DC’S DIVERGENCE

It occurs to me I’ve given all sorts of coverage of Marvel’s Secret Wars but much less about DC’s line-wide renovation that will occur after its “Convergence” event, and which will signify the permanent end of the era of the New 52. Part of the reason is I don’t read a lot of DC Comics, and since the new 52 I read even less. But a shakeup like this of a company that controls 30% of the market is worth noting, so this post will rectify my neglect.

Although, DC’s market share has been steadily dwindling. Basically, if it ain’t Batman or Bat-related, it ain’t selling. I don’t think what they need is a line-wide reboot again. I think what they need is to fire Dan Didio.

Here’s my thoughts on the new line of DC Comics promised in June…

SHUCK MY CORN AND UPDATE MY PULL LIST, THESE LOOK GREAT!

  • Section Eight by Garth Ennis and John McCrea. The Hitman team returns to characters they created over a decade ago. How can this not be on everyone’s list, and how can it not be great? The team has a a guy who fuses people on to dogs (seriously, he uses a magic blow torch to do it), an alcoholic, a sex criminal, a guy who throws people through a window (and I mean “a window”—it’s the same window, every time ,which he brings around with him as part of his arsenal), a guy with super-pleghm named “Flemgem.” Among others.

  • Superman by Gene Luen Yang and John Romita, Jr. This is one of the only two DC books I read regularly, and replacing Geoff Johns with the writer of some truly brilliant indie books only makes me that much more eager to read it. I’ve always said that the best Superman stories are character stories, because as a superhuman goes he’s pretty much invincible—so the threat rarely feels all that dangerous. Yang has the potential to create a truly fresh take on the world’s oldest superhero. I’m super excited about this one!
  • Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. This is the other DC book I read regularly. Batman is one of the few books that basically retained its quality from pre-Flashpoint (when Snyder wrote Batman on Detective Comics) through New 52. If they haven’t lost me yet, I have no reason to think they’ll lose me now.
  • Secret Six by Gail Simone and Dale Eaglesham. The team supreme returns! Their last Secret Six run was one of the best DC books of all time, I expect nothing less this time around.

I’M DEFINITELY BUYING #1, BUT #2? WE’LL SEE….

  • Bizarro by Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte. A miniseries. This could be good, I’ll try the first one.
  • Cyborg by David Walker and Ivan Reis. Walker’s work on Shaft (Dynamite Publications) has been really, really good. That gets me in the door. Now, let’s see if he can make me care about a character I haven’t cared about since the 1980s.
  • Omega Men by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda. I have a soft-spot for the team, so I’ll give ‘em a try.

I’LL WAIT TO READ ABOUT THESE BEFORE I READ THESE…MAYBE IN TRADE?

  • Justice League of America by Bryan Hitch. Hitch is a great artist but an unproven writer, a team that has suffered far too many meh iterations over the past few years. It’s gonna take a lot to make this good.
  • Midnighter by Steve Orlando and ACO. I don’t know who this “ACO” dude is, but advance art for this looks great. Midnighter is an awesome character, so hopefully this is more than a trade-off of a new book about a gay lead replacing a cancelled book about a lesbian (Batwoman). Still, DC’s use of the Wildstorm Universe characters in the context of the New 52 was absolutely terrible, so I’m skeptical. Very skeptical.
  • Mystic U by Alisa Kwitney and an unannounced artist. Gotham U for DC’s magic characters? Can’t say I’m thrilled by the concept, but I’m open to possibility.
  • We Are Robin by Lee Bermejo and Khary Randolph. A solid creative team, a weird title, and potential for something good?

I SERIOUSLY DOUBT I’LL BE ATTENDING, BUT NICE TRY, DC.

