Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DC's June previews reviewed

June looks like it's going to be a big month for DC Comics...maybe their biggest since September 2011, when they launched the New 52 branding and its accompanying rebooted and redesigned version of the DCU. The publisher is launching a ton of new series, which are remarkably diverse in artistic style, apparent tone and audience.

They've got books rated "E for Everyone" apparently set in the DCU, they've got new work from the creators of books like Batgirl and Harley Quinn on books that seem to be shooting for something similar, they've got work by creators brand-new to the publisher, they've got work by people I've never heard of.

I hate to judge the month too prematurely, but, at this point at least, June 2015 sure looks like what September 2011 should have looked like, if the publisher was sincere about wanting to reach a new and wider audience.

For the complete solicitations, you can visit Comic Book Resources by clicking here; for my discussion of DC's plans for June of this year, you can read on.

Spoiler warning: The Joker variant of Batgirl #41 isn't discussed, although I might have alluded to it once in passing...



Those are the cover's for June's issue of Action Comics, the official one by artist Aaron Kuder and the Joker variant by Darwyn Cooke.

The former shows off what appears to be a new "costume" for Superman, although it really just looks like he got a slightly tighter t shirt with a slightly differently colored S-shield and lost the cape he was wearing in The New 52 "Year One" era. I don't really like it much; I think "red cape" is maybe the baseline requirement for a Superman costume, but then, I'm sure it will be as temporarily as his cape-less "electric" phase was. And hell, after over three years of seeing his high-collared, Kryptonian-armor costume, I'm pretty used to Superman not looking all that much like Superman in modern DC comics, you know?

I'm actually more intrigued by his haircut—no spit-curl?—and his bloodied, bandaged hands. If you look close, you'll see some...stuff coming from his fists. Are those drops of blood, or did he tape broken glass to his fists, for increased bad-ass-itude...?

Only time will tell.

As for the Cooke Joker variant, I just wanted to point it out as being one of the better Joker variants, saying a little something about both characters (Superman's invulnerable, The Joker's the kind of villain who will shoot Superman in the face with acid anyway, and then shrug, smile and accept his medicine) in addition to being a really nice drawing. Cooke tweaks a pretty classic Joker outfit to look modern and stylish, and his Superman looks so damn Superman, particularly among all the other Supermen appearing on covers this month.

Behold Walter Simonson's Joker variant cover for Aquaman! Those sharks are fantastic, but I feel weird about the giant Aquaman head in the background...I think I would have preferred a full figure drawing scaled to the sharks.

AQUAMAN: SUB-DIEGO TP
Written by WILL PFEIFER
Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON and CHRISTIAN ALAMY
On sale JULY 1 • 192 pg, FC, $16.99 US
In these stories from AQUAMAN #15-22, a devastating earthquake hits San Diego, leaving thousands dead. But someone survived the cataclysm...and their survival will require Aquaman to take on a new role that draws upon all his experience as a hero and leader of a nation!"


Here's maybe the biggest head-scratcher of the month, a collection of Will Pfeifer's run on the Aquaman title, from the time in which the publisher was seemingly casting about at random for radical new takes on the character, with almost every new creative team launching their own, highly idiosyncratic idea of what an Aquaman comic could or should be (This period, by the way, started when Peter David's run on the book ended and stopped...I don't know, maybe around the time of Brightest Day? During all that time, the best Aquaman comics appearances were the ones in Justice League books).

In this take, someone sinks a portion of San Diego, transforming a swathe of the population into water-breathers in the process. I remember really liking the art, and finding the story incredibly slowly paced. Perhaps the most noteworthy element was the introduction of the second Aquagirl, who Pfeifer positioned as Aquaman's (sole) sidekick/partner. Like Tempest and Aqualad II, she didn't survive the The New 52-boot.

Also, this was during the time when Aquaman had a left hand made out of magic water.

Here's an Alex Ross painting of a gorilla playing the drums. I wonder how many people will pick up their very first issue of Astro City in June of this year, simply because it has a painting of a gorilla playing the drums on its cover.

