Welcome to the Wednesday (a.k.a the “New Comics Day”) edition of Comics Relief, where we commemorate the anniversary of the X-Men’s greatest loss, talk about the latest team up between Marvel and Stephen King, all while DC finally addresses those rumors about two of their most popular characters, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. And speaking of Gotham, DC has plans to celebrate Gotham’s Guardian at the end of September with another Batman Day. Read on for details…
DC announces New Batman Day Event This September
DC has so much success with their Batman Day event last year, they’re bringing it back Saturday, September 26th, 2015, in what they hope will now be an annual event celebrating the Dark Knight Detective in all his incarnations, from comics to movies to video games. The celebration won’t just be limited to comic book stores, but will extend to book stores, schools, and libraries, too. DC is also arranging several meet ‘n’ greets with talent, including big names like Jim Lee, Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, David Finch, Brian Azzarello, Cameron Stewart, and several more yet to be announced. The official “Batman Day” event kit will include activity sheets, trivia, and games and will be available for download via this link: [Newsarama]
Devil’s Due and 1First Comics Merge Into New publisher
Devil’s Due Entertainment, the publisher best known for books like Hack/Slash, and 1First Comics, which back in the day published such milestone indie books like American Flagg and Nexus, have merged to form Devil’s Due / 1First Comics LLC, hoping to form a kind of “mini-major” comic book publisher in the vein of Image Comics. This new merger will combine each company’s comics libraries and business infrastructure, with an eye on the big prize these days for comic book properties, which is film and television. Through the end of this year, Devil’s Due / 1First Comics LLC will release six original graphic novels and launch five new ongoing comic series, as well as reissue trade collections of previously published titles, and these books will begin shipping under the new imprint in September. [Deadline]
ICYMI: Marvel and Stephen King Team-Up for New Dark Tower Mini-Series
Over the last decade, Marvel has had a good creative working relationship with author Stephen King, publishing several adaptations of his hit fantasy series The Dark Tower in comic book form. Now Marvel and King have announced another entry in their Dark Tower saga with Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Lady of Shadows #1, which will continue the saga in a new five part mini-series with writer Peter David and Robin Furth, with art by Jonathan Marks.
According to the official description, “The Gunslinger Roland and his companion Eddie Dean, the troubled young man with the ability to open doors to other worlds, are now united. Together, they will find the Dark Tower. But first they must locate the 3rd member of their ka-tet, residing in our world. Enter Odetta Holmes, a wealthy, Civil Rights activist living in the South. But Odetta has a dark secret, and a darker side. To uncover that secret, we’ll have to go back to the beginning… ” The first issue of this new series hit comic shops this September. For more details, click here for the full story.
Bongo Comics Leaves ComiXology for New Simpsons App
If you were someone who preferred to buy their Simpsons comics via ComiXology, then I’m afraid we’ve got some bad news for you: Bongo Comics has quietly pulled their entire line of books off the ComiXology app, instead opting for fans to buy their new comics using the upcoming Simpsons App, which is set to debut soon. Fortunately, if you’ve already bought any Bongo comics using ComiXology, you’ll still be able to access and read those. [The Comics Reporter via CBR]
DC finally confirms that Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy are More than just good friends
It’s been the worst-kept LGBT secret in comics, kind of the comic book equivalent of Ricky Martin or Rosie O’Donnel coming out of the closet (psssst….we all knew already guys). Nevertheless, DC Comics has finally confirmed, via Twitter of all places, that Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are indeed girlfriends, albeit girlfriends who aren’t exactly monogamous, saying, “Yes, they are girlfriends without the jealousy of monogamy.”
The two characters have been implied girlfriends going back to their original animated appearances on Batman: The Animated Series (where it had to be very much subtext only, given the kiddie exposure the show had) and comics creators have taken that ball and run with it ever since. Nice to see DC finally admitting what the fans have known for years. Now, what can we do to get DC to admit the same about Superboy and Tim Drake?? [Comics Alliance]
Diamond Comics Announces Titles For this year’s Halloween Fest
For the past few years, Halloween Comics Fest has been kind of like Free Comic Book Day 2 for comic book retailers, and now Diamond Comic Distributors have announced that the fourth annual Halloween Comics Fest will take place on Saturday, October 31, and feature almost two dozen free comics for fans to choose from. This year’s offering will consist of thirteen (of course) full-size comics and eight mini-comics, including Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers #1, Doctor Strange: The Oath, and Donald Duck’s Halloween Scream! Starting in late September, you’ll also be able to purchase the mini-comics in bundles of 25, so as to be given away to trick r’ treaters. To see the full list of comics available, click on this link: [CBR]
35 Years Ago This Month, Jean Grey Died, and Comics Changed Forever
And finally, it was thirty-five years ago this month that a certain seminal comic book hit stands that changed the face of comics, and one could argue even led to the current comic book movie geek’s paradise we live in today. That comic was Uncanny X-Men#137, which featured the death of Jean Grey and the conclusion of “The Dark Phoenix Saga”. Jean’s death was a huge deal at the time, as Jean Grey was one of the original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby-created Marvel heroes, and turning her into a villain had caused huge ripples through comic fandom, and her self-sacrifice at the climax of the story even more so.
“The Dark Phoenix Saga” took Uncanny X-Men, which had been something of a cult hit for Marvel, and sent it through the stratosphere in terms of sales cementing its place as the #1 book at the company, and making huge stars of the book’s creators, Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Even after Byrne and Claremont left, X-Men would continue to dominate comics, producing multiple spin-offs, all of which of course resulted in the cartoon, which, eventually, led to Bryan Singer’s 2000 movie, which can be argued really kicked off the modern comic book movie age. But it might not have ever happened had Jean not decided to end her existence in the “Blue Area” of the Moon for the good of the universe.