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Comics Relief: R.I.P. New 52 SUPERMAN

There’s lots of news in this weekend edition of Comics Relief, starting with confirmation of the untimely demise of the Man of Steel. Again. Read on for all the details…

R.I.P. New 52 Superman, We Hardly Knew Ye.

It was rumored, but now it’s official: The New 52 version of Superman is going to the great Fortress of Solitude in the sky. DC has announced The Final Days of Superman storyline, running through all the Superman titles in April and May, prior to the events of DC Rebirth. This will be coming to us from writer Peter J. Tomasi. Artists include Mikel Janin on Superman #51 and #52, Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza and Christian Alamy on Batman/Superman #31 and #32, Paul Pelletier on Action Comics #51 and 52, and Jorge Jimenez on Superman/Wonder Woman #28 and #29.

So how will Kal-El kick the bucket? According to the official press release, “The devastating effects of Apokolips’ fire pits in Justice League: Darkseid War, the A.R.G.U.S. Kryptonite chamber from “Savage Dawn” in Superman, and his battle with the would-be god Rao in Justice League of America all combine in a perfect storm of death for the Man of Steel. Determined to protect humanity, despite his impending death, Superman embarks on a quest to seek heroes from across the DC Universe to continue his role as humanity’s protector.”

The eight part storyline runs through all of April and May.

In Keeping with Tradition, Dark Knight III Super Delayed

So far, Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello’s third installment of the Dark Knight series, Dark Knight III: The Master Race, has met without any of the huge delays that plagued both the original series and it’s sequel, The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Well, that’s about to change, because the sixth issue of the eight issue series, which was scheduled for June, then been pushed back all the way to late August, has now been delayed indefinitely.

Mind you, issue #4 is also late, so who knows if we’ll see another issue arrive until fall at this point. Both the original Dark Knight Returns and its sequel were hit with lengthy delays back in the day, so this is just in keeping with tradition. You can see the cover for DKIII #6 below, which shows former Robin Carrie Kelly as the new Batgirl: [Bleeding Cool]

Rob Liefeld Chooses Sides in Civil War, Makes Best Captain America Tweet Ever

Say what you will about him, but ’90s supertar artist Rob Liefeld usually can take most potshots thrown at him with stride, and he totally knows how to poke fun at himself as well. Case in point: When asked which side of the upcoming cinematic Civil War conflict he was on — Team Captain America or Team Iron Man — Liefeld officially threw in with Team Cap, saying the following:

Oh, Rob. If you’re wondering just what he’s referring to, he’s talking about an infamous picture he drew of Cap back in the ’90s, for the Heroes Reborn series at Marvel. Let’s just say, Cap was never this well endowed, before or since. [Newsarama]

Civil War II Goes Full ’90s, Gets Metallic Covers

Speaking of ’90s throwbacks, Marvel Comics has announced plans for each issue of Civil War II to use a “power metallic gloss” for a series of variant covers, with each one scheduled to be illustrated by artist Marko Djurdjevic. The covers will be printed using metallic ink on a heavier paper stock, which the publisher says will add “a glossy shine and sleek finish.”

Marvel’s David Gabriel said, “Civil War II is poised to be the biggest comic book of 2016 and we wanted to give retailers covers that really popped off the shelves. Readers saw with the deluxe cover treatments on Secret Wars #1 and Invincible Iron Man #1, you can bet this cover will look like nothing else on the rack!”

Civil War II #1 is scheduled for release June 1. [Newsarama]

Viz Announces Blanc et Noir: Takeshi Obata Illustrations

Attention, manga fans: Viz Media has just announced a North American release for Blanc et Noir: Takeshi Obata Illustrations, a limited edition hardcover art book collecting the work of popular manga artist Takeshi Obata. The book will be limited to 10,000 copies, and is set to be released in a silver-stamped slipcase hardcover under Viz’s Art of Shonen Jump imprint.

Blanc et Noir was first piblished in Japan back in 2005, and the book contains illustrations from Obata’s hit manga series, Death Note and Hikaru no Go; rare illustrations from novels; and designs from video games. According to Viz, the book will contain “132 pages of full-color art, several massive foldout posters … and 12 pages of artist commentary, including a ‘how to draw’ section.”

Blanc et Noir: Takeshi Obata Illustrations goes on sale May 3, 2016, with a retail price of US $99.99. [Comics Alliance]

Brian Michael Bendis Kinda Sorta Makes New Jessica Jones Series Official

It wasn’t too long ago that rumors began to surface that newly minted Netflix TV star Jessica Jones would be returning to the pages of Marvel Comics. At the recent Emerald City Comic Con, creator Brian Michael Bendis confirmed he was working on her return in a new series, along with collaborators Michael Gaydos and David Mack.

He said, “I genuinely think you’ll be surprised by what we do in the first issue. I pitched it actually to Melissa Rosenberg, who runs the TV show, at WonderCon and she said, ‘Really?’ But wait for the official announcement, because this is not it.”

So…it’s officially coming, but also not officially. Got it, Bendis.  [CBR]

Batman ’66 teams up with the Avengers. Kinda.

Okay…so it’s not those Avengers. It’s the 1960s British TV Avengers, also known as Steed and Mrs. Peel. Now the two ’60 icons are meeting up in a new digital first series. This series will be collaboration between BOOM! Studios, who own the license to Steed and Mrs. Peel, and DC. The project is being written by Ian Hedginton, with art from Michael Dow Smith, and covers from the legendary Michael Allred. The series debuts June 8th, and has a 12-issue bi-weekly shipping schedule. [CBR]

Images: DC Comics/Marvel Comics/Viz Media/BOOM! Studios

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