DC Solicitations for October 2009 + Commentary

July 22, 2009

For anyone who hasn’t read one of these before, here’s the deal: I rundown the lastest DC solicits and give my thoughts.  Hilarity ensues.

Blackest Night books:

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I’m just going to cover all of the Blackest Night books in one entry this month.  Otherwise, I’ll run the risk of repeating myself.  Last week’s review of Blackest Night #1 proved quite polarizing.  Most of the fan community seemed to think the book was a masterpiece.  To say the least, I disagreed.

I have read a 6-page preview of this week’s issue of Green Lantern and I am happy to say I liked it better than anything in Blackest Night #1.  The pages I read featured a conversation among Barry Allen, Hal Jordan and Martian Manhunter as a Black Lantern.  What I liked about what I saw was that J’onn was not an “Evil Dead”-style demon like Ralph and Sue Dibny in BN1.

(For all I know, he vowed to swallow Hal’s soul on page 7, but 6-pages without an “I smell a mystery” was a big improvement in my book.)

One of my big problems with BN 1 and last month’s issue of Green Lantern was all of the recapping.  A few people have assured me that all of this recapping was necessary.  And while I’m not necessarily sure it was, hopefully we’re all past it and the story can get started.

I still have some reservationsabout the premise of this story.  And BN #1 kind of confirmed some of my worst fears about what Blackest Night would entail.  But the vast majority seem to be eating this up, so what do I know?

Well, I do know this.  Tales from the Corps #1 was a big, fat waste of money.  I never got around to writing up a proper review.  But save your $4.  DC had the sheer audacity to reprint the various corps pages from Blackest Night 0 – which was, you know, free!

Based on this, I have really low expectations of the tie-ins.  For my money, these tie-ins just look horrible.  And DC has a really lousy track record with tie-ins.  So, buyer beware.

GREEN LANTERN #47

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy

    BLACKEST NIGHT continues! The war between the Blue Lanterns and Agent Orange implodes as the universe darkens! But a strange turn will send this epic battle in an unexpected direction when Larfleeze has something he desperately hordes taken away from him!

The war between Larfleeze and the Blue Lanterns is STILL going to be going on in October?  I kind of expected that to be a one-pager since the Blue Lanterns are pretty much helpless without a nearby Green Lantern.  This had better be good stuff if it’s going to hold my interest until October.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #41

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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Patrick Gleason & Rebecca Buchman

    The intense and horrific battle between the Green Lantern Corps and the Black Lanterns on Oa takes a turn for the worse! The Corps realizes that the abominable, ultimate goal of the Black Lanterns is not only to feed off the Corps’ emotions, but to consume and decimate the main power battery and destroy Oa forever!

Someone remembered John Stewart.  I think I may pass out!

Final Crisis Aftermath Books:

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I haven’t been following these books (see earlier comment about DC’s track record with tie-ins) so I’m just going to lump them all together.

Seventh Soldier is still posting reviews for Ink and Dance.  Check them out if you are so inclined.

I wouldn’t mention these books at all except that they all end in October!  Any bets as to whether or not they end before Legion of Three Worlds?

BATMAN AND ROBIN #5

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Written by Grant Morrison
Art and variant cover by Philip Tan & Jonathan Glapion

    Are two Dynamic Duos too much for one city? Batman and Robin find themselves at cross-purposes with Red Hood and Scarlet. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? And who will end up being the chosen protectors of Gotham City?

Check out our round table on B&R #1.  And here’s Bruce Castle’s review of B&R #2.

I have pretty mixed feelings about Morrison’s run on Batman.  To be sure, there was some crazy, brilliant stuff in there.  But I often found individual issues to be frustrating.  I’ve gone back and read his issues several times since Batman RIP and they definitely read better this way.

But I love the freshness of Batman and Robin.  This book just feels like a great super hero comic.  It’s still got the crazy Morrison touches.  But it’s totally accessible.  And there are Easter eggs for those of us who read Morrison’s earlier Batman tales.

BATMAN ANNUAL #27

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Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by J. Calafiore & Mark McKenna

    A murdered priest. A desecrated grave marker. A kidnapped child. A secret key. A mystery whose solution could upset the world order. For Batman and Robin to stop the rampage of a zealot named Amon, the Sixth Sinner, they first have to halt a deadlier foe intent on making sure Amon succeeds. To end the killer’s mad scheme, Batman faces Azrael, Death’s Dark Knight! “The Eighth Deadly Sin” continues in DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11 and sets the stage for this month’s premiere issue of the AZRAEL ongoing series!

DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11

 

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Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Tom Mandrake

    Picking up where BATMAN ANNUAL #27 left off! A lock without a key. A murder mystery whose solutions could lead to countless deaths. An answer in search of – the Question! Renee Montoya must help Batman save Robin from Amon, the Sixth Sinner, while keeping the fanatic killer from uncovering a 2,000-year-old religious secret. But is Azrael willing to risk Robin’s life in order to see this secret revealed? “The Eighth Deadly Sin” sets the stage for this month’s premiere issue of the AZRAEL ongoing series!

AZRAEL #1

 

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Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Ramon Bachs

    Following the events of “The Eighth Deadly Sin” in BATMAN ANNUAL #27 and DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11, the new monthly series starring Death’s Dark Knight begins! Michael Lane is a man in search of redemption, but does serving the Order of Purity as God’s Angel of Justice bring him closer to achieving his goal – or simply send him further down a road paved with good intentions? When a hired killer comes to Gotham City seeking revenge for crimes committed decades in the past, Azrael faces an impossible conflict: What if God’s justice forces the hero to claim one of God’s servants? From writer Fabian Nicieza (SUPERMAN, TRINITY) and artist Ramon Bachs (RED ROBIN)!

I lumped these three books together.  Unless you are really interested in Azreal, those two annuals are going to be massively skippable.  I read a lot of the original Azreal series.  I guess that makes me an Azreal fan.  I’ll pick up #1 and give it a look.  But I doubt I’ll pick up those annuals.  And shame on DC if they are required reading to enjoy Azreal #1.

ARKHAM REBORN #1

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Written by David Hine
!Haun and artist Jeremy Hine ASYLUM creative team of writer David ARKHAM illness, the building soon mutates into a torture house, and the inmates find themselves trapped in a living hell. And when Jeremiah starts hearing a voice from beyond the grave, it becomes painfully clear that the lunatics really have taken over the Asylum! Beginning a 3-issue miniseries from the BATTLE FOR THE COWL: al has rebuilt the Asylum following the design of his mad Uncle Amadeus. Intended as a model for enlightened treatment of mentArkham Asylum in BATTLE FOR THE COWL, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham    Following the Black Mask’s destruction of

HaunArt and variant cover by Jeremy

I didn’t read most of the Battle for the Cowl tie-ins (see earlier comments about DC’s track record with tie-ins) so maybe I missed the boat on Arkham Asylum.  But the solicit for this issue just sounds unpleasant.  This sure isn’t something I want to read!

