DC Comics is either smart or crazy…or both. Their policy of extremely controlled release of information on the New 52 has led to Kremlinology being taken to new heights as every post on The Source leads to people examining everything with a fine tooth comb…(and sometimes finding franks and beans) and DC getting more and more publicity out of it, even when it looks like a mistake or change of direction.
Take Wonder Woman’s pants…please. Yesterday it was revealed that they’ll be giving away a free preview, DC COMICS: THE NEW 52 #1:
Featuring a 6-page preview of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, the cover art for all of the books, never-before-seen sketches, and insights from creative teams, DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 #1 is a complete and comprehensive guide to all of the books being published this September as part of DC Comics—The New 52.
Sounds like a good idea, right? And we can’t get enough of that Toms of Krypton cover by Rags Morales. But the eagle-eyed quickly noted that Wonder Woman has gone barelegged for the summer:
That’s right, after donning jeggings for a new, practical look, now Wonder Woman is back to shorts — at least on that little preview image. Is it just a coloring mistake or a brain fart? DC Women Kicking Ass, the Valerie Plame of Kremlinology, says that this is the real cover, and her sources say that the pants may be out the window. It’s the sheer malleability of every major decision made at DC that makes Kremlinology so much fun…and so time consuming.
Then there was “Kittengate,” a conspiracy that existed mostly in Rich Johnston’s mind. You’ll recall that the contents of SUPERMAN #712 by Chris Roberson were pulled at the last minute, and a story about Krypto mourning his lost master by Kurt Busiek published in its stead. Johnston, and his sources, claimed it was because Superman was shown rescuing a kitten; others said it was because of potential trouble over the issue’s Islamic character.
Well, this week, SUPERMAN #713 came out and guess what it contained? A scene where Superman rescues a kitten.
Johnston stuck by his story and his sources. Now, our sources say that a kitten had nothing to do with it, and Roberson told Comics Alliance:
Issue 712 opened with a one page sequence drawn by Allan Goldman of Superman rescuing a little girl’s cat in San Gabriel, California. When 712 was pulled from the schedule, it was decided that we still needed to show Superman in San Gabriel because of the contest, and so we simply had Jamal Igle draw the same scene as one of the ones he was already doing for 713.
While it’s looking like Johnston got burned on this one, he did yeoman service comparing the New 52 #1 credits with the #2 credits and finding that many creative teams are already shuffling:
One change appears to be Marco Rudy no longer being the listed artist on Suicide Squad #2, replaced by Federico Dallochio and Ransom Getty already. Other amendments include Al Barrionuevo assisting Miguel Sepulveda on Stormwatch #2, Jason Gorder was always inking Grifter (listing Bit on #1 was a mistake,) Jonathan Vankin and Phil Winslade creating a back up strip on the oversize Men Of War #2, Jordi Bernet drawing a back up strip in All-Star Western #2, Richard Friend and Jay Fabok helping David Finch on art for The Dark Knight #2 (and the previously discussed Paul Jenkins co-writing the series) and Blond assisting Kenneth Rocafort on Red Hood And The Outlaws. Ken Lashley is gone from the art on the second issue of Blackhawks #2, replaced by Graham Nolan and Norm Rapmund, though he is still doing the cover.
One of the reasons for the VERY STRICT deadlines on The New 52 is the realities of digital day-and-date: Apple has a longer lead time than printers, as material must be approved before going on sale via the various apps. So the books HAVE to be turned in on time. So one thing on the New 52 is just like the old 70-something: creative teams will be changed at a moment’s notice. The goal is for characters to trump creators in this relaunch — whether this will produce a line of crisp, focused stories or a line of jumbled pap is something we’ll learn by November or so.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.