Comic Fodder

Reviewing the DC December Solicitations Part 1

Howdy all!

It seems the solicitations for DC's December (and beyond) offerings are out. We'll be taking a look at some of the items and seeing what wildly speculating, pausing in thought, and generally making a nuisance of ourselves.

TRINITY #27-31

Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza

Art by Mark Bagley & Art Thibert, Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens, Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton

Covers by Jim Lee & Scott Williams and Carlos Pacheco & Jesus Merino


My hat is off to the Trinity team. While this thing may not be moving off the shelf like "52", it's been holding its own. After the first five issues of the series (yeah, I gave it that long), I feel Busiek has been doing the same good job I felt he did on Superman.

There's a long, long way to go with Trinity, so.. lots of room for greatness or failure. I still don't feel I'm hearing a whole lot about the series, which I find odd. What's the buzz on this show.



FINAL CRISIS: SECRET FILES #1

Written by Grant Morrison & Peter J. Tomasi

Art by Frank Quitely & various

Covers by Frank Quitely and Jim Lee & Scott Williams

Finally, the secrets of this year’s most talked about event can be
revealed! Witness how Darkseid's death shattered the Multiverse,
creating continuity ripples throughout the DC Universe! Submit to
Darkseid and read the full Anti-Life Equation! This is a book you
cannot resist to buy!

.

On sale December 24 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US


I'm not really clear on the release dates anymore on all of the various "Final Crisis" tie-in's, but I'm the dork who always picks up the "Secret Files" comics and reads them cover to cover. Here's to hoping Morrison is using this opportunity to clear up the Countdown/ Death of the New Gods/ Final Crisis debacle that had the DC community's panties in a collective bunch.

FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS #4

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by George Pérez & Scott Koblish

Covers by George Pérez

Don't miss this issue as lightning strikes again in the DC Universe!
The Crisis of the 31st century continues as a great hero falls and
another returns to help Superman and the Legion combat the murderous
Superboy-Prime! Meanwhile, the Time Trapper makes his move against the
three Legion founders, Polar Boy's bizarre mission comes to an end and
Superman makes a shocking discovery that will redefine the terms of
this war.

Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by George
Pérez that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the
Previews Order Form for more information.

On sale December 24 • 4 of 5 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US


I'm not crazy about the split covers on this series, partially because its $8.00 if I want both lovely covers, as with these other titles. However, I may justify it as I did with the first issue for the phenomenal art, dense storytelling and promise of a a defined world for the Legion.

FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS #5

Written by Greg Rucka

Art and covers by Philip Tan & Jonathan Glapion

The sky rains blood, Darkseid's legion of slaves rampage across the
planet, and in Gotham City, The Question and Huntress struggle to
defend the few men, women and children who remain free. But without the
Spectre, do they even have a chance against the might of Cain and the
Spear of Destiny? The final battle is at hand, and the fate of the DCU
hangs in the balance.

On sale December 31 • 5 of 5 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

DC did poorly by Rucka since "52" wrapped. I may have loved his Checkmate work more, but DC needs Rucka handling Cris Allen and Renee Montoya, especially in their new roles. Other Spectre efforts have been lacking. I was surprised how much you could feel the Rucka vibe in just the first issue. The solicits make this series, unfortunately, read cheesier than it actually is.



VIGILANTE #1

Written by Marv Wolfman

Art by Rick Leonardi

Cover by Walter Simonson

Variant cover by Andrew Robinson

In New York City, crime is on the rise, and terror fills the streets.
Gang warfare is escalating, and metahumans are being drafted into
battle. Through the corruption and lawlessness, one man emerges to
right the wrongs as only he can. So when a Super Hero conspiracy plot
is brought to light, the Vigilante returns to find the traitor and mete
out his own brand of justice – with extreme prejudice! Join us as
writer Marv Wolfman (NEW TEEN TITANS, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS)
continues the street-level adventures of the mysterious new crime
fighter he introduced in the pages of NIGHTWING.

On sale December 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I didn't read Vigilante any any previous form. As much as I'd like to jump on board with a Wolfman project, I really don't see what niche DC is trying to fill here. This seems to be looking backward at the days when Punisher was popular with the kids, not looking forward in any meaningful way.

