Well, my attempts to stay on top of DC's pre-Comic-Con announcements inadvertently lead to me covering many of the more exciting DC releases mentioned in their October solicitations already (Here, here and here), so this will be short and sweet. Well, not so much sweet as...what's the opposite of sweet..? Bitter! Yeah, that's it! Bitter!
For the complete solicits, including a few more details about the "Top Secret" Bruce Wayne: The Road Home books and what-all DC's publishing to tie-in to that movie about a primary color that's coming out, you can see the full solicits at Newsarama.
Now let's see which comic books of dubious merit DC had decided to publish this October, and which of my favorites they've decided to cancel, shall we?
Written by DAVID HINE
Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH
“The Killer of Saints” part 4 of 4. What makes a man into a saint? As the killer creates his greatest martyr, Azrael learns the final secret, and it just may tip him over the edge into madness. Michael Lane is a crusader forever linked to Batman’s destiny...he is Azrael!
What’s this? Azrael’s still not canceled? It can’t be too much longer now, can it? Last week’s Beat column on DC comics sales has the eighth issue way down around 10K.
BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #22
Written by J. TORRES
Art and cover by ANDY SURIANO
Aquaman’s kingdom is under attack...from his own brother, the Ocean Master! Can The Dark Knight lend a hand in this underwater family matter? Batman will have to do something fast, or he’ll be trapped in Davy Jones’s Locker forever. FINAL ISSUE
BATMAN: HIDDEN TREASURES #1
Written by RON MARZ and LEN WEIN
Art by BERNIE WRIGHTSON & KEVIN NOWLAN
Cover by BERNIE WRIGHTSON
At long last, the legendary “lost” Bernie Wrightson story starring The Dark Knight comes to life! Written by Ron Marz (GREEN LANTERN) and inked by Kevin Nowlan (SUPERMAN VS. ALIENS, Doctor Strange), this astonishing Batman/Solomon Grundy story features full-page illustrations on every page! Also included in this can’t-miss issue is the newly colored, classic Bernie Wrightson/Len Wein Batman story “Night of the Bat,” which originally appeared in SWAMP THING #7! Both stories feature colors by acclaimed artist Alex Sinclair (BATMAN: HUSH, 52) and both present particularly startling looks at The Caped Crusader as only Wrightson could present!
On sale OCTOBER 6 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US
Was there a legend about a lost Bernie Wrightson Batman story? Because this is honestly the first I’ve ever heard of it, and I thought I paid fairly close attention to Batman.
At any rate, I can’t wait to see what this looks like, not only for the obvious reason (Wrightson art), but because Kevin Nowlan is a rather incredible inker whose work can have unpredictable—but always positive—effects on the pencil art he works with.
I’ll be shocked if this book is anything other than gorgeous.
BATMAN: ODYSSEY #4
Written by NEAL ADAMS
Art and cover by NEAL ADAMS
The fourth chapter of Neal Adams’ epic Batman tale sees Bruce Wayne confronted with a terrible moment that harks back to his origin. Will this shocking episode derail Batman from his Odyssey? Guest-starring Aquaman, Deadman, Talia and Man-Bat!
On sale OCTOBER 6 • 4 of 12 • 40 pg, FC $3.99 US
Wow, Neal Adams’ Batman looks just plain insane in that picture, and the visible pupils are just furthering the effect. I can't even guess what that expression is supposed to be—meth-fueled berserker befuddlement at the sight of a wig? I’m growing increasingly interested in this book the more I hear about it, and look, this issue will guest-star Aquaman, a not very frequent guest-star in Bat-books!
DCU HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2010 #1
Written by JOE HARRIS, BRYAN Q. MILLER and others
Art by TBD
Cover by GENE HA
The annual event you’ve been dying to read is here! The DCU HALLOWEEN SPECIAL returns with a bang, featuring all-star talent and all of your favorite characters! What happens when the DC Universe’s premier heroes are thrown together with some of the spookiest heroes and villains? Scares are sure to ensue!
On sale OCTOBER 20 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US
Sooo three months out, and all you guys have got is two scripts and a cover? That doesn’t sound very promising. You knew which month this was going to need to be done by for a year now, right?
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #50
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by MARK BAGLEY with POW RODRIX & ROB HUNTER & NORM RAPMUND
Jade is plagued by the remanants of the Black Lantern, and Dr. Impossible and his group’s machinations unleash the Crime Syndicate upon the JLA’s Earth as BRIGHTEST DAY continues shining! What are their true plans? And can the World’s Greatest Heroes handle these evil incarnations – or is the entire Multiverse doomed?_Retailers please note: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale OCTOBER 20 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US
Sure, I’m not sick of the Earth-2 Crime Syndicate yet, why not roll them out for the 57th time in the last decade to celebrate the 50th issue of the worst volume of any Justice League title yet?
