Monday, April 14, 2008

DC's July previews reviewed

Back in March, I wrote a post about DC’s Invasion! series, and how they really ought to collect it in trade. And just last week I wrote about how DC really should have collected Millennium, if only to rub Marvel’s face in the similarities between Secret Invasion and the 20-year-old DC version of an alien infiltrator story.

So imagine my surprise when I clicked on Newsarama’s monthly listings of DC’s solicitations and found the following:

Written by Steve Englehart
Art by Joe Staton, Ian Gibson and others
Cover by Joe Staton & Mark Farmer
The 1988 8-issue miniseries MILLENNIUM is collected for the first time! The Guardians of the Universe have left our dimension behind — and in their absence, the deadly robotic army of Manhunters threatens the survival of the DC Universe!

Written by Keith Giffen & Bill Mantlo
Art by Todd McFarlane, Bart Sears, P. Craig Russell, Joe Rubinstein and others
Cover by McFarlane & Rubinstein
The massive 3-issue miniseries from 1988 is collected for the first time! In this universe-spanning saga, the deadly but emotionless Dominators have come to Earth to wipe out the threat posed by metahumans. But what is the real reason for their attack?

Wow, ask and I shall receive! Thanks, DC!

Now I sure hope those two trades sell like gangbusters, so that it seems like I knew what I was talking about….

THE ALL-NEW ATOM #25 Written by Rick Remender. Art by Pat Olliffe & John Stanisci. Cover by Ladrönn. Out of place, out of time and out of hope, Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi face the Worm-Man from the sub-atomic prison world of Lady Chronos! Will Ryan make the ultimate sacrifice so Ray and the rest of Ivy Town can live to see another day? On sale July 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • FINAL ISSUE

I’m pretty surprised it lasted this long, to be honest. Even under original writer Gail Simone it wasn’t doing so hot, so cancellation seemed inevitable once she left.

Things aren’t looking good for Catwoman or Blue Beetle

BATGIRL #1 Written by Adam Beechen. Art by Jim Calafiore & Jonathan Glapion. Cover by Andy Clarke. Fresh from appearances in BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS, the enigmatic Cassandra Cain stars in this six-issue miniseries written by Adam Beechen (COUNTDOWN, ROBIN) with pencils by Jim Calafiore (GOTHAM UNDERGROUND)! Now that Batgirl has finally gained Batman’s trust, it’s time to conquer her inner demons and prove herself to the rest of the world. This six-issue epic will take Cassandra on an intense, personal journey involving friends, family and foes!

From the writer who totally fucked her up in the pages of Robin and Teen Titans and the artist of that awful Gotham Underground series comes Attempt #4 To Correct the Mistakes We Made With Cassandra “Batgirl” Cain During Our “One Year Later” Initiative! Why, this has “hit” written all over it!

Honsetly, I love Batgirl, but every time they try to fix her, including that first time when there was nothing to fix, they just make things worse. There’s no way I’m going to be able to bring myself to read this. DC really needs to find a way to shuffle Cassandra Cain off to limbo for five to ten years and then try again.

That, or reveal the Batgirl we’ve been reading about since Infinite Crisis was just an alternate one from a different Earth and Cassandra’s been stranded elsewhere all this time.

Interesting that original Batgirl artist Damion Scott and writer Kelley Puckett are both working for DC at the moment, but neither of them are at all involved in this.

I might not have mentioned this for a few weeks, but Kelley Jones totally rules.

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #19 Written by Fabian Nicieza. Art and cover by Kevin Maguire. Batgirl and Catwoman keep crossing paths and wrestling over a notebook stolen from Commissioner Gordon. But who's the mysterious third party involved? And where's he pointing that big gun?

So, to recap: “Batgirl…Catwoman…wrestling.”

BOOSTER GOLD #1,000,000
Written by Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund
Meet the greatest time-traveling hero of the year
1,000,000 A.D. – PETER PLATINUM! Lost in time, Booster Gold is confronted by a hero a million times more self-involved than himself. But if Booster does find his way back to the present, Batman will be waiting for him.

