In the DC booth at Comic-Con 2013, six DC Collectibles statuettes were featured showing iconic women from comic books. They aren’t very big — maybe 8″ to 10″ tall — and are beautifully painted. The statuettes are cleverly rendered in the sexy “Good Girl” art popular during and after World War II.
DC Comics has announced that “one of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June.” Courtney Simmons, DC Entertainment’s senior vice president of publicity, made the announcement on ABC News. The soon-to-be revealed character was previously heterosexual in the DC storyline and will take the mantle as “one of our most prominent gay characters.”
Gay characters in comics aren’t new, but this will be significant in that, unlike a bit player like Northstar in the Marvel Universe or characters in the independent press, a homosexual man will play a major role in the DC pantheon.
Comic books have had their moments of social progressiveness. Whether it was Stan Lee introducing significant black characters during the civil rights period, or the shockingly frank drug storylines in both the DC Universe (Green Lantern/Green Arrow series) and Marvel Universe (Amazing Spider-man) in the early 1970s, or anti-war, pro-tolerance, morality tales in general, comic book readers have been exposed to more than just rhetoric. Stories make the social issues more memorable than a speech or essay. Stories are influential. And, stories are relatable.
So, of course, being purveyors of pop culture, the next question is “who the hell will he be?” If it’s a “major iconic” character, that narrows the field. We’re taking Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman off the list. It’s just too unlikely that DC would tinker with any of these three. So, here are our best guesses. Take a moment for yourselves and speculate who it might be:
Oh, and in a “me-too!” moment, Marvel just announced that Northstar will be marrying his long-time beau. Not that we care. We never liked him (or Alpha Flight as a whole for that matter). This storyline has been in the works for a while, so maybe it was DC that was the late-comer. Eh. Whichever. Either way, the LGBT community is riding a high right now, especially with President Obama’s recent statement on gay marriage.
The New 52 series, Men of War, has been cancelled. It will end after the 8th issue. Too bad. Good war comics are hard to find. Men of War reintroduces us to the Sgt. Rock family … this time we follow Joseph Rock, the grandson of the original Sgt. Rock. The stories are set in the modern day and fit into a superhero/supervillain world. It’s interesting how the stories weave together. Just like Marvels did so many years ago, bringing the stories down to our human level where we see the supers through our mortal eyes creates a unique way of experiencing them.
The covers are illustrated by Victor Kalvachev. To see bigger versions of the covers, click on them. Once they’re open in the slideshow, right click and open them in new tabs or windows.
Check out Viktor’s other work. We haven’t read any of his Blue Estate stories yet but the covers are absolutely gorgeous.
DC Comics announced this week that it would be releasing seven separate “prequel” series highlighting the major characters of the Watchmen storyline. The total number of issues is slated to be 34. Various contributors will work on the project:
Comedian (6 issues); Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: J.G. Jones Dr. Manhattan (4 issues); Writer: J. Michael Straczynski; Artist: Adam Hughes Minutemen (6 issues); Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke Nite Owl (4 issues); Writer: J. Michael Straczynski; Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert Ozymandias (6 issues); Writer: Len Wein; Artist: Jae Lee Rorschach (4 issues); Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: Lee Bermejo Silk Spectre (4 issues); Writer: Darwyn Cooke; Artist: Amanda Conner
There will also be backup stories titled “Crimson Corsair” by Len Wein and John Higgins and a one issue epilogue by various contributors (details forthcoming).
You can imagine the controversy surrounding this project. Purists, critics that will offer their pre-publication pontifications, and possibly Alan Moore himself will lambaste it. For our part, we loved the original series (who didn’t for crying out loud?) and we’re eager at least to entertain the idea of additional storywork. Hey, keep an open mind and all that.
CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR
Side note: Speaking of Alan Moore and religion (wait, what? were we not paying attention?), here’s his take. Moore apparently worships an ancient Roman, second-rate god name Glycon (who may have been made up as a hoax in ancient times) and believes that organized religion is unnatural. For our part, we believe Alan Moore wouldn’t do himself any harm in getting a shave and a haircut. Throw in some soap and water and some better fitting clothes, and he might not make babies cry anymore as he walks by. Just sayin’. Here’s more on Glycon and Moore from Wikipedia: “Following his ‘coming out’ as a magician in 1993, the English comic book writer and occultist Alan Moore has declared himself a devotee of Glycon, and has cheerfully admitted in interviews the absurdity of worshiping a probable fraud. Moore has declared he considers all ideas (including fictions) in some sense, ‘real’.”
Black Orchid is one of our favorite characters in the DC Universe. Very little is known of her and even her name is not secured. She fights crime by impersonation and duplicity (thereby furthering the mystery of who she may be). Like The Batman she is a detective but she also has some superhuman powers such flight and strength. She has appeared seldomly and mostly in backup stories or as a background character.
Black Orchid’s first appearances were published in the early 1970’s (Adventure Comics #428-430). A different iteration of her was written by Neil Gaiman and painted beautifully by Dave McKean in a 3-issue mini-series, square bound book.
Here are covers from her first three appearances. Bob Oksner did the cover art. Love the 1970’s feel without the cheap gristmill look.