Wednesday, June 22, 2011

52 Pics-Up

"One of the good things about the September initiative for DC is that we can take a fresh start approach and take bits of continuity that we think work and just really start fresh with the characters. You don't need to have read all those stories to enjoy what I'm doing, but at the same time, I'm trying to honor the writers that dealt with the character in the past too. " -- Jeff Lemire

More solicit details can be found here

1) Justice League #1 Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jim Lee & Scott Williams

Devon: Geez. If the guy from Stone Temple Pilots and Slash had formed Velvet Revolver in 1995, they would've killed. Lee and Johns are kind of like that, only in 2011. I'm kind of over it already.

Graig: I'm not really sure Jim Lee should be drawing anymore... certainly he shouldn't be designing costumes. Collars and chinstraps are the new thigh-belts and pouches.

2) Green Lantern #1 Written by Geoff Johns, Art by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Devon: I sort of stopped reading Green Lantern after it went into a Blackest Night/Brightest Day holding pattern. Glad to see Mahnke getting some attention, though. The man drew JLA, Batman AND Superman and people were still like, "Who's he?"

Graig: The only reason I'm reading Green Lantern now is because of Mahnke, so I've got a decision to make about whether I continue or not. I've actually enjoyed much of Johns' run (particularly the bigger picture stuff like Sinestro Corps War, Rainbow Lanterns, Blackest Night) but it seems to have run its course.

3) Green Lantern Corps #1 Written by Peter J. Tomasi, Art by Fernando Pasarin & Scott Hanna

Devon: Glad to see John Stewart in an ACTUAL Green Lantern title again is all I can say and glad the Emerald Knights experiment's over, too.

Graig: When I was a kid, my favourite Star Wars characters weren't Han and Luke, but Hammerhead and Tusken Raiders. I love minor characters. So if I were a kid, having just seen the Green Lantern movie (which I haven't yet, and actually still trying to muster up the enthusiasm to care to) I think a book like this which features all those tertiary characters would be right awesome. But I'm not that kid anymore. Plus, I still think John should be THE Green Lantern. He's the most interesting and complex character of the Earth Lantern bunch.

4) Green Lantern: The New Guardians #1 Written by Tony Bedard, Art by Tyler Kirkham & Batt

Devon: Remember the other New Guardians series from the 80's? The one with the gay Guardian named "Strange" who died because the writer gave him AIDS? This will be received about as well. OK, maybe a little better. But hey, it's got Kyle Rayner in it. Might be worth a look.

Graig: I DO remember that other New Guardians series. There's no way this can be worse than that. One of the things I quite like about Johns' GL run has been the introduction of the Rainbow Corps, so I'm interested in the concept of a Kyle-led spectrum team, but the creative team isn't inspiring me enough to actually plan to pick it up.

5) Red Lanterns #1 Written by Peter Milligan, Art by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter

Graig: I have a suspicion this might be a mini-series since I'm not really sure the character is worthy or capable of supporting his own ongoing title.

Devon: Ed Benes on art? Even though this book is about rage-filled aliens. Somehow, we're gonna get an ass-shot out of this. And no, I don't really know if a team of angry aliens really are worthy of an ongoing title.

6) Wonder Woman #1 Written by Brian Azzarello, Art by Cliff Chiang

Devon: Love Cliff Chiang. LOVE him. I'll pick this solely up for him. Kind of interested in seeing what Azzarello has to say with Wonder Woman.

Graig: Wonder Woman has been a complete miss for me since Greg Rucka's run ended many moons ago, and the new WW design still hasn't grown on me, but with this creative team (probably the most exciting of the Reboot, reuniting the Dr. Thirteen team) it at least deserves a look.

Devon: And yes, listen to Graig, go read Doctor Thirteen: Architecture and Mortality.

7) Aquaman #1 Written by Geoff Johns, Art by Ivan Reis

Devon: Why does Aquaman have to be so dark? He's tall, good-looking, has a hot ginger wife, rules 70% of The Earth and he's a king! If I wrote this book, it'd be nothing but panels of Aquaman high-fiving folks.

Graig: I have a soft spot for Aquaman, and Reis did visually awesome things with him in Brightest Day, though I wasn't too fond of that story. I'll give it a shot, but I'm not optimistic.

8) Flash #1Written by Francis Manapul & Brian
Buccellato, Art by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

Devon: If you're of a certain age, Wally West is your Flash. This is not the Flash I'm looking for.

