Sunday, February 24, 2008

DC Preview Review for May

Jim: DC is starting Final Crisis. Now I have event burn out, but I have to say that Grant Morrison and JG Jones is one heck of a team for this book. Also DC has stated that this will be relatively self-contained, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other comics will have their own storylines and Final Crisis will not permeate the entire line of books, which makes me happy.
Lee: Yeah, yeah, yeah. All I want to point out is Jim tried to skimp on selections this month. “It’s getting too long” boo hoo boo hoo. I fixed that… lots and lots to talk about this month.
Gwen: I will rejoice when Final Crisis is over, but beyond that there looks to be some neat stuff this month.

DC UNIVERSE: ZERO Written by Grant Morrison & Geoff JohnsArt by George PĂ©rez, Tony Daniel,J.G. Jones, Aaron Lopresti, Ivan Reis, Philip Tan and Carlos PachecoCover by variousThis is it! The greatest DC characters! Your favorite writers and artists! Everything leading to Final Crisis and beyond starts here for just 50¢! Take a journey through the past and present of the DCU, and witness the emergence of the greatest evil in the universe - and the stunning return of a force for good! You dare not miss DC Universe: Zero!Retro-solicited; on sale April 30 o 32 pg, FC, $0.50 US
Jim: What makes this book worth it is the price point. Two top writers and top artistic talent for 50 cents. Bravo DC!
Lee: I like the fact that it’s “retro-solicited”!!!
Gwen: I agree with Jim, nice idea making this 50 cents.

FINAL CRISIS #1 Written by Grant MorrisonArt and covers by J.G. JonesWitness the historic start of the final chapter in the Crisis trilogy that could only spring from the mind of Grant Morrison - Final Crisis, featuring stunning art by J.G. Jones (52 Covers)! Worlds will live and heroes will die in this epic tale spanning the beginning and end of the DC Universe!The entire Multiverse is threatened as the mysterious Libra assembles an army of the DCU's most terrifying super villains. But what is the ultimate plan, and who will live to find out?On sale May 28 o 1 of 7 o 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: I want to say I will pass on this and I’m done with mega-events, but I would be lying. Grant Morrison and JG Jones and I’m there. Next I was going to rant about the $4 price point and saw it is 40 pages long. Cool!
Lee: I’m glad your buying it but I’ll still pass. I don’t think they’ll get it out in a timely manner and it will read better in trade anyway. Pass pass pass.
Gwen: Honestly I'll be relieved when final crisis is over - and I hope it really is the final one.

THE HUNTRESS: YEAR ONE #1 & 2 Written by Ivory MadisonArt by Cliff Richards and Art ThibertCover by Matthew ClarkAs the last survivor of a family eliminated by bloody rivalries among the mobs of Gotham, young Helena Bertinelli was sent overseas for her own safety - but began a quest for vengeance instead. Breakout writer Ivory Madison teams with Cliff Richards (WONDER WOMAN) for a continent-spanning story that reveals one woman's journey from hunted to Huntress!And in issue #2, shipping two weeks later, Helena Bertinelli's vow never to return to Gotham is tested by her vigilante fight to reclaim her inheritance from the Sicilian underworld - and by her unexpected feelings for the son of a Gotham kingpin!Issue # 1 on sale May 14, issue #2 on sale May 281 and 2 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: These re-telling of characters I know well are total passes for me. Even I limit myself and going over old ground is not an enticement. I want to know who is Ivory Madison and where did she breakout from?
Lee: Wasn’t this just done a couple of years ago in Batman:Huntress by Greg Rucka? And, according to continuity, didn’t she return to Gotham when she was 15-16? Which really makes this really unbelievable. Again, I shall wait for the reviews before committing.
Gwen: I miss the Huntress that was Batman's daughter... I kind of liked her better. I'm also not a fan of the hot-pants. Still - I like Helena in Birds of Prey.

RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR #1 Written by Jim Starlin Art and variant cover by Ron Lim & Rob HunterCover by Starlin & HunterAfter a seemingly endless war, things are getting even worse for the planets of Rann and Thanagar. A long-forgotten religious cult has resurfaced on Thanagar, and the people of Rann still worship the deadly Lady Styx. To make matters worse, a fanatic strapped with explosives threatens to upset the delicate balance between the two planets, setting in motion events that will once again bring together DC's greatest cosmic heroes: Adam Strange, Comet, Starfire, Hawkman, Starman, Chief Justice Max, Tigorr, the Weird and many more!Written by the legendary Jim Starlin (Death of the New Gods, Infinity War) with art by Ron Lim (Silver Surfer) and Rob Hunter (Teen Titans), Rann/Thanagar: Holy War is an interstellar adventure that can't be missed!On sale May 7 o 1 of 8 o 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US
Jim: Very tired and Rann/Thanagar, but also very happy with Jim Starlin’s work at DC as of late. I’m trying issue #1, but that maybe it.
Lee: Didn’t care about Rann/Thanagar the first time and don’t care about it this time. But if anyone can make it work, it’s Starlin. Should be interesting no matter what.
Gwen: Bad subject, good writer. We'll see.

THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT #1 Written by Bruce JonesArt by Al Barrionuevo & Jimmy PalmiottiCover by Neal AdamsA lone USAF pilot, about to warn his superiors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, finds his craft suddenly crash-landing on a mysterious island populated with prehistoric creatures and soldiers of wars of the past, present and future - including Tomahawk, Firehair, and Hans Von Hammer, the Enemy Ace! What bizarre force has compelled these military masters of every era to inhabit the same strange territory? Can they survive without killing each other or being devoured by dinosaurs?Don't miss this incredible miniseries by the team of writer Bruce Jones (Hulk) artists Al Barrionuevo (DETECTIVE COMICS) & Jimmy Palmiotti and legendary cover artist Neal Adams (BATMAN)!On sale May 7 o 1 of 8 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: Obscure old series material is a plus and this should be more down Bruce Jones alley then some other stuff he has done. So I’m saying yes to this one also.
Lee: I agree. I love the obscure characters and Jones has a knack for incorporating weirdness in his stories. It should be fun.
Gwen: While this looks interesting it also doesn't look like a genre I normally enjoy.

DC SPECIAL: CYBORG #1 Written by Mark SableArt by Ken Lashley & Jonathan GlapionCover by LashleyIs Vic Stone - a.k.a. CYBORG - man, machine or monster?What dark secrets from his past are coming back to haunt him? And just how far will he go to prevent anyone else from suffering his fate? Find out the answer to these questions and more when - for the first time ever, the greatest Teen Titan of them all shines in his own series!On sale May 21 o 1 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: Nah. I know it is not an origin, but way too many mini-series from DC and do I really care that much about Cyborg? The answer is no I don’t.
Lee: I agree. This reeks of market saturation for the sake of market saturation.
Gwen: I was always okay with Cyborg, but he works well as a sideline character - I don't see him headlining his own miniseries very successfully.

TOR #1 Written by Joe KubertArt and cover by KubertDriven into exile by his own people, a young Tor struggles to survive alone in a perilous prehistoric world. But beyond mere existence, Tor struggles for answers to the questions that have plaqued humankind for eons - why are we here? Is violence the only answer? is there more to life than suffering and survival?His quest will take him deep inside a mysterious mountain - a dark land filled with strange peoples, evolving animals, and death at every turn. And while Tor must fight these battles alone, he will find some new friends along the way -- all the time coming a step closer to what it means to be truly human.On sale May 7 o 1 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: So we have Joe Kubert, JOE KUBERT, doing another character he is justifiably famous for and I’m sold. I’m buying the mini-series and probably the hard cover later one. Joe Kubert still draws better then most artist even as he has gotten a tad older. As I get older, how I define being old gets older, so Joe is actually still in his prime.
Lee: Since I can’t afford both, I’ll wait for the HC. Kubert’s art makes it all worth it.
Gwen: This looks like a lot of fun. It's hard to have dinosaurs in a comic book without it being at least worth a try.

BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT #1 Written by Steve NilesArt and cover by Kelley Jones"There are things that go 'bump' in the night. Be thankful that one of those things is on our side…"When the full moon rises and casts its eerie glow over the land, the creatures of the night come out to hunt and feast and prey on the innocent citizens of Gotham City, and only one man stands in their way: The Batman.These are the bizarre and frightening case files of the Dark Knight Detective, featuring grave-robbers, men making monsters, night terrors, and the debut of an all-new moonlight monster known only as Midnight.In this fatal first issue by the creative team of Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, SIMON DARK) and Kelley Jones (BATMAN: RED RAIN), Batman will come face-to-face with the Master of Fear himself - but just what is the Scarecrow after? And what does it have to do with the Axeman? Could it be some elaborate scheme to trap the Bat? Be here at the beginning - and beware!On sale May 28 o 1 of 12 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: Damn, Steve Niles is everywhere, he is like Iron Man in Marvel comics. Steve Niles and Kelly Jones with supernatural creatures and Batman, a no-brainer.
Lee: I have to say, you either love Jones’s Batman with the superlong ears and massive cap or you don’t. I happen to love it so I look forward to this.
Gwen: I'm not a huge fan of long eared Batman, sorry Lee. However this looks interesting, especially with Steve Niles on board.

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #48 Written by Michael Green & Mike JohnsonArt and cover by Shane Davis & Matt "Batt" BanningThe penultimate chapter of "K" presents Superman vs. AAB (The All-American Boy) in a no-holds-barred fight through Smallville! Only Heroes scribe Michael Green and his writing partner, Mike Johnson, could create the AAB - a supersoldier with Doomsday's DNA that's infused with Kryptonite! Can Batman help the Man of Steel defeat AAB, or will we witness "The Death of Superman" all over again?On sale May 21 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US Lee: I have to say that as a character, Doomsday has run his course. Whatever interest I’ve had for him has long since waned. AND, adding kryptonite to his blood. Ugh! This just sounds stupid.
Jim: So this is what I missed? I wouldn't call it missing.
Gwen: This book has really gone down the drain.

DC UNIVERSE SPECIAL - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Written by Len Wein and Gerry ConwayArt by Dick Dillin & Dick GiordanoCover by Ryan SookDon't miss this 80-page volume of classic stories that ties in with characters from FINAL CRISIS - including the first appearence of Libra - from the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #111 (1974) and #166-168 (1979)!On sale May 7 o 80 pg, FC, $4.99 US
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #21 Written by Dwayne McDuffieArt and cover by Carlos Pacheco & Jesus MerineMeet Libra and the Human Flame, two central villains in the upcoming FINAL CRISIS! Where'd the Human Flame come from, and who does he hate more than anything in the universe? As Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman assess the future of the Justice League, their days may be numbered.On sale May 21 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Lee: Its official, the big two have run out of ideas. The Human Flame and Libra are major villains????? Are you kidding me??? Libra has appeared in a total of FOUR issues in 30+ years. In fact, he’s so obscure they need to reprint his appearances because no one (not even Jim) remembers who he is. I just can’t believe that Human Torch… I mean Human Flame and Libra are central to the Final Crisis.
Jim: Normally I might agree with Lee, but Morrison (who I beleive is behind the revamnp) is very good at taking something obscure and re-tooling it into some bright and shiny and new. I will withhold judgement.
Gwen: I have no idea who either of these villains are =/

JONAH HEX #31 Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin GrayArt by Paulo Siqueira & Amilton SantosCover by Richard Corben
Lee: Yes, we all know that Hex is horribly disfigured but it’s always been white-washed. From DeZunga back in the day to the current series, he’s scarred but it’s not that bad. BUT this cover from Corben does it justice. Only Corben could make a scar look as horrible as it probably is. Fantastic artwork!
Jim: Now this is an add I can agree with. Corben has captured the disfigurement of Hex in an unapologetic way. This is a face that would cause people to steer clear of him.
Gwen: I have nothing to say since I've never read this book.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL VOL. 2 HC Written by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and John OstranderArt by Kevin Maguire, Bill Willingham, Luke McDonnell, Al Gordon, Bob Lewis and othersCover by MaguireThe second hardcover volume collecting the classic JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL comics of the late 1980s, co-written by 52 mastermind Keith Giffen! Included here are JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1, JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #8-13, SUICIDE SQUAD #13, featuring Batman, Blue Beetle, Martian Manhunter, Guy Gardner, Black Canary, Mister Miracle, Dr. Fate, Booster Gold, Doctor Light, and the power of Shazam!Rediscover the book that redefined the term "super-hero team" for a generation.Advance-solicited; on sale August 6 o 208 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Lee: I can’t believe you didn’t pick this!!! Everyone needs this book on their shelf because it is sooooo much fun.
Jim: I picked the first one, so I skipped repeating ourselves. But it is fun.
Gwen: This is still some of my favorite reading material.

THE LOST BOYS: REIGN OF FROGS #1 Written by Hans RodionoffArt by Joel Gomez & Don HoCover by Jonathan WayshakBefore Buffy…before Blade…there was one name that was whispered in fear and awe among the undead: The Frog Brothers. Edgar and Alan Frog, the no-nonsense vampire slayers from the cult film The Lost Boys, are back with a vengeance in a 4-issue miniseries that bridges the gap between their adventures in the original film and the upcoming feature THE LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE, due to be released this summer. Find out what's happened since the first film, brought to you in various shades of crimson by Hans Rodionoff (Mnemovore) and Joel Gomez (Wetworks)!On sale May 14 o 1 of 4 o 32 pg, FC, $3.50 US o MATURE READERS
Lee: Having grown up watching Lost Boys… in the theatre… in endless reruns… on VHS… on DVD. I can say that I wasn’t looking for a book about the Frog boys. Oh well, I’m sure there’s a market out there somewhere.
Jim: I have no clue who they are and could care less.
Gwen: Considering how fast we (Spencer's) sold out of Lost Boys action figures a few months ago, I'm absolutely sure there's a market for this.

CASEY BLUE: BEYOND TOMORROW #1 Written by B. Clay MooreArt and cover by Carlo Barberi & Drew GeraciFrom the creative genius of B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick, JSA) and Carlo Barberi (Gen13) comes a dangerous, thrilling action-packed adventure in which a young woman rapidly comes to terms with her strange, incredible new life!Casey Blue is an average high school senior - she studies hard with an eye toward college, enjoys extracurricular sports, and likes spending time with friends and family...until the moment she savagely murders a stranger with her bare hands, leading to revelations about her role in preventing a full-scale invasion of earth! The only problem? She has no idea she's humanity's salvation!On sale May 21 o 1 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: This is a nice little surprise. Good premise and a very good artist and a writer whom I know from 76 at Image. Sounds like fun.
Lee: Sounds fine enough. Not sure I want to pick up another miniseries at this point but that’s just me.
Gwen: .......... Except for the full-scale invasion of Earth part this sounds eerily familiar to me. Oh well.

ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE BOOK ONE HC Written by Kurt BusiekArt by Brent AndersonCover by Alex RossCollecting the first eight chapters of the 16-part "Dark Age" saga, revealing the history of Astro City and shedding light on some of its greatest heroes! Book One, taking place in the early 1970s, follows two brothers - with one becoming a hero and another taking a far different path. Along the way, the long-standing secret tale of the Silver Agent and his fate is told at last, as the story shifts back to the 1950s and what made the Williams brothers turn out so differently.Advance-solicited; on sale July 16 o 256 pg, FC, $29.99 US
Lee: The Astro City HC’s. I love these. Astro City has been so good for so long that people just take it for granted. I really look forward to this.
Jim: Astro City is one of those books that I never care when they come out, I’m just happy to see it. It is probably better to pick this up as a hard cover or paperback collection.
Gwen: So much love for Astro City. What great stories.

HOUSE OF MYSTERY #1 Written by Matthew Sturges & Bill WillinghamArt by Luca RossiCover by Sam WeberVariant cover by Bernie WrightsonMatthew Sturges, writer of the Eisner-nominated JACK OF FABLES, and his JACK co-writer Bill Willingham, proudly unlock the doors to the HOUSE OF MYSTERY, a new ongoing series that reinvents a classic DC Comics concept. HOUSE OF MYSTERY focuses on five characters trapped in a supernatural bar, trying to solve the mystery of how and why they're imprisoned there. Each one has a terrible past they'd like to forget, and with no books, newspapers or TV allowed in the House, they face an eternity of boredom. But stories become the new currency, and fortunately, the House attracts only the finest storytellers.In addition to the ongoing trials and struggles of the five unfortunate souls trapped within the HOUSE OF MYSTERY, illustrated by superstar artist Luca Rossi, each issue in the first storyline also includes a short tale, as told by one of the customers, written by Willingham and illustrated by a host of fine guest artists, including two-time Eisner Award nominee Ross Campbell (WATERBABY, Wet Moon), SANDMAN fan favorite and multiple Eisner winner Jill Thompson, and classic horror artist Bernie Wrightson, whose first published work was in House of Mystery #179. This series is topped off with ethereal, jaw-dropping covers from Sam Weber (The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time Magazine)and a stunning variant cover by Wrightson on the debut issue."This is a book where you can have a pirate, a psychic detective, a spaceman, a French romantic poet and an NYU film student sitting at a table having a beer together. It's a writer's dream come true." - Matthew Sturges"Let's be perfectly clear: There isn't just one mystery in the new House of Mystery. It's actually chock-full of mysteries, all of which will be thrilling and exciting as they unfold over the course of the series." - Bill WillinghamOn sale May 7 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US o MATURE READERS
Jim: The award for the longest hype write up goes to…may I have the envelope please: House of Mystery (applause). Whoa, this is way too long of a premise and I want to buy it after reading the creators and the first paragraph. I also would not mind getting the variant cover by Bernie Wrightson.
Lee: That is an awful lot of hype. It sounds like the old Flinch series with more continuity. It should be good based upon the authors alone.
Gwen: oooooo, shiny!

DEMO TP Written by Brian WoodArt and cover by Becky CloonanThe Eisner-nominated and critically acclaimed series of self-contained short stories by writer Brian Wood (DMZ, NORTHLANDERS) and artist Becky Cloonan (AMERICAN VIRGIN) arrives in a new edition. Twelve stories of conflicted teens grappling with love, loss, and the joy of finding your own way in life make DEMO a graphic novel not to be missed."More human than mainstream comics dare to be." - Variety"Touching…breathes with a sense of space and life rarely seen." - Entertainment Weekly"The fantastic throws the routine into relief." - The Village Voice"Lacking recurring characters, DEMO altogether is less reminiscent of other comics series than of a thematic rather than continuous-narrative novel, such as John Horne Burns' The Gallery (1947). High praise, maybe, but deserving." - Booklist, starredAdvance-solicited; on sale June 25328 pg, B&W, $19.99 US o MATURE READERS
Lee: (1) Brian Wood is a fantastic storyteller. (2) This was well received even if it tended to run late. (3) 300 pages for $20. You really, really can’t go wrong with that.
Jim: Never heard anything but praise about this series.
Gwen: Honestly, I could care less. I can only read so much.

JLA TROPHY ROOM: Superman's Cape and Belt Prop Replica Set
The JLA Trophy Room prop replica program continues for 2008 with Superman's Cape and Belt! These life-sized, high-quality, mixed-media replicas of two of the most important pieces of Superman's costume each feature authentic secret compartments! The lined, red fabric cape features the S-shield sewn meticulously onto the back, while a hidden pocket is sewn into the lining of the cape for Superman to quickly stash any of Clark Kent's personal effects! The accompanying faux-leather yellow belt fastens with a metal buckle that opens to reveal another secret compartment. Both pieces of this prop replica set can be displayed from the metal wall display shelf included, with the cape hanging from the bottom and the belt sitting on top. Packaged together in an 4-color box, the cape measures approximately 56" long, 53" wide at the bottom and 20" wide at the top, the belt measures 36" long, and the display shelf measures approximately 22" long x 3.25" high x 5.25" deep. Also included are a Certificate of Authenticity and a "Guide to the Trophy Room" brochure, written by best-selling author Brad Meltzer! Minor assembly is required. Advance-solicited; on sale October 1, 2008" Prop Replica * $295 US
Jim: well who does not want one of these? When I wear this into work I will be the envy of everyone. Oh yeah, the chicks will think I’m hot and the guys will be green with jealousy. They will be saying who is the ultra-cool ice cold guy in the cape!
Lee: Of course, the guys might think you’re hot and the chicks will be jealous! Ever think of it that way? The real question… do you have the spandex to go with it???
Gwen: Heck with this, I want Batman's utility belt WITH all his cool stuff in it. The only cool thing about Superman's cape is the fact that it can protect you from the ravages of space and time. Because we all know that without Superboy's cape Lana could have never become an honorary member of the LoSH.

AME-COMI: ZATANNA PVC FIGURE DESIGNED BY UDON STUDIOS EKOMS RAEPPA!!DC's mystical magician casts a spell on the world of Ame-Comi as she becomes the latest addition to this stellar line!The ZATANNA PVC statue is a limited-edition, hand-painted piece in 9" scale. This non-articulated plastic display figure comes with a base, is packaged in a 4-color window box with J-hook and is manufactured to order. MAZAKALA!Advance-solicited; on sale October 15, 2008 * Statue * $49.99 US
AME-COMI: DONNA TROY PVC FIGUREDESIGNED BY DUSTIN NGUYENWonder Woman's magical doppelganger sibling joins the Ame-Comi sisterhood, in all her cosmic beauty! The DONNA TROY PVC statue is a limited-edition, hand-painted piece in 9" scale. This non-articulated plastic display figure comes with a base, is packaged in a 4-color window box with J-hook and is manufactured to order.Advance-solicited; on sale October 15, 2008Statue * $49.99 US
Jim: It is the same chick for every statue just in different clothes. Who is buying these?
Lee: OH OH I gotta have one!!! Uuummm, I mean. YEAH!!! Who’s buying these???? Weirdo’s! That’s who!
Gwen: Actually this one is neat looking. But I still wouldn't buy it.

Jim: All in all this is a better month then DC has had in awhile as far as new projects go. I do worry that that glut of mini-series drains too much of their talent pool and they would be better served trying to make the ongoing series even better instead of commissioning Cyborg and Huntress mini-series.
Lee: Actually, it was a really fun month from DC. It generated a lot more interest than the last six have and that’s a good thing.
Gwen: Decent month from DC, I'm excited about the House of Mystery.

1 comment:

  1. DEMO was fantastic and I highly recommend it to everyone.

    It's what the show HEROES should have been like.

    It's like UNBREAKABLE. Ordinary people with POWERS they might not have realized they had.

    Very, very good.