Justice League V3 – “Rebirth” (2016)

 Justice League, written by Bryan Hitch and drawn by Tony Daniel and Fernando Pasarin, debuted in June 2016. The team consists of Superman (pre-Flashpoint version), Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, Cyborg, two Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz & Mera.

Starting in February 2017 as part of DC Rebirth’s second wave, a new Justice League of America series was released. The team consists of the AtomVixen, the Ray, and Killer Frost. The month prior to this, each of these members received a one-shot issue. On October 28, it was revealed that Batman, Black Canary, and Lobo would be joining the team as well. Batman will have a dual membership in both Justice League teams.

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Ghost Rider V5 (2005)

Following the western comics character who originally used the name, the first superhero Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, debuted in Marvel Spotlight #5 (Aug. 1972), created by writer-editor Roy Thomas, writer Gary Friedrich, and artist Mike Ploog. He received his own series in 1973, with penciller Jim Mooney handling most of the first nine issues. Several different creative teams mixed-and-matched until penciller Don Perlin began a considerably long stint with issue #26, eventually joined by writer Michael Fleisher through issue #58. The series ran through in issue #81 (June 1983). Blaze returned as Ghost Rider in a 2001 six-issue miniseries written by Devin Grayson; a second miniseries written by Garth Ennis in 2005; and an ongoing monthly series that began publication in July 2006. Johnny Blaze was the son of Naomi Blaze and Barton Blaze, Naomi being the previous Ghost Rider.

Rai – V1 (1992)

Rai (pronounced “rye”) appeared in books published by Valiant Comics. Rai was the first original hero created by Valiant and had its beginning as a flipbook back-up feature in Magnus Robot Fighter issues #5-8. The popularity of the flipbook back-up story later led to an ongoing series. Valiant Entertainment is the current owner of Rai and the rest of the original Valiant Comics characters.

In his original incarnation, Rai is the spirit guardian that protects the nation of Japan in the 41st century. It is a mantle passed down from father to son through the generations. As such, the series chronicled a number of protagonists.

A new Rai ongoing series was launched in April 2014 by the creative team of writer Matt Kindt and artist Clayton Crain, selling out of its initial print run.

 

Strangers in Paradise V2 (1995)

SiP, as it is commonly known, began as a three-issue mini-series published by Antarctic Press in 1993, which focused entirely on the relationship between the three main characters and Francine’s unfaithful boyfriend. This is now known as “Volume 1”. Thirteen issues were published under Moore’s own “Abstract Studio” imprint, and these make up “Volume 2”. This is where the “thriller” plot was introduced. The series moved to Image Comics‘ Homage imprint for the start of “Volume 3”, but after eight issues moved back to Abstract Studio, where it continued with the same numbering. Volume 3 concluded at issue #90, released June 6, 2007.

Predator: Big Game (1991)

Predator: Big Game was written by John Arcudi, illustrated by Evan Dorkin, inked by Armando Gil, colored by Julia Lacquement, lettered by Kurt Hathaway and edited by Diana Schutz, with cover art by Chris Warner. The comic was later adapted as a novel of the same name by Sandy Schofield.

Big Game was eventually followed by a direct sequel, Predator: Blood on Two-Witch Mesa, which continued the adventurea of Big Game’s lead character.

Batman – New 52 (2011)

Since the beginning of The New 52, Scott Snyder has been the writer of the flagship Batman title. His first major story arc was “Night of the Owls“, where Batman confronts the Court of Owls, a secret society that has controlled Gotham for centuries. The second story arc was “Death of the Family“, where the Joker returns to Gotham and simultaneously attacks each member of the Batman family. The third story arc was “Batman: Zero Year“, which redefined Batman’s origin in The New 52. It followed Batman #0, published in June 2012, which explored the character’s early years. The final storyline before the Convergence (2015) event was Endgame, depicting the supposed final battle between Batman and the Joker when he unleashes the deadly Endgame virus onto Gotham City. The storyline ends with Batman and the Joker’s supposed deaths. Starting with #41, Commissioner James Gordon takes over Bruce’s mantle as a new, state-sanctioned, mecha Batman, debuting in the Free Comic Book Day special comic Divergence. However, Bruce Wayne is soon revealed to be alive, albeit now suffering almost total amnesia of his life as Batman and only remembering his life as Bruce Wayne through what he has learned from Alfred. Bruce Wayne finds happiness and proposes to his girlfriend, Julie, but Mr. Bloom heavily injures Jim Gordon and takes control of Gotham City and threatens to destroy the city by energizing a particle reactor to create a “strange star” to swallow the city. Bruce Wayne discovers the truth that he was Batman and after talking to a stranger who smiles a lot (it is heavily implied that this is the amnesic Joker) he forces Alfred to implant his memories as Batman, but at the cost of his memories as the reborn Bruce Wayne. He returns and helps Jim Gordon defeat Mr. Bloom and shut down the reactor. Gordon gets his job back as the commissioner, and the government Batman project is shuttered.

 

Punisher War Zone (1992)

Punisher War Zone ran for 41 issues with two 64-page annuals. Multiple writers contributed to this series during its three-year run from 1992 to 1995. The series served mainly as a vehicle for longtime Marvel artist John Romita, Jr., who had returned to Marvel after a lengthy hiatus from drawing a monthly title. In 2009, Marvel published a 6-issue limited series under the same title. The storyline was called “The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci“.

Catwoman V3 (2002)

In the Detective Comics #759–762 (August–November 2001) backup storyline “Trail of the Catwoman”, by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Darwyn Cooke, private detective Slam Bradley attempts to find out what really happened to Selina Kyle. This storyline leads in to the Catwoman series of late 2001 (written by Brubaker initially with Cooke, later joined by artist Cameron Stewart). In this series, Selina Kyle, joined by new supporting cast members Holly and Slam Bradley (a character from the early Golden Age DC Comics), becomes protector of the residents of Gotham’s East End, while still carrying out an ambitious career as a cat burglar.

Catwoman #53 NM $9
Catwoman #53 NM $9

Magnus Robot Fighter – Valiant

In 1991, Jim Shooter obtained rights to three Gold Key characters: Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom; Turok, Son of Stone; and Magnus, Robot Fighter. He intended to use those characters to launch his new comic book line, Valiant Comics. Several months later, the company launched Magnus, Robot Fighter.

The series began where the original one left off. The artists took great care to replicate the setting and trappings of the original stories. But as the new series progressed, it began to deviate from the original concept.The term “Freewills” appeared in the Valiant run, introducing the concept that the rogue robots seen previously were not simply the product of random malfunctions, but were the result of a common phenomenon which allowed robots to become sentient. While some of them are malevolent, others merely want to be free. It was also learned that 1A is a freewill. With Magnus’s help, a colony of benevolent Freewills is established called the “Steel Nation.” At the same time, Magnus becomes disgusted with North Am’s elite. He journeys to the lower levels of North Am and befriends a group of social outcasts known as Gophs.

 

The New Mutants V1 (1990’s)

Sales of The New Mutants had slumped for several years in the late 80’s, but took a sharp upturn after Rob Liefeld took over the penciling and co-plotting chores at the end of 1989. A new mentor for the group, the mysterious mercenary Cable, was introduced, further helping sales. Over the next year, several longtime team members were written out or killed off. However, the relationship between Liefeld and Simonson was fraught with tension, and Simonson claims that Harras dealt with the situation by rewriting her plots and dialogue so that the characterizations did not make sense: “Although I wasn’t being fired, I think I was being shoved out the door with both hands by Bob Harras. Bob was only doing what he had to do, I expect, which was make Rob Liefeld happy.” Simonson eventually gave in, leaving after issue #97. When Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, who wrote dialogue based on Liefeld’s plots, took over as writers of the final three issues of the series, they included several harder-edged characters.

The New Mutants was cancelled in 1991 with issue #100, but the new platoon-like team formed by Cable continued in X-Force, a successful series (whose first issue sold approximately one million copies) that would continue until 2002, and feature a variety of the former New Mutants cast.