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Comics Buzz: DC predicts The Oracle Code in trailer; The Suicide Squad wraps; more

By Josh Weiss
The Oracle Code

Barbara Gordon is back in action with The Oracle Code, an upcoming graphic novel from DC Comics. The publisher dropped an official trailer for the project this morning in honor of International Wheelchair Day.

Written by Marieke Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends) and drawn by Manuel Preitano (Destiny, NY), the comic is described as "a mysterious thriller" and a "coming-of-age tale" that follows Barbara as she adapts to a new lifestyle following a tragic accident that leaves her paralyzed below the waist. While staying in a "state-of-the-art rehab facility," Gordon realizes that something is very wrong when patients (some of them her own friends) start to go missing. Using her prodigal hacking abilities, she'll strive to learn what's really going on behind this conspiracy.

The Oracle Code is my love letter to Barbara Gordon, to Oracle,” said Nijkamp in a statement. “It’s a book for everyone who’s ever felt like the puzzle pieces don’t quite fit, whether they’re in a creepy Arkham institute or simply figuring out themselves. And it’s for every disabled reader who knows they can be a hero too."

Check out the trailer below:

“Illustrating The Oracle Code was a great challenge and an opportunity to grow as an artist,” added Preitano. “The strength Barbara, Yeong, Issy, and the other characters displayed was truly inspiring, which reflects Marieke’s attention to details. The script really made me feel the mood of the scenes I was going to draw, and we worked together to get the best out of each sequence."

"Manuel’s art brought the story to life in a way that was beyond my wildest dreams," Nijkamp also said. "He got the characters from the very first sketch, and his eye for detail made their whole world shine!"

The Oracle Code goes on sale Tuesday, March 10. Pre-order your copy right here.

James Gunn's The Suicide Squad has officially wrapped production, the writer/director confirmed on Instagram Saturday. In his post, Gunn discussed the personal losses he endured during the secretive shoot of the high-profile DCEU project.

"My father died two weeks before we started filming and my dog died two weeks before the end. It was a hard, hard time in my life and yet the most fulfilling time I’ve ever had making a movie," he wrote. "The professionalism, talent, compassion and kindness of this cast and crew inspired me every day. Thanks to everyone involved in this film, in every stage of development, in every department - I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for you all. You are why I make movies."

A sequel/soft reboot of David Ayer's own Suicide Squad film from 2016, Gunn's version does see the return of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis).

Everyone else, however, is brand-new: Idria Elba, Steve Agee, Taika Waititi, John Cena, Nathan Fillion, Pete Davidson, Michael Rooker, Alice Braga, Peter Capaldi, Storm Reid, Joaquín Cosio, David Dastmalchian, Mayling Ng, Flula Borg, Sean Gunn, Juan Diego Botto, Tinashe Kajese, Daniela Melchior, Julio Ruiz, and Jennifer Holland.

With this project now finished, Gunn will soon be able to turn his attention to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which was delayed in the wake of his Disney firing and re-hiring.

The Suicide Squad opens in theaters August 6, 2021.

Kaiju beware! 

Ultraman, a staple of Japanese television in the mid-1960s, is getting his very own ongoing comic series from Marvel, the publisher announced at C2E2 this weekend. Co-written by Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and Mat Groom (Self/Made), The Rise of Ultraman will be illustrated by Francesco Manna (Dan Slott's Fantastic Four).

Said to "revisit the classic first generation of the worldwide phenomenon," the project comes via a partnership between Marvel Comics and Tsuburaya Productions (owner of the Ultraman brand), which was announced last year.

"A few years ago, thanks to my time on Power Rangers, I was able to discover and learn more about Tokusatsu. With its wildly different conventions and inspirations, Tokusatsu — and Ultraman in particular — has been a huge source of joy for me,” Higgins told “It’s a genre so ripe with possibilities, even down to what we conceive of in the structure of superhero storytelling. It’s both an honor and a privilege to bring Ultraman to Marvel.”

Ultraman Marvel comic

“Monsters in fiction have been embodying all that is dark and scary in our world for as long as we’ve been telling stories. But I don’t think anybody understood the immense scale of our most pressing problems quite like Eiji Tsuburaya,” added Groom. "He imagined the darkness looming overhead as tall as skyscrapers— alien and unknowable and ANGRY. But he also imagined us being able to stand up to those monsters, by rising above our worst impulses and embracing a nobler way of being. He imagined Ultraman. What does that mean in this complex, contradictory world of lies? We’re going to find out ..."

The debut issue of this new series is set to arrive later this year.

Despite being left out of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One film adaptation in 2018, Ultraman has enjoyed a major resurgence in pop culture lately. In addition to a CGI anime series on Netflix, the IP was also said to be headed for a rebooted expansion beyond its native home of Japan.