Robot 6

Grumpy Old Fan | A full bracket for DC’s March solicits

OMAC #7

Since the March solicitations kick off the back half of the New 52′s first year, it’s probably worth noting that the whole line remains unchanged: no “midseason replacements” like Justice Society, but no cancellations either. If I hear relieved sighs from OMAC and Men of War, certainly Dan DiDio and Jim Lee have to be pleased generally that they’ve gotten this far with the 52 intact.

Well, pleased or stubborn, I suppose. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

Ahem.  Away we go…!

HISTORY LESSONS

One of my pet peeves about the New-52 is the sense that it lacks a meaningful “history.” For at least the last few decades, a reader might not have known exactly what had happened or when, but s/he could tell that these characters hadn’t just fallen off the turnip truck. I say this because the solicits for Justice League #7 and Flash #7 both allude to their books’ untold backstories. With Justice League, we’ll learn about membership turnover and other details of the five years between the League’s debut and today. (To be sure, some of that has already been alluded to in the League’s previous present-day appearances, like JL Dark #1.)

Similarly, Flash features the return of Captain Cold and probably some other members of the Rogues’ Gallery, so I presume we’ll hear about their various dealings with the Scarlet Speedster. Now, I don’t expect either of these books to make explicit references to particular Silver Age stories, because I think DC still wants to avoid alienating new readers with (what may be to them) arcane Easter eggs. Regardless, it’s comforting to know that these characters are getting at least some of their history back. (I would like to see an organizational chart explaining the jurisdictions of the main League, the JLI, and JL Dark, though….)

THIS AND THAT

Between OMAC and the Challengers of the Unknown’s Ace turning into a giant monster, I hope Dan DiDio isn’t thinking that’s his new sweet spot. (That and Jack Kirby references, of course — OMAC #7 gives us the new Evil Factory.)

It may be the longtime fan in me, but it’s hard not to think DC has some line-wide crossover planned for the New-52′s first anniversary. (The cynic in me thinks that’s why nothing has been cancelled yet.) While I’m on the fence about such a move’s artistic merits, I applaud the crossovers between I, Vampire and Justice League Dark. Given the former’s setup, it makes perfect sense that the latter would be involved. It’d also be nice to see more acknowledgment that various insidious events are threatening the larger DC universe — the vampire war, the stealthy alien invasions of Grifter and Voodoo, and the hinted connections among Frankenstein and OMAC and Superboy, Teen Titans, and Legion Lost.

I’ve liked Chip Kidd’s design work, including his showcases of Batman memorabilia, so I’m curious to see how that translates into writing Batman: Death By Design. With his clean, uncomplicated approach, Dave Taylor is a good match for this project, because he’s versatile enough to handle what I expect will be a wide range of styles. He also did one of the World’s Finest miniseries about ten years ago, and he drew a pretty good Batman in that.

COMINGS AND GOINGS

New creative teams abound: Joe Harris comes in for Gail Simone as Firestorm’s co-writer, while co-writer Ethan Van Sciver draws issue #7 in place of Yildray Cinar. Ann Nocenti and Harvey Tolibao are your new Green Arrow writer and artist.  James Bonny joins Tony Daniel as Hawkman’s co-writer. Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens write, and Jurgens pencils, Superman. After Sterling Gates’ departure, Rob Liefeld flies solo on Hawk & Dove. Paul Jenkins takes over writing Stormwatch from Paul Cornell (who then becomes free to write his own Saucer Country series, which looks quite good); Marc Bernardin takes over writing Static Shock; and Tom DeFalco is the new Legion Lost writer.

Also, Gene Ha fills in for Jim Lee on Justice League #7.  Fine by me!

MINISERIES

DC Universe Online Legends wraps up in March with issue #26, and as late as it may be for me, I am somewhat tempted to check it out. Essentially it’s an alternate take on the pre-New-52 status quo, which makes me feel oddly nostalgic. (Also concluding in March are October’s trio of 6-issue miniseries, Huntress, My Greatest Adventure, and Legion: Secret Origin.)

