Friday, April 25, 2008

DC Preview Review for July

Jim: It is always a love/hate thing with me when there is a lot of material that I want to buy. I love it because I want it, I hate it because my hard cover and trade collection is getting to be huge. I’m growing beyond all my bookcases. Besides the hard covers DC is hanging in mainly with the status quo and a Final Crisis Mini-Series.
Lee: I will say I was pleasantly surprised by Marvel this month so I have high hopes for this too.
Gwen: Jim, obviously you have reacher the point in which you must convert the attic into a library. Congratulations.

FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM #1 Written by Peter J. TomasiArt by Doug Mahnke & Christian AlamyCovers by J.G. Jones and Doug Mahnke
A very special FINAL CRISIS one-shot honoring the passing of a great hero who’s been a staple in the DC Universe for years. All that remains is one final memory that the League experiences together as they must fulfill his last wishes or die trying!
On sale July 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: Looking at the cover and reading the solicitation it sounds like the Martian Manhunter. This would make sense as they he has never made it to being an “A” list hero. I’m still looking for at least a Showcase reprint of the time frame when he hung out with Zook. As much as I hate seeing some hero who I have affection for bite the dust, I’m okay with it if it actually lasts for a decade or so.
Lee: Yahoooooo, let’s flood the market with more pointless one shots. This is what I hate about the mega crossovers.
Gwen: I'm fond of Martian Manhunter... Blue Beetle, Bart Allen, Karate Kid - why can't the kill someone I don't like? Oh well.

FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES’ REVENGE #1 Written by Geoff JohnsArt and covers by Scott Kolins The critically-acclaimed FLASH team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunites for a tale of villainy and twisted justice tying in to FINAL CRISIS! Captain Cold and the Rogues were accessories to the murder of Bart Allen. They’ve become what they never set out to be -- wanted! Wanted by the good guys, by former Rogue Pied Piper, and by the Secret Society of Super-Villains. But just as they try to disappear underground, good, old-fashioned revenge yanks them back. And where is the Flash during all of this? It’s a Crisis -- take a guess.
On sale July 16 • 1 of 3 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: Now DC has added this and I thought we were getting the Legion Crisis tie-in this month also, but I have to give DC credit, two mini-series and a one-shot are all that have been added on and none of the regular series are dealing with Final Crisis. I prefer the more contained events as opposed to the universe wide cross-over stunts THAT NEVER WORKS.
Lee: So the options, as I see them: (1) mega crossover that affects every book and drags the line down or (2) Mega crossover that doesn’t affect the individual books but triples output with extraneous miniseries which drags down my pocket book. These are options????
Gwen: "And where is the Flash during all of this? It’s a Crisis -- take a guess" Is there some grand rule somewhere that says the Flash has to be an integral part of any Crisis? Seriously....

AMBUSH BUG: YEAR NONE #1 Written by Keith Giffen & Robert Loren FlemingArt by Giffen & Al MilgromCover by J.H. Williams IIIVariant cover by Giffen
The wait is over -- everyone's favorite Bug is back, courtesy of the original AMBUSH BUG team of Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming! Cities will be destroyed! Cats and dogs will live in sin! Every unanswered question of the DC Universe will be answered! Live heroes will die and dead heroes will live! Okay, none of that actually happens, but join us anyway for this totally irreverent romp through the DC Universe as only Ambush Bug could give you!On sale July 23 • 1 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: On one hand I could have lived with never seeing Ambush Bug again, on the other hand I might buy an Absolute of all of his earlier material. Sometime it hits me as funny, other times it is a big “eh”.
Lee: You might buy an absolute of this material? Seriously? I might buy an Essential. But there are limits, even for me.
Gwen:I was never all that interested in Ambush Bug - I could care less about this as a result.

THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: THE JOKER #1 Written by Arvid Nelson Art by Alex Sanchez Cover by Andy Kubert
THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: PENGUIN #1 Written by Jason Aaron Art and cover by Jason Pearson
THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: POISON IVY #1 Written by J.T. Krul Art and cover by Guillem March
THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: SCARECROW #1 Written by Joe Harris Art and cover by Juan Doe
THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: TWO-FACE #1 Written by David Hine Art and cover by Andy Clarke
A cast of top creators lends their talents to THE JOKER’S ASYLUM -- a special month-long, weekly series of one-shots starring the greatest villains in Batman’s rogues gallery.
Each issue tells a special stand-alone story that gives readers an inside look into the insane lives of the Dark Knight’s greatest adversaries. And all the stories are narrated by the Asylum’s leading homicidal maniac -- The Joker!
THE JOKER on sale July 2 • PENGUIN on sale July 9 • POISON IVY on sale July 16 • SCARECROW on sale July 23 • TWO-FACE on sale July 30 • Each 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: The writer line-up looks so damn strong and I love Batman villains, ah sh*t, I’m buying this.
Lee: The writer line up includes J.T. Krul! Who??? I’ll wait to see if it gets the fancy HC treatment. Otherwise I’m ok missing a series of one shots.
Gwen: This looks neat. Since Lee's not interested I'm thinking I'm a shoe-in for Jim sending it to me ;)

BATGIRL #1 Written by Adam BeechenArt by Jim Calafiore & Jonathan GlapionCover by Andy Clarke Fresh from appearances in BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS, the enigmatic Cassandra Cain stars in this six-issue miniseries written by Adam Beechen (COUNTDOWN, ROBIN) with pencils by Jim Calafiore (GOTHAM UNDERGROUND)!
Now that Batgirl has finally gained Batman’s trust, it’s time to conquer her inner demons and prove herself to the rest of the world. This six-issue epic will take Cassandra on an intense, personal journey involving friends, family and foes!
On sale July 16 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US
Jim: What happened to the Batwoman series? DC was so gung-ho on her and now it is like she never existed. I had some reservations about her, but I thought she was an interesting add to the mix, instead we get Cassie Cain back. I was never a Cassie Cain Batgirl fan.
Lee: WOW. Whatever did happen to that Batwoman series? In with a bang, out with a whimper. Oh well, some Bat-female-type is better than no Bat-female-type so I’ll take it.
Gwen: There was a Batwoman series? Last time I saw her she was in Gotham Underground. I've never been a huge fan of S&M Batgirl and she certainly didn't gain bonus points when she went over the edge. Still, it'll be interesting to see if they actually redeem her or if she just goes back and forth forever.

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #50 Written by Michael Green & Mike JohnsonArt by Ed BenesCover by Ethan Van SciverVariant cover by Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines
Celebrate fifty blockbuster issues with this extra-sized extravaganza as we reveal the untold tale of Thomas Wayne’s meeting with Jor-El and how it shaped Gotham City’s future! You don’t dare miss this one!The past was just prologue for this latest adventure of the World’s Finest duo as an ancient Kryptonian artifact is uncovered, unleashing past and present dangers that may alter the duo’s future. Not even the guest-starring Titans will be able to save them! This issue also features a variant cover by the original SUPERMAN/BATMAN art team of Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines!
On sale July 23 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: One thing that has been fun in the DCU lately is the fact that some books totally exist in their own Universe. No matter what has happened in this book it never impacts anything else. It reminds me of the Silver Age.
Lee: Thomas Wayne meets Jor-El??? Are you kidding? But, it does seem very, very silverage so there’s a chance it could be good. As long as some writer doesn’t decide to make this a “real” event in three years.
Gwen: This book is 50/50 with me. Sometimes I love it; sometimes I can't even get past the first few pages. This issue piques my interest at least.

