Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Opinioning Your Solicits

DC's October solicits are out, and I'm moved to express my opinions on this brave new world that DC is offering us.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
You’ll find out when Batman and Superman throw down. Batman will need all his intellect, cunning and physical prowess to take on The Man of Steel.

Frown. Really? They start off fighting? Is this Stan Lee Imagines the First Meeting of Batman and Superman....?

The United Nations’ new international team of heroes must learn to work together – and fast – if they’re going to discover the mystery behind the giant alien Signalmen who are appearing all over the globe. Can Booster Gold lead his team to victory, or will they fall?

I see the words "Booster Gold lead his team", and I approve.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
An entire town...devoured! As Aquaman and Mera discover the grisly truth behind a town’s disappearance, the Trench infestation spreads inland! Plus: Another gruesome Trench power revealed – and it’s not for the squeamish!

I've always thought of Aquaman as more of an underwater Weird Western book, than a traditional superhero yarn, so this works for me. This seems to get Aquaman's function: he protects the land from the seas, and the seas from the land.

Hera, Queen of the Gods, does not take her vengeance lightly – and if Wonder Woman is so foolish as to stand in the way of her whim, then Wonder Woman is her enemy. But it’s Hera’s daughter Diana should truly fear – the goddess of discord is coming to Paradise Island, and murder always follows in her wake!

Comics have seldom given Hera more to do than sit beside Zeus and smile supportively, occasionally shrugging and saying, "Well, my husband's like that some times!" Happy that someone has cottoned to the fact that Hera was the Big Bad in many of the ancient heroic myths. Using poor old Hades and that dullard Ares as villains seems pretty silly to anyone who knows them from their appearances in classical literature. But Hera? Now THAT is a foe.

The Fastest Man Alive learns he can make his brain function even faster than before – but as much as it helps him, it also comes with a steep price. Plus: The mystery behind Barry Allen’s friend Manuel Lago deepens as Barry investigates his kidnapping at the hands of Mob Rule!

Finding unique and varied applications of Flash's "only one" power is a classic part of the character's rich history. I already like this twice as much as yet another "No Really The Rogues Are Serious" story.

Written by J.T. KRUL
Losing control of his powers, unable to stop the sensory overload in his mind, Captain Atom wants nothing more than to find a quiet place to regroup. But how can he shut out the signals floating in the air – especially when they’re crying out for help?

Sounds like Captain Atom's got a little old-style Airwave action going on here. Works for me much better than his traditional ill-defined energy blasts and occasional time-skipping.

Three innocent high school kids are caught in the crosshairs of an international special forces team with orders to murder them in cold blood...until two of those teenagers summon the terrifying, living nuclear monstrosity known as the Fury of Firestorm! Do not miss this disturbing look into the future of super powers in the DC Universe!

I like 'terrifying living nuclear monstrosity' much more than "presto-chango Carnivale dancer". First of all it makes sense of the title "Fury of Firestorm"; Firestorm never seemed very furious to me, just mostly stupid. Like Aquaman, Firestorm might benefit greatly from an approach that takes its clues from other genres (like horror) rather than just superheroics.

An electrifying new villain joins the DCU! Meet Brainstorm, the man determined to bring Los Angeles to its knees – beginning with billionaire Michael Holt. But even if he can break this new enemy’s hold on an unsuspecting city, how can Mister Terrific defeat a foe even smarter than himself? Luckily, the last time he faced a problem he couldn’t solve, he perfected infinite fractal mechanics!

A re-imagined Brainstorm? Perfect choice for Mister Terrific.

Written by J.T. KRUL
Super Hero executions will now be televised! After taking down members of a “celebrity” gang – privileged, decadent teens who buy their powers and stage fights with unsuspecting victims – Green Arrow finds himself in the crosshairs of the entire team! It’s Ollie Queen vs. a dozen thrill killers while the world watches – live!

I can't tell you how excited I was when the first words I saw under the title "Green Arrow" were "super hero executions will now be televised". Sadly, I think his won't be among them. But this sounds like they are taking a smart tack for GA; putting him in old-style 70ish Batman-situations (the kind you don't want to put Batman in nowadays). Besides, they got rid of that ridiculous beard, so I'm it.

