Thursday, September 19, 2019

DC's December previews reviewed

So the most exciting news in this next round of solicitations for DC Comics seems to be that Rafael Grampa of Mesmo Delivery Service, whose super-comics work has been limited to some covers and a couple of shorts featuring Batman and Wolverine, will be the artist doing the next of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns sequels. Andy Kubert handled the last one, and John Romita Jr drew Miller's last project, Superman: Year One. So that's an interesting choice. Other than some exciting kids comics, though, it's mostly business as usual at DC in December...

John Romita Jr is drawing Action Comics #1018, which will be guest-starring Superman's running crew, as pictured above.

I think this image is a good example of the weakness of The Flash's current costume. If it doesn't look good when JRJR draws it, than it's just not a very good costume. And those lightning-bolt eyebrows? They do not look good here.

Tony S. Daniel's cover for Batman #85, which apparently reveals that The Signal and Batwoman both have superpowers now...they can fly!

That, or Daniel drew the figures first, and then goes back later to figure out how they relate to their environment...? And he's only halfway done at this point, having drawn rubble for the characters on the left half of the image to stand on, but he hasn't gotten around to drawing rubble for those on the right half to stand on yet...?

No remorse, no mercy...just ruthless death: Victor Zsasz has long been one of Batman’s most formidable enemies, and now his most infamous stories have been collected! This volume includes Zsasz’s debut story arc and much more, including a never before published story by writer Devin Grayson and artist Roger Robinson! Collects Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1-4, Batman: Streets of Gotham #10-11, a story from Batman Chronicles #3, Batman: Batgirl #1, Detective Comics #815-816, a story from Detective Comics (2011) #18, Rogues Gallery #1, and an unpublished story intended for Batman: Gotham Knights #12!
ON SALE 02.05.20
$19.99 US | 264 PAGES

Huh. Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle's Mr. Zsasz, a serial killer who counts his kills by making hash-marks in his flesh, always struck me as something of a surprise "hit" with other, later Batman writers, as he was basically created as a sort of one-off villain needed to move the plot of their "The Last Arkham" arc of Batman: The Shadow of The Bat along. Breyfogle gave him a kinda neat visual that worked really well for that of a comic book serial killer, provided it was drawn in a certain style, but I never got the sense that Grant and/or Breyfogle thought that this would be their most popular addition to Batman's rogue's gallery, certainly not compared to Scarface and The Ventriloquist or Anarky, who they returned to over and over and over again, or even the likes of Cornelius Stirk, who they seemed to make an effort to push now and then, particularly at the beginning (Hell, I think even Grant's creations with Vince Giarrano, like The Tally Man and The Human Flea, showed far more story potential than "Guy Who Stabs People And Cuts Himself").

I think it's telling that the the stabbing and cutting is pretty much the only thing later creators retained from "The Last Arkham." Rarely if ever has his goofy "costume" with the top hate resurfaced, nor has his habit of posing the bodies of his victims in life-like situations, which Batman's narration told us way back when was one of Zsasz's trademarks.

This particular collection, therefore, is sort of a surprise, as I would have expected plenty of other Batman: Arkham collections to come before it. Catman, Killer Moth, Maxie Zeus, Calendar Man and, of course, Scarface and The Ventriloquist and Anarky. On the other hand, they've already done a Joker's Daughter collection, so who knows what their precise criteria is.

The other weird thing about it that rather than using his "professional" name in the title, they're going with his full name, "Victor Zsasz." It's not like the entitled the Penguin collection Batman: Arkham: Oswald Cobblepot.

So, what have we in here? Well, there's the already-mentioned "Last Arkham" (which also introduces then-new characters Dr. Jeremiah Arkham and Amygdala). The story from Batman Chronicles #3 is a 1996 ten-pager by Grant and artist Jennifer Graves recounting the villain's origin (that issue had a pretty nice Brian Bolland cover; on it, Bolland obviously used Breyfogle's art as a guide, and the result was he seems to have turned Breyfogle's psycho eye effect into a pair of weird sunglasses). Batman: Batgirl #1 is one of those "Girlfrenzy!" one-shots featuring female protagonists from 1998, but not one I read; it's written by Kelly Puckett and pencilled by Jim Balent, so I bet it's actually pretty good, though. I've never read any of the Batman: Streets of Gotham series, but that's a 2010 two-parter by Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs from during the second time that Dick Grayson was Batman. I similarly skipped 'Tec #815-816; those are some 2006 issues written by Shane McCarthy and featuring Cliff Chiang art, so I imagine if nothing else, they look awfully nice. 'Tec #18 is from the New 52 series, and the 2013 John Layman/Jason Fabok issue has a "Requiem" on the cover, so I imagine it's from the month or two that Batman thought Damian Wayne was dead-dead, rather than just dead-ish. Unless I miss my guess, Rogues Gallery is just one of those gallery type books of pin-ups DC did in the late '90s, and so that means there should be a nice-looking Matt Wagner drawing of Zsasz included.

