DC have finally confirmed what people have been whispering/typing misspelt into ALL CAPS headlines for months now – that September’s issues for all their New 52 titles will be ‘Zero’ issues, and wind back in time to reveal the origins of each character. What this will do for books like Action Comics or Demon Knights, which have already done that, is uncertain. I’m sure Grant’ll think of something.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Dan DiDio explains that this zero initiative is intended to help new readers who want to know the origin of each character (although it seems like an idea more geared towards satisfying long-term readers who want to know which classic stories are still in continuity). So September will have 52 origin stories released, before the titles all revert back to issue #13 in October.

….well, apart from four of them.

Yes, DC have announced that the third wave of their New 52 will start soon, with four titles being cancelled to make way for four new books. Start panicking for the future of your favourites! We already know that Justice League International is over with issue #12, and those who pay keen attention to sales (you know who you are) will likely be looking carefully at the future of Captain Atom and Blue Beetle, among others.

But what will the four new titles be? Well there aren’t many details yet – expect CBR or DC’s own ‘The Source’ blog to reveal more later today, no doubt – but we do know what the books will be, and roughly what they are about. They are:

Talon: A spin-off from the current Batmancentric ‘Court of Owls’ crossover, written by Scott Snyder.

Team Seven: The team Geoff Johns has been teasing for months in the main Justice League title, as Steve Trevor, Dinah Lance, Amanda Waller, John Lynch, Cole Cash, Alex Fairchild and Slade Wilson join forces to fight Superman or something. This announcement could suggest that Suicide Squad is facing cancellation, which will surely delight Harley Quinn fans if true.

Phantom Stranger, also launching out of the teases Geoff Johns made in DC’s Free Comic Book Day issue, although how they’ll string a story together out of him is anybody’s guess. DC promise that this is the book which will explain the origin of the New 52 Universe as a whole, so that could be the hook.

And the final book is Swords and Sorcery starring the return of Amethyst, bizarrely enough. Which means the market has no place for an ongoing Storm, Black Widow, Hepzibah or Spoiler series, but is happy to support Amethyst. Ah well! This book looks like the most fun of the four.

No creative teams announced for these books, by the way, aside from the Snyder/Talon announcement. We’ll likely have to wait a little longer for the lucky soul relaunching Amethyst to be revealed. I ruddy love Amethyst.


  1. Always got the sense that the three Liefeld books were a temporary thing to set up a big story or new book. With Grifter and Deathstroke joining Team 7, that seems all the more likely.

    Swords and Sorcery definitely seems like the most interesting of the new crop (with good timing, as I’ve just given up on the current DC teen books), but much will depend on the announcement of creative teams to see what direction these books are going.

    (And hey, now that Amethyst Showcase volume finally makes sense, huh?)

  2. Y’know, I hadn’t even recognised Grifter’s real name amongst that lineup. Good catch! It looks like DC are a little worried about their ‘Edge’ line of titles, with the recent fuxx over Stormwatch and now this shuffle. Hopefully the books will be good, and they can start to move it forward.

    Swo/Sor is going to be excellent, I can feel it already.

  3. This is the mindset we are dealing with at DC…think about what you are about to read…

    The following is a piece of an interview with Dan DiDio over at Newsarama discussing Zero Month and the debut of these 4 new books…

    Here it is….
    And then lastly, we had so much great success with the “Night of the Owls” storyline, that we picked up a very clear, new character spin-off, which is Talon. And that shows our commitment to showing new ideas, new characters, new stories and something that didn’t have a pre-conceived notion that existed before the launch of the New 52. This is a brand new concept, and a brand new series with a brand new character. And I think that’s important too, because it shows that we’re not just going to keep rehashing old territory, but really start to pave new ground as well.

    This man, with a straight face, claims that DC’s commitment to new characters, new stories and new ideas…as well as brand new concepts and the “not rehasing of old territory” IS A BATMAN SPIN-OFF???

    The only one of those that might work as a description is new character…but the rest??? Are you serious…A BATMAN SPIN OFF is your idea of a new concept? A new idea? “Not rehasing old territory”????? All Batman spinoffs are rehasing old territory…its using the Bat Brand to sell a book that otherwise would not sell.

    Wow…when it comes to original ideas these guys really are drowning in the short end of the kiddie pool…

  4. Amethyst is looking up. Aaron Lopresti seems like a perfect fit for a book like this, and Christy Marx–well, she co-wrote an ElfQuest story with Wendy Pini once, so she’s okay in my book.

    Not so sure about the back-up, but I’ll wait to hear more.

    Brent Anderson on Phantom Stranger only reminds me of the fact that we were supposed to get a new Astro City ongoing. Kurt Busiek seemed confident that event if DC didn’t want it anymore, they’d still get it out. What happened with that?

    On a somewhat unrelated note, half the time I try to visit The Beat these days, the site is offline–what’s up with that?

  5. “Which means the market has no place for an ongoing Storm, Black Widow, Hepzibah or Spoiler series, but is happy to support Amethyst.”

