Monday, December 12, 2011

DC's March previews reviewed

Only twelve more shopping days until Christmas! And only 84 more shopping days until the first of DC Comics' March releases are available for purchase! Let's start making our wish lists now. Please see Comic Book Resources for further reference.

ANIMAL MAN #7
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN and STEVE PUGH
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
On sale MARCH 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
“Animal vs. Man” part 1! As the forces of the Rot continue to pursue The Bakers across the backwoods of America, Cliff and Buddy decide to get in some quality father-and-son time. Plus, Buddy has a terrifying vision of things to come!


Hey, look who DC got to help draw Animal Man #7! It's Steve Pugh, who used to draw parts of the original volume of Animal Man. Neat!


BIRDS OF PREY #7
Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art by JESUS SAIZ and JAVIER PINA
Cover by JESUS SAIZ
On sale MARCH 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Go ahead. Skip this issue. You’ll only be missing 20 pages of insane, wall-to-wall action as the Birds of Prey finally catch and unmask the elusive mind-controlling villain known as “Choke” – only to discover that he’s turned one of their own against them! You’ll also be missing Black Canary vs. Ivy! Batgirl vs. Starling! Katana versus…well, that would be spoiling things, wouldn’t it? BIRDS OF PREY #7: The comic for people who think there’s not enough fighting in comics.


You know what I think? I think plants, bats and swords are not birds. With this line-up, the book should be retitled Things Of Prey. Ha ha ha ha!


DOMINIQUE LAVEAU: VOODOO CHILD #1
Written by SELWYN SEFU HINDS
Art by DENYS COWAN and JOHN FLOYD
Cover by RAFAEL GRAMPA
...
On sale MARCH 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
...
DOMINIQUE LAVEAU: VOODOO CHILD is the story of a half-breed, outcast and heir to the Voodoo Queenship of New Orleans, if she can live long enough to claim her birthright. New Orleans is the most haunted city in America: a town of centuries-old ghosts and newly drowned spirits; where vampires, voodoo spirits and loups-garous make their home. Ruling over this all are the powerful Voodoo Queens, whose influence stretches into politics, business and crime as they maintain a delicate balance between the mortal and supernatural worlds.

But in the aftermath of Katrina, all that has changed, for someone or something has murdered the Voodoo Queen and most of her court. The number one suspect is Dominique Laveau, a grad student at Tulane who is about to discover that her entire life has been a lie. Now Dominique must forge alliances with those out to kill her while seeking to uncover the truth behind the royal murders, as she is ultimately forced to deal with a destiny she could never have imagined. Voodoo Child is a new monthly series written by Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, former editor-in-chief of The Source magazine, award-winning author, journalist and TV producer, with art by Milestone Media co-founder Denys Cowan (THE QUESTION) and covers by Rafael Grampá.


I have no idea who Hinds is, even after reading the vague, credit-less mini-bio the solicit mentions, but that's a hell of an art team, from cover to interiors. I feel a little uncomfortable about turning the real, or legendarily "real" Laveau, into the source of a fictive serial narrative, but I suppose we'll see. If nothing else, it will be well worth seeing pages and pages of Cowan art...


FAIREST #1
Written by BILL WILLINGHAM
Art by PHIL JIMENEZ and ANDY LANNING
Wraparound cover by ADAM HUGHES...
On sale MARCH 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
...
New York Times best-selling, award-winning creator Bill Willingham presents a new series starring the female FABLES. Balancing horror, humor and adventure, FAIREST explores the secret histories of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Snow White, Rose Red and others._The first 6 issue arc follows the misadventures of Briar Rose after she is stolen away by the goblin army in FABLES #107. Fan-favorite artist Phil Jimenez (WONDER WOMAN, THE INVISIBLES) returns to Vertigo to pencil the opening storyline. Award-winning cover artist Adam Hughes (WONDER WOMAN, BATGIRL) provides covers, starting with a wraparound cover on issue #1._Future arcs will be written by 2011 Arthur C. Clarke winner Lauren Beukes with art by Inaki Miranda, and iZOMBIE scribe Chris Roberson with art by Shawn McManus! And remember: They may be beautiful, but there will be blood.


