All Change at DC – 6 Titles Cancelled, 6 Titles Launched.

It seems like only a few weeks ago that DC relaunched their entire line of super hero comics and introduced us to the New 52. Today however the company announced that it was going to be shaking things up by cancelling 6 of its lower selling books and replacing them with brand new titles. These cancellations are not exactly big news as DC have been very open about how the New 52 is partly about throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. What is perhaps more surprising is that the company is allowing the doomed titles to run to 8 issues rather than cutting them off around issue 4 or 6 as seems to be the trend as of late. Obviously, if you’re a fan of one of the cancelled books then this is going to be cold comfort but in today’s ruthless publishing world, 8 issues is a pretty good run.

So who are the casualties? Men of War, Mister TerrificO.M.A.C.Hawk and DoveBlackhawks and Static Shock will all be closing up shop in a few months time. Not surprisingly they’re all minor character books whose sales have never really been able to keep pace with their bigger cousins. The cancellations will see the departure of several creators including recently returned 90s star, Rob Liefeld.  DC editor-in-chief Bob Harras however has promised that some of the characters will live on in other books, “These characters’ stories will continue. It’s all part of that world building we’re very keen on here.”

In the place of the now defunct titles, 6 new books will be making their debut. The biggest bit of news on that front is that Grant Morrison will return to the Bat universe with the relaunch of he and Chris Burnham’s Batman Incorporated series. The Justice Society will finally get their own New 52 book in the shape of James Robinson and Nicola Scott’s Earth 2 and there will be more golden age action in the form of World’s Finest, a book about Power Girl and Huntress.

On the more obscure end of the scale we have G.I. Combat which appears to be some kind of war story anthology (perhaps an odd choice given the cancellation of DC’s two existing war comics) and Dial H, the debut comic from novelist China Miéville, which promises to blend super heroics with horror and science fiction.

Finally we have The Ravagers by Howard Mackie & Ian Churchill. It’s being described as a spin off from Scott Lobdell’s Superboy and Teen Titans and is apparently about 4 teen super heroes on the run from a shady organisation.

So where does that leave you, dear Bunkerites? Have you lost any of your favourite titles? Are you excited about the new additions? My pull list has thankfully avoided the chop for now (I had been rather worried about Resurrection Man’s chances but the guy dies every issue has ironically survived this time). Let us know your thoughts.

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Dwayne McDuffie R.I.P.

It’s with something of a heavy heart that we have to report today that prolific comic book and animation creator Dwayne McDuffie has passed away. There are currently no details on the cause of death but they are believed to be linked to complications from recent surgery.

McDuffie is known in comics circles for founding Milestone Media, a company founded to promote African American creators and characters. During his time with Milestone he created many memorable characters, the most famous of which was Static, who went on to feature in several big DC series and the popular animated show, Static Shock!

For me and many others though, McDuffie will be remembered for his work on the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited tv shows. As story editor, he excelled at bringing minor characters to the forefront and creating a series that appealed to both hardcore comics fans and causal views all at once. The work that McDuffie did with black and female characters especially on that show contains a whole book of lessons that many in the comics industry could learn from. I was watching JLU while writing Moon and I feel that our own hero owes a lot to the characters and stories that McDuffie helped to shape. If our humble detective can be a fraction as compelling as McDuffie’s Hawkgirl or John Stewart then I will be a happy man.

In a sad twist, McDuffie passes away on the same day that his latest animated feature “All Star Superman” (a reworking of the Grant Morrison series) is released in the US. The show is already pulling in rave reviews and looks to be the man’s best work in an already distinguished career.

Rest in Peace Dwayne, you were one of the greats.

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All Star Superman - The Animated Movie