Friday, March 28, 2008

DC Preview Review for June

Jim: Damn it is still a chilly March and here we are looking at books that are coming out in June. Let’s dive right in and see what wonders this month will bring.
Lee: A new month of buildup to Crisis Rev 4. Hopefully something fun will emerge.
Gwen: Maybe it's chilly up in the frozen North, but it's beautiful down here in Florida!

TRINITY #1-4 Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian NiciezaArt by Mark Bagley & Art Thibert, Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens, Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton & Jerry OrdwayCovers by Carlos Pacheco
DC's new weekly series TRINITY explodes in an extra-sized debut issue featuring art by fan-favorite Mark Bagley (Ultimate Spider-Man) & Art Thibert with lead stories and dialogue by Kurt Busiek (SUPERMAN, ASTRO CITY)!The lead feature explores the unusual bond - and importance - of DC's top three characters, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, as a mysterious dream links them together and may prophesy important changes in their trinity!Plus, a co-feature in issue #1 explores the mysterious connection between several villains who are watching the Trinity -as well as the near future for these characters and their surrounding world! Co-features in issues #2-4 fill in back-story on some of the other important players in this major storyline. These stories are written by Busiek & Fabian Nicieza with art by Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens (NIGHTWING, GREEN ARROW), Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton & Jerry Ordway (ALL-NEW ATOM, INFINITE CRISIS).Issue #1 on sale June 4; issue #2 on sale June 11; issue #3 on sale June 18; issue #4 on sale June 25 o Issue #1 40 pg, issues #2-4 32 pg, FC, All $2.99 US
Jim: 52 was good, Countdown was a disaster (not like a crisis, just a disaster), yet I have high hopes for this weekly mini-series. First off it stands on its own, second Kurt Busiek as writer and third Mark Bagley drawing the lead feature.
Lee: It makes you wonder how coherent the overall theme is going to be when you need yet another weekly miniseries to tie everything together. It’s all too much for me.
Gwen: Written by Busiek, so I actually find myself intrigued.

REIGN IN HELL #1 Written by Keith GiffenArt by Matt Clark & Stephen SegoviaCovers by Clark & Kevin Nowlan
It's all-out war for control of hell! This is the major event that changes the status quo for DC"s infernal realm as Lord Satanus sets out to dethrone Neron at all costs. As the battle begins, various parties are drafted into service - but will they choose to stand with the devil they know or a new and possibly worse evil? Friendships will be ruined, lives will be lost and allegiances will be forever changed.Plus, a backup feature starring Dr. Occult, who receives a shocking visitation on the eve of the war in hell!On sale June 4 o 1 of 8 o 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US
Jim: On the flip side, I’m a little leary of this mini-series. The negatives are $3.50 per issue, a series about the demonic side of the DCU which includes a lot of characters that I don’t care that much about.
Lee: I see the price debate continues endlessly. Even though I like all the spooky, demonic characters a miniseries that is obviously setup for the summer event is an easy pass.
Gwen: This, however, does not spark my interest. Maybe if Bill Willingham was writing it, as he does such a good job with these kind of stories, but as it stands this will just be about a bunch of characters I care little about.

BATMAN #678 Written by Grant MorrisonArt by Tony Daniel & Sandu FloreaCover by Alex RossVariant cover by Daniel
Part 3 of "Batman R.I.P."! Batman's mysterious adversary has won. All is lost for the Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne is now deranged and dissociated, wandering homeless in the alleys of Gotham City. Is there a chance that Bruce can rebuild his Batman identity from scratch, or is this truly the end for one of the world's finest heroes?On sale June 25 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I bring this book up for a few reasons. First it appears the Grant Morrison is taking Batman all the way down to build him back up again, which reminds me of what Miller did with Daredevil. The second reason is that I love that DC is leaving these series alone to have their own story lines and not making Final Crisis interfere with every other book in the DCU. Finally I think that this series has the potential to be a seminal type run on this book.
Lee: It is interesting the powers that be are leaving Morrison alone. Now if they would only do it on all the other titles. BUT, I haven’t been nearly as impressed with the Morrison run as you have been. Nor do I think it will be nearly as well regarded as Miller’s Daredevil.
Gwen: Actually this reminds me of Devon Grayson's run on Nightwing - she tried to do the same thing, and I (as well as you Jim) hated it. Honestly, isn't this just a rehash of what they did with Knightfall anyway? How many times does Bruce need to rebuild himself as Batman? *rolls eyes*

ROBIN/SPOILER SPECIAL #1 Written by Chuck Dixon Art by Rafael Albuquerque and Victor IbáñezCover by Albuquerque and Cris Peter
From the rooftops in Robin to Gotham Underground, Spoiler's identity has remained a mystery - until now. All is revealed in this special when Robin and Spoiler team up to take down a kidnapping ring, hit up an illegal warehouse party and finish Tim's algebra homework; just another day in the life of a teenaged vigilante super-hero! Plus, even more Robin doesn't know: Spoiler's secret identity in another country, in another life - one she can never leave behind.On sale June 4 o 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: This looks like it could be a very cool book, but I have a couple of problems with it. Why is it not part of the regular Robin book and why does is have to be a $4 book. I get the feeling DC and Marvel are getting ready to up the price on their books and are trying to break us in slowly.
Lee: It is 48 pages so that helps explain the higher price point to some extent. And, the big two have always done these one shots. Great if you’re a Robin fan. Ok if you’re not.
Gwen: As much as I enjoy the Robin books I could have done without the return to Spoiler stories. Still, Chuck Dixon is a good writer and always does well with the 'Bat' characters, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this.

