Welcome to The Spinner Rack, your one-stop shop for the biggest comic book news on Place To Be Nation! Each week Russell rounds up the major stories from the comic book world and delivers it to you with context and analysis. You’ll get the latest from Marvel, DC, Image and others along with comic book movie and TV show updates and rumor breakdowns. Time to take the spin!
Green Lantern’s 75th Anniversary comes with variant covers
DC Comics announced this week that it will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Green Lantern in September with a series of variant covers. They will be:
- “Action Comics” #44 illustrated by Neil Edwards & Jay Leisten
- “Aquaman” #44 illustrated by Francis Manapul
- “Batman” #44 illustrated by Tony Daniel
- “Batman Beyond” #4 illustrated by Craig Rousseau
- “Batman/Superman” #24 illustrated by Dave Bullock
- “Black Canary” #4 illustrated by Evan Shaner
- “Catwoman” #44 illustrated by Emanuella Luppacino
- “Cyborg” #3 illustrated by Kenneth Roccafort
- “Deathstroke” #10 illustrated by Dave Johnson
- “Detective Comics” #44 illustrated by Cliff Chiang
- “The Flash” #44 illustrated by Wes Craig
- “Grayson” #12 illustrated by Andrew Robinson
- “Green Arrow” #44 illustrated by Neal Adams
- “Green Lantern” #44 illustrated by Howard Chaykin
- “Harley Quinn” #20 illustrated by Dan Panosian
- “Justice League” #44 illustrated by Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
- “JLA” #4 illustrated by Alex Garner
- “Robin: Son of Batman” #4 illustrated by Howard Porter
- “Sinestro” #15 illustrated by Ryan Sook
- “Starfire” #4 illustrated by Lee Garbett
- “New Suicide Squad” #12 illustrated by Ryan Benjamin
- “Superman” #44 illustrated by Kevin Nowlan
- “Superman/Wonder Woman” #21 illustrated by Joe Quinones
- “Teen Titans” #12 illustrated by Mike McKone
- “Wonder Woman” #44 illustrated by Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson
Long-time fans will note that Hal Jordan, who appears on far more of these covers, is hardly 75 years old. The Green Lantern name (which began 75 years ago with Alan Scott) is what’s being celebrated, however. Fans should also pay particularly close attention to Wes Craig’s The Flash #44 cover. There’s a little cameo some eagle-eyed Marvel fans might be able to catch.
College student discovers there are comics for adults, wants them banned
College student Tara Shultz and her parents really don’t want anyone reading comics that include controversial material. At least, that’s how it appears now that they are petitioning the 20-year-old is attending to ban several comics listed as required reading.
Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California offers a course, English 250, which is described in official college materials as “the study of the graphic novel as a viable medium of literature through readings, in-class discussion and analytical assignment.” The required reading in this course includes Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, the first volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man, and Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg & Co.’s The Sandman: The Doll’s House.
“I didn’t expect to open the book and see that graphic material within,” she told the Redlands Daily Facts. “I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography.”
Gee, who would have thought there were comics that included nudity and violence? Just unheard of and crazy… And, of course, the rational response is to keep these things from anyone. Hopefully Crafton Hills College recognizes how dangerous a precedent banning the materials would set and that this is only a step or so shy of organized book burning. And that is unacceptable.
Common sense prevailed, in this case, though. The college denied her request to remove the books and the class will continue on as usual.
Batman Day is coming back this September
Mark your calendars now, September 26 is Batman Day at your local comic shop! Last year’s Batman Day was a big success for DC, so why not do it again this year? Looks like it may become an annual thing. Look for some special freebies at your local shop that day to celebrate everyone’s favorite Caped Crusader.
Captain America: White is finally happening…hopefully
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are supposedly finally giving us their long-awaited Captain America: White this fall. Back in 2008 the book was solicited and a #0 issue was released, but it was shelved shortly after and up to now has remained one of those thought lost to the void.
Now, we have an official solicit for, not one, but TWO issues of the series this September. Issue #1 will also include a reprint of the 2008 #0. The duo are famous for their work at both DC and Marvel, with stories including Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray and Batman: The Long Halloween.
Jeff Lemire launches new superhero series at Image in September
In this week’s Image Comics September solicits, Plutona is officially on the schedule for release September 2. Jeff Lemire (Green Arrow, Hawkeye, Sweet Tooth) teams with newcomer artist Emi Lenox for what’s called “A brand-new heartfelt super-hero series.”
Lemire has proven to be a force in creating great comics. Just look at his current sci-fi series Descender at Image. Seriously, everyone should be buying that book.
