It’s a good thing that Final Crisis is taking a month off. Otherwise, we’d have solicitations for its first four issues before issue #1 has even hit shops.
Of course, it’s not like FC won’t be represented in August, so let’s see what else is on tap from DC….
Back in 2004, I was very excited about Kurt Busiek becoming the regular JLA writer. The Joe Kelly issues had been rather uneven, and the shorter arcs which followed it weren’t particularly memorable. I had enjoyed Busiek’s Avengers work and was a big fan of JLA/Avengers. Unfortunately, Busiek and artist Ron Garney only lasted eight issues before the book started its Infinite Crisis-related death spiral.
From what I understand, ideas for JLA appeared later in his Superman work; and now that he’s left Superman, I wonder if the “untold stories” from either book will be showing up in Trinity. If so, I think it’s only appropriate that Busiek get his own “event” to tell the stories that other events might have pushed aside. Also, it’s a long way of saying I’m glad Busiek’s revisiting the Crime Syndicate in August’s issues of Trinity.
I didn’t buy the Sketchbook last week, and I don’t feel compelled to get the Director’s Cut edition on August 6 either. Both feel like just the kind of extras one might find in the inevitable hardcover edition. I’m also not terribly excited about Revelation either, but I’m torn. Like Gotham Central, the Rucka-written Crime Bible ended without much closure; and I hate the thought of “rewarding” Revelation (a pricier miniseries) for its predecessor’s faults. The preview pages weren’t that enticing either. While the prospect of such closure is pretty attractive, especially with Rucka’s involvement, I just don’t feel that invested in the characters. Sounds like a paperback to me.
Likewise, if Superman weren’t in Legion Of Three Worlds, and if George Pérez weren’t pencilling, I’d be tempted to pass. Every now and then I like the Legion well enough to follow it on its own, but this isn’t one of those times. I’m a big enough Pérez fan, though. As for the Brad Meltzer/Adam Kubert Last Will And Testament … I dunno. I do think that superheroes talking about their feelings plays to Meltzer’s strength. I liked JLofA #0, which was a series of similar vignettes, and this looks more like that than anything else he’s done for DC.
I suppose that the Final Crisis “seat” is occupied this month by Superman Beyond, since it’s written by Grant Morrison and presumably ties most strongly into FC Proper. At this point it looks like Morrison is doing nothing but riffs on characters using alternate-version counterparts, but by and large he does it pretty well. However, I have to ask — has anyone ever thought about a pair of prescription 3-D glasses? I always have problems getting the cardboard-and-plastic kind to fit right, and 3-D’s made enough of a comeback that I would use the things fairly often….
FUN WITH NITPICKING
Let’s see: Action Comics #868 features a “storyline that sets the stage for the Superman event of 2008.” However, by the time the storyline ends, it’ll be October … which only leaves two months in 2008 for said event. I’m just sayin’, is all.
I’m pretty sure I’m one of the few people reading Supergirl, so maybe it’s just me — but is anyone else confused by the solicitation for Supergirl #32? I thought one of the things addressed in that solicit had been settled at the end of #29.
Similarly, the Robin #177 solicitation seems to offer a pretty big hint about Spoiler, assuming it hasn’t already been confirmed.
Like the Last Laugh paperback getting a Batman tag, Salvation Run’s paperback picks up a JLA tag, although (for example) Villains United or Countdown Presents might have been more appropriate. Not more marketable, to be sure; but more appropriate.
Chuck Dixon writes two issues of Booster Gold starting in August. It’s not like he can’t be funny, and he can certainly write Batman and Robin; but I might drop Booster if it doesn’t get the right regular writer. (Keith Giffen, perhaps?)
Michael Allred draws the “nested” story in House Of Mystery #4.
I don’t see Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood in the credits for Birds Of Prey #121. Did I miss some announcement that her Secret Six reunion with Gail Simone would put her off this book? That’s too bad. I liked Bedard’s issues well enough (including this week’s), but it sure didn’t hurt that Scott and Hazlewood were drawing them.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
“Season Two” of Army@Love kicks off in August with a 6-issue miniseries; and The Plain Janes gets its own sequel with Janes In Love.
Say goodbye to Mark Waid on The Brave and the Bold after August’s #16.
Catwoman is cancelled for sure with #82; and it looks pretty final for Infinity Inc. with #12 and The Un-Men with #13.
All-Star Superman concludes with a regular-sized #12 featuring Luthor and Solaris, which you’d think would be too big for just 22 pages.
Am I supposed to recognize the Adam Warlock-looking guy singing lead on the cover of Reign In Hell #2? (Oh, and Zatanna, you’re a little pitchy.)
After seeing that cover for All Star Batman & Robin #12, who here wishes Bill Sienkiewicz had drawn the interiors to begin with?
I probably won’t be getting Two-Face Year One, but good grief that’s a nice cover for #2 (and on Nightwing #144, too).
Please, DC, give Vixen a consistent and appropriate skin tone, so I don’t have to spend ten minutes looking at the Justice League of America #24 cover wondering whether you got it right.
Maybe the solicits’ best cover, though, belongs to Army@Love: The Art Of War #1. It works on so many levels.
Despite its faults, the Titans relaunch hasn’t alienated me yet. Then again, the true test may come when Judd Winick tackles intra-team romances in issue #5.
A Green Lantern named “Saarek?” Really, DC? If it’s not this guy, I’ll be disappointed. At least Green Lantern Corps #27 promises Emerald Eyes.
Glad to have the Ambush Bug reprint special.
I wasn’t expecting another X Files comic, and I really wasn’t expecting it from DC. It’s written by the show’s Frank Spotnitz and drawn by the Mike McKone-esque Brian Denham, though, so what the heck.
The DC Comics Goes Ape book appeals to me, of course. Too bad it doesn’t include Secret Origins #40, the Grodd/Congorilla/Detective Chimp issue. It also doesn’t include “The Gorilla Boss Of Gotham City” from Batman #75 (February-March 1953) — but that’s probably because the villain’s real name is George “Boss” Dyke. In the words of Chris Sims, “I’m not sure how they rolled back in the ’50s, but in some circles today, that has an entirely different meaning.”
Didn’t expect to see DC Universe Illustrated By Neal Adams in the pipeline, and I do have to wonder whether this will eventually reprint Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali. (I’m guessing “no.”) The first volume looks rather light on the superhero stuff and heavy on the war stories — not a criticism, mind you — and that will probably change as the series continues. Another plus: it looks about $10.00 cheaper per volume than the Batman Illustrated By Neal Adams books.
The solicitation of New Teen Titans Archives Volume 4 still leaves gaps in the Wolfman/Pérez years — namely, NTT vol. 1 #s 35-37 and Batman and the Outsiders vol. 1 #5; Tales of the Teen Titans #s 45-49; and New Titans #s 56-59. These aren’t absolutely essential stories — in fact, some feature other pencillers — but I’d be a little surprised if DC doesn’t collect them just to be complete. (The BATO crossover would have been good in the Terra Incognito paperback.) Maybe in a Showcase Presents, or (perhaps more likely) an Omnibus Edition?
ABOUT THE WATCHMEN MOVIE SWAG…
It’s hard for me to get excited about Watchmen tchotchkes when the book itself mocks their very existence. I buy action figures; I’ve bought statues; and one of my best friends sculpts ‘em for a living. However, I can’t see myself lining up a little plastic Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, etc., on my bookshelf, movie costume or not. The Watchmen characters just don’t lend themselves to a three-dimensional existence. I would buy that Geo-Force figure before I’d buy a Rorschach, and I don’t have much use for Geo-Force in any form.
All that said, though, the thought of a Doctor Manhattan 1:6 figure with “removable black suit” is pretty funny. Yes, I’m twelve.
Anyway, that’s what jumped out at me this month. What looks good to you?
[P.S. I'll pick up the "line-wide event" topic again next week. If you can't wait, this week Steven Grant offers his thoughts about the things.]