SUPERGIRL #31 Written by Kelley PuckettArt by Drew Johnson & Ray SnyderCover by Stephane Roux Following her startling decision last issue, where does Supergirl go from here? Her relationship with Superman is shattered, and for the first time in her young life, Supergirl finds herself truly alone. But with a new day comes a new threat and a new ally -- enter: Empress, last seen in YOUNG JUSTICE!
On sale July 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: This book has actually gotten good lately under Kelley Puckett. Really. I’m not kidding, I swear.
Lee: April Fool’s was weeks ago! Let it go man no one’s gonna believe this book is any good. Ever.
Gwen: You're kidding, right? The crack laced in the book’s pages has finally overridden your judgment.

JONAH HEX #33 Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin GrayArt and cover by Darwyn Cooke
A special issue drawn by Eisner Award-winning artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER, THE SPIRIT)! Jonah Hex travels to Canada on the trail of his latest bounty. But with the Mounties hot on his heels, this isn't going to be an easy job.
On sale July 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I love Jonah Hex and I love Darwyn Cooke’s art, but together. I mean it fells like a pickles and ice cream thing or beer and milk.
Lee: I don’t wanna respond second anymore! What kinda lead up is Pickles and Ice Cream? Beer and Milk? What the ?!?!
Gwen: I agree, it's hard to imagine Darwyn Cooke's style meshing well with Jonah Hex.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA ANNUAL #1 Written by Geoff Johns, Art by Jerry Ordway, Cover by Alex Ross“Welcome to Earth-2!” Power Girl has made a life for herself on our world, as a member and chairwoman of the Justice Society of America and as a hero in her own right.
But she’s never stopped dreaming of one day returning to her Earth -- the parallel world where the members of the Justice Society were the only heroes. Where her best friend was Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman. And where evil was a little easier to fight…wasn’t it? As her greatest wish comes true, Power Girl’s about to find herself back on Earth-2, surrounded by friends she thought she’d lost forever.
On sale July 30 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: This could be very good or come across very lame, but I’m looking forward to it. It almost seems cruel as Power Girl has already been through a lot.
Lee: They have screwed with Power Girl so much I just don’t care anymore. I’ll let you tell me how it is.
Gwen: I really enjoyed all of the old Helena Wayne stuff, so this could be cool Unless it's some sort of cruel trick.

ABSOLUTE RONIN HC Written Art and cover by Frank MillerRONIN, the acclaimed epic by Frank Miller, visionary writer/artist of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, 300 and Sin City and director of the upcoming movie adaptation of The Spirit, is collected for the first time in hardcover in DC’s oversized, slipcased Absolute format! In this tale, the legendary warrior known only as the Ronin -- a disgraced 13th century samurai, is given a second chance to avenge his master’s death and regain his honor. Reborn in a futuristic and corrupt 21st century New York City, the Ronin must defeat the reincarnation of his master’s killer, the ancient demon Agat.This breathtaking Absolute Edition includes rarely seen promotional art, fold-out pages and more special features.Advance-solicited; on sale September 24 • 328 pg, 8.25” x 12.5”, FC, $99.00 US
Jim: A) I’m not sure this demanded the Absolute treatment. B) $100 price tag is too high, it could have been done of $50 or even $75 C) I’m probably buying it.
Lee: A) It didn’t demand absolute treatment. B) $100 is waaaayyyy to high and even I wouldn’t have hesitated at $50 C) I’m getting it on ebay for $50 three months after it’s released.
Gwen: For once, Lee makes more sense than Jim. Creepy.

SUPERMAN: KRYPTONITE HC Written by Darwyn CookeArt and cover by Tim SaleThe amazing story from SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL #1-5 and 11 by Darwyn Cooke (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER) and Tim Sale (BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, Heroes) is collected in hardcover. While Superman attempts to survive his first encounter with Kryptonite, will Lois Lane fall prey to a mysterious stranger?
Advance-solicited; on September 10 • 160 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Jim: A no-brainer for me. Loved the story and loved the creators. Lee: See, with all the bad press about the story being late I can’t remember if this actually was any good. I wish DC would notice that this kind of stuff costs them sales.
Gwen: This does look cool and doesn't seem too terribly expensive. I think I'm looking at a future Christmas gift for my boyfriend here.

SUICIDE SQUAD: FROM THE ASHES TP Written by John OstanderArt by Javier Pina, Robin Riggs and Jesus SaizCover by John K. Snyder III
The Suicide Squad makes its triumphant return in this new volume collecting the recent miniseries. But how did team leader Rick Flag Jr. survive a ground-zero nuclear blast and return from the dead?
Advance-solicited; on sale August 20 • 192 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Jim: Another one, same story as the Kryptonite HC.
Lee: I didn’t read this. Unfortunately there’s just too much out there this month so I shall pass. Maybe Jim will loan me his copy.
Gwen: I haven't read this either, I was never really into the Suicide Squad.

GOTHAM CENTRAL VOL. 1: IN THE LINE OF FIRE HC Written by Ed Brubaker & Greg RuckaArt and cover by Michael Lark
The first ten issues of the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series is collected in hardcover for the first time! Written by Ed Brubaker (Captain America) and Greg Rucka (DETECTIVE COMICS, 52), this series pitted the detectives of Gotham City’s Special Crimes Unit against the city’s greatest villains -- in the shadow of Batman himself.
Advance-solicited; on September 3 • 240 pg, FC, $29.99 US
Jim: Now they are pissing me off. I just recently decided to pick up the trades of this great series and now you are going to do hard cover collections. ARGHHH! Good news for Gwen as they leave my trade collection they migrate to Gwen’s place. Unless Lee cons her out of wanting them.
Lee: Gwen can have them because Poppa getting a brandy new hardcover.
Gwen: Yay! I win!

INVASION TP Written by Keith Giffen & Bill Mantlo Art by Todd McFarlane, Bart Sears, P. Craig Russell, Joe Rubinstein and othersCover by McFarlane & Rubinstein
The massive 3-issue miniseries from 1988 is collected for the first time! In this universe-spanning saga, the deadly but emotionless Dominators have come to Earth to wipe out the threat posed by metahumans. But what is the real reason for their attack?
Advance-solicited; on sale August 27 • 256 pg, FC, $24.99 US
MILLENNIUM TP Written by Steve Englehart Art by Joe Staton, Ian Gibson and othersCover by Joe Staton & Mark Farmer
The 1988 8-issue miniseries MILLENNIUM is collected for the first time! The Guardians of the Universe have left our dimension behind -- and in their absence, the deadly robotic army of Manhunters threatens the survival of the DC Universe!
Advance-solicited; on sale August 6 • 192 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Jim: See this is what I meant in the introduction way too many trades that I want. I recently re-read Invasion and it holds together okay as a stand alone, not perfect but okay. Millennium is a big pass, a really bad series and event.
Lee: Now for every marginal (and it was marginal) Invasion miniseries you have a Millennium miniseries. Eh to both. I shall be passing.
Gwen: Wow, these came out when I was 6... I don't think I ever read them.

BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM! #1 Written by Mike KunkelArt and covers by Mike Kunkel
Welcome to the brand-new, all-fun adventures of Billy Batson as the World's Mightiest Mortal -- Captain Marvel, from acclaimed writer/artist Mike Kunkel (Herobear)!
Thanks to a magical rift created when Captain Marvel battled Mr. Mind’s monsters, 14-year-old Theo Adam has been returned to Earth from banishment. For Theo, there’s just one problem: He can’t remember the magic word that gives him the powers of Black Adam. There’s only one solution: follow Captain Marvel and get the word out of his alter ego, 11-year-old Billy Batson.
On sale July 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.25 US
Lee: Talk about a character DC has no idea what to do with. Jeff Smith did a kid friendly mini-series that people loved or hated. Then Winnick tried to modernize the character. Now we have another kid friendly miniseries. What are they doing???? That said, I love Kunkel’s work and this is an absolute no brainer for me.
Jim: I disagree; DC has finally gotten this character right. The Billy Batson Captain Marvel fits as a kids’ book, but not as a modern super hero. Freddy as Captain Marvel works in the modern DCU, so do both.
Gwen: I LOVED the Jeff Smith Shazam work, it was excellent. I have no idea if I'll like this, but it does look cool.