OUTSIDERS: THE ROAD TO HELL TP
Written by DAN DIDIO
Art by PHILIP TAN, DON KRAMER and others
Cover by PHILIP TAN
Katana and Black Lightning are dispatched to deal with a disturbance on the open seas in this title collecting OUTSIDERS #26-31. Meanwhile, Geo-Force makes a deal with a certain Kryptonian to join the team, and the Outsiders find themselves cast as enemies in the eyes of the world!
On sale NOVEMBER 24 • 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US
The road to hell, like the road to Outsiders comics, is paved with good intentions, but ultimately just leads to an unpleasant place where visitors suffer.
Ha ha ha!
I’m just kidding People Who Make Outsiders Comics! I haven’t read your silly book about Geo-Force and the gang for like 50 years now; for all I know, it’s the best comic book in the world.
Well, that looks more like Bruce Wayne’s Batman costume than Dick Grayson’s, if that means anything. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the mantle of the Bat once Bruce Wayne is back in the present, and based on the coy solicitations and the fact that most of the Bat-line has been put on hold for October to make room for all those semi-classified Bruce Wayne: The Road Home one-shots and a Grant Morrison/David Finch special means I’m supposed to be unsure, but I do hope it’s something unexpected, like maybe having two Batmen temporarily or something.
But at any rate, the cover for Power Girl is off-model, or Bruce Wayne will be Batman in October’s issue of Power Girl, if nowhere else.
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
Art by EDDY BARROWS & J.P. MAYER
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
J. Michael Straczynski's "Grounded" storyline, which has made headlines in USA TODAY, THE NEW YORK TIMES and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, continues right here as Superman visits the Chicago area! In this issue, Superman discovers that there is a darkness even more immense than outer space: the darkness of the human heart turned against itself.
On sale OCTOBER 13 * 32 pg, FC $2.99 US
Oh God this issue better not be about Superman dealing with child abuse…I don’t think I could stand to see that story in this book by these creators at this time.
TIME MASTERS: VANISHING POINT #4
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by DAN JURGENS & NORM RAPMUND
“The Search for The Batman” continues! The Time Masters are tossed through a continually disrupted time stream as the devastation at Vanishing Point takes them further and further off the trail of the missing Bruce Wayne! Don’t miss this companion series to the best-selling “Return of Bruce Wayne” storyline!
On sale OCTOBER 27 • 4 of 6 • 32 pg, FC $3.99 US
Wait, wait, wait…Superman, Rip Hunter and the gang are still on the missing Bruce Wayne’s trail? Well, they’re not going to find him traveling through time—he’s already back in present day Gotham City. Didn’t they check the October solicits? There’s like nine books about Batman returning this month! Who’s leading this expedition, Hal?
Also, this is only the fourth of six books? So this won’t actually wrap up until two months after Batman is back? Er, something tells me this series wasn’t planned out all that well…
UNTOLD TALES OF BLACKEST NIGHT #1
Written by GEOFF JOHNS & PETER J. TOMASI, J.T. KRUL and ETHAN VAN SCIVER
Art by IVAN REIS, ETHAN VAN SCIVER, JAY FABOK and others
Cover by TYLER KIRKHAM
The Book of the Black is pried open once more to reveal the untold horrors that occurred during BLACKEST NIGHT as guided by Sinestro Corps member Lyssa Drak. Be witness as swarms of Black Rings scavenge for souls within the tatters of Ragman! Cringe as Scarecrow bathes in the fear he constructs as a newly minted Sinestro Corpsman! Scream as Donna Troy transforms into a Black Lantern! Squirm as Animal Man literally feels his world – and himself – die! It’s the emotional spectrum at its darkest in one special standalone issue!
ONE-SHOT • On sale OCTOBER 13 • 56 pg, FC $4.99 US
Oh man, I am totally on the fence with this one. Some of my favorite DC characters—Ragman, Scarecrow and Animal Man—but also one of my least favorite (Donna Troy) and not much info on the art teams or what writers are writing what character.
Hmmm….Wellll…urrgg…yeah, I guess I’ll probably order this.
It occurs to me that DC could probably continue to publish Untold Tales of the Black Lantern Corps forever, or at least until people stop buying them. DC has a lot of characters, a lot of dead characters, and a lot of both that never showed up in any of the many Blackest Night-related books yet.
Aah! I find myself completely terrified of Zatana...her face...her breasts...those eyes...those teeth! Is...is something wrong with that picture, or is something wrong with me?