Author Archive for Jon Arvedon

Batman Explains Why ‘Lark’ Was the Wrong Superhero Name for Duke Thomas

Batman Explains Why ‘Lark’ Was the Wrong Superhero Name for Duke Thomas

After becoming a more prominent member of the Bat-family in the post-Rebirth DC Universe, Duke Thomas was given new responsibilities, a new costume, but oddly enough, no superhero codename – that would come later, courtesy of The Joker, who dubbed Duke “The Signal” in July’s Dark Nights: Metal prelude Dark Days: The Casting. However, in Batman and the Signal #1, the Caped Crusader provides us with a relatively simple explanation for why his protégé’s seldom-used alias from the New 52, Lark, doesn’t suit him.

RELATED: Batman & The Signal: Duke Thomas Gets New Costume, Miniseries

“I’ve seen your notes, Duke,” Batman says while giving Duke a tour of his new headquarters. “Lark? Too soft. And no bats come out by day.”

Though he’s currently unknown to fans outside the realm of comics, Duke played a big role in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “Zero Year” arc on Batman, before going on to factor in the series’ “Endgame” arc, the series We Are Robin, and most recently, the latest volume of Batman and the recently concluded All-Star Batman that launched as part of DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative.

RELATED: “Batman: Rebirth” #1 Gives Duke Thomas a New Role, Revamps Classic Foe

Batman and the Signal #1, written by Tony Patrick and Scott Snyder with art by Cully Hamner, is on sale now.

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Brian Michael Bendis is Now Officially a DC Comics Writer

Brian Michael Bendis is Now Officially a DC Comics Writer

In November, shockwaves were sent across the comic book industry when it was announced that veteran Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis had signed an exclusive, “multifaceted, multilayered” deal with DC Comics. However, while a scary bout with MRSA means that he’s still wrapping up his Marvel work, Bendis took to social media to reveal that the newest chapter of his career has officially begun.

RELATED: Bendis Shares First Comments on DC Comics Deal

“Agent Bendis, reporting for duty,” Bendis tweeted to announce the commencement of his DC contract. Noting his remaining obligations to Marvel, Bendis thanked readers for their support, while also posting some appropriately branded art of himself, drawn by Michael Oeming.

DC followed suit shortly after, taking to Twitter to officially welcome Bendis to his new home by posting of GIF of him in front of the DC logo. However, with Bendis still recovering from his recent illness, this GIF might be from an earlier meeting.

RELATED: Jessica Jones: Marvel Releases Details for Bendis’ Final Issue

Apart from Invincible Iron Man #600, which will be his final Marvel issue, Bendis will also have to close out stories with Miles Morales, including both the Spider-Man series and the aftermath of his dealings with Peter Parker in Spider-Men II. He’ll also wrap up his runs on both The Defenders and Jessica Jones, the latter of which already has a female writer lined up for when Bendis departs with the March-scheduled issue #18.

Bendis has written for Marvel for more than 17 years, with the debut of Ultimate Spider-Man in 2000. Invincible Iron Man #598 is scheduled for release in March, meaning issue #600 is likely for release in May 2018.

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Colleen Doran Opens Up About Her Own Sexual Assault Experiences

Colleen Doran Opens Up About Her Own Sexual Assault Experiences

In the wake of numerous accounts of sexual misconduct by Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein surfacing over the past several months, countless others — both women and men — have been inspired to finally open up about their own painful experiences. However, many victims, such as Eisner-winning artist Colleen Doran (SandmanA Distant SoilThe Amazing Spider-Man), were forced to deal with sexual abuse at the earliest and most vulnerable stages of their careers and then pressured to remain silent — in some cases by signing nondisclosure agreements — lest they jeopardize their future. Nevertheless, many of these women’s stories share striking similarities, and according to Doran, her experiences while breaking into the comic book industry are very much akin to what actress Salma Hayek went through with Weinstein on the set of her 2002 breakthrough film Frida.

