Thursday, July 19, 2007

DC Preview Review October

As you can see Gwen is joining Lee and I for the DC preview review. Gwen is a big DC fan and it’s nice to have a different voice occasionally. You are still stuck with just Lee and I for the rest of the reviews.

Jim: Wow, it has been a little quite lately as far as new offerings and DC has almost exploded this month with new product and some great story lines and creator changes in regular ongoing books. For a big DC fan like me this is great (although my ability to dwindle my list has taken a beating after this month).
Lee: I agree this month is loaded with stuff that looks really, really interesting. Kiss the budget goodbye.
Gwen AKA Brainiac6: There is a lot of DC product this month. The miniseries are flourishing and the Countdown and 52 spin offs are everywhere! There's definitely a lot of nifty looking books and some fantastic Legion action!

COUNTDOWN PRESENTS: LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS #1 Written by Frank Tieri Art and cover by Liam Sharpe Don't miss this special 6-part COUNTDOWN miniseries featuring the most powerful beings on Earth-8 - Lord Havok and his Extremists - Lord Havok! Dr. Diehard! Tracer! Gorgon! Dreamslayer! Carny! Meet these dangerous individuals and learn why they are so integral to COUNTDOWN and the fate of the Multiverse! Guest-starring Monarch, the Monitors, Donna Troy, Jason Todd and Kyle Rayner! On sale October 31 o 1 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
THE SEARCH FOR RAY PALMER: CRIME SYNDICATE #1 Written by Sean McKeever Art by Jamal Igle & Rob Hunter Learn the origin of the newest Challenger from Beyond, from the world where the heroes are villains. But what does that make the bad guys? Can even the Challengers make things right? o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
CAPTAIN CARROT AND THE FINAL ARK #1 Written by Bill Morrison Art by Scott Shaw! & Al Gordon The Zoo Crew is back in a 3-issue COUNTDOWN tie-in miniseries! Captain Carrot reunites the team to face a threat that begins at the "Sandy Eggo Comic-Con" and quickly menaces the entire world ! The gang's all here: Fastback, Pig-Iron, Yankee Poodle, American Eagle, Alley-Kat-Abra, and the Captain himself, taking on the Salamandroid! o 1 of 3 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: Three new Countdown series. Two mini-series and a one-shot. It is obvious that Countdown is actually building to a huge event in DC and I wonder if it will deliver on the hype that they are building. Two more dramatic books and one whimsical book. It is also interesting to see how much high profile DC’s recent exclusive writer Sean McKeever has gotten and also to see how much work Frank Tieri is getting at DC, both used to be all but exclusive with Marvel.
Lee: Reading all these solicitations at once makes me wonder if this isn’t just a fancy way to define all the new multiple earths. It’s nice that it’s all being identified, but this is an awful lot of work just to let me know who rules Earth-8. That said, I’m looking forward to Extremists and Captain Carrot.
Gwen: I'm still annoyed by the Jason Todd substitution for all this Countdown stuff. Did DC just assume everyone would forget they had been building up to using Nightwing originally? It hadn't only been addressed in his own book but hinted at in others as well. Since when are Jason and Donna so close anyway? Are we supposed to forget that Jason's a killer? Beyond all that most of the Countdown work has been fun so far. I'm especially looking forward to the Crime Syndicate world as that's always been fun in the past.

BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #1 Written by Tony Bedard Art by Koi Turnbull & Art Thibert Tony Bedard (BIRDS OF PREY, COUNTDOWN) and Koi Turnbull (Fathom) launch a bold new direction for the DCU's misfit heroes! The rules have changed all over the DC Universe - but for the Outsiders, they're still just things that were made to be broken! It's a fresh game of dirty pool for the Outsiders as the Dark Knight sends his new team to the frontlines of a massive assault on metahumans. Batman and the Outsiders must fight even dirtier than their enemies...and risk becoming the supervillains they despise! Jim: DC has been telegraphing this series. I have enjoyed Tony Bedard's recent work and look forward to this series. The problem with outlaw heroes is how far can you take them before the headline heroes have to take them on. Still if done right this should be good.
Lee: I’m not sure what to make of this book. It seems like both DC and Marvel now have their “Work outside the system” books. Bedard is a good writer and we shall see where this goes. But, as an overall concept, it seems like more of the same.
Gwen: Wasn't the Doom Patrol supposed to be the “misfit heroes”? Ah well, this seems to be more of DC's initiative to return to the Silver Age. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying a lot of the Silver-ageish feeling but I didn't have a problem with the Outsiders before this change. I'll wait and see how this goes but I don't have high expectations. Also, Batman's kind of busy with the Outsiders, JLA and his own books. I wonder if they're sending Nightwing back over to the Titans or planning something else for him.

GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY #1 Written by Judd Winick Art and cover by Cliff Chiang The new Green Arrow/Black Canary team investigates the shocking results of the Wedding of the Century in an all-new adventure that brings the Star City-crossed lovers together!
Jim: Again this has been telegraphed for awhile. Still Judd Winick made Green Arrow a great book lately and Cliff Chiang is a fantastic artist, so it could be good. Of course I still think them as a married couple again was rushed, but let’s see if it can work. Lee: It seems like same writer, new title for an established book. Sales will spike and then drop, and the people who bought it before will be buying it again. I really don’t care about this one.
Gwen: I wasn't a big fan of the one year later Green Arrow – I missed Conner. I'm also annoyed by Canary marrying Ollie after he cheated on her, but maybe they can make it work. I'll have to wait and see.

DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #1-2 Written by Jim Starlin Art and covers by Starlin & Matt Banning The title says it all! For months now readers have witnessed the unimaginable and unthinkable as New Gods across the DCU have seemingly died, with Lightray's death in COUNTDOWN the biggest of them all. Now, the carnage continues but the mystery and adventure is just beginning! Jim Starlin - master of the cosmic odyssey - writes and illustrates this epic tale of death and destruction on a scale never seen before. With a cast of hundreds and cameos by the entire DCU, this intergalactic 8-part series cannot be missed!
Jim: This is a bold damn title and one hell of a thing to try as Kirby’s New Gods have become a big part of the DCU over the years and have been used in many, many series to good effect. Still if you are going to shake up the status quo, you should go for it. Glad to see Jim Starlin back in mainstream comics so often.
Lee: I have to admit this sounds great BUT, and there’s always a BUT, I feel that I have read Starlin’s cosmic odyssey story before. Maybe it was the Captain Marvel version, or the Dreadstar one, or the Infinity Gauntlet one, or…. You get my point. I love the New Gods so I will most likely get this but it concerns me that this is tied into another major event and I won’t get a conclusion.
Gwen: I'm not sure I care much about this book. I've never been a New Gods fan and Lightray's death wasn't all that exciting. I'm sure it will tie into Countdown though, and if Barda's in it it'll still be worth reading.

CRIME BIBLE: THE FIVE LESSONS OF BLOOD #1 Written by Greg Rucka Art by Tom Mandrake A Monk of the Dark Faith is moving through the DCU, seeding evil in his wake, as he prepares for a final, potentially devastating act. Trailing him is The Question, who seeks to save the life of the author of a best-selling expose about the Dark Faith. But is The Question simply playing a part in a much larger game? All will be revealed when The Lesson of Deceit is foretold.
Jim: A follow up from 52 and being written by Greg Rucka, this should be a good 5 part mini-series. Plus Tom Mandrake is an artist whose work I don’t see enough of anymore.
Lee: This does sound great. Rucka should be able to write a great question and Mandrake does dark and foreboding with the best of them.
Gwen: This looks interesting. I loved the old Question but I'm giving Renee a chance. Besides, all the Crime Bible stories have been intriguing so far.

GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #1 Written by Frank Tieri Art and cover by J. Calafiore This 8-part epic explores the underbelly of the DC Universe and ties in to COUNTDOWN! Frank Tieri and COUNTDOWN's J. Calafiore team up to deliver an action-packed tale that features Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batwoman and just about every other Gotham guest-star imaginable. As more and more evildoers seemingly disappear into thin air, Gotham City finds itself in the midst of a villainous vacuum. Who will rise to commandeer the remainder of Gotham's rogues? As several factions scramble to stake their claim, Batman and friends strategize a counter-attack!
Jim: As I stated to begin with, DC is exploding at the seams with new series and this 8 part mini-series has great potential with Frank Tieri and Jim Calafiore (who once was a guest artist at my comic store way back when). I was
Lee: DC does seem to have lots of miniseries this month. I wonder if this is how the new “no new ongoing series” corporate strategy is going to work. The only downside… I have no vested interest in these series. And, with them being tied in to Countdown and 52, it actually drives me away because I don’t read those books. I am as big a continuity nerd as they come but this is getting out of control with all the overlap.
Gwen: It has Nightwing in it. Good enough for me!

TALES OF THE SINESTRO CORPS PRESENTS: THE ANTI-MONITOR #1 Written by Geoff Johns & Sterling Gates Art by Pete Woods & Jerry Ordway
TALES OF THE SINESTRO CORPS PRESENTS: CYBORG SUPERMAN #1 Written by Alan Burnett Art by Patrick Blaine & Jay Leisten
Jim: Two more one shots out of the GL side of the DCU. I have a feeling that all of the Sinestro Corps stuff will be a long term issue within the GL Universe. Which is a cool idea as many space adventures have an evil empire versus a good empire. Johns has made GL a must read series again.
Lee: Alright, I am officially done with the mini series. This is out of control. How many titles is DC publishing this month? 10k?
Gwen: As much as I dislike Hal Jordan back as GL I've really enjoyed the build up of the Sinestro Corps and the hints of the Star Sapphires in the background. I'm looking forward to this, but still hoping that Kyle doesn't get a raw deal out of this.

BATMAN #670 Written by Grant Morrison Art and cover by Tony Daniel The next chapter of Batman's life starts here! The shadow of Batman's archfoe Ra's al Ghul still looms large over the head of the Dark Knight. Is Ra's al Ghul destined to live again? Batman begins his quest for the truth in this special prelude to "The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul," guest-starring Talia al Ghul, Damian, the Sensei and I-Ching! On sale October 31 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: Now this is what I’m talking about also with DC. Not only tons of new projects but ramping up the regular titles. Now Batman has been a very good series since one year later and this story just ups the ante. Plus Tony Daniel has been able to produce a monthly book and his work has grown to the point that he is a premier artist. So happy to see Ra’s al Ghul coming back.
Lee: OOOOWWWWWW. It hhhhuuuurrrrrttttttsssss! Can we be done with this yet? I’m sorry but I am so bored by Morrison’s love of Ra’s Al Ghul.
Gwen: Grant Morrison should be banned from writing anything involving Talia EVER AGAIN! His blatant disregard of Son of the Demon still pisses me off and has turned me off from his Batman work. Ra's coming back is great, Morrison writing it sucks.

SIMON DARK #1 Written by Steve Niles Art and cover by Scott Hampton Gotham City has another guardian, a protector known only in whispers and children's jump rope songs - and he's not afraid to get his hands bloody! Meet Simon Dark, the mysterious creature of the night who's the star of a new ongoing series by the creative team behind the acclaimed GOTHAM COUNTY LINE - writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and artist Scott Hampton (BATMAN: NIGHT CRIES)! On sale October 10 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: This is a shocker. A new ongoing from DC that has been totally under the radar. Steve Niles is a solid writer and Scott Hampton is one hell of an artist. This could be a sleeper hit.
Lee: Unfortunately this has little hype. But, with two proven creators it should be good. As a minor quibble, doesn’t Gotham have enough grim-n-gritty guardians yet?
Gwen: Lee's right, they should set this story in a different city. However, this looks really cool – I love the supernatural urban legend feel. Looks like a bogeyman type of story.

ACTION COMICS #858 Written by Geoff Johns Art by Gary Frank & Jonathan Sibal Welcome superstar Gary Frank as he kicks off his run as the new monthly artist on ACTION COMICS with the extra-length first chapter of "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes"! Spinning from "The Lightning Saga," the original Legion of Super-Heroes returns! When he was a boy, Clark Kent was isolated and alone until he met this teen team from the 31st Century. Today, it's been years since Superman saw his childhood friends. Why haven't they returned to visit him? What's become of the symbol of Superman in the future? And just why is the future so dangerous for Superman? They warned him away, but now he's determined to help his friends - even if it means his life! On sale October 31 o 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US
Jim: Gary Frank as the series artist, cool. Superman and the original Legion of Super-Heores (be still my heart) and Johns as the writer. Is it October yet!
Lee: Even with all my jaded-ness. This sounds really, really cool. Johns and Frank. Yeah, this is gonna be good!
Gwen: This is going to be amazing. *dances the dance of joy*

SUPERGIRL #22 Written by Tony Bedard Art by Renato Guedes & Jose Wilson Magalhaes Supergirl's got twice the fight on her hands when she faces off against the Karate Kid of the present and the Karate Kid of the future. It's non-stop action, with time-spanning secrets at stake! On sale October 3 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Gwen: Twice the Karate Kid action! Is it just me or is Tony Bedard a writing machine? Maybe that's a requirement for writing Birds of Prey or something. Supergirl has been a hit or miss book, but this issue looks really cool.
Lee: *sigh*. The big thrill of this is Karate Kid???? Oh yeah. I’m rushing to the newsstand to buy this one. Rush rush rush.
Jim: Lee does not understand the undying love for the original Legion. Many people don’t, but if he read the first 10 Archives he would either think we are insane or would also love the Legion.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #10 Written by Geoff Johns & Alex Ross Art by Dale Eaglesham & Ruy Jose Alex Ross joins Geoff Johns as co-writer for Part 1 of "Thy Kingdom Come," the epic story years in the making, springing from KINGDOM COME! Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! Welcome the newest member to the Justice Society of America: the Kingdom Come Superman! Coming from an Earth plagued by heroes-gone-extreme, how will this Superman react to an incarnation of the Justice Society he never knew? This Superman's world needed better heroes. So does ours.
Jim: DC is pressing all of my buttons by bringing in favorite characters and story lines into already good titles. This is just yet another very good series that is starting what could be a fantastic storyline. My cup runneth over.
Lee: Maybe you need a bigger cup! Maybe you need switches instead of buttons! As for me, I am so sick… and the crowd roars “And tired”… of Kingdom Come. Yeah, yeah, yeah it was good. Can we move on now? I don’t see Watchmen getting integrated into Continuity! Please please please don’t let DC read this and steal the idea. BAD DC! BAD! Anyway, I really don’t care and if anything, I see it tarnishing Kingdom Come more than enhancing the DCU. Seriously, do we really need another Superman? Aren’t the three or five or ten we already have enough?
Gwen: Hmm, I'm not sure how I feel about this one. Besides, how can it not be an imaginary story? They're all imaginary stories! (Which Jim likes to remind me of since that's one of his favorite quotes)

WONDER WOMAN #13 Written by Gail Simone Art and cover by Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson An electrifying new era begins for the world's greatest superheroine! Gail Simone (BIRDS OF PREY, SECRET SIX) joins the phenomenal art team of Terry and Rachel Dodson for what promises to be one of the most exciting Wonder Woman stories ever! What exactly is the Circle, and what deadly secret do they hold about Diana's birth? What familiar face from Wonder Woman's past returns with a mission to spy on Special Agent Diana Prince? Why is the Department of Metahuman Affairs on a collision course with the wounded remnants of the Society of Super-Villains? All this plus monkey assassins in a story that spans the globe and shakes Diana to her core!
Jim: Yes!!!!!!!!!!
Lee: No!!!!!!!!!!
Gwen: Maybe!!!!!!!!!! ...Seriously though, it's going to be hard to write a good Wonder Woman series, even for Gail Simone. Monkey assassins sound like fun though!

TALES OF THE BATMAN: TIM SALE HC Written by Darwyn Cooke, James Robinson, Kelley Puckett and Alan Grant Art and cover by Tim Sale & Jimmy Palmiotti Over the years, many artists have contributed to the look of one of the most iconic characters in popular culture: Batman. One of the influential and popular illustrators of the Dark Knight is Tim Sale , who, in addition to providing artwork for the hit TV series Heroes, illustrated the Eisner Award-winning graphic novels BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, BATMAN: DARK VICTORY and SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Sale's distinctive vision of the Dark Knight put the iconic hero back in the shadows and updated his image for a new generation of fans. Now, for the first time ever, these Batman tales drawn by Tim Sale early in his career are collected in one sensational volume. Advance-solicited; on sale December 12 240 pg, FC, $29.99 US
Jim: Easy sale for me. I just wish they would list the actual stories they are reprinting, but almost anything that has names like Darwyn Cooke, James Robinson and Tim Sale in it is an almost automatic buy.
Lee: This should be good but it really is weird they don’t list the stories reprinted. Not the best marketing move.
Gwen: Shiny. I will be sure to gaze upon its glory whilst viewing my Dad's bookshelf.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: SUICIDE SQUAD VOL. 1 TP Written by John Ostrander, Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and others Art by Howard Chaykin, Karl Kesel, Luke McDonnell and others


Jim: Again an easy sale for me, but I encourage everyone to get Suicide Squad. Not the strongest art at times, but some of the best and most innovative stories ever done. The concepts have been stolen, err, built on by many writers over the years.
Lee: Always loved these books, always will. A good addition to anyone’s collection.
Gwen: I really dislike Howard Chaykin's art. However, sometimes good stories can outweigh terrible art. Sometimes.
Jim: Very little Chaykin artwork in that volume.

ELFQUEST ARCHIVES VOL. 4 HC Written by Richard & Wendy Pini Art and cover by Wendy Pini Collecting issues #16-20 of the landmark series! The tribe of Wolfrider elves continues its struggle to find a new home, battling evil elves, trolls and others, while looking for the long lost secrets of the High Ones, aided by their uneasy allies the Sun Folk. o 228 pg, FC, $59.99 US
Gwen: Okay, so I'm probably the only person on this blog that cares about this but oh well. Elfquest is an excellent series and has always been something I've enjoyed. One day, when I graduate and have a real job, I will own these hardcovers. I was really happy when DC started republishing them as the old Father Tree Press books are extremely hard to get a hold of for under $80.
Lee: Gee, look Elfquest! One would never guess there was a girlie reviewing books now. ANYWHO… Gwen is right. Elfquest is a good series and it does deserve more attention than it gets. Maybe someday the hc’s will grace my shelves too. In the meantime, try the Starblaze collections. Far cheaper than the Father Tree ones.
Jim:LOL – Elfquest is more of a “chick flick” and I never got into the series at all.

