Monday, July 21, 2008

Musing Over DC Previews


Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea
Cover by Alex Ross
Variant cover by Tony Daniel
This is it – “Batman R.I.P.” concludes here! The final, heartrending confrontation between Bruce Wayne and Jezebel Jet. The final fate of The Dark Knight. And the horrifying and shocking truth behind the Black Glove. With The Joker, the Club of Villains, Robin, Damian, plus an ending you’ll never see coming – this one has it all!

Well, Grant pretty much telegraphed that Jezebel was going to wind up on the other side of the battle with the scene in the Batcave an issue or two ago, IMO. I hope the Black Glove reveal is better.

Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Tom Derenick & Bill Sienkiewicz
and Stephen Segovia
Cover by Justiniano
A “Sightings” tale! It's the unlikely return of a major character as a mysterious prisoner is discovered during the war between Neron and Lord Satanus. Also, prolonged exposure to Hell begins to take an unexpected toll on the DCU heroes who have been forced into the underworld.

I'm calling Trickster right now. It's what I would do. Heck, I wrote a pitch that would involve Trickster passing and then being brought back from Hell in a Blue Devil story meant to restore Dan Cassidy to his pre-Underworld-Unleashed status quo (it was just for fun on a message board, not one submitted to DC). All based on the antagonistic relationship between James Jesse and Neron.

Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes & Jose Magalháes
Cover by Alex Ross
Variant cover by Bernard Chang
"New Krypton" Part 2! Picking up directly from SUPERMAN: NEW KRYPTON SPECIAL #1, 100,000 Kryptonians have descended on Earth. But their introduction to the world follows a bumpy road, and humans and Kryptonians alike are wary of one another. Meanwhile, Clark must say goodbye to a long-standing member of his supporting cast while the threat behind Atlas makes his next move against the Man of Steel!

I love the work Geoff Johns has been doing, but man...Robinson's debut was less than pedestrian and they decided introducing 100,000 more Kryptonians to the world was a great idea to inact after Busiek's third Kryptonian story? I have hope due to the level of the creators involved. Well, Johns and Robinson at least; jury is still out on Gates.

Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Cafu
Cover by Josh Middleton
On a mission against the mega-mobsters of Intergang, the Justice League makes a stunning discovery revealing the truth behind the death of Vixen’s mother. Long ago, poachers were fingered in her murder, but stunning proof arrives exposing the identity of her real killer! And the man responsible is still alive, making a vicious play for power in the homeland Vixen left years ago.

You know, I personally feel that one of the reasons that these spin-offs fail is because they take the characters out of the element that they attained popularity in. The solicit for this first issue leads me to believe that this will be about Vixen spending the whole mini back in her homeland, doing very little that is similar to her JLA appearances.

It's the kind of mini that I've bought time and again in the 80s and 90s and then wondered why the character never got another chance. They get no second chance because the first one shed so many fans with a passing interest in the character by being a total 180 from the environment they are used to seeing the character in. This sort of story works best, saleswise, as the second or third arc in an ongoing or a separate arc in the midst of a longer mini-series.

Why, oh why, do you put a lower tier character in the JLA, earn them some recognition and then squander it by putting out a mini-series that won't capitalize on the interest built from her appearance in the top tier title? You're pissing away sales and the possibility of nurturing a character into one that can support their own series or additional mini-series.

Hey...wait...I missed part of the solicit:

This groundbreaking 5-issue miniseries by rising stars G. Willow Wilson (OUTSIDERS: AQUAMAN/METAMORPHO, CAIRO, AIR) and Cafu (Black Panther) plunges the League’s animal-powered warrior into a deeply spiritual, but instantly deadly, quest for vengeance – and draws the League itself into the newest chapter of Intergang’s ever-expanding race for domination.

Oops. Never mind...maybe. ;)
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Julian Lopez & Prentis Rollins
Cover by Joe Benitez & Victor Llamas
Raven is missing, and the Titans must truly come together as a team in order to save her. Their fragile unity is further threatened, though, when they discover what they're really up against! And, as if the Titans didn't have enough on their hands, an old member resurfaces and brings along an unexpected threat that no one could’ve seen coming!