BATMAN #41
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by GREG CAPULLO and DANNY MIKI
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
THE JOKER Variant cover by SEAN MURPHY
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
The all-new Batman makes his debut! Who is he, and what happens next? Find out here as a new era begins in Gotham City!


You know, I'm fine with Batman...even an "all-new" Batman...being a robot or a person inside a robot suit for a story arc or whatever (As with Superman's new look, I'm willing to bet that this is a very, very temporary change...probably even more temporary than Jean-Paul Valley or Dick Grayson being Batman for a while).

What I don't get is why he has "ears" that don't look the least bit bat-like. This is honestly the least bat-like his bat-ears have ever looked. Whether drawn as the tiny little nubs of the Silver Age, or a the three-foot demon horns of Kelley Jones, they were always at least vaguely bat-shaped. These look more like a rabbit's ears, or perhaps the antennae of a moth, but, lacking wings, the suggestion is more rabbit than moth (Weird too because we've seen so many Bat-bots and robot battle suits for Batmen over the years, and those always had bat-ears).

As for the identity of the new Batman? Well, I'm going to guess...let's see...Julia Pennyworth. But mostly because I'm not sure where she's going to go after Batman Eternal (Provided she's not the villain of the piece, of course). Botman up there appears to be carrying a big gun, so whoever the new Batman is, it must be someone who is okay packing heat, like one of the Pennyworths or Jim Gordon or someone.

BATMAN BEYOND #1
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by BERNARD CHANG
...
On sale JUNE 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
...
At last, Batman Beyond gets his own ongoing series in THE definitive future of the DCU! But this isn’t the Beyond you think you know! With the Justice League missing and without Bruce to guide him, this new Batman will need to explore this bizarre world on his own while fighting to raise humanity from an opponent that’s already won.
The heroes Batman knew have failed, the world he knew has been turned on its head, and every step he takes will lead him either toward finding home – or further down the road of disaster!


Hmmm...

The solicitation indicates that this is not going to be set in the setting of the Batman Beyond animated series or the Batman Beyond comics based on the series DC's been publishing, and yet one half of the cover is dominated by the characters from that universe. It doesn't appear to be set in the nightmare future of New 52: Futures End, either. That series featured Batman "Beyond" Terry McGinnis coming back in time from the Brother Eye-ruled, Terminator-like future to change it for the better...so I suppose he succeeds, and now the future will have a mish-mash of various Jack Kirby created concepts in it?

I don't know. It's written by Dan Jurgens, whose name will be popping up an awful lot this month, who was one of the four writers on Futures End, so I assume this will spin out of that series in some fashion.

I'm curious about how many people are reading Futures End because this particular version of Batman happens to be in it, because once you remove him from the context of the setting and premise of the cartoon, you seem to remove pretty much every aspect of the character other than his costume and name.

BAT-MITE #1
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by CORIN HOWELL
1:25 Variant cover by CORIN HOWELL
On sale JUNE 3 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED E
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Bat-Mite is here to fix the DC Universe – one hero at a time! Convinced that he’s the imp that put Batman on the map, he’s spreading his expertise all over the DC Universe, eager to boost the careers of heroes he thinks need his “help.” Don’t miss the start of this six-issue all-ages miniseries!


Never heard of Corin Howell, which may actually be a good thing, as it means some new blood at DC (there will be a lot of unfamiliar names popping up in this round of solicitations). I'm not crazy about that cover image, which is apparently by Howell, however. His Bat-Mite doesn't look quite...right to me, but maybe that has more to do with my expectations of the character than anything else. I'm certainly excited to give this book a try, especially since I'm rather sympathetic to the title character's goal: "To fix the DC Universe."

I'm a little surprised to see "Written by DAN JURGENS," however, as he's not a writer I associate with Batman, humor or all-ages comics. So let's say I'm somewhere between cautiously optimistic and hopefully anxious.

