Monday, September 19, 2011

DC's December previews reviewed

December! Month four of the New DCU! Will the excitement from this month's slew of 52 new #1's have faded by then and, if so, how much? I don't know! I do know what DC is planning on releasing that month though, and what they have to say about them, and you can know that same information by clicking here.


ACTION COMICS #4
Written by GRANT MORRISON and JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV
Art by RAGS MORALES, GENE HA, RICK BRYANT and MATT CAMP
Cover by RAGS MORALES
...
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
This issue will ship with three covers. See the order form for more information._Is your mind prepared for an encounter with the deadly Terminauts? What awful master do they serve? What horrible fate awaits Superman and the city of Metropolis? The true scope of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales’ ACTION COMICS run begins to come into view, so get those sunglasses ready, ‘cause it is gonna be blinding! And in a backup story from writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Matt Camp that spins out of ACTION COMICS #2, John Henry Irons takes his first steps toward becoming the hero known as Steel!


Good to hear Steel survived the reboot—I hope he hasn’t changed too much, either visually or in his origin story, as he was pretty perfect the way he was, particularly for a Big Two superhero created in the last decade of the 20th century. Steel managed to feel classic while still being new, which is an extremely difficult thing to pull off.

The art credits are a little worrying. If Camp is drawing the Steel back-up, does that mean Ha and Bryant are both helping Morales out in the lead story...? Although I generally like Ha's work, I don't think his style meshes all that well with Morales. We'll see, I guess.


Fuck yeah, animated-style Ragman!

As you can probably tell by the cover, this issue is a very special Hanukah story.


As curious as I am about Neal Adams’ Batman: Odyssey comics, part of me kind of doesn’t want to ever read them, leaving it to my imagination to puzzle out what on Earth they could possibly be about, based only on their insane covers. I mean, just look at that thing. Can the contents possibly match it?


BATWING #4
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art by CHRISCROSS
Cover by BEN OLIVER
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
As Massacre’s bloody reign of murder continues and more heroes fall, Batwing closes in on this mad villain. But with his memories stirring, Batwing’s dark past begins to emerge... At last, the truth of his past will come to light.


I've been reading professional skeptic Joe Nickell's 2004 book The Mystery Chronicles: More Real-Life X-Files, and there's a chapter devoted to the Zanzibar demon, also known as the "popobawa." Writes Nickell:
The scene is modern-day Zanzibar, where a terrible monster...is swooping into bedrooms at night and raping men—particularly skeptical men. The demonic beast's name comes from the Swahili words for bat and wing, and indeed the creature is described as having, in addition to a dwarf's body with a single cyclopean eye, small pointed ears, and batlike wings and talons. According to local villagers, it is especially prone to attack "anybody who doesn't believe."
Not that any of that has anything to do with this title, of course, but while I was reading it I thought about this comic book.


Now what’s Batgirl wearing…?


Hey, is DC allowed to do cyborg gorillas? I’m pretty sure Todd McFarlane owns that idea. And I’m positive Rob Liefeld owns any guns larger than four feet long.


DEATHSTROKE #4Written by KYLE HIGGINS
Art by JOE BENNETT and ART THIBERT
Cover by SIMON BISLEY
On sale DECEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Deathstroke incarcerated! As the world’s fiercest mercenary is shipped off to a metahuman prison, Slade uncovers a new wrinkle in his quest to root out the forces working to manipulate him – and the Blackhawks may be a part of it! Also, what exactly is in the briefcase? The answer will shock you!


Ving Rhames’ soul…?


I still love this cover.


FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #4
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by ALBERTO PONTICELLI
Cover by J.G. JONES
On sale DECEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
“Monster Planet” comes to its world-shattering conclusion as Frankenstein and Nina take on the massive Sea Monster, while Lady Frankenstein and the rest of the Creature Commandos go head to head with the colossal Ogre Titan. Plus: Don’t miss the debut of the G.I. Robot Squadron and the new War Wheel!


I’m sick of G.I. Robots.


That’s a pretty neat cover.


GREEN ARROW #4
Written by KEITH GIFFEN and DAN JURGENS
Art by DAN JURGENS and GEORGE PEREZ
Cover by DAVE WILKINS
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
It’s a Tokyo showdown! At an international tech expo that caters to the likes of WayneTech and Queen Industries, party crasher Green Arrow finds himself in the sights of a mystery woman bent on taking down “evil” corporations – like the one Green Arrow owns!


Wow, that is one large lady.

I think this is the first creative change to a series since the first issue of that series debuted, with writer JT Krul—the writer of the previous volume of Green Arrow and the first three issues of the "New 52" reboot—being replaced with Giffen and Jurgens. Now, neither of those guys are exactly fresh, new talents at DC, as they’ve literally been writing and drawing stories for the publisher for decades now, but they each have their followings, and, if involved since Green Arrow #1, probably would have represented a clean break with the previous volume and previous direction in a way that retaining Krul didn’t.

It’s certainly a headscratcher as to why the creative shuffle so soon after the relaunch, when DC can’t possibly have even seen the sales results of Krul's one-issue (so far) run and thus can't be making the decision for economic reasons. Was he just keeping the writer’s role warm until the very busy Giffen and Jurgens freed up time to take over? And, if so, what does that say about how much thought went into recreating Green Arrow and who was responsible for that recreation…?

UPDATE: For what it's worth, Blog@'s been following the change, and shares what Krul had to say about it. Sounds like he was going to start a third DC project, and three was too many, so DC had two of their prolific creators step in.


