DC Comics has announced the upcoming launch of a new prestige imprint, DC Black Label, which is set to pair some of the publisher’s best creators with iconic characters, affording them the opportunity to tell brand new stories unrestricted by canon and continuity.
“Many of our perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books were produced when we unleashed our top talent on stand-alone, 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 tells THR. “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.”
First up from the imprint will be the previously announced three-part Superman: Year One from Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. The official solicitation reads:
A groundbreaking, definitive treatment of Superman’s classic origin story in honor of his 80th anniversary. This story details new revelations that reframe the Man of Steel’s most famous milestones — from Kal-El’s frantic exile from Krypton, to Clark Kent’s childhood in Kansas, to his inevitable rise to become the most powerful and inspiring superhero of all time.
Other launch titles for the imprint:
Batman: Last Knight on Earth from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Batman wakes up in a desert. He doesn’t know what year it is or how The Joker’s head is alive in a jar beside him, but it’s the beginning of a quest unlike anything the Dark Knight has undertaken before. In this strange future, villains are triumphant and society has liberated itself from the burden of ethical codes. Fighting to survive while in search of answers, Bruce Wayne uncovers the truth about his role in this new world — and begins the last Batman story ever told.
Batman: Damned from Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo
On a deserted Gotham City bridge, a body is found. Whispers spread the news: Joker is dead. But is this a dream come true or a nightmare being born? Now Batman and DC’s outlaw magician John Constantine must hunt the truth through a Gotham City hellscape. The city’s supernatural recesses are laced with hints about a killer’s identity, but the Dark Knight’s descent into horror will test his sanity and the limits of rationality, as he must face a horror that doesn’t wear a mask.
Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Jimenez
A Homeric epic of the lost history of the Amazons and Queen Hippolyta’s rise to power. Featuring monsters and myths, this three-book saga spans history from the creation of the Amazons to the moment Steve Trevor washes up on the shores of Paradise Island, changing our world forever.
Wonder Woman: Diana’s Daughter (working title) from Greg Rucka
It’s been 20 years since the world stopped looking to the skies for hope, help and inspiration. Now the world keeps its eyes down, and the powers that have risen have every intention of keeping things that way. Amongst a scattered, broken resistance, a young woman seeks to reclaim what has been forgotten, and on the way will learn the truth about herself, her heritage, and her destiny.
The Other History of the DC Universe from John Ridley
A compelling literary series analyzing iconic DC moments and charting sociopolitical gains through the perspectives of DC superheroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups, including John Stewart, Extraño, Vixen, Supergirl, Katana and Rene Montoya, among others. At its core, the story focuses on the lives of those behind the costumes and their endeavors to overcome real-world issues. It isn’t about saving the world, it’s about having the strength to simply be who you are.