Monday, July 20, 2009

DC's October previews reviewed

For the complete list of comic books and suchlike that DC Comics plans to publish in the month of October, click here. To read my thoughts on those plans, read on...

Written by Greg Rucka & Sterling Gates; co-feature written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Julian Lopez; co-feature art by CAFU
Cover by CAFU
“The Hunt for Reactron” part 3! Supergirl and Flamebird continue their slugfest, with poor Nightwing caught in the middle! Wait, isn’t that man standing over there the same Reactron who murdered Supergirl’s dad and Flamebird’s surrogate father? Get him! Continued in SUPERGIRL #46...

And in the new Captain Atom co-feature, the mystery of where (and when) Captain Atom is heats up when someone with a connection to Metropolis arrives on the scene. But are they friend or foe?
On sale October 14 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

I can’t decide if “The Hunt for Reactron” is a really dumb name for a storyline, or if it’s kind of cool in its simple, declarative, unashamedly cheesy way. Like, it’s not called “World Without Superman: Radioactive Requiem—Dusk” or something like that.

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Ramon Bachs
Cover by Jock
Variant cover by Frazer Irving
Following the events of “The Eighth Deadly Sin” in BATMAN ANNUAL #27 and DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11, the new monthly series starring Death's Dark Knight begins! Michael Lane is a man in search of redemption, but does serving the Order of Purity as God's Angel of Justice bring him closer to achieving his goal – or simply send him further down a road paved with good intentions? When a hired killer comes to Gotham City seeking revenge for crimes committed decades in the past, Azrael faces an impossible conflict: What if God's justice forces the hero to claim one of God's servants? From writer Fabian Nicieza (SUPERMAN, TRINITY) and artist Ramon Bachs (RED ROBIN)!

Ha ha ha ha! Look, an Azrael ongoing! Ah ha ha ha ha! Oh man. Yes, if Azrael was unable to carry a monthly series, perhaps Azrael II will fare better. Shouldn't this be a back-up in Red Robin or Streets of Gotham or something? I'll give it 12, there's the Batman factor in its favor. Eighteen issues.

Whoever the new Batgirl is, she has violet eyes, which eliminates all of the popular candidates. I guess this means the new Batgirl is...Tempest?

Ha, I bet Grant Morrison wishes he thought of this.

Written by Doug Moench
Art and cover by Kelley Jones
The fan-favorite Bat-team of Doug Moench and Kelley Jones reunite to introduce the newest member of Batman’s rogues gallery in this twice-monthly, 5-issue miniseries! Horrible and unexplained murders have Gotham City held captive. Bizarre deaths have been occurring throughout the city, but the perpetrator is unknown. Even when the crimes have been committed in view of witnesses, all that is seen is a glimpse of a weird, skinless “meat-man” who seems to fade away after the crimes. Gotham’s only hope is their Dark Knight Detective, but how can Batman find and fight an Invisible Man?
Issue #1 on sale October 7, issue #2 on sale October 211 and 2 of 5 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Oh hell yes. I didn't have to wait that long between issues of Kelley Jones drawn Batman comics at all. And this time, he's reunited with Moench, and you know what that means: Awesome sound effects.

Written by Kevin Smith
Art by Walter Flanagan & Art Thibert
Cover by Bill Sienkiewicz
Variant covers by Gene Ha
As The Dark Knight stalks the night preying upon Gotham City’s criminals, Bruce Wayne spends his days getting reacquainted with former girlfriend Silver St. Cloud. Plus, Batman learns the name of his mysterious masked ally. From superstar creator Kevin Smith and guest-starring Aquaman, the New Teen Titans and Deathstroke the Terminator!


Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art and cover by Jesus Saiz
J. Michael Straczynski (Amazing Spider-Man) and Jesus Saiz (OMAC PROJECT) continue their series of unlikely pairings with a match that spans the decades! When an experiment meant to alter the speed of light goes awry, Barry Allen finds himself face-to-face with some surprising allies – World War II’s legendary Blackhawks! But Barry isn’t the Flash they know, and he’s not even the kind of hero they need to help fight history’s most grueling war! What must Barry sacrifice to serve his country – and his world?
On sale October 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Hmm, not as unlikely a pairing as Batman and the H-Dial, but still on the off-the-beaten-path side of DC team-ups.

