Comic Picks By The Glick

DC Previews Picks: September 2013

June 12, 2013

Come September it’ll have been two years since the start of the “New 52” and just as they did last year with “zero month” DC will be putting out a new event for this anniversary.  “Villains Month” will see the start of a new mini-series called “Forever Evil” which kicks off from the premise that the Justice League (and all of the other superheroes that matter I assume) are dead and now the bad guys have inherited the DC Universe.  We’re not told any more of the plot than that, but if I were a betting man I’d say that Geoff Johns will be giving us a status quo between the bad guys who want to make a better world now that the heroes are out of the way (expect Lex Luthor to head that faction) and those who just want to see the world burn (led by the Joker, because who else).  David Finch will be illustrating, and while this would be the point where I’d make a joke about the series actually being able to ship on a monthly basis, he proved with the “New 52” incarnation of “The Dark Knight” that he could actually pull off such a feat.

More interesting will be looking at DC’s plan of shipping multiple “point” one, two, three and even four issues of certain titles this month.  It’s possible that they could collect each issue in the next collection for each series, or even do a giant omnibus for the month.  The trick here will be seeing which of these issues actually matter to the ongoing stories from each series.  Fortunately it’s an easy one to figure out:  just look for a creator from that title on one of the issues.

Justice League #23.3:  Dial E: I mentioned last time that China Mieville’s “Dial H” wrapped up one issue sooner than expected with a double-sized issue.  Seeing this, I wonder if this was actually the missing #16th issue or something specifically commissioned for this event.  It still promises to be the most inventive title of the month as the solicitation text promises 20 new villains, 20 different artists and 20 pages of general insanity!  To me, that sounds like a hard deal to beat and one that certainly lends itself to the weirdness that the first volume presented so well.

(Also, Johns co-writes issue #24.4 with Sterling Gates, focusing on the Secret Society, so that’s the title that matters here.  In fact, Johns is co-writing several issues this month as  Justice League 7.4, Aquaman #’s 23.1 and 23.2 all bear his imprint.  While he’s normally quite prolific, it seems that the man can only be stretched so far)

Action Comics #23.1: Featuring Cyborg Superman, who has an origin that can charitably be described as “complicated” and not one that lends itself to revamping in order to capture its essence.  Michael Alan Nelson is going to give it a try, promising a connection to Krypton and an alien force that is pulling his strings.  He also lucks out this month as the title is in between regular writers at this moment, though Greg Pak (who’s doing a Zod story for #23.2) is the rumored successor for this title.

Batman #’s 23.1 & 23.2: The latter is the one that “matters” as it’s being co-written by Scott Snyder and Ray Fawkes and features a story about The Riddler that’s supposed to tie into the ongoing “Zero Year” storyline in the title.  However, the former is notable because it’s being written by... Andy Kubert?  I think this is the first writing I’ve ever seen from the artist who was a Marvel mainstay for years before decamping with his brother Adam to DC (and who has since decamped back to Marvel).  One has to wonder if the promise of writing was what kept him here, but we have yet to see if it’s a promise that readers will find appealing.

Batman Black & White #1: If you’ve never read any of the collections of this Batman series (there are three so far), then you owe it to yourself to check them out.  Even if it’s just the first one.  That’s because these present some of the most distinctive artistic takes from writers and artists who had never worked on him before or since.  Creators like Walt Simonson, Ted McKeever, Gary Gianni, and even Katsuhiro Otomo -- and that’s just the first volume!  It’s also worth noting that the three volumes maintained an unusually high hit-to-miss ratio for an anthology series, and I certainly hope that trend remains true here.

Superman Adventures:  The Man of Steel: A collection of stories from the all-ages incarnation of the series meant to tie in to the animated series from the late 90’s.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about this title -- most notably the fact that it’s said to contain some of the best writing Mark Millar has ever done in comics.  Given what the man has done recently, that wouldn’t be hard, but this is also a grab-bag of four issues from that title and the “Superman/Batman” magazine as well so we’re not getting a lot from that run either.  Based on that, I can’t decide whether or not to take it or leave it at this point.

Batman Incorporated vol. 2:  Gotham’s Most Wanted HC: So this will be collecting the “Special” issue.  I guess that answers that question.

Batman:  Odyssey: A collection of both series written and illustrated by Neal Adams who has done some legendary work with the character.  By all accounts, this is nowhere in that league.  If what I’ve heard is correct, this is supposed to trend towards the “so bad it’s good” school of thinking.  While I can appreciate something like that, I recently picked up another Batman collection which scratches much that same itch:  “All-Star Batman & Robin.”  It wasn’t “good” by any objective standard, but it was entertaining.  Expect me to expand on that if I have time in the near future.

Deadshot:  Beginnings: Collecting the miniseries and an issue each of “Batman” and “Detective Comics” which featured the character.  There are six credited writers on this collection, including John Ostrander who defined the character during his run on “Suicide Squad” back in the 80’s.  I really liked the collection of issues they put out from that run and was disappointed that the second one was cancelled without any announcement.  Even with the five other writers credited here, I’m tempted to pick this up if only to get more of the goodness that I found with that particular collection.

Fairest in All the Land HC: Not a new “Fables” anthology, but a “Fairest” one written by creator Bill Willingham.  The difference between the two is really just semantics, so if you liked “1001 Nights of Snowfall” then you’ll want to pick this one up too.

Vertigo Visions:  Frank Quitely HC: I like the man’s art as much as the next person, but there’s no denying that they really had to stretch in order to come up with enough material to fill this volume.  Taking Spider Jerusalem’s dream sequence from “Transmetropolitan” is one thing -- people will likely be able to figure out what’s going on there.  But to take the final issue of “The Invisibles” that he illustrated?  There’s no way anyone will be able to figure out what’s going on there unless they’ve already read it; and if they have, what reason does that give them to pick up this collection?  In all honesty, that’s the camp I fall into here.

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