Direct Currents

Direct Currents is the name of several promotional features by DC Comics, including a long-running newsletter.

HistoryEdit

Direct Currents was first used as the name of a text feature appearing in DC's comics beginning in 1966.[1] In the 1970s, the feature appeared in DC's fan magazine The Amazing World of DC Comics.[1] From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, the name was also used for one of the features in DC's Daily Planet house ads.

From November 1976 to July 1977, DC had its own toll-free phone number called the Direct Currents Hot-Line, where fans could hear pre-recorded messages from DC staff about upcoming titles. The phone number was so popular (it was receiving an average of 100,000 calls a week toward its end) that it had to be shut down due to strain on the telephone system.[2]

Beginning in 1978 and lasting a little more than a year,[3] Direct Currents was the name for a one-page newsletter.[1] The newsletter, which was available by subscription, featured a 13" by 18" poster cover.[4]

In 1988, Direct Currents became the title of a free monthly newsletter distributed by comic book stores, containing articles about DC Comics titles being released that month as well as a checklist of the month's new releases. It was a replacement for DC's previous newsletter, DC Releases.[1] Unlike DC Releases, which was printed in black and white and magazine-sized, Direct Currents was printed in color and was the size of a regular comic book. Eventually, Direct Currents contained a flipbook format, with one side containing features about DC Universe titles, and the other containing features about titles from DC's Vertigo and Paradox Press imprints.[5] The newsletter ran for a total of 92 issues, ending in 1995, and also produced two specials.

Beginning in November 2016, the name was used for a free quarterly magazine offering sneak peeks of every DC title.[6] However, the book was cancelled after only one issue.[7]

List of Direct Currents issuesEdit

1988-1997Edit

Issue Number Date[a] Cover Story Notes
1 February 9 - March 8, 1988 Flash Gordon maxi-series
2 March 15 - April 5, 1988 Action Comics Weekly ongoing series; Superman vol. 2 ongoing series becomes twice-monthly
3 April 12 - May 10, 1988 Power of the Atom ongoing series
4 May 17-31, 1988 V for Vendetta maxi-series
5 June 7-28, 1988 Hawk and Dove vol. 2 mini-series
6 July 5-26, 1988 Cosmic Odyssey mini-series
7 August 2-30, 1988 The Prisoner mini-series
8 September 6-27, 1988 Plastic Man vol. 2 mini-series
9 October 4-25, 1988 Invasion! mini-series
10 November 1-29, 1988 Black Orchid mini-series
11 December 6-20, 1988 The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told hardcover
12 January 3-31, 1989 The Huntress ongoing series
13 February 1989 Justice League Europe ongoing series
14 March 1989 "The Janus Directive" crossover
15 April 1989 Skreemer mini-series
16 May 1989 Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography one-shot
17 June 1989 The Batman Movie Adaptation one-shot
18 July 1989 Justice, Inc. vol. 2 mini-series
19 August 1989 The Shadow Strikes! ongoing series
20 September 1989 The Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 ongoing series; The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga trade paperback
21 October 1989 Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth graphic novel
22 November 1989 Deadman: Love after Death mini-series
23 December 1989 The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told hardcover
24 January 1990 Adam Strange mini-series
25 February 1990 Batman: Digital Justice graphic novel
26 March 1990 The Butcher mini-series
27 April 1990 Hawkworld vol. 2 ongoing series
28 May 1990 The Demon vol. 3 ongoing series
29 June 1990 World's Finest mini-series
30 July 1990 Enemy Ace: War Idyll graphic novel
31 August 1990 The Doom Patrol vol. 2 #37 (Rhea Jones awakes from her coma)
32 September 1990 Twilight mini-series
33 October 1990 Batman 3D graphic novel
34 November 1990 The Books of Magic mini-series Flip book
Robin mini-series
35 December 1990 The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told hardcover
36 January 1991 Angel and the Ape vol. 2 mini-series
37 February 1991 Kid Eternity mini-series
38 March 1991 Armageddon 2001 mini-series and crossover
39 April 1991 Star Trek's 25th anniversary (Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Saga trade paperback)
40 May 1991 Impact Comics line debuts (The Legend of the Shield ongoing series) Includes 16-page Impact Comics preview
41 June 1991 Impact Comics line continues (The Comet and The Jaguar ongoing series)
42/43 July 1991 War of the Gods mini-series and crossover Double issue flip book
August 1991 The Psycho mini-series
44 September 1991 Sandman-related releases
45 October 1991 Robin II: The Joker's Wild mini-series
46 November 1991 The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special one-shot
47 December 1991 Batman versus Predator mini-series, Batman: Master of the Future one-shot, Batman: Blind Justice trade paperback, and DC Comics hologram buttons
48 January 1992 Batman: Gotham Nights mini-series
49 February 1992 New creative teams on Justice League America and Justice League Europe, Justice League Spectacular one-shot, and other Justice League-related releases
50 May 1992 Lobo's Back mini-series
51 June 1992 Green Lantern vol. 3 #25 (Hal Jordan versus Guy Gardner), Green Lantern Corps Quarterly and Green Lantern: Mosaic ongoing series, and other Green Lantern-related releases
52 July 1992 Batman: Shadow of the Bat ongoing series and other Batman-related releases
53 August 1992 Batman Returns Movie Adaptation one-shot
54 September 1992 Team Titans ongoing series
55 October 1992 Batman: Sword of Azrael mini-series
56 November 1992 Green Lantern: Ganthet's Tale one-shot
57 December 1992 Robin III: Cry of the Huntress mini-series
58 January 1993 Superman vol. 2 #75 ("The Death of Superman")
59 February 1993 Batman: Seduction of the Gun one-shot
60 March 1993 The Legacy of Superman one-shot First DC/Vertigo flip book
Vertigo imprint launches
61 April 1993 Milestone Media debuts (Hardware and Blood Syndicate ongoing series)
Sandman Mystery Theatre ongoing series
62 May 1993 The Atom Special one-shot
Kid Eternity vol. 2 ongoing series
63 June 1993 Adventures of Superman #500 (Superman returns from the dead) and the "Reign of the Supermen!" storyline
The Sandman vol. 2 #50 (anniversary issue)
64 July 1993 "Bloodlines" crossover
Skin Graft: The Adventures of a Tattooed Man mini-series
65 August 1993 Catwoman vol. 2 ongoing series
Jonah Hex: Two-Gun Mojo mini-series
66 September 1993 Hawkman vol. 3 ongoing series
Vertigo's "Second Wave" (Vertigo-related releases and improvements to existing titles)
67 October 1993 Batman #500 (conclusion of the "Knightfall" storyline)
Hellblazer Special one-shot
68 November 1993 Robin vol. 2 ongoing series, plus the Robin: Tragedy and Triumph trade paperback
The Sandman: Fables & Reflections hardcover
69 December 1993 Lobo vol. 2 ongoing series, plus the Lobo standup and Lobo: Smokin'! poster
"The Children's Crusade" crossover
70 January 1994 "Shadow War" crossover
Death: The High Cost of Living hardcover, Death Gallery one-shot, Death T-shirt, and Death watch
71 February 1994 Superboy vol. 3 and Steel ongoing series, Supergirl vol. 3 and Legends of the World's Finest mini-series, and other Superman-related releases
The Sandman vol. 2 #57 (beginning of "The Kindly Ones" storyline) and The Sandman: Fables & Reflections trade paperback
72 March 1994 The Power of Shazam! graphic novel
Swamp Thing vol. 2 #140 (writing team of Grant Morrison and Mark Millar begins)
73 April 1994 Green Lantern vol. 3 #51 (Kyle Rayner becomes Green Lantern)
The Mystery Play graphic novel
74 May 1994 Batman/Spawn: War Devil one-shot
The Books of Magic vol. 2 ongoing series
75 June 1994 Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey mini-series
Witchcraft mini-series
76 July 1994 "Worlds Collide" crossover
The Heart of the Beast graphic novel
77 August 1994 "KnightsEnd" storyline
Vamps mini-series
78 September 1994 Zero Hour: Crisis in Time mini-series and crossover
The Invisibles ongoing series
79 October 1994 Zero Month (every DC title gets a #0 issue)
The Sandman: A Gallery of Dreams one-shot
80 November 1994 Starman vol. 2 ongoing series
Shadows Fall mini-series
81 December 1994 Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch mini-series
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch graphic novel
82 January 1995 Batman: Bloodstorm graphic novel
Paradox Press imprint launches
83 February 1995 Azrael ongoing series
Tainted one-shot
84 March 1995 The Power of Shazam! ongoing series
Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such mini-series
85 April 1995 Flash vol. 2 #100 (anniversary issue)
Preacher ongoing series
86 May 1995 Superman vol. 2 #100 ("The Death of Clark Kent" storyline)
Tank Girl Movie Adaptation one-shot
Special 1 1995
87 June 1995 Justice League America #100 (anniversary issue)
Tank Girl: The Odyssey mini-series
88 July 1995 Sovereign Seven ongoing series
Chiaroscuro: The Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci maxi-series
89 August 1995 Batman Forever Movie Adaptation one-shot and other Batman-related releases
The Sandman vol. 2 #70 ("The Wake" storyline)
90 September 1995 Wonder Woman vol. 2 #101 (John Byrne takes over as writer/artist)
Sandman Midnight Theatre one-shot
91 October 1995 Batman: Man-Bat mini-series
Stuck Rubber Baby graphic novel
92 November 1995 Underworld Unleashed mini-series and crossover
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch softcover
1997 Special 1997

2016Edit

Issue Number Date Cover Story Notes
1 Winter 2017 Justice League vs. Suicide Squad mini-series

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Date refers to the books' shipping dates from issues 1-49, and the books' cover dates from issue 50 on.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Direct Currents #1, p. 3
  2. ^ Levitz, Paul (2015). The Bronze Age of DC Comics. Taschen. p. 281. ISBN 978-3-8365-3579-3.
  3. ^ "BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY: Direct Currents". Steven Thompson.
  4. ^ "Super Tuesday: Direct Currents | Longbox Graveyard". Paul O’Connor.
  5. ^ "Obscurities: DC Coming Attractions". Paul Kupperberg.
  6. ^ http://www.comiclist.com/index.php/news/the-all-new-direct-currents-1-electrifies-dc-comics-fans-in-november
  7. ^ https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/04/13/dcs-magazine-direct-currents-cancelled-second-issue/