The Flash adds new characters, including another superhero?
The CW is looking for a “square-jawed, mid-30s to 40s” male character to play a character named “John Clark” on the show’s upcoming second season. Speculation has already started that John Clark is a place-holder name for a more well-known character (possibly Earth 2’s Jay Garrick?). No word on that so far, but the name John Clark is a call-back to a longtime letterer for DC Comics, who worked on such titles as Infinity Inc. and All-Star Squadron.
The other character being casted is “Wendy” who is described as a new love interest for Barry Allen/The Flash. She’s written as a “spunky, fun, and funny” officer for the Central City Police Department. Looks like Flash may be getting his own version of Felicity Smoak.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles concludes with final two chapters
Only about a month away from the Justice League: Gods and Monsters film releasing on Blu Ray/DVD. The Superman chapter here bares a strong resemblance to a powerful scene from the Justice League Unlimited episode Epilogue when Batman sits with Ace…until the end.
Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ gets the greenlight
American Gods is headed to Starz, officially now. The popular novel from Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Stardust) was previously in development with HBO, but that fell through. Now things are moving forward at Starz and it looks like it’s on the fast track to happening soon. Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (The River, Heroes) will write the series and serve as showrunners. Gaiman is on board as executive producer.
“I am thrilled, scared, delighted, nervous and a ball of glorious anticipation,” Gaiman said. “The team that is going to bring the world of ‘American Gods’ to the screen has been assembled like the master criminals in a caper movie: I’m relieved and confident that my baby is in good hands. Now we finally move to the exciting business that fans have been doing for the last dozen years: casting our Shadow, our Wednesday, our Laura …”
According to Fuller, the series could debut as early as Fall 2016.
Sandman movie moving forward, but presents challenges
This week we got an update on the highly anticipated Sandman film from producer (and maybe star) Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
“We’re working on it. Sandman is… I love it too, but it’s not an obvious adaptation. They’ve been trying. There’s been drafts of Sandman scripts. I was talking to Neil Gaiman about this and he said, ‘I’ve read so many Sandman scripts!’ For decades! For the last 20 years, there’s been different tries and the reason is Sandman is a series of comics,” Levitt said. “Each issue is 24 pages and it’s written that way. As a serial, kind of more episodic thing. If you examine it from the broad strokes, there is sort of a beginning, middle and end, but it was written in such this episodic way. It’s not like adapting a graphic novel. Like Watchmen is a book. This isn’t that, so it really takes quite a bit of creativity and ingenuity to figure out, okay, how can we take all these kind of disparate episodes and make them congeal into a movie – a feature film that’s got a beginning, middle and end.”
JGL also said this will be a comic adaptation unlike anything that’s been tried so far. It will be one that’s exciting and edge-of-your-seat, but without any punches being thrown. Much like the comic it’s based on.
Big casting news for Doctor Strange
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity, 12 Years a Slave) will star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch as villain Baron Mordo. Deadline reported this version of Mordo will be “an amalgamation of characters culled from Doctor Strange‘s mythology.” That’s not unheard of in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just look at Iron Man 2’s Whiplash.
Once again, strong casting decision from Marvel Studios and it’s looking like Doctor Strange is stacking the deck.
Matthew Vaughn working on Kingsman sequel now
After a $400 million take for the first film, based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbon’s graphic novel, Fox greenlit a sequel quickly. Now, director Matthew Vaughn confirms he’s working on it in an interview with Yahoo Movies.
“Well, the good news is that I’m writing it next door at the moment. If I think I can get the script good enough, then we are making it,” Vaughn said.
Gambit movie lands Apes director
Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) has been tapped to direct the Gambit solo film starring Channing Tatum as the popular Cajun mutant. While the character previously appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine played by Taylor Kitsch, that version of the character (along with pretty much everything else about that movie) has been undone/ignored by the crop of X-Men movies that followed. Good.
Tatum is producing the film along with Reid Carolin, Lauren Schuler Donner, and Simon Kinberg. It’s scheduled for release on Oct. 7, 2016.
Fans, blogs turn everything into a competition, Marvel responds with humor
Marvel Studios super producer Kevin Feige tweeted this pic in response to Jurassic World’s surpassing the previous opening weekend record set by The Avengers.
The point: they’re not worried about another studio having success. Just like any other studio shouldn’t be worried about Marvel’s success. As long as the studios are turning out movies people want to see, that’s all that matters. There’s plenty of room at the box office for superheroes and dinosaurs.