Friday, December 12, 2008

DC Preview Review for February

Jim: So last month was the villains theme and this month is origins and omens, but I’m not seeing many new series coming out from DC after Final Crisis and usually all major events serve to launch one or two titles.
Lee: I see a snooze fest coming. It’s too the point I just find the indies more exciting these days.
Gwen: I just wish I understood how any of these events tied together at all =/

BATMAN #686 Written by Neil GaimanArt by Andy Kubert & Scott Williams Covers by Andy Kubert and Alex RossVariant sketch cover by Andy Kubert“Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” part 1 of 2! Best-selling author Neil Gaiman (THE SANDMAN) and superstar artist Andy Kubert (BATMAN, Marvel 1602) join forces for a special 2-part BATMAN event! “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” is a captivating and mysterious tale the likes of which Batman and friends have never experienced before. Delving into the realms of life, death and the afterlife, Gaiman leaves no stone unturned as he explores every facet and era of Bruce Wayne’s life.On sale February 11 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US

DETECTIVE COMICS #853 Written by Neil GaimanArt by Andy Kubert & Scott Williams Cover by Andy KubertVariant sketch cover by Andy Kubert“Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” part 2 of 2! This second part of Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s special collaboration is sure to be a BATMAN story for the ages. This extraordinary tale, told as only Gaiman and Kubert can, explores the intricate relationships between Bruce Wayne and his friends and adversaries and builds toward an exciting and unexpected climax. It’s a classic in the making!On sale February 25 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Jim: How cool is this, having Neil Gaiman writing the end piece for the Batman books. I have to give DC credit they have taken Bruce Wayne out of the equation and now have canceled all the Bat books to lead up to the “Battle for the Cowl” and where we go from there is still unknown. Personally I love it, the great unknown is always more exciting.
Lee: I dread this. Sorry but Gaiman hasn’t had a stellar run on superheroes (Eternals anyone? Blah!). Gaiman is strongest when he’s doing his own, or fantasy characters. I don’t have high hopes for this.
Gwen: I’m excited for this. First of all, I kind of enjoyed the Eternals but you can only do so much when doing something that’s not your own creation. I don’t expect every story from him to be Sandman or American Gods. Also, if any mainstream character works within Gaiman’s style I think Batman would qualify. I’m not excited about the battle for the cowl though – I mean even Bruce Wayne never wanted to be Batman so why would people fight for the mantle?

NIGHTWING #153 Written by Peter J. Tomasi Art and cover by Don Kramer & Jay Leisten It’s the fateful, final “Batman” Last Rites” issue featuring an “Origins and Omens” backup! As Robin, Dick Grayson fought alongside Batman as part of the dynamic duo, the greatest crime-fighting team in history. As Nightwing, he teamed up with his peers to combat injustice in the Titans and the Outsiders. Now, Dick Grayson faces the most important battle of his life. Batman is dead. The Mantle of the Bat must be passed, but it will require all of Dick’s training and skills to carry out the last wishes of Bruce Wayne and protect Gotham City. Will it be enough to protect himself from the dangers that await him? Or is this the last the world will see of Nightwing?FINAL ISSUE • On sale February 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

ROBIN #183 Written by Fabian Nicieza Art and cover by Freddie E. Williams IIA “Batman: Last Rites” tie-in and featuring an “Origins and Omens” backup story! Gotham City has found a new hero and his name is Robin – but with a battle for Batman's cowl looming, is Tim Drake ready to become something more? Guest-starring Jason Todd and Lady Shiva. And don’t worry, this final issue doesn’t mark the end of Robin – it’s just the start of an all-new beginning!FINAL ISSUE • On sale February 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: I know after the Battle for the Cowl this two books will probably be re-launched or something, but it is exciting to think that we could finally make someone else Batman for “real” as you always knew Az-Bat was not going to last (from the nineties).
Lee: It’s funny that you’re excited about this but not all the other cross-over things. This is the same as any other mega-event but self contained to 12 books instead of the entire line. It smells like “ploy” to restart the numbering to get an artificial sales boost.
Gwen: Ugh. Just make Nightwing Batman already.

THE OUTSIDERS #15 Written by Peter J. Tomasi Art and cover by Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott Featuring an “Origins and Omens” backup story! Continuing where the epic BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS SPECIAL #1 left off, the mystery of who and what “The Insiders” are opens into a labyrinth of dread and deceit as The Outsiders, in their newest incarnation, follow Batman's final directives into a heart of darkness. If you’ve waited to pick up this title, jump on now for this exciting new era!On sale February 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: I’m so back on this book it is not even funny. Peter Tomasi with the great art team of Garbett and Scott, what a no-brainer.
Lee: I’ll agree with you got no brain. Even worse, if you skipped the “epic” BaTO Special you won’t even know what’s happening. It’s trash.
Gwen: It’d be nice to see the Outsiders pick up again but we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.

ADVENTURE COMICS #0 Written by Otto Binder Art by Al Plastino Cover by Aaron Lopresti One of the cornerstone stories of the DCU is reprinted in this special issue priced at just $1.00 featuring an important “Origins and Omens” backup tale! To celebrate the upcoming ADVENTURE COMICS #1, we’re reprinting a Silver Age classic from the title’s prior volume — ADVENTURE COMICS #247, the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Witness Superboy’s first encounter with three super-powered teens from the 30th Century – Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl! Featuring a new cover by Aaron Lopresti that’s an homage to the original!On sale February 4 • 32 pg, FC, $1.00 US

Jim: Does this hint that we could have a new Legion series again????
Lee:OOOHHHH A new Legion series. WHHHEEEEE. I’ve been dying for a new Legion series since they… CANCELLED THE OLD ONE LAST MONTH! I’m glad you were able to hold out a whole month before wanting a new series.
Gwen: You know – I already have this issue republished. Hm. Still, I really do hope the Legion gets relaunched. I’ll be going through withdraw =/

BLUE BEETLE #36 Written by Matthew Sturges Art by Carlo Barberi Cover by Rafael Albuquerque Say goodbye to the bravest Teen Titan of them all as Blue Beetle takes on a whole space army all on his lonesome in a tale so epic it could only be called the “Valentine’s Day Dance Massacre”!FINAL ISSUE • On sale February 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: Hate to see this series bite the dust, I personally think it was as good as Invincible.
Lee: I think you should start an online campaign to save it!!! Works for Spidergirl and Manhunter EVERY time. All you, Jumpin’ Jim, all you!
Gwen: AHHH! Why do they keep cancelling books that I like? *cries*

THE MIGHTY #1 Written by Peter J. Tomasi & Keith Champagne Art by Peter Snejbjerg Cover by Dave JohnsonVariant cover by Ivan Reis & Joe PradoWelcome to the world of The Mighty! Alpha One – America’s first and only Super Hero – is supported by Section Omega, an entire police force devoted to assisting him in his quest for justice. Lt. Gabriel Cole has worked his way up the ranks of Section Omega and his connection to Alpha One reaches back to his own tragic childhood and an accident nobody could have survived. But when murder strikes at the top of the organization, the case falls into his lap, and he’ll begin to learn what being a hero is really all about!Written by Peter J. Tomasi (FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM, GREEN LANTERN CORPS) and Keith Champagne (WORLD WAR III) with gorgeous art by Peter Snejbjerg (STARMAN, THE LIGHT BRIGADE), this new ongoing series is not to be missed!On sale February 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: I’m so sold on Peter Tomasi as a very good comic writer, that I will try out a new series by him in a heartbeat. From the premise I’m not even sure this is set in the normat DCU.
Lee: Huuummm, so, if I read this right, it’s a superhero that’s.. *GASP* actually a policeman too!!!! WOW! Is that novel? I haven’t heard of that concept since, ohhhhh, Savage Dragon. I’m sorry but I’m not feeling the DC love this month.
Gwen: Eh, I’d be willing to give it a shot but it doesn’t look like something that would interest me all that much.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #1 Written by Tony Bedard Art and cover by Andy Clarke Variant cover by Andy Clarke The future is now in this all-new monthly series! Brainiac 2 is a hunted man. His cosmic police force safeguarded over 80 worlds until a mysterious adversary suddenly seized control. Now Vril Dox must recruit a new team to win back his command and free countless billions. But this time, he's basing his new group on the greatest heroes and villains of the 31st Century!Guest-starring Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes!On sale February 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: Glad to see Tony Bedard be given a new on-going series, but have to question green lighting this premise. I enjoyed the old L.E.G.I.O.N. from the eighties and the subsequent REBELS, but I can’t imagine that there is much demand to see this book.
Lee: No D.E.M.A.N.D. at all. Although, I’ve heard Gwennie-Pooh has a thing for Brainy.
Gwen: It’s true; I have a huge crush on Brainiac 5. I never read much about Vril though (except in the Valor series a while back) so I’m looking forward to reading this.