BATMAN: THE UNSEEN #1-2

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Written by Doug Moench
Art and cover by Kelley Jones
    The fan-favorite Bat-team of Doug Moench and Kelley Jones reunite to introduce the newest member of Batman’s rogues gallery in this twice-monthly, 5-issue miniseries! Horrible and unexplained murders have Gotham City held captive. Bizarre deaths have been occurring throughout the city, but the perpetrator is unknown. Even when the crimes have been committed in view of witnesses, all that is seen is a glimpse of a weird, skinless “meat-man” who seems to fade away after the crimes. Gotham’s only hope is their Dark Knight Detective, but how can Batman find and fight an Invisible Man?

Lots of Bat-books this month!  I’m skipping over that Kevin Smith book because really, I don’t care.  This mini-series seems equally skippable.  But I am more intrigued by a Doug Moench and Kelley Jones reuninion than I am a Kevin Smith bat-book.  So, maybe I’ll give it a try.

BATMAN #691

 

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Written by Judd Winick
Art by Mark Bagley & Rob Hunter

    BATMAN double-ships this month as Two-Face and the new Batman throw down in the Batcave. And the fight is a vicious one, but just as Two-Face begins to get the upper hand…Batman shows up? The final chapter of Dick Grayson’s first adventure as Batman is a can’t-miss!

I didn’t expect to like Winick’s return to Batman.  Winick has been seriously disappointing me for the last year or so.  But his first two issues of Batman were surprisingly readable.  Even good!  So, I’m looking forward to more.

One of the best things about Winick’s Batman so far is that it more less makes Battle for the Cowl irrelevant.  Which brings me to:

BATMAN #692

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Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea

    BATMAN double-ships this month with Tony Daniel returning to the series as the new writer and artist after his best-selling BATTLE FOR THE COWL miniseries! With Batman pounding the pavement in search of Black Mask, Penguin on the run, and the completion of the new Arkham Asylum looming close, Gotham City has reached a boiling point! Guest-starring Catwoman and the Huntress and featuring the return of Gotham City’s most notorious crime family!

I never thought I’d say this, but thank god Winick’s coming back!  Who knows, maybe Daniel will surprise me.  I never thought I’d be enjoying Winick’s Batman, so I guess anything is possible.

But, what’s up with the revolving door on this book?  Batman is one of DC’s best selling titles.  We’ve had three artists and two writers since the revamp of the line.  There has to be a better way to handle one of your flagship books!

DETECTIVE COMICS #858

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Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III; co-feature art by Cully Hamner

    The shocking and tragic origin story of Batwoman begins here! In “Go” part 1, young Kate Kane and her family are kidnapped by terrorists, and Kate’s life – and the lives of her family – will never be the same! Plus, the mystery behind the villainous Alice is at last revealed!
    Then, in The Question co-feature, Renee’s search for a missing girl comes to a bittersweet end, leaving Renee with more questions and an even bigger mystery for her to solve. As long as she can survive the night, that is…

I’ve only got one issueof Detective to go by so far, but it was a good one.  Since we really don’t know much about Batwoman at this point, this story sounds like a good one.  Hopefully, it will fill in the gaps the same way Rucka’s Action Comics Annual did for that book.  Although it’s a shame that story was stuck in an Annual instead of folded into the main book the way this one is.

BATGIRL #3

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott
Cover by Phil Noto
    It’s a new look and a new costume for the all-new Batgirl! As crime in Gotham City continues to rise, the newest member of the Bat-family vows to wear the mantle of the Bat and fight alongside Batman and Robin in their war on crime. There’s just one problem: She hasn’t told Batman and Robin yet!

Love the Noto cover!  DC sure is being secretive about who will wear the Batgirl costume.  If the book is good, I won’t care who’s wearing the costume.  Having said that, if it’s Barabara Gordon that’s going to be somewhat anti-climactic, donchathink?

BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #5

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Written by Chris Yost; co-feature written by Marc Andreyko
to hunt him down!Manhunter co-feature, Jane Doe is in custody and claiming that Two-Face asked her to kill the former D.A. Since Kate Spencer can’t find the bipolar baddie, it’s up to Manhunter    Meanwhile, in the

    The 2-part “Leviathan” story begins from guest writer Chris Yost (RED ROBIN) as the Huntress finds herself in an unusual position – the responsible one! Because when Huntress hunts down a violent new criminal, she finds herself stuck with a violent, loose cannon of a partner on the case – the Man-Bat.
Haun; co-feature art by Jeremy FridolfsArt by Dustin Nguyen & Derek

Since the Batbooks relaunched, three titles have really stood out; Batman and Robin, Detective Comics and Streets of Gotham.  So, I’m a little disappointed to see a fill-in writer already.  I’m ready to see the Huntress get the spotlight, but a team-up with Man-Bat makes that prospect a lot less appealing.

RED ROBIN #5

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Written by Chris Yost
Art by Ramon Bachs

    “Council of Spiders,” Part 1 of 4! Ra’s al Ghul goes from hunter to hunted! What is the Council of Spiders, why have they been killing assassins, and who is the Wanderer? After the death of Red Robin last issue, the League of Assassins now must – wait, WHAT? Everything shifts into insane overdrive as the daughter of Wayne Enterprises CEO Lucius Fox completes her quest to find Red Robin, only to get caught up in one of the deadliest games on the face of the planet.

Red Robin #1 was a surprisingly good read.  Issue 2 hit a lot of the same story beats.  So, issue three had better be pretty good or I won’t be around for issue 5.  Robin + the League of Assassins is usually not a good mix.  The League has not been used to good effect in recent years.  So, my expectations are pretty low for this series.  But not as low as they are for…

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #5

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Written by Paul Dini
Art and cover by Guillem March
    Harley Quinn takes center stage this issue as the girls deal with the after effects of Hush’s deadly manipulations over the last few months. Plus, don’t miss a surprise guest-star!

Issue onesure blew.  Read Seventh Soldier’s review for the gruesome details.  All I’ll say is that this book reminds me of Dini’s work on Countdown…

OUTSIDERS #23

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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin & Jay Leisten

    “The Hunting” continues as Halo, Katana and The Creeper attempt to capture Killer Croc and return him to Gotham City before more dead bodies surface in the Louisiana swamps. But when Man-Bat joins the fight, will he side with the monster or the monster-hunters?

I’ve been planning to give this book a try for a long time now, but every time I think about picking the book up it is in the middle of a massive story arc.  So far, no one has recommended this book to me.  Maybe I’m not missing anything.

WORLD’S FINEST #1

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Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Julian Lopez

    After tracking down a threat to The Man of Steel – and all of Metropolis – Red Robin must team up with the new Kryptonian Nightwing to end this mysterious threat and rescue Flamebird. But is all this just a red herring to distract the heroes from an even bigger threat to Gotham City and New Krypton? Be here to find out in this 4-issue miniseries from rising star writer Sterling Gates (SUPERGIRL) and artist Julian Lopez.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new Batman and Superman families interact.  I’m a fan of Sterling Gates’ work on Supergirl.  Looks good!

SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #2

 

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Written by Geoff Johns
!Luthor Lex and see how meeting the Legion of Super-Heroes shapes the Superman he will one day become! Plus, more on the beginnings of the young Superboy century as th journey into the late 30alof all time continues! In this second issue, readers will witness young Clark Kent’s initi

    Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s exploration of the origin of the greatest Super Hero
SibalArt by Gary Frank & Jon

I’ve been accused of hating on Geoff Johns a lot lately based on the fact I haven’t been drinking the Blackest Night Kool Aid.  But I have been a huge fan of his work on Superman.  This series is bound to be chock-a-block with Geoff Johns retcons.  But they will be drawn be Gary Frank.  And odds are there won’t be any superheroes revived as Evil Dead-style zombies. 

Geoff Johns, if you’re out there, more like this please.

ACTION COMICS #882

 

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Written by Greg Rucka & Sterling Gates; co-feature written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Julian Lopez; co-feature art by CAFU

    “The Hunt for Reactron” part 3! Supergirl and Flamebird continue their slugfest, with poor Nightwing caught in the middle! Wait, isn’t that man standing over there the same Reactron who murdered Supergirl’s dad and Flamebird’s surrogate father? Get him! Continued in SUPERGIRL #46…
    And in the new Captain Atom co-feature, the mystery of where (and when) Captain Atom is heats up when someone with a connection to Metropolis arrives on the scene. But are they friend or foe?

I didn’t get around to writing up a review of the last issue of Action Comics which featured the debut of the Captain Atom back-up feature.  So, let me just say right here: WTF?  I had read that Rucka and Robinson knew the first installment would leave people scratching their heads.  But that was so not cool.  You’ve got 10 pages.  At least give us something!

Of the Superman books, Action has been the weakest.  Which is not to say it’s bad.  It’s better than a lot of the Bat-books.  But it’s not living up to the high standards of Robinson’s Superman, World of New Krypton or Supergirl.  I’ve even considered dropping the book.  But since I’m reading Supergirl, I’ll stick around through the Reactron storyline.

Hopefully the Captain Atom co-feature will make sense by then.

ADVENTURE COMICS #3

 

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Written by Geoff Johns; co-feature written by Geoff Johns & Michael Shoemaker
Art by Francis Manapul, co-feature art by Clayton Henry

    Superboy is back and hunting for Lex Luthor! He can’t find Luthor on his own, and he needs help from his best friend Tim Drake, a.k.a. Robin. But Tim’s now traveling the globe under the alias of Red Robin! The boys’ reunion isn’t all smiles and hugs, as Conner discovers that Tim has been hiding a great many secrets from the newly returned Boy of Steel. And they’re secrets that could destroy their friendship!
    Plus, in the Legion of Super-Heroes co-feature, the intergalactic odd couple known as Sun Boy and Polar Boy team up to figure out what’s up with the menace trying to destroy the universe.

To date, I still have no idea how Conner came back (although rumor has it Legion of 3 Worlds comes out today.  Maybe that will finally explain it.  Honestly, I don’t care.  I’m just glad to have him back.  And I’m glad to finally see these Titan reunions.  I hope this book lives up to my expectations.

SUPERMAN #693

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Written by James Robinson
Art by Fernando Dagnino & Raúl Fernandez
    It’s a special issue set entirely within General Lane’s Project 7734 headquarters! Learn more about the mysterious Mirabai, Codename: Assassin and Atlas, and witness Lane ply information out of his latest…acquisition. All this plus revelations about Lex Luthor and Brainiac!

I think we can all agree that Cry for Justice was a joke, right?  (If you liked it, please write me a 1,000 word essay on why you like crappy comics.)  But Robinson’s Superman has been a really under-rated gem.  And this looks like a pivotal issue.  Can’t wait!

SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #8

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Written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods

    On a mission in space, Superman and his fellow Kryptonians encounter the might of the Thanagarian Army. Can Superman keep things peaceful between the two races – or will The Man of Steel discover that Hawkman’s legendary temper is shared by all his people?

I’m on the record as loving this book.  Kryptonians vs. Thanagarians?  Yes please.  But please don’t pull another Green Lantern issue.  I think it was issue 3 where the cover depicted Kal vs. Hal.  But the actual issue had them shaking hands and slapping each other on the back.  Not a punch was thrown.  I may be mistaken, but I think they had tea and scones. 

Anyway, since there’s no fight on the cover maybe we can expect one within the pages of the book!

SUPERGIRL #46

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Written by Sterling Gates & Greg Rucka
Art by Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal

    Continuing from ACTION COMICS #882, “The Hunt for Reactron” concludes! It’s the final showdown between Flamebird, Supergirl and the man who killed their father. And for the Daughters of Zor-El, that means it’s payback time. Will Reactron make it out alive? Or is Nightwing the only one who can save
them all?

Hold on!  Did we know previously that Flamebird was Supergirl’s sister?!?  I think not.  Ooops.

THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #28

 

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Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art and cover by Jesus Saiz
    J. Michael Straczynski (Amazing Spider-Man) and Jesus Saiz (OMAC PROJECT) continue their series of unlikely pairings with a match that spans the decades! When an experiment meant to alter the speed of light goes awry, Barry Allen finds himself face-to-face with some surprising allies – World War II’s legendary Blackhawks! But Barry isn’t the Flash they know, and he’s not even the kind of hero they need to help fight history’s most grueling war! What must Barry sacrifice to serve his country – and his world?

Another odd pairing from JMS.  Barry + Blackhawks really isn’t doing it for me.  JMS is going to have to really deliver the goods to win me over with these kinds of team-ups.

BOOSTER GOLD #25

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Written by Dan Jurgens; co-feature written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund; co-feature art by Mike Norton
    “Day of Dead” concludes as Booster Gold battles Black Beetle in the past and jumps through time to team up with the new Batman and Robin in the future. But how are these events connected – and what is the Black Beetle really after?
    Then, in Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes must stop the Blue Beetle scarab from trying to kill him…and everyone else on the
planet Earth!

If you left Booster Gold when Geoff Johns left (as I did) it’s time to come back.  The book is just as much fun now as it was then.  In fact, the addition of the Blue Beetle back-up feature has made it a party.  You like parties, don’t you?

DCU HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2009 #1

 

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Written by Joe Harris, Billy Tucci, Jake Black, Franco, Adam Schlagman, Mandy McMurray and others
Art by Rags Morales, Joe Prado and others

    Darkness falls across the land as the DC Universe faces its greatest horror in this Halloween special filled with all-new stories! Watch as Guy Gardner continues his quest to share Halloween with the cosmos and his fellow alien Green Lantern Corps members. In another tale, Red Robin finds the true, deadly meaning of the sinister holiday while overseas on his quest to find Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, Bizarro receives neither trick nor treat in his own backwards celebration of the spookiest night of the year on his home world. Plus, 10 other ghoulish tales to fill you with fright this Halloween!

