For those who are interested in what’s coming up next week in DC Comics’ re-launch, here’s a list of the titles, their solicitation information (taken from Previews), and my personal bias before reading each title.
Action Comics 1
Written by Grant Morrison, Art by Rags Morales and Rick Bryant, Cover by Rags Morales
Solicitation Info (from Previews): The one and only Grant Morrison (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN) returns to Superman, joined by sensational artist Rags Morales (IDENTITY CRISIS), to bring you tales of The Man of Steel unlike any you’ve ever read! This extra-sized debut issue is the cornerstone of the entire DC Universe!
Bias: This is one of the titles I’m most excited about. I love the idea of Superman as a rabble rouser, fighting against the corporate bigwigs (as represented by Lex Luthor). Seriously: who wouldn’t want to see the Corporate CEOs that were “too big to fail” taken down a peg, and who better than Superman to do it (and who better than Grant Morrison to write it?!) Definitely excited about this one!
Animal Man 1
Written by Jeff Lemire, Art by Travel Foreman and Dan Green, Cover by Travel Foreman
Solicitation Info (from Previews): Buddy Baker has gone from “super” man to family man – but is he strong enough to hold his family together when Maxine, his young daughter, starts to manifest her own dangerous powers? Find out in this dramatic new series from writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Travel Foreman (The Immortal Iron Fist).
Bias: This is another one I’m looking forward to! Though I haven’t read any of his stuff, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Jeff Lemire, and both his take on Animal Man and the plot he has lined up have definitely peeked my interest.
Written by Gail Simone, Art by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes, Cover by Adam Hughes
Solicitation Info (from Previews): Yes, it’s really happening! Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl – and she’s going to have to face the city’s most horrifying new villains as well as the dark secrets from her past. You won’t want to miss this stunning debut issue from fan-favorite BIRDS OF PREY writer Gail Simone!
Bias: Meh. I hate to say that, as this title seems to be such a hot bed of controversy, but I honestly couldn’t care one way or the other. I’ve never been that big a fan of the Bat-family books (including the core Batman titles, but excepting Nightwing under Chuck Dixon), and whether she’s Oracle or Batgirl, I’m not terribly excited about this title. Nothing against it, but Gail Simone is going to have to really excite me to get me to pick up issue #2, and I just don’t expect that to happen.
Written by Judd Winick, Art & Cover by Ben Oliver
Solicitation Info (from Previews): Africa, a land of beauty – and of great horror. A land of creation and conflict. It is in desperate need of a defender, and from the ranks of Batman Incorporated comes a soldier to carry on the legacy of The Dark Knight in the most tumultuous region on Earth. Meet Batwing, the Batman of Africa!
Bias: As I said above, I’m not a big Bat-family fan, and this one has nothing in the solicits and interviews to change that opinion. As with all the 52 DCnU titles, I’m picking up #1 to give its creative team a chance to wow me into picking up #2, but I just don’t see this one capturing my attention.
Detective Comics 1
Written by Tony S. Daniel, Art by Tony S. Daniel and Ryan Winn, Cover by Tony S. Daniel
Solicitation Info (from Previews): DC’s flagship title is relaunched for the first time ever, with new Batman adventures from acclaimed writer/ artist Tony S. Daniel! A killer called The Gotham Ripper is on the loose on Batman’s home turf – leading The Dark Knight on a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Bias: I feel like a broken record, but here we go again for the third time: I’m not a fan of the Bat-family books, and I’ve seen nothing here to sway me from that opinion. Tony Daniel does have some amazing artwork, though, so if his story can capture my attention, this is the most likely of the Bat-books coming out this week to win me over, though that’s not saying much.
Green Arrow 1
Written by J.T. Krul, Art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund, Cover by Brett Booth and Rob Hunter
Solicitation Info (from Previews): Green Arrow is on the hunt. Driven by inner demons, Ollie Queen travels the world and brings outlaws to justice…by breaking every law. Now, armed with cutting-edge weaponry and illegally gained intel (courtesy of his team at QCore), Green Arrow is shooting first and asking questions later.
Bias: Like Bat-books, this one just never did much for me. I’ve also never read anything by J.T. Krul, so this one could be a surprise hit or a miserable flop. I honestly don’t expect it to fall anywhere in between, though.
Hawk and Dove 1
Written by Sterling Gates, Art & Cover by Rob Liefeld
Solicitation Info (from Previews): Hank Hall is not happy. He’s not happy to have Dawn Granger as a new partner in his war on crime. He’s not happy that she’s dating the ghostly Super Hero, Deadman. He’s not happy to learn that someone is trying to plunge the United States into a new civil war! Now it’s up to Hawk and Dove to root out the forces behind this conflict and stop them before they turn the U.S. into a wasteland! And who is the monster lurking in the shadows, watching Hawk and Dove from afar? Find out in this new series from Sterling Gates (FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST) and artist Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Youngblood)!
Bias: I’m a big Hawk & Dove fan, and I’ve collected everything they’ve been in whether good (the Kesels was the pinacle of perfection, in my opinion) or bad (they were more or less an afterthought in the most recent Birds of Prey book, weren’t they). As such, I’ll definitely be getting every issue of this title, and hoping it’s good enough that it sticks around. Rob Liefeld is a pretty good choice, as he has a history with the characters, and while his artwork isn’t the most polished of styles, it brings an energy and excitement that I would rather have. (I’d rather have both, but if forced to choose between the two, I’d rather have energy and excitement to polish and perfect anatomy.) Troubling, though, are the costumes of the main bad guys – the story may give us a reason why they’re practically copy cats of the main character’s outfits, but without reading the books, it gives an air of lazy character design…
Justice League International 1
Written by Dan Jurgens, Art by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan, Cover by Aaron Lopresti
Solicitation Info (from Previews): With the growing presence of super beings around the world, the United Nations resolves to create a new group called Justice League International. Batman, Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron, Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red are charged with promoting unity and trust – but can they reach that goal without killing each other first?