WONDER WOMAN #29 Written by Gail Simone Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan Cover by Aaron LoprestiVariant cover by Marcos Martin“Rise of The Olympian” part 4! Featuring an “Origins and Omens” backup story! The Olympians have risen to begin their all-out assault on war across the globe! One particular attack could spell the end of the Department of Metahuman Affairs, and Wonder Woman's life is changed forever in the aftermath of Genocide's savage beating...and that's just the stuff we can tell you! Don't miss this crucial arc in Wonder Woman's history! On sale February 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Lee: I’m not saying the bird suit is stupid… but the bird suit is stupid. Someone has got to be able to design something better than protective pigeon armor. Yick.
Jim: Someone needs to give Lee a happy pill.
Gwen: While I’ve enjoyed Gail’s work on Wonder Woman there’s something still a bit off about the series for me. Maybe I just find it easier to relate to Batman – and even Superman – than Wonder Woman. Also, her current relationship seems forced – it’s like Tom’s her pet or something.

DC COMICS CLASSICS LIBRARY: BATMAN — THE ANNUALS HC Written by Bill Finger, Edmond Hamilton and others Art by Lew Sayre Schwartz, Dick Sprang and others Composite cover by Curt Swan and othersSome of the greatest Batman tales ever are collected in this new hardcover! Reprinting the classic BATMAN ANNUALs #1-3 from 1961 and 1962, this can’t-miss collection reveals the secrets of the Batcave, the Bat-Signal and more!Advance-solicited; on sale April 22 • 256 pg, FC, $39.99 US

Jim: This is an interesting choice for the new DC Classics hard cover line, I mean I’m getting it, but this is some pretty dated material and with all that is out there to be printed and collected this would not have been one of my top choices.
Lee: I can’t believe they picked this at all. I can think of at least half a dozen things I would like to see before this. Giffen Legion, Ditko Creeper, best of Kubert War stories, Best of 50’s westerns with art by Kane, Infantino, Toth… I can think of lots and lots of things before this.
Gwen: Most annuals aren’t all that great. If they want to collect some cool annuals they should take some of the old Legion/Legionnaires ones.

ABSOLUTE SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW HC Written by Brian Azzarello Art by Jim Lee & Scott Williams Cover by Jim LeeFrom Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS) and artists Jim Lee and Scott Williams (BATMAN: HUSH) comes this oversized, slipcased volume collecting the entire 12-issue "For Tomorrow" epic originally presented in SUPERMAN #204-215!A cataclysmic event has struck the Earth. Millions of people have vanished without a trace. No one is left unaffected — not even Superman! Now, the Man of Steel must face the mystery of how millions of people vanished without a trace, only to find that he may be responsible. But the solution leads to a royal rumble with Wonder Woman! And after a battle with the deadly Equus, Superman comes face-to-face with the villain who has been responsible for turning his life upside-down!Featuring an introduction by Azzarello, an afterward and sketch section by Lee and a newly illustrated 2-page origin of Superman by Lee & Williams!Advance-solicited; on sale April 29 • 340 pg, FC, 8.25” x 12.5”, $75.00 US

Jim: You have got to be kidding me! This is getting the Absolute treatment and getting it before All Star Superman. Easy pass for me (until someone sells it for 50% off).
Lee: You’re far to kind. I need 75% before I nibble.
Gwen: Ugh, this was a terrible story – why would you get it at all?

