Tuesday, January 22, 2008

DC's April previews reviewed

ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #10 Written by Frank Miller. Art and cover by Jim Lee & Scott Williams. Variant cover by Frank Quitely. Batgirl, Catwoman, Black Canary, and even Detective Gordon's better half give Gotham a headache so big it'll split the city in two! Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Jim Lee & Scott WIlliams), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Frank Quitely). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

Hey, Quitely! What the hell are you doing drawing variant covers that only one out of ten readers of ASBaRtBW are going to see anyway? Is All-Star Superman monthly all of a sudden? No? Then get back to those Morrison scripts and quit fiddling around with variants, dammit!

BATMAN: THE JOKER'S LAST LAUGH TP Written by Chuck Dixon & Scott Beatty. Art by Ron Randall, Marcos Martin, Walter McDaniel and others. Cover by Brian Bolland. The Joker, thinking he's dying, concocts a scheme to carry on his legacy by transforming his fellow villains into "jokerized" versions of themselves in this exciting volume collecting the 6-issue miniseries (2001)!

While this certainly isn’t one of the better DC crossover series, and certainly doesn’t beg for a collection the way many of them do (Where’s War of the Gods? Or Invasion!? Or Armageddon 2001?), I think it gets kind of a bum rap. It’s not all that great, but it’s certainly not all that bad, either. There were a lot of rather superfluous tie-ins, but I imagine most of those will end up being left out of this collection, which, according the solicitation copy, is just the main miniseries.

And come on, check out that Bolland cover!

Hey look, one of the 52 parallel universes is apparently the one on which Superman Returns was set. How else to explain Superman’s belt-buckle in this image?

I spent some time over the weekend just staring at this image, trying to figure out exactly what emotion it was that Superman was experiencing there. Anger? No, there’s some anger in there, certainly, but there’s more to it than that. I mean, look at his posture, his hands, and the fact that he’s kneeling. Anguish? Nah, it seems too angry for anguish. Frustration? Certainly I can see some frustration, but who falls to their knees like that when they’re frustrated?

I’ve just got to assume he’s experiencing some bizarre Kryptonian emotion that I can’t even imagine experiencing, let alone naming.

Please note the character right behind him. Is Kanto the coolest New God of them all, or what? His expression clearly indicates that he is. And that he knows it.

Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art and cover by Ethan Van Sciver
The Flash has not been answering his JLA signal, so now he has to answer to Wonder Woman! But first they have to survive an attack by the Queen Bee and her new drones from the H.I.V.E in a story that only superstar artist Ethan Van Sciver (Green Lantern: Rebirth) could bring to life!

Look, another sexy bug lady in a DC comic! Forager II, Red Bee II, the new Insect Queen, Belthera or whoever from Countdown...DC is all about sexy bug ladies these days!

But wait, what's this...art by Ethan Van Sciver? A good artist? One who can really draw? And draw whole panels? Backgrounds and everything? On JLoA? Wow! I guess I'll give McDuffie's run a sixth chance come April.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: THE INJUSTICE LEAGUE HC Written by Dwayne McDuffie & Alan Burnett. Art and cover by Ed Benes & Sandra Hope, Mike McKone & Andy Lanning and Joe Benitez & Victor Llamas. Cover by Ian Churchill. The new adventures of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes continue in this volume collecting JLA Wedding Special #1 and Justice League of America #13-16! As the wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary looms, the new Injustice League forms! The World's Greatest Super-Villains - including Lex Luthor, The Joker, Gorilla Grodd, Cheetah, Poison Ivy, Dr. Light and more - stage an unprecedented attack on the JLA, taking Wonder Woman and other heroes prisoner. It all leads to an epic melee as the forces of good and evil collide, and the JLA will lose a member before rallying for the no-holds-barred brawl of the century! Advance-solicited; on sale June 4 o 144 pg, FC, $19.99 US

In addition to sucking worse than you’d think a McDuffie-penned story possibly could and containing the worst art of any Justice League art ever published, this hardcover collection contains four $2.99 issues and one $3.99 issue, yet instead of costing $15.95, it’s $19.99. You’re paying four extra bucks for the covers and spine, I guess.

NIGHTWING #143 Written by Peter J. Tomasi. Art by Don Kramer & Christian Alamy. Cover by Rags Morales & Michael Bair. In an attempt to stop Dr. Kendall's mad experiments with the dead, Nightwing and Robin head to a remote island hideaway to confront the doctor and his fiendish creations once and for all. The only obstacle in their way: The League of Assassins!

Damn. Morales is off or on-break already? And he’s replaced by Kramer? And we have to watch more pages worth of Bat-sidekicks fighting the League of Assassins?


I like Morales’ design for that Bat-plane on the cover, though.

ROBIN #173 Written by Chuck Dixon. Art by Chris Batista & Cam Smith. Vover by Freddie Williams III. Girl trouble doesn't even begin to describe Robin's situation when he finds himself caught between Violet and Spoiler! Meanwhile, the Peguin's net is getting tighter, and all three of them might find themselves sleeping with the fishes…if another supermafioso on the scene doesn't get to them first!

Wow, they’re just coming right out and saying it now, huh?

Written by Kurt Busiek
Art and variant cover by Renato Guedes & Wilson MagalhaƩs
Cover by Alex Ross
It's an oversized spectacular blowout action anniversary issue, as Kurt Busiek, gearing up for his insanely huge next project, brings his Superman run to a close! A three-way battle between Superman, Paragon and the forces of Daxam! The Earth-shattering threat of the all-new Galactic Golem! This one's got it all, including a painted cover by new series cover artist Alex Ross and a variant by Renato Guedes.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Busiek's run is over already?! That's, like, the worst news. I have no idea who they have planned to replace him, but I think the Super-books have been in better shape with Busiek on them than they've been in...well, at least since Superman stopped winking at the reader.

My only comfort is that Buiek's "insanely huge next project" is the LITG-rumored weekly with Mark Bagley, which all clues continue to point towards.

Cool! It looks like a Teen Titans Go! version of Wonder Girl III which blends her original power and Young Justic era looks. I liked the idea of a Wonder Girl who used a couple of magical items to go from a normal human to a superhuman. Having more-or-less natural superpowers just makes her a blonde version of Wonder Woman or Donna Troy, or Supergirl with a rope.

Nooooooo! A cell-phone with a camera in it? I was off in my estimation of the introduction of IM-ing technology vs. the relative, declared post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DCU timeline, but cell-phones with cameras in them can't have been around for eight or more years now, right?

Fun fact: I do not own, nor have I ever owned, a cell-phone.

Written by Judd Winick
Art and cover by Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund
Variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver
A new team of Titans is born in the extra-sized first issue of a new ongoing monthly by Judd Winick (GREEN LANTERN, GREEN ARROW, OUTSIDERS), Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund (SUPERGIRL, TEEN TITANS EAST SPECIAL)! Someone or something is continuing its attack on anyone who's ever been a Titan, including Nightwing, Starfire, Donna Troy, Beast Boy and Raven.
You won't want to miss this new startling chapter in Titans history that may forge a new team from the ashes of old, dead friends.

Oh wow, what a great cover! And looking at those particular hands this should be a good, it...Aaa! Winick! Churchill! Gah! Nevermind. Honestly, I would at least try this series with almost any other creative team.

Some random thoughts on a book I have no intention of reading:

Kind of a stretch to call those slaughtered in the Teen Titans East Special "friends" isn't it? Most of these Titans never even met those Titans.

Is Donna Troy due for a new (much needed) costume? Because that's a new wristband for her on the cover.

Where's Tempest?!?!

WATER BABY Written by Ross Campbell. Art and cover by Campbell. Surfer Girl Brody just got her leg bitten off by a shark. What's worse? Jake, her shark of an ex-boyfriend, is back and when it comes to Brody's couch, he's not budging. It's up to Brody and her BFF Louisa to embark on the roadtrip from hell, narrowly escaping weird hitchhikers and shark-infested nightmares, to get Jake out of their lives forever. This time it's personal! Two-time Eisner nominee Ross Campbell (Wet Moon, The Abandoned) puts punk rock on paper with his brutally honest characters and perversely lush artwork. Advance-solicited; on sale June 25 o 176 pg, B&W, $9.99 US

Woohoo! I’ve been waiting for this one for quite a while. I love Ross Campbell’s art, and really dug his zombie story The Abandoned. And the blurb that ran in some of the earlier Minx books sure made this sound like a pretty awesome book.


Patrick C said...

Did I miss something? What leaguer did we lose in the Injustice League arc? Red Tornado's body was lost I guess, but that can't be it. Geo-Force left the team, but that happened in Outsiders. Maybe the solicitation is referring to Hal and John swapping out? I really have no clue what they're talking about there.

For some reason when I first saw the TT: Year One cover I irrationally thought Bart Allen was back and got excited, just to have the crushing weight of reality come down and ruin it. And yeah, I don't think cellphone/cameras were available until around 2002, and a little longer before everyone had one (except you). The way the hand is holding the camera though, it doesn't look like they're taking a picture. Maybe it was more of telling the person on the other phone to listen and held it up so whoever on the other end could hear whatever the hell Kid Flash was saying. Otherwise, you'll just have to wait for another 2 or 3 years to pass for the story to make sense.

And I hate Judd Winnick too, but I've been very impressed with Green Arrow/Black Canary. I'm still not going to buy Titans, but for me Winnick doesn't mean it's automatically bad anymore (just probably bad).

Oh, and I'm really excited to see Ethan Van Sciver on Justice League.

Regault said...

I'm still trying to figure out if Spoiler is a new character, Steph as the new Secret, or they finally went with the "death was faked" retcon.

Also someone needs to impose a moratorium on evil counterpart stories. Teen Titans has devoted roughly half its run to fighting them. (Also, the fact people were making fun of Miss Martian's heel turn the very moment she was introduced should've told DC that the arc was a horrible idea.)

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Geoff Johns will be writing both Superman books.

He said in a recent interview that he will soon be writing one book he is not currently writing and that DC has plans to sync up both books for this year's 70th anniversary.


snell said...

I spent some time over the weekend just staring at this image, trying to figure out exactly what emotion it was that Superman was experiencing there.


mordicai said...

Eh. I hated Busiek's shot at Supes.

John Foley said...

Was the Injustice League's attack really unprecedented? Nothing like it had ever happened before?
Joe Benitez really is horrible.

Jeff said...

Superman is clearly taking a dump in that "New Gods" collage.

No, seriously.

Anonymous said...

You have to love the Titans solicitation. I've never built a team from the ashes of dead friends. Do you need apoxy for that?

Scott said...

Certainly I can see some frustration, but who falls to their knees like that when they’re frustrated?

I’ve just got to assume he’s experiencing some bizarre Kryptonian emotion that I can’t even imagine experiencing, let alone naming.

Lesser races cannot experience the full emotional spectrum. That emotion is known to superior worlds as "Shatner."

Derek said...

Re: The cover to The Joker's Last Laugh.

I swear I thought the Joker was proposing to me at first.

RE: Nightwing #143

I'm actually really excited about Nightwing nowadays. It sounds like Tim's going to be in it more, and I've always thought him and Dick should have more of a relationship.

RE: Busiek leaving Superman.

This is terrible news. I've become a huge fan of Busiek's and his Superman has been consistently fun.

But what's this about a new project? "LITG" is an acronym I'm not familiar with.

Caleb said...

But what's this about a new project? "LITG" is an acronym I'm not familiar with.

Oh sorry. Lying In The Gutters, the rumor column on Comicbookresources.com? Rich Johnston's been saying Kurt Busiek is doing the third weekly with Mark Bagley, and that it will feature the Trinity. Back-ups by Fabian Niceza and rotating artists. It's just a rumor, but the clues all fit: Bagley at DC for an unnamed project, Busiek off Superman with an insanely huge project in the works, DC's desire to do a third weekly...

Derek said...

Oh, wow. I hadn't heard anything like that...

Well, that sounds pretty awesome. Kinda takes the sting out of losing him on Superman.

SallyP said...

I was wondering about Superman's pose on the cover of the Death of the New Gods book as well. Obviously, the poor man has dropped a contact lense.

That can be REALLY annoying. Having all those shadowy people laughing at him probably doesn't help.