Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DC's June previews reviewed

Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung relaunch Justice League, and it looks like it might be good! Brian Michael Bendis' run on the Superman franchise begins!There's a new round of Hanna-Barbera/DCU crossovers, and they look much better than the first round! There's actually quite a bit exciting stuff in DC's solicitations for the comics they plan to publish in June...or May through July, I guess I should say, as some of these are "retro-solicited" and others "advanced solicited."

Anyway, here's some of what we can look forward to, three months hence...


AQUAMAN/JABBERJAW SPECIAL #1
Written by DAN ABNETT • Art and cover by PAUL PELLETIER and ANDREW HENNESSY
Backup story written by JEFF PARKER • Backup story art by SCOTT KOLINS •
...
When the town of Amnesty Island is besieged by a series of shark attacks, authorities call Aquaman for help! What’s unusual about this case is that the shark isn’t trying to kill people—he just wants to talk to them. The very confused Jabberjaw needs to get back to Aqualand, the future undersea utopia where he came from. But that peaceful city where man and sentient sea life have been living in harmony has been turned into a dystopian nightmare created by a new Ocean Master. Now the King of Atlantis and his friendly shark ally have to team up to set things right. Also includes a Captain Caveman meets the wizard Shazam in a short story by Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins.
RETRO-SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT • On sale MAY 30 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T


Well hell, this one practically writes itself, doesn't it? I actually rather like Jabberjaw, which is one of the weirder of the many, many riffs on the basic Scooby-Doo formula that Hanna-Barbera experimented with. I'm also a big fan of Paul Pelletier's artwork, although since most of these seem to involve translating the simpler, more dynamic old school cartoon designs into busier, more realistic DCU house style designs, I'm not sure how well Jabberjaw and the will look in the book itself. The glimpse on the cover isn't too terribly promising; I do hope Jabber's human bandmates play a decent-sized role in the story.

I'm also pretty excited about the back-up. As you all know, I'm a fan of the original Captain Marvel. As you likely don't know, I'm also a fan of Captain Caveman and The Teen Angels. Futurequest, which weaved together many of Hanna-Barbera's superhero and adventure characters together into one, big, epic storyline was fine and all, but I'd much rather see a series weaving together the studio's many crime-solving teenagers-and-their-mascots into a single story.


BATMAN: THRILLKILLER TP NEW EDITION
Written by HOWARD CHAYKIN
Art and cover by DAN BRERETON
Back in print at last! It’s 1961: a world of jazz and smoky cafes, Italian suits and skinny ties, beatniks and bohemians. In Gotham City, two thrill-crazed youths calling themselves Batgirl and Robin are making headlines. But when Dick’s family is murdered, mere mischief becomes serious business as Batgirl and Robin arm themselves and set out to get justice. At it’s up to Detective Bruce Wayne to stop the young thrill-seekers and solve the mystery of the Grayson murders. Collects THRILLKILLER #1-3 and THRILLKILLER ’62 #1. Includes a new introduction by Howard Chaykin and never-before-published art by Dan Brereton.
On sale JULY 4 • 144 pg, FC, $19.99 US
ISBN: 978-1-4012-8074-1


I'm afraid I don't remember much about the story, although I do recall liking these comics, and, in particular, Dan Brereton's art. That guy is the best. It seems far too long since I've seen something he's drawn and/or painted on the racks of a comic shop...


