This February, nineteen core titles from the DC Universe will feature “Origins and Omens” backup stories. “Origins and Omens” lays the groundwork for the upcoming Green Lantern: Blackest Night miniseries and more in 2009.
These “Origins and Omens” issues are solicited in the December Previews and are scheduled to arrive in stores in February. DC Comics will announce the full lineup of writers and artists contributing to these stories soon.
Watch for “Origins and Omens” stories in these issues:
• ACTION COMICS #874
• ADVENTURE COMICS #0 — Specially priced at just $1.00!
• BIRDS OF PREY #127
• BOOSTER GOLD #17
• GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY #17
• GREEN LANTERN #38
• GREEN LANTERN CORPS #33
• JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #30
• JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #24
• NIGHTWING #153
• OUTSIDERS #15
• ROBIN #183
• SECRET SIX #6
• SUPERGIRL #38
• SUPERMAN #685
• TEEN TITANS #68
• TITANS #10
• VIGILANTE #3
• WONDER WOMAN #29
Also this month, watch for Adventure Comics #0, reprinting one of the cornerstone stories of the DCU with a special price of just $1.00 and featuring its own all-new “Origins and Omens” tale! To celebrate the upcoming Adventure Comics #1, this issue reprints a Silver Age classic from the title’s prior volume — Adventure Comics #247, the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Adventure Comics #0 also features a new cover by Aaron Lopresti that’s an homage to the original.
The story also serves as the inspiration for Geoff Johns’ episode of Smallville, scheduled to air on January 15.
Two years ago, DC Comics announced that a new Terra series would be coming out, one starring a brand new character using the familiar name. This character debuted in Supergirl #12 and has shown up a couple of times since then, but otherwise has remained largely unexplored.
The series will finally be launching in November. It will be written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and illustrated by Amanda Connor. According to DC, the two-year delay has allowed more time to plan out the series and tighten up the stories. And the art has been given the change to be of a higher quality now.
As Justin Gray explained to ComicBookResources.com, "Time always helps and we try our best to have every project working well in advance. This kind of approach allows us to go back into scripts and tighten up and tie together all of the story elements. With Terra, it was a case of trying to have as much fun with the character and allow that to show through in every panel. Having Amanda with us allows for that to happen … the extra time gave Amanda and [colorist] Paul Mounts the most time to go in and add some extra juice to the book."
Of course, this new hero is the third person to call herself Terra. The first girl with that alias, Tara Markov, became famous when she betrayed the Teen Titans in the now-famous story "The Judas Contract." How will this past connect to our current character, who is noticeably more light-hearted and optimistic than either of her predecessors?
Gray explained, "The challenge has always been to find a way to connect this Terra to the previous and with a few twist I think we’ve done that. You can’t stick too heavily to existing mythology when creating someone new because that lessens them as a character. [The new Terra] needs to stand out as her own girl and she does that … We wanted her to stand in opposition of the existing anti-hero mold and especially from Tara Markov in terms of personality and drive."
Jimmy Palmiotti added, "It’s easy to do dark characters all the time … we wanted to go back to the seemingly old-fashioned values of classic super-heroes and update them at the same time. There is heavy stuff in the series but it is balanced out by the lighter stuff as well. The scenes between Power Girl and Terra, for instance, are light and yet very revealing between them."
Power Girl isn’t the only one who will guest-star in Terra. The new hero has a high level of knowledge of the world of super-heroes and will be running across folks like Doctor Mid-Nite and Geo-Force AKA Brion Markov, brother of the original Terra.
Gray elaborated, "The reason [Terra] knows so much ties directly into who she is and why she exists. The previous incarnation of Terra went a little crazy because she didn’t know everything about herself."
Palmiotti, Gray and Connor will also be working together on the all-new Power Girl ongoing series and have promised that the opening story-arc will serve as an introduction for readers who have not been following the character’s recent adventures or don’t know her whole history. The co-writers explained, "We are setting up her life as a civilian, as a super-hero, and the people and world around her that impacts her daily life."
So be on the look-out for the new Power Girl and Terra books coming soon.
And if you’re curious about the previous incarnations of Terra, keep on reading and we’ll give you the rundown.
Something is going on in comic books. Have you noticed? It’s been happening for a few years now. For some reason, certain comics are not making sense with the rest of the established universe and history. For some reason, things that don’t make sense have been running rampant throughout the fictional realities of DC and Marvel.
Have you noticed it? Sure you have. I’m not the only one, right?
Have you checked out DC Decisions #2? It’s very interesting. Guy Gardner is on Earth rather than Oa. And Power Girl is around instead of still trapped on the new Earth-2. Does this story take place before the current JSA storyline? Or afterward? It would be nice to be told in a brief footnote.
Then there’s the recent Hawkman Special where Carter Hall was told that his memories of being the Ancient Egyptian Prince Khufu were a lie and it basically was said that Khufu couldn’t have existed. Okay, um, wait a second. Black Adam and the wizard Shazam were both there and lived alongside Khufu. And the JSA actually went on a time travel mission a couple of years ago and worked with Khufu against a younger Vandal Savage. How can all of that be explained by false memories? Has the entire JSA been infected with identical delusions?
There’s been a lot of confusion about Supergirl recently. Since her re-introduction by Jeph Loeb in the pages of Superman/Batman, she has had a few conflicting stories concerning her nature and origins. And even then, she (and readers) had to deal with the fact that she wasn’t the first to bear that name. Today, Supergirl #34 was released, featuring the new creative team of writer by Sterling Gates and artist Jamal Igle, who promised they would start a new, interesting direction with the character, clearly establishing who she is and what she’s all about.
People, listen to me. The hype is true. This issue is a fantastic jumping-on point. It is written in a way that if you have never read a Supergirl comic before, you will understand what’s going on and who is up to what. There is a small blurb on the title page explaining that Kara Zor-El is Superman’s teenage cousin who came to Earth and tries to fight for "truth, justice and the Kryptonian way." There is an editor’s foot-note by Matt Idleson telling you exactly when this issue takes place in relation to Supergirl’s appearances in other comics (God bless you, Matt).
And for anyone who hasn’t been reading the comic so far, there are quick conversations characters that bring you up to speed on Kara Zor-El and how, ever since she arrived on Earth not too long ago, she has been making a lot of mistakes and stumbling in her journey to become a hero worthy of the legacy of her cousin Superman. To compliment the impressive writing, Jamal Igle’s art, as always, is clean, pretty and very emotive. You completely understand what’s going through the character’s heads even if you don’t look at the dialogue.
If you have any interest in the character or are curious about a young, fun girl with powers, this issue is a must-read. You even get to learn some Kryptonian insults!
Next month, Supergirl #35 is supposed to recap the basic origin of Supergirl, just to clear up things for anyone who’s still confusing her with the previous incarnations who were running around. As Gates said recently at the Baltimore Comic-Con, "Supergirl should be simple. She’s Superman’s cousin. Boom."
But I know you readers out there are curious about past continuity. Some of you remember a Supergirl who wore a t-shirt and mini-skirt or a Supergirl who had wings of fire and claimed to be an angel. And you’re thinking, "Hey, Jack! What’s the deal here?"
Well, look no further, faithful readers! At ComicMix, we enjoy indulging such questions. So, in the same vein of my Road to a Crisis article, I present to you a rundown of the various Supergirls who have graced the DC Universe. Please note, I will be dealing with the Supergirl characters who actually stayed on through multiple stories. I will not be going into detail about how one time Jimmy Olsen wished a Supergirl into existence, etc.
The Baltimore Comic-Con Superman panel was moderated by editor Matt Idleson and included the new creative team behind Superman, Action Comics and Supergirl, which will begin having a closer relationship with each other (which one fan in the crowd unfortunately referred to as “the Supergirl book becoming a three-way with Action and Superman“). There was Geoff Johns, writer of Action Comics, James Robinson, who recently began writing duties on Superman, and the new Supergirl team of Sterling Gates and artist Jamal Igle.
Towards the end of the panel, Johns pointed out his Uncle Roger who was sitting in the audience and had first gotten him into comics as a child.
