Thursday, April 19, 2007

DC Preview Review for July

Jim :Well we are off to the races with July already. It just seemed like a little while ago we wrapped up June and we are off to the races with DC’s July solicitations. DC has hit some major sales slump lately and that bothers me as I’m a huge DC fan and think their stuff is far superior to Marvel as a generalization.

Lee: As a generalization, I would agree DC’s crème is better than Marvel’s crème but both companies both issue their fair share of junk. It is hard to believe it’s July already.

ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #6 Written by Frank Miller Art and cover by Jim Lee & Scott Williams Variant cover by Miller
Jim: Does any one care about this series anymore?
Lee: This is a book???? I wonder how this being released will affect JL’s ability to do WildCats #3.

ACTION COMICS #852 Written by Kurt Busiek Art and cover by Brad Walker and John Livesay 3-2-1-ACTION! (part 1 of 3) Hot on the heels of SUPERMAN #665's "Jimmy Olsen Countdown Dossier" comes this true blue COUNTDOWN event! Superman has always been Superman's pal. Will he now become Superman's partner?! More secrets of Jimmy's past revealed, the Kryptonite Man on the loose, and more! This issue ties into the events of COUNTDOWN #40! On sale July 25 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: looks like Countdown will definitely be tying in with books each week and that will work as long as everyone maintains their schedules. I picked Action out as a book that has been plagued with Adam Kubert delays from most reports. Still I think Countdown will be a more exciting series then 52 as it happens in “real” time.
Lee: There is so much riding on keeping the overall schedule with this book, I just don’t know. That said, I find it hard to get excited about these books. Another tie in, another long three issue arc…. I haven’t read this in awhile but there really isn’t much motivation to jump on either.

BATMAN CONFINDENTIAL #7 Written by Michael Green Art and cover by Denys Cowan & John Floyd What kind of person becomes a Joker? Writer Michael Green (Heroes writer/producer) and classic Batman artist Denys Cowan shed light on who the Joker was before he became the Joker?and how he and Batman crossed paths even before the day he was created. On sale July 11 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Lee: It’s good to see Denys Cowen back in comics. I loved his stuff on Question and Hardware. And from the cover it doesn’t look like he has lost his touch at all. It’s going to depend on whether or not Mr. Green can actually write for books and not just television.
Jim: I have to agree his Question work was really great. I wish that stuff would get collected in an Omnibus.

BATMAN: BLIND JUSTICE TP Written by Sam Hamm Cover by Walter Simonson Art by Denys Cowan & Dick Giordano Reoffered to coincide with BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #7, also featuring art by Denys Cowan! This classic trade paperback collects DETECTIVE COMICS #598-600 ,written by Batman (1989) screenwriter Sam Hamm! Bruce Wayne discovers a series of murders linked to WayneTech in this tale that leaves him in a wheelchair! On sale July 5 o 160 pg, FC, $14.99 US o Relist
Lee: I seem to remember this being really good. But, Cowan art at its peak if you are a historical type buff.
Jim: I believe the artwork was good, but my remembrance of the story is that is was not a keeper.

SUPERMAN: THE DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN OMNIBUS HARDCOVER Written by Dan Jurgens, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern, Jerry Ordway and Karl Kesel Art by Jurgens, Jon Bogdanove, Tom Grummett, Brett Breeding, Rick Burchett and others Cover by Jurgens & Ordway For the first time, the historic story of the death and return of Superman is collected in one massive, 784-page hardcover volume featuring an all-new cover by pivotal creator Dan Jurgens, timed to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the event! THE DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN OMNIBUS includes the best-selling trade paperbacks THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN and THE RETURN OF SUPERMAN, as well as portions of WORLD WITHOUT A SUPERMAN, plus 40 pages of bonus extras including promotional material and product spotlights. Advance-solicited; on sale September 12 o 784 pg, FC, $75.00
Jim: There is so many other reams of DC material that deserve this type of treatment before this stuff, but they have suckered me into buying it. Soon I will have so many of these oversized monstrosities that I will have to buy a reinforced bookcase just to hold them and then reinforce my floor.
Lee: I think it is cool they are doing this! The debate for what should/should not be traded is a whole different discussion but this is well worth it. For the mega event this was and the impact it had, I think this is great.

THE ALL-NEW ATOM #13 Written by Gail Simone Art by Mike Norton & Dan Green Cover by Ladrönn The Search for Ray Palmer continues as the Atom finds himself with people who knew Palmer very well: the jungle-dwelling little people from SWORD OF THE ATOM! And they may be hiding the Atom's predecessor among their people. On sale July 5 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I’m looking forward to this story. If done right it could be a really nice look at what happens to a hero when all he knew has gone wrong. And as a big Gail Simone fan, hey it should be good.
Lee: Sorry but I just don’t care about the Atom. Sometime, not that long ago, my 12 yr old brain said “He’s so small he travels over telephone lines? That’s just dumb!” and it’s be over ever since. BUT, if you are a fan of the Atom then Gail is the person you want handling the writing chores. Should be good.

