Monday, April 19, 2010

DC's July previews reviewed


ACTION COMICS #891
40 pg, FC $3.99 US
Written by PAUL CORNELL
Art by PETE WOODS
Cover by DAVID FINCH & Joe Weems
When Lex Luthor finally regained control of LexCorp, he thought he had everything he wanted. But in BLACKEST NIGHT, he briefly became an Orange Lantern and got a taste of true power. Now he’ll do anything – anything – to get that power back. Buckle in for a greatest hits tour of the DCU’s most wanted as Lex Luthor begins an epic quest for power, all brought to you by new ongoing writer Paul Cornell (Dr. Who, Captain Britain and MI-13) and artist Pete Woods (WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON), with covers by David Finch (BRIGHTEST DAY, Ultimatum)!


Is it even worth having Lantern powers, if you have to wear a glowing orange suit in order to have them…?

Also, I’m pretty sure I don’t care for this David Finch character’s work much. This isn’t much of a cover, which is a damn shame since Pete Woods is the artist on the inside. This cover wouldn’t even catch my eye on a shelf…well, it would, but only because of the amount of orange on it, not because of the skill with which it’s designed and rendered.


BATMAN #701
32 pg, $2.99 US
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art and cover by TONY DANIEL
Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel re-team to tell the exciting 2-part, untold tale of Bruce Wayne and his adventures between BATMAN R.I.P. and FINAL CRISIS! What happened to Batman – and Dr. Hurt, for that matter – after the devastating events at the climax of R.I.P.? And what secrets within this story point toward THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE?


Noooooooo!!!!!! What about that nice Guillem March fellow who can draw really well?


BATMAN AND ROBIN #14
32 pg, $2.99 US
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art by FRAZER IRVING
Cover by FRANK QUITELY
In “Batman Must Die!” part 2 of 3, one of our heroes lies near death! Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne enter the ultimate, blood-soaked battle against two foes who almost destroyed the original Batman. Are the new Dynamic Duo up to this final confrontation with absolute evil? If they can’t truly bond as a team, they’re dead!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.


It looks like this title is still going on in conjunction with the Grant Morrison-written Batman: Return of Bruce Wayen, and, for at least two issues anyway, Morrison's also going to be writing Batman? Cool. That's good strategy for DC too, given how well Morrison-written Batman sells—no matter how awful the artist involved. In fact, Morrison's Batman and Robin has been DC's best-selling not-tied-into-Blackest Night book, so the more Morrison-written Batman they can publish a month, the better. For now, anyway.


You know what would make this cover even better? If the horse was wearing a Batman cowl.


Okay, that’s a fun cover. Not sure why Huntress is wearing so much honest-to-God lingerie, but it looks better than her normal costume. If you're going to wear a plastic bikini, why not class it up with garters and fishnets?

That cover, by the way, is by Cliff Chiang, doing his damnedest to make monocles sexy.


BRIGHTEST DAY: THE ATOM SPECIAL #1
32 pg, $2.99 US
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by MAHMUD ASRAR & WALDEN WONG
Cover by Gary Frank
Discover all-new allies, enemies and adventure as The Atom leaps from the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY into this one-shot special! Rising stars Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and Mahmud Asrar (Avengers: The Initiative) update the Atom’s origin and kick off the tiny titan’s next major story, which continues this month in ADVENTURE COMICS #516 (see page 87). If you thought you knew Ray Palmer, then think again! The smallest hero in the DCU is about to become one of its biggest, and the excitement starts right here!


Hey, whatever happened to the other Atom? Ryan Choi? Did James Robinson snuff him in Cry for Justice? The first issue of that miniseries was the last time I saw Choi in a comic book.



GREEN ARROW #2
32 pg, $2.99 US
Written by J.T. KRUL
Art by DIOGENES NEVES & Vicente Cifuentes
Cover by MAURO CASCIOLI
A BRIGHTEST DAY occurs in Star City after the White Ring gives birth to a massive forest downtown at ground zero of Prometheus’ CRY FOR JUSTICE attack. Inside, Green Arrow has taken up residence, determined to end the rampant corruption surrounding the forest. First, he’ll have to face off against the forces of his former company Queen Industries – including their new owner who has a secret connection to the Emerald Archer’s past. Just as the twelve resurrected individuals from BLACKEST NIGHT have a part to play in BRIGHTEST DAY, so does the forest. Green Lantern Hal Jordan guest-stars and don’t miss an ending you’ll never see coming!


