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Comics Relief: DC Comics Canceling 9 Titles This December

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Comics Relief, where today we’ve got news on Dynamite Entertainment using an old, hated name for what looks like a cool new comic, plus news on Marvel’s merry mutants going back on the endangered species list. First off, we’ve got some news on DC Comics first culling of their new “DCYou” titles, after launching several of them only a couple of months ago. Read on for all the details…

DC Cancels 9 Titles In a “Back To Basics” Approach this December

The solicitations for December’s batch of DC Comics titles hit this week, and with them came news that the publisher is cancelling nine books, confirming rumors that they are taking a “back to basics” approach to their line of titles. And by back to basics, I mean sticking to the franchises that make them money: Batman, Superman, and Justice League, and not trying any new concepts that might be more of an uphill battle sales-wise. Most of these comics launched in June with DC’s “DCYou” initiative.

So come December, Lobo, The Omega Men, Doomed, Gotham By Midnight, Green Lantern: The Lost Army, Bat-Mite, Bizarro, and the digital-first series Batman ’66 and Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman will come to a premature end. The last among those is a particularly big blow to hardcore Wonder Woman fans, because that book was the only place to find the classic iteration of the character in print. What DC will replace these books with, if anything, remains a mystery. [IGN]

Marvel’s Mutants an endangered species…again? Already?

Ten years ago, in the House of M event series from Marvel, Avenger the Scarlet Witch used her reality altering powers to change the world. With the simple words “No More Mutants” she reduced the mutant population 99%, leaving just 198 mutants left, making them an endangered species. This storyline lasted until 2012, when The Phoenix Force reignited the mutant gene all over the world, finally returning the mutant race to the Marvel Universe during the events of Avengers Vs. X-Men.

Well, it looks like the latest return of the mutants isn’t lasting too long either, as preview pages of next month’s Extraodinary X-Men show the Terrigen Mists, which are what actually transforms humans with the right latent genes into superpowered Inhumans, as being lethal to most mutants. Those it doesn’t kill, it renders infertile, meaning no baby mutants (although, don’t normal humans have baby mutants??).

The art previewed also infers a kind of mutant disease that spreads to humans as a result of the mists. This feels like another effort to raise up the importance of the Inhumans in the Marvel Universe, and downplay the mutants (who Fox owns the movie rights for). There were rumors that the remaining mutant population was going to be shipped off to their own planet, away from characters who are part of the mainstream Marvel Universe. Could it be true? Who knows, but it’s starting to at least look possible. You can check out the preview image from Extraordinary X-Men #1 below: [Newsarama]

Drawn and Quarterly Goes Digital

One of the very last digital holdouts among major comics publishers was Drawn and Quarterly, but this week they have finally joined the 21st Century with a full range of comics available both via Comixology and in the Kindle store. Among the comics you can download are Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons; Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City; Rutu Modan’s Exit Wounds and as several more critically acclaimed graphic novels.

Publisher Peggy Burns said in a statement, “It is fitting that on our 25th anniversary, D+Q moves forward with our list digitally with comiXology and the Kindle Store. ComiXology won us over with their understanding of not just the comics industry, but the medium itself. Their team understands just how carefully we consider the life of our books. They made us feel perfectly at ease and we look forward to a long relationship.” For a list of what titles from D&Q will be available, click on the following link: [Comics Beat]

Dynamite Entertainment Returns to the Era of Seduction of the Innocent

As many fans of comic book history out there know, Seduction of the Innocent was a book published in 1954 by “pop psychologist” Dr. Fredric Wertham, that claimed that the comics of the day, mostly crime and horror comics and some superhero books, were the cause of juvenile delinquency in America. He basically thought American kids would be good little cookie cutter children if only all comics would just go away. And thanks to Senate hearing on the subject, and mass hysteria from parents, they almost did go away for good.

Now some sixty years later, publisher Dynamite Entertainment has announced a new series from Ande Parks and Esteve Polls named after that infamous book, Seduction of the Innocent. The new Seduction of the Innocent is getting released this December, with the story described as “a gritty and depraved crime fiction in the tradition of James Elroy and EC-era crime and horror comics.” In fact, the cover of the first issue, which features a man holding an axe and a severed head, is an homage of sorts to the cover of EC Comics’ Crime Suspense Stories that publisher William Gaines had to testify in front of the senate to defend. It was even used as an example of everything wrong with comics. You can see the cover for the first issue below: [Bleeding Cool]

Dragon Con Cosplayers and artist George Perez commemorate Crisis On Infinite Earths for its 30th Anniversary

This year marks the 30th anniversary of DC’s seminal crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 12 issue maxi-series that changed the DC Universe forever, and was among the first of its kind, along with Marvel’s Secret Wars the year before. Written by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, the series featured basically every single DC Universe hero and villain in a fight for all reality.

Earlier this month at Atlanta’s Dragon Con, cosplayers celebrated the 30th anniversary of Crisis by dressing as characters from crossover event, including major players in the story like Psycho Pirate, Harbinger, Pariah, and the main villain, the Anti-Monitor. Other nice touches were characters in their period-specific costumes like “disco” Nightwing and “Flashdance” Supergirl. But the best part is that original series artist George Perez was on hand for the shooting of the video. You can watch all the fun and silliness in the video below: [Comic Book]

Mark Ruffalo tweets support for Totally Awesome Hulk series

As we’ve mentioned in previous columns, the new Totally Awesome Hulk is going to be none other than Korean-American genius Amadeus Cho, another win for diversity from the folks at Marvel. Some fans aren’t happy about it, but they can shut up now, as the Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo, tweeted his support for the new Hulk, saying “Awesome indeed!” So take that, haters. [Newsarama]


Cartoonist Fred Hembeck Returns to Marvel for variant cover series this December

Back in the 1970s and ’80s, cartoonist Fred Hembeck would lampoon the characters of both the Marvel and DC Universes in the pages of the letter columns from comic book series from both publishers, becoming a mainstay of both universes in a weird, off-kilter way. Now Marvel is paying homage to the cartoonist by having Hembeck do a series of variant covers for their books in December, ten books in all, including All-New Hawkeye #2, Astonishing Ant-Man #3, Guardians of the Galaxy #3, Silk #1, Ms. Marvel #2, Daredevil #2, Secret Wars #9, Howard the Duck #2, All-New All-Different Avengers #3, and Ultimates #2. You can check out the covers in our gallery below:   []


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