Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DC Preview Review for September Part 1 of 11

Jim: Well for this month we are going to give our views on all 52 #1 books from DC and a few other items, since we do not want the world’s longest blog post it will be going up five books at a time and with 55 items to review that is 11 parts! Yikes! The whole crew will chime in when they feel like it. Click on links for interviews and other stuff when I found something.
Gwen: Oh good, a free for all. I'm always up for some insanity!

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:25 Variant cover by DAVID FINCH
RETROSOLICITED • On sale AUGUST 31 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes!
This spectacular debut issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of the issue.
Jim: No matter what the continuity is, it is hard to not be excited about this book. Having the big six back together on the group and Cyborg should be interesting. I also think it is odd that Cyborg was chosen to be the major star in the DCNu. Obviously added for diversity reasons and as an analogue to Iron Man, but Cyborg has never clicked with me. Black Lightning, John Stewart, Mr. Terrific or resetting Green Arrow as a black man would have been better or a flat out new character. I’m not over the top about this book as the cover is too 90’s for me and Johns has been hit or miss lately, but a book that should be DCNu’s best seller.
Gwen: I like the JLA - but honestly my all time favorite version of the JLA was the animated series - with the Blue Beetle/Booster Gold/Fire/Ice ext team following in close second. For whatever reason the JLA doesn't work well for me most of the time. I think it's because of the sheer power of the team - the only things that are "realistically" going to be a threat are threats that should be earth shattering. Strong creator team for pulling in sales initially though. Also I do like Cyborg but only from the earlier Marv Wolfman Teen Titan stuff.
Lee: DC starting the previews with this book is a wise choice. It has two of the biggest names in comics on it and appears to be returning to it's roots. My only concern, as been stated everywhere, is can Jim Lee maintain a monthly schedule? If this starts to slip, then it doesn't bode well for the line.
Matthew: The world will have had to have changed for Cyborg to be included with these "A-listers". I always liked him in the original New Teen Titans though. Maybe his inclusion is to drum up sales for the Wolfman/Perez [20 years in the making] HC or the new omnibuses. I don't really remember much of him in action, mainly just how he dealt with being mostly a machine. I would love for this to be good, but with the last relaunch still fresh and dull in my memory, it's hard to get too enthusiastic.
Thomm: A lot hatin' on Cyborg. I've always like the character. I think he'll make a good addition. He's got the chops for large scale fights.
Greg: I'm not sure if launching with JLA is the best idea. Perhaps get the new characters established and then bring them together for the big team book. It sort of embodies my problems with DC. There's a top down approach. Editorial is setting the agenda for all these characters and the creative teams have to follow their notes, as opposed to letting the creative teams run the show. Oh well, at least DC is trying to diversify their line up. The question is can Cyborg survive in the A List or is he going to become the next "Poochie."

Written by DAN JURGENS
On sale SEPTEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
With the growing presence of super beings around the world, the United Nations resolves to create a new group called Justice League International.
Batman, Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron, Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red are charged with promoting unity and trust – but can they reach that goal without killing each other first?

Jurgens talks about JLI

Jim: First off Batman is in both groups? This is another reason why Dick Grayson should have stayed as Gotham’s Batman. The art team is solid, but JLI denotes a witty book that has equal parts action and humor. Dan Jurgens’ is not that writer. I predict a slow death for this book and about an 18-24 issue run.
Gwen: Don't be silly Jim, Batman is everywhere! Anyway I'm looking more forward to this team than the main JLA. The line up is more interesting to me as far as a team dynamic is concerned. Except I still haven't gotten into Vixen as a character - I love the current Rocket Red though - he's awesome.
Lee: While the first JLA book looked great, this looks painful and unnecessary. Fire? Ice? Vixen? As a lapsed DCU reader, this does nothing to bring me back to the fold.
Matthew: I agree having Batman in both teams in dumb (Gotham must be finally under control). However, I've been following Booster Gold for over four years now and I may end up following this series. Jurgens is a good writer and he can be funny too, if need be. Who says this has to be a humor book though?
Thomm: Call me oblivious, but I haven't seen anything that says these two guys are the same Batman. What's not to say one if them is Dick Grayson? I like the presence of Fire, what with Brazil being one of the rising former third world nations, but who does Ice represent? Nordic grifters? August General interacting with Rocket Red has good humor potential, not to mention Guy Gardner. Talk about your tripartite conventions.
Greg: Ok, here's something I never thought I'd say about a book: I wish Judd Winick was writing this. Aside from drawing out Blue Beetle's death for 20 issues (ok, 3), it was one of the most fun books DC's put out in ages. That said, Jurgens is solid, if unspectacular, which automatically makes him better qualified to write than most of DC's writers. I just fear this will descend into a pleasant sort of mediocrity.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The superstar creators from BLACKEST NIGHT and BRIGHTEST DAY reunite to take AQUAMAN to amazing new depths!
Aquaman has renounced the throne of Atlantis – but the sea will not release Arthur Curry so easily.
Now, from a forgotten corner of the ocean emerges… The Trench! A broken race of creatures that should not exist, an unspeakable need driving them, The Trench will be the most talked-about new characters in the DC Universe!

