If you’re a student of comics history the phrase “National Comics” conjures an image of Jack Liebowitz chomping on a cigar while urging teenaged creators to sign contracts…but if you’re not, it means a new edgy anthology from DC Comics which will launch in July and run one off “pilot stories” based on some of the DCU’s more “off beat” characters, like Kid Eternity, Madame X, and so on. It’s evidently not branded as part of the “New 52.” First up, Eternity, above. Creative teams below:
ETERNITY, written by Eisner Award nominee Jeff Lemire with artwork by Cully Hamner, tells the story of police coroner Christopher Freeman. Given a second chance at life, Freeman discovers the ability to resurrect the dead. Now this clumsy wannabe detective partners with the recently deceased to find their murderers—and find them closure before they once again shuffle off this mortal coil.
MADAME X, written by Rob Williams with artist Trevor Hairsine and a cover by Fiona Staples, starts off with a clear vision of who did it — but the real challenge is trying to prove it. As an upstart law firm’s psychic consultant, MADAME X uses tarot cards to divine the truth behind cases, helping skeptical lawyers gather evidence that will hold up in court.
ROSE AND THORN, written by Tom Taylor with artwork by Neil Googe and a cover by Ryan Sook, is a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde story about Rose Canton, a good girl with a very bad side: Thorn, an ass-kicking femme fatale out for revenge.
LOOKER, written by Ian Edington with art by Mike S. Miller and a cover by Guillem March, tells the story of Emily Briggs, a model who loved looking at herself in the mirror—until the day she couldn’t. Turned into a vampire, LOOKER prowls the dark underbelly of NYC’s elite modeling world, hunting all predators, including the creature that spawned her.
NATIONAL COMICS is kind of an odd name for a dark, edgy anthology. Why not use Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys or The Gay Ghost?
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.