Tag Archives: DC Comics

DC Universe Celebrates The Legacy of Denny O’Neil

Our hearts at THE FIRE WIRE are heavy today, as we’ve learned that comic book storyteller supreme Denny O’Neil passed away from natural causes. The DC Universe would not be the place it is today without his many contributions. In honor of O’Neil’s life, HERE is a brief look at some of the legendary work he created during his time at DC Comics.

Denny O’Neil’s contributions to pop culture are incalculable. In a world without him, we wouldn’t have the Batman we do today. One of the principal architects of the DC Universe, his legacy will be celebrated as long as stories are told.

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Audible And DC Announce Powerhouse Cast For Highly Anticipated The Sandman

Audible Inc., the world’s largest producer and provider of spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, announced the star-studded cast of the first-ever, exclusive audio adaptation of New York Times best-selling graphic novel series, The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC. Adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs and narrated by Gaiman, who serves as creative director and executive producer, the powerhouse cast is led by James McAvoy in the title role of Dream and includes Riz Ahmed, Justin Vivian Bond, Arthur Darvill, Kat Dennings as Death, Taron Egerton, William Hope, Josie Lawrence, Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Andy Serkis, and Michael Sheen as Lucifer, and an expansive list of additional cast. The first installment of the multi-part original audio drama series is set for release on July 15, 2020 and adapts volumes 1-3 of the graphic novel series (Preludes & Nocturnes, The Doll’s House, and Dream Country). 

When an occultist attempts to capture the physical embodiment of Death (Dennings) in a bargain for eternal life, he instead mistakenly traps Death’s younger brother Dream (McAvoy), another of the seven god-like siblings known as The Endless who oversee aspects of human existence, including Desire (Bond) and Despair (Margolyes), Destiny, Destruction and Delirium. After seventy years of imprisonment Dream finally escapes, embarking on a quest to reclaim his lost objects of power and rebuild his kingdom, the world of sleep and imagination called The Dreaming. So begins one of the most acclaimed and successful series of graphic novels ever written.

David Blum, Editor-in-Chief of Audible Originals, commented: “A truly exceptional cast of artists will be bringing this cultural phenomenon to life. We are honored to be working alongside Neil Gaiman and DC to create a truly immersive adaptation that we know fans and listeners will love.” 

Gaiman’s long-time audio collaborator, multi-award winner Dirk Maggs, shares executive producer credit and also serves as the project’s scriptwriter and director. Maggs is best known for his landmark audio adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Stardust, Good Omens and Anansi Boys, as well as for the renowned Audible Originals Alien: River Of Pain and The X-Files and the celebrated DC audio productions The Trial of Superman, Batman: Knightfall, and Superman: To Doomsday & Beyond. In addition to the rich, cinematic soundscape that has become Maggs’ trademark, The Sandman also features an original score by Academy Award-winning composer and musician James Hannigan.

The Sandman is the latest in a series of best-in-class Audible Original audio dramas released by Audible in recent months. Other highlights include Assassin’s Creed: Gold, The X Files starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, Stan Lee’s Alliances: A Trick of Light starring Yara Shahidi, and Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds: The Musical Drama starring Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton and Theo James.

The Sandman is available for pre-order now and will exclusively premiere on audible.com/TheSandman on July 15, 2020.

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Netflix Acquires DC’s Sweet Tooth

Netflix has picked up the rights to a series adaptation of DC Comics’ post-apocalyptic Sweet Tooth and has signed on Will Forte (The Willoughbys) and James Brolin (Pieces of Me) to star in the eight-episode family drama.

The series, which is being penned by Jim Mickle (Hap and Leonard) and Beth Schwartz (Arrow), is being described as “broad in appeal” and “family friendly” and will follow Gus, a human/deer hybrid who leaves his home in the forest to find the outside world ravaged by a cataclysmic event and joins a family of humans and animal-children hybrids in search of answers about the new world and the origins behind the hybrids.

Mickle and Schwartz are attached as co-showrunners and executive producers, with the former also set to direct, while Team Downey’s Amanda Burrell, Linda Moran, Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers: Endgame) and Susan Downey, with Evan Moore set to produce the series and Warner Bros. TV attached.

Along with Forte, the cast for the series is set to include Christian Convery (Beautiful Boy), Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones), Adeel Akhtar (The Big Sick), with Brolin set to provide his voice as the narrator for the adaptation.

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Here Is Rafael Grampá’s Variant Cover For Wonder Woman #754

I have shared my appreciation of Rafael Grampá in the past.

The artist has created a variant cover for Wonder Woman #754 which should be released tomorrow.

The issue is described as follows:

Just when she thought her troubles were over, Wonder Woman is thrust into a new adventure that takes her out of this world! Princess Maxima, the former ruler of the planet Almerac, has crash-landed on our hero’s doorstep and is desperate for her help. Maxima’s people are victims of a vicious lie, and only the truth she’s discovered will set them free. With Wonder Woman by her side, can she retake her throne and bring back the planet’s peaceful matriarchal society? Back on Earth, there is no peace…only Warmaster! The vengeful villainess has obtained a weapon of mass destruction that can wipe out the Amazons for good!

