Monday, June 14, 2010

DC's September previews reviewed

I’ve mentioned this so many times before that I imagine some of you are getting sick of hearing it, but I currently live about 40 minutes away form the nearest comic shop, and have thus not been going every Wednesday as I used to, and severely chopping away at the comics I read in serial, comic book form.

Since DC and Marvel are releasing their solicits for September of 2010 this week, I thought I’d look to see exactly what I’ll (probably) be reading and in what form from each company. They produce the most comic book-comics I still read, having switched to trades on most other series I’m interested in. (King City and Orc Stain are the only two I buy and read that come out regularly in comic book form).

So perusing the solicitations, which Newsarama has posted here, it looks like I will more likely than not purchase 10 DC comic books in September, for a grand total of $30.90. There are five weeks in September, so I’ll be spending an average of around $6.20 a week on DC comic books in September.

That’s not very much money. I probably spend that much on cups of coffee every week.

If anyone cares, I’m thinking those comics are two issues of Brightest Day, Green Lantern, Return of Bruce Wayne, Batman and Robin, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam and Tiny Titans for sure; Birds of Prey and two issues of Justice League: Generation Lost are likely, depending on whether or not I continue to enjoy the book…I’m pretty down on a few of the creators involved with ‘em, but have liked what I’ve seen so far).

I didn’t see any trades that I would definitely be buying come September, but certainly there are a couple I’d like to if I had a bunch of extra money lying around that could be best used on old Jack Kirby war comics or checking in with John Constantine instead of buying groceries.

I’m definitely planning on reading The Flash, Batman: The Odyssey, Jeff Lemire's Atom back-up strips, the Ted Nafieh-illustrated Teen Titans back-up, First Wave, DC Universe Legacies, Time Masters, Action Comics and Hellblazer and Sweet Tooth in trade.
I might read the following in trade, although there’s a good chance I’ll look for them at the library or wait until I’ve run out of other trades to buy first: Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors, the JMS Superman and Wonder Woman, REBELS and maybe the Superman/Batman arc.

But enough about me and my personal comics-buying habits. Let’s talk about the comics themselves, shall we?

Okay, let’s see here…

Is Gorilla Grodd attacking Lex Luthor…with a giant spoon? That’s…interesting. This is an issue of Paul Cornell’s Superman-free run on Action Comics, which will apparently add a Jimmy Olsen back-up strip, and thus a $1 to the price tag. Definitely trade-waiting this one.

(UPDATE: It’s worth noting that the editor of those Jimmy Olsen back-ups, Will Moss, seems to have a pretty good handle on what works for the character, as demonstrated here. More encouraging would have been something along the lines of, “You know how Grant Morrison wrote him in All-Star Superman? Just like that.” Or perhaps, “Did you read that Showcase Presents collection of Jimmy Olsen stories? Just like that.”).

Hmm, is Azrael having a crossover with Crossed…? Because that would really be something.

The resurrected have discovered their purpose for being back, but where will the knowledge lead them? Who is the new Aqualad? And what strange event is taking place around the White Power Battery in New Mexico?

So they’re just going to keep saying things like “White Power Battery” over and over no matter how it sounds, huh? What about White Energy Battery, or White Lantern or something that doesn’t connote racist organizations?

This is a really nice cover image, produced by George Perez (obviously) for DC Universe Legacies #5, which covers Crisis on Infinite Earths. I especially like the long, streaking lines going in both directions—Plastic Man, Cyborg’s arm, etc. I didn’t even know Cyborg could do that. All I ever see is him shooting or punching people these days. Apparently he has more visually interesting adaptations as well.

I’m trade-waiting this series, as part of my attempt to stop reading comics and start reading trades instead. How about you guys? Anyone been following it so far? How is it?

Art and cover by MATTHEW CLARK with RON RANDALL
The Chief has been experimenting on a captured Kryptonian in his spare time, and he just figured out the method by which Kryptonian cells process yellow sun radiation. The next step: using that method on himself!