Why revive a character the general comic audience isn't even luke-warm on? It's kind of puzzling, and makes it seem DC is really swinging in the dark these days.

THAT SAID, I'm curious about the plot described. So maybe as a trade if the reviews are good (Travis?)?

SGT. ROCK: THE LOST BATTALION #2
Written by Billy Tucci
Art and cover by Billy Tucci
Sgt. Rock and Easy Co. find themselves cut off behind enemy lines and surrounded by thousands of troops. In a driving rainstorm, Easy is soon ambushed by an overwhelming and elite enemy contingent and must battle hand-to-hand for their lives – with disastrous consequences and the loss of one of their most beloved members.
On sale December 3 • 2 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Annnnnd I have to put on my hypocrite hat here. I don't think the audience finds Sgt. Rock relevant, even with the US at war on two fronts.

But I will be picking this up. But I like DC's war comics. It's a weakness. I admit, though, I'm unfamiliar with Tucci's work, despite his lengthy career. Maybe it'll all go to hell really fast, but part of me thinks Easy Co. is just a good tool for telling stories, so why not give it a chance?



AMBUSH BUG YEAR NONE #6

Written by Keith Giffen & Robert Loren Fleming

Art by Keith Giffen & Al Milgrom

Cover by Darwyn Cooke

Our last issue of this stunning, award-winning literary masterpiece
takes us deep into the mind of Ambush Bug. The other 21 pages will be
just as exciting, we promise.

On sale December 24 • 6 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Honestly, the second issue of this series left me feeling like the pages were stapled out of order or that I'd been taking crazy pills, and not in a fun way. Honestly, this says more to me about Jann Jones' editing than Keith Giffen's work. I sort of think she didn't bother to edit at all or reign her writer artists in. The gags just don't work.




EL DIABLO #4

VIXEN: RETURN OF THE LION #3

TERRA #3-4

If you're going to create a new Terra, re-charge Vixen, get a new Diablo... try something that doesn't sound exactly like everything else. I didn't include descriptions because... it basically reads like "Character X continues to try to discover the mystery behind their origin and NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME!"

I don't really get these mini-series. I can't imagine they sell that well, and the stories always seem so... bleh. Solving mysteries outside of any of the main action of the DCU that don't matter... and will probably cause continuity glitches in the mainline titles. I like Vixen as a supporting character, but suspect the audience has probably already made up their mind as to whether or not she can carry her own title. And while I'd love to see a breakout hit from any of these... I'm not seeing it.

Sometimes I believe DC should publish a monthly anthology of these titles. I'd be a lot more likely to pick that up than a $2.99, stand-alone comic. There has to be a better way of packaging these try-out sort of mini's.



SUPERMAN #683

Written by James Robinson & Geoff Johns

Art by Renato Guedes & Wilson Magalháes

Cover by Alex Ross

Variant cover by Chris Sprouse

“New Krypton” part 9! Violence breaks out on Earth as the Kryptonians,
enraged by humanity's treatment of them and their newly passed
anti-Kryptonian laws, strike back! Imagine 100,000 people, each with
the powers of Superman but lacking his humanity – and they’re angry!

On sale December 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US ý


As a Superman nut, of course I'm excited by the possibilities here.

That said: The "Kryptonians as hard-headed imperialists" angle is overplayed. We've seen it everywhere from the Lois & Clark TV show to Millar's "Superman Adventures" comics. Hopefully this will be the last word on the topic, and push things forward.

Fundamentally, it makes little sense as Kryptonians had already been there, done that and retreated back to Krypton... so we'll have to wait and see...

DETECTIVE COMICS #851

Written by Dennis O’Neil

Art by Guillem March

Cover by Guillem March

Variant cover by Tony Daniel

“Last Days of Gotham” part 1 of 2! Longtime BATMAN writer and editor
Dennis O’Neil returns to The Dark Knight for this special two-part
tale. Joined by artistic rising star Guillem March (JOKER’S ASYLUM:
POISON IVY), O’Neil’s “Last Days of Gotham” dives into the soul of a
city that has lost its most famous citizen, its favorite son, its
beloved protector. How will Gotham City react in the wake of the
horrible tragedy that has befallen The Caped Crusader?