Finally, perhaps the most interesting of the lot will be the never-before-published story by the Gotham Knights creative team of writer Devin K. Grayson and artist Roger Robinson. That was a great team and a pretty great book, so I'm pretty curious to see this story; given the character, one can assume that perhaps it wasn't published due to how gruesome or disturbing the story might have been, but, on the other hand, it's jsut as plausible it wasn't published for some perfectly pedestrian reason. The story that did run in Gotham Knights #12 was a fill-in story featuring Oracle by Jen Van Meter and Coy Turnbull, with a gorgeous Darwyn Cooke cover. So that's why that comic was such a departure...!

Unusual for the Batman: Arkham line of villain spotlight collections, this one is full of more comics I haven't read than I comics I have. I'll definitely give this one a borrow when it's available.

A horrifying crime attracts Batman’s attention and forces him to revisit the ghosts of his past as Oracle, Nightwing, and Robin attempt to help him solve the mystery! Batman engages in a psychological war with a stronger, smarter-than-ever Hugo Strange, but the aftermath of this battle will be a nightmare from which Batman and his associates may never recover. Collects Batman: Gotham Knights #1-12.
ON SALE 01.01.20
$29.99 US | 304 PAGES
FC | ISBN: 978-1-4012-9407-6

Oh hey, and speaking of Gotham Knights...! Following the "No Man's Land" epic, the Batman line was in quite strong shape. Larry Hama and Scott McDaniel were on Batman, the book then devoted to Batman-as-superhero. Greg Rucka and were on Detective Comics, which was devoted to Batman-as-detective (obviously) and featured compelling coloring that evoked black-and-white art without actually being black-and-white. And Devin Grayson, then probably the strongest Batman writer and the one producing the most compelling character-focused comics in the line, got the brand-new tertiary title, Batman: Gotham Knights. The focus of this one was on Batman as the axis of the Batman family, and, during these early issues especially, the focus was on Batman's relationships with Robin Tim Drake, Batgirl Cassandra Cain, Nightwing, Alfred, Catwoman and so on.

Originally drawn by Dale Eaglesham and Paul Ryan, eventually Roger Robinson became the most regular of the artists. Robinson's art was quite strong, a mix of realistic and expressionistic that was similar in the balance it struck to Jim Aparo, despite the fact that their styles didn't look anything at all alike (and I'm just talking about their approach to realism vs. expression in their style; Robinson obviously didn't provide the sort of iconic Batman Aparo did. Years later, when I think of Robinson's art, the thing I most remember is the soles of Batman's boots).

The book was further distinguished by amazing Brian Bolland covers (although Dave Johnson provided the cover for #1, and Cooke, as noted above, drew the cover for #12), and the presence of the Batman: Black and White back-ups, which basically continued the types of stories that filled the pages of the anthology miniseries of that title. Often times, even if you had zero interest in the lead stories, the back-ups were worth the price of admission. The first issue, for example, was a then-rare Jim Lee-drawn Batman story written by Warren Ellis; I think that was the latter's very first Batman comic, but I could be wrong on that. Those back-ups have since been collected, while the lead stories have not until now. (In that respect, the singles are probably worth collecting if you can find them, as you'll get both the leads and the back-ups).

I have not re-read these issues in a long time, and am actually probably overdue to do so (I was actually considering it, too, as Meredith asked if I had them and borrowed them after there was some online discussion of how relatively rare women-writing-Batman has been in the character's 80-year-history. Almost, but not quite, as rare as women drawing Batman, it turns out!).

Reviewing the contents of them now on, I see these will include

A Batgirl-focused issue, exploring how Batman copes with Batgirl's death-wish in a particularly Batmanly way

A two-parter in which Batman faces a supernatural killer that I remember not caring for that much

A story featuring The Key, then recently re-invented by Grant Morrison in the pages of JLA, who ended up in Arkham Asylum, although this may be the only story referencing his time spent there. If not the only, it's one of the few.

