Last week, Bleeding Cool ran the news that DC Comics was calling the character Black Adam by a new name in Infinite Frontier. And that it was Shazadam. It was one of a number of DC Infinite Frontier stories that Bleeding Cool has been running, but this was the one that seemed to explode and get picked up everywhere. Who knew?
And there was pushback. Upcoming Justice League writer Brian Bendis, who will be using the character in the series, posted the following subtweet.
Which didn't actually state that the rumour was false. Just that it was dumb. This is known in the trade as Brevoorting. Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort famously countered a story by Bleeding Cool that they were cancelling the Fantastic Four comic over internal politics by saying "my denying rumors isn't likely to keep anybody who's prone to paranoia from panicking. But really, does this even seem remotely plausible to people? Does it make any sense?" When a few years later, Jonathan Hickman confirmed the story… well Brevoort hadn't actually denied it, had he? And neither has Bendis.
It was enough however, for IGN to explicitly state the Bleeding Cool story was false. CBR followed up, citing their own sources. Bleeding Cool was getting a battering. It was our news about the cancellation of the Inhumans movie all over again.
DC Comics PR guy Clark Bull tweeted out the IGN story as well, complete with side-eyes and snark. Which is fair enough, I can't but like the man. And he puts up with me with great patience.
But then, late last night, one retailer who had actually read an advance copy of Infinite Frontier #0 from DC Comics took pity on us. Although telling me he had never sent anything for me to use before, and never would again, he was perplexed by the side-eyes and outright denials we were getting. So these are indeed pages from DC's Infinite Frontier #0 out in March, with red lines to hide where it came from which confirm our story, that Black Adam has been renamed Shazadam by DC Comics.
Not as a joke, not as a gag, but Shazadam to the people of the DC Universe. And to be published in March.
Now, Shazadam may not stick, it may not go any further than Infinite Frontier #0, it may not be referred to in the Justice League comic that Bendis is writing, nor the planned movie Black Adam may not be changing its name. But Infinite Frontier #0 is meant to provide the launchpad for all sorts of DC Comics characters going into 2021. These pages are also, I am told, the only appearance of Black Adam in the comic. So if you were looking for lies, the solicitation to Infinite Frontier #0 that reads "At the Hall of Justice, the League joins forces with Black Adam" is far more suspect. Because I understand that this doesn't happen at all.
Of course, DC Comics could pull an Armageddon 2001 and change it all before publication. But at least, for this story, for this one moment in space and time, Bleeding Cool has been able to provide the Shazadam receipts.
Your move, IGN. You can catch up with our other Infinite Frontier stories right here and mock them as well if you wish.