Jim: Well the DC books are pretty skimpy as far as new projects go. It looks like DC is placing a lot of their eggs in the new weekly book Countdown. We didn’t have it last month as DC wanted to officially announce the book at the New York Comic Convention. It seems like convention season is getting a lot longer in the last couple of years.
Lee: Who needs new projects when the old ones reach new levels of ridiculousness!!! Let’s look at the books!
DETECTIVE COMICS #833 Written by Paul Dini Art by Don Kramer & Wayne Faucher Zatanna guest-stars in Part 1 of a 2-part tale of magic, murder and madness by Paul Dini! When her former assistant is killed in a dangerous trick gone wrong, the Maid of Magic turns to Batman.
Jim: I love Zatanna and if she can’t be in the JLA and doesn’t have her own book that I will take her where I can find her. I really wish DC would start trying to make her into a major player as I think with the right team behind her she could be a DC “A” list star.
Lee: Aaaahhh. The fanboy speaks. I’m sure that her “appeal” has nothing to do with the fishnets, corset, and tophat that comprise her “costume”. Nope, nothing at all. I hate to say this, but it’s Zatanna. Best she’ll ever be is B/B+ lister. But, I have really enjoyed Dini’s run and this should be an interesting take on the character. I wonder if anything from Morrison’s 7 Soldiers will be kept?
Jim: The fishnets have nothing to do with it at all. I mean I love Black Canary –er never mind.
BATMAN: BATMAN AND SON HARDCOVER Written by Grant Morrison collecting BATMAN #655-658 and 663-666! $24.99 US
Lee: The interesting part is trade prices are really catching up with floppie prices. The original eight issues cost $24 and this is only a dollar more. As for the story, YUCK. I didn’t like it when I first read it and I can’t imagine it will read any better collected.
Jim: This story did not suffer from needing the trade to read it all. Still for only a dollar more you get a hard cover, no ads and no delays of an indeterminable amount waiting for an artist to finish a story. Really screams for people to flip to collections.
Lee: I read far too much so sometimes I end up reading 3-4 issues in a row. This was one of those stories and plot holes and inconsistencies from issue to issue were glaring when read all at once. I can’t believe I am going to say this but editorial control need to be tighten as more and more things get collected in trades. AND, by editorial control I mean the clothes are the same from issue to issue, the locations are the same from issue to issue, simple things like that.
BATMAN: HARLEY & IVY TP Written by Paul Dini and Judd Winick Art by Bruce Timm, Joe Chiodo and others …plus a newly-colored story rom BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE VOL. 2! Lee: If you missed the series the first time around here’s your chance. A fun little tale by Dini and art by Timm, which is a rarity these days. Well worth the investment. BUT, I have to wonder… if the bonus story is from Batman B&W, why recolor it? It was made for B&W why not leave it B&W?
Jim: Maybe it will also work in color. This is some fun stuff and worth the price if you have never read it before.
ARKHAM ASYLUM ANNIVERSARY EDITION SC Written by Grant Morrison Art and cover by Dave McKean This special edition includes Morrison's complete original script annotated by himself and editor Karen Berger, many original thumbnail breakdowns, step-by-step samples of how the story and art came together and much more!
Lee: You know the problem with this… all the darned extras. The story itself is pretty good and with all the extras this should be a slam dunk. Then I asked myself, when have you ever read all the extras? Have I ever read the original scripts? Nope. Have I ever done the flip-back-forth and compared original script to drawn page? Nope. Have I ever studied the thumbnails for more than 2 seconds other to say ‘Oh those are nice’? Nope. So, basically, this is a really nice collection with all sorts of extra stuff that I am never going to read. Huummmm. Oh well! I’ll probably still get it just in case.
Jim: I have the hard cover version and I have on a rare occasion read the script and study the page. Alan Moore and his protégé Neil Gaiman wrote novels on there scripts and tell the artist every thing to draw. I read a Morrison New X-Men script and some pages were one liners for his artist.
ACTION COMICS #851 Written by Geoff Johns & Richard Donner Art and cover by Adam Kubert Part 4 of the landmark "Last Son" story, by Geoff Johns, Richard Donner and Adam Kubert! Superman travels to a place so alien and strange, it could only be presented in a special 3-D section, featuring 3-D effects by Ray Zone!
Jim: Alright a new 3-D comic book. I wear glasses so these are a pain in the ass, but well worth the trouble when done correctly. Also this is Part 4 of the long delayed “Last Son” story by Johns, Donner and Adam Kubert. I’m not sure what caused the delay, but it is unacceptable in my book.
Lee: *snicker* I have this super cool *hee hee* image of you wearing the normal glasses *snicker* and then *snort* working feverishly to insure the 3-D *giggle* glasses don’t fall off while reading the book. BWAH HA HA. I would call you a geek but I can’t because I love 3-d comics too. I wonder how they will handle in the trade! And, every other book is late these days? Why does this one bother you?