RELATED: Colleen Doran Shares Lost X-Men Art Featuring Multiple Man

On Twitter, Doran posted a link to a recent New York Times editorial in which Hayek shined the spotlight on Weinstein’s perpetual unwanted advances, his insistence on upping Frida‘s sex appeal (including adding a nude sex scene between her and another woman), and even a threat he once made against her life. Citing an NDA she signed, Doran noted that while she’s unable to speak directly about her own experiences, they were largely the same, if not worse, than what Hayek had gone through.

In her thread, Doran continues to share as much as she is legally able to about what she went through at the start of her career, adding that she was hardly the only woman to be “abused, humiliated, [and] silenced” by the man in question. She also notes the painful and legally dubious practice of forcing women into signing NDAs, pointing out that they ultimately serve to protect the people who commit these egregious, predatory acts. As Doran points out, while these NDAs may not always provide legal protection against future criminal charges, they do place a financial burden on the accuser in the form of potential legal fees that could conceivably bankrupt the victim.

RELATED: Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran Reunite For Webcomic ‘Finality’

Unfortunately, Doran’s experience is just one of many that’s come to light in recent months. However, because of the bravery and courage of those who’ve started speaking up, many of the offending parties, including Supergirl and Flash showrunner Andrew Kreisberg and DC Comics editor Eddie Berganza, are finally starting to face the consequences of their actions. To some, this may seem like a mere drop in the bucket, but nonetheless, it’s a crucial step on the path to ending the systemic pattern of abuse by those in positions of power.

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Doomsday Clock: Gary Frank Teases Some Unexpected Character Additions

Doomsday Clock: Gary Frank Teases Some Unexpected Character Additions

Issue #1 of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s epic DC Universe/Watchmen-centric miniseries Doomsday Clock saw the return of some familiar faces, such as Ozymandias and Rorschach (albeit a different face underneath the latter’s iconic mask). However, it seems that Johns and Frank plan to reach far deeper into the depths of the DCU as the event continues to unfold, as evidenced by Frank teasing an appearance from Sgt. Rock.

RELATED: Does Doomsday Clock Tease One of DC’s Three Jokers?

Frank tweeted out a cropped portion of a panel that shows the unmistakable face of Sgt. Rock, along with what appears to be either Sunny or Ice Cream Soldier — both of whom fought alongside Rock as members of Easy Company. Frank’s post is deliberately vague regarding when the duo will show up or if they’ll be accompanied by other members of Easy Company, but nevertheless, it seems all but certain that we’ll see them used in some capacity before Doomsday Clock comes to a close.

Sgt. Franklin “Frank” John Rock debuted in Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert’s Our Army at War #83 in June 1959. Years later, the character — a World War II veteran — assumed the lead of his own series, Sgt. Rock. He served as an infantry non-commissioned officer and saw battle in North Africa, Italy, and Northwest Europe.

RELATED: Doomsday Clock Might Tie In To Grant Morrison’s Multiversity

Most recently, Sgt. Rock appeared in one of the many anthology-style stories from this month’s DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1. Written by Tom King with art by Francesco Francavilla, the story is described by DC as “Sgt. Rock [fighting] the Nazis on Hanukkah.”

Doomsday Clock #1, written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank, is on sale now. Doomsday Clock #2 goes on sale December 27.

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Sana Amanat Defends Marvel’s New Editor-in-Chief, C.B. Cebulski

Sana Amanat Defends Marvel’s New Editor-in-Chief, C.B. Cebulski

Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski came under fire yesterday after admitting to using the pseudonym “Akira Yoshida” to write multiple comic books in the mid-2000s. While many fans and industry pros reacted negatively to the revelation, others come have come to his defense. Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan co-creator Sana Amanat is the latest to go on the record to defend Cebulski’s actions, despite the widespread criticism of a Caucasian writer using a Japanese name to write manga-influenced comics.

RELATED: The Strange Tale of CB Cebulski’s Time as Akira Yoshida

“This is a world he understood,” Amanat told Channel NewsAsia. “He’s one of my favourite people (and) I think many people who know CB will know that he is one of the most globally minded, and very culturally sensitive as well. That man has lived in Japan, speaks Japanese, and has lived all over the world. He very much associates with Japanese culture. And I think that him writing, for whatever time it was, was him trying to be a writer more than anything else.