BLACK LIGHTNING/HONG KONG PHOOEY SPECIAL #1
Written by BRYAN HILL • Art and cover by DENYS COWAN and BILL SIENKIEWICZ
Backup story written by JEFF PARKER • Backup story art by SCOTT KOLINS •
...
Back from Viet Nam, kung fu master Hong Kong Phooey has set up his own detective agency in the inner city. Meanwhile, Jefferson Pierce (a.k.a. Black Lightning) has uncovered a plot by three assassins to collect the components of a sacred text revealing the darkest secrets of Martial Arts magic, and they’ll kill anyone who owns them—including the dog who holds the last chapter of the book, Hong Kong Phooey. Plus, a tale of the Funky Phantom as he goes toe-to-toe with the Spectre in a tale by Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins.
RETRO-SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT • On sale MAY 30 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T

This isn't a pairing I would have imagined--it's certainly not as obvious a one as the Aquaman/Jabberjaw--but it actually makes a lot of sense, as a 1970s-era, blaxploitation/kung-fu movie kind of thing. I'm not sure that's what they're going for, exactly, but the cover seems to indicate that--particularly with Jefferson wearing his original, "first appearance" costume. God, I hope that afro is detachable...!

The Funky Phantom/Spectre pairing sounds pretty promising, too; hopefully Kolins draws an old-school Spectre, and not the weird-looking New 52 version.


THE DC UNIVERSE BY MIKE MIGNOLA TP
Written by NEIL GAIMAN, JOHN BYRNE, PAUL KUPPERBERG, ROGER STERN, JERRY ORDWAY and GEORGE PEREZ
Art by MIKE MIGNOLA and others
Cover by MIKE MIGNOLA
This new title collects Mike Mignola’s work on comics including SUPERMAN: THE WORLD OF KRYPTON #1-4, ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #2, SUPERMAN #18 and #23, BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #54, BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #36, SWAMP THING ANNUAL #5, PHANTOM STRANGER #1-4 and more! Also collects dozens of covers by Mignola!
On sale JULY 25 • 400 pg, FC, $19.99 US
ISBN: 978-1-4012-6888-6


So DC has a collection of shorter works by Alan Moore and another collecting shorter works by Neil Gaiman, both using the "The DC Universe By..." titling convention. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time they have had a "DC Universe By..." book devoted to shorter works of an artist (although considering there's a four-issue miniseries in there, I don't know if you can consider these all shorter works, but probably shorter than, say, Cosmic Odyssey). I'm not familiar with a lot of the particular stories here--except the LDK story and the Phantom Stranger mini--but this sounds like a pretty interesting book. I'm particularly happy about the "dozens of covers" bit, as I suspect there are an awful lot of those in Mignola's work for the publisher.

I wonder if this one, which I just re-encountered in the pages of Aquaman By Peter David Book One, will be included...?
I love that picture so much. In large part because it's Mike Mignola drawing nineties Aquaman, in larger part because I like the contrast in how natural Mignola-drawing-Kirby designs looks compared to Mignola-drawing-Whoever-Designed-That-Aquaman-Look and, in largest part, because I like that Aquaman looks like a rectangle, with limbs drawn in the corners, a head plopped on top, and then everything rendered expertly. Like, it looks like the basic design of a very little child, but with the drafting skills of a brilliant adult artist.


DETECTIVE COMICS #982
Written by BRYAN HILL • Art by MIGUEL MENDONÇA • Cover by EDDY BARROWS
...
“On The Outside” part one! Duke Thomas. Cassandra Cain. They and other young heroes don’t intend to stand down, no matter what Batman thinks is best. Who can Batman trust to guide them? They need a teacher…and Black Lightning fits the bill!
On sale JUNE 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

DETECTIVE COMICS #983
Written by BRYAN HILL • Art by MIGUEL MENDONÇA • Cover by EDDY BARROWS
...
“On The Outside” part two! Batman wanted Black Lightning involved in the lives of his protégés—but how involved was the Dark Knight thinking? What kind of missions will Jefferson Pierce take them on? And what, exactly, is he whispering in their ears about Batman himself?
On sale JUNE 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Hey, remember when I predicted that Brian Michael Bendis would take over 'Tec, if not the whole Batman line, upon arriving at DC? Boy was I wrong! Bendis instead took over DC's flagship--but secondary, in terms of sales--franchise, and 'Tec went to...some guy named Bryan Hill. Well, whatever; readers will show up for the Batman, not whoever the writer is.

