Comic Cover Of The Week proudly presents another sublime entry into DC’s – The Other History Of The DC Universe, the limited run mini-series that shines its diversity spotlight on Superheroes from marginalised and disenfranchised minorities. Written by sensational scribe John Ridley, the screenwriter and novelist behind the superlative period drama – 12 Years A Slave – with this insightful issue focusing on Tatsu Yamashiro, aka – Katana.
It’s 1983, Japan, and Tatsu finds her life ripped asunder, her home, children and husband are all gone, taken forcibly, and all she is left with is a burning pain and the accursed sword that stole her loved ones. This sets Tatsu on a lengthy and emotional journey of healing, self discovery and ultimately rebirth. This is the tale of Tatsu Yamashiro, the woman behind the mask of Katana, the hero who, alongside other Outsiders of similar disposition, rally together to fight oppression and xenophobia.
As with the previous two issues in this sensational series, this newest entry follows Tatsu throughout her long and varied history in the DC Universe, with both the art style and costumes reflecting the time periods involved exquisitely. The format for this series varies greatly to the average comic book, with its visual prose approach to story telling, compact narration spread across beautiful splash pages by astounding artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi. This Ridley penned opus is a must buy for comic book fans, a fascinating insight into the lives of heroes who have dealt with issues of marginalisation and racism and yet even through this continue to empower themselves and others to fight for liberation, emancipation and equality.
The Other History Of The DC Universe Is Available At Your Local Comic-Book Emporium Right Now!
DC Comics’ new limited series The Other History Of The DC Universe is phenomenal, a must read and an important milestone in comic book diversity. Now, I could, in all honesty end the post with just that minor amount of information on this fantastic debut issue and just urge you all to go out and purchase this landmark comic-book, but, this John Ridley penned epic series is so deserving of praise that I shall continue to heap on as many superlatives as I can manage to muster up.
John Ridley is a screenwriter, novelist and producer of American Crime and the superlative biographical period drama 12 Years A Slave, and with this new mini-series turns his formidable literary talents towards traditionally marginalised characters such as Thunder, Mal and Karen Duncan, Renee Montoya and Katana, with this inaugural issue focusing on Jefferson Pierce, also known as the electricity infused meta-human – Black Lightning.
The series doesn’t conform to the atypical comic-book format, but reads like a visual novel, a pictorial prose if you prefer, with the flow of the story presented in a diary/memoir style from the perspective of Jefferson. Taking place between 1972 and 1995, we follow Jefferson’s maturation from young man to eventual athlete, teacher and finally superhero in his subsequent Black Lightning form.
Through Jefferson’s perspective we witness the consequent escalation of DC’s heroes including the trinity of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, with Jefferson struggling to comprehend why beings of such power can’t seem to tackle widely prevalent social injustices, poverty and discrimination, when they are so readily able to stop alien invasions, marauding gods and overtly powerful SuperVillains. It is here that Jefferson marks what makes a real hero, utilising both his ability as a teacher to enlighten and shape his pupils to help fight back against intolerance and iniquity, and his heroic Black Lightning persona to take that fight to the oppressors themselves.
John Ridley’s phenomenal prose is accompanied by some wonderful visuals courtesy of Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi, and perfectly encapsulate the differing visual styles of each era of DC and Black Lightning’s lengthy comic history.
Ridley’s “Other History Of The DC Universe” is absolutely an astounding chronicle, a beautifully written and adaptive work of visual prose that deals in highlighting the Superhero perspective from marginalised and disenfranchised minorities, the unusual approach to the comic book itself both verbally and visually is refreshing and I for one cannot wait to indulge in the next four issues of this wonderful series. Highly, highly recommended!
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of The Week In Geek where we love to share our favourite – Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…
Legendary Scribe Tom King To Tackle Superhero PTSD In New Mystery Project For DC…
Sensational scribe – Tom King has revealed at the recent DC In DC convention that he will be spearheading a new mystery project titled Sanctuary, that aims to explore the long term pyschological effects that are wrought upon the minds of those brave few who choose to pursue a career in costumed crime-fighting.
Of course, few writers are able to match King’s literary grasp upon the psychosomatic effects of fighting crime. He has proven his erudite skills of profundity in his most recent projects for DC with the bombastic ongoing Batman Rebirth monthly and the (quite frankly) groundbreaking Mister Miracle 12 issue maxi-series.
During a panel discussion about PTSD in comics and comic-book writing King said –
“The DCU has a bunch of Superheroes and all they do is fight, all the time, and that must have a psychological effect on them, right? You can’t live a life of violence and not feel that violence in your heart. We also have a group of heroes, the Trinity (Bats, Wondy, Supes) who care about these other heroes. They sort of feel like parental figures, the foundations that stand beneath them. And they care about them for two reasons – one, because they’re good people, but also, two, if Superheroes experience trauma and it drives them mad, that’s a real danger. So they have set up something called Sanctuary, a place, modelled on veterans’ crisis centres where you can go and discuss the inherent trauma involved with crime-fighting, where Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman can endeavour to help you”
Sounds intriguing, and with the venerable Tom King at the helm there is an absolute certainty that this will be yet another legendary project for DC.
Shazam Movie Reveals New Villain And Release Date…
DC’s incoming movie based upon the popular Billy Batson alter ego – Shazam, will debut on the silver screen in April of 2019. In recently uncovered casting call notes for the Wizard Shazam (the mystical character who grants Batson his magical powers) we also discover casting cues for the entire Sivana family, including, of course, that of Billy’s arch-enemy, the villainous Dr Sivana.
And with that said, as of the time of writing this article, fantastic British thespian Mark Strong has just been cast as the eponymous villain. Strong is no stranger to playing miscreants (well he is British after all, we’re really good at the ol’ evil bad guy stuff apparently) he was the antagonist in the original Kick Ass movie, and lest we forget he has also portrayed another classic DC villain, Sinestro, in the much maligned (but hey, we liked it!) Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern movie.
Shazam is currently in production directed by David F. Sandberg, and stars Zachary Levi as its titular star, alongside Asher Angel as his 12 year old alter ego Billy Batson… plus the possibility (please, please) of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Shazam’s longtime super powered rival, Black Adam.
12 Years A Slave Writer Is Penning A Series For DC That Explores The DC Universe Through The Eyes of It’s Marginalised Characters.
Oscar winning writer – John Ridley has been tasked with writing a series that explores the intimate and mostly concealed stories behind the DC Universes’ many characters who don’t represent the overused comic book staple of white, straight, male protagonists, with a mini-series titled – The Other History Of The DC Universe.
The series itself will feature many of DC’s famous Superheroes of colour including the likes of Japanese anti-hero – Katana, African-American Green Lantern – John Stewart and black female Superhero – Vixen. The Other History Of The DC Universe aims to examine the “sociopolitical perspective of heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups, at it’s core, the series will focus on the lives behind the costumes and their endeavours to overcome real world issues, The Other History Of The DC Universe isn’t about saving the world, it’s about having the strength to be who you are”
Of course there are plenty of classic costumed crimefighters that Ridley could potentially call upon for this project, as DC have a rather diverse roll call of characters throughout their history. I for one hope to see one of my personal favourite characters Kate Kane, one of the first overtly popular lesbian Superheroes – Batwoman, making an appearance at some point during the run.