Friday, July 21, 2017

DC's October previews reviewed

BATMAN LOST #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by OLIVIER COIPEL and BENGAL
Cover by BENGAL
Trapped in the Dark Multiverse, Batman must face his greatest fears!
ADVANCE SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT On sale NOVEMBER 8 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • FOIL-STAMPED COVER • RATED T+


BATMAN: THE DEVASTATOR #1
Written by FRANK TIERI
Art by TONY S. DANIEL
Cover by JASON FABOK
As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful nightmare versions of familiar figures? Find out in these special tie-in issues!
ADVANCE SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT • On sale NOVEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • FOIL-STAMPED COVER • RATED T+

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1
Written by JAMES TYNION IV
Art by RILEY ROSSMO
Cover by JASON FABOK
As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful nightmare versions of familiar figures? Find out in these special tie-in issues!
ADVANCE SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT • On sale NOVEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • FOIL-STAMPED COVER • RATED T+


I confess to being both a little confused and a little annoyed by the way this event is taking shape, as it seems to consist almost entirely of one-shots. I suppose that could mean that everything other than the Dark Nights: Metal mini-series proper is unimportant/optional, but somehow I doubt that (two of these above books, for example, are written by the co-writers of the Metal prequel issues, two of which have been published so far, and both of which were also marked "#1.")

Of course, DC did provide the following house ad/checklist in all of their books this week:
That's kinda helpful, I suppose, but I don't know, I get the feeling there are gonna be a lot of those that I'm not going to want to read, based on the books they appear in or the creators involved. We'll see.

Looking at the three solicited above, I'm sure what Lost could be, but the other two look like villain versions of the last round of solicitation' one-shots in which there seemed to be Batman versions of various Justice League heroes. The Batman Who Laughs is a pretty great title, and Rossmo is a hell of a Batman artist. As I'm not really a fan of Tieri, Daniel or Doomsday, The Devastator, on the other hand, looks pretty skip-able. Or will they be collected in the trade? Is this an event I should trade-wait? I don't like the Marvel-pricing on these, and since I'm not sure how to read the event yet, maybe I will end up reading it in trade next year...?


AQUAMAN #29
•Written by DAN ABNETT
•Art and cover by STJEPAN SEJIC
...
•“UNDERWORLD” part five! Desperate to penetrate the supernatural barrier surrounding Atlantis, Mera enlists the help of an ex-Atlantean magician: Garth, the Titan known as Tempest! But Aquaman’s former protégé has sworn off his mystical practices, and the magisters of the Silent School don’t take betrayal lightly. Meanwhile, as Arthur and Dolphin fight off both the armies of the Drift and Krush’s criminal empire, Vulko discovers that which the former will need to take back his throne…something forgotten!
•On sale OCTOBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T


I tried about an issue and a half or so of artist Stjepan Sejic's Aquaman, and as gorgeous as it looks--in fact, I'm unsure of a time when an Aquaman monthly has looked so good--I just couldn't get into the story. It's set in Atlantis, involves Atlantean politics and palace intrigue and societal woes and, well, the retcons, deaths and resurrections, the sinkings and risings, the legacy passing down and up, the reboot--I've not only lost track of all that since the Peter David-launched 1994-2001 series concluded, but I have also apparently lost interest. I think I would have been more into this if it were set on the surface world, or at least wasn't so wrapped up in the rebooted, rectonned and rejiggered Atlantis, but I found myself looking at the pictures appreciatively, but losing interest every time I took in a few lines of dialogue.

The current Aquaman is perhaps a perfect jumping-on point for new readers, but I'm afraid I'm just not invested in the Atlantean national story as I was 15 years ago.


