With the first couple of rounds of announcements of series relaunches from DC Comics, it has been, how shall we say, safe. While there are changes to be sure, they’re working in the realm of the usual in a lot of ways and only things that the die-hards are catching real attention. That looks to be getting shaken up a bit with this new first blush look from Entertainment Weekly where we get an idea of what the supernatural side of DC Comics is going to look like. And these are likely to all be very below the radar books overall, but the ones that need the support and are filled with the real change a lot of people crave.
• Justice League Dark, what DC terms “a band of supernatural heroes” — John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu (wouldn’t it be cool if they really were supposed to be a band?) – written by Peter Milligan.
• Demon Knights, super-heroism set in medieval times, a premise that would have me yawning except that it’s being written by Paul Cornell, who did such a terrific job recently on Knight and Squire, and on Lex Luthor in Action Comics.
• Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, which may be the most below-the-radar promising of all. The writer is again Jeff Lemire, taking the Frankenstein monster and turning him/it into an action hero alongside other fictional monsters in the service of a government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive. This giddy mish-mash has the potential for either delicious cleverness or disastrous offal. Either way, I’m in for issue #1.
The one that’s going to draw the most attention from the mainstream fans will be the revitalization of Swamp Thing as Jeff Lemire takes over that in addition to Animal Man. With the nature of both books being so similar in a lot of ways, it makes sense and these could and should be the defining books of this corner of the new DC Universe.
Still, a Justice League team that contains Constantine. It’s going to take some time to wrap our heads around that one. So far though, these are the books that I think those wanting change are going to need to be excited about and really take a look at.