Cool news for pulp fans…
A while back, DC Comics released the above image by Brian Stelfreeze, teasing a new series of comics set in an alternate dimension within the DC multiverse in which old pulp heroes rather than modern superheroes are active.
The series is called First Wave, and is being written by comics scribe Brian Azzarello with art by Rags Morales. More early info was provided by Morales in an interview with Newsarama:
It’s a world of heroism at its most innocent. We’re talking about, essentially, a universe where superpowers don’t exist. There are no people flying in from Krypton…there are no people swimming up from the ocean or from Paradise Island. We’re talking about the heart and soul of what it means to be heroic, where people are left more to their wits and their intestinal fortitude rather than any fierce other-worldly technology, or even inner-worldly technology…it’s not really accurate to call it a “modernization” because this is going to be enough of that original flavor to feel like it’s old-school, with fedoras and women in high heels and the cool things about what’s gangster and pulp, like Tommy guns. But it’s going to also be enough of an advancement to feel fresh. Tommy guns will exist in a world where computers exist. We’re going to be dealing with a world that is kind of like the Batman Adventures from The WB, where you have dirigibles next to jetplanes. That’s basically the visual interpretation of the atmosphere I’m dealing with…
That’s an approach I like, and is pretty much the approach I’m taking in the Doc Wilde books (for example, the police blimps in Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom).
…we’ll have Doc Savage, the Spirit and The Avenger in there, and I’m working out how they’re going to look. Doc Savage won’t have that exaggerated widow’s peak, but I’m going with the classic looks on the characters with some updating. And in this world, Doc Savage is Superman. I mean, after all, Superman was derived from Doc Savage, along with Buck Rogers and Popeye and some others. But Doc Savage was the original guy with the Fortress of Solitude up in the arctic. He’s an inventor, and he’s got a very moral ethic. In a world of non-powered heroes, he’s going to be our focal point.
This week, the DC Universe blog told us how the pulp fun will begin:
This November, writer Brian Azzarello teams with artist Phil Noto for the BATMAN/DOC SAVAGE SPECIAL #1, which sets the stage for an entire new world for the Doc, along with a slew of characters that will pop up later, including the Blackhawks and Rima, the Jungle Girl. It all starts here, and I’m not exaggerating when I say you’re really in for a treat.
And two variant covers for the special were posted, the first by J.G. Jones:
Then one by Rags Morales:
Looks promising. Hopefully it’ll live up to its potential.
That looks awesome. I don’t buy many comics any more, but I’ll check that one out.
Definitely a cool idea. I kind of wish Batman didn’t have to be a part of it, but I get that he’s there to draw in initial readers. It’s hard to tell if these cover images are going to reflect how Batman is actually drawn in the story; I’d prefer they went for a look closer to his original appearances (much taller ears, short purple gloves).
And I don’t know his legal status, but I’d love for The Shadow to show up if possible.
I’m pretty excited about it. And I love that a pulp Batman is going to be a part of this world, because I think he fits perfectly.
Years back, I ran a roleplaying game (using Hero Games’ DANGER INTERNATIONAL system) set in a contemporary Boston that had, in the 1930s, been protected by a Batman who had been ultimately killed and found to be Bruce Wayne. There was even a statue (in costume) honoring him. The game also had frequent cameos from Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and related characters.
The players were assorted real-life sorts, cops, P.I.s, even a lawyer, and over the course of things had to deal with a new Batman that appeared and picked up Bruce Wayne’s mantle.