I lost interest in Fables a while back, shortly after the true identity of The Adversary was introduced, although I'm not sure exactly why. And once I stopped, my interest in in it continued to dwindle. I think the rapid expansion of the franchise had a lot to do with it; those few months or so I took off saw a second Fables series, one that has itself since been canceled, plus minis and at least one prose novel.

I really like Phil Jimenez art though, and I'm intrigued by the Dinsey Princess-like focus on a particular set of Fables characters. I wonder if this will go over well with the emerging mass audience for grown-up, darker versions of fairy tales and their stars...? Beyond those already reading Fables, of course.



THE FLASH #7
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
...
On sale MARCH 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Captain Cold is back – and he’s more dangerous than ever! Seeking revenge on The Flash, he must convince the rest of the Rogues to reunite one last time. But what tore them apart before? And what did The Flash do to earn their deadly scorn? Find out here!


Oh my God! What did they do to Captain Cold?!



GREEN LANTERN CORPS #7
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by CLAUDE ST. AUBIN and SCOTT HANN
_Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale MARCH 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
In the aftermath of the bloody first arc of the series, John Stewart must bring the body of a fallen Lantern back to his family. But how can John tell them the truth: that he caused this Lantern’s death!


Ah, light escapism, just like I like it!


GRIFTER #7
Written by NATHAN EDMONDSON
Art and cover by SCOTT CLARK and DAVE BEATY
On sale MARCH 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Guest-starring MIDNIGHTER! A voice is calling from the Himalayas; a dark secret awaits Grifter. He tracks it down, only to discover that the secret has a protector: Midnighter, who must not allow Grifter to leave the mountains alive. A massive battle on treacherous ice slopes shows Grifter that he’s in a world of heroes he cannot defeat and opens him up to new world-changing secrets as deadly as they are powerful.


Say, I don’t think Grifter is dressed appropriately for a visit to the Himalayas...


HAWK AND DOVE #7
Written by ROB LIEFELD_Art and cover by ROB LIEFELD
On sale MARCH 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
While dealing with their complicated relationship, Hank and Dawn face an attack from a mysterious hunter who reveals a larger conspiracy involving the heroic duo! Legendary creator Rob Liefeld continues his solo run on HAWK AND DOVE as writer and artist with this explosive issue!


Continues? I didn’t even know he had started a solo run.

I guess his first order of business is to introduce an off-brand version of Kraven The Hunter…?


HITMAN VOL. 6: FOR TOMORROW TP
Written by GARTH ENNIS
Art by JOHN McCREA and others
Cover by JOHN McCREA
On sale APRIL 11 • 336 pg, FC, $29.99 US
This latest collection of HITMAN tales, all collected for the first time from issues #37-50, begins when Tommy Monaghan heads to Ireland to learn the dark truth about his past – and why his parents abandoned him. Plus: A plague of the undead, a showdown with Ringo Chen and more!


Hmm, the numbers are off on this one, as Tommy traveled back to Ireland to discover the truth of his family in #35 and #36. Based on the numbers listed above, this would include the two-issue "No Man's Land" kinda sorta tie-in, during which Tommy and Nat defend their neighborhood from an invasion of vampires (this one contains one of my favorite lines regarding the horror genre of entertainment. That would be followed by the four-issue "For Tomorrow" arc, in which Tommy and friend/rival Ringo, a character Ennis and McCrea based on Chow Yun Fat's earlier Hong Kong characters, definitively answer a question neither one of them really wanted to know the answer to. And then a pack of time-tossed Tyrannosaurs attack No Man's Land Gotham, and then Tommy and Noonan make a last stand against the mafia. ( I have a billion word post about Hitman here, if you've never read it but want to learn more about one of my favorite series ever)


JUSTICE LEAGUE #7
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by GENE HA and GARY FRANK
Cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
...
On sale MARCH 21 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T_Combo pack edition: $4.99 US_Now that the team’s origin story is complete, starting with this issue we shift to the present-day Justice League! What has changed? Who has joined the team since? Featuring artwork by Gene Ha, the story also reintroduces the team’s greatest champion: Steve Trevor!_Also starting in this issue: “The Curse of Shazam!” featuring a story by Geoff Johns and art by Gary Frank! Discover Billy Batson’s place in DC Comics – The New 52 as we reveal his all-new origin story! This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.


