Super Tuesday

Well, tomorrow sees the launch of the all new DCU.  How many of the new titles will you be picking up at launch?

This Week’s Comics

It’s a light week this time around, mainly due to the lack of DC titles, dedicating an entire week to the end of Flashpoint and the start of the new DCU.  Here’s what’s noteworthy this week.

  • FLASHPOINT #5 (OF 5) – IT ALL ENDS HERE!
  • GOON #35 – Any week with The Goon is a Good Week.
  • HERC #6 POINT ONE
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 – Johns.  Lee.  Darkseid.  This is how a new universe begins.
  • ROCKETEER ADVENTURES #4 (OF 4) – This has been a seriously good title, with some all-star talent. 
  • SECRET AVENGERS #16
  • UNCANNY X-FORCE #14

And, I suppose that’s it for this time around.  I’ve updated my pull list for this week.  What are YOU looking at?

A Brief Look at the New DCU

Well, that was it.  Last week was the end of the DCU as we’ve known it for the last 25 years and the All-New, All-Different DC Universe kicks off next week.  After such extended diatribes about DCNu, it’s probably only fair that we take a look at the 52 new titles DC will be launching.  (I took this list from http://drhiphop85.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/breaking-news-dcnu-presents-all-52-new-titles-the-relaunch-is-here/, who probably got it from Previews, but is the first site I found to have all the information in one place.)  Some of the info has already changed, such as the Green Lantern titles, but we’ll look at it as announced.  There will be SPOILERS ahead.

ACTION COMICS #1
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Rags Morales
Cover by Rags Morales

A new era of DC Comics begins as the longest-running monthly comic of
all time releases its first issue #1 since 1938.

This September, New York Times bestselling writer Grant Morrison
(ALL-STAR SUPERMAN) joins with sensational artist Rags Morales to
bring you tales of The Man of Tomorrow unlike any you’ve ever read
before in ACTION COMICS #1. This momentous first issue will set in
motion the history of the DC Universe as Superman defends a world that
doesn’t trust their first Super Hero.

The first Action Comics #1 is now the most sought-after comic book of
all time. This September, one of comics’ most imaginative storytellers
will make history again in Grant Morrison and Rags Morales’ ACTION
COMICS #1.

I’m glad Action comes first alphabetically because of all the new titles, this is the biggest one for me.  As tempted as I am to write off the whole DCU now, I’ll never be able to pass up a Grant Morrison uperman title.  Add in art by Rags Morales, who made me a fan for life after his work on Hourman so long ago, and this is a sure-fire hit.

This is one of two reasons I haven’t written off DC books entirely. Grant Morrison on a Superman book is a win for me.

The solicitations make note of how long it’s been since the last Action #1, and we’ll see that on several other listings.  It’s ironic that this whole relaunch is the only thing that makes this fact notable.  Word has since come out that Action is going to take place 5 years in the past.  While “Grant Morrison’s Smallville” will almost certainly be worth reading, no way does this five-year separation last long.

You’re almost certainly right about the five-year separation. I’m worried that Morrison is on the title long enough to tell the origin from 5 years ago; then we’re going to get a bait and switch.

ALL-STAR WESTERN #1
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Grey
Art by Moritat

If you liked Jonah Hex, this will just be expanding upon that mythology by incorporating more DC Western stars.  Since it’s only tangential to the primary DCU, this changes from Hex’s last title will most likely be minor.

I’m pleasantly surprised that they’re keeping this book essentially intact. DC’s willingness to change up creative teams, such as taking Secret Six from Gail Simone, is disconcerting. That the title is the only thing changing is actually a relief.

ANIMAL MAN #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Travel Foreman & Dan Green

Were there really enough people screaming for an Animal Man book? Or is this a by product of needing 52 titles?

I imagine it’s DC wanting to find work for Lemire, and this is a character they pitched him that they thought he could do something with.

AQUAMAN #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis

We rip on Geoff Johns a lot here, but he really is a good writer.  I’m anxious to see what he does here, I just hope it doesn’t lead to an over-complication of the whole Aquaman Family.

This is one of those times when I have to disagree with you. Johns isn’t a good writer; he’s a good idea man. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When Johns takes on too many responsibilities, the quality suffers. I want this book to be good; I’d love for Aquaman to see a Green Lantern style renaissance, but Johns is the guy that brought back Barry Allen and inexplicably went back in time to shove young Allen down a set of stairs. Johns’s best writing is at least three years behind him unless he were to drop everything for Aquaman.

