Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DC's November previews reviewed

DC Comics released their solicitations for the comics they plan to ship in November. That will be month three of their reboot/relaunch, and around that time I think retailers, DC and folks who pay attention to what numbers are available will start to get an idea of how the market embraced the change. It will still be too early to see which book are getting canceled though, and what DC decides to do next, making November kind of a blah month to survey from this distance—obviously not as many changes as the September solicits were, and too early to see the next round of changes.

It doesn’t look like DC added any new books this time, so they’re holding the line at 52 plus a few others. Let’s take a look, shall we?


THE ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #13
Written by SHOLLY FISCH
Art and cover by RICK BURCHETT and DAN DAVIS
On sale NOVEMBER9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E
Batman is seriously injured, so it’s up to a whole team of Robins to stop the League of Assassins! How? The Phantom Stranger reaches through space and time to gather everyone who’s ever been “The Boy Wonder,” but will their combined skills be enough?


Looks like no matter which Robin you prefer, they’ll be in this issue.


ALL-STAR WESTERN #3
Written by JUSTIN GRAY and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by MORITAT and JORDI BERNET
Cover by MORITAT
On sale NOVEMBER 23 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+
The Gotham City Police Department teams up with the vigilante Jonah Hex to bring a serial killer to justice, setting a dangerous precedent – but even that won't stop the Religion of Crime from staking its claim on these streets. Will Hex ever get away from this place that makes the Wild West seem tame – and can he survive Gotham City's first drive-by shooting? Plus: Will El Diablo's rampage against a zombie horde be halted by the bloodthirsty White Arrow?


At this point, I’m most curious about how they plan to collect the back-up stories, as El Diablo Vs. Zombies interests me a lot more than sticking Jonah Hex and a 2006 Grant Morrison concept into Gotham City (although I do find the idea of a title called All-Star WESTERN being set on the East Coast kinda funny).

It’s not just El Diablo Vs. Zombies though; I’m genuinely curious to see DC’s various lesser Western heroes get reinvented for 2011 consumption.


BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #3
Written by PAUL JENKINS
Art by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND with JAY FABOK
Cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
On sale NOVEMBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
A wave of fear washes across Gotham City as a mysterious toxin radically alters the bodies of its criminals, sending crazed villains into the streets and stretching the resources of the police department. Can Batman and his vigilante partners follow the clues and uncover the perpetrator's real identity? And when one fabled hero is stricken by the poison, the trail will point to the mysterious White Rabbit


Not only does Marvel have a villain named White Rabbit, who dresses similarly (if more modestly)......but so does DC: Steel’s early archenemy was The White Rabbit, a scientist colleague of his named Dr. Angora Lapin who was selling advanced guns he had helped create as "Toastmasters" on the street. So no points for originality, David Finch, Paul Jenkins, Richard Friend and Jay Fabok (Hey, that’s a lot of guys with bylines for a book that was supposedly going to be Finch working solo to produce a monthly Batman comic).

As a fan of The Scarecrow, I couldn’t help but notice the “wave of fear” and “mysterious toxin” mentioned in the first sentence; I wonder if this will end up being the first appearance of post-relaunch Scarecrow…?


BATMAN: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HC
Written by BRUCE JONES
Art and cover by SAM KIETH
On sale JANUARY 11 • 112 pg, FC, $22.99 US
In this original graphic novel, Batman meets his foe The Mad Hatter for the very first time – landing The Dark Knight in a Wonderland he could never have imagined, hot on the heels of a white rabbit. But is this strange place real or a hallucination? Robin and Alfred believe he’s deep in delirium – but if that’s the case, how does he manage to resolve several mysteries that have plagued Gotham City for decades...
This fantastic tale is spun by renowned comics writer Bruce Jones (THE INCREDIBLE HULK) with surreal art by Sam Kieth (THE MAXX, BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM – MADNESS, LOBO).


