Friday, November 23, 2007

DC Preview Review for February

Jim: Wow, this is the first time I can remember in almost forever that not a single #1 or new mini-series is being launched by DC. Also no Archives were solicited at all. I figure that Final Crisis is impacting the DCU as Final Crisis is almost over and all the new mini-series are winding down at the same time. I have also heard that DC is revamping the hard cover program and Archives maybe biting the dust.
Lee: There really isn’t much new this month. After all the market flooding that occurred recently, it’s very surprising.
Gwen: Yay, a break from all sorts of new confusing stuff. I think there should be more months like this, but I guess in a sales driven industry that's not terribly feasible.

BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #4 Written by Chuck DixonArt by Julian Lopez & BitCover by Doug BraithwaiteGreen Arrow joins the Outsiders! But is the Emerald Archer's induction into Batman's new squad cause for celebration…or destruction? And with Green Arrow's recent run-ins with the League of Assassins, how will he react to having their former leader - Batgirl - as his teammate?On sale February 20 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: Since we don’t have new books to rant about, we can focus on some individual titles. I read issue #1 and I’m a Chuck Dixon fan, but here we are at issue #4 and they already have 2 members who were not with the group in issue #1. I’ll cut the book some slack, but with three different writers and two different artist being announced on this book, I have a feeling that some of DC’s execution of their grand plan has been made on the fly.
Lee: You only think that now? Still, you have to give Dixon time to build. I am sure it will make sense when the issue gets here.
Gwen: I'm still reserved in my opinion on this one, but Chuck Dixon and Batman go together so well...

GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY #5 Written by Judd WinickArt by Amanda ConnerCover by Cliff ChiangVariant cover by ConnerWith a recent tragedy hanging over their heads, Green Arrow and Black Canary realize that they may not have actually gotten married. But will they try again or drift apart in the wake of all that's happened to them?
Jim: I have to hand it to Judd Winick. I was never a fan of his early work at DC, but he has totally sold me with his run on Green Arrow after year one and now this book. We are only on issue #5 and based on the solicitation had more twists and turns in this book then most series have in a year.
Lee: The problem for me is that I’ve never really liked Winick and I don’t really care about Green Arrow either. It may be good but I will wait to find out.
Gwen: Ok, I enjoyed the marriage twists... but after all that they better damn well be married.

DETECTIVE COMICS #841 Written by Paul DiniArt by Dustin Nguyen & Derek FridolfsCover by NguyenScarface and the new Ventriloquist make their deadly return to DETECTIVE COMICS in a story destined to surprise readers! Plus, Zatanna guest-stars in this special tale!On sale February 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I want to start writing the hype for comics. We can say, destined to change everything, after this nothing will be the same. Jaw dropping art, shock follows shock, but this book does it with some subtlety “destined to surprise readers”. Maybe the new Ventriloquist gets butt naked and does it with the dummy – that would surprise readers.
Lee: Whatever the hype, I like the new Ventriloquist. And, I think Dini has done wonders with this title just by making it readable again. Hype or no, this is one of the few books I look forward to every month.
Gwen: I agree with Lee, this is my favorite Batman book out there.

ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #11 Written by Geoff Johns & Richard DonnerArt and cover by Adam KubertVariant cover by KubertThe extra-length conclusion to "Last Son" is here! Superman and the new Superman Revenge Squad - Lex Luthor, Bizarro, the Parasite and Metallo - take on General Zod, Ursa and Non in a battle for Metropolis, the future of Krypton and Christopher Kent!
Jim: Memo to DC, any buzz on this book has been killed by the numerous delays on this book. At one time I could not wait to see what happens, now I have seen multiple stories where Chris Kent is hanging around with Superman. DC did this with both Superman titles and Wonder Woman and Marvel has been killing their big launch of Mighty Avengers with the same crap. How can professional comic companies screw up so royally on major stories! Inexcusable.
Lee: This story didn’t end? Let’s cut right to the cop out.. It’ll read better in the trade.
Gwen: I have to say I forgot this story was still going on... with something like 70 titles a month it's hard to stay focused with such ridiculous delays.

SUPERGIRL #26 Written by Kelley PuckettArt and cover by Drew Johnson & Ray SnyderSupergirl's battle with Reactron explodes out onto the streets of Metropolis,and Neutron doesn't care what happens to innocents! And as civilians fall, Supergirl makes a vow so impossible and startling, even Superman doubts she can keep her word!On sale February 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US Jim: Four issues in and we still have the same creative team! A record for this book.
Lee: Remember this is advance solicitation, there’s still time for the team to change. And if even it doesn’t change, does anyone care?
Gwen: And yet I still read this book. Maybe they lace the pages with crack.