The black and white versions of Gene Ha’s pages for this issue that have been released so far look pretty nice, but, having seen his work recently in Flashpoint: Project Superman, I have a feeling it’s gonna get a whole lot uglier once it gets colored.

I’m really, really, intensely curious about Captain Marvel in the new DCU. They didn’t do the smart thing—make him part of the Justice League and the foundational generation of superheroes, nor did they give him his own title—but Geoff Johns seems to genuinely like the character and has used his villains to pretty good effect in the past (Mostly in JSA and 52). I’m kind of scared of the words “new origin” though; the last time DC tried to reinvent the character, under Judd Winick, it was a complete fucking mess that rendered all of the Marvels essentially unusuable and unrecognizable.

Hopefully this goes better, although I see no reason to mess with the origin, on the ground of not fixing things that ain’t broken (of course, much of the New 52 revamp-a-thon involved fixing things that weren’t broken, huh?). Hell, if Harry Potter quoted Billy Batson’s origin, it obviously strikes a chord with a lot of people.

This Jim Lee cover, by the way? It’s no damn good.

I'm kinda conflicted about whether to start reading Justice League again when this issue comes out. The main reason I dropped it was the $3.95-for-20-pages price point, but with this issue, it should actually be 40-pages long, rather than 20-pages of story + 20-pages of ads and "bonus" material. Unless the new plan is 12-pages of Justice League followed by eight-pages of Captain Marvel.


Yeesh. Not that this stupid cover for one of the other Justice League books is any better than Lee's...

….

Why is there a W on Booster Gold’s new costume?


NIGHT FORCE #1
Written by MARV WOLFMAN
Art by TOM MANDRAKE
Cover by LEONARDO MANCO
On sale MARCH 7 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T
Marv Wolfman reimagines his classic adventure series for the new millennium!_There’s a conspiracy under way that’s been going on for hundreds of years. One determined cop has unknowingly scratched the surface and suddenly finds himself summoned to Wintersgate Manor. But this chilling menace may prove to be too big even for Baron Winters.


I like Tom Mandrake’s art a whole lot.


Walter Simonson cover alert!

Okay, so now that Swamp Thing is in the DCU again, when are they gonna get around to having him and Garbage Man fight already…?


O.M.A.C. #7
Written by DAN DIDIO and KEITH GIFFEN
Art and cover by KEITH GIFFEN and SCOTT KOBLISH
On sale MARCH 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Kevin Kho wakes to find himself trapped inside the Toledo Zoo and unable to “Omactivate”! But things turn really weird when he discovers the animals can talk – and they all live in fear of the horrific taskmaster known as Warden Gaym. Now Kevin’s only hope to escape is to go through the place the terrified animals call “The Evil Factory.”


I might still be afraid of the words “Written by Dan DiDio,” but I do really like the sound of the word “Omactivate”…


I think the new Ray—Ray IV? Or V?—character design is a pretty lousy one, even by Ray character designs standards, but I kinda like the look of that villain on artist Jama Igle’s cover.


I really like this cover because it looks like Swamp Thing is balancing the title on his nose, like a well-trained dog balancing a treat on his nose, and if you just say, "Okay," Swampy will toss the logo up into the air and catch it in his mouth.


Quick, get out of Savage Hawkman Static! You’re gonna get savagery all over you!


SHOWCASE PRESENTS: ALL-STAR SQUADRON VOL. 1 TP
Written by ROY THOMAS and GERRY CONWAY
Art by RICH BUCKLER, DICK GIORDANO, JERRY ORDWAY, ADRIAN GONZALES and DON HECK
Cover by JOE KUBERT
On sale APRIL 18 • 528 pg, B&W, $19.99 US
In these stories from JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #193 and ALL-STAR SQUADRON #1-18, the All-Star Squadron has been founded on Earth II by the lost heroes from the JSA to stop Per Degaton from delivering mystic weapons to the Axis powers!


Oh fuck yes. I have been waiting—dreaming, praying—for this very book ever since the Showcase Presents program began. I hope they do the entire run, allthe way through Young All-Stars. This is a dream—albeit one of my more modest dreams—come true.


I imagine that the empty space in the center of the image near the top will be where the logo goes but, empty as it is, at first glance I thought this image depicted Swamp Thing looking very sadly at the size of a giant mpair of novelty plastic vampire fangs and wondering how he was ever gonna fit them in his mouth.


TEEN TITANS: PRIME OF LIFE TP
Written by J.T. KRUL
Art by NICOLA SCOTT, EDUARDO PANSICA and others
Cover by NICOLA SCOTT and DOUG HAZLEWOOD
On sale APRIL 11 • 200 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Collecting TEEN TITANS #93-100! Strange disappearances on an archeological dig prompt Wonder Girl’s mother to ask the team for help – but they’ll have to defeat an ancient menace first! With new teammate Solstice at their side, the teenaged heroes must drive demonic forces from our world or be conquered!


Hmm. I was curious about checking this out some time, given how great Scott's art looks, but I was scared away by Krul's presnece and thought I'd wait for a trade. Like this! Now I'm even less sure, given that DC didn't have any faith in the direction, characters or creative team, and decided to completely reboot Teen Titans with Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth. Hmmm...


TINY TITANS #50
Written by ART BALTAZAR and FRANCO
Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
On sale MARCH 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E • FINAL ISSUE
In this awesome 50th issue, questions are answered! Mysteries are solved! The Tiny Titans may be one step closer to becoming Super Heroes! This issue may change your life! Plus, it’s highly recommended by Franco’s mom!


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn it.

Sigh.

Well, I hope that Baltazar at least continues to do sketches and commissions of these characters for, let’s see, ever, so that if he and I are ever in the same gathering of comic book people, and I have a large enough amount of money in my pocket, I’m gonna want a Lil’ Barda and and a Cassandra sketch.

This really sucks though. This has, no lie, been my favorite DC Comic for a long time now.


VOODOO #7
Written by JOSH WILLIAMSON
Art by SAMI BASRI
Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
On sale MARCH 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US_RATED T+
After returning to the Daemonite space station hunting for answers, Voodoo learns that you should careful what you wish for. Will the truth of the Daemonite hybrids force Voodoo to turn on her masters or will she finally succumb to her dark side?


Ew gross.

6 comments:

James Figueiredo said...

Hey, Caleb, I know you're bummed about the cancelation of Tiny Titans, but did you see the announcement that Baltazar and Franco are already working on a new ongoing starring the Superman family of characters? Silver lining, right? ;)

Best,
J.

Nick Ahlhelm said...

The one image of Superman from Superman Family looks very similar to the Tiny Titans art style. I'm assuming they're just moving the creators on to stories from a more popular franchise.

Akilles said...

What did they do to Captain Cold, you ask? They did the same thing like they did to Mr. Freece in "The Batman". Redesinged his costume, and gave him Iceman powers. Although, Mr. Freece desing is way cooler.

Sorry Manapul.

Do you know what else is weird about that hitman book? That there`s a book that collects those exact same issues, but is instead called "Tommys heroes". I have no idea, if I should buy one of those books, or find out if there`s an error in the description...

Caleb said...

James and Nick,

Yeah, I saw that, and it seems like very good news. I hope it provides some salve to apply to the wound in my broken heart caused by the thought that I'll never see Tiny Cassandra or that little Bumblebee with stick-figure arms again...

What did they do to Captain Cold, you ask? They did the same thing like they did to Mr. Freece in "The Batman". Redesinged his costume, and gave him Iceman powers.

Yikes, really? Giving Cold super-powers instead of a freeze ray seems pretty wrong to me, akin to giving Batman bat-powers instead of bat-themed gadgets.

The Silver Age rogues were all sort of designed around the premise of crooks with super-science gadgets. And I don't know that it's possible to improve upon Cold's evil Santa's helper costume...

Rose said...

The last time I saw Art Baltazar at a convention he was still only charging $1 for each commission, so don't worry too much about having enough money to get your sketches.

Akilles said...

Actually, it LOOKS as if Cold has superpowers, but I`m not sure if it is so.