Thursday, May 24, 2007

DC Preview Review for August

Jim: It seems like a lot of stuff in this month’s solicitations. For a few months I felt like DC was not really releasing a lot of different projects and then this month it feels like a bunch of new and exciting stuff with some of the ongoing series.
Lee: I agree, there’s lots of stuff this month but I view it as needless padding. That’s a kind way of saying “screwing the helpless consumer.” Oh well. Looking ahead...

COUNTDOWN TO ADVENTURE #1 Written by Adam Beechen and Justin Gray Art by Eddy Barrows, Fabrizio Fiorentino & Julio Ferreira Cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert Flying out of the pages of 52, it's Adam Strange, Starfire and Animal Man in an explosive new series! Now that they've returned to their respective homes, where do they go from here? Find out what the future holds for these heroes in the DCU! And in the 8-page backup, from the pages of COUNTDOWN, it's a tale of Forerunner! Find out more about this awesome new character and her relationship with the Monitors. 1 of 8, 48 pg, FC, $3.99
Jim: DC is stealing a page from Marvel’s playbook and adding in some new mini-series and putting the countdown tag on the book. I love Adam Strange and Animal Man, but I hope we are not forced to have these three be a team forever and the story will just deal with each of them separately. Forerunner is a stupid name and we will have to wait and see what this character is all about.
Lee: Honestly, starting here this looks to be a terrible month. I didn’t like it when Marvel did all those pointless miniseries and I don’t like that DC is doing it. Not to mention these characters have no reason to be together! Since when is Animal Man a space hero???

ALL-NEW BOOSTER GOLD #1 Written by Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz Art and cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund Following the universe altering conclusion of 52, Booster Gold wants what's due to him - a spot on the Justice League of America! But the time stream's in trouble, and Booster Gold is in the center of it! Now he must make a choice: reclaim his former glory or do the right thing, forgoing the credit.
Jim: I’m a big a DC fan as anyone, but I’m willing to bet that making a Booster Gold series work is going to be a massive undertaking. I will try this book out because of Johns and what happened to Booster in 52, but I would not bet on this book being a hit.
Lee: It’s interesting that the original Booster Gold series did quite well until they revealed he was only a hero to get rich. Maybe the storyline will play better to a reality-show raised audience that worships the spotlight. The use of the word “time stream” makes me wonder if this won’t be DC’s version of “Exiles”. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

BLACK ADAM: THE DARK AGE #1 Written by Peter J. Tomasi Art by Doug Mahnke, Norm Rapmund & Christian Alamy Cover by Mahnke Variant cover by Alex Ross With the power of the gods stripped from him, Teth-Adam is on a quest to find not only the magical word that will restore him as Black Adam, but also the one thing that always kept his heart from turning completely black with rage.
Jim: This is a mini-series that was being screamed for after 52. This will be an eight part series and to me a daunting task. Black Adam is the most interesting and powerful bad guy in the DCU. Now you just been given the mini-series and have to not frell it up and keep him uber-cool. Tough assignment.
Lee: Anti-hero series are always tough, but having a superpowerful and popular villain makes it even harder. Tomasi has his work cut out for him.

OUTSIDERS: FIVE OF A KIND - WEEK 1: NIGHTWING/BOOMERANG Written by Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir Art and cover by Freddie Williams II Get ready for FIVE OF A KIND - five issues, five top creative teams, one team-up per week, as Batman takes control of the Outsiders by using these adventures to pick his new lineup!
Jim: A five part weekly series where Batman takes over the Outsiders and picks a new team. Interesting concept and almost makes sense as the Outsiders had placed themselves in a losing situation, so the status quo could not remain the same. Looking forward to this chapter of the Outsiders.
Lee: I guess this could be good. The lineup of writers is hit/miss. Personally, based on their work with the New Mutants spinoff, DeFilippis & Weir are a miss. There is no reason for this to be any better than the “Helmet of Fate” 5 week event. Sorry but a pass.

BATMAN/LOBO: DEADLY SERIOUS #1 Written, Art and cover by Sam Kieth Get ready for an action-packed 2-part tale teaming up the Dark Knight with the interstellar madman, as only Sam Kieth can deliver! Batman, transported to an alien vessel by a mysterious figure, is asked to help cure a plague that has infected its inhabitants. Lobo, who has also been shanghaied, finds himself in the same boat. Now, Batman and Lobo, two incredibly unlikely companions, must somehow find a way to work together - and find out the real reason for their abductions - before they kill each other! 1 of 2 o 48 pg, FC, $5.99 US o Prestige Format
Jim: Okay this is going to be totally insane and stupid outlandish fun. I mean Sam Keith doing Batman/Lobo. Sign me up.
Lee: Over the top insane Lobo fun! This looks AWESOME. I couldn’t agree more.

ACTION COMICS #855 Written by Geoff Johns & Richard Donner Art and cover by Eric Powell The dynamic writing team of Geoff Johns & Richard Donner joins artist extraordinaire Eric Powell (The Goon) for "Escape from Bizarro World," a 3-part story that will thrill and horrify! Last seen in ACTION COMICS #845, Bizarro returns to kidnap one of the most important people in Superman's life. But what does the twisted, ersatz Man of Steel want? The only way to find out is to travel to the enemy's home: Bizarro World!
Jim: Eric Powell on art doing Bizarro, with Johns and Donner writing. This is a great combination of creators and makes me want to read Action comics again. Almost makes up for the crap fill-ins and Andy Kubert losing his pencil.
Lee: As long as all three issues end up in the same trade, I might enjoy this someday. But, Powell in Superman does sound interesting.

THE FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE #15 Written by Marc Guggenheim Art by Tony S. Daniel & Art Thibert Cover by Doug Braithwaite Variant cover by Daniel Acuña Continuing the storyline so explosive we can't give anything away - and it's destined to be one of the most talked-about tales of 2007!
Jim: DC has taken this book from a worst book to a best book in a record amount of time. Great job on fixing a disaster. Plus is it Barry coming back or is it something different. I think it has to be more than just that. I love this book lately.
Lee: I withhold judgment on this book. I haven’t read Flash in years so I will take your word for it being good. BUT, if Barry Allen does come back is this more or less of a travesty than bring Bucky back?

SUPERMAN #666 Written by Kurt Busiek Art and cover by Walter Simonson An extra-sized spectacular featuring art by Walter Simonson, as Superman goes to Hell - literally - during the most nightmarish adventure of his heroic career, and a dread portent of that which may be coming!
Jim: Give Busiek credit, what better issue # to have a Superman in Hell story.
Lee: That’s funny. I didn’t even notice the issue number. I did notice the Simonson art though and it looks great.

DR. THIRTEEN: ARCHITECTURE & MORTALITY TP Written by Brian Azzarello Art and cover by Cliff Chiang Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang join forces to tell the adventures of Dr. Terrence Thirteen, a parapsychologist who disproves reports of supernatural activity. In this story collected from TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED #1-8, Dr. Thirteen rounds up a group of the world's magical beings to prevent strange forces from tearing asunder the very fabric of the past, present, and future! 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US
Jim: This was a great back-up in Tales of the Unexpected and worth reading. A really terrifically bizarre and fun read. Cliff Chang’s artwork really shined.
Lee: Interesting that the backup gets a trade but the main story from “Tales of the Unexpected” doesn’t. Hummmm very odd indeed. That said, I am really looking forward to this because it was so well received.

THE JSA ALL STARS ARCHIVES VOL. 1 HC Written by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Mayer, Bill Finger and others Art by Bernard Baily, Irwin Hasen, Stan Aschmeier and others This brand-new series collects all of the Golden Age solo stories of Johnny Thunder, Hour-Man, Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite, Mr. Terrific, Wildcat and Red Tornado from FLASH COMICS, ADVENTURE COMICS, ALL-AMERICAN COMICS and SENSATION COMICS (January 1940-May 1942)! Advance-solicited; on sale October 24 o 256 pg, FC, $59.99 US
Jim: Such a no-brainer for me. I love seeing the quality reproductions of the Golden Age heroes and DC always does them right.
Lee: I will admit this does sound interesting. The Johnny Thunder and Dr. Midnite reprints I’ve seen have been fun but the Atom ones were terrible. Adding to the curiosity of this book is the fact that I have never seen a Wildcat reprint. BUT, most notably, did you see the price increase? This is $10 higher than the normal Archive book. Hopefully, it isn’t a trend.

METAL MEN #1 Written, Art and cover by Duncan Rouleau Doc Magnus's creations are ready to take on all-new threats and some old, reimagined ones: Chemo, Doctor Yes, B.O.L.T.S., The Balloonatic and his Orphan Army, as well as the Robot Renegades led by an old Manhunter Robot! But the greatest threat lies in Le Cabinet Noir and its bid to control the natural order using dangerous lieutenants like the Nameless, an armored being that feeds off the blood of the innocent and controls the Gogoloth, giant stone Golems made of Granite, Bizmuth, Onyx and Lime. 1 of 8 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: The Metal Men is a tough concept to do right, but they are so much fun as a concept that they always live on. I’ll try it out.
Lee: I really like Rouleau’s art and he should be a good fit for Metal Men. AND, it’s tugging at your Silver Age heartstrings Jim! That’s why your trying it.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: CAPTAIN CARROT VOL. 1 TP Written by Roy Thomas, E. Nelson Bridwell and others Art by Mike Sekowsky, Scott Shaw, Alfredo Alcala and others Experience the adventures of Captain Carrot and his Zoo-Crew battle Frogzilla, the Armordillo, the alien Bunny from Beyond and many more in this volume collecting NEW TEEN TITANS #16 and CAPTAIN CARROT AND THE ZOO CREW #1-20! Advance-solicited; on sale September 26 o 520 pg, B&W, $16.99 US