STORMING PARADISE #1 Written by Chuck DixonArt/cover by Butch Guice
It’s 1945, and Europe lies in ruins, the Nazi war machine defeated. As the United States looks east to the last remaining Axis power and the final push in a long war, a miscalculation in the Manhattan Project results in annihilation of the team of scientists developing the American atomic bomb. America's only remaining option is Operation Olympus -- the invasion of Japan! But the bloody, island-hopping campaign that brings American forces to Japan’s doorstep won’t prepare the G.I.s for the horror they will face as women, children and the few surviving Japanese soldiers begin the grim preparation for repulsion.
This brutal, revisionist look at the second World War could only be handled by master storytellers Chuck Dixon (ROBIN, TEAM ZERO) and Butch Guice (ACTION COMICS, Daredevil). Every angle of this conflict will be touched upon, from the infantry storming the beaches to the Army Air Corps bombing the home islands of the Empire of the Rising Sun to the desperate struggle of the Japanese to save their culture from annihilation, as the true meaning of “war is hell” is explored in full.
On sale July 2 • 1 of 6, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Lee: I am shocked! SHOCKED! You didn’t pick this. As we’ve said many many times before Chuckie D- (he loves when I call him that!)… Chuckie D- is a proven commodity. Add in Butch Guice, another proven commodity and there is no way this could go wrong.
Jim: True, but I did order the series.
Gwen: Despite my aversion to War genre stories this looks interesting. Mostly because my grandfather (not Jim's Dad) would have ended up invading Japan if not for the A-bomb being dropped. Chuck Dixon is a solid writer too which makes it even more appealing.

WILDCATS: WORLD’S END #1 Written by Christos Gage Art/Covers by Neil Googe and Trevor HairsineAfter the shattering conclusion of NUMBER OF THE BEAST, a jaw-dropping new status quo will be established in the WildStorm Universe -- and it begins now! Christos Gage (WILDSTORM: ARMAGEDDON, THE AUTHORITY: PRIME) and Neil Googe (WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY, MAJESTIC) bring a unique new vision to the classic Wildcats team, reuniting the classic team with some surprising new members. Also, a new monthly backup story begins, kicked off with the return of John Lynch by Gage and X-Men: Deadly Genesis artist Trevor Hairsine!
On sale July 30 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: So I’m guessing we have officially abandoned all hope of a Grant Morrison / Jim Lee Wildcat series at this point. The WU has become radioactive in my mind and needs to sit on the side lines for a few years and then be dusted off and brought back to life.
Lee: I’ve think they’ve screwed it up so bad I’m not sure they can every bring it back now. Then again, I didn’t think we’d every see Youngblood again and it’s back so what do I know.
Gwen: The WU hurts my head.

THE ALCOHOLIC HC Written by Jonathan Ames Art and cover by Dean Haspiel
Jonathan A. is a boozed-up, coked-out, sexually confused, hopelessly romantic and, of course, entirely fictional novelist who bears only a coincidental resemblance to real-life writer Jonathan Ames, critically acclaimed author of Wake Up, Sir!, The Extra Man and What’s Not to Love?For the fictional Jonathan, writing and drinking come easy. The hard parts of life are love and hope. From a touching relationship between Jonathan and his aging great aunt, to an inebriated evening with an amorous, octogenarian dwarf, to the devastating aftermath of 9/11, Ames’s first original graphic novel, with gritty, poignant art by Dean Haspiel (THE QUITTER), tells a story at once hilarious, excruciating, bizarre and universal, about how our lives fall to pieces and the enduring human struggle to put things back together again.Advance-solicited; on sale September 17 • 6.875” x 9” • 136 pg, B&W, $19.99 US MATURE READERS
Jim: See I should drop one of the reprints above and get this. It has a great premises and sounds more enlightening then re-reading some old spandex stuff.
Lee: I don’t know… it’d be like reading an biography that someone else wrote about you. Anyway, this feels like DC trying to break into the slice-of-life market. Unfortunately, I read enough indies that that have limited to no editorial control so a book from one of the big two that has an image to protect leaves me kinda cold.
Gwen: Sounds interesting.

