Remember how DC Comics is relaunching their entire superhero line this September? Well, DC has given io9 an exclusive preview of the artwork, plots, and creative teams for five of their new young superhero titles.
Furthermore, DC Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee gave us hints about some of the changes the DC Universe's young heroes will encounter. Without further ado, here are the official descriptions of the DC Universe's newest fresh-faced crime-fighters. Spoilers, and then some...
A Legion Divided
Following the announcements of new first issues starring many DC's legendary characters, we are releasing news of first issues for several of DC's teenage heroes and young superteams.
Seven heroes from the 31st century have traveled back to the present day. Their mission: Save their future from total annihilation. When the future tech they brought with them fails, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world and an ultimate struggle to survive. LEGION LOST #1 will be written by Fabian Nicieza and illustrated by Pete Woods, fresh off an acclaimed run of Action Comics.
In the 31st century, the Legion of Superheroes is reeling from the loss of seven of their finest — and trying desperately to keep their youngest recruits alive against a series of terrible new threats. LEGION OF SUPERHEROES #1 will be written by fan-favorite Legion writer Paul Levitz and illustrated by Francis Portela.
The Next Generation of Justice
Tim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard when an international organization seeks to capture or kill super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he must team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and a hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash in TEEN TITANS #1, by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.
Virgil Hawkins has been gifted with incredible electrical powers. Adopting the persona of Static, he faces super-powered street gangs, raging hormones, homework, and girls in STATIC SHOCK #1, co-written by John Rozum and Scott McDaniel, with McDaniel also illustrating.
It's up to the living avatars of war and peace to root out the hidden forces who look to plunge the country into a deadly civil war in HAWK AND DOVE #1. The exciting new series will be written by Sterling Gates and illustrated by legendary superstar comics artist Rob Liefeld.
Got that? After DC revealed these titles to us, DiDio and Lee were hush-hush but willing to divulge certain details. Here's what they said.
Judging from the Teen Titans artwork, the team is made up of characters who are mysteriously altered or appear totally new. What can we expect from this Titans roster?
Jim Lee: I think of all the books coming out this September, Teen Titans has probably the most variety of what existed before. We're really excited to have Scott Lobdell aboard — he's a veteran who's had a lot of experience crafting stories with lots of different personalities. He's building a mythology that gives you a family feel. He's tackled this by the horns, constantly emailing us new ideas. Titans is an important franchise book, and Scott's reenergizing it with new characters.
Dan DiDio: One of the things we're tying to do is bring a more youthful feel across the entire line. When we have a book about teenagers, we want it to feel like it's a book about teenagers.
Kid Flash, Superboy, and Wonder Girl are part of the Titans roster, but they don't look exactly look like themselves.
DD: All of these characters have history with the DC Universe that existed before the team is built, but it might be just slightly different. But I think in capturing the voice and the spirit of these characters, I think they're exactly who people think they are.
JL: There are going to be a lot of surprises.
DD: I think you're looking at every one of the former Robins to have a real showcase book, and this will be the primary showcase for Tim Drake.
Similarly, Hawk and Dove are crime-fighters with a lot of history. Can you give us some hints about what we'll see in H&D?
JL: A lot of people still have fond memories of Rob Liefeld's run on Hawk & Dove, and it felt real fitting to bring him back. The guy has a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for what he does, and we really expect Hawk & Dove to benefit from that energy. He and Sterling have really brought the momentum that you need to launch a book.
How did you recruit Rob for this project?
JL: I texted him.
Ah, that totally makes sense!
JL: I keep in contact with all the Image partners, but Rob and Sterling were enthusiastic to do this before we had the fall plans. We figured bringing it back in September was the best time.
With Static Shock, you're bringing on long-time Milestone writer (and current Xombi scribe) John Rozum on board. Is this mostly a Static showcase or will we be seeing the greater Milestone universe?
DD: John and Scott McDaniel are writing together, and Scott's brought a great dynamic energy to his art. One of the primary things we've done with Static — just to show that we're positioning him a little differently — is to take him out of the Dakota setting and place him firmly in New York City. There's a chance you'll see other Milestone characters, but we really want to make Static a primary hero of the DC Universe.
Paul Levitz is synonymous with the Legion of Superheroes, but DC's published many different iterations of the Legion. Can you give us some hints about what Paul has planned?
DD: The good news on this is that we've had a lot of positive reactions to what's going on with Paul on Legion of Superheroes, and he's got a very distinctive style that is really something that plays to long-time Legion fans. I'm happy to say we're going to be continuing with a lot of the direction and tone he's set currently on the run. That's probably one of the books you'll see the least amount of change taking place, other than the subtraction of the characters in Legion Lost.
Let's talk Legion Lost — is there a connection to Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's miniseries of the same name from a few years back?
DD: The [new book's] title is Legion Lost, but that's where the similarities end with the Legion Lost that came before. What you're going to find out is that this Legion is lost in present time with no way to get back to the future — this is a team of Legionnaires who are trapped on Earth with a very specific mission to accomplish. They're not sure how to do it given the parameters of how the world exists right now.
For more information on DC's relaunched titles, head on over to The Source blog.