“I think we have to be very sensitive about cultural appropriation and whitewashing,” Amanat continued. “But I do think, fundamentally, that if there’s an opportunity to create more awareness about a particular type of character, whether it’s an Asian character or a black character, that should be our primary goal – telling as authentic, as honest, as fun, as real a story as possible about that character. Because that’s what’s really going to build more awareness about a particular cultural group. Of course we want cultural authenticity and make sure we’re casting those people behind the scenes, but the primary goal is getting those kinds of characters out there.”

Amanat went on to reference longtime Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis, who co-created the African-American/Latino Miles Morales Spider-Man.

“[Bendis] is as white as they come (but) he happens to have a daughter who’s African American,” she said. “So it meant something to him. We have to stop dismissing people when they want to be able to promote that. Because then we’re actually going to create a deepening dividing line between cultures in a way that is antagonistic. We have to start communicating and not being so angry.”

RELATED: The Strange Tale of CB Cebulski’s Time as Akira Yoshida

Cebulski was announced as Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief on Nov. 17, succeeding Axel Alonso who had held the position since 2011. This prompted Image Comics Brand Manager David Brothers to tweet that comics journalists should ask why Cebulski used the Yoshida pen name to “write a bunch of ‘Japanese-y’ books” for Marvel.

Suspicions that Yoshida was an alias can be traced back to at least 2005, as CBR’s Brian Cronin tackled the subject for an edition of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed. At the time, it was deemed false, due to veteran comics editor Mike Marts’ account that he had met Yoshida. However, it’s now been claimed that this was actually a Japanese translator visiting the Marvel office who was mistakenly identified as Yoshida.

Along with his writing credits, Cebulski has held a number of staff positions at Marvel in his more than 15 years at the company, including Vice President of International Business Development & Brand Management. This is his first week as Editor-in-Chief.

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Doomsday Clock: Gary Frank Shares Rorschach’s Mugshot

Doomsday Clock: Gary Frank Shares Rorschach’s Mugshot

In the latest tease for DC Comics’ upcoming Watchmen-linked story Doomsday Clock, artist Gary Frank revealed an illustration of the fedora-wearing vigilante Rorschach that will look eerily familiar to fans of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal 1986 miniseries.

RELATED: Final Doomsday Clock #5 Cover to Makeup for Lack of Joker In Your Life

The image depicts the mugshots of a beaten and bruised Walter Kovacs, aka Rorschach. It’s a clear homage to Gibbons, who drew this same mugshot, complete with the “62186” letterboard, paper-clipped to Rorschach’s police records after he was apprehended by New York City police.

Rorschach is poised to play a major role in the upcoming event, with Batman seemingly obtaining the vigilante’s journal from Watchmen. Before his death in that series at the hands of Doctor Manhattan, Rorschach sent his journal to The New Frontiersman, detailing his suspicions about Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias, who was revealed as the villainous mastermind who wanted to fix humanity by destroying a major portion of its population.

RELATED: Geoff Johns Keeps Doomsday Clock Notes in a Replica Rorschach Journal

Doomsday Clock writer Geoff Johns has confirmed that the sociopolitical unrest and violent protests seen in the crossover’s preview pages are due to the world learning about Ozymandias’ deceitful actions. While it remains to be seen whether the journal played a part in the truth coming out, its use in the marketing for Doomsday Clock suggests that’s indeed the case. Of course, that doesn’t answer the question of what’s going on with Rorschach, who appears to be alive and well despite having been disintegrated.

Featuring characters like Superman, Batman and Lex Luthor, Doomsday Clock debuts Nov. 22, although fans willing to stay up late can purchase it from participating stores at 11:57 p.m. on Nov. 21.

