Thursday, October 19, 2017

DC's January previews reviewed--The search for more Alan Moore characters to use continues!

Ugh. These guys.

Well, I managed to get all the way into the T's in the list of the books DC Comics are planning to publish in January of next year before feeling a weird mix of disappointment, anger, irritation, nausea and confusion...

AQUAMAN BY PETER DAVID BOOK ONE TP
Written by PETER DAVID
Art by KIRK JARVINEN, BRAD VANCATA, MARTIN EGELAND and others
Cover by MARTIN EGELAND and BRAD VANCATA
Peter David’s classic run on Aquaman begins in this volume collecting AQUAMAN: TIME AND TIDE #1-4 and AQUAMAN #0-8.
From his abandonment on a reef to his upbringing by a dolphin to his first encounter with surface dwellers, these tales chronicle the origin and ascension of the mythic figure known as Aquaman.
On sale FEBRUARY 7 • 320 pg, FC, $29.99 US • ISBN: 978-1-4012-7746-8


This is the book that made me a fan of Aquaman, with a little help from Grant Morrison, Howard Porter and John Dell's JLA run, which made him the grumpy bad-ass of the group. I have all of these issues in singles, but that doesn't mean I won't reread this in trade format early next year. I'm actually kind of curious how the art holds up. I really liked Martin Egeland's art at the time--hew drew that cover, for example--but it's pretty of-its-time. He's another artist of that era whose exact whereabouts I'm curious of, as I haven't seen the name in any credits in a long, long, long time.

Just quickly reviewing the character's origins, as summarized in the solicit copy, reminded me that Geoff Johns reversed just about everything about the post-Crisis Aquaman that emerged in this series. Oddly enough, it's this bearded, long-haired, often semi-shirtless Aquaman that seems to have most informed the upcoming Justice League movie's conception of the character, rather than the more clean-cut, Silver Age version that appeared in Johns' own Justice League, Aquaman and Brightest Day comics.


BATMAN #39
Written by TOM KING
Art by JOELLE JONES
Cover by JOELLE JONES
...
“SUPERFRIENDS” finale! Since the beginning, the friendship between Batman and Wonder Woman has stood at the heart of the DC Universe. Now that friendship is coming apart, and as it does the universe itself begins to crumble. Don’t miss the conclusion of Batman’s epic team-up with Wonder Woman!
On sale JANUARY 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Has it...? I mean, any way you define "DC Universe" and "the beginning," that doesn't really seem to be the case, does it...?


BATWOMAN #11
Written by K. PERKINS
Art by SCOTT GODLEWSKI
Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
...
“PYGSTY”! It’s the New Year, and Professor Pyg needs new Dollotrons for his latest artistic endeavor. As Batwoman tries to put her personal demons to bed, she must stop the madman from carving out his sick intentions.
On sale JANUARY 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+


Say, that's not how you spell "Marguerite Bennett"...! Is this a fill-in, or is Bennett no longer writing Batwoman...?

Also, the Bat-family needs to start making their own villains. I feel like I just saw Professor Pyg menacing Nightwing and Robin in the pages of the former's book, like, an arc and a half ago...


BOMBSHELLS UNITED #9
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by SIYA OUM
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
Talia’s tour of the labyrinth has led Batwoman and Renee to a shock: the Cheetah reached the Lazarus Pits before they did! Now that revenge is at hand, can Renee and Kate find peace within their hearts instead?
On sale JANUARY 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

BOMBSHELLS UNITED #10
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by MIRKA ANDOLFO
Cover by TERRY DODSON and RACHEL DODSON
Before anyone can come to terms with what their enemy has revealed, the team and their temporary allies must cheat death by finding a way through the collapsing maze.
On sale JANUARY 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST


At least Bennett is still writing the better of the two Batwomen currently appearing in DC Comics. It looks like my dream of a one-artist-per-arc version of Bombshells is really and truly dashed, however...

That's a pretty nice drawing of a minotaur.


