So it looks like I might have to change the name of this column when it comes to talking about the monthly solicitations from Previews for DC, and Marvel. Both companies have announced that they’re leaving the Previews catalogue and will be publishing their own monthly preview magazines. They’re both large enough that they can get away with it, particularly since comic shops are so dependent on their product that they’re going to have to order these two new magazines so they can stay in business.
While they may be losing their biggest suppliers for the magazine, there is a silver lining for Previews here (at least as far as I’m concerned). The magazine will now be featuring a new section for manga that, in addition to spotlighting new releases, will feature essential backlist selections/suggestions and interviews with notable creators. I’m in favor of anything that will broaden the appeal (and sales) of manga so I hope this section becomes a permanent fixture in this new version of Previews.
DC Nation #0: The 25-cent preview of the company’s big events for the summer. They are: The wedding of Batman and Catwoman, set to happen in “Batman” #50. “Justice League: No Justice,” a four-issue miniseries showcasing a fractured team in the wake of the events of “Metal.” And Bendis’ “Man of Steel” origin refresher for Superman. In addition to Bendis’ involvement, Tom King and Clay Mann handle the “Batman” story, while Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson (writers) and Jorge Jimenez (artist) handle the “Justice League” story. While it’s probably a safe bet to assume that none of the stories here will be essential to the ones they’re setting up, picking up this issue will only set you back a quarter, or you can just read them when they’re collected in their respective volumes in a few months.
That said, Justice League: No Justice #’s 1-4 (of 4) are solicited this month as well. The idea is that after Brainiac hands the League its ass, he asks for their help in saving his home planet of Colu. Turns out that four giant beings representative of the energies the universe runs on -- Mystery, Wonder, Wisdom and Entropy -- need to feed on planets to sustain themselves and Colu is next on their list. To face this threat, the League goes big and splits into four groups and brings on new members like Zatanna, Beast Boy, Lobo, and Harley Quinn. While this is a fine setup for a superhero event comic, four issues sounds like too little for a cosmic threat like this. Then again, I’ve read that this miniseries is mainly just the prelude to a “Justice League” relaunch later this year so maybe the best is yet to come.
Action Comics & Superman Specials: In case anyone was wondering whether or not the creative teams on “Action Comics” and “Superman” were bumped out in order to make room for Bendis, here’s your answer. You can at least take solace in knowing that the runs from Dan Jurgens and Peter Tomasi/Patrick Gleason will be getting some closure with these specials. It may not be a lot, but it’s better than nothing.
… Hey, I’d only be bitter if the Tomasi/Gleason run hadn’t turned out to be such a disappointment.
The Immortal Men #2: Remember how I expressed concern at how the titles from “The New Age of DC Heroes” weren’t able to hold onto their original artists? Well, it’s happening again here as Jim Lee lasted all of one issue on this title before Ryan Benjamin took over. That’s not a good thing for a series that is trying to launch a whole new team of superheroes and I’m sure retailers are going to slash their orders tremendously when they find out he’s not illustrating this issue. Is the “New Age” over already?
Detective Comics #981: Billed as the end of James Tynion IV’s “Batman” epic. Good for him in that he was able to see the story he set out to tell to the end without the title being cancelled/relaunched or being bumped off the title before he could finish it. Runs like this are rarer than they should be and we should appreciate them when they happen. Even if the overall quality of the run is best described as “okay.”
Final Crisis: The 10th Anniversary Omnibus: This massive 1,500+ page omnibus will set you back $150, but you’ll be getting EVERY tie-in miniseries and one-shot. It’s… not as good a deal as it sounds. The original “Final Crisis” collection was good about making sure that every tie-in written by series writer Grant Morrison made it in. This one also collects the “Batman R.I.P.” arc that was running concurrently at the same time, along with the final two “Last Rites” issues he did which were (non-essential) tie-ins to the event. You’ll also get the “Legion of Three Worlds,” “Revelations,” and “Rogues Revenge” miniseries as well as several other one-shots (but not the “Rage of the Red Lanterns” one-off, likely because it was less of a tie-in than the lead-off to the arc of the same name from Geoff Johns’ “Green Lantern” run). Do you need all of this to properly enjoy “Final Crisis?” No you do not, and the original paperback collection is still in stock over at Amazon.