Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DC's April previews reviewed

Damn you DC Comics! You usually release your solicits on Mondays, which is an entirely different day than Tuesdays, when Marvel releases theirs. But because you guys got the day off for MLK Day, I have* to do two of these damn things in the same night?

Well, here are the full solicits; I've already talked a bit about some of the bigger announcements as they were teased last week, so scroll down to previous posts if you want to hear me gas on about Brightest Day and the like.

Beyond the previously announced stuff, what I found most exciting was that REBELs, Magog, The Web and The Shield all remain uncanceled. That means that somehow these books somehow outlasted Marvel's SWORD and Dr. Voodoo. Is there something in that? Is Marvel more aggressive in canceling books that aren't selling? Does DC have more fans who will buy their poor-selling titles than Marvel does? I don't know.

Anyway, here's some stuff that grabbed me for good or ill this time around...

Advance-solicited • On sale June 23 • 112 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Written by SAM KIETH • Art and cover by SAM KIETH
An original Batman graphic novel set in Arkham Asylum from Sam Kieth, creator of THE MAXX! It is the most feared house in all of Gotham City. It contains the worst that the city has to offer. It is the place The Dark Knight’s most dangerous and psychotic foes call home. Writer/artist Sam Kieth, creator of THE MAXX and artist of the acclaimed miniseries LOBO: HIGHWAY TO HELL, invites you to spend 24 hours in Arkham Asylum – the most unsettling house in the DC Universe.

Well lookee here. Not only has Sam Kieth been writing and drawing an entire Batman Classified arc all by himself (the concluding issue of which will also ship in April), but he also found time to do a whole 112-page graphic novel all by himself. I'm

On sale APRIL 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.50 US
Written by LANDRY WALKER • Art and cover by ERIC JONES
It’s our egg-splosive Easter egg-stravaganza! When the evil Egghead teams up with the eerie Egg-Fu, it’s up to Batman and Wonder Woman to put a stop to their eggs-tracurricular plans before the world is egg-stinct! And that’s no yolk!

An Egghead/Egg-Fu team up? Landry Walker and Eric Jones are the best, aren't they?

By the way, has Egghead appeared in any comics before, or is this his debut in the medium?

On sale APRIL 7 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US
Cover by IVAN REIS
Prepare for the ultimate behind-the-scenes experience from the event of the century! With the creative minds behind BLACKEST NIGHT as your tour guides, you’ll marvel at hidden Easter eggs and meanings throughout the series in our director’s commentary section. Discover shocking scenes that were left on the cutting room floor including actual script pages that were never drawn. Be astonished at incredible never-before-seen designs from the best-selling event! Plus, many more exclusives that you’ll witness within this mammoth special including an early look into BRIGHTEST DAY!

Oh Jesus. Why must DC steal only the dumbest things from Marvel, like randomly renumbering comics for no reason, and insist on calling comic books "directors cuts," even though there are no directors involved, and they're never actually "cut" differently. At Marvel, it usually just means "the same thing with some bonus features," whereas this doesn't seem like it reprints anything at all, but simply includes a whole bunch of background material...?

At 80 pages, it's going to be hefty, and I wouldn't mind seeing that material in the back of a trade collection of Blackest Night, but I can't imagine paying six bucks for the privilege.

On sale APRIL 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Oh yes, it’s ladies’ night! Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Zatanna enjoy a nice, peaceful evening on the town that absolutely won’t be interrupted by any kind of superheroic hijinks whatsoever... and if you believe that, there’s a giant bronze globe in Metropolis we’d like to sell you!

I’ve become pretty disenchanted with JMS and Saiz’s Brave and the Bold work so far—I don’t think I’ve even going to bother with this week’s Atom/Joker team-up, as intriguing as that pairing is—but I don’t think I’ll be able to resist an all-superheroine issue drawn by the extraordinary Cliff Chiang.

Saiz’s cover looks light in tone, so hopefully this will be more fun than JMS’ rather dour, melodramatic work on the title so far.

Hey, how come superheroines' costumes are always getting smaller and smaller as time goes on, but Doc Savage's 2009 costume covers more of his body than the one he's hardly-wearing on this old-school cover of a trade colleciton of his old-school adventures? Sexism, that's how come.

