DC Comics is ready to publish “edgy and provocative” stand-alone stories with some of their popular characters under a new imprint. The Black Label titles will feature big name writers working with all-star artists. These will be stories that live outside the regular DC Universe continuity.
DC Comics co-publisher made the following statement:
“Many of our perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books were produced when we unleashed our top talent on standalone, often out-of-continuity projects featuring our most iconic characters, a prime example being Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Creating DC Black Label doubles down on our commitment to working with all-star talent and trusting them to tell epic, moving stories that only they can tell with the highest levels of creative freedom.”
The “first wave” of books have been announced:
SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE
From Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race) and John Romita Jr. (All-Star Batman, Superman).
A groundbreaking, definitive treatment of Superman’s classic origin story in honor of his 80th anniversary. This story details new revelations that reframe the Man of Steel’s most famous milestones—from Kal-El’s frantic exile from Krypton, to Clark Kent’s childhood in Kansas, to his inevitable rise to become the most powerful and inspiring superhero of all time.
BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH
From Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the creative team behind Dark Knights: Metal.
Batman wakes up in a desert. He doesn’t know what year it is or how The Joker’s head is alive in a jar beside him, but it’s the beginning of a quest unlike anything the Dark Knight has undertaken before. In this strange future, villains are triumphant and society has liberated itself from the burden of ethical codes. Fighting to survive while in search of answers, Bruce Wayne uncovers the truth about his role in this new world—and begins the last Batman story ever told.
From Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, the creative team behind Joker.
On a deserted Gotham City bridge, a body is found. Whispers spread the news: Joker is dead. But is this a dream come true or a nightmare being born? Now Batman and DC’s outlaw magician John Constantine must hunt the truth through a Gotham City hellscape. The city’s supernatural recesses are laced with hints about a killer’s identity, but the Dark Knight’s descent into horror will test his sanity and the limits of rationality, as he must face a horror that doesn’t wear a mask.
WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS
From Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet) and Phil Jimenez (Infinite Crisis).
A Homeric epic of the lost history of the Amazons and Queen Hippolyta’s rise to power. Featuring monsters and myths, this three-book saga spans history from the creation of the Amazons to the moment Steve Trevor washes up on the shores of Paradise Island, changing our world forever.
WONDER WOMAN: DIANA’S DAUGHTER (working title)
From Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman, Batwoman). Art TBA.
It’s been 20 years since the world stopped looking to the skies for hope, help, and inspiration. Now the world keeps its eyes down, and the powers that have risen have every intention of keeping things that way. Amongst a scattered, broken resistance, a young woman seeks to reclaim what has been forgotten, and on the way will learn the truth about herself, her heritage, and her destiny.
THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE
From John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, The American Way)
A compelling literary series analyzing iconic DC moments and charting sociopolitical gains through the perspectives of DC Super Heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups, including John Stewart, Extraño, Vixen, Supergirl, Katana and Rene Montoya, among others. At its core, the story focuses on the lives of those behind the costumes, and their endeavors to overcome real-world issues. It isn’t about saving the world, it’s about having the strength to simply be who you are.
The idea of a new imprint may feel a little daunting at first. Looking over the details, it does seem like a win-win situation. DC will be putting well-established and kickass creators on these books. They’ll have more freedom to cut loose and tell the stories they’ve been keeping bottled up because there was never a firm place for them within normal continuity. These are also books that can appeal to new readers or those that can’t keep up with the monthly titles.
The first book under the label, Superman: Year One, will hit shelves in August 2018.