DC Universe “REBIRTH” Creator Signing
This morning, the Source Comics and Games had the unique opportunity to host a four-person signing of all Minnesota based comics creators. The signing was in relation to DC Comics best-selling Rebirth event. I was at the event nice and early, so I had the chance to beat the lines and chat a bit with all four creators while having my books signed.
Minnesota native and veteran Superman writer/artist Dan Jurgens has long called the Twin Cities home. He is a regular guest at area conventions and events. He has worked on the Superman books off and on since 1989, including the Death of Superman storyline in 1992. Jurgens is now writing the iconic ACTION COMICS book with Patrick Zircher on art duties. Mr. Jurgens was gracious in the face of my 41 year old fanboy-ness when I reminded him of the Superman commission that he had done for me years ago that now framed next to a separate Batman by Norm Breyfogle and hangs on the wall of my family room. Indeed, my family room is now the home of the World’s Finest! Unlike the other Rebirth titles, ACTION COMICS did not reset to a new Number 1 at the start of this event. Quite the opposite, in fact. ACTION COMICS (along with its sister book, DETECTIVE) reset to its pre New 52 numbering. While it’s well known industry knowledge that first issues sell much better than anything else, DC is honoring these two titles due to the historic nature of their respective numbering. Jurgen’s first Rebirth issue is 957. I told him how excited I was to hopefully have a Minnesotan take Superman to issue 1000. Again, Mr. Jurgens was classy enough to deflect my fanboy pinning and remind me, “It’s still a long way to go to issue 1000.”
Ben Percy is a writer that I wasn’t familiar with until I picked up GREEN ARROW: REBIRTH. When I turned the last page, I knew one thing that I didn’t know before: I loved this Oliver Queen, and I wanted more. Others obliviously felt the same, since this issue sold out of its 90,000 issue print run. This is the highest selling Green Arrow number 1 ever. In comparison, Green Arrow #1 from the New 52 sold 55,500 issues, while Kevin Smith’s historic Green Arrow #1 from 2001 sold 85,000 issues. While talking about the incredible art that Otto Schmidt was doing on the title, Percy was kind enough to explain the upcoming rotating art schedules that most of the Rebirth titles will be using. With the twice-monthly shipping schedules of these books, it’s the only way to keep the books on time and maintain the quality that the books deserve. Mr. Percy was already a well-established author before making his debut in Detective Comics during the New 52. He had a selection of all of his works at his table: some horror, some suspense, some dark fantasy. Needless to say, I walked away with a copy of THE DEAD LANDS. I’ll be cracking the cover open tonight.
Doug Mahnke has worked on everything from the Mask, to Green Lantern, to Final Crisis, to Superman/Wonder Woman. Along with Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, he launched Superman into the next phase of existence with SUPERMAN: REBIRTH. His heavily inked and shaded style add another layer of depth with the book’s retelling of the epic Death of Superman. Because really, what better place to start the next phase of REBIRTH, than with a retelling of Superman’s death. You can’t tell where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been. And Doug Mahnke’s beautiful pencils show us the past and future of Superman.
Patrick Gleason has been a mainstay at DC for years, putting in his time on books like Green Lantern and Aquaman. With the New 52, his spotlight has grown much brighter, with exceptional work on BATMAN AND ROBIN and ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN. Sharing creator credits with Peter J. Tomasi, SUPERMAN #1 focuses on Clark, Lois and their super-son Jon. The “Smith” family is living in the country to the North of Metropolis. SUPERMAN #1 is told mainly from the POV of young Jon, Jon has obvious hero worship for his super-dad. He wants nothing more than to help with family chores with super powers and a smile. But when a horrific- and quite logical- super accident happens, young Jon knows he’s to blame. Mr. Gleason draws a huge, broad shouldered Superman. Young Jon looks all the more young and vulnerable next to his super-dad, especially with Gleason giving him innocent, saucer-like eyes.
Misters Jurgens, Percy, Mahnke, and Gleason were all visibly excited about their work on the Rebirth event at DC. This is a group that clearly loves what they do: making great comics.