When it comes to making good comics, writers and artists are equally important. The balance is tricky, and at different times industry norms appear to favor one group over the other, but ultimately there’s not much use for a well-written comic with boring art or a visually stunning story with cardboard plot. That’s why DC Comics’ newest line of comic books, Dark Matter, is teaming up superstar artists with equally superstar writers — on a bevy of brand-new characters, to boot. In the video above, some of DC’s top creators describe the thinking behind the line.
“What I love about Dark Matter is it’s a return to bringing both the writer and artist to the fore,” DC Publisher Jim Lee says in the video. “At our talent summit, we brought together some of our key creators, writers, and artists, and we sat around and talked about what was missing in comics, what we could do to create something different that maybe fans of this generation hadn’t seen before.”
The line will kick off in August with Dark Nights: Metal, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo. That’s right: The team behind a recent fan-favorite six-year run on Batman are once again teaming up for a DC comic, and this one promises to be unlike anything that came before. DC’s vague teaser text promises “a story that will examine every choice a hero doesn’t take and every path they don’t walk, opening up worlds that are forged by nightmares.” In the video above, Capullo elaborates that they’re “opening doors nobody thought we were gonna go through… the promo I did was Batman holding two battle axes, so this is the kind of crazy stuff we’re gonna see in this.”
Dark Nights: Metal will be the launching pad for the rest of the Dark Matter line, with characters and storylines from other books being introduced here first. For instance, a teleporting teenager changed by the events of that book will go on to star in Sideways, which debuts in September. That book will be co-written by DC Publisher Dan DiDio and Justin Jordan and illustrated by Kenneth Rocafort. September will also see the launch of The Silencer. Written by Dan Abnett and drawn by John Romita Jr., that book will focus on Honor Guest, the former world’s deadliest assassin now trying for a quiet life in the suburbs until (surprise!) her former life comes back to haunt her, and she must become The Silencer to protect her family.
In October, Detective Comics writer James Tynion IV teams up with Lee himself for Immortal Men, a story about five immortal siblings who “operate from the shadows, recruiting the elite against the foes who seek to bring about Armageddon.” October will also see Damage, written by Robert Venditti with art by Tony S. Daniel, in which army recruit Ethan Avery is granted the power “to unleash an unstoppable monster for one hour at a time.”
The final book in the line, New Challengers, debuts in December and will be written by Snyder with art by Andy Kubert. As the title suggests, it is a reboot of Challengers of the Unknown, but with “a new cast” and “new mission.”
Check out the video above for more on the genesis of Dark Matter, and see below for a helpful visual list of who’s working on what.