Written by TONY S. DANIEL
When the alien creature known as Morphicius starts draining the life force from Carter Hall, a.k.a. Hawkman, he learns that there’s more to his new victim than meets the eye. The mysterious properties of the Nth Metal protect Hawkman – but in the process, they are also making Morphicius powerful! With innocent lives in the balance, can Hawkman turn the table on his enemy, or are Morphicius newfound powers too powerful to stop?

Well, this sounds remarkably Silver Age. Which actually works for Hawkman, I think.

Ever since he died and became Deadman, Boston Brand has served the deity known as Rama Kushna, inhabiting bodies to complete missions that she dictates. But for the first time, Deadman may have a clue how to gain some control over his “life.” But the cost may be the souls of the bodies he inhabits!

Good to see Deadman's classic schtick returned to him, but with a twist.

The adventures of Garbage Man and Tanga from WEIRD WORLDS continue – and now, these offbeat heroes are joined by the Robotman, who has a disturbing knack for self-destruction!

Yes, that qualifies as off-beat.

In his weakest moment, Superman is taken down – but by whom? And if the world wasn’t ready for a man with super powers, they’re utterly unprepared for the rage of a Superman cornered! The cornerstone character of the new DCU continues his debut adventure!

Believe it or not, I'm actually interested to see what Grant Morrison will do with Superman when he writes him forward, rather than with a retrospective eye toward Super-history. Sure, I may hate what Morrison winds up doing, but for now I'm still kind of looking forward to it... .

The all-new adventures of Superman continue! Everyone can see the new villain who’s attacking Superman – except The Man of Steel! How can he stop a threat that none of his super-senses can detect? Meanwhile, a Daily Planet reporter starts digging up some dirt on Superman, including a secret that could ruin him forever!

This sounds like some Bronze Age style fun for the Man of Steel. Although with George Perez writing it, it may just be that Superman's super-senses are blocked by extensive narration boxes and expansive word balloons.

Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. has put a lot of effort into creating their Superboy, and they intend to make sure he performs to their standards. And what better opportunity for him to demonstrate his raw power than to throw him into an alien prison riot? Good luck, Superboy... you’re going to need it!

It's a traditional Superboy-from-a-test-tube story. But I'm heartened to see that it's not Project Cadmus (with no mention of Guardian, the Newsboy Legion, or DNAliens). Jack Kirby requiescat in pace.

Get ready for a super-smackdown as Supergirl fights her cousin, The Man of Steel! What could cause these two to come to blows? Can the teenage Supergirl hold her own against the adult Superman? Well, let’s just say she’s got a trick or two up those fancy new sleeves of hers...

Again with the hero-on-hero smackdowns? Who put Stan Lee on retainer? Still, better this than a Supergirl who can barely stand up to The Gang.


In this exciting new miniseries from novelist Gregg Hurwitz (You’re Next) and rising star artist Szymon Kudranksi (Spawn), the painful and dark past of one of Batman’s most devious foes is examined. How did young Oswald Cobblepot go from being the apple of his mother’s eye to the leader of underworld gangs and adversary of The Caped Crusader?

I'm much less interested in the Penguin having a proper origin story (the Golden Age one didn't need one), than I am in the commitment to portraying the Penguin as a actual foe, rather than just a supporting character. I approve.

Bruce Wayne is back in the cowl, hunting a new and deadly killer in Gotham City – a killer with a vendetta against Bruce Wayne! But who is this mysterious killer in an owl skull mask? And is he the key to unlocking one of Gotham’s oldest and most terrifying secrets? Be there for
their first brutal encounter!

Is this my long-hoped for confrontation between Batman and Owlman?
One can only hope. I would love to see Owlman make the stuck-up stuffy Batman go-go ga-ga dancing the Batusi.

Written by JUDD WINICK
He is called Massacre, and he brings death. What does the soldier in service of Batman Incorporated do when he’s met his match? When he’s been brought so low and been wounded so badly? What does he do when lost Super Heroes begin turning up as victims? Batwing fights back!

"Massacre"? Sigh. Maybe they should just hire Judd to write '90s retro comics and leave it at that. At least whatever damage he does will be to Batwing and not Batman proper (and by 'he' I mean Judd, not Massacre). P.S. What's with the capitalization of Super Hero lately? I feel like it's a Saturday morning in 1974.