An Oracle story behind a cover revisiting the events of The Killing Joke, which is notable in part because here was Bolland re-drawing a scene from his own graphic novel on the cover of the comic

A four-part arc featuring Batman, Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman vs Hugo Strange. I remember this being a pretty bonkers story, in large part because I had no idea what was going on for much of it, as I had thought Hugo Strange was dead (Prior to this, the only Batman comic I had read featuring Hugo Strange not set in the past featured Strange as a ghost).

I hope it sells well enough that they keep collecting the series. Shortly after these issues and a Rucka-written fill-in comes these sexy covers...

And then there's maybe my favorite issue of the whole series, this one...
...wherein a lone Batman is faced with a slow night, and ends up thinking of an excuse to team-up with Aquaman.

Good God, look at this Nick Derrington cover for one of the Batman Universe reprints. It's a nice image in that if you're wondering what Derrington's version of basically any Batman villain looks like, well, you're in luck; there's a pretty good chance the villain you're wondering about appears on this particular cover.

So Tom King's long, sales-healthy (and creatively unsatisfying) run on Batman is entering it's twilight, with the writer moving the last chapter of his narrative from the pages of Batman into a new, probably temporary title, Batman/Catwoman. You know what that means, right? DC should be announcing a new Batman writer soon. I fully expect it to be Brian Michael Bendis, who I was actually quite shocked wasn't writing Batman immediately upon his move to DC Comics (I assumed writing Batman would be the thing that lured him to DC, as that's their greatest prize to offer, and Bendis' career-long interest in crime dramas, police and private eyes and Marvel's "street-level" heroes made the character seem a better fit for him than Superman; I'm glad my assumption was wrong, though, as I've been pretty impressed with all the Superman stuff of his I've read so far, and he and DC have used Bendis' creative weight to do things I don't think would have gone over as well had another writer attempted them, like a Young Justice revival or the impending Legion of Super-Heroes one).

If it's not going to be Bendis, I sure as hell wouldn't mind a Christopher Priest run (although I'd personally prefer him follow Snyder on Justice League, and be given more leeway to do whatever the hell he wanted than I'm assuming he had during his short, place-holder run on the franchise before Snyder and company launched the current Justice League title).

Includes new stories plus classic reprints!
ON SALE 12.04.19 | $4.99 US | FC | 96 PAGES | DC

There's another round of bargain-priced giants this month, but this was the only new one. Batwoman is a curious co-lead to pair with Supergirl instead of Batgirl, although I suppose those are the two characters with CW TV shows. I'll be curious to see the contents, as the current Batwoman (and the one appearing on the TV show) is relatively new, as far as DC superheroes go, and I can't imagine there will be any stories featuring the original Batwoman. I'm also curious, as always, about the new content. Will it be a Batwoman/Supergirl team-up story, or a new story featuring both of them, or two new stories featuring each of them?

written by FRANK MILLER
art and cover by RAFAEL GRAMPA
1:10 variant cover by PAUL POPE
1:25 variant cover by JOELLE JONES
1:100 variant cover by FRANK MILLER
1:500 variant cover by ANDY KUBERT
Frank Miller returns to the Dark Knight Universe!
It’s been three years since the events of Dark Knight III: The Master Race. Lara has spent the time learning to be more human, and Carrie Kelley has been growing into her new role as Batwoman. But a terrifying evil has returned to Gotham City, and Lara and Carrie must team up to stop this growing threat—and they have a secret weapon. Young Jonathan Kent, “the golden child,” has a power inside of him unlike anything the world has ever seen, and it’s about to be unleashed...
Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is Frank Miller’s triumphant return to the world of the Dark Knight and joining him is the superstar artist Rafael Grampá, the mastermind behind the groundbreaking Mesmo Delivery. Following work in advertising and film, this incredible collaboration marks Grampá’s first comics work in six years, bringing his extraordinary detail and storytelling to the Dark Knight saga, resulting in a Dark Knight story like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
ON SALE 12.11.19
$5.99 US | 48 PAGES
This issue will ship with five covers. Please see the order form for details.

I might be in the minority here, but I have almost no interest in a third sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, the second of which to feature another artist drawing Miller's script. Given the diminishing returns on the third one and some of Miller's more recent comics, I don't exactly have high hopes for this. I am excited to get more Rafael Grampa comics in any form, and I'm actually pretty excited to see him do a whole Batman graphic novel, which will apparently be split into serially published chapters here.

I suppose pairing Grampa with Miller on Batman will help ensure more eyeballs and higher-sales among DC's extant reader base, but I also can't help but wonder if Miller's presence will be a drag on Grampa. I'm sure Grampa doing his own Batman thing, along the lines of what Sean Gordon Murphy's been doing with his weird White Knight comics, would be pretty phenomenal, and free of any of the baggage that comes with a modern Miller comic.

