DC Comics, Inc. is an American comic book publisher. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. since 1967. DC Comics is one of the largest and oldest American comic book companies, produces material featuring numerous culturally iconic heroic characters including: Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern,Aquaman,Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman and Supergirl. Most of their material takes place in the fictional DC Universe, which features teams such as the Justice League, the Justice Society of America, the Suicide Squad, the Teen Titans, well-known villains such as The Joker, Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Brainiac, Black Adam, Ra's al Ghul and Deathstroke; the company has published non-DC Universe-related material, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, many titles under their alternative imprint Vertigo. The initials "DC" came from the company's popular series Detective Comics, which featured Batman's debut and subsequently became part of the company's name.
In Manhattan at 432 Fourth Avenue, the DC Comics offices have been located at 480 and 575 Lexington Avenue. DC had its headquarters at 1700 Broadway, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, but it was announced in October 2013 that DC Entertainment would relocate its headquarters from New York to Burbank, California in April 2015. Random House distributes DC Comics' books to the bookstore market, while Diamond Comic Distributors supplies the comics shop specialty market. DC Comics and its longtime major competitor Marvel Comics together shared 70% of the American comic book market in 2017. Entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications in autumn 1934; the company debuted with the tabloid-sized New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 with a cover date of February 1935. The company's second title, New Comics #1, appeared in a size close to what would become comic books' standard during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, with larger dimensions than today's.
That title evolved into Adventure Comics, which continued through issue #503 in 1983, becoming one of the longest-running comic-book series. In 2009 DC revived Adventure Comics with its original numbering. In 1935, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the future creators of Superman, created Doctor Occult, the earliest DC Comics character to still be in the DC Universe. Wheeler-Nicholson's third and final title, Detective Comics, advertised with a cover illustration dated December 1936 premiered three months late with a March 1937 cover date; the themed anthology series would become a sensation with the introduction of Batman in issue #27. By however, Wheeler-Nicholson had gone. In 1937, in debt to printing-plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld—who published pulp magazines and operated as a principal in the magazine distributorship Independent News—Wheeler-Nicholson had to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish Detective Comics #1. Detective Comics, Inc. was formed, with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld's accountant, listed as owners.
Major Wheeler-Nicholson remained for a year, but cash-flow problems continued, he was forced out. Shortly afterwards, Detective Comics, Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied known as Nicholson Publishing, at a bankruptcy auction. Detective Comics, Inc. soon launched a fourth title, Action Comics, the premiere of which introduced Superman. Action Comics #1, the first comic book to feature the new character archetype—soon known as "superheroes"—proved a sales hit; the company introduced such other popular characters as the Sandman and Batman. On February 22, 2010, a copy of Action Comics #1 sold at an auction from an anonymous seller to an anonymous buyer for $1 million, besting the $317,000 record for a comic book set by a different copy, in lesser condition, the previous year. National Allied Publications soon merged with Detective Comics, Inc. forming National Comics Publications on September 30, 1946. National Comics Publications absorbed an affiliated concern, Max Gaines' and Liebowitz' All-American Publications.
In the same year Gaines let Liebowitz buy him out, kept only Picture Stories from the Bible as the foundation of his own new company, EC Comics. At that point, "Liebowitz promptly orchestrated the merger of All-American and Detective Comics into National Comics... Next he took charge of organizing National Comics, Independent News, their affiliated firms into a single corporate entity, National Periodical Publications". National Periodical Publications became publicly traded on the stock market in 1961. Despite the official names "National Comics" and "National Periodical Publications", the company began branding itself as "Superman-DC" as early as 1940, the company became known colloquially as DC Comics for years before the official adoption of that name in 1977; the company began to move aggressively against what it saw as copyright-violating imitations from other companies, such as Fox Comics' Wonder Man, which Fox started as a copy of Superman. This extended to DC suing Fawcett Comics over Captain Marvel, at the time comics' top-selling character.
Faced with declining sales and the prospect of bankruptcy if it lost, Fawcett capitulated in 1953 and ceased publishing comics. Years Fawcett sold the rights for Captain Marvel to DC—which in 1972 revived Captain Marvel in the new title Shazam
Pulp magazines were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks"; the typical pulp magazine had 128 pages. The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction in reference to run-of-the-mill, low-quality literature. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were best known for their lurid and sensational subject matter. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; the first "pulp" was Frank Munsey's revamped Argosy magazine of 1896, with about 135,000 words per issue, on pulp paper with untrimmed edges, no illustrations on the cover. The steam-powered printing press had been in widespread use for some time, enabling the boom in dime novels. In six years, Argosy went from a few thousand copies per month to over half a million.
Street & Smith, a dime novel and boys' weekly publisher, was next on the market. Seeing Argosy's success, they launched The Popular Magazine in 1903, which they billed as the "biggest magazine in the world" by virtue of its being two pages longer than Argosy. Due to differences in page layout however, the magazine had less text than Argosy; the Popular Magazine did introduce color covers to pulp publishing, the magazine began to take off when in 1905 the publishers acquired the rights to serialize Ayesha, by H. Rider Haggard, a sequel to his popular novel She. Haggard's Lost World genre influenced several key pulp writers, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy and Abraham Merritt. In 1907, the cover price rose to 15 cents and 30 pages were added to each issue. Street and Smith's next innovation was the introduction of specialized genre pulps, with each magazine focusing on a particular genre, such as detective stories, etc. At their peak of popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, the most successful pulps could sell up to one million copies per issue.
In 1934, Frank Gruber said. The most successful pulp magazines were Argosy, Blue Book and Short Stories, collectively described by some pulp historians as "The Big Four". Among the best-known other titles of this period were Amazing Stories, Black Mask, Dime Detective, Flying Aces, Horror Stories, Love Story Magazine, Marvel Tales, Oriental Stories, Planet Stories, Spicy Detective, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Weird Tales and Western Story Magazine. Although pulp magazines were an American phenomenon, there were a number of British pulp magazines published between the Edwardian era and World War II. Notable UK pulps included Pall Mall Magazine, The Novel Magazine, Cassell's Magazine, The Story-Teller, The Sovereign Magazine, Hutchinson's Adventure-Story and Hutchinson's Mystery-Story; the German fantasy magazine Der Orchideengarten had a similar format to American pulp magazines, in that it was printed on rough pulp paper and illustrated. During the Second World War paper shortages had a serious impact on pulp production, starting a steady rise in costs and the decline of the pulps.
Beginning with Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1941, pulp magazines began to switch to digest size. In 1949, Street & Smith closed most of their pulp magazines in order to move upmarket and produce slicks; the pulp format declined from rising expenses, but more due to the heavy competition from comic books and the paperback novel. In a more affluent post-war America, the price gap compared to slick magazines was far less significant. In the 1950s, men's adventure magazines began to replace the pulp; the 1957 liquidation of the American News Company the primary distributor of pulp magazines, has sometimes been taken as marking the end of the "pulp era". All of the few remaining pulp magazines are science fiction or mystery magazines now in formats similar to "digest size", such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine; the format is still in use for some lengthy serials, like the German science fiction weekly Perry Rhodan. Over the course of their evolution, there were a huge number of pulp magazine titles.
Many titles of course survived only briefly. While the most popular titles were monthly, many were bimonthly and some were quarterly; the collapse of the pulp industry changed the landscape of publishing because pulps were the single largest sales outlet for short stories. Combined with the decrease in slick magazine fiction markets, writers attempting to support themselves by creating fiction switched to novels and bo
A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, anthologized work, it is distinguished from the term "comic book", used for comics periodicals. Fan historian Richard Kyle coined the term "graphic novel" in an essay in the November 1964 issue of the comics fanzine Capa-Alpha; the term gained popularity in the comics community after the publication of Will Eisner's A Contract with God and the start of Marvel's Graphic Novel line and became familiar to the public in the late 1980s after the commercial successes of the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus in 1986 and the collected editions of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen in 1987. The Book Industry Study Group began using "graphic novel" as a category in book stores in 2001; the term is not defined, though Merriam-Webster's full dictionary definition is "a fictional story, presented in comic-strip format and published as a book", while its simplest definition is given as "cartoon drawings that tell a story and are published as a book".
In the publishing trade, the term extends to material that would not be considered a novel if produced in another medium. Collections of comic books that do not form a continuous story, anthologies or collections of loosely related pieces, non-fiction are stocked by libraries and bookstores as "graphic novels"; the term is sometimes used to distinguish between works created as standalone stories, in contrast to collections or compilations of a story arc from a comic book series published in book form. In continental Europe, both original book-length stories such as La rivolta dei racchi by Guido Buzzelli, collections of comics have been published in hardcover volumes called "albums", since the end of the 19th century; as the exact definition of the graphic novel is debated, the origins of the form are open to interpretation. The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck is the oldest recognized American example of comics used to this end, it originated as the 1828 publication Histoire de M. Vieux Bois by Swiss caricaturist Rodolphe Töpffer, was first published in English translation in 1841 by London's Tilt & Bogue, which used an 1833 Paris pirate edition.
The first American edition was published in 1842 by Wilson & Company in New York City using the original printing plates from the 1841 edition. Another early predecessor is Journey to the Gold Diggins by Jeremiah Saddlebags by brothers J. A. D. and D. F. Read, inspired by The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck. In 1894 Caran d'Ache broached the idea of a "drawn novel" in a letter to the newspaper Le Figaro and started work on a 360-page wordless book. In the United States there is a long tradition of reissuing published comic strips in book form. In 1897 the Hearst Syndicate published such a collection of The Yellow Kid by Richard Outcault and it became a best seller; the 1920s saw a revival of the medieval woodcut tradition, with Belgian Frans Masereel cited as "the undisputed king" of this revival. His works include Passionate Journey. American Lynd Ward worked in this tradition, publishing Gods' Man, in 1929 and going on to publish more during the 1930s. Other prototypical examples from this period include American Milt Gross's He Done Her Wrong, a wordless comic published as a hardcover book, Une semaine de bonté, a novel in sequential images composed of collage by the surrealist painter Max Ernst.
Charlotte Salomon's Life? or Theater? Combines images and captions; the 1940s saw the launching of Classics Illustrated, a comic-book series that adapted notable, public domain novels into standalone comic books for young readers. In 1947 Fawcett Comics published Comics Novel #1: "Anarcho, Dictator of Death", a 52-page comic dedicated to one story. In 1950, St. John Publications produced the digest-sized, adult-oriented "picture novel" It Rhymes with Lust, a film noir-influenced slice of steeltown life starring a scheming, manipulative redhead named Rust. Touted as "an original full-length novel" on its cover, the 128-page digest by pseudonymous writer "Drake Waller", penciler Matt Baker and inker Ray Osrin proved successful enough to lead to an unrelated second picture novel, The Case of the Winking Buddha by pulp novelist Manning Lee Stokes and illustrator Charles Raab. Presaging Will Eisner's multiple-story graphic novel A Contract with God, cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman wrote and drew the four-story mass-market paperback Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book, published in 1959.
By the late 1960s, American comic book creators were becoming more adventurous with the form. Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin self-published a 40-page, magazine-format comics novel, His Name Is... Savage in 1968—the same year Marvel Comics published two issues of The Spectacular Spider-Man in a similar format. Columnist and comic-book writer Steven Grant argues that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's Doctor Strange story in Strange Tales #130–146, although published serially from 1965–1966, is "the first American graphic novel". Critic Jason Sacks referred to the 13-issue "Panther's Rage"—comics' first-known titled, self-contained, multi-issue story arc—that ran from 1973 to 1975 in the Black Panther series in Marvel's Jungle Action as "Marvel's first graphic novel". Meanwhile, in continental Europe, the tradition of collecting ser
Gene Ha is an American comics artist and writer best known for his work on books such as Top 10 and Top 10: The Forty-Niners, with Alan Moore and Zander Cannon, for America's Best Comics, the Batman graphic novel Fortunate Son, with Gerard Jones, The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, among others. He has drawn Global Frequency and has drawn covers for Wizard and Marvel Comics, he was awarded the 1994 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, won four Eisner Awards, in 2000, 2001, 2006, 2008. Gene Ha was raised in South Bend, Indiana. According to Ha, his parents were well-educated Korean immigrants whose aspiration was that their three sons would obtain prestigious degrees and enter corresponding careers. Gene was the most introverted of his brothers, a "geek" who sought out escapist fantasy through comic books. Whilst his siblings displayed impressive artistic talent, they lacked the patience to sit for hours on end applying themselves to illustration. Ha notes parallels between his generation of Asian-American comics artists and the generation of Jewish creators from the 1930s, both of whom were children of immigrants struggling to fit into America.
