Well now, what does DC want to sell me in September?
Remember Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s JLA #13, the “Darkseid Is” issue of “Rock Of Ages?” Apparently Final Crisis #4 will be a lot like that, only ONE BILLION TIMES WORSE.
Of course, if it does turn out like that — with DC-Earth basically enslaved to Anti-Life — DC might not have much to work with long-term. Now, I’m not talking about the whole “enslaved to Anti-Life” thing. If DC-Earth in general remembers nothing of its enslavement, and/or the infamous Reset Button is pushed, I expect howls of protest across that part of the fan-based Internet which wants consequences, dammit, and Meaningful Drama. Otherwise, the more the general public does remember, and the “darker” it makes DC-Earth as a result, the more I think a smaller, but just as vocal, segment (to be fair, probably including me) would protest the continuing grittification.
Really, from that perspective, I suppose there’s no good way for DC to achieve anything positive with Final Crisis. (Also, there’s the whole Carlos Pacheco thing.) Still, on the bright side, nobody seems to be reading it, so I say go nuts.
Elsewhere, it looks like the big Batwoman push is gearing up for ‘09: September puts her in FC Revelations #2, and that JH Williams III page has been making the rounds.
Missing from these solicitations are the Submit special and the second issue of Superman Beyond, originally set for September … but Legion Of Three Worlds #2 sure has a nice George Pérez cover. (It may even have two!)
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
When I first saw the El Diablo solicitation I thought how great it was that DC was introducing a new(ish) Hispanic character. However, after looking up “El Diablo” on Wikipedia, and reading this old Jai Nitz interview, it seems like this actually has some ties not just to the venerable DC character, but also to the current Jonah Hex series and even to the Gerard Jones/Mike Parobeck series from twenty years ago. (I remember El Diablo from the original Who’s Who, and maybe some random cameos, but that’s it.) So I guess the new miniseries can be categorized as an Hispanic legacy title with a “spirit of vengeance” angle on top. It’ll probably be pretty good (Jai Nitz writing and Phil Hester and Ande Parks drawing), but I would have been happy just on account of the diversity. Not everything needs to be a legacy.
You got Birds Of Prey in my Manhunter (#34)! No, you got Manhunter in my Birds Of Prey (#122)! Also, I’m very excited about Secret Six #1 … but I used up my exclamation point quota on the last sentence.
No solicitation for Batman – is it taking a Final Crisis-like “month off?”
I also notice that Titans #5 is resolicited. Here’s hoping artists du jour Julian Lopez and Prentis Rollins can make the book look a little more sedate. I’m giving the book a lot of leeway, and that issue may be a good jumping-off point. On a related note, I’ll probably stick with House Of Mystery through September’s #5, since that’s also when its first arc is set to end.
The solicit for Justice League of America #25 sounds very promising, and more in line with the kind of story I expect from DC’s main team book.
Seems like I read the basic idea of DC Universe: Decisions back in Green Lantern vol. 2 #87, which introduced a more outspoken John Stewart. Besides, Judd Winick and Bill Willingham on a politics-heavy story doesn’t exactly say “subtle” to me.
I didn’t read Lex Luthor: Man Of Steel, so I don’t know if I should be excited about its creative team producing a Joker story. Of course, the last thing of Brian Azzarello’s I read was the wonderful “Architecture & Mortality,” but that’s hardly in the same wheelhouse….
You’d think I’d be sick of all the “Li’l” stuff over in the Superman/Batman solicitation, but it actually sounds pretty cute. Speaking of which, I’m finding it hard to resist the codenames (Tragedy Ann! Tom Foolery!) in the Family Dynamic #2 solicit.
Bernard Chang makes a welcome return to Wonder Woman with #25. See how I mentioned the issue without making a “Wonder Woman movie” joke?
If there is still Connor Hawke outrage, I wonder if Green Arrow/Black Canary #12 will help soothe it.
The only book officially cancelled with these solicits is The Vinyl Underground, which ends at #12.
OVER BEFORE IT STARTED
I’ve said it before, but this is what I hate about the solicitations: I can read blurbs for every part of the first James Robinson Superman arc, including the ending, before the thing is actually published. I like Krypto fine, but I hope he’s not supposed to be the “surprise reveal” at the end of part 3. (By the way, Busiek’s Krypto story, solicited more than once, still hasn’t been published … or has it? Wasn’t it part of a Countdown tie-in?)
OH, THE COLLECTIONS
I’m trying to think if a Camelot 3000 hardcover is worth $35.00 (before discounts). I have all the issues — and they were hard to come by back in the day, believe me — but I never find myself wanting to re-read them. I liked the story well enough, and I liked how it reintroduced the characters. I’d probably get it ahead of, say, the Ronin hardcover. I do note that the original paperback collection weighed in at 314 pages, and this one is only 6 pages more. Since the paperback didn’t seem to have much in the way of extras, it doesn’t seem like the hardcover will be bursting with them.
Much the same goes for Watchmen: bought the issues, bought a paperback, will probably hold out for the Absolute Edition.