I usually edit out the variant cover listings in these solicits, because who cares, but I included them here because it's kind of remarkable how few of them there are (And one of 'em is by Paul Pope!). I mean for the last comic set on Miller's Earth-DKR, there were so many goddam variant covers that DC actually published a standalone book that was nothing but variant covers. Now we're down to just fur.

This month's round of $1 reprints, imaginatively entitled "Dollar Comics," includes The Flash #164, the first issue of Geoff Johns' run (which I purchased off the rack specifically because of how great that Brian Bolland cover was, although I ended up dropping the book after the first story arc, and then only checked in on in sporadically. They're also publishing Birds of Prey #1 by Chuck Dixon and Greg Land (back when he was pencilling his art either without photo-reference or at least making an effort to make the reference his own), the first issue of the ongoing series after plenty of waters-testing via miniseries and specials; Batman #613, which is the Catwoman-centric issue of Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee and Scott Williams' "Hush" arc, just in case you've somehow managed to miss it's many, many collections; and Gales of The Teen Titans Annual #3, an inflection point in Marvel Wolfman and George Perez's series featuring Tara, and reprinted this month because DC's doing one of those Tales of The Dark Multiverse Elseworlds-y specials riffing on it.

guest written by MARK RUSSELL
Harley Quinn is great at kicking jerks in the face. Paying her taxes? Not so much. Things turn from bad to worse when Harley’s new accountant, an ex-con called the Hambezzler, runs into trouble with his old crew and they come to Coney Island with one thing on their minds: payback!
ON SALE 01.01.20 | $3.99 US
This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.

Another masterpiece of a cover by Guillem March; good God that horrifying. Although the character of "the Hambezzler" sounds like it's based on McDonalds' Hamburglar, this character has the scary hamburger-for-a-head feature of McDonalds' less-popular mascots, Mayor McCheese and Officer Big Mac.

written by MARK RUSSELL
Harley Quinn hosts “Villainy’s Biggest Night” as the DCU’s most dastardly gather at the Hall of Doom to do what they do best—congratulate themselves! But one villain has a secret plan, fueled by years of being overlooked by his peers, and the burning desire to receive the praise he so rightly deserves... Don’t miss out on a one-of-a-kind comic book experience, with the winners decided by you, the fans! Who will be crowned DC’s Villain of the Year? Go to for more information!
ON SALE 12.11.19
$4.99 US |40 PAGES |FC |DC

One would hope that Black Manta receives the award, based on how good that little top hat looks poised upon his over-sized head on Amanda Conners' cover for the book, which she is not drawing, but Mike Norton is. And Mike Norton is a good artist.

written by TIM SEELEY
cover by INHYUK LEE
Prince Keldor and his two He-Man comrades leap head first in to a new adventure, which is an oh-so-subtle way of telling you that we’re doing...wait for it... Space He-Man! Now the three travelers must stop the Anti-He-Man before he tears the haunted power core out of the heart of starship Eternia!
ON SALE 12.18.19
$3.99 US |2 OF 6|32 PAGES FC|DC

Ugh, just seeing Inhyuk Lee's drawing of New Adventures of He-Man He-Man brought me all the way back to 1990, when I was home sick from school and caught an episode of the first-ever He-Man reboot and was disgusted and enraged with what I saw happening to the first media franchise I cared about.

I'm not sure if any He-Men die in this series, but, if one does, I know which one I hope it will be...!

written by ZOE QUINN
Donna Troy is a hero. She fought alongside friends, led the Titans into battle, and buried more friends in the line of duty than she cares to remember. She’s strong, she’s brave, she’s one of the fiercest warriors on the planet...and she’s the Batman Who Laughs’ next target for infection! Spinning out of the events of The Batman Who Laughs and Batman/Superman comes the story of a hero who is done with bringing peace to a world that cannot be trusted with it. A woman who’s past has been her greatest adversary, and whose newly awakened dark side is ready to burn it all down and forge a new destiny. No more peace. Only...Deathbringer!
ON SALE 12.04.19
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES

written by PAUL JENKINS
Commissioner Gordon has dedicated his life to the safety of the citizens of Gotham City. Sure, he doesn’t wear a cape, but this hero has chosen a thankless job, because it’s the right thing to do. But what happens when Jim Gordon’s sense of duty and honor is stripped away? What happens when Gotham City’s greatest public pillar of justice finally says “enough”? Spinning out of the events of The Batman Who Laughs and Batman/Superman comes the story of a man who has finally given in to his worst impulses—and he might just take the entire city into the darkness with him...
ON SALE 12.18.19
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES

Woah, woah, woah...Donna Troy's new "Infected" codename is "Deathbringer", while Commissioner Gordon's is simply "The Commissioner"...?

