Jim: Maybe it is just me but it seems like DC and Marvel’s last few monthly solicitations have bordered on boring. I find that some of the most exciting stuff is in our last post about the independent books.
Lee: The problem is that everything is so intertwined at this point that there aren’t any jumping on points. It’s all building to something which had better be good.
Gwen: While I still enjoy many of my monthly DC books, I too have found the recent solicitations to be a tad boring. Many times they are just meaningless hype to me as I know what's going on in most of the stories already.
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #4-1
Story by Paul DiniStory consulting by Keith Giffen4 script by Adam Beechen; art by Carlos Magno & Rodney Ramos3 script by Sean McKeever; art by Ron Lim & Mark McKenna2 script by Sean McKeever; art by Jesus Saiz & Jimmy Palmiotti1 script by Paul Dini; art by Scott KolinsCovers by Adam KubertThe Great Disaster has occurred, and all hell breaks loose as all the storylines in COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS come to a climax, threatening Darkseid and Jimmy Olsen and Mary Marvel and the future of their Earth!
Jim: This weekly book was pretty much a disaster along the lines of the Great Disaster they are referring to in the official hype. Glad this is over and can’t wait until we move past the “big events” from Marvel and DC.
Lee: Just when you thought the weekly event was over. Here it comes again. Enough’s enough already. AND, if the goodguy-badguy are fighting on the cover shouldn’t they at least try and look at each other. It looks like a girl fight. …. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Gwen: Because the fates of Darseid, Jimmy Olsen and Mary Marvel are all of equal interest, I'm sure...
DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #8 (of 8)
Written by Jim StarlinArt and cover by Starlin & Art ThibertThis 8-part saga of cosmic proportions ends with the proverbial bang as the Fourth World is forever changed! Learn the final fates of Apokolips, New Genesis, Darkseid, Orion and all of the New Gods in this final issue - and see how it ties into the final issues of COUNTDOWN!On sale April 23 o 8 of 8 o 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US
Jim: I selected this book as one of the well done mini-series that is building up to Final Crisis. The idea that the Fourth World is ending and a Fifth World is beginning is interesting. Also it reminded me of how many characters that Kirby created when he moved to DC in the seventies. Lee: And, here is my complaint, there is no reason to buy this book because it doesn’t appear to provide any conclusion. From the hype it appears to be leading into Countdown. I’m sick of miniseries that don’t have discernable conclusions. Is it to much to ask that a MINI SERIES is as self contained as the name implies.
Gwen: I still don't care about the New Gods, but I will say this series has been done well, overall.
BLUE BEETLE #26
Written by Jai Nitz Art by Mike Norton & Trevor ScottCover by Zach HowardA special extra-sized Spanish-language issue, with the English script as bonus material! Blue Beetle takes Traci 13 to his family reunion, and having your girlfriend meet your family can be tough, especially when she's the only guest who doesn't speak Spanish! To make matters worse, two people have uncovered Jaime's secret identity - and one of them is the Parasite!On sale April 30 o 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US
Jim: I understand the marketing ploy, but why alienated the vast majority of your fan base by printing a comic we can’t read. If you want to reach that market place publish the book in both languages. Yeah, I guess this is so we know how the character feels at the party or whatever, but I’m sorry it sucks for those of us who cannot read or speak Spanish.
Lee: There is no where good that I can go with this. DC is selling me a Spanish language comic book and then tells me the extra… THE EXTRA is the English language script. This is awful.
Gwen: See, I think this is an interesting idea. You two are just old and stuck in your ways =P In all seriousness though, I'll reserve my opinion until it actually comes out. Blue Beetle is usually very well done and I'm willing to give the creator's a chance with an experiment like this. Also, my boyfriend speaks Spanish and can translate for me! I bet I know how Traci 13 feels in this issue anyway, considering I've been to a similar type of family reunion with my boyfriend.
