Friday, February 6, 2015

DC Comics New Series Announcements Make for Some Good News on a Friday.

So, I go onto the internet this morning, and what do I see? A whole slew of new DC titles announced! I'm going to put on hold what I normally would do on Friday so I can gather the list here and comment on the books I'm excited for, which look like quite a few of them. The list has been confirmed over a couple sites, so I feel safe running with it.

Bat-Mite by writer Dan Jurgens and artist Corin Howell

I love Bat-Mite. That might be an unpopular opinion, but when you look at Alan Grant's amusing Dark Mite stories from the 90s, Grant Morrison's darker take from his run on Batman, and Paul Reubens's bonkers portrayal of the character on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, you can see there's potential for something fun in Batman's universe.

Batman Beyond by writer Dan Jurgens and artist Bernard Chang

New 52: Futures End has turned out to be a far better series than I had anticipated, and part of that has been its use of Terry McGinnis. I'm not entirely sold on him interacting with the DCU, but that series has made me curious to see what could happen. I don't know exactly how this series will spin out of Futures End, whether Terry will arrive in the present, still be five years in the future, or back to his own time, and what that will look like, but I'm curious enough to check it out.

Bizzaro by writer Heath Corson and artist Gustavo Duarte

Black Canary by writer Brenden Fletcher and artist Annie Wu

The new run on Batgirl has been very well received, and I've enjoyed it for the most part. Barbara as a modern 20-something wasn't on my list of things to expect, and I was already acting like I was in my 30s in my 20s, so her experience doesn't speak to me as much, but it's smart and well written. The main surprise for me was the surly, grouchy Black Canary as supporting cast member, and how much I like Fletcher and Cloonan's take on her. The idea of Black Canary as the singer in a band is so natural an idea, I'm shocked no one has done it before, and making Black Canary an on the road, rock n roll action superhero comic is brilliant. Annie Wu's art on the Kate Bishop Hawkeye issues were gorgeous and gritty, so I think she's a perfect fit for the title.

Constantine: The Hellblazer by Ming Doyle and Riley Rossmo

I never felt like Constantine worked in DC's house art style, so Riley Rossmo, one of the kings of modern horror/monster/action comics (Proof, Green Wake, Bedlam, Rasputin) drawing Constantine? Sign me up.

Cyborg by writer David L. Walker and artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado

This one is a long time coming. A Cyborg monthly has felt like a gimme since his addition to the Justice League in the post-Flashpoint world. It feels like DC is really giving this a push, by putting one of it's A-List artists on the book. And getting an African American writer for the title will help with DC's creator diversity issues. I'm not familiar with Walker's work, but I'm willing to see what he'll do with Vic.

Dark Universe by writer James Tynion IV and artist Ming Doyle

Doomed by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Javier Fernandez

Dr. Fate by writer Paul Levitz and artist Sonny Liew

Earth 2: Society by writer Daniel H. Wilson and artist Jorge Jimenez

Green Lantern: Lost Army by Cullen Bunn, Jesus Saiz & Javi Pina

Harley Quinn/Power Girl by writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, with artist Stephane Roux

After the recent team-up arc in Harley's ongoing, this combo is going to be one to watch for sheer madcap joy. They fought supervillains, alien warlords, and each other, as well as performing a burlesque act. What more can they do? Plenty, if Palmiotti and Conner's past stories are any indication.

Justice League 3001 with the same creative team of Keith Giffen and Howard Porter

Justice League of America by writer/artist Brian Hitch

Martian Manhunter by writer Rob Williams and artists Ben Oliver and Paulo Siqueira

I love the Martian Manhunter, I've never hidden that. But I've not warmed to the dark, manipulative Manhunter of the post-Flashpoint world. It seems that, since Superman has been doing the Stranger in a Strange Land thing that was always part of J'onn's character, J'onn has gone darker. There have been some light spots, particularly his relationship with Stargirl (once more proving J'onn is DC's Wolverine, mentoring young heroines), but mostly he's been a mind-wiping mastermind type of character. I don't know if this title will change that, or will simply flesh it out more, but either option is the least a great character like J'onn deserves.