This solicits sounds...odd. It seems like Hill may be continuing with outgoing writer James Tynion's concept, of the title being devoted to a team consisting of Batman's many, many sidekicks all being trained by trustworthy adults. At least in part. Like, one of those sidekicks is explicitly mentioned, Cassandra Cain, aka "Orphan." The other, Duke Thomas, aka "The Signal," hasn't been involved in 'Tec or with that squad, but, as per Scott Snyder, Tynion and company, was being taken under Batman's wing to be trained personally by him. That seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit--the last time I saw Duke was in Batman and The Signal--and here it looks like Batman is trying to pawn off his two newest, worst code-named sidekicks on another hero to train.

Black Lightning seems like a pretty logical choice, given his long, long history with Batman on The Outsider and then the Justice League, and the fact that his day job is a teacher, and the fact that he has two daughters who are also metahumans...Oh, but wait. That's PRE-Flashpoint Black Lightning I'm thinking of. This is post-Flashpoint Black Lighting, from the continuity in which there never was a Batman and The Outsiders and Black Lightning was never on the Justice League, but he helped them fight Atlanteans that one time. I suppose the pair may have met during that get-together, or on the Satellite once or twice, but I'm hard-pressed to remember them even having, like, a conversation (That said, the retcon-iriffic Metal does mention Black Lightning being part of a secret squad of heroes Batman works with, so whatever).

Well, whatever goes on in this next run of Detective Comics, I hope the first order of business if for B.L. to give Duke and Cassie new codenames, because The Signal and Orphan are the worst.


THE FLASH/SPEED BUGGY SPECIAL #1
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL • Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
...
When Wally West tries to take down Kilg%re, he’s stunned to find he has an unknown ally who can move just as fast as he can. Dr. Pernell, a brilliant S.T.A.R. Labs scientist, has found a way to power his buggy using the Speed Force. When The Flash agrees to help test the limits of the vehicle in a race, something sends them spiraling out of the Speed Force and into the unknown. They land in a post-apocalyptic future, but Dr. Pernell is gone, leaving only the buggy, which is now sentient. Together with his new anthropomorphic ally, The Flash must find a way to repair the time stream and stop the triple threat of Savitar, Speed Demon Buggy and…Reverse Speed Buggy!
RETRO-SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT • On sale MAY 30 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T


Good God, what is with Brett Booth and this "Pizza Fish" thing he works into, like, every image...?

I think this is a pretty swell pairing--although it's curious they're using the current iteration of Wally West as opposed to The Flash who looks like what one imagines The Flash looks like when they hear the words "The Flash." It's also curious that this Speed Buggy doesn't sound like the Speed Buggy, at least according to the few sentences of solicitation copy above, but I suppose we'll see. I dislike the work of the writer and the artists, though, so my hope for this one is to be able to read the whole thing from start to finish, not necessarily that it turns out to be a really good comic or anything.


HAWKMAN #1
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI • Art and cover by BRYAN HITCH •
...
Spinning out of the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Carter Hall returns to the DC Universe! An explorer of the ancient and unknown, Hawkman finds himself embroiled in a long-standing mission to discover the true purpose of his many reincarnations. Carter races around the globe trying to piece together an ancient prophecy, but will he be able to face down his past lives lurking around every corner?
On sale JUNE 13 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T


I suppose it was inevitable after Hawkman's rather prominent role in the set-up of Metal, although given how...troubled the character has been pretty much ever since the Geoff Johns and Rags Morales-launched ongoing ended, well, good luck, guys!


