My big news out of Wondercon last weekend, and the DC Rebirth announcements, was that I’m the writer on the new SUICIDE SQUAD series, launching in August to coincide with the David Ayers-directed movie (trailers look great, if you’ve not seen them yet).
And Jim Lee’s drawing the book. Which, to paraphrase Ron Burgundy, is quite a big deal.
I think my first exposure to Jim’s work was Punisher War Journal, back in, what? The very late ’80s. Although I do have an Alpha Flight issue which may have been one of Jim’s first works for Marvel. Of course, he made his breakthrough on X-Men. On issues like this one – which I loved at the time.
So, I’ve been reading Jim Lee comics for a while. We all have. He’s one of the most succesful comic artists of the past 25 years. And for very good reason. There’s a dynamism and an aesthetic sheen to his work which immediately comes across. I’ve been getting Harley Quinn April Fool’s Day Special pages through from him and the moment you open the file there’s a palpable ‘woah’ effect. There’s a Man-Bat action sequence in the Harley Quinn special that just blew me away. More on the Harley special below.
In terms of iconic renderings of these characters, you don’t get much better…
So, when Jim rang me last year to say he’d be drawing Suicide Squad, it was one of those slightly surreal experiences where you’re half wondering if someone’s playing a practical joke on you.
I can’t wait for people to see what we do with the book. My pitch, and some of the things we have planned, had me very excited beforehand. With Jim drawing it, it could be quite the thing.
That’s the REBIRTH cover by Philip Tan, who’s joining us on Suicide Squad and will be drawing the Rebirth issue interiors. Philip’s great. We worked together briefly on a Martian Manhunter-themed fill-in issue of Bryan Hitch’s JLA a while back. And he’s going to be working very closely with Jim – occasionally in the same room, I believe – so the issues Philip draws will have a synchronicity of look & tone. That cover’s a case in point. Jim offered certain suggestions. It’s going to be fun to see what they do together.
And, as you’d expect, Jim brings some of the best inkers and colourists in comics along with him – Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair. I worked closely with Andy Khouri on Martian Manhunter and he’s editing the book along with Brian Cunningham, our Martian Manhunter launch editor. So, if you liked what we did with J’onn J’onzz… This is going to be very exciting.
If you want to a preview of what Jim and I can do together, pick up next week’s (6th) HARLEY QUINN AND THE SUICIDE SQUAD APRIL FOOL’S SPECIAL, where we’re joined by Cheeks Galloway for a Harley tale that’s got action and laughs and a certain degree of sinister to it. It also drops some heavy clues about where we’re going with the main Suicide Squad title. Something of a prologue, in a way.
No preview pages online yet, but Jim’s been posting a few teasers. He can do that. he’s co-publisher of the company.
I’m not giving anything away, I think, when I say that my favourite line of dialogue here is: “HAIRY JOYSTICKS!”
And Cheeks takes the book in a really fun, sideways direction too. His pages are terrific. It’s great work.
You can pre-order the Harley special here:
Also out next Wednesday is UNFOLLOW #6 – our Deacon-themed issue which sees RM Guera and Guilia Brusco joining us on art.
Books written by me with RM Guera and Jim Lee on the sameday. I must’ve done some kind of faustian pact. Possibly involving hairloss.
Anyway, Unfollow #6 is one I’m genuinely very proud of. A character piece. It goes to the core of Deacon. Shows how he ended up as… eccentric as he is. No preview pages online yet. But, again, RM’s posted one or two, so…
Guera’s so good. Hope to work with him again in the future.
Pre-order Unfollow #6 here.
Oh, the June DC solicits had Matt Taylor’s cover for UNFOLLOW #8. The first issue of our second arc, which sees Mike Dowling and Quinton Winter come back onboard. It’s the story of what the 140 List members did next. Heading back out into the world. Some are going to arm themselves for protection, some are going to become hunters, and some will go for a more non-violent form of protest, involving dove-based performance art.