Tuesday, June 21, 2016

DC's September previews reviewed

Hopefully you're not sick of DC's "Rebirth" initiative already, because three months from now they will still be launching new titles under that particular banner, as the latest round of solicitations make clear. I know that they announced this gradual, months long roll-out at the outset, but I was still a little surprised to see things like Supergirl #1 and Teen Titans #1 showing up in here, as those titles, creative teams and covers were announced so long ago now that it feels like they should be coming out, say, this week, rather than this fall.

Other than the tail end of DC's months-long "Rebirth"-ing process, perhaps the most notable releases in the solicits were an inter-book Batman crossover that is the latest cover version of a Golden Age story from Batman #1, last seen in Matt Wagner's excellent 2006, "Year One" era miniseries Batman and The Monster Men (here they appear more monstrous than ever), as well as the very first release from Gerard Way's apparent Vertigo replacement publishing-line-within-a-publishing-line, Young Animal.

Let's take a look, shall we?

Written by DAN JURGENS
“WHO IS CLARK KENT?” part 1! Look—down there on the ground! It’s a guy, he’s kinda ordinary...it’s—Clark Kent?! As Metropolis recovers from the devastating attack of Doomsday, the mysterious figure claiming to be Clark Kent takes the spotlight to clear his name and prove once and for all that Clark Kent is not Superman!
On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Written by DAN JURGENS
“WHO IS CLARK KENT?” part 2! Superman comes face to face with Clark Kent, and he wants answers! But first the Man of Steel must protect his former alter ego. Clark Kent tells all in this shocking issue! And don’t miss the return of a ghost from Smallville past…
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Wait, Dan Jurgens will just be getting around to starting to explain what's up with that Clark Kent who appeared in the first issue of the now bi-weekly Action Comics in September? Oh man; I understand wanting to take your time with a suspenseful mystery, but that's like 120 pages into Jurgens run, and that is certainly a more compelling interesting storyline than Superman vs. Doomsday, Round One Million.

I suppose that will finally answer the question of how DC plans to re-secretize Superman's secret identity after he was outted. Part of me thinks that the guys who did the outting, the ones who let that particular genie out of the bottle, should also be the ones to solve it, and put that particular genie back in its bottle. But another part of me likes the fact that Geoff Johns and Gene Luen Yang (or, perhaps more likely, Eddie Berganza and Dan DiDio) just left the problem there for whoever came along next to try and solve, like a challenge.

“WHO IS ORACLE?” part 3! Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress must team up with the GCPD to protect a mafia capo from an attack by his one-time friends! He’s the only man with a lead on the nefarious new Oracle…but dead men tell no tales! Of course, it’s hard to make a team-up work when the team’s ready to tear itself apart on its first mission!
On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

I wonder if Batgirls friends make fun of her for bringing her dad with her on team-ups, or if they think its cute?

Speaking of whom, Jim, I know it doesn't really work with cover artist Yanick Paquette's cover design here, but you should really be hanging out  your own window, rather than standing in the driver's lap in order to fire out of his window.

Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by RYAN SOOK
Six months have passed since the events of BATMAN BEYOND #16. While areas of destruction remain in the outside world, Gotham City has made great strides toward reclaiming its bright future. But new threats arise and old adversaries may be coming back. And the question still remains: whatever happened to Bruce Wayne?
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

I've lost track of how many #1 issues of series based on the Batman Beyond cartoon there have been in the last five years at this point, but I'm pretty confident that whether it is four or seven, this one is one too many.

Written by JOHN SEMPER JR.
Victor Stone was once a star athlete and brilliant student with a bright future. But after a tragic accident destroyed over half of his body, Victor was kept alive by merging flesh with advanced technology. Today he is the Justice League co-founder called Cyborg. But is the young hero a man…or a machine that merely believes it’s a man?
On sale SEPTEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Oh, neat. The focus of this new Cyborg solo series will be on his existential angst over whether he is a man or a machine. That's a fresh, new take on the part-man, part-machine character that I don't think anyone has ever thought to explore before.

