Monday, May 16, 2011

DC's August previews reviewed

DC's full solicitations for books they plan to ship in August can be found here; my thoughts on some of 'em can be found here. As in here-here. Where you're at right now. Only down a little.

A GOD SOMEWHERE TP NEW EDITION
Written by JOHN ARCUDI
Art and cover by PETER SNEJBJERG
The acclaimed original graphic novel is back in a new edition at a new, lower price!
After a mysterious disaster, a young man named Eric finds that he has just as mysteriously developed extraordinary abilities. He starts out trying to help people, but his solitary position in the world isolates him in ways no ordinary human could understand.
This original graphic novel charts Eric’s evolution from man to . . . something else, as seen through the eyes of his family and his best friend, Sam.
On sale SEPTEMBER 7 • 200 pg, FC, $17.99 US • MATURE READERS

“An epic blockbuster.” — CNN’s Best Comic Book of 2007

“The best damn read in all of DC.” — AIN’T IT COOL NEWS


DC sent this out to the Glyph Awards judges this year (The Sam character is a black man). Somehow, I knew next to nothing about it until it appeared in my in mail box, other than remembering the title and the bloody footprint image on the cover. It's very, very good though, and Snejbjerg's art is as outstanding as always. I hope to write a few more words about it in the very near future, after the Glyph Awards winners are announced.


BATGIRL #24
Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER
Art by PERE PEREZ
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
Stephanie Brown has done her best to put her past behind her, but as the Repears’ mysterious client stands revealed, Batgirl’s going to learn the hard way that those who fail history are doomed to repeat it. This issue has it all: Secrets unearthed! Alliances broken! Splash pages!


Er, splash pages aren't really a strong selling point, especially now that DC has dropped their stories from 22-pages to 20-pages in order to help "hold the line at $2.99."

I wonder if Batgirl is going to be canceled or something? That cover sure looks like the sort that would come at the end of a book's run, doesn't it?


What the fuck is going on here…Is Batman wearing Red Robin like a shoe…or…what, exactly?


BATMAN AND ROBIN #26
Written by DAVID HINE
Art by GREG TOCCHINI
Cover by CHRIS BURNHAM
1:10 Variant cover by J.G. JONES
Le Jardin Noir – France’s very own Arkham Asylum – falls under siege! Someone has freed the lunatics, and unless they can be stopped, they’ll turn Paris into a surreal Hell on Earth! Batman and Robin join Nightrunner in a mind-bending battle with the strangest lineup of villains this side of Bizarro World.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale AUGUST 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Oh hey, it’s another new creative team on Batman and Robin! Yeah, so I guess this is definitely the new Batman Confidential/Legends of The Dark Knight book.

When I first saw the cover image and started reading the solicit—at The Source earlier today—I initially thought it was the next issue of Grant Morrison’s Batman Inc, so good job thinking of a neat premise, David “Not Grant Morrison” Hine!


BATMAN 80-PAGE GIANT 2011 #1
Written by VARIOUS
Art by VARIOUS
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
Don’t miss this new helping of short stories featuring Batman and his partners in crimefighting, told by some of comics’ newest voices and freshest talents.
ONE-SHOT • On sale AUGUST 3 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US • RATED T


Wow, Various is handling both the writing and the art? That's some coup!


Huh. So how did The Birds break through that cover? Did Black Canary jump through it hip first?


DC COMICS PRESENTS JLA: HEAVEN’S LADDER #1
Written by MARK WAID and RON MARZ
Art and cover by BRYAN HITCH, PAUL NEARY and ANDY LANNING
The powerful graphic novel from 2000 is reprinted, along with GREEN LANTERN #1,000,000!
When the Earth is wrenched from its orbit and transported into a massive alien craft, The Justice League quickly begins an investigation to discover the identity of the culprit and his scheme. Earth’s greatest heroes soon learn that an eons-old race of scientists on the verge of extinction is acquiring planets in the hopes of finding a homeworld. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and The Atom must save these disparate worlds while aiding the godlike race in their quest.
And in the story from GL #1,000,000, also illustrated by Bryan Hitch, Kyle Rayner must adapt to a challenge in the 857th century when a rampaging interstellar menagerie is set loose. During the struggle, Kyle learns that there’s a traitor among the future JLA!
On sale AUGUST 24 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US


JLA: Heaven's Ladder was a 2000 one-shot graphic novel by Waid, Hitch and Neary that marked the launch of their run on JLA (although Hitch was never really on the book more than half of the time; in fact, if I remember correctly, this was the only story Waid wrote that Hitch penciled from start to finish), and, in order to give Hitch and Neary's art the best possible showcase, it was printed as a big, huge tabloid-like size of 13.5-by-10-inches. I'm curious to flip through it just to see how it will look at a more standard comic book size.

