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DC Comics Delays Waller Vs Wildstorm, No Longer For 30th Anniversary

Back in August, DC Comics editor Chris Conroy tweeted "Got a book coming in November that is so specifically designed to cater to me circa 1999-2003 that I'm a little surprised they're paying me to make it, tbh. And I gotta say it's an absolute heater, one of the coolest and most ambitious stories I've worked on in a long while."

That was revealed as Waller vs. Wildstorm #1, a new merging of the worlds of Suicide Squad and Wildstorm Comics by national security reporter Spencer Ackerman, video game writer Evan Narcisse and artist Eric Battle.

Spencer Ackerman described the book thus, "we're setting Amanda's rise within the context of another of my all-time comics faves, Jim Lee's WildStorm Universe, an imprint that from 1992 to 2010 filtered superhero action through Security State depravity, government duplicity and corporate rapaciousness. I know, you're all shocked this would appeal to teenage/young adult me…..Yes, one of our main characters is Jackson King, A.K.A. Battalion, the field leader of StormWatch. You'll also notice that chessboard-and-knight logo on the cover. That's right—this is also a Checkmate book. And that's because WALLER VS. WILDSTORM falls under DC's prestige Black Label imprint, which allows me to place Checkmate, another of Amanda Waller's secret organizations, within the WildStorm security apparatus, where I think it's a pretty natural fit? We're not doing strict continuity, we're doing vibes. Along those lines, I couldn't write this story without making use of another character that fits the WildStorm vibes—Deathstroke, whom the mercenaries' lobby insists I call a "private security contractor." But this book is more about Deathstroke's (now-ex) wife, Adeline Kane. Finally, Jorge's cover also displays our other major protagonist: Lois Lane. I simply cannot believe this is happening. I got to write DC's titan of journalism, a character every bit as much an avatar of truth and probity as Wonder Woman is. (This also meant I got to apply influences from Greg Rucka's Lois maxiseries and his Checkmate series.) Issue 1 is a big Lois issue, and the book as a whole allowed me to work through some things I experienced during some of my early-career reporting from Iraq. I don't mind saying my treatment of Lois is personal as well as aspirational."

Last month, Jim Lee was saying that he saw the series as steering WildStorm's characters closer to the DC Comics Universe. And the first issue should have been published today. But it is not.

Instead, DC Comics has cancelled all orders, and the comic book has been delayed to the spring of 2023. All mention has been stripped from the DC website. Why? Options are usually down to some other media use of the characters being scheduled for then, and it would make more sense to have them align with that for synergy reasons, or that the creative team are late. It would be very unusual to delay a book at this stage, so it may be that future issues are late, and DC would rather delay the first issue until more of the series is complete, and have them all come out month after month.

But it does mean that this comic, created for the 30th anniversary of Wildstorm, will now come out for the 31st anniversary instead… here are the DC Comics solicitations of what would have run.

DC Comics
DC Comics

Variant cover by ERIC BATTLE
1:25 variant cover by MIKE PERKINS
$5.99 US | 32 pages | 1 of 4 | Prestige Plus 8 1/2" x 10 7/8"(all covers are card stock)
ON SALE 11/15/22
In the early 1980s, as the Cold War stubbornly refuses to thaw, a new battle heats up…for the soul of the intelligence agency Checkmate. As the agency's super-heroic public face, Jackson King—a.k.a. the armored Battalion, former leader of Stormwatch and the symbol of American might—has long suspected that Adeline Kane is up to dirty tricks overseas, engineering horrors that betray everything he believes about service to one's country. But King doesn't know that Kane has a clever new ally—an ambitious young woman named Amanda Waller. She has her own ideas about how metahumans can serve their country. And honor, dignity, and long lives don't factor into them… National-security reporter Spencer Ackerman (the Daily Beast, Reign of Terror), comics and video game writer Evan Narcisse (Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Gotham Knights), and veteran artist Eric Battle (Aquaman, Kobalt) celebrate WildStorm's legacy of espionage-flavored superhero morality plays, pitting Stormwatch against the deadliest people in the DCU—including Deathstroke himself!

Variant cover by ERIC BATTLE
1:25 variant cover by TOM RANEY
$5.99 US | 32 pages | 2 of 4 | Prestige Plus | 8 1/2" x 10 7/8"
(all covers are card stock)
ON SALE 1/17/23
The island nation of Gamorra is eager for American investment—and even more eager for American metahuman weapons. Amanda Waller has just what they want: the Cybernary system. But the blood that her mercenaries spilled to get it has put her directly in Jackson King's sights—so now he's in the sights of the deadly Deathstroke!

Also having its orders cancelled by DC Comics is the hardcover collection of Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons planned for March 2023. It will be resolicited at an undetermined date.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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