Midnighter by writer Steve Orlando and artist ACO

 Mystic U by writer Alisa Kwitney and artist Mauricet

Omega Men by writer Tom King and artist Barnaby Bagenda

Prez by writer Mark Russell and artist Ben Caldwell 

Thanks to Neil Gaiman's use of the original Prez, a character from a 70s comic about the first teenage president of the USA, in The Sandman, the character is not completely forgotten, and well, it's just so weird an idea I can't resist seeing what the concept will look like so many years after it's initial conception.

Red Hood/Arsenal by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Denis Medri

Robin, Son of Batman by writer/artist Pat Gleason

Taking the place of Batman and Robin, it looks like Damian is getting his own title, along with a giant Bat demon looking thing, and they're in snowy mountains. That sounds good on its own, but when you think about the fact that Talia is out there somewhere near Nanda Parbat, which is in snowy mountains, I expect we'll be seeing some of the threads from the current title followed up and a continued evolution of Damian as a character.

Section Eight by writer Garth Ennis and artist John McCrea

Oh, good lord, I never thought I'd see this! Ennis and McCrea created Section 8 for their run on Hiitman, a team of homeless and insane super heroes, including, but not limited to, Six Pack, who was the world's greatest hero in his own dreams, Dogwelder, who welds dog to his enemies, Defenestrator, who throws people out of windows, and Bueno Excellente, who fights evil with the power of perversion. are some of Ennis's most bizarre creations. Only one things I can say about it... Bueno.

Starfire by writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, with artist Emanuela Lupacchino

Starfire has been a problem character since the dawn of the pre-Flashpoint world, but I think breaking her off from her current Outlaws teammates and letting her have her own adventures in Miami (or somewhere in Florida. Palm trees and old folks make me think Florida) seems like a good chance to let her grow back into a more balanced character. Factor in the funny Harley Quinn writing team of Conner and Palmiotti and Emanuela Lupacchino, whose work on X-Factor I remember fondly, and you have a winning creative team. Also, the new costume is a vast improvement, closer to her animated Teen Titans look. I would have included the little skirt too, but it's more practical than her gravity defying current costume, so I'll take it.

We Are Robin by writer Lee Bermejo and artists Rob Haynes and Khary Randolph

Another brand new title with very little information, I can assume from the image that we're dealing with a group of kids inspired by Robin working together. I'm wondering if this might become the home for Duke Thomas, the future Robin who has appeared as a teenager in the current Batman story. It's interesting to see Rob Haynes return to mainstream comics. 

Of the creative changes to current books, three artist changes and one writer change jumped out at me. Juan Ferreyra, whose art of Colder has been astounding, will be taking over Gotham by Midnight, a perfect fit. Dale Eaglesham, who introduced Gail Simone's Secret Six in the Villains United mini-series, will be taking over as artist on that title, which is great to see, as I feel like he should be a superstar and never quite reaches that point. And Carlos D'Anda, another vastly underrated artist, will be the new artist on New Suicide Squad, a book that has suffered under multiple artists per issue, so hopefully D'Anda can add a nice unified feel to future issues.

The most exciting change is Gene Luen Yang on Superman. Sure, I would have liked more Geoff Johns Superman, but he did his part of setting up a new status quo for Superman in the current DCU. I recently read Yang's Shadow Hero, the origin of the first Chinese super hero, the Green Turtle, and it was such a brilliant mix of action, humor, and myth that I was blown away. I'd been waiting for the right week to do a recommended reading for it, and now it looks like June will be the time, to line up with the release of this new project. I hope he brings out the humanity in the Man of Steel, and does it with as deft a touch as he did in his other work.

So that's what's coming up from DC. I love my DC Comics, always will, and I hope that this breathes a new life into the line. If the creators and titles are any indication, it's going to be an interesting summer.

No comments: