DC New Talent Showcase #1

Most people prefer to live in the moment. I know I do. I find it a struggle working out what to have for my dinner, let alone planning weeks and months in advance. Luckily, DC don’t have this problem. Over the last 12 months, teams of artists and writers have been busy conducting workshops. Led by Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, and Klaus Janson the aim of these lessons is to find the next generation to carry on the DC legacy. After months of toil, here is the DC New Talent Showcase one-shot.

The 75-page comic consists of 9 short stories created by new writers and artists. These people have been chosen out of thousands of entries to provide new content for DC’s large library of characters for years to come. I’ll be honest, I’m not privy to the Burbank company’s process of finding new talent, although I hope it involves Jim Lee wearing a Batman cowl sitting in a swivel chair.

Everyone is given 8/9 pages to make their mark and show readers why they should be given the big franchises. Each story contained with the New Talent Showcase takes place in an undefined future. This gives the writers scope to not only be free of current storylines, but to have a familiar starting point when/if they continue with the company.

How the book works

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The book is broken down into the following:

  • HELLBLAZER: THE ROAD TO HELL AND ALL THAT by Smith & Oum:
  • WONDER WOMAN: BLOOD AND GLORY by Ayala, Randolph & Rauch:
  • WHITE LANTERN: DEAD BEACONS by Moreci, Bagenda & Fajardo Jr.
  • HAWKGIRL: WEAPONS OF WAR by Schultz & Liew
  • DEADMAN: KILLING TIME by Sebela, Messina & Dinisio
  • WONDER GIRL: DIGGING UP DEMONS by Khan, Lupacchino, McCarthy & Morey
  • CATWOMAN: THE AMAZONIAN JOB by Beeby, Jung & Mulvihill
  • SUPERMAN: THE MAN IN BLACK by McMillian & Ferreyra
  • HARLEY QUINN: GOOD MORNING, GOTHAM! by Jones, Lotfi & Pantazis

Don’t get me wrong, some stories work fine at 8 pages. Take, Deadman: Killing Time. It flows from the first page to the last. It’s a simple story of dealing with death and making peace with the world. The door was left firmly ajar to continue, but there’s no need to expand on the story.

Other titles drop you into the middle of a story and this is where The New Talent Showcase doesn’t quite work, especially if you like closure. Take Wonder Woman: Blood & Glory. We join our titular character in the middle of the Windy City bashing giant monsters. How they got there is not clear. How Diana is going to deal with the beasts is saved for a day that probably won’t come for a long time.

It’s not a criticism with the writers or artists. Each story has merits and more importantly, their own styles. Hawkgirl: Weapons of War is a highlight. The thick, bold lines and frenetic colours complement Shayera’s story of destruction. Catwoman: Amazonian Job is another example of how the showcase succeeds as we’re taken on a short ride where the heroes come to Selina for help.

DC New Talent Showcase #1 Conclusion

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The New Talent Showcase isn’t for reinventing the wheel. It’s more to introduce you to who will be driving the car in the years to come. DC have already stated they want this to be an annual occurrence and I am all for it. Giving people a chance to break into the industry and provide fresh, new ideas is key for a business to survive.

Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges and 8 pages is simply not enough to form an opinion on the people behind the stories. There are far more positives to take away from the book than negatives. New Talent Showcase is a book that deserves your time. You can be certain that when the time comes to for the Scott Snyder’s and Jim Lee’s of the world to pass the torch, our comics will be in safe hands.

DC New Talent Showcase #1
4.0 (out of 5)
Pros
  • A decent mix of stories
  • Great art throughout
  • Exciting amount of talent
Cons
  • Some stories need expanding
  • Rough around the edges
Summary
Showing off new talent is a great step for DC. It's something that needs to be considered and based on these brief stories, we're looking to a bright future in comic books.

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