Comic Fodder

DC Solicitations - April 2007

DC Comics has released a list of what readers can expect to hit the shelves in April. We take a look at a few items readers may want to pre-order or reserve from DC.

DC Solicitations are out. We're going to point you toward Comic Book Resources for your reference rather than repost here.

Okay, what've we got?



World War III Part I-IV: We get some hint of the war to come in 52. DC is clearly going to wrap up 52 with a bang, which is good news for fans of 52. However, readers may feel a bit perturbed to see the same sort of "insert" titles DC slipped in as necessary reading during Infinite Crisis with the Countdown series four Infinite Crisis Specials (now available in the Infinite Crisis Companion). The writers (Ostrander and Champagne) on the four World War III titles are known writers but not DC's heavy hitters. For readers of 52, the one-shots may be important, and at $2.50 each, the price is in keeping with 52. Not too bad.

One nitpick on this WWIII business: There's also already been a World War III in DC Comics, if you believe Morrison's run on JLA. Perhaps Morrison isn't easily offended or is willing to play ball, but you'd think as part of the 52 team, his feelings might be a little hurt.

52, week 48-52: The great experiment wraps up. We've got a war on. Curious that it wasn't mentioned until last month in JSA. Whatever. One assumes that if you're reading this series, you're not giving up on it for the last four issues.

What will follow 52 in a weekly format? We may find out with May Solicitations.

52: Volume 1 TP 13 issues per collection at $20, which isn't too bad. Sales on this should be interesting as the single issues have been moving so briskly. Will readers want to buy this all over again? And will folks who "waited for the trade" really want to catch up in this manner? A "wait and see" moment for DC's current business model.



Amazons Attack #1: Some readers may recall this was the name of a limited series which was to be a part of the Countdown to Infinite Crisis line of mini-series. Apparently the Amazons are back, which sort of puts the whole premise of the Wonder Woman One Year Later re-boot on it's head.

Wonder Woman #7 and #8: Yup. Two issues of Wonder Woman in one month. Apparently DC has done a 180 in their policy of allowing things to drag out indefinitely from a production standpoint on Wonder Woman. And these two issues seem to point back toward the Amazons Attack! storyline, so it looks like we're getting quite a bit of Wonder Woman going into the Spring. Still, one wonders why the Amazons Attack storyline couldn't have just been put in the hopper for a larger or later Wonder Woman story. We'll see.



THE ORIGINAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMIC BOOK HEROES VOLUME 1: BATMAN TP

Neat! DC's full DCU Encyclopedia from a short while ago was great, but I look forward to this character centric book. This volume is a reprint of a book from thirty years ago, so that puts it beyond my memory. I'm also not sure if Volume 2 will be an updated Batman encyclopedia or if it will be another character's reprint.

If Marvel can reprint their Marvel Universe Handbooks under the Essentials banner, DC can certainly get in on the action.



Action Comics and Superman: In the realm of "What the @#$% ?" this one takes the cake. No new issues of Superman OR Action Comics in April? Not even a fill-in? Something has gone awry in the editorial house of Matt Idleson. No explanation, no nothing. Is DC dropping the ball on the Man of Steel titles after such an auspicious beginning?

SUPERGIRL #16

Finally, the truth about the Girl from Krypton! Why was she sent to kill Superman? And what does it means to Earth if she doesn't?

DC may have finally noticed reader dissatisfaction with the never-ending single mystery/ plot-point of the Supergirl title. This reader abandoned Supergirl three issues back, but may consider picking up this issue if a quick browse at the shop doesn't just end in an extended, non-cliffhanger "to be continued".
Closure, DC.



DOCTOR FATE #1: Steve Gerber as writer? Really?
JSA fans will probably want to pick up this title as DC returns to square one with a character that's been unnecesarrily tweaked and re-tweaked for two decades (wash from your minds the early 90's Fate series. You shall be happier).

There's a Kent Nelson under the mask. Sometimes the original concepts are still the best.

GOLDEN AGE DR. FATE ARCHIVES VOL. 1 HC: You can't have a launch in the DCU without some good tie-in product. Luckily, DC is here to catch you up with the Golden Age appearances of Dr. Fate for a mere $75. So you can drive home in your golden car to lay on your bejeweled sofa in your diamond house and read this comic which originally published for a few cents an issue.

One can appreciate the archive editions, but DC needs to look at the vast valley between the Archive Editions and the Showcase Presents telephone books. An argument could be made that the current Chronicles editions are that happy medium, if the Chronicles came out with any regularity and didn't just cover Superman and Batman.



Firestorm #35: A DC title bites the dust. Inconsistency, a lack of focus after three years, and some serious questions regarding age-appropriate relationships were sinking this title (Dear DC: Just because a girl looks 17, it doesn't make it okay if she's really, or mentally, 7.) WIth multiple creative teams over the short life-span of the series, each with a different but seemingly incomplete take on the concept, it may be best to put this book to rest and try again another day.

DC may want to reconsider the difficulty of the "it takes two to tango" issue with turning Jason Rusch into Firestorm. Since the first issue of this series, the writers have battled with how to handle Firestorm's weirdest feature, and regularly come up wanting. Too often this book centered around the question of who Jason's newest "partner" might be. The recent development of a supporting cast is good, but with so many supers on the cast and Jason's yicky little-girl girlfriend, the writers may have wanted to focus more on the Rusch family and less on how many Firestorms they could fit into a panel.



SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT VOL. 1 TP

Written by Robert Kanigher
Art and cover by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito
Over 500 pages of classic adventures are included in this value-priced volume collecting one of the most unusual series ever from DC Comics! On an unnamed, uncharted Pacific island, dinosaurs continued to thrive while World War II raged across the globe. It's there that members of the U.S. Military found themselves armed only with standard-issue weapons against the deadliest predators ever to roam the Earth!

Army + Dinosaurs = 500 pages of awesome is one of those ideas that's just going to very polarizing. But with Ross Andru and Robert Kanigher on the job, my curiousity is piqued. Apparently that whole opening sequence in Darwyn Cooke's Brave New World didn't come from Cooke's fertile imagination. Go figure.


Some Quick Thoughts:


MANHUNTER #30: The purge continues. Maybe. Supposably the final issue of Manhunter. Not much of a reprieve. But I also don't really think the title is cancelled. Could be wrong. Hope I am.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE FLASH VOL. 1 TP : Given the relative success of the Showcase Presents line, this seems like a no-brainer for DC. It should also be a no-brainer for readers to run to their local comic shop to pick up this collection.

THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES IN THE 31st CENTURY #1: Based on the animated show. Despite Waid's enthusiasm for the mainstream Legion book, readers may be curious to see how the cartoon distills the concepts down to an easily digestible format.

ALAN MOORE: WILD WORLDS: Is it safe to assume this is all re-print stuff and not "new" as the solicit explicitly states? Or has Moore decided it's safe to publish through DC once again? Or did Wildstorm cut a deal with Moore?

Alan Moore, writer of the top-selling graphic novels V FOR VENDETTA and WATCHMEN, returns with this new title starring some of the biggest names from the WildStorm Universe and beyond!

BATTLER BRITTON TP High flying action by Garth Ennis in the vein of his War Stories work? This reader skipped the single issues, always with an eye on the inevitable collection. Sounds good.

FRIDAY THE 13th #5: Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET #7: Written by Chuck Dixon
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE #6: Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Nothing. I just noticed the names of the writers on these series. This reader doesn't pick up licensed horror comics, but is glad to see some name writers were interested.





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