MANHUNTER #31 Written by Marc Andreyko Art by Michael Gaydos Cover by Liam Sharp
The fan-favorite series returns! New series artist Michael Gaydos (New Avengers, Alias, Nightmare Factory) and cover artist Liam Sharp (COUNTDOWN PRESENTS: LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS) deliver a stunning new look for the continuing adventures of the DCU's most human hero!Los Angeles is Manhunter's town - so when Kate Spencer learns of the disappearance of hundreds of women along the Mexican border, she's on the case both as law-breaking D.A. and costumed vigilante.Meanwhile, Kate's bloodline tie to the JSA returns to haunt her - and it looks like her sidekick's most notorious supervillain ex-boss is doing the same to him.On sale June 4 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I’m very glad to see this series come back, but it seems inane to start it back at the old numbering. So often we see companies cancel and re-launch a series as a new number one with limited justification. This deserves a new number one after a long hiatus. Also Michael Gaydos as the artist is a great choice and I loved his work in Alias and Snakewoman, and now Manhunter.
Lee: This and Spidergirl, two series that will never die. As a fan I happy returning the old numbering. What good is a new #1, it’s just stupid, especially if storylines are continuing mid stream.
Gwen: YAY! I am so happy this book is back! *does a happy dance*

JLA VOL. 1 DELUXE EDITION HC Written by Grant Morrison and Mark MillarArt by Howard Porter, Oscar Jimenez, Don Hillsman,John Dell, Chip Wallace and othersCover by Porter & Dell
Relive the legendary 1990s JLA series, written by comics masterminds Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) and Mark Millar (Civil War) with stunning art by Howard Porter and others, in this amazing oversized hardcover collecting JLA #1-9 and SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS #1! The action begins as the JLA reunites to stop the Hyperclan, who have come to Earth posing as a new group of super heroes. But as their true nature comes to light, only the World's Greatest Super Heroes can stop them! Standing side by side, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter take on alien posers and come to realize that Earth needs a protectorate made up of only the mightiest icons!Advance-solicited; on sale August 20 o 7" x 10.75"256 pg, FC, $29.99 US
Jim: I’m all for reprinting this series. I just hope that the “deluxe” means I’m getting paper that is better then what is thrown at my doorstep every morning.
Lee: Ooooohhhh, this is such a tough call. I remember reading the original series and not being all that impressed. It was typical Morrison with big ideas and poor endings. I’d much rather see Waid’s run on JLA reprinted.
Gwen: I have to agree with Lee here, but then again Morrison is hit or miss with me.

DIANA PRINCE: WONDER WOMAN VOL. 2 TP Written by Mike Sekowsky and Robert KanigherArt by Mike Sekowsky, Irv Novick and Dick GiordanoCover by Sekowsky & Giordano
Classic, never before collected Wonder Woman tales from the 1970s comics Wonder Woman #185-189, Superman's GirlFriend, Lois Lane #93, and THE Brave and the Bold #87!Advance-solicited; on sale July 23 o 176 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Jim: I have no idea why this material is being reprinted, but the non-powered Wonder Woman material is too funky to pass up. I need to read the first collection now.
Lee: I’ve read my copy already and it was great silverage hokey fun! I can’t wait to get this one.
Gwen: This looks really entertaining :)

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE HOUSE OF SECRETS VOL. 1 TP Written by Mike Friedrich, Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman and othersArt by Jerry Grandenetti, Bill Draut, Werner Roth,Dick Giordano and othersCover by Bernie Wrightson
More than 500 pages of mystery tales from the pages of THE HOUSE OF SECRETS #81-98 (1969-1972)!Advance-solicited; on sale July 30 o 544 pg, B&W, $16.99 US
Jim: Let me see between just Essentials and Showcase reprints I have 20,000 pages of material to re-read, but I still need this. Really I do, great stuff, I have to have it.
Lee: THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF SWAMP THING!!!! You have to buy this! I love the DC Horror books and I can’t wait to get this. Of all the Essentials/Showcases I own, the DC horror ones were the only ones read cover to cover.
Gwen: I've actually never had a chance to read this material and find myself intrigued. I'll actually have to pick this up at some point.

