DC LAUNCHES NEW PUBLISHING IMPRINT DC BLACK LABEL BRINGS EDGY AND PROVOCATIVE STANDALONE STORIES TO THE LEGENDS OF BATMAN, SUPERMAN AND WONDER WOMAN

 

ALL-STAR WRITERS FRANK MILLER, SCOTT SNYDER, BRIAN AZZARELLO, KELLY SUE DeCONNICK, GREG RUCKA AND JOHN RIDLEY JOIN DC BLACK LABEL WITH THEIR ULTIMATE TAKES ON MODERN SUPERHERO STORYTELLING COLLABORATING WITH SUPER-STAR ARTISTS JOHN ROMITA JR., GREG CAPULLO, LEE BERMEJO AND PHIL JIMENEZ

 

BURBANK, CA (March 8, 2018) – DC Black Label, a new publishing imprint from DC Entertainment, gives premier talent the opportunity to expand upon the canon of DC’s iconic Super Hero comic book characters with unique, standalone stories that are outside of the current DC Universe continuity. An all-star lineup of creative teams will craft their own personal definitive DC stories in the tradition of compelling literary works like BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, DC: THE NEW FRONTIER and WATCHMEN.

 

“Many of our perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books were produced when we unleashed our top talent on standalone, often out-of-continuity projects featuring our most iconic characters, a prime example being Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS,” explains publisher Jim Lee. “Creating DC Black Label doubles down on our commitment to working with all-star talent and trusting them to tell epic, moving stories that only they can tell with the highest levels of creative freedom.”

 

DC Black Label makes its publishing debut with the previously announced SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE saga from legendary author Frank Miller and artist John Romita Jr. The three-part prestige series will hit shelves August 2018. John Ridley’s THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE, announced in January, will be published under the new imprint as well. And Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet) joins DC Black Label for her first major work with the company, alongside artist Phil Jimenez, with WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS.

 

Each DC Black Label series will have a unique format and release schedule to best serve the story and creative vision. In addition, the new imprint will be brought to life with a stylized new logo, evoking the sense of sophistication fans can expect in these new series. 

 

“DC Black Label offers leading writers and artists of any industry the opportunity to tell their definitive DC stories without being confined to canon,” explains executive editor Mark Doyle. “We are carefully crafting each series to fit the vision of the creative team. All of these creators are masters of their craft. I’m psyched to be working on a Wonder Woman story with Kelly Sue and Phil, helping to bring John’s vision of THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE to life and reuniting with some of the greatest Batman talents in the industry.”

 

The following books round out the first wave of DC Black Label titles:

  

SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE from Frank Miller (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT: MASTER RACE) and John Romita Jr. (ALL-STAR BATMAN, SUPERMAN) 

A groundbreaking, definitive treatment of Superman’s classic origin story in honor of his 80th anniversary. This story details new revelations that reframe the Man of Steel’s most famous milestones—from Kal-El’s frantic exile from Krypton, to Clark Kent’s childhood in Kansas, to his inevitable rise to become the most powerful and inspiring superhero of all time.

 

BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the creative team behind DARK KNIGHTS: METAL

Batman wakes up in a desert. He doesn’t know what year it is or how The Joker’s head is alive in a jar beside him, but it’s the beginning of a quest unlike anything the Dark Knight has undertaken before. In this strange future, villains are triumphant and society has liberated itself from the burden of ethical codes. Fighting to survive while in search of answers, Bruce Wayne uncovers the truth about his role in this new world—and begins the last Batman story ever told.

 

BATMAN: DAMNED from Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, the creative team behind JOKER

On a deserted Gotham City bridge, a body is found. Whispers spread the news: Joker is dead. But is this a dream come true or a nightmare being born? Now Batman and DC’s outlaw magician John Constantine must hunt the truth through a Gotham City hellscape. The city’s supernatural recesses are laced with hints about a killer's identity, but the Dark Knight’s descent into horror will test his sanity and the limits of rationality, as he must face a horror that doesn't wear a mask.

 

WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS from Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet) and Phil Jimenez (INFINITE CRISIS)

A Homeric epic of the lost history of the Amazons and Queen Hippolyta’s rise to power. Featuring monsters and myths, this three-book saga spans history from the creation of the Amazons to the moment Steve Trevor washes up on the shores of Paradise Island, changing our world forever.

 

WONDER WOMAN: DIANA'S DAUGHTER (working title) from Greg Rucka (WONDER WOMAN, BATWOMAN)

It's been 20 years since the world stopped looking to the skies for hope, help, and inspiration. Now the world keeps its eyes down, and the powers that have risen have every intention of keeping things that way. Amongst a scattered, broken resistance, a young woman seeks to reclaim what has been forgotten, and on the way will learn the truth about herself, her heritage, and her destiny.