Courtesy of Babblefish We Give You The Spanish Version
¡cEscarabajo AZUL #26
escrito por el arte de Jai Nitz por Mike Norton y la cubierta de Trevor Scott por la edición adicional-clasificada especial de la Español-lengua de Zach Howard A, con la escritura inglesa como material de la prima! ¡El escarabajo azul lleva Traci 13 su reunión de la familia, y teniendo su reunir de la novia su familia puede ser resistente, especialmente cuando ella es la única huésped que no habla español! ¡Para hacer materias peores, dos personas han destapado la identidad secreta de Jaime - y una de ellas es el parásito! En la página de abril 30 del o 40 de la venta, FC, los $3.50 E.E.U.U.
Jim: Entiendo el trabajo de la comercialización, pero porqué son enajenados la mayoría extensa de su base del ventilador imprimiendo un cómico no podemos leer. Si usted desea alcanzar que el mercado publique el libro en ambas idiomas. Sí, conjeturo es esto así que sabemos cómo el carácter se siente en el partido o lo que, pero estoy apesadumbrado que aspira para los de nosotros que no puedan leer o hablar a español.
Heces: Hay ningún donde bueno a que puedo ir con esto. La C.C. me está vendiendo un libro cómico de la lengua española y después me dice el adicional... EL SUPLEMENTO es la escritura de la lengua inglesa. Esto es tremendo.
Gwen: Vea, yo piensan que esto es una idea interesante. Usted dos es apenas viejo y pegado de sus maneras = de P en toda la seriedad sin embargo, reservaré mi opinión hasta que sale realmente. El escarabajo azul es generalmente haber hecho muy bien y estoy dispuesto a dar una ocasión del creador con un experimento como esto. ¡También, mi novio habla español y puede traducir para mí! Apuesto que sé Traci 13 se siente en esta edición de todos modos, en vista de que he estado a un tipo similar de reunión de la familia con mi novio.
DC/WILDSTORM: DREAMWAR #1
Written by Keith GiffenArt by Lee Garbett & Trevor ScottCover by Mike McKoneVariant Cover by Lee GarbettThe Midnighter and Grifter. Zealot and Deathblow. Superman and Wonder Woman.Superman and Wonder Woman?In this landmark miniseries by writer Keith Giffen (52), Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott (MIDNIGHTER), the Earth is being torn apart. So when DC Universe heroes begin appearing in the WildStorm Universe, it seems at first they might be the answer to all the problems. Until it becomes clear that they might just be the reason for all the problems. And the Justice League of America doesn't know how they got here...or how to get back!On sale April 16 o 1 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: If it wasn’t for the Keith Giffen name on this mini-series I would almost give it an immediate pass. It seems like DC has no idea what to do with the Wildstorm Universe and is constantly floundering with these characters.
Lee: Wildstorm has characters? Really? I’d forgotten about them.
Gwen:I care very little about the Wildstorm Universe - for the most part it's convoluted and uninteresting.
Written by Judd WinickArt and cover by Ian Churchill & Norm RapmundVariant cover by Ethan Van SciverA new team of Titans is born in the extra-sized first issue of a new ongoing monthly by Judd Winick (GREEN LANTERN, GREEN ARROW, OUTSIDERS), Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund (SUPERGIRL, TEEN TITANS EAST SPECIAL)! Someone or something is continuing its attack on anyone who's ever been a Titan, including Nightwing, Starfire, Donna Troy, Beast Boy and Raven.You won't want to miss this new startling chapter in Titans history that may forge a new team from the ashes of old, dead friends.On sale April 9 o 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US
Jim: A new team? Sounds like the same old team to me. DC and Marvel love revisiting concepts that were big sellers for them in one era or another. I guess this type of stuff can be entertaining and with Winick writing it, it certainly has a chance, but is it still been there and done that.
Lee: Winnick does well enough on single hero titles (Green Arrow!) but his team books have always been less than impressive. Outsiders wasn’t all that great so this is a pass for me.
Gwen: Not that I didn't love the old Titans team (I grew up with them, and I remember how my sister used to insist that she was going to name one of her kids Starfire - not Kori - actually Starfire) but really. It's okay to move on. Anyway, I'll still be interested to read this, but I'm afraid it'll just be rehashing the same old stuff.