BATMAN #684

Written by Dennis O’Neil

Art by Guillem March

Cover by Alex Ross

Variant cover by Tony Daniel

“Last Days of Gotham” part 2 of 2! In a world without a Batman, what
happens when Commissioner Gordon lights the Bat-signal, in desperate
need of assistance against the growing tide of crime sweeping his city?
What does Nightwing do when his longtime partner fails to aid him in
yet another of Two-Face’s villainous assaults against Gotham? Without
The Dark Knight to protect its walls, Gotham City may be facing its
final days!

Do you ever get so excited that you throw up a little? That's kind of how I feel about Denny O'Neil writing these issues.

I haven't been this jazzed about the mainline Batman books in years. Right now its a good time to be a Batman fan. I know some fans are disappointed in the current direction of the series. Those fans are wrong.


TERROR TITANS #3

Written by Sean McKeever



TEEN TITANS #66

I am off Titans. Even with Blue Beetle on the title. Can't do it.

ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #12

Written by Frank Miller

Art and cover by Jim Lee & Scott Williams

Variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

Batman and Robin crack the stone-cold psychopath known as The Joker!
Hold on to your faces, cause they’re about to be rocked off thanks to
this thrilling issue, which sees Batman and Robin track down the
homicidal Clown Prince of Crime!

RESOLICIT • On sale December 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I am, however, fully on board for this title. It looks like they're going past issue 12. Plus, Bill Sienkiewicz on a cover?

Oh, DC... sometimes you know me too well.



TITANS #8



I cannot imagine myself caring less.



RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR #8

Written by Jim Starlin

Art by Ron Lim

Cover by Jim Starlin

The exciting conclusion of this epic space story draws to a dramatic
conclusion, and everyone in the universe shows up to see who will stand
victorious.

On sale December 24 • 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US



I want to want to read this series. But I can't. Starlin's work at DC has been spotty at best, and horrendous with 'Death of the New Gods". I read issue 1 of this series, and its more of the same bland characterization, not-as-interesting as advertised threat, and corner mythology that I just can't get revved up for. And its keeping characters I like from appearing in better stories.

Bleh.

REIGN IN HELL #6

Written by Keith Giffen

Art by Tom Derenick & Bill Sienkiewicz

and Chad Hardin & Walden Wong

Cover by Justiniano


Your mileage may vary.

SECRET SIX #4

Written by Gail Simone

Art by Nicola Scott & Doug Hazlewood

Cover by Nicola Scott

It's Viva Las Vegas for DC's most dangerous and demented team as the
mysterious Junior tightens the noose around all their necks! That
squeeze pushes one Secret Six member towards a life-threatening hazard
that proves once and for all that rest-stop bathrooms really should be
avoided at all costs!

Plus, the new sixth member has joined the team, but is she really
willing to stick with the Six all the way to Gotham with half the
villains in the DC universe chasing them?

On sale December 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

If you do not buy this, you hate comics. Well, fun super-heroey comics.

Simone's "Villains United" and "Secret Six" stuff has been some of her best DC work. Given her own little corner to play in, with characters we can expect to be snarky and nasty, she seems to really shine.



TANGENT: SUPERMAN’S REIGN #10

Written by Dan Jurgens and Ron Marz

Art by Wes Craig, Dan Davis, Andie Tong and Mark McKenna

Cover by Brad Walker

The fate of the Tangent Earth stands in the crosshairs! It will take
the combined efforts of two worlds to save billions of lives! It’s
Superman vs. Superman – and when the dust clears only one of them will
be left standing!

On sale December 17 • 10 of 12, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

DC... 12 issues? Really? This looks so bad and pointless. And has the stink of "Countdown" all over it. $36 seems like a steep price to pay for a series that nobody will mention again by 2010.


THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT #8

Written by Bruce Jones

Art by Al Barrionuevo & Walden Wong

Cover by Joshua Middleton

Colonel Jape goes over the edge! Tomahawk, Enemy Ace and the rest of
the time-lost warriors must contend with their crazed leader while
Trang goes into labor – in the middle of a blockbuster dinosaur battle
royal!

On sale December 31 • 8 of 12, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I am reading this. Shut up. It has Enemy Ace and dinosaurs and all kinds of stuff. I suspect its just there to protect copyright on several seldom used characters (Viking Prince, anyone?), but its not that bad.



BATMAN: CACOPHONY #2

Written by Kevin Smith

Pencil art by Walt J. Flanagan

Cover by Adam Kubert

Variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

Sketch cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

I don't care for Kevin Smith, filmmaker. I honestly thought his Green Arrow was unmemorable and his method of resurrection kind of ludicrous, so I dropped it after a few issues.

This looks... like yet another unnecessary Bat-mini. Your mileage will vary.

Also, the 2-script DC Nation thing? Cute... but it would have been better if all the scripts were in. It's DC Nation columns like this that should be a big red light that Didio's crew is still not sure when to just shut up.

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #24

Written by Andrew Kreisberg

Art by Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens

Cover by Stephane Roux

"Rights" part 3 of 4! In an attempt to gain insight into this new kind
of criminal The Joker represents in Gotham, Batman goes undercover to
share the lunatic's cell in the Gotham City Police Department's holding
pen! And a rogue officer hunts down Commissioner Gordon!

On sale December 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



I haven't been following this title, and given how little traction it seems to have, I'm not sure why I should. It seems sort of pointless among the other Bat-books. Batman's not-quite-in-continuity adventures don't really add anything. And if the stories were worth reading, surely DC could just push out a mini-series.

BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT #8

Written by Steve Niles

Art and cover by Kelley Jones

You’d better watch out...It’s Christmas in Gotham City, and Midnight’s
reign of terror continues to unfold! As Batman’s relationship with
Detective April Clarkson heats up the holiday season, the maniacal
Midnight turns his attention towards her as well, and vows to make the
season bright...with her blood! Oh, the ho-ho-horror!

On sale December 24 • 8 of 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



Art by Kelly Jones sounds interesting. Steve Niles on another dud Batbook... not so much.


BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #14

Written by Frank Tieri

Art by Ryan Benjamin & Saleem Crawford

Cover by J. Calafiore & Jack Purcell

In the wake of “Batman R.I.P.,” the Outsiders have come to a
crossroads. The team splinters apart, confused and unsure without their
leader. Shunned by her former teammates, Batgirl turns to one of the
only people she can trust – Nightwing. But the two soon realize they
have very different views on keeping the legacy of Batman alive.

On sale December 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I am kind of curious to see where Outsiders is going. Kind of. And Frank Tieri isn't a name that makes me want to run away from the book.



BATGIRL #6

Written by Adam Beechen

Art by J. Calafiore & Jack Purcell

Cover by Andy Clarke

Batgirl's road to redemption at last brings her face-to-face with
master assassin David Cain! It's daughter versus father in all-out
final combat. Will Batgirl find her ultimate vengeance and kill again?
Or will she be killed? All the questions will be answered – and the
ending will shock you!

On sale December 17 • 6 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I sort of hope this series serves its purpose and makes the Batgirl fans happy. But given that its in the hands of folks who messed Batgirl up post OYL to begin with, confidence is low. That said, this is most likely whatever arc they'd planned in "Robin". I'm just not very interested.

I just doubt anything in the conclusion would likely actually shock me at this point or make me not believe Cassie Cain's story is in need of more rehabilitation than the current handlers are capable.



ROBIN #181

Written by Fabian Nicieza

Art and cover by Freddie E. Williams II

Red Robin is revealed, and Anarky is unleashed in Gotham City! A daring
jailhouse rescue rips the GCPD apart, forcing the Spoiler to live up to
her name! Plus, Oracle and Jason Bard team up again! And while all this
is going on, where is Robin? Maybe he's M.I.A.... or is it R.I.P.?

