Tuesday, February 16, 2010

DC's May previews reviewed

As with Marvel, so with DC. Full here, Me Talking About Some here:

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #44
Written by KEVIN VANHOOK • Art and cover by TOM MANDRAKE
“Batman vs. the Undead” begins here! When Doctor Herbert Combs escapes from Arkham Asylum, he travels to New Orleans in an attempt to once again raise the dead. The only ones who can stop him are Dimeter – a vampire with a score to settle – and The Dark Knight. Can Batman join this creature of the night in order to stop Combs’ mad plan


Damn, that Tom Mandrake sure can draw Batman fighting undead monsters. It sounds like this is something of a sequel to the same creative team’s Superman and Batman vs. Vampires and Werewolves, which I kinda sorta reviewed here.


BIRDS OF PREY #1
Written by GAIL SIMONE • Art and cover by ED BENES • 1:25 Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
Soaring out of BRIGHTEST DAY, the Birds are back in town! Because you demanded it, fan-favorites Gail Simone (WONDER WOMAN, SECRET SIX) and Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE, GREEN LANTERN) reunite to reinvent the book where they made their explosive debut as a team. Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress and Lady Blackhawk all return to Gotham City where they belong – and they’ve brought a couple of new friends (or are they foes?) along with them! Guest-starring a major Bat-villain and the first appearance of the most dangerous, most twisted new Birds villain ever!


I can’t remember if I ever said this in public anywhere, or just thought it a couple of weeks back when they first announced this creative team, so I’ll go ahead and say it now.

I know I say a lot of harsh things about Ed Benes on a somewhat frequent basis (in general, any time I encounter his work), but I think this book is one he’s actually well-suited for. I still don’t think he’s good at sequential art, and I won’t buy this despite having read most of the last volume of the series (and all of writer Gail Simone’s part of it) because of the art, but if Benes’ specialty—and the thing he’s going to draw anyway no matter what—is indistinguishable, big-breasted, scantily-clad, well-muscled women thrusting their asses at the viewer, well, better to have him drawing a team book consisting entirely of big-breasted, scantily-clad, well-muscled women, few of whom ever wear any pants.

I’m not sure if Simone is going to be writing the sort of cheesecake or exploitation comics Benes seems to always draw or not, but at least here he’s off of DC’s should-be flagship title, and he’s not being forced to draw a bunch of characters he hates drawing and I hate looking at him drawing.

Also, is this one more example of DC seeming to not really know what they’re doing more than a month or two in advance? It wasn’t that long ago that Simone left this title, which then had two different writers with very short runs, and then was canceled. Now it’s back, with Simone and Benes on it again.


THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #34
On sale MAY 19 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
Art and cover by JESUS SAIZ
Don't miss this first chapter of a most unexpected two-parter! This wouldn't be the first instance where the Legion of Super-Heroes have gone back in time looking to add to their ranks. But the sheer craziness the Doom Patrol will bring into their lives just might make that it the last time... and the Legion's mission will lead to some rather unexpected consequences next issue!


If the previous issues of JMS and Saiz’s Brave and the Bold are any indication, not only will this be awful, but it will probably make me sad too. But I’m still kind of curious about those two teams meeting up.


Brightest Day #1-2
Written by GEOFF JOHNS and PETER J. TOMASI, Art by IVAN REIS, PATRICK GLEASON, ADIAN SYAF, SCOTT CLARK & JOE PRADO. BRIGHTEST DAY continues, but in ways you can't possibly expct! What does BRIGHTEST DAY mean to the DC Universe? Is everything from here on out going to be bright and shiny? No, BRIGHTEST DAY means something else entirely, something we can't tell you...yet. But we can tell you our heroes will need to rise up more than ever to combat the forces of evil, and a select few will uncover a secret that binds them ALL. It all beings with the specially priced issue #1!


Crap. I’m reeaaalllly gonna regret living in a city with no comic shop once these weekly-ish series start up, aren’t I?



Aw, that’s a cute cover! Too bad Calafiore is still going to be on art chores. Come on DC, I really want to read this series!


DC UNIVERSE LEGACIES #1
40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Written by LEN WEIN * Art by ANDY KUBERT, JOE KUBERT & J.G. JONES * Cover by ANDY KUBERT & JOE KUBERT It starts here! DC Comics proudly presents a ten-part history of the DC Universe spanning five generations of heroes from the dawn of the Mystery Men to present day. In this first exciting issue, the Second World War rages on, giving birth to a new breed of hero. Caped and masked urban myths become legends as they emerge from the shadows to earn their place in history. Meanwhile, explore the bizarre new heroes Dr. Fate and The Spectre and learn whether their powers are real...or imagined. Join renowned writer Len Wein (SWAMP THING, Incredible Hulk), legendary artist Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), his son, the fan-favorite Andy Kubert (BATMAN, X-Men) and J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS, 52) as they unearth the DCU's epic history in this event you won't want to miss!


