"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
DC’s July solicitations include such high-profile titles as Brightest Day, Justice League: Generation Lost, three Grant Morrison Bat-books, Neal Adams’ Odyssey, and the 50th issues of Ex Machina and Green Lantern Corps. We’ll touch on some of those in this modest survey.
However, as usual, it was an eclectic group of books which caught my eye … starting with a feature I wasn’t expecting to see.
NIGHT AND DAY
I hate to dismiss a series which I’d like to read before it’s even seen the inside of a comics shop, but I think the Atom Special and its subsequent co-feature may do better in collected form than in single issues. I base this on the quite-possibly-irrational notion that a significant amount of DC readers want to read about the Atom, but don’t especially want to follow the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Let me be clear right from the start: I don’t think that Dan DiDio, Geoff Johns, and assorted other DC functionaries had this week in mind whenever they decided to kick off a cycle of crossover-driven carnage which Blackest Night brought to a close. I don’t think they said to each other, back during George W. Bush’s first term, “we want a miniseries starring the Hawks, Aquaman and Mera, Captain Boomerang, Firestorm, and Black Adam Jr. We’ll bring Deadman back to life, and he’ll tie it all together. Oh, and we’ll bring Barry Allen back and launch his new book the same day.”
It’s a neat thought, though, isn’t it? Barry was the avatar of the Silver Age, and his new #1 drops the same week as the first issue of the you’d-think-it-would-be-peppy Brightest Day. They’re both written by DC’s new Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns (BD is co-written by Peter J. Tomasi). Heck, DC should’ve gone for broke and called April 14, 2010 the start of the Brightest Age. Some loose ends notwithstanding, I think we are done for a while with the annual Event That Changes Everything — and before I bury the lede too deeply, I’m not entirely sold on BD, but I liked Flash #1 a lot.
(SPOILERS FOLLOW for both books…)
* * *
SPOILERS after the jump for Blackest Night #8 … don’t say I didn’t warn you …
After the release of seven plastic promotional rings for Blackest Night and the announcement of three more for Brightest Day, some fans are hoping DC Comics will show the Legion of Super-Heroes a little love.
It seems only logical that a Legion flight ring should come next. After all, the Green Lantern Corps, the Flash Family and the teenagers from the future form a sprawling trinity of functional superhero jewelry. Plus, Legion of Super-Heroes is being relaunched with legendary series writer Paul Levitz at the helm.
But just in case DC needs a little convincing, fans have organized a grass-roots postcard campaign reminiscent of the one launched in September to return Wonder Woman to its original numbering. (Of course, that one originated with the publisher, not with readers.)
Blogger Sven Straatveit points out that DC already has a flight-ring mold — a ring was released with DC Direct action figures of Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl — so the company won’t have to shell out money for design or sculpting. Sound reasoning, that.
So how about it, DC?
For every 25 copies of Brightest Day #1 ordered by April 15, retailers can purchase one bag of 50 White Lantern rings for $8.
The Brightest Day promotion follows the publisher’s highly successful Blackest Night initiative that gave a significant boost to the seven titles involved. (Of course, the program has its detractors.)
While we’re on the subject of those multicolored rings, the DC Universe blog also reveals that the White Lantern ring will be included at no extra charge in DC Direct’s previously announced Blackest Night Power Ring Spectrum Set. The nine pieces have “light-up capability,” apparently.
Brightest Day #1 arrives in stores on May 5. The Power Ring Spectrum Set goes on sale on July 7.
I lived at home for a few years during college and law school, and soon fell into the habit of watching new Star Trek episodes (various series) with my parents. Every so often, at a particularly cliffhanging commercial break, my mom would turn to me and ask, perfectly serious, what was going to happen next. Of course I didn’t know, and eventually I said something like “oh, this is the one where they beam down to the Cuddly Teddy Bear Planet for tea and scones.” Soon the phrase “teddy bears” became shorthand for “invasion,” “warp core breach,” “musical number,” etc. Indeed, when Voyager’s crew was marooned on a primordial world at the end of the second season, I noted the nasty-looking lizards prowling around and said “look, Mom — there are the teddy bears!”
Accordingly, it is not in my nature to be optimistic about such things; and so I am experiencing a bit of cognitive dissonance with all this Brightest Day news coming out of DC. It’s like the publisher has traded so heavily in grim ‘n’ gritty that scrubbing it away will involve a year-long biweekly miniseries which (of course) ties into some of the publisher’s most recognizable titles. Apparently happiness has gotten so far from the DC norm that it’s become a brand.
Over on the Source blog, DC revealed another title falling under the Brightest Day banner — Justice League of America, starting with issue 44. Beyond the cover and the fact that some new members are joining, Executive Editor Dan DiDio had little else to reveal.
“Justice League of America will also feature the banner, starting with April’s #44, but the characters that will be joining the team are still very much under wraps,” DiDio said. “Sorry, I’m usually not this secretive in the afternoon. Hope you understand.”
Issue 44 also looks like it’ll feature an appearance by members of the JSA and JSA All-Stars.
We already know that writer Eric Wallace and artist Fabrizio Fiorentino, who worked on the miniseries Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink, will take over the book. Before that, though, the duo will work on a one-shot called Titans: Villains for Hire Special.
“We loved the work the two of them did on INK, so we’re excited to see them build a new team of Titans, under the leadership of none other than Deathstroke, the Terminator,” Executive Editor Dan DiDio said. “Who the members are and how they affect the original Titans is a major part of the DCU’s story for 2010.”
DiDio also revealed that Chesire and the Tattooed Man will be on the team’s roster.
More soon …
Looks like it’s gonna be one of those days: Hot on the heels of this morning’s announcement of Brightest Day, DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio has taken to The Source blog again to announce Brightest Day: The Flash. It’s the opening story arc to the new Barry Allen-starring Flash ongoing by the previously announced team of Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul (that’s the cover to Issue 1 above).
As you might have guessed, it’s just one of several books that will be use the Brightest Day banner throughout May and June, as Brightest Day isn’t just one series, but a line-wide event. Stay tuned for more, I’m sure…
“DC Comics this morning announced Brightest Day, the long-rumored follow-up to its bestselling Blackest Night crossover event.
On the DC Universe blog, Executive Editor Dan DiDio described Brightest Day as a 26-issue biweekly series that will debut in April with an Issue 0. The comic will be written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi.
The title, like Blackest Night, is derived, of course, from the first line of the Green Lantern oath: “In brightest day, in blackest night …”
Fernando Pasarin (The Outsiders, Justice Society of America) will pencil Brightest Day #0. However, no artists were announced for the rest of the series. More details are promised later this morning.
And in an interview with IGN.com, Johns revealed that some of the central characters from Blackest Night, such as the Atom and Mera, will be seen in Brightest Day.
“We’re introducing new characters, rebuilding some classic DC heroes and villains, and at the same time bringing in new concepts and ideas,” he said. It’s a lot like what we’ve done with Green Lantern. … That’s what I’m hoping Brightest Day accomplishes in the DCU – taking characters and concepts that have been around for a long time and reintroducing them in big ways and with new elements. That’s a lot of why, in Blackest Night, you’ll see a lot of characters confronting the past, because it’s time for us and them to put the past to bed so characters like Ray Palmer can move on to the next adventure and next step.”