By now, I think everyone knows these holiday specials are pointless.  Seriously, who’s buying them?  Save your $6!

DOOM PATROL #3

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Written by Keith Giffen; co-feature written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Matthew Clark & Livesay;co-feature art by Kevin Maguire

    Remember Mento? Yeah, that guy – goofy helmet, lightning bolt on his chest. After reading this issue, it’s a sure bet you won’t forget him again any time soon. Oh yeah, and the resolution of that whole “black hole” thing from last issue adds a kinda-sorta new member to the Doom Patrol roster. As for everyone’s favorite Metal Men, it’s the dynamic debut of Douglas, Robot Hunter! We’re too good to you.

I’ve never been a fan of Doom Patrol or the Metal Men.  But the creative team on this book pretty much guarantees I give it three issues to win me over.

GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY #25

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Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Art by Renato Guedes, Mike Norton, José Wilson Magalhães & Bill Sienkiewicz

    The main story this month focuses on the sudden and strange return of Green Arrow! Of course, we’re talking about the Green Arrow that Black Canary stabbed on her wedding night!
    And in this issue’s co-feature, Black Canary is stunned to find that Cupid can’t tell the difference between the two Green Arrows – which could lead to one of the deadliest Super-Villain teams of all time!

I have to admit my heart sank a little when I saw Kreisberg was still writing this book.  Every month, I check the solicit to see if he’s been replaced yet.  No such luck.  This solicit suggests that Green Arrow/Black Canary is going to continue to suck well into the fall.

Sigh.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #32

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Written by Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham
Art and cover by Jesus Merino
    The seismic rift among the members of the Justice Society deepens due to the strange actions of several new team members as well as some long-seeded conflicts! It all leaves them dangerously weakened as their home base faces assault from an army of bounty hunters who plan on collecting the price on the head of each and every member of the Society!

I remain cautiously optimistic about the new creative team on JSA.  They have some big shoes to fill!

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #38

 

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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mark Bagley

    A new era begins for the World’s Greatest Heroes as superstars James Robinson (STARMAN, SUPERMAN) and Mark Bagley (TRINITY, Ultimate Spider-Man) take over! It all begins as a one-time member of the JLA falls before he can warn the team of looming peril while what’s left of the JLA journeys to the heart of their past to decide if the team has any future at all.
    Of course, that means this is the best time for a savage villain from the team’s past to attack the demoralized heroes! The team will have to muster enough will to win not only today, but in the harrowing months to come. It’s the start of a spanking new odyssey for the JLA that will lead in the coming months to a fresh line-up for DC’s flagship team. Get onboard now for the next epic chapter of the Justice League’s legacy!

I’ve been waiting for DC to make JLA relevant again.  And ordinarily, Robinson and Bagley would be cause to celebrate.  But Cry for Justice #1 was really, really bad.  You know it was.  Stop fooling yourself just because Mauro Cascioli painted Wonder Woman in a thong that would make a porn star blush.

Hopefully, the Robinson of Superman will show up instead whoever it was that wrote Cry for Justice #1.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE #4

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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli
    How far would you go for justice? The heroes have found themselves turning to darker tactics in their search for retribution. Starman and Congorilla have captured the killers who took down some of their friends, but now what do they do with them? Meanwhile, Green Lantern and company wrestle with the idea of torturing villains for information in order to save lives.

It burns!  It burns!

MAGOG #2

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Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Howard Porter & John Dell

    Magog’s got a problem: How does he use the Justice Society and their vast resources and abilities without their knowing he’s going against their standard operating procedure? And that doesn’t even compare to his more immediate problem: coming face-to-face with the putrid villain known as Miasma beneath New York City! Continuing the all-new series from writer Keith Giffen (JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL) and reuniting the best-selling JLA art team of penciller Howard Porter and inker John Dell!

This is officially 1 issue longer than I thought a Magog on-going series would last!  (I tease!)

Gotta say, the Porter/Dell art doesn’t exactly excite me.  The Morrison era JLA was one of my favorites.  But that was in spite of the art, not because of it.

POWER GIRL #6

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Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Amanda Conner

    “Space Girls Gone Wild!” part 3 of 3! The trio of sexy alien marauders continues their rampage across Earth, and Power Girl makes her last stand against these seemingly unstoppable foes. But even Power Girl has her limits…

I’m here for the Amanda Conner art.  I’ll probably stick around as long as she does and not an issue longer.  The book is just enough fun to justify my $3 purchase. 

RED TORNADO #2

 

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Written by Kevin VanHook
Art by Jose Luisí & J.P. Mayer
    He thought he was alone, but Red Tornado’s on track to meet the family he never knew he had! And in issue #2 of the 6-issue miniseries, Red Tornado discovers the next member: Red Torpedo! Hold on to your hats as this exciting new series from writer Kevin VanHook and artist Jose Luisí whips up a zephyr of excitement!

DC, why do you keep trying to make Red Tornado happen?  He’s so not fetch!

THE SHIELD #2

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Written by Eric Trautmann; co-feature written by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Marco Rudy & Mick Gray; co-feature art by Greg Scott

    The Shield’s mission deepens as he struggles to free himself from the mind-washed hordes. Unfortunately, someone else is on the same mission despite no official sanction. Can The Shield control the situation – or will he be forced to scrub out, thanks to Magog?
    Plus, Inferno takes on Black Canary on her own turf! Will she catch him before he’s even started to run?

THE WEB #2

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Written by Angela Robinson; co-feature written by John Rozum
Art Roger Robinson & Hilary Barta; co-feature art by Tom Derenick & Bill Sienkiewicz
Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
    The Web finds himself in over his head as he plunges deeper into the criminal underworld looking for the elusive villain Dr. Archer. With his calls of duty piling up, The Web gets caught in a terrible death trap and in his civilian I.D., he’s found himself rolling with made men. Has the new hero overplayed his hand already?
    Plus, the Hangman begins tightening the noose on San Francisco’s organized crime, but he finds resistance in the form of the Ugly Man!

Not much to say on these Red Circle books at this point.  I hope they are good.

I had really expected DC to do more with the Milestone characters than they did.  I hope the way they screwed over Dwayne McDuffie didn’t screw that deal up to.

SECRET SIX #14

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood

    The shattering conclusion to “The Depths” is here! The Six find themselves pitted against Artemis, Wonder Woman and the hideous secret being from deep within the new Devil’s Island!

This book is pure awesome.  And “The Depths” promises to be one of the best arcs yet.

I know you’re not reading this book.  It doesn’t have Superman or Batman in it.  It’s not written by Geoff Johns and there are rarely any zombies.  That’s no excuse!

Secret Six is the essence of awesomeness!  Buy two copies of each issue and read them both!

