The "Countdown" has begun!
On May 9, DC Comics debuted "Countdown," a year-long weekly series - the series starts with issue No. 51 and then counts down to No. 0 - headed by comics superstar Paul Dini, an Emmy-winning writer best known for his work on "Lost" and the classic "Batman: The Animated Series."
With DC fresh off the conclusion of the best-selling, critically acclaimed weekly series "52," many wonder if fans will be ready to embrace another weekly series for a year.
My guess is that "Countdown" may be even more successful than "52."
First, where "52" had four writers sharing time, characters and arcs, Dini will be the primary writer. Although all-star caliber scribes Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Tony Bedard, Sean McKeever and Adam Beechen will also be scripting tales in the series, they will be following Dini's lead.
Second, while "52" told an engrossing tale that focused on six lesser-known DC characters and explored the changes in various corners of the DC Universe through them, it quickly abandoned its goal of showcasing all the major characters in the DC Universe.
By contrast, as the stunning cover to No. 51 makes clear, "Countdown" will feature a cast of hundreds and showcase DC's rich history by focusing on characters such as Jimmy Olsen, Donna Troy and Ray Palmer.
Third, whereas "52" told the tale of a missing year and was basically a story unto itself, "Countdown" will impact the DC line each and every week. The company says the series will "serve as the spine of the DC Universe for a year, with its events sending ripples and shockwaves through the rest of DC's titles."
In other words, if you want to know what's happening in the DC Universe, "Countdown" should be at the top of your pile every week.
This is a gargantuan undertaking, but based on what I've read so far, this book delivers the goods.
It has something happening in every panel, and something shocking every issue. For now, it is a book that captures the magic and wonder of superhero comics and is a perfect example of the benefit of serialized storytelling.
Samuel L. feeling 'Spirit'
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to join the cast of "The Spirit," the classic Will Eisner creation being adapted to film by Frank Miller.
During an unveiling of the project at the Cannes Film Festival, Miller said he is considering various actors to play the title character. Jackson is far and away his first choice to play the hero's nemesis, The Octopus.
The Octopus, in addition to being a psycho who kills anyone unfortunate enough to see his face and has his tentacles in every aspect of crime in the metropolis of Center City, also knows the secrets behind the Spirit, making him a worthy - and dangerous - archenemy.
At this year's East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention, the Glyph Awards - which honor African-American creators in the comic industry and African-American characters in the medium - there was truly a diverse group of creators and material acknowledged.
Winners included: "Stagger Lee," by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix, as story of the year; Derek McCulloch as best writer for "Stagger Lee"; Kyle Baker as best artist for "The Bakers"; Stagger Lee as best male character; Thomasina Lindo from "Welcome to Tranquility" as best female character; "Deogratias: A Tale Of Rwanda" as best reprint publication; Shepherd Hendrix for best cover for "Stagger Lee," and "The K Chronicles" by Keith Knight as best comic strip. Additionally, Larry Fuller was the recipient of a Pioneer Award and Spike was recognized with a Rising Star Award. *