Written by Otto Binder
Art and cover by C.C. Beck
At last, DC Comics collects the legendary serialized story from the pages of CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES #22-46 (1943-1945). The Big Red Cheese battles foe after foe as he inches his way toward the malevolent force behind it all: the two-inch long, superintelligent worm known as Mr. Mind!
Advance-solicited; on sale December 23 • 272 pg, FC, $39.99 US

Oh shit, it's a comic I demanded! I guess I better buy it then, although yikes, $40? Hmmm...Okay DC, I'll buy it, but it might be the only DC comic I can afford in December.

Now let's make with the Shazam Chronicles already.(I'm never happy, am I?)

Written by John Broome
Art by Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson and others
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver
These seminal tales from the 1960s, torn from the pages of SHOWCASE #8, THE FLASH #105, 106, 110, 113, 117, 122, 140 and 155, introduced the Scarlet Speedster’s Rogues Gallery, including Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Gorilla Grodd, the Weather Wizard, Captain Boomerang and Heat Wave — all prominently featured in FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES’ REVENGE.
Advance-solicited; on sale November 25 • 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US

This looks fun. Not sure why you'd want a Van Sciver cover over a collection of Infantino art, but whatever.

Have I mentioned how dumb the John-Stewart-as-sniper thing is here before? I'm not sure I understand what the point of using a magic wishing ring to create a gun that you then have to shoot a bullet or laser beam out of when you can just shoot the bullet or laser beam directly out of your magic wishing ring. Also, what's with the scope? You don't need to aim John, it is a magic wishing ring.

Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mark Bagley
Variant cover by Andy Kubert
A new era begins for the World's Greatest Heroes as superstars James Robinson (STARMAN, SUPERMAN) and Mark Bagley (TRINITY, Ultimate Spider-Man) take over! It all begins as a one-time member of the JLA falls before he can warn the team of looming peril while what's left of the JLA journeys to the heart of their past to decide if the team has any future at all.

Of course, that means this is the best time for a savage villain from the team's past to attack the demoralized heroes! The team will have to muster enough will to win not only today, but in the harrowing months to come. It's the start of a spanking new odyssey for the JLA that will lead in the coming months to a fresh line-up for DC's flagship team. Get onboard now for the next epic chapter of the Justice League's legacy!
On sale October 21 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I was pretty excited (and surprised) by the announcement of this creative team, given that I love the Justice League, but have hated the work of either the artist, the writer, or the artist and writer on the title since it’s troubled relaunch, and it’s been off my pull-list for a while now.

But James Robinson? That guy’s pretty good (although his JSA work was sorta on the so-so side, and the first issue of his Cry For Justice was shockingly bad). And Mark Bagley? I like him a whole lot, and considering he’s one of the few working artists who seems capable of drawing 22 pages of pencil art a month, he should help give the title the visual consistency it’s lacked since it’s relaunch.

As for surprise, I was surprised that Geoff Johns wasn’t writing it, given the hints that have been dropped in Green Lantern lately, and the fact that he’s essentially writing most of the Satellite Era Justice League in Blackest Night at the moment (even if most of ‘em are zombies). But then, Robinson and Johns are pals, and are on the same page in general, so JLoA should at least be “in the loop” of goings-on in the DCU in a way it hasn’t been for a while.

And hey look, there’s EDILW favorite Plastic Man on the cover! Will Robinson keep him around? He did wonders with the Dibnys during Starman, so he’s done right by at least one old-school stretchy hero before.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cry For line-up merge with the current JLoA line-up (John Stewart, Vixen, Dr. Light II, Firestorm II that it? I think that's it) to form a new JLA, but I guess we’ll see. In the meantime, just having an artist whose work I can stand looking at on the title is a big improvement.

Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli
How far would you go for justice? The heroes have found themselves turning to darker tactics in their search for retribution. Starman and Congorilla have captured the killers who took down some of their friends, but now what do they do with them? Meanwhile, Green Lantern and company wrestle with the idea of torturing villains for information in order to save lives.
On sale October 7 * 4 of 7 * 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Oh man, this thing’s only going to be half way over before Robinson’s run on the mother title begins? Interesting that in this issue “Green Lantern and company wrestle with the idea of torturing villains for information in order to save lives.” Um, weren’t they already torturing villains for information in the very first issue…?

