Pearl vol. 2
The first volume of “Pearl” wasn’t the best of the creator-owned bunch of titles that Bendis delivered when he set up shop at DC. If I’m being honest, it was just ahead of “Scarlet.” Yet it’s the only one which is being followed-up on by its creators after that initial batch. So yeah, I’m kind of curious to see where Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos are going to take the story of Pearl Tanaka and her kinda boyfriend Rick Araki now that she knows her mom used to run the local Yakuza outfit from the shadows. Figuratively speaking, of course. The solicitation text tells me that the story is actually heading to Tokyo, which I’m sure is going to work out GREAT for her and Rick.
Still, I’ll be happy if story gives over a decent amount of its time to the Endo Twins. The sibling pair of failed smut peddlers turned money launderers were the best part of the first volume because of their interesting backstory and wannabe thug antics. If they’re headed to Tokyo as well, then I’ve really got something to look forward to.
Batman: White Knight Presents -- Von Freeze #1: It was probably a foregone conclusion that “White Knight” would start generating its own spinoffs given how popular this “Batman” sub-series has become. Of anyone in Sean Murphy’s White Knight-verse to get the spotlight, Freeze is probably the most deserving. His revision in the original “White Knight” was substantial enough to play a pivotal role in the plot when it was revealed that he was a Nazi collaborator who had ties to Thomas Wayne. Expect those ties to be fleshed out in this one-off which has Murphy writing it, but handing the art duties off to living legend Klaus Janson.
The Dollhouse Family #1 (of 6): Apparently November is the month of Mike Carey’s return to the big two. While he’s got that “Fantastic Four” one-off over at Marvel, this project for DC’s Hill House imprint sounds like it’ll be more worth your time. It’s got a pretty standard horror setup: Girl has awful home life. Girl gets antique dollhouse from her deceased grandma. Dollhouse turns out to be home to a magical storybook family girl can visit. Dollhouse also has a place called the Black Room where all of girl’s problems can be fixed for a price. I believe that Carey’s smart enough to recognize the cliches in this setup and find some way around them. Better still is that this is another collaboration between him and “Lucifer” and “The Unwritten” artist Peter Gross, with Vince Locke around to add some gravy to the whole production.
Far Sector #1 (of 12): Saying that something from DC is getting the Young Animal treatment at this point means that it’ll likely crash and burn in the space of a year -- longer if there are delays between issues. So I guess it’s a good thing that this new title from novelist N.K. Jemisen and artist Jamal Campbell is a 12-issue maxiseries. It’s got an out-there setup as it focuses on a novice Green Lantern who has been protecting the massive metropolis known as the City Enduring. Home to 20 billion individuals, it’s been relatively crime-free for the past 500 years because the City has stripped its inhabitants of their ability to feel. It’s a small price to pay for peace, right? So what happens when someone gets murdered and it’s up to Green Lantern Sojourner Mulein to keep the peace and find the killer. Jokes about Young Animal aside, this could be good and its quality will likely hinge on how quickly Jemisen adapts to the comics format.
Green Lantern: Blackstars #1 (of 3): Apparently Grant Morrison blew up the Green Lantern Corps in the last issue and now they’re no more. Taking their place are the Blackstars, and they seem like the kind of police force that shoots first and doesn’t bother asking questions because the people they shot were clearly the bad guys. Good thing they’re going after the demonic inhabitants of the planet Ysmault, alien warlord Mongul, and the inhabitants of Earth. While I don’t think the DCU’s Earth is quite the cosmic trouble magnet that Marvel’s Earth is, I’m not surprised there are people out there who would like to see it erased from existence. They’ll probably want to watch out for the guy with the big “S” on his chest and the other guy who dresses up like a bat, however.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 (of 6): “He-Man” gets the “Spider-Verse” treatment as different versions of the character come together to stop a multiversal threat. No, I’m not planning on buying this in any form at any point. I just wanted to give a shout-out to writer Tim Seeley for having the chutzpah to bring “Live-Action Movie He-Man” into the mix for this series.
The Infected: King Shazam #1: So the Batman Who Laughs is apparently hopping through the multiverse trying to turn other characters as bad as he is. Okay, fine. What caught my eye about this issue is that it features art from Joe Bennett. That would be the same Joe Bennett who is set to deliver two issues of “The Immortal Hulk” for Marvel in the same month. I know that he probably finished this a while ago and having three issues of comics hitting the same month is coincidence. Still, there are other artists out here who could learn a lesson from looking at how he manages prolificacy without sacrificing quality.
Legion of Super-Heroes #1: The “Legion” has some real die-hard fans who love its characters and far-future setting even though it’s always been kind of a mess continuity-wise. Well, if there’s anyone who’s qualified to ignore years of storytelling in service of delivering a good comic, it’s Bendis and he’s teamed up with artist Ryan Sook for this latest take on the 31st Century’s greatest heroes. Let’s hope this is more “New Avengers” than “Uncanny/All-New X-Men,” alright?
Books of Magic #14: Even if Si Spurrier is handling John Constantine’s return to mature-readers’ territory, it’s still a little hard to wrap my head around how he’s coming back. To recap: This version of John is the one that was killed in the pages of “The Books of Magic” by a version of Tim Hunter who grew up to become an evil magical overlord. Now he’s back as a ghost to try and avert that future in the most direct way possible. As John finds his footing in this strange new timeline, we’re getting the other side of that story in the pages of this series, and Spurrier is even joining up with regular writer Kat Howard for its telling. Wait, does that mean the “Hellblazer” one-shot was actually a lead-in to a “Books of Magic” storyline to get fans of the former to pick up the latter? If so, well played DC I think it might actually work.
Batman vol. 11: The Fall and the Fallen: “Flashpoint” Batman Thomas Wayne really doesn’t want his son in the DCU to be Batman anymore. So he’s going to drag him out into the desert until he changes his mind about this whole vigilante superhero thing. At least that’s the vibe I’m getting from the cover to this volume. Tom King and Mikel Janin may have something quite different in mind for the actual story.
The Green Lantern vol. 2 HC: The Day the Stars Fell: How did Grant Morrison blow up the Green Lantern Corps? Most likely by having Hal Jordan pull the trigger -- he’s always been impulsive like that. The specifics of this, whatever they are, will be found in this latest collection of the writer’s run on the title. In a fair and just world, I’d have already received my copy of the hardcover edition of vol. 1 and dropped some hint regarding my thoughts on it right here. Because we’re currently living in the darkest timeline, that volume along with a bunch of other titles has only shipped out today.
Superman: Secret Origin Deluxe HC: So here’s the thing: I’ve got some friends who have a four-year-old who loves Superman. She also loves having either mom or dad read from my copy of this comic whenever they’re over for a party. It finally occurred to me that giving the girl her own copy of this miniseries would make for a great Christmas gift. Only now I see that my version is out of print and this new one is arriving just in time for the Holidays at a price point that’s $10 higher. So now I have to ask myself whether or not I want to shell out the $40 to give the girl the same version of the book she’s been reading, give her the softcover version and see if she likes it just as much, or give her my copy and replace it with a softcover. Decisions, decisions…