Ha cites as his influences numerous creators from the 1980s, such as John Byrne, Frank Miller, Bill Sienkiewicz, Walter Simonson, Alan Moore, most Matt Wagner, whose Mage series Ha says is still "epic" to him, its main characters "personal archetypes". Ha took few classes in art, as he was only interested in drawing as a means of creating comics, South Bend offered little in the way of education in realistic drawing, he began to understand graphic arts when working on his high school newspaper, The Clay Colonial, winning the Most Valuable Staffer Award, unusual for an artist. After high school, Ha attended the College for Creative Studies. In his last semester he sent drawing samples to Marvel and DC. Although he received a harshly critical response from Marvel, DC was interested and sent him a sample script. Ha's first published comics work was in Green Lantern vol. 3 #36, whose story, "The Ghost of Christmas Light", was written by Gerard Jones. He would draw a number of comics for DC and Malibu Comics, did work for Marvel as well, illustrating the 1994 miniseries The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, which documented the childhood of the character Cable.
He would draw that miniseries' sequel as well. Ha was one of the artists on the Shade limited series, he would subsequently illustrate a number of different properties for various publishers, including Aliens: Havoc, Superman, JLA Annual, which included interiors and cover work. In 1999, he began illustrating Top Ten, one of the series of Alan Moore's America's Best Comics imprint for Wildstorm, he would draw that series' twelve issues which ran until late 2001. Moore and Ha collaborated on the Top 10: The Forty-Niners graphic novel prequel published in 2005. In 2002 Ha wrote "The Stronghold", an Iron Fist story published in Marvel Knights Double Shot #4, which represented his first published comics writing. In 2006, Ha was set to serve as artist on the first four issues of a relaunch of Wildstorm's The Authority, with writer Grant Morrison. Ha drew two issues, but the project stalled after the second issue, as DC needed Morrison to concentrate his efforts on Batman rather than on Wildstorm projects.
In a December 2013 interview, Ha announced a sabbatical from work-for-hire comics and expressed his desire to focus on creator-owned projects. In June 2015, Dark Horse Comics selected for publication Ha's creator-owned series Mae, which Ha funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter; the Mae fundraising campaign, for a 68-page Mae graphic novel written and illustrated by Ha, launched on April 24, reaching its $22,000 goal in 36 hours, concluding with a total of $75,643. The book, will be published as an ongoing series rather than as a graphic novel. A portal fiction story, it depicts sisters Abbie and Mae reunited following Abbie's disappearance eight years earlier into a fantasy world of monsters, who have followed her back to her world in pursuit of her; the series holds a 7.8 out of 10 rating at the review aggregator website Comic Book Round Up, based on 35 reviews. Once Ha obtains a script, he makes "tiny" thumbnail sketches of each page, makes layout sketches on reduced copies of comic art board, two per page.
It is at this stage. Though he says about 90% of his artwork are done without photo reference, he will sometimes photograph his friends posing as the central characters, or use a full length mirror to draw himself, he renders minor characters from his imagination. Irrespective of how much sunlight he has on a given day, he prefers to use a 500W incandescent photo lamp, though he believes a 500W halogen lamp is adequate, he prefers to use a lead holder with H lead for sketching, 2B lead for shading, which he sharpens with a rotary lead pointer, believing that such leads can be sharpened better than a traditional pencil. He blows up a scan of each page layout to 8.5" x 11", draws "tight" pencils on top of these, which are scanned and printed on 11" x 17" inkjet paper in faint blue line. He prefers Xerox paper because he feels that the surface of marker paper tends to get smudgy or oily; when modifying art in his computer, he uses Photoshop. To effect his current ink wash style of shading and inking, he uses a variety of warm grey Copic markers with wide and brush tips, in particular a 9W Copic Sketch brush marker.