This is worth noting because of Sam Kieth’s art, although folks trying to figure out what’s up with DC continuity might also want to note that this is being sold as Batman’s first encounter with The Mad Hatter, which, given the reboot, could replace the last story about his first encounter with The Mad Hatter. Also, it notes the presence of Robin, whom Batman hadn’t previously started working with until the third year of his career (“Batman: Year Three”, Batman: Dark Victory), while he encountered The Mad Hatter repeatedly in those Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale Year One specials and miniseries before Dick Grayson became Robin).

Of not to me is that this is by Bruce Jones, who also wrote Year One: Batman Scarecrow, which similarly introduced The Scarecrow during a point in Batman’s career where he was already working with Robin (I have a bunch of posts about that series I’m gonna get to soon), despite the fact that those Loeb/Sale books had Batman dealing with The Scarecrow on five or six different occasions (in Legends of The Dark Knight Halloween Special, The Long Halloween and Dark Victory), before Dick Grayson went ahead and made himself a Robin costume).

By the way, "Batman In Wonderland" is a much, much, much better title than Batman: Through The Looking Glass.


BLUE BEETLE #3
Written by TONY BEDARD
Art by IG GUARA and RUY JOSE
Cover by TYLER KIRKHAM and SAL REGLA
On sale NOVEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Newly bonded with his alien armor, high-schooler Jaime Reyes must keep his symbiotic partner from enacting its mission: to conquer planet Earth. Can a teenager turn an alien weapon of mass destruction into a force for good?


Did you catch that “newly bonded” part? Are they really staring over a story that’s only a few years old? Blue Beetle III was introduced in 2005’s Infinite Crisis, and his solo title ran form 2006-2009. The book had a lot of ups and downs, thanks to the revolving door of creators and tie-ins, but it was almost always better than average.

Will the re-do be able to say that? Or, preferably, be so much better that it actually justifies re-doing Blue Beetle’s story?


CATWOMAN #3
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH
On sale NOVEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
RATED T+
Cats hate baths. Cats hate dogs. And cats hate being caught. Catwoman stole from the wrong man, and now he's got her. He wants his stuff back, he wants answers and he wants blood. Cats had better have nine lives, because Selina Kyle is about to lose one!


Not really sure where the first few sentences of that solicit meant to go, but it got me thinking about how Jim Balent and Jordan B. Gorfinkel created an archenemy for Selina in Hellhound, a dog-themed villain who dressed like a dog and had trained attack dogs. Maybe Winick will make up a new villain for her called The Bath…?


Imagine if Simon Bisley were drawing the interiors of the Deathstroke book, instead of Joe Bennett…how cool would that be?

I hope they let Bisley do interiors on at least one issue somewhere down the line….or get him inside one of these books at some point.


So does Green Arrow have a weird little beard or not?


GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES #0
Written by ART BALTAZAR and FRANCO
Art by DARIO BRIZUELA
On sale NOVEMBER 30 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E_The all-ages adventure begins in this issue that sets the stage for the upcoming monthly series! Green is the color of will power, and one of the most powerful lights in the universe. The Guardians have harnessed this power to create an intergalactic police force wielding green power rings. What happens when Hal Jordan and Kilowog find one of these rings abandoned in space? Has one of their comrades fallen, or is something even more sinister happening?


Hey look, it’s the fifth monthly Green Lantern title!


HAWK AND DOVE #3
Written by STERLING GATES
Art and cover by ROB LIEFELD
On sale NOVEMBER 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Hawk and Dove are in for the fight of their lives when the deadly villain Condor makes his move! But what secrets does he know about the avatars that power Hawk and Dove, and will one of our heroes be willing to kill to get it? More important, will Hawk be able to protect the President of the United States from Condor and his mysterious partner?


I can’t help but wonder how accurate these solicitations are. Does DC really have 60 pages of Liefeld art already in the can and ready to publish? Because that’s pretty amazing, if so.


Oh no, not Namor!


Boy does that Jim Lee cover for Justice League #3 ever look uninspired. It could be an Ed Benes cover from any point during his run on JLoA, or one of his covers for DCU Online Legends. Wheres the Jim Lee who cooked up all those swell covers for All-Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder, or who made those “Here’s a hero standing on a building with one leg raised” images so pervasive…?

At the center of this image is the new Wonder Woman, and I was pretty amused to see an anonymous Robot 6 commenter apparently expressing disappointment with her lack of long pants: “Wonder Woman is wearing a swimming suit.”

Yes. And see that guy behind her? He’s wearing a bat costume.

It occurs to me that, with the pants gone, the biggest, most noticeable change to her costume is the color scheme—it’s no long red, white and blue with some metallic highlights, but red, white and black. Put another way, Wonder Woman forsakes America and its beloved color scheme. Of course, there are so many changes big and small coming up, that any single one is likely to get lost in the flood, and Wondy dressing less patriotically probably won’t get noticed by the sorts of folks who notice things like Batman teaming up with a Muslim or Superman renouncing his non-existent U.S. citizenship.

And speaking of Superman, I can’t really look at images of him on covers like this and think of them as “real;” this really looks like the cover of an Elseworlds comic thanks to his costume’s presence.


Ewww, is that Jason Todd’s new old Robin costume, in this new continuitiverse…? It’s pretty hideous.


Here is a picture of a buxom alien gal enjoying a shower of blood. Someone in some position of authority at DC Comics has a themed sketchbook of “boobs and blood,” and they have been abusing their authority to get those sketches published on the covers of DC Comics, I guess.


I kinda like the basic idea of this cover, although I still don’t understand what’s up with King Shark being a hammerhead shark…or a Great White Shark with weird, hammerhead-like eye-stalks. Because it looks like they’re rebooting Superboy continuity, I wonder if Superboy was ever even in Hawaii, and if King Shark was ever even one of his villains…? And if not, why are they just reusing that name and applying it to a different character with a different design? It’s not that great a name for a shark man, and it’s not like King Shark is all that valuable an IP that it needs maintained while radically altered, you know?


Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth sure has swell covers.


I don’t know if I say this enough, but I love you Tiny Titans


VERTIGO RESURRRECTED: MY FAITH IN FRANKIE #1
Written by MIKE CAREY • Art by SONNY LIEW and MARK HEMPEL
Cover by MARK HEMPEL
On sale NOVEMBER 2 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US • MATURE READERS
MY FAITH IN FRANKIE tells the story of a girl who discovers that having your own deity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – particularly when your god turns out to be jealous! Reprinting the 4-issue miniseries.


I just wanted to point out that this is a really good comic, with two great artists with very original, very distinct styles collaborating and coming up with a style that has a bit of both of them, but doesn’t look quite like the work of either.

6 comments:

Yan Basque said...

Fox News already raised a stink about Wonder Woman's unpatriotic costume when she first got her pants. That was over a year ago at the start of JMS's run.

John Foley said...

"I don’t know if I say this enough, but I love you Tiny Titans…"

Trust me, you say it enough.

mordicai said...

Yeah, in response to serious issues of endemic sexism...DC released pictures of an evil Playboy Bunny & a "blood shower" from Freddy Krueger's "Dear Penthouse" letter. Oooookay....

I agree about the costumes-- they all look like pastiche characters. That isn't Superman, it is...Supers-man, or Supreme, or Mister Majestic, or something.

but as I said elsewhere; I think the art is bad & the costumes are dumb, but at least Wonder Woman is kicking ass & not posing like a sex worker.

Dumba$$btch said...

I am not sure I agree with the assessment of WW costume. However, I just went through and tried to look at every artist who is drawing her right now and Im not impressed at all.

SallyP said...

I took one look at that Batman cover, and wondered what the heck he was doing, teaming up with Dumb Bunny of the Inferior Five.

C'mon, tell me that wouldn't be fun?

Jeremy said...

Is that Catwoman cover the ugliest thing March has drawn?

And the Hawk & Dove solicitation is even more suspect given that Kirkman has claimed that Liefeld has already completed 4 issues of their new series (The Infinite, I think?).