BIZARRO #1
Written by HEATH CORSON
Art and cover by GUSTAVO DUARTE
1:25 Variant cover by KYLE BAKER
On sale JUNE 3 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED E
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
“Hate HARLEY QUINN? Then you will super hate BIZARRO! Bizarro star of worstest comic ever! Go ahead and miss it! If there’s one thing this issue not have it these two things: Jimmy Olsen and Chupacabras!” Don’t miss the start of this six-issue all-ages miniseries!


Bat-Mite and Bizarro both getting their own miniseries? In the same month? I'm only in the B's, and so far I'm 1,000 times more excited about June of 2015 than I was about September of 2011...

I'm not familiar with the work of Corson or Duarte, which is a good sign, even if it does mean that there's a chance they will be terrible and I will hate the book...

Of course, it's Bizarro, so unless they're doing the murderous caveman version that appeared in Geoff Johns, Richard Donner and Adam Kubert's short-lived run, it's kind of hard to make a Bizarro comic no fun. The words "Jimmy Olsen" and "Chupacabras" certainly presage some degree of fun.

BLACK CANARY #1
Written by BRENDEN FLETCHER
Art and cover by ANNIE WU
1:25 Variant cover by BABS TARR
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
Dinah Lance hits the road! After years as a soldier and vigilante, the LAST place Dinah saw herself is on stage…but she’s quickly learning she’d die to protect the gang of misfits she’s fallen into. And she just might have to – for some reason, the newly rechristened band Black Canary seems to be a magnet for trouble…and Dinah’s not gonna believe it when she finds out the reason why! Martial arts, super-spies, and rock ‘n’ roll combine, from Brenden Fletcher (BATGIRL) and Annie Wu (Hawkeye)!


That is honestly, swear to God, the most exciting image I've ever seen of Black Canary. The premise of the series sounds pretty unusual for the character, but it's no more insane than having her be a member of Team 7 with Grifter and whoever, and at least it's insane in a more fun and interesting way. I'm glad they changed the name of the band too, as the band had a pretty terrible name. I hope they share a bill with Boojum at some point.

That's an extremely promising creative team, too.



I suppose the silver lining of She-Hulk's cancellation is that it frees up that book's cover artist Kevin Wada to do another cover on a monthly basis, like his kick-ass regular cover for Catwoman.

The Joker variant, is coincidentally (?) by She-Hulk interior artist Javier Pulido. It strikes me—but not as hard as it strikes The Joker! (Because he's getting punched on the cover, see)—as on of the better ones seen among those in CBR's solicitations.

CONSTANTINE: THE HELLBLAZER #1
Written by MING DOYLE
Art and cover by RILEY ROSSMO
...
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
The dark adventures of DC’s foremost occult detective continue in an all-new series as he investigates the cruelest case he’s ever come across – his own dark history!


I imagine DC was pretty surprised by how poorly John Constantine and Swamp Thing's titles sold when they imported the characters back into the DC Universe proper. I wonder if it would have helped if their introduction didn't happen in such a disorganized fashion, with the pair appearing at the conclusion of Brightest Day and then getting their own pre-Flashpoint miniseries—was it The Search for Swamp Thing, or something like that?—before The New 52 happened, and they got re-re-introduced.

Personally, I think I'd give the character a rest as a solo star after the crashing and burning of his previous solo title, but then, he does have a TV show now, so maybe DC feels he has to have an ongoing.

Will this be any better than the last go round? Eh, can't be any worse.

Just out of curiosity, is Ming Doyle the first woman to write the John Constantine ongoing, be it Hellblazer or Constantine? It seems like everyone wrote Hellblazer at one point or another, but I can't think of any women who have done so. Perhaps just because I have a bad memory, though.

DOOMED #1
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art and cover by JAVIER FERNANDEZ
...
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
In this startling new series, a Metropolis U student gains the power to transform into the monstrously powerful Doomsday! The power may be the key to fixing his life, but every time he transforms he risks getting stuck forever as Superman’s most heinous adversary! How far can he go before he’s doomed?