Hmm. This actually looks kind of interesting, in a I wonder how that works out? sort of way. It’s a shame Clark’s art isn’t more distinctive and, um, Doom Patrol-y. I read those two sentences of solicit and want to pick the book up again, and then I see that cover and remember I dropped it because it wasn’t a very nice-looking comic (among other reasons, including a $4 price tag, the back-up being a few thousand times better and a Blackest Night tie-in right out of the gate).

A new call to arms begins as Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters return in an all-new action packed ongoing series helmed by the writing team of Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Travis Moore and Trevor Scott!

A national mystery unfolds when the government learns of the existence of a Confederate super weapon intended to insure the South won the Civil War. Who built it and why wasn’t it used? Find out when Uncle Sam leads the team on a quest through the hidden history of the United States! With new challenges and old threats returning to plague them, the stakes are higher than ever. Can even these stalwart heroes stand by their duty when their country calls?

This is weird. Palmiotti and Gray wrote two eight-issue Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters miniseries previously, one in 2006 and one in 2007. Neither of them exactly set the sales charts on fire.

So why is the super-team getting a new ongoing series now, exactly? Maybe the "Confederate super weapon" mentioned is Jonah Hex frozen in a block of ice and defrosted in the year 2010. Because then the reason for a new Freedom Fighters series would be clear—sheer awesomeness.

I’m assuming the above image is the variant cover by Shane Davis, as it is not very good in the same way that a lot of Davis’ work is not very good (You’ve gotta kind of admire an artist who draws Uncle Sam like a 20-year-old kid though, don’t you? Like he’s never seen the character before, and is just going off of a text description?), so probably isn’t an indication of how bad the book will look.

Written by J.T. KRUL
From the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY comes Martian Manhunter! His White Lantern vision has led him to the Emerald Archer’s mystical forest. Is he there to save it – or destroy it? Can Oliver stop his former ally?

“White Lantern vision?” Like Martian Manhunter didn’t have enough powers already…

Twenty years in the making, TEEN TITANS: GAMES is a can’t-miss for fans new and old. Harking back to the era when NEW TEEN TITANS was the best-selling monthly comic series comes this lost tale from legendary creators Marv Wolfman (CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS) and George Perez (FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS) starring their fan-favorite characters just in time for the NEW TEEN TITANS’ 30th anniversary!
Set in the 1980s during the height of the New Teen Titans popularity, this stand–alone hardcover features a mysterious villain playing a deadly game with New York City as the game board–and the Teen Titans as the pieces! Like something out of a time capsule, this never-before-seen epic is the New Teen Titans story from their original creators that has never been told...until now!

I’m not as excited about this as I’m sure a lot of DC comics readers are. I missed the Wolfman/Perez Titans, and thus hold no particular nostalgia for or fascination with that iteration of the franchise, beyond getting excited whenever I see Perez drawing anything.

I figured I’d be remiss not to post this though, as it looks like it may be the publisher’s biggest, most-exciting release of the month.

Written by MIKE MARTS
DC’s special month of classic war one-shots kicks off with a different kind of Sgt. Rock story – one that follows the combat-happy Joes of Easy Company decades ago and, simultaneously, a modern unit in the mountains of Afghanistan! The battle may have changed, but does the war stay the same?
ONE-SHOT • On sale SEPTEMBER 1 • 32 pg FC, $3.99 US

It looks like all of DC’s one-shot war comics are specially priced at the 33% increase level of many Marvel comics, which makes deciding whether or not to read any of them extra-easy for me. I like a few of the artists, and most of the concepts/characters, but there’s no creative team I’m super-excited about, and priced at the blood-from-turnip levels, I won’t have to agonize over whether I should check any of these out or not.

Nice Joe Kubert cover, anyway.

Hey, we were just talking about the Anarky II costume design the other day, weren't we? Okay, so Anarky isn't Lonnie Manchin, but a Batman and Robin villain of similar vintage that used to be called The General.

