Robot 6

Grumpy Old Fan | Warming up to DC’s June solicits

No means no, Superman

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!

SEEN IT

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?

JUSTICE LEAGUE

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!

COLLECTIONS

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.

GREEN LANTERN

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.

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

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Comments

17 Comments

Guy had that little coma thing–but he had Kari Limbo too. A wash, perhaps? ;)

I’m buying the Invisibles Omnibus. I like my books to double as weapons.

If I find out the Invisibles Omnibus has sewn binding I’ll buy it. Otherwise it seems like a waste to me.

I’m with Crab Leg.

I really loved the cover to issue two of Dial H, getting a peak at what kind of insane super heroes that series has in store for us. I’m incredibly excited about this series, seeing one of my favorite authors create new super heroes every month alone is worth the price of admission.

I think the GL: Red Lanterns thing is likely the result of a desire to give each of the four major GLs his own title to headline. I suspect we’ll see Guy, who was once a Red Lantern, spending more time in that title soon.

“I really like George Pérez’s cover for Worlds’ Finest #2, but wow, the Irradiated Man looks a lot like the Anti-Monitor, huh?”

I said that too! That was the first thing that jumped out to me about the cover. The second was Power Girl’s uniform: it looks like it was tweaked a little bit since the cover of WF #1 was released. Her gold bands have been minimized, the collar has changed, and she has a blue stripe running down the sides of her uniform now. I wonder if the alterations have anything to do with the fact her first uniform strongly resembled that of Rob Liefeld’s Majestic. In any case I like the new look just fine.

I also thought Jim Lee’s Justice League cover was pretty interesting, but that’s as far as I’m gonna go with the book. I dropped it after #6.

I think it’ll be a pretty good month overall.

This is the first month of solicitations where absolutely nothing interests me (with possible exception of Millar’s Superman Adventures collection). I stopped with monthlies with launch of New 52, but was always eager for new collections. Not this time. Nada. It may be start of a trend. I may get some of the bigger New 52 books when they hit TPB, but by then I may have lost interest entirely. We’ll see. Everything has to end some time. Sigh.

The trials of Wonder Woman storyline was a mixed bag with different writers and artists thru out the 12 stories. (Can you imagine Phantom Stranger by Kurt Schaffenberger? That’s what we get when its his turn to spy on WW.) Once you get past the creepy factor of Diane being spied on and the unintentional hilarity of WW seeking to prove herself worthy to rejoin a JLA that just let Elongated Man in, it is an interesting experiement. (Towards the end, Marty Pasko is the de facto main writer and incorporates something approaching continuity.) The ironic thing that this was barely resolved before Diana found herself kicked out of her own book…by Wonder Woman of Earth 2—to tie in with the WWII stories of the TV show. Of course, by the time the comic book did that, the show had moved to present day stories. Yeah, comics!

knightphoenix2

March 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Red Hood is definitely looking better, now that the writer and artist have decided to treat Starfire as a person, rather than a sex toy!

And, I am looking forward to seeing then write Starfire as she originally was in the New Teen Titans – a competent, deadly alien warrior, who rescued herself from slavery and captivity. In fact, it looks like they’re taking that further, by having Princess Koriand’r as the leader of a military crew.

Hopefully, this two-part “Starfire and The Outlaws” will lead to a new Starfire in space series! And, it’d be really great if we could get Donna Troy, Raven, Jericho, Kole, Lilith, and yes, even Danny Chase in this.

I think I will get Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors. I’ve got a bit of an interest in that story.

Um, Starfire has been pretty competant as a fighter, and really strong personality wise, since issue two of Red Hood. This is what happens when you drop off after the first issue because of some bad editorial rewrites….

And Guy got way worse punishment than any of those guys – do you not remember his Warrior period?! I start to convulse just thinking about…..

no mention of GoW end eh?guess if it not original DC brand its not important

Swamp Thing and All Star Western – Jose on pencils. I’m having a nerdgasm already.

No interest in the Before Watchmen series. But then, I still haven’t read the original or watched the movie yet! :)
The fact they are $4 for a 32 page comic made me think I had somehow stumbled into the Marvel solicits.. not impressed. And feel bad for the people who really want them. Unless, like I heard, it could be 32 pages of full story with no adds (even 28 pages would be fine) . Then, I gotta gives props to DC. We will soon see which way the page count falls!

More American Vampire is a major plus!! Loved how they put the first mini in the 3rd HC.

Looking forward to JLD with Lemire on board. And having Felix Faust as the big bad sounds great! ( but what I’d really love is to see is his son, Sabastian Faust) – But them I’m sure you can tell, what with my name there! haha…

And no League crossovers! I just cancelled JL – and JLI also sucks! – Which is a shame, because I loved Jurgens on Booster Gold. It was a must read title for me.

Wait, theres a villian in Batgirl named ‘Knightfall’? … god, help me! Simone on Batgirl is like my problem with Jurgens on JLI – its just not clicking for me, when I normally enjoy her work. Weird.

Not happy that Sepulveda is off Stormwatch. I really like his work (his Thunderbolts run looked AMAZING!!) –
hopefully DC has something new for him!

The Invincibles omnibus sounds appealing – but also like it would be really hard to read. And heavy. Keep it handy as a weapon! haha… Thats alot of issues!

Pleased Black Hand is returning – and unlike alot of continuety (sp?) nazis – I don’t really care to much about it, as long as I enjoy a story. I’m good.

Wow, I wrote alot! ;)

Jake Earlewine

March 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Other than The Shade, DC doesn’t get any of my money this month.

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