A couple of weeks back I wondered if there weren’t a new Night Force in the works, and what do you know? March brings another Night Force miniseries, courtesy of co-creator Marv Wolfman and appropriately-moody artist Tom Mandrake. I’m a little surprised that the solicitation just assumes everyone knows about Wolfman and the late Gene Colan’s team of supernaturally-oriented investigators.

Okay, I like THUNDER Agents pretty well, and I’m planning on getting all of the new miniseries — but why start a two-part backup story featuring one of the more obscure Agents in the next-to-last issue of what may be your final miniseries?

COLLECTIONS

The first four New-52 collections are solicited here, although they come out in May. While I know it’s not unusual to have a small gap between the last issue collected and the current issue on the stands, I like that readers who want to jump aboard with the monthly issues need only find (at most) three single issues to get caught up.

Alternatively, it’s entirely possible to see the New-52 collections as cousins to the superhero line’s original graphic novels (e.g., Luthor, Joker, and the “Earth One” books), with these first four kicking off an every-six-months schedule. If I were completely new to the superhero line, or otherwise didn’t want to commit to the weekly grind, that could be a fairly reasonable schedule.

Having “lived through” the “No Man’s Land” storyline back in 1999, I’ve not been that eager to revisit it. Therefore, the timing of these new paperback editions must be right. “NML” may even read better in big collections; because as effective as it was to watch Gotham abandoned and rebuilt in real time over the course of a calendar year, the experience surely becomes more attractive if it goes by more quickly.

I’m also glad that DC will be reprinting all of the “Knightfall/KnightQuest/KnightsEnd” saga in hefty paperback form. Like “NML” (which obviously took its format from the earlier events), these stories were serialized a week or two at a time, and played out over about eighteen months. In light of Bane’s upcoming star turn, it’s much easier to understand why DC is reprinting “Knightfall” again, but these remain some pretty entertaining comics regardless. Similarly, the “Venom” arc from Legends of the Dark Knight laid the groundwork for Batman’s eventual nemesis, but it stood on its own for at least a couple of years as well.

Although I seem to be saying this a lot more than I expected to, thanks DC for continuing the Archives line, this time with a new Green Lantern Archives volume. I was glad to get the first six, and I’ll be glad to see no. 7. Similarly, I’m glad to see the second volume of Secret Society Of Super-Villains solicited. The uneven tale of miscreants (and Captain Comet) operating on the margins of the Multiverse remains, with all its flaws, a fine example of DC’s superhero books in the 1970s. Plus, if my chronology is correct, it wraps up with the JLA arc which helped inspire Identity Crisis.

Speaking of the Multiverse, don’t get me wrong — it’s great that DC is collecting All-Star Squadron, the ‘80s series featuring Earth-Two’s Golden Agers fighting the Axis and other wartime bad guys. However, I do wish it was coming out in color, like those ‘70s Justice Society paperbacks from a few years back. Regardless, if the solicitation is accurate as to the issues collected, SPASS vol. 1 should include the five-part JLA/JSA crossover which bounces from the ‘80s to World War II to the Cuban Missile Crisis and involves three parallel Earths. Never could keep that one straight….

Finally, my stat-nerd heart is warmed by the thought of a Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude collection, and I bet yours is too.

* * *

Well, that’s what jumped out at me this month. What looks good to you?

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Comments

36 Comments

What looks good to me? From DC? Not very much, I’m afraid. Prior to the reboot, I was buying 25 to 30 DC’s each month. Now I’m down to three.

I’ll continue buying Action, as long as Morrison is writing it. And Batwoman, as long as Williams is on it. And I’ll keep buying The Shade, even though the art is among the crappiest art I’ve ever seen. That’s all for me.

Having collected DC’s religiously for 45 years, I feel like an unwanted child who has been kicked out in the rain. Whatever makes Didio happy…

It’s funny how people come on here and proclaim they were buying 25-30 DC books each month.
Which books? And if so, only a small group of you were doing it.

@Kel-El

And so goes the distorting lens of the internet.

I was buying 5-6 DCU books a month. Now I’m buying 14. Why? Greater line diversity.