I think the idea of Green Arrow being an outlaw hero in a comic book city that has it's own Sherwood Forest is actually a pretty cool idea. I'm not sure they had to devastate Star City and smash Lian Harper to death in order to give GA such a setting, and the star-shaped layout of the city (as seen in last week's Brightest Day #0 is a little contrived, but whatever.

Are any of you guys reading GA post-Cry? How are these Krul and Neves characters doing so far?



HAUNTED TANK TP

128 pg, $14.99 US
MATURE READERS
Written by FRANK MARRAFFINO
Art and cover by HENRY FLINT
The Haunted Tank is back in action in this collection of the 5-issue miniseries. African-American tank commander Jamal Stuart has his 21st century war ride in full battle rattle and is ready for anything – anything except the spirit of Confederate Civil War General J.E.B. Stuart!


Did any of you guys read this? Do I want to read it? I like the artist and I like the old Haunted Tank comics, but have no prior experience with the writer and am leery of the premise in a Vertigo book.


HELLBLAZER #269
32 pg, $2.99 US
MATURE READERS
Written by by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI & STEFANO LANDINI
Cover by SIMON BISLEY
John Constantine is going insane, and he’s crazy enough to summon the only person he thinks might offer help: Shade the Changing Man. But Shade is not the gentle soul he once was – he’s desperate and dangerous. In fact, Shade’s harboring a nasty grudge and has more problems than Constantine – if that’s even possible.


????!!!!!!!


I want to make a joke about feathered hair, but I’m having trouble forming one.

That’s the cover to The Mighty Crusaders #1, by the way, DC’s latest attempt to convince the market to support a Red Circle book…by sheer will power alone.


POWER GIRL #14
32 pg, $2.99 US
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by SAMI BASRI
Due to the events in JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST, Power Girl finds herself mysteriously unaware of the period in her life when Max Lord was pulling her strings as part of Justice League International. Meanwhile, the distractions of being a heroine cause her business to falter as her friends and co-workers disappear. Are they simply walking away – or is something worse happening to them?


They’re being written by Judd Winick—what could be worse than that?!


Yeah, get that costume, Damian! Rip it up! Destroy it! Mess it up so bad that no one will ever be able to wear it again!


RIP HUNTER: TIME MASTER #1
32 pg, $2.99 US
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by DAN JURGENS & NORM RAPMUND
“The Search for Batman” starts here! Vanishing Point – where time ends – is tearing itself apart, and one of the keys to keeping reality from being torn asunder is finding exactly where Bruce Wayne is in the time stream! Rip Hunter puts together a high-powered band of Time Masters to travel throughout history in search of the World’s Greatest Detective, but can even the combined might and skill of Superman, Green Lantern and Booster Gold help the Time Master pinpoint where Batman went at the end of FINAL CRISIS?


Er, what’s Hal Jordan doing there? Does he know anything much about time travel or history? No. Is he one of Batman’s close friends or allies? No.

As odd a team of people to look for Batman as that may be, I’m still totally going to buy this series.


THE SPIRIT #4
On sale JULY 21
40 pg, $3.99 US
Written by DAVID HINE
Co-feature written by MARV WOLFMAN
Art by MORITAT
Co-feature art by PHIL WINSLADE
Cover by LADRĂ–NN
New series writer David Hine comes aboard for the first chapter of “Frostbite!” The ultimate high has arrived on the corners of Central City, and the ghouls who deal it aren’t interested in cutting the all-controlling Octopus in on the action! It doesn’t take long for hot blood to hit the icy city streets!
And in the co-feature, THE SPIRIT: BLACK & WHITE, Marv Wolfman and Phil Winslade show us what happens in Central City when the lights go out – every last one of them! It’s a citywide blackout in black and white!


“New series writer?” Already?! The first issue hasn’t even shipped yet (it comes out on Wednesday), and they’re already announcing a new writer? Jeez. If I were inclined to pick #1 up on Wednesday because of Mark Schultz’s byline, I’d be a lot less more likely to when I see he’s only sticking around for three issues before someone else takes over.