CHUCK #1 Written by Peter Johnson & Zev BarowArt by Jeremy Haun & Phil NotoCover by Phil NotoThe hit NBC television series comes to comics as Chuck Bartowski and his friends are about to take the world by storm-literally! From series co-executive producer Peter Johnson (Supernatural: Rising Son) and series writer Zev Borow joined with artists Jeremy Haun (The Leading Man) and Phil Noto (Jonah Hex) comes an adventure too big for television!In this globe-trotting, action-packed adventure, Chuck will see many exotic locales, dodge numerous bullets, and be tortured by the world's greatest...tickler?On sale June 11 o 1 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: OMG, OMG. YES, YES, YES. The one series I have been waiting 45 years to finally come out I can’t wait ---- WTH! Who said let’s do this comic? Were they fired?
Lee: See, that’s the kind of sarcasm that gets you in trouble. While I won’t be buying this (mostly because I don’t watch the show) I think it’s great they are doing it. In a small medium such as comics, anything to get into the mainstream is a good thing. Tying a comic into a hit TV show is a great idea. Maybe we’ll even get a new reader or two along the way. Gwen: While making comics from TV shows isn't anything new, I question the choice of material. This show, from what I've heard, doesn't seem to fit in the comic genre well.

MADAME XANADU #1 Written by Matt WagnerArt and cover by Amy Reeder HadleyVariant cover by WagnerLegendary creator Matt Wagner (MAGE, GRENDEL, SUPERMAN/BATMAN/WONDER WOMAN: TRINITY) and rising star artist Amy Reeder Hadley present Vertigo's newest ongoing fantasy epic. Centuries long and around the globe her tale winds before the ageless fortuneteller arrives in modern era New York. Her powers of sight can change the course of human events, but how does the seer see herself? Wagner and Hadley answer with painstakingly elegant story and breathtakingly innovative art that is sure to make Madame Xanadu a classic!Issue #1 opens into a medieval kingdom beset by intrigue and foul sorcery. A fair sylph with magic of her own is thrown into the world of war and men - where she encounters a dark stranger who knows not only her past, but her most intimate future as well.FC / 32 pgs / Monthly / $2.99 US / On sale June 25 / MATURE READERS
Jim: Now this looks like a winning series. A seldom used, but great character Madam Xandu, with an excellent creator as the writer and some stunning artwork by someone new to me Amy Reeder Hadley. This looks to be excellent.
Lee: I trust Matt Wagner but I wonder his ability to write a fantasy epic. He’s never done one so there is some trepidation there. But, it is Matt Wagner and he rarely disappoints.
Gwen: oooo, shiny Matt Wagner stories!

JLA TROPHY ROOM: BAT-SIGNAL PROP REPLICA The JLA Trophy Room prop replica program continues for 2008 with the Bat-Signal! A must-have on any wall or ceiling for the ultimate Batman fan!
With the flick of a switch, this metal-encased device projects a light-up Bat-Signal an impressive 16 feet! Powered by a plug-in, UL adapter and two ultra-bright bulbs, the piece also includes a fan to keep it cool. With a swivel feature enabling the Bat-Signal to pan across the room, Batman is sure to come to the rescue no matter where he is when he's beckoned.
This prop replica measures approximately 12" tall x 2.25" wide x 9" deep and is packaged in a 4/C box. Also included are a 4/C Certificate of Authenticity, a "Guide to the Trophy Room" brochure written by best-selling author Brad Meltzer, and one replacement bulb.
Jim: This will sit with your Superman Cape in the spare bedroom that you have because you cannot ever have children if no woman will ever sleep with you. They were afraid to put a price on it.
Lee: I could put it in the yard and light the front of the house up. The neighbors will love me.
Gwen: I don't know what you two are talking about, this is excellent.

Standing atop battle-damaged Grecian ruins, this stunning 18" Wonder Woman mixed-media statue shows the Amazon Princess in all her fury. This 1:4 scale museum quality figure is composed of resin, metal, and an expertly crafted fabric outfit, including briefs with a star pattern, a faux-leather bodice, and a flowing cape. She is armed for battle with a shield, sword, eagle-shaped axe, and a lasso. The full piece measures approximately 16.5" high x 11" wide x 14" deep.
This exclusive, limited edition statue includes a 4/color Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in a 4/color box.
Advance-solicited;in stores November 5, 2008 * Statue * $295.00 US
Jim: I have three statues and think this would make a great fourth, but I also like being married and do not want to have to move out of the house.
Lee: No no no. You’re looking at it all wrong. This is a true test of your marriage. If she can’t accept your love of a work of fine art such as this… does she really accept you as a person? That’s the question that needs answering.
Gwen: Actually, as a woman, I don't have a problem with this statue - I think it looks cool. Doing the cloth-like costume is odd though. Still, I think it's a good not-to-terribly-naked rendition of Wonder Woman.

Jim: A decent month of stuff and I was happy to see that DC seems to have slowed down a little on the glut of product they were pumping out last year and appear to be focusing more on the actual books themselves now. What a crazy idea. The Madam Xandu book is what I’m looking forward to the most.
Lee: I like that DC continues to expand into new things with offerings like Chuck. Superheroes are superheroes but getting new readers to comics is better.
Gwen: This looks like a decent month, and having Busiek work on the new event series rekindles my interest in the bigger DC picture.

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