THE IMMORTAL MEN #3
Written by JAMES TYNION IV • Art by RYAN BENJAMIN and RICHARD FRIEND • Cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
“THE END OF FOREVER” part three! The Immortal Men have risked everything to save the otherwise unremarkable teenager Caden Park. But neither Caden nor the immortal heroes who saved him know the crucial role he’s predicted to play in the upcoming war between the Immortal Men. So when the hero Reload falls into the horrifying hands of the Bloodless, Caden Park must learn the Secret History of the DC Universe, and the truth behind his family heritage—and fast—before the Batman Who Laughs has all his pawns in play!
On sale JUNE 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Well, unlike the most of the Dark Matter New Age of DC Heroes line, Tynion's book sure seems to be tying into Dark Nights: Metal as directly as possible, even using one of the most prominent of the new characters from that miniseries front and center on the cover. As this was originally announced as an artist-driven series, with the artists being responsible for the creation of the characters and co-writing, I was a bit surprised to see the name "Ryan Benjamin" up there, as it doesn't quite seem to demand the same market clout as some of the other involved artists. But I had to Google who the original artist tied to the series was, as it's been so long since it was first announced--and the first issue hasn't yet shipped. It turns out that this was the Jim Lee series.

I didn't expect Lee to be able to stick around all that long, but, originally at least, I thought he would make it about four to six issues. But then, it appears that most of the New Blood New Age of DC Heroes books are only being drawn by their creators for the first two or three issues.


JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER • Art by JIM CHEUNG and MARK MORALES • Cover by JIM CHEUNG •
...
“THE TOTALITY” part one! A brand-new era begins here! Comics legends Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung launch the Justice League into a cosmos-shaking mystery that will draw out their most terrible foes…in ways our heroes couldn’t possibly imagine! In this debut issue, Martian Manhunter struggles to protect the team from an incoming threat that will shatter the world as they know it, while a familiar face strikes out on a dark path…
On sale JUNE 6 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+

JUSTICE LEAGUE #2
Written by SCOTT SNYDER • Art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ •
...
“THE TOTALITY” part two! The League faced an impossible decision…and now they must face the consequences! While Martian Manhunter and Batman attempt to recruit an old ally back into the fold, The Flash and Hawkgirl are blindsided by new challenges that could rewrite their mythologies!
On sale JUNE 20 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+


So after the events of last month's No Justice--and by "last month" I actually mean May, which is of course still two months in the future--it looks like we see what the future of the post-Metal Justice League is.

Scott Snyder is writing, which is good news, and quite surprisingly, art will be provided by Jim Cheung, who wasn't even on my radar as a possibility. It looks like the book will stay biweekly, and Cheung will be alternating with artist Jorge Jimenez. Both are pretty good artists, although their styles aren't at all similar, and they seem like a pretty poor match. Hopefully once they get settled, they can alternate arcs rather than issues, as if the book goes back and forth between two artists and two radically different styles ever 20 pages, that's going to be...less than ideal.

We also get a sense of the line-up. Remember, other than a brief shake-up between the end of Forever Evil and Rebirth, wherein Captain Marvel Shazam, Lex Luthor and Captain Cold joined, and then then Green Lantern Hal Jordan being replaced by Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz at the start of the Rebirth era, the League line-up has been remarkably, even boringly steady: Six of the Big Seven, plus Cyborg.

Here we get the return of too-long missing Martian Manhunter (who was assigned to Stormwatch for some strange reason in the New 52 launch), the return of Hawkgirl (or maybe the debut of Hawkgirl? The Hawks' continuity didn't get any more streamlined by recent-ish reboots!) and Green Lantern John Stewart in for Baz and Cruz (and joining the Justice League for the very first time, in the current continuitiverse). That is, as you've probably noticed, the original Justice League TV show line-up. Plus Cyborg. Men, I'd prefer the Justice League Action line-up.

Anyway, the team make-up is actually rather refreshing; it's nice to have J'onn back where he belongs, and for Wonder Woman and Cyborg to not stick out so much as the only non-dude and the only non-white person, respectively. Aside from John's inclusion, this is basically the team being suggested by the events of Metal--minus Mister Terrific, Plastic Man and Deathstroke, of course, the first two of whom are half of the line-up of The Terrifics (at least until it gets canceled) and the last of whom was in the No Justice event.

