Comic Picks By The Glick

DC Previews Picks: January 2015

October 27, 2014

The mystery surrounding DC’s two-month event that will cover their move from New York to Burbank continues to deepen.  Right now the word is that it will consist of twenty two-part series and one weekly title to tie them all together.  As to what it’s actually going to involve, that’s up in the air at the moment.  Most think that Brainiac discovering the multiverse at the end of the “Superman:  Doomed” crossover is going to lead to versions of DC characters from other continuities (including the one that existed prior to the New 52) battling it out.  Why?  Because that’s what superheroes do when confronted with versions of themselves from alternate realities.  

With regard to the creators involved in this event, Scott Lobdell’s name has been thrown around as the writer of the weekly title and Tim Truman announced that he’ll be working on a two-part DC title involving a character that he’s worked on before.  That most likely means Hawkman, but I’m hoping it’s actually Jonah Hex.

In other news, I think that DC’s announced film schedule is WAY too ambitious considering they have yet to score an unqualified success outside of Christoper Nolan’s stand-alone “Dark Knight” trilogy.  If “Batman vs. Superman” turns out to be a significant improvement over “Man of Steel” then maybe I’ll start feeling better about things.  My main hope here is that with the announcement of a “Suicide Squad” film, we’ll finally see John Ostrander’s legendary run on that series collected in full at last.

The Multiversity Guidebook #1:  Serving as a roadmap of sorts to Grant Morrison’s epic tale, this special issue promises details about all 52 parallel universes in the DCU, a history of all “Crisis” events, and a map of all known existence.  This is alongside actual stories about Kamandi of Earth-51, and the Atomic Batman of Earth-17 and the Chibi-Batman of Earth-42.  “Chibi-Batman of Earth 42?”  Now this series has crossed over into, “Now this I gotta read?” levels of craziness.

Superman #38:  Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.’s first arc on this title comes to a close.  Superman’s been mixing it up with a being who’s almost as powerful as he is during this story, but that doesn’t matter here.  You see, the solicitations mention that the title character will be getting a new costume here!  Will he go back to the traditional red-and-blue, underwear-on-the-outside getup or continue with the “Kryptonian battle armor” he’s had since the start of the New 52?  Inquiring minds want to know! *rimshot*

Batman #38:  After a few solicitations where we had no idea what this “Endgame” story was going to be about, save that it was going to be Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s most epic Bat-story to date, the first issue came out and now we know.  It’s “Batman vs. the Justice League,” with some other guy pulling the strings.  Hey, I wanted to be spoiled for it just enough to have some idea what it was going to be about.  Now I’m interested, and going to bet on Batman because he always wins in these kinds of battles.

Mortal Kombat X #1:  A digital-first prequel series to the new game.  You know, at least “Injustice:  Gods Among Us” had an interesting alternate-world setup to mine for story.  With “Mortal Kombat” this is coming almost two decades too late for anyone who thought the games had an interesting story to care.

Batman Adventures:  Mad Love Deluxe HC:  DC previously released a hardcover which collected the title story along with Bruce Timm’s other work featuring the “animated” version of the character.  That’s the version I’d recommend picking up as this one is just the title story with assorted, unspecified extras.  Still, “Mad Love” is a must-read for any fan of “Batman:  The Animated Series” as it features two of the key creative talents for that show -- while Timm provides the art, Paul Dini wrote it -- and reveals the true origin of Harley Quinn and the time she caught Batman.  It’s a great read, even if this format is a little overpriced (at $18) for the actual amount of comics you’ll be getting here.

Batman:  Blink & Dark Knight, Dark City:  The company goes back deep and deeper into the character’s backlist for these stories.  The first is from the late Dwayne McDuffie and hails from the anthology series “Legends of the Dark Knight.”  It involves a blind man with the power to see through other people’s eyes tapping into the sight of a serial killer.  How this leads to Batman being caught up in a conspiracy that ranges from the streets to the highest levels of power in Gotham City isn’t immediately clear, but McDuffie could usually be counted on to produce a solid story in pretty much any circumstance.  The second is a crossover tale from “Batman” and “Detective Comics” where Peter Milligan has Batman facing off against the Riddler as he changes into a nightmarish beast.  Milligan has always been very hit-or-miss throughout his career, and the setup for this story sounds a bit too strange for its own good.  Even so, it hails from a time when the writer’s output was more on the “hit” side so I think I’ll be giving this a shot when it comes out.

Secret Six vol. 1:  Villains United:  With the new series launching next year, it looks like we’ll be getting plus-sized versions of the previous stories Gail Simone wrote involving the characters to go along with it.  This collects the original “Villains United” miniseries, the “Infinite Crisis” special, and the “Secret Six” miniseries that followed on from them.  Even though the original miniseries was deeply tied to the “Infinite Crisis” event from almost a decade ago, I bought it anyway and found it to be a very entertaining read in spite of all the crossover shenanigans.  Just be prepared for “Two Luthors” at the end of it.

Effigy #1:  Tim Seely, writer of “Revival,” gives us a story about a former child star who is now a Hollywood Z-lister dealing with the aftermath of a sex tape scandal.  After heading home to recuperate, she finds a murder crime scene that resembles a part of her old TV series.  Her investigation subsequently leads her to a cult that worships celebrities as eternal effigies and sacrifices anyone who defies their veneration of these objects.  I’m going to stop here because the more I keep reading/summarizing this story the stronger the feeling of, “... and why should I care?” becomes within me.  If I want a decent series by Seeley, I’ll keep reading “Revival.”  If I want something involving weird cults and murders, then I’ll just go back and read one of his “Hack/Slash Omnibi.”

Fables:  The Wolf Among Us #1:  Another digital-first series.  This one adapts the Telltale Games series that concluded a few months back which involves Bigby facing off with an enemy from his past.  I bought the series on sale… and have yet to get around to playing it.  Same for the second season of Telltale’s “The Walking Dead.”  Yeah, I’m a terrible person.  I’m going to have to get around to playing them before the latest Steam sale kicks off in November and my gaming backlist gets even more ridiculous.

Ocean/Orbiter Deluxe Edition HC:  Two of Warren Ellis’ projects for Vertigo and Wildstorm get combined into one volume.  I’m kind of curious as to how the decision was made to combine them like this as even though they’re both sci-fi stories, their tones are very different.  “Orbiter” is the story about the return of a space shuttle that was thought to be lost in space over a decade ago and the people who have to unpack this mystery.  “Ocean” also has a mystery at its core, but is more action oriented as a U.N. investigator is sent to a remote outpost in space after evidence of frozen beings that are remarkably similar to humans are found.  “Orbiter” is a more hopeful tale about the wonders of space travel, “Ocean” reads like a Michael Crichton story from the future.  Regardless of the differences between these two stories, they’re both worth reading and picking up in this edition if you don’t already own them.

Hellblazer vol. 10:  In the Line of Fire:  Good to know that they’re still reprinting the until now uncollected Paul Jenkins run.  It’s easily the most underrated run in the title’s history.  Of note for this collection is issue #100 where John Constantine meets his dad in Hell and then has to decide what to do with him.  Easily one of the best issues of the entire series and it features art from Sean Phillips, who also illustrates most of this volume.  If you’re a “Hellblazer” fan who has never read any of these issues, you need this collection in your library.

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