Monday, September 21, 2009

DC's December previews reviewed

Whatever changes will be taking place at DC now that Paul Levitz is out and Diane Nelson is in, the company hasn't suspended the publication of their comics line and put all of their superheroes in motion comics instead. Not as of December of this year, anyway. Here's what DC's planning on trying to sell you in a little over two months, and here are my thoughts on the matter...

Kelley Jones continues to rule.

Written by James Robinson
Art by Eddy Barrows & Ruy José
Cover by Eddy Barrows
The mystery men of yesterday are back and they seek the hearts of their new counterparts! It's Mr. Terrific vs. Mr. Terrific, Dr. Midnite vs. Dr. Midnite, Sand vs Wesley Dodds! Can the new generation of heroes survive the rise of the Black Lantern JSA? Find out in this all-new miniseries from original JSA co-writer James Robinson and rising star artist Eddy Barrows (BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN)!

So here's a new Blackest Night tie-in miniseries. You're going to see a lot of these in this month's solicitations, along with a lot issue of regular ongoings tying-in to Blackest Night.

This one seems kind of significant in that it's a JSA book written by James Robinson, the man primarily responsible for the fact that there's been a relatively successful Justice Society ongoing for the last decade or so (Well, he helped launch the book anyway; Geoff Johns did the heaviest lifting for the longest time).

That's a team particularly well-suited for a back-from-the-dead horror story, since everyone on the original team except three people are dead. Perhaps Robinson will pull back from the immediate membership of the current JSA roster and include Black Lanterns of the other many, many, many dead Golden Age DC superheroes. In which case, we might get to see The Black Bee after all! (Robinson did write the Bee in an issue of his Starman run).

Unfortunately, this is being pencilled by Eddy Barrows, whose art is just dreadful. Not sure if I can bring myself to read another comic he's drawn or not...maybe it will depend on how obscure the Black Lanterns being used are. If zombie Red Bee and Airwave are in here with their undead pets, you can count me in.

Written by Dan Jurgens
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens& Norm Rapmund
Black Lantern Ted Kord is out for blood in this BLACKEST NIGHT tie-in issue! Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes joins forces with Booster Gold in an attempt to take down Black Lantern Ted Kord once and for all. But the battle will have consequences for the Blue and the Gold, and Booster and Beetle’s lives will be forever changed!
On sale December 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Just wanted to point this one out, as it looks like the lead feature/back-up format is being abandoned for this issue (at least?), although it will remain over-sized and $4. The star of the back-up feature, Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes, is mentioned in the solicit as interacting with the star of the lead feature, however, so perhaps this is only temporary, a sort of crossover between the two parts of the book...? Similarly, this month's Teen Titans looks like a single 32-page, $4 story, and back-up star Ravager is featured in it.

Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art and cover by Jesus Saiz
No evil shall escape Fate! As a man who makes his own rules, headstrong Green Lantern Hal Jordan isn't a big believer in fate... But he'll have to put his trust in the Doctor if either man expects to overcome this threat! It's another thriller from best-seller J. Michael Straczynski (Thor) and sensational artist Jesus Saiz!

When exactly did Hal Jordan become the headstrong, own-rule-making rebel character he’s been consistently portrayed as over the last five years or so? Was it after Geoff Johns brought him back to life and starting writing him?

Because when I think back to other decades, Hal Jordan always seems to be one of the most reserved, uptight, play-by-the-rules superheroes in the DC Universe, regularly getting called before the board of directors of his superhero franchise to get chewed out over the littlest infractions.

This perception of mine could simply be a matter of Jordan so often playing straight man or foil more hotheaded characters like Oliver Queen, Guy Gardner and John Stewart (in his earliest appearances), but that particular portrayal of the character strikes me as an extremely recent invention.

Written by Steve Ditko, Don Segall, Dennis O’Neil and Michael Fleischer
Art by Steve Ditko and others
Cover by Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man, struck again in 1968 with the strange hero The Creeper. Now, for the first time, DC collects Ditko’s Creeper epics from SHOWCASE #73, BEWARE THE CREEPER #1-6, 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #7 and short stories from WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #249-255.
Advance-solicited; on sale February 24 • 256 pg, FC, $39.99 US

I'll add this to my To Buy When I'm Rich list, right after all those $40 Kirby trades DC has been putting out.

(Confidential to DC's PR folks: I'll totally review this if you wanna send me a review copy).

Written by Scott Kolins, Sterling Gates, Amy Wolfram, Fred Van Lente, Jay Faerber, Beau Smith, David Tischman, Jay Torres and others
Art by Scott Kolins, Jeff Lemire, Daniel Liester and others
Cover by Dustin Nguyen
It’s that time of year! You can’t miss your favorite characters bringing good cheer to all. Even Deadman and B’wana Beast find ways to celebrate the spirit of the season!
ONE-SHOT • On sale December 9 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US

Man, I bet Huntress is freezing...

And hey, what's this? Fred Van Lente isn't exclusive to Marvel?! I wonder if that's by choice, or if Marvel has not made him an extremely lucrative offer yet, because he's one of the best writers they've got on their pay roll at the moment.

I'll probably pass on this as I have the last few holiday specials, but I like the idea of a Christmas-themed 80-page giant anthology (and at least some of the few creators named so far).

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ed Benes
Variant cover by Rodolfo Migliari
BLACKEST NIGHT continues! John Stewart comes face to face with his greatest failures, the planet Xanshi and his wife and fellow Green Lantern, Katma Tui. Plus, what does Fatality truly want with John?