TITANS #18

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Angel Unzueta and Wayne Faucher

    With the Titans team slowly dissolving as members drift their own way, only the empath Raven recognizes the mounting disconnection. With her only friends drifting apart, Raven makes a surprising life choice that will affect the course of her strained relationship with Beast Boy.

Titans has slowly grown from a train wreck into a mediocre book spotlighting 1 Titan per issue.  The last two issues have both been readable.  But you had to really like the character who was receiving the spotlight.  This issue looks about the same.  Still, it beats the train wreck Titans used to be.

TEEN TITANS #76

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Written by Felicia D. Henderson; co-feature written by Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar & Júlio Ferreira

    Guest-starring Beast Boy and Raven! With the Teen Titans unraveling at the seams, two former members must return to Titans Tower to help Wonder Girl right the sinking ship! If only it were that easy…
    And in the Ravager second feature, Rose uncovers a horrific
black market. And she deals with it the only way she knows how: with blood.

Teen Titans has also gotten better since the exit of Sean McKeever.  Now if only we could get him off the co-feature!  I look forward to seeing what Felicia Henderson brings to the table.  I hear she’s a Gossip Girl writer.  That sounds like a pretty good fit for the Titans…

WONDER WOMAN #37

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Bernard Chang

    It’s a civil war – and the world hangs in the balance! Zeus has made Achilles ruler of the Amazons, and Diana finds herself in battle against the people she loves most! And what is the secret behind the sudden rash of pregnancies on Paradise Island?

It looks like Rise of the Olympian was only the beginning!  I can’t wait to see what Gail has in store for us next.


DC Solicitations for August + Commentary

May 19, 2009

Same drill as always.  This is the newly released DC solicitations “enhanced” by my colorful commentary.  No deeper meaning.  Just a few cheers and jeers.  And hopefully a funny line or two.

BLACKEST NIGHT #2
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Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis

The event of the summer continues! The dead rise across the DC Universe, bringing terror and darkness with them. What are the Black Lanterns? What do they want? Will Earth’s greatest heroes survive long enough to find out – or will they join the Black Lantern Corps?

Neither the art nor the cover tell me anything I didn’t already know.  But then, DC really doesn’t have to sell anyone on Blackest Night at this point.  A lot of fans get down right voilent if you suggest this will be anything less than the greatest story ever told.

BLACKEST NIGHT: BATMAN #1
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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Adrian Saef & John Dell

Deadman can’t shut out the cries of the dead rising as he comes to the aid of the new Batman. It’s just in time, too, as the duo face a circus of zombies including the Black Lantern Flying Graysons!

Just what we need.  More Blackest Night and more Batman.  DC wasn’t putting out enough Batbooks, so I’m glad Blackest Night has provided a way to spotlight him.  And *spoiler aler* if Dick Grayson isn’t the new Batman, why on earth would the Flying Graysons be appearing in this book? 

By the way, am I the only one who thinks Flying Grayson zombies just sound stupid?

Also, while I like Tomasi, this seems like a piece of crap tie-in like Final Crisis: Requiem.  Tomasi doesn’t seem to have the best luck with tie-ins.

BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN #1
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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Eddy Barrows & Ruy Jose

Black Lantern Superman has unearthed Pa Kent’s grave! But that’s only the beginning of the horrifying things he’s about to unleash on an unsuspecting Smallville.

Ew.  Is this really what we’ve come to, DC?  Digging up Pa Kent.  I sure hope the main story is better than these tie-ins.

BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS #1
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Written by J.T. Krul
Art and cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter

    Black Lantern Titans are descending together onto Titans Island! Will the Titans be prepared to fight off their deceased allies? And how can Beast Boy not lose his heart to Black Lantern Terra?

If I were Beast Boy, I don’t think I’d have too much trouble resistinng Terra’s advances considering the fact that she’s a freaking zombie!  Come on, Beast Boy!  What is wrong with you?

If all the dead Titans come back, the DCU is in a whole heap of trouble.  For the last several years, DC has done nothing but kill and maim Titans.  Sometimes, DC creates Titans for the sole purpose of killing them.  (RIP Power Boy.  No, seriously.  Don’t come back.)

GREEN LANTERN #45

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy

    BLACKEST NIGHT continues! The Black Lanterns descend on all the Corps throughout the universe! Sinestro’s assault on the Star Sapphires’ homeworld of Zamaron is interrupted by another Sinestro Corps – one made up of those who died during the Sinestro Corps War! And while the War of Light flickers, deep in the darkness of space, John Stewart comes face-to-face with his deceased wife – and longtime Green Lantern – Katma Tui.

Personally, I really couldn’t care less about Katma Tui, but if John Stewart gets the spotlight for an issue, I’m all for it. 

Pointless question: If this other Sinestro Corps consists of “those who died during the Sinestro Corps War”, wouldn’t they be Black Lanterns?

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #39

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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Patrick Gleason & Rebecca Buchman

    Just when things couldn’t look any darker after the death and chaos of the Sciencell riot, Blackest Night descends on Oa! The black rings tear into the planet and the Lantern Crypt causing all the dead Corps members to rise and wreak havoc as a new and deadlier battle threatens to engulf not only the Corps, but the Universe itself!

Is it just me, or did the first 6 books in this month’s solicitations have pretty much the same plot?  I’m running out of things to say (and that never happens!).  I guess this is a great month for those of you who like to see zombie superheroes.  Maybe next, the DC Universe can be invaded by Skrulls.

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: RUN! #4

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Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

    In this issue, someone dies! Actually, in this issue, tons of people die! If you thought RUN! was full of trashy humor and unnecessary violence before this issue – you ain’t seen nothing yet! We cause more property damage and hideous disfigurement in the first half of this issue than any other comic you’ll read this year (besides RUN! #5 and #6, because those are pretty ridiculous too). Join in the fun!

Join the fun?  Does this sound like fun to anybody?  Power Girl #1 was fun.  This sounds like everything I hate about DC Comics these days.  No thanks!

There’s also three other Final Crisis Aftermath series trudging along.  Maybe Infinite Crisis would have been a better name.  This thing just won’t end!

WEDNESDAY COMICS #5-8

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Not much to say here.  Wednesday Comics still looks like the best idea anyone’s had in a long time.  I sure hope the excution is there.

BATMAN: WIDENING GYRE #1

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Once again, Kevin Smith – the fan-favorite creator behind GREEN ARROW and Daredevil – teams up with Walter Flanagan – the artist on the acclaimed series BATMAN: CACOPHONY – for an all-new adventure starring The Caped Crusader. The stakes are high as Batman encounters a new vigilante under his wing amidst what Smith describes as a “backdrop of romance, intrigue, and geek-bait guest stars galore.” Trust us when we say that it’s as awesome as it sounds.

Oh goodie.  More Batman.  Glad to see someone’s giving him a chance.

Kevin Smith is okay if you like late comic books filled with poop jokes. 

