Monday, March 14, 2011

DC's June previews reviewed

We've already discussed DC's many Flashpoint related comics from June at great length here and here, so this month's look at DC's previews will be a bit shorter. You can see all of the solicitations at Newsarama, and some thoughts on some of 'em below.

BATGIRL #22
Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER • Art by PERE PEREZ
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
When Stephanie Brown arrives in London for a top-secret Batman Incorporated assignment, jet lag, lost luggage and those terribly difficult accents are the least of Batgirl’s problems – the actual Greenwich Mean has been stolen, and as all of London literally grinds to a halt, it’s up to Batgirl and Squire to save the United Kingdom! Tally-ho!
On sale JUNE 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


The Squire, huh? Well, I guess I'm going to try another issues of this volume of Batgirl. Couple of quick questions, though—Isn't Dustin Nguyen the interior artist on this book now? And is the title just now getting around to a plot revealed in last fall's Batman: The Return #1.


BATMAN AND ROBIN #24
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH
The Red Hood is out! But the bigger mystery is who broke him out of prison – and why? His liberators seem to have plans for him. Plans that Jason wants no part of. It’s a street brawl, and unlikely allies come together! Batman, Robin and The Red Hood must fight alongside one another in a knockdown, drag-out battle, taking on the people who sprung Jason Todd.
On sale JUNE 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


I do so love Guillem March's artwork. Check out the treads on Damian's boots there. Wow.


BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM #2
Written by SCOTT SNYDER and KYLE HIGGINS
Art and cover by TREVOR MCCARTHY
1:25 Variant cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
Murder, mayhem and the building of an empire! Issue #2 throttles up the action as Batman tries to find the source of the attacks before the killer can strike again. But with the reveal of the fourth family of Gotham City and an old case from the early days of the city, is Batman playing right into the villain’s hands?
...
On sale JUNE 22 • 2 of 6, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Hey look, there's Batgirl Cassandra Cain in one of the panels of stained glass! I wonder if that means she'll have some small role in this miniseries...?


BATMAN INCORPORATED #8
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art by SCOTT CLARK
Cover by CHRIS BURNHAM
1:25 Variant cover by SCOTT CLARK
When Waynetech’s launch of Interworld is plagued by a series of “virtual murders,” Batman teams up with Oracle to hunt down the culprit in a simulated environment that’s slowly collapsing into post-apocalyptic zombie-haunted chaos. A computer-generated Batman adventure that brings Dark Knight justice to a wild new frontier, to face a new and virulent menace. In a world of numbers, does everything have a price?
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale JUNE 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


What a great cover. This sounds pretty interesting too—I wonder if this "Interworld" business has something to do with the cryptic bit about Batman designing an avatar for Oracle as part of his "Internet 3.0" initiative, mentioned in the aforementioned and linked-to scene from Batman: The Return.

I decided to trade-wait this series based on the price increase (which DC backed off of almost immediately), and now it seems it's being rather plagued by Morrison caused delays, so I'm actually kind of glad I'm going to wait until there are enough issues to make into a collection before I start reading it.


In the radically altered DCU of Flashpoint, Captain Marvel will look the exact same, save he'll have one extra zig-zag on his chest lightining.


BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH: THE SEARCH #1
Written by JONATHAN VANKIN
Art by MARCO CASTIELLO
Cover by ARDIAN SYAF and VICENTE CIFUENTES
1:10 Variant cover by TBC
Following the events of Brightest Day, the new protector of Earth has been chosen. But one reluctant hero making his return to the DCU is trying to convince Batman, Superman and the others heroes of the DC Universe that this may not be a good thing, because he can see that things are not right and mankind’s brightest days are indeed over.
On sale JUNE 22 • 1 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+


Hey, it's the next part of the comics series I kinda like, only by completely different creators (whom I don't know) and featuring some very different characters, probably, depending on who they blacked out on the cover image!

And man, what a piece of shit that cover is. Even allowing for the fact that two of the characters seem to be blocked out. Why is Superman a few heads taller than the others? Because he's floating, presumably, but we can't tell for sure, since they obscured his feet. Where the hell is the light source, and why is Batman the only one with a shadow? (The others are holograms?) Why is there really tall grass in front of Batman's feet (so no one has to draw feet, duh). What's up with that background? Is an ivy-covered wall significant? (It's an adventure at Harvard!) And really, is that the most effective way to stage a non-physical conflict between one character and a group of three others?

Well, those are all my questions about the cover.

About the book in general, I'm not sure why it's not just three more issues of Brightest Day. New #1's are generally thought of as sales-goosers, but given the fact that Brightest Day is one of DC's few actual hit comics at the moment, I would think three more issues of it stand a better chance of selling better than a random three-issue series. That way, DC could probably still stick Geoff Johns' name in the credit somewhere (at the very least, he and Peter J. Tomasi must have something to do with the story at the center of whatever this is about).

Also, and I've been thinking about this for a few days now, has there ever been a really, really good comic book with the word "Aftermath" in the title? That generally translates into "inessential follow-up trying to futilely wring a little more juice out of a crossover," doesn't it?

Also also, this one is rated T+, the only DCU title rated T+ beyond the ones that bore that rating at the beginning of DC's implementation of their new system (Titans, Jonah Hex, Secret Six, etc).