    Yeah, I can’t believe DC isn’t publishing ongoing series for Storm, Black Widow, and Hepzibah in particular.

  6. The “new 52” has failed to pick up new readers. From my examination of the sales numbers, no title has picked up any new readers as it went along. All the titles peaked at #1 and either are fairly steady (the top 5-10) or fell dramatically (some losing over half their readers). The point of the reboot was to gain new and lapsed readers. Now DC is basically canceling the bottom 4-8 titles every six months and launching new #1 issues to get more existing comics fans to buy them. Are any of these comics going to appeal to someone who is not already a comics insider?

    DC is getting mass-media attention, but these days with the 24/7 news cycle that is not much of an accomplishment. Their zero issues are getting the same attention as “Indian believers swallow live fish as asthma cure”.

    This reboot experiment pretty much has convinced me that the comics industry will be gone as soon as the movies aren’t hot at the box office. The media conglomerate who own the comics companies will fold the comics properties into their larger publishing divisions and close the comics companies.

    I am a “lapsed reader” from the 80s who rediscovered comics in 2009 or so – I’ve been looking at the sales figures over the past couple of years, and comics are in a death spiral. The only way either Marvel or DC can boost sales is to sell more comics to the same fans.

    The only thing so far in the “new 52” that looks interesting is the new Firehawk. Yet the writing on Fury of Firestorm 8-9 is atrociously awfully bad. Here you introduce an exciting new character with real potential and … do NOTHING with her. Where do I send my proposal for a young French woman thrust into the spotlight as a hero, dealing with her country’s “cheese-eating surrender monkey” image, desire to remain true to her country while loving life in NYC, struggling with whether to finish college or be a superhero, and trying to shape her image in the press? I mean, this thing just writes itself, and DC blew it.

  7. “Brent Anderson on Phantom Stranger only reminds me of the fact that we were supposed to get a new Astro City ongoing. Kurt Busiek seemed confident that event if DC didn’t want it anymore, they’d still get it out. What happened with that?”

    He is having health problems, which have been defying easy diagnosis. He seems optimistic that upcoming gall bladder surgery will help, but is not currently writing.

  8. “He is having health problems, which have been defying easy diagnosis. He seems optimistic that upcoming gall bladder surgery will help, but is not currently writing.”

    Well, damn. Then I can only wish him the best and a speedy recovery!

  9. Interview with Marx and Lopresti over at io9:


    “I’m taking a more intimate, familial approach to her adversary, who is her homicidal aunt who does not want to share power…. I’m trying to avoid a sparkly-crystals-and-pegasuses kind of approach. This is an alien world with blood powers that are related to crystals, but I’m going for a much more holistic approach.”

    So, a darker tone with a homicidal aunt and “blood powers.” Sure sounds like a New 52 title… ;-)

  10. Looks like the CBR has the creative teams:

    “Alongside the #0 issues for existing titles, the publisher is also launching four new series that month. “Talon,” a spinoff from the current “Night of the Owls” crossover in the Batman world, featuring a story by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, written by Tynion and drawn by Guillem March, stars Calvin Rose, the only Talon to ever escape the Court of Owls. “Sword of Sorcery” is a new epic fantasy series anchored by an “Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld” serial by writer Christy Marx and artist Aaron Lopresti with a “Beowulf” back-up story written by Tony Bedard with art by Jesus Saiz. DiDio himself will write a new “Phantom Stranger” series for artist Brent Anderson spinning out of DC’s recent Free Comic Book Day special. And finally, “Team Seven” continues the merging of DC and WildStorm as writer Justin Jordan and artist Jesus Merino tell a tale of the earlier days of the DCU through a team that includes Dinah Lance, Amanda Waller, Steve Trevor, John Lynch, Alex Fairchild, Cole Cash and Slade Wilson.”

  11. Oh yeah, the fact that the market won’t support a HEPZIBAH series is the best proof I’ve ever seen of how sexist, racist and speciest everyone is.

  12. I liked Suicide Squad at the beginning but it’s kinda lost me recently. Team 7 is the only one of those that actually looks interesting to me.

  13. “All Batman spinoffs are rehasing old territory”—that’s being uncreative, yes. “…its using the Bat Brand to sell a book that otherwise would not sell.” That’s marketing and business. They’re there to make money, and if it takes 52 Batman books as it will probably be someday, that’s what they’ll do. Creatively it sucks, but looking at the sales charts, it’s Batman books we buy, so it’s Batman books they’ll give us.

  14. I read the first issue of the original Amethyst series to my 6-year-old girl a few months ago, and she loved it (it was a princess, after all). I am looking forward to the reprint to share with her, although I do wish it was in color and in a kid-sized paperback (like Marvel Adventures, Archie, or Little Lulu reprints).

    Here’s hoping they don’t recast this character into one that graphically severs limbs, tortures parents, or has endless crossovers with characters who do the same.

    Although given the history of this editorial team at DC, I have very low expectations.

  15. So what’s JUSTICE LEAGUE going to do it’s zero issue? The entire first arc was the team’s origin story.