I was buying most of the regular DC line before the reboot, and now I’m buying all of the new 52. Why? Because I would have been buying at 45 of them anyway, and I got a deal of 50% off if I bought all 52. $80 for all 52 isn’t that bad and I found a few books that I actually liked that I wouldn’t have purchased without that discount/deal. I like the diversity of the line. The biggest surprises to me are Blackhawks, OMAC, I, Vampire, and Hawkman. I think those books are really fantastic.

I promised myself that I would sample as much of DC as possible for all of their first story-arcs, and after that, I’d see which books I really wanted to stick with for the long term.

Four books in for some of these, and honestly, the only one I feel like continuing with at this point is Batwoman.

The Ray was fun, though, so I’ll be reading that entire mini for sure.

Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermeejo’s Lex Luthor was a collected mini-series and not an OGN, wasn’t it?

@Alex: Greater line diversity? In what way is this line diverse? Certainly not in terms of tone or style. The line of any year between 1995 and 2005 was much more diverse in almost every sense of the word, and certainly of a higher caliber creatively.

No DC prior to the New 52…now all 52 plus the minis…it is diverse, it does have a NEW feel about it…it does give me that ’68 Marvel feeling when I first started reading comics with a serious bent….I believe DC is taking this seriously and with proper care back story can always fix continuity issues to fit this New 52 universe.

But I do wonder what role FLASHPOINT will eventually play….I still for the life of me cannot see the ryhme or reason for the whole Flashpoint story lines…they just couldn’t have been a throwaway to set up New52?

In addition to all the DCnU monthly books #7s and DCnU the mini-series, I’ll be getting
BATMAN Volume 1: THE COURT OF OWLS HC
BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL (New Edition) Volume 1 TPB
CINDERELLA: FABLES ARE FOREVER TPB
FABLES #115
FAIREST #1
GOTHAM CENTRAL Book Four: CORRIGAN TPB
HELLBLAZER #289
iZOMBIE #23
Jack Kirby’s FOURTH WORLD Omnibus Volume 2 TPB
JUSTICE LEAGUE Volume 1: ORIGIN HC
THE NEW DEADWARDIANS #1 (of 8)
NIGHT FORCE #1 (of 6)
THE SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING Book One TPB
SAUCER COUNTRY #1
THE SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS Volume 2 HC
SPACEMAN #5 (of 9)
SWEET TOOTH #31
WONDER WOMAN Volume 1: BLOOD HC

On the ledge:
DOMINIQUE LAVEAU: VOODOO CHILD #1
I’m sick of stories set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, so I might skip this.

I bought about 80% of the DC titles before the New 52 launch, and I also planned to try to pick up each New 52 title through at least its first major storyline. I figured for most of those titles it would be around 6 issues, but some have been 4. So far I’ve dropped Voodoo and Static Shock, though I may revisit them if they get their creative teams in order. I’m calling these titles “on the bubble,” Men of War, Catwoman, Grifter, Mr. Terrific, Captain Atom, and sad to say Hawkman. I’m hoping that Men of War can make it, because I’ve really liked what DC has done with its Dark horror titles. I loved SGT Rock, Our Army at War, and Unknown Soldier as a kid. I missed those books, and I think they fill a niche (plus I was an Army lifer, lol). I think Hawkman should have gotten the same treatment Aquaman did, with high a powered creative team. I’m disappointed with Daniel’s run so far, maybe his co-writer can help him out. I also believe Deathstroke’s creative team really needs to ramp the book up a notch, and the same can be said for Captain Atom. My nostalgia for these characters will only keep me around for so long. I have enjoyed OMAC, just because its a simply written shamelessly Kirby-like drawn ripoff. And I mean that in a good way. Its like a great mindless Hulk story from back in the day. I don’t know how long it will keep me around, but I’m enjoying it right now. I’m also on the bubble with Blackhawks, its another nostalgic military themed book for me. Its been interesting, but they really need to pick it up there. That still leaves a big chunk of the New 52, that I consider to be pretty good stuff. I may come back to some of these books with new creative team shake-ups, but they really need to do something in my opinion. I kind of guessed that DC had kind of a wave 2 to the New 52, that would gradually start to come out when they identified some of their weaker titles. I’m curious to see just how long they will give these books, without replacement. I’m sure there are a lot of folks like me that are still giving some of these poorer titles a shot, and that’s the only thing keeping them afloat. At any rate, I’m anxious to see what DC has up their sleeve for the summer. I’m definitely ready for a return of the JSA, and I’m ready to see the conclusion of the Leviathan storyline.

Granted the titles are all tied together but you have a war comic, a western, a few more or less horror comics, an international espionage team book, a few sci-fi oriented books and their regular superhero stuff. It’s not exactly Image or Dark Horse but DC is offering more variety than they were a few years ago.

I’ll add that I read:
Superman, Action, Batman, Batman and Robin, Detective, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Justice League, Justice League International, OMAC, Static Shock, Stormwatch, Demon Knights, Batwoman, Batgirl, Nightwing, Resurrection Man, Teen Titans, Superboy, Supergirl, Legion of Superheroes, Blue Beetle, The Fury of Firestorm, Birds of Prey, Savage Hawkman, Green Arrow, and Captain Atom. I was dissatisfied with Blackhawks, Legion Lost, and Mister Terrific so I’ve dropped those.

Before the Nu52 I was down to 5 books (Green Lantern, Secret Six, Xombi, THUNDER Agents, Batman Inc.) Now I’m buying 20. The only thing I dont like about the 52 is that my two favorite books (S6, Xombi) got canned. Secret Six had a good run that I’m greatful for, but I wish Xombi could’ve been pushed into the 52. It would’ve been one of the most well regarded critically and I bet it would sell healthy numbers if only it had been released 6 months later. Alas, it was not meant to be :(

@Captain Comet: I think Xombie got caught in the crunch of Blackest Night, New Krypton, First Wave,Red Circle,and God knows what else at the time except maybe Flashpoint most of which came after.Nobody cared about or had money for a Milestone relaunch which ended up being a merger with the DCU.The numbers started low and went downhill from there for one of the best DC titles in years.My thought is that he will emerge in the pages of JL Dark if that doesn’t bite the dust as well.

@Grumpy Old Fan:Night Force.I think the release of DC Presents Night Force was supposed to alert people to some of the upcoming new arcs but the connection between the two got lost in the DCnU relaunch mania.How any of us are supposed to remember this when they release these things months apart is beyond me and there really was no promotional effort to connect the two so I could be wrong.My thought is some of the other DC Presents may serve the same function but with DC sometimes who really knows? Will there be a new Superman: The Kents Arc?

Comic books need co-writers?

I read alot these titles and will be honest the five I looked for ward to the most have not dissapointed me Animal Man, Swamp thing, Frankenstien, Batman, Batwoman . a few have suprised me as Red Hood has been a great read and beautiful to look at , Red Lantern , Justice league, Dark (It what Shadow pack should have been ) Night Wing, Catwoman Blue betel firestorm , teen Titan and leagion Lost are great reads . I read alot more of the titles but So hawk and dove and stativ shock are are on the fince as far as what I am looking forward to vertigo has Sauser county And Fairist both look fantastic . Alton I doubt there will be another Kents arc the first was actully a hIstoric retrospective of kanses rather then a super hero story I loved the part about John Browns burning of topeka kansas it is easily for gotten that John Brown was not a saintly abolishenast.

@Jono

Seriously? You think the pre-relaunch DCU was more diverse?

Right now, we’re getting horror books, a western, two war books, a Kirby sci-fi book, a fantasy book, a romance/horror book, whatever Frankenstein is, etc. There is far greater genre diversity.

Books like I, Vampire and Demon Knights simply would not have been launched were it not for the relaunch.

i miss the female Manhunter!!!

“It’s funny how people come on here and proclaim they were buying 25-30 DC books each month.
Which books? And if so, only a small group of you were doing it.”

Well, since you asked, smartguy:

Action Comics
Animal Man
Aquaman
Batgirl
Batman
Batman and Robin
Batman:The Dark Knight
Batwoman
Birds of Prey
Catwoman
Flash
Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE
Green Lantern
Grifter
I, Vampire
Justice League
Justice League Dark
Legion Lost
Legion of Super-Heroes
Nightwing
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Resurrection Man
Savage Hawkman
Stormwatch
Suicide Squad
Superboy
Supergirl
Superman
Swamp Thing
Teen Titans
Wonder Woman

31 by my count for December. Your point?

Hey Paulski, I think YOU missed the point. Kel-el was talking about before the DCnU.

I’ve been reading comics for decades. Don’t collect, just read and give them yearly to neighbor kids. I was happy with the amount ..about 10 a week I would buy, but now due to the EVIL DC, I’m buying 50 dollars worth a week. grrrrrrrrr. I also buy 2 or 3 Marvels (a month) AND…with the change in Green Arrow, I’m going to start picking up another DC title. I think DC did a smart and bold move.

I had 2 DC titles pulled before the relaunch now my gf and I have 44, not counting the mini series. Whats suprised me most is that for the most part I like what I’ve read, it’s been a good ride and I’m excited for things to come.

Old Pull list
Booster Gold (favorite)
Young Justice

New Pull list
Justice League
JLI
Aquaman (favorite)
Wonder Woman (favorite)
The Flash
The Fury of Firestorm
Captain Atom
Green Arrow
DCU Presents
Mister Terrific
Action Comics (favorite)
Superman
Supergirl
Superboy
Batman (favorite)
Detective ComicsBatwoman
Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman and Robin (favorite)
Batwing
Batgirl
Nightwing
Catwoman
Birds of Prey (favorite)
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Green Lantern (favorite)
Green Lantern Corps
Green Lanterns: New Guardians
Red Lanterns
Justice League Dark
Animal Man (favorite)
I, Vampire (favorite)
Resurrection Man
Vodoo
Grifter
Suicide squad
All-Star Western
Teen Titans
Static Shock
Blue Beetle
Young Justice
Huntress
The Ray

Only 2 books I’m not really enjoying but am buying for love of the characters is Batgirl & Static Shock (Though Static finally started explaining whats going on in issue 4, so maybe it will get better). Other things I’m not getting it’s mostly cause I haven’t tried them. I’ll think about hoping onboard when the trades come out. (Read OMAC at my LCS, really like it and think it has potential)

I just buy Superman line, Batwoman and Green lantern titles and Superman looks horrible, too much Emo to me, not the character I love and followed for almost my life. This 52 made Superman just a Spider-Man rip-off, which is sad, a rich and classic character turned not something so dull and stupid. Really Didio hit the jackpot destroying Superman.

DC Universe Online Legends? Waste of time.

The Gorn Identity

December 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Pre-New 52 I was just reading the Superman and Batman titles.

Now, in the “New 52″ era my list has more than doubled. I’m enjoying characters I’ve never cared about before like Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Those two characters have books that I’m really excited about. The Flash has been a visual treat and Sinestro is now my favorite Green Lantern. (Move over, Hal!)

2 books pre-New 52; +20 post

Old DC Pull List 26
New DC Pull list 18
Old marvel pull list 6
New Marvel pull list 12
so it all balances out

“Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermeejo’s Lex Luthor was a collected mini-series and not an OGN, wasn’t it?”

It was a mini-series, but I think they went back and modified it a bit when they reprinted it, and made it feel more like an OGN. It was supposed to parallel the Joker book they did.

Prior to the relaunch I was picking up:
Detective
Flash
Green Lantern
Batman Inc.
= 4 Books

Now I’m getting:
Action
All Star Western
Animal Man
Aquaman
Batman
Batwoman
Flash
Frankenstein
Green Lantern
Justice League
OMAC
Swamp Thing
Wonder Woman
= 13 Books
(Note: I just dropped JLI and Batgirl)

So, yeah, I’d say the new 52 worked for me.

I’m not reading any new 52 books… but I’d like to. I’m interested in the quirkier stuff but, really, I’m waiting for Secret Six to come back. :D

I did pick up Animal Man #1 and it was interesting but not enough to make me buy it regularly. I will check out the trade, however. Some of the Batman looks good.