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: AMBUSH BUG VOL. 1 TP Written by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming, Paul Kupperbergand Paul Levitz Art by Keith Giffen, Robert Oksner, Carmine Infantino, and others Cover by Keith Giffen & Bob OksnerCollecting DC COMICS PRESENTS #52, 59 and 81, SUPERGÎRL #16 (1984), stories from SECRET ORIGINS #48, ACTION COMICS #560, 563 and 565, AMBUSH BUG #1-4, SON OF AMBUSH BUG #1-6, AMBUSH BUG STOCKING STUFFER #1 and AMBUSH BUG NOTHING SPECIAL #1 — whew!Advance-solicited; on sale March 25 • 480 pg, B&W, $16.99 US

Jim: This stuff was much funnier then the mini-series currently being published.
Lee: The early stuff was funnier. The later stuff was like the recent mini-series… which is why it was cancelled. Another “interesting” choice by DC.
Gwen: I never read the earlier Ambush Bug stuff. I’m not to thrilled by the current run either.

BANG! TANGO #1 Written by Joe Kelly Art by Adrian Sibar & Rodney Ramos Cover by Howard ChaykinA passionate ex-gangster tries to make good in his second life as a tango dancer in this new 6-issue miniseries from writer Joe Kelly (JLA, ACTION COMICS) and artist Adrian Sibar (BATGIRL). But his world is thrown out-of-step when an old flame tracks him down, bringing with her the violence of his old life as well as the smoldering sexual conflict that drove them apart. She’s sultry, vivacious and irresistible – she’s the girl of his dreams...but she’s carrying one dangerous, little flaw.On sale February 4 • 1 of 6 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

Jim: If it wasn’t for Joe Kelly doing some great work with “I Kill Giants” and “Four Eyes” I would have probably skipped this one, but it has potential.
Lee: Waitin’ for the trade.
Gwen: Yay! More Joe Kelly!

100% HC Written by Paul Pope Art and cover by Paul Pope The edgy, groundbreaking epic from visionary Eisner Award winning creator Paul Pope is now available in hardcover! Collecting all five issues of the hard-hitting miniseries that takes a peek inside a cyberpunk vision of the year 2038 through the lives of six different people, this new volume includes a host of sketches, designs and other never-before-scene material from Pope.Advance solicited; on sale April 15 • 256 pg, B&W, $39.99 US • MATURE READERS

Lee: I really like Pope's art and his stories are always... interesting to say the least. I didn't get 100% when it first came out so I'll get this instead. Great stories in a very strong Vertigo vein.
Jim: Paul Pope is an acquired taste, but once you do you can appreciate what he does. I enjoyed his Batman from a year or so ago.
Gwen: I have no idea what this is.

TRANSMETROPOLITAN VOL. 1: BACK ON THE STREET TP Written by Warren Ellis Art by Darick Robertson, Jerome K. Moore, Keith Aiken, Ray Kryssing, Dick Giordano, Kim DeMulder and Rodney Ramos Cover by Darick RobertsonDC’s new editions of TRANSMETROPOLITAN begin here, with this volume collecting issues #1-6 of the acclaimed Vertigo series from writer Warren Ellis and artist Darick Robertson! After years of selfimposed exile from a civilization rife with degradation and indecency, cynical journalist Spider Jerusalem is forced to return to a job he hates and a city he loathes. Working as an investigative reporter for the newspaper The Word, Spider attacks the injustices of his surreal 23rd century surroundings.In this first volume, Spider ventures into the dangerous Angels 8 district, home of the Transients — humans who have decided to become aliens through cosmetic surgery. But Spider's interview with the Transients' leader gets him a scoop he didn't bargain for. And don’t miss Spider’s first confrontation with the President of the United States . . . in a men's room.Advance-solicited; on sale March 11 • 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US • MATURE READERS

Lee: I DON’T WANT A NEW TPB!!!!!! I WANT A NEW HC!!!!! This is better than 1960 Batman Annuals!!!!!
Jim: Agreed.
Gwen: I’ve never had the chance to read this stuff but I may have to go pick up a copy. So many people have told me how much they enjoyed this series.