Written by TONY S. DANIEL
Batman sets his sights on the Gotham Ripper, who in turn has his sights on Batman. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne explores a budding romance with television journalist Charlotte Rivers, who’s visiting Gotham City to cover the gruesome slayings – while also trying to uncover Bruce’s own mystery. But time is running out as both Commissioner Gordon and Batman work to uncover the true identity of this new serial killer.

Hm. Pardon me if the originality of a "Ripper" and a Report Girlfriend After the Hero's Secret Identity do not exactly wow me.

Something sinister surges through Arkham Asylum, and Batman finds himself bombarded by his greatest foes in this second sensational issue from superstar creator David Finch!
Bigger, meaner, and more powerful than ever before, the inmates of Arkham Asylum run rampant as the entire Bat Family struggles to keep the walls from falling down, unleashing Gotham City’s worst criminals on the unsuspecting population. And you won’t believe the jaw-dropping final page! Just keep repeating, “It’s only a comic book. It’s only a comic book...”

Hm. Pardon me if the originality of a "Arkham is Worse Than Ever with a Mass Breakout Imminent" story does not exactly wow me. Really, DC; have you considered just crowd-sourcing for story ideas? You'd get better ones (or at least more original ones).

Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Batman’s fears about Robin’s tendency to dish out more pain than necessary are growing! And who is the man named NoBody, visiting Gotham City to say hello to his old friend Bruce Wayne and find out where he went wrong in his battle against crime.

Ah, I hear I was hoping they'd take the chance to make Damien a decent human being, rather that a pompous midget-like murderer. Pity.

Written by GAIL SIMONE
The nightmare-inducing brute known as Mirror is destroying the lives of Gotham City citizens seemingly at random, and an explosive confrontation between Batgirl and Mirror leads Babs to question wearing the cape and cowl at all!

Babs "Batgirl" Gordon versus a monstrous villain with a puzzling M.O.? Sign me up.

Horror! A terrifying new villain stalks the innocent children of Gotham City! Intrigue! A threatening government agency is hot on Batwoman’s trail. Romance! Kate Kane’s new relationship is heating up! Can Batwoman stop the new evil rising from the damp back alleys of Gotham’s barrios? And overcome the many challenges she faces as both Batwoman and Kate Kane?

Horror, intrigue, and romance? Sounds like they've gotten a good balanced planned for Batwoman's book. I'm not horrified; I'm somewhat intrigued; we'll see whether I fall for this iteration of Batwoman.

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Look out! By the end of this hot new miniseries, the Huntress will have the largest price on her head in DC Universe history. What will the Huntress do that warrants such a death mark? And who puts it there? The jaw-dropping events will be revealed as the Huntress heads home to Italy and embarks on a mission that defines her life.

Love Levitz. Don't love the Huntress/mafia angle. It does make her unique; I can't say it's not a good take on the character. Just not my speed.

When a mysterious assassin targets Dick Grayson, Nightwing must work fast to uncover the killer’s plot before he strikes again. But as Haley’s Circus continues to perform in Gotham City, Dick finds himself torn between two lives: His old one as a circus performer and his new one as a Super Hero. And they may be more connected than he ever realized!

Not big on the whole "previously unknown connection" between a hero's two identities. That the street Hush and Conduit were born on, you know. And again with the Super Hero (tm); there's something up there. Did Marvel lose their part of that trademark and no DC owns it proper or something...?

Red Hood is already globe-trotting in an effort to find the ancient assassins behind the slaughter of those who taught him some of his darkest skills... and if Roy and Kori are going to be of any help, well, they’ll just have to tag along – whether Jason wants them to or not!

I'll say this, DC; If you're going to have characters I don't really care about, I actually do appreciate it when you clump them all in the same book, rather than allowing them to mess up books I want to read. So, in that sense... thanks for this.

An explosion in a secure Gotham City airport terminal hurls Black Canary and Starling headlong into a nightmare involving stolen pharmaceuticals, terrorists for hire and killers in stealth suits who can appear – and disappear – at will. When Canary calls in backup, Starling’s not so sure a vengeful samurai who talks to her dead husband in a sword is the best choice.

I am oddly psyched about Black Canary having what seems to be sidekick and having no connection to Green Arrow. It's like DC actually intends for her to stand on her own like the Golden age character she is! And points for making fun of how ridiculous Katana is.