I grew confused, scared and angry while reading the Deathrbring solicit too, because I read the comic where Donna Troy was reintroduced for the first time into the DC Universe post-Flashpoint/New 52, and this doesn't seem to line-up with that in the least. Of course, I never read The Titans, as I couldn't stand the artwork, so maybe they de-rebooted aspects of the re-boot? Anyway, nice to know that after DC hit a hard re-boot on their entire line like never before in 2011, Donna Troy's backstory is even more confusing than ever before...!

cover by JIM CHEUNG
Why hello there, readers! It’s your Uncle Joker letting you know that this year’s DC winter holiday special is not for the good guys. It’s all about the folks on Santa’s naughty list! Folks like me, Sinestro, Toyman, Harley Quinn, and even an appearance from that timely rascal the Calendar Man. Come sledding with your favorite villains in 10 fantastic tales created by comics’ finest talents. They’re not as funny as me, mind you, but it’s important that we be charitable this time of year.
ON SALE 12.04.19
$9.99 US | 80 PAGES

As with Girlfrenzy!, I thought the 1997 New Year's Evil suite of one-shots was a pretty good idea that could quite easily have been an evergreen, annual event. If you weren't reading comics back then, those were eight one-shots featuring various villains, each spinning out of an ongoing or event title. They had unified trade dress, and each featured a Jason Pearson-drawn cover, featuring the title character in a bold, all-black background. The characters featured were The Body Doubles, Dark Nemesis (Um, I had to look that one up because I forgot who she was), Darkseid, Gog, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Prometheus, The Rogues and The Scarecrow. If I recall correctly, I read four of those, and, again like the Girlfrenzy! one-shots, some of them were used to tease upcoming stories in popular books. The Prometheus special, for example, was the origin of the character who would appear in a great two-parter during Grant Morrison's JLA run, and then return for the series' climactic story arc, "World War III." (He's since been extremely diminished in his usage by writers who are not Grant Morrison, perhaps most famously during James Robinson's doomed Cry For Justice clusterfuck of a comic and, more recently, during Steve Orlando's odd Midnighter book.)

Anyway! "New Year's Evil" is a good phrase, and they should use it more often! Here it is being used for this year's DC holiday special, the focus of which is villains. I fucking love these things, even though they are almost never all good from start to finish. As I've said ad naseum before, I used to aspire to write DC Comics for a living someday, and if I had found a genie in a lamp, my first wish would be to be able to write a Justice League run. Now my greatest ambition is to contributed 10-page stories to DC holiday specials; I think those are perhaps the most interesting and most vital things they publish these days...although DC Zoom and DC Ink have been producing some surprisingly compelling stuff.

Based on the cover, the book will feature the usual suspects, although I much more rarely used Toyman and Calendar Man get name-checked in the solicit. No real surprises in the listed creators, either, although it's been some time since I've read a Busiek-written DC story, and it appears that the great Gabriel Hardman is writing and drawing his entry.

As to whether or not I check this out, it all depends on who is doing The Calendar Man story, I guess

written by PETER J. TOMASI
art by RAGS MORALES, DON KRAMER, and others
cover by ANDY KUBERT
When the bodies of nefarious villains and fallen heroes begin to disappear from their final resting places, Dick Grayson is drawn into a mysterious, life-altering adventure! Nightwing falls into a web of intrigue involving Talia al Ghul and the diabolical Dr. Creighton Kendall. As the stakes get higher, Nightwing finds not only his own life in danger, but quite possibly the future of the entire country. Collects issues #140-153.
ON SALE 01.15.20
$29.99 US | 360 PAGES
FC | ISBN: 978-1-4012-9171-6

I remember liking this status quo for the character, whose status quo--home town, day job, headquarters--seems to change with each new creative team. It certainly helped that the run kicked off with art by Rags Morales. There was a particularly grotesque and violent issue that felt kinda snuffy, featuring a fantasy sequence in which a huge swathe of Batman's rogue's gallery is violently killed, but other than that, it was pretty okay.