HEAVY LIQUID HC Written by Paul Pope Art and cover by Paul Pope
Paul Pope’s Eisner Award-nominated epic is collected in hardcover for the first time, completely recolored, with bonus sketch material. Meet “S,” a man addicted to “heavy liquid,” a substance that’s both drug and art form, in a future New York that’s a sci-fi metropolis.Advance-solicited; on sale September 24 • 256 pg, FC, $39.99 US MATURE READERS
Lee: I love Paul Pope’s art and most everything that he does. BUT, I don’t remember how good this is. It’s a good price for a nice HC but I need to re-read my issues to make sure it’s a keeper.
Jim: Paul Pope is very stylized and for me it is not worth a $40 hard cover.
Gwen: I honestly have no interest in reading this, it doesn't even sound like a very intriguing premise to me.

One of Batman’s most famous crime-fighting gadgets is the latest addition to the JLA Trophy Room: Life-sized, fully functioning Bat-Cuffs -- the same size as regulation police handcuffs!
Reproduced for the first time ever as a high-quality prop replica, these metal Bat-Cuffs unlock with a special bat-shaped key. They fold in half for easy transport, or can be displayed on the included stand.
Packaged in a 4-color box, the Bat-Cuffs also come with a 4-color Certificate of Authenticity and a second, duplicate Bat Key.
Advance-solicited; on sale December 3, 2008 * Prop Replica * $125
Jim: If these are working cuffs I can replace the set we have at ho… err I mean why who would want hand cuffs that is so ridiculous.
Lee: And, this is why we let Gwen review because comments like Jim makes just leave me tongue tied.
Gwen: He's my father. If you're tongue tied at those comments how do you think I feel?!?

Under special arrangement with Japanese manufacturer Kotobukiya, DC DIRECT brings the exquisite craftsmanship of KOTOBUKIYA to fans.
Manufactured again to meet popular demand, this SUPERGIRL Vinyl Statue stands approximately 10” tall and is packaged in a 4-color window box. She serves as a great companion piece to the previously released SUPERMAN Vinyl statue, and is manufactured to order.
Advance-solicited; on sale December 17, 2008 * Vinyl Statue * $89.99 US
Jim: The detail on this statue is amazing. This looks extremely well done.
Lee: Oh yeah! That’s exquisite. Yum yum. (Jim: And Lee complained about me??)
Gwen: *hands Lee a napkin to wipe away the drool*

From the pages of the much-loved ’80’s series of hilarious and action-packed stories that re-defined the term “Super-Hero Team” comes DC Direct’s JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL action figures!
Based on the series from Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire
Jim: Gnort gets an Action Figure, even worse I will buy one.
Lee: Gnort, schmort! I love the retro shoulder pads’n’head sweat band Black Canary. Wow, was that a bad costume.
Gwen: Hah, these are pretty funny. I have waaaay too many action figures though, I really just want them to complete the Legion collection.

Jim: A decent month for DC. Lots of hard cover and trades, no over kill on Final Crisis add ons and if you check out the ongoing series a lot of good story lines. I think DC is getting their act together after the Countdown debacle.
Lee: Overall, this was a pretty decent month. Although the $100 price tag on Ronin makes me scratch my head.
Gwen: A decent month, and thanks to DC I get a few trades for free!

1 comment:

  1. Jim...
    Join the club. I just had a library built in our backyard for my collection. I'd love to recommend my contractor to you, but I hate him with a passion now. It was 5 months late and threw my life into chaos.... but the books look really excellent on the shelves.