AQUAMAN: THE ATLANTIS CHRONICLES DELUXE EDITION HC
Written by PETER DAVID
Art and cover by ESTEBAN MAROTO
At last, the epic history of one of DC’s most iconic characters is collected! Chronicling generations of Atlantians, this epic saga reveals why Atlantis sank in the Great Deluge, tells of the ancient war between undersea cities and much more!
Collects THE ATLANTIS CHRONICLES #1-7.
On sale NOVEMBER 1 • 328 pg, FC, 7.0625” x 10.875” • $49.99 US


Speaking of which...! This is a miniseries I had been trying to track down for quite a while at one point, and had wished DC would have released in trade. I started reading Aquaman with 1996's Aquaman #26, and then started following the series forward through new releases of monthly issues, and backwards through back-issue bins. This 1990 miniseries was one of the few chunks of the Peter David version of Aquaman that I could never completely track down; I probably read four issues of it, and not in the correct order. I guess I'm a little surprised DC is releasing this, if only because it would seem that it is no longer canon. Aquaman's real father being the ancient Atlantean sorcerer Orin, for example, or Kordax presenting a vision of what could and would happen to Aquaman if he pushed his telepathic powers too far to dominate others, no longer seem to be at all relevant.

That's okay, though. If I'm not reading New 52 Aquaman anymore, then the one from the David-launched volume of Aquaman and the Grant Morrison-written JLA comics can still be my Aquaman, and this trade will remain relevant to that version of the character.


BATMAN #33
•Written by TOM KING
•Art and cover by JOELLE JONES
...
•“A DREAM OF ME” part 1! Following his marriage proposal to Catwoman, Batman leaves Gotham City on a quest of renewal and redemption. As he travels and fights, he encounters members of his family—each disturbed by Batman’s journey, each ready to stand in his way, each ready to push back against Batman’s stubborn determination to evolve into something better than a superhero.
•On sale OCTOBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


Oh hey, look! A lady! Drawing an issue of Batman! That doesn't happen very often. What is this, the second issue in 77 years...?

The basic plot sketch here reminds me of that from 2013's Batman and Robin #19-23, where Batman was met and challenged by a different member of the Bat Family in each issue as he went about a lunatic quest to resurrect Damian from the dead, so I guess we'll how similar they end up being. If nothing else, it will inevitably have different members of the Bat Family involved! I'm a little intrigued by what Batman considers "better than a superhero" too...


BATMAN/THE SHADOW: THE MURDER GENIUSES HC
Written by SCOTT SNYDER, STEVE ORLANDO and DENNIS O’NEIL
Art and cover by RILEY ROSSMO, IRV NOVICK and DICK GIORDANO
While investigating the murder of a Gothamite, Batman identifies his prime suspect as Lamont Cranston…but there are two problems with that. One, Batman is not aware of Lamont’s alter ego as the master detective known as the Shadow. Two, and more importantly, Cranston seems to have died over half a century ago! The Shadow was a major influence of the Batman himself and now appears in this incredible six-issue miniseries.
Collects BATMAN/THE SHADOW #1-6 and a story from BATMAN ANNUAL #1.
On sale NOVEMBER 22 • 168 pg, FC, $24.99 US


I'm trade-waiting this, in part because of the price point and in part because the Tim Sale variant covers looked so good that I didn't want to buy the single issues when I could just wait for the trade and presumably get all the Sale variants in the back. I was a little surprised that the first issues of this didn't sell better than they did, at least according to available sales estimates because A) The first issue was really, really good and B) It's Batman, by Scott Snyder and, Shadow crossover or no, it appears to be in continuity...why isn't it selling as well as Snyder's Batman was...? Were people reading that book for the Capullo art more than the Snyder or the Batman...?

I was a little surprised to see this get a sub-title, but then I do believe a second Batman/Shadow crossover has already been announced.


BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #1
Written by SEAN MURPHY
Art and cover by SEAN MURPHY
Variant cover by SEAN MURPHY
In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City. He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the “Clown Prince of Crime” but “white knight”? Never. Until now…
Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as “Jack,” sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!
Superstar writer and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS, THE WAKE) presents a seven-issue miniseries of a twisted Gotham City with a massive cast of heroes and villains that, at its heart, is a tragic story of a hero and a villain: Batman and The Joker. But which is the hero—and which the villain?
On sale OCTOBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 7, $3.99 US • RATED T+


Sean Murphy is a hell of a Batman artist, so this should be worth taking a look at, regardless of whether the plot is intriguing or how well Murphy handles the script.

