Welcome to your mid-week edition of Comics Relief, comic book fangirls and fanboys! Lots of news to cover in today’s roundup, starting with an interesting statement from DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee on just who is the publisher’s 4th most popular character in his eyes. Read on for the scoop…
Is Harley Quinn Really DC’s 4th Most Popular Character??
For decades, the pillars of the DC Universe in terms of recognizability and branding — both among comics fans and non comics fans alike — have always been Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. But now DC co-publisher Jim Lee has stated, in an interview with Vulture, that the “fourth pillar” of the DC icons is none other than current it-girl Harley Quinn.
But can this really be true? Well, it is true that she is currently one of DC’s most well known and well liked characters at the publisher, both in terms of comic sales and merchandise. One can make an argument that she’s at least 75% of the reason people are going to see Suicide Squad. And it seems female readers especially adore her (which is slightly disturbing given that she’s kind of defined by a male character who is abusive towards her, but that’s a whole other can of worms). But is she truly more well known that the Joker, Robin, or even Catwoman for that matter? Only time will tell, but right now that seems like a stretch for Jim Lee to say she’s the fourth pillar of the DCU. Maybe someone should ask again in ten years.
Hopefully, DC Comics’ other (somewhat more empowered) heroines like Wonder Woman and the new Superwoman –for which you can read our review of her first issue here — can catch up with Harley in popularity with the masses at some point.
Walking Dead Creators’ Home Town Honors their Hometown Boys
Over a decade ago, creators Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore created black and white horror comic The Walking Dead, which stands now as one of the biggest franchises of all time, both in and out of the comics medium. Both Kirkman and Moore are from the small town of Cynthia, Kentucky, and now that town has acknowledged the pop culture giant that spawned from within their city limits.
— Colonel Tony Moore (@tonymoore) August 6, 2016
This past weekend the two creators were honored by their hometown with a day officially dedicated to The Walking Dead, and the unveiling of a new welcome sign which let every traveler coming into town know they were entering the birthplace of Rick Grimes, Michonne, and all those thousands of unnamed walkers. You can see the road sign the city erected in co-creator Tony Moore’s tweet above: [Comics Alliance]
Over $85,000 Worth of Comics Stolen from Florida Comics Dealer
This next item is a bit depressing — a box containing vintage comics worth an estimated $85,000 went missing over the weekend from a dealer’s booth at Tampa Bay Comic Con. Rick Whitelock, who owns New Force Comics, told the press that he locked up the box in the convention center on Thursday night, but when he returned on Friday it was gone. So what exactly was in this box? Here is where it hurts — the missing comics include two copies of the 1962 Amazing Fantasy #15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man), The Amazing Spider-Man #1, Incredible Hulk#1 and Uncanny X-Men #1, as well as several other valuable books.
Whitelock told the Tampa Bay Times “I’m sick over it. In more than a decade of doing this at more than 100 shows, I’ve never had anything like this happen. I don’t know if someone stole them, or picked up the wrong box by accident while we were unloading, or if I misplaced them somehow, but this is a very unique set of books that is definitely not going to go unnoticed if someone has it, especially not around here.” Hopefully the publicity this story is getting will help the owner find his comics. [CBR]
Hellboy Returns Next Year in New OGN from Dark Horse
Although Dark Horse has been talking now for nearly a year about how their signature character, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, is going away soon, it seems those plans might have been slightly premature. The publisher has just announced that they are going to release Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea by Gary Gianni, Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart next spring as an original graphic novel. Here’s the official description from the publisher:
Following the events of the classic story “The Island,” Hellboy sets sail from the wreckage of a deserted island only to cross paths with a ghost ship. Taken captive by the phantom crew that plans to sell him to the circus, Hellboy is dragged along by a captain who will stop at nothing in pursuit of a powerful sea creature.
“I imagine if Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea were a movie, the Hollywood hyperbole would describe it as Hellboy‘s greatest adventure,” said Gary Gianni. “Yes… it’s Hellboy as you’ve never seen him before, laughing , loving and battling his way across the stormy seas! You’ll be thrilled as he faces cosmic forces terrorizing a haunted ship manned by a desperate crew! Be sure not to miss Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea, the biggest comic book event of the year!” [Bleeding Cool]
Wonder Woman Gets New Variant Cover Artist
As we revealed in recent editions of Comics Relief, there has been some controversy over artist Frank Cho’s variant covers of Wonder Woman, with writer Greg Rucka apparently coming into conflict with Cho over them, which resulted in Cho leaving the Wonder Woman cover gig after only 6 issues of his planned 24. So who will be replace Cho? It seems none other than Jenny Frisson, who provided the cover for Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman once before. (You can see Frisson’s rendition of Diana above). The first issue of Wonder Woman with the Frisson cover will be issue #7. [Bleeding Cool]
Batman’s Long Uncredicted Co-Creator to Receive Documentary
For years, Batman was credited to one man, Bob Kane, although it was public knowledge for years he had a co-creator named Bill Finger, who died poor and unknown in 1974. Since that time, certain advocates have struggled to have Finger’s name alongside Kane’s as official creators of the Dark Knight, and as of late last year, they finally succeeded.
Now Hulu has announced that they are bringing Finger’s story to life in documentary form. Announced at the Television Critics Association Summer press tour by Hulu Head of Content Craig Erwich, the film will be part of a documentary film series titled Limelight. No official airdate or even title has been given to the Limelight series documentary, except that it will arrive sometime in 2017. For more info on this story, read our full story on the subject here: [Nerdist]
Dark Souls Returns in New Titan Comics Series
Earlier this year, Titan launched its first Dark Souls comic by George Mann and Alan Quah, and today the publisher has announced the creative team are reuniting for a sequel miniseries to the video-game inspired fantasy series titled Dark Souls: Winter’s Spite, which is due for release this November. The first issue will come with five different covers, all of which you can see below in our gallery.
Images: DC Comics / Image Comics / Dark Horse Comics / Titan Comics