Bias: This one worries me. After the awesome Generation Lost title, to switch out and go with a completely serious title with a different writer…well, let’s just say I’m not expecting much. When Jacosta was considered to be the unknown woman on the cover, I got a stirring of “maybe,” but then they removed her from the cover. I also kept getting the Booster Gold title because the concepts were amazing (who doesn’t love time travel), but the execution was always meh, so I’m also concerned on that front. All in all, I’m expecting disappointment more than anything out of this title, though I’m holding my breath that I’m wrong.
Men of War 1
Written by Ivan Brandon, Art by Tom Derenick, Cover by Viktor Kalvachev
Solicitation Info (from Previews): On the ground and on the front lines, a young, headstrong soldier known as Joe Rock assumes command of Easy Company – a team of ex-military men turned contractors. Will they survive the battle-scarred landscape carved by the DCU’s Super-Villains? Find out in this explosive new series from Ivan Brandon (Viking, DOC SAVAGE) and Tom Derenick (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!
Bias: When I first heard about this title, I thought it was pretty meh. A book about soldiers. Yawn. But when I learned they would be in continuity with the rest of the DC Universe, and taking on super villains no less…well, I got excited. In my opinion (and I was in the Army for eight years, but was a REMF, so take my opinion for what it’s worth), having the soldiers fight super villains is a wonderful allegory to the War on Terror (something the US Armed Forces were not designed to fight, but are doing an admirable job of), while also providing for interesting, intelligent stories (I absolutely love a story where the heroes have to think their way out of a problem.) I’m hoping for good things from this one…
Written by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen, Art & Cover by Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish
Solicitation Info (from Previews): The all-seeing Brother Eye satellite has unleashed a new beast upon the DC Universe in this smashing new series! Kevin Kho has become an unwilling participant in a war between Checkmate and Brother Eye as he is transformed into the One Machine Army Corp known only as O.M.A.C.!
Bias: Not sure what to make of this. The worst concepts in the right hands can be magic, and Keith Giffen is a wizard of the craft. Still, I’m not that big a fan of any of the former O.M.A.C.s, and Dan Didio is a better editor than writer, so I think it all comes down to: is this title more Didio or Giffen?
Static Shock 1
Written by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum, Art & Cover by Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion
Solicitation Info (from Previews): The brilliant, slightly awkward high school student Virgil Hawkins transforms into the cocky electromagnetic hero Static! A mysterious tragedy forces the Hawkins family to relocate from Dakota to New York City! Virgil embarks upon new adventures in a new high school and a new internship at S.T.A.R. Labs! As Static, he dons a new uniform and establishes a new secret headquarters! But is he ready to take on the new villains who lurk in New York City’s underworld?
Bias: I like Scott McDaniel’s artwork, but I was honestly planning to give this one a pass when I first heard about it. My nephew (an intelligent half-African American in ever sense of the word – his biological father was a black man from Africa) made me reconsider that. Not that my nephew even knows about the book, but I plan to introduce him to it, and thought it might be a good introduction to comic books (he’s 11 years old.) So along with Mr. Terrific and Ultimate Spider-man, I’ve got a few titles that I think he can associate with (and the other two I planned on picking up for me, anyway – so what’s one extra book – and who knows? Maybe I’ll love it, too!)
Written by Paul Cornell, Art & Cover by Miguel Sepulveda
Solicitation Info (from Previews): They are Stormwatch, a dangerous super human police force whose existence is kept secret from the world Directly following the ominous events of SUPERMAN #1, Adam One leads half the Stormwatch team to recover the [INFORMATION REDACTED] from deep in the Himalayas. Meanwhile, Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the Stormwatch crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo! And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds…
Bias: I get a kick out of everyone upset that the characters from Authority are in Stormwatch. They don’t know their Wildstorm history, as the characters were originally a part of Stormwatch, if peripherally, before the organization went kaput. I’m rather curious to see how this title plays out – whether they end up as the Authority, or become something different, and I love the idea that they’re more tied to the DCU by including Martian Manhunter – and that they consider the super heroes to be amateurs. Yeah, this one’s right up my alley. (Also, while I’m not gay myself, I believe in gay rights, so keeping Midnighter and Apollo gay was a decision I agree with.)
Swamp Thing 1
Written by Scott Snyder, Art & Cover by Yanick Paquette
Solicitation Info (from Previews): One of the world’s most iconic characters has returned to the heart of the DC Universe, and every step he takes will shake the foundations of the Earth! Alec Holland has his life back…but the Green has plans for it. A monstrous evil is rising in the desert, and it’ll take a monster of another kind to defend life as we know it!
Bias: Never much cared for Swamp Thing, though that’s as a concept, not from having read his previous titles. Still, I read Detective Comics and American Vampire and really did like both (though both concepts were not what I would generally enjoy), so with Scott Snyder writing it, I’d say there’s a good chance I’ll be picking this one up regularly. (I didn’t like Severed or Batman: Gates of Gotham, however, but those were both co-written, so maybe Mr. Snyder isn’t as good with a collaborator? Dunno. We’ll see.)
Anyway, that’s what’s coming out next week, and what I think about ’em, sight unseen. As I’ve stated before, I’m giving each title a chance to wow me, and I’m not one to hold my first impression (especially of a title I haven’t even read yet) as being fact, so every title really does have a chance of winning me over. I guess we’ll find out next week, eh? 🙂