JLA CLASSIFIED #52-53Written by Roger SternArt by John Byrne & Mark FarmerCovers by Joshua Middleton"That was Now, This is Then" continues as the legendary team of writer Roger Stern & artist John Byrne depict two separate battles with the same villain years apart in the JLA's long and storied history!Issue #52 on sale February 13;issue #53 on sale February 27 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I list this to note how times have changed, that now a book with art by Byrne looks to have a cover artist other then Byrne on the book. It seems like it is easier for writers to make a big come back then artists.
Lee: Byrne’s stature in the business is undisputed but to an extent times have passed him by. Comics, especially when it comes to the art, is all about the new, hip thing. Byrne will give solid, dependable art but it isn’t anything new.
Gwen: I still like Byrne even though his women look mannish.

THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #10 Written by Mark WaidArt by George Pérez & Bob WiacekCover by PérezThe Book of Destiny has cracked open wide...and wild team-ups spill out! Featuring Superman! The Shining Knight! Aquaman! And the Teen Titans!On sale February 20 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99
Jim: How can you not love this book. Waid uses all the toys in the DC chest and George Perez draws the crap out of it. Has to be one the best books put out by DC. And this book can be late as it does not affect anything but this book.
Lee: Consistently good. There is no higher praise.
Gwen: Awesomely supercalifraduliously good.

BATMAN: LOVERS AND MADMEN HC Written by Michael GreenArt and cover by Denys Cowan & Prentis RollinsMichael Green, writer/producer of NBC’s smash-hit series HEROES, teams with classic Batman artist Denys Cowan for a tale set early in the career of the Dark Knight that sheds light on who the Joker was before he became the Clown Prince of Crime.In this volume, collecting BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #6-12, discover how Batman first crossed paths with the punk who was destined to become his deadliest foe, and see just how far he’ll go in order to bring down the new criminal insanity that's inspiring Gotham City’s underworld.Advance-solicited; on sale April 2 • 144 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Lee: Wow, this is coming to HC really fast. Was the story that good??? I haven’t read it but I am not sure I want another Joker-before-he-was-Joker story. Then again, Cowan’s art looks sooooo good I might cave.
Jim: The story line has not even finished yet. It has been good so far, but DC has joined the bandwagon of hardcover fast and soft cover slow. The market must be driving everyone that way. Plus Lee, Cowan rocked this book so far.
Gwen: Haha, when Lee said that all I could think of was straight to DVD movies!

LOBO: PORTRAIT OF A BASTICH TPWritten by Keith Giffen & Alan GrantArt by Simon Bisley & Christian AlamyDon’t miss this new volume collecting both the 4-issue LOBO and LOBO’S BACK miniseries that helped make the Last Czarnian a legend, co-written by 52’s Keith Giffen! First, Lobo is sent to capture a crotchety old teacher who, along the way, makes life miserable for her captor. Then, Lobo must take in the most dangerous being in the universe — and is promptly killed. But heaven doesn’t want him and hell can’t handle him, so Lobo is reincarnated — as a woman with big guns and a very bad attitude!Advance-resolicited; on sale March 12 • 208 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Lee: This series is definitely a product of it’s time but it still reads really, really, well. Bisley’s art is worth the price alone but these are the stories that defined Lobo for a generation.
Jim: I enjoyed the material when it come out, but it was funny then and probably be enjoyable now if it is new to you, but once read that’s it in my opinion.
Gwen: I've never jumped on the Lobo bandwagon, and I don't believe I will anytime soon.

SHAZAM: THE GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD TPWritten by Bill Parker, Dennis O’Neil, Elliot S! Maggin and othersArt by C.C. Beck, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Barry Kitson and othersCover by Alex RossAn earth-shattering volume collecting stories from Whiz Comics #2,Captain Marvel Adventures #1,137,148, Marvel Family #21, 85, Shazam! #1, 14, DC Comics Presents Annual #3, Superman #276, L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #31, Power of SHAZAM! #33 and Adventures in the DC Universe #5.Advance-solicited; on sale March 26 • 224 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Lee: Talk about a big Captain Marvel push. But, this is a nice way to get exposure to the character if you are unfamiliar with him.
Jim: True. My question is what are the “big” plans for Captain Marvel?
Gwen: I want to own the Jeff Smith's Shazam story in HC. Though this does look neat.

THE SPIRIT ARCHIVES VOL. 24 HCWritten by Will Eisner Art by Eisner and Wally WoodDon’t miss this massive final volume of Eisner’s weekly Spirit stories. This volume collects adventures from the early 1950s, including the lushly illustrated series that took The Spirit from Central City to the surface of the moon, with art by Wally Wood!Advance-solicited; on sale April 30 • 294 pg, FC, $59.99 US
Lee: Wow, this is expensive but it is some of the best Spirit material ever. And, as an added bonus this has Wally Wood’s story about the Spirit going to the moon. This is great story telling and a pair of comic book masters at their absolute peak. Well worth the investment.
Jim: Wally Wood is really one of the great masters of comic book art. I think if you study his art you can see where he influenced a lot of the top artist today.
Gwen: Mmm, not interested, must be before my time. Although I have enjoyed the Spirit relaunch. I respect the earlier comics out there but I just don't have an interest in delving into them at the moment.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: PHANTOM STRANGER VOL. 2 TP Written by Bob Haney, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman and othersArt by Jim Aparo, Dick Dillin, Ross Andru, Mike Grell and othersCover by AparoThe adventures of the Phantom Stranger continue in this volume collecting stories from Phantom Stranger #22-41, Justice League of America #103, House of Secrets #150, Brave and the Bold #8 and #98!Advance-solicited; on sale March 12 o 496 pg, B&W, $16.99 US
Jim: I loved the Phantom Stranger. Even though all of his stories are not great, the character himself is just really cool. Happy to see a second collection of this work as it would not see the light of day other then this type of reprint.
Lee: This is some great stuff. The stories were up and down but Aparo was at the top of his game. It’s really beautiful to look at.
Gwen: I LOVE Phantom Stranger. This looks really cool. I don't think the Phantom Stranger gets enough panel time these days.

DEATHBLOW #9Written by Brian Azzarello Art and cover by Carlos D’AndaIt ends here. The dream, the nightmare, the war. The good, the bad…all of it comes crashing down. There's not a damn thing Deathblow can do about it, and even if there was, why would he? He didn't start it. Ending it, however…On sale February 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • Final Issue
Lee: Well, if this doesn’t mark the end of a failed relauch nothing does. What a unbelievable train wreck the latest Wildstorm relauch was. But, good for me I can find these issues in the quarter bin and read them then.
Jim: Train wreck is being nice. The two big books were going to be Wildcats and Authority by Grant Morrison and we got one issue of each – maybe 2 of the Authority.
Gwen: Don't care, at all.

AME-COMI: WONDER WOMAN VINYL FIGUREDesigned by UDON STUDIOSDon't miss out as the world's greatest superheroine goes from Amazonian princess to Ame-Comi warrior!The WONDER WOMAN VINYL FIGURE is a limited-edition, hand-painted piece in a 9" scale. This non-articulated plastic display figure comes with a base, is packaged in a 4-color window box with J-hook and is manufactured to order.Advance-solicited; On sale July 23, 2008 o Vinyl Statue o $49.99 US
AME-COMI: CHEETAH VINYL FIGUREDesigned by UDON STUDIOSWonder Woman's number one nemesis joins her in the world of Ame-Comi!The CHEETAH VINYL FIGURE is a limited-edition, hand-painted piece in a 9" scale.This non-articulated plastic display figure comes with a base, is packaged in a 4-color window box with J-hook and is manufactured to order.Advance-solicited; on sale July 23, 2008 o Statue o $49.99 US
Jim: These just crack me up. Is there really a demand for these anime style figures? Especially at $50 a pop!
Lee: Uuummm, can anyone explain why the cheetah has boxing gloves on and not claws?
Gwen: I am confused by this trend. Seriously. I mean, if you're an anime fan, wouldn't you be buying actual anime stuff?

Jim: On one hand the slow month is sad as I like the new and shiny things as well as anyone (and they are better fodder for this column), …but (and you knew that was coming) just focusing on what you have is not a bad idea either. As Final Crisis starts to hit we shall see what happens, but 2008 is going to be a year of some major changes I believe.
Lee: It was a nice, standard month. But, honestly, I dread the start of Final Crisis. I don’t think all that much will change and we will be flooded with more bad books.
Gwen: I reserve my opinion on Final Crisis. I would say hope springs eternal, but it'd be a lie right now. This month looks like a nice solid one though, its nice to take a break from the hype.

1 comment:

  1. I think the Byrne/Stern story has been in the can for several years - although I'm looking forward to it. After several years with almost three monthly Byrne titles to none - I've been missing the guy...and Blood of the Demon was an excellent series. Anybody, remember the Marvel Lost Years series by these two? I need to reread it, because I don't think I liked it and I usually love anything these guys do.

    Brave and the Bold is the BEST series DC is currently producing. I dropped the Flash this week, but I actually liked the kids in this weeks B&B! If I could only get one DC title this would be it.

    I really liked the last Supergirl. I hope it continues to be good otherwise, canceling it will go toward my Omnibus savings account...