BRUBAKER, EXCLUSIVE WITH DC, ON 'CATWOMAN' RELAUNCH
Ed Brubaker's profile has risen considerably in the past few months at DC Comics. He was first best-known as the writer of the Eisner-nominated "Scene of the Crime," then "Deadenders," then "Batman" and now the writer of the soon-to-be-relaunched "Catwoman."
Wednesday, DC cemented their relationship with Brubaker, announcing that he had signed a one year exclusive contract with the company.
As for what fans can expect from Brubaker, for starters, he's shaking up "Catwoman" fairly dramatically, while still respecting the character's past.
"Here's a rundown," Brubaker said late last week at his Delphi.com forum. "Selina Kyle is Catwoman. She looks like Catwoman. Her history is completely important, and I've tried to combine all the different parts of it that seem to contradict each other and make them work. Whether this will succeed, I don't know.
"I am in fact redefining the character a little, but so does every new writer, and this is a relaunch as well now, so I could probably have gotten away with much more, but I chose to stick with her history and not insult fans by pretending it all never happened.
"Editor Matt Idelson and I came up with much of what will be the ending of the first volume of 'Catwoman,' and it's a real ending in a lot of ways, and it's really good. It'll feel like a payoff to all of you who have stuck with the series for so long and been so miserable with it for a while now. It isn't JUST a cheap marketing ploy."
"The title's going to shift focus onto the tragic aspects of Selina Kyle and her history," Brubaker was quoted as saying in DC's Wednesday press release announcing his exclusivity, "And turn her into sort of a Robin Hood character, or maybe a touch of a Jesse James without all the murdering innocent people parts. She's a hero for the castaways of Gotham, and she uses her cat-burglar skills to get information and solve problems, as well as the occasional heist. It's a very crime-oriented series, one that will tread the line between the real and super-hero world as closely as possible, in sort of an 'X-Files' way."
ROBINSON ON THE FINAL DAYS OF 'STARMAN'
Once upon a time, in the early 1990s, DC Comics used their annual crossover events as a means to launch new titles, with mixed results. The books that spun out of the "Zero Hour" continuity neatening-up event were particularly ill-starred, except for one. Now, at long last, "Starman" is winding to a close.
"The first thing I should tell you is that I finished the entire Starman run about six weeks ago," series writer James Robinson recently told readers at DC Comics' official message board. "I also finished the Shade text story, which was only four more parts and will run in issues 76-79."
He also spotlighted what's to come in the final issues of the series:
- "73. Ted's Eulogy.
- "74. Times Past - Death of Scalphunter.
- "75. Jack meets Superman.
- "76. Talking With David
- "77-79. 1951.
- "80. The Final Issue.
"Regarding [the just-completed story arc] 'Grand Guignol,' I'd like to say how glad I am that the majority of you enjoyed it. You can't please all the people all the time, but I seems my grade average rose a little with this issue.
"However, some points that did catch my attention --
"Re: The O'Dares. Don't assume the prophesy that the Shade gave in Annual #1 has come to pass and I've gotten it muddled up.
"Re: Shade's best friend reference. That was/is/will be Matt O'Dare. At the same time, don't expect Matt to be around to see Issue #80. You can draw your own conclusions re: what I mean by that remark.
"On the topic of the O'Dare who'll die saving Jack, keep reading. It's something I've been setting up since 'Hell and Back' as well as one particular Talking With David, so wait for that event to come.
"On that note, there IS still more to come. Yes, including Shade's cancer and 'a rose is a rose is a rose.' Eight issues. Bear with it, guys.
"Re: 'Grand Guignol's pacing. I always intended the arc to have (in my own inept way) a Dickensian feel, with many characters and the past playing a heavy part
in the present. A maze of people's histories. Last minute appearances by characters. A somewhat Byzantine thread, with some events and characters' motivations still left up to the reader's interpretation. That's what this arc is. If you liked it, I like you. If you didn't, c'est la vie. …
"However, I will remark on a couple of things. The Ragdoll was never intended as a major event. I don't recall ever saying he would be. He was an element. He doesn't kill Ted, because in 'Starman' I've always had characters sometimes make the unexpected choice. And I wanted him to walk away as if (symbolically) he was walking from my book back into the mainstream DC world [which] I've kept him away from for all this time, so he could appear in 'the Flash' that my friend Geoff Johns is currently writing.
"If I have one regret in GG it's that I had one too many supporting characters. I feel the inclusion of Phantom Lady was a mistake. In my mind she'd would have had more to do. When the time came to write her, I found her simply taking up space more often than not. I think the problem was that I was having too much fun writing Black Condor, who has become one of my favorite modern DC characters.
"Someone also commented that Ted's new mega-rod came out of the blue with no foreshadowing. Ye Gods!, how much foreshadowing do you guys need? Ted's research and refinement of cosmic energy has been a constant since Issue #3. He's zipping around in a flying car for Heaven's sake. However, if I'd actually come out and mentioned the mega rod, you'd all be counting down waiting for it to appear. Hence my long-standing decision to have it makes its first appearance in Issue #72.
"The Spider had been planning his hasty exit if things turned sour much earlier on in GG. Don't worry, he'll return. His role to come is as a symbol of the future of Opal City will be an element in #80.
"You want to know the minutiae of Barry's motivations. He was a bad seed. Even in the Starman 80 Pager, as a L'il O'Dare, I deliberately portrayed him as fat and selfish."
FROM THE JAWS OF DEFEAT:
GEOFF JOHNS' SEVEN SOLDIERS WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN
While DC Comics' "Stars and STRIPE" ended its run this summer, it's not like the characters have gone away. Series writer Geoff Johns also writes "JSA," which features the duo, and they're reportedly becoming frequent guest stars in "Superman: The Man of Steel."
But while the modern day Star Spangled Kid and her "sidekick," STRIPE are still before the public, the end of "Stars and STRIPE" meant that other of Johns' ideas may never see the light of day, including a new incarnation of the World War II team the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
"Since it probably won't happen," Johns told 4 Color Review, "Here's my line-up for the Seven Soldiers: Stars and STRIPE, the original Vigilante, the 'new' Crimson Avenger (our mystery character from Detroit!), a 'new' Chinatown Kid (which we planned on introducing), the Shining Knight and a new character who I'll probably use somewhere else. … They were going to be a very dark and dirty team -- busting into places, hunting down the bad guys, shaking answers out of them. These guys were soldiers.
Don't look for them to be showing up in the modern day "JSA" title, though.
"We've got a lot of new stuff planned for 'JSA' and they just wouldn't fit. Quite honestly, I'll be surprised if we ever see a new 7SOV formed."
And in other could-have-been-a-contender news, Johns' "Titans LA" project with Ben Raab, which was set up in the "Beast Boy" miniseries, the 2000 "Titans" annual and the latest "Titans" Secret Files, is apparently stillborn.
"It's not going to happen right now unfortunately," Johns told 4CR.
THE COMIC BRIEF IN BRIEF
Here's what's news in CBR's Comic Brief since Monday's Comic Wire:
- Dark Horse debuts first SpyBoy collection in January
- Top Shelf's Strangehaven optioned for TV and film
- Chaos! Comics solicitations for product shipping in February 2001
- DC Comics solicitations for product shipping in January 2001
- Image Comics Solicitations for product shipping in January, 2001