Written by JOHN SEMPER JR.
Art and cover by WILL CONRAD
“THE IMITATION OF LIFE” part one! Cyborg is thrown into conflict with every robotic threat to the DC Universe as a brand new era begins for Victor Stone, courtesy of writer John Semper Jr. (Spider-Man: The Animated Series) and artist Will Conrad (Angel & Faith)!
On sale SEPTEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Okay, I take back my sarcasm regarding the Rebirth-branded one-shot's completely generic-sounding solicit. "Conflict with every robotic threat to the DC Universe" is actually an interesting-sounding premise, although given the fact that the DC Universe is only like five years old now (our time), I don't actually know how many robotic threats they've experienced.

Written by GERARD WAY
Art and cover by NICK DERINGTON
Variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
Variant cover by SANFORD GREENE
Variant cover by JAIME HERNANDEZ
Variant cover by BRIAN CHIPPENDALE
Variant cover by BABS TARR
Retailers: This issue will ship with six covers. Please see the order form for details.
On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • MATURE READERS
The atoms are buzzing. The daydreams crowd sentient streets, and the creative team has been warned, “Turn back now or suffer the mighty consequence of sheer, psycho-maniacal mayhem.” Generation-arsonists unite—this is DOOM PATROL, and the God of the Super Heroes is bleeding on the floor.
A blenderized reimagining of the ultimate series of the strange, DOOM PATROL combines elements from classic runs, new directions, and things that could not be. Our entry point is Casey Brinke, a young EMT on the graveyard shift to abstract enlightenment, with a past so odd that she’s not entirely sure what is real and what is not. Along with her partner, Sam Reynolds, the pair blaze a path through the city and its denizens, finding the only quiet that exists at 3am is the chaos of the brain. When the pair answer a hit-and-run call, they find themselves face to face with a familiar figure: Cliff Steele, AKA Robotman.
“It gets weirder from here,” writer Gerard Way had to say about the book, with artist Nick Derington gripping tightly on the wheel of the ambulance. The pair’s only communication? Shouting out of the open windows while at high velocity. Who needs a new roommate? Who names a cat “Lotion”? And when do we get to see all those muscles?
Find your answers inside the pages of this comic book, as we set the stage for new beginnings, as well as the re-introduction of some classic DOOM PATROL characters, including Niles Caulder, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo, and Crazy Jane.
The debut title of DC’s Young Animal line kicks off with a removable sticker on its cover: Pull back the gyro to reveal its secrets, but be warned—there is no turning back.

So can you tell Gerard Way has been hanging out with Grant Morrison?

That epic-length solicitation sounds more like a one-page pitch for the series than anything else, but seeing Way attempt a Morrison pastiche with a Doom Patrol revival should be interesting. I thought his Umbrella Academy miniseries read an awful lot like a cool, 21st-century version of the X-Men, so I'd certainly like to see what he does with X-Men's more aggressively weird doppleganger team of freaks who fight under the direction of a wheelchair-bound professor to protect a world that doesn't much care for them.

I kept the variant cover artists in there because I thought it worth noting the variety of them; there's a mix of oddballs, talented artist you'd expect to see on DCU books and Vertigo alums.

Written by TIM SEELEY
Art and cover by JAVIER FERNANDEZ
“BETTER THAN BATMAN” part 4! At last, Nightwing and Raptor enact their endgame to shut down the Parliament of Owls permanently! But the Parliament has one last card up its sleeves: The Moloch, a giant owl monster whose mission is simple: eviscerate Nightwing and Raptor.
On sale SEPTEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

The Moloch is scary.

That is all.

Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
Can it be? The entire universe threatened by the spectral spirit of Canis Major, the dog star? To get to the bottom of the space-spanning mystery, canine crimebuster Scooby will have to team up with some of DC’s greatest dog heroes, including old friends Krypto and Ace the Bat-Hound, plus G’Nort, Wonder Dog, and the Space Canine Patrol Agency!
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E

Hard to believe it took Sholly Fisch 18 issues to get around to teaming Scooby-Doo up with DC's various superdogs, but, in his defense, he has already had Scooby meet Ace the Bat-Hound and Krypto.

I read the solicitation before I looked at the cover image, so when I saw "Wonder Dog," I thought briefly that it would be Rex, The Wonder Dog, DC Comics' greatest hero and the dog I personally consider the third part of the DC Comics canine Trinity, rather than Marvin and Wendy's canine pal from Super Friends.