J'onn's elbow spikes may take some getting used to (although he's a shape-changer, so maybe they'll just change as soon as the cover is turned), as will Kendra's feathers.

Oh and John, dude, maybe cool it with the guns, yeah? You've got kids looking up to you, you know?


THE MAN OF STEEL #1
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS • Art by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO • Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
...
A new era begins for Superman as a threat from his earliest origins reemerges to destroy the Last Son of Krypton. As Superman struggles to come to grips with what has happened to his wife and son, he must also face a new threat that’s determined to burn down Metropolis!
RETRO-SOLICITED • On sale MAY 30 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T


"What happened to his wife and son"...? I don't like the sound of that at all. I do hope that there isn't some sort of weird, franchise-specific reboot that radically alters the status quo of Superman and his family, given that it seems like DC just did that not too long ago, in the story that gave us his wife and son.

Super Sons is no longer being solicited--except for the Hanna-Barbera team-up special below--but I kinda sorta assumed that maybe DC was canceling all the Super-books until after this series, at which point we'd get a new status quo, including a new Supergirl. Now I'm worried Superboy is going to be written out of existence or something dumb like that...


THE MAN OF STEEL #2
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS • Art by EVAN “DOC” SHANER • Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
With an arsonist loose in Metropolis, Superman’s powers are almost useless in finding the culprit. And back at the Daily Planet, everyone wants to know what’s going on with Lois Lane. How can Clark hold on to the secret of what happened to Lois and Jon much longer?
On sale JUNE 6 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T


Oof. This solicit does nothing to allay my concerns.

Hard to imagine an artist better suited for a Superman comic than Evan "Doc" Shaner, though.


ORION BY WALTER SIMONSON BOOK ONE TP
Written by WALTER SIMONSON and others
Art by WALTER SIMONSON, JOHN BYRNE, FRANK MILLER, DAVE GIBBONS, ERIK LARSEN, ARTHUR ADAMS, HOWARD CHAYKIN and others
Cover by WALTER SIMONSON
Legendary writer/artist Walter Simonson takes on Jack Kirby’s Fourth World! These tales star the heroes and villains of the Fourth World as Darkseid seeks the Anti-Life Equation and Orion battles to stop him! This volume includes material from ORION #1-11, SHOWCASE ’94 #1, DC UNIVERSE HOLIDAY BASH #1, NEW GODS SECRET FILES #1, SECRET ORIGINS OF SUPER-VILLAINS 80-PAGE GIANT #1, LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE 80-PAGE GIANT #2 and more!
On sale JULY 11 • 368 pg, FC, $29.99 US
ISBN: 978-1-4012-7487-0

I honestly don't know anyone who read Simonson's 25-issue, 2000-2002 Orion series and didn't rave about it, so I imagine this will be pretty damn good. I've only read a handful of issues, so I'm really looking forward to this. I'm pretty curious about all the stuff that's not from Orion is, exactly, as some of it pre-dates Simonson's series pretty dramatically. Like, Showcase '94 #1 is, obviously, from 1994 (The Simonson contribution to that issue is the script for a 10-page New Gods story drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, if you're wondering).

PLASTIC MAN #1
Written by GAIL SIMONE • Art by ADRIANA MELO • Cover by AARON LOPRESTI •
...
Meet Eel O’Brian: a petty thug, thief and con artist who runs a strip club. Hey, he’s also dead, at least according to the gang that tossed him out like last week’s garbage. Literally. Don’t worry, though—he bounced back from all that, and now he’s trying to make a new life for himself, but the effort is stretching him pretty thin. How can he get revenge on his old boss, keep a street kid out of trouble, make a dancer fall in love with him and stop a mysterious society from taking over the world? Eel has no idea!
On sale JUNE 13 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T+


Jesus. I love Plastic Man, but they lost me on the first sentence. That last bit, "RATED T+", doesn't help either. I'm not sure we need a more adult, more mature Plastic Man comic, any more than we need a dark, gritty Plastic Man comic.