DOOMSDAY CLOCK #3
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by GARY FRANK
...
The story takes a turn in the third chapter of this 12-issue series you never thought you’d see, from writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank.
On sale JANUARY 24 • 32 pg, FC, 3 of 12, $4.99 US • RATED T+


Still gross.


BATMAN AND THE SIGNAL #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER and TONY PATRICK
Art and cover by CULLY HAMNER
...
Batman may own the night, but with new villains emerging during the day, he needs an ally to defend the city when he can’t. Only one teen is up to the challenge; Duke Thomas. After months of training, he’s ready to step out of the shadow of the Bat to become his own kind of hero. Meet Gotham City’s newest protector: the Signal! Spinning out of adventures in ALL-STAR BATMAN and WE ARE ROBIN, comics superstar Scott Snyder and newcomer Tony Patrick take our young hero to new heights in this exciting miniseries with artwork by Cully Hamner.
RESOLICIT • On sale JANUARY 3 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 3, $3.99 US • RATED T+


As much as I hate that codename, I do really like Duke's weapon...


DARK KNIGHTS RISING: THE WILD HUNT #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER, JAMES TYNION IV and JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
Art by DOUG MAHNKE, IVAN REIS and others
Cover by DOUG MAHNKE
Continued from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL! The Dark Knights ride through the farthest reaches of the Multiverse to track down the unlikeliest of teams: The Flash, Cyborg, Raven and Detective Chimp. The mission: keep these heroes from completing their desperate quest to save all of existence! Plus, Challengers’ Mountain crackles with dark energy that will release an army of the world’s worst nightmares into the streets of Gotham City!
This one-shot also answers the question: Where are the Metal Men? And who is the latest addition to the team?
ADVANCE SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT • On sale FEBRUARY 14 • 40 pg, FC, $4.99 US • FOIL-STAMPED COVER • RATED T+


Not sure who these "others" will end up being, but the so-called Dark Knights should really be right up Doug Mahnke's particular aesthetic alley. As for the "latest addition" to the Metal Men, I'm hoping/assuming it is one made of Nth Metal, which is actually something I was wondering aloud about on Twitter not too long after Metal first kicked off...


DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: DATE WITH DISASTER TP
Written by SHEA FONTANA
Art and cover by YANCEY LABAT
From the highly successful DC SUPER HERO GIRLS line of original graphic novels comes the latest title, starring Batgirl!
Catwoman is out on the prowl one night when kaboom! An explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs rouses the heroes from their slumber. Star students Batgirl and Lois Lane both know the lab incident is fishy, and they meet later to share clues. But nothing could’ve prepared Batgirl for what they see next: Batgirl’s dad out on a date! Batgirl is grossed out until her friends convince her that dads get lonely, too. And with the school dance coming up and everyone pairing off—heck, even Principal Waller has a date with a guy called Deadshot—maybe it’ll be okay. The girls place a personal ad for Commissioner Gordon while they delve deeper into the mystery surrounding the explosion, but they’re about to discover more than who is behind the attack on S.T.A.R. Labs. Could it be that posting an ad looking for dates for the commissioner is like advertising catnip for criminals?
On sale JANUARY 31 • 128 pg, FC, 6” x 9”, $9.99 US • ISBN: 978-1-4012-7878-6


It probably says as much about me as it does DC that I find the idea of Barbara Gordon and her friends helping Commissioner James Gordon go on dates to be the most exciting plot point in this month's round of solicitations...


THE FLASH ANNUAL #1
Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
Art by CHRISTIAN DUCE
Cover by HOWARD PORTER
“FLASH WAR” prelude! The biggest Flash story of 2018 starts here, with a special story starring the classic Wally West, who’s conflicted over whether to let Iris West know he is alive—and he’ll need the help of the Flash to figure out what to do! But when Magenta, Wally’s old love, needs his help, the Flash returns home to Keystone City where he is confronted with violent memories of an unknown world…A major turning point for the Flash family that sets the path for earth shattering stories in 2018!
On sale JANUARY 31 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T


I don't know Wally; all three are pretty good costumes...


GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #8
Written by COLLIN KELLY and JACKSON LANZING
Art by COLLEEN DORAN and ERYK DONOVAN
Cover by TULA LOTAY
Diana takes Kara on a trip. Literally and figuratively.
On sale JANUARY 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+ • DIGITAL FIRST


Colleen Doran!

So, have any of you been reading this series...? Any good...?



INJUSTICE 2 #17
Written by TOM TAYLOR
Art by BRUNO REDONDO and JUAN ALBARRAN
Cover by BRUNO REDONDO
Harley Quinn and Lucy pay a visit to Harley’s sister, leading to an encounter between Harley and Poison Ivy. Plus, tensions grow between Gorilla Grodd and Solovar over Ra’s al Ghul’s plans. Meanwhile, Professor Ivo unleashes his weapon of mass destruction: Amazo!
On sale JANUARY 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

Ha, when I first saw that cover I thought, "Hey, it's the real Plastic Man!" And then I scrolled down and saw which book he was appearing in.

Is it weird that the Plas from some alternate-dimension type comic set in a dark, violent, fallen version of the DC Universe looks more like the real Plas than the one who is appearing in the real DC Universe, in the pages of The Terrifics...?


JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #22
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by NEIL EDWARDS and DANIEL HENRIQUES
Cover by TERRY DODSON and RACHEL DODSON
...
“QUEEN OF FABLES” part one! The Might Beyond the Mirror, the great threat that Batman assembled the Justice League of America to stop, has finally arrived in the form of the Queen of Fables. With her reality-warping power, her intent is to take over the real world and the imaginary and rule over everything—and without Batman, does the Justice League stand a chance against her? Or will reality crumble at the Queen’s whim?
On sale JANUARY 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Orlando continues to recycle 1990s League villains. This time, it's Mark Waid, Bryan Hitch and company's Queen of Fables. Oh wait! I just checked. The Queen debuted in 2000, not the 1990s, making her something of an outlier among the characters appearing in Orlando's JLoA book.


NEW SUPER-MAN #19
Written by MARIKO TAMAKI
Art by BRENT PEEPLES and RICHARD FRIEND
Cover by PHILIP TAN
Variant cover by BERNARD CHANG
“A Day in the Life”! The New Super-Man and Justice League of China changed the metahuman landscape of China forever, and Laney Lan has reported on their heroics since day one. But there’s more to Shanghai’s ace reporter than meets the eye, and when faced with turmoil in her own family, Laney’s commitment to reporting the truth will be tested like never before.
On sale JANUARY 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Hmm...someone who is not Gene Luen Yang is writing Gene Luen Yang's New Super-Man...

Tamaki's got a pretty good track record, at least when it comes to original graphic novels. The only bit of her super-comics work I've read was the first issue of Supergirl: Being Super, which I didn't care for all that much.



NIGHTWING: NEW ORDER #6
Written by KYLE HIGGINS
Art and cover by TREVOR McCARTHY
It all ends here! As Lex Luthor feverishly attempts to repower Superman, the Crusaders are closing in on the Resistance, aiming to shut them down for good! Meanwhile, Nightwing makes a deal with the devil in an attempt to save his son’s life…and it may cost him everything.
On sale JANUARY 24 • 32 pg, FC, 6 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T+

Nothing about this weird-looking Elseworlds miniseries has intrigued me to date...until I saw this cover, which, if nothing else, features a whole bunch of super-characters rarely seen these days, including a version of Martian Manhunter, some of the JSA and...Black Vulcan? Huh.


SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #34
Written by SHOLLY FISCH • Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
Batgirl, Black Canary and their teammates call themselves “Birds of Prey,” but they may become prey themselves when Gotham City’s besieged by mythical birds. Still, they might be able to unravel the mystery with the help of the two newest Birds of Prey team members: Daphne and Velma!
On sale JANUARY 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E

Weird that Brizuela drew Batgirl Barbara Gordon and Black Canary in their original costumes, while putting Huntress in her relatively short-lived, Jim Lee-designed one from the pages of "Hush"...