Jim : This one is more annoying because they actually seem to have an idea for where they are going with Superman and actually have me interested in the character again, so all the fill ins are starting to dim my enthusiasm. Maybe I’ll get prescription 3-D glasses.
SUPERMAN/BATMAN #36 Written by Mark Verheiden & Marc Guggenheim Art and cover by Pat Lee & Craig Yeung The final chapter of the Metal Men's return!
Lee: So, has anyone noticed that the Metal Men don’t look like the Metal Men? I’m all for the modernization of characters but they just look silly now. Not that they didn’t look silly before but… oh never mind. I am not sure I like the new style.
Jim: My fervent hope is that the depiction is just a cover shot and they look “normal” inside. The Metal Men should never be too serious. Wish they would reprint that funky stuff what they had human disguises for awhile.
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #4 Written by Mark Waid Art by George Pérez & Bob Wiacek A couple of easy riders head out on the highway…get ready for the most unlikely team of all: Supergirl and Lobo!
Lee: Gotta love the Ghost Rider effect because Lobo’s bike never looked like this. And, I hate to be nitpicky but since when do you need wheels in space?
Jim: Okay so a raving lunatic whose blood turns into clones of himself and can exist is space is okay, but wheels on a flying bike is wrong. Nitpicky Lee.
Lee: Don’t start! Dooooon’t go there!
CHECKMATE #15 Written by Greg Rucka Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
Lee: Check it out! Modok, DC style!
Jim: That’s Egg Fu! Came way before Modok.
Lee: Oh you have got to be kidding me! They really didn’t bring Egg Fu back! And, for those new to the 50’s Wonder Woman, yes Egg Fu was a real character.
THE AMAZING TRANSFORMATIONS OF JIMMY OLSEN TP Cub reporter Jimny Olsen stars in this light-hearted volume collecting his most memorable adventures from the late 1950s and 1960s, guest-starring Superman! Jimmy undergoes startling transformations into Elastic Lad, The Wolf-Man of Metropolis, The Human Porcupine and more in these stories from SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN!
Jim: Jimmy had some of the most incredible and at times stupid transformations and also at times seemed to have a little cross-dressing problem. I will have to look through this at a store before deciding to buy this or not. Still Jimmy Olsen had some of the wildest changes of any character.
Lee: I am sure this will be good but you had better be ready for some serious DC silverage goofiness. I appreciate it but I can’t read it these days. I tried with the Superman Imaginary Tales trade but didn’t like it.
COUNTDOWN #47-44 Story by Paul Dini 47 written by Sean McKeever; art by Al Barrionuevo 46 written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray; art by Jesus Saiz 45 written by Tony Bedard; art by Jim Calafiore 44 written by Adam Beechen; art by Carlos Magno Breakdowns by Keith Giffen Covers by Ed Benes This year-long weekly series featuring a cast of hundreds kicks into high gear in its second month, under the watchful eye of head writer Paul Dini! See Mary Marvel undergo a surprising transformation! Learn why Donna Troy and Jason Todd are integral players in a cosmic chess game! And see Jimmy Olsen as you've never seen him before! Side note - given the last trade, seeing Jimmy Olsen as we've never seen him before will take some doing.
Jim: The aforementioned Countdown. The only real similarities to 52 is it is a weekly comic and Keith Giffen is doing all the breakdowns to add artistic continuity to the series. It takes place in “real” time and will be connected to many of the DCU books during the year. Plus what are we counting down to? I’m already hooked on this book.
Lee: WA-HOOO!!! It’s here the countdown to something else. *sigh*. I so don’t care. Please, can we stop the mega crossovers already. Pretty please with sugar on top.
Jim: Actually this I not supposed to be a mega cross-over at all. An occasional book may cross over but that is it. No 12 books this week tie ins.
GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL #1 Written by Geoff Johns Art by Ethan Van Sciver and Dave Gibbons Cover by Van Sciver The stellar creative team of the sell-out GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH miniseries - Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver - reunites for an extra-sized Special, igniting an intergalactic war that will explode in the pages of GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS! Hal Jordan has struggled to regain his reputation. Kyle Rayner has suffered great personal loss and reluctantly gained great power. Guy Gardner's trust in the Guardians is wavering. John Stewart's unbreakable loyalty soon will be tested. Together, these four men are the Green Lanterns of Earth…but why are so many Earthmen recruited into the Corps? What is their ultimate rolel in the future of the universe? And how will the secret of the rings' power threaten the Guardians and affect Hal Jordan's future? Sinestro was called the "greatest" of the Green Lanterns; now the renegade has vowed to bring terror to the universe he once protected. The worst murderers, thieves and deviants in the universe have gathered into Sinestro's Corps for one purpose: to instill great fear. Armed with the truth behind Parallax, Sinestro's intergalactic insurgents strike hard and fast at the very heart of the Green Lantern Corps. The Sinestro Corps is about to change everything you know about the Green Lanterns. Fear them. Everyone else will. Plus, a 6-page backup story by Johns and Dave Gibbons (GREEN LANTERN CORPS, WATCHMEN) - "The Origin of Sinestro"!