Good points. 

BATGIRL #1
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes

This one is going to be contentious for a lot of readers.  As much as I think Oracle was a strong character in her own right, no Batgirl since her has done a thing for me. Writing off Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown is alright with me.

BATMAN #1
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo

In the first BATMAN #1 since 1940, New York Times bestselling writer
Scott Snyder teams up with superstar artist Greg Capullo in his DC
Comics debut! In the series, Bruce Wayne once again becomes the only
character taking on the Batman name.

I confess to being curious about this one, and Greg Capullo hasn’t done work for the Big Two in decades.  But again, let’s stop bragging about how long it’s been since the last #1.  It’s weird.

It’s like they’re subliminally saying… “Here’s a collectible! It’ll be worth something someday.” How much is Superman #1 (vol. 2)? Oh… right, not much.

BATMAN & ROBIN #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Pat Gleason

Did we ever get Tomasi’s vol. 1 arc that was supposed to happen between Morrison and Cornell?

I believe so.  I think it was right before Winick’s Red Hood arc.

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1
Written by David Finch
Art by David Finch & Jay Fabok

Shouldn’t we be giving out 1/52 of the entire line to titles we’ll actually see?

BATWING #1
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Ben Oliver

This one reeks of tokenism to me.  Maybe it’ll work, but Judd Winick’s work in the DCU has never been to my taste, Red Hood work aside.

BATWOMAN #1
Written by J.H. Williams III & Haden Blackman
Art by Amy Reeder

I imagine this is the exact same book they’ve been soliciting for over a year, with no changes.  It’ll most likely be solid, and definitely look amazing.

BIRDS OF PREY #1
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Jesus Saiz

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. This is a refrain I keep thinking again and again while looking at this list. Next…

BLACKHAWKS #1
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Ken Lashley
Cover by Ken Lashley

Blackhawk is an elite group of mercenaries made up of brave men from
around the world equipped with the latest in cutting-edge hardware and
vehicles. Their mission: Kill the bad guys before they kill us. A set
of contemporary tales that battle the world’s gravest threats,
BLACKHAWKS #1 will be written by Mike Costa and illustrated by Ken
Lashley.

This is just G.I. Joe, right?  I mean…Right?

Yeah… That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

Unless you like Blackhawk.

BLUE BEETLE #1
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Ig Guara

I like this in principle, but why is this going to work when the book was cancelled for low sales almost two and a half years ago?

CAPTAIN ATOM #1
Written by JT Krul
Art by Freddie Williams II

I don’t think I can bring myself to read anything more by the guy who wrote Rise of Arsenal.  Sorry.

See my comments re: Animal Man.

CATWOMAN #1
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Guillem March

Even Judd Winick can’t characterize this as more than sex and violence.  Sorry, pass.

DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #1
Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Bernard Chang

A new anthology series written by Paul Jenkins?  He’s becoming more hit-or-miss for me, but I like the concept.

My interest in this title is going to waver depending on the character(s) highlighted each issue. Odds are I’ll be pulling this one from quarter boxes in about 20 years in the same way I’ve been pulling DC Comics Presents.

Or Marvel Comics Presents.

DEATHSTROKE #1
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Joe Bennett & Art Thibert

I’ve had to look up half of these writers to see who they are. Why is DC handing a major relaunch to it’s rookie class? Many of these guys only have one shots and back up stories to their names. This is a weird strategy all around. Are Johns and Lee crazy or crazy like foxes? We’ll see… we’ll see.

DEMON KNIGHTS #1
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Diogenes Neves & Oclair Albert

Despite never liking The Demon (reading his dialogue ALWAYS feels like work) Paul Cornell’s name here is a huge draw.  However, I don’t give this book more than a year.  It’s Etrigan.

Despite being Cornell, I’m going to wait for the trade on this one.

DETECTIVE COMICS #1
Written by Tony S. Daniel
Art by Tony S. Daniel

Expect a mediocre bat-title.  Shouldn’t these books be launching with higher-profile creators?  Daniel’s art is great, but his writing is still finding it’s legs.

A major title with mass name recognition in the hands of a mediocre writer… Ummmmm…we’ll see?

THE FLASH #1
Written by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Art by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
—-
I’m surprised Geoff Johns hasn’t taken this one over.  I wonder how many speedsters there will be post-Flashpoint, especially with no JSA?

I’ll wait a few issues before I think about giving this one a try.

FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF SHADE #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Alberto Ponticelli

I’ve heard some great things about Jeff Lemire’s indy work, and Frankenstein was one of Grant Morrison’s best Seven Soldiers titles. I think this one may be one to watch.

I’m liking Lemire’s work on the Flashpoint Frankenstein book. I’ll give this one the once over.

THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #1
Written by Ethan Van Sciver & Gail Simone
Art by Yildiray Cinar

I was fairly nonplussed about this one, but a Newsarama interview with Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver have made it sound worth checking out.

It will be a testimony to the creative if they can make me care about Firestorm.

GREEN ARROW #1
Written by JT Krul
Art by Dan Jurgens

GREEN LANTERN #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke & Christiam Almy

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin & Scott Hanna

GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS #1
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Tyler Kirkham & Batt

Okay.  The Green Lantern titles.  This is where things will get especially muddy, since Geoff Johns has spent the last 5 years resetting GL continuity to where he wants it. And without Blackest Night, where did all these Corps come from?  I think I’m done with anything ring-based for the foreseeable future.

Yup.

GRIFTER #1
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Cafu & BIT

What? by whom? Oh… uh….so what?

HAWK & DOVE #1
Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Rob Liefeld

<sigh>  I’ll be getting this one, although I’m curious how the Rob will get both this and The Infinite out.  That’s not even taking into consideration the long-lost  Image United.

I, VAMPIRE #1
Written by Josh Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Cover by Andrea Sorrentino

Vampires threaten to bring ruin to the DC Universe in I, VAMPIRE #1 by
rising star Josh Fialkov and artist Andrea Sorrentino. Tortured by his
centuries-old love for the Queen of the Damnned, Andrew Bennett must
save humanity from the violent uprising of his fellow vampires, even
if it means exterminating his own kind.

And DC arrives at the Twilight party, which sounds dirty but isn’t.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jim Lee & Scott Williams

I think this is going to be the premiere book of the DCNu, with such high-profile creators on it.  Even I’ll get sucked into it, I’m sure, as I’m a sucker for the JLA.  This will probably also be where we see the most character interaction and get the most clues about how this whole new DCU is going to work.

Nope. Just… nope. I’ll wait until the origin story is finished; then I’ll see what it’s all about.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Mikel Janin
Cover by Ryan Sook

John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu
are Justice League Dark, a band of supernatural heroes united to stop
the dark things the rest of the DCU does not see in JUSTICE LEAGUE
DARK #1, by Peter Milligan and artist Mikel Janin.

I’m more likely to pick this one up than the main title.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Aaron Lopresti
Cover by Aaron Lopresti

A team of internationally-drafted superheroes fight each other and
their bureaucratic supervisors as much as they do global crime in
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1 from writer Dan Jurgens and artist
Aaron Lopresti. The cover to issue #1 is by Aaron Lopresti.

In another example of short-sightedness, it feels like DC has spent the last 5 years eliminating the Giffen/DeMatteis era JL only to start listening to fan outrage and support of that era.

How far into the book do we see a roster change to characters that Jurgens really wants to work with? I can’t bring myself to care about this book remembering the lackluster JL stories Jurgens wrote in the 90’s… Dr. Destiny story not withstanding.

Good point.  Also worth noting: Jurgens gets associated with the JLI era a lot, but truly he didn’t get involved until long after the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire run was over.

LEGION LOST #1
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Pete Woods

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1
Written by Paul Levitz
Art by Francis Portela

MISTER TERRIFIC #1
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Roger Robinson

I’m a sucker for the new Mister Terrific.  This one I’ll be keeping an eye out for to see how it does…

NIGHTWING #1
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Eddy Barrows

OMAC #1
Written by Dan Didio & Keith Giffen
Art by Keith Giffen & Scott Koblish

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort
Cover by Kenneth Rocafort

Batman’s former sidekick had put his past as The Red Hood behind him,
when the reclusive Jason Todd finds himself unwillingly elected as the
leader of an all-new team of outlaw vigilantes.

As The Red Hood once again, Jason Todd will lead this new team of
antiheroes, including Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal and
Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war.

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS will be written by Scott Lobdell and
illustrated by rising superstar artist Kenneth Rocafort.
—-
Junk!After 20 years, DC finally gets their X-Force!

RED LANTERNS #1
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter

RESURRECTION MAN #1
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Fernando Dagnino

Welcome back, R-Man!  This is the highlight of the relaunch news, for me.  Seriously, the 90’s series was a highlight of it’s era along other titles like Starman, Chronos, and Chase.

Ditto. This and Action Comics are the only two titles I’m guaranteed to buy when they come out. I’m so excited that they’ve got DnA back for writing, but why not give Butch Guice some love?

THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #1
Written by Tony S. Daniel
Art by Philip Tan
Cover by Philip Tan

Batman writer Tony Daniel will team up with artist Philip Tan (GREEN
LANTERN: AGENT ORANGE, THE OUTSIDERS) for THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #1.
Carter Hall’s skill at deciphering lost languages has led him to a job
with an archeologist who specializes in alien ruins – but will the
doctor’s latest discovery spread an alien plague through New York
City? No matter the personal cost, Carter Hall must don his cowl and
wings and become the new, savage Hawkman to survive. The cover to
issue #1 is by Philip Tan.

Can we all please just agree that, like Dr. Strange, no matter how much we may like Hawkman he just can’t support his own title?

SGT. ROCK AND THE MEN OF WAR #1
Written by Ivan Brandon
Art by Tom Derenick
Cover by Tom Derenick

The grandson of the original Sgt. Rock assumes the command of Easy
Company, a team of crack ex-military men financed by a covert military
contractor, as they brave the battle-scarred landscape carved by the
DC Universe’s super-villains. SGT. ROCK AND THE MEN OF WAR #1 is
contemporary military story fighting under modern conditions, and will
be written by Ivan Brandon and illustrated by Tom Derenick.

STATIC SHOCK #1
Written by John Rozum & Scott McDaniel
Art by Scott McDaniel & Jonathan Glapion

STORMWATCH #1
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Miguel Sepulveda
Cover by Miguel Sepulveda

Stormwatch is a dangerous super human strike force whose existence is
kept secret from the world. Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the crew
look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet:
Midnighter and Apollo. And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian
Manhunter can change their minds. Featuring a surprising new roster,
STORMWATCH #1 will be written by the critically-acclaimed Paul Cornell
(Superman: The Black Ring, “Dr. Who”) and illustrated by Miguel
Sepulveda.

I’m a pretty huge Stormwatch fan, at least the Ellis run they’re trying to recreate here.  But I think DC is making a mistake by putting J’onn here rather than in the JLA, where he’s been the one constant across every. single.  incarnation.

At the point that you have 3 JLA’s, a Stormwatch, a Suicide Squad, Teen Titans, and a Blackhawk team combatting “the world’s gravest threats,” why not combine them all into a book called Justice League Unlimited? What better way to honor Dwayne McDuffie and apologize for screwing him over with his shot at the JLoA book?

SUICIDE SQUAD #1
Written by Adam Glass
Art by Marco Rudy

Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! They’re a team of death-row super
villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous
– they’re sheer suicide! Who will be the first to crack under the
pressure? Find out in SUICIDE SQUAD #1, written by Adam Glass
(FLASHPOINT: LEGION OF DOOM) with art by Marco Rudy (THE SHIELD).

Okay, this sounds pretty intriguing.

I’d agree if I hadn’t read the first two issues of Flashpoint: Legion of Doom. It’s been the most boring prison break ever.

SUPERBOY #1
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by R.B. Silva & Rob Lean

SUPERGIRL #1
Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art by Mahmud Asrar

SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF TOMORROW #1
Written by George Perez
Art by Jesus Merino

I’ve just realized that there’s no book simply called “Superman”.  If DC’s bragging about how they’re relaunching new #1 issues of titles for the first time in 70 years, they should be ashamed that for the first time in 70 years some of them are gone.  This may be the only book with a creator who also participated in the post-Crisis relaunch.

SWAMP THING #1
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Yannick Paquette

TEEN TITANS #1
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund
Cover by Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Tim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard when an
international organization seeks to capture or kill super-powered
teenagers. As Red Robin, he must team up with the mysterious and
belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and a hyperactive
speedster calling himself Kid Flash in TEEN TITANS #1, by Scott
Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

This reeks of mid-90’s Image comics, to me.  Hey look, Superboy has a tattoo!  Isn’t that edgy?  I bet Red Robin has talons or claws of some type.

VOODOO #1
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Sami Basri

No offense meant to Ron Marz, but even Alan Moore couldn’t make Voodoo interesting.  Couldn’t we have gotten Joe Casey back on Wildcats?

WONDER WOMAN #1
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang

A few miscellaneous thoughts:

We haven’t quite worked out what this means (for good or ill), but twelve titles feature Batman
characters or take place in Gotham City.  That’s almost 1/4 of the whole line.

GL-related books are still even with the Superman related titles, 6 each (if you count Superboy in Teen Titans). Ain’t that some #$%@.

Out of the 52 new titles, only 6 look like must-buys to me, with about 9 that look like they have potential or I may check in on.  That’s 28%, which isn’t bad, but I doubt I’ll pick them all up.

Two are must-buys. I’ll give four others a chance. Looks like my pendulum has swung back toward Marvel.

I’ve looked through this list of new books many, many times and I can’t help but wonder how long DC will be able to maintain these 52 titles? Some I see lasting 1 – 3 years while a few won’t make it to April.

Agreed.  And now that Robinson is relaunching JSA, Batman Inc will be relaunched soon, and more titles will come in and out, the “52” part of this seems like a gimmick.  In the interest of fairness, we’ll let Dan Didio have the last word.

Random Links For Your Weekend

Man, it has been a long, LONG time since I’ve done a link round-up, and I have so many browser tabs open these days it’s crashing my computer.  So, in the spirit of enlightened self-interest, please help me get caught up.


Happy Hour, or: It’s Martini Time!

Superheroes work hard, play hard, and fight hard.  Sometimes, when business time is done, they also drink hard.  For this week’s LIST we present: Superheros’ Favorite Cocktails.  (NOTE: “Bat-tini” merited instant disqualification.)

  • The Two Face (or Gotham Car Bomb) – a half shot of Sterno and half shot of heavy whipping cream dropped into a pint of Guinness.

  • The Rainbow Raider – Any red wine with a drop of LSD

  • The Rogue – Line the rim of a glass with butter and grits. Add 2 parts Southern Comfort to one part Hot Damn!

  • Hulk Smash – Absinthe and Human Growth Hormone

  • The Fawcett City Gee Whiz -3 parts Dudley’s gin, 2 parts Tawney’s Triple Sec, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 parts soda water, shaken with a bolt of lightening from any of the Marvel Family served in a highball glass with 6 ice cubes.

  • The First Class – 2 parts blue agave, one part firebird, one part cognac (the angel’s liquor), One maraschino cherry, served on the rocks.

  • The Lazarus Pit – 2 parts Everclear, one part Tabasco Sauce, half a can of Red Bull, stir in 2 powdered Viagra tablets. Garnish with Bhut Jolokia chili pepper.

  • The Resurrection Man – a jigger of bleach with a dash of Drano

  • Transmet – 5 oz. of Everclear, 1 oz. cranberry juice, 2 – 3 tabs of lysergic acid diethylamide, and a teaspoon of nanobots designed to convert alcohol to lysergic acid diethylamide. Stir vigorously, add bitters to taste, and garnish with lemon zest. Serve chilled.

  • Themyscirapolitan – A cosmopolitan, but with the blood of a man instead of cranberry juice.

  • The Schumaker – A slippery nipple dropped into a glowing neon mug of coffee.

  • The Martian Manhunter – Any drink that is traditionally set aflame, but not lit

  • The Opal City Sling – a gimlet served in a Bakelite highball glass

CAUTION: Imbibing of these drinks can and will cause insanity and/or death.  Plus they’ll almost certainly taste like ass.

Shaggy Man… Secrets

I think it's interesting that my social security number is only one digit off of Superman's.

secret…

It's more accurate to say that wet dog smells like wet me.

secret…

My plan to defeat the Justice League? Hit them with a rock.

Secret…

A lot of people ask me why I don't wear pants. Well, I don't need to.

Secret…

I briefly spent time in the '70's solving mysteries in a van with some kids and a dog

SECRETS!