Black Label is an imprint of DC Comics.
Most of these are new titles original to the imprint, but reprints of older stories that fit the Black Label ethos (e.g. Kingdom Come) are also included in the line.
The first wave of Black Label titles began in Fall 2018, with Batman: Damned (by Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo) serving as its inaugural release, while 2017's Batman: White Knight was folded into the imprint with its first graphic novel printing.
With the closure of Vertigo in 2019, it was announced that the few remaining Vertigo titles would be transferring over to Black Label, with the imprint being retooled slightly as the home for all DC's mature readers material, probably including Vertigo reprints being given Black Label trade dress.
Following the DC layoffs of 2020 — which notably included both major editors from Black Label — the company announced plans to significantly scale back the imprint, shifting its focus from new books to reprinting older stories like The Killing Joke. This is in line with DC editorial's stated goals to make their overall output more family-friendly and more aligned with the "franchise brand" in 2021.
DC Black Label
Comic Books note
- Batman: Curse of the White Knight — A direct sequel to Batman: White Knight, which was the most recently released graphic novel to be retroactively folded into the label. Written and drawn by Sean Gordon Murphy.
- Batman: Damned — When Joker's dead body is recovered, Batman journeys through a Gotham City hellscape with John Constantine to uncover the killer's identity. Written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Lee Bermejo.
- Batman: Last Knight on Earth — Billed as "the last Batman story ever told," Batman wakes up in post-apocalyptic tale where the villains have won. Written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo.
- Batman: Three Jokers — Picking up on the DC Rebirth revelation that there have been three different Jokers throughout history. Written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jason Fabok.
- Batman/Catwoman — An out-of-continuity sequel to Batman (Rebirth), set in a world where James Tynion's run doesn't happen. Written by Tom King and drawn by Clay Mann.
- The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child — The fourth chapter of Frank Miller's iconic The Dark Knight Returns saga, in which Lara Kent and Carrie Kelly, the new Batgirl and Supergirl, dealing with Lara's younger brother, Jonathan Kent, as he comes into his immense power, which could have catastrophic repercussions. Written by Frank Miller and drawn by Rafael Grampa.
- Fables — The story of the citizens of Fabletown continues.
- Batman vs. Bigby: A Wolf in Gotham - The Big Bad Wolf detective of Fabletown teams up with the Dark Knight Detective.
- The Fellspyre Chronicles — An original heavily dark High Fantasy saga and set around the kingdom of Fellspyre in the fantastical realm of Cain Anuun.
- The Last God — The first book, taking place 30 years after a band of heroes had supposedly killed the last living god, Mol Uhltep, an eldritch creature who's kind once plagued and ravaged the lands. However, it would seem the legends lie as the supposedly dead Mol Uhltep makes a chilling return, bent on gruesome revenge. Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and drawn by Riccardo Federci and Sunny Gho with Dean White.
- Harleen — A Broad Strokes interpretation of Harley Quinn's origins. Written and drawn by Stjepan ejić based on his popular fanart series of the same name.
- Hill House Comics — A sub-imprint of Horror Comic Books curated by Joe Hill.
- Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity — A Serial Killer plagues Gotham City and profiler Harley Quinn is brought in to help apprehend him. Written by Kami Garcia and drawn by Mico Suayan and Mike Mayhew.
- Joker: Killer Smile — The Joker has a fateful encounter with a mental health professional...who is not Harley Quinn. Written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Andrea Sorrentino.
- Later got an epilogue one-shot called Batman: The Smile Killer
- The Nice House On The Lake — A horror comic by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez Bueno, and Jordie Bellaire. Eleven friends go up to a nice house on the lake for a vacation...just in time for the apocalypse. The one who invited them, however, already knew this was going to happen.
- The Other History of the DC Universe — A "literary" recounting of DC Universe history that focuses on characters from marginalized groups. Written by John Ridley with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi.
- The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage — The Question discovers that he's been the subject of reincarnation since at least The '30s and seeks to investigate. Written by Jeff Lemire, drawn by Denys Cowan and inked by Bill Sienkiewicz.
- Rorschach (2020) — In the Watchmen universe, someone's dressed up as the divisive anti-hero, but for what purpose? Written by Tom King, drawn by Jorge Fornés and colored by Dave Stewart.
- Strange Adventures (2020) — Adam Strange's post-space war life turns sideways when an angry man gets killed.
- Superman: Year One — A retelling of Superman's origin story. Written by Frank Miller and drawn by John Romita Jr.
- Wonder Woman: Dead Earth — Diana awakens from a centuries-long sleep to discover that the world of man has been ravaged by nuclear war, and it's up to her to defend the last remnants of humanity from the grotesque monsters that roam the wastelands. Written and drawn by Daniel Warren Johnson.
- Wonder Woman: Diana's Daughter — Twenty years after superheroes have been phased out of society, a young woman rises to become a new beacon of hope for the world. Written by Greg Rucka and drawn by TBA. Shelved indefinitely according to an interview given by Rucka.
- Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons — A "Homeric" epic about the history of Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons, before Steve Trevor washed up ashore on Themyscira. Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and drawn by Phil Jimenez.
Graphic Novels note
- All-Star Superman
- Batman: White Knight
- DC: The New Frontier
- Kingdom Come
- Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia
- V for Vendetta
DC Black Label provides examples of:
- Broad Strokes: The name of the game with the Black Label is to tell out-of-continuity stories, but not necessarily so out there to be considered Elseworlds.
- Canon Discontinuity: Word of God has confirmed that some of the titles were originally pitched as in-canon storylines but were folded into Black Label to allow more breathing room continuity-wise.
- Hotter and Sexier: The line has been know to get more steamy than the regular books when it wants.
- Precision F-Strike:
- The imprint is a bit more lenient on foul language, as Batman: Damned and Last Knight on Earth has Batman and Joker respectively say "shit."
- Harleen freely throws around "fuck" whenever it feels like it.
- Retool: Black Label was retooled twice in its first two years. It was initially pitched as an imprint for creator-driven, out-of-continuity books. Then standalone, but in-continuity stories like Three Jokers were announced as being published under the Black Label imprint. And then, with the shuttering of Vertigo, it was announced that both former Vertigo books and standalone graphic novels would be reprinted in Black Label trade dress too.
- Spiritual Successor:
- To the defunct Elseworlds imprint. And following its official retirement, the Vertigo imprint, from which some titles will emigrate to the Black Label such as American Vampire.
- Superman: Year One by Frank Miller also seems to be one for his own Batman: Year One, though unlike that story, it is an Alternate Continuity set in the universe of The Dark Knight Returns.