"Art and cover by Ed Benes?" Is that some kind of terrible joke? Because that shit's not funny. If true, this would be the first time in 48 issues that I didn't buy the new issue of Green Lantern.

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Pat Gleason & Rebecca Buchman
Variant cover by Ladrönn
Red rain falls! As the Black Lanterns continue their reign of terror and chaos on Oa, things go from bad to worse when a horrible loss for the Green Lantern Corps results in Guy Gardner becoming so enraged that he becomes a Red Lantern! And hell breaks loose as the Central Power Battery faces an attack from the newly arrived Black Lantern Corphans!

Despite my fondness for the art, I dropped this somewhere around the time they were fighting Mongol on the planet of the "For The Man Who Has Everything" flowers, but I have to admit that cover's pretty nice, and makes me want to think about picking this up again.

Great cover, guys.

Wait, wait, wait. They’re putting all the least popular JSA members, including several brand new ones and at least two who have had their short-lived solo books canceled (Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. and Damage) on to a single team in an all-new, second JSA title?

Well, good luck with that. I know Magog and Power Girl currently have their own books (for now), but other than PG, I don’t think anyone on that cover has an identifiably large fan base (and even hers is small-ish). Best case scenario, everyone reading JSoA adds JSA All-Stars to their pull-lists; worst case scenario, anyone on the fence with the new direction for JSoA take this as a good sign to jump off the title, while the new book dilutes the strong JSA brand.

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Amanda Conner
A blast from the past! The alien Vartox has come to Earth to claim a wife-and her name is Power Girl! PG may have wanted a boyfriend, but not quite like this! The fan-favorite team of Palmiotti, Gray and Conner craft another winner!

Maybe Power Girl should introduce Vartox to Maxima. And to the concepts of shirts and pants.

Written by Mike Johnson
Art by Angel Unzueta & Wayne Faucher
Cover by Angel Unzueta
Spotlight on Donna Troy! What happens when a young twenty-something woman feels like she grew up too fast and deprived herself of a twenty-something kind of life? As Donna ponders this, the Fearsome Five continue their Titans revenge streak. They picked the wrong time to do it...

A couple people in the never-ending comments section under my Blog@ post about the new JLA line-up wondered if the fact that half the Titans cast was going to be in JLoA if that meant DC’d be canceling Titans. It looks like it will still be in publication as of December, even if the title has drifted towards a modern version of the old Titans Spotlight.

I think it’s unfortunate they didn’t cancel it before this issue was solicited, and that cover image was unleashed upon the world.

Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan
Cover by Aaron Lopresti
This is it! The secret behind Wonder Woman's new power and the true meaning of the Olympian are revealed right here!
It's an all-out action issue as Diana faces an old foe with a hideous new face!

Does it have something to do with lightning? I bet it has something to do with lightning.


Geordae said...

I've never read a comic book in my life. However, reading the previews for the upcoming DC comics, make me think I should start.

Jeremy H said...

Wow, that Titans cover is weird. It looks like Donna's head was removed, then put back in place with a strand of electrician's tape.

Justin said...

I'm not like a Green Lantern expert or anything, but I don't recall having seen much of the cocksure rebel Hal Jordan before Mark Waid's JLA Year One. It made him play well against square Barry Allen.

MAJ' WIi said...

you should really be reading glc. it is, by far, the best part of blackest night. by far.

Robert Repici said...

You know what's missing from this month's solicits?

-Batman and Robin
-Justice League: Cry for Justice


LurkerWithout said...

"you should really be reading glc. it is, by far, the best part of blackest night. by far."

Now theres a low bar...

Anyway, I hope that the use of Vartox in PG means that other obscure and lame DC characters seen in Mightygodking's Thursday Who's Who posts will soon be returning...

Kid Kyoto said...

"Spotlight on Donna Troy! What happens when a young twenty-something woman feels like she grew up too fast and deprived herself of a twenty-something kind of life? As Donna ponders this, the Fearsome Five continue their Titans revenge streak. They picked the wrong time to do it..."

Hmm, so if we figure that Donna got married and had a kid at 19 or 20 (that's still in continuity right?) this might be an interesting character development.

But more likely it's just someone pitching 'Titans=Sex in the City with superheroes!" and the editors running with it.

caleb said...

You know what's missing from this month's solicits?

-Batman and Robin
-Justice League: Cry for Justice


Huh. I did notice a lack of Batman and Robin, but not Cry...I guess I just assumed it would be wrapped up by now (JLoA has to pick up after it ends, right? Like, timeline-wise? But maybe it doesn't matter, as Blackest Night starts after Cry ends too, right?)

Philip G. said...

Why haven't all of Kelley Jones' Batman covers been re-released as black-light posters?

snell said...

There's a full skip-week between Xmas and New Years--Diamond isn't shipping anything that week--so "missing" titles may just be bumped back a week to January.

jim kosmicki said...

it's a context thing. Hal Jordan was a test pilot. In the Silver Age, that meant military-minded and following or giving orders.

however, once The Right Stuff came out and then Chuck Yeager's autobiography, the image of test pilots began to be more of the reckless cowboy. Hal's test pilot origins weren't used much at that point, then Hal was gone, etc.

So when they brought Hal back and revamped the origin, instead of being a by-the-book military background guy, he became the maverick test pilot who'll try anything twice. I happen to prefer the second version better, but both are simply reflections of their time-periods.