I haven’t read Superman/Batman in a while, but then, they haven’t eschewed the World’s Finest team and instead used Bizarro and Man-Bat instead yet. They’ll give it a try in tomorrow’s Superman/Batman #66, in which the two characters will contend with Black Lantern Solomon Grundy. It’s going to be written and drawn by Scott Kolins, who recently completed a little-read Solomon Grundy miniseries. I hope it’s good. What else is there to hope for this week? Let’s find out below, after the jump!
Adventure Comics #4: Given how short writer Geoff Johns’ “run” is going to be on this title, crossing over into Blackest Night seems an odd choice, as does using Superboy-Prime one more time (after what looked like a fairly satisfying laying to rest of the character at the end of Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds). Ah well, I think you get a plastic ring with this comic book, so people are gonna read the hell out of it regardless. Johns and Michael Shoemaker write and Jerry Ordaway and Francis Manapul draw the two features.
Amazing Spider-Man #612: Mark Waid and Paul Azaceta launch the next big Spider-Man story, “The Gauntlet,” which supposedly “redefines Spider-Man’s classic arch-enemies one by one starts with one of his deadliest—Electro! ” I could have sworn that’s Mark Millar’s arc on Marvel Knights: Spider-Man redefined Spider-Man’s classic arch-enemies one boy one, starting with Electro.
Black Lightning: Year One: This is an $18, 145-page trade paperback collection of the six-part miniseries by Jen Van Meter and Cully Hamner. I was quite surprised and impressed with the series, and thought Van Meter did an excellent job of updating the character’s origin in a way that brought him into the 21st century and took into account some of the more random retcons added over the years.
Casper the Friendly Ghost 60th Anniversarry Hardcover: Well this looks pretty cool. Dark Horse has put together Archer St. John’s 1949 first issue of Casper the Friendly Ghost and Harvey Comics’ 1952 debut of Casper. It’s $10 for 80 pages, and you can see a short preview of it here.
Dark Reign: The List—Amazing Spider-Man: Dan Slott and Adam Kubert present the very last Dark Reign: The List special, this one focusing on “Dark Reign” big bad Norman Osborn’s least-favorite superhero. The new story is paired with a re-print of the Pulse #5 as a back-up, to help justify that $4 price tag. It’s a better value that way, but I thought Pulse #5 would be one of those stories Marvel would rather have us forget, so that we can buy into the whole convicted killer, well-known crazy person and long-time supervillain of Norman Osborn being the person best-suited for America’s national super-security interests storyline.
Dr. Horrible One-Shot: Dark Horse continues to roll out their line of one-shots with one focusing on the Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer characters from musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. From the shorter pieces I’ve seen in anthologies, I don’t think the concept is quite as funny in comic format as live-action, but with Joelle Jones drawing writer Zack Whedon’s script, it’s at least going to look really good. You can see a short preview here.
Flash: Rebirth #5: In the comics, it’s always been a running gag that Barry “The Flash” Allen, the Fastest Man Alive, is always late. So is this issue shipping so late simply part of an elaborate in-joke between the publishers and readers? It’s still by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, and this issue features a pretty neat cover.
Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka Vol. 6: Just a reminder: Naoki Urasawa’s reimagining of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy epic “The Greatest Robot on Earth” is really good comics. The sixth volume is 200-pages for $13. If you want your Tezuka unfiltered, this week also brings the eight volume of his Black Jack from Vertitcal. It’s 300 pages for $17.
Showcase Presents: DC Comics Presents Vol. 1: Okay, maybe it means I’m an old fuddy duddy, but I don’t care—this is the release of the week for me. The Brave and the Bold Showcase volumes featuring all the Batman team-ups have been some of the most fun I’ve spent with comics in the last few years, so I can’t wait to see the similar Superman team-ups. For a mere $18, we get 510 black-and-white pages by the likes of Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Murphy Anderson. This volume collects the first 26 issues of the series, which means you’ll see Supes palling around with The Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Zatanna, Hawkman, The Atom, Dr. Fate, Mister Miracle, Batgirl, Black Lightning, Firestorm, Elongated Man, The Phantom Stranger, Deadman, Captain Comet,The Metal Men, Sgt. Rock, the Legion of Super-Heroes and, unless Vertigo forbids it somehow, Swamp Thing.
Thunderbolts #138: Jeff Parker takes over the title that used to be sort of special in that it was about villains pretending to be and/or actually being heroes. That’s sort of the the mega-story running through the entire Marvel Universe at the moment, however, so Thunderbolts isn’t as unique as it used to be. It will still be interesting to see what Parker can do with the franchise, given he usually writes more light-hearted characters and books. Mr. X, Paladin, Scourge and Ant-Man are among the characters he’ll be playing with here.
Transformers Ongoing #1: After the series of miniseries and one-shots approach, IDW is realdy to launch an ongoing Transformers series, this one set a few years after All Hail Megatron! and created by Mike Costa and Don Figueroa. It’s a $3.99 comic.
Victorian Undead #1: I like the idea of zombies who adhere to a very strict, Victorian code of behavior while marauding and eating brains, but this is actually a much more straightforward high concept—Sherlock Holmes vs. zombies. It’s a six-issue miniseries by Ian Edginton and Davide Fabbri
Walt Disney’s Christmas Classics: Boom has put together $25, 110-page, hardcover “best of” collection of nine classic Disney Christmas comics, including four by Carl Barks (the very first Uncle Scrooge story among them) and others by Don Gunn, Romano Scarpa, Jack Hannah, Al Taliaferro. You now all know what to get me for Christmas.