Well, it’s official: the path is now clear for me to stop collecting superhero comics. I’m sure that, after seeing the combined spectacle of the Super Young Team and Most Excellent Super-Bat, nothing else will quite measure up.
Oh, who am I kidding? I still want to see Grant Morrison and/or Mark Waid make good on their awesome plans for Super-Chief….
NUMBER ONE SEEDS
In fact, the Final Crisis solicitation does sound pretty appealing. It’s trying very hard to be “Kirbyesque,” although I’m not ready to say it succeeds. (What’s a good Morrison/Kirby mash-up term — “Morriso-Kirby?” “Kirb-ison?” “Morby?”)
On the other hand, Reign In Hell is doing nothing for me. I liked the premise of the Giffen-written Four Horsemen miniseries, but the execution was a little disappointing. Since I don’t have much affection for DC’s demonic characters, it’ll take some pretty good word of mouth for me to give this one a chance.
The solicitation for Rann/Thanagar: Holy War has gotten me interested simply by the shameless marketing device of fighting a dinosaur. Lest you think that the dinos will draw me in, however, they’re still not enough to sell me on the new War That Time Forgot miniseries.
For the second straight month (and the last time for a while), DC solicits five Titans-related books, not counting Tiny Titans or the Impulse guest-shot in LSH31C. I was going to include Rann/Thanagar: Holy War as well, for Starfire’s role, but that made me think — which of the older Titans have actually developed beyond automatic association with the team? Nightwing and Flash, sure; Donna, maybe (thanks to Countdown); and now, apparently, Starfire (thanks to 52). Beast Boy already had his own miniseries, so here are minis for Cyborg and Raven to give everyone their due. It’s exploiting the franchise, naturally; but at least most of the Titans will be able to stand alone.
PRIME TIME PLAYERS
So help me, I liked the first issue of Tangent: Superman’s Reign. The Tangent Universe is a weird duck, because its whole point is to use familiar names in unfamiliar ways. Its cachet therefore depends on those juxtapositions, and not so much the rejiggering of archetypes. Where the DC/WildStorm crossover offers easy archetypal pairings (Superman/Majestic, etc.), and the multiversal crossovers depend on relatively subtle differences, T:SR looks like a nice change of pace.
It feels like I’ve said a lot about Trinity already, so here I’ll just say I am also looking forward to it out of affection for Busiek’s Superman.
Wow. According to Batman #678, it’s taken just three issues to destroy Bruce and Batman completely. Grant Morrison works a lot faster than the “Knightfall” crew!
Odds on particular “fan-favorite characters” making a “surprise return” in Detective #845: Spoiler 4-1, Batwoman 3-1, Jason Todd/Red Robin 7-1. I’d lay odds for it being Hush, but I’m not convinced he’s a fan favorite.
I Googled “batgirl catwoman costumes optional” after reading the Batman Confidential #18 solicit; and oddly enough, the solicitation was the #1 result. Every now and then, the Internet defies expectations.
Nice to see I got my wish for more Manhunter.
WildStorm gets six issues to prove that it can make a successful comic book out of the “comic-booky” TV show “Chuck.”
With regard to Booster Gold #10, I’m guessing Booster’s choice will be between Beetle and Booster’s sister.
I like Scott Kolins fine, but I’m very glad to see Jerry Ordway announced as The Brave and the Bold‘s regular artist. Ordway makes everyone look good.
If memory serves, the Reign In Hell 80-Page Giant reprints Superman’s efforts to free Jerry (son of Perry) White’s soul. Can’t remember if Jerry dragged Jimmy Olsen down there with him.
Fair warning, DC: I see more than a few people saying they buy Green Arrow And Black Canary for the pretty Cliff Chiang artwork, and I’m one of ‘em. I like Mike Norton (filling in on GA/BC #9) well enough, but if Chiang leaves for good, I see more than a few readers following him.
Inertia returns (free of Wally’s ironic punishment?) in Flash #241; and Red Tomazo returns in Justice League of America #22.
ON THE BUBBLE
I want to like Madame Xanadu, and I probably will, but the solicitation makes it sound like someone fell asleep with a Dungeon Master’s Guide under his pillow and dreamed of unicorns.