Written by Paul Kupperberg and Frank Strom
Art by Fabio Laguna and Robert Pope
Cover by Vincent Deporter
The gang slips into a slimy mystery when a Nevada mining
town finds itself terrorized by what the locals describe as a giant, mutated snake-like creature! But is a real threat looming? Or is this all just a ruse?
On sale October 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.50 US

Every month when I'm scanning through these and I come to the Scooby-Doo solicitation, I see the name "Robert Pope" and think for a split-second it says Paul Pope and get super-excited, then realize my mistake and feel heart-broken that the awesome comic I imagined—Paul Pope's Scooby-Doo!—existed only in my mind. For a split-second. At least until next month, when I'll make the same mistake and it will exist for a single split-second more.

Written by Len Wein, Paul Levitz, Cary Bates and others
Art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Murphy Anderson, and others
Cover by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Superman meets DC’s greatest heroes including The Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and many more in this title collecting DC COMICS PRESENTS #1-26.
Advance-solicited; on sale November 18 • 512 pg, B&W, $17.99 US

Fuck yes. It's just like Brave and the Bold, but with Superman instead of Batman.

Written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods
Cover by Gary Frank
Variant cover by Joe Kubert
On a mission in space, Superman and his fellow Kryptonians encounter the might of the Thanagarian Army. Can Superman keep things peaceful between the two races – or will The Man of Steel discover that Hawkman’s legendary temper is shared by all his people?

Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Gary Frank), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Joe Kubert). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale October 7 • 8 of 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Oh Man of Steel, haven’t you read any books featuring Thanagarians in the last 25 years? Of course they’re a bunch of winged a-holes just like that cock Hawkman. Actually, the Hawks were supposedly the more mellow, laid-back Thanagarians, weren’t they?

Hey, a Joe Kubert cover on a book featuring some Hawkpeople! That sounds sweet, why I--Oh, it’s one of those 1-in-25 variant scheme dealies, so it’ll cost like $20 at my shop or some shit. I bet it looks cool though!

By the way, have many (any?) of you been following World of New Krypton series? How is it? I didn’t care for the first issue and bailed, thinking if it got better I’d check it out in trade. What’s the verdict so far?

Written by Gail Simone
Art by Bernard Chang
Cover by Aaron Lopresti
It's a civil war – and the world hangs in the balance! Zeus has made Achilles ruler of the Amazons, and Diana finds herself in battle against the people she loves most! And what is the secret behind the sudden rash of pregnancies on Paradise Island?
On sale October 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Sex? Is it sex? Or is that too obvious?

GEN13 #32

Hey, they still publish these books? Weird.


Jennifer said...

Chiming out from lurkerdom to say I'm enjoying the New Krypton stuff so far. It's probably a little too heavy on the political-machination side, but I like the way Kal's written, and it's interesting to see him deal with being one Kryptonian among many. Albeit a Kryptonian trained in hand-to-hand combat by Batman, as he points out a bit smugly after clobbering someone.

I'm finding Zod an interesting an complex villain as well so far, too, which is unusual. Having a whole planet of Kryptonians under his control makes him less a simple power-mad nutcase with a grudge and a more political figure.

Basically, I've found it to be good character development for Kal, and the glimpses of Kryptonian society are interesting, if a bit simplistic. YMMV, of course!

snell said...

...if Azrael was unable to carry a monthly series...

Well, Azrael did last for 100 issues, which ain't chopped liver...

As for surprise, I was surprised that Geoff Johns wasn’t writing it, given the hints that have been dropped in Green Lantern lately...

Rumor has it that there will be a second JLA book announced this week, by Johns and Jim Lee.

Unknown said...

Don't scoff at those Wildstorm titles. Since the Captain Atom mini series a few years ago, the whole line has been very entertaining. Fun comics that build on rather obscure Wildstorm continuity while really running with the whole End of the World scenario. Great stuff.

Ethan VS said...

RE John Stewart, Sniper.

Part of GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH's ambition was to show how each Lantern's personality affected their willpower, which affected their rings and how they used them, differently. John is an architect, designer, mechanic. He needs to put things together and have them make sense in order to cause an effect. A simply way of representing this, sometimes, is for him to assemble a green cosmically high powered rifle and scope out a target. It is a manifestation of exactly what you are suggesting: A wish. Plus, it looks cool.

Ethan Van Sciver

Ethan VS said...

PS. And I agree about the Flash collection cover! But if newbie young Flash readers find Infantino through Flash Rebirth and their familiarity with my art, hell, it's a good thing.

I like your blog!

Anonymous said...

Haha your commentary on the previews are always amusing. I enjoy them.

Although, the original Azrael series lasted for a hundred issues so I don't think it's fair to say he couldn't hold a book. But I don't think this new one will last long either.

LurkerWithout said...

