Bendis heads Wonder Comics for young heroes

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DC Comics announced a new imprint called Wonder Comics at New York Comic Con 2018 on Thursday, Oct. 4.

This new imprint, called Wonder Comics, is set to have the specific purpose of featuring young heroes, both pre-existing ones and ones that are new to the comic scene. Wonder Comics is headed by longtime comic writer Brian Michael Bendis, who will oversee the imprint. Bendis had spent nearly the last two decades working for Marvel Comics, but he formed a contract with DC Comics and started working for DC earlier this year.

“[Wonder Comics explores] that moment where you discover who you’re going to be and what your place in life is going to be, but you’re going to have to fight for it,” Bendis said.

The stories told under Wonder Comics will take place in the main continuity DC Comics publishes most of its comic book content within.

Upon Wonder Comics’ announcement, four ongoing comic titles that the imprint will debut with have been revealed: “Young Justice,” “Dial H for Hero,” “Wonder Twins” and “Naomi.”

“Young Justice” is the flagship series for the new imprint, and it will be the first to release in January 2019. The series will be written by Bendis himself and drawn by Patrick Gleason. DC has made a “Young Justice” comic in the past, printing from 1998 to 2003. This series was the first to bring together Robin (Tim Drake), Superboy (Conner Kent), Impulse (Bart Allen) and Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark). Ever since these characters were first grouped together, these four have been consistently with placed together in comics—forming the newest Teen Titans incarnation after “Young Justice” ended. The four, however, have not been seen in comics since their Teen Titans team disbanded in early 2016.

“People have been asking for them over and over again,” DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said about the foursome. “But we don’t want to bring them back and have nothing to do with them. It wasn’t until Brian came back and said he wanted to do Young Justice that we decided it was time to bring them back.”

“Young Justice” gained more renown after an animated series by the same name gained popularity. The television series has a third season in the works that is set to release soon, and the anticipation for it by fans has kept the “Young Justice” name on their radar.

The new “Young Justice” title reunites these four into a new Young Justice team, the team that united them the first time around. Besides these four, the new Young Justice team is set to feature two new characters: Ginny Hex and Teen Lantern. Ginny Hex is the “great, great, great, great granddaughter” of Jonah Hex, a Western hero who operated in the late 1800s and has an established history in DC. Teen Lantern is a young Bolivian girl who has learned how to artificially tap into the Green Lantern Corps’ power source and use similar powers. In addition, Bendis revealed that another pre-existing hero, Amethyst of Gemworld, will be joining Young Justice.

“Dial H for Hero” is a concept that DC has used in the past. Characters in these stories find an item called the H-Dial, which gives its user the ability to transform into a random hero with a random set of powers. The hero these “H-Dialers” becomes changes each time, and the H-Dialer cannot control what sort of hero he or she becomes. H-Dialers have traditionally been teenagers, with few exceptions. Two H-Dialers, Chris King and Hero Cruz have had affiliations with the Titans. The H-Dialer in the promotional art for Wonder Comics appears to be a new character named Miguel. The series will be written by Sam Humphries and drawn by Joe Quinones.

“Wonder Twins” features Zan and Jayna, known as the Wonder Twins, along with their pet alien monkey Gleek. The series will be written by Mark Russell and drawn by Stephen Byrne. The Wonder Twins are young alien heroes who first debuted in the older cartoon “Super Friends” and made their mainstream comics debut in the ‘90s. The Wonder Twins can activate their powers by first making contact. Zan has the power to transform into anything related to water in any of its forms. A couple of his most powerful transformations include a frost giant and an ice golem. Jayna can transform into any sort of creature, whether it be a regular animal or a mythical creature, like a dragon of phoenix. In mainstream comics, the Wonder Twins have had affiliations with the Justice League Task Force and Young Justice. The Wonder Twins have never had a comic title before, marking this Wonder Comics title as their first.

“Naomi” is a comic title set to feature a brand-new character with the same name. Bendis described Naomi as “a young woman of color who’s growing up in an all-white town who begins to look into her own pre-adoption past to discover a secret that will introduce a whole new mythology to the DC Universe with ripple effects stretching across Wonder Comics and other books.” The series will be co-written by Bendis and David Walker and drawn by Jamal Campbell, and the series will debut after “Young Justice” in January 2019.

Bendis explained why he approached DC with the idea of an imprint for young heroes.

“This is an opportunity to express a lot of themes I was already deal with, with Miles Morales and Riri Williams [at Marvel]; that moment of life when everything is at its most passionate. You’re at your most emotional and most powerful,” Bendis said. “It’s literally a list of things people have been screaming at me to bring to DC Comics.”