For outlines and precise shading effects he will use a variety of pencils, most notably a 2B pencil, for highlights and corrections, he will use white chalk pencils and white gouache paint. He u
Comic Book Resources
CBR, known as Comic Book Resources until August 2016, is a website dedicated to the coverage of comic book-related news and discussion. Comic Book Resources was founded by Jonah Weiland in 1995 as a development of the Kingdom Come Message Board, a message forum that Weiland created to discuss DC Comics's then-new mini-series of the same name. Comic Book Resources features weekly columns written by industry professionals that have included Warren Ellis, Erik Larsen, Steven Grant, Robert Kirkman, Gail Simone, Rich Johnston, Scott Shaw, Rob Worley, Rik Offenberger, Keith Giffen and Mark Millar. Other columns are published by comic book historians and critics such as George Khoury and Timothy Callahan. On April 4, 2016, Jonah Weiland announced that Comic Book Resources had been sold to Valnet Inc. a company, known for its acquisition and ownership of other media properties such as Screen Rant. The site was relaunched as CBR.com on August 2016 with the blogs integrated into the site. The company has hosted a YouTube channel since 2008, with 1.3 million subscribers as of September 12, 2018.
Comic Book Idol known as CBI, is an amateur comic book art competition created and hosted by comics writer J. Torres, sponsored by Comic Book Resources and its participating advertisers. Inspired by the singing contest American Idol, CBI is a five-week and five-round competition in which each contestant is given one week to draw a script provided by guest judges; these invited comic book professionals comment on the artists' work in each round. The contestants to move on to subsequent rounds are selected by fans. Patrick Scherberger won CBI1 and has since worked on a number of Marvel Comics titles like Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, Marvel Adventures: Hulk and GeNext. Jonathan Hickman was the runner-up in CBI1 and went on to work for Virgin Comics, Image Comics and Marvel Comics. Carlos Rodríguez won CBI2 and went on to work on Shadowhawk for Image and Batman and the Outsiders for DC Comics. Billy Penn competed in CBI2 and went on to work on Savage Dragon. Joe Infurnari, another CBI2 contestant, went on a couple of titles from Oni Press, including Wasteland and Borrowed Time, as well as on the back-up feature of Jersey Gods with Mark Waid.
Dan McDaid and artist on various Doctor Who comics for Panini and IDW and Jersey Gods for Image Comics, as well as strips for DC Comics, competed in CBI3. Nick Pitarra competed in CBI3 and went on to do work for Marvel Comics on books such as Astonishing Tales. Charles Paul Wilson III, artist on The Stuff of Legend, competed in CBI3; the University at Buffalo's research library described Comic Book Resources as "the premiere comics-related site on the Web."In April 2013, comics writer Mark Millar said he read the site every morning after reading the Financial Times. 1999: Won the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2000: Won the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2001: Won the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2004: Nominated for the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2005: Nominated for the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2006: Nominated for the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2007: Nominated for the "Favourite Comics Related Website" Eagle Award.
2008: Nominated for the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2009: Won the "Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism" Eisner Award. 2010: Won the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2011: Won the "Favourite Comics-Related Website" Eagle Award. 2011: Won the "Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism" Eisner Award. 2013: Won the "Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation" Harvey Award for its Robot 6 blog. 2014: Won the "Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism" Eisner Award. In 2014, the site found itself at the center of a debate around the harassment of women trying to participate in the online comics community; the debate was sparked by the community's reactions to an article by guest author Janelle Asselin, which criticized the cover of DC Comics's Teen Titans. Following harassment and personal threats against the guest author, the site's main editor issued a statement condemning the way that some community members had reacted and rebooted the community forums in order to establish new ground rules.
