DC Comics Relaunch: Grant Morrison’s ACTION COMICS #1 & Paul Cornell’s STORMWATCH #1 Are Key

While DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, as well its Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and other creators that have spoken, have indicated that DC’s new #1’s in September 2011 will be accessible to new and old readers, there are 2 books to watch if you want to understand this new universe in macro terms not just the micro of your fave #1.

Those 2 books are Action Comics #1, by writer Grant Morrison and artist Rags Morales, and Stormwatch #1 by writer Paul Cornell and artist Miguel Sepulveda which has made it onto THE list of the top 19 DC relaunch titles. 😉

Writer Paul Cornell has indicated that Stormwatch would be the book where the intergation of the Wildstorm universe with the DC universe would be explained.

Stormwatch #1 (ships September 2011)

It’s at the crux of a lot of things for where DC is going to be in September. It’s a bit of a kingpin book. It united a lot of things…

…A lot of Stormwatch and the Authority came from the fact that they were playing off being in a different universe. Characters who are kind of parallel to and recognized as duplicates of DC characters, or even Marvel characters, actually, during the Millar run.

That’s not there anymore. We’re right, smack in the middle of the DC Universe. And this creates the biggest waves, the most ripples.

And that’s a really great place for this book to be, because it’s making an enormous impact because of that.

So Midnighter and Apollo are now in the same universe as Superman and Batman! Isn’t that fantastic?

It actually is. 🙂

In addition, we have the solicit from Actions Comics #1 that indicates that the books set off the history of the DC universe and makes Superman its first super-hero which has seemingly had dire consequences for the Justice Society of America. We also have Grant Morrison’s own comments on his Action Comics work:

Action Comics #1 (ships September 2011)

“It’s a big honor and responsibility to relaunch Action Comics #1,” Morrison says via video.

Morrison says they want to “recreate” Superman for the 21st century, and “do something that’s a little bit new.”

Morrison says they will “change some of the basics” and reintroduce familiar characters in some unfamiliar ways.

Morrison says they’re looking for an “unexpected” take on Superman.

“A different side of the character than we’ve ever seen before,” Morrison says of his Action Comics #1.

Morrison says him and Rags Morales are trying to create a “new language” for comics storytelling — things that only comics (not even movies) can do.

Morrison says he hopes fans follow them into the “ridiculous voyage into the unknown.”

In addition, Rich Johnson has posted some observations from previous Morrison interviews that may indicate what Grant Morrison’s plans are.

And I wanted to do a story of Superman’s first year in Metropolis when he wasn’t so powerful and he was a bit more of a liberal activist. And to do that kind of Superman, the big heavy guy who can only pick up trucks and be killed by an exploding shell, you can kind of do that as the first year and see the differences between that guy and the incredibly powerful, self-assured man-god in the main All Star Superman book. So those are the three stories I came up with and as I say, they were slightly off the main storyline but related to it so I hope to do those when the current workload eases up because as I say I could just keep doing that Superman stuff forever.

We probably should give an honourable mention to the first arc of the Geoff Johns penned and Jim Lee Drawn Justice League as well.Justice League #1 (ships August 31, 2011)

This weekend they revealed new tidbits about that first arc.

[Jim] Lee: “Geoff [Johns] and I have known each other for years. We always wanted to work together. I think this is the project.”

[Geoff]Johns on membership: “Our first arc is the origin of the team. It takes place in the past, and the next arc will take place in the present.”

Johns said that when Green Lantern first meets Batman, he’s going to ask “what are your powers?” The initial relationship between these characters will be explored.

Johns: “What are the people like behind the mask?”

Johns said the three words he uses to describe what they’re doing is “Heart, humor and heroics.”

So, we’ll have JLA: Year One from Johns and Lee to kick off the new Justice League.

So, with Stormwatch, Action Comics, and the first arc of Justice League, All-Star Western #1 (ships September 2011)Demon Knights #1 (ships September 2011)readers will get a good flavour of the beginnings and/or mechanics of this new universe at a macro level.

I imagine, based on what we’ve heard from DC, you can still read your own books in bliss, but if you are interested in how things “fit” in the new continuity in the broader sense, these are the books to watch in my opinion.

Although with Cornell’s Demon Knights taking place in medieval times (also on my list of 19) and Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s All-Star Western taking place in the wild west of Gotham City (the later stomping ground of Batman), these books might also prove interesting to where the DC universe has come from, characters-wise anyway.

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