Written by JUDD WINICK
She’s a thief who lives to steal just for the thrill of breaking the law. He’s The Dark Knight, obsessively driven to battle evil with every ounce of his strength. They should keep each other at arm’s length, but...they just can’t seem to help themselves! Don’t miss this issue – things are gonna get messy!

I'm just happy Catwoman's ersatz heroic persona has been abandoned. And for Catwoman, Judd's kind of wise-assery writing might just be fine.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Renegade Green Lantern Sinestro sets a course for Korugar with one purpose: To free his homeworld from the scourge of... The Sinestro Corps?!

Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Guy Gardner and John Stewart lead a squadron of Green Lanterns to fight a mysterious force that is marching across the space sectors and devouring not only their natural resources but their entire populations. Worst of all, those responsible have a vendetta against the Green Lantern Corps!

Written by TONY BEDARD
By their rings betrayed! Who – or what – has the might to tear power rings from each of the seven Lantern Corps, murdering their former bearers in the process? And why have the rings all chosen Kyle Rayner as their new master? As members of each Corps target Kyle for death, we learn more about the shocking fate of Ganthet!

On a war-torn world where invading forces fight insurgent forces, the innocent always suffer the most. When a child screams with red-hot rage at the madness around her, she is answered by her weapon of retribution: Atrocitus.

More Lantern stuff. I know Lantern fans are all agog over the Dramatic Change in the Status Quo. But Lanterns fans are continually agog over the latest Dramatic Change in the Status Quo. I'm not really among them.

James Robinson returns to the world of his acclaimed STARMAN series with a new 12-issue series starring the antihero known as The Shade! An attack at the Starman museum kicks off a globe-hopping, centuries spanning quest that will irrevocably change The Shade’s life, and ultimately shed light on his true origin! Artist extraordinaire Cully Hamner (RED) kicks off the series, and upcoming issues will feature art by such luminaries as Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido, Jill Thompson, Frazer Irving and Gene Ha!

While Robinson certainly made the Shade a rich and interesting character, it seems to have cost us a good villain in the process. I'd been hoping for a more villainous Shade this time a year; perhaps we'll get it, but with Robinson writing that seems unlikely. Much more intriguing is the existence of a Starman Museum. How exactly does that reconcile with DC's stated goal of re-establishing Superman as not just the greatest hero but the first one as well? We shall see.

Madame Xanadu continues guiding the world’s darkest heroes in their struggle against evil. But will John Constantine, Zatanna, Shade the Changing Man and the others be able to join forces in time to defeat the dangerous Enchantress before she destroys the world as we know it?

Thumbs up for a "Magical Justice League", though these particular characters do not interest me much. But I've always loved Enchantress as a dangerously unbalanced threat to mankind.

Alec Holland thought he knew the history of the Swamp Thing – but he was wrong. The creature’s roots run deeper than he knows, and the Parliament of Trees intends to make him understand the responsibility he wants so desperately to avoid! With this issue, the mythology of the Swamp Thing branches out in ways you never saw coming – don’t miss it!

Swamp Thing stories got a little, well, fetid for me when they started being about nothing but Swamp Thing himself. I hope this story is just a necessary touch point for new readers, rather than the on-going direction of the series.

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Maxine’s new abilities continue to terrify Ellen and Buddy Baker, and things take a turn for the worse as Buddy begins a startling transformation of his own that will lead him on a journey into the heart of The Red. Meanwhile, The Hunters Three arrive on Earth and set their sights on the Baker family. The Hunt is on as DC’s most surprising new series continues to take ANIMAL MAN in shocking new directions.

Color shift my Swamp Thing comment from green to red and it covers this.

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
It’s all-out war as Frankenstein and his new field team, The Creature Commandos, uncover an age-old conspiracy at the heart of Bone Lake – one that will see them suit up as the world’s first “Necronauts,” traveling between worlds and through “dead space,” toward the mysterious Monster Planet. Meanwhile, the horrifying origins of the Commandos are revealed – and the S.O.M.B.I.E. makes its first appearance!

More DC genre mash-up: Weird War meets Mystery in Space. And what's with all the acronymic spy-agency stuff? I give 'em this; DC's not playing it safe.

Mitch Shelley’s past remains a mystery. So when he goes looking for answers, will he find them? Not likely, when he has to contend with the bounty hunter femme fatales known as The Body Doubles.