Order one online HERE at my favorite Los Angeles comic shop, Golden Apple.

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Batman: Three Jokers Announced for June

30 years after The Killing Joke changed comics forever, Batman: Three Jokers re-examines the myth of who, or what, is the Joker and what is at the heart of his ongoing battle with Batman. New York Times bestselling writer Geoff Johns and Eisner award winning artist Jason Fabok reunite to tell the ultimate story of Batman and The Joker!

After years of anticipation, the epic story is finally here: find out why there are three Jokers, and what that means for the decades-long battle between the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime. In this powerful, emotional story Batman, Batgirl and Red Hood—all past victims of the Joker—work together to solve a mystery unlike anything they’ve ever faced before!

Here for the first time are the main covers to the full 3 issue series, beautifully drawn by Jason Fabok with colors by Brad Anderson. In addition, here’s a first look at some interior art by Fabok and Anderson for your viewing pleasure.

Batman: Three Jokers is a 3-issue, 48-page (per issue) prestige format limited series and will carry DC’s “Black Label” content descriptor (for readers 17+). Issue #1 arrives in comic book stores and participating digital retailers on June 17, 2020.

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Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Is Getting An Ambitious New Audio Production

What do dreams sound like? It’s a question that’s pretty confounding when you actually stop to consider it. But thanks to the good people at Audible, we may soon have our answer.

Neil Gaiman’s popular and highly influential The Sandman remains one of the definitive works of fantasy, even now, over thirty years after its debut. The graphic novels remain perennial bestsellers, discovered by generations of new fans with each passing decade. Throughout its run, dozens of acclaimed artists contributed to its pages, including Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Kelley Jones, P. Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, J.H. Williams III and, famously, Dave McKean. Yet, the newest project to feature Gaiman’s messy-haired Lord of Dreams involves no artists whatsoever. Or, more accurately, no visual ones.

Audible, the world’s largest producer of spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, announced the first ever audio production of The Sandman will be arriving this summer as a multi-part Audible Original directed by the visionary Dirk Maggs.

If you’re worried about authenticity—don’t. Gaiman will be intimately involved, serving as Creative Director, Executive Producer and Narrator. The bestselling author’s longtime audio collaborator, multi-award winner Maggs will serve as the project’s Executive Producer as well as Scriptwriter and Director. Along with his adaptations of Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Stardust, Good Omens and Anansi Boys, Maggs has directed cutting-edge Audible Originals like Alien: River Of Pain and X-Files, as well as DC audio productions like The Trial of Superman, Superman: To Doomsday & Beyond and Batman: Knightfall. The project also features an original score by British Academy Award winning composer and musician James Hannigan.

While audio productions of written works can vary greatly, Audible’s take on The Sandman is no standard audiobook. Their exclusive audio adaptation will bring The Sandman’s epic, metaphysical fantasy to life in meticulously sound-designed, richly immersive audio, featuring an impressive (and as yet, unrevealed) voice cast.

“Almost 30 years ago, Dirk Maggs approached DC about adapting The Sandman into audio form,” said Gaiman. “It didn’t happen (although it was how Dirk and I first crossed paths) and I’m glad it didn’t happen, because we are in a Golden Age of audio drama right now, and Dirk and I are much better at what we are doing.

“This is a rich audio adaptation of The Sandman Graphic Novels, brilliantly crafted by Dirk Maggs, with an all-star cast. I’ve loved being there to talk casting, there to read the scripts and offer occasional advice, and there in the studios, watching magic get made and recording the narration. I can’t wait until the world hears what we’ve done.”

Adds Dave Blum, Editor-in-Chief of Audible Originals, “Audible prides itself on creating and producing immersive and entertaining storytelling, and the exclusive audio production of Neil Gaiman’s legendary comic book series marks a thrilling addition to our original content offerings. We’re excited to join Neil and DC in bringing this extraordinary and beloved universe to Audible’s millions of listeners worldwide, for the very first time.”

The Sandman spans ten core graphic novels, along with three sequel collections and a variety of in-universe spinoffs (including “The Sandman Universe,” five currently ongoing comics that are set after the events of The Sandman). In other words, there’s plenty of content for the audio production to mine—though Audible’s press release suggests that the production may focus, at least in part, on the first collection, “Preludes & Nocturnes”:

When an occultist attempts to capture the physical embodiment of Death in a bargain for eternal life, he instead mistakenly traps Death’s younger brother Morpheus, the King of Dreams. After his seventy-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Morpheus goes on a quest to reclaim his lost objects of power and rebuild his realm. From there, one of greatest and most successful series of graphic novels ever written begins. Celebrated globally for its vibrant blend of modern myth and dark fantasy—which seamlessly interweaves contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend—The Sandman follows Morpheus, and the people and places he’s affected, as he tries to mend the cosmic and human mistakes he’s made during his Endless existence.