X-FILES/30 DAYS OF NIGHT #1
32 pg, $3.99 US
MATURE READERS
Written by STEVE NILES & ADAM JONES
Art by TOM MANDRAKE
Cover C by SAM KIETH
Two of the most popular horror properties of the last two decades collide in this harrowing 6-issue adventure of epic proportions! Co-writers Steve Niles (writer and co-creator of 30 Days of Night) and rockstar-turned-writer Adam Jones (the band Tool) team with the amazing, moody artistry of industry legend Tom Mandrake (THE SPECTRE, BATMAN) to unleash the ultimate comic culture crossover! When evidence of a possible cannibal killer in Wainright, Alaska, draws the attention of the FBI, Agents Mulder and Scully draw the less-than-glamorous assignment. But all is not as it seems once the agents are on the ground. Not only has the long seasonal darkness begun to fall, but there’s something unnatural about a few of the locals. And what does a chilling, mysterious black ship have to do with the murders? Find out here! Co-published with IDW.


Well this is…unexpected. I wonder if I’m the only person who is most interested in this project because it will feature Tom Mandrake art? (And a Sam Kieth variant cover…?)



For DC's complete July solicitations, sans my invaluable insights, click here.

10 comments:

LurkerWithout said...

Oh good more attempts to try and make the Max Lord heel-turn make any goddamn sense when applied to the Giffen-era Justice League. You know whats best about DC's total flubbing of Red Circle and Milestone? How they just reestablished the whole multiple Earths, with several of them being based on comic's line DC bought up. It just gives me hope that there are two out there where the "real" versions of those lines are...

Derek said...

You know what would make this cover even better? If the horse was wearing a Batman cowl.

Yeah, Bruce. That horse has a family to protect.

Hey, whatever happened to the other Atom?

I don't rightly know. I loved the character from Gail Simone's run, but I haven't kept up with him after she left the title.

They must have something planned for him, right? I mean, he's appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Why give him that exposure if you're not gonna use him?

Did any of you guys read this? Do I want to read it?

I read it, and I'd recommend it. So long as you're comfortable with a tank unit bonding through casual racism.

I thought the characters were just all racists at first, like a comic book adaptation of Crash. I'm glad I figured out otherwise.

... DC’s latest attempt to convince the market to support a Red Circle book…by sheer will power alone.

I like The Web. I like the concept, the costume, the character, the execution, all of it. Pretty underwhelmed by the rest of them, though.

Randal said...

I'm ashamed to say I didn't make the rather obvious leap about the new direction of Green Arrow...probably because I'm still trying to figure out how the Star City forest is shaped like a star (since is is bordered exactly by buildings, did the White Lantern carve out the huge points of the star from still-standing buildings? The explosion wouldn't have left that perfect a shape...), but I've got to say, that Robin Hood motif is frickin' brilliant. I am going to pick up the series now, which I haven't said about Green Arrow since Stanley and his Monster got turned into some pedo fantasy or something.

Jeremy H said...

In the newest issue of Green Arrow there's a scene where Ollie is in prison, talking to Dinah with a window between them, and Dinah says something like "You've always put things between us, and now we have this glass wall between us!" At which point I put the book back on the shelf and bid the shopkeep a good day.

Nick Ahlhelm said...

They made it pretty clear in interviews that Mark Schultz was leaving after only three. Which is a damn shame, especially since Hine would seem to me too dark a writer for the Spirit.

As to the Haunted Tank, skip it. It's the contrived mess you would probably expect it to be. The basic concept revolves around a sucker punch of how big a bastich JEB Stuart was. So unless you can find it a library, I don’t think it’s worth you or anyone’s time.

And priced at $2.99 and now with a slightly more dynamic artist than either Shield or Web had, I will almost certainly buy the Mighty Crusaders. For all eight issues.

Travis said...

I read the Haunted Tank mini, and I thought it got worse with each issue. Not a must read. The covers were cool...

Matt D said...

I like how you call everyone a "character" this month.

Anthony Strand said...

As far as I know, Ryan Choi is still alive and just not being used. I was about to say "Just teaching and hanging out with Panda, I guess." But then I remembered that Rick Remender killed Panda for no reason.

Stupid Rick Remender.

Jacob T. Levy said...

"what’s Hal Jordan doing there? Does he know anything much about time travel or history? No."

er...

IIRC, Hal remembers everything he did as Parallax. One of those things was comingthisclose to rebuilding the timestream from the Big Bang onward,. That probably qualifies, right?

bwmedia said...

I like how you call everyone a "character" this month.

Too bad the people in charge of them don't seem them that way.

I had my problems with Power Girl, mostly in issue #2, which kept me from going beyond the first arc, but at least it was otherwise fun and gave Power Girl a chance at a private life. So naturally Winick is going to wipe all that out because it's fun. They don't want me back as a DC reader, do they?