If I had made a list of all characters I might have imagined could possibly survive the Universal Reboot in order of decreasing likelihood, it would have included Vibe, the Penny Plunderer, Doiby Dickles, Celeste Rockfish, Actor John Ostrander, and Itty the Lasma far above the Body Doubles. The New DCU is nothing if not unpredictable.

True love becomes divine hatred between the Queen of Blood and Andrew, as her vampires begin their attacks across the country. Their past behind them, they find themselves ready to battle to the death... If those feelings really are all gone. Surrounded by swarms of bloodthirsty vamps, Andrew must confront his immortal beloved in a blood-soaked battle he can’t win.

Again, no fan of the current vampiremania, but I applaud DC for reminding us, "Yeah, we had vampires before you did."

The siege that will reverberate through history to the present-day DCU begins as the Demon Etrigan and his unlikely lover, Madame Xanadu, face the Horde! What five (mostly) noble souls would be crazy enough to join them? The cover gives but a hint, and the point could well be moot by the time this issue’s done. For the Horde is armed with the magic of Mordru – including some decidedly different dragons!

I myself don't like the Medieval sword/sorcery schtick, but I love that DC is diversifying its offering beyond the superheroic by using pre-existing characters.

The moon is alive! Following the events of SUPERMAN #1 where [TEXT REDACTED], the covert team of sci-fi Super Heroes known as Stormwatch must not only battle the Earth’s moon, but find a way to hide its monstrous metamorphosis from the rest of the Earth! How? Uh, they’re working on it. Meanwhile, the recruitment of Midnighter goes poorly, and we learn why the Martian Manhunter is a member of the team. Written by Paul Cornell (Doctor Who)!

Well, this sounds like wacky good fun, and I applaud the inclusion of Martian Manhunter is wackiness. Also, I suspect that "the recruitment of Midnighter goes poorly" is delicious understatement... .

Deathstroke’s tactical prowess is put to the test when the man who hired him attempts to renege on the contract. Pitted against a salvo of new assassins, including the vicious Road Rage, Slade must take his giant sword to the 405 freeway and proclaim himself the most vicious killer in the city of Angels!

If you can't say anything nice, they say... . So I'll just say that the one thing I've always loved about the Marvel Universe is that Deathstroke's not in it. Though I'd be much happier if he were.

The police are looking for him. Government operatives are hunting him down. And Cole Cash can hear the voices of an alien race in his head. Escaping New Orleans will require quick thinking and a violent streak straight out of Cole’s Special Operations background – and just like that, his life will be turned upside down, figuratively as well as literally.

Interesting choice of Wildstorm character to incorporate into the DCU. Smells like a new Kate Spencer Manhunter; a cult favorite with little larger impact.

Written by ADAM GLASS
80,000 ordinary people vs. the Squad! Well, they’re not really “people.” Not anymore. With an entire sports stadium on lockdown following the outbreak of an unknown virus, Deadshot, Harley Quinn and the rest of the Squad must sneak past a military perimeter and fight their way through the infected to retrieve... “it.” What is “it”...? Brace yourself for a stomach-churning reveal as the most brutal version of the Suicide Squad soldiers on! Plus: Bring a body bag – it’s the team’s first Squad fatality!

I'm no fan of the Suicide Squad, but that's a darned interesting set up!

Written by RON MARZ
Is she a hero? Is she a villain? Voodoo is on the run in the new DC Universe, trying to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, using all of her considerable skills to complete a mission that will put the entire Earth in danger. DC’s sexy, edgy new series goes into overdrive with one of the most unexpected opening scenes ever!

Having trouble being enthusiastic about this decade's Vixen.

O.M.A.C. #2
Brother Eye gives Kevin Kho the ground rules to their new “arrangement.” New players are introduced to the game as Sarge Steel and Checkmate begin their hunt for the One Machine Army Corp, but O.M.A.C.’s appearance may be short-lived when he faces the incredible threat of Rocker Bonn, the Amazing Man!

This ... will not go well.

In the split second after a heavy-weapons blast the air goes silent and still, just as it does in the ghostly realm of Circe. How will Rock and his team of men – battle-hardened, but still human – survive a villainess who can walk on the very wind?
Plus, Navy Seals Ice and Tracker go where no boots are on the ground, but when their mission is compromised, how will they tell friend from foe?

It's the return of Weird War! I love you DC, sign me up. Besides... a Navy Seals comic?! I love Navy Seals! Sign me up!

Written by MIKE COSTA
While the Blackhawks deal with a potential public exposure, Lady Blackhawk is keeping dangerous secrets of her own! And the first clues of a vast conspiracy throughout the DC Universe begin to take shape. The action ratchets up for DC’s newest team of high-tech military operatives.

Glad to see military/espionage comics getting a facelift, and using the Blackhawks to do so is smart; I'll be interested to see whether the team is still international. DC's smart not to put all its eggs in the superhero (oh, I'm sorry: "Super-Hero") basket, and I hope it works.

What happens when a psychologist and a sociopath have to work together to track down Gotham City’s first serial killer? They’ll soon find that crime in the big city runs deeper than its foundations, and it’s all mapped out in the mysterious Crime Bible – that is, if they don’t kill each other first.
Plus: No zombie is safe in the Wild West when Lazarus Lane summons the demon known as El Diablo!

First: Gray and Palmiotti can pretty much do no wrong. Second: this is Weird Western, folks, DC's insane chimera genre, that's the granddaddy of things like Cowboys versus Aliens. Eat it up!

A strange creature haunts the streets of Los Angeles... and because of this creature’s age, both Red Robin and N.O.W.H.E.R.E. are racing to find her – but neither side is prepared for the horror known as Bugg! Meanwhile, Superboy is on a collision course with the team, and Kid Flash plots his escape from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. with the most unexpected of allies!

"Bugg" = "uggh". I think there's been enough "horror" in Teen Titans, thank you very much. DC; you have a great model for the Teen Titans. It's called Teen Titans, and it's on TV; you should watch it some time.

Static finds himself the target of dark forces as Virule and the Slate Gang unleash their deadly trap! Will Static’s debut end before it has even started?

I loved Virule and the Slate Gang when they first came out, but their sophomore album was kind of a disappointment. Seriously, though, Static is a welcome additional to the DCU. He's got much less "baggage" than Black Lightning, so I'm trying to adapt to DC picking the electric boy over the electric man. You know who would be a perfect pal for Static? VIBE. Make it so, DC.

Written by TONY BEDARD
Jaime Reyes was trying to save his best friend when an alien weapon attached itself to his spine. Now, if he wants to live to see tomorrow, Jaime must defeat a team of Super-Villains who want the weapon for more nefarious purposes.

Hard to tell, since this is Yer Basic Story of Jaime. But I trust Tony Bedard. And now we're capitalizing Super-Villains, too, it seems.

Hawk and Dove continue their investigation of the enigmatic Alexander Quirk! Who is he? What does he want? A secret laboratory might hold the answers, but it might also spell the end for Hawk and Dove! To top things off, the monster watching our heroes from the shadows finally makes his move – and he’s got a terrifying new partner!

Enigmatic foes with secret labs? Stalker monster partners? Sounds fun. Certainly more fun than Hawk&Dove stories about, well... Hawk&Dove, which seem to be all their stories have been about for years now.

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
The architect of today’s Legion of Super-Heroes, Paul Levitz, delivers a science fiction odyssey on a scale you’ve never seen in a new, 6-issue miniseries!
The broad strokes of the Legion’s origin are well known, but you’ve never seen the secret machinations that went on behind the scenes! Why was the organization known as the United Planets formed? Who tried to kill R.J. Brande the first time? And what great power could leave entire planets desolate and lifeless? Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad may have founded the Legion, but the story starts here!

Clever, really. The LSH's origin has to be retold, of course.... but that's been done A LOT. Coming up with a 'secret origin' to what was always a slapdash happenstance is a good idea. As for "what great power could leave entire planets desolate and lifeless", I'm guessing it's something Paul Kupperberg wrote.

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Taken hostage on a hostile world, the Espionage Squad is outmatched by a rebel leader that only one Legionnaire could possibly stand against – but Legion leader Mon-El may be outgunned as well! And just what does Brainiac 5 see in Glorith’s magic that could be a game changer for the Legion?

Heh, that drips off Levitz Legion goodness. Basically, if you don't like Levitz on the Legion, you don't like the Legion at all.

Trapped in time with two teammates already dead and unsure if they’re infected or can ever return home, the lost Legionnaires must confront the horrific reality about the pathogen released by the terrorist Alastor when they are forced to confront the very first Hypersapien!

