Monday, December 15, 2008

DC's March previews reviewed

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Eddy Barrows & Ruy José
Cover by Eddy Barrows & Julio Ferreira
To give the full details of this story would spoil the dramatic finale of the "New Krypton" crossover, and we don't want to do that! Suffice to say, a "World Without Superman" is a very dangerous place, indeed, and the only thing standing between the good (and not so good) folks of Earth and an impending shadow of doom are the all-new Nightwing and Flamebird!

Eisner Award-winning writer Greg Rucka (FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS) teams with rising star Eddy Barrows (TEEN TITANS) to kick off a bold new era for ACTION COMICS!

Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes & Wilson Magalháes
Cover by Eddy Barrows & Julio Ferreira
Following the startling events of "New Krypton" and the shocking occurrence in the Phantom Zone, Earth finds itself without its greatest protector! Luckily, Metropolis still has a few heroes, like Mon-El and the Guardian. But after years of knowing nothing but the solitude of the Phantom Zone, how will Mon-El acclimate himself to society? And the recently returned Guardian has his hands full with his new position in the Science Police. How can they fill Superman's shoes? They'd better figure it out fast, because dangerous mysteries abound which will carry all the way into 2010!

The highly acclaimed writer-artist team of James Robinson and Renato Guedes continue their run on SUPERMAN with or without The Man of Steel!

Look, I don't care if that is Superboy in the Nightwing costume, sending Superman out of the picture so a bunch of Q-listers can bathe in his limelight just isn't going to end well, DC. And "World Without a Superman?" Haven't I seen this storyline already? Repeatedly?

I'm enjoying the current "New Krypton" storyline, but not sure I like where it's going to end up. Greg Rucka's back on a Super-book which might be kinda exciting if he hasn't already proven that he's not much of a Superman writer. And Eddy Barrows? Doesn't he do all that awful Teen Titans art? Yuck.

Confidential to The Guardian: Um...what do you think you're doing? Are you fucking air-surfing on your shield? Really? What are you, 13? And what year is this, 1994? Let me ask you something, does Captain America surf on his shield. No, no he doesn't. And neither should you.

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Frazer Irving
Cover by Guillem March
He was a husband and a father. A brother and a friend. A cop and a dark knight. But he had all that taken away. And in return, he was given a suit of sorrows, a quest for redemption and a new name. He is Azrael, avenging angel for the Order of Purity and a new protector for Gotham City's troubled times. But who will protect the citizens from him?

Guest-starring Robin, Nightwing, Talia and the League of Assassins, this miniseries runs alongside BATTLE FOR THE COWL and features the dramatic presence of a strangely familiar, troubled hero with two things on his mind: crazed vengeance for the wrongs he has suffered and salvation for the sins he continues to commit!

So it's come to this, has it?

The art should kick ass, inside and out, though.

Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea
Covers by Tony Daniel
"Batman: R.I.P." and FINAL CRISIS saw the end of Batman. Now, months following the disappearance of her protector, Gotham City sits at a precipice and it may be too far gone for Nightwing, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and the rest of the city's heroes to save the day. Amid the fires, rioting, looting and gang warfare, one question rings out from the souls of Gotham's desperate citizens: Where is Batman?

With guest-stars galore, the destruction of a sacred Gotham City institution and an ending that will have everyone talking, this 3-issue miniseries event written and drawn by Tony Daniel (The Tenth) features the battle to take on the Mantle of the Bat. Who has earned the right? Who thinks they deserve it? Robin? Nightwing? Jason Todd? Two-Face? Catwoman? Batgirl? Who will ultimately win the BATTLE FOR THE COWL?

Well I know Tony Daniel can't draw a comic book. Maybe he can write one? You'll have to let me know how it turns out guys.

Written by Matt Wayne
Art by Andy Suriano & Dan Davis
Cover by Scott Jeralds
When the Ultra-Humanite wants to score big, he goes straight to the top – he's after the President! But Batman and Green Arrow have a rescue plan so daring that we could only call this story "President Batman"!

Yessssssssssss! Um, that's all I have to say about this comic.