Marvel 1602 is a limited series eight-issue comic book published in 2003 by Marvel Comics. The limited series was written by Neil Gaiman, penciled by Andy Kubert, digitally painted by Richard Isanove; the eight-part series takes place in a timeline where Marvel superheroes exist in the Elizabethan era. Many of the early Marvel superheroes — Nick Fury, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man — as well as villains such as Doctor Doom and Magneto appear in various roles. Neil Gaiman had always been a fan of Marvel, editor Joe Quesada approached Gaiman to work on a project which evolved into 1602; the success of the comic led to three sequels, entitled 1602: New World, Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four, Spider-Man: 1602. There is a short story, "Son of the Dragon", starring the 1602 version of The Hulk in the second issue of Hulk: Broken Worlds. In 1602: Witchhunter Angela of Marvel's 2015 Secret Wars event, Angela appears as a hunter of witchbreed; the pocket reality seen at the end of the limited series in which the continuing Marvel 1602 universe takes place is classified as Earth-311.
Neil Gaiman stated in an afterword to the series that he had always viewed the Marvel universe as "magic". The editors of 1602, Nick Lowe and Joe Quesada, approached Gaiman after Quesada became Marvel's Editor in Chief with the intent for Gaiman to work on a project for Marvel. Gaiman agreed to write a Marvel comic in August 2001, although he was not sure what it would contain; when the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred, Gaiman decided that he did not want planes, bombs or guns in his comic. "I didn't want it to be a war story, I didn't want to write a story in which might made right – or in which might made anything." On a trip to Venice soon after, Gaiman was struck by how the "past seemed close at hand". The time was chosen, it gave me America and it gave me a lot of things that I wanted in terms of the way the world was changing. It gave me the sense of wonder and magic."Gaiman described writing the series as odd, since he had not written comics in half a decade. He wanted to write a comic, different from The Sandman, his most recognized work.
The profits of the series went to help fund his Marvels and Miracles LLC company, fighting for the rights to Marvelman. Unlike usual penciled pages, Marvel 1602 used a technique called "enhanced pencils", whereby the finished pencil drawings are sent straight to the colorist instead of to an inker first; this technique had been used before on Kubert's Origin, results in cleaner and more elaborate lines. Editor Nick Lowe noticed theater posters done by Scott McKowen and decided that the "engraving'look' of the scratchboard would be interesting for the historical setting of this story." Scratchboard is a technique where a sharp knife is used to scrape through a layer of black ink to a hard chalk surface underneath. All McKowen's illustrations were done by hand and colored in Photoshop. For inspiration, McKowen looked at seventeenth-century engravings, he added scrolls or flags to the covers for the Marvel 1602 titles, basing the designs on Renaissance paintings where scrolls are used to comment on the scenes depicted.
The hardbound edition features a scratchboard illustration depicting the main characters whispering discreetly to each other on the cover. According to McKowen, the image was inspired by a depiction of the masterminds behind the "Gunpowder Plot", an attempt to blow up Parliament during the reign of King James. Since the characters of the story are all traitors in the eyes of King James, they were drawn in a similar fashion. In the year 1602 in the Marvel Universe, for an unknown reason, superheroes have appeared about 400 years early, they were born and bred in this era and some hold important positions in high places. When the characters come to realize that something is wrong with the universe, the heroes must solve the mystery behind their own existence, while dealing with intrigue at the courts of Elizabeth and James. All over Europe, strange weather is provoking panic. Many believe. Dr. Stephen Strange, the court magician of Queen Elizabeth I, senses that there are unnatural forces at work.
He has been asked to watch over the secret treasure of the Knights Templar, being brought over from Jerusalem. Elizabeth tells her head of Sir Nicholas Fury, to bring the weapon to England safely. Fury in turn contracts blind minstrel and agent Matthew Murdoch to rendezvous with the Templar guard somewhere in Europe and secure the weapon; that evening and his assistant Peter Parquagh are attacked by an assassin whom Fury disables and locks in the Tower of London. Meanwhile, the ship Virginia Maid arrives in England from the New World, carrying the young Virginia Dare, the first child born in Roanoke colony, as well as her hulking, fair-skinned, blond Native American bodyguard Rojhaz, they are taken to meet the Queen only for a vulture-like assassin to snatch Virginia. Rojhaz disables the attacker, but Virginia has transformed into a white gryphon. Rojhaz subdues Virginia, Stephen Strange bespells her to human form before Fury sees her transformed, she has strange shapeshifting powers, Strange suspects she is the cause of the disastrous weather.