BATGIRL #1

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott

    In the wake of “Batman R.I.P.” and BATTLE FOR THE COWL, a new heroine has emerged in Gotham City, and as she begins her nocturnal crusade to take back the night, she will truly learn what it means to wear the mantle of the Bat. But who is this young woman, and why has she donned the cape and cowl?

Look, I don’t really care who Batgirl is.  There was nothing wrong with Cassandra Cain until DC decided to crap all over her.  But if they replace her with Spoiler or Misfit or someone else who is, you know, a girl… I’m fine with that.

What I don’t want to see happen is for Barbara Gordon to return to the role.  She’s outgrown it.  You don’t have to turn the clock back on everything, DC.  Let Babs remain Oracle!

(And put her in a good book instead of that trashy Battle for the Cowl tie-in.)

BATMAN AND ROBIN #3

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Written by Grant Morrison
Art and cover by Frank Quitely

    “Batman Reborn” concludes the explosive reteaming of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, WE3, New X-Men)! Witness Batman and Robin’s final showdown against Professor Pyg and the Circus of Strange! The future looks bright for the new Dynamic Duo as they prove themselves in battle, but lurking in the shadows is a mysterious red-hooded vigilante. Also, the origin of Scarlet!

So, Frank’s only doing 3 issues?  Bummer.

I’m assuming this solicit will make more sense once I’ve read an issue or two of Batman and Robin.  Then again, it’s Grant Morrsion.  So, maybe not.

DETECTIVE COMICS #856
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Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III; co-feature art by Cully Hamner

    “Elegy” part 3 of 4! Batwoman unites with an unlikely ally to momentarily defeat the fairytale villain known as Alice. But when Kate is forced to attend a high society event, she soon learns that her worlds are colliding as Alice’s plans for Gotham’s elite put Kate’s father directly in harm’s way.
    Plus, in the next part of The Question co-feature, writer Greg Rucka and artist Cully Hamner bring Renee’s search for a missing girl to new depths when The Question is trapped inside a sinking car. Will her life and her leads end up at the bottom of the river?

I am moderately excited for this book.  That JH Williams art is a knock-out.  And I’m confident Rucka will deliver.  I’m not the biggest fan of Batwoman or Renee Montoya (that would be Seventh Soldier) but I hope I will be by the end of this storyline.

BATMAN #689
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Written by Judd Winick
Art by Mark Bagley & Rob Hunter

    “Long Shadows” continues! Batman forges ahead in his battle to retrieve the escapees from Arkham Asylum, while Two-Face begins a ground war of his own. Elsewhere, Penguin wants to become Gotham City’s new king of crime, but to do so he has to make a deal with the devil.

Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Judd Winick.  Which of these three is not like the others?

Winick, please take this chance to redeem yourself.  I hate the hack you’ve become.  Please never write Titans again.  Yours truly, Lebeau.

BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #3
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Written by Paul Dini; co-feature written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs; co-feature art by Georges Jeanty & Karl Story

    Bruce Wayne is dead…long live Bruce Wayne! Gotham’s favorite son has miraculously returned, promising to lead his city into a new golden age. But while Wayne devotes his limitless fortune to rebuilding Gotham City, he fights violent opposition from Batman, Robin and a host of DC Universe heroes!
    And in the Manhunter co-feature, now that Manhunter has found the previous DA’s killer – or, rather, the killer has found her – what is she going to do about it? Bringing the killer in for a trial may not result in the justice Kate’s been dreaming of.  But is she ready to kill for justice so soon after a fresh start in Gotham?

This looks like Dini’s follow-up to Heart of Hush.  So, I’ll give it a look.  I followed Manhunter casually.  So, I look forward to checking out the co-feature too.

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #3

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Written by Paul Dini
Art and cover by Guillem March
    With their uneasy alliance in place, the sirens encounter trouble in the form of the mysteriously returned Bruce Wayne. He’s dazzling, he’s dangerous and he’s got his sights set on Harley Quinn! Has romance sparked between these two long-time enemies – or is Wayne playing a more sinister game?

As I said last month, I’ve got some misgivings about GC Sirens.  I’m giving you three issues, Dini.  Don’t pull any of that Countdown crap this time!

OUTSIDERS #21
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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

    “The Hunting” begins here! With Arkham Asylum’s most dangerous inmates running free, The Outsiders are charged with returning them to Gotham City – by whatever means necessary. Batman and Alfred split up the team in order to track down Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze and Clayface before the rogues kill again!

Batman RIP totally derailed this book for me.  It’s not that I minded seeing Batman leave the team.  But I wanted to read about Batgirl stepping up to lead the team.  Instead, everyone cried about how they couldn’t possibly continue without Batman.  which is ridiculous considering how many times Batman has left the Outsiders in the past.

The problem is, I have no interest in this line-up.  Still, I like Tomasi okay.  So maybe I’ll give this issue a chance.  If anyone is actually reading this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

RED ROBIN #3
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Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Ramon Bachs

    “The Grail” part 3 of 4! “Batman Reborn” continues, but is Red Robin’s quest to find Bruce Wayne at an end? Because in a German museum, answers await. But to get to those answers, Red Robin has to go through the Global Guardian known as the Wild Huntsman. Making matters worse, Red Robin’s got an unwanted ally – Ra’s al Ghul! Also, discover what happened in the days after BATTLE FOR THE COWL?

Rounding out the umpteen dozen Batman books DC is offering this month is Red Robin.  And once again it just looks awful.  It’s like DC decided to round up all the worst Batman-related ideas of the last couple of years and put them in one book.  Let’s never mention Battle for the Cowl again, okay DC?

ADVENTURE COMICS #1

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Francis Manapul, co-feature art by Clayton Henry

    It’s the return of one of DC Comics’ longest running books and one of its greatest modern-day heroes – Conner Kent! In our first heroic issue, Superboy can’t wait to jump back into his life – but which life will it be? With a clarity he’s never had before, Conner makes a beeline for the greatest place on Earth…Smallville?
    Plus, in the wake of FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS, Starman heads off on an all-new mission in the present. And it’s one that will not only impact Superboy, but the future of the DC Universe itself. Fortunately, the off-kilter Legionnaire won’t be dong it alone! And in the upcoming months of ADVENTURE COMICS look for Lex Luthor! Brainiac! Lightning Lad! Superboy’s pal Simple Simon! Sun Boy and Polar Boy! Ultra, the Multi Alien! Wonder Girl! Black Lantern Alexander Luthor! And many, many more new and familiar faces!

I’m sick of death and resurection in the DCU.  But I am genuinely excited to see Johns bring back Conner – even if he was the one who killed him off in the first place.  Yeah, Johns pretty much completely changed Conner when he got a hold of him in Titans.  But, I’m stil a fan of the character.  It’s good to have him back.  And I enjoyed Johns’ take on Starman in JSA.  So, this is a win-win for me.