SIDEWAYS #1
Written by DAN DiDIO and JUSTIN JORDAN
Art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
During the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, high school junior Derek James accidentally fell through a rift into the dark matter dimension! Now, as Sideways, he can create rifts in midair to leap through dimensions at will! But with that much power comes great liability—and cracks are starting to form in the fabric of the space-time continuum…
On sale JANUARY 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • FOLDOUT COVER • RATED T+

Spider-Man, is that you...?

Well, this is co-written by DiDio, so you can start your cancellation countdown now. I'm going to bet on...eight issues.


SUPERGIRL #17
Written by STEVE ORLANDO and JODY HOUSER
Art and cover by ROBSON ROCHA and DANIEL HENRIQUES
...
“PLAIN SIGHT” part three! While Kara’s worried about whether Ben Rubel will ask her or rival Belinda Zee to the National City Tech High School dance, Director Bones from the D.E.O. figures out what high school Supergirl attends and crashes the annual party. Will the danger and destruction be enough to finally force Kara to reveal her super-heroic secret I.D.?
On sale JANUARY 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Do the Kryptonian equivalent of pigs bleed green...?



SUPERWOMAN #18
Written by K. PERKINS
Art by STEPHEN SEGOVIA and ART THIBERT
Cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
Variant cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
“THE MIDNIGHT HOUR” finale! A day in the life of Superwoman…but someone else is in the driver’s seat! Will Superwoman manage to break her mind free from Midnight’s digital grasp and dispel her twisted protocol once and for all?
On sale JANUARY 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • FINAL ISSUE

This lasted much, much longer than I would have expected.


SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1
Written by TOM KING
Art and cover by JASON FABOK
Bonus story written by LEN WEIN
Bonus story art by KELLEY JONES
Tom King and Jason Fabok pay tribute to the legendary creators of Swamp Thing, writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, as they join forces for an earth-shattering Swamp Thing passion project!
In this new, squarebound one-shot, Swamp Thing is out of his element as he shepherds a lost boy through a blinding blizzard and other hazards of a strange, frozen tundra. In this touching and harrowing tale of survival, the pair must navigate countless threats throughout a bewildering terrain—with a bloodthirsty snow monster hot on their heels. But how long can they rely on each other? Separated from the Green and stripped of his powers in this dead world, Swamp Thing struggles to fight for their lives and deliver the boy to safety. Disoriented and decaying, Swamp Thing’s fading understanding of his surroundings forces the duo to confront their desperation and uncover the true identity of the snow monster that hunts them.
In addition, this special features the final Swamp Thing story from the monster’s co-creator, Len Wein. Originally intended as the start of a new series, it is presented here both in its original script form and with art by Kelley Jones.
ONE-SHOT • On sale JANUARY 31 • 80 pg, FC, $7.99 US • RATED T

I'll be buying this for the Jones art, which I am pretty sure will put me in the minority of people who will pick this book up.



THE TERRIFICS #1
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
Cover by IVAN REIS
Bound together by fate, united by the spirit of exploration and hope for tomorrow, the Terrifics are bound from the Dark Multiverse of Metal! When Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl find themselves literally bound together by a tragic accident, our team of unlikely allies must rely on one another to make their way back home. But a startling revelation on their return trip brings them face to face with a new mystery: Where in the universe is Tom Strong?
Advance solicited • On sale FEBRUARY 7 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US • FOLDOUT COVER • RATED T+

Tom Strong? Tom Strong?! What the fuck--? I just sort of assumed that this book that designed to tweak Marvel Comics, given how Fantastic Four-ish it is (in the solicitation copy as well as the appearance, powers and name of the group), but apparently the real target is to further irritate Alan Moore? I just assumed the dumb Justice League vs. Watchmen series would be the climax of DC's trolling of Alan Moore, but apparently they're going to circle back to strip mine whatever they can from the writer's short-lived America's Best Comics imprint too.