One punch. He took that hurdle down with just one punch!

Written by John Broome
Art by Gil Kane, Joe Giella & Murphy Anderson
Cover by Gil Kane & Joe Giella
DC adds a new title to the CHRONICLES series: GREEN LANTERN CHRONICLES, collecting the adventures of Hal Jordan in the exact order of their original publication. In this first volume featuring SHOWCASE #22-24 and GREEN LANTERN #1-3, Hal meets the dying Abin Sur and gains his power ring before facing the menace of the Weaponers of Qward.

Wait, wait, wait...Green Lantern?

Okay, first: Fuck that guy.

Second, if the idea of the Chronicles program is to reprint in exact order of their original publication every single story featuring a character, you've already gone and fucked this one up by missing all the Green Lantern stories featuring Alan Scott. So either re-title this shit Hal Jordan Chronicles or go back to the drawing board.

And third, Silver Age Green Lantern? I thought the idea behind these was to chronicle DC's oldest and most enduring characters. Shouldn't we get a Wonder Woman Chronicles next?

I'd also like a Plastic Man Chronicles and a Captain Marvel Chronicles, since their Golden Age adventures are only available in expensive Archives, but, c'mon, Hal Jordan before Wonder Woman? How is that not fucking insane?!

Written by Geoff Johns & Jerry Ordway
Art by Jerry Ordway & Bob Wiacek
Cover by Alex Ross
Variant cover by Dale Eaglesham & Nathan Massengill
The "Black Adam and Isis" epic concludes here! With Billy Batson banished from the Rock of Eternity, the Justice Society calls upon an old friend to help in the battle against the Black Marvel family and stop Black Adam and Isis once and for all!

Jesus, will this "Black Mary" phase never end?

And hey, look, it's a teenage girl flashing her panties at the readers. Damn, she must be evil!

Written by Kevin VanHook
Art by Don Kramer and Jay Leisten
Cover by Guillem March
Part 1 of 3-part story that will change the life of Oracle forever! Barbara Gordon, after disbanding the Birds of Prey, returns to Gotham City as a recluse only to lose herself to her Oracle identity entirely. But when the evil Calculator seeks the remnants of the Anti-Life Equation to save the life of his daughter, Oracle will be caught in the crossfire, and Barbara Gordon will pay the ultimate price!

Ha ha, remember a few weeks back when Dan DiDio was talking about the cancellation of Birds of Prey and said there was going to be a very important Oracle series coming up, although they hadn't nailed down who was writing it. I just knew it was going to be good when he said that because the best stories are always the ones where an editor has a "story" that needs told, he just needs the right writer to put it in script form.

Well, it looks like they tapped Kevin VanHook, the writer of Batman and Superman vs. Werewolves and Vampires, who is a "famous" Hollywood person you've never heard of who works in visual effects.

So this is going to be great. Particularly since it will be Oracle vs. The Calculator for, what, the eight or ninth time since Identity Crisis?

I do like the cover though. Have I mentioned how much I like this Guillem March character before?

Written by Steve Niles
Art and cover by Scott Hampton

Can there truly be life after death? Simon and his family of friends must cope with the gruesome aftermath of a profound loss. But the load may be too heavy for Simon's shoulders to bear. Has his time as Gotham's darkest protector come to a close? Must he give up his dreams of a normal life?
FINAL ISSUE • On sale March 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99

There's the one I've been waiting for, the "FINAL ISSUE" one. Not because I have anything against the title or anything—I only read the first issue, and it was fine if nothing super-special—but simply because I couldn't believe it was lasting as long as it was.

Written by Sean McKeever
Art by Allan Goldman & Julio Ferreira
Cover by Eddy Barrows & Ruy José
Get ready for the debut of the new Teen Titans line-up! What surprising heroes show up as part of the team? Who made the cut and who got sent home? And where do they go from here? This special issue sets the stage for the "Deathtrap" crossover with TITANS, which kicks off in the upcoming TEEN TITANS ANNUAL!

Hmmm...let's take Robin off the team. That oughta help sales!

