DC Comics retools its cities for a new age


DC Comics is working on a bit of urban renewal as the new century brings a new look to two fabled comic-book cities: Metropolis and Gotham City.

Superman's Metropolis has gotten a futuristic makeover: "It's the city of tomorrow as it always should have been, considering the Man of Tomorrow lives there," says Mike Carlin, executive editor of DC Comics.

Batman's Gotham City, meanwhile, has been rebuilt in the wake of a devastating earthquake and a yearlong abandonment by the federal government.

And Batman is getting a new costume that returns him to his roots. Gone is the yellow oval around the bat symbol on his chest that was introduced in the '60s.

The family of Batman titles also is seeing some changes. Gone is "Batman: Shadow of the Bat." In its place will be "Batman: Gotham Nights," written by Devin Grayson and promising to offer a new perspective on the Dark Knight.

In February, the new Batgirl -- a teen-ager once mentored by an assassin and now guided by Batman -- gets her own monthly series. And a series starring the wacky and villainous Harley Quinn is in the works.

February will also see the launch of "Steampunk," an intriguing new series from WildStorm's Cliffhanger Productions. Created by Joe Kelly and Chris Bachalo, "Steampunk" offers a twisted version of the 1800s in a story that weaves together history, fantasy and science-fiction.

"Legends of the DC Universe," will feature a story drawn by the legendary Gil Kane and teaming two characters, Hal "Green Lantern" Jordan and Ray "Atom" Palmer. DC also plans to workHawkman, whose history has become horribly twisted, into modern continuity.

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