Look out! It's a Scott Lobdell book!

This is...well, it's an idea, anyway. I don't want to tell DC how to sell comics or anything, but wouldn't it be better if when the Metropolis U student transforms into Doomsday, he look like Doomsday? I think that might be a strong selling point in your Doomsday comic.

DR. FATE #1
Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art and cover by SONNY LIEW
1:25 Variant cover by IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
You thought global warming was bad? Anubis, the Egyptian Lord of Dead, is preparing the flood to wash the world away. Standing in his way? An overwhelmed Brooklyn med student who’s been handed the helmet of Fate, without an instruction manual.


That's weird. For a second I thought that said the art was by Sonny Liew, but that couldn't possibly be—Wait, it soes say Sonny Liew! Holy ish, Sonny Liew is drawing a monthly DC superhero comic? I could take or leage Levitz (okay, leave), but Liew's art is enough to make me want to try this book out.

Given that this appears to be a new Dr. Fate from the last new Dr. Fate, introduced just like three years or so ago in the pages of Earth 2, I'm assuming that the helm of Fate ended up on Earth-0 at some point, or there are helms on both Earth-0 and Earth-2 (and a couple of other Earths as well, like Earth-20).

Yeesh, and I thought the costumes in Earth 2 were bad...it looks like those in Earth 2: Society will be worse still. That may just be the worst Batman costume I've ever seen anywhere. Wait, there have been a lot of Batman costumes over the years, let me think...

...

...

Nope. I can't think of a worse one than that.

GOTHAM BY MIDNIGHT #6
Written by RAY FAWKES
Art by JUAN FERRERYA
Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
THE JOKER Variant cover by JOHN VAN FLEET
On sale JUNE 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
The Midnight Shift is in danger from both its members and the rest of the GCPD! In a deadly new Gotham City, does the paranormal really still pose a threat? As the task force struggles to rebuild after their tragic loss, their only weapon against the supernatural and Internal Affairs both might be in the form of attorney Kate Spencer. Ray Fawkes and new series artist Juan Ferreyra are ready to take Jim Corrigan and his motley crew on the adventure of their lives – or afterlives!


I'm surprised they've replaced Ben Templesmith with pretty much anyone on this book, given that his art provided the entire visual identity of the book, and was probably the most noteworthy aspect of it (Otherwise, it's pretty much just a Gotham Cental with a tiny cast and a focus on the supernatural instead of the supervillainous).

Perhaps they'll change artists ever arc or so, though. If the book were to take on a rotating staff of artists whose styles are as atmospheric strange as Templesmiths--Sam Kieth, Kelley Jones, Ashley Wood, Scott Hampton--then maybe that would establish a new visual identity for the book.

Otherwise, I get the feeling this book may not be too long for this world, which is kind of a pity, as it's an interesting angle for a Batman/Gotham book (I enjoyed the first three issues, but not so much that I felt compelled to keep buying and reading them as they came out, for what it's worth).

Bill Sienkiewicz's Joker variant for Green Arrow is another nice one, albeit in a very, very different style from Cooke's and Pulido's.

Wow. That's Eduardo Risso's Joker variant for Harley Quinn. I can't recally seeing Harley look better since her New 52-boot makeover. I see Risso's super-art so infrequently that I tend to forget how incredible he is at drawing these out-sized colorful characters.


JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1
Written by BRYAN HITCH
Art by BRYAN HITCH and WADE VON GRAWBADGER
Cover by BRYAN HITCH
THE JOKER variant cover by HOWARD PORTER
AQUAMAN variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
BATMAN variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
CYBORG variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
THE FLASH variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
GREEN LANTERN variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
SUPERMAN variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
WONDER WOMAN variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
1:100 seven-panel foldout cover by BRYAN HITCH
On sale JUNE 3 • 56 pg, FC, $5.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with ten covers. Please see the order form for more information.