written by SARAH KUHN
art and cover by NICOLE GOUX
Cassandra Cain, teenage assassin, isn’t exactly Batgirl material...not yet, at least. But with Batgirl missing from Gotham City, can Cassandra defy her destiny and take on a heroic mantle of her very own? She’ll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out.
After a soul-shattering moment that sends Cass reeling, she’ll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero—Batgirl. But Batgirl hasn’t been seen in Gotham for years, and when Cass’s father threatens the world she has grown to love, she’ll have to step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle—that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero.
Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex and I Love You So Mochi, takes on one of her favorite heroes for a new audience of readers. Featuring the edgy art style of Nicole Goux, Shadow of the Batgirl tells the harrowing story of a girl who overcomes the odds to find her unique identity.
ON SALE 01.29.20
$16.99 US | FC | 208 PAGES
6” x 9”
ISBN: 978-1-4012-8978-2

Hey look, new Batgirl Cassandra Cain content! I mean, I know Cass is still making new appearances in new comics, but that's as Orphan, withe a dumb name, dumb costume and drastically fucked-around-with origin story, and those are happening in the pages of Batman and The Outsiders. This looks infinitely more promising.

Reading this made me realize that "Shadow Bat" is a pretty good code name for Cass, if they can't just use "Batgirl" and have some objection to "The Black Bat"...

written by TOM TAYLOR
cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
Task Force X—nicknamed the Suicide Squad—unites some of the DCU’s unlikeliest villains for its bloodiest series yet! The Squad’s new mission is to neutralize a new group of international super-terrorists known as the Revolutionaries—and not everyone on either side will make it out alive! But when the U.S. government’s most deniable team of do-badders realizes that the surviving Revolutionaries will be joining the Squad, all hell breaks loose! Who can Harley Quinn and Deadshot trust when their new teammates are the very people their crew was assigned to kill? The Suicide Squad doesn’t just need to worry about surviving their next mission... now they have to survive each other! The acclaimed Injustice creative team of writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo reunite for the wildest incarnation of the Squad ever seen!
ON SALE 12.18.19
$4.99 US | 40 PAGES

I honestly actually kind of forgot that there wasn't a Suicide Squad comic being published monthly anymore, but since the next movie's on the horizon, I guess it's time for a relaunch. I think the book will likely have the same problem that all post-New 52 volumes of the book will have, as the concept sort of requires a long, long continuity littered with has-been villains, and introducing a new version of The Cavalier just to kill him off in issue #2 or whatever is an exercise in pointlessness.

That said, there is at least one reason to be excited about this: Tom Taylor, who has written far more good comics than he has poor ones.

Dang, that's a nice cover on Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #6...

written by JAMES TYNION IV
art and cover by STEVE EPTING
variant cover by RICCARDO FEDERICI
blank variant cover
DC’s “Year of the Villain” begins its sinister conclusion! Lex Luthor has brought Perpetua back from her cosmic grave and restored her power! Now the Multiverse lives in fear that she might wipe out all existence. The only thing that could stop her are the forces of the Dark Multiverse— which means it’s Luthor’s mission to defeat the Batman Who Laughs! But if Batman and Superman couldn’t stop him, what chance does Luthor stand? Spinning out of the end of the “Justice/ Doom War” in Justice League #38 and the conclusion of the epic “Infected” arc from Batman/Superman #5, DC’s two top villains face off in a battle royal—and the fate of all reality hangs in the balance!
ON SALE 12.18.19
$4.99 US |1 OF 4|32 PAGES

So wait, the climax and conclusion of Scott Snyder and James Tynion's years-long Justice League vs. Legion of Doom story...leads into a spin-off series...? That...doesn't really make sense. I certainly hope the conclusion of "The Justice/Doom War" arc of Justice League is more satisfying than this solicitation suggests it will be.

The evil redesigns of the "infected" characters on the cover remind me a bit of those from Final Crisis, when Batwoman, Mary Marvel and company were infected with Darkseid's evil-ness and became the new Female Furies.

Also, is this going to be a weekly series? If not, then aren't the last few issues going to ship in 2020, the year after the Year of The Villain...?


thefuzzdaddy said...

That JRJR cover is pretty rough; look at Superman's head! I know lots of folks think highly of him, but he doesn't do anything for me. Too blocky/scratchy.

Nicholas Ahlhelm said...

Zsasz looks to have a significant role in the upcoming Harley Quinn / Birds of Prey movie, so that's likely the reason for this collection.

Peter said...

I had the same fear when I saw the solicit for Hell Arisen. Justice/Doom has started off pretty strong so far and it would stink if the ending fell flat