Last week, Funnybook Babylon had a good post about solicitations’ spoilerrific nature. It inspired me greatly, but I still have some thinkin’ to do before sharing any more.
In the meantime, pull up a link to DC’s November solicitations — which, yes, contain spoilers — and read on!
* * *THE BIG MINISERIES
My first thought after reading the solicitation for Trinity #s 23-26 was, A weekly series without Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman? What a great idea! However, in the context of this limited series, it is pretty intriguing. Like 52, Trinity has become a one-stop superhero fix, and while that doesn’t do a whole lot to encourage sales of DC’s other superhero books, it’s resulted in a reliably entertaining book.
With Final Crisis #6, it looks like Grant Morrison is (perhaps not unexpectedly) revisiting the concept of “Mageddon,” the unstoppable-force-of-nature at the heart of his final JLA arc. Regardless, now I’m curious about who would win in in a fight among the Anti-Monitor, Mageddon, or Mandrakk.
Final Crisis: Revelations #4 features the Spectre, the Huntress, the Question, and … Radiant? You mean this guy, who apparently died at the end of a Superman/Doomsday miniseries? We’ll see, I suppose….
For the record, I think the Batman #682-83 solicits describe Alfred narrating from the future, not Alfred bleeding to death at the hands of the Black Glove’s men.
The Kevin Smith-written Cacophony begins in November. For some reason I didn’t think it was coming out so soon. Looks like I’ll be re-reading Smith’s Green Arrow to see if I want to get this one.
Detective #850 and Nightwing #150 are milestones (although not Milestone issues), so here’s hoping the stories live up to the occasions.
Your triangle-number guide for November: Guardian of Metropolis Special #1 (Nov. 5), Action Comics #871 (Nov. 12), Supergirl #35 (Nov. 19), and Superman #682 (Nov. 26). Total cost: $11.96 plus tax, not including applicable discounts.
On the whole I find the new Supergirl push rather refreshing. She’s been handled very well recently both in her own title and in the Superman books, and now there’s a separate Superman/Supergirl miniseries (Maelstrom) offering her more exposure. The latter even has art by Phil Noto, who I expect will draw her pretty well.
Also, I think it could be “Maelstrom” in the title and “Malestrom” for the character, even though the latter sounds like she should be paired with Marvel’s Mahkismo.
So, in Superman And Batman Vs. Vampires And Werewolves #s 3-4, “[t]he evil Dr. Combs has reanimated the dead,” eh? Gosh, that sounds familiar.
Since Birds of Prey #124 will be “the ultimate confrontation” between Oracle and the Joker, it looks like that’ll be the make-or-break issue for me continuing with the book.
Along the same lines, Booster Gold #14 looks like a good setup — Starro spreading across time via Rip Hunter — so I’ll be getting these fill-ins while I wait for Dan Jurgens to return.
Looking forward (mostly for the Doug Braithwaite/Bill Reinhold art) to the Green Lantern/Phantom Stranger team-up in The Brave and the Bold #19.
This whole “Star Sapphires use the Power of Love” thing (as described in Green Lantern Corps #30) could be vastly improved by adding gratuitous Huey Lewis & The News references and/or a QT McWhiskers robot.
I had thought the X-Files comic would be an ongoing, but apparently it’s a miniseries. Oh well.
Very interested to see how Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, and Doug Hazlewood handle the new Secret Sixer, who’s one of the more egotistical villains to have come down the pike in (relatively) recent years. Another Batman villain, too….
Wonder how long Howard Porter will stay on Titans? He wouldn’t be a bad fit, and his style is a little more sedate than the book’s previous artists, but for some reason I want to see this group drawn with a softer line. Still, Winick and Porter were the Trials Of Shazam! creative team, so perhaps Porter will use that style.
Only one cancellation this month, the Legion Of Super-Heroes In The 31st Century animated adaptation. However, I don’t see a Billy Batson solicitation for November, and I didn’t think it was just a miniseries.
I’M BACK FOR MORE CASH
Connor Hawke returns — but with a twist! — in Green Arrow/Black Canary #14; the Milestone characters start their comeback in Justice League of America #27; and it looks like the Amazons are back in Wonder Woman #26.
Also, as Mike Sterling has pointed out, there’s a new Neil Gaiman-written Sandman comic, sort of, in the form of the Dream Hunters adaptation; and Death guest-stars in the November Madame Xanadu. If these were the February solicitations, I’d feel a little better about labeling these events “Endless Love.” (I’d still hate myself, but just a little less.)