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Superman: Year One: John Romita Jr. Reveals New Details

Superman: Year One: John Romita Jr. Reveals New Details

Frank Miller announced at Comic-Con International that he plans to rework the Man of Steel’s origin in a manner similar to what he did 30 years ago with the Dark Knight in Batman: Year One. Over the weekend at Boston Comic Con, his artistic collaborator John Romita Jr. revealed new details about the upcoming graphic novel, hinting at the plot and page length, and likening it his and Miller’s 1993 Daredevil tale.

RELATED: What Was the Only Thing Keeping Superman From Marrying Supergirl?

“I’ve seen the reactions online about, ‘Oh, my God, here we go, another Superman origin,’ and it’s not really the origin retelling,” Romita said Friday following DC Comics’ Metal panel. “It’s after the origin, it’s after he lands, what happens between the time he lands and the time he realizes what he is. And this slight slant on the development of Superman is that he’s really unconscious that he’s an alien ’til his parents tell him that he’s an alien. In the meantime, he just thinks he’s special. And he doesn’t appear in costume until the very end. It’s similar to the Daredevil: Man Without Fear back in the ’90s, and it’s the period of time up until he puts the costume on for the first time.

“And Frank has this twisted imagination about what should happen, and we talked about it, and [Frank’s] eyes glow,” he continued. “He said he’s wanted to do this as long as he can remember, since, when did Batman: Year One come out? Was that 30 years ago? He said he always wanted to complete the cycle and do a Superman: Year One. Well, he finally got the chance to do it, and of course it’s a hundred pages and there’s a million people in it.”

RELATED: Chris Kent’s Rebirth Return Will Be Big For Superman

Romita later elaborated on the planned page count, saying that when it comes to working with Miller, there’s likely going to be room for interpretation.

“It’s gonna be a hundred pages. I don’t know if it’s gonna be 92, or 100, I don’t know,” he said. “But knowing Frank, it could be 200 pages. I look forward to that more than anything, and I’m hoping it can turn out as good as I can see it in my head.”

Superman: Year One by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. has yet to receive an official release date from DC Comics.

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Batman: The Enemy Within Launch Trailer Calls in Amanda Waller

Batman: The Enemy Within Launch Trailer Calls in Amanda Waller

Just ahead of Comic-Con International in San Diego, it was announced that a brand new season of Telltale’s Batman series, titled Batman: The Enemy Within, would be arriving in August. Now, with less than a week until the release of the latest video game take on the Caped Crusader, PlayStation has debuted the official launch trailer for the game, hinting at the sadistic schemes of The Riddler, the potential transformation of John Doe into The Joker, and the Dark Knight’s uneasy alliance with Amanda Waller.

RELATED: Is Alfred the True Villain of Batman: The Telltale Series?

The trailer begins with Batman interrogating a frightened thug before quickly redirecting focus onto The Riddler, whose portrayal in the game will seemingly transcend the often eccentric version of the character from the source material, instead depicting him as someone akin to Jigsaw from the Saw horror franchise.

“This time around, Batman will face off with a decidedly more vicious take on Riddler than we’ve seen in any other Batman canon,” Lead Writer on Episode 1 of The Enemy Within James Windeler stated in a blog post for PlayStation. “He has far less time for goofing around and much more of a penchant for pain. Beyond Riddler, there’s another major impending threat in play this season, something that we seeded in Batman: The Telltale Series with a character by the name of ‘John Doe.’ Internally, we refer to John as our ‘Proto-Joker’ — a man on the brink of madness who helped Bruce escape Arkham Asylum, only to come back this season with reason to believe that his ‘friend’ Bruce not only likes him but also owes him a favor.”

RELATED: Telltale’s Batman and Guardians Games Listed For Nintendo Switch

Speaking of John Doe, Windeler also noted that the character’s eventual descent from mental patient to Clown Prince of Crime will largely hang on the choices players make throughout the game, which could perhaps set the stage for The Joker to become the primary antagonist if/when Season 3 rolls around.