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS VOL. 1 TP Written by Mike W. Barr and Marv Wolfman Art by Jim Aparo, George Pérez, Bill Willingham and others In this hard-hitting, value-packed volume, witness Batman's formation of the original Outsiders! Metamorpho, Black Lightning, Katana, Halo and Geo-Force star in these stories from BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS #1-19, BRAVE & BOLD #200 and NEW TEEN TITANS #16!
Jim: Lee said I had to include Captain Carrot, but I’m not sure why. Is there anyone demanding this stuff. And before this, we should have a Sugar & Spike Showcase!
Lee: I think DC is doing a great job with these Showcase volumes. They seem to alternate between the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s for the material they reprint. I wasn’t a fan of Aparo when he did BaTO but this is a good way for me to try the series. I am looking forward to it.

As for Captain Carrot… The cover says it all “fun-tabulous” Scott Shaw! is awesome. And yes, the ! is part of his name. The man is a cartooning genius and very knowledgable historian on comic books. Is this light material? Yes. Is it kid friendly? Yes. Is it good comics? You betcha. Better than half the poop being produced today that’s for sure. For fun, I suggest Scott’s site.

BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE VOL. 1 - NEW EDITION TP Written by Neil Gaiman, Chuck Dixon, Dennis O'Neil and others Art by Jim Lee, Bruce Timm, Joe Kubert and others Cover by Lee A new edition of the Eisner Award-winning collection at our standard trim size! Lee: Two things about this listing. First, if you don’t have it you should. It’s excellent. The “behind the scenes” story where Joker worries about being typecast is worth the cover price alone! Second… what do they mean by “at our standard trim size!”? I wonder if DC is heading the DH route where everything is shrunk down to manga size. Be prepared for many, many rants if they do.
Jim: I think trim size refers to the size of the hard cover itself and it is trim on your book shelf.

SWORD OF THE ATOM TP Written by Jan Strnad Art by Gil Kane, Pat Broderick and Dennis Janke Collected for the first time in a single graphic novel! Sword of the Atom #1-4 and Sword of the Atom Special #1-3 take readers on a fantastic journey into the heart of a Central American jungle, where a race of 6-inch-tall aliens treats The Atom as their protector against titanic beasts and primeval sorcery! o 232 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Lee: Talk about random reprintings. And who wanted this? I am a HUGE Kane fan but even I admit that he was starting to slip by the time the 80’s (and this miniseries) rolled around. The Atom goes John Carter but he still wears his mask throughout the entire series! Why? So, the little alien race won’t know his secret identity. True fans only please.
Jim: Take it easy Lee, I ordered this one. I’m a John Carter fan and still enjoyed Kane’s art (although it was not as strong at this point).

CONFESSIONS OF A BLABBERMOUTH Written by Mike Carey & Louise Carey Art and cover by Aaron Alexovich When Tasha's mom brings home an annoying hack novelist boyfriend, Jed, and his deadpan daughter, her dysfunctional family is headed for a complete mental meltdown. But Tasha has her blog, BLABBERMOUTH, as the ultimate weapon - and she's not afraid to use it. Especially when she starts to suspect that the obnoxious Jed has a guilty secret that goes far beyond his bad prose. Mike Carey (LUCIFER, Hellblazer, Crossing MidnighT, RE-GIFTERS) teams with co-writer Louise Carey, his 15-year-old daughter, who has written the Diary of a London Schoolgirl for the website of the London Metropolitan Archive and the novel-in-progress Bethany's Words.
Jim: I’m not getting this book, but what a wonderful concept to be doing a book with your 15 year old daughter.
Lee: I agree! And if my daughters were older (but not as old as yours Jim) I might get this too. Kudos to DC for trying this though. I hope it survives long enough until my girls can find it.