Supergirl #35 is the first issue under the new creative team of Gates and Igle. It is said to be a perfect jumping-on point, with a quick introduction to Kara Zor-El, including her origin and place in the DC Universe. And since it is part of the “New Krypton” story arc that will be running through the Superman books, Gates will touch on the recent discovery of her parents being alive. The story will also introduce a smear campaign by Cat Grant after she publishes an article in the Daily Planet entitled “Why the World Doesn’t Need Supergirl.”
Gates will also be giving Supergirl a rogues gallery of her own, starting with a “tussle with Silver Banshee”. Robinson commented that Gates and Igle are “going to be one of the greatest combinations that DC has seen for a long time.” Igle himself said that he was so impressed by Gates’ writing that he felt he had to step up his own game on art chores. He added that Gates will defeat fan criticism of the teen Kryptonian, as he has made Superiglr “not only a likable character, but a sympathetic character.” Gates himself explained that he wanted to portray Kara as a fun, teenage hero rather than one focused on angst.
Several fans asked about the previous Supergirls and if they would be referenced. The panel pointed out that Linda Danvers is appearing in the Reign in Hell mini, but that otherwise they wouldn’t really be referenced as they don’t affect today’s Supergirl stories nor have any impact on Kara Zor-El’s life. But that doesn’t mean Supergirl isn’t going to have a more experienced mentor. Lana Lang, recently fired a LexCorp’s CEO, will be joining Kara and lending her advice from time to time.
I asked Johns who was running LexCorp now that Lana was gone and Lex was still a criminal. Johns said “Keep reading.”
When asked if Supergirl would have a secret identity, Gates smiled and said “Good idea.”
I met with Jamal Igle afterwards and looked over the artwork for the next issue of Supergirl, folks, and it looks wonderful. I also asked Jamal if Kara would be getting a new costume soon, since several fans have been critical of her exposed stomach and a new costume was hinted at in Final Crisis #3. Jamal Igle replied that he had submitted a subtle re-design but that it was felt there was no need to change her look completely now since she was still recognizable on sight and no one wanted to mess with that.
I’m also guessing that DC may be a bit protective of a costume that was designed by Michael Turner, who sadly left us so recently.
At the Toronto FanExpo this past weekend, Laura Vandervoort confirmed she would appear in a single episode of the eighth and final season of the CW’s Smallville. Television’s Supergirl also made mention that there had been talk of her character once being considered for a spinoff series. She merely said it didn’t pan out without providing any details.
She did admit to being a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan so working alongside Spike, James Marsters, was a thrill. When she was just beginning her career, she wrote series creator Joss Whedon about wanting to audition for the show, something he remembered when they finally met.
Smallville, with new villains and the same old romantic triangles will return September 18.
DC Comics ran their first panel of the show on Thursday morning with DC: Superman: Man of Tomorrow. The panel was moderated by editor Matt Idelson and featured writers Geoff Johns, James Robinson, and Sterling Gates along with artists Jamal Igle and Renato Guedes (who was provided with a translator, yet never spoke).
Johns kicked off the panel by asking how many in the crowd were reading Action Comics to a strong, but noticeably short of unanimous, ovation. He then continued to explain that what they’re trying to do right now in the books is to create a cohesive universe for Superman so they can “start telling big excellent stories”.
As an example of a big excellent story Johns went on to explain the upcoming “New Krypton” story arc. Coming out of the current Brainiac story Kandor will be restored to full size on Earth. “100,000 Kryptonians come to Earth and say, cool this is New Krypton, and Superman’s like, ‘no it ain’t.’” said Johns.
The panel then turned towards the role of Supergirl in the upcoming stories. Gates expressed a desire to turn the book from a “B”-list title to a more marquee title. Igle said of Gates’ first issue, “I was surprised at how good his script was. I had to go back and read it twice.”
Johns went on to discuss the return of Cat Grant to the Superman titles and the relationship between her and Supergirl. He said that one of the first thing she would do is publish an article called “Why the World Doesn’t Need a Supergirl.” It was later revealed that this article would make up the first page of Gates’ run on Supergirl.
At Wizard World Chicago last week, I was struck by how many girls came dressed as Supergirl. Grown up girls wearing the new version of the costume, showing off their toned abs, to be sure, but also lots of girls younger than 12 wearing the classic outfit.
Supergirl was my first favorite super-heroine. Wonder Woman was awesome, but she was so powerful, so confident, that I could only aspire to be like her. Invisible Girl was too passive. She seemed to fade away in a fight, not nearly as active as Invisible Kid in the Legion. From the moment Kara first flew out of that rocket and introduced herself to her cousin, Superman, I wanted to be her.
Superman, being older, more experienced, and male, decided he was the one to tell Supergirl what to do. She would be placed in an orphanage, and no one would know she had super powers. She would disguise herself with a mousy brown wig, even though no one was to see her with blonde hair. She would wear drab clothes, even though her mother had made her the cute outfit with the S-shield so her cousin would know her.
As Linda Lee, Kara learned about American life in a small-town high school, as an orphan. Later, she was adopted by the Danvers, but had to keep her secret from them as well. By some amazing coincidence, I, a young girl on the verge of adolescence, found myself suddenly needing to keep secrets about my thoughts and feelings from my own parents. I might have been more open with them if they’d found a way to get me a super-cat for a pet.
Writer Geoff Johns is best known for re-imagining some of the most beloved heroes in the history of the DCU.
With his work on such books as Infinite Crisis, 52, Green Lantern, Booster Gold, Teen Titans and Justice Society Of America, Johns has “re-booted” some of DC’s most beloved classic heroes, including Hal Jordan, Booster Gold, Power Girl, The Teen Titans and The JSA.
But Johns’ ability to restore characters to their original glory does not stop with DC’s greatest heroes. No, he has left his mark on the villains as well, creating and revamping some of the scariest villains in DC’s arsenal. From his work on The Sinestro Corps War, and his run on The Flash he has placed Sinestro, Superboy-Prime, Cyborg Superman and The Rogue’s Gallery of The Flash back atop DC’s roster of its most dangerous bad guys.
Now Johns is reintroducing the most evil super computer of all, Brainiac, in the pages of Action Comics. Along with artist Gary Frank, the new arc, entitled “Brainiac” begins in Action Comics #866, in stores today.
First appearing in Action Comics #242 as a bald, green-skinned humanoid, Brainiac is the machine responsible for destroying Krypton and shrinking the city of Kandor down to bottle size. This five-issue arc will attempt to reintroduce the character who is arguably one of Superman’s most dangerous enemies back into the DCU.
I had a chance to speak to Geoff Johns about the new arc in Action Comics and the experience of working with his mentor, Richard Donner.
COMICMIX: For starters, tell us about the upcoming “Brainiac” arc in Action Comics. What can fans of the book expect?
GEOFF JOHNS: Gary (Frank) and I are reintroducing Brainiac. The character has been around for a while now but he’s kind of been in a lot of different forms. Our goal was to create a villain that represents… well, we actually say it in one of the issues. For us, Luthor represents the worst of humanity and Brainiac, for us, will represent the worst in extraterrestrials. So we’re building off that. We want to introduce a Brainiac who is frightening, powerful and a little bit mysterious. We also wanted him to be very unsettling, very alien and feel different then the other adversaries that Superman has. The idea is to make Brainiac one of the villains that Superman dreads when he has to face him, rather than just another slot in a long line of villains. I think our first issue has a real creepy vibe to it and Gary did a really great design on him.
To be filed under "Hey! that’s OUR thing, man!" Cracked.com recently posted a list of "The 6 Creepiest Comic Book Characters of All Time," leaving me wondering why they chose to make it a list of six characters. Why not five… or ten? "Cracked Six" just doesn’t sound right, while ComicMix Six is practically candy for the ears.
But I digress…
Highlights of the questionably named list include Proty, the "sentient spunk blob" from Legion of Superheroes, and Comet, Supergirl’s bestiality-minded superhorse.
Also, Comet periodically turns into a full human, at which point he does what any horse would do: Try to get laid with Supergirl before she can figure out he is really her horse.
The Cracked crew also gives a nod to Inner Child, one of Grant Morrison’s creations during his Doom Patrol run, which seems like a cop-out, seeing as how 95-percent of the characters created by Morrison are pretty freakin’ creepy.