Okay, today I was planning a Bronze-age comic reinterp in my usual style, but gosh darn, all this interesting news from San Diego and elsewhere just has me brimming over with happiness and excitement that I must share (unoriginal though that might be)!
1. Wonder Woman Animated Feature
Oh, my Zeus; she actually LOOKS kind of Greek. Excellent. Not only it is an original story rather than an adaptation (yay!) but it's got decapitation (YAY!!). Remember, when making an animated feature... adaptation bad, decapitation good.
2. Secret Invasion Heroclix Set
Wizkids is really working the theme on this set, with figures that may or may not be Skrulls, depending on which dial they happen to have. Besides, it has a number of Aquatic figures, most of which I've already acquired multiple instances of, to adapt for my Aquaman games!
3. Gaiman on Batman
Sure, it's only two issues. But it's some kind of retrospective on the various eras of Batman, which is timely, and it's Gaiman back on comics. And mainstream comics to boot (because it doesn't get more mainstream than Batman). If Morrison on Batman is one of the Signs of the Apocalypse, than Gaiman on Batman is a Sign of the Rapture.
4. Johns on Superman
From the encompassing revamp of Brainiac to the Silver Age insanity of a city of Kryptonians, John's is breathing life back into the Superman story. When things like this used to happen, I used to fret, "I wonder how long before I can forget this misstep happened!" Currently, I have enough faith in Johns et al., that my feeling is more like, "Ah, an interesting new element to expand the Superman mythos!"
No matter what they do with this, it will say more about real-world politics and how politics might play in a superhero universe than all of Marvel's Civil War put together, which was, in the final analysis, just another excuse to have Marvel heroes fight one another, instead of villains. Besides, it will no doubt have Ollie Queen making an ass of himself, and Superman being more noble than everyone else. That's what they do.
No, I'm not big on Grant Morrison, and I'm even smaller on Kirby's Fourth World, but the absurdity of the Black Lightning/Tatooed Man combo is not something I can resist.
I am really enjoying the Legion right now under Jim Shooter's pen, but there are elements of the previous version of the Legion that I still miss. XS, Impulse's cousin, is one I miss a lot, and no one who read her guest-star appearance in his book can ever forget it. She's going to play in part in Whatever Is Being Done With The Lightning Rod From The Lightning Saga, and I hope she's still around in the Legion after that.
8. Batwoman's crotch shoots fire!
It just works on so many levels. I really don't think she should have a superpower, but if she does, that's definitely the one.
9. El Diablo
I'll say it; the original El Diablo wasn't good, and isn't fondly remembered (or remembered at all). But that doesn't stop DC, which just looks at that sort of thing as a challenge to its creativity! In fact, taking something that was never very good to begin with, and turning it into the Next Hot Thing (JSA; Blue Beetle; Booster Gold) is one of things DC does best. Diablo had a very memorable guest-appearance in the new Jonah Hex series, and he brings to the table a unique combination of mysticism and cowboyism, the kind of odd mash-up that DC excels at.
10. Batman versus Catman
I really didn't think I'd live to see this. Growing up, Catman was just this legendary character from the Batman Encyclopedia. He's been back in style for some time, and his face-off with his original foe is long overdue. Batman deserves an anti-Batman and no-one is currently filling that role (adequately).
In the Robin solicit, a conflict with Ragman is mentioned. Ah, you forgot he's from Gotham, didn't you? He is. And now that he's free from his previous engagement (Shadowpact), I think he'll be a welcome addition to the Gotham cityscape. A low-rent mash-up of Batman and Spectre adds to the mix in The City That Never Shines.
12. Dr. Polaris
Dr. Polaris coming up in Blue Beetle is great on several levels. First and foremost, it's Dr. Freaking Polaris, people. His versatility is amazing; he can be a serious serious threat, a scenery-chewing Republic villain, a wild-eyed crazy person, a scientific genius, even comic relief. Or any combination. He's a utility player. Second, pitting him against Blue Beetle is smart. Jaime needs villains, and Blue Beetle is sort of connected to the Green Lantern dynasty as kind of a "Kid Lantern", so putting him with a long-standing and currently underused GL villain works well for all involved. Third, it sounds like someone's going to be using Doc P to full potential, not just as a boxing opponent, but a behind the scene chess-type foe as well. Because that's where the real money is (as we learned in The Dark Knight film).
13. Supergirl/ Silver Banshee
Face it, we all know Supergirl's needed an intervention for some time now, and it looks like she's finally getting one. Even her brief appearances in Geoff Johns' Superman has made her more likable by a hundredfold. Making Cat Grant her bane, tying her in more closely to Superman's story (she's going to have a Supertriangle; see below), and giving her foes to fight (like Silver Banshee) are all big steps in the right direction. Besides ... I have always loved Silver Banshee's look. Particularly the earrings.
Starro is guest-starring in Booster Gold (THE place to be seen nowadays; what the Batman TV series was to Hollywood stars, Booster Gold is to the DCU characters). Starro takes over Rip Hunter, I believe, and hijinx ensue. I love Starro. Every night as I go to be a say a loving "good-night" to my giant Starro heroclix figure on the pillow next to mine. Oh, and, you know what I really really really want? A starro eye-pillow/nightmask. Really.
