Tuesday, July 20, 2010

DW welcomes writer Nick Spencer to DC!!

In recent weeks, DC Comics has been on an announcement spree, regaling the comics-reading public with news of new creative talent joining the ranks of the legacy publisher. Of these many announcements, the most exciting for me was that of writer Nick Spencer joining the fold to tell the stories of Superman's pal, the one and only Jimmy Olsen. Starting in Action Comics #893, Spencer will pen the back-up feature focusing on the world's most famous bow-tie wearing photojournalist.

Mr. Spencer's most recent work has been on several critically acclaimed books published by Image Comics, including the recently concluded Forgetless, and Shuddertown, the third issue of which releases shortly. Forgetless told the tale of two different groups of young hipster urbanites made up variously of struggling models, internet stars, and Jersey kids, who come crashing together as their lives converge in Manhattan for the closing night of a famous nightclub. It presented a warped yet real view of modern New York City with a biting and fearless satire. Contrast this with Shuddertown, it being the very dark and dirty story of a drug-addled homicide detective trying to solve a group of murders that are seemingly being committed by dead perps, and one sees very quickly the breathtaking range Mr. Spencer possesses.

What will Mr. Spencer bring to his time in Metropolis? In an interview with the website Comic Book Resources, the writer provides his perspective on the urban environment that is the backdrop of the Superman Universe:

"One thing we talked a lot about during the pitch process was the idea that, in a place like Metropolis, there are all these young people who live and work in close proximity to these awe-inspiring heroes and villains, and they sort of build up the infrastructure that makes all the high-action stuff we see in comics normally possible in the first place. In a city like this, there would be a lot of interns, entry-level post-grads and junior executives for whom guys like Steel, Booster Gold and Lex Luthor aren't far-away legends; they get their coffee, handle their schedules and write up their press releases every day. The closest real world comparison I can make is to Washington, D.C., where you have all these idealistic younger types doing a lot of the behind the scenes work for The President and The Senate and whoever. Metropolis is exactly the same way, except there, we're talking about The Daily Planet, S.T.A.R. Labs, Steelworks, LexCorp, etc. Jimmy, semi-famously known as Superman's Pal, basically the closest thing he's ever had to a sidekick, would obviously be a very big part of that scene. It's a pretty interesting position to put him in and impacts our story in a lot of different ways."

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen has a long and storied history within the DCU. It is a hallmark of the much-maligned/much-beloved Silver Age, giving us great moments of bizarre adventure and indelible images such as Jimmy Olsen as Turtle Boy. Mr. Spencer seems an inspired choice to marry a modern sensibility with a satirist's irreverence and play with that in the most legendary playground in comics. Combined with writer Paul Cornell and artist Pete Woods who are producing the main feature, it would seem Action Comics is primed to return as a premier title on the racks once again.

Action Comics #893 by Paul Cornell, Pete Woods, and Nick Spencer is scheduled for release on 29 September, 2010 by DC Comics.

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