The story, if you missed it, involves a race of big, cosmic deity-type aliens who literally steal the planet Earth, adding it to a collection of a bunch of other planets they had similarly stolen, and it's up to the Big Seven—plus Steel, The Atom and Plastic Man—to save the worlds in old-fashioned split-up-into-smaller-teams fashion. It's pretty good and, unfortunately, was probably the creative climax of the Waid, Hitch and fill-in artists run on the book.

The Green Lantern #1,000,000 is a weird thing to use as filler, and a one-issue JLA story by Waid or someone else from...somewhere might have been a better choice, but I guess the idea was to get more Hitch in there.

I'd totally buy this if I didn't already own both of these comics in their original formats.


DC COMICS PRESENTS THE TEEN TITANS #1
Written by BOB HANEY, MICHAEL ALLRED and LEE ALLRED • Art by JAY STEPHENS and MICHAEL ALLRED • Cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
The original Teen Titans go on a secret space adventure at the behest of President Kennedy in this reprint of the LOST ANNUAL! Plus, it’s the Teen Titans vs. the Doom Patrol and more from SOLO #7!
On sale AUGUST 17 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US


Here's another great DCCP that I'd snap up...if I didn't already own the contents. The lead story is from the 2008 Teen Titans Lost Annual, and the cover is from the Allred-issue of Solo. I remember scanning images from the Lost Annual for EDILW, and I just went to look up my review of it. I guess it actually ran in Las Vegas Weekly, but I see in this post that at the time I mentioned the Teen Titans Vs. Doom Patrol story from Solo #7, and suggested DC collect them together. And they did! Neat! Click on that link, by the way, to see how awesome Allred's inks look on top of Stephens' pencils by the way, as well as a splash page from Allred's Solo story.


DC RETROACTIVE: BATMAN – THE ‘90S #1
Written by ALAN GRANT
Art and cover by NORM BREYFOGLE
Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle revisit a pair of villains closely associated with their original run on The Caped Crusader: The Ventriloquist and Scarface! Released on a technicality one year after being arrested, this bizarre duo is determined to reclaim their status in the upper echelon of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. This “lost tale” of the era spins directly out of DETECTIVE COMICS #613, reprinted in this issue!
ONE-SHOT • On sale AUGUST 17 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T


I can't wait to see what Breyfogle's Batman art looks like in 2011.


DC RETROACTIVE: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA – THE ‘90S #1
Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DEMATTEIS
Art and cover by KEVIN MAGUIRE
It’s time to “Bwah Ha Ha” all over again as this classic JLA team tells a lost tale from one of the JLA’s most popular eras. The Injustice Gang is back! Not the truly menacing, more recent incarnation, but their not-so competent predecessors. Still, when they stumble upon a device they should never be allowed to have, the results might prove more disastrous than if they actually knew what they were doing! A previously released story from the era rounds out the issue.
ONE-SHOT • On sale AUGUST 24 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T


This cover is a nice combination of the traditional Maguire Justice League cover pose with the whole-League-knocked-out cover concept that has dominated the current volume of JLoA (seven of the last 56 issues featured most of the League laying on the ground unconscious).


DC RETROACTIVE: SUPERMAN – THE ‘80S #1
Written by MARV WOLFMAN
Art by SERGIO CARIELLO
Cover by DAN JURGENS and LIVEAY
Fan-favorite writer Marv Wolfman revisits the legendary character he helped define in the 1980s in this epic tale of The Man of Steel. A true “lost tale,” this issue connects to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS in an exciting and unique way! Rounding out this issue is a tale from the 1980s, also written by Wolfman.
ONE-SHOT • On sale AUGUST 10 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T


This one actually looks pretty neat, as it's using the retroactivity of the concept to apparently include stuff form the '90s in a story set in the '80s. The story is set during COIE, but the cover references Zero Hour, "Knightfall," and Infinite Crisis.


DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #13-14
Written by MARV WOLFMAN and TONY BEDARD
Art by MIKE S. MILLER, HOWARD PORTER and LIVESAY
Cover #13 by HOWARD PORTER and LIVESAY
Cover #14 by IVAN REIS and OCLAIR ALBERT
Superman’s power fluctuations are out of control, and while he’s battling everyone around him in a mass of confusion, a surprising figure tries to intervene! But can anyone – or anything – stop an enraged Kryptonian?
And in issue #14, it’s a tale of tragic proportions as an unexpected character falls in the line of duty...but who and how will forever change the course of the series.
Issue #13 on sale AUGUST 3
Issue #14 on sale AUGUST 17
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


I'm glad they finally got someone other than Benes to do the covers, which have all been terrible so far, but it’s a moot point for me now—I dropped the series. I think I'll still be getting the next one to four issues because it takes two months for the store's subscription thingee to register a drop, but I'm in the process of bailing. I want to like it, the scripting is decent, but the artwork and production just haven't been what I would expect professionals working for one of the biggest U.S. comics publishers to produce and charge money for.

I'll borrow the collection from the library in two years and suffer through it though, because while I'm cheap, I'm also a glutton for punishment.


FLASHPOINT #4-5
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE
Covers by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE
1:25 Black and white variant covers A by ANDY KUBERT
Issue #4 Variant cover B by IVAN REIS and GEORGE PEREZ
Issue #5 Variant cover B by RAGS MORALES
FLASH FACT: The war between the Amazons and the Atlantians has arrived. The battle between Diana of Themyscira and Emperor Aquaman will tear this world apart – unless The Flash can fix it!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of its impact on the DC Universe, FLASHPOINT #5 is the only title that DC Comics is soliciting in this catalogue to arrive in stores on August 31.
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with three covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #4 on sale AUGUST 3
Issue #5 on sale AUGUST 31
4 and 5 of 5, 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T


I’m pretty sure people from Atlantis are referred to as" Atlanteans," not "Atlantians." But in the altered world of Flashpoint, maybe the spellings different. Hell, maybe the pronunciation is different, and they’re “At-lan-shuns” instead of “At-lan-tee-uns.”

I'm not sure what the "impact of the DC Universe" could actually be, short of certain elements from the Flashpoint alternate reality bleeding over into the regular DCU or maybe another unwelcome continuity reboot. It's actually hard to imagine any real big impacts on the DC Universe, given how they've resurrected characters you never thought they'd resurrect, they've restored the Multiverse and rebooted continuity a few times, and they even reclaimed their Vertigo characters. I don't know, maybe the cast of Watchmen appear to save the day...?

I do know that scheduling Flashpoint #5 as the only DC book on a given Wednesday is certainly a bold move, and says "We think this is really important and that you should read it" more powerfully then having all the creators repeat over and over in interviews how important the book is going to be.


FLASHPOINT: BATMAN – KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE #3
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by EDUARDO RISSO
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
FLASH FACT: The Joker is revealed, and Thomas Wayne will have to figure out whether he can pull the trigger on his lifelong nemesis.
On sale AUGUST 3 • 3 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US RATED T


Knowing what we now know (Uh, you did read Flashpoint #1*, right? If not, spoiler alert!), I wonder if Bruce Wayne is the Joker…?


My initial thought upon seeing this image was simply, "Gross." I'm sure there are others whose initial thought was simply, "Cool."


FLASHPOINT: LOIS LANE AND THE RESISTANCE #3
Written by DAN ABNETT and ANDY LANNING
Art by EDDIE NUNEZ
Cover by EDDIE NUNEZ and SANDRA HOPE
FLASH FACT: The Resistance has found Britain’s last great hope, the enigmatic and immensely powerful Brittania. It’s time to take back England!
On sale AUGUST 24 • 3 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


This Brittania lady looks kinda neat (ot sure about the hair yet). Maybe the big impact mentioned in the Flashpoint #5 solicit info will be refugees from the world of Flashpoint making it into the DCU? They seem to have created some new characters, so it would be a shame to lose them all at the end of the event, I suppose. (Although maybe Britannia is actually Diana/Wonder Woman, and the bad Wonder Woman is actually her mom Hippolyta? Or Brittania is Hippolyta?)


FLASHPOINT: PROJECT SUPERMAN #3
Plot by SCOTT SNYDER
Script by LOWELL FRANCIS
Art and cover by GENE HA
FLASH FACT: Subject Zero. Subject One. There can only be one.
On sale AUGUST 24 • 3 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Zero plus one does indeed equal one, so the math in this solicit checks out okay.


What’s going on in this cover, exactly? Is Guy asking Batman to kiss his ring? Why is Guy grinning like that? Will I ever be able to look at Guy Gardner the same way again after seeing him with the frost penis that Tucker pointed out?

I do like that the solicitation text refers to Batman as Guy’s “worst frenemy.”

I might preorder this, which would make it the first issue of the series I’ve picked up.


JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #60
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by DANIEL SAMPERE
Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
1:10 Variant cover by DAVID MACK
In the aftermath of “Eclipso Rising,” the team faces an uncertain future. Be here for a tale of love, friendship and heroism when this incarnation of the JLA must decide whether they have anything left to offer the DC Universe. And the mystery of Jesse Quick’s wavering speed powers is solved in a revelation that will shock everyone.
...
On sale AUGUST 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T



Oddly enough, earlier this afternoon I was working on a post about the future of the Justice League given the conclusion of Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost, and this solicitation seems to indicate that the current incarnation of the Justice League is winding down (No doubt to make way for a Big Seven-lead team of the sort we haven't seen for well over six years now).

I do hope three of the characters on that cover are still there when Aquaman, Superman, Martian Manhunter and the others return to the team.

Now, who the hell is Daniel Sampere? Let's see...Red Sonja, Vampirella and something called, uh, Milf Magnet. Hhh.



Wow, that’s a great cover! I haven’t had much interest in this run on the title, even with Jerry Ordway providing art on this particular issue, but man that cover is tempting, isn’t it?

Cooke even made Jesse Quick’s latest costume look a lot cooler than most artists manage…



I still don’t care fore Calafiore’s rendering all that much, but that’s a pretty neat cover concept, executed rather nicely.


SHOWCASE PRESENTS: ALL-STAR COMICS VOL. 1 TP
Written by PAUL LEVITZ and GERRY CONWAY • Art by WALLACE WOOD, JOE STATON and others • Cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
The JSA’s 1970s adventures from ALL-STAR COMICS #58-74 and ADVENTURE COMICS #461-466 are collected in a value-priced Showcase edition! Don’t miss the team’s battles with the Psycho-Pirate, Vandal Savage, the Injustice Society and more.
On sale SEPTEMBER 21 • 448 pg, B&W, $19.99 US


To be followed by Showcase Presents: All-Star Squadron I hope I hope I hope...?


VERTIGO RESURRECTED: JONNY DOUBLE #1
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO • Art by EDUARDO RISSO
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
In a story by the creators of 100 BULLETS, San Francisco P.I. Jonny Double is hired to watch over a rich man’s rebellious daughter. But after being seduced by the girl, Jonny finds himself mixed up in a scheme to plunder an old bank account that belonged to Al Capone.
On sale AUGUST 10 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US • MATURE READERS


I find a collection of this at a library a few years ago, and was sort of surprised to see it, as I had no memory of the miniseries when it was originally released. I liked it pretty well.


WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS AFTERMATH #2
Written by TONY BEDARD
Art by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
Cover by TOM FLEMING
1:10 Variant cover by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
The blockbuster “War of the Green Lanterns” event has rocked the entire Green Lantern Corps to its core. Who is the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814? The answer will fuel the next year’s worth of GL tales!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale AUGUST 10 • 2 of 2, 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T


Hey, that's two months in a row with no issue of Green Lantern, but with an issue of this by Tony Bedard instead. What gives? Is Geoff Johns on vacation or something?







*I did! Haven't finished putting together an installment of "Comic Shop Comics" in order to give it a half-assed review yet. Maybe tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on when Marvel's August solicitations come out this month

12 comments:

Nick Ahlhelm said...

My points after reading this:

When I saw the Deathstroke cover, my first thought was "someone's been reading Watchmen too much". Maybe I'm a little too meta in my viewing now.