Yes. Yes. Yes!!! I love the heroes of this time period—or at least the Justice League ones—and hope some appear here. And if they could get the Legion of Executive Familiars in there, I cold go ahead and scratch off the first entry on my Ideal List of Booster Gold Guest-Stars...

CATWOMAN #81Written by Will Pfeifer_Art by David Lopez & Alvaro Lopez_Cover by Adam Hughes_Catwoman’s on the run in Gotham City once more. Can she stay one step ahead of Batman while trying to turn the tables on the man who’s destroyed her life?. On sale July 30 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • FINAL ISSUE


Watch your back, Blue Beetle!

DETECTIVE COMICS #846Written by Paul Dini. Art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs. Cover by Nguyen. A “Batman: R.I.P.” issue — and part 1 of the 5-part story “The Return of Hush!”_Readers who were surprised by Catwoman’s return last month haven’t see anything yet as Hush makes a dramatic return to the life of Batman. What will this mean for Bruce Wayne? This epic story kicks off the countdown to DETECTIVE #850!

Hush? Really? I thought he was one of those things everyone was just pretending never happened, like “New Look" Riddler and Jonathan Crane’s Were-Scarecrow turn.

How classy a comics blog is this? So classy that despite the fact that I have a half dozen easy jokes I could make about this cover, I’m keeping ‘em all to myself.

FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM #1 Written by Peter J. Tomasi_Art by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy_Covers by J.G. Jones and Doug Mahnke. A very special FINAL CRISIS one-shot honoring the passing of a great hero who’s been a staple in the DC Universe for years. All that remains is one final memory that the League experiences together as they must fulfill his last wishes or die trying!_Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers (one by J.G. Jones and one by Doug Mahnke) that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

Oh Goddammit. They are killing off J’onn J’onnz then.

There’s fire on the cover. “Staple of the DC Universe for years.”Dough Mahnke draws a very good J’onn J’onnz. Tomasi used to edit Martian Manhunter. And, of course, “one final memory that the League experiences together,” which would indicate they’re sharing a mental experience, the way they did through J’onn’s telepathy throughout Morrison’s run on JLA.

Well, that sucks. At least I can take comfort in the fact that they’ll bring him back to life in a little bit. And when he comes back to life, maybe he won’t look like a Skrull any more.

FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES’ REVENGE #1 Written by Geoff Johns. Art and covers by Scott Kolins. The critically-acclaimed FLASH team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunites for a tale of villainy and twisted justice tying in to FINAL CRISIS! Captain Cold and the Rogues were accessories to the murder of Bart Allen. They’ve become what they never set out to be – wanted! Wanted by the good guys, by former Rogue Pied Piper, and by the Secret Society of Super-Villains. But just as they try to disappear underground, good, old-fashioned revenge yanks them back. And where is the Flash during all of this? It’s a Crisis — take a guess

I’m not sure why they’re selling this as a standalone miniseries instead of just doing it as a story arc in Flash. The monthly’s been suffering a lot lately, and could probably use the shot in the arm that a Final Crisis tie in and the return of the Geoff Johns/Scot Kolins team would inevitably give it. Besides, the monthly’s likely just going to be killing time until FC gives the book a new new new status quo, which will likely be something really stupid, like Barry Allen returning (At which point Vibe will be the only dead hero still dead in the DCU).

Speaking of which, my heart sinks at the line”And where is the Flash during all of this? It’s a Crisis—take a guess.”

Because a big change for the Flash worked out so well during you’re the last Crisis…

Written by Arvid Nelson. Art by Alex Sanchez. Cover by Andy Kubert.

THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: PENGUIN #1 Written by Jason Aaron. Art and cover by Jason Pearson.

THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: POISON IVY #1 Written by J.T. Krul.Art and cover by Guillem March.

THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: SCARECROW #1 Written by Joe Harris. Art and cover by Juan Doe.

THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: TWO-FACE #1 Written by David Hine. Art and cover by Andy Clarke

A cast of top creators lends their talents to THE JOKER’S ASYLUM — a special month-long, weekly series of one-shots starring the greatest villains in Batman’s rogues gallery. Each issue tells a special stand-alone story that gives readers an inside look into the insane lives of the Dark Knight’s greatest adversaries. And all the stories are narrated by the Asylum’s leading homicidal maniac — The Joker! THE JOKER on sale July 2 • PENGUIN on sale July 9 • POISON IVY on sale July 16 • SCARECROW on sale July 23 • TWO-FACE on sale July 30 • Each 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Operation: Movie Cash-In is go! “top creators” is probably pushing it—Andy Kubert and Jason Pearson are probably the only two that are unequivocally so. I’ll probably check out a few of these, particularly the Scarecrow one, since I love the Scarecrow and I loved Juan Doe’s art on that Fantastic Four special he did with Tom Beland a few months back.

Not sure why there’s a Penguin special though. He’s usually only in an asylum when he’s mistakenly drawn into crowd scenes.

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Darwyn Cooke
A special issue drawn by Eisner Award-winning artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER, THE SPIRIT)! Jonah Hex travels to Canada on the trail of his latest bounty. But with the Mounties hot on his heels, this isn't going to be an easy job.

Darwyn Cooke = Awesome

Jonah Hex = Awesome

So, Darwyn Cooke + Jonah Hex + the Mounties = well, you do the math.


Nice cover concept, Freddie E. Williams! Has no one ever thought to do that with a Robin cover yet?

the legion of super-heroes #44
Written by Jim Shooter
Art and cover by Francis Manapul & Livesay
Variant cover by Neal Adams
On planet Velmar V, the invincible Ikilles has already trashed Timber Wolf and Shadow Lass. Now, the Legion’s last hope is — Invisible Kid?! Meanwhile, while the rest of the weary, wounded Rimbor Team fights an army of heavily armed Science Police, Atom Girl squares off against the vicious Commodore. And on Earth the mysterious M’Rissey awes everyone with his unexpected power!

“M’Rissey?” Is that Steven Patrick Morrissey’s 31st century descendent? I may have to start reading the Legion monthly if so…

Squirrels are just a couple inches tall, and don't have any super-powers like incredible strength or laser eyes, and yet if I had one trapped in a bird cage and had to do away with it, I'd still be afraid to proceed. Good luck bald supervillains; I imagine eve a tiny little powerless Superman can bite like the dickens.

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #50 Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson. Art by Ed Benes. Cover by Ethan Van Sciver. Variant cover by Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines. Celebrate fifty blockbuster issues with this extra-sized extravaganza as we reveal the untold tale of Thomas Wayne’s meeting with Jor-El and how it shaped Gotham City’s future! You don’t dare miss this one!_The past was just prologue for this latest adventure of the World’s Finest duo as an ancient Kryptonian artifact is uncovered, unleashing past and present dangers that may alter the duo’s future. Not even the guest-starring Titans will be able to save them! This issue also features a variant cover by the original SUPERMAN/BATMAN art team of Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines!

The solicitation for this story sounds so incredibly stupid that it might actually be awesome. Of course, I thought the same thing about Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator, and when I finally did get around to reading a trade of that from the library, it turned out to just be stupid.

Plus, you know, "art by Ed Benes."

Written by Art Baltazar & Franco
Art and cover by Art Baltazar
New pals Blue Beetle and Supergirl stop by the Titans Treehouse, only to find most of the Tiny Titans away on a field trip. Good thing a few lesser-known heroes are still at school! Plus: follow Raven and Trigon through a typically crazy morning.

Dammit, I’m trying to drop this title! What’s with the super-cute Blue Beetle III appearance?

TRINITY #5-9 Written by Kurt Busiek & Fabian Nicieza. Art by Mark Bagley & Art Thibert, Mike Norton & Jerry Ordway, Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher, and Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens_Covers on issues #5-6 by Carlos Pacheco; covers on issues #7-9 by Andy Kubert
In month two of TRINITY, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman — alongside their Justice League teammates — cross paths with the mysterious Konvikt and learn more about their fated connection within the DC Universe!_This month’s co-features focus on Hawkman, Gangbuster, John Stewart and the intriguing new psychic known as Tarot!

Well, here’s one lesson DC hasn’t learned after publishing the successful 52 and the unsuccessful Countdown: Having a single, excellent cover artist on your weekly, one able of telling a story through a succession of images, is better than having a rotating cast of cover artists.

That’s one of the first signs that this might be more Countdownian than 52-esque, but I still have faith in this creative team. Please don’t let me down guys; I rreeeaaallllly want another good weekly to read.

Written by Bruce Jones
Cover by Mark Schultz
Art by Al Barrionuevo & Jimmy Palmiotti
Akisha, the soldier from the future, reveals some details of her background — but she's still searching for answers to her present! Stranded with Enemy Ace and the others on a hostile island, will any of them live long enough to learn the truth about the war that time forgot?

Cover by Mark Schultz? That’s it? Just a cover? Why isn’t Schultz penciling this? And writing it?


Anonymous said...

Another 4 or 5 posts like this and you'll have made up all the lost ground from your 'Polo' and manga and manga-ispired-kinda-sorta posts.

...well, 4 or 5 posts, or another of your fantastic comic strips.

Simon (formerly Johnny Sorrow) said...

Am I blind, or is that FC: Requiem cover just a complete abstraction? I was never much good with "magic eye" pictures, but I can't make out any discernible shapes there.

SallyP said...

Awwww...not J'onn! Howzabout Red Tornado instead, since I don't care about him at all?

Sorry, just a little fangirl entitlement came gushing out there.

On the other hand, teaming Jonah Hex up with Mounties can only be a good thing. And if John Stewart is going to be in Trinity, then I'll be reading it.

A Mark Schultz cover? Be still my heart. I'm STILL trying to find the third book of Xenozoic Tales.

B.G. Christensen said...

When I saw the solicits for Invasion and Millenium, I thought maybe Newsarama was pulling a late April Fools' joke on you. If that's the case, though, is in on it too. Can you write a post about how the entire run of Young Justice should be collected? Ooh, and while you're at it, every Breyfogle Batman story. And Priest's Ray.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused by the Final Crisis cover. Was I not paying attention, or did the other covers depict the heroes in classic, "iconic" states?

I'm apparently oblivious to the greater picture of the DCU. J'Onn being the focal point of Requiem makes sense. I had no clue who they were referring to when I saw the solicit though.

Joker's Asylum is justso... ten-years-ago, fifth-week-event filler.

A Mark Schultz is nearly enough to make me buy that comic. The preponderence of other terrible information in that solicit just barely tips the scales against it.

Sallyp, if you talking about the Dark Horse collections of Xenozoic Tales, there is no third book. Xenozoic was cancelled (or the publisher, Kitchen Sink, went outta business; I forget which) before the run ended. Schultz hopes to eventually publish another four-issue miniseries to wrap up the loose ends, but unfortunately for us all, he has to take paying work as well, so it's a backburner project.

DC books of personal interest this solicit round: Batman: the black glove (suppose I should read the first Morrison Batman book first); superman: kryptonite; suicide squad: from the ashes (I finally get to read Ostrander SS!); Showcase Superman v.4; the alcoholic

Little bit peeved that Action 850 is in a Supergirl collection. It'll take more than that to get me to buy a Supergirl book, DC!!!

Caleb said...

Am I blind, or is that FC: Requiem cover just a complete abstraction? I was never much good with "magic eye" pictures, but I can't make out any discernible shapes there.

I see Iron Man's right hand in the upper-left hand corner. I assume this is a detail and, as it gets closer to release, they'll release the full cover, of J'onn's corpse afire or something .

I don't know; maybe it's Wally West and they're bringing Barry Allen back though...?

DC books of personal interest this solicit round: Batman: the black glove (suppose I should read the first Morrison Batman book first)

The Black Glove three-parter doesn't really have anything to do with the story in the first trade Batman and Son. It's pretty stand-alone; if it's continued from anything, its out-of-pring Silver Age Batman stories. It looks like they're filling out the trade with two issues of Morrison and Daniel though, which will likely give you whiplash at the art style change.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of Tony Daniel. But I'm not sufficiently a hater to deny myself Morrison goodness.