He's taken the name Anarky, but he has a different mask, a different costume design, a different logo, a different M.O. and now he's even switched to a different color...? Why is he calling himself Anarky, exactly? Am I going to have to read those crappy Robin comics just to understand what's up with the various Anarkies?

Written by SCOTT GROSS
Art and cover by SCOTT GROSS
Scooby and the Gang see a giant creature swimming on a lake in Vancouver, leading them to learn the Legend of Ogopogo, a lake serpent from Native American mythology. But what does a logging company from Lake Okanagan have to do with the mystery? Find out in this thrilling first issue!

I don’t see an issue of plain old Scooby-Doo solicited this month, so it looks like DC is restarting the long-running comic with a slightly different title and a new #1 issue.

Yeesh. I hope the final Secret Six cover looks a lot better than the one that's in the solicitations.

Written by JUDD WINICK
Cover by NIC KLEIN
In the shadow of the "Return of Bruce Wayne," The Man of Steel remembers the fall of The Dark Knight as Dick Grayson takes the mantle of the Bat. But the new Batman is surprised to learn that his first obstacle is Superman! And a threat both alien and mystical erupts in Gotham City that will forge - or break - this new World's Finest team.

This sounds suspiciously like a script Winick wrote for his aborted second Batman run, as it fits in exactly with what he was doing there in the four or five issues he got to write before Tony Daniel took over.

Aaaaaa! Superbaby-Red is horrifying!


Justin B. said...

Has DC decided how they are going to be collecting the backups - on their own or part of the main series trades? I will be buying Adventure Comics solely for the Lemire Atom backup simply because I'm not sure if and when they will be collected.

Matt D said...

Boo. The Fabian Nicieza run on Robin was not crappy at all. It had to dance around RIP like every other Batman comic due to the fact that editorial doesn't seem to understand how to explain what Grant Morrison is doing to the other writers, but it was solid workmanship. They really need to have Bat-Summits where they fly Grant in.

Kid Kyoto said...

"I didn’t see any trades that I would definitely be buying come September"

I have to put in a good word for the Great Darkness Saga HC that's coming. It includes the issues that made me a life-long Legion fan with Levitz and Giffin at the top of their game. It's pricey but I can't wait.


I can't decide which is worse, for Wolfman they credit him with a 25 year old story which was epic, but for Perez they credit him with a crummy recent story. Even as a life-long Legion fan I couldn't bring myself to care about L3W.

That being said I'll buy Games. It's not quite the classic New Teen Titans (it has Danny Chase and white Raven) but it should be fun.

"Am I going to have to read those crappy Robin comics just to understand what's up with the various Anarkies?"

Don't be silly, you'll look it up in wikipedia a week later just like the rest of us.

John Foley said...

Martian Manhunter can never have too many powers for my taste.

Chad Carter said...

The DC LEGENDS or LEGACIES or whatever it is called, I read the first issue and really dug it. Len Wein is scripting, and the Kubert Brothers seem to be inspired. Except for a misstep in making the Golden Age Atom about three feet tall at one point in what amounts to a bizarre gaff of perspective, A-plus all around.

Rob said...

For some reason, the Newsarama solicits have a screwed up image for Secret Six. If you look at it on Comic Book Resources, they have what looks to be the correct image.

Caleb said...

Has DC decided how they are going to be collecting the backups - on their own or part of the main series trades?

I assume they will, only because it doesn't make any sense at all not to. They collected the Dr. 13, Spectre, Eclipso and Dr. Fate stories from a few years back.

Boo. The Fabian Nicieza run on Robin was not crappy at all.

Well, as is clear from the sentence in which I called it crappy, I haven't read it. I did look at the covers, read the solicits and flip-through it, and it didn't seem very good to me, but I can't offer an informed opinion.

For some reason, the Newsarama solicits have a screwed up image for Secret Six. If you look at it on Comic Book Resources, they have what looks to be the correct image.

Thanks, that's much clearer. I usually link to the Newsarama ones instead of the CBR ones because Newsarama gives me money and CBR does not.