Apparently, when DC rebooted their entire universe with the New 52, claiming these books would be a great jumping-on point, they neglected to consider whether or not they should include the origins of these characters. So now, they're sneaking in another quick relaunch into the middle of their relaunch, with the month of September featuring all #0 issues (and apparently, they'll all be confusingly noted as #1 issues, judging by the promo covers released).
“We underestimated the hunger and appetite that readers would have for this backstory when we launched,” DC honcho Dan DiDio said. “The readership has been very intrigued in finding out the backstory in the five years since the emergence of the Justice League.”
Also of note are four new series being introduced with first issues as well, the "third wave," so to speak, but no official word yet on which books are being cancelled to make room for them, although we do know Justice League International is going away. “We want to keep it new and we want to keep it 52 all the time,” DiDio said. “We’re constantly going to be refreshing the line.”
TALON – Co-Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. Artist: Guillem March.
Meet Calvin Rose, the only Talon to ever escape the grasp of the Court of Owls. This former assassin of the Court is trying to live a normal life … but that’s impossible when he’s being hunted by his former masters!
SWORD OF SORCERY – Writer: Christy Marx. Artist: Aaron Lopresti.
Featuring the return of Amethyst, Amy Winston leads a strange life on the road with her mother and resents it. She’s about to learn it’s all been necessary when she discovers she’s the lost princess of Gemworld—and she’s being hunted by her murderous aunt. With a back-up story written by Tony Bedard with art by Jesus Saiz, set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the monstrous warrior Beowulf is charged with finding and defeating the evil Grendel.
THE PHANTOM STRANGER – Writer: Dan DiDio. Artist: Brent Anderson.
Spinning out of his recent appearances in JUSTICE LEAGUE and DC’s Free Comic Book Day story, learn more about the true origin of The Phantom Stranger and his connection to the mysterious Pandora.
TEAM SEVEN – Writer: Justin Jordan. Artist: Jesus Merino.
Set in the early days of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52, threads of the entire DC Universe collide. As Superman emerges, so does the world’s counter measures against him and his kind. Team 7 is comprised of Dinah Lance, Amanda Waller, Steve Trevor, John Lynch, Alex Fairchild, Cole Cash and Slade Wilson — and their story will change everything you know about DC COMICS-THE NEW 52.
DiDIo is going to be writing a Phantom Stranger series? How will that work, considering half the point of the character has been that no one knows what his true deal is? Well, in DC's Free Comic Book Day issue, it was essentially revealed that The Phantom Stranger is actually supposed to be the Biblical Judas Iscariot. Go figure.
“I always loved the mystery and horror aspects of The Phantom Stranger,” DiDio said. “The mystery works for and against him and, as a supporting character, the mysteries are really interesting. But as a lead character in his own series, that becomes a huge challenge — you want to know more about him and how he acts and behaves."
However, an interesting note is that Sword of Sorcery writer Christy Marx is the creator of Jem, and io9 has an interview up. That alone makes us want to read it, just to see how true its outrageousness is. Also, Snyder having a hand in a Court of Owls spin-off series gives us confidence on that one.
Will Sword of Sorcery replace Demon Knights? WIll Dinah Lance, Amanda Waller, Cole Cash and Slade Wilson being on Team Seven spell the end for either Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad, Grifter or Deathstroke (oh god, please KO that Liefeld mess)? We'll likely know soon.
Here are some #0 promo covers – note the lack of #0 numbering. Ah, precious new #1s.