Fury interrogates one of the assassi
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II is a comic book limited series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill, published under the America's Best Comics imprint of DC Comics in the United States and under Vertigo in the United Kingdom. It is a sequel to the original volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and like its previous installment is a pastiche of various characters and events from Victorian literature; the volume continues the narrative of Mina Murray, Allan Quatermain, Hawley Griffin, Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde and Captain Nemo who respond to an invasion of England by extraterrestrial invaders. On the planet Mars, John Carter and Gullivar Jones have assembled an alliance of Martian races to combat an invading race of non-Martian aliens called "Molluscs". After a fierce battle, the Martian alliance force the Molluscs off Mars; as they leave, Carter worries they may be going to Earth. On Earth, in the year 1898, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen arrive in Horsell Common, where a Mollusc spaceship lies at the centre of an impact crater.
The League meet with MI5 Agent Campion Bond, debate about what the mysterious craft is and where it came from. A tentacled alien emerges from the craft, a group of men carrying a white flag descend into the crater to make peace with it, only to be incinerated by a powerful heat-ray from the craft; as the heat-ray kills the onlookers gathered around the crater's edge, Dr Jekyll turns into Mr Hyde, who threatens the alien with violent death. Mina manages to calm Hyde down, the League retreat to the nearby Bleak House Inn; that day, the British armed forces arrive in the area, Griffin sees another spaceship falling from the sky towards Woking. Mina checks on Hyde, they have a compassionate conversation about their friendship, something Hyde does not feel he shares with the other League members. However, he politely asks Mina to leave. Meanwhile, Griffin encounters the aliens. Communicating with them by drawing pictures on the ground, he tells them; the next morning, the League leave the inn and hear the military shelling another spaceship that has landed in Surrey.
Most of the army division is incinerated by the alien's heat-ray, which destroys the inn. A coach arrives to take the League back to London, but on the way, Mina starts to fear not every League member will survive this mission. At their headquarters in the British Museum, Mycroft Holmes tasks the League with researching Mars and returning to Horsell to observe the alien's behaviour. Bond gives Mina secret military plans and tells her to study them, as well as find out all she can about Mars. Allan and Nemo set off back to Horsell, leaving Mina on her own and unprotected at the headquarters. Griffin stays behind and hides under cover of invisibility, once Mina is alone he fiercely assaults her flees with the military plans. During their reconnaissance, Allan and Nemo encounter a Tripod, an enormous three-legged war machine, set off back to London to warn British Intelligence. Upon returning to the museum, Hyde finds Mina lying beaten and unconscious on the floor, realises what has happened. After Mina recovers from her attack, Mycroft sends her and Allan on a new mission, travel to South Downs to find a scientist who may be able to help stop the invasion.
While Mina and Allan are away, Captain Nemo and Mr Hyde patrol the Thames in the Nautilus and fend off the oncoming Tripods. The advanced technology aboard the Nautilus proves to be an match for the Tripods, Nemo orders his crew to bring the wreckage of a destroyed Tripod on board so they can study the alien technology. While investigating the South Downs countryside and Allan meet a man called Teddy Prendrick, he is insane and gives them little information, but does mention a "devil doctor", whom they suspect could be the scientist they are looking for. Despite Prendrick's warnings and Allan continue to search the countryside, retiring to a country inn at the end of the day, where they end up having sex. Awakening afterwards, Allan is shocked at the sight. Back in London, Griffin approaches the aliens again and tells them they have to "do something to the river" to stop the Nautilus; the next day, the aliens fill the Thames with red weed, draining all the water and immobilising the Nautilus.
Hyde goes back to headquarters. In South Downs and Allan are searching for the scientist in a forest. Mina is angry at Allan for how he reacted to her scars, but he explains he was not repulsed by them, they reminded him of his second wife, scarred in a fire, they have sex again by a tree, but are confronted by a bear-like creature capable of speech and dressed in tattered human clothes. Joined by other talking animals, the bear takes them to the hideout of Dr Moreau, who has relocated to the countryside and continues to create human-animal hybrids (humorously, all of Dr Moreau's hybrids resemble anthropomorphic animal characters from children's fiction, including Puss in Boots, Mother Goose, Mole, Rat and Toad from The