So yes, I did find some cheese to go with my whine. After Winter Blahslast month's post, where I talked about how disappointed I was with DC's offerings in their April Solicitations, the company has decided to not just do an about-face, but also slap me in my own with it. The May solicits are available and I despair for my pocketbook.
Foremost, I decided to trade wait on Blackest Night, and rather than releasing the saga on a scattered schedule, as they so often seem to do, they have launched 7 (SEVEN!) different hardcovers comprising the bulk of the series and its tie ins. There's Blackest Night hardcover, with all 8 issues plus the 0 issue (304 pgs, $29.99), the Blackest Night: Green Lantern with issues 43-52 of Green Lantern (272 pgs, $24.99), and Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps, collecting issues 39-47 of GLC (264pgs, $24.99). In addition, there's Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol 1 (256 pgs $24.99) collecting the three Blackest Night 3-issue minis featuring Superman, Batman and The Titans while Black Lantern Corps Vol.2 (240pgs, $24.99) covers the other three 3-issue minis featuring the Flash, Wonder Woman and JSA. Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns (256 pgs, $24.99) collects all seven of the revived DCU series (like Catwoman #83 and Starman #81) plus a couple other tie ins, while Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps (176 pgs, $24.99) collects Tales of the Corps #1-3, GL #49 and Adventure Comics #4-5.
Looking at that a little closer, each issue of Blackest Night was $3.99, which 8 times over is $31.92, so at $29.99 the hardcover is actually cheaper than buying the issues. The Green Lantern collection is 10 issues (which would usually run $29.90) for $24.99, while the Green Lantern Corps collection takes 9 issues (usually $26.91) also for $24.99. In fact, almost all of these collections are cheaper (in hardcover no less) than buying the individual issues except Tales of the Corps, which is a paltry 6 issue at $24.99, though sparing you from the back-up features of Adventure Comics. PLUS! You can pre-order them on Amazon (right now) for almost 35% off the cover price! Aren't you glad I'm here? (Disclaimer, Amazon receives their trades a few months behind the direct market, so you're not likely getting them until July rather than May).
Anyway, so that's exciting. But that's not all. Not by a long shot.
May sees the beginning of two year-long, bi-weekly series: Brightest Day (carrying forth from Blackest Night) and Justice League: Generation Lost. I have to say that, in regards to comics, two of the most exciting things in recent years have involved weekly comics. I speak of 52 and Wednesday Comics. Thanks to the above market flood of Blackest Night hardcovers, I'll be all prepped for Brightest Day (though whether super-multitasker Geoff Johns will be, I dunno, I can see the bulk of the workload falling upon Pete Tomasi's respectable shoulders). Meanwhile, Keith Giffen returns to his Justice League of
old, though with Judd Winick in tow in place of his old partner J.M. DeMatteis. Though I question whether returning to the BWA-HA-HA era League is a good idea or not, as I also question Judd Winick's spotty superhero resume (I did like his Outsiders though), I'm willing to give it a shot. I'm hopeful that one of these can capture the magic that 52 delivered (even though Countdown so horrendously dropped the baton).
I suppose, if like me, you're wondering if the DeMatteis and Giffen team (recently seen doing the Metal Men back-up feature in Doom Patrol and the awesome Hero Squared for Boom! before that) is kaput, never fear, for they're back, taking over Booster Gold in May with issue #32!
And they're not they only ones who are back. Paul Levitz makes his return to writing comics BIG TIME in May with the all-new Legion of Super-Heroes #1 and a rather intriguing, old-school World's Finest-sounding run (involving Superman's God complex) starting with Superman/Batman with issue #72. Wow.
Know who else is returning? The Goddamn Bruce Wayne, that's who, with the first two issues of Grant Morrison's The Return of Bruce Wayne also hitting in May, also bi-weekly. While I've been quite enjoying Dick Grayson as Batman and I don't really want to see Bruce's return yet, I still am curious to see a) how Morrison plays this all out, and b) how this differs from Captain America: Reborn. Hopefully there's no "Whose Jowls Will Wear The Cowl" one-shot in which nothing actually happens.
Phew. I'm tired from just looking at all this.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!!
Birds of Prey are also back. Gail Simone. Ed Benes. Lady Blackhawk. Ass kicking. Gnarly!
And did you notice that the doggam DOOM PATROL teams up with the LEGION OF SUPER HEROES in The Brave and the Bold #34!!! How can you pass that up!?
And the Mighty Crusaders Special #1. Okay, I know what you're saying, but if you're not reading the Shield, you're missing out on one of the best written books in the mainstream, not to mention the art team of Marco Rudy and Mick Gray are pulling some serious J.H. Williams III-style layouts and absolutely rocking it. It's a really phenomenal book, completely under the radar.
Surely that's got to be it though. There can' be anything else.
WELL YOU'RE WRONG!!!
(who am I talking to, my narrative voice is getting awfully confusing here)
Showcase Presents: Suicide Squad vol 1 At last DC is getting around to reprinting the second best ongoing series of the 1980s, although doing it in the cheapo black and white format of Showcase Presents is a curious decision... that said, I think that Luke McDonnell's art style will transfer rather nicely to black and white and 552pgs for $17.99 spells BARgooon!
Len Wein presents a unique maxi-series: DC Universe: Legacies, 10 issues spanning the history of the DC Universe, although this issue curiously starts in the WWII-era 1940s (but illustrated by Joe and Andy Kubert!) so I'm hoping they time jump through to the Western and prehistoric eras, amongst others rather than just covering 1940s - present day.
Is that it for me from the DC Universe. Please tell me that's it...
There's the all new Icon: Mothership Connection trade paperback, which reprints disparate later issues of the Milestone series (#13, 19-22, 24-26, 30) which is fantastic because I've been having a devilish time finding them. It's a curious collection given that the first Icon tpb printed issue 1-8 so this is a radical jump.
Hey did you know that Paul Dini's wife is a magician. I guess that explains his almost obsessive need to include her, I mean Zatanna, in his Batman stories. Well, now perhaps he can get miss Zatara out of his system with her all new series starting in May. Given all the other things starting this month, this one can fall under the radar, but I think Stephane Roux on art will really sell the series (do a google image search).
Phew. That's my acquisitions list for May... well, plus the latest issues of ongoing stuff like Doom Patrol (looks to be a fun issue), Secret Six, the Shield, Nemesis: The Imposters (great cover) and Batman and Robin
(And I just noticed Harlan Ellison with Kyle Baker doing a Spirit: Black and White in The Spirit #2! Aw man!)
I could take a look at the Marvel solicits for May but who has the time, energy or money? I mean really?
I'm just glad I'm not also into Superman right now, else there's also four issues of "the War of the Supermen" also going on, not to mention the big Absolute All-Star Superman hardcover. Gads.