DC is expanding its comic book lineup again in 2018. Today the publisher revealed first details about DC Black Label, a new line that will feature top-name creators crafting unique, standalone takes on characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The line will be overseen by executive editor Mark Doyle and feature creators like Frank Miller, Scott Snyder and Kelly Sue DeConnick.
DC is already drawing comparisons between Black Label and classic graphic novels like Batman: The Killing Joke and Watchmen. The goal is for creators to leave their personal stamp on these iconic characters and tell accessible, “edgy” stories set outside of mainline DC continuity. Each project will follow its own publishing format and schedule based on what best serves the story in question, meaning that we’ll probably see a mix of traditional miniseries, prestige format limited series and graphic novels.
So far, DC has revealed six books that will comprise the “first wave” of DC Black Label.
Previously announced at SDCC last summer, this story reunites writer Frank Miller and artist John Romita Jr. for a new take on Superman’s origin story and early days on the job.
This series will again pair writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo for an epic Batman adventure. This time, Batman wakes up in a strange, dystopian future with only Joker’s head in a jar for company. Last Knight on Earth is is being billed as “the last Batman story ever told.”
The series was first teased at NYCC last fall, though at the time it was said to be a collaboration between Snyder and Batman: White Knight artist Sean Gordon Murphy instead.
This horror-flavored book will be the latest Batman collaboration between writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo, who previously worked on Batman/Deathblow and the graphic novel Joker together. Damned opens with the apparent murder of Joker, forcing Batman to team up with John Constantine to hunt down a supernatural killer who may be even worse than the Clown Prince of Crime.
Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick is tackling her first major DC project alongside veteran Wonder Woman artist Phil Jimenez. Historia is “a Homeric epic” that explores the untold history of the Amazons and Queen Hippolyta’s reign. Broken into three books, Historia will cover the timeline from the birth of the Amazons to the day Steve Trevor arrived on Paradise Island.
Diana’s Daughter (which is currently a working title) will see writer Greg Rucka return to the franchise he helped overhaul in DC Rebirth. This series is set 20 year’s after Wonder Woman’s mysterious disappearance, with a new heroine rising up to claim the mantle and offer hope to the world. No artist has been revealed yet.
Previously revealed at the “DC in DC” event in January, this series from 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley will reexamine key moments in DCU history through the perspective of minority heroes like John Stewart, Vixen, Katana, Renee Montoya and others. No artist has been revealed yet.
“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,” said DC publisher Jim Lee in a statement. “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.”
Expect more details about DC Black Label to surface in the months ahead. For now, let us know what you think of DC’s latest imprint in the comments below.