There's already a very, very minor Batman villain named The White Knight--I think he's only had the one appearance, in that one Batman and Robin story arc where we learned that Batman can shoot the tips of his ears off like little missiles--but I guess that's just the subtitle of this series, and not the name this good guy version of The Joker will be going by.


BATMAN YEAR TWO 30TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION HC
Written by MIKE W. BARR
Art by ALAN DAVIS, PAUL NEARY, TODD McFARLANE and ALFREDO ALCALA
Cover by ALAN DAVIS and PAUL NEARY
Collecting a Batman classic in hardcover for the first time! A close friend of Bruce Wayne introduces him to Rachel Caspian, and the two quickly develop a romantic relationship. But in the midst of love, Rachel’s father decides to come out of retirement as the Reaper, Gotham City’s first vigilante!
Collects DETECTIVE COMICS #575-578 and BATMAN: FULL CIRCLE #1.
On sale NOVEMBER 22 • 176 pg, FC, 7.0625” x 10.875” • $29.99 US


Confession: I have never actually read this story. I've long had the impression that, despite the title, it was more-or-less murky in terms of Batman's official continuity, and it definitely seems like the whole Batman-flirted-with-firearms-early-in-his-career aspect has been long ago retconned away.

I find the cover of this particular collection interesting, as it features Alan Davis art rather than that of Todd McFarlane. Is that, perhaps, a reflection of how much the heat of one-time red-hot artist Todd McFarlane has diminished over the decades? Because, for the longest time, whenever I heard anyone discussing this particular series, it was always in the context of "The Batman story that Todd McFarlane drew."


BOMBSHELLS UNITED #4
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
Clayface is on the loose! How can Wonder Woman protect Cassie Sandsmark, Donna Troy and their friends and family from danger if Clayface can disguise himself as anyone in the camp—including Wonder Woman herself?!
On sale OCTOBER 18 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST


The current iteration of Bombshells, which I'm still reading regularly, has gotten a little stale, particularly as Bennett has seemed to stop trying to tie it to the specifics of the war and instead gone off on some (admittedly charming) tangents. So I'm kind of looking forward to this next iteration, which looks like it will be a bit more focused on particular characters and particular storylines, rather than the sweeping cast of characters that Bennett has been juggling. I'm also looking forward to Sauvage returning to the Bombshells-iverse after a way-too-long absence. And I'm actually even looking forward to seeing Donna Troy, given how cool her Bombshells costume looks. Why, I can't remember the last time I liked a Donna Troy costume that much! Maybe...War of The Gods...?


Team Allred's Bug comic is another promising looking miniseries that I've been anxiously trade-waiting. Look at that cover for its final issue. Damn, Mike Allred...


DASTARDLY AND MUTTLEY #2
Written by GARTH ENNIS
Art and cover by MAURICET
...
From man to man’s best friend! Mutt has undergone a shocking transformation and unstabilium is to blame! Can he and Dick find a cure back home in the United States? Or will Air Force General Harrier personally make sure the guys are grounded for good? Meanwhile, the president holds a very important press conference…trust us, you won’t want to miss it!
On sale OCTOBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T+


When this was first announced, all I saw was the above cover image and the headline and, before even clicking through to see who the creators were, I thought to myself, "The only way I would possibly be interested in reading this comic book is if Garth Ennis were writing it..."

And it turns out he is! I guess when I see airplanes in a comic book, I just naturally think of Garth Ennis...?


DC DESIGNER SERIES AQUAMAN & MERA BY PAT GLEASON STATUE
Designed by PATRICK GLEASON
Sculpted by DAVE CORTES
Aquaman and Mera, first couple of Atlantis, are portrayed in this romantic new statue designed by Pat Gleason, illustrator of their epic adventures in Sub Diego and beyond.
Limited Edition of 5,000
Measures Approximately 16.32” Tall
$250.00 US • On Sale FEBRUARY 2018
Allocations May Occur


I don't normally have anything at all to say about DC's non-comics offerings in their solicitations, but this statuette caught my attention simply because I rather vividly remember the cover that it is based on. The reason?
Gleason seemed to have forgot to draw the bottom half of Aquaman on the cover.

My best guess was that his legs were behind him, and that he was meant to be swimming up behind Mera in a horizontal position, but that doesn't really square with the way his upper body was drawn.


DC HOUSE OF HORROR #1
Story by KEITH GIFFEN
Written by EDWARD LEE, BRIAN KEENE, NICK CUTTER, MARY SANGIOVANNI, WRATH JAMES WHITE, RONALD MALFI, WESTON OCHSE and BRYAN SMITH
Art by RAGS MORALES, BILQUIS EVELY, HOWARD PORTER, SCOTT KOLINS, DALE EAGLESHAM and others
Cover by MICHAEL WM. KALUTA
An all-new, all-creepy one-shot set in the DC Universe—just in time for Halloween! Martha Kent fights for her life against a creature from a spacecraft that lands in front of her farmhouse. A young woman is possessed by the spirit of a murderous Amazon warrior. The last surviving member of the Justice League faces down a horror beyond imagining. All these and more are what happens when the most exciting new voices in contemporary horror fiction are paired with the talents of some of the greatest artists in the DC firmament! And if that isn’t enough to scare you, there’s Keith Giffen, too.
ONE-SHOT • On sale OCTOBER 25 • 80 pg, FC, $9.99 US • RATED T+


Not being much of a prose fiction reader, I can't tell you whether or not "the most exciting new voices in contemporary horror fiction" really are the all that exciting or not, but I really love the work of artists Rags Morales and Bilquis Evely, and that's a hell of a Kaluta cover, isn't it?

It's hard to believe we're at the point where an 80-page giant really costs $10; at that point, they really should just go ahead and take out the ads, add a spine and sell it as an original trade paperback. That's the price of the first volume of an Image series, and just about what you would pay for a manga volume these days.


DEADMAN #1
Written by NEAL ADAMS
Art and cover by NEAL ADAMS
“Journey into Death” part one! When we last left Deadman, the true story had barely begun! Deadman’s death was unsolved, and his fate was intertwined with that of his parents and siblings. Even the Dark Night Detective couldn’t solve the mysteries of Boston Brand’s fantastic secrets! Now, Batman is back, confronting Deadman about who was really behind his death. Was Boston Brand’s assassination a test for the League of Assassins? Why does Batman think Ra’s al Ghul was involved? And why does Deadman need the help of Zatanna, Phantom Stranger, Dr. Fate and the Spectre to defend Nanda Parbat?
ADVANCE SOLICITED • On sale NOVEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6
GLOW-IN-THE-DARK COVER: $4.99 US • NON-GLOW-IN-THE-DARK COVER: $3.99 • RATED T+


Based on Neal Adams' recent Batman and Superman mini-series, both of which I started reading but just couldn't force myself all the way through, I think it's safe to assume this will be somewhere between rather weird and completely bonkers.

Glow-in-the-dark covers are, incidentally, the only cover gimmick I ever actually liked.


GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #1
Written by JACKSON LANZING and COLLIN KELLY
Art by BRIAN CHING
Cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
Variant cover by DAN PANOSIAN
A new series inspired by the DC Collectibles statue line! It’s been decades since Governor Lex Luthor turned Gotham City into a modern utopia, saving his people from the devastation that made the rest of the continent a wasteland. But his city isn’t paradise for everyone. If the Lexes network misfires, and a citizen wakes up and steps out of line, the Bat and his minions are brutal in restoring the status quo. So when young Kara Gordon, whose ridealong tech has never functioned optimally, rushes headlong into the Freescape, she’s shocked to find Gotham City Garage—where new friends might become family, if she lives long enough.
On sale OCTOBER 11 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+ • DIGITAL FIRST

GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #2
Written by JACKSON LANZING and COLLIN KELLY
Art by LYNNE YOSHII
Cover by JENNY FRISON
Gotham City Garage strategist Barda Free is determined not to let the new kid slow them down. But when her team rolls into trouble in Clayface Valley, will Kara be the only thing standing between them and sudden death?
On sale OCTOBER 25 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+ • DIGITAL FIRST


Part of me sees this and thinks, "A comic book series based on some dumb collectible statuette line? Who wants that?" But then another part of me reminds that first part that I just finished reading my 31st consecutive issue of DC Comics Bombshells. (And before that, there was Ame-Comi Girls, which had a few bright spots, but wasn't actually all that good, and I'm pretty sure I dropped it well before it was canceled.)

I know almost nothing about these, other than they involve motorcycles. I just went to Google Image, and all I saw were the Wonder Woman one, and then ones featuring Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. It looks like Harley has hyenas riding in a sidecar? That's kinda cool.

I'll try it, and hope it's more along the lines of Bombshells than Ame-Comi Girls.


GREEN ARROW #33
•Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
•Art and cover by JAMAL CAMPBELL
•Variant cover by MIKE GRELL
•“THE TRIAL OF TWO CITIES” part one! With the Ninth Circle crippled by Green Arrow and the Justice League, the Emerald Archer returns to a Star City ripe for a resistance. But Ollie Queen has one pesky thing to deal with first: his trial for murder!
•On sale OCTOBER 18 • 32 pg, FC • $2.99 US • RATED T+


What? Now Green Arrow is on trial for murder? Geez, what is with these archery-based superheroes and their murder trials?


HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #1
Written by PAUL DINI and MARC ANDREYKO
Art by LAURA BRAGA
Cover by AMANDA CONNER
...
Free college tuition for all Riverdale residents?! That’s the plan—after the town drains the wetlands that lie between it and Gotham City and then builds a new campus. The only snag? A certain botany-obsessed super-villain. When Poison Ivy enlists her bestie, Harley, to kidnap both Veronica Lodge, daughter of Riverdale’s most important citizen, and her friend Betty, she’s counting on some assistance—and the mayhem that ensues will probably work as well!

DC Comics and Archie are proud to present the adventure of a lifetime for all these best pals. Their hijinks are brought to you by the real-life team-up of Paul Dini (HARLEY QUINN) and Marc Andreyko (WONDER WOMAN ’77), with art by Laura Braga (DC BOMBSHELLS)!
On sale OCTOBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T


Well this is...unexpected. If DC and Archie Comics were going to do another crossover, their last being 2010's Tiny Titans/Little Archie by the Tiny Titans team of Art Baltazar and Franco, one might expect them to do something more obvious, like Archie Meets the Teen Titans or Justice League/Super Teens or, my preferred pitch, Archie Andrews and Jimmy Olsen pulling a prince-and-the-pauper thing for a Superman crossover.

Of course, the fact that this isn't an obvious crossover makes it infinitely more interesting than a Batman/Archie crossover might be (But admit it: You'd like to see Bruce Wayne and Hiram Lodge comparing financial portfolios and Alfred and Smithers in a butler battle). There's not a whole hell of a lot to go on so far, of course, but I like Amanda Conner's cover a whole lot, and feel pretty confident that a writing team like Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko could pull this particular comic off as well as anyone. Braga's a hell of an artist, although I have to admit that, stylistically at least, I woulda preferred someone with a bit flatter, more Dan DeCarlo-esque, old-school Archie art-iness in their design sensibility (If it were up to me and it weren't impossible, I'd kinda like Derek Charm to draw all Archie comics).