You know, I thought it was kind of cool that “Sinestro Corps War” was spun out of an old Alan Moore story. Using the Black Mercy story on the Atom was pretty entertaining too. However, after reading the solicit for Green Lantern Corps #25, I wonder how much attention everyone’s favorite incapacitating plant can take before it gets overexposed….
JSA Classified has been re-cancelled with #39, unless there’s another Wildcat story which needs to be told.
At 12″ tall, this latest Bat-Signal prop is pretty massive, as far as tchotckes go. The last one was 9″ x 8″, and it looked more like a Bat-Signal than this fairly generic model. Of course, I haven’t field-tested either of them, so I don’t know how far the technology might have advanced.
That’s a good-looking Wonder Woman statue, and another nice set of Batman Black & White statues. Yes, I am one of those people who’d consider getting the occasional statue, and the Black & White line is consistently appealing.
The Countdown To Adventure paperback advertises “the adventures of … the mysterious new character Forerunner,” but its page count suggests that it only includes the Animal Man/Adam Strange/Starfire story. Does this mean Forerunner shows up in San Diego to help save the day…? MISTAKE OR SPOILER — U-DECIDE!
The Secret Files stuff reprinted in JLA Vol. 1 Deluxe Edition is actually quite good. At the time, Mark Millar was writing Aztek and The Flash with Morrison, and hadn’t yet become the more “worldly” writer now on display at Marvel. The lead Secret Files story set up the series’ subsequent Star Conqueror arc, and a 4-page backup introduced Electro-Supes to the rest of the team. I mean, I’d probably get this anyway, but that makes the deal even better.
OUTSIDE THE LINES
In non-solicits news, it’s good to see Supergirl and Batwoman in James Robinson’s Justice League. The premise sounds ripped from a dartboard, though. (A “proactive” team forms after a shocking murder — tell me more!) I’m guessing Robinson knows full well he needs to distinguish Justice League from Batman and the Outsiders, Extreme Justice, JL Elite, and (to a certain extent) JL Task Force.
Trite as it sounds, though, the “murder” aspect isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker. Although the current Justice Society book and the upcoming Titans book have their origins in “who’s hunting the old members?”, Robinson’s JSA started out with Mordru hunting Doctor Fate. Accordingly, I think Robinson can rise above the premise, but I wish he didn’t have to.
Regardless, Justice League will have Congorilla, and I’ve gotta say — anyone with the guts to put Congorilla front and center in this realism-obsessed age has got my monthly $2.99.
Speaking of murder, the Robin/Spoiler Special solicitation hints pretty strongly that Stephanie Brown’s on her way back. As we all know, Stephanie started out as a recurring supporting character in a title about a supporting character. Thus, not too high on the organizational chart. As a martyr she became, arguably, more important than she was as Robin’s putative girlfriend, or even as Robin herself. She came to symbolize a kind of disposable character used by DC to create drama in its events.
So here we are, a few years later, and DC is now lending some credence to the theory that maybe Leslie Thompkins actually did fake Stephanie’s death in order to get her out of danger. Leslie went into overseas exile at the end of “War Crimes,” but the story left open the possibility that Stephanie went with her. This month’s solicitation copy appears to follow up on that, by alluding to “Spoiler’s secret identity in another country, another life.”
And what if it is Stephanie? If she’s back, I’ll be happy, because I thought she got a raw deal. I won’t be expecting any mea culpas from DC, though. DC may say that Steph’s exile was part of its plans all along, just as Wally West and Donna Troy were always supposed to come back. Fans may not believe that, but DC can’t say anything different without ceding at least some small measure of its authority over its characters. Even a “Because You Demanded It!” may be too much of a confession. I don’t know the extent to which DC listens to the fans, although it’s definitely heard the complaints in this case. In my experience, however, the standard responses have been “be patient” and “trust us.”
Besides, DC’s already gotten a death out of Spoiler, and now it gets to include a dark secret with her reintroduction. I’d call that a double-dip of depth, but that would be too cute.
(Actually, you know what would’ve been perfect? Leslie faking Liz Patterson’s death. It would’ve saved me a lot of nausea, especially today….)
Anyway, that’s what caught my eye this month. What looks good to you?