The first thing listed in the solicitations this month is “Earth Two” #1 from writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Scott. Coming off the heels of the “New 52” relaunch which was designed with making (almost) every title a clear jumping-on point for fans, it does seem a bit odd that they’re bringing back the multiverse so soon. Of course, as my friend who loaned me a great chunk of “JSA” exemplifies, the Golden Age heroes have a die-hard following. Having one man who has written some great stories about them re-introduce them here is also a smart move, and I’m sure the target audience will be satisfied even if it comes off as an eccentric bit of continuity to others.
Dial H #1: So you’ve got a writer in China Mieville who has made a name for himself in writing sophisticated, mature fantasy books (and almost re-launched “Swamp Thing” before the character was re-integrated into the DCU) and an artist in Mateus Santolouco best known to me for his work on “American Vampire.” They’re re-launching the “Dial H For Hero” concept, where ordinary people find a device that turns them into a superhero, in the DCU proper. I don’t think this sounds like a bad idea for a series, but it feels like the kind of series re-invention that used to happen all the time when “Vertigo” started up. And that was what? Almost twenty years ago? Man I feel old...
The Ravagers #1: Howard Mackie is writing this one. He used to write a lot of stuff at Marvel during the late 90’s/early 00’s until current DC Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras was forced out. I’m only mentioning this because Paul O’Brien of “The X-Axis” wrote some brilliantly scathing reviews of his work, “Mutant X” specifically, when it was being serialized. Do I want Paul to review every issue of this in the hopes that the old magic can be rekindled? Yes! Will it happen? Doubtful. We’ll be lucky if he even gives the first issue a look.
Batman: Earth One HC: Re-imagining the character from the ground up, courtesy of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. My guess is that it’ll be a less polarizing take on the character than J. Michael Straczynski’s version of Superman in his “Earth One” book, if only for the fact that Johns is a less polarizing writer who has shown himself to be remarkably adept at giving the mainstream what it wants, and even what it didn’t know it wanted. This will be his first work solely with the character, and it’s been in development long enough that I hope we’ll get something on the level of “Green Lantern: Rebirth” or “The Sinestro Corps War” here.
American Vampire #27: “Plus, a major character steps back onto the stage.” I know I’m coming off like a bitter fanboy here, but I sure as hell hope it’s who I think it is.
DMZ vol. 12: The Five Nations of New York: I don’t know if this is how DC planned it, but the final volume is shipping two months after vol. 11. I’ve been getting antsy for a new volume since the last one came out back in May, and with the series set to wrap up later in the year I figured they’d be collecting the final twelve issues in one go. That’s obviously not going to be the case, but it’ll be nice to not have to wait six months between these two volumes.
Neil Gaiman’s Midnight Days Deluxe Edition HC: If you are a Gaiman fan and don’t have this book in your collection already -- you need to buy this new edition! “Midnight Days” collects a lot of the one-off stories he wrote in the earlier days of “Vertigo” and even in the pre-”Vertigo” days as well. There’s a “Swamp Thing Annual” here, a new “Swamp Thing” story illustrated by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben, along with his “Hellblazer” story “Hold Me” with Dave McKean, and “Sandman Midnight Theatre,” co-plotted with Matt Wagner with art by Teddy Kristiansen. “Hold Me” is easily one of the best “Hellblazer” stories ever written and it has never been reprinted outside of this collection. Ditto for “Sandman Midnight Theatre” which features the anti-team-up of Golden Age Sandman Wesley Dodds and Dream of The Endless. I won’t be upgrading, but as the softcover has been out of print for years this is a great way to get your hands on some stories that truly deserve this deluxe reprint.