DC Entertainment continues to diversify its publishing output with a new imprint. Following the announcement of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Universe, Brian Michael Bendis’ unnamed imprint, and young-reader imprints DC Zoom and DC Ink, on Thursday DC announced another new imprint: Black Label. This one will recruit all-star creators to write stories about DC’s biggest superheroes outside of restrictive continuity, and the initial lineup is a doozy.
The main characters at play are the prizes of DC’s pantheon: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Some of the initial Black Label titles will introduce these characters to creators who have never gotten the chance to play with them before. For instance, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Phil Jimenez will tackle the history of Themyscira and the Amazons in Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons. Frank Miller, who forever redefined Batman with classic ’80s comics like The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, will finally tackle the Man of Steel in Superman: Year One alongside artist John Romita Jr. Together, they will give “a groundbreaking, definitive treatment” of Superman’s origin in honor of the character’s 80th anniversary this year (one of many celebrations DC is planning for the milestone). That one is due out in August. Elsewhere, John Ridley (12 Years a Slave writer and American Crime creator) will write The Other History of the DC Universe, analyzing iconic DC moments over the years through the perspective of heroes from disenfranchised groups, including John Stewart, Extraño, Vixen, Supergirl, Katana, and Renee Montoya.
Other Black Label titles will reunite these characters with classic creative teams. Batman: Last Knight On Earth will reunite the Dark Knight with the team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, who wrote a beloved Batman run for years before taking the character into the blockbuster event series Dark Nights: Metal. This story will take place in a strange future, where Batman wakes up alone in a desert with the Joker’s head in a jar next to him. Meanwhile, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, the creators behind the graphic novel Joker, will team up once more for Batman: Damned, which follows Batman as he teams up with John Constantine in order to investigate supernatural repercussions from the Joker’s death. Greg Rucka, who wrote Wonder Woman comics for years (including the recent acclaimed DC Rebirth run), will return to the character with Wonder Woman: Diana’s Daughter. As the title suggests, this comic will follow “a young woman” 20 years in the future, who seeks to “reclaim what has been forgotten” amidst a ruinous, hopeless world.
Below, check out promo images for Superman: Year One, Batman: Damned, and Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons.