Friday, January 16, 2009

DC Preview Review for March

Jim: I have to admit that I have been a little jaded with comics lately and while there are plenty of books and projects that I enjoy, way too many have become a little stale. Of course with as much as I read that burn out factor will occur. Let’s see if DC can generate any excitement this month.
Lee: You’re only getting jaded??? I’ve been jaded for months now. So, let’s see what I can complain about this month.
Gwen: While I do get fed up with certain comics I don't feel that I'm jaded. Of course I cried watching A Christmas Carol last night so I guess I'm a softie. Then again I was crying because the spirits were mean to Scrooge but being that Scrooge was played by Patrick Stewart my sympathies may have been skewed.

FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS #5 (of 5) Written by Geoff JohnsArt by George Pérez & Scott Koblish Covers by George PérezThis is it! The time-stopping finale to this FINAL CRISIS tie-in arrives as Superman, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl battle Time Trapper while Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains engage in an all-out war with the Legions! Leading into the all-new ADVENTURE COMICS #1!On sale March 25 • 5 of 5 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Jim: Well this is a good start since I’m a die hard Legion fan and this not only wraps up this Legion story, but talks about the start of yet another new LOSH series. On one hand, here we go again, but on the other hand I always hope for the best with characters I love.
Lee: How hard is it to get a LOSH series right? This is the 40 or 50th new series they’ve had. Maybe they should just go the Hellboy route and do continuing mini-series. It’s gotta be better than the constant re-boot.
Gwen: Actually Lee's idea about the multiple mini series isn't bad. It would allow them to do all sorts of Legion stories without worring too much about continuity. I mean, even with the Hellboy stuff the story advances - just slowly. Either way, I still pretty excited about this.

BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #1Written by Tony Daniel Art by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea Covers by Tony Daniel"Batman: R.I.P." and FINAL CRISIS saw the end of Batman. Now, months following the disappearance of her protector, Gotham City sits at a precipice and it may be too far gone for Nightwing, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and the rest of the city’s heroes to save the day. Amid the fires, rioting, looting and gang warfare, one question rings out from the souls of Gotham’s desperate citizens: Where is Batman? With guest-stars galore, the destruction of a sacred Gotham City institution and an ending that will have everyone talking, this 3-issue miniseries event written and drawn by Tony Daniel (The Tenth) features the battle to take on the Mantle of the Bat. Who has earned the right? Who thinks they deserve it? Robin? Nightwing? Jason Todd? Two-Face? Catwoman? Batgirl? Who will ultimately win the BATTLE FOR THE COWL?On sale March 11 • 1 of 3 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL – COMMISSIONER GORDON #1 Written by Royal McGraw Art by Tom Mandrake Cover by LadrönnGotham City is in a state of emergency. Crime runs rampant, commerce is at a standstill, and gang warfare is on the rise. Through its darkest hours, one man has stood firm against the criminal element in Gotham – Police Commissioner James Gordon. Now, in the aftermath of “Batman: R.I.P.,” Gordon and the GCPD will have to reclaim Gotham and take down Mister Freeze without the assistance of Batman. But with evil on the rise, will this be the beginning of the end of law enforcement in Gotham City? The battle has just begun in this all-new one-shot.On sale March 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

GOTHAM GAZETTE: BATMAN DEAD? #1Written by Fabian Nicieza Art by various Cover by Dustin Nguyen A city looking to kill itself. A population without its dark avenger, without answers, without hope. A cop looking to save Gotham from its own madness. A reporter looking to reclaim her career by revealing that it's no coincidence the city's top billionaire and its urban legend are missing at the same time. A doctor seeking to regain her soul by stepping back into Hell. One hero who can't quite get it right no matter how hard she tries. Harvey Bullock. Vicki Vale. Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Stephanie Brown. What do all these people have in common? Without Batman, Gotham City continues to fall apart, and these extraordinary "ordinary" people try to mend the city's wounds, looking into a dark night for answers. This one-shot special explores the effect a missing Batman has on the citizens of Gotham City.On sale March 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

AZRAEL: DEATH’S DARK KNIGHT #1Written by Fabian Nicieza Art by Frazer Irving Cover by Guillem March He was a husband and a father. A brother and a friend. A cop and a dark knight. But he had all that taken away. And in return, he was given a suit of sorrows, a quest for redemption and a new name. He is Azrael, avenging angel for the Order of Purity and a new protector for Gotham City's troubled times. But who will protect the citizens from him? Guest-starring Robin, Nightwing, Talia and the League of Assassins, this miniseries runs alongside BATTLE FOR THE COWL and features the dramatic presence of a strangely familiar, troubled hero with two things on his mind: crazed vengeance for the wrongs he has suffered and salvation for the sins he continues to commit!On sale March 18 • 1 of 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

ORACLE #1Written by Kevin VanHook Art by Don Kramer and Jay Leisten Cover by Guillem MarchPart 1 of 3-part story that will change the life of Oracle forever! Barbara Gordon, after disbanding the Birds of Prey, returns to Gotham City as a recluse only to lose herself to her Oracle identity entirely. But when the evil Calculator seeks the remnants of the Anti-Life Equation to save the life of his daughter, Oracle will be caught in the crossfire, and Barbara Gordon will pay the ultimate price!On sale March 18 • 1 of 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: On one hand this sounds exciting; on the other hand it feels like an editorial mandate. Organically I don’t think there would be this grandiose battle to take over being Batman, I think that Nightwing is the natural heir to the mantle. Also Dick would only take up the mantle to hold it until Bruce is ready to return. I’m also scared that they have added Azrael into the mix as I keep trying to forget the whole Az-Bat stuff as so ludicrous as to best be buried in the past. Oh I’m sucked into buying all this stuff, but it is not making me giddy. NOW the rumor that Morrison and Quietly will be doing a series about Bruce Wayne is exciting.
Lee: I agree, this doesn’t feel organic at all. Nightwing is the natural heir and that’s that. It makes the heroes seem like greedy relatives fighting over a will. Oh well, Azreal appeals to me the most. Primarily because of Irving’s art. It’s so beautiful to look at that I’ll probably get the trade just because of that.
Gwen: UGH. Nightwing should be Batman. Not only that but why would people WANT to fight over being Batman?

SUPERMAN #686 Written by James Robinson Art by Renato Guedes & Wilson Magalháes Cover by Eddy Barrows & Julio Ferreira Following the startling events of “New Krypton” and the shocking occurrence in the Phantom Zone, Earth finds itself without its greatest protector! Luckily, Metropolis still has a few heroes, like Mon-El and the Guardian. But after years of knowing nothing but the solitude of the Phantom Zone, how will Mon-El acclimate himself to society? And the recently returned Guardian has his hands full with his new position in the Science Police. How can they fill Superman’s shoes? They’d better figure it out fast, because dangerous mysteries abound which will carry all the way into 2010!The highly acclaimed writer-artist team of James Robinson and Renato Guedes continue their run on SUPERMAN with or without The Man of Steel!On sale March 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: So you are told you are going to be the writer on Superman and you have some great ideas for the character, but wait, we are taking Superman out of his own book. I mean that has to suck. Of course Mon-el back in action is cool.
Lee: Actually, it’s not that bad. Robinson will get to do Superman stories with a character that has Superman powers. This is no different than Alan Moore’s Supreme. It was, for all intents, Superman. If anything, it frees Robinson up to do even more with the concept than he might have been able to do.
Gwen: YAY! Mon'el! I am so excited about this. I think they might want to use the name Valor again - it was a pretty good superhero name.

SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #1Written by Andrew Kreisberg Art by Pete Woods Cover by Gary Frank Variant cover by LadrönnFollowing the events of the “New Krypton” crossover, the Man of Steel has had to embrace his past to ensure humanity’s future. And while a devastating armed conflict with Earth may have been averted, keeping the peace will be Superman’s greatest challenge yet.Hot new writer Andrew Kreisberg (BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL) and fan-favorite artist Pete Woods (ACTION COMICS, SUPERMAN: UP, UP AND AWAY!) lead Superman through a world of interstellar treachery and deadly machinations where the lives of two races hang in the balance!On sale March 4 • 1 of 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: Instead Superman now starts in a 12 part maxi-series by a relatively new writer to DC. This story line has great potential, let’s see what is delivered. This is another story that has the feeling of an editorial mandate about it.
Lee: This doesn’t sound interesting in the least. I would think with a maxi series you would want to attract as many *new* readers as possible. It should sound new and exciting but it really doesn’t. It sounds like more of the same old-same old. To me, it appears as a stunt to get Superman regulars to buy two issues a month (this and the regular series) instead of trying to get new readers on board.
Gwen: I'll have to wait and see on this one.