On the plus side, this sounds like it's meant to be self-contained--Plas is currently appearing in The Terrifics, and dressed completely differently--and sounds pretty different than where we last saw the DCU version of Eel O'Brian (in a Forever Evil tie-in), so I imagine this can be safely ignored.

...

Actually, come to think of it, I remember Simone and artist Ethan Van Sciver having talked about wanting to collaborate on a Plastic Man comics for years, so I wonder if this miniseries is simply Simone dusting off an old pitch and DC publishing it now, either because The Terrifics hit better than expected, or because it was time to publish something under the title "Plastic Man" or risk losing exclusive legal rights to do so in the future.


Nice Scooby Apocalypse cover by Kaare Andrews. Well, actually, Scooby himself looks wrong here, as that looks a lot more like a German shepherd than a Great Dane. And Daphne looks a bit generic. So nice Velma on a Scooby Apocalypse cover, I guess I should say.


SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #39
Written by SHOLLY FISCH
Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
To stop a spectral menace in the 21st century, the gang will have to travel back through time to solve the mystery before it even begins. But that’s easier said than done, as visiting World War II means facing spies, saboteurs and Nazi monsters! Good thing the gang isn’t alone, fighting side by side with the Golden Age’s premiere superhero team: the Justice Society of America!
On sale JUNE 27 • 32 pg, FC • $2.99 US • RATED E


I've been eagerly awaiting the return of the Justice Society since the events of DC Universe: Rebirth, but this is maybe the last comic I expected them to show up in. That's cool though; Scooby-Doo Team-Up generally offers better versions DC's classic superheroes than the DCU line.


SUPERMAN BLUE VOL. 1 TP
Written by DAN JURGENS, KARL KESEL, DAVID MICHELINIE and LOUISE SIMONSON
Art by RON FRENZ, SCOT EATON, STUART IMMONEN, JON BOGDANOVE, TOM GRUMMETT, SEAN CHEN and others • Cover by DAN JURGENS and JOE RUBINSTEIN
When the sun temporarily goes out, Superman temporarily loses his powers…but when they return, they are not what the Man of Steel expects! Clark Kent is suddenly transformed into a being of crackling blue energy, complete with new abilities and a totally new look! And before long, the villainous Cyborg Superman splits the Man of Steel into two beings: Superman Red and Superman Blue! Will Metropolis have two protectors? Includes stories from SUPERMAN #122-125, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #545-547, ACTION COMICS #732-734, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #67-69 and SUPERMAN ANNUAL #9.
On sale JULY 11 • 376 pg, FC, $24.99 US
ISBN: 978-1-4012-8091-8


Okay, I deliberately passed the bulk of this Superman storyline up while it was occurring on a weekly basis. And I'm pretty confident that, if I really wanted to, I could find all of these comics for cheaper than $25 in back-issue bins. That said, I'm sorely tempted to get this.


SUPER SONS/DYNOMUTT SPECIAL #1
Written by PETER J. TOMASI • Art and cover by FERNANDO PASARIN and OCLAIR ALBERT
...
It’s no fun for Jon Kent to be visiting Big City with his parents for the funeral of an old friend. So his best pal Damian Wayne decides to follow along and give him the inside scoop on the city. But when they go to meet Robin’s local friend, Dynomutt, they find him injured and in need of help. And Dynomutt’s human superhero companion, Blue Falcon, has seemingly turned evil. What’s the reason for this betrayal between once-loyal companions, and what role might the evil Red Vulture play in this scenario?
RETRO-SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT • On sale MAY 30 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T


The Super Sons team isn't who I would have paired with Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, but then, I'm not writing a Blue Falcon and Dynomutt DCU team-up book (although I've got a swell idea for one!). Still, I fucking love Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, and their existence as a weird parody of Batman and Robin, particularly the most prominent pop culture expression of the Dynamic Duo at the time of their creation, makes them a pretty perfect fit for DC Comics.

