DC’s forthcoming Birds of Prey comic, which was due out in October, will get the publisher’s Black Label branding, as well as a new release date to coincide with the franchise’s movie adaptation, Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.
The movie is due out February 7, and so, one might presume the new comic, which features the same team lineup as the film, will hit shops some time nearer to then. No official release date has been announced just yet, with orders for the book stricken in lieu of an eventual resolicitation. Meanwhile, the book is still being written by the originally-announced team of Brian Azzarello and Emanuela Lupacchino, and it will now also feature a cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado (see above).
For those who keep up with monthly DC superhero comics, this likely also means that the story will span a single arc and take place out of continuity, as has been the case with all the other superhero Black Label offerings so far. Black Label was initially announced as an imprint way back when for more mature, out-of-continuity offerings that would hopefully act as evergreen sellers with appeal to lapsed or new comics readers who come upon them in bookstores.
Quite a lot has happened with DC’s approach to imprints since then, however, and, to me at least, Black Label’s role feels a bit more nebulous than it did at its inception, with the company stressing that it is now simply an age designation to be put on stories for adult readers. Azzarello also penned Black Label’s inaugural title, the Lee Bermejo collaboration, Batman: Damned, which in its initial printing featured artwork of the Bat-genitalia that initiated quite the reaction.
Ultimately, this is probably a bit of a win for those of us who follow DC’s mainline superhero comics, bristling as we do at blatant movie synergy in our stories, blatant synergy like launching a new Birds of Prey team that mirrors the movie lineup and doesn’t include characters integral to the property, specifically thinking here of Barbara Gordon. Or maybe I’m just projecting. I think it’s also a win for the comic, which kind of got lost in the shuffle at first during many other announcements amid San Diego Comic Con. Surely, it will garner far more attention with a new movie out. At any rate, if you were excited about the book before, chances are this doesn’t do anything to taper your enthusiasm.