On sale December 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I still can't believe they named a character "Red Robin" in this day and age. It's like naming a character "Ruby Tuesdays" or "Chuck E. Cheese". Otherwise, looks like better than average Robin action.

No, really. Looks okay.



SIMON DARK #15

Written by Steve Niles

Art and Cover by Scott Hampton

I am so not into this series. I'd love to hear from people who are reading and enjoying Simon Dark.




NIGHTWING #151

Written by Peter J. Tomasi

Art by Don Kramer & Jay Leisten

Cover by Georges Jeanty

Nightwing has saved New York City from Two-Face, but that doesn’t mean
that he’s saved himself – or that Two-Face is through with him.
Nightwing will be forced to confront the madman in Arkham Asylum then
face dire changes to his personal life as he deals with the
aftereffects of “Batman R.I.P.” and makes the ultimate leap!

On sale December 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

No real opinion here. I'm not a regular Nightwing reader, but I am planning to follow the series for a while through RIP and this Two-Face business. Tomasi is usually pretty on as a writer, so I'm in.



SUPERGIRL #36

Written by Sterling Gates

Art by Jamal Igle & Keith Champagne

Cover by Joshua Middleton

Variant cover by Chris Sprouse

“New Krypton” part 8! In the aftermath of ACTION COMICS #872, the city
of Kandor is rocked to its core and Supergirl angrily unleashes her
full power! The Kryptonian population is pushed to its limits and the
mystery of one of Kandor's vigilantes gets deeper and deeper!
Meanwhile, just what is Cat Grant smiling about? And what's her latest
article have to say about the Girl of Steel?

On sale December 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Please, God... let the new creative team stay on the book awhile and get this book set in a direction that can last for more than four issues. Otherwise, cancel it until you know what you want to do with the character (a supporting cast of any kind would be a good start.)


ACTION COMICS #872

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Pete Woods

Cover by Gary Frank

Variant cover by Chris Sprouse

“New Krypton” part 7! As Superman attempts to free the other cities and
abductees from Brainiac's ship – including the original monster
military unit, the Creature Commandos – Lex Luthor experiments on
Brainiac himself. Meanwhile, rebuilt and out for blood, Metallo and
Reactron attack, and a major turning point for one of our characters
sheds a dark shadow across all that is good.

On sale December 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

It's been incredibly gratifying reading Action Comics under Johns, with the feeling that the title is going somewhere. For those of you who enjoyed Morrison's All-Star Superman, now iss a good time to see that Morrison's world of Super-wonder wasn't entirely an invention of his imagination. I encourage comic nuts to get on board with Johns' book.


SUPERMAN AND BATMAN VS. VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES #5-6

Written by Kevin VanHook

Art and cover by Tom Mandrake

Destroy all monsters! The Man of Steel and the Dark Knight Detective –
with help from their own supernatural expert Etrigan, the Demon –
battle Dr. Combs and his vampire and werewolf horde for the fate of all
of Gotham City. But when the good doctor invokes a Lovecraftian beast
to join the fight, it will be the ultimate monster mash for Superman
and Batman!

Issue #5 on sale December 10; Issue #6 on sale December 31 5 and 6 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I... don't get this. And I'm particularly irritated that the series is coming out in such a fashion that you'd have to pre-order the whole thing before issue 1 hits the stands. Always a pretty suspicious sign, to me. I say... wait for the reviews, and then maybe pick up the trade.

This, honestly, looks pretty... dumb.


SUPERMAN/SUPERGIRL: MAELSTROM #3-4

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray

Art and cover by Phil Noto

On a distant world under a red sun, Superman and Supergirl struggle to
survive. Encountering a strange tribe of aliens, Superman is given a
vision of the future while Supergirl is left to fend for herself.
Elsewhere, the Apokoliptian woman known as Maelstrom continues her
quest to become the bride of evil incarnate!

Issue #3 on sale December 3; issue #4 on sale December 17

3 and 4 of 5 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Speaking of dumb... Look. I know Palmiotti and Gray basically got Didio his job, so he owes them work. But they're only barely useful as utility players. Their Superman Confidential issues re-telling Forever People story was completely forgettable, if not plain old dull in comparison to the original... And why is DC letting anyone but Morrison touch the New Gods in the middle of Final Crisis? Yurgh.