“This audio iteration of The Sandman is huge in scope and ambition and based exclusively on Neil’s original notes and scripts for his iconic DC series,” shared Maggs. Our production dives deep into Neil’s imagination, as if he is writing these tales beside us, lifting out details and story elements few have been privy to until now. Audio uniquely complements the comic book artists’ visual imagination and Neil’s creative brilliance, while our amazing cast and Jim Hannigan’s music add new emotional punch. This project’s three-decade incubation period has been worth every minute of the wait. It’s the very essence of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.”

The audio production, along with Netflix’s currently in-the-works television series, promises to expose more people than ever before to Gaiman’s remarkable world of the Dreaming and its colorful, sometimes chaotic denizens. It also offers an exciting new way for existing fans to relive or rediscover Morpheus and his world. But perhaps most remarkable of all, it gives listeners, whether they’re new to The Sandman or not, the opportunity to take a moment from their busy lives and get lost in an enticingly different dream.

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IDW Publishing And DC Comics Announce Locke & Key And Sandman Universe Crossover Event For October 2020

Today on social media, IDW Publishing announced a fall crossover event that will feature both Locke & Key and The Sandman Universe. Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez will debut Locke & Key: Hell And Gone in October 2020.

The key featured in the promotion image is none other than the key to Hell, made famous by Neil Gaiman and Mike Dringenberg’s 1990 Sandman story arc “Season of Mists.”

Launching with the “Welcome to Lovecraft” arc in 2008, Hill and Rodriguez’s Locke & Key followed the Locke siblings, as well as their mother — who return to their ancestral home of Keyhouse following the murder of their father. The comic book has since been adapted into a Netflix series, which dropped its 10-episode first season earlier this month.

Meanwhile, published under DC Comics‘ Black Label — previously DC Vertigo — the Sandman Universe was launched in 2018 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Gaiman’s original Sandman comic book series for Vertigo Comics (which is also headed for a Netflix adaptation).

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The Sandman Deluxe Edition Book One Hardcover

The first volume of The Sandman is collected for the first time in a deluxe edition!

As the story begins, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey, Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman. 

Collects The Sandman #1-16 and Sandman Midnight Theatre #1, featuring the one and only meeting of Morpheus and Wesley Dodds, the Golden Age Sandman.

Written by Neil Gaiman with Matt Wagner and featuring art by Sam Keith, Mike Dringenberg, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli, Teddy Kristiansen and others with a new cover by Dave McKean the 528 page hardcover will be released on June 17, 2020 and retail for $49.99.

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New Batman: The Animated Series Tie-In Comic From Producers Coming To DC In April

Entertainment Weekly has exclusively learned that DC Comics is launching a new six-issue miniseries called Batman: The Adventures Continue in April. Set in the world of the beloved show, the digital-first series is written by the show’s producers Paul Dini and Alan Burnett and illustrated by Ty Templeton, who worked on the show’s old tie-in comic series Batman Adventures.

For many people, the Emmy-award winning Batman: The Animated Series is the definitive adaptation of the Dark Knight. Over the course of 85 episodes, Dini, Burnett, and Bruce Timm produced mature and emotional stories that not only streamlined the Caped Crusader’s mythology but also introduced new elements into it that eventually made their way to the pages of DC Comics, like Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya, who are both featured in the new live-action film Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Not only that, but the show also birthed several movies, a popular video game franchise (the Arkham Asylum games), and an entire shared universe that included shows like Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and several more.

Batman: The Adventure Continues — which features a cover by Dave Johnson and a variant cover by Dan Mora — hits shelves May 6, 2020. Digital-first chapters will be released in April.

Read more HERE.

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The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Celebrates Eight Decades of Chaos, Mischief, And Mayhem With Batman’s Greatest Enemy

Since his first appearance in April 1940, The Joker has become one of the most iconic and compelling characters in comic books and all of popular culture. Time and time again, his drive to sow discord and chaos has made him more than a match for Batman and his mission to protect the citizens of Gotham City.

As The Joker enters his eighth decade of criminal madness, fans can celebrate with a one-of-a-kind collectible tribute comic book. The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a Prestige format one-shot homage to The Joker featuring an original lineup of tales by comics’ most celebrated storytellers, including Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Paul Dini, Denny O’Neil, Scott Snyder, Tom Taylor, Jock, José Luis García-López, Mikel Janín, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo, and more. The stories run the gamut from terror to humor to outright anarchy, showing how The Joker has left his indelible mark on Gotham City, from the gates of Arkham Asylum to the Gotham City PD, from the local underworld to Batman and his allies.

Artists from across comic books are stepping up to pay their respects to The Joker through a series of variant covers depicting Batman’s arch nemesis:

1940s variant cover by Arthur Adams
1950s variant cover by David Finch
1960s variant cover by Francesco Mattina
1970s variant cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams
1980s variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz
1990s variant cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto
2000s variant cover by Lee Bermejo
2010s variant cover by Jock

The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a 100-page, Prestige format one-shot comic book available at comic book retailers and participating digital retailers on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 for $9.99.

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