This is extremely disappointing, as I was kinda looking forward to checking this book out, and I'm extremely disappointed in Lemire, who is an accomplished enough a creator who seems like he's able to work for Marvel and DC more for fun than out of necessity.

Legality, which some Internet  a-hole always wants to argue about whenever someone said "Hey, it's not cool the way DC keeps using Watchmen"  aside, it's just a straight-up dick move to do something you know a fellow comics creator has asked you repeatedly and loudly not to do.

I don't care what the rationale is. If you're working on a Watchmen comic book and/or one with Moore's ABC creations--and WildStorm and DC's shenanigans regarding ABC is a whole thing--you're a jerk, and I don't see any other way around that reading.

The tragic thing here is that there's no reason to throw in Tom Strong. This book already had a weird, compelling hook, an interesting cast and some talented, well-regarded and popular-ish creators working on it. It doesn't need to parade around an Alan Moore character against Moore's will, but that, apparently, is just where DC's head is these days. For some reason.

7 comments:

Axle Steele said...

DCs treatment of Alan Moore is garbage, and thd fact DC has to 40 years later structure a line wide crossover out of the one book, where they managed to trick a decent creative team into working for them is exactly why I don't buy their crap anymore.

Daniel Von Egidy said...

I just don't see Tom Strong in the same light as Watchmen, it's kept going in different iterations after more mostly by Chris Sprouse. Then again I don't necessarily agree with Moore who has complained about a publisher keeping his book in print to sell to people who want to buy it. Y'know, that thing most working writers want in their careers. Paul Levitz did his damndest to keep Watchmen its own thing for the entire time he was the publisher and all Moore did was grouse. Moore's own history of selfishness to his collaborators does him no favors. How long are you supposed to try to satiate an impossible to please man before you just say fuck it?

Daniel Von Egidy said...

I find Watchmen spin-offs stupid, I don't want to buy them, but not offensive.

Caleb said...

Daniel,

I don't think Tom Strong (and the other ABC characters) are quite the same as the Watchmen characters in terms of culture cache/years of bitter feuding, even though there is that whole shady thing regarding the way in which DC came to have control over ABC (as most of you probably know, they bought WildStorm after Moore began creating the ABC line for WildStorm, and there were a lot of pains taken to try to keep him happy and working on the characters without having to work directly for DC, since he didn't want to work for DC at all...that is, after all, why he was working with WildStorm, and not DC Comics there).

I know there have been later, post-Moore Tom Strong series, and that's fine as it goes, especially if co-creator Sprouse is involved. But in this particular context, when DC tested the waters with those dumb Watchmen spin-offs, and then decided to just do a Watchmen Vs. Justice League crisis comic, well, that makes their usage of a decidedly more minor Moore co-creation in a completely random DCU book seem ickier than it would otherwise (or if this was just another Tom Strong miniseries w/ no crossover component).

Daniel Von Egidy said...

Are you gonna turn down The Terrifics because of this or just wait until Strong is out of the book?

Jose Gregorio Bencomo Gomez said...

I just don't get why Moore didn't make the ABC characters completely creator-owned from the start. Much smaller creators with a lot less weight to pull around, and who had far less experience, have done just that successfully for decades now, so I doubt he couldn't have done it from the start if he'd wanted to, and then we wouldn't be having this conversation at all.

With Watchmen there's the thing the characters were supposed to be originally DC legally adquired characters in the first place, further muddling the waters up. Come to think about it, from all Moore grouches on lack of originality in the medium and people riffing his ideas off, pretty much everything he's done has been either a franchise work or a derivative of something someone else has written (or based in pre-existing real life, if we're talking about From Hell). And I highly doubt Lewis Carrol et all would have been happy with his Lost Girls, or that Lovecraft would have been fond of Neonomicon, or that Rowling would like the destructive criticism of the Potter franchise (where I'm sure Moore would have kept the original names had he been able of).

Thomas said...

Up through last week's installment, Gotham City Garage has been a fun, recommended Elseworlds. Elements of dystopia, Mad Max vehicular chases, and a heist of Luthor's supercomputers, with super-cameos left and right.