It’s only July but DC is gearing up for its big September event already. The event in question involves the whole line tying into the “Future’s End” weekly series, so we’re getting a bunch of one-shots showing crazy future scenarios that will likely never come to pass for the inhabitants of the DC Universe. Now if you’re wondering why DC is soliciting these titles two months early, that’s because they want to avoid the huge mess (which is putting it lightly) that ensued when the demand for the 3D covers for their “Villains Month” greatly outstripped the company’s supply. While it’s nice to see the company exercising some actual foresight here, the problem is that they’ve advance-solicited all of these titles without any indication of who will be writing or illustrating them. This is most likely because DC has no idea who will be doing this yet. If that’s the case, then it looks like all of these one-shots will likely be superfluous to the stories being told in their titles. So unless you really liked those 3D covers from “Villains Month” then it doesn’t look like you’ll need to buy any of what’s being solicited here.
Grayson #1: Thanks to the events of “Forever Evil,” Dick Grayson’s identity as Nightwing was exposed and his death was faked. So what’s a former superhero who’s dead to the world to do? Why hook up with Spyral, the international spy agency established by Grant Morrison in the pages of “Batman, Inc.” “Secret Agent” actually sounds like a good fit for the character, even if it feels like we’ll be seeing him back as a superhero if this doesn’t pan out. Tim Seely, of “Hack/Slash” and “Revival” fame, is writing and while these titles show that he’s not a bad writer, the man has yet to blow me away with anything that he has done. So I’m giving this a 40/60 chance of succeeding.
Robin Rises: Omega #1: If you wanted an indication of how popular Damien Wayne was, then this should serve as an answer. Peter Tomasi and Andy Kubert oversee what looks to be the character’s return to the DCU a year after his death. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, seeing as how Morrison left the door wide open for Damien’s return at the end of his run. My guess is that this was always the plan of DC editorial and they just needed to give things an appropriate amount of time before the set about bringing him back. Now all that’s left to see is if the creators involved can spin an engaging tale out of something with an inevitable conclusion. (Which is an essential skill to have if you’re going to work as a writer of superhero comics for Marvel or DC, come to think of it.)
New Suicide Squad #1: It seems that DC has finally gotten around to picking up that habit Marvel had of putting “New” in front of their titles a few years back. Now we just need to see how long it takes them to get to putting “All-New” in front of them.
Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International: San Diego #1: The title is pretty self-explanatory here. Harley is said to be invading the con to see about getting her own comic book published, though I wonder if she’ll be in for a rude awakening when she arrives only to find out that Hollywood has pretty much taken over everything. Then, what’ll happen when the bodies start piling up in her wake? Or is the Jimmy Palmiotti/Amanda Conner “Harley” not a killer and more in line with her “Batman: The Animated Series” incarnation? I’d see about finding out, but that would require more effort and memory than I’m willing to expend at the moment.
Forever Evil HC: I was thinking about picking this up, mainly because I liked the thought of seeing Geoff Johns tackle Lex Luthor in the same way he did Sinestro. That is, take a known villain and tell a story that leaves him working with the good guys without changing his character. It’d be trickier to see the writer pull off something like that with Luthor, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after his epic work on “Green Lantern.” However, that’s not what convinced me to pick this up. Even though this is a hardcover, it’s $25 for 240 pages which would be a good deal these days even in paperback. That’s the kind of pricing that I like!
Batman: Earth One (paperback): This only makes me go, “It’s been two years already. When are we going to get vol. 2?”
Bodies #1 (of 8): This miniseries has an intriguing high concept as it tells four different stories, all set in Londons of different eras with a different artist for each one. So each issue tells a six-page story about these different eras -- the 1890’s, 1940’s, 2014, and 2050’s in case you were wondering. While I’m curious to see if the approach will work, I’ve yet to enjoy anything I’ve read from the person who’s writing it: Si Spencer. His “Velvet Underground” felt like it was trying too hard to be clever, and “Hellblazer: City of Demons” was only redeemed by Sean Murphy’s art. Unless the word of mouth on this title is really, REALLY good, then I don’t think I’ll be missing much if I give this a pass.
Fables vol. 20: Camelot: In which the inhabitants of Fabletown find out that Arthur’s legendary castle is only a model. *rimshot* Now that I’ve got that out of my system, the solicitation text tells me that this volume will involve Rose Red taking the mantle of “Paladin of Hope” and recruiting some modern knights to restore their town. That’s all well and good, but I’m more curious about the page count for this volume, 256 of them, considering that it’s only collecting six issues, being #’s 131-136. Amazon has the paperback down as collecting issues 131-140, which sounds about right. That said, with the series set to end at issue #150, this could be its next-to-last volume depending on how DC decides to divvy up those last ten issues. The end of an era is upon us...