“We want fans to know that their relationship with John Doe (and eventually, the Joker) is something they’ll be affecting with the decisions they make throughout the season,” said Windeler. “As Batman and Bruce attempt to stop the immediate threat to Gotham, John will be watching your every move and learning from your choices. By the end of the story, you will have created your own version of Batman’s classic nemesis through your interactions.”

Episode 1 of Batman: The Enemy Within, titled The Enigma, is available for download on August 8, with the full season pass disc set to hit stores this October.

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SDCC: DC’s Dark Matter Characters Stand With Classic Heroes in New Image

SDCC: DC’s Dark Matter Characters Stand With Classic Heroes in New Image

Comic-Con International is in full swing in San Diego, where Batman writer Tom King revealed a sneak peek at a large-scale poster that gives fans a taste of what to expect from DC Comics’ Dark Matter line.

RELATED: DC’s Dark Matter Artists Tease Series Concepts, Characters

Longtime readers are certain to recognize many of the faces, which include Plastic Man, Mister Terrific, Metamorpho and the Challengers of the Unknown, alongside such new characters as Sideways, Damage, The Silencer and the Immortal Men.

Kicking off with Dark Nights: Metal, DC’s Dark Matter line will consist of five additional titles: The Silencer by Dan Abnett and John Romita Jr.; Sideways by Dan DiDio, Justin Jordan and Kenneth Rocafort; Immortal Men by James Tynion IV and Jim Lee; Damage by Robert Venditti and Tony S. Daniel; and New Challengers by Scott Snyder and Andy Kubert.

RELATED: DiDio Says Dark Matter Is The First Step In Diversifying The DCU

“What excites me most is that this series of books takes full advantage of the talent and vision of the creative team,” DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said back in April. “Comics are a visual medium and with these titles, the artists are working hand in hand with the writers in shaping the look and direction of their characters. In reaffirming the craft of making comics, we’ve brought together a master class of talent, led by Greg Capullo, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and John Romita Jr., to help set the style, tone and visual direction for these books. With these four industry giants taking the lead, I feel we can bring the power and energy expected from superhero storytelling back to the page.”

“Dark Matter is a return to bringing both the writer and artist to the fore to unlock their full potential,” said Co-Publisher and Immortal Men artist Jim Lee. “At the talent summit we discussed what was missing in comics and how we could create something that’s new for this generation of fans. The result was ‘Dark Matter.’ You’ll see bombastic action scenes and a visual narrative driven by the artist. This approach has energized the creators involved, myself included, and we’re going to have a lot of fun with these books.”

DC’s Dark Matter line officially kicks off with Dark Nights: Metal #1, which hits stands Aug. 16. Expect more information to revealed this weekend at Comic-Con International.

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Marvel Pays Tribute to George A. Romero

Marvel Pays Tribute to George A. Romero

Marvel Comics has paid tribute to George A. Romero, who passed away earlier this week at age 77, honoring the legendary writer and director “the leading creator of an entire pop culture movement.”

RELATED: George A. Romero’s ‘Empire of the Dead’ Comic Series Shambles Over to Television

Romero is credited with creating the modern zombie subgenre with Night of the Living Dead, the 1968 horror film produced for just $114,000. He followed that influential work with subsequent series installments Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead.

In its tribute, Marvel recalled its collaboration with Romero on 2014’s Empire of the Dead, a 15-issue trilogy series based on one of his screenplays, which sought to answer the question of whether humans and a more intelligent class of zombies could co-exist in a post-apocalyptic New York City.

RELATED: Romero’s Son Turns to Crowdfunding For ‘Night of the Living Dead’ Prequel

“In creating the Zombie Apocalypse, George A. Romero provided the ultimate metaphor for mankind’s inevitable fate and the perfect creative Petri dish to examine the depths of human nature,” said Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, who worked closely with Romero on the project. “It was an honor to help him tell a chapter of his saga.”

Marvel isn’t the only outlet to publicly pay their respects to the late writer/director. Soon after the news of Romero’s passing hit the web, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman remarked that, “Without George A. Romero, there is no Walking Dead. His inspiration cannot be overstated. He started it all, so many others followed.”

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