I must’ve missed this when it came out but one of the covers to “Dark Nights: Metal” #1 had this fittingly badass illustration of the Justice League posed together in a way that made it look like they were throwing the horns. It’s very metal and Greg Capullo deserves major props for having it come off as well as it does. Much to my surprise, it seems that those at DC were not as appreciative of this image and considered it an affront to everything the company stood for. Fortunately for us the “Metal” creative team of Capullo and Scott Snyder have enough clout to say, “No, we’re doing it this way!” thanks to their extraordinarily successful run on “Batman.” Even better is that the buzz is building in their favor thanks to positive reviews and big sales for the two “Dark Days” one-shots leading into the event. For an image that comes off as “Just so crazy it might work” it’s great to see that it already has.
Also, I want to give Capullo another shout-out for having what is easily one of the best line-cap signs ever at this year’s Comic-Con. If you don’t get what song the text on the sign is referring to, then you’re honestly just not metal enough.
Batman: Lost #1: Maybe at some point the idea of Scott Snyder continuing to write “Batman” stories will come off as the sad preoccupation of a man who just can’t let go. Based on the first volume of “All-Star Batman,” however, it looks like that time is very far off. All that’s said about this one-shot is that Batman is trapped in the Dark Multiverse and must face his fears. Certainly not the most original challenge for the character, but I think Snyder can make it work. Especially since he’s got Oliver Coipel and Bengal delivering the art for this issue. I can’t prove it, but I have a hunch that if the decision to end “All-Star Batman” in its monthly pamphlet form hadn’t been made before “Metal” started this might’ve wound up as a tie-in issue to the event in that series. Again, I have no proof, but it seems like it would be a nice fit for a fully Snyder-written issue.
Action Comics #989: Because it wouldn’t be a major reveal in comics if it wasn’t spoiled in some way, there’s a new theory going around about who Mr. Oz really is. While the obvious money was on him being Ozymandias from “Watchmen” the word is now that he’s actually someone much closer to Superman. Well, “a” version of Superman at least. A version that the mastermind behind this storyline, Geoff Johns, has actually written before in his first major event series for the publisher. If this does turn out to be true, then all I have to say is, “Well played Mr. Johns. Well played.”
Batman: White Knight #1 (of 7): A few years back Image published a title called “Bedlam” written by Nick Spencer. It basically asked the question, “What if the Joker got the mental help he needed and became an upstanding member of society?” and lasted for all of two volumes. Here, writer/artist Sean Murphy asks the same question only without the serial numbers filed off. In this miniseries the Joker has been cured, has made up with Harley Quinn, and is now on a crusade to save Gotham from its greatest villain: Batman! Murphy’s first project as a writer/artist, “Punk Rock Jesus,” showed that his fantastic art could elevate a problematic script. However, he hasn’t written anything in the years since so I’m wondering how well he’ll be able to deliver on this potentially fascinating setup. Even if Murphy whiffs the script here, he’s got another “Batman” related project lined up with Snyder for the future.
DC House of Horror #1: I’m only mentioning this to show how out-of-touch I am with “the most exciting new voices in contemporary horror fiction” as the solicitation text describes the writers here. So if you’re a fan of Edward Lee, Brian Keene, Nick Cutter, Mary Sangiovanni, Wrath James White, Ronald Malfi, Weston Ochose and Bryan Smith then you might want to give this 80-page $10 one-shot a look. I’m willing to bet all of these stories are out-of-continuity, which is probably for the best. Though I’m sure some fans will either love or work themselves into a frothing mess trying to figure out how Martha Kent fighting for her life against a creature that lands in front of her farmhouse and a young woman possessed by a murderous Amazon warrior fit into continuity.
Wildstorm: Michael Cray #1: When Warren Ellis was tasked with rebooting the Wildstorm Universe, his mandate was to come up with four titles that would be released over the course of two years. “The Wild Storm” was the first and this is the second, with writer Bryan Hill and artist N. Steven Harris working off of his ideas. In this case, his idea for the revamp of Wildstorm’s biggest and baddest assassin is for him to have an alien life form inside his head that’s either killing him, transforming him, or both. However, he’s been betrayed by his longtime employers and now needs the resources to strike back at them. So he’s back to what he does best: Killing the wrong people for the right reasons. First on his list is a sociopathic Silicon Valley billionaire by the name of Oliver Queen. While I’ve heard that this new iteration of Wildstorm will eventually cross over with the DC Universe, I don’t think that’s what we’re having here. Just the Wildstorm version of Queen set up as a bad guy who needs to get shot in the head by Cray.
Wonder Woman vol. 4: Godwatch: The solicitation text tells us that since the moment Wonder Woman arrived in our world the Godwatch has been waiting. But what have they been waiting for? I honestly have no idea and I’m actually fine with waiting until this volume comes out to get some answers. That said, this is likely going to read a little funny as it’s coming after the end of Greg Rucka’s main storyline for the series. Will it actually offer any closure or would people be better served reading his run in the order of vol. 2 “Year One,” vol. 1 “The Lies,” vol. 4 “Godwatch,” and vol. 3 “The Truth?” That’s what I want to know!
Batman: Year Two 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition HC: “Year One” is an unmitigated classic in the DC Comics cannon. “Year Two”... not so much. If only for the moment when Batman declares that he’s going to take out this new brutal vigilante known as the Reaper with the same gun that killed his parents. Oh, and he also teams up with the man who did it, Joe Chill, to do just that. Yes, these are things that happen in this story and probably the reason it’s not referenced as much in continuity as “Year One.” Even if it does feature art from Alan Davis and some guy named Todd McFarlane who went on to do nothing of significance after this.
Two-Face: A Celebration of 75 Years: Featuring stories from the likes of Bill Finger, Peter Tomasi, Greg Rucka, and Dennis O’Neil this collection will probably read pretty well. What I really want to know is if they decided on what stories to include by coin toss. Such an approach would’ve been perfectly valid in this case.