It’s not being advertised as such, but October is turning out to be a big month for new #1 issues from DC Comics. We’ve got the start of the weekly “Earth 2: World’s End” series spinning out of its parent title. Having not read “Earth 2” (yet), I can say that the most notable thing about it is that they’ve got a recognizable author -- “Robopocalypse’s” Daniel H. Wilson -- making his comics debut next to Margurite Bennet and Mike Johnson. “Arkham Manor” and “Gotham Academy” look to ride the wave of success that all the other “Bat”-titles are enjoying at the moment. This is in spite of the fact that “Manor’s” plot looks to involve everyone from Arkham Asylum being relocated to Wayne Manor, which is a move that stretches my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. “Academy” is pitched as a teen drama in the shadows of Gotham, which also sounds dumb until you consider that it’s being co-written by Becky Cloonan, who is providing the covers as well, and has art from the stylish Karl Kerschl. “Deathstroke,” “Klarion,” and “Lobo,” are the latest second-string (or third, depending on your point of view) characters getting their own titles. “Lobo” at least has an artist I like on it, Reilly Brown, so I hope it succeeds to give him the higher profile he deserves.
Finally, “Trinity of Sin” replaces the cancelled “Phantom Stranger” and “Pandora” series with the hope that a title featuring both of them, along with The Question, will result in bigger sales all around. I remember when Marvel tried that years ago with “Cable & Deadpool,” which was also the series where Brown first came to my attention. The key difference here is that I actually like Cable and Deadpool and can’t really bring myself to care about the New 52 incarnations of the characters being featured here. It’ll be more interesting to watch the sales pattern on this title just to see if DC’s thinking actually pays off here.
Wonder Woman #35: With this, the Azzarello/Chiang run comes to a close. It has been one of the more surprising and creatively rewarding runs of the New 52, and I swear that I’ll get around to putting that in a review or podcast before or when the final volume comes out. There’s nothing in the solicitations to spoil what the creators have planned, though I’d expect some kind of climactic battle with Zeus’ First Born is in the offing. Next at bat with the character are David Finch and his wife. Though I like his art, I doubt that the writing will be up to the same quality. As has been the case with all of the other projects he’s had a hand in writing.
Batman #35: In the wake of their “Zero Year” storyline, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are hyped as returning to the present with their biggest and most epic storyline yet. Its title: “Endgame.” This strikes me as a somewhat odd title for an arc that isn’t the concluding chapter of a series or a creative team’s run. Unless Snyder and Capullo are exiting “Batman” after this, it makes me wonder what exactly this is the “Endgame” for. Particularly since no story details are given in the solicitation text and the issue’s cover is a generic black bats on yellow background one. Well, since these two have done (mostly) great work on the title since the start of the “New 52” I think I can stand being surprised by what they’ve got in store for this arc.
Batgirl #35: This title is getting a significant creative team change in October. Gail Simone, who has written it since the beginning of the “New 52” is out, with Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher co-writing it. Comics newcomer, but widely acclaimed for the art she’s posted to the internet, Babs Tarr will be providing the pictures. The announcement was met with a lot of goodwill and enthusiasm when it was made, so I wish the creative team the best in their efforts to create a title that goes against the anti-fun grain of DC’s other superhero titles. I do feel for Simone, though, as she left the title at just the wrong time given her feelings towards it.
New Gods: Godhead #1: I dunno, have the New Gods been featured in any other “New 52” titles aside from “Wonder Woman?” If not, the company looks to be making a big push for them here with this “Green Lantern” inter-title crossover. Apparently in the “Lights Out” event, several ring-bearers managed to break through the Source Wall that marks the boundary of the universe and escaped with secrets of cosmic knowledge. Having long wanted to break through the Source Wall himself, the leader of the New Gods, Highfather, is now out to gain a copy of each ring of the emotional spectrum. This is said to lead to BAD THINGS for the cosmic side of the DCU. While it may be interesting to observe the company’s latest effort to re-engergize the “Green Lantern” line, I still have yet to see a compelling reason to come back to it post-Geoff Johns. Maybe one day, but not now.
Future’s End -- Five Years Later Omnibus HC: Along with the annual DC September event comes the omnibus hardcover collecting every issue of it. While things like the “Zero Issue” and “Villains Month” could make a play at being somewhat self-contained, this whole event has been spun out of the “Future’s End” weekly series. I would assume that at least some knowledge of that is required for entry here, and that makes me even less interested in checking it out.
Animal Man vol. 5: Evolve or Die!: As I said two weeks ago, I’m definitely interested in seeing how Jeff Lemire wraps up his run. Preferably with Buddy’s family put back together. If not, well, at least it has art from Cully Hamner and Rafael Albuquerque to make the hurt go down just a little smoother.
Superman Unchained HC: The final issue has been solicited for September, and now the collection has been advance-solicited here for December. Time to see if Scott Snyder and Jim Lee will be able to deliver it on time for the Holiday season. Which reminds me…
The Sandman: Overture #4: This is out in October as well. Between this and “Superman Unchained” I wonder which one will be the better long-delayed DC prestige project?
…Okay, I don’t. Unless something has gone very, very wrong with the universe then it’s going to be “Sandman.” If it’s not, then you’ll likely be reading my review of it from a bunker somewhere because outside the world will be ending. No, really.
Hinterkind vol. 2: I liked this tale of a green post-apocalypse world where the monsters of legend have come out of hiding to seize the world from mankind more than I was expecting. Unfortunately, sales for this title have been plummeting with each issue and while the series hasn’t been cancelled yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t make it past issue #18. That’s a shame, unless we can get, say, 5000 people to run out and buy the collected edition of the first volume. Such an act could turn things around, but not that many people read this blog. So I’m going to have to ask you to get two of your friends to buy a copy along with you. Okay?
The Names #2 & The Unwritten: Apocalypse #10: Vertigo is doing something interesting this month as all of the covers for their ongoing series are also the first pages for each issue as well. It’s certainly a clever idea and I would think it stands a better chance of getting a reader to pick up the issue and see what’s under the cover than the company’s usual gimmicks. That said, these two series are the only titles not to be involved. Is it because Peter Milligan and Mike Carey are just too cool for this kind of stunt and told Vertigo to shove their stunt where the sun doesn’t shine? Or is it because both titles are miniseries and have had their scripts locked in before this was planned? Much as I’d like to think otherwise, I’m betting it’s the latter.