Occasionally I talk about how perfunctory the monthly solicitation ritual can be … but not so for April!
On the same day the solicitations were released, Comic Book Resources launched its new “B&B” column, featuring editors Bob Harras and Bobbie Chase, and chock-full o’ factoids about various books. Moreover, the solicits were themselves packed with new story arcs, new creative teams, and an even more heightened feeling of coyness.
A big part of this coyness comes from April’s cover gimmick. Actually, we readers can only see half of the gimmick — because while every New 52 book will sport a fold-out cover, the solicits only show the left side. (Makes me wish there were a retailers-only edition of Previews, as this is just the kind of thing which surely irritates them.) To add to the anticipation, every New 52 solicitation ends with a question. Accordingly, this month more than usual, the solicits are structured precisely to set up dire consequences and leave them unresolved. Suspenseful!
Ah, but that sort of thing only encourages me. Let’s dive in, shall we?
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The next phase of the New 52 begins in May, as six new titles debut and Rob Liefeld carves out his own niche with a handful of others. My first impressions of the Next Six remain largely positive, but we’ll get into that in a bit.
SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES (GOLDEN AGE EDITION)
Basically, what we know about Earth-2 so far is that it has its own (multi-generational) version of the Trinity, it’s home to Alan Scott, Jay Garrick and probably Ted Grant, and at some point Darkseid invades. This does not mean that everyone who first appeared during the Golden Age still did. Indeed, we can suppose that, because the New-52 Huntress is apparently in her early 30s (at most, I’m guessing), that would make her parents at least 50-ish and probably closer to 60 or even 70. Thus, the Earth-2 Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle could have become Batman and Catwoman anywhere from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s. It’s a significant change from the original Earth-Two, where Helena Wayne was born in the early 1950s and became the Huntress in the late ’70s.
Last week DC Comics released a teaser image for their new teen superhero series The Ravagers series by writer Howard Mackie and artist Ian Churchill, which debuts in May following a crossover between their other teen books, Legion Lost, Superboy and Teen Titans. The team didn’t look too familiar to me beyond Fairchild, the former Wildstorm character who led Gen13 who has been popping up in Superboy lately, and I speculated that the team was made up of other former Wildstorm characters.
And of course I was wrong.
Mackie discussed the line-up with Newsarama’s Vaneta Rogers, and it’s a line-up the includes a bunch of names that should be familiar to longtime Teen Titans readers:
- Let’s start with the guy shooting the wave motion gun out of his chest, on the left … which means we’ll also have to talk about the girl on the right holding lightning. Apparently they are the New 52 versions of Thunder and Lightning. Back in the old DCU, they were half-Vietnamese twins, one with the power to control thunder and, um, one with the power to control lightning. I think the last time we saw them was during the Salvation Run miniseries where they were used to power Lex Luthor’s teleportation machine and send him home.
- As folks pointed out in the comments section, the lady in the middle there is Terra, who Mackie called “abrasive.” The name Terra, of course, has a long and sorted history with the Titans, dating back to the Judas Contract storyline. The name’s been used by a couple other characters since then.
- And with Terra on the team, it only makes sense that Beast Boy would also be there … although in the New 52 he is now red instead of green. I bet Terra breaks his heart at some point, poor guy …
- The monster-looking guy in the back is called Ridge, who I don’t recall ever seeing before.
And although she isn’t shown in the above image, Mackie confirmed that Rose Wilson would play a role in the book, as would the newly designed version of Warblade.
DC Comics’ Source blog has been busy today, what with all the artist announcements and those Before Watchmen statues. And now they’re providing a look at The Ravagers, the new teen super team coming to the New 52 in May, courtesy of Howard Mackie and Ian Churchill.
The group includes Fairchild of Gen13 and, most recently, Superboy fame, along with Rose Wilson and, um … Timber Wolf’s younger brother? A Brood? Actually, they seem familiar, but admittedly Wildstorm characters are kind of my blind spot, and I’m guessing that’s possibly where they appeared before. So, tell me in the comments — who are the Ravagers? Do any of them look familiar?
Although they won’t be solicited for a few more weeks, DC has already been talking up the six new(ish) titles coming in May. G.I. Combat, Dial H, Ravagers, and Worlds’ Finest join the returning Batman Incorporated and the long-rumored Justice So– I mean, Earth 2 — as the replacements for most of the New-52′s lowest-selling books.
As with the original New-52 group, every new title except one is familiar to longtime DC fans; and as with the original New-52, that book spins out of an existing feature. (Then it was Batman Incorporated begetting Batwing; here it’s the Teen Titans/Superboy nexus spawning Ravagers.) However, where the New-52 tried noticeably to make many of its books accessible — or at least uprooted them from established DC lore — most of the new titles seem to require some prerequisite reading.