Graig: I too am assuming that this is still Barry Allen, and the wife and I have a pact that as long as the Flash is Barry Allen, Population: Dullsville, we're not reading the Flash anymore. We're Wally loyalists, but I think we're calling of the search party. He's gone and not coming back (not until there's a new Geoff Johns is instilled at DC and makes everything like it was when he was a kid in the late 90's/00's)

9) The Fury Of Firestorm #1 Written by Ethan Van Sciver & Gail Simone, Art by Yildiray Cinar

Devon: Why does the song "Ebony and Ivory" come to mind here? Talk about trying to play both sides, DC...

Graig: The wife complains that Geoff Johns' wants all his toys like they were when he was a kid, and I'm generally inclined to agree with her. Sometimes, like with Green Lantern, he's able to do some pretty shiny new things by stepping back to move forward, but other times it just feels like a step back with no forward momentum. Bringing Ronnie Raymond back into the mix in Brightest Day was one of those "step-back/no momentum" kind of things, although I have to say I have been pretty sour on Jason Rusch since all of the interesting things Dan Jolley instilled in the character were written out by Stuart Moore. I'm debating whether to even bother giving this a shot.

10) The Savage Hawkman #1 Written by Tony S. Daniel, Art by Philip Tan

Devon: This just feels so... "not-right." Hawkman shouldn't be "savage" that's just one facet of his character but they're running with it for some reason.

Graig: Yet another Hawkman misfire? From the write-up it sounds halfway to what I think it should, sort of Carter Hall-as-Indiana Jones, but the fact that the action takes place in NYC instead of an international location seems all wrong.

11) Green Arrow #1 Written by JT Krul, Art by Dan Jurgens

Graig: Enh. I really have nothing more to say about this.

Devon: Never cared for the character. Moving on...

12) Justice League International #1 Written by Dan Jurgens, Art by Aaron Lopresti

Graig: The interesting thing about the picture above is in the full September solicits, the woman in the lower left corner has been removed. And by interesting, I mean I don't really care at all. I've read my fair share of Justice League incarnations (in that I mean most of them), and one of the worst was Dan Jurgens' run immediately following the Giffen/DeMatteis era. Yet this still seems like an even bigger insult to it.

Devon: I think I sort of moved past The JLI a few years ago. It was lightning in a bottle. Pass.

13) Mister Terrific #1 Written by Eric Wallace, Art by Roger Robinson

Graig: Devon, we going to high five on this one or what?

Devon: Wish we could. Love the character. Really want this to succeed. I admire the effort but the comics market won't support him. Plus, I find it sort of insulting that the only black writer in this event is relegated to writing a black character.

Graig: Yeah, I mean, shouldn't he be writing Static Shock too? (joke!)

14) Captain Atom #1 Written by JT Krul, Art by Freddie Williams II

Devon: Devon's ambivalence, thy name is Captain Atom.

Graig: While I like the art of Freddie Williams II generally, I'm not certain he's the right artist for Captain Atom... at least the old shiny silver Captain Atom. It does look like he's getting another redeco along with a complete character overhaul, so I'll wait to pass judgment (if I bother at all). JT Krul's Teen Titans has been a solid read so I may be willing to give his Cappum a shot.

15) DC Universe Presents #1 starring Deadman Written by Paul Jenkins, Art by Bernard Chang

Devon: An anthology. Sort of apropos that Deadman is the lead, no?

Graig: I've long loved the minor characters of the DCU and an anthology spotlighting the all-new, mostly-new, and somewhat-new minor characters of the Universe should be right up my alley. So why am I not interested? Frankly I think this would fare better as a Superman and/or Batman team-up book, as these types of series don't really survive anymore without a lynchpin character, and even then...

16) Birds of Prey Written by Duane Swierczynski, Art by Jesus Saiz

Devon: Geez, man. This does not even... Aw, man... Maybe and just maybe if Gail Simone were writing this...

Graig: Who's them ladies? Black Canary, Poison Ivy, Katana and... Starling? So the Canary gets a sidekick in the reboot, hmm. I kind of dig Katana's new style. But from the solicit copy this seems like it's going to be a "grim 'n' gritty" Birds O'Prey.

Devon: Used kitty litter is "grim 'n' gritty."

17) Batwoman Written by J.H. Williams III & Haden Blackman, Art by Amy Reeder

Devon: A rose amongst the thorns.

Graig: Finally.

18) Detective Comics Written and Illustrated by Tony S. Daniel

Graig: So, DC, you are seriously relaunching your flagship title with Tony Daniel? Mmmmhmmm.