SOLOMON GRUNDY #1 Written, Art and cover by Scott Kolins Born on a Monday! Writer/artist Scott Kolins brings you the origin behind one of the most mysterious figures in DC comics! Smashing out of the pages of his “Faces of Evil” one-shot, Solomon Grundy teams with Cyrus Gold – the man he once was before becoming a monster – to uncover the truth behind the Grundy curse! But how can he team with Cyrus Gold? How was Solomon Grundy created? And can Cyrus ever be set free? There are seven issues for each day of the nursery rhyme that haunts the longtime DC favorite, and by Sunday, could this be the end of Solomon Grundy?On sale March 4 • 1 of 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Jim: Now this is an odd book to be given a green light to and have Scott Kolins trying out his hand as a writer for 7 issues also. I’m very interested to see what can be done with old Solomon.
Lee: I agree, very, very odd indeed. I can think of lots of other villains to give mini-series to before this. An Editor must have seen something special in Kolins’ script.
Gwen: I don't know, this sound pretty cool actually. As I don't know all that much about the Solomon Grundy character I find this to be intriguing.

STRANGE ADVENTURES #1 Written by Jim Starlin Art by Manuel Garcia & Al Milgrom and Jim Starlin & Rob Hunter Cover by Jim Starlin & Rob HunterVariant cover by Ed Benes & Rob HunterMaster storyteller Jim Starlin takes readers on an epic sci-fi adventure starring Adam Strange, Comet and the reverse Superman known as Bizarro. A deadly peril threatens the universe, and it’s up to Adam Strange to stop it. Meanwhile, a contract is put out for the death of Comet while Bizarro finds a new purpose in life, which leads to the beginning of a strange new journey.On sale March 4 • 1 of 8 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Jim: I love Jim Starlin and hope DC collects all of his works as he is really crafting one very long story with using the space characters and is sort of doing his Thanos storyline over again, but that is what Starlin does best.
Lee: More of Starlin doing what Starlin does best. If you liked all his other work for DC then most likely you’ll like this too.
Gwen: I've never been all that interested in Adam Strange but Starlin is a great creator.

DC COMICS CLASSICS LIBRARY: ROOTS OF THE SWAMP THING HC Written by Len Wein Art by Bernie Wrightston and Nestor Redondo Cover by Bernie Wrightston The tales that made Swamp Thing a fan-favorite are collected in hardcover for the first time! Featuring the first appearance from HOUSE OF SECRETS #92 along with SWAMP THING #1-13 and featuring moody art by legendary artist Bernie Wrightson!Advance-solicited; on sale May 27 • 320 pg, FC, $39.99 US

Jim: I have yet to see what type of format the Classics Library is, but at this point I just want to thank DC for a solid choice for a new hardcover, I mean Bernie Wrightson is a no-brainer. Of course an Absolute would have been better. This also mean a trade paperback is set free to be sent to Gwen.
Lee: CANNOT WAIT! Anyone want my trade paperback????
Gwen: Sweet, a new trade paperback.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE DOOM PATROL VOL. 1 TP Written by Arnold Drake and Bob Haney Art by Bruno Premiani and Bob Brown Cover by Bruno PremianiThe most unusual heroes of all star in this new SHOWCASE PRESENTS volume, collecting MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #80-85, DOOM PATROL #88-101 and CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN #48.Advance-solicited; on sale April 8 • 520 pg, B&W, $16.99 US

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES VOL. 3 TP Written by Jim Shooter, E. Nelson Bridwell and Otto BinderArt by Curt Swan, George Klein, Jim Mooney and Pete Costanza Cover by Curt Swan & George Klein The Legion battles the Fatal Five and is forced to expel Superboy and Supergirl in this new volume collecting stories from ADVENTURE COMICS #349-368 and SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #116.Advance-solicited; on sale April 22 • 496 pg, B&W, $16.99 US

Jim: I own all of the material in both Showcases in Archive format, so except that I will get the LOSH one for Gwen I do not even need to think about these. Still, if you never got the original Doom Patrol, this is a cheap way to check it out. It was very odd for its day and was almost a sixties Vertigo book.
Lee: This is hardcore 60’s DC. It is what you would expect it to be. If you love silverage DC then it’s good. If silverage DC makes your head hurt then stay away.
Gwen: Actually one day I plan on trying to collect all the LOSH archives for myself but until then it's still nice to have the material.

TOP 10 SPECIAL #1 Written by Zander Cannon Art by Da Xiong Cover by Gene HaAMERICA’S BEST COMICS. It’s a courtroom drama as only Top 10 can do it! Girl Two has a murder case, and her client is more than willing to plead guilty. The problem is, she’s got a feeling he didn’t commit the crime. So who – or what – is he protecting? Featuring stunning art by Chinese superstar Da Xiong.On sale March 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: Okay I’m sure Da Xiong is a good artist, but how can I verify he is a Chinese superstar?
Lee: Google like everyone else. Then find a Chinese translation program, then… OR just go to Bud’s Art Books and see some of his character designs here. Appears the man can draw! Very well!
Gwen: I've been enjoying the new Top 10 stuff so this should be fun to read.

ABSOLUTE V FOR VENDETTA HC Written by Alan Moore Art and cover by David Lloyd Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s powerful epic about loss of freedom and individuality gets the Absolute treatment for the first time in this new, oversized slipcase edition! Taking place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet, V FOR VENDETTA was the inspiration for the hit 2005 movie starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. This amazing graphic novel spotlights a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask and his young protégé as they fight political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It's a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil and details a world where political and personal freedoms are non-existent. This new edition features the improved production values and coloring from the 2005 hardcover in larger format for optimum enjoyment of the stunning art and story that the Portland Mercury called, “Perhaps Moore’s most powerful work.”Advance-solicited; on sale August 19 • 296 pg, FC, 8.25” x 12.5”, $99 US • MATURE READERS

Jim: Another Absolute I will skip. This material was decent, but I do not think worthy of this type of treatment.
Lee: This material was awesome! And easily deserves an Absolute. I won’t be getting it because I already have it in hc but it’s worth it. This is one of the books that I give to people when I talk about how comic books are more than superheroes.
Gwen: I was happy with the trade.

COVER GIRLS OF THE DC UNIVERSE - ZATANNA STATUE BASED ON THE COVERS OF ADAM HUGHES SCULPTED BY JACK MATHEWS Seductive sorceress Zatanna Zatara casts a spell on the DC Universe as she becomes the second Adam Hughes Cover Girl to appear as a stunning statue. With a pose taken directly from the cover of CATWOMAN #58, this hand-painted, cold-cast porcelain statue measures approximately 10” tall (from top of hat to bottom of base) x 4.5” wide x 4.5” deep, includes a 4-color Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in a 4-color box.Manufactured to order.Advanced-solicited; on sale August 26, 2009 * Statue * $99.99 US
WOMEN OF THE DC UNIVERSE: SUPERGIRL BUST DESIGNED BY TERRY DODSON SCULPTED BY BARSOM Terry Dodson adds his vision of Supergirl to the popular WOMEN OF THE DC UNIVERSE bust line! Kara Zor-El, the classic Supergirl, shows her strength by bending a steel bar, while perched atop a Metropolis inspired base. The base complements both the previous Supergirl bust from the Adam Hughes’ bust line, as well as the upcoming Superman bust from the new HEROES OF THE DC UNIVERSE line!This hand-painted, cold-cast porcelain bust measures approximately 5.75” high x 3.5” wide x 2.25” deep, is packaged in a 4-color box and is manufactured to order.Advance-solicited; on sale August 5, 2009 * Bust * $55 US

Jim: I want this Zatanna statue, but have sworn off buying this type of collectible.
Lee: Really? Zatanna? Personally, I think the Supergirl bust is nicer (not to mention cheaper). Oh wait, I take that back. Supergirl doesn’t have her belly button piercing in and it’s just not the same without it. I wonder if they sculpted Supergirl with a tattoo on her lower back above her thong????
Gwen: Actually the Zantanna statue is really well done. I mean, they all look like pinup girls, but they do half the time in the comic books anyway. Of course Supergirl is a 16 year old, so maybe her's is a bit much. As a side note I'm really happy they fixed Supergirl's back story!

GREEN LANTERN MINI NEON SIGN Decorate your home or store with this exciting, affordable neon sign featuring Green Lantern’s classic 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 7" wide x 9" high and has a base measuring approximately 5.5” in diameter. Packaged in a 4-color box.Advance-solicited; on sale August 12, 2009 * Neon Sign * $89.99 US

Lee: KEEP’EM COMING BABY!!! I LOVE THESE. I hope the next one is a neon power girl symbol. Two circles (BIG circles) with little, tiny neon dots in the middle.
Gwen: Lee, that's pretty funny.

Jim: Some good stuff, one hard cover and some stuff which I’m not too sure about. I’m not as unhappy, but I ain’t giddy.
Lee: It appears that I don’t care about the comics anymore but the neon signs are cool. We so need a Power Girl neon sign!
Gwen: I'm still dreading the Battle for the Cowl BS, but I am looking forward to the return of Mon'el.

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