It’s massive widescreen JUSTICE LEAGUE action and adventure from superstar writer/artist Bryan Hitch! In this extra-sized debut issue, the League comes up against an armada of aliens heading for Earth that claims to be a peaceful religious tribe. But something sinister is lurking in their ranks...something with ties to ancient Krypton!

This amazing kick-off issue is available with seven different open-to-order variant covers by Bryan Hitch, each spotlighting one of seven core members of the JLA, plus an incredible 1:100 seven-panel foldout variant cover that presents all seven open-to-order covers together!


The variant schemes and the high price-tag should help make this book a hit...for the first issue at least. Bryan Hitch had an opportunity to draw the Justice League before, when he and Mark Waid launched their highly-anticipated run on JLA following Grant Morrison, Howard Porter and John Dell's run, with the pretty damn good, oversized graphic novel JLA: Heaven's Ladder...Hitch never actually completed another story arc after the original graphic novel, however. Instead, he provided covers and started a bunch of the Waid-written arcs, but fill-in artists were always needed to finish them.

I can't imagine that writing in addition to drawing the book will somehow improve his timeliness and efficiency, but who knows, maybe he started drawing this in 2011 and already has eight issues in the can.

This book should be interesting for several reasons, including the fact that secondary Justice League titles usually star different teams, not the same line-up as the primary Justice League title (although do note that this is the New 52's Big Seven, and newer additions to the League like Captain Marvel Shazam and Lex Luthor are absent), and, of course, to see how Hitch writes.

The regular Hitch cover's pretty generic, really, but the Howard Porter Joker variant is interesting. Many of the characters just look like their regular old selves, with only little hints of their New 52 duds (The cut of Superman's cuffs, for example, or the ribbing on the red part of Wonder Woman's outfit). The one exception of Batman, who looks...really, really wrong. I think this is the first time I've seen a drawing of Batman in which his bat-ears look absolutely nothing at all like bat-ears.

MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1
Written by ROB WILLIAMS
Art and cover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
1:25 Variant cover by GABRIEL HARDMAN
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Shape-shifting Martians are invading Earth – so where is J’onn J’onzz to stop them? Trust no one as the Martian Manhunter tries to stop these ruthless alien terrorists from destroying everything!


While I love Martian Manhunter, there are few better examples of characters mangled beyond recognition by The New 52-boot. Once you divorce Martian Manhunter from Justice League history, none of which ever existed, he becomes little more than a set of powers and a particular costume and design, and even these have been fluid.

I know nothing at all about the character any more, and haven't seen a thing in any of the comics I've read featuring him to make me like, care or even be mildly curious about him. This looks like it could be a good candidate for the first of the June series to be cancelled, but then, it will have some serious competition (Doomed, Earth 2: Society, Midnighter, Omega Men, Red Hood/Arsenal).

MIDNIGHTER #1
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art and cover by ACO
1:25 Variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
On sale JUNE 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Spinning out of GRAYSON comes a solo series starring the man who can predict your every move… but no one will be able to predict what he’ll do next! A theft at the God Garden has unleashed a wave of dangerous biotech weapons on the world, and Midnighter intends to put that genie back in the bottle by any means necessary. But something else was stolen from the Garden as well…the secret history of Lucas Trent, the man Midnighter once was


DC previously tried a Midnighter solo series written by Garth Ennis and spinning out of The Authority, and that didn't last too long...I can't imagine the future will be any brighter for one written by Steve Orlando and spinning out of Grayson, but I guess we'll see. On paper, a gay Batman with Deathstroke's powers should be a pretty easy sell.

PREZ #1
Written by MARK RUSSELL
Art and cover by BEN CALDWELL
...
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 12, $2.99 US • RATED T
...
Meet Beth Ross, the first teenaged President of the United States. In a nation where corporations can run for office, the poor are used as human billboards, and tacos are delivered by drone, our only hope is this nineteen-year-old Twitter sensation. But the real question isn’t whether she’s ready for politics – it’s whether politics is ready for her. Don’t miss the start of this new, 12-issue miniseries!


