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Comics: Bats to blacken sky at SXSW; Green Arrow revival; and more

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Mar 7, 2019, 2:41 PM EST

So many comics, so little time. Today, we have developments for three major DC properties and one Marvel IP. In this roundup, we explore Batman, Green Arrow, the Justice League, and Ghost Rider!

A swarm of over a million bats will black out the sky over Austin's Congress Bridge at the SXSW festival in Texas this month in order to celebrate Batman's 80th birthday, writes The Hollywood Reporter.

Using the hashtag of #LongLiveTheBat (not too snazzy if we do say so ourselves), DC will also launch the 1000th issue of Detective Comics, reveal a mural drawn by a local Texan artist, and begin to sell Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman — The Deluxe Edition. Compound that with new merch and photo opps, and you've got yourself quite the Bat-related shindig going on.


Credit: Lee, Williams, Sinclair (Courtesy of DC)

The celebration will span the entire world with promotions at Six Flags amusement parks in North America and at Warner Bros. licensed parks overseas. Even the Boys & Girls Clubs of America are getting in on the super-heroic action.

Amazon, Apple, LEGO, Mattel, Funko, Crunchyroll, and Rooster Teeth are just a few of the brand partnering with DC for a massive advertising campaign centering on Gotham's Caped Crusader.

While the current Green Arrow comic series (by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, and Javier Fernandez) is ending today with its 50th issue, it won't stay "dead" for long.

During an appearance on DC Daily, DC co-publisher, Dan Didio, admitted that another series will arrive sometime in the near future.

"The book is still performing well, but we decided to end the story there because we wanted Green Arrow to play very integrally in a lot of the stories and events that are about to take place across the DCU," Didio said. "Because of that, it worked counter to the way the series was going and we didn't want to run in two separate directions, so we're bringing one story to a close and let this other chapter [keep going], but to be very frank with you, we will have another Green Arrow book. He's one of my favorite characters ... every once in a while, you need to do a reset. We want to take a moment to reset, show how he's a part of the bigger DCU again, and then once you do that, have the series spin out."

This news comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement that the live-action Green Arrow series (simply titled Arrow) on the CW will come to a close after eight seasons.

Green Arrow #50 went on sale today.

Now, let's talk about the Justice League.

In Issue #19, we meet a new variation on the team after Mr. Mxyzptlk (a reality-bending DC character) sends Superman through a portal into the Sixth Dimension. Clark is attempting to stop the Legion of Doom from unleashing an ancient evil by the name of "Perpetua." 

Superman shows back up seconds later, revealing that he was in the other dimension for 10 years. His hair is now gray and he's sporting an immaculate suit of blue, white, and gold. He's even got a golden diadem resting on his noggin. As the Man of Steel brings his fellow heroes through the portal, the reader meets the Justice League of the Sixth Dimension.

Future Superman Justice League #19

Credit: DC Comics

By the end of the book, however, it is revealed that this new and dignified-looking Superman is not the one from our dimension. The genuine article is stuck in a dark void and unable to escape. By the end, we're left with one major question: "WHO IS THE FUTURE SUPERMAN?!"

Now on sale, Issue #19 was written by by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez. Artwork was handled by Jimenez with colors by Alejandro Sanchez.

And now for the single bit of Marvel news in today's comic book news roundup: After putting the Ghost Rider onus on Robbie Reyes these last few years, the House of Ideas finally brought back the OG Rider, Johnny Blaze himself!

That being said, his appearance is more of a cameo at the end of Avengers #16 written by Jason Aaron and drawn by David Marquez.

After he's deemed unfit for duty by the leading Avengers, Robbie is sent home, where he's visited by Mr. Blaze, who says that he'll "be back" and "the king of Hell will be here waiting." Johnny continues that when they come face-to-face next time, they're gonna take "a little ride."

Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze Avengers #16

Credit: Marvel Comics

Robbie admits that Blaze was perhaps the greatest Ghost Rider who ever lived. Nevertheless, the man has turned into something horrifying, a monster beyond Reyes' worst nightmares. In any case, let's hope that we see more of Johnny Blaze from here on out.

Avengers #16 is now on sale everywhere.