Chicago’s Comicon brought with it tons of news that you’ve probably heard elsewhere first, but I wanted to add commentary on the stories I found most interesting. I’ll be doing posts on DC, Marvel, and “everyone else.”
This one’s for DC. Hit the break to learn about DC’s digital first line, news on Before Watchmen, and a half dozen new titles you might be interested in….
DC DIGITAL FIRST.
DC is trying to jump into the digital realm, launching “digital first” content of some of their more internet friendly titles: Every week day will bring new issues of Ame-Comi Girls, Smallville Season 11, Justice League Beyond, Batman Beyond, Superman Beyond and Batman: Arkham Unhinged. Looks to me like a bunch of second- or third-string titles that “real” comic fans probably could care less about. Not sure how this will help their print publication line, but all of these digital-firsts will subsequently see hard print.
Frankly , most of these seem desperate and dull–but the Arkham book, which will feature master creators like Ben Templesmith, Steve Niles, Ryan Sook, Nicola Scott, and Jeff Lemire, and many others—could be good. It’ll be self-contained, but will take place in the new 52. So many Batbooks seem nonessential, and most are mediocre, but at least there’s some nice talent attached to this one.
The Ame-Comi Girls series has potential, being that it is from a superstar creative team. It’s a manga-style book based on a DC toy line in which manga versions of DC chicks band together to fight a femail Brainiac. It’ll be five separate stories, all written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, about Wonder Woman (art by Amanda Conner!!!!!); Batgirl (art by Sanford Greene); Duela Dent (art by Ted Naifeh); Power Girl (art by Mike Bowden) and Supergirl (art by Santi Casas). I’m a little sad that Conner won’t be doing Power Girl, but I guess she’s done that already—and done it better than anyone before or since.
SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL
Realizing that everyone’s talking about Thor 2, X-Men Second Class, Iron Man 3, and what’s gonna happen to Batman after the “final” movie comes out this year, the crew behind Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot is trying to say that’ll be “edgy.” Really? Is “edge” what we want from Superman? As far as I’m concerned, there’s been only one truly great Superman movie—Superman 2—and it was far from edgy. The first Superman was quite good, and at spots Smallville was good as well, but they were never good because it was edgy. Good Superman should be inspirational, not edgy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The man behind 300 and Watchmen is the wrong man for America’s first superhero.
I’m still not sure why comicdom has bought into the criticism (by Alan Moore) of DC for trying to launch Watchmen prequels featuring the characters from The Greatest Graphic Novel Every Made, except insofar as I’m pretty sure that they won’t be all that great (even if the talent behind them is fantastic). I guess it’s because I just don’t care—Watchmen was a complete story to me; it didn’t leave me wanting more. But anyway, Before Watchmen will get TV commercials on basic cable, so I guess DC is hoping and hyping for the best.
ZERO DC COMICS IN SEPTEMBER.
By which I mean, issued with the number “zero.” I guess this is better than doing “point ones?” The zero issues will be for most of the new 52 titles, and will show what happened before issue #1 of the new 52 titles. No word on whether cancelled titles will get the zero treatment (hello, Mr. Terrific!) or how making an issue that takes 5 years before Justice League #1, which itself takes place several years before the current Justice League story arc, will explode the heads of continuity watchers. Not to mention Batman, who somehow has three Robins already even though he’s, like, in his twenties….
NEW STUFF AND NEW IDEAS!
Some new DC series/new developments on the way…
- World’s Finest. As part of the Earth 2 universe, this title will be written by James Robinson with art by Kevin Maguire and the legendary George Perez.
- Dial H for Hero. China Mieville reboot of the character who uses a rotary-phone wristband to access a variety of powers, is being compared to the new 52’s Swamp Thing and Animal Man. The real question is, do most comic readers relate to rotary phones…?
- “The Ravagers,” bout the red Beast Boy, Caitlin Fairchild, and other Teen Titans cast offs.
- Batman Annual #1. I’m not sure it’s even fair to call these oversize issues “annuals” anymore, since they never come out on a regular, yearly basis, but the first new 52 annual will be written by Scott Snyder and will introduce Mr. Freeze.
- The Extended Captain Marvel Family. We’ve been promised that Freddie and Mary Marvel will appear, as will Mister Tawky Tawny (the tiger) and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny.
- Under the Vertigo imprint, we’ll see Sean Murphy’s “Punk Rock Jesus” miniseries, wherein the Son of God starts a punk rock band. I’m reserving judgment on this one (no pun intended).