Books

Marvel moves to all-female band of heroes with ‘A-Force’, DC goes “back to basics”

Marvel A-F Marvel is addressing the dude-focused problem that has plagued the Marvel Universe for the last few decades by highlighting a new dream-team of female superheroes. With the Avengers expected to hulk-smash the box-office this May, Marvel will be prepping the ‘A-Force,’ for distribution. The new group will consist of Dazzler from X-Men fame, She-Hulk, Nico Minoru and a few other popular female-leads. Fans can also look forward to a new character, Singularity.

The Marvel Universe is set to reboot following the events lined-up this year with a dramatic story and ‘Secret Wars’ moving forward. That means no more Avengers for now, so in the comic-world the A-Force will be the go-to leaders for all things Marvel.

At a press-event scheduled today, future events and stories were outlined. According to the announcements the series will be co-written by Marguerite K. Bennett and G. Willow Wilson. Jorge Molina will be the lead artist on the project, and it will launch in May just as ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ hits the theaters.

All of this is meant to reach out to a broader audience, something that the genre must do to survive. Last year it was confirmed that Thor‘s role would be filled by a female character, and Ms. Marvel was reintroduced as well as a young modern-woman. It was quite successful, launching the first volume to the New York Times best-seller list. With Ms. Marvel as a Muslim Teenager, a female Thor, a black Captain America and other changes on the way to Marvel; you can expect backlash. Change usually brings an instant fear that fans will lose something, but change has been the only constant in the comic-book world so far.

In the DC world the company announced that beginning June 3rd, the DC Comics line of comic books will consist of 24 brand-new series that will begin at issue number one, as well as 25 on-going, bestselling fan favorite series that will continue without a break in the issue numbering. The total number of periodicals in the DCU will be 49, with additional new titles debuting throughout the year.

“This heralds in a new era for the DC Universe which will allow us to publish something for everyone, be more expansive and modern in our approach and tell stories that better reflect the society around us,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Dan DiDio. “Whether you’ve been a DC fan your whole life, or whether you are new to comics – there will be a book for you beginning in June.”

DC Comics will be keenly focused on going back-to-basics with its legendary characters, like BATMAN, SUPERMAN and WONDER WOMAN, while also reinventing key characters, such as BLACK CANARY, BIZARRO, CYBORG and STARFIRE, with a new contemporary tonality to ensure a diverse offering of titles. Top writers and artists, as well as emerging fresh voices, are on board to help create an expansive lineup of comics that appeals to a broad audience of fans.

Depicting some of these iconic characters in a more contemporary light include National Book Award finalist Gene Luen Yang who will join artist John Romita Jr. in the ongoing adventures of SUPERMAN. Comic superstar artist Bryan Hitch will write and draw new tales of the world’s greatest heroes in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. The pitch perfect team of Garth Ennis and John McCrea returns to DC Comics for a limited series called SECTION EIGHT featuring characters from their popular Hitman comic. VERTIGO creator Ming Doyle will be lending her talents to DC Comics, penning CONSTANTINE: THE HELLBLAZER along with newcomer artist Riley Rossmo.

“More than ever before, DC Comics fans are being exposed to our rich portfolio of characters through multiple sources, including an unprecedented number of highly successful TV shows, video games and upcoming major motion pictures,” said Co-Publisher Jim Lee. “We are looking to extend that experience within publishing to ensure there is a comic book for everyone. For example, fans of the ARROW television show may want more stories about BLACK CANARY. Now they can find modern, fresh takes on the character in the pages of her standalone series both in stores and digitally.”

Breakout star, Brenden Fletcher, co-writer behind the all new, highly successful BATGIRL book will also be writing the new BLACK CANARY series launching in June. Fan favorites Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti will be the creative team on new titles STARFIRE and HARLEY QUINN/POWER GIRL and will continue to helm the perennially bestselling HARLEY QUINN.

“Beyond character and creators, the June slate will showcase different styles and approaches to storytelling as we add offbeat, irreverently funny titles such as BIZARRO, BAT-MITE and PREZ,” said Lee. “Truly there will be something for everybody as we simultaneously celebrate our rich legacy while embracing new voices and concepts.”