Jeff Lemire announced today two new DC Black Label series in the works. The first, a book with frequent collaborator Andrea Sorrentino is called “Joker: Killer Smile,” while the second, illustrated by Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor, stars the Question and is called “The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage.” Both books will be out this fall.
“Joker: Killer Smile” is set to follow Batman’s most famous villain as he “has a fateful encounter with a mental health professional that radically alters the course of a number of lives.” The doctor is not the usual suspect of Harley Quinn, but an original character that Lemire and Sorrentino created named Dr. Ben Arnell. In an interview with io9 about both projects Lemire stated, “Ben’s the reader’s gateway back into Arkham and to Gotham City and how we get to explore these new depths of the Joker’s mind.” Lemire also said that Sorrentino came to him with the prospect of working on a Joker story, and that their book will explore the “metaphorical, surreal, and psychological landscape,” of the character. The two creators have worked together on a number of projects including “Green Arrow” during the New 52, “Old Man Logan,” and the Image Comics ongoing series “Gideon Falls,” which Lemire assured on his blog will not see delays because of the publication of “Joker: Killer Smile.”
“The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage” is described as “a classic, hardboiled detective series, but the series opens with an existential twist: for reasons the Question doesn’t understand, he’s been living and dying in Hub City, seemingly trapped in a loop of reincarnation that spans from the Old West into the 1930s.” Lemire described this as his DC dream project, and expressed his excitement about working with Cowan, who had an acclaimed run on “The Question” with writer Dennis O’Neil back in the late 1980s. In regards to that work Lemire said he’s hoping “to remix and revisit some of the ideas at work there in a way that made them feel even more relevant in 2019.”
These announcements come on the heels of Lemire giving an update on the “Black Hammer” universe, saying that “Phase I” of that universe is coming to an end with “Black Hammer: Age of Doom” #12 in August, with new “Phase II” books being announced soon, perhaps even next week at SDCC.
“Joker: Killer Smile” #1 will be published by DC Black Label on October 30th, 2019 and run for three issues hitting stands every other month. “The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage” #1 comes out the following month on November 20th, 2019 and runs four issues to be published monthly.