Sgt. Rock returns too, although this time via someone other than Joe Kubert. However, after reading this interview with Billy Tucci, I’d probably hate myself for not buying the Lost Battalion miniseries.
Finally, here’s the new Terra, in her own four-issue miniseries a year after her debut in Supergirl #12. I wonder about the timing, since (apparently via Terror Titans) the miniseries references the Dark Side Club.
I have to say I was not expecting the “Sand Superman” storyline to be collected anytime soon. This story was a tantalizing curiosity to me from the moment I read “Superman Breaks Loose” thirty-odd years ago. It ended on a cliffhanger, with a mysterious Superman-shaped figure rising up out of irradiated desert sand and stalking off towards Metropolis … and I didn’t know what happened next until I read the rest of the arc a few months back. If memory serves, this story represents the entirety of Denny O’Neil’s time on Superman, which started after he and Neal Adams had begun working on Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow. I thought his Superman issues were pretty good (aided by the omnipresent Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson). If this is the kind of material which will replace the Archives, it’s not a bad way to start.
Otherwise, as far as collections go, here’s another Paul Levitz/Keith Giffen Legion paperback, which is good – and hey, it looks like that Titans East special is hard to find! Maybe I should sell mine on the Ebay pretty soon.
The Showcase Presents Strange Adventures book is the kind of thing I would buy just about on reputation alone. I’m sure it’s not as trippy as Timely’s Lee/Kirby/Ditko monster comics, but it appeals to me in a similar way. Besides, just looking at this page of covers, there are at least two gorillas-in-space stories.
BY THE NUMBERS: “THY KINGDOM COME”
For all intents and purposes, Justice Society of America is weekly in November, with issue #21 supplemented by special issues focused on Superman (Nov. 5); Magog (Nov. 12); and “The Kingdom” (Nov. 19). The solicitations advertise this as the prelude to the December issue (#22)’s big-blowout conclusion of “Thy Kingdom Come.”
Now, assuming that issue #22 is the only “TKC” installment slated for December, the arc will top out at fourteen regular-series issues, plus JsofA Annual #1 and November’s three 48-page Specials. Considering that “TKC” has been confined largely to one regular monthly title, that’s one marathon storyline.
It’s not like this has been the only Justice Society series in recent memory, but at this point in this particular book’s life, it’s a sizable stack of paper, doled out monthly for more than a year, devoted to a single storyline. Issue #9 (cover-dated November 2007) was the “prologue,” but the first “TKC” collection also included (unrelated?) spotlights on Citizen Steel and Jesse Quick. In fact, I notice that Volume 2 of the hardcover collection, collecting issues 13-18, is also set to come out on November 26.
(Total cost through your LCS: ($2.99 x 14) + ($3.99 x 4) = 41.86 + 15.96 = $57.82, which is still less than three $19.99 hardcovers.)
Compare that to, say, “The Sinestro Corps War,” which covered issues 21-25 of Green Lantern (not counting the backup stories in #s 18-20), issues 14-18 of GL Corps (again not counting the “epilogue” in #19), and six Specials (including the encyclopedic Secret Files). In collected form, “Sinestro Corps” is 552 pages for $79.97 retail, which is bigger and more expensive than I expect “Thy Kingdom Come” to be. However, “Sinestro Corps” came out in about half the time, because it could bounce between two regular series and a set of ancillary Specials. Likewise, the upcoming “New Krypton” storyline can publish a chapter per week, thanks to the two main Superman titles, Supergirl, and related Specials.
Justice Society doesn’t have that luxury, in part because when this storyline began, the title wasn’t too far removed from a crossover with Justice League. Having read only the recent Annual, I can’t really say whether it would have made a good crossover with JLA or the Superman books, but I doubt Geoff Johns & Co. wanted readers to think of Justice Society as crossover-prone.
Still, it does seem unusual these days for a title to spend over a year on the same arc, especially when that arc takes up about two-thirds of the book’s publishing history to date. That’s not particularly collection-friendly, and I wonder whether a need to fill out Vol. 3 played any role in the creation of these Specials. If “Thy Kingdom Come” turns out to be as important to JSofA as “Sinestro Corps” has been to the Green Lantern books, I suppose it’s worth it; but for now, it looks a little indulgent.
* * *
Anyway, that’s what jumped out at me this month. What looks good to you?
(P.S. Since I’ve spent so much time thinking about it, I’d like to hear any feedback on the relative merits of “Thy Kingdom Come.” I might try to get some of the back issues, but really I’m more interested in it for the Superman parts.)