BATMAN: DEATH MASK #1
Written by Yoshinori NatsumeArt and cover by NatsumeCMX. Acclaimed artist Yoshinori Natsume (Toguri) makes his American comics debut with this Prestige Format miniseries that presents an original Batman manga tale! There's a new serial killer in Gotham, and he may have ties to the training Bruce Wayne acquired as a young man in Japan. Does the murderer know Bruce Wayne is the Batman?On sale April 9 o 1 of 4 o 48 pg, B&W, $5.99 US
Jim: Now Batman is where every creator wants to go and tell their story. This has potential, but not being a big manga fan, not sure if I would like this or not. Especially at $6 a pop.
Lee: I like the alternate artist take on iconic characters but it’s still the same character to me. I am willing to spend a little more for a Euro book HC because it will be different and new but not $6 for same old-same old. Especially when it doesn’t look all that new or interesting.
Gwen: Neat idea, but Batman manga-style is kind of scary.
Written by Grant MorrisonArt and variant cover by Tony Daniel & Sandu FloreaCover by Alex RossAre you ready for "Batman R.I.P."?Beginning the epic story that will change the legend of the Dark Knight forever! Everything in Grant Morrison's groundbreaking run on Batman has been leading to this story, and nothing will ever be the same again.Who will live? Who will die? Who will be Batman? The answers are sure to shock you in "Batman R.I.P.," featuring artwork by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea and covers by Alex Ross.On sale April 23 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I love the way the big two over hype everything. Since I have been around comics for decades I believe none of it, but still I have to say I’m interest to see what Morrison has up his sleeve. Lee: Honestly, I’ve been so disappointed in the Morrison run that I am waiting for the reviews and then maybe… maybe… a trade.
Gwen: I still have a lot of rage towards Morrison's Batman run. Lots of rage.
Written by Kurt BusiekArt and variant cover by Renato Guedes & Wilson MagalhaésCover by Alex RossIt's an oversized spectacular blowout action anniversary issue, as Kurt Busiek, gearing up for his insanely huge next project, brings his Superman run to a close! A three-way battle between Superman, Paragon and the forces of Daxam! The Earth-shattering threat of the all-new Galactic Golem! This one's got it all, including a painted cover by new series cover artist Alex Ross and a variant by Renato Guedes.On sale April 16 o 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: Now this solicitation I love for two reasons. First Alex Ross covers for Superman, hard to not like that. Second we celebrate when a writer is leaving a book and that is somewhat amusing. Also am I the only one frightened that Kurt Busiek maybe writing a weekly book for DC. I know this is the big project he has been working towards for a couple of years and he dropped writing Aquaman for it and hardly ever does an Astro City book anymore, but can he do it?
Lee: Ok. I haven’t read Busiek’s run so I it doesn’t impact me either way.
Gwen: The hype on this is crazy - it makes me laugh.
THE DOOM PATROL ARCHIVES VOL. 5 HC
Written by Arnold DrakeArt and cover by Bruno PremianiIn the final volume in the DOOM PATROL series, featuring issues #114-121, the team battles the Mutant Master, the Galactic Gladiator, the Black Vulture, and more before meeting one of the strangest ends any super-team has ever experienced!Advance-solicited; on sale June 25 o 208 pg, FC, $49.99 US
Jim: Rumors abound about what DC means by revamping their Archives program, but I’m very happy they concluded the Silver Age run of the DP in this format. I really love this material
Lee: I wonder what the new format will be. But this is a fun series and has a classic ending. I really love this material too.
Gwen: The Doom Patrol is a lot of fun, but until I graduate and have a 'real' job I won't be picking up any spiffy Archives.
NUMBER OF THE BEAST #1-2
Written by Scott BeattyArt and cover by Chris Sprouse & Karl StoryVariant covers by Doug Mahnke and Brandon BadeauxFollowing on the heels of WildStorm: Armageddon and Revelations, writer Scott Beatty (BATGIRL: YEAR ONE) and artists Chris Sprouse & Karl Story (Tom Strong, Midnighter) bring a harrowing creative vision to the WildStorm Universe...and when they're done with it - will anything be left standing?The Paladins, WildStorm's seminal superhuman heroes, find their days start like any other - capturing archcriminals, thwarting alien invaders, and helping little old ladies navigate crosstown traffic - all before coffee at their favorite diner. But when events in The City begin to escalate in strange, deadly directions, all signs and omens point to the end of days. The Apocalypse has begun!But how could the WildStorm Universe stand on the brink of Armageddon? Why aren't the all-seeing Authority watching over things? Where is mighty Majestic to save the day? Wouldn't the Wildcats put an end to any final conflict before it even began? And how does a long-forgotten face from WildStorm's troubled past hold all the answers to preventing a nightmarish future of Biblical proportions?Issue #1 on sale April 9; issue #2 on sale April 23 o 1 & 2 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: This illustrates that the Wildstorm Universe is facing a “real” crisis as they continue to just do mini-series after mini-series talking about this possibly dark future. Look how long the hype is in trying to explain this quagmire.
Lee: Maybe if they stopped these pieces of junk and focuses on.. oh maybe another issue of Authority maybe I would be interested. Until, very easy pass.
Gwen: Yet again... I could care less about a majority of the Wildstorm Universe.
VERTIGO: FIRST CUT TP
Written and illustrated by variousCover by variousSample the premiere issues of seven Vertigo series for under $5! Dip into the critically acclaimed series ARMY@LOVE, CROSSING MIDNIGHT, DMZ, THE EXTERMINATORS, JACK OF FABLES, LOVELESS and SCALPED, with stories by some of comics' most popular writers and artists including Brian Wood, Bill Willingham, Brian Azzarello and many others. in this hefty low-priced volume.Advance-solicited; on sale May 7 o 168 pg, FC, $4.99 US o MATURE READERS
Jim: Bravo for a solid marketing idea. Although you can see most of this on the web for free by going here.
Lee: And, all good series too. Well worth your money if you aren’t reading any of these books already.
Gwen: Nice idea for trying to pull in new readers.
ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER VOL. 1 HC
Written by Frank MillerArt and cover by Jim Lee & Scott WilliamsOne of the most talked-about Batman stories ever - conceived by modern master Frank Miller (BATMAN: YEAR ONE, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS) and artists extraordinaire Jim Lee & Scott Williams (BATMAN, SUPERMAN) - is collected in hardcover for the first time! Lee & Miller join forces to tell a new version of Dick Grayson's origin in a high-octane tale that unfolds with guest appearances by Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Black Canary, and more! This volume collects issues #1-9 of the acclaimed series.
Lee: Here it is!!!! The hardcover to one of the most reviewed books of last year. If I remember Jim said that he liked the direction it’s gone in. So, the real question… are you getting a copy Jim???????
Gwen: I'm still not a fan of this material. I think that Matt Wagner had better Batman Allstar type stories.
Jim: I do want this as a hardcover, I just have an issue with committing to this book if an Absolute Edition is on its way.
ALL STAR ACTION FIGURES
It's an all-star lineup featuring the work of two fan-favorite artists in this series! Four of DC's superstars are represented here: Batman and Batgirl, as drawn by Jim Lee in All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, and Superman and Super Lois, as drawn by Frank Quitely in the Eisner Award-winning All Star Superman!
Jim: You have to love how they have so many versions of their various characters done as action figures. I have limited my collecting to the woman of DC for the most part because they produce so many of these figures. And I now await the snarky comments from Lee and Gwen.
Lee: You only collect the female dolls???? Hhhuuummmm. There might be something to that but we won’t discuss on the family blog.
Gwen: Is that why I get all the guy action figures sent down to me? I was wondering...
Jim: So there are some interesting things coming out, but the most exciting project appears to be the DP Archives. I go through phases and the big two are boring me with their overall projects right now. Final Secret Invasion Crisis locks the company into an almost year long (or longer plan) that can cripple some books just going out and finding their rhythm and being good comics.
Lee: In conclusion, dull dull dull. Yes, I have a Marvel bias but because everything is so interlocked there isn’t much to be excited about. Maybe things will get back to normal in 2009.
Gwen: I hate closing comments... I mean really, I never know what to say. Let's end with a random quote - name that sonnet! "But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st"