Dead Legionnaires. Good to seem some traditions will continue!


Redforce said...

You know, as much as I enjoy your blog, I haven't read comics regularly in a long time.
That may be about to change.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, I hear I was hoping they'd take the chance to make Damien a decent human being, rather that a pompous midget-like murderer. Pity."

That solicit doesn't worry me quite as much as it does you: Damien's violent tendencies are being described as a problem to solve in the solicit, which implies that a solution or at least improvement will be visible by the end of the arc.

Scipio said...

Redforce: Interesting. It seems to some degree the Universal Reboot is already doing its job. I am curious to know what is piquing your interest enough to spark thoughts of a return...?

Anon: Good point.

Carl Walker said...

Hera has already been the big bad in Pak & Van Lente's Incredible Hercules over at Marvel, FWIW. Not sure if Azazrello is consciously ripping them off or not.

Scipio said...

Nah, I assume the both creative teams are simply well educated enough to know that it is Hera who is the traditional 'persecuter' of heroes.

TotalToyz said...

This sounds like some Bronze Age style fun for the Man of Steel.

Considering what I've seen you write before about the actual Bronze Age Superman stories, I'm not sure if this means you like it or not.

Bryan L said...

"O.M.A.C. #2
Brother Eye gives Kevin Kho the ground rules to their new “arrangement.” New players are introduced to the game as Sarge Steel and Checkmate begin their hunt for the One Machine Army Corp, but O.M.A.C.’s appearance may be short-lived when he faces the incredible threat of Rocker Bonn, the Amazing Man!

This ... will not go well."

Charmingly understated, Scipio. I was going to mention that the name "Geoff Johns" is now causing an automatic negative reaction in me. If he's involved, my interest level plummets. I can't exactly explain it, but I'd imagine it has a lot to do with his recent output.

I do find myself intrigued by many of the new titles, and my comic purchases have dwindled significantly over the last two years. So it's working on me, too. That said, I imagine I will be reading a number of them on my iPad after the reduced price kicks in, rather than from the store. If I can save 33% by waiting a month, I'll do it.

CobraMisfit said...

"I see the words 'Booster Gold lead his team', and I approve.

As do I. I'm actually amazed that they've allowed this character to slowly transform from selfish, second-rate hack to team lead. And a respected one at that. The verbal smackdown he gave to Captain Atom in a recent JLI gave me (more) hope for him in the reboot.

OMACs? Come on. They had their run. We don't need an entire line dedicated to them. Same can be said for Deathstroke.

But Stormwatch? Now that sounds right up my alley.

Overall, it seems like a decent mixed bag for the reboot. Some fantastic, some WTH?, and a lot of in-betweens.

d said...

I dunno, that Aquaman description sounds like another typical Johns blood puking, limb dismembering hate fest. "Another gruesome Trench power revealed – and it’s not for the squeamish!" No thanks.

SallyP said...

I have to admit that some of these new books do sound intriguing, to say the least. Naturally, I will be agog at the Green Lantern books, I just can't HELP myself. I'll read anything by Gail Simone, and the Shade mini-series sounds like a gift from Heaven.

But a Superman without the Kents or Lois? Ugh. No.

And I loved Damian with Dick...with Bruce it doesn't sound nearly as charming. I'm tired of Omacs, the Teen Titans look horrible, and I'm not touching Hawk and Dove with a 20 foot pole.

Scipio said...

In all fairness, Sally...

Superman was "without the Kents" for more than 45 years; it's fair to think he'd be viable and palatable without them again.

And we are NOT getting Superman "without Lois"; just without the two being married, which, again, is how they were for most of Superman's history.

I'll admit that, like you, I enjoyed what having the Kents alive brought to the Superman stories. But I cannot picture them as essential to my enjoying Superman.

Redforce said...

Hard to say. I think it's mostly curiosity and the freshness of it all, a restart without having to have knowledge of multiple titles and years of continuity. The main reason is that the solicit descriptions sound like fun- particularly like Frankenstien & agents of S.H.A.D.E.

Randy Jackson said...

I don't see half of these titles lasting to issue #20. Sadly, little of interest to me outside of some of the Batbooks.

Bryan L said...