Devon: From the writer who brought you, "The Tenth."

19) Nightwing Written by Kyle Higgins, Art by Eddie Barrows

Devon: They demoted him. The greatest elevation of a sidekick since Wally West and they kicked him back down to Nightwing. Damn shame, Dick Grayson really seemed to make for a great Batman.

Graig: The wife, a huge Dick Grayson fan, isn't totally thrilled that he's not going to be Batman anymore as, to her, returning to Nightwing is looking back instead of forward. But she is, like I am, willing to reserve judgment. I don't know who this Kyle Higgins guy is though (if only there were such thing as a google machine), but he's got a tough act to follow since Scott Snyder had Dick absolutely pegged in his Detective Comics run.

20) Catwoman Written by Judd Winick, Art by Guillem March.

Graig: I'm not sure Catwoman still needs her own series anymore, certainly not one by Judd Winick, not that I have anything against the guy, but if you're going to relaunch/reboot Catwoman, you should go bold, or at least broad, if you're going to go at all. (Yes, by "broad" I meant maybe a woman should write her for a change... is both progressive and offensive).

Devon: Well, at least it's gonna be drawn pretty and Judd Winick seems to have be in a sort of "writing decently now" place.

21) Batman Written by Scott Snyder, Art by Greg Capullo

Devon: This could be incredible. Both of these guys do great work.

Graig: Snyder's Dick Grayson-as-Batman was pitch perfect. I hope his Bruce Wayne-as-Batman is just as good. Greg Capullo's first DC work... never much considered his work having long ago dismissed him as but a McFarlane acolyte, but I'm interested to see what he's got. That cover image right there is pretty damn dynamic.

22) Batman and Robin Written by Peter J Tomasi, Art by Patrick Gleason

Devon: I really hoped these two's energy from Green Lantern Corps would translate well over to Batman and Robin. It didn't. Good work but sort of just... not there. Maybe the second time around.

Graig: I thought I was the only one who didn't much care for Tomasi's brief (and delayed) run on B&R the first time around. I've read a more than my fair share of Tomasi's works and I find, generally, his ideas solid, his characterization good, but too often his work feels forced and the pacing off. I've kind of given up on the guy, frankly.

23) Batman: The Dark Knight Written by David Finch, Art by David Finch & Jay Fabok

Graig: *Snicker*

Devon: Shit. "And the All-Star Batman and Robin Award goes to...." Finish getting the issues you owe the comic book stores before you announce a re-fucking-launch, DC.

24) Batgirl Written by Gail Simone, Art by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes.

Graig: My wife is so angry, so very angry that Steph is being written out of the picture that this book has already been banned from the premises. I've got a huge crush on Babs-as-Batgirl and Gail Simone owns the charater, so I guess I'll be hiding these under the mattress. I'm hoping that if she brings Steph back as Spoiler, the wife might be okay with it again. But the latest issue of Batgirl was so fantabulous, I'm going to genuinely miss the current series.

Devon: If anyone can turn crap into flowers, it's Gail Simone. We'll have to trust her on this... But damn, I gonna MISS Oracle.

25) Red Hood and the Outlaws Written by Scott Lobdell, Art by Kenneth Rocafort

Devon: Such a waste of an incredible artist.

Graig:Can't they just write Jason Todd out of continuity forever? And, is it just me or does it seem, from the solicit text for this title, that the Wolfman/Perez Titans are no longer part of continuity.

26) Batwing Written by Judd Winick, Art by Ben Oliver

Devon: Man, this looks bad.

Graig: Okay, the South African Batman... maybe Winick knows South Africa intimately, and isn't just going to write it based on what he's seen in Invictus and District 9. But something just seems wrong about this writer-character match-up to me.

27) Superman Written by George Perez, Art by Jesus Merino

Devon: It's like they don't want me to like Superman anymore. Why does he have to look so pissed off all the time?

Graig: That costume tweak: horrendous. It looks more Earth-3 Ultraman merged with Perez's old Luthor-Armor design than Superman. Bleh.

28) Action Comics Written by Grant Morrison, Art by Rags Morales

Devon: Sold.

Graig: It's Grant Morrison, I'm in. The guy could write The Phone Book: The Comic Book and I'd be in. Now, I have to wonder how much of Grant Morrison's new Superman origin story will be influenced by the licensing/legal issues DC's been having with the Seigel/Shuster estate (my guess: all of it, in fact I'm wondering if the entire DC reboot isn't in part a reflection of that).