I sometimes wonder how often Didio's inability to learn has led to him getting his tongue stuck to frozen flagpoles.

Again: Note the insistence on pre-ordering the entire series before issue 1 hits the stands. And then try to imagine what this will be other than a mess of superhero cliches...


SUPERMAN/BATMAN #55

Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson

Art by Rags Morales & John Dell

Cover by Rags Morales

The now super-powered Dark Knight takes his crusade worldwide, but one
man stands in his way: his original protege, Nightwing! Meanwhile, the
all-too-human Superman teams up with Zatanna to unravel the mystery
behind the loss of his powers!

On sale December 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I hate to say it, but I'm probably dropping this title. And if you think that dropping a comic that stars Superman and Batman in one place isn't heartbreaking to me... well, we just don't know each other very well... So maybe you don't know.

Green seems to be the ongoing writer, but he seems incapable of doing anything but blandly recycling old ideas. (This is DC, recycling isn't the crime. It's doing it badly that's a problem.)

I think I need to vote with my wallet at some point.

BIRDS OF PREY #125

Written by Tony Bedard

Art by Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens

Cover by Frank Quitely

After their intense encounter with The Joker last issue, Oracle and
Black Canary take a much needed breather. Of course, vacations don’t
always go as planned and this one’s plagued by one threat after another!

On sale December 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I quit following this series a while back. So... yeah. I'm not following this solicit.


BLUE BEETLE #34

Written by Matthew Sturges

Art and cover by Rafael Albuquerque

“Boundaries” comes to its explosive conclusion as Doctor Polaris and
Blue Beetle face off! Beetle’s life is at stake and so are the futures
of two communities already fractured by in-fighting!

On sale December 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Despite the fact Sturges walked into a landmine by addressing illegal immigration, his story line has been pretty good. Its tough to write about El Paso (or anywhere in Texas, but especially El Paso) without noting illegal immigration as a reality of daily life.

As long as he steers clear of this becoming a screed either way, we'll be in the clear.

Also, kudos to Sturges for keeping the world established by Giffen and Rogers intact. Its not entirely a seamless transition, but it also hasn't been a bumpy ride moving to the new guy. Recommended. Highly. Jamie is still the most enjoyable new character of the past decade.

BOOSTER GOLD #15

Written by Dan Jurgens

Art and cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund

Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens takes over as writer to kick off the
4-part "Reality Lost" storyline! With the timestream inexplicably
altered and Rip Hunter missing, Booster Gold travels into the past to
fix the anomaly before they’re wiped out of time forever! Luckily,
Booster gets a hand from none other than the Elongated Man!

On sale December 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Here's to hoping that Booster keeps going strong. The series is literally one of both nostalgia and infinite possibilities. Hopefully Jurgens will keep up the great precedent set before him.



THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #20

Written by David Hine

Art and cover by Doug Braithwaite & Bill Reinhold

Green Lantern and Phantom Stranger are summoned to a dangerous new
world! Beautiful and otherworldly, this planet looks like nothing
you’ve seen before. But its civilization hides a secret strange enough
to overpower the Stranger!

On sale December 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

This sounds like an episode of Star Trek, and they're not staffing with their A-team of talent.. Buyer beware.

DCU HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2008

Written by Alan Burnett, Franco Aureliani & Art Baltazar, Dan DiDio and others

Art by Rodolfo Migliari, Kevin Maguire, Ian Churchill, Tim Levins, Yishan Li and others

Cover by Frank Quitely

Celebrate the holiday as the Justice League of America host a surprise
party guest! Dr. Light aids with the Festival of Lights and Nightwing
delivers a special gift to Robin. Plus the super-secret origin of Santa
Claus!

On sale December 17 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US

People. If you cannot get jazzed by this formula (Christmas + DCU = Awesome), then I can't help you. The Super Secret Origin of Santa? Man... just take my wallet and shake it out... I'm so there. And will probably buy an extra copy to put in someone's stocking.

