Monday, April 14, 2008

DC Comics, What the Hell?

What is it with these terrible, awful, no-good, very bad solicitations recently? Reading the July 2008 solicitations was like one terrible bit of news after another. First, there's this:
Burn, baby, burn! Disco inferno!FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Covers by J.G. Jones and Doug Mahnke
A very special FINAL CRISIS one-shot honoring the passing of a great hero who’s been a staple in the DC Universe for years. All that remains is one final memory that the League experiences together as they must fulfill his last wishes or die trying!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers (one by J.G. Jones and one by Doug Mahnke) that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale July 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Which is basically confirmation that the endless train of Event Casualties continues, claiming Martian Manhunter this time. I love it when they run characters into the ground before they kill them off. It provides such a convenient "they weren't popular/selling" excuse. Can we start the over/under on how long he'll actually stay dead?

Then there was this:
Thought I heard her callin' my name now.DETECTIVE COMICS #846
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs
Cover by Nguyen
A “Batman: R.I.P.” issue — and part 1 of the 5-part story “The Return of Hush!”
Readers who were surprised by Catwoman’s return last month haven’t see anything yet as Hush makes a dramatic return to the life of Batman. What will this mean for Bruce Wayne? This epic story kicks off the countdown to DETECTIVE #850!
On sale July 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Because Hush is such a great character with so many possibilities, and totally hasn't been overused and overhyped. I mean, I love Paul Dini to death, and if anyone can redeem Hush, it's him, but I'd much, much rather see some of Batman's better rogues used. You know, like Orca, the Eraser, and Egghead.

And then there's this abomination:
Hey look, a stock Ethan Van Sciver cover! I've never seen one of those before!SUPERMAN/BATMAN #50
Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art by Ed Benes
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver
Variant cover by Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines
Celebrate fifty blockbuster issues with this extra-sized extravaganza as we reveal the untold tale of Thomas Wayne’s meeting with Jor-El and how it shaped Gotham City’s future! You don’t dare miss this one!
The past was just prologue for this latest adventure of the World’s Finest duo as an ancient Kryptonian artifact is uncovered, unleashing past and present dangers that may alter the duo’s future. Not even the guest-starring Titans will be able to save them! This issue also features a variant cover by the original SUPERMAN/BATMAN art team of Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Ethan Van Sciver), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale July 23 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Oh, I do indeed dare miss this one. It's not often that a solicit screams Dis Continuity, but this one's shouting it from the rooftops. This sounds like a rejected "Smallville" plot (where Jor-El is involved with freaking everything on Earth) or a bad '90s Elseworlds story. Jor-El should remain entirely confined to Krypton and the Fortress computer.

Oh, that reminds me, Superman Month is coming.

But the biggest disappointment was this:
Yeah, I'd want a wall between me and Matt Sturges too.BLUE BEETLE #29
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Rafael Albuquerque
New series writer Matthew Sturges (JACK OF FABLES, HOUSE OF MYSTERY) comes aboard to kick off “Boundaries,” with returning series artist Rafael Albuquerque! As Blue Beetle struggles to establish himself as the protector of El Paso and Cuidad Juarez, he finds himself thrown into the heart of the immigration struggle, made all the more complicated by the involvement of Intergang — and another, more mysterious, figure. Coming at you straight outta Texas, Sturges takes our hero into new territory as Beetle works out his responsibilities as both a hero in the DC Universe and a citizen of a border town.
On sale July 30 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Matthew Sturges? Really? We get the awesomeness of Giffen and Rogers, then some fill-in by the incredible Will Pfeifer, and then we get the man who killed Shadowpact? First Bruce Jones on Checkmate, now this (and I'm none too thrilled with Rick Remender's run on All-New Atom so far, either). I'll give Sturges more of a fair shake than I'll give Jones, but it looks from here like DC is sabotaging some of their best titles.

This makes me hopeful, though:
How sad is it that this is still DC's best crossover?BOOSTER GOLD #1,000,000
Written by Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund
Meet the greatest time-traveling hero of the year
1,000,000 A.D. – PETER PLATINUM! Lost in time, Booster Gold is confronted by a hero a million times more self-involved than himself. But if Booster does find his way back to the present, Batman will be waiting for him.
On sale July 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
First Zero Hour, now this. I can only hope for an Invasion tie-in before the series is over. Hopefully, they'll do the DC One Million trade dress, too.

So, at this point it looks like July's going to suck. Final Crisis better be awesome.


Anthony Strand said...

Yeah, I was upset about Sturges too. That said, I hold out a little bit of hope that it might be the good Sturges who co-writes "Jack of Fables" and not the bad "Salvation Run" Sturges. Because if it's the latter, I'd definitely rather they cancel Blue Beetle than let that happen to it.

Congratulations Superman/Batman - with this tale of a Thomas Wayne/Jor-El meeting drawn by Ed Benes, you have officially become a parody of comic books.

Anthony Strand said...

Oh, and Tom - good work with the Judith Viorst reference. I laughed out loud.

Diamondrock said...

Superman/Batman was a parody of comic books the moment the Atomic Skull showed up riding a motorcycle.

Or maybe it was when Jeph Loeb started writing it...

LurkerWithout said...

You do know that BG #1Mill is Johns' last on the title right? No idea who's taking over. But I will say with all the creative teams moving around on DC the next couple months could they have done A COUPLE that weren't full of total failure?

Tom Foss said...

I thought I remembered when they first started Booster Gold that Johns was more or less grooming Jeff Katz, the co-writer, to take over the title, kind of like Giffen and Rogers on Blue Beetle.

At least, that's what I hope happens.