Friday, March 26, 2010

Solicitations: DC

Every month the comic companies put out their new soliciations, meant for stores to place orders but avidly read by fans (sometimes as if they were divining with tea leaves). I thought it would be fun to run through the new ones but in actuality this didn't turn out too interesting - you've been warned.

Let's start with DC's June solicitations.

The first thing that pops out is that Superman and Batman both hit issue #700 that month? And Wonder Woman at #600? This seems pretty unlikely to be mild about it and in fact it turns out that Wonder Woman had some tinkering with the numbers (after all they start a new series every few years). Superman and Batman both began about a season apart--the first issues weren't dated by month--so I supposed it's possible they actually got this close, though Superman for a long time went by The Adventures of Superman but without changing the numbering. In any case I really wish they could have tempted Neal Adams to do some Batman art again.

Next, some Brightest Day stuff that I'll skip (I've completely given up trying to sort out the multicolored Lanterns - just isn't worth the effort y'know?). Another Green Arrow launch and I can't help but wish they'd just make him an outright bad guy, Irredeemable style. Sure it'd be an utterly implausible twist but better that than this weak "moral issues" stuff. James Robinson's Justice League of America may be where I finally bail. But Gail Simone back on Birds of Prey is good news - maybe she should be writing all the other books.

As for the Joker's Asylum linked one-shots, this is the kind of thing that I wonder why it exists. Can anybody really be waiting to see this? And did any of the creators want to make it? Still, Sienkiewicz art on the Mad Hatter will be worth checking out.

The Batman books have been great since Bruce Wayne "died" - the interplay between Dick and Damian are just the twist needed though I do wonder if anybody can keep this going whenever Morrison leaves. In fact Morrison's Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne is the kind of thing I'd ignore (much like Flash: Rebirth) if Morrison wasn't involved. I'm hoping for the best but it could still end up like Brubaker's misjudged return of Captain America mini.

I lost interest in all the Superman books with the whole return of Krypton event, just too tedious and pointless. There's yet another attempt at keeping the Legion going but I expect this will last about two years just as the last ones have. Maybe that's the inspiration for Straczynski teaming the Legion of Substitute Heroes with The Inferior Five which sounds very fanboy-cool except that Straczynski has never been noted for a sense of humor.

And oh there just a bunch of other stuff. What seems good: more Giffen's Doom Patrol, Dini's Zatanna. What doesn't: Winick taking over Power Girl, Warlord chugging along, and who on earth buys The Great Ten? Really, did anybody read Final Crisis and go "Wow, I'd give my left pinky if these guys had their own series!"

As for the collections I still don't understand why there are so many hardcovers. Do they really sell that well or is this more a prestige thing? Or even a misguided attempt at perking up demand? I might get that collection of old Batman Annuals if it wasn't hardcover and $40. (Still DC is promising "Giant Batman, Rip Van Batman, Zebra Batman, Merman Batman and more". Heck, the reason I love Morrison's work is that he could easily be planning Zebra Batman for this summer.) The only one I'm even considering buying is the third Showcase collection of Sgt. Rock.

The Wildstorm stuff is mostly skippable as usual. A new Tom Strong mini but without Moore. I wouldn't care about DV8 except Brian Wood is writing so maybe I'll check out the first issue. And Busiek is finally revealing the Silver Agent story which might well ruin one of the cool things about Astro City.

I usually read Vertigo books in trades, except for Fables and Jack of Fables which I often save and read entire arcs at once so they might as well be trades. There's a new DMZ trade but I'm not caught up to that yet, House of Mystery yes and the tpb of the next volume of the recolored Sandman.