I think Spoiler's eyes might be violet. But I don't care enough to confirm that...

Hdefined said...

I'm glad people already called Caleb on those poorly thought out criticisms of Azreal and the GLC cover so now I don't have to.

Caleb, sometimes you have valid criticisms, and then sometimes it seems like you want to complain about something because doing so gives you a nice tingly feeling. Don't follow that feeling.

esteban138 said...

I think we ALL demanded Shazam and the Monster Society of Evil.

snell said...

Hdefined, please don't include me in your little reindeer games. It's a conversation, not a competition, and I was not "calling" anybody on anything.

As to your second parapagraph, talk to the man in the mirror, bubula.

JohnF said...

Batgirl is clearly Elizabeth Taylor. From...ummm...Earth-8.

Kirk Warren said...

The John Stewert sniper thing really cracks me up. It was never really explained and added in so randomly. It also, as you mentioned, makes no sense to form a sniper rifle to shoot. I could see if Johns introduced it to do something with, but it's just sort of there and only used to have him form a sniper rifle every once in a while to shoot someone far away, like in the Sinestro Corps War special.

Hdefined said...

Kirk, did you not read EVS's comments above?

Bella's owner said...


Thanks for chiming in!

Well, Azrael did last for 100 issues, which ain't chopped liver...

That's a good point. Obviously the character could sustain a title for a long time, even if not indefinitely.

I don't see a new attempt lasting too terribly long though, particularly since it's a legacy character and not the guy who was Batman for a year starring.

I wonder if Denny O'Neil helped sell Azrael as a, was he a big draw at that point in his career?

Don't scoff at those Wildstorm titles. Since the Captain Atom mini series a few years ago, the whole line has been very entertaining

I haven't read any of the Wildstorm Universe stuff since Grant Morrison's two issues or so...and at least one issue of Gail Simone's Gen 13. I realized when I saw those that I never hear anyone talk about those books ever. Like, I never see reviews of them anywhere, I never hear any friends mention them, or even see stories about them...although it's quite possible I'm just not paying attention.

Part of GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH's ambition was to show how each Lantern's personality affected their willpower, which affected their rings and how they used them, differently. John is an architect, designer, mechanic. He needs to put things together and have them make sense in order to cause an effect.

Ethan Van Sciver! Hey, thanks for stopping by!

I recall that aspect of GL: Rebirth, which was an aspect of the book I really liked (Kyle's constructs starting as sketches in the air, Guy's power ring working like a firehose, etc.) I didn't think to extend John Stewart's mechanical-oriented ring generating to creating tools and weapons, but I can see how that would make sense.

As for what looks cool, I suppose that's in the eye of the beholder. Me, I'm a fan of big green mallets and fists.

I think Spoiler's eyes might be violet. But I don't care enough to confirm that...

I thought the same thing, about both Spoiler and Misfit. The not caring enough to look it up part. If I had to bet money, I'd put it on Stephanie Brown at this point.

I suppose any of 'em could have purple eye contact lenses in to throw us off the trail too...

I'm glad people already called Caleb on those poorly thought out criticisms of Azreal and the GLC cover so now I don't have to.

What's this? My knee-jerk, hastily-written responses to a couple sentences of ad copy referring to comic books that won't even be released for a few months aren't extremely well thought out criticism? Hard to believe, isn't it?

It was never really explained and added in so randomly.

I think someone needs to do a John Stewart: Year One miniseries at some point (although I'm not sure what they'd actually title such a series).

I haven't read many stories featuring Stewart between his first few appearances and his joining the JLA, but it seems to me that at some point he stopped being the comic book John Stewart and started being the cartoon John Stewart in the comic books, and thus a clarifying miniseries would be appreciated.

Strike while the Green Lantern iron is hot, DC!

Anonymous said...

Why the heck is Monster Society of Evil so darn expensive? It's why I didn't collect the single issues. I skimmed issue 1 and it actually felt shorter than a regular comic.

And I wonder if they can reprint the Masters of the Universe issue of DC Comics Presents, in light of Marvel being unable to reprint stories featuring Rom or certain Shang-Chi characters.

Derek said...

Thought I'd comment on New Krypton, since you asked.

I've been loving it, frankly. It's a great showcase for what makes Superman Superman. It's not the powers,it's not his Kryptonian heritage, it's not the costume. It's his earnest and unerring desire to do the right thing, which he learned from kindly Earth couple in Kansas.

In short, it's proving every issue that what makes Superman Superman, is Clark Kent.