There’s something for everyone (comedy tonight!) on the superhero side of the July DC solicitations. Wondering when DC will get around to action figures of G’Nort or ‘80s-Headband Black Canary? Wonder no more! Itching to field-test your own pair of Bat-cuffs? They’re on the way, old chum! Been expecting Martian Manhunter and/or Ryan Choi to take a long walk off a short pier?
Let’s just get down to business, okay?
THE CRISIS WHICH IS FINAL
This Grant Morrison interview reveals whether a Flash is faster than the Black Racer; and why FC will skip a month after July’s issue #3. It makes Final Crisis sound a lot like two Morrison JLA epics: “Rock Of Ages” crossed with “World War III.” That gives me the good kind of chills.
As for “who are the Justifiers?”, there are a couple of answers: the Avengers-parodies which fought the Justice League off and on back in the day; and, more likely, the minions/enforcers of Glorious Godfrey who first appeared in 1971′s Forever People #3. Wonder if Morrison will find a way to combine them…?
While Final Crisis might not have many official tie-ins, the Dark Side Club (which seems to be a Seven Soldiers reference) is mentioned in solicitations for both Infinity, Inc. #11 and FC #3.
Naturally, assuming Internet consensus proves true, I’m prepared to be outraged by the Martian Manhunter’s death in (or around) Final Crisis: Requiem. It seems so pointless. Why not kill Hawkman instead? He’ll just be reincarnated eventually, perhaps even without continuity problems. Still, if it does turn out to be J’Onn, Morrison’s DC One Million offers the hope that he’ll live on (in some form) well into the 853rd Century.
Speaking of senseless killings, I’ll probably end up getting Rogues’ Revenge, although I didn’t particularly like Geoff Johns’ emphasis on the Rogues back when he was writing Flash. I recognize that that puts me in a distinct minority. Therefore, if I buy this, it will be for a particularly bad reason — namely, for some more closure over Bart Allen’s death.
One other thing about DC One Million: remember what the people of the 853rd Century called Kal-El of Krypton? That’s right, “Superman Prime.” Here’s hoping Final Crisis clears up any confusion over who gets to use that nickname for the rest of recorded history.
The new Batgirl miniseries is written by the guy many fans blame for “ruining” the character. Can’t wait to see the Internet greet the first issue.
I don’t get the continuing fascination with Hush, but once again I am willing to see how Paul Dini handles him (in Detective #846).
No, Two-Face Year One probably wouldn’t have happened without the new movie. Yes, this is old familiar ground. (See also the 1990 Batman Annual and a little thing called The Long Halloween.) Yes, the Animated Series did it better. Yes, the new movie may well do it better. About the only surprise in this solicit is that DC still publishes Prestige Format books — and at $5.99 a pop, even. Also, why isn’t it Two-Face Year Two?
Seemed like “Freefall” ended a couple of weeks ago, but the solicitation says wait for Nightwing #146. Shows what I know. As for Dick dying in Final Crisis, I doubt DC would cancel Nightwing so close to #150. When that issue comes around, though, Dick oughta watch his back.
Now for a moment of complete cluelessness. It will not surprise any of you to learn that I have barely read any manga. I don’t hate it; but for various reasons I just haven’t read it. However, partly out of curiosity and partly because the opportunity presented itself, I read the first issue of Batman: Death Mask last week. It left me with the feeling that DC might as well have called it “Batman Teaches You To Read Right To Left.” I have no idea about its merits as manga, except that it seemed a lot more sedate than I would have expected. Otherwise, as a Batman story it was pretty typical. I may get the rest, just to see if it improves, but really, it hasn’t made me any more likely to read manga. Anyway, those Spider-Man: The Manga issues are around here somewhere….
You know, if Robin is the new Batman (as the solicits for Robin #176 indicate), then wouldn’t that make Spoiler the new Robin…?
COMINGS AND GOINGS
Okay, who did you least expect to see again: Looker (in Batman And The Outsiders #9) or Gangbuster (in Trinity)?
Speaking of which, Batman #679 advertises yet another (unnamed) character we “never thought [we]‘d see again.” Between Spoiler, Bat-Mite, and the Club of Heroes, this is getting to be a regular thing with the Bat-books. It does make me hope that Morrison will bring back (in person) Aunt Agatha….
I can’t remember — are we excited to see Empress again (in Supergirl #31), or has there been a backlash?
Holy crap, Catwoman’s cancelled … with August’s issue #82! I was not expecting that. Judging from Will Pfeifer’s comments, there might nit be a relaunch on the horizon either. Wonder if DC feels compelled to launch another superhero book featuring a solo female character, or if it considers Manhunter the replacement?