And speaking of Rex, The Wonder Dog, where is my The Rex, The Wonder Dog Chronicles collection, DC?

Art and cover by JONBOY MEYERS
Variant cover by EVAN “DOC” SHANER
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
The Teen Titans are farther apart than ever before…until Damian Wayne recruits Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and the new Kid Flash to join him in a fight against his own grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul! But true leadership is more than just calling the shots—is Robin really up to the task? Or will the Teen Titans dismiss this diminutive dictator?
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Swap out the new Kid Flash with Blue Beetle, and this is the exact Teen Titans line-up from the recent direct-to-DVD movie Justice League vs. Teen Titans. I didn't much care for that movie, and the only thing that really sticks with me as particularly worthwhile at this point is Starfire's magical girl transformation sequence.

I'm somewhat curious as to how this particular team will even come together, give the fact that few of these character have any history with one another at all–New 52 Beast Boy and Raven were on the previous Teen Titans team at the same time, and that's it as far as I know–and Starfire is no longer a teen, nor does she know any of these people.

Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
“BETTER TOGETHER” part 1! Together again for the first time! Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The core of the World's Greatest Heroes…but with a new Man of Steel, the bonds these three share will be tested and redefined by super-star writer/artist Francis Manapul. In this premiere issue, see the trio travel from Metropolis to Gotham City and beyond to learn what forces launched their heroic careers. But how will this journey of discovery lead them to a new threat?
On sale SEPTEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Yes. Yes, I am going to go ahead and say with some certainty that this journey of discover will, in fact, lead them to a new threat.

I've got to say, I was a lot more interested in this title before it became clear that the "Rebirth" Superman would be an entirely different Superman than the New 52 one , and is therefore apparently just now meeting and getting to know Batman and Wonder Woman.

Written by KEN PONTAC
Art and cover by LEONARDO MANCO
Our heroes head to the radioactive remains of Las Vegas for a little R&R between races, hoping for a jackpot of ammunition to add to their dwindling supplies. Instead, they arouse the ire of the ganglord Neon Caesar, who’s got an ax to grind with Red. Meanwhile, Muttley and his vehicles are lost in the labyrinthine sewers beneath the streets when the gangs of Vegas unite to eradicate the Racers. Our heroes must go it alone against the combined might of the Caesars, the Pharaohs, the Clowns, and the terrifying Combovers, who have great weapons. Terrific weapons. Really, they have the best weapons.
On sale SEPTEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, 4 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T+

The Combovers, huh? Who have great weapons. Terrific weapons. Gee, I wonder what divisive political figure they might be referring to here?

Of course given the news I've read and heard in the last few days, I wonder if that particular divisive political figure will still be a nominee for president of the United States of America on September 21, given the fact that he apparently raised less money last month than the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter did in 2014.

Perhaps during the July convention, the Republican Party will decide not to nominate the presumptive nominee after all, but instead nominate the Veronica Mars movie. The Veronica Mars movie may lack the experience of the presumptive Democratic nominee, and thus not be the best candidate running for president this year, but I'm certain it would be a better president than the current Republican standard bearer.


1 comment:

collectededitions said...

On Trinity, there seems to be so much excitement that Superman is "back," but it seems a pathway to dullness to me (admittedly without having read the books yet) for Superman's every interaction to be like "This Batman, so different from the one on my world and yet the same," and for everyone else to say "Well, you're not the Superman I know, but I guess I'll trust you," and then for the next umpteen years every Superman origin has to explain how he's the survivor of two dead worlds.

I might be in the minority but I actually liked that the New 52 stripped away some of the legacy aspects, that the Flash's origin was no longer Wally West who became the Flash after his uncle the Flash died, but rather that the origin was the origin -- this guy got struck by lightning, this guy became a cyborg and joined the Justice League, etc. Now there's no way to encapsulate Superman's origin without going back to Convergence if not Flashpoint, which is really roundabout for an origin that used to be as simple as Krypton, Smallville, Metropolis, done.

I'm really eager for this Mr. Oz business to shake out and hopefully establish that Superman is Superman is Superman, because otherwise I feel like we're going to be hearing this "Superman-not-Superman" stuff ad nausem.