100 BULLETS #100 Written by Brian Azzarello Art by Eduardo Risso Cover by Dave Johnson This is it. Nearly a decade in the making, the Eisner Award-winning, critically acclaimed series comes to its inevitably blood-soaked end. What final fate do agent Graves and the rest of the cast face? Who will be left standing when the gun smoke clears? Find out in the epic, final issue of the series Playboy magazine called “a meditation on money, power and morality...for our money, the best current ongoing series.”FINAL ISSUE • On sale February 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

Jim: Pretty damn cool that this book made it to its conclusion. 100 issues is a hell of a job for any comic. I wish more Vertigo series were proposed as fifty or forty issue stories as opposed to trying to make them unlimited series.
Lee: Just in case you weren’t sure… NOT A JUMPING ON POINT!
Gwen: I agree, many Vertigo books would work better if they had a set ending.

SUPERMAN MINI NEON SIGN Decorate your home or store with this exciting, affordable neon sign featuring Superman’s classic S-shield logo! The adjustable base unit can sit on a tabletop or be mounted to a wall.Powered by a plug-in UL-adapter, the sign itself measures approximately 12" wide x 9" high and has a base measuring approximately 5.5” in diameter. Packaged in a 4-color box.Advance-solicited; on sale July 29, 2009 * Neon Sign * $89.99 US

Lee: MORE NEON SIGNS!! Gwen, you’re the tie breaker.
Gwen: I’m telling you – by next Christmas we’ll be selling these at Spencers for $29.99. This pricing is outrageous.

THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE SERIES 2 ACTION FIGURES BASED ON THE ART OF GEORGE PÉREZ Includes:Creeper • 6.75” hAquaman • 6.75” hThe Flash • 6.75” hBlack Lightning • 6.75” hThe exciting new action figure line continues! DC Direct presents figures to add to the ongoing line that spans the history of the DC Universe, as presented by artist George Pérez in the classic book THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE!Planned to include more characters than any DC Direct line ever, THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE will help fulfill the requests for many fan favorite characters.Each figure features multiple points of articulation and a base.4-color clamshell blister card packaging.Advance-solicited; on sale July 15, 2009 * Action Figures * PI

Jim: Shoot, I may have to buy the Creeper figure, so that means which one gets shipped to Gwen, hmmm…
Lee: The Creeper is a good looking figure but it’s not translating from the page to figure. I’m not sure if I’ll get this one. But the BL fro is cool!
Gwen: AHHHH! I have no more room! There is only room for Legion action figures and the supercat stuffed animal!

CATWOMAN VS. BATGIRL STATUE DESIGNED BY MATT HALEY SCULPTED BY ANDY BERGHOLTZ Gotham City’s female foes do battle in a CLASSIC CONFRONTATIONS statue!The latest addition to this line of statues sculpted by some of DC Direct’s premier talent features Batgirl confronting Catwoman as the feline fatale attempts to pull a bank heist. In a unique twist, not only does each figure’s cape suspend her in mid-air, but the capes act as bases on which the figures stand. Packaged as three separate pieces (Batgirl, Catwoman and the bank vault over which they are fighting), the statue can be set up in a variety of configurations. The Catwoman Vs. Batgirl Statue is limited-edition, hand-painted and cold-cast in porcelain. It measures approximately 8” high x 11” wide x 5” deep, includes a 4-color Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in a 4-color box. Manufactured to order.Advanced-solicited; on sale July 29, 2009 * Statue * $225 US

Jim: This looks like one of the breast….err best statues DC has done.
Lee: It looks like they are floating, the girls, not their balloons. Uuuumm, I mean natural assets.
Gwen: Why does Batgirl look like she’s rolling her eyes? They should add a thought balloon: “Does she really thing anyone believes those are real?” They can both be thinking it!

Jim: An interesting month for DC and we are starting to see them set the stage for 2009 and beyond. This month has a lot of decent stuff and interesting changes to look forward to.
Lee: I’m glad you liked it. I think it’s a waste of a month.
Gwen: I want my favorite books back – LoSH, Manhunter, Blue Beetle… if the cancel Madame Xanadu I quit =/

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