Tuesday, February 13, 2007

DC's May previews reviewed

BATMAN #666 Written by Grant Morrison. Art by Andy Kubert & Jesse Delperdang. Cover by Andy Kubert.Meet Damian Wayne, the Batman of Tomorrow in this special issue set 15 years from now in a nightmarish future Gotham! In a world torn apart by terrorism, plagues, rogue weather and bizarre super-crime, only 24 hours are left before the climactic battle of Armageddon — and only one man who might be able to stop it. But will he? The Son of the Bat meets the Prince of Darkness and the stage is set for the ultimate battle between evil and moral ambiguity. Can Damian make peace with his heritage to save the world? Find out in BATMAN #666, “Numbers of the Beast.”

Ah, Batman #666, a story titled “Numbers of the Beast,” and Damian Wayne fighting “The Prince of Darkness” at the end of the world. Bravo Mr. Morrison, I tip my metaphorical hat to you.

DETECTIVE COMICS #832 Written by Royal McGraw. Art by Andy Clarke. Cover by Simone Bianchi. Terror comes in threes! The nefarious Terrible Trio returns, only instead of being the hunters, they’re the prey! And the only one who can save them from certain death is their deadly adversary — Batman!

Royal McGraw? Filling in for Dini on Detectiveagain? Who is this guy, and what does Dini owe him? Didn’t much care for the last fill-in of his (actually, I hated it), so not sure if I’ll even bother this time around.

BATMAN: TURNING POINTS Written by Greg Rucka, Chuck Dixon and Ed Brubaker. Art by Steve Lieber, Dick Giordano, Paul Pope and others. Cover by Tim Sale. Collecting the miniseries Batman: Turning Points #1-5! This story explores the relationship between Batman and Commisioner Gordon, and how it has developed through the years, from Batman’s early days through sidekicks and even a broken back.

Of all the Batman stories to put out in trade, this is an odd choice. Several of the stories no longer count—one involves Gordon retiring from the force (he’s back), another deals with the death of Jason Todd (ditto)—and it’s not a very good series to begin with. All I really enjoyed about it was Ty Templeton’s beautiful cover for the Robin issue, and Paul Pope’s art on the last issue.

ACTION COMICS #849 Written by Fabian Nicieza. Art by Allan Goldman. Cover by Brad Walker & Robin Riggs. ACTION COMICS ships twice in May! In #849, it's Part 2 of a 2-part story written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Allan Goldman! Mankind's savior is about to become mankind’s doom! The real control behind the power has been revealed, and Superman will need help from an unexpected place in order to stop a being who only gets stronger and more violent!

ACTION COMICS #850 Written by Kurt Busiek. Art and cover by Renato Guedes. In this extra-sized special issue, writer Kurt Busiek reunites with artist Renato Guedes to visit the 31st Century and the Girl of Steel! Supergirl’s looking for a way to back from the future and to realize why Superman doesn’t want her to wear the “S” shield, but both Superman and Supergirl are in for a big surprise when they see what the past has in store! With time-viewing sneak peaks at the upcoming year's events!

Action Comics double-ships in May! And, perusing the credits, it would appear that none of those involved are named Geoff Johns, Richard Donner or Adam Kubert. At this point, both Fabian Nicieza and Kurt Busiek will have written more OYL issues of Action than the title’s “regular” creative team.

AMAZONS ATTACK #2 Written by Will Pfeifer. Art and cover by Pete Woods. The heroes of the DCU join the battle as the miniseries event explodes! When the Justice League and members of the Teen Titans arrive in Washington, it’s just the shot in the arm the U.S. military needs, and what was a one-sided affair becomes a devastating stalemate. But the war takes a terrifying turn as military strikes start occurring on the other side of the country, plunging the rest of the country into chaos. With the heroes’ attention split between the two coasts, the Amazons press forward with a daring assault, and it's up to the heroes to save thousands of innocent lives!

This looks…interesting. It’s a nicely composed image by Woods, and Batman holding that crazy-looking sword (which looks more like something he picked up off an Amazon than something from his Bat-arsenal) is pretty intriguing, but I really can’t imagine what this story’s about or why the U.S. is fighting Amazons. They’ve had zero relations for well over a year now, and I don’t see what the point of sending them all off-dimension during Infinite Crisis was if they were only going to pop right back a few issues of Wonder Woman later.

But what I really want to know is, who’s that Captain Marvel, Billy or Freddy? And what’s J’onn J’onnz wearing? (It looks like his old costume, but his head’s still pointed).

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #9 Written by Brad Meltzer. Art by Ed Benes & Sandra Hope. Cover by Michael Turner. Variant cover by Phil Jimenez & Andy Lanning. Part 3 of the hottest crossover of the year featuring the new JLA & JSA! “The Lightning Saga” continues as members of both teams scour the DCU from Gorilla City to Thanagar in search of something…or someone.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #6 Written by Geoff Johns. Art by Dale Eaglesham & Ruy José. Cover by Alex Ross.Variant cover by Phil Jimenez & Andy Lanning. Part 4 of the 5-part JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA/JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA crossover “The Lightning Saga!” Wonder Woman leads Damage and a squad of League and Society members deep into the recesses of the mysterious Suicide Swamp! What horrible evil will rise that will plague the world for a thousand years, and how will the combined might of the Justice League and the Justice Society stop it?

Wandering nipple aside, that’s actually one of Michael Turner’s better JLoA covers (or at least far, far better than his worst). But man, JSoA’s covers are, like, a billion times better. How come “the world’s greatest heroes” can’t have the world’s greatest hero painter doing their covers?

JSA PRESENTS: STARS AND S.T.R.I.P.E. VOL. 1 TP Written by Geoff Johns. Art and cover by Lee Moder & Dan Davis.Collecting issues #1-8 of the STARS AND S.T.R.I.P.E. series that kicked off Geoff Johns’ DC career and introduced Courtney Whitmore, the Star Spangled Kid! When Courtney discovers her stepfather was the sidekick of the Star-Spangled Kid, she begins acting as the all-new Star-Spangled Kid! He retaliates by donning an 8-foot suit of armor to keep her out of trouble, and adventure ensues!

I’ve been waiting for DC to get around to collecting the rest of Johns’ output, specifically this book. Between his name on the cover and the JSA tie-in, this seems like a no-brainer decision. I really dug Moder’s pencils in this series, and would be on top of this trade collection if I didn’t already have the singles. I wonder why #0, which guest-starred Starman Jack Knight, isn’t included in this trade though.

SHADOWPACT #13 Written by Bill Willingham. Art and cover by Scott Hampton. All of the Shadowpact’s most dangerous foes have been marshalling their forces in secret behind our heroes’ backs...and now along comes Zauriel... but to side with them or to slaughter them?

Damn it! I’ve managed to resist buying this series for a year now (despite my affection for Ragman), but now it looks like I’ll have to, what with the Zauriel guest appearance and all. Hope it’s half as good as Willingham’s Helmet of Fate: Detective Chimp special was.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE ATOM VOL. 1 TP Written by Gardner Fox. Art by Gil Kane, Murphy Anderson and Sid Greene. Cover by Kane & Anderson. From the Silver Age of Comics comes this collection of science-fiction tales starring Ray Palmer, The Atom! Included here are some of the Atom’s greatest adventures, from SHOWCASE #34-36 and THE ATOM #1-17!

Let’s see…um…hm. You know, I thought it would be easier to come up with a dirty joke involving Dr. Rape and a miniature man trapped inside a light bulb, but I got nothing.

THE TRIALS OF SHAZAM VOL. 1 Written by Judd Winick. Art and cover by Howard Porter. Collecting the first 6 issues of the new maxiseries by writer Judd Winick and artist Howard Porter! Freddie Freeman, also known as Captain Marvel Jr., has been left powerless, but is given the opportunity to take over the mantle of his mentor, Captain Marvel…if he can pass tests administered by the gods!

Wow, a trade? Really? They’re awfully confident that all those people not buying the monthly are waiting for the trade, aren’t they?

RE-GIFTERS Written by Mike Carey. Art and cover by Sonny Liew & Marc Hempel. The Minx imprint continues with a new project by the creative team of MY FAITH IN FRANKIE — writer Mike Carey and artists Sonny Liew & Marc Hempel! Meet Jen Dik Seong — or "Dixie" as she's known to her friends. Korean American, dirt poor, and living on the ragged edge of LA's Koreatown, Dixie's only outlet is the ancient martial art of hapkido. In fact, she's on the verge of winning a championship — until she falls for fellow California surfer boy Adam and gets thrown spectacularly off her game. As she struggles to win the tournament — not to mention Adam's affections — Dixie learns that in love and in gift-giving, what goes around comes around.

This is a wonderfully-designed book, and My Faith In Frankie was good enough to recommend any title this creative team comes up with.

No comments: