PREVIEWS: "Civil War II," "Punisher" & More Marvel Comics on Sale June 1, 2016
It may sound snobbish to say that there’s not much noteworthy in a month which features the first round of Watchmen spinoffs, but the original announcement garnered such intense reactions that these solicits are rather anticlimactic.
Still, there’s plenty to discuss in the June solicitations, including a new American Vampire miniseries, an old Wonder Woman arc, linking the various Leagues, and lamenting some lost Lantern history. Absent any additional alliteration, away we go!
Most of Before Watchmen (everything except the Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias books) is scheduled for June. Not much more to say, really. If you’re not on board now, will these solicits sway you?
On balance I thought the first arc of Justice League was entertaining, but fairly superficial. Accordingly, I’m hoping Johns’ next storyline will be more substantive, since it looks like he’s taking at least two issues to build up the arc’s new villain (who’s “revealed” in June’s #10). In any event, I like #10’s cover — you can’t go wrong with costumed skeletons. (See also Wonder Woman #10….)
OMAC joins the JLI (as of issue #10, at least), and — as predicted by many — Mr. Terrific migrates to Earth Two.
Woo, new members fight the Demons Three in Jeff Lemire’s first Justice League Dark issue! Can Felix Faust be far behind?
Actually, I would like to see all these League titles cross over at least once a year, maybe even with Earth 2. Yes, just like the old JLA/JSA team-ups; but in the New-52 context I think it’s important to establish each team’s similarities and differences. The “original” League is still somewhat undefined in a present-day context, the JLI’s status with the UN is unclear now, and the JL Dark may have to wait ‘til June to start acting like a proper team (if, indeed, it ever will). It would be nice to see all three groups mixing and mingling, just to get a better sense of why each calls itself a Justice League.
ODDS AND ENDS
I really like George Pérez’s cover for Worlds’ Finest #2, but wow, the Irradiated Man looks a lot like the Anti-Monitor, huh?
As well, it’s nice to see Black Manta again (on the cover of Aquaman #10). Surprised he’s not mentioned in the solicits.
Also surprised to see Batman guest-starring in Batwing #10. Maybe upper management isn’t taking as big a role as I think.
I suspect the choice of the codename “Knightfall” (for what is advertised as a very high-profile Batgirl villain) sent shudders of angst through DC’s collected-editions department.
Oh, Red Hood, I fear it may be too late for you to win me back with your stories of a competent, respected Starfire. I know you’re trying. It’s not you, it’s me. (Oh wait, I was wrong, it was you.)
I liked the Survival of the Fittest miniseries a lot, so I’m glad to see Scott Snyder following it with American Vampire: Lord Of Nightmares. Moreover, Dustin Nguyen should be an excellent fit for the AV world.
“Dinosaurs” and an “inner world” almost makes it sound like Teen Titans #10 takes place in Skartaris — but I’m sure that’s too obscure a concept for the New 52….
The Shade #9 solicit says “the final chapter … begins here.” That sounds to my paranoid mind like DC hedging its bets on the series getting through all twelve issues — but I’m sure paranoia is all it is….
COMINGS AND GOINGS
Francesco Francavilla draws Swamp Thing #10. Matt Kindt comes aboard Frankenstein with its issue #10, and Ignacio Calero and Sean Parsons are Stormwatch’s new artists.
Yay, José Luis Garcia-Lopéz draws Bat Lash for All-Star Western #10!
I was going to say that both Showcase Presents Rip Hunter and DC Comics Presents Superman Adventures reprint relatively obscure material with contemporary appeal. However, that applies to quite a bit of DC’s reprints, doesn’t it? Anyway, I’m glad to see the Rip Hunter reprint because, despite its connections to the superhero line (most recently through Booster Gold) it’s a non-superhero part of DC’s Silver Age; and I’m glad to see the Mark Millar-written Superman Adventures reprint because it’s probably Millar’s best Superman work, and darn good Superman stories regardless.
The third Flash Omnibus finishes Geoff Johns’ tenure on the character. I was never the biggest Geoff-Johns-Wally/Flash fan, but there are some strong stories in this collection, including spotlights on the Mirror Master and Heat Wave, as well as the concluding “Rogue War” arc.
Brightest Day ended almost a year ago, but it seems to belong to the distant past now, doesn’t it? That’s why I didn’t expect DC to reprint the pre-relaunch Green Arrow: Into The Woods storyline, since it featured an old-school Ollie in a very particular phase of now-obsolete continuity. Still, for those curious few who were waiting, here it is.
I’ve read the first Invisibles collection a few times, and I haven’t especially disliked it, but neither have I been in much of a hurry to read the rest of it. As a result, I doubt the $150.00 Invisibles Omnibus is meant for me — but again, for those of you who’ve been waiting….
And speaking as one of the curious few who’ve been waiting for Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors, I’m happy to see it on the schedule. This is about the only big storyline I remember from the post-“Emma Peel,” pre-Lynda Carter days, and in fact I’m not sure it has much competition until you get into the Roy Thomas/Gene Colan revamp (when she got the double-W emblem) in the early 1980s. The writers and artists involved were (and probably still are) known better for their work on the Batman books, the Superman books, Flash, and Justice League — and the JLA are prominent throughout the storyline — which makes this look (in extreme hindsight) like DC really putting on a full-court press to get readers interested in Wonder Woman by re-establishing her superheroic bona fides. I have no idea how good the comics themselves are, but I’m eager to read this book purely from an historical perspective.
Is it really called Green Lantern: Red Lanterns now? Was the original title not clear enough?
Seeing Black Hand on the cover of Green Lantern #10 jogged my memories of his fate at the end of Blackest Night, which, in turn, got me thinking about all the books which once tied into BN — and which, I hasten to add, have probably had those ties erased from current DC continuity. This is the maddening aspect of the New-52’s piecemeal reboot: Blackest Night still happened, but only to the extent that it is necessary to facilitate today’s GL storylines. The Batman books have this problem too (*cough*four Robins*cough*), but in different ways and to different degrees. Like it or not, the Green Lanterns have been major players in DC history for the past few decades, and it’ll be hard to reconcile the pre-relaunch stories as long as they’re still fresh in readers’ minds.
Along the same lines, since GL Corps #10 has John Stewart on trial, I was ready to get all high-and-mighty about John always being the punching bag of Earth’s Green Lanterns, with Exhibit A being his failure at planet Xanshi (speaking of old GL stories…). Hal’s currently a probationary Lantern and Kyle got Parallax’ed in “The Sinestro Corps War” — so why, I was ready to ask, has Guy Gardner gone some twenty years without some significant Corps-related punishment?
Then I remembered that Cosmic Odyssey came out in the late ‘80s, several years before Guy was drummed out of the Corps and found one of Sinestro’s old rings, and I knew I was going too deep into the lore. Sometimes the past doesn’t serve you as well as you hope.
Well, that’s what jumped out at me this month. What looks good to you?