THE FLASH #247

Written by Alan Burnett

Art by Carlo Barberi & Drew Geraci

Cover by Brian Stelfreeze

“This Was Your Life, Wally West” concludes! As Flash stands alone
without his powers or family to support him, only one question remains
– is this end of the Fastest Man Alive?

On sale December 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I mostly trust Burnett. And, seriously, Wally West's status needs a serious update in the wake of the horse-faced aliens, insta-grow kids and muddied storylines of late.

Please, DC... some of us like Wally. Give us Flash comics we want to read and aren't just marking space in the longbox between decent runs.

He's a guy who runs fast. It shouldn't be this hard.


GREEN LANTERN #37

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert

Cover by Shane Davis & Sandra Hope

The prelude to “The Blackest Night” marches on with “Rage of the Red
Lanterns” part 3! Hal Jordan continues his journey into the deepest
depths of Ysmault, unlocking the strange secrets behind Atrocitus's
crimson power and witnessing a bizarre prophecy all his own.

On sale December 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Johns' Green Lantern is actually doing what so many other comics never manage... its building on the existing mythology, and creating something entirely new. Something so huge, I can understand why other editors might have shirked away from letting the idea come to pass. But I am in. I love the expansion of the DCU via this one title alone.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #31

Written by Peter J. Tomasi

Art by Pat Gleason & Drew Geraci

Cover by Pat Gleason

A prelude to “Blackest Night” chapter! As the growing power of the Star
Sapphires intensifies, the next law is burned into the Book Of Oa by
the Guardians resulting in further life-altering reverberations amongst
the personal lives of the Corps. Meanwhile Kyle and Natu battle Kryb
for the soul of Lantern Amnee and Matoo's infant son.

On sale December 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Ditto for this series, which is doing much better than simply riding the coattails of better series (cough... Batman Confidential... cough). As mentioned above, Tomasi is a great writer, and this book hasn't just been complimentary to Hal and John's GL book. It's been like a whole separate path of the same story, a la a huge novel with multiple characters. Good stuff. I think.


GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY #15

Written by Andrew Kreisberg

Art by Mike Norton & John Floyd

Cover by Ladrönn

New series writer Andrew Kreisberg (JLA CLASSIFIED, Simpsons)
introduces a new era for Green Arrow and Black Canary! As Connor and
Speedy head off on their own and leave the married vigilantes truly
alone together for the first time, a new villain gives Ollie cause to
reflect on just how much his life has changed!

On sale December 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I might actually pick this up. The beginning of this series was terrible (I never read past the GA goes crazy in the bedroom... BC has to stab him... thing), but I'm willing to give a writer I've never heard of a chance, if he can make GA and BC someone I want to read about again.

So... Connor is okay again? Wasn't he brain dead or something? Kudos, comics.




JONAH HEX #38

Written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti

Art and cover by Jordi Bernet

A former lawman, brought low by his dealings with Hex in the past,
exacts his revenge. His plan is going well so far – he has beat Jonah
into submission, dragged him to the desert, and is watching him die of
thirst – but plans tend to go awry around Jonah Hex!

On sale December 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



MANHUNTER #37

Written by Marc Andreyko

Art by Michael Gaydos

Cover by Brad Walker & Livesay

"Matters of Choice" begins! Kate Spencer never shies away from
controversy, either as an attorney or as Manhunter. But when
super-powered fanatics start murdering doctors in the name of God,

“controversy" doesn’t begin to cover it. This shocking new storyline
hits Manhunter closer to home than she expects!

On sale December 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I enjoy this title. I'm not as fanatical about it as some. But readers should definitely be giving this go-round on Manhunter a shot.


JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #28

Written by Dwayne McDuffie

Art and cover by Ed Benes

The Shadow Cabinet has stolen the mortal remains of Dr. Light. The
Justice League has vowed to bring them down. Plus, Shadow Thief has
returned deadlier than ever before, and you won't believe the source of
his new powers.

On sale December 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Okaaay... I guess.


JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #22

Written by Geoff Johns & Alex Ross

Art by Alex Ross and Dale Eaglesham & Nathan Massengill

Cover by Alex Ross

Variant cover by Dale Eaglesham & Nathan Massengill

Concluding the sequel to KINGDOM COME and featuring several pages of
painted interiors by Alex Ross! The Justice Society have had their
greatest wishes granted, but at what deadly price? As war breaks out
among the Justice Society, the cost of Gog's watchful eye comes to
light. But removing Gog from Earth will cost more than they could ever
imagine. This finale will leave the Justice Society torn apart...and
see a new team rise out of the ashes!

On sale December 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

This title sells well enough that I don't have to push it, but that doesn't mean I can't be excited about seeing where this run goes. Its been really terrific to this point, and feels very much like the heart of the DCU right now.


THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #49

Written by Jim Shooter

Art and cover by Francis Manapul & Livesay

Timber Wolf goes berserk! A Legion Espionage Squad risks death to
explore the heavily defended Intruder Planet. Lightning Lad finds
comfort in the arms of...the president? Meanwhile, Phantom Girl is
catastrophically injured, and she’ll never be the same again! All this,
and the beginning of the Universal Annihilation War!

On sale December 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Univeral Annihilation War? Well, goodness.

In all seriousness, Shooter needs to find some focus on Legion. While the series is the best its been since it began under Shooter, it could stand to tighten up at the seams. But it IS doing a good job of building the characters of the Legion. Many writers assume entirely too much regarding what readers know about these characters, but Shooter is able to infuse his characters with personality.

We'll see what shakes out at the end of the Final Crisis stuff...


THE SPIRIT #24

Written by Sergio Aragonés & Mark Evanier

Art by Chad Hardin & Wayne Faucher

Cover by Paul Smith

The Spirit hits Cambodia! Somebody is murdering the former members of
an Army platoon, one by one, and the trail leads back to Phnom Penh! A
noir murder mystery in the Spirit style!

On sale December 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I'm sorry to say... this series just isn't what I'm looking for anymore. Its turned sort of goofy and twee, and I feel like I'm reading a sitcom these days when I get through an issue.


WONDER WOMAN #27

Written by Gail Simone

Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan

Cover by Aaron Lopresti

“Rise of the Olympian” part 2! The Society’s ultimate weapon, Genocide,
remains on the loose and on a murderous rampage while Wonder Woman has
to deal with the ramifications, both mental and physical, of failing to
stop the threat. Meanwhile, the Amazons make their long-awaited return
to a home they barely recognize, and a god makes a promise to Athena
that will change the landscape of the DC Universe forever – and that’s
just the stuff we can tell you about!

On sale December 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

It's refreshing to see Wonder Woman getting back to the touchstones that make her work. I haven't really been blown away by Simone's Wonder Woman thus far (although its a far cry better than prior attempts since Rucka was unceremoniously kicked off). I just don't think sending her off to mystical Conan-land for several issues did anything to re-establish Wonder Woman or the Amazons in the mess that has been the post Infinite Crisis wake.

My guess is that the status quo of Wonder Woman won't last. At some point, Perez's re-imagining of the character is too ingrained, and all the adoration of Lynda Carter in the world doesn't mean it works better than what came before. And, honestly, a JLAer infiltrating the DEO doesn't really make sense.

But at least she's back on Earth and fighting the good fight once again.

Okay, that's it for Part 1...

Whoooooo.

It's not a great period for the DCU as a whole, but there are some priomising books. Green Lantern, Superman, the Batbooks...

But it seems odd that DC can't seem to get any fire going under the rest of their big guns.

It seems they may need to start working harder to look for new talent who can work with the properties without muddling with their origins, etc... because the utility players feel as if they're not really delivering when asked to step up to the plate.

next up...

Graphic novels, toys, some Vertigo and Wilstorm...


Questions? Comments? Hate mail?

Come on, I can take it.

=======


Ryan is an Op/Ed columnist for Comic Fodder. He keeps his comics and himself in Austin, Texas where he manages the long running blog League of Melbotis.

He likes Superman.

You can reach Ryan (aka: The League) at theleague.cf@gmail.com

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-- Posted by: Valsmoomb at October 20, 2008 1:39 AM