Jim: Wow, can you say over hype. I mean I want to read this book, but isn’t this a little much to be told in one story. DC has a lot of things going on in a lot of their books. I don’t know if they have a master plan going on or not, but it seems like there are a lot events that the foundation is being laid for big payoffs down the road.
Lee: It’s another one shot. The only way to sell it to non GL fans is to really, really hype it. That said, Ethan Van Sciver is a heck of an artist so it will be pretty. And love the cover. Very impressive.
JACK KIRBY'S FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC Written by Jack Kirby Art by Kirby and Royer In this second volume, collecting NEW GODS #4-6 ,FOREVER PEOPLE #4-6, JIMMY OLSEN #141-145 and MISTER MIRACLE #4-6 , the evil Darkseid's schemes continue to unfold while the New Gods, Forever People, Mr. Miracle and other heroes battle his many minions!
Jim: Love that DC is doing this and the way they are collection is fine by me also (collecting what came out together and not the specific series). Also love the 396 pages for $50.
Lee: Jim said it all. This should be on every collector’s shelf.
GREEN ARROW #75 Written by Judd Winick Art and cover by Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens The moment we thought we'd never see is here: Green Arrow finally asks the Black Canary for her hand in marriage in this special extra-sized final issue! After the tumultuous, on-and-off relationship they've shared throughout the years, what answer will Dinah give Ollie? On sale June 13 o 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US o Final Issue
Jim: This feels like such a phony ending. Green Arrow and Black Canary don’t belong together in my book anymore. I swear it is a conspiracy that they are willing to marry off Green Arrow and Black Canary, but not Nightwing and Babs!
Lee: WHAT? This series is ending? Why? I thought it was doing well after the relauch? When did I miss that? As for the marriage. It is weak but oh well. Maybe someone will be happy in the DCU.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #10 Cover by Michael Turner
Lee: And this month’s “Make me embarrassed to be a fanboy” cover goes to… ta-dah. JLA #10. For future reference, the waterballoons get stuffed in the utility belt, not the upper torso. UTILITY BELT!
Jim: This is so over the top (pun intended) that it is beyond embarrassing. I guess this is some fans fantasy, but to me a sexy woman can have curves but not be a joke of mammoth proportions. What boob allowed this cover!
JUSTICE #12 Written by Jim Krueger & Alex Ross Art by Doug Braithwaite & Ross
Lee: YAHOOO! It’s over. I’ve been reading this in HC so finally I can look forward to the final one. Very good stuff too.
Jim: This will rock as a 12 issue hard cover, but you will have to wait until the absolute as they have been releasing it as 4 issue hard covers.
SHOWCASE PRESENTS: MARTIAN MANHUNTER VOL. 1 TP Written by Jack Miller and others Art by Joe Certa and others Collecting stories from the late 1950s starring this charter member of the Justice League of America! Adopting the Earthly identity of Police Detective John Jones, the super-hero known as the Martian Manhunter uses his incredible strength, shape-shifting abilities and other powers to combat crime!
Jim: okay I have been seriously waiting for this stuff. I would prefer color, but can accpt black and white. This is not the strongest material ever done from that era, but it definitely had its own unique feel to it. I’ve already signed up for this one.
Lee: Don’t ask me why but Jimmy Olsen is too silly for me but I am intrigued by this. No, I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s the strange appeal of Zook, MM’s little alien sidekick.
SHAZAM: THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL #4 The final installment of the acclaimed miniseries
Lee: DOUBLE YAHOOO! This is over too. Now bring on the supersized hc so I can enjoy it. I didn’t even bother with the series because I knew I was going straight to HC.
Jim: Rumor has it that DC is doing a big Captain Marvel push so expect to see this is nice format quickly.
SHOWCASE PRESENTS: BATGIRL VOL. 1 TP Written by John Broome and others Art by Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane and others Cover by Infantino & Murphy Anderson
Lee: How is it that you pick Martain Manhunter but not this? Makes no sense. Better art, better stories. Get this gem before Martian Manhunter!
Jim: Because I know this material and I’m buying it, but I haven’t read all the Martian Manhunter stuff.
UNCLE SAM AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS TP Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray Art and cover by Daniel Acuña Collecting the 8-issue miniseries for $14.99 US
Lee: So much for my theory about single issue and trades being comparable values. ANYWAY. A fun little series that was very enjoyable. Recommended.