I'm reliably informed that DC doesn't expect all the titles to last, either. They apparently said as much at a retailer summit. They are guaranteeing 6 issues, no more, and then low performers will be culled. Other titles are reportedly being prepped as replacements, but they will be less in number. So they'll start with 52, and see what sticks, and then pull/replace until things "settle," I assume.

The benefits to this escape me -- I think good titles will get lost in the clutter. But honestly, good titles are getting lost now, so there's that. But it still seems like an odd business plan.

Anonymous said...

Sir, may I know where that Owlman pic is to be found?
'Preciate it! *hat tip*

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Bryan L -- the logic of the "massive pile of books likely to tank" initiative is that they're going to be on the internet. Since they'll be "in print" for however long the DC web presence survives, that means that niche books can be tried and even turn a profit, simply because readers can pick them up whenever they like for years. For example, if "I, Vampire" bombs now, that doesn't mean that DC won't make money off of it; a few years down the road, it could get a few mentions on blogs, pique a little reader interest, and lo, it sells again and recoups costs.

Diversification and planned short runs make a lot of sense for DC, from a digital angle. War, western, horror, genre blends, obscure heroes, hell yeah, why not? The consequences of dying on the stands are different with digital distribution.

Scipio said...

That picture is from Gold Key Comics' April 1967 issue of The Owl (that actually his name, not "Owlman"); it's the first issue.

I actually owned that issue as a child. This version of the Owl is actually a 'campy' remake of the Golden Age Owl from Dell Comics.

Scipio said...

"a few years down the road, it could get a few mentions on blogs, pique a little reader interest, and lo, it sells again and recoups costs."

Or, even more lucratively, be picked up for a movie option.

Bryan L said...

Thanks, Harvey. That's the piece I was overlooking. Diversification and short runs appeal to me a lot as a reader, so I like the idea. I just wasn't sure how DC planned to monetize it. And the movie options make sense, too, though I doubt they're a sure thing after Green Lantern.

Roel Torres said...

To me, the part that is most concerning is that there seems to be a lot of hack writers involved without any track record of writing wonderful, memorable stories. Francis Manapul, J.T. Krul, David Finch, Kyle Higgins, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Nathan Edmondson, Adam Glass, Mike Costa, Sterling Gates, etc., etc. It feels very distinctly second-tier. That's not the roster I would have hand-picked for a massive company re-launch...

MarkAndrew said...

So I went from buying... what is it... carry the three... zero "regular" DC Universe titles to buying a dozen, and you mighta just sold me on Blackhawks. On one level I know it's a cheap stunt, but it might be the kind of cheap stunt I need and I'm just gonna go with it.

Static and Vibe... I could almost see that working.

And I'm really interested in Aquaman. and it’s not for the squeamish! I mean, this sounds awful for ANY character and awful cubed for Aquaman.

But since I've bet quite a bit of money riding over under issue number of the six page baby-killing scene, and how many major organs the tyke will splutter all over the landscape I'll be reading.

It's nice to know that Geoff Johns is happy, though. I bet every night before he goes to bed he does the "I'm gonna write Aquaman! I'm gonna kills some babies!" dance and sings "KILL-ING BABIES" a couple dozen times to the tune of the hallelujah chorus. It's really what his whole blood-soaked post Stars and Stripes career has led up to.

Accursed Interloper said...

"I give 'em this; DC's not playing it safe."

Unfortunately, DC's providing me with an irresistable jumping-off point, right at (or really well past) the time when I need to trim down drastically my intake of current comics. Honestly, most of these titles won't make the cut.
Not sure if my personal experience generalizes to the broader comic-consuming public, hopefully not, but if it does, DC should be, and seems to be, betting on attracting a ton of new readers. Betting big, too.

dan said...

As much as I loathed this whole enterprise, I haven't liked any DC books beyond GL and Flash since the OYL debacle.

I won't be picking up anything new. I always buy Aquaman and Hawkman, so no reboot was necessary.

But if DC's trying out some expected mediocre/low sellers, this was a good time to give Ray Palmer another shot. The backups in Adventure were good.

Anonymous said...

My main question is... where are all these people who weren't buying Superman but said "I'd buy it if he wore metal boots" or "I'd buy it if he wore just a t-shirt"? It makes no sense.

And what's the point in rebooting Batman if they're going to publish ELEVEN titles and we're going to be quagmired in Bat-continuity is a few months anyway?