TRINITY #40-43
Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Art by Mark Bagley & Art Thibert, Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens, Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton & Ande Parks
Covers for issues #40-42 by Jesus Merino; cover for issue #43 by Shane Davis & John Dell
As the Dark Trinity's all-out war reaches fever pitch, Krona rears his head with destructive consequences, and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman face a world that's changing all around them. Can they find a way back from exile? And even if they can, does the world have any hope of survival? Guest-starring everybody!

I always like when I see "Guest-starring everybody!" in a solicit or next issue box. It's particularly exciting to see ti attached to a Trinity solicit because, if you've been following the series, you know Busiek and Bagley have been trying to give every character DC owns the rights to at least a cameo in this thing, so when they say "everybody" I fully expect to see everybody.


Joaquín said...

Please, please, please, for the love of God, when are we getting good Teen Titans comics again?

I'm gonna get tired of rereading Teen Titans Go! eventually...

LurkerWithout said...

What the hell kind of pose is Flamebird doing on that cover? Air jogging?

Berend said...

"c'mon, Hal Jordan before Wonder Woman? How is that not fucking insane?!"

From a sales perspective?

Berend said...

Also, now that I think of it... perhaps DC is a bit embarrased by the early Wonder Woman comics? After all, they where full of weird propaganda for a bondage lifestyle.

Hdefined said...

Wow, kinda bitchy with the previews reviews this month, Caleb. Granted, a lot of the stuff does sound stupid, but why wast time talking about so many books you loathe and refuse to read?

Lucas said...

Yeah, gotta agree with Berend, man. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) is front-and-center next year as the star of DC's next big event; it seems pretty smart of them to bank on that hype and put out as much Hal Jordan content as they can over the next 12 months.

Siskoid said...

Why does it feel like it's the Dark Age of Comics all over again?

Anonymous said...

So, Superman is going into self-exile into outerspace and the Batman mantle is now open to a number of Gotham vigilantes, including some new cat named Azrael? So what other senses-shattering storylines is Didio going to churn up from the 90s? I can't wait for Hal Jordan to go crazy and destroy Coast City...again.

Guillem March has a great eye for color, composition, and obviously knows his way around a paintbrush, but I have one minor quibble with his Oracle #1 cover: Aren't Barbara's thighs a little thick and curvy for paraplegic? Love the texture on her jeans, though.

Chris said...

Air surfing?

Since when is referencing Clooney-era Batman and Robin a smart thing?

Jacob T. Levy said...

The airsurfing Guardian takes all the joy and excitement out of that cover for me. Well, most of it. I can't help but be excited by the prospect of Mon-El finally getting a chance to kick solid butt in 20th century Metropolis.

Azrael... just.. uh... really?

Pleased to see Ordway involved with the Shazam family, and that reassures me about the way the long dark post-52 stupidity of the Fawcettverse will end. But, still, geez. I'd hoped that the end of Final Crisis would show that Mary's problems were Granny-derived and let us be done with them. Isn't it about time for JSA to get some new plotlines?

Such a shame to see the end of Birds of Prey.

Every so often I'm reminded that I really like Wonder Girl's clothes-with-a-logo look, the same kind of thing Superboy ended up wearing before he died. For heroes who don't have to wear costumes under their secret identity clothes, aren't wearing body armor, and aren't engaged in acrobatics, it makes a lot of sense.

SallyP said...

But...but I've only started reading Superman on a regular basis, and now they want to send him into outer space? Space is for Green Lanterns!

And speaking of Lanterns, since they are already releasing the Green Lantern Showcase volumns which reprint in black and white all of Hal's early adventures, it does seem a bit redundant to be re-releasing it all in a Chronicle. On the other hand, it IS Hal, and lord knows,he loves the attention.

So...they are going to have Oracle sitting around moping? What about ZINDA?!?

On the other hand, I am looking forward to Trinity, which has been pretty consistantly good.

Hdefined said...

What's wrong with using Azrael?

The only bad thing about him is that he was a device for a massive crossover, and then written poorly by a single writer for 100 issues. Who's to say that another writer can't make something interesting out of him?

Mr. Bretterson said...

