Friday, March 18, 2022

DC's June previews reviewed

I like this Derek Charm variant cover for Action Comics #1044. I like Charm's work a lot, and would love to see him draw more DC heroes, particular their younger and teenaged heroes like the new Superman. 

This looks like James Stokoe's work on this cover for Batman #124, but the solicitation copy only has variants listed from Jock, Gabrielle Dell'Otto and a Filya Bratukhin, so I'm not 100% sure. It's pretty awesome, whoever is responsible. The most biggest and therefore most obvious thing in the Batcave appears to be a giant robot of sorts, but I find myself most curious about the Bat-train in the background...

I call no way on the cover for Batman: Killing Time #4

I know it's just because of the movie, but I still think it says something about DC as a publisher when they can't get it together to keep a Captain Marvel/"Shazam" series going, but will launch a new ongoing series starring Black Adam. 

The character has been so regularly featured in the pages of JSA, 52 and, most recently, Justice League for so long it almost seems natural that Captain Marvel's second- or third-greatest villain is the only character from that franchise with his own book, but this is a little like DC publishing a Penguin or Riddler ongoing series instead of Batman...

Still, DC got Christopher Priest attached as writer to their Black Adam #1, and, in addition to being a great writer, that guy has plenty of experience writing black-clad heads-of-state and DC villains. Rafa Sandoval is attached as artist. 

The solicitation copy for Joshua Williamson and Daniel Sampere's Dark Crisis #1 seems to rather heavily imply that this is the new Justice League, made up of "the legacy heroes" who must step up to fill the vacuum left by the dead Justice Leaguers. That's...not a very exciting Justice League, given that it's just the Future State Justice League, right? Didn't DC already publish—and I skipped—comics featuring this Justice League?

I wonder if there will be an in-story reason for why these particular legacy characters are in the new League, rather than those with more experience/seniority, like Nightwing, Supergirl (or the other Superboy), Donna Troy, Garth and any of the other Green Lanterns who have been Justice Leaguers before...

Young Justice returns (hooray!) in Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 by a Meghan Fitzmartin and Laura Braga. 

I was pretty caught off guard by the announcement that Tim Drake was coming out as bisexual, given how unlikely it seemed (Tim has only had two serious relationships since his introduction to the DC Universe as a teenager, and both were with fact, he was dating Stephanie Brown the last time we saw him).

It just seemed there were more likely candidates among Robins (Jason Todd, Damian Wayne) or the Young Justice line-up (Superboy, who's horny teenage "womanizing" always seemed for show as it almost never actually lead anywhere, or Impulse). 

Then again, I never read the story in which Tim came out/realized he was bi, and maybe it was so well-written it can convince me that this is a natural development for his character, and not an artificial change to garner some press and maybe even some goodwill among fans who shipped him with boys in the past.

So I'm very much  looking forward to DC Pride: Tim Drake Special #1, which apparently collects the storyline from Batman: Urban Legends where Tim first realized he was bisexual, and includes new material, including a team-up with the Batgirls, which I suppose will resolve his current relationship with Stephanie Brown. 

Damn. Someone sure earned every penny they were paid for this variant cover for Deathstroke Inc #10...

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Marvel's June previews reviewed

I've got zero interest in the goofily-titled A.X.E.: Eve of Judgement #1—the "E" is for Eternals, and I guess if Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. couldn't get me interested in the Eternals, nothing can—but I do appreciate this goofy-looking cover concept of the various teams spying on each other. 

The solicitation for Fortnite X Marvel: Zero War #1 is this month's reminder that I am a middle-aged man now, and likely too old for superhero comics. 

June will see the launch of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty # 1 by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing and Carmen Carnero. While my new favorite Captain America, Hobo Captain America, appears on the variant cover above, the others all feature Steve Rogers. 

So I guess the plan is to have two Cap titles, Sentinel of Liberty starring Steve Rogers, Symbol of Truth starring Sam Wilson. 

Seems a little ouroboros-ish for Marvel Comics to be chasing the status quos of what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is doing with the characters, given that those current status quos are based on what Marvel Comics had done a few years previously, but hell, I have to assume the minds behind the various Marvel Universes have a better handle on what they're doing than I do.

There's nothing bad about Steve Skroce on a book about The Thing getting in fights called Clobberin' Time

Al Ewing and Javier Rodriquez follow-up their recent Defenders miniseries with another new Defenders miniseries, this one called Defenders Beyond. I...don't like the line-up at all (The character you might not be able to place? That's apparently Galactus' mom, Taaia). I guess I'll need to see how great that last Defenders mini was in trade before I decide if I wanna read this one or not. 

I'm a little surprised to see America Chavez on the covers for this, if only because she was announced as a new member of the new Thunderbolts team just last month.

What was I just saying about it seeming weird that the comics are following the movies that are following the comics from a few years back? Well here's Jane Foster reassuming the role of Thor again, just in time for this summer's movie in which Jane Foster becomes Thor. Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor is a five-issue miniseries though, so this, at least, seems temporary. 

Well that sure looks like a big moment on Gary Frank's cover of Thor #26...

I'm honestly shocked that no one has used the name "The Variants" for a superhero team yet, and I'm honestly not surprised that it was Gail Simone who thought to do so. Simone is teaming with Phil Noto for The Variants, a five-issue mini-series about Jessica Jones...and a case that brings her fact to face with various versions of herself. Hopefully she'll get to meet Krysten Ritter. 

Laura Kinney's outfit on the Hellfire Gala variant cover for Wolverine #22 is her best costume ever. The X-Men should really give up spandex altogether and only go into action wearing their formal wear from now on.

Monday, March 07, 2022

Black Canary apparently spent the majority of the Golden Age concussed.

Black Canary gets knocked out at a rate of about once per story in the pages of Black Canary: Bird of Prey. All above panels are written by Robert Kanigher and penciled by Carmine Infantino, with the exception of the last panel, which is by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson.