Sunday, August 26, 2007

DC Preview Review for November

Jim: This looks to be a slower month in terms of new series from DC. Still a lot of material is starting to be part of Countdown and I have a feeling that the entire DCU will be tied into Countdown before it is all over. I mean it’s called Final Crisis, how can a DCU book not be part of it. Still I never like company wide cross-overs, so we will see.
Gwen: Last month was more exciting. I suppose DC's building up to bigger and better things but I'm tired of Countdown and thus not anticipating Final Crisis with glee. Also, I'm sick of Jason Todd and wish he was still dead.
Lee: DC reviews are so hard because I have to work with Tweedle-HugeO-DCfan #1, and Girlie-Tweedle-HugeO-DCfan #2. Hopefully, I can calm some of the gushing.

COUNTDOWN PRESENTS: THE SEARCH FOR RAY PALMER: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT #1 Written by Brian Augustyn Art by Greg TocchiniThe quest heats up as one of the Challengers of the Beyond becomes an enemy. Plus, could finding Ray Palmer prove fatal?
COUNTDOWN PRESENTS: THE SEARCH FOR RAY PALMER: RED RAIN #1 Written by Peter Johnson Art and cover by Kelley JonesWill the Challengers of the Beyond become legends on a world ruled by vampires? Or will one of them become a threat to the rest of the team?
COUNTDOWN PRESENTS: LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS #2 Written by Frank Tieri Art and cover by Liam SharpIt's the battle you knew was coming: Lord Havok and his Extremists vs. the Challengers of the Beyond! COUNTDOWN's Kyle Rayner, Donna Troy and Jason Todd guest star! Plus, a peek at the secret origin of the Extremist known as Gorgon!
Jim: Okay Donna, Kyle and Jason are everywhere and I’m not sure what the point of trying to go back to great Elseworld’s tales is. It just feels like DC is trying to make sequels of these books. My favorite hype line is from the Lord Havok book “ It’s the battle you knew was coming the Extremists vs. Kyle and Donna.” Knew was coming? I don’t even know who the Extremists are.
Gwen: I don't know the Extremist either... hype of this sort turns me off of books, it seems overly dramatic.
Lee: Actually, Sear’s art on the original JLE run that featured the Extremists was pretty good. Good enough to make me fond of the characters. But the hype is ridiculous. As for the Elseworlds stories, they were nice but they should be left alone. Elseworlds is DC’s version of “What if..” and shouldn’t be wrapped into continuity.

SALVATION RUN #1 (of 7) Written by Bill Willingham Art and cover by Sean Chen & Walden WongDon't miss the stunning debut issue of a 7-part miniseries written by Bill Willingham (SHADOWPACT, FABLES) with art by superstar Sean Chen (Iron Man, X-Men: The End) & Walden Wong (COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY, DAY OF VENGEANCE)! The world has finally had enough of the villains of the DCU - so they're exiling the evildoers to another planet, where they'll be left to their own diabolical devices! Who will thrive and who will survive? Jim: Again I’m not quite getting the right vibe off of these Countdown tie-ins. Still I always enjoy a villain books and with Bill Willingham as writer it has solid potential.
Gwen: I love Willingham's work - at the very least this should be a fun book to read!
Lee: This seems like just another mini-series to me. Ho-hum. But, I worry about Willingham. He isn’t as prolific as Bendis and his work really suffers when he is overextended. I would rather have 2-3 good series from him rather than this half baked stuff.

GREEN LANTERN #25 Written by Geoff Johns Art by Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver & Oclair AlbertThis is it! The most talked-about storyline of the summer, "The Sinestro Corps War," concludes in this double-sized anniversary issue! Why does Sinestro believe he has won? How will Hal Jordan stop his greatest enemy? What is the truth behind the prophecy of "The Blackest Night"? Where will the end results of this battle take the Green Lantern Corps? What is the bizarre fate of the Anti-Monitor? Why has Earth been assigned so many Green Lanterns? Learn all the secrets! Witness all the battles! Prepare yourself for the startling ending of the greatest epic in the history of Green Lantern!
Jim: Now this has been a terrific story line and I can’t wait to see what Johns has up his sleeve for the ending of the Sinestro War. This has been an excellent read and DC should pull the entire story line together as a hard cover soon.
Gwen: While this has been an interesting saga some of the "prophecy" stuff seems a bit forced. I have enjoyed the fact that they made a Sinestro Corps and I'd like at least some of them to survive this as I'd like them used again.
Lee: I do like the idea of a Sinestro Corps but I just don’t care about GL that much. And, add the fact that I have to get additional miniseries (Tales of Sinestro Corps) and this gets a big pass from me.

TALES OF THE SINESTRO CORPS PRESENTS: ION #1 Written by Ron Marz Art by Michael LacombIon is the chosen one of the Green Lantern Corps, whose coming was foretold as a prophecy in the Book of Oa. But now that Kyle Rayner has been possessed by Parallax, can he ever bear the mantle of Ion again? Or will it pass to a completely new bearer? This all-important Sinestro Corps War tie-in reveals the answers, and sets the stage for Green Lantern - and Kyle Rayner - for years to come!
Jim: And I will be happy to see how the heck Kyle can be Parallax over here and now part of the Challengers of the Beyond (lame name) in all of the other books involving the search for Ray Palmer. Still I’m looking forward to read this book.
Gwen: I hate that they made Kyle Parallax. It seemed to be for shock value alone but I suppose I should with hold judgement until this story concludes.
Lee: I think the whole Parallax-is-a-person story is dumb. Kinda like a Dark Phoenix and a Dark Storm and a Dark hero-o-the-month. But, give credit to DC for keeping the GL line alive and well with plotlines.

ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #8 Written by Frank Miller Art and cover by Jim Lee & Scott WilliamsPart 1 of Frank Miller's & Jim Lee's two-fisted thrill ride ends here, yet it's only just begun! The Dark Knight links a brutal psychopath to the Flying Grayson's murder, and the streets of Gotham run red with terror! Dick Grayson is reborn to wage war on crime! The newly banded Justice League fans out, trying to catch a bat!
Jim: What do they mean that it ends here and it is Part 1. Cheese and crackers do they really frelling expect people to hang around another 3 years to see Part 2. I have actually started to enjoy this book, but this sounds like the book is going on hiatus for a while. Call me in the year 2525 for the collection.
Gwen: I still dislike this book, As far as I'm concerned Matt Wagner's Batman stories should have been the All Star run. This book has been a travesty - even if it somehow works out when it's all said and done this has still been a joke.
Lee: Personally, I am waiting for the trade baby. And waiting… and waiting… and waiting…

SUPERMAN ANNUAL #13 Written by Kurt Busiek Art by Rick Leonardi & Dan GreenIt's the slam-bang, no-holds barred conclusion of "The Third Kryptonian," as the entire Superman family - Superman, Supergirl, Power Girl, Krypto, Chris Kent and even Batman - makes a desperate last stand against a deadly threat to every Kryptonian in the universe!Get ready for a new enemy and a shattering turning point for a key concept in the Superman mythos! It's can't-miss blockbuster action
Jim: Now this has me interested. Kurt Busiek has some great ideas and this looks to be a big payoff issue to see what Superman is all about in current continuity. Looking forward to this book.
Gwen: I've been enjoying this storyline, even if it is a bit over the top at times. Kurt Busiek really turned around Superman for me and seems to see the character the same way I do. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of this story.
Lee: It sounds like I’ve heard all the hype before with the “turning point for a key concept in the Superman mythos” line but Busiek writes a good Superman.

SUPERGIRL #23 Written by Kelley Puckett Art and cover by Drew Johnson & Ray SnyderThe Teen of Steel embarks on a brand-new direction as writer Kelley Puckett (Batgirl) joins forces with acclaimed art team Drew Johnson & Ray Snyder (Countdown, Wonder Woman) as the new SUPERGIRL creative team! An enthralling story arc begins with a bizarre delivery to Kara's apartment that very quickly has her hopping dimensions and traveling through deep space! Guest-starring Superman, Batman and the Green Lantern Corps!
Lee: Didn't they just change directions less than a year ago? This book is Doomed! DOOMED I say.
Jim: Yeah, trying to find a direction every six months is not the way to make a successful comic. Still for some bizarre reason I keep getting drawn into reading this book. Also I noticed that DC has found a job for the Kubert brothers – drawing variant covers. They can probably make that deadline.
Gwen: I still can't figure out how I feel about this book. Overall it's pretty horrible but once in a blue moon we get a good issue. Eh, maybe one day they'll make Supergirl into a likeable character again.

BLUE BEETLE #21 Written by John Rogers Art and cover by Rafael AlbuquerqueJaime Reyes gets an extra boost from the Beetle legacy viaTed Kord's gadgets and Dan Garrett's niece as he uncovers the Reach's plan for mind-controlling Earth!
Jim: Just a quick plug for one of the better series DC is producing. This is really a great series and shows a young hero growing up and learning about being a hero. Fun, action packed, great characterizations, good stories.
Gwen: This book will end up on my top 10 list this year. The Eclipso issue was fantastic!

TEEN TITANS EAST SPECIAL #1 Written by Judd WinickArt and cover by Ian Churchill & Norm RapmundTitans Tower is back up and running on the East Coast as Judd Winick, Ian Churchill and Norm Rapmund assemble an explosive new team of Titans under the leadership of Cyborg! But their first mission may be their last as powerful forces gather to destroy all Titans past and future!
Jim: I don’t know, Winick is in my good graces for his writing of GA and Outsiders, but the spin off Titans stuff seems very iffy. By the way I almost feel sorry that Cyborg never graduates from the Titans.
Gwen: Ian Churchill's art is pretty.
Lee: This is a double ugh from me. Winick’s always preachy and his team books have never truly clicked. And Churchill’s art… harsh and garish at best. A love of his art comes from growing up reading comics in the 90’s.

THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: AN EYE FOR AN EYE TP Written by Paul Levitz Art by Keith Giffen, Steve Lightle, Joe Orlando and Larry MahlstedtDon't miss the first exciting collection of The Legion of Super-Heroes' series that launched in 1984, featuring the talents of legendary Legion creators Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen! In this fast-paced, futuristic title, collecting the first six issues of the series, The Legion learns of a conspiracy by a consortium of evil calling itself The Legion of Super-Villains to destroy the team - and it's Karate Kid who pays the ultimate price!
Jim: Within the last year I just re-read this material and it is well worth it if you have never read any of the original Legion. A solid story that still holds up today. Paul Levitz was the best Legion writer ever. The rumor that Jim Shooter is going to write the Legion next year is very cool. As a writer Jim is one of the best.
Gwen: I love the Legion, and you should too.
Lee: This is one of the best Legion storylines. A classic superhero tale that is great to see in print.

BATMAN/SUPERMAN: SAGA OF THE SUPER SONS TP Written by Bob Haney Art by Dick Dillin, Murphy Anderson, Vince Colletta and othersFor the first time, the complete saga of the Super Sons is collected in one volume! Features stories from the pages of WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #215-216, 221-222, 224, 228, 230, 231, 233, 238, 242, 263 and ELSEWORLDS 80-PAGE GIANT #1!
SHOWCASE PRESENTS: JONAH HEX VOL. 2 TP Written by Michael Fleisher and David Michelinie Art by José Luís García-López, Ernie Chan, Vicente Alcazar and othersMore early adventures of DC's legendary gunslinger, from JONAH HEX #1-22 and WEIRD WESTERN TALES #34-38! The scar-faced Jonah Hex takes on all comers with guns blazing in these action-packed tales featuring art by comics legend José Luís García-López and more!
SHOWCASE PRESENTS: TEEN TITANS VOL. 2 TP Written by Bob Haney, Steve Skeates and others Art by Nick Cardy, Neal Adams and othersIn this exciting volume featuring stories from TEEN TITANS #19-36, BRAVE AND THE BOLD #83 and 94 and WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #205, the Titans meet The Hawk and The Dove as they encounter mystery and intrigue on college campuses and in city streets. Guest-starring Batman, Superman and the Justice League of America.
Jim: See this is all designed to take money out of my wallet. I love this material and really enjoy having it in easily accessible formats. Especially the second Jonah Hex collection.
Gwen: I won't be getting any of these, although the Teen Titans Showcase would be a lot of fun to read. I love all the old comics, some of the scripting is highly outdated and thus more entertaining than it was intended to be.
Lee: I agree with the Hex. I am questionable on the Titans. And, you really have to love DC to get the Supersons saga. That one’s a toughie.

HEROES HC Written by Aron Eli Coleite, Chuck Kim, Joe Pokaski, Oliver Grigsby, Pierluigi Cothran, Andrew Chambliss, Harrison Wilcox, Jesse Alexander, Christopher Zatta, Mark Warshaw and othersArt by Phil Jimenez, Michael Turner, Koi Turnbull, Marcus To, Peter Steigerwald, David Moran, Micah Gunnell, Travis Kotzebue, Jordan Kotzebue, Jason Badower, Staz Johnson, Steve Lejeune, Adam Archer, Mark Roslan and othersCovers by Jim Lee and Alex RossThis stunning hardcover collects the amazing online comics based on the smash-hit, Emmy Award-nominated NBC show HEROES! This volume - featuring two stunning covers by comics legends Jim Lee and Alex Ross - also includes an introduction by Masi Oka (Hiro), all 34 chapters of Season One, and Tim Sale's artwork as seen on the show. The comics included have been written and illustrated by some of comics' and television's top writers and artists, including Michael Turner, Phil Jimenez, Marcus To, and more!
WORLD OF WARCRAFT #1 Written by Walter Simonson Art by Ludo Lullabi & Sandra HopeA new ongoing series based on the world's most popular massively multiplayer videogame kicks off with part 1 of a 6-part story arc written by Walter Simonson (SUPERMAN, HAWKGIRL) and illustrated by sensational French artist Ludo Lullabi & Sandra Hope (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!A human is found unconscious on the shores of Kalimdor, with no memory of who he is or how he arrived there. Enslaved by the Orc Shaman Rehgar Earthfury, this man must fight for survival against members of both the Alliance and the Horde, striking uneasy relationships with other races in his quest to find the secrets of his past!
Jim: I put both of these together as DC has scored two big license deals. I guess there is good money in these products as they have a wide audience, but for me they are passes.
Gwen: I’ve never seen Heroes so I'm not sure how well that will translate. The Warcraft book is hilarious though, all the online gaming based stories are. Of course that's only because they're usually so terrible that they become funny instead.
Lee: It’s good to see DC finding new markets. The new market doesn’t include me but any new readers in fandom is good.

HARLEY QUINN: PRELUDES AND KNOCK-KNOCK JOKES HC Written by Karl KeselArt and cover by Terry Dodson & Rachel DodsonThe Joker's lovable partner in crime takes the spotlight in this new hardcover volume collecting HARLEY QUINN #1-7, written by Karl Kesel (SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL) with art by the fan-favorite team of Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson (WONDER WOMAN)! Don't miss these beautifully illustrated tales of lunacy!
Lee: Sometimes I wonder who makes decisions on the material to issue HC's in. For example, this is nothing short of an interesting decision. HQ was a good series but not great. Kesel is a respected writer but not revered like PAD. Yet, this is getting a HC. I think the line "beautifully illustrated tales" really sums this up. And sadly, as an art guy, I am considering this.
Jim: As the story guy I am not considering this at all. Still how do they decide what to collect and what not to collect. My guess is Harley is popular as a cartoon and they are looking at this for book stores.
Gwen: I think that Harley has a big fan base which is probably why they decided to make this into a hardcover. It will probably sell nicely at Barnes and Noble.

Lee: I can't help it. I am a sucker for New Gods stuff and it doesn't get any cooler than NG action figures. My only complaint, the preview images make them look like they were carved from wood. And, didn't Darkseid get an action figure in the Superman line last month? How many Darkseid figures do we need?
Jim: DC does so many multiples of there characters that almost no one cna collect them all. These figures really look exactly like Kirby and that means they are too blocky.
Gwen: I could care less about the New Gods or their action figures. I want more Legion action figures dammit.

TRANQUILITY: ARMAGEDDON #1 Written by Christos Gage Art by Neil Googe & Horacio Domingues The devastating view of a post-apocalyptic WildStorm Universe continues as Maximum Man witnesses what becomes of his beloved town
WETWORKS: ARMAGEDDON #1 Written by Christos Gage Art by Brandon Badeaux Cover by Mike McKone
GEN13:ARMAGEDDON #1 Written by Christos Gage
THE AUTHORITY: PRIME #2 Written by Christos Gage
Jim: I pull all of these together to ask what the heck is this Armageddon cross-over and is Christos Gage writing 15 different books this month between DC and Marvel?
Gwen: Poor Christos most be chained to his computer along with Tony Bedard. I can never figure out how people write that many books at once. Also, I too have no idea what this Armageddon crossover is.
Lee: I agree with the G-ster. I have no clue what this is about. But, I have really enjoyed Gage’s stories in Stormwatch so this has a chance of being good. Hopefully, it will make to a trade someday.

COMIC BOOK COVER PORTFOLIO #1: WOMEN OF THE DC UNIVERSE Art by Adam HughesThe first in DC Direct's new comic book cover portfolio series featuring the work of covers by fan favorite artists! Start your portfolio collection with the exquisite art of Adam Hughes, best known for his WOMEN OF THE DC UNIVERSE bust line for DC Direct, as well as the striking covers in the DC Universe.The portfolio consists of 12 full-color matte images on high-quality paper stock (suitable for framing), all approximately 9" x 14", collected into twin two-color 10" x 15" custom folders which are shrink-wrapped together in one unbelievable package!
Jim: No pictures, but this is embarrassing to be a comic fan material. Only in comics would we have a $50 book of 12 pictures of the “Woman of DC” by Adam Hughes. I mean come on guys, date a real girl or at least just click on naked pictures of real woman on the internet. I love a well drawn woman as much as most people, but this feels icky or some level.
Gwen: I, on the other hand, find this to be amusing. In fact, perhaps it's better for some men to look at drawings... I'd have been happier if that had been enough to keep some of the creepy guys at Gencon satisfied but instead they hit on anything female that breathes =/ $50 is way expensive for 12 pictures in a book though.
Lee: I WANNA SEE PICTURES!!!!!! Oh yeah, this has high potential to end up on Creepy Boy’s wall.

Jim: A rather dour month for me from DC. I’m a big fan of actual series. Blue Beetle, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, Robin and many others are solidly well done month in and month out books. The big cross-overs are seldom done well and usually interfere with the flow of the regular series. Still I will with hold judgment until I read these books as DC has a lot of top-flight writers who maybe able to make it all work.
Gwen: Countdown has been boring. This month looks somewhat unexciting as a whole with a few gems to look forward too such as Blue Beetle. DC needs to pick up the pace since they're focusing so much of their energy on their crossovers. I think DC could also do better if they tried to put out more stories that appealed to a general audience - Marvel's Fairy Tales, classics as comics, and popular novel conversion (Guilty Pleasures) have a broader comic appeal than Heroes or Warcraft to people who already buy comics. DC's choices have actually seemed to shrink in some ways.
Lee: This is getting harder and harder every month because I am reading fewer and fewer monthly titles. The endless crossovers and miniseries are killing my interest in lots of these books. But, it’s good to see the older material reprinted and the crossover work with mainstream audiences.


  1. Is DC just not as good at providing "embarrassed to be a fan" covers?

  2. No - I think both companies produce quite a few, just they have been in a slump lately.

  3. Hard to believe that a favorite part of the reviews in the embarassed fan award...

    But, hey, if the people like it!

  4. Arielle, don't forget that it's DC who made the Women of DC busts - including Starfire

  5. I think the emphasis was on "busts"..


  6. I see KYLE RAYNER has a new costume and is using a ring so maybe no more ION for him.

    Of course I don't trust DC these days. Did you hear? Didio is doing that book everyone wanted: ARENA!

    We'll be able to see things like GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT BATMAN take on DKR BATMAN! Yeah!

    He claims it's almost like Fan Fiction! That's right! It's got to be good because the big guy himself said it WILL BE LIKE FAN FICTION!



    I'm tired.

    Lately, 90% of DC sucks. Maybe more.

    Thank God for Image, Oni, Dark Horse, and all the other publishers.

    And no, Vertigo is teh awesome. They don't get included in the DC hate.

  7. Shawn - 90% is way too strong - lots of regular series are doing a great job, the overall plan for the DCU may appear to suck, but lots of good series.

    I'll grant you some of the best books are from the smaller publishers - why more fans don't buy those books is beyond me. Invincible should be a number one super hero book (at least top five).

    Move away from super heroes and there are lots of really good books out there.