, I recall amazingly fun panels: the Silver Age Trivia Contest, hosted by Mark Waid, the CBLDF Sketch-off, where top names like Jim Lee and Phil Hester jammed on audience suggestions for charity, as well as countless “how-to” panels where small gatherings of 50 or so fans got live demonstrations on everything from digital inking to script writing. At their core, the conventions are here to celebrate comics, not (just) corral all our cash.
Next up on the list? The non-comic stuff. Hey, I freely admit that these shows have grown to encapsulate all of Nerdtopia. And it’s cool if the show plays well with others. Comic geeks are also Trekkies, Jedis, Whovians, Vampires, and Otaku. So bring on the D-List Sci-Fi Channel celebutaunts. Bring on the retired WWE wrestlers. Create a dais of former Starfleet Captains and Wookies. Just don’t make them the sole reason to come. And better yet? Find a way to reduce the gouging. No need to pay for a show floor ticket, if you’re only there for some pictures. In the past, there was a nice area off the main floor where photo ops and autograph seekers could assemble. Do it again and you can bring back something all good shows have… a laid back traffic flow, instead of a jam of fanny packs and unwashed masses.
The last bit I’d like to touch on is something I yearn for: the promotion of the little guy. For a company like mine, these conventions are the single best way for us to gain a following. We sell books, hard, and do our best to connect to every fan that walks past our table and makes eye contact. With just a little help from show promoters (ahem, Wizard World…) we “indie guys” could have access to the fans en masse. And that could make all the difference in the world. Back when Wizard was huge, tickets came with a grab bag of materials. Offer the opportunity for indie creators to make samplers to place in these bags. Offer up panels to unknowns, who can help lead discussions, debates, tutorials, and demos. Con attendees interested in the content alone might then be converted into legit fans.
In short, Wizard World is well within the grasp of greatness. A few apologies, a few comps, and a few good planners could help take their show from the doldrums their in right now, and slowly rebuild them to be what they once were. The first step though is to admit there’s a problem. As the industry slowly crawls towards the advent of creator-owned content, the convention circuit will quickly become the single best way to connect fans to the industry. Don’t lose sight of that just because you can nab Sookie for a few autographs. We’re the reason these shows started, and dag nabbit, we’re the ones who can make them great again.
* I’m safely assuming that Wizard scours the net for mentions of their cons, and have no doubt flagged me as a ne’er-do-well on their hit list.
Due to recent events in Florida, Warner Bros. has decided to put its foot down. With the first promotional image for the new CW drama “Arrow” debuting a few weeks back, some were questioning how politically correct it might be to have a hero donning a hood to fight crime.
DC President Diane Nelson held a press conference this morning to disway the rumor mill:
“DC Comics wants to make it clear that we have been, and will always be at the forefront of fashion for our original licensed creations. But our heroes exist in a very real world… one that reacts to all of today’s issues. Given the recent tragedy in Florida, we’ve decided to make some improvements across the board to ensure the utmost sensitivity to everyone affected. Simply put, a good guy can’t wear a hoodie.”
With that being said, it was learned that DC will be reshooting “Arrow” with a new to-be-released costume, as well as make several changes to existing characters. The new Shazam will have his costume altered once again. Co-Publisher and lead costume designer Jim Lee noted “Shazam will now feature baggy cargo shorts, a red and gold short sleeve tee-shirt with white long sleeve shirt underneath, and his new trademark Kangol hat. We felt it was time to really bring the character into today’s marketplace.” In addition to that, copies of Superman: Earth 1 will be recalled, and have it’s cover replaced, as it features DC’s flagship character donning the aforementioned fashion faux-pas. Also, Static Shock will be removed from continuity completely, and any mention of him will be disavowed.
“Ultimately we have a responsibility to our readers to reflect the common values everyone shares. At this time, this means having to ensure no character is dressed in an offensive matter. In any event, it will not keep us from delivering the finest product in the marketplace we can.” Nelson concluded.
The BBC has bad news to report: Jean Henri Gaston Giraud, who first came to widespread prominence in America with the importing of Heavy Metal and known worldwide to his fans as Moebius, has died in Paris after a long battle with cancer. He was 73.
He was popular in the US and Japan, working with legend Stan Lee and manga artists, as well as in his homeland.
He also worked on design concepts and storyboards for a number of top science fiction films, including Alien, Tron, The Abyss and The Fifth Element.
Giraud trained at art school and turned to comics after working as an illustrator in the advertising and fashion industries.
His best known work in his native country was probably the Lieutenant Blueberry character but he also worked on the Silver Surfer with Stan Lee.
Active in comics since the 60s, Girard was a three-time Harvey Award winner and a two-time Eisner Award winner, and a Hall of Fame inductee for both. He also won the Shazam, the Yellow Kid (twice), the Angouleme International (three times), the Haxtur, and the World Fantasy Awards.
Here’s a trailer from the documentary Moebius Redux: A Life In Pictures, with commentary from Jim Lee, Mike Mignola, and Enki Bilal, where Giraud talks about his life and his work.