  • Bat-Mite by Dan Jurgens and Corin Howell. I just can’t see how I’ll want to read this. DC funny is almost never good.
  • Prez by Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell. Two creators I’ve never heard of an a remake of a mediocre-to-bad book from the 1970s about a teenager who became President of the U.S. We’ve had a Lex Luthor as President, so I guess it’s not beyond possibility that this will actually be a book that “matters,” but even it is…Why should I care about this? Other than it’s DC being weird for weirdness’ sake? I need a better reason. Like, say if Grant Morrison were writing it.

MEET THE NEW DIVERGENCE, SAME AS THE OLD NEW 52 (aka, nothing here appears to be much of a change)

  • Action Comics by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder. This is a decent book, but not $3 a month decent.
  • Aquaman by Cullen Bunn and Trevor McCarthy
  • Batgirl by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr. Lots of folks love this book, but I’m not a fan. Nothing against it, just not interested.
  • Batman Beyond by Dan Jurgens and by Bernard Chang.
  • Batman/Superman, by Greg Pak and Ardian Syaf
  • Black Canary by Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu
  • Catwoman by Genevieve Valentine and David Messin
  • Constantine: The Hellblazer by Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, and Riley Rossmo. So DC finally gets Ming Doyle on a regular book but it’s as a writer not an artist? That’s a little puzzling.
  • Dark Universe by James Tynion IV and Ming Doyle. DC’s dark characters haven’t ever really interested me (other than Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing), and I can’t stand Tynion’s writing. So, I hate to pass up Ming Doyle art, but there’s just too many negatives here to suggest that this will be anything other than Justice League Dark revisited.
  • Deathstroke by Tony Daniel.
  • Detective Comics by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelato.
  • Doomed by Scott Lobdell and Javier Fernandez. I don’t know what this is about, but you lost me with Lobdell. He’s never written a good comic. Ever.
  • Dr. Fate by Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew. Liew art is intriguing, but Dr. Fate isn’t. Nor is Paul Levitz, whose best writing happened over two decades ago.
  • Earth 2: Society by Daniel Wilson and Jorge Jimenez. This just replaces the current Earth 2 book.
  • The Flash by Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, and Brett Booth.
  • Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl. I know lots of people love this book, but it just didn’t grab me.
  • Gotham By Midnight by Ray Fawkes and Juan Ferreyra.
  • Grayson by Tom King, Tim Seeley, and Mikel Janin.
  • Green Arrow by Ben Percy and Patrick Zircher.
  • Green Lantern by Robert Venditti and Billy Tan.
  • Green Lantern: Lost Army by Cullen Bunn, Jesus Saiz and Javi Pina
  • Harley Quinn by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, and Chad Hardin and Harley Quinn/Power Girl by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner and Stephane Roux. If Conner drew either of these, I’d be in. Harley is a fan favorite, but I just don’t get it. No surprises, though, that now there will be two Harley monthlies.
  • Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok. How is this universally hated book still on the market?
  • Justice League 3001 by Keith Giffen and Howard Porter, replacing JL 3000. Which I didn’t read.
  • Lobo by Cullen Bunn and Cliff Richards. Every Lobo by everyone other than Keith Giffen has been dull.
  • Martian Manhunter by Rob Williams and Ben Oliver
  • Red Hood/Arsenal by Scott Lobdell and Denis Medri, replacing Red Hood and the Outlaws.
  • Robin, Son of Batman by Patrick Gleason. I do like Gleason’s art, but no one other than Grant Morrison has ever made me care about Damian Wayne.
  • Sinestro by Cullen Bunn and Bradley Walker. Lots of Cullen Bunn at DC, huh?
  • Starfire by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, and Emanuela Lupacchino. See, first I was excited, then I found out Conner wasn’t doing the art. Goodbye.
  • Suicide Squad, by Sean Ryan and Carlos D’Anda.
  • Superman/Wonder Woman by Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke.
  • Teen Titans by Will Pfeifer and Kenneth Rocafort.
  • Wonder Woman by Meredith Finch and David Finch
  • Justice League United by…Who?

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