While Daniel Sampere isn't the best artist on the planet, he's a huge step up from Brett Booth's weirdly shaped League. If the Robinson run continues I might be able to start buying it again.

No one remembers Jonny Double because it was a comic produced by two nobodies about an obscure DC character no one remembered. Of course, those two nobodies went on to produce an pretty damn amazing crime book, but still.

snell said...

Seven out of 56 is "dominated"??

KentL said...

I wonder if Batgirl is going to be canceled or something? That cover sure looks like the sort that would come at the end of a book's run, doesn't it?

Maybe so. There's a couple of covers in those solicits that evoke that sense. With the DC Universe changing conclusion to Flashpoint coming at the end of August, this could be the opportunity for DC to start their cancellations and relaunches that have been rumored. (JLoA, JSA, and Secret Six all have those generic group shot covers as well.)

Ryan said...

Definite agreement with KentL. I'd also point out that, although I didn't write down the exact number, I got the feeling when reading the solicits that nearly every series was either wrapping up a story arc or doing a feels-like-a-final-issue issue in August. Even the JMS-initiated arcs on Superman and Wonder Woman are timed to end in August (although it took fill-in issues on Superman and a 2-issue arc extension on Wonder Woman to do it). It does make their claim that there will be some clear demarcation between the pre-Flashpoint and post-Flashpoint DCU seem more plausible.

On that note, is anyone else reminded of Zero Hour? That timeline-related crossover had its final issue in a week in which no other DCU books were released, followed by a "Zero Month" in which its minor timeline tweaks were incorporated into the DCU as every book in the line had a "jumping-on point" issue. (Come to think of it, the only ongoing series tying directly into Flashpoint is one written and drawn by Jurgens...)

David Charles Bitterbaum said...

A God Somewhere is indeed great. It was my favorite original graphic novel of 2010 and I gushed over it on my blog. Glad to see others have read it as it seemed to not get as much attention as it deserved.

Akilles said...

Funny. I thought you`d say that the Batman and Robin cover is weird/anything else like that. But you didn`t. I`m dissapointed and suprised.

What else could be the answer to the BIRDS cover than this: some villain threw them thru a gigantic poster, while they were inside an invisible energy box. And because of the laws of zero-gravity, they are floating inside the box. Then again, they could simply be performing a circus stunt.

What!? Wolfman is writing DC univese-legends? I wish that he doesn`t write the bad stuff...

Maybe Guy Gardner wants to punch Batman to his jaw, as a payback of Batsy winning Guy in that epic fistfight they once had. Though I don`t understand why he would not punch Batsy to the nose.

Cooke and Bolland covers can only be described as nothing else but:
golden.

Dave said...

If this new JLA looked like they do on August's cover the whole time Robinson was writing I think there would be less complaining that they aren't big guns. That's the first cover in a long time that actually says we are the Justice League.

Kid Kyoto said...

"Wow, Various is handling both the writing and the art? That's some coup!"

Man when I start my big-time comic writing/drawing career I'm totally changing my name to 'Various'. Or maybe TBD. I'll like, be doing half the books DC publishes!

SallyP said...

The cover to Birds of Prey is just painful. Literally, how can they eve WALK in those heels? But it's Manhunter, and I loves me some Manhunter.

The JLI book and the Batman/Guy Gardner book look simply fabulous.

Oh, and some other stuff looks good too.

Caleb said...

Seven out of 56 is "dominated"??

I meant dominated compared to other repeating motifs or designs (math works out to about one out of every eight covers, right?), although certainly it doesn't dominate against all the other covers if you add up the different types of motifs. Probably could have phrased that better.

My point was just that the current run of covers features the League laying around the ground at their enemies' feet a lot.


KentL and Ryan,

Yeah, Graeme made a similar observation on Blog@ today. Now I'm wondering if we'll see new #1's of most titles after Flashpoint #5, with DC hopefully having the good sense not to mess with the number of Action, TEC and the like...

Dara said...

Re: Batgirl. With monthly sales around the 24K range, I doubt the book is up for cancellation. Those numbers put it ahead of books like Titans, Power Girl, and even Booster Gold.

yanktonirishred said...

sometimes I think you are snarky just to be snarky. I love your blog and most of your writing. I'm never a big fan of judging a book before you have read it. They are solicitations. That's all. Not world changing or world ending...just comic book solicitation.

Shane