I'm somewhat bemused to hear that Riverdale is apparently a suburb of Gotham City. Apparently two cities famous for not being located in any particular state are in the same state, whichever state that might be.


THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN VOL. 1: ORIGINS TP
Written by RENAE DE LIZ
Art and cover by RENAE DE LIZ and RAY DILLON
In the beginning there was only chaos. But Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, saw a better future—and eventually her daughter would be destined to bring that new world to life! Before her ultimate fate unfolds, though, Diana of Themyscira must learn the important lessons of an Amazonian childhood!
Collects THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #1-9!
On sale NOVEMBER 15 • 288 pg, FC, $19.99 US


This is the comic I recommend to any fans of the Wonder Woman film who are so enamored of it they want to try reading a Wonder Woman comic. Sure, this is set during World War II rather than World War I, but then, no Wonder Woman comics are set during WWI, really; that's one of the things that made the film so distinct. This is, however, an excellent comic book, completely self-contained and broadly features some of the same characters and situations of the film.

That DC included a "Vol. 1" in the title gives me hope--perhaps groundless hope, but hope nonetheless--that despite what has been said publicly, De Liz and DIllon will get to make more Wonder Woman comics featuring this version of the character (I would love to see their Wonder Woman teaming up with Plastic Man and/or the Justice Society of America, for example; Plas appears on the cover of a comic book in, like, one panel of the series, and I believe there's a verbal mention of the JSA).


Spoiler alert: She's foe.


RAGMAN #1
Written by RAY FAWKES
Art by INAKI MIRANDA
Cover by GUILLEM MARCH
After a failed mission to raid a tomb in the Israeli Desert, war veteran Rory Harper is plagued by the death of his partners. As Rory battles his guilt back in Gotham City, he discovers that what was in that tomb has followed him home, and it’s about to change his life. But as Rory begins his journey, an evil is invading Gotham City, and it wants what he’s discovered. A hero is born in this visionary reimagining of the Ragman mythos by writer Ray Fawkes and artist Inaki Miranda!
On sale OCTOBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T


Ragman is one of those superhero characters that I really like a whole lot for rather superficial reasons--his name, his costume, his powers, his milieu--even though I would be hard-pressed to point you towards any particular stories featuring the character that are actually really great comic book stories.

With only an image and a few sentences of text, it's hard to speculate much about this comic, but if that cover image is any indication, he won't be wearing the Joe Kubert-designed costume, but...just mummy-like wrappings? (Based on that image, it looks like that could be a redesign of The Unknown Soldier, Negative Man or Hush, rather than Ragman.) It seems like the Jewish mysticism angle might be gone, although there is mention of a tomb in "the Israeli Desert," so maybe it is Jewish mysticism that makes, like, a direct flight from Israel to America, without a stop in Prague, or anywhere else in a Jewish/European tradition? Finally, the protagonist has a different surname, but then, maybe that is part of the story.

Like I said, hard to speculate. I'm not filled with much confidence though, and this looks like the sort of reboot-for-reboot's sake of, say, The New 52's Ray or Human Bomb rather than, say, the Grant Morrison-written reboots of Animal Man or The Doom Patrol.

We'll see. Someday. In trade. From the library.

(I do like that Guillem March cover, though; I'd be a lot more interested if March were doing the interiors too. Other good Ragman artists? Kelley Jones, who drew a pretty great Batman/Ragman crossover during his run with Doug Moench on Batman, and John McCrea, who briefly drew Ragman in a Day of Judgement-related special.)