THE ABSOLUTE SANDMAN VOL. 2 HC Written by Neil Gaiman Art by Shawn McManus, Kelley Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Bryan Talbot, John Watkiss, Matt Wagner, Stan Woch, Colleen Doran, Duncan Eagleson, John Bolton, Malcolm Jones III, George Pratt, Dick Giordano, P. Craig Russell and Vince Locke Cover by Dave McKean VOL. 2 collects issues 21-39 of THE SANDMAN and features remastered coloring on all 19 issues as well as brand-new inks on THE SANDMAN #34 by the issue's original penciller, Colleen Doran, and a host of bonus material, including two never-before-reprinted stories by Gaiman (one prose and one illustrated), a complete reproduction of the never-before-reprinted one-shot THE SANDMAN: A GALLERY OF DREAMS, and the complete script and pencils by Gaiman and Kelley Jones for Chapter Two of "Season of Mists" from THE SANDMAN #23. 616 pg, FC, $99.00 US
Jim: I really want to sign up and get these, but I have the 10 part hard covers, but the first volume was gorgeous and I may have to succumb to buying the Absolute Sandman for myself also. Damn it.
Lee: These things are so big and unwieldy it ridiculous. I can’t carry the book to my “private reading room”, I can’t hold it up to read it before going to bed, AND, if I leave it on my legs for too long… my feet go to sleep. These hernia inducing tomes are good but I don’t know if I can keep buying them.

THE UN-MEN #1 Written by John Whalen Art by Mike Hawthorne Cover by Tomer Hanuka Breakout writer John Whalen and Eisner-nominated artist Mike Hawthorne (THE EXTERMINATORS, Queen and Country) bring chilling new life to THE UN-MEN - the former SWAMP THING adversaries created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson - with a series that explores what it means to be a freak in a society filled with gawkers.
Jim: This could be really good, but I hesitant to put a look of faith in someone taking a small bit from a old comic and exploring it as an unlimited series. Still I’m signing up because of the premise and that the Vertigo books are usually interesting reads.
Lee: This has the potential to be good. Freaks in society is a theme close to all comic fans hearts!!! But, talk about hype… “Breakout writer John Whalen”..ummm hello? He wrote a section in “Big Book of the Weird Wild West". No offense to John but that doesn’t make him breakout.

AME-COMI: BATGIRL PVC FIGURE The BATGIRL PVC STATUE is a limited-edition, hand-painted PVC statue 9" tall. This limited edition non-articulate plastic display figure comes with a base.
AME-COMI: CATWOMAN PVC FIGURE The CATWOMAN PVC STATUE a limited-edition, hand-painted PVC statue is 9" tall. This limited edition non-articulate plastic display figure comes with a base.
POWER GIRL 13" DELUXE COLLECTOR FIGURE Feel the Power! POWER GIRL is the newest female addition to DC Direct's line of realistically proportioned, super-heroic 1:6 scale figures! This deluxe collector figure comes clothed in an authentically detailed fabric costume and includes a display stand.
Jim: Okay the Japanese figures only vaguely resemble the characters they are portraying and hey why don’t we just make a full size Power Girl doll and be done with it. These are products that will not be in my house – ever.
Lee: Ah, my favorite part of the listing… the embarrassed once again to be a fanboy section. So, what frightens me about these listings… (1) on sale January 23, 2008. HELLO? Not on sale until 08???? A little ahead of the curve on this one aren’t they?
(2) Um, yeah, bondage queen Catwoman. Nuff said. (3) I like how they have to clarify “non-articulate plastic display figure”. I wonder how many fanboys were upset when the first set of these came home without 37 movable bits. I can hear the cry now “But, I can’t put her is any pose I want”
And, finally, (4) a “realistically proportioned” PowerGirl figure with a “fabric costume”… uuummm that officially makes it a Barbie. But, it should be noted that even Barbie’s bust is smaller than Powergirl’s.

Jim: That is a lot and I didn’t even hit The Sword of Atom trade, Shazam hard cover, Outsiders Showcase and other things. Of course Lee covered most of those. A lot of great products from DC to look forward to in the coming months.
Lee: I agree with Jim, there is tons of material this month. But the closer I look at the preview these days the more it depresses me. More and more pointless miniseries, more and more crossovers…. And people wonder why the industry has trouble getting new readers involved. Even with that, I really am looking forward to Cap’n Carrot.


  1. Animal Man? What, is he Beast Boy grown up or something?

    Re: Catwoman & Powergirl

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Figures like that should definitely be causing some "action". =P

    And judging by the expression on Powergirl's face, her back hurts.

  2. Animal Man can absorb any animals' abilities. He does not shape change into animals and he's not a stupid ho like Vixen.

    I'm not sure why so many people are hyped up about the return of Barry Allen. Don't get me wrong, I'm fond of Barry, but Wally West is my Flash. I miss Wally. Bart's cool and all but I feel as if we haven't really gotten a chance to know him. My favorite run on the Flash was Mark Waid's.