DC Unveils All-Star ‘Black Label’ Imprint
DC Entertainment’s latest comic book initiative relies on a very simple, very classic formula: Take some of the best creators at the company, pair them with some of the best characters at the company, and stand back. Welcome to DC Black Label.
“Many of our perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books were produced when we unleashed our top talent on standalone, often out-of-continuity projects featuring our most iconic characters, a prime example being Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns,” DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee explains in a statement about the new imprint. “Creating DC Black Label doubles down on our commitment to working with all-star talent and trusting them to tell epic, moving stories that only they can tell with the highest levels of creative freedom.”
Invoking Miller was not a random choice; the iconic creator is writing his first full Superman project, Superman: Year One, for the imprint, with John Romita Jr. illustrating. Also on tap are Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, re-teaming for Batman: Damned — which teams the Dark Knight with John Constantine for a story that tests the former’s sanity after the Joker is found dead — and, in her first major DC work, Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly co-creator Kelly Sue DeConnick, partnering with Phil Jimenez for Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons, which tells the lost history of Wonder Woman’s people from their creation through the arrival of Steve Trevor on Paradise Island. (Jimenez’s promotional art for Wonder Woman Historia is above.)
Other projects in the works for DC Black Label include the already-announced John Ridley project The Other History of the DC Universe, a new Batman project from the best-selling creative team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo called Batman: Last Knight on Earth, and the return of writer Greg Rucka to Wonder Woman, with a project set 20 years in the future under the working title Wonder Woman: Diana’s Daughter.
Each of the DC Black Label titles will be released in a format and schedule dictated by its creators, and take place outside of the canonical DC Universe as seen in the regular comic book series, allowing creators to take full advantage of the creative possibilities on offer. “We are carefully crafting each series to fit the vision of the creative team,” said Mark Doyle, executive editor for the imprint. “All of these creators are masters of their craft. I’m psyched to be working on a Wonder Woman story with Kelly Sue and Phil, helping to bring John’s vision of The Other History of the DC Universe to life and reuniting with some of the greatest Batman talents in the industry.”
The line is scheduled to launch in August with the first issue of the three part Superman: Year One.