ROBIN: YEAR ONE DELUXE EDITION HC
Written by CHUCK DIXON and SCOTT BEATTY
Art and cover by JAVIER PULIDO and ROBERT CAMPANELLA
Taking place after the events of BATMAN: DARK VICTORY, this epic tale recounts the beginning of Dick Grayson’s career as Robin, the Boy Wonder. The devious Two-Face is very interested in recent reports that Batman now has a teenage sidekick. Indeed, Bruce Wayne has taken young Dick Grayson under his tutelage as Robin the Boy Wonder! Alfred Pennyworth is unsure if the inclusion of Dick Grayson into Batman’s nightly adventures might not end up in a disaster, but the butler cannot deny the positive influence the lighthearted boy has on his master Bruce Wayne.
Collects ROBIN: YEAR ONE #1-4.
On sale FEBRUARY 21 • 208 pg, FC, 7.0625” x 10.875” $34.99 US


Just a reminder, if you have somehow managed to never read this story, you should, as it's really rather great. It's Dick Grayson's post-Crisis, pre-Flashpoint origin story as Robin, by Chuck Dixon, who is probably history's greatest Robin writer, and Scott Beatty, who collaborated with Dixon on the similar Batgirl: Year One. The art, by the way, is dynamite, as you can see from the cover image. I'm not sure that this hardcover is the best way to read the story, as DC published a Batgirl/Robin Year One collection a couple of years back that would have given you two great stories for less than the price of this collection, but, again, if you haven't read this, you totally should.

I always found it amusing that DC used this title, though, as Robin: Year OneBatman: Year Three in terms of telling the story of how Dick Grayson became Robin and, to a certain extent, Batman: Dark Victory, which is actually even name checked in that solicit. (Dark Victory, please recall, contains my favorite two pages of Jeph Loeb's comics-writing career.)


THE RUFF & REDDY SHOW #1
Written by HOWARD CHAYKIN
Art by MAC REY
Cover by HOWARD CHAYKIN
Variant cover by MAC REY
In the Golden Age of television, Ruff and Reddy were on top of the entertainment world…until the world turned, and they were forgotten. Now, Ruff is a washed-up television actor. Reddy is a clerk in an upscale grocery store. Can a hungry young agent convince the two one-time partners to make a comeback—and convince the world that it wants to see the famously infamous dog-and-cat comedy team back in the spotlight? Don’t miss it if you can!
On sale OCTOBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T+


So a few months back DC did some pretty weird crossover series involving some pretty random DC characters (Booster Gold, Adam Strange, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, The Suicide Squad) and some equally random Hanna-Barbera characters (The Flintstones, Jonny Quest and others from the Future Quest comic, Space Ghost, The Banana Splits). They were...odd, but one thing they all had in common was fairly strong lead stories and fairly poor back-ups, featuring dark, adult-focused reboots of the stars of various Hanna-Barbera cartoons, mostly in the spirit of the "Hanna-Barbereboot" suite of books (all but one of which have been canceled). Each of those back-ups ended with a "To Be Continued," but it was unclear where. Well, this looks like it will be the first of them to get it's own series.

I...don't hold out much hope for it, as this pair of characters was so obscure I had to Google them to figure out who the fuck they were. So, um, good luck with that DC! I'm sure having Howard Chaykin, who is currently cresting a wave of goodwill and positive PR, attached will help sell four dollar comics featuring a dark, gritty take on those barely-remembered characters immensely...!


SUPERWOMAN #15
Written by K. PERKINS
Art by STEPHEN SEGOVIA and ART THIBERT
Cover by KEN LASHLEY
...
“SUPERMAX” part two! It’s a clash of incredible power as Superwoman and Supergirl struggle to contain the might of Maxima! But with Maxima’s origin revealed, and a startling new villain looming on the horizon, do our heroes actually need to save Maxima…or be saved by her?
On sale OCTOBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T


Honestly, every time I read a new batch of DC Comics' solicits, I expect to see this one with the words "FINAL ISSUE" in there somewhere, but it's still going.


Here's a pretty great Suicide Squad cover by Stjepan Sejic. Sadly, he's just providing the cover, while someone else handles the interiors.