Johns on Aquaman

Jim: Now if Johns can continue to make Aquaman as exciting and powerful as he was in Brightest Day and Ivan Reis is making his monthly deadline we have a chance for Aquaman to finally become a player in the DCNu. Underwater characters have traditional only enjoyed brief spurts of popularity, but it has been awhile since DC has used this character in any capacity. By the way with, Aquaman getting a book why isn't Cyborg without his own series?
: Well, it's hard to take Aquaman seriously sometimes. I mean... Topo - need I say more? Well also it was hard to move past the fish bowl over his head. I think the character has been trying to recover ever since.
Lee: And now I think Johns is going to be stretched too thin. I've always had a soft spot Aquaman since Peter David incredible run on the series. But since then, no one seems to have been able to capture the essence of him. I didn't read Brightest Day, but I am not convinced that Johns's blood, guts, and violence approach to characters is the Aquaman that I want to read.
Matthew: I used to love Aquaman on the Superfriends and I really enjoyed the 80's mini-series where he got the blue-wave uniform. Other than that, I really don't like the character, especially if he's the brooding king type (like he was portrayed in JLU). And I HATED him with a hook!
Thomm: Meh.
Greg: OHHHH MY GOOOOOOD LEEEEE. I LOVE HOOK HAND AQUAMAN TOOOOOOO! ITS LIKE WE'RE BROTHERS!!!! Ahem. Anyway, I suspect this will be the super serious mythology, heavy violence kinda thing that Johns specializes in, which I'm not all that interested in. But, I do kinda like Aquaman. Who knows, maybe the Johns who wrote Hawkman all those years ago will resurface for this. But probably not. I suspect someone will bite a chunk out of someone else by the end of this issue.

Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale SEPTEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The Gods walk among us. To them, our lives are playthings. Only one woman would dare to protect humanity from the wrath of such strange and powerful forces. But is she one of us – or one of them?
Jim: Now this book has great potential and hard to believe that about Wonder Woman, since no writer has ever made the character work. Although in JLA one time McDuffie did a great job on a one and done story once. Cliff Chiang’s art will work great with this book, but Azzarello has been hit or miss on his super hero stuff.
Gwen: I don't know - I thought Wonder Woman in her hippie/disco chick years was pretty awesome. The changes made to the character of late have me interested in seeing what this new creative team will do with the character.
Lee: Now this has my interest piqued. WW always seems to get top notch creative teams and then the series crashes and burns. But, I am willing to give Azzarello a chance, even though I believe writing capes isn't his strongest material.
Matthew: The best Wonder Woman stories were the Lynda Carter ones and the JLU ones (I liked the Byrne run too). I followed the Perez relaunch after Crisis and I liked that too, but I'm sick of her being new to man's world all of the time. Another book I would love to succeed.
Thomm: Perez is the standard for me. This has very good potential to take her in a new direction, which is much needed.
Greg: Many excellent creators have failed to make this book interesting. This creative team is not only outstanding on paper, but their last collaboration was some of the best work of either of their careers. This is easily the book I am most excited about reading in this relaunch. If anyone could make Wonder Woman interesting, its these guys.

Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Variant cover by IVAN REIS and TIM TOWNSEND
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The Fastest Man Alive returns to his own monthly series from the writer/artist team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato! The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who really can! As if that’s not bad enough, this villain is a close friend!

The Flash team speaks!

Jim: Now I know a fair number of fans are upset over all of these artists becoming writers, but Frank Miller, Matt Wagner, Bill Willingham and many other excellent writers were artists when they started. Heck add Terry Moore into that group and Grant Morrison and I believe even Geoff Johns were inclined towards being artists at first. Just because you can draw doesn’t mean you can or can’t be a writer. Having said all of that I’m more concerned about whether Francis can hit a monthly deadline than anything else. So far DC has failed to impress with the Flash for quite some time, I hope that this time we get a good series. Of course going in I’m tired of Barry being the Flash and I’m guessing they have ret-conned his marriage.
Gwen: I still miss Wally West as the headlining Flash. I mean, I like Barry - but in some ways it was more fun to read about the people who were his (well his and Jay's) legacy.
Lee: It's funny, relaunching a series that I didn't care about in the first place continues to not interest me. Unlike WW where I have a passing interest, the Flash bores me. So unless this was an ultra stellar time, there was little chance I was coming back. It seems to be the same as the last Flash book with a new numbering system.
Matthew: I really liked Manapul's art on the last Flash series. He had a great way of showing his speed that was unique. With him as co-writer, we could get some interesting images. Worth a look at least.
Thomm: Meh, again.
Greg: Barry's boring, I want Wally/someone new, etc. etc. What puzzles me about this is that DC stick artists on these books as writers and it seems to hurt their ability to meet their deadlines as artists, which is the reason we're interested them in the first place. Adding to the confusion is the fact that this seems like a fairly low powered creative team considering the major relaunch this character just got. Has DC already gotten bored with Barry Allen? Can I laugh and say I told you so?

Part 2 of 11 coming soon!


  1. You guys are having way too much fun. After reading about DC's moves and listening to what Rusty had to say, I'm pretty much trying all the first issues.

    Sadly JLA and Wonder Woman are the only ones on this list thus far that I know I'll be reading more than one issue of before I open the cover.

  2. *LAUGHS like Homer Simpson* You made a Poochie reference.

    Only one of these was on my pull list (Wonder Woman) and I really am not interested in any of these books. Looking forward to the rest of the comments.