With Joe Kubert and Andy Kubert on art, I’m sure this is going to look great. I hope the story is good though…I guess I’ll be waiting for the trade on this though.


ICON: MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION TP
On sale JUNE 2 • 232 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Written by DWAYNE MCDUFFIE • Art by M.D. BRIGHT, MIKE GUSTOVICH & OTHERS • Cover by DENYS COWAN & JIMMY PALMIOTTI
With the secret of his origin in danger, Icon must abandon Dakota, leaving Rocket in charge. Plus: Don’t miss the amazing exploits of Buck Wild! Collecting ICON #13, 19-22, 24-26 and 30.


Hooray!


Okay no seriously, why haven’t they done a plastic incentive Legion flight ring yet?


MAGOG #9
Written by KEITH GIFFEN
Art by TOM DERENICK & RODNEY RAMOS
Cover by HOWARD PORTER & JOHN DELL
It’s Magog versus The Shield when Killer App takes hold! But why are the Planeteers keeping their distance from Magog as well?


There is actually a character named Killer App? Really? He does predate that term as it applies to cell phone application, right? Also, the Planeteers? Also, Magog has his own comic? Wait, wait, I knew about that last one…I just haven’t been able to process it yet. Maybe by it’s two-year anniversary.


THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS SPECIAL #1
56 pg, FC, $4.99 US
Written by ERIC TRAUTMANN, MATTHEW STURGES, BRANDON JERWA & JOHN ROZUM
Art by JAVI PINA
Cover by STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU
The Shield, Inferno, Hangman and The Web are finally brought together to uncover a vast conspiracy that will change their lives and potentially ripple through the entire DC Universe! Bringing together Eric Trautmann, Matt Sturges, Brandon Jerwa and John Rozum, the four critically acclaimed writers from THE SHIELD and THE WEB, alongside SUPERMAN artist Javi Pina, this extrasized dose of high-stakes metahuman action is a perfect jumping-on point for new readers and faithful followers alike, setting the stage for the future of the Red Circle — and the coming of the MIGHTY CRUSADERS!


Ohhhhhhh…is this why they keep publishing Red Circle books, despite the fact that they sell only marginally better than ear-boxings would? They wanted to introduce all the characters before their team-up title rolled out and maybe (possibly hopefully) saved the whole franchise? The Web and The Shield both made it to nine issues, by the way.


RAMPAGE VOL. 2
194 pg, B&W, $12.99 US • MATURE
Written and illustrated by Yunosuke Yoshinaga
CMX/FLEX COMIX. The showdown continues between the Yellow Turban Army and Liu Bei’s Army! The mysterious and invincible Zhao Yun wreaks havoc on Liu Bei’s soldiers and the army leader is next on his list. If Liu Bei’s soldiers stay to fight, their death is inevitable, so they retreat, leaving the fearless Liu to stand alone. Will Guan Yu or Zhang Fei be able to come to her aid in time?


If DC's going to publish a billion based-on-a-videogame books on their WildStorm imprint, and they're going to publish something entitled Rampage, why oh why can't it be a comic series based on this game?


SHOWCASE PRESENTS: SUICIDE SQUAD VOL. 1 TP
Resolicit •On sale JUNE 16 • 552 pg, B&W, $17.99 US
Written by JOHN OSTRANDER, KEITH GIFFEN & J.M. DEMATTEIS
Art by LUKE MCDONNELL, ERIC LARSEN & OTHERS • Cover by LUKE MCDONNELL
Captured villains are offered an ultimatum: Go on near-impossible covert missions or rot in jail. For the first time, DC collects SUICIDE SQUAD #1-19, DOOM PATROL/SUICIDE SQUAD SPECIAL #1 and JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #13.


Hooray!


SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #1
On sale MAY 5 * 1 of 4 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by JAMES ROBINSON & STERLING GATES * Art by AARON LOPRESTI & MATT RYAN
Cover by EDDY BARROWS
The Battle for New Krypton! This is it! The storyline the SUPERMAN books have been building to since 2008 has arrived! Superman has never faced such a difficult challenge - how can he stop the two worlds he loves from destroying each other? General Zod has been waiting for another shot at Earth for years, and with 100,000 supermen on his side, it looks like it's his war to win! But on Earth, General Lane has an ace up his sleeve that will level the playing field quite nicely!

SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #2
On sale MAY 12 * 2 of 4 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by STERLING GATES & JAMES ROBINSON
Art by JAMAL IGLE & JON SIBAL
Cover by EDDY BARROWS
The Battle for Mars! With Superman having left the Kryptonian military to try to stop the war, General Zod needs a new Commander El - enter Supergirl! As Zod's army gets closer to Earth, the battlefield shifts to Mars where Superman must confront his cousin! Neither wants to fight, but both will do what they must for the sake of what they think is right! Meanwhile, Superboy knows what he must do to stop this war - even if it means becoming hated by both planets!

SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #3
On sale MAY 19 * 3 of 4 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by JAMES ROBINSON & STERLING GATES * Art by EDUARDO PANSICA
Cover by EDDY BARROWS
The Battle for Earth! All of Earth's heroes must make one last stand against the Kryptonians while Superboy and Steel try exposing the evils of General Lane! But will they be branded traitors?


SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #4
On sale MAY 26 * 4 of 4 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by STERLING GATES & JAMES ROBINSON * Art by EDDY BARROWS
Cover by EDDY BARROWS
The Battle for Survival! Supergirl vs. Ursa! Superboy vs. Non! And Superman vs. Zod! The fate of two worlds will be decided here! In the end, can Superman save either?


I just wanted to note that I think shipping an event like this on a weekly basis is a great idea. Not sure how it works out for DC on the business side of things, but as a reader, a big event that begins and ends in the same month, and not letting up for any of the Wednesdays in that month, has gotta be an exciting read, with little time to over-think any inadequacies in the story.


SUPERMAN/BATMAN #72
On sale MAY 19 * 32 pg, FC $2.99 US
Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by JERRY ORDWAY
Cover by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO
Legendary writer Paul Levitz begins a new story here with "Worship," a tale that will have repercussions for a millennium. While The Man of Steel's godlike presence on another world is perverted by Lex Luthor, zealous Superman followers look to make human sacrifices in his name back on Earth. Can Batman save the first victim before it's too late?


You wouldn’t know it from the completely generic, could-have-been-the-cover-for-any-of-the-previous-71-issues cover, but this arc has art by Jerry Ordway, and should thus be pretty nice looking. This is the first time I’ve been interested in picking up an issue of this since…the (pretty awful) Metal Men arc, maybe…?


TEEN TITANS #83
On sale MAY 26 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Written by FELICIA D. HENDERSON
Co-feature written by REX OGLE
Art and cover by JOE BENNETT & JACK JADSON
Co-feature art by TED NAIFEH
Wyld days are here again! The supernatural menace has returned stronger, meaner and now in possession of the one hero who could stop him! Will the addition of Superboy and Kid Flash to the Teen Titans’ ranks be enough to beat back the darkness? Or is this really the end of the world as we know it? Plus, a brand-new co-feature kicks off introducing the fresh talents of Rex Ogle and Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin) as they take Black Alice, Zatara and Traci 13 into uncharted magical territories. Can this troubled trio stand together – or is this already the end of the COVEN?


Woah hey, Ted Naifeh drawing DC super-characters!


Fuck yeah, Super Pets! Er, I mean, um, F yeah, Super Pets...?


TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE SPECIAL #1
On sale MAY 12 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US
Written by ERIC WALLACE • Art and cover by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO
1:25 Variant cover by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO
It’s a new team and direction for the Titans! Deathstroke and his mercenary team including Cheshire, Tattooed Man and other surprise members burst out of BRIGHTEST DAY #0! Get in on the ground floor here as the team is hired to assassinate The Atom! And for this team, failure is not an option!


Hmm, I’m not sure I get this book. Half of these guys aren’t Titans villains (actually, I have no idea who that red lady is), and they’re going to be hunting a former Justice Leaguer who was only a Titan for about 20 minutes in the early ‘90s after being temporarily de-aged in Zero Hour.

Also, what the hell does Deathstroke need Tattooed Man II or Cheshire for?

5 comments:

Dean said...

But why are the Planeteers keeping their distance from Magog as well?

Same reason as most people, probably.

Also, what the hell does Deathstroke need Tattooed Man II or Cheshire for?

Isn't Tattooed Man a good guy now, since Final Crisis?

Anthony Strand said...

In the Tiny Titans entry, you mean "Aw, yeah! Super pets!"

Obviously!

Matt said...

Believe it or not, Magog's actually a really fun comic book. It might be Giffen's best writing work in a while.

It's like Cable crossed with Vext or something. Well, maybe not. It's such an earnest take on the character that I think it'd actually catch on if it fell into the hands of Chuck Dixon fans or what have you.

Kid Kyoto said...

"Also, is this one more example of DC seeming to not really know what they’re doing more than a month or two in advance?"

On Birds of Prey what I think happened is this. Comic companies know fairly how much a book will sell based on characters and creative teams.

So when they get a team like Simone and benes who take a book above sales projections DC naturally wants to move them to a higher profile book like Wonder Woman or JLA, since doubling JLA sales brings in a lot more cash than doubling Birds of Prey sales.

Obviously this did not work out so why not move Benes back where he was doing well.

googum said...

Also, what the hell does Deathstroke need Tattooed Man II or Cheshire for?

Well, geez, does Deathstroke have to make his own sandwiches and get his own coffee?

Actually, I'd probably read that: Deathstroke and a bunch of super-villains that are hardcore in other books, and basically interns for him here...