29) Superboy Written by Scott Lobdell, Art by R.B. Silva & Rob Lean

Devon: The cover doesn't tell me jack. Just not feeling it.

Graig: Looks like Superboy is getting a thorough overhaul. Whatever.

30) Supergirl Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson, Art by Mahmud Asrar

Devon: Is it so hard to write a Supergirl book that you could maybe give to a pre-teen girl? I don't think they'll make a book that could reach that market. Instead, you get things like this that appeal to 30 year old men.

Graig: I like the cape, hate the boots and it looks like the girl's getting some attitude. Is this "Power Girl-as-Supergirl"?

31) Swamp Thing Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Yannick Paquette (with Francesco Francavilla)

Devon: Scott Snyder's a great writer. I'll take a look at it.

Graig: It's a solid creative team, but I've never given two poops about Swamp Thing (outside of Adrienne Barbeau in the "classic" movie), and I don't think I'm going to start now.

32) Animal Man Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Travel Foreman & Dan Green

Graig: This seems to me like it's covering well trod ground. And that cover image is uh-glee. But I'll defer judgement to others as I like Lemire generally.

Devon: Lemire on Animal Man feels like a good fit.

33) Justice League Dark Written by Peter Milligan, Art by Mikel Janin

Devon: Ugh. Constantine is Justice League. That's ass.

Graig: Okay, you got me. I think this is about the most interesting "big" idea DC is doing in the reboot... a magic Justice League... even if the title does sound like a chocolate bar. I think Milligan is a decent choice to write, but Cullen Bunn showed how well this can be done in the "Sorcerer Kings" storyline recently in Superman/Batman, so he should have been given a crack at it.

34) Demon Knights Written by Paul Cornell, Art by Diogenes Neves & Oclair Albert

Devon: Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell on The Demon. WIN.

Graig: Medieval chicanery? Demons? Not my bag.

35) Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE Written by Jeff Lemire, Art by Alberto Ponticelli

Devon: This just looks crazy enough where I may have to check it out. Once again because of Lemire.

Graig: Frankie and SHADE were some of the best of many great things to come out of Morrison's Seven Soldiers, so I'm all-in to see how that little nugget of the DCU is expanded.

36) Voodoo Written by Ron Marz, Art by Sami Basri

Devon: "Remember the half human/half alien stripper from WildC.A.T.S.? Well, she's in her own series."

Graig: I'm still not sure whether this is a joke solicit or not.

37) Resurrection Man Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, Art by Fernando Dagnino

Graig: This was one of my favourite series from DC in the late-90's, so I'm excited to see it back, with DnA in tow (I've loved their Marvel Cosmic showrunning recently and, in general, I seem to respond favorably to their work). It'll be lucky if it survives half as long as it did the first time though.

Devon: Eight issues, tops.

Graig: Yeah, but still, I'm going to love me the hell out of those eight issues.

38) I, Vampire Written by Josh Fialkov, Art by Andrea Sorrentino

Devon: It was like someone in the DC offices was like, "Hey, my niece likes Twilight. Get the license. Oh, they won't give it to us. Let's do I, Vampire again but with less ruffled shirts."

Graig: I'm bored with vampires. Otherwise, sounds interesting.

39) Static Shock Written by John Rozum & Scott McDaniel, Art by Scott McDaniel & Jonathan Glapion

Devon: Awww, Static. I always liked the li'l guy. This may be a gateway comic for getting my nephew hooked.

Graig: Static is being relocated to NYC, so I'm betting, heavily, that this series is going to have a Spider-Man vibe even more so than the character already did. I'm excited to see Static back in play, but I'm wondering if Rozum is the right guy for it. He seems better suited for the mystical stuff, but then again, I could just be typecasting him. That new costume just screams Cully Hamner doesn't it?

40) Legion Lost Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Pete Woods

Devon: Never cared for the Legion. Ever.

Graig: I've got nothing against Nicieza, the guy actually writes incredibly solid teen dramas (New Warriors holds up pretty well and Red Robin has been quite good), but at this stage, if it's not Levitz on Legion then I'm not reading it.

41) Legion of Super-Heroes Written by Paul Levitz, Art by Francis Portela

Devon: These guys again...

Graig: I'm betting that the Legion, out of all of the characters and series, comes out the least scathed by the reboot. And if not, well, it's not like we haven't had a dozen versions of the Legion in the past 30 years anyway. What's one more?

