Tuesday, September 20, 2016

DC's December previews reviewed

In December, the presidential election will be over for almost an entire month, and depending on who wins, the United States of America should still have the necessary infrastructure and economy to support the publishing of and sale of comic books. If that is the case, then these are the comic books that DC intends to ship to your local comic shop.

And these are some thoughts I had while reading about them...

ALL STAR BATMAN #1 DIRECTOR’S CUT
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Superstar writer Scott Snyder explodes into an all-new Batman series alongside legendary artist John Romita Jr., in this pencils-only DIRECTOR’S CUT of the smash-hit ALL STAR BATMAN #1. Batman must take Two-Face to a destination outside of Gotham City, but the duplicitous villain has a two of spades up his sleeve. Every assassin, bounty hunter and ordinary citizen with something to hide is on their tails with one goal: kill Batman! Handcuffed together on the road to hell, this is Batman and Two-Face as you’ve never seen them before!
On sale DECEMBER 21 • 64 pg, FC, $5.99 US • RATED T

SUICIDE SQUAD #1 DIRECTOR’S CUT
Written by ROB WILLIAMS
Art by JIM LEE and JASON FABOK
Cover by JIM LEE
Superstar artists Jim Lee and Jason Fabok join writer Rob Williams to bring you a new vision of the Suicide Squad in this new pencils-only DIRECTOR’S CUT special! As “The Black Vault” begins, a mysterious cosmic item falls out of the heavens and into enemy hands, and America has only one option: Task Force X, Amanda Waller’s strike team of incarcerated super-criminals. A one-stop-shop for plausibly deniable espionage and ultra-violence, this “Suicide Squad” only handles missions they’re not expected to survive.
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 64 pg, FC, $5.99 US • RATED T+


Just a reminder: Comic books do not actually have directors, nor are they edited in a way at all analogous to films, so the "cut" of the issue in question will be the same "cut" as you read if you purchased the original comic book. These are just process-focused specials. Which, don't get me wrong, can still be fun! I just hate that they refer to them as "Dirctor's Cut" specials. Blah.


AQUAMAN #13
Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by SCOT EATON and WAYNE FAUCHER
Cover by BRAD WALKER and ANDREW HENNESSEY
...
“THE DELUGE” part two! The war between the United States and Atlantis takes a turn for the worse when the U.S. activates its newest weapon to assassinate Aquaman and dismantle his undersea kingdom: the Aquamarines, super-soldiers who have been biologically enhanced to combat the abilities of any Atlantean.
On sale DECEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


I have to confess that I like the name "Aquamarines." I just hope their uniforms are colored appropriately.


DC REBIRTH HOLIDAY SPECIAL #1
Written by PAUL DINI, JAMES TYNION IV, STEVE ORLANDO, VITA AYALA, CULLEN BUNN, TIM SEELEY, JAMES ASMUS, HEATH CORSON, K. PERKINS and others
Art by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ, GUSTAVO DUARTE and others
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
DC’s biggest and brightest heroes celebrate the holidays in this new special! Don’t miss a Chanukah crisis for Batwoman, a Flash family Christmas, Wonder Woman interrupting John Constantine’s hellblazing pagan party and more—including the return of Detective Chimp! Today’s top talents bring you a very special holiday gift that’ll keep on giving through the New Year! And writer Paul Dini crafts a Harley holiday tale featuring DCU guests that bridges all the stories in the weirdest, wildest way.
ONE-SHOT • On sale DECEMBER 14 • 96 pg, FC, $9.99 US • RATED


I'm a big fan of holiday specials, so I hope this one's good. It seems like a pretty good roster of writers, and I like the two artists they named, but, um, I'm not so sure about "and others" just yet.

Nguyen's cover is nicely rendered and designed and all, but it's awfully dull, and looks more like something that DC might use for their company Christmas card than the cover of a big, fat, holiday anthology full of their superheroes.


THE HELLBLAZER #5
Written by SIMON OLIVER
Art by PIA GUERRA
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
...
“The Poison Truth” part five! John’s gotten the djinn off his back, at least for the moment. Now he needs Mercury. As they leave English shores behind, it’s time for a heart-to-heart as Mercury tells John what happened to her while Swamp Thing was battling the Rot.
On sale DECEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+


Pia Guerra alert! Pia Guerra alert!

Pia Guerra draws this issue.

That is all.


JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #1
Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
Art and cover by JASON FABOK
...
The first major event storyline of DC’s Rebirth era begins with a day Amanda Waller always knew would come: the Justice League discovers the existence of the Suicide Squad! This government-sponsored black-ops team of super-villains with bombs implanted in their brains is obviously a deal-breaker for Earth’s paragons of truth and justice! But you can bet that the Wall and her Task Force X won’t go down without the fight to end all fights as this weekly series gets underway!
On sale DECEMBER 21 • 40 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $4.99 US • RATED T


Wait, does that make "Night of The Monster Men" a minor event storyline...?

I was a little surprised to read the solicit copy, as I was pretty sure that the League was already well aware of the Suicide Squad's existence. Batman seems to know anything, and in a recent issue of Batman he was meeting with Amanda Waller about collaborating on some sort of suicide mission. And we've seen the Squad attack Wonder Woman and (the other, now dead) Superman. So I just sort of assumed the post-Flashpoint Task Force X wasn't a big secret.