Please take a moment to look at the graphic that accompanies this article. Chances are you seen it before on the net or right here on ComicMix when Glenn posted it a few days ago.
I’ll admit it’s clever as shit. It’s interesting as shit. It’s thought provoking as shit.
I came across this on Facebook and I must admit I was mad as shit when I read it. I was even madder when I saw it was a marketing ploy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great marketing ploy and I freely admit that shit.
I went to the website and the Facebook page of the person who put it up. After reading some of the stuff on the Facebook page I was disappointed that I was so upset. Why? Because this is the sort of person I should like. We share a great many thing with regards to politics and he seems like a great guy.
But I know a wee bit about the comic book industry and I know a wee bit more about building franchises and a wee bit more about mentoring talent.
I also know you do not do any of that shit with fear.
In any and I mean any part of the entertainment business you will find incredible success and dismal failure. That’s not the industry’s fault. The industry was not set up for you to be either an incredible success or a dismal failure.
That shit is on you.
Are there barriers to entry?
Yes. Tell me, what profession does not have barriers to entry? There are barriers to entry for everything.
That’s what school is for. That’s what working on your craft is for. That’s what life experience is for. That’s what you go to comic conventions for.
If you want to work in comics, you go to comic book conventions to learn the industry not to hang out with your 20 friends in one hotel room with the sole intention of going to the Twilight panel to kiss the ass of the movie company so they will give you a glimpse of that bullshit movie which is the same movie as the previous 15 but “this time it’s personal.”
Yeah, I called the Twilight movies bullshit. That’s my opinion.
The Twilight franchise?
I don’t have to love a thing to respect a thing and I respect the shit out of the Twilight franchise. When it comes to how they run that shit I’m Team Edward all the way.
Instead of going to a portfolio review or a small press panel the young creators who will fall for that “call me” ploy from the comic industry poster spend their time trying to catch a glimpse of Jim Lee at the DC Comics panel. Jim is not there to talk to you about getting into DC he’s there to sell you the books you are already buying.
So, how does any of the above help your career?
The graphic depicts the comic book industry as an industry of people who will try and stab you in the back. Really? You think Jim Lee wants to stab you in the back so he can steal your idea? That great idea that you drew with a ballpoint pen, inked with a magic marker, colored with Photoshop 0.1 in tones of nothing but blue?
You know why Jim Lee does not want your great idea, which all your family and friends have convinced you will be bigger than Superman?
I’ll tell you why, because if you have been reading comics and using that as your only education and attending Twilight like and not career oriented panels at comics conventions then most likely your idea is shit.
Why would all your family and friends tell you had created the greatest thing since Star Wars? I’ll tell you why; your family and friends love you. They are bias as shit.
Think of what you say to that fat ass 300-pound girlfriend when she’s asking you if she looks fat in that dress.
Fat 300-pound girlfriend: Do I look fat in this dress?
You lie. You lie because you want to tap some of that fat ass. Guess what? She knows you are lying. She’s 300 pounds, dude. She would look fat in stranded in the middle of the ocean.
Your family and friends are yourfamily and friends; they are supposed to lie to you. Your family and friends they don’t know shit about what makes a concept a good idea.
Secondly, your “bigger than Superman” concept was drawn with a ball point pen, inked with a magic marker, colored with Photoshop 0.1 in tones of nothing but blue and your can’t spell so your lettering sucks also.
Is the comic book industry fair?
Does some projects that suck get published?
Is there an “old boy” network at many publishers?
Are there people who don’t want you to succeed?
Welcome to Earth, motherfucker. Or more specifically, welcome to the real world of grown-up business.
In every single business on the planet there are unfair policies, projects that suck that get green lit, cliques of people who won’t let you in and people who do not want you to succeed.
Fuck that shit and fuck them.
Learn the game before you hook up with somebody who claims he can help you with your “franchise.”
Give me a fucking break. Learn to write, learn to draw. Ask Jim Lee for advice not an autograph. Stand in line to hear Marv Wolfman or Harlan Ellison talk about writing. Stop standing in line to see clips from a movie you are going to see anyway.
Comic creators like giving advice. You will be surprised to see how much you can learn from an conversation about that creators craft. Set realistic goals for yourself. Seek criticism from people that know what they are talking about.
Here’s a hint. Make appointments with people you would like to talk to. All they can say is “no” but would not a “yes” make your day and help you?
Take classes, go to school make an effort to learn the industry.
Yes, think about your own Franchise!
Yes, build, your own Franchise!
But before you call someone to help you do something that they have not done, do the work that’s needed to achieve your goal. Yours – not someone else’s.
When you do all of that and more, when you have gotten to a place of excellence in your craft and still don’t succeed, try again and again and then again.
Frankly, if you are that good you won’t have to keep trying because you will succeed.
Anything less, anything quick, anything that does not involve the kind of commitment to your the craft is just bullshit.
This past week, I read both Justice League #5 and Justice League Dark #5. To say they are worlds apart is a bit on-the-nose, but suffice to say… it’s the truth. Justice League proper is loud, dumb, and thin. Dark is the polar opposite.
With an issue left to finish its first arc, Justice League needs a near miracle to turn my opinion around. In issue #5, Dark completed its first arc and I’m amazingly sold on it. Funny then that I didn’t bring that book home. My wife, and mother to our newborn son, bought it cause she loves Zatanna. Trust me, I have a millions reasons to thank her everyday. Now? I have a million and one. But I digress. This here column is meant to compare and contrast just why JL: Prime is poop, and Dark is dynamite. I hope Geoff Johns is taking notes.
Let’s start with the good. Both Leagues assemble a pretty stellar line-up. I know there are those out there that have a soft spot for the less-than-great Leagues of the past (like when they were in Detroit, or the amazingly crappy team from right-before-the-flashpoint), but let’s be honest: The present day roster takes its Magnificent Seven approach ala Grant Morrison’s run, and it was damned smart to do so. On the Dark side, we get a team-up that’s a veritable who’s who of the mystic arts.
With the Vertigo imprint now a part of the DCnU proper, we get to see stalwart mystic go-to characters like Deadman team up with John Constantine, amongst others. All in all, the teams work on paper, quite well. And John’s use of Cyborg as the would-be-everyman makes me forget all about the obvious affirmative action. The only character I wish they’d put on the Dark team would be Detective Chimp. Face it, monkeys equal sales.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive into the bad, shall we? Justice League takes too many cues from the worst part of comics from the 1990s. Jim Lee is delivering amazing work, but at the cost of quality narrative. Splash after splash, action panel after action panel, and everyone always screaming, wincing, and punching. Also, all of it is on fire. Now, is Jim to blame for this? I don’t know. Geoff Johns is the man behind the script, so one might ask him if he intended the first arc to be so… typical.
For a guy who built a career on amazing origins, here he delivers his first disappointing one. Think of all the stereotypical team-forming storylines you can think of. Heroes meet, and think each other is the villain? Check. Egotistical in-fighting for control? Check. The evil-villain-from-out-of-nowhere who can only be defeated by having the team form? Check. That basic premise has been done to death in just about every team book, and funny enough? JL: Dark uses it too! But somehow, they pull it off. I’ll get to that later.
As I recall comics of my youth (those pesky ‘90s), it was always about the pop and sizzle, never about the words. It was all about who could beat up who and how, never why. Then I grabbed Watchmen, Sin City, books by Scott McCloud, and Kingdom Come and learned that comics can be stellar cape and cowl adventures… and use nuance and subtlety to end a story. Justice League throws all of that out the window, so we can make way for everyone taking time to ask what Batman’s powers are. Snicker.
Justice League Dark takes that same convoluted plot and smartly dampens it for characterization. The first arc is the antithesis to the uniting of individuals for the greater good. Instead we have severely independent agents being routed to stop something against their will. Over the course of the book, characters do fight one another, but it’s done with nuance. When Deadman threatens John Constantine, it’s because he cares for June Moon, who Constantine is obviously hurting in order to save the greater good. No puffed up chests and snarky dialogue.
And the big bad of the book? Well it turns out to be the misguided Enchantress, who lost control due to Madame Xanadu’s misguided tinkering. And at the climactic battle, when the score is blasting, and characters shout… it’s not the uniting of the mystical mavens of the greater DCnU that saves the day. It’s just Constantine doing his job. When the dust settles, the team, as it were, stand as independent as they were at the books’ beginning. It’s a bold move by Peter Milligan, who opts to dose his Justice League with a bit of realism. Realism, is a comic featuring a guy who has a super secret all-powerful vest? Yup. And it’s pretty darned cool.
I’ve merely scratched the surface here. Now, before you fire up the engines of hate, let me act as my own Devil’s Advocate. Justice League has had some great moments. As I mentioned before, I think Cyborg has been a real highlight of the book, and Johns’ Hal Jordon is a cock-sure treat, especially when he gets his ass whooped. And truth be told, the sales figures put me in my place pretty quickly. And Justice League: Dark isn’t exactly narrative fiction perfected. Over five issues Milligan utilized the “two characters show up somewhere, and spend their time questioning why they’re there scene” about 27 times. And as ComicBookResources’ Chad Nevett noted in his review of issue #5. Milligan may need to do a ton of back-peddling to assemble his team for the next arc.
Overall though, I think it’s clear: Justice League thus far has been far too busy trying to bring the “oohs and ahhs” while Dark spent its time trying to develop its characters beyond witty retorts, and punching. The books are clearly targeting different audiences, but even those who prefer eye laser blasts and Batarangs to backwards spells and Photoshop glow effects…clearly see where the flagship of the DCnU is aiming only at the lowest common denominator. If the DCnU is to make those who don’t read comics pay attention, modeling their mainstay book off of Michael Bay mentality isn’t the way to do it.
This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.
“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”
Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).