42) Hawk and Dove Written by Sterling Gates, Art by Rob Liefeld

Devon: I would publicly like to thank Karl Kesel for teaching me what an inker does some twenty years ago. Liefeld hasn't looked that good since. PASS.

Graig: That is some goddamn ugly art right there. I'm guessing this will be "The Paul Reiser Show" of the reboot.

43) Teen Titans Written by Scott Lobdell, Art by Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Devon: What is this? Man, just when it looks like they finally have Teen Titans back on track, they up and do this.

Graig: Ditto. But I am glaad that Superboy is joining Batwoman as a premiere gay character in the New DCU. Wait, what?

44) Stormwatch Written by Paul Cornell, Art by Miguel Sepulveda

Devon: This is one to watch. The Authority meets the J'onn J'onzz from the Justice League Unlimited cartoon series AND written by Paul Cornell. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.

Graig: This I like.

45) Blackhawks Written by Mike Costa, Art by Ken Lashley

Devon: No, thank you. If there's no blonde in a leather mini, it ain't Blackhawks.

Graig: Costa's G.I. Joe/Cobra is one of the best titles I've been reading the past few years, so I'm torn between hoping this is more of the same or something completely different. Deserves a look at least.

46) Sgt. Rock and the Men of War Written by Ivan Brandon, Art by Tom Derenick

Devon: If you've been a reader of Sgt. Rock, the WWII hero, what makes you think that people will want to read about the adventures of his grandson?

Graig: Ivan Brandon doesn't have a whole lot under his belt (a Kobra one-shot and the Nemesis mini-series from a while back) but what I have read has been extremely well-executed espionage-style fare. So this, like Blackhawks, I will give a chance to as well.

47) All-Star Western Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Grey, Art by Moritat

Devon: Jonah Hex, Agent of Gotham. Intriguing.

Graig: Hmmm, I've not been reading Jonah Hex at all the past five years, but I hear it's pretty good western stuff... if a little rape-y. I'm guessing this will be less rape-y and, depending on the success of Cowboys vs. Aliens, more cowboys versus aliens.

48) Deathstroke Written by Kyle Higgins, Art by Joe Bennett & Art Thibert

Devon: "Hide your kids. Hide your wife." Deathstroke has his own series. Artist Joe Bennet truly is one of comics' best kept secrets. I think I'll buy this one.

Graig: I really, really liked the Deathstroke series that ran in the early 90's... that is until I re-read the series a few years ago and it was much more juvenile than I had recalled. I've kind of soured on the character since.

49) Grifter Written by Nathan Edmonson, Art by Cafu and BIT

Devon: We had Nathan Edmonson at my comics store. He has some interesting ideas for this book. Hope the market can support it.

Graig: I have no affection for the character, I don't know the writer's work at all, and Cafu and BIT's work on T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents has been relatively absent (they barely contribute half the pages each issue), yet for some reason I'm quite drawn to this.

50) OMAC Written by Dan Didio & Keith Giffen
Art by Keith Giffen & Scott Koblish

Devon: Oh, Jack Kirby. They duntcha wrong. (Hangs head)

Graig: That's one ass ugly Omac. I want to be excited about a new Omac book from Keith Giffen, but Dan Didio is writing (ugh) and that character design just isn't working for me (does he shop at the same boot store as Supergirl?)

51) Suicide Squad Written by Adam Glass, Art by Marco Rudy

Devon: Man, this cover looks Hack/Slash meets Grimm Fairy Tales bad. Is that the market DC's going after? The artist Marco Rudy may be this comic's saving grace.

Graig: Between Birds of Prey, Men of War, The Blackhawks, SHADE, Stormwatch, The Outlaws and this book, DC seems to be covering a lot of similar ground on the war-on-metahuman-terror. I love that kind of stuff, but I'm afraid they're overdoing it. And really, Harley Quinn? Really? But yes, Marco Rudy... hope they can get Mick Gray to ink him again, those two were magic.

52) Blue Beetle Written by Tony Bedard, Art by Ig Guara

Graig: Devon, I think you nailed it on the head when you said that DC was "banking on new readers' not knowing or caring who the creators are" using this title as example. Because, yeah, Bedard is about as generic a writer as you can get. He's not bad, he's not outstanding, he's just there. I like Ig Guara's work on Pet Avengers, so perhaps they're going to skew this one a bit younger? They really should.

Devon: If that's the case, that just may be the only way this comic survives and just might be a little bit of brilliant, marketing-wise.