Okay, I know that the single most important trait of this particular character is that the character needs to be a teenager, rather than a male or a female, but I can't help it—Prez being a girl instead of a boy just feels wrong to me.

I mean, I'll still read the comic and all—it's got Ben Caldwell art, after all—but changing the gender of the character seems to be a pretty big change. Not that Prez is that popular a character or anything. In fact, I bet he's best-known for appearing in an issue of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman...of course, that also means that there are probably thousands of people out there who have heard of Prez but have never heard of any of Legion of Superh-Heroes. Weird.

RED HOOD/ARSENAL #1
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art by DENIS MEDRI
Cover by HOWARD PORTER
...
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
...
These brothers in arms face off against incredible odds while burning their way through the underbelly of the DC Universe – and it’s only a matter of time until they get gunned down in return!


So the Scott Lobdell-written book Red Hood and The Outlaws has been selling particularly poorly of late. So DC is going to relaunch it as the Scott Lobdell-written Red Hood/Arsenal, excising 1/3 of the cast? Not sure how that helps do anything but stave off cancellation by a few months, but I don't know, maybe there are enough Arrow super-fans out there that they will see the "Arsenal" in the title and try a copy...?

ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN #1
Written by PATRICK GLEASON
Art by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY
Cover by PATRICK GLEASON
...
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
The son of a Bat and a Demon, Damian al Ghul has set out to forge his own destiny – and atone for the shameful Year of Blood! Will he be aided or hindered by the behemoth Goliath? And what mysterious legacy trails behind him? Join writer/artist Patrick Gleason as he chronicles the globe-hopping adventures of ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN!


I think "Robin" would have sufficed as a title, really.

Please note that this is being both written and drawn by Gleason, who was the artist on the Peter Tomasi-written Batman and Robin series.

SECTION 8 #1
Written by GARTH ENNIS
Art by JOHN McCREA
Cover by AMANDA CONNER
1:25 Variant cover by JOHN McCREA
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
The greatest super heroes of all time, unseen since the end of the hit series HITMAN, have returned for the greatest super hero story ever told! Befuddled hero Sixpack returns to Gotham City, desperate to rebuild the all-star team known as Section Eight in the face of a deadly threat. He gathers old friends Bueno Excellente, Baytor and the seemingly reborn Dogwelder, along with some new faces – but he still needs that elusive eighth member. And that’s when the Dark Knight Detective gets an offer he can’t refuse in part one of this unforgettable six-issue miniseries.


I may be a little biased here, seeing as how Ennis and McCrea's Hitman is my favorite comic book series of all time—not necessarily the best, mind you, but my favorite—but I couldn't possibly be more excited to see the pair reuniting, and on a Hitman spin-off of sorts, of all things.

Is there a mistake in the solicitation, or is McCrea providing the 1-in-25 variant cover while Amanda Conner draws the regular cover? That seems backwards.


STARFIRE #1
Written by AMANDA CONNER and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
Cover by AMANDA CONNER
...
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
...
From the writers of the outrageous smash hit HARLEY QUINN comes former Outlaw Starfire in her all-new ongoing series! She’s an alien warrior princess trying to find peace on Earth, and she’ll fight anyone and anything to get it!


Hey, it's the least terrible Starfire costume I've ever seen in a comic book! I've never been terribly interested in the comic book version of the character, although I like the version that appeared on Teen Titans and now on Teen Titans Go!, so I don't know that this is something I'll actually want to read on a monthly basis, but I do confess some curiosity regarding how the Harley Quinn writing team (and the Harley Quinn cover artist) will do with this book starring another fan-favorite DC leading lady. Is it their writing that has turned Harley Quinn into such a hit, or does that character just so happen to have a particular something that when meshed with their approach made it into a hit...?

SUPERMAN #41
Written by GENE LUEN YANG
Art and cover by JOHN ROMITA, JR. and KLAUS JANSON
THE JOKER Variant cover by KARL KERSCHL
On sale JUNE 24 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
The epic new storyline “TRUTH” continues with the debut of the amazing new creative team of new writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and continuing artists John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson! What will happen when the big secret is revealed?


In a month full of surprises, this may be the biggest one (Well, aside from Ennis and McCrea doing a Section 8 series, anyway). Gene Luen Yang's name might not seem that big to many in Direct Market circles (at least, not compared to that of the writer he's replacing, Mr. Geoff Johns), but he's a hell of a get for DC.

Paired with John Romita on art, this is now officially a DC Comics creative team I would never have imagined possible, let alone likely, as recently as a year or two ago.

I have no idea why Yang's run starts with what appears to be a crossover story running through all the Superman books.

Oh and hey, get a lot of that Karl Kerschl Joker variant. Strange how Batgirl got one of the relatively few covers to depict a scary, menacing Joker, while so many of the other books—books that tend to be much darker than the current run on Batgirl—got these light-hearted Joker covers...



These are the covers for June's Superman/Wonder Woman #18. The first one is by Paulo Siqueira, who has either never seen a t shirt before, or was told to draw Superman in the tightest t shirt a grown man has ever worn ever—like you know those tiny t shirts Chris Evans wears in the Captain America movies? One hundred times tighter than those!

He's standing next to Wonder Woma in her new, dumb, hopefully extremely temporary costume, which now includes giant gold wristbands with retractable Azrael-like blades (At least, I think they're retractable).

I know Wonder Woman writer Meredith Finch and artist David Finch don't like, know anything about Wonder Woman, but the bracelets are kind of integral to the character, as is the fact that she weaponizes them into weapons of defense, rather than their being things she can stab people with.

But whatever, there's Sensation Comics to tide fans over until the Finchs' run ends.

The Joker variant for Superman/Wonder Woman, by former Wonder Woman artist Cliff Chiang, is, let's see, one billion times better. Wait, let me check the math on that...yes, it is exactly one billion times better.

Do note that Superman, Wonder Woman and The Joker are all instantly recognizable as Superman, Wonder Woman and The Joker, even with Chiang exaggerating the figures more than he usually does.

7 comments:

Greg said...

Denise Mina wrote Hellblazer for a year? I guess - I didn't buy it, but I remember that it was kind of big deal that a woman was writing it.

Templesmith's art will be missed, but Ferreyra is brilliant, and he can handle horror very well, so I'm really looking forward to him on Gotham by Midnight. I'm with you that I doubt the book will last long, but it won't be because the art is bad.

Saint Godard said...

How long are we giving Dr. Fate?

I so want a Fate book to work...

Jer said...

as is the fact that she weaponizes them into weapons of defense, rather than their being things she can stab people with.

I really want to know - why does Wonder Woman need to stab anyone? Nobody ever feels the need to hand Superman a sword.

I feel like almost nobody knows how to write Wonder Woman, so when they do they decide to "take her back to her Greek Myth roots" and write "Xena Warrior Princess Cosplaying As Wonder Woman" instead of "Wonder Woman". It's really irritating and I wish it would stop.

Evan Dawson-Baglien said...

I don't think that the Chiang cover is a billion times better than the main cover - because a billion times zero is still zero :) It is literally infinitely better.

SallyP said...

Some of these variants look amazing. I have to admit to being intrigued by the Martian Manhunter book, simply because I've always loved J'onn. And Bat-Mite. And oh God, Section Eight. I've died and gone to heaven.

Then there is stuff that I wouldn't touch with a twelve foot pole. And the new Bat Suit looks like Arthur from the Tick. It makes me giggle, which is probably not the reaction they are going for.

ealgylden said...

The second Superman/Wonder Woman cover looks like a cross between Cliff Chiang and Katie Cook, and it's the best thing ever. Ever!

The Pretentious Fool said...

Having just finished reading the entirety of Hitman in trade format, I am so excited to see a Section 8 comic book.

Heh, heh, heh. Bueno.