GREEN LANTERN #21 Written by Geoff Johns Art and cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert Variant cover by Andy Kubert The first chapter of "Sinestro Corps" explodes! Sinestro's army of fear has gathered: Arkillo! Karu-Sil! The Cyborg-Superman! And hundreds more of the most terrifying villains the universe has ever seen! Hal Jordan has overcome great fear throughout his life, but what fear still lingers inside him? Parallax knows, and Hal's about to be reminded as he leads Earth's Green Lanterns on a life-or-death rescue mission in the middle of this war. Meanwhile, the Guardians of the Universe find dissent within their ranks as a bizarre prophecy is fulfilled. The secrets of the Green Lantern Corps and its power are about to be revealed!
Jim: Okay I’m looking forward to the new GL stuff, but my god does GL win the award for longest hype for all of his books lately. I mean a teaser or two, but my god there is more information in this solicitation then in 25% of most actual titles in today’s books. Bendis doesn’t give us this much information in a six issue story arc!
Lee: So, is lots of hype a sign of good things or bad things? Is the greater detail due to lack of sales? Makes you wonder. But, the Sinestro Corp storyline should be interesting.

BLACK CANARY #1 & 2 Written by Tony Bedard Art and cover by Paulo Sequeira & Amilton Santos Black Canary takes flight in a 4-issue miniseries written by Tony Bedard (52, SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES) with art by Paulo Sequiera (BIRDS OF PREY, Gypsy) & Amilton Santos! The League of Assassins tracks Black Canary to Star City in an effort to liberate the child, Sin, they believe to be the DCU's next greatest assassin. Luckily, Black Canary has other plans for Sin's abilities and future. Issue #1 on sale July 5; issue #2 on sale July 18 o 1 & 2 of 4 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US Edited by Mike Carlin
Jim: Love Black Canary and glad to see she is getting a solo shot. Now DC is running a GA Year One and Black Canary mini right after Ollie proposes and then cancel his title. Is this building back to them as a team. It would seem dumb at this point as Black Canary is now running the JLA and seems very independent and had moved on.
Lee: You and Zatanna… oh wait, we’re talking Black Canary now. This is for the fanboys and Black Canary people. I wonder if they are going the Lone Wolf and Cub route with the little girl in tow.
Jim: What can I say I love a beautiful woman in fishnets.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA VOL. 1: THE NEXT AGE HC Written by Geoff Johns Art by Dale Eaglesham, Art Thibert and Ruy Jose Cover by Alex Ross The world's first super-team returns in this volume collecting the first 4 issues of the all-new JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA series, written by Geoff Johns (52, GREEN LANTERN, ACTION COMICS) with stunning art by Dale Eaglesham (VILLAINS UNITED) & Art Thibert (OUTSIDERS) and a cover by Alex Ross (JUSTICE, KINGDOM COME)! Advance-solicited; on sale September 19 o 144 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Jim: Ouch four issues per hard cover and a $20 entry fee. Pass for me no matter how much I like the material.
Lee: Again, I wonder what the motivation is here. 4 issues for $20 is steep and I can’t imagine it wouldn’t keep the casual collector away. Then again, this is probably targeted at the fanboy and not the casual person. The story was well received. The art is great. I will most likely plunk down the change for this one.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: WONDER WOMAN VOL. 1 TP Written by Robert Kanigher Art and cover by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito Don't miss more than 500 pages of Amazonian action in this black-and-white volume collecting WONDER WOMAN #98-117! Advance-solicited; on sale August 22 o 528 pg, B&W, $16.99 US
Jim: I’m buying it, but I won’t really like it that much. I was never a Ross Andru art fan and it detracts form the stories. Still I want to re-read Kanigher’s WW and see what I think today about it.
Lee: How is it that you buy this, which you don’t really like, but fail to mention Showcase Presents: Adam Strange Vol. 1? It makes no sense to me. I would buy the Adam Strange first and then buy this. Even though you don’t like the art this is the series that established Andru & Esposito as superstars.
Jim: I love Adam Strange and have the Archives which covers the same material.

TANGENT COMICS VOL. 1 TP Written by Dan Jurgens, Kurt Busiek, James Robinson, Ron Marz and Todd Dezago Art by Gary Frank, Mike McKone, J.H. Williams III, Jurgens and others Cover by Jurgens & Norm Rapmund In 1997, DC's Tangent event presented a group of strange new heroes with very familiar names. Now, these hard-hitting heroes are back in a fantastic new collection including TANGENT COMICS: THE ATOM, METAL MEN, THE FLASH, GREEN LANTERN and SEA DEVILS! Advance-solicited; on sale August 29 o 208 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Jim: It could be my memory slipping, but this was some decent stuff, by some really solid creators.
Lee: I’m glad to see this material traded because there is some great art in here. I always had trouble buying the single issues because I knew the stories weren’t going anywhere. It was DC’s version of What If?. But, collected like this should be a blast.

THE PROGRAMME #1 Written by Peter Milligan Art and cover by C.P. Smith Variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver From the brilliant mind of critically acclaimed writer Peter Milligan (X-Statix, SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, JLA CLASSIFIED) and with the incredible art of C.P. Smith (Punisher, Wolverine) comes a tale a half century in the making! In 1991, the Cold War ended without the two primary players ever facing each other in direct conflict. The vast arsenals of democracy and communism were put on ice, and the world moved toward a new millennium. While the U.S.S.R. disintegrated, the United States rose to unchallenged dominance?but now a long-forgotten Soviet weapon is awakened on one of America's many battlegrounds, threatening the global balance of power. Conventional warfare is suddenly outdated: the new weapons of mass destruction wield super-powers. Does America have an answer to...The Programme? On sale July 18 o 1 of 12 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: See new launches deserve a long promotional piece as you have to sell the premise to an audience. Sounds like fun to me. Milligan is hit and miss for me, but I think this is more his strength.
Lee: This looks great. And this is absolutely Milligans strength. Weird heroes against weird villains in weird situations. Should be very good.

ALAN MOORE: THE COMPLETE WILDC.A.T.S TP Written by Alan Moore Art by Travis Charest, Mat Broome, Ryan Benjamin and others Cover by Charest Alan Moore is considered by many to be the finest comics writer of the last quarter century. His standout achievements in the medium include WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and From Hell. Now Moore's defining run on WildC.A.T.s is collected into a single volume, collecting WILDC.A.T.S. #21-34, plus a story from issue #50, featuring the impressive art of Travis Charest and other fine artists who provide breathtaking visuals. Alan Moore took the WILDC.A.T.S back to their roots and stirred up the WildStorm Universe considerably, creating a perfect starting point for catching up the flagship WildStorm superhero team. It's a tale filled with unsettling revelations and gripping drama - and the introduction of one of WildStorm's great villains: Tao! Advance-solicited; on sale August 8 o 392 pg, FC, $29.99 US
Lee: The greatest WildCats story ever. Alan Moore weaves a tale that is just fantastic. And with art by Charest (his pre-looney tunes, primedonna phase) this is a must have. My only question… why no HC???
Jim: I have to see if I have this stuff in another trade, if I don’t I agree a no-brainer in the buy column.

SENTENCES: THE LIFE OF M.F. GRIMM HARDCOVER Written by Percy Carey Art and cover by Ronald Wimberly Underground rap icon Percy Carey tells the true story of his life in the "Hip-Hop Game" - the dizzying heights and heartbreaking losses - in the raw and brutally honest hardcover graphic novel memoir SENTENCES: THE LIFE OF M.F. GRIMM. In SENTENCES, Carey chronicles his life in the sometimes glamorous, and often violent, hip-hop industry; from the first time he picked up a microphone at a block party as a youngster, to the day he lost the use of his legs to gang violence, to his incarceration, and eventually, to his self-reinvention and rise back to the top of his game, becoming a Hip-Hop Grand Master and being placed among the pantheon of the culture. No questions are left unanswered and no apologies are made, resulting in what's sure to be a groundbreaking graphic novel. Joining Carey is up-and-coming artist Ronald Wimberly (LUCIFER, HELLBLAZER: PAPA MIDNITE covers), who breathtakingly illustrates this gritty tale of righteous redemption. If what you know about hip-hop is the flashy cars and voluptuous women that music videos try to sell, be prepared to experience the real side of the industry that only someone who has survived the rise, fall, and rise again, can tell. Advance-solicited; on sale September 5 o 7" x 9" o 128 pg, B&W, $19.99 US MATURE READERS
Jim: I will be passing on this book, but it is nice to see that a wide variety of material is being covered by a major publisher.
Lee: You can’t say that DC doesn’t try things. Kudos to them. BUT, a quick search turned up… I think this is the artist. WOW. He has talent. I can’t really tell because he goes by D-pi but it certainly could be him…
Jim: I followed the link and wow this guy is very good.

