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Sunday, January 2, 2022

2021: A Year In Review

 A lot of BIG things happened in comics this year, but we're pretty single-focused on DC comics (and it's characters and creators) from the 80s, so we're mainly going to target on that. See anything missing from this list? Drop us a comment below.

January 8th: Steve Lightle, best known for his work on Doom Patrol and Legion Of Super-Heroes, passed away. He had a passion for comics -- he never stopped creating. I believe he was his self-published Justin Zane was the last project he worked on. He will be greatly missed.



January: Netflix reveals it's first casting announcement for the new Sandman series it is developing. Still no word on a launch date, but fandom interest in Neil Gaiman's Sandman Universe is picking up.

March: With an announcement of a new Suicide Squad 2 film, fandom has a renewed interest in King SharkBloodsport and Peacemaker. Superman v2 #4 surges in value as collectors are buying up the first appearance of Bloodsport.

April 2nd: Warner Bros. announces that it has canceled development of the New Gods film slated to be directed by Ava DuVernay. The reason? It would create continuity issues with Zack Snyder's Justice League film.

April 13th: DC releases the massive, 1320-page Who's Who Omnibus volume 1. This reprints the first 26 issues of the 1985 Who's Who series, the 5 issues from the '87 Update, the 4 issues from the '88 Update and the Who's Who entries from the 1989 annuals. This is the first time DC has reprinted all of these issues in one tome, and this 8-pound hardcover book will surely cause your bookshelf to buckle. 

May 2nd: Comic book artist Jean Paul Leon passed away after a 14-year battle with cancer. From 1993 to 1995, JPL was heavily involved with the DC Milestone titles (Static, Shadow Cabinet, etc...)  

May 19th: David Anthony Kraft, writer for Marvel and DC Comics as well as founder of Comics Interview magazine, passed away. We chatted a few times on FB messenger (I even got a chance to show him my collection of Savage She-Hulk comics he wrote), but alas I was never able to lock down a time for that all-important interview I was hoping to have with him someday.


June 14th: Ty Templeton (Booster Gold, Justice League America, Batman Adventures) revealed that he has cancer stage-three colorectal cancer. Our thoughts are with Ty and his family during these difficult times.

July: Wild Dog depicted as a January 6th Capitol insurrectionist in Brain Azzarello/Alex Maleev's Suicide Squad: Get Joker?!? Neither Terry Beatty nor Max Allan Collins (the original creators of Wild Dog) were very pleased with this. 

July: Blue & Gold, a comic book series recounting the misadventures of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold that has been hinted at since the early 90s, finally hit the shelves.... and it's written by Dan Jurgens



August 12th: Robin (Tim Drake) outed as a bisexual by DC comics.

August: DC Pride #1 debuts and introduces Justice League Queer (members include Tasmanian Devil of the Global Guardians, The Ray and Extrano of the New Guardians).

August: Eclipso makes his television debut as the newest villain on the second season of Stargirl. Kind of makes you want to dig out those Eclipso: The Darkness Within tie-in books now, eh?

August: DC launches Batman '89 -- a much anticipated comic book series following the events of Tim Burton's Batman Returns (written by Sam Hamm and illustrated by Joe Quinones).



September: HBO Max announces that a Peacemaker series is launching soon. As if he wasn't a hot enough commodity already... Peacemaker might be a household name by mid-2022.

September: Madame Rogue, Monsieur Mallah, Brain and Garguax are confirmed to appear in season three of Doom Patrol. It's only a matter of time before Warp, Houngan, Plasmus and Phobia join the rest of the Brotherhood of Evil

October: DC launches the Superman '78 comic book series. In the same vein as Batman '89, this series picks up where Superman II left off. It's pretty safe to guess that Superman IV's Radioactive Man will NOT be making an appearance. Written by Robert Vendetti and illustrated by Wilfredo Torres

October: HBO Max reveals that Vigilante will be appearing in the new Peacemaker series. After scoping out the Peacemaker & Vigilante featurette, I'm pretty confident that this won't be the Adrian Chase Vigilante grim crusader of justice we all grew up reading about, but will be more of a goofy BFF to Peacemaker.



December 7th: George Perez, best known for his work on New Teen Titans and his Wonder Woman relaunch in the 80s (among many many other things), reveals that he has inoperable Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer and estimates that he has 6 months to 1 year left to live. We at DC in the 80s are truly heart-broken to hear this.


PREDICTIONS FOR 2022

-Infinity Inc. will get a new ongoing series (since half of the roster is already appearing on CW's Stargirl). It will probably be nothing like the 1984 ongoing series we all knew and loved.

-There are rumors that Brian Bendis is currently working on a Legion of Super-Heroes adult animated TV series. LOSH fans around the world will celebrate, everybody else will have trouble understanding it.

-Neil Gaiman's Sandman will become even more popular than it already was. Expect spin-offs.

-DC Black Label will be the imprint to watch for. Brilliant creators + nostalgic characters = my hard-earned dollars. (Have you had a chance to check out The Other History of the DC Universe, yet?) I just hope they go back to comic-sized versus magazine-sized.

-The new Batman film (starring Robert Pattison) will cause a renewed buzz around the Batman Universe. It will generate a lot of hype, but not as much as Batmania 89 did.

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