MIDNIGHTER AND APOLLO #3
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by FERNANDO BLANCO
Cover by ACO
With Henry Bendix’s trap sprung, it’ll be a long road for Midnighter to be reunited with Apollo—and the path will take him straight through the gates of Hell itself!
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, 3 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T+


Wow, ACO drew the fuck out of that door. That's a pretty great cover image. It's a shame that a logo and credits are gonna cover any of it up at all.

This series, by the way, appears to be the only current remnant of the WildStorm universe merging with the DCU and the "Vertigo Universe" at the climax of Flashpoint.


NIGHTWING #10
Written by TIM SEELEY
Art and cover by MARCUS TO
...
“BLUDHAVEN” part one! Following “Night of the Monster Men” and his battle with Raptor, Nightwing heads to Blüdhaven for a fresh start. But that doesn’t last long when he runs into a crew of former Bat-villains!
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Hey everyone, please enjoy this drawing of Dick Grayson's butt.

...

...Is this the first time Bludhaven's been mentioned since the reboot? I don't recall it being mentioned at all since, and, in fact, when Nightwing left Gotham to strike out on his own during the previous volume of this book, he moved to Chicago rather than Bludhaven.


SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #21
Written by SHOLLY FISCH
Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
It’s hard enough for Scooby and the gang to crack the mystery of a Dickensian Yuletide ghost…but it’s harder with “help” from Mystery, Inc.’s newest member: Harley Quinn! Harley’s decided to try a new career as a ghost-busting detective—and when she swings that giant mallet, nobody’s going to tell her “no.” But the gang doesn’t suspect the real reason for Harley’s relocation: She’s on the run after a “lover’s spat” with The Joker—and Mistah J wants her back!
On sale DECEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E


In another measure of just how popular Harley Quinn has become, other than Batman, she's the only DC hero to star in more than one issue of Scooby-Doo Team-Up.



Note the icon on Art Baltazar's version of The Composite Superman on the cover of his Super Powers #2. It's...not his original chest icon.


SUPERGIRL: BEING SUPER #1
Written by MARIKO TAMAKI
Art and cover by JOELLE JONES
Flying and crushing coal into diamonds may come easy, but try popping a Kryptonian zit! Caldecott Honor-winning and Eisner Award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer) teams with Eisner Award-nominated artist Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer) for a coming-of-age tale like you’ve never seen before. But while growing pains shake up Kara’s world, a deadly earthquake rocks the small town of Midvale beneath her feet! The Girl of Steel has a choice: let her world die, or overcome her adolescent insecurities and be super!
PRESTIGE FORMAT • On sale DECEMBER 28 • 48 pg, FC, 1 of 4, $5.99 US • RATED T


This is a book that would have been great to have on the shelf last fall, but should eventually do gangbusters in trade in certain pieces of the market (libraries certainly, I would imagine). Given that it seems so primed to succeed in the YA book market, it's interesting to see that DC is serializing it, and as an old-school, "prestige format" miniseries at that.

It's difficult to know for sure based on what little we have to go on here, but it certainly sounds like this will be a standalone Supergirl comic, and not part of the "real" DC Universe, which will either end up being too bad or a good thing, depending on the quality of the series. Given the talent involved, I'm assuming it will be a pretty good comic book, and thus it will be too bad if it is in its own little discrete continuiti-verse instead of being the "real" origin story of the "real" Supergirl....


TEEN TITANS #3
Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art and cover by JONBOY MEYERS
...
“DAMIAN KNOWS BEST” part three! After Ra’s al Ghul and the Demon land a devastating blow against the Teen Titans, the team is forced to regroup. Facing an enemy that knows them better than they know themselves, what chance does this young team have? And how can they trust Damian after everything he’s put them through?
On sale DECEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Huh. When they say "the Demon," I assume they mean the Demon Etrigan...? And that makes me wonder, have Ra's al Ghul, the so-called demon's head, ever teamed or met Etrigan, the demon-with-a-capital-D...? It seems like a rather obvious pairing, particularly given the fact that Ra's and Jason Blood are immortal and therefore likely to have crossed paths repeatedly, but I've never read a story featuring the two of them, nor can I think of ever having heard of one.

4 comments:

londonkds said...

There's the DC Animated Universe-continuity story from The Batman Adventures Annual #2, which has Batman, Jason Blood and Etrigan fighting R'as over an evil magic spell.

Michael Hoskin said...

>Just a reminder: COmic books do not actually have directors, nor are they edited in a way at all analogous to films

Film-envy is a long-standing tradition in comics re: "widescreen" "season" "executive producer"

Evan Dawson-Baglien said...

I think that a "major crossover" probably involves characters from multiple "families," like the JLA and Suicide Squad, while a "minor crossover" involves characters from only one family, the "Bat Family" in the case of "Night of the Monster Men."

So Crisis, Civil War, Blackest Night, and Secret Wars are major crossovers. Sinestro Corps War, Spiderverse, No Man's Land, and X-Tinction Agenda are minor crossovers.

TV Tropes calls major crossover "Crisis Crossovers" and minor crossovers "Bat Family Crossovers."

Watsonian said...

It's the first major crossover because it is its own book, rather than it happening in already existing books