I’m a wait for trade guy.
Nothing against floppies but it’s mostly a space consideration.
Although I had gotten into digital.

So here’s what I was following pre-52: Legion of Superheroes, Secret Six, Thunder Agents, Rebels, Justice Society, Green Lantern, Flash and Booster Gold.

Following on Digital: Justice League, Flash, Suicide Squad, Aquaman.

Waiting for trades: OMAC, Animal Man, Frankenstein, I Vampire, Blackhawks, Teen Titans, Resurrection Man, Ray, Green Lantern, JLI, Captain Atom and maybe Savage Hawkman, Action Comics and Superman.

My only problem with the new 52? No Booster Gold series.

I’m really enjoying the new 52. I’m actually in the midst of making some hard choices of what titles to drop to keep my monthly comics budget reasonable. As an alternative to dropping some titles outright, I’m actually looking to switch a few to digital and collect a month behind on my iPad so I’ll pay $1.99 instead of the $2.99 “same day as print” price. Creative solutions…

Pre New 52 I was reading zero DC titles. Post New 52 I read Batgirl, Batman, Batwoman, Birds of Prey, Flash and Nightwing. Plus I pick up the Huntress and Ray minis.

Before reboot I read 10 Marvel titles (mostly Avenger and associated solo series). Now I only collect Daredevil. And none of the announced “big events” by Marvel are tempting me back despite a 25-year history with Making Mine Marvel.

I read/collect six series from other publishers for non-supes/heroes stories, but DC is now where I satisfy my heroes jones save one series. The reboot made it possible and saved me in the heroes genre because I was pretty much set on dumping my Marvel titles regardless.

When the solicitations for the New 52 were released, I made up an Excel spreadsheet comparing three months’ worth of my DC order. Initially, I’d intended to compare August and September alone, but since August was loaded with those “DC Retroactive” one-shots I decided to do May as well.
May: 38 items, one of which was cancelled (Flash #13) and one of which hadn’t shipped by mid-June (Batman: The Dark Knight #4). Total cover price came to $120.62.
August: 44 items, which included two issues of Flashpoint, one issue each of two FP tie-in miniseries, one “Brightest Day Aftermath” book and 11 of the “DC Retroactive” one-shots. Total cover price came to $156.56 (the Retroactives were $4.99 each).
September: SEVENTEEN (17) items, total cover price $52.83. I ended up adding “Nightwing” at the last minute, bringing the total to 18 for $55.82. 52 new #1′s and no legacy numbering made it easy to treat the relaunch as 52 entirely-new titles, which I chose from based on creative team and story details. “The Flash” didn’t make the cut because Francis Manapul had no prior writing credits. “Aquaman” didn’t make it because of the plot description. “Batman: the Dark Knight” didn’t make it because the previous series was chronically late (and, frankly, I haven’t been knocked out by the new issues so far). “Hawk and Dove”–sorry, Sterling Gates, you’re a good writer, but I’m not up for a monthly dose of Liefeld art. “Supergirl” lost me on the setup, so did “Superboy.” And so on and so forth.

Since the relaunch, I’ve added the “Huntress,” “Shade,” “Legion Origin,” “Ray” and “My Greatest Adventure” miniseries (mainly for Kevin Maguire’s “Tanga”). I’m dropping “Firestorm” after Gail’s last issue, “JLI” is on the fence and, frankly, I’m so put-off by Superman’s New-52 status quo that I’m seriously considering dropping his eponymous book after having read it consistently since 1975.

Before
DC: Green Arrow (1)
Marvel: Daredevil, Punisher, Moon Knight (3)
Other: (0)

After
DC: All Star Western, Animal Man, Batgirl, Batwing, Batwoman, Frankenstein, Huntress, The Shade, The Ray, Aquaman, Penguin, Men Of War, Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Justice League Dark, Demon Knights, Batman & Robin, I Vampire (19)
Marvel: Daredevil, Punisher (2)
Other: Rachel Rising (1)

I’m planning to pick up another eleven of the New 52 in trade, and I initially pulled 40 of the #1.

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