As I said in the last edition of this column, wherein they were solicited as guest-stars in an upcoming issue of Scooby-Doo Team-Up, I've been curious about their absence from DC's Hanna-Barbereboot books to date, so it's cool to see them here.


THE UNEXPECTED #1
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by RYAN SOOK and CARY NORD • Cover by RYAN SOOK
In the aftermath of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, the DC Universe has been forever changed as new heroes are called out of the shadows. Amid this all is Janet Fals…Firebrand! Once a paramedic dedicated to saving lives, she must now start a fight once every 24 hours to feed the Conflict Engine that’s replaced her heart. But Janet’s heart isn’t just a curse—it’s a beacon, drawing out both the mysterious Neon the Unknown and the seductive, malevolent Bad Samaritan. One of them wants to cut out her heart, the other wants to save it—but neither of them knows the true danger hidden within that will kick off a superhero manhunt ranging from Thanagar to the deepest heart of the Dark Multiverse!
On sale JUNE 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
FOLDOUT COVER • RATED T


Hey, this is unexpected...! Based on the cover image, this group looks pretty Fourth Worldly--the lady with the axe looks like a gender-reversed Kanto, the big blue guy appears to have a Megarod--but the characters mentioned in the solicit copy instead reference new versions of two obscure-ish Golden Age heroes (Firebrand, Neon THe Unknown) and a new version of a minor character from Mike Barr and Jim Aparo's The Outsiders (Bad Samaritan). If I'm counting right, this will be the fifth version of Firebrand, and the third version of Neon.

Man, nothing says "New Age of DC Heroes" like Firebrand V!

6 comments:

Bram said...

Ouch. Hill was the writer on POSTAL, wrote/is writing a couple creator-owned series (ROMULUS and BONEHEAD), currently on WILDSTORM MICHAEL CRAY, and, I understand, is in the writers room on ASH VS. EVIL dead and the upcoming TITANS. He's proven himself and I think is an interesting choice.

But. Recently re-read THRILLKILLER and it holds up, a few odd moments and all.

Watsonian said...

Batman and The Outsiders is still in continuity, according to Metal

Watsonian said...

Ignore that last comment; should have kept reading

Jose Gregorio Bencomo Gomez said...

"Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time they have had a "DC Universe By..." book devoted to shorter works of an artist"

He's also a writer, but there's a DC Universe by John Byrne book collecting only shorter stories where Byrne illustrated, but not always wrote for. Pretty neat book too, including a Batman Black and White story, a Batman Adventures tale penned by Paul Dini, a Teen Titans tale with Marv Wolfman, the Batman 3-D Special, and the Green Lantern: Ganthet's Tale book, among others.

Brian said...

REVERSE SPEED BUGGY! All of human history has led to this moment!

By the way, I love the classic Power Man/Iron Fist homage in that Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey cover.

Daniel Von Egidy said...

So are you gonna get Justice League? Bi-weekly and 3.99 is a bad mix but this seems like it will be really good but cheaper in paperback. Though if Metal has had a problem its characters stopping to discuss the ideas and metaphors of the plot rather than realize them in motion and Snyder needs to knock that off for League. The announced after these solicits but apparently also coming out in June Justice League Odyssey (with Darkseid!) and Justice League Dark all seem like really interesting books and will probably kill any traction that the Age of Heroes books could have gotten (Silencer and Terrifics are good, Unexpected looks good too. I think The Terrifics will be published as long as its a Lemire book.) But all of the League books at 3.99 plus probably the Superman books, DC monthly is really creeping up into collections only territory. (Marvel is 99 cent kindle sale territory for as long as they do that and I own a 10" kindle)