I have nothing in particular to pick apart about the solicit, only to point out that they've REALLY extended that Trigon's kids story and its aftermath. Issue #5 was originally supposed to be that widely panned Date Night and has since become an additional part of that story with this issue appearing to be an epilogue.

Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs
Cover by Dustin Nguyen
A “Batman R.I.P.” tie-in! In this penultimate chapter of the
5-part arc “Heart of Hush,” Batman tears his way through Gotham City’s underworld to reach his dangerous adversary. But after the Dark Knight learns what his childhood friend-turned-villain is really after, will Batman be able to survive what Hush plans next? The lives of both Bruce Wayne and Tommy Elliot come full circle in this story of beginnings and brutal endings!

Just wanted to point out, again, that this Detective Comics arc is NOT a tie-in to BATMAN R.I.P. Grant Morrison has said as much.

Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Ryan Benjamin & Saleem Crawford
Cover by Jim Calafiore
A “Batman R.I.P.” tie-in! Deception, dissension and death...
the final issue of the “OUTSIDERS NO MORE” story spells the end of the line for one of the team’s members. But will it mean the end for the team itself?

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Don Kramer & Jay Leisten
Cover by Rags Morales
A “Batman R.I.P.” tie-in! With Batman missing in action, Nightwing faces off against The Dark Knight’s most dangerous enemies – Killer Croc, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and The Joker – to save the life of a woman marked for death.

Ditto for these. Though I'm surprisingly eager to read them.

Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art by Rags Morales & John Dell
Cover by Kevin Nowlan
Superman’s powers leap into the body of The Dark Knight! Now Batman contains the incredible abilities of a Kryptonian while the Man of Steel stands powerless. How will they adjust physically and psychologically to these bizarre changes? Part 1 of the 4-part “Super/Bat,” featuring art by Rags Morales (IDENTITY CRISIS).

And hey...this gets a big ol' WTF from me. Rags was supposed to be the Nightwing guy. Everyone had to understand when he was a bit rushed and needed help because he was finishing up the prior commitment on the Batman Confidential arc with Bedard. But moving him on to Superman/Batman when he's done so little of the Nightwing series? Ugh. Well, Superman/Batman has been improving, maybe this is heralding in a return to glory.

Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle & Keith Champagne
Cover by Josh Middleton
Variant cover by Fernando Pasarin
Beginning the new direction for SUPERGIRL, which will tie the book and character firmly into the Superman franchise!

Hey...that's...nothing. Is that code for "he still hasn't turned in the script yet"? That doesn't seem likely, since a relatively new writer couldn't skate by being late for solicits. And given how much they've been giving away the farm on the other solicits, I don't think it was because they couldn't give away a twist.

Oh crap...this started out as one thing and turned into something completely different. Caleb does this stuff much better over at his blog. He bothers to include covers, too. I didn't because I just had a bone to pick with the first four solicits I delved into and then just got carried away. I'm not trying to tread on anyone's thing. Sorry, Caleb.


  1. Re: Supergirl solit

    At least if they're going to say nothing, they should make it entertaining. For example:

    Supergirl's in it. We're pretty sure she flies and stuff. It'll be wicked rad.

  2. Something would certainly be better than nothing. Ugh.

  3. I'm going to see if I can get a response from Morales about Superman/Batman. Because really, fuck S/B, Nightwing is the best.

    If I make one thing clear it's that I don't like or support late artists, but Rags was the exception because of what he was going through and being candid and upfront with what was happening.

  4. I think I'm a bit more forgiving with late creators, as long as they aren't serially late. Bless Rags for being an open individual, but I wouldn't expect everyone to share that much.

  5. Kevin, FYI, Morales is off Nightwing with #148. He posted in the DC forums at Newsarama. This deserves it's own article to allow shame and rage to fill the screen.

  6. Will do! Thanks for doing the footwork.


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