Is this racist...? And if not, why do I feel so uncomfortable when I look at it?

Er, Looker's body looks really, really long in this image, right? It's not just me, is it?

On sale APRIL 21 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Written by MARK SCHULTZ • Co-feature written by Dennis O’Neil • Art by MORITAT
Co-feature art by Bill Sienkiewicz • Cover by LADR÷NN • 1:10 variant cover by MARK SCHULTZ
The Spirit returns in an all-new ongoing series! Central City destroys everyone who lives within its borders...so it’s a good thing The Spirit already died once! International crime syndicate The Golden Tree wants to help Central City’s Octopus consolidate control over the underworld and the Spirit is the kind of mess the Golden Tree was created to clean up. They’ve offered the Octopus the services of one of their finest assassins to take his breath away for good – and the sight of this killer would get anyone’s heart pounding! This issue also features the debut of the eight-page THE SPIRIT: BLACK & WHITE co-feature, showcasing the industry’s finest talent. And who better to kick things off than DENNIS O’NEIL and BILL SIENKIEWICZ?
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

I would not want to be someone trying to follow Darwyn Cooke on a new Spirit ongoing, but Mark Schultz should do just fine. I'm curious about this title and seeing how the Spirit works in a DC Universe, even if it's not the DC Universe, but it will really have to knock my socks off to stay on my pull-list long.

On sale APRIL 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by MIKE GRELL • Art by CHAD HARDIN
A new dawn in Skartaris? They say the sun never sets at the center of the world, but Travis Morgan has gone over the horizon nonetheless, leaving the helm of the Warlord in very new –very different – hands! Is it the beginning of Shamballah’s new golden age? Or is this the day when it all starts to fall apart?

A new Warlord...? Weird. I didn't think it was really a title or codename or costume to be passed around the way "Flash" or "Green Lantern" or "Queen of England" is. I see the new Warlord got Morgan's hat and shoulder pad, but not the former Warlord's loincloth. That's good; I don't think loincloths are the sort of thing one wants to inherit from someone.

*Well, I "have" to in as much as I "have" to do anything on this completely voluntary hobby/obsession thing I've got going here.


Debaser said...

I've seen you bash it a few times, but both REBELS and The Shield are both really fantastic comics (Especially Shield). With the exception of Batwoman, Shield is probably the most gorgeous corporate comic on the stands, hell it even looks like JH Williams does that book.

I think if you haven't already, you really should give them a chance.

bob said...

Odd how Sam Kieth Batman stories will have run as a standaline mini-series, as an arc in an on-going series and as an original hardcover graphic novel. It's like they're using those as a control to see which format makes the most sense for them.

Kid Kyoto said...

I thought 20th Century Fox owned the original villains from the old Batman show. But with King Tut and now Egghead showing up maybe a deal was made? Maybe we can even hope for DVDs?

jason quinones said...

that looney tunes cover is not racist. the planet has just lost it's sense of humor.

Jonathan said...

I have enjoyed REBELS and The Shield a lot.
Still, I don't see the Shield lasting beyond 12 issues.
I hate to sound pessimistic.

Also, is Philip Tan already off the Outsiders? Or is he just taking a break?

christopher said...

Woah dude... "there's?"

LurkerWithout said...

I wouldn't say the cover is really racist. Speedy Gonzalez's siesta taking buddies are being crude carictures of Mexicans...

jheaton said...

I remember that Egghead was name-checked in that trippy Riddler story Neil Gaiman and Bernie Mireault did for Secret Origins back in the 80s, but I don't think he's ever appeared per se.

caleb said...

I've seen you bash it a few times, but both REBELS and The Shield are both really fantastic comics (Especially Shield).

I've never read either, I just find their unlikely existence interesting/amusing.

...It's like they're using those as a control to see which format makes the most sense for them.

Hey, that's interesting idea...

Woah dude... "there's?"

My editor must have missed that one.

dvulture said...

Yeah, Marvel is much more ruthless in cancelling titles. The theory is that DC can fallback on Warner and ride some bad months trying to find the next new hit, while Marvel cannot depend on another company (maybe now it can depend on Disney) and since is publicly traded, it needs to have profit every quarter.