Curiosity may well compel me to get these Diana Prince: Wonder Woman paperbacks. This month’s Volume 3 should be the next-to-last one.
It doesn’t surprise me that Geoff Johns would pick the first appearances of Sinestro, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, and Krona for his personal-favorite Green Lantern collection; nor does it surprise me that he’d include a bunch of Tales of the Green Lantern Corps backups and (most likely) the “Tygers” story which has done so much for the current title. However, I am surprised to see a few stories from the heady days when John Stewart was the main star. It gives me hope that the seminal run of Steve Englehart and Joe Staton, which I think starts with the Johns-selected issue #188, will be collected someday.
I will be getting the Demon Omnibus, if only so I can refer to it for those Trinity annotations.
I wonder how much of Justice League International DC plans to collect? This Volume 3 stops with issue #22, but Kevin Maguire only stayed on the title off-and-on through issue #25. After that, Ty Templeton, Mike McKone, and Bill Willingham drew the book for the next several months, until Adam Hughes debuted with issue #31. Hughes then drew most of the issues through #45. That probably works out to a couple more hardcovers, at least. Who knows? Maybe when they get to the Linda Medley-drawn issues, there’ll be a “from the creator of Castle Waiting” blurb.
Other collections of note include a third Denny O’Neil/Denys Cowan Question volume, a Brainiac paperback (featuring a story from Lois Lane…?), Teen Titans Year One, a female-centric Spirit anthology, another Heroes hardcover, and the last Sandman Omnibus.
In the wake of Dixon-Gate, Frank Tieri comes aboard Batman and the Outsiders for two issues, starting with September’s #11. Likewise, Fabian Nicieza takes over Robin with July’s #176, so he’s the writer as of these solicitations. However, as promised, the Dixon-written Storming Paradise #3 and Booster Gold #12 are solicited without incident.
James Peaty writes Supergirl #33 and Alan Burnett apparently begins a significant arc in The Flash #244 (with new artist Paco Diaz). Either of those could signal a creative-team change, especially with Freddie Williams II perhaps leaving Flash to return to Robin. (Right when Tom Peyer and Williams were finding a good groove, too.) This month’s Supergirl had a fill-in issue written by Will Pfeifer, so maybe Peaty is likewise just on for the September issue; but I can’t be sure because it sounded like Kelley Puckett’s first storyline ended with the August issue.
In less tumultuous news, Marv Wolfman writes and Phil Winslade draws The Brave and the Bold #17, but if I remember right, they’re filling in before J. Michael Straczynski and Jesus Saiz start in November.
I have liked seeing these New Gods action figures, and I like the idea of doing a “Kirbyized” Superman, but of course I have some nitpicks. First, it looks like the male figures all have the same basic body. That’s not a big deal; but second, Superman’s face reminds me of Orion’s “ugly” one. Third, where’s Metron’s chair?
Good things about the Supergirl figure: her midriff’s covered, and she comes with Streaky. The bad thing: she doesn’t look happy about either.
By my count, DC has solicited 51 individual issues in its DC Universe/superhero line. These include 29 ongoing series, 2 one-shot issues (the Joker hardcover and the Adam Strange Special) and 20 issues’ worth of miniseries (including 4 issues of Trinity and 2 of Decisions). That makes miniseries 39% of DC’s new-material superhero output. Does that seem like a high percentage to anyone else?
(For what it’s worth, the 31 DCU issues I plan to buy include 10 issues’ worth of miniseries, so my own ratio is 32%.)
In fact, Vertigo only has two miniseries issues for September, as opposed to eleven regular-series issues and two specials. WildStorm, though, has seven limited-series issues to five regular-series issues.
For the sake of comparison, here are the numbers for last September’s solicits:
DC Universe: 17 miniseries issues, 34 regular series issues, 4 one-shots
Vertigo: 1 miniseries issue, 13 regular series issues, 1 one-shot
WildStorm: 3 miniseries issues, 8 regular series issues
CMX: 7 issues
Last September’s data include 4 issues of Countdown and 3 more Countdown-related miniseries, whereas this September’s miniseries numbers include 4 issues of Trinity and 4 Final Crisis-related issues. Still, even without the events, DC has increased its miniseries output relative to its regular-series output, because the latter has decreased through attrition. JLA Classified, JSA Classified, Atom, Superman Confidential, Aquaman, Shadowpact, Catwoman, and Infinity Inc. have all been cancelled in the interim, with only Titans, Secret Six, Simon Dark, and Manhunter replacing them.
(The September ‘08 solicits don’t include new issues of Batman or All-Star Batman; and the September ‘07 solicit didn’t include a new issue of Brave & Bold. Still, I’m pretty sure the math works out.)
I’m going on about this because I don’t think DC wants its line of ongoing superhero titles to shrink. Indeed, I’d expect the publisher to want to grow that category. Obviously I don’t have all the relevant statistics right now, so I might be getting exercised about nothing. However, I wouldn’t have thought DC could build a shared universe on the backs of miniseries, regardless of how event-oriented they might be.
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Anyway, that’s what caught my attention this month. What stood out to you?