THE VINYL UNDERGROUND #1 Written by Si Spencer Art by Simon Gane & Cameron Stewart Noted British television writer Si Spencer (Eastenders, Torchwood, Bad Girls) presents a sharp, unforgettable cadence in THE VINYL UNDERGROUND, a 21st century cross between THE INVISIBLES and CSI that brings rich social and political context to the dark, glittering cesspool that is London. Spencer is joined by indie creator/penciller Simon Gane (Paris, Punk Strips) and Eisner-nominated artist Cameron Stewart (the Other Side, SeaGuy) with bold, captivating covers by by Sean Phillips (The Invisibles, Criminal). In this fast-paced, ultra-cool ongoing crime-noir series, an unlikely quartet of occult detectives secretly solve crimes - from DJ crack bars in Camden to the elegant, high-society ballrooms that make up modern London. The Vinyl Underground is led by Morrison Shepherd, a D-list celebrity darling, soul DJ, and son of an ex-footballer. Fresh out of prison and off a nasty coke habit, Morrison is joined by a fellow ex-con named Perv, whose seizures give him clues to crimes long before the cops, and Leah, a gorgeous morgue assistant who leads a double life online and represents the brawn of the team. Morrison's ex-flame Abi is reluctantly forced to join the team when her father is implicated for murder. A young boy's head (with diamonds in the eye sockets) washes up on the edge of the Thames and seems to be connected to a series of ritual killings, a drug called Khat, and Muti magic. Can they get to the bottom of it? On sale October 3 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US o MATURE READERS
Jim: Way too long of a premise, but still I’m curious enough to try it out. Whew all the DCU stuff made me almost tired and I could only find one book in Wildstorm and Vertigo to comment on this month.
Lee: Waaaayyyy to long a write up. Sounds interesting but with all the other new stuff out there how is this supposed to survive. I’ll wait for Jim’s verdict later.
Gwen: Looks iffy. Sometimes stories like this are excellent but the summary is convoluted enough... makes me wonder about the actual book.

WOMEN OF THE DC UNIVERSE SERIES 2: STARFIRE BUST Designed by Terry Dodson Sculpted by Jack Mathews The popular WOMEN OF THE DC UNIVERSE line of cold-cast porcelain busts continues with the addition of Terry Dodson's Starfire bust. Look for Cheetah, Batwoman, and more in 2008! This Starfire Bust measures approximately 6" tall x 3.75" wide x 2.75" deep and is packaged in a four-color box. Advance-solicited; on sale March 19, 2008 o Bust o $49.99
Jim: Lee had another choice for our monthly “Embarrassed to be a fanboy award” But Starfire’s bust will do it for me, in so many ways.
Lee: Uuummmm, yeah. Your choice wins. Personally, I like the belly button jumbo jewel! So hands up, eerrr I mean hands down, errr or hands in any variation of the up/down motion.
Gwen: Hmm, two of Nightwing's exes have made it into the Women of the DCU bust series. Somehow I think Nightwing's succeeded at the playboy thing more than Bruce ever did :)

Jim: A ton of new stuff, some great story lines in ongoing books. My cutbacks have been overwhelmed by all the new stuff. Lee’s idea (below) has merit, but sometimes the solicitations dictate what needs to be commented.
Lee: So I started this review cycle all jazzed by the new books and offerings. By the end of it I realized that I was burned out by all of it. Everything was new and exciting and bright and shiney and filled with BUY ME BUY ME hype. It got old and my comments reflect that. Here’s an idea, how about we limit the new stuff to like *5* books a month and focus on writing good core titles. Now, there’s a concept.
Gwen: I love all the Legion stories coming up, it's really exciting! Too many miniseries though, and I'm burnt out on all the major events. Not every event can be major and not everything has to be an event! Either way, I still don't understand how Marvel is doing better than DC – there's a lot more quality in the DCU and even though Countdown's been slow the company is still putting out a lot of great work.

1 comment:

  1. I am too bored with COUNTDOWN to care about all the rest of it.

    In fact, most of the DCU solicitations are doing their best to put me to...zzzzzzz