The trade paperback for Space Punisher and the hardcover of the beautifully illustrated and profanely wonderful Butcher Baker The Righteous Maker came out last week, and the second volume of the absolutely brilliant horror comic Rachel Rising came out as well.  Two books worth your money.

Oh, and there’s this.

The news is next.

ALEX MALEEV JOINS DC. Artists Andy Kubert (who illustrated for Grant Morrison’s Batman) and Alex “Daredevil/Moon Knight” Maleev will be signing on to draw Batman #18. There’s no way that won’t look amazing.

AND SO DOES JIM STARLIN. No sooner was he pissed at Marvel for turning Thanos into a movie star without compensating his creator than Jim Starlin signed on to write an as yet unnamed series for DC in April 2013.

BUT ANOTHER BIG NAME CREATOR WAS TREATED BY CRAP BY THE BIG 2. A few weeks ago, Greg Rucka left Marvel over its handling of his Punisher work. Now, DC fired Gail Simone—who has been writing for them for a decade—via e-mail. With so many big name creators fleeing Marvel and DC, it makes you wonder how the “little guys” are being treated over there.

DC SUPERVILLAIN CROSSOVER. In 2013, after “Throne of Atlantis” (DC’s first New 52 multititle event that wasn’t a multititle Bat-event), DC will begin the Trinity War, in which villains fight heroes they don’t usually fight. Like Black Manta against Wonder Woman or Bat Mite against Flash. I have to say, even this won’t get me interested. I’ve dropped everything except Action and Batman Inc., and when Grant Morrison is gone, I’m gone.

JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE RUMORS. There’s a rumor going on that Darkseid will be the big bad in the JL movie. Shouldn’t there be a plausible rumor that there’s actually going to BE a JL movie first? Anyway, I think this is a really, really dumb move. Marvel is using Thanos as the villain in Avengers 2, and the two characters look extremely similar and have very similar power sets as well. Most of America, who doesn’t know about either of these two, will just assume DC is copying Marvel—or they won’t be able to see a distinct reason for the JL movie. I mean, Darkseid is better than Starro—but a much better approach would be to distinguish themselves from The Avengers completely. For example, do a Legion of Doom type thing, bringing together a bunch of baddies. It would run counter to the Avengers (which had basically a few big bad guys) and would help DC to establish its brand for individual movies as well. Frankly, I think the best first JL movie would be something along the lines of identity crisis: All the heroes are in jeopardy in their personal lives, and team up to solve the problem. That would give some room for character development and backstory without requiring the audience to know “too much” about the various members of the team. Just a suggestion.

THE NEW UNIVERSE. Remember Star Brand and Merc and all those other New Universe comics of the late 1980s? The ones Warren Ellis started to bring back, but abandoned? Well, rumor has it Jonathan Hickman’s going to give it a go.

KAREN BERGER QUITS VERTIGO. The executive editor/senior veep responsible for The Sandman, 100 Bullets, Sweet Tooth, Preacher, Y The Last Man, and Hellblazer, among others, has quit after 20 years. I haven’t seen any rumors that she’s being pushed out, but given the amount of talent fleeing DC these days, this can’t be a surprise to anyone.

ACTION COMICS #15. Grant Morrison is on his way out, just in time to create his first real “Gran Morrison” issue of Action Comics. It involves Mr. Mxyzptlk, and it is terrific. If you haven’t been reading, start now before he leaves. Seriously. You don’t need to have read #1-14 to understand this issue.

MARVEL NOW OMNIBUS. DC did it with their New 52 #1s, so Marvel will collect all its Now #1s in a 700 page hardback to retail at $100.

CAPTAIN CARROT NEW 52. I did love Captain Carrot back in the day, and if anyone can revive the character well, it is Keith Giffen—who will do so in his new “Threshold” cosmic series for DC. But he’s renaming him “K’Rot” and giving him a wild and crazy look—all of which seems too similar to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Honestly, it feels a little desperate.
Pic of captain K’RON.

SECRET AVENGERS. Interviews and solicits suggest that this comic might (finally) be worth reading. The Marvel Now! version of the book will be written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Luke Ross, and will feature an underground version of SHIELD—headed by Nick Fury’s black child and including Hawkeye, Black Widow, the (real and green) Hulk, Iron Patriot, Mockingbird and Winter Solider, among others, looks like it might be akin to Jonathan Hickman’s comic “Secret Warriors.” SW was one of my favorite Marvel comics of the past 10 years, so it would be terrific if that’s the direction it goes in. Although part of what made that book so good was that it was a cast of B-characters—and in fact it seems more than a little pandering to include Iron Patriot and the Earth-616 black Nick Fury, who looks exactly like Ultimate Fury, who in turn was intentionally cast in the movie to look like UF. Comics ain’t movies, guys, and most of your moviegoing audience will never read a comic book. They don’t have to match up.

Wow, look at that: A news column of mostly DC news.

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