Hello, there and welcome, fangirls and fanboys, to the weekend edition of Comics Relief! Today we’ve got an inside look at some developments in the DC Universe, as well as the possible return of Spider-Man’s infamous black symbiote costume. But the really doozy going into the weekend is all about digital comics, with big news from two of the industry’s biggest publishers. Read on for more info….
MARVEL Adds 12,000 single issues to Amazon’s Kindle Store
Marvel has just made another big leap into the digital world this week by adding some 12,000 single issues to Amazon’s Kindle Store, allowing Kindle readers Marvel comics directly on their digital device. Amazon also owns the biggest digital comics publisher, comiXology, and as part of the deal, Marvel will now have a featured spot on Amazon and the Kindle app’s homepages.
With so many new fans being drawn to the Marvel universe via the movies, it’s no surprise that their readership has grown by leaps and bounds lately, and the biggest new influx of readers to digital comics, it turns out, has been women. According The Wall Street Journal, the new Ms. Marvel title was actually Marvel’s best-selling digital comic of last year, which makes a ton of sense, as that book has been a big hit with female readers. [Wall Street Journal via Comic Book]
Dark Horse Teases Comixology announcement for June 22nd
Speaking of Digital Comics and comiXology, one of the biggest hold-outs, in terms of selling their comics on the comiXology platform, has been Dark Horse Comics, home of Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens and many more. In fact, Dark Horse is the largest American comic book publisher that has not partnered with Comixology yet, and instead chose to go with their own service, Dark Horse Digital. However, based on the teaser video comiXology just tweeted out this week, it looks like big news is about to drop on Monday, June 22, and it looks like Dark Horse might finally be joining the service.
— comiXology (@comiXology) June 19, 2015
Move over DC and Marvel, Masters of the Universe has their own Multiverse too
Parallel universes are very “in” again in comics. Marvel has been exploiting their multiverse by smashing all their various timelines together in Secret Wars, and DC just brought back multiple multiverses in Convergence. Even the media adaptations are getting hip to the Multiversal concept, as the season finale of Flash on the CW hinted that Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth-2, is out there somewhere.
Now the Masters of the Universe comic The Eternity War (published by DC, but not part of their universe) has acknowledged that there is a Masters Multiverse as well. The villainous Skeletor caught glimpses of the various different versions of himself, from the classic cartoon and the old mini-comics that came with the toys, to the actual toys themselves. For some reason, the Frank Langella version from the 1987 Masters of the Universe movie wasn’t included, but maybe that’s one He-Man dimension no one wants to revisit. [Bleeding Cool]
Lois Lane’s Daily Planet Article “Outing” Superman as Clark Kent has been released by DC
So we know that in the current post-Convergence DCU, Superman has been publicly outed as Clark Kent in an expose by Lois Lane in the Daily Planet, completely throwing his life into total upheaval. Now DC has released the article that Lois wrote, one that shows that in the DCU, people aren’t even sure if Clark was ever adopted by the Kents, or if all his Smallville school records and adoption certificates have been faked (it’s the DCU version of “Obama is from Kenya”). Considering how important the Clark Kent/Superman duality is to the overall concept of the character, I can’t help but wonder how the hell DC plans to put this genie back in the bottle. In the meantime, check out Lois’ article below: [CBR]
Batgirl Artist Babs Tarr Shows Off New Live-Wire Designs
Speaking of the Man of Steel, the villain Live-Wire is a character who was initially created for the 90s Superman: The Animated Series by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, and eventually made her way into the proper comics continuity, similarly to what they did with Harley Quinn. While the comics version of Live-Wire never really received the same popularity as Harley, DC is hoping the New 52 version will be received differently. Artist Babs Tarr will be debuting the new Live-Wire in the upcoming Batgirl #41, and she’s shown off some of her designs for the updated character on Twitter. Looks like Tarr managed update the classic look while still keeping the character recognizabl… and she looks pretty badass so far. [Babs Tarr on Twitter]
Artist Ariel Olivetti Teases the Return of Venom (or is it Black Costume Spidey?)
Details for Marvel’s plans for their “All-New, All-Different” relaunch this fall are starting to pour out. One of the first comes from artist Ariel Olivetti, who posted the black and white spider logo famously used by Venom, and, of course, originally by Spider-Man back during the original Secret Wars. Along with the image, we have the Marvel logo and the words “I’ve returned” and Olivetti’s name.
So, is it a new Venom series (seems likely) or is Spider-Man returning to the black costume again, in a book drawn by Olivetti? Although he wore it most famously in the ’80s, he’s returned to it now and again for various reasons, and it is a fan favorite. I image we’ll know more by Comic-Con time, but it seems the black costume is definitely making a comeback in some fashion. [Newsarama]
A long missing character returns to the DCU (SPOILERS)
Even before the New 52 was a thing, long-time Justice Leaguer The Elongated Man had a rough go of it in 21st Century DC Comics. His wife was raped and then brutally murdered in 2004’s Identity Crisis, which sent him into a downward spiral leading to his own suicide in the 52 weekly series. Reunited with his beloved in the afterlife, it seemed that Ralph and Sue would now be “ghost detective” — meaning detectives that are ghosts, not detectives who investigate ghosts. They were used once or twice, then the New 52 happened…and not a word from the Dibneys since.
Well, it looks like at least Ralph Dibney has been in Secret Six, hiding in plain sight. In the recently released issue #3, Damon Wells, also known as Big Shot, can swell up his body to big bruiser size. Turns out, Damon Wells, who also happens to be a private investigator, is not his real name…it’s Ralph Dibney, with stretchy powers evolved to now just ballooning up and getting stronger. Sadly, it seems his wife is still dead in this reality as well. Some characters just can’t catch a break. [Bleeding Cool]