They should absolutely be releasing Wonder Woman before Hal Jordan. He isn't even a Golden Age character...

From a sales perspective you'd think it'd be beneficial to release the Golden Age Wonder Woman issues in an affordable (not Showcase hardovers) format, since they decided to start the Wonder Woman newsprint volumes in the Silver Age. Particularly since this is a character they have coming out with an animated dvd movie right around the corner.

As far as embarrasment, I'd say it'd be pretty hypocritical to shun a little harmless fetishism (from the 40's!) depicted non-sexually among adults but print incessantly lewd pictures of teen girl characters at every opportunity...

Jeff said...

Re: The Black Marvel Family:

1) When the Injustice League was reintroduced with all the big bads on one cover of JLA about a year ago, Black Adam had a fold-over flap on his costume and a cape. I see the cape, but no fold-over flap. And does he or doesn't he have pointy ears? Ordway did away with them, then they came back during his first JSA/Infinite Crisis/52 run, then they were gone again. WTF? Ears are not a fashion accessory, people!

2) Isis - is she or isn't she an evil bitch? Her dying words in 52 would lead you to think so, but the Felix Faust thing seems to be all about making her an unwilling participant in evil.

3) ENOUGH EVIL MARY! She doesn't look evil or intimidating; she looks stupid!

4) You want to see REAL evil? Put Darkseid in a skirt and have him flash his panties! *THAT* is evil!

Caleb said...

From a sales perspective?

Yes, going by popularity/financial success, Green Lantern seems to be the actual third point of DC's trinity these days and I can see why they'd think of him (I think GL and Flash both had "Greatest Stories Ever Told" trades out before Wondy too), but as a Silver Age legacy character, he doesn't seem to fit in with the Chronicles line as it stands at the moment.

Regarding the bondage and propaganda, it's not really any worse in Wonder Woman than any other books of the period. And as DC's current output shows, they know no shame.

but why waste time talking about so many books you loathe and refuse to read?

This is the fundamental question of my existence. Honestly, I didn't know how it would turn out till I started putting it together, but re-reviewing the solicits, March seems like a spectacularly bad month for DC. There are books I'll be reading in here, the ones I'm already reading, but Batman being sworn in as president is honestly the only book I'm really excited to read at this point.

Pleased to see Ordway involved with the Shazam family, and that reassures me about the way the long dark post-52 stupidity of the Fawcettverse will end. But, still, geez. I'd hoped that the end of Final Crisis would show that Mary's problems were Granny-derived and let us be done with them. Isn't it about time for JSA to get some new plotlines?

This didn't occur to me at the time, but back when Mary went black in Countdown, I remember reading quotes from Jerry Ordaway in which he complained about how lame turning her evil and sexualized was, so maybe this is the story where she gets back to normal.

It seems odd to see her like this now though, as it's where she was during Countdown...I kinda assumed Final Crisis would be the climax of the Mary-as-evil plotline (although I guess in Countdown she was evil cause of evil, and now she's evil cause there's a New God possessing her...?)

2) Isis - is she or isn't she an evil bitch?

I didn't even know she was still alive. Guess I shoulda stuck with that Black Adam mini past the first two issues...

4) You want to see REAL evil? Put Darkseid in a skirt and have him flash his panties! *THAT* is evil!

Yeah! His skirt is even shorter than Mary's, how come it never blows up to reveal his panties?

Trebro said...

Hello, DC? This is the people who buy your shit talking.


I look at those solicits, and I don't even see things I want to read from the library, for God's sake. Unless I am in a particularly bad mood and want to tee off on something.

re: GL Chronicles? Um, dude, been there done that with Showcase presents--see no need to pay for it again. Give me "Golden Age" Chronicles only, please--no more stuff I can read cheaply in trade already.

LurkerWithout said...

4) You want to see REAL evil? Put Darkseid in a skirt and have him flash his panties! *THAT* is evil!

Yeah! His skirt is even shorter than Mary's, how come it never blows up to reveal his panties?

Darkseid goes commando. Tremble in fear puny mortals. Tremble in jealous fear...