Jim: Quite a bargain and this was a great read.
THE ORIGINAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMIC BOOK HEROES VOLUME 2: WONDER WOMAN TP Originally published in 1976, this comprehensive volume includes every piece of information about Wonder Woman, her allies and enemies, weapons in her quest for peace and her adventures across the decades.
Lee: As a silverage geek, this sounds really interesting. Especially since it covers Wonder Woman pre Perez reboot. I really wish that I could see it before making a decision.
Jim: This is an old book and I sure it was done well as Michael Fleischer did a lot of research on this books, but I rather read the comics than the pages about her friends and foes stuff.
GON VOL. 1 Written and illustrated by Masashi Tanaka The little dinosaur with the big bite and even bigger attitude returns.
Lee: I am glad to see this back in print. It’s a very good series. Not sure it’s for children since it deals with nature in a very realistic way. Definitely lots of death in this book. Let me clarify, death done in a nice nature type setting, like the time when the piranha’s cleaned the fish to the bones. Nothing makes Mom’s happier than listening to Dad explain why some fish eat other fish to a 5 yr old!
Jim: This really has some of the best art for nature I have even seen in a comic and if I remember these are all wordless stories. Fantastic stuff.
THE HIGHWAYMEN #1 Written by Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman Art by Lee Garbett
Two men. One drives, the other shoots. In their prime, they were the Highwaymen; a special breed of couriers capable of ferrying anything, anywhere, anytime. But that was long ago. Now Able "Speed" Monroe and Alistair McQueen are a little worse for wear, almost obsolete...until they are called out of retirement and must cross the river of bad blood between them to deliver some very dangerous cargo for a dead President. If only they knew what is was - and why everyone else wants to kill them for it.
Jim: Good premise. I will try out issue #1 to see if it is worth the effort to get all 5 issues.
Lee: It does sound good. But there is so much other stuff out there I am not sure I can try ANOTHER new book. But, let me know what you think.
DANGER GIRL: BODY SHOTS #3 Written by Andy Hartnell Art and cover by Nick Bradshaw & Jim Charalampidis Johnny Barracuda and Sydney must forgo their pursuit of the Master Key, a weapon of grave destructive power, to save Abbey who's been seriously wounded by a mysterious female sniper. But while recovering, Abbey disappears from DG HQ and tracks down her assailant - and makes a startling discovery!
Lee: You know what’s really funny about this? The cover doesn’t embarrass me. It should but Danger Girl is done as a cheesecake book. I know what I am getting when I buy this book. The cover to JLA is just ridiculous because it’s not the type of book that the cover portrays it to be.
Jim: I agree, if it is a cheesecake book, then this rocks, if it is supposed to be a straight super hero book that it is ridiculous. Also the girl is portrayed here as a perfect body, not a helium filled porn star.
STORMWATCH: PHD VOL. 1 TP Written by Christos Gage Cover by Mahnke Art by Doug Mahnke & Matthew Dow Smith Collecting the first six issues of the hot new series by Christos Gage and Doug Mahnke! Former Weatherman Jackson King has a near impossible mission: develop new methods of superpowered-being apprehension and containment…on a shoestring budget. With a dingy office staffed with second-rate heroes and former villains, does this Post-Human Division stand a chance?
Lee: The first trade. I cannot wait!!!!
Jim: You will love it.
CROSSING MIDNIGHT #8 Written by Mike Carey Art by Jim Fern & Mark Pennington Cover by J.H. Williams III Trapped in the mortal realm, Toshi discovers that Tokyo by night has rules and rhythms that its daytime inhabitants scarcely dream of. But will the people she meets and the things she learns be enough to defeat an adversary who is one of the five faces of death?
Jim: Just a quick shout out for the best series Mike Carey is writing. Crossing Midnight is a must read.
Lee: Don’t forget to shout out Invincible too. You’re a CD with a scratch… ooopsie. Let me make the reference age appropriate… you’re a broken record. We get it already.
POWER GIRL & HUNTRESS: LEGACY STATUE Sculpted by Tony Cipriano Power Girl & Huntress
Lee: Do you think that Tony Cipriano even reads comic books???? Because apparently from this pose Power Girl is distracting the unknown villain, let’s just call him John, while Huntress beats him and steals his wallet with no services rendered. The only thing that would make this better is if it were a musical windup or maybe a snowglobe!
Jim: At least after this and the JLA cover we know what power, Power Girl has.
Jim: As I said either DC is betting on Countdown or taking the time to lay the foundation for some big stories to come, but all in all a relatively quiet month from DC.
Lee: Explain to me again how we both complain there’s nothing coming out but we always pick 40 books to talk about???? Oh well, happy hunting y’all.