Without proper access to the multiverse (I mean, as resource, not just as a plot point), DC's been squirming around for years like a one-legged centipede. This upcoming Earth-Two/Power Girl storyline in JSA sounds like it will really bring back the Earth-2 we remember to represent the Golden and Silver Ages, and maybe even another Earth to represent the Bronze Age. Long overdue (especially since we get told at least once a year that the Multiverse is coming back).
16. Wonder Woman the Movie
No, they aren't making a Wonder Woman film, but they are telling the story of what happens in the DCU when someone does decide to make a WW movie. This is kind of innovative, yet commonsensical storytelling I've come to expect and eagerly anticipate from Gail Simone. Like most people, I've been underwhelmed by this Claw the Uncared For detour and I'm anxious to learn more about the impact of a person like Wonder Woman on our world (that means the DCU), not the mystical travismorganverse (which is also where Phil Jimenze wandered off-track).
17. Billy Batson
I love all-ages books, both conceptual and (usually) in practice. I'm delighted that DC didn't just let the Jeff Smith Captain Marvel experiment drop, but is putting out a Cap book based on it. Captain Marvel really does do better in his own special world, and I hope that adults readers don't spurn the book because of its more abstract artistic style (which many readers nowadays associate with juvenility but which I associate with universality).
18. Unknown Soldier
I'm not a fan of DC's war stories per se, but I'm a big supporting of (re-)expanding its line beyond standard cape-action. They began with their old Western line, and are trying their darnedest with their War line. The War That Time Forgot, for example (or, as we call it at my store, The Book That Everyone Forgot). Updating the Unknown Soldier by placing him in Uganda is inspired. Ours is a world of many theaters of war, rather than One Big War in Europe, and DC seems to be taking advantage of that storytelling opportunity.
19. Archie Heroes
Okay, I knew that DC had acquired the Archieverse heroes, but to actually ... use them? In the DCU proper?? In the Brave & the Bold title??? Genius. Like the Borg, DC continues to find and assimilate new species, adding their individual strengths to the collective.
Some of these guys are just so perfect. The Black Hood, a cursed superhero identity that kills its wearers in an on-going legacy of heroic doom? Hey, it's like the Flash! The Comet, the first superhero killed in the line of duty, and his brother, Hangman? This kind of Golden Age doomed legacy stuff is like dessert to Geoff Johns! Besides, admit it; you want a hero named Flygirl.
The Great Experiment for Black comics creators in the 1990s, Milestone, was an imprint of DC Comics, but now its characters are coming back as part of the DCU proper. This is fabulous in several ways. One, it adds some solid characters who are black and who aren't just a legacy of some other hero. And one of them is Static (Shock); I loved that show. Two, it brings their fictional city, Dakota, with them. As the head of the DCU's tourist bureau, I believe strongly the DC should have almost NOTHING but fictional cities. After all, every time you use a "real city" in a comic, it's a fictionalize version of it anyway, so why constrain yourself when you don't gain realism from it anyway? Three, it adds to whole expansive Borginess of the DCU; resistance is cute, but it's ultimately futile. If you want your characters to survive, the best chance is to have them be part of the Biggest Comic Book Sandbox of them all.
For those kids too young to remember, all the Superman titles used to be united in one loose storyline, and on each issue a small triangle appeared containing a number that guided you as to the proper order for reading them. This era was perhaps the height of my interest in the Superman titles, because the coordinated titles really gave the creators a chance to fill out Metropolis and its characters. It was the kind of myth-building that hadn't been done since the Silver Age. The return of the Supertriangles and other evidence make it clear that the central Superstory is going to be broader and wackier than it has been in some.
22. The Haunted Tank in Iraq
Really. I mean, just say it, out loud: "The Haunted Tank, in Iraq". What more do you need to know? DC's making some bold attempts to update its war titles with new relevancy, and I think it's great. I hope the readers reward the efforts.
23. B&B Animated
Judging from the trailer, this show will rock, and anyone who insists on bitching that "*sigh* it's just not Batman the Animated Series, though, is it?" can suck it up and shut it up. Move on; that was 16 years ago. We're not in the dark Iron Age any longer, we're in the bright Platinum Age, and I, for one, consider that a very high quality problem.
24. New GA/BC writer.
It's not because I don't like the current writer. I don't, of course, but that's not the point. The new writers are going to put Connor Hawke back on the table and return the action squarely to the desperately-in-need-of-fleshing out Star City. That's mythbuilding stuff there, on top of the new focus on what makes the title unique: it has two big stars, and they're married to each other.
25. The Flash
Barry Allen's coming back. Big time. And he's going to kick your butt. It's clear that the new creative team for this project "gets" Barry, and why this is his time. They also seems intent on making all the Flash stuff cohere as part of a bigger "Flashiverse", with Barry as the pivot point. I'm beginning to think the all stripes of Flash-fans are going to be able to have their cake and eat it, too. We're not going to be asked to choose which Flash we want; they're simply going to expand the world to make it big enough for all of them, exactly as was done when Jay Garrick became part of New Earth.