I kinda like the idea of this cover as a visual, as it dramatically clashes to familiar images that don't really belong together (Hawkman, the Statue of Liberty), but I’m not sure why it’s cropped like that, so it confuses me more than excites me.


Say, should David Finch be doing these variant covers if he’s having trouble writing and drawing his own book...? In addition to this one, he provides the one for Birds of Prey, above.


Looks like Aquaman needs to shave. And give Mera back her necklace. And not make eye contact with Justice League variant cover artist Brett Booth when he's trying to draw him posed dramatically over Green Lantern.


THE RAY #1
Written by JUSTIN GRAY and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by JAMAL IGLE and RICH PERROTTA
Cover by JAMAL IGLE
On sale DECEMBER 14 • 32 pg, 1 of 4, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Get ready for a brand new Ray! Lucien Gates’s life is changed forever when he is struck by a mysterious beam of energy that turns him into a glowing gladiator – and being a human ray of light comes in handy when his city is suddenly under attack from giant, building-sized monsters. Unfortunately, light powers are less than handy in keeping his girlfriend happy!


A new Ray series from the writers responsible for two not-very-good miniseries featuring new and old takes on the Ray characters, and a quickly-canceled ongoing series featuring The Ray! Fourth time’s the charm? Sure! The problem with those other books? In addtion to their ensemble casts, those Rays were just too darn familiar, and their costumes weren’t nearly ugly enough!


RESURRECTION MAN VOL. 1 TP
Written by DAN ABNETT and ANDY LANNING
Art by BUTCH GUICE, JOE PHILLIPS, TOM GRINDBERG, MIKE MCKONE and others
Cover by BUTCH GUICE_On sale JANUARY 11 • 336 pg, FC, $29.99 US
Issues #1-14 of the cult favorite series is collected at last!_Mitch Shelley can be killed, but every time he comes back, he has a different power – a new ability that sometimes is a blessing, sometimes a deadly curse._His deaths and rebirths leave him disoriented, but with the help of a new friend, Mitch discovers bits of his past, although the origin of his powers remains a mystery. Meanwhile, Resurrection Man’s creators have set the ruthless female assassins called the Body Doubles on his trail. Also pursuing Mitch is a sociopath named Hooker, a test survivor like Mitch with one big difference: Hooker’s body is not repairing itself.


This collects the first half of the original 28-issue series. It's really good comics, and guest stars the Morrison/Porter era JLA, Batman and Ennis and McCrea's Tommy Monaghan from Hitmanand a "Genesis" tie-in that I don't remember at all, but there are a whole bunch of Parademons on one cover


STORMWATCH #4
Written by PAUL CORNELL
Art and cover by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The earth is being eaten alive! As the unstoppable alien antibody continues consuming everything in its path, Stormwatch awakens a slumbering [information redacted] buried deep within the earth. But has the team found an ally or a threat greater than the antibody? However it plays out, the DC landscape literally will be changed forever! Plus: Don’t miss a major change to the Stormwatch roster!


Wait wait wait wait wait wait. J’onn’s new costume doesn’t include a loin cloth, does it…?


SWAMP THING #4
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by VICTOR IBANEZ
Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
All across the world, those with a primal connection to the forces of life and death can feel that something is very wrong. The war between The Green andThe Other has begun, and the knights of decay walk the Earth unchecked – but without Alec Holland, the Green has no champion strong enough to fight back!


That’s a pretty swell cover, but I see the artist who produced it isn’t doing interiors this issue. That’s kinda too bad. How long did Paquette make it without needing a fill-in then... just three issues?

That’s not very good.


Voodoo’s boobs are just silly.

7 comments:

Nate said...

I think the Aquaman cover is by Jim Lee? Was that a, intentional dig on Booth? If so, funny enough. Was that an unintentional dig on Lee? Even funnier.

B.G. Christensen said...

I was pretty excited when I saw "The Ray #1," until I realized it's not Ray Terrill. Did Gray and Palmiotti do a Ray series at one point? Why am I not remembering this?

John Foley said...

Is that Voodoo from the Wildcats you're talking about? If so, she actually has breast implants. She's one of the few comic book characters who has an explanation for that absurd physique.

Greg said...

John Rozum beat J. T. Krul to it, as he announced a few days ago that he's off Static Shock.

Caleb said...

Nate,

I'm pretty sure that's Booth's. Lee and Andy Kubert are also doing covers, but it looks like they released Booth's with the solicitations.


Did Gray and Palmiotti do a Ray series at one point? Why am I not remembering this?

No, but Ray Terril was in both of their Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters miniseries, as well as in the quickly-canceled ongoing. There was a new Ray in the first one in addition to Terril, and I believe Happy Terril was in the second one too, but I had a really hard time reading that one on account of the Get Your War On-like art in it.

John,

It's Voodoo from Voodoo, and I assume she's the same Voodoo from Wildcats, although maybe she's a different character in the reboot...? I dunno. That's interesting though; I wonder if she's the first superheroine to acknowledge having implants...?

Greg,

I didn't mention it because Rozum's working on this month (December's) issue, whereas Krul is gone already.

Static Shock is also an interesting book to consider though, given how long it was under development by Henderson, and then it was by Rozum and McDaniel, and now Rozum's leaving within four issues or so. So who did the reimagining...?

John Foley said...

As far as I know, only Voodoo, Emma Frost, and Swift from the Authority have acknowledged breast implants.

Rev'd '76 said...

Wait, Swift? Of all the entire cast, I would have thought her character the -least- breast-obsessed.