But I don’t really want to see Alexander Luthor again.  Ever.  Not even as a zombie.  Actually, especially not as a zombie.

SUPERMAN SECRET FILES 2009 #1

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Written by Sterling Gates, Geoff Johns, James Robinson and Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods, Jamal Igle, Renato Guedes, Julián López and various

    There’s never been a better (or busier) time to be a Superman fan! With so many new characters and locations to keep track of, DC brings readers the definitive guide to the ever-expanding world of Superman. Here you will get profiles of characters like Nightwing and Flamebird, General Zod, Supergirl, Mon-El and more, plus maps of locations such as New Krypton’s Kandor and Metropolis.
    Also included is a bittersweet story about the friendship of Supergirl and Flamebird, and a story revealing the dark legacy of Pete Ross’ brief time as President of the United States. Plus, a week in the life of Science Cops Billi Harper and Jonathan (Mon-El) Kent. This SECRET FILES issue serves as an excellent primer to this month’s “Codename: Patriot” crossover in the Superman titles, so don’t miss out!

So, you need a scorecard to keep track of what’s going on in the Superman books these days?  Not exactly a trong selling point, guys.  Secret Files books are rarely more than $5 filler material.  I strongly doubt this will be any different.

SUPERMAN ANNUAL #14

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Written by James Robinson
Art by Javier Pina

    Since Superman freed him from the Phantom Zone, Mon-El has spent all his time learning about Earth and its diverse cultures. But how much does he really know about Daxam, the homeworld he fled years ago? A gift from the Legionnaire Tellus allows Mon-El to explore the ancient history of Daxam – from its founding as a Kryptonian colony to its connection to the Mayans of Earth to its bloody civil war. Join Mon-El as he discovers that the planet he always believed to be peaceful and dull is actually anything but.

And the Superman-related filler continues.  At least it’s a buck cheaper than the Secret Files book. 

SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #6
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Written by Greg Rucka & James Robinson
Art by Pete Woods

    It’s chaos in Kandor as the 4-part “Codename: Patriot” storyline kicks off here and runs through the August Superman titles! Someone has been shot and Superman will stop at nothing to find the culprit! But when the shooter flees to Earth, can Superman stop him in time to prevent making the two planets even more hostile toward each other? Continued in ACTION COMICS #880!

As the only Superman book to actually feature Superman these days, World of New Krypton has been the most reliably good read of the bunch.  I’m in for all 12 issues.

 ACTION COMICS #880

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Written by Greg Rucka; co-feature written by James Robinson & Rucka
Art by Julián López; co-feature art by CAFU

    “Codename: Patriot” part 2! Nightwing and Flamebird are hot on the trail of the psycho sleeper agents Nadira and Az-Rel when the heroes run into another deadly duo – Reactron and Metallo! What do these two want and how does it tie in with General Lane’s plans? Meanwhile, Superman and Supergirl arrive on Earth searching for the shooter – but will their actions here cause more harm than good? Continued in SUPERGIRL #44!
    And in part 2 of the new co-feature, Captain Atom’s memory is falling apart right in the heat of battle – can he keep it together without annihilating an entire town? Luckily a deadly new player is about to take that choice out of his hands – permanently!

In for a penny, in for a pound.  I’m sure I’ll read all 4 parts of “Codename: Patriot”.  Although Action is teetering on the edge of losing me.  Check out Seventh Soldier’s review of the last issue here.  He raises a lot of good points. 

Also, I’m looking forward to seeing Rucka and Robinson redeem Captain Atom.  He’s on the short list of characters who desperately need to be rehabbed.

SUPERGIRL #44
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Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle
    “Codename: Patriot” part 3! It’s Supergirl and Mon-El versus Nightwing and Flamebird! Find out what happens when the Girl of Steel has to face off against Flamebird, one of her oldest and dearest friends! At Project 7734, General Lane puts the next part of his plan into action – with the help of the man known as Atlas. Concluded in SUPERMAN #691!

Yay, Supergirl!  After years of being the worst book DC was publishing, you’re now one of the best.  This makes my currently unwritten list of books you should be reading.  I’m going to have to write that list sometime…

SUPERMAN #691

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Lane wants…al! Except one key player is missing – Superman! He has to stop the shooter from taking yet another course of action that would cause the situation between Earth and New Krypton to grow exponentially worse. Which, of course, is just what GenerSuperfans chapter of “Codename: Patriot”! What are the stakes, and who are the players? Everything and everyone, al    It’s a slam-bang, knockdown epic fight in the sewers of Metropolis in this fourth and finish.

Superman is the one Superman book I’ve kind of lost track of.  Mon-El and Guardian just aren’t draws for me.  I plan to jump back on this book sometime, but I say that every month.  Unless Codename: Patriot sucks, I’m sure I’ll be following the conclussion here.

SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN SPECIAL #2

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Written by James Robinson
Art by Matt Camp

    Jimmy Olsen has put all the pieces together regarding the mysterious Project 7734, and it’s worse than he imagined. With The Man of Steel temporarily out of the picture, though, it’s all up to Superman’s Pal to take action. Thankfully he has the help of Mon-El and Steel’s niece Natasha Irons – but will they be enough to defeat Codename: Assassin?

I didn’t read last year’s Jimmy Olsen special.  But everyone I know who did read it, hated it.  I was warned against it very strongly.  The phrase “biggest waste of money” was used a lot.  Kind of hard to believe they came back for seconds.

THE RED CIRCLE

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J. Michael Straczynski dives into the DC Universe at last – and he’s bringing four of the finest heroes of the Golden and Silver Ages with him!
    Completely reimagined for the modern world from their original appearances in Archie/MLJ publications, these four heroes will show you a side of the DC Universe you’ve never seen before!

I like this idea on paper.  I don’t know the first thing about the Red Circle characters.  But I’m all for having some new blood in the DCU – assuming DC treats them right.

I’m not the biggest JMS fan, but he’s a capable writer.  He’s obviously investing a lot in this project.  Hopefully he’s the right guy for the job.

I figure this has to turn out better than when Marvel integrated the Ultraverse into the Mavel Universe, right?

DOOM PATROL #1

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Written by Keith Giffen; co-feature written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Matthew Clark; co-feature art by Kevin Maguire
Cover by Matthew Clark
Men today?al for just under four American dollars. So why not try some Doom Patrol with a side order of Metbookery team that brought you JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL! That’s 40 full pages of comic-ve Men, featuring the triumphant return of the creatial, the Meteverymen al and art by Matthew Clark! Whether you think you know ‘em or you wouldn’t know ‘em if they bit you on the behind, this Doom Patrol’s for you! But that’s not all! Read all the way to the back cover for the all-new adventures of those elementGiffen    Come one, come all! The world’s strangest Super Heroes are back, and they brought those robot guys along with ‘em! Thrill to the strange adventures of the Doom Patrol, with script by Keith.

Doom Patrol and Metal Men are both DC concepts I’ve just never gotten into.  I’ve wanted to, but they’ve never clicked for me.  This creative team seems like as good a team as any to change that.  So, sign me up!

BOOSTER GOLD #23

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Written by Dan Jurgens; co-feature written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund; co-feature art by Mike Norton
    “Day of Death” continues! Booster Gold reveals the Black Beetle’s plan to wipe out the entire JLA by going after their most incompetent former member – Booster Gold! Plus, Blue Beetle comes face to face with the mad scientist who created the robot army that’s destroying Texas!

Ah, Booster.  I’ve been a bad fan.  I promised not to abandon you when Geoff Johns left the book and then I totally did.  I’ll be back.  I promise!  But then, you’ve heard that before.  I have issue 20 at home.  I just haven’t read it yet.  But I look forward to touching base with you again soon, old friend.

THE FLASH: REBIRTH #5

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art and covers by Ethan Van Sciver
    The greatest threat to face the Flash Family in decades stands revealed! A new hero will step into an old speedster’s boots! And Barry Allen will make the ultimate sacrifice: his life! Oh yeah, you read that right, but you’ll never believe just what it means! They always say nothing will ever be the same, but trust us, this one will rewrite the history books!

Yeah, you brought Barry Allen back just to kill him all over again.  Pull the other one, DC!

The first two issues of this series have me feeling underwhelmed. Read my review of issue 2 here.  I’m not sure why they bothered bringing Barry back if they were just going to retcon him beyond the point of being recognizable as Barry.  But then again, I don’t think Geoff Johns can stop himself.  The other day I saw him photoshopping Hal Jordan into my wedding pictures.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #36
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Written by Len Wein
Art by José Luis & J.P. Mayer

    In part 2 of the 3-part “Royal Flush” arc, it’s the Justice Society of America villain Roulette vs. the JLA’s old foe, Amos Fortune. And the stakes are high as the two baddies pit the JLA against itself!

Man, this book just stinks on toast these days.  After reading McDuffie’s complaints about editorial mandates, I have stopped blaming him for the failure of JLA.  I’m now fully blaming DiDio.  And frankly, he seems to be taking the blame given his comments on “editorial mandates” in the recent Newsaram interview.

It doesn’t change anything.  The book is still a snorefest.  Hey, waitaminute!  Is that Plastic Man on the cover?  Okay, I’ll stick around a little while longer!

JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE #2

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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover Mauro Cascioli
    The team continues its proactive hunt for justice as the trail leads to an army of Super-Villains. But the big bad may be deadlier than all of the new team combined…

The art looks fantastic!  The story actually sounds pretty lousy.  And I am carrying a bit of a grudge against this book for helping to derail the regular JLA book.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #30
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Written by Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham
Art and cover by Jesus Merino
    “Bad Seed” part 2 of 5! The JSA feels the strain when battling a monstrous collection of villains who’ve mounted an all-out war on the team to collect a bounty placed on the head of everyone in the group except Stargirl! Tensions flare, and the group is forced to make a compromise in order to chase their fleeing enemies or return to the mansion to find out why Mister Terrific’s communications have suddenly stopped!

A bounty on everyone but Stargirl?  Is Geoff Johns behind this?

I’m committed to giving the new team on JSA a shot.  They’ve got big shoes to fill.

GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY #23
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Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Art by Mike Norton, Bill Sienkiewicz and Josef Rubinstein

    “Big Game” part 1 of 2! In the main feature, Green Arrow investigates a crime with all the earmarks of his old nemesis known as Big Game – which is made extra-mysterious by the fact that Cupid killed Big Game. And in this issue’s co-feature, Black Canary attempts to save her rival’s life when Cupid is attacked in police custody!

More Kreisberg!  More Cupid!  If Kreisberg can find a way to make Black Canary look stupid, he’ll manage to include everything I hate about his run in one issue!  (I have confidence he can do it.  He has yet to let me down since he took over the book.)

Seriously, Cupid’s in both the feature and the co-feature?  In the words of Charlie Brown, good grief!

I continue to petition DC for a new writer.

POWER GIRL #4
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Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Amanda Conner

    “Space Girls Gone Wild!” part 1 of 2! A trio of sexy alien marauders hits Earth for the ultimate party. Unfortunately, by their standards, that means destroying it! Of course, it’s up to Power Girl to crash their festivities.

Power Girl 1 was just good, fun comics! Don’t believe me? Here’s a second opinion.   So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, read Power Girl!

SECRET SIX #12

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott & Doug Hazlewood

    A crisis of conscience splits the Secret Six right down the middle and puts them on opposite sides of a horrific war involving Amazons led by a deluded Artemis! But that’s just the opening bout for the main event: Jeannette vs. Wonder Woman!

Best book DC is putting out.  Believe it!

TEEN TITANS #74

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller; co-feature written by Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar & Júlio Ferreira

    The assault against the Teen Titans continues this issue as the team struggles to even the odds. Will they be defeated by a foe with superior leadership?
    And in the co-feature, Ravager is attacked in her arctic hideaway. Who wants her dead? That’s what she wants to know…

I want Ravager dead.  Does that count?

(I don’t really, but I am sick of Sean McKeever writing her.  Then again, I am sick of Sean McKeever.)

And how about that cover?  A casket with a Titans symbol on it.  How original!   Never seen DC kill a Teen Titan before.  When’s Geoff Johns bringing them back?

I kid the Teen Titans!  But only because I care.  Please make this book good enough that I can start reading it again!

TITANS #16

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Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Angel Unzueta & Wayne Faucher

    Why has Starfire been acting odd the past few issues? Turns out the warrior woman has major rage issues coming out of her recent breakup with Dick Grayson, the events of FINAL CRISIS and more. Her super-powerful emotions could very well rip the team apart!

Gee, I can’t remember ever reading a story in which Starfire was portrayed as a hothead…  Next thing you know, they will really shake things up by putting her huge orange hooters on the cover.  What are the odds we’ll get a three-page spread of Starfire naked?  (Yep, that phrase is the number one search result here at read/RANT.  So, I’m using it every month!)

At least Deathcrap is over.

WONDER WOMAN #35

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan

    “Birds of Paradise” part 2 of 2! A gaggle of super-powered cage fighters find themselves in the worst possible place to be – on the bad side of Wonder Woman and Black Canary! Also, find out the final resolution between Diana and Nemesis along with much, much more!

Thanks, Gail.  The DCU was getting to be a hard place to be for this Black Canary fan.  Thanks for showing everyone else how it’s done.


DC March Solcitations

December 16, 2008

Last month, I did a write-up of the DC solicits largely because I was irritated with the blandness of them as well as some rumors I’d been hearing about the direction things were taking.  The article was fun to write and I got some good feedback.  So, I figured I’d try it again now that the March solicits are available.  This time, I haven’t read through the solicits first.  So, you’re getting my uncensored first impressions.  So, here goes: Read the rest of this entry »


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