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Zatanna, Batman and more join tidal wave of new DC YA and middle-grade graphic novels

By Andrea Ayres

At the Annual Library Association's annual convention, DC Comics announced an epic slate of new young adult and middle-grade graphic novels for release in 2020/21.

New titles include appearances from well-known DC heroes like Mister Miracle, Zatanna, and Catwoman, as well as lesser-known heroes. The creative teams were also revealed and include massive names like Ryan North (Squirrel Girl), Jeffrey Brown (Darth Vader and Son), and Julie Maroh (Blue Is the Warmest Color). DC is coming out swinging, folks.

The monster reveal comes a day after DC Comics announced massive changes to its publishing system, including the shuttering of two imprints geared toward young adults and middle-grade readers. The books will be released under the newly announced DC Kids for those aged 8-13. Those 13 and up can look for new titles to be released under DC's primary label.

DC Comics The Oracle Code Cover

Here's a look at the sale dates for DC Kids:

DC Kids: Middle-Grade Readers 2020/2021

  • Diana: Princess of the Amazons – Written by Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrated by Victoria Ying (January 2020)
  • Green Lantern: Legacy – Written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Andie Tong (January 2020)
  • Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime –Written by Derek Fridolfs and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen (February 2020)
  • Zatanna & the House of Secrets – Written by Matthew Cody and illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani (February 2020)
  • Batman: Overdrive – Written by Shea Fontana and illustrated by Marcelo DiChiara (March 2020)
  • DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless – Written by Amy Wolfram and illustrated by Agnes Garbowska (March 2020)
  • Anti/Hero – Written by Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta and illustrated by Maca Gil (April 2020)
  • ArkhaManiacs – Written by Art Baltazar and Franco and illustrated by Art Baltazar (April 2020)
  • My Video Game Ate My Homework – Written and illustrated by Dustin Hansen (May 2020)

DC Kids' offerings are oriented toward issues around friends, family, and growing up. During the panel talk, DC also gave the audience glimpses into the covers and synopsis for a selection of titles. They've made these previews available here as well!

The unveiling includes previously revealed titles like Wonder Woman: Warbringer, announced last July at San Diego Comic-Con. What's new, however, is the release date associated with some of these previously announced graphic novels.

DC Comics The Lost Carnival Cover

Here are some additional titles announced: 

  • Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld – Written by Shannon and Dean Hale
  • Batman and Robin … and Howard – Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown
  • DC Super Hero Girls – Written by Amy Wolfram
  • Dear Super-Villains – Written by Michael Northrop and illustrated by Gustavo Duarte
  • Green Arrow: Stranded – Written by Brendan Deneen and illustrated by Caleb Hosalla
  • Indestructibles Book 1– Written by Ridley Pearson
  • Lois Lane – Written by Grace Ellis and illustrated by Brittney Williams
  • Metropolis Grove – Written and illustrated by Drew Brockington
  • Primer – Written by Thomas Krajewski and Jennifer Muro and illustrated by Gretel Lusky
  • Superman Smashes the Klan – Written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Gurihiru
  • Super Sons Book 3: Escape to Landis – Written by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Ile Gonzalez          
  • Teen Titans Go! to Camp – Written by Sholly Fisch
  • Teen Titans Go! Roll with It – Written by Heather Nuhfer and P.C. Morrissey
  • The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel – Written by Ryan North and illustrated by Derek Charm

DC Comics Zatanna

For DCs main line, things are no less bombastic. These titles are for young adults or those ages 13 and up. Under DC's new publishing organization, books meant for mature readers (those 17 and up) will be published under DC's Black Label. DC's YA titles are centered on the aspirations, struggles, and triumphs of being a teenager.

Here's a look at the publisher's offerings for young adults:

DC Young Adult 2020/2021 Line-Up

Gotham High Cover
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Written by Leigh Bardugo and illustrated by Kit Seaton (January 2020)
  • Gotham High – Written by Melissa de la Cruz and illustrated by Thomas Pitilli (February 2020)
  • The Oracle Code – Written by Marieke Nijkamp and illustrated by Manuel Preitano (March 2020)
  • Shadow of the Batgirl – Written by Sarah Kuhn and illustrated by Nicole Goux (April 2020)
  • Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel – Written by Michael Moreci and illustrated by Sas Milledge (May 2020)

DC Comics Shadow of the Batgirl

Additional titles include:

  • Catwoman: Soulstealer – Adapted by Louise Simonson from Sarah J. Maas’ DC Icon prose novel and illustrated by Samantha Dodge
  • Galaxy: The Prettiest Star – Written by Jadzia Axelrod and illustrated by Cait Zellers
  • House of El Book 1 – Written by Claudia Gray and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki
  • I Am Not Starfire – Written by Mariko Tamaki
  • Mister Miracle – Written by Varian Johnson
  • Nubia – Written by L.L. McKinney and illustrated by Robyn Smith
  • Swamp Thing – Written by Maggie Stiefvater and illustrated by Morgan Beem    
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy – Written by Kami Garcia and illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
  • Victor & Nora: A Mr. Freeze Story – Written by Lauren Myracle and illustrated by Isaac Goodhart
  • Whistle – Written by E. Lockhart and illustrated by Manuel Preitano
  • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed – Written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Leila del Duca
  • You Brought Me the Ocean – Written by Alex Sanchez and illustrated by Julie Maroh
  • Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend – Written by Alys Arden and illustrated by Jacquelin De Leon

DC Comics My Video Game Ate My Home-Work cover

via DC Comics