You’d think a new writer on Blue Beetle would signal one last arc before cancellation. That turned out to be the case with Atom. However, Matthew Sturges says there’s no set run of issues, so maybe the title has a brighter future than we think.
Since a codename-averse Ray Palmer is in James Robinson’s Justice League, I’m guessing there’s room for Ryan Choi to continue as the Atom even though All-New Atom has been cancelled. It’s almost a Henry Pym/Scott Lang situation, isn’t it? (There’s even a broken marriage involved.) Besides, I doubt DC is bloodthirsty enough to kill Ryan. Of course, I didn’t think it was bloodthirsty enough to kill J’Onn J’Onzz.The long-awaited One Million issue of Booster Gold is also Geoff Johns’ last.
The all-ages Captain Marvel title, from Herobear and the Kid creator Mike Kunkel, makes its debut on the July schedule.
… To Simon Dark for getting a trade paperback. I thought its sales weren’t so good.
… To Gotham Central, for getting the hardcover treatment.
… To Birds Of Prey, on the occasion of its 120th issue, marking its tenth anniversary as an ongoing series.
I have no reservations whatsoever about buying Ambush Bug: Year None. Can’t wait to see Keith Giffen tee off on crossover culture.
In this space last month I staked my readership of Green Arrow/Black Canary on the presence of Cliff Chiang. Well, after seeing Mike Norton & Wayne Faucher’s homage to the Chiang style, I’m sticking with the book. Still hope Chiang gets a regular gig soon, though.
I wouldn’t have guessed Darwyn Cooke on Jonah Hex, but it’s probably worth a look.
Reign In Hell is resolicited from last month. Better to start late than to keep readers hanging between issues, I guess.
Justice Society of America Annual #1 looks like a standalone story, and since it has Jerry Ordway art, I am that much closer to getting it.
Manhunter #32 is the second DC book (besides Blue Beetle) whose July solicit mentions the Mexican border.
I understand the thinking behind Storming Paradise, so … just six regular-sized issues for an alternate 1945′s invasion of Japan? I would have thought at least eight.
I’m not sure if I’ll upgrade to an Absolute Edition of Ronin (although my paperback copy is pretty beat-up), but I know it’ll look pretty. Wonder if it’ll be recolored?
DC collects Millennium and Invasion!, its big-event miniseries of (respectively) 1987 and 1988. One has been compared to Secret Invasion all over the comics blogosphere, and the other has Invasion right in its title. Stock ‘em together, retailers! (And put a copy of Armor Wars next to the Cyborg miniseries too, I suppose….)
Invasion! seems to have been remembered more fondly, but for me that’s damning with faint praise. Millennium was pretty ineffectual, even at the time (Batman’s “infiltrator” was a Commissioner Gordon robot). Invasion! was more ambitious, since massive amounts of carnage were integral to the story, but Todd McFarlane wasn’t exactly the best fit for the DC characters. Therefore, I don’t imagine I’ll be getting either of these, but again, I’m probably in the minority.
Actually, I’d be more inclined to buy a Showcase Presents book collecting these event miniseries and all their crossover issues. The “Janus Directive” mini-event which ran through covert-ops books like Captain Atom and Suicide Squad back in 1989 would be a good candidate for this treatment.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY
The ’66 Batmobile replica weighs in at $250.00, but I think it’s worth every penny. See, kids, this is what happens when intellectual-property litigation is finally resolved!
I was all ready to snicker like a 12-year-old about the “life-size, fully functioning Bat-Cuffs,” because, you know, I have a filthy mind. I’m sure that’s unwarranted. There must be perfectly good reasons why someone would want to pay $125.00 for something that (I hope) they may never use, and which might only make their guests feel uneasy.
Very glad to see Justice League International action figures, especially for G’Nort. Also, the Spirit figure makes me feel a little better about the movie.
Every month when I go through these solicitations, I’m always looking for something which will spark my interest. Sometimes it’s an idea, sometimes it’s a cover, sometimes it’s a more intangible thing which makes me think “I have got to read this!” Like many of you, I bring a host of expectations, preferences, and assumptions to these little blurbs. I spend a good bit of time every day poring over stories about this industry and its casts of colorful characters. Rarely does a single image, standing alone, capture my imagination.
That’s why I celebrate the milestone which occurred seventy years ago tomorrow, on April 18, 1938: the publication of a 68-page, 10-cent pamphlet which was the first issue of Action Comics. From that singular cover, the one-page origin of Superman, and the 12-page adventure which followed, came seventy years’ worth of inspiration and imagination. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster did it all on their own, too, letting the work speak for itself without the benefit of “reader inertia” or direct-market prejudices. They created a legend and revitalized an industry. Here’s to their memory, and here’s to all the possibilities their creation represents.