I suppose I could now offer guesses and theories about who those characters are, but I think I've talked about this series way too much at this point. Like I said, I'm mostly enjoying Brightest Day—as with the main Green Lantern title, even the most stupid elements of it are generally stupid in an awesome way—but I think I'll wait until I flip through this on the shelf to see if it's something I actually want to read or not. All I really know from the solicitation is that it will have a terrible cover.


DC COMICS PRESENTS: IMPULSE #1
Written by TODD DEZAGO
Art by ETHAN VAN SCIVER, WALTER SIMONSON, ANGEL UNZUETA and others • Cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER and WAYNE FAUCHER
It’s Batman vs. The Joker – with Impulse caught in the middle! Plus, Impulse battles Kalibak, son of Darkseid – and meets Inertia, the Reverse-Impulse! Featuring art by Ethan Van Sciver, from IMPULSE #50-53!
On sale JUNE 8 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US


I always see plenty of copies of Impulse in back-issue bins, so these are probably easy to find for like a buck a piece somewhere, but, if you want them all between the same set of covers, these are well worth having.


DC COMICS PRESENTS: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA – BLACK BAPTISM #1
Written by RUBEN DIAZ and SEAN SMITH
Art by JESUS SAIZ and KEITH CHAMPAGNE • Cover by TIM BRADSTREET
When the World’s Greatest Heroes learn that a family of mobster demons called the Diablos have declared a gang war on the Sentinels of Magic (Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Deadman, and others), the JLA split up to protect the mages of the DC Universe. Collecting the four-issue miniseries from 2001.
On sale JUNE 15 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US


This, on the other hand, is pretty terrible. In fact, it was one of the first JLA spin-offs I had ever encountered where I was pretty much astounded by how poor the series was. The idea is basically demons-as-mobsters, and it guest stars a bunch of DC's magic type characters (including Bloodwynd!)


Oh wow, is this cover to DC Universe Online Legends just awful. I had to consult the solicitation copy to see if they were all running into one another on purpose or if Benes just drew the cover that poorly. It turns out that the others are apparently attacking Superman—"Now, Superman must answer to the JLA for his dereliction of duty, and it won’t be pretty!"—so that at least explains why they seem to be running in to him. Still, it's an awful, awful composition. Maybe if Batman weren't doing...whatever the hell he's doing it would make more sense...



FLASHPOINT: GREEN ARROW INDUSTRIES #1
Written by PORNSAK PICHETSHOTE
Art by MARK CASTIELLO
Cover by VIKTOR KALVACHEV
FLASH FACT! He makes money from war!
One-shot • On sale JUNE 29 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


I kind of wish they'd have gone just a bit farther with this and just renamed the character Green Bullet or Green Gun. Anyway, this looks like Oliver Queen as Tony Stark. Only with more facial hair. Not sure I like the sound of that.


JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #58
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
1:10 Variant cover by AARON LOPRESTI
After last issue’s devastating battle with the Spectre, Eclipso now has the power to split the moon in two, an omen that the end of days has begun. With life on Earth at stake, Batman much hatch a desperate plan involving Shade, Starman and the Atom. At the same time, another member of the team steps forward, not knowing how vital she is to mankind’s survival. Prepare for “Eclipso vs. Donna Troy” – with an ending that will shock you!
...
On sale JUNE 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Wow, Donna Troy is gigantic! She's like twice the size of a human being!

Nice to see Zauriel getting used again, too, even if it's on a cover that looks like...this.

What will the shocking ending be? Well, this is rated T rather than T+ or Mature Readers, so it certainly isn't that Eclipso manages to rip Donna's costume all the way off.


STATIC SHOCK SPECIAL #1
Written by FELICIA D. HENDERSON
Art by DENYS COWAN, PRENTIS ROLLINS and others
Cover by DEREC DONOVAN
A special one-shot paying homage to Dwayne McDuffie and the world of Milestone Media, with tribute material from Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan and other Milestone alumni.
One-shot • No ads • On sale JUNE 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


This is nice to see; I definitely look forward to picking this up.


SUPERMAN/BATMAN #85
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN
Cover by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
Witness Dick Grayson’s first adventure with Superman as Batman in this thrilling story that pits The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel against the monstrous villain Sabbac, a Kryptonian serial killer and an army of demon children!
On sale JUNE 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


This is at least the second time Superman/Batman has hosted a Judd Winick story in which Dick Grayson teams up with Superman, which makes me wonder if stories from Winick's aborted run on Batman are being re-purposed here.

I didn't care for Winick's stories with Sabbac in Outsiders at all.

3 comments:

snell said...

"And is the title just now getting around to a plot revealed in last fall's Batman: The Return #1?"

Hell, since Batman Inc is apparently published quarterly, Grant Morrison himself is just now getting around to plots revealed in last fall's Batman: The Return.

Dara said...

Huh, I just noticed that the writer of RIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH: THE SEARCH #1 is Jonathan Vankin, who is one of the other Vertigo editors laid off at the end of last year (as I noted in the comments section of your "Flashpoint, part 2" post). Along with Pornsak Pichetshote, that makes two ex-Vertigo editors writing a one-shot for DC.

Not sure what to make of it, if anything...

Unreasonable Action said...

Did you notice the Showcase due out in June?

http://www.dccomics.com/dcu/graphic_novels/?gn=18424

I think this is the first time they are selling one of those collections as a complete story.