TEEN TITANS #13
Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art by MIRKA ANDOLFO
Cover by DAN MORA
...
“HARD TARGET”! Still recovering from the events of DARK DAYS: METAL, the Teen Titans decide they need a day off…but their plans are soon interrupted when the one and only Green Arrow demands that his younger sister Emiko join the team! Are the Teen Titans about to get a new member? Or will Emiko Queen be Damian’s undoing?
On sale OCTOBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T


I really like that cover, and I'm really rather looking forward to seeing Andolfo draw the Titans. I'm not terribly excited about the prospect of Emiko Queen showing up, as Green Arrow is another character, like Aquaman, that I've lost pretty much all interest in after the Flasphpoint rejiggering (I have noted the art on Green Arrow has been pretty superlative since "Rebirth," however, and I do like that GA grew his beard back). So I don't really know and/or care who Emiko Queen is. That said, DC's super-teen teams--be they the Titans or Young Justice, in comics or in cartoons--traditionally have an archer on the line-up, so I suppose it must make some sense to at least consider some teen archer from Green Arrow's corner of the DCU.


TRINITY #14
Written by ROB WILLIAMS
Art by V KEN MARION and RAY McCARTHY
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL and DANNY MIKI
...
“DARK DESTINY” part three! The Pandora Pits’ secrets start to be revealed as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman team with Constantine, Deadman, Zatanna, Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro to attempt to close off the pits forever, but the dark energies are starting to corrupt the heroes.
On sale OCTOBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T


This is another DC comic I keep expecting to hear is canceled. The main selling point of the book, I thought, was the artwork by Francis Manapul, and if he's not attached, then I'm not sure what the attraction is to a book that stars one-half of the current Justice League line-up.


WONDER WOMAN #32
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by CARLO PAGULAYAN and JASON PAZ
Cover by BRYAN HITCH
...
“CHILDREN OF THE GODS” part two! Wonder Woman must find out who is targeting Zeus’ children before their sights are set on her! What kind of monster has the power to murder a demigod?!
On sale OCTOBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

WONDER WOMAN #33
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO and RAY McCARTHY
Cover by BRYAN HITCH
...
“TIMES PAST” part one! Grail, the daughter of Darkseid, has been on a quest to restore her father to his full power and glory after the events of Darkseid War! She must challenge children of the gods to steal their energy for the almighty Darkseid. Will any hero of myth be able to withstand her onslaught?!
On sale OCTOBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T


I question the wisdom of tying the next Wonder Woman arc directly into the long-past (and now mostly irrelevant!) "Darkseid War" of Justice League, but it looks like the best places to read comics featuring Wonder Woman will be those set outside the DCU proper (Bombshells United, for example, there's that Gotham Garage that may or may not be any good, and I just saw on Twitter there will be more Wonder Woman: Earth One OGNs).

I don't care for Hitch's cover. I mean, it's cool that she stole Hercules' lion hat, I guess, but it looks like she killed the hell out of those various mythological monsters, and I'm not a big fan of a Wonder Woman who kills the hell out of everything constantly.


WONDER WOMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE VOL. 1 TP
Written by WILLIAM MOULTON MARSTON
Art by H.G. PETER
Cover by MICHAEL CHO
In these Golden Age tales that introduced Wonder Woman to the world, Diana heads into adventure and battles the evil of German operative Paul Van Gunther, the god Mars and more in stories from the pages of ALL STAR COMICS #8, SENSATION COMICS #1-14, WONDER WOMAN #1-3 and COMIC CAVALCADE #1.
On sale NOVEMBER 22 • 392 pg, FC, $24.99 US


Now here's the really good Wonder Woman stuff...! I'll have to consult the volumes of Wonder Woman Chronicles I have to see if I actually already have all of these in a different format or not--and yeah, it's kind of irritating that DC dropped the Chronicles format just to start over with a new format--but whether I end up needing this on my bookshelf or not, Marston and Peter's entire body of Golden Age Wonder Woman comics should be readily available to new readers for, well, forever, really (Ditto the original, Golden Age comics starring Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel and Plastic Man).

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