(By the way, I’m not really comparing Countdown to something designed deliberately to be the worst musical ever produced. I’m just running out of time to make cheap jokes at its expense.)
Not a lot of surprises in the April DC solicits. Finally, the new Titans series debuts. Finally, Countdown reaches its last issue, along with most of its tie-ins. Still, that’s not to say there’s nothing intriguing here. Let’s get started, shall we?
YOU CAN CHANGE THE NAME OF A ROSE, BUT YOU CAN’T DO NOTHIN’ ABOUT THE SMELL
With a DC/WildStorm miniseries joining the DC/Tangent miniseries, that’s two look-how-different crossover stories running contemporaneously. Obviously I’m a big fan of the Multiverse concept, but this bugs me for a couple of reasons. First, we’ve just spent a year dealing with eleventeen versions of Batman, and I could use a break. Second, these kinds of stories run the risk of diminishing the crossed-into universe.
Maybe I’m bringing my own prejudices in unnecessarily, but it seems to me that DC’s not going to let the more familiar (and more marketable) DCU characters look too much like chumps, even in another editorial board’s universe. The Captain Atom: Armageddon miniseries (and by the way — what is it with WildStorm and “Armageddons”?) let Cap be something of a jerk because he wasn’t automatically as upstanding and square-jawed as, say, Superman or Green Lantern. Really, can’t you map out the DC/WS character beats already? Or am I just flashing back to the JLA/WildCATS crossover from 1997?
I do like Jamal Igle’s art, though, so that makes the Tangent miniseries attractive to me.
TITANS, AGAIN, SOME MORE
You-all should know by now how I feel about the new Titans series. Still, “forge a team from the ashes of old, dead friends?” Good grief. Actually, my first thought was that there aren’t a lot of B-list Titans left to kill.
The more I think about it, the more the “guilt the stars into reuniting” plot really grates on my nerves. Yes, I’ll buy Titans #1, and yes, that validates DC despite my real motives, but darnit, it’ll have to work pretty hard to get me to buy issues 2, 3, etc. There are ways to get these particular characters back together without the aforementioned death-fueled guilt trip. Ten years ago, Devin Grayson and Phil Jiminez had the original Titans group-hug their new series into existence. Say what you will about Devin Grayson, but at least that was something different. The question shouldn’t be “what will it take to reunite ‘em,” but “why have they drifted apart?”
Ethan Van Sciver watch: Three regular covers (C. To Mystery, Justice League of America, Four Horsemen paperback), one variant (Titans), and interior art on JLA #20.
Alex Ross watch: Four regular covers, not counting reprints (Batman, Superman, JSA, Black Adam paperback) and a plot assist (JSA).
Very fine Cliff Chiang cover for Green Arrow/Black Canary #7.
While the Batman-becomes-a-New-God rumor seems to have been debunked, apparently we’re still getting a “nothing ever the same” story, “Batman R.I.P.” (I presume DC uses the “NWEBTS” language with hip detachment.) My money’s on Damian, although Bat-Mite is an outside possibility. Grant Morrison’s Batman hasn’t been his best DC-superhero work by any stretch, but it’s still been consistently entertaining. If this means Morrison’s ready to go all-out, so much the better.
Oh, boy: Frank Miller takes on the wimmenfolk of Gotham again (some more), in All-Star Batman #10.
Hey, the Batman: Death Mask manga is being published by CMX! That’s pretty cool. And yes, it is the kind of thing I will buy, xenophobe though I am. Have you seen my Spider-Man: The Manga back issues?
I like the Nightwing #143 cover — a lot going on, but not too busy. Man, that Catwoman cover, though … it practically invents a new fetish, doesn’t it? Yikes.
I’ll probably end up getting at least the first issue of Batman Confidential’s “Wrath” storyline, but I have to wonder whether he really deserves a 4-parter. Oh, wait — looks like it’s set during the Disco Nightwing era. Sold!
Bummed that Kurt Busiek is leaving Superman, although if those pesky rumors are true he’ll be writing the Man of Steel in the next weekly title.
Supergirl #28 promises “[t]he last DCU hero you ever expected to see again — one who’s supposed to be dead!” Linda Danvers? (Dead to DC, at least….)
THIS AND THAT
I don’t speak a lick of Spanish, but I’ll probably still check out Blue Beetle #26.
Glad to see Checkmate isn’t celebrating issue #25 by being cancelled.
Looking forward to the Kamandi Special. Those Kamandi Archives always tempt me, so this’ll be a good sampler.
It’s always nice to see Paul Smith’s work, but what does this mean long-term for the art on The Spirit?
So, all of you who’ve been waiting for the Countdown trades … now that they’re starting, let us know what you think, okay? Seriously, I’ll be eager to see how it reads in bigger chunks. I bet it improves.
Hard to believe there’s never been a Legion best-of book before. I’m not really a Legion scholar, but I notice there’s nothing from the ‘80s Baxter series or the TMK series. That’s a pretty big stretch of publishing. Maybe it’ll be the subject of future collections, like the Eye For An Eye paperback?
The Tales of the Sinestro Corps hardcover is $5.00 more expensive, but just 8 pages longer, than the Sinestro Corps Vol. 2 collection. My guess is that a Tijuana Bible is involved.
I read the first issue of Justice ‘way back when, and decided it wasn’t worth a 2-year, bimonthly commitment. Collecting the miniseries in relatively inexpensive paperback form is getting me just that much closer to reading the whole thing. Having grown up with “Super Friends,” I’m supposed to like it, right?
Those of us who remember the fan angst which accompanied the 1986 Superman revamp, and particularly the changes John Byrne made to Krypton, may well find it ironic that the Byrne-written World Of Krypton miniseries (art by Mike Mignola) is now collected along with a bunch of those pulp-Krypton adventures it was supposed to replace. Regardless of which you prefer, it’s not a bad deal for $14.99.
The last Doom Patrol Archives reminds me, once again, that for most of my life they were on the “dead means dead” list. Wonder if they’ll get the Showcase Presents treatment. Speaking of which, glad to see Haunted Tank get a second Showcase volume. Hope that means more Showcase Presents Sgt. Rock, my personal favorite Showcase to date.
Green Lantern gets a third Showcase volume, but we’ll have to wait for Vol. 4 to get into the O’Neil/Adams stories. Maybe Vol. 5 will reprint the GL backups from Flash, which I spent a couple of Comic-Cons tracking down. Not that I’m bitter.
I know I just whined about the Tales of the Sinestro Corps book being so expensive, and here’s the World’s Finest Deluxe Edition with the same price for a lot fewer pages, but come on — it’s an incredibly fun miniseries with great art by the Dude! I am so there.
The Ex Machina Deluxe Edition isn’t quite the same format as the Starman and JLA Omnibii, is it? Seems similar.
AND FINALLY …
The All-Star action figures each look pretty good. I do note that this is the second Super-Lois figure we’ve gotten (the first was that Silver Age Lois in the green-and-yellow outfit). I kinda like the Batman and Batgirl figures more, but it’s not really a competition.
That’s all I’ve got for now. What looks good to you?