 

THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE from John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, THE AMERICAN WAY)

A compelling literary series analyzing iconic DC moments and charting sociopolitical gains through the perspectives of DC Super Heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups, including John Stewart, Extraño, Vixen, Supergirl, Katana and Rene Montoya, among others. At its core, the story focuses on the lives of those behind the costumes, and their endeavors to overcome real-world issues. It isn’t about saving the world, it’s about having the strength to simply be who you are.

 

For continued updates on DC Black Label and these series, check DCComics.com.

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Captain Comics said:

I don't remember anything explicit in Rawhide Kid. It was just a bunch of gay innuendo, wasn't it?

Gay innuendo, yes.

I said "salacious"; Marvel said "explicit." ;)

I was genuinely asking. It's been a long time since I read it.

Ah. Gotcha.

I am not so certain about Miller doing Superman. I do not want to read about the Goddamn Superman, but maybe he'll surprise me. Don't want to be knee-jerk.

Actually, it is both a whiskey and a Canadian beer:



The Baron said:

"Black Label" sounds like a brand of whiskey.

My gut feeling is that Miller won't give us the Goddam Superman, and he won't give us the Reaganite stooge from TDKR. I think he'll have a different approach with the character at the center of the story.

I think the squiggly thing above his head on the cover is his forehead curl, and you'll note the falling eyeglasses The image may be intended as a depiction of the first time he flew; as an expression of the idea that he passes as Clark Kent but is really Superman within; and/or as a depiction of the moment he found himself as Superman.

I like the concept that, since he was reared by the Kents, he personality is more Clark than Kal-El.

"‘Black Label’ sounds like a brand of whiskey.”

“Actually, it is both a whiskey and a Canadian beer.”

“It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!”

Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind seeing Frank Miller and Jim Lee get together and knock out those last few issues of The Goddam Batman (which I keep slotted together with DK2).

Yeah, I always felt that Superman was the mask. And one of the reasons so few tumbled to Clark being Superman -- glasses aside -- is that no one could imagine the most powerful man in the world allowing himself to be bullied every day. Or ever not being Superman at all.

Richard Willis said:

I like the concept that, since he was reared by the Kents, he personality is more Clark than Kal-El.

I remember drinking Black Label beer when I was in college. A floor wax may have been preferable.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"‘Black Label’ sounds like a brand of whiskey.”

“Actually, it is both a whiskey and a Canadian beer.”

The reverse position, however, was more accurate in the Golden Age and for most of the Silver Age. Originally, he leaves home and, once in Metropolis, assumes an entirely new Clark personality (people could disappear more easily in the 1930s). Jules Feiffer describes that take on Superman astutely in The Great Comic Book Heroes (later ripped off by Tarantino in Kill Bill II):

Previous heroes-- the Shadow, the Green Hornet, the Lone Ranger-- were not only more vulnerable; they were fakes. I don't mean to criticize; it's just a statement of fact. The Shadow had to cloud men's minds to be in business. The Green Hornet had to go through the fetishist fol-de-rol of donning costume, floppy hat, black mask, gas gun, menacing automobile, and insect sound effects before he was even ready to go out in the street. The Lone Ranger needed an accoutremental white horse, an Indian, and an establishing cry of Hi-Yo Silver to separate him from all those other masked men running around the West in days of yesteryear.

But Superman had only to wake up in the morning to be Superman. In his case, Clark Kent was the put-on. The fellow with the eyeglasses and the acne and the walk girls laughed at wasn't real, didn't exist, was a sacrificial disguise, an act of discreet martyrdom. Had they but known!...

... Kent existed not for the purpose of the story but for the reader. He is Superman's opinion of the rest of us, a pointed caricature of what we, the noncriminal element, were really like. His fake identity was our real one. That's why we loved him so. For if that wasn't really, us, if there were no Clark Kents, only lots of glasses and cheap suits which, when removed, revealed all of us in our true identities-- what a hell of an improved world it would have been! (18- 19)

It still resonates. The relationship between Clark and Kal, I think, is more complex than one being a mask and the other the truth.



Captain Comics said:

Yeah, I always felt that Superman was the mask. And one of the reasons so few tumbled to Clark being Superman -- glasses aside -- is that no one could imagine the most powerful man in the world allowing himself to be bullied every day. Or ever not being Superman at all.

Richard Willis said:

I like the concept that, since he was reared by the Kents, he personality is more Clark than Kal-El.

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