FAKER #1 Written by Mike Carey Art and cover by Jock In the numbing cold of a Minnesota winter, Jessie Kidby and her freshman friends kick off their second semester with a wild party. But in the aftermath of the big blow-out, things start to go horribly wrong for all of them. Jessie is troubled by nasty memories she's been suppressing for years, while her best friend Nick Philo has become an un-person: Nobody outside their tight-knit little clique can remember seeing him before, and his records have been erased from the college's computers. At first, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it becomes increasingly obvious that one of them is not what he appears to be. Chock full of ruthless characters with hidden agendas, FAKER takes place during freshman year in college; the ultimate time of reinvention, where, if you're up for it, you can lie, cheat and fake your way through almost anything. FAKER is by the Eisner-nominated team of Mike Carey (LUCIFER, CROSSING MIDNIGHT) and Jock (THE LOSERS). On sale July 5 o 1 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US o MATURE READERS
Lee: This looks really good too. Carey’s Lucifer was outstanding and this is a return to his horror roots. Should be great. Jock’s art was last seen on Losers and should fit the theme of the title well. Looking forward to this.
Jim: Carey is almost impossible for me to pass up on. Even his poor work is usually okay. Right now his X-Men stuff is his weakest, but that’s because I don’t like the group he has selected, his writing and the stories are actually holding me in on the X-Men, so I’m a big yes for this book also.

THE COMPLETE BITE CLUB TP Written by Howard Chaykin & David Tischman Art by David Hahn Cover by Frank Quitely Don't miss this 264-page volume collecting both the original critically acclaimed BITE CLUB and its sequel, BITE CLUB: VAMPIRE CRIME UNIT! The Sopranos have nothing on the Del Toros, a vampire clan that has run organized crime in Miami for nearly a century. Beautiful, rich and immortal, these bloodsuckers are also masters of backstabbing and in-fighting. Advance-solicited; on sale August 29 o 264 pg, FC, $19.99 US o MATURE READERS
Lee: You know, this is… I think.. the third large scale trade offered this month. Moore’s WildCats was 392 pgs, this is 264 pages. I don’t care about the series but I find these large trades interesting. I wonder if it will be lower grade paper like the World At War trade? Almost an essential in color. I think that’s a great way to go and wonder why they don’t do more of it.
Jim:It is interesting that so much is getting traded now days. When I review the list of books coming out from Marvel and DC on a weekly basis a good 25% are trades.

SCALPED VOL. 1: INDIAN COUNTRY TP Written by Jason Aaron Art by R.M. Guera Cover by Jock Jason Aaron, the hot new writer of the critically acclaimed series THE OTHER SIDE, teams with gritty artist R.M. Guéra for an intense crime drama that mixes organized crime with current Native American culture. This special low-priced volume collects the first five issues of the riveting Vertigo series SCALPED. Fifteen years ago, Dashiell "Dash" Bad Horse ran away from a life of abject poverty and utter hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation searching for something better. Now he's come back home armed with nothing but a set of nunchucs, a hell-bent-for-leather attitude and one dark secret, to find nothing much has changed on "The Rez" - short of a glimmering new casino, and a once-proud people overcome by drugs and organized crime. Is he here to set things right or just get a piece of the action? Advance-solicited; on sale August 1 o 128 pg, FC, $9.99 US
Lee: Great crime series. Get this. Get caught up. Buy more issues!!!
Jim: I have really enjoyed this series and if you are not buying the monthly issues pick this up.

CATWOMAN VINYL STATUE By KOTOBUKIYA Under special arrangement with Japanese manufacturer Kotobukiya, DC DIRECT once again brings the exquisite craftsmanship of KOTOBUKIYA to fans. A purr-fect companion statue to the previously released BATMAN and THE JOKER Vinyl Statues, this CATWOMAN VINYL STATUE is approximately 6"-7" long and is packaged in a 4-color window box. The CATWOMAN VINYL STATUE is manufactured to order! Advance-solicited; on sale December 12, 2007 Vinyl Statue o $69.99 US

SUPERGIRL VINYL STATUE By KOTOBUKIYA Under special arrangement with Japanese manufacturer Kotobukiya, DC DIRECT once again brings the exquisite craftsmanship of KOTOBUKIYA to fans. A companion piece to the previously released SUPERMAN Vinyl statue, the SUPERGIRL Vinyl Statue stands approximately 10" tall and is packaged in a 4-color window box. The SUPERGIRL VINYL STATUE is manufactured to order! Advance-solicited; on sale December 12, 2007 Vinyl Statue o $79.99 US

Jim: I have included these two together to show how much more mature the Japanese audience is when it comes to producing statues.
Lee: Oh yes. I see what you mean. Light years ahead of the American audience. Then again, maybe it is a Japanese Light year v. an American light year. Gotta make sure the units of measure are correct before I make a rash decision.

That's it for the DC material.

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