DC has gotten a ton of flack this past year, much of it for good reason, but looking at March 2013’s solicitations, one thing is clear – there are a ton of great young writers working for them right now. Matt Kindt, Jim Zub, Robert Venditti, Justin Jordan, Jeff Lemire, and Scott Snyder are all over this month and, say what you will about some other aspects of the company, that has me excited for DC’s March releases.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #2
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Backup story written by GEOFF JOHNS and MATT KINDT
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH
Backup story art by SCOTT CLARK
– The new Justice League of America team continues to form, but the question remains: What do these heroes want in return for their membership?
– Secret motives are everywhere, and the outcome will have a huge impact on this team and the rest of The New 52!
– Plus, the alien MANHUNTER’s back-up series begins revealing more about J’onn’s plans for this team…and the other Justice League.
We reported this earlier in the month, but it bears repeating: Matt Kindt and Geoff Johns are writing a Martian Manhunter backup in “Justice League of America” starting with issue #2. It is still insane to me that Katana and Vibe have their own books and J’onn doesn’t. Peter Tomasi has said in the past that J’onn is his favorite character, so I could see this, one day, spinning off into a Tomasi-penned book. Until then, enjoy Kindt, and let’s get him back on an ongoing as the sole writer, mmmkay?
THE FLASH #18
Written by BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art by MARCIO TAKARA
Cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
– The Trickster is accused of murder! Can The Flash help solve his case?
– Plus, a surprising twist ending that will rock the world of…DIAL H?
Much to everyone’s chagrin, Francis Manapul is taking a few months off from “The Flash,” leaving co-writer/colorist Brian Buccellato to steer the ship with Marcio Takara on pencils. This was announced a few months ago, and while Takara’s style fits pretty well, we have only the covers to tide us over until Manapul is back.
DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #18
Written by JOE KEATINGE
Art by FEDERICO DALLOCCHIO
Cover by RYAN SOOK
– Writer Joe Keatinge and artist Tyler Kirkham turn the spotlight on STARFIRE!
Is Joe Keatinge being tapped to be the new “Red Hood and the Outlaws” writer? That’s my guess, as he’s now done two one-shots featuring the characters in the book not called Red Hood. Sub-question – is “DC Universe Presents” now a collection of one-shots? I would be pleased with both of these developments. But c’mon, DC, fix that costume – it makes Slave Leia look like she’s in a burqa.
Also, DC, get your shit straight with who is actually drawing this book.
PHANTOM STRANGER #6
Written by DAN DIDIO and J.M. DeMATTEIS
Art by GENE HA and ZANDER CANNON
Cover by GENE HA
– Welcome guest artists Gene Ha and Zander Cannon!
– Phantom Stranger is sucked into a metaphysical poker game against the three sons of Trigon!
– The stakes of this game couldn’t be any higher thanks to the host: Lady Luck, in her New 52 debut!
Despite his editorial decisions saying otherwise, Dan DiDio must be a big fan of the Super-Buddies incarnation of the Justice League, since he first tapped Keith Giffen to draw “O.M.A.C.,” and is now having J.M. DeMatteis co-write “The Phantom Stranger” with him. The question looms – will DeMatteis continue the soccer leitmotif?
Written by MIKE JOHNSON
Art and cover by MAHMUD ASRAR
– It’s a new dawn for the Girl of Steel after the nightmare of “H’EL ON EARTH”!
– Nothing will be the same for Supergirl as she embarks on a new mission that brings her face to face with one of DC’s deadliest villains!
I was mighty disappointed when I heard that Mahmud Asrar would be drawing an upcoming arc of “Ultimate X-Men,” because I assumed it meant he was off of “Supergirl.” But no, somehow he will be penciling both books. That, friends, is super rare these days, and pretty awesome. Asrar is one of the artist gems to emerge from the New 52, and this series is lucky that he is still on board.
ACTION COMICS #18
Written by ANDY DIGGLE
Art by TONY S. DANIEL and BATT
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL
– Welcome the new creative team of writer Andy Diggle and artist Tony S. Daniel!
– Inside the nefarious mind of Lex Luthor, who bares his scars–but how did he get them?
– Luthor’s plan to eradicate Superman may make Kal an alien pariah!
– The Oracle awaits at the edge of the Solar System to pass judgment on Superman–and he is not alone.
– You won’t believe who comes calling on the final page!
Hi, Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel! Please, please do right by this book. Thanks! Signed, Everyone.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #18
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
Backup story art by GARY FRANK
Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
Variant cover by AARON KUDER
– Cyborg takes center stage as events fall into place for next month’s massive new story arc: “OFF THE GRID”!
– Also, Batman continues to be question the Superman/Wonder Woman alliance and Aquaman’s future with the League.
– Plus: The Shazam backup story reveals the origin of Black Adam–and what it means for Billy Batson’s survival!
Bleeding Cool put together a nifty little theory about “The Grid,” and this cover/solicit seems to confirm what they presupposed. It is about time that Cyborg was given something to do in “Justice League.”
BIRDS OF PREY #18
Written by JIM ZUB
Art by ROMANO MOLENAAR and VICENTE CIFUENTES
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
– Welcome new series writer JIM ZUB (Skullkickers)!
– Mr. Freeze is out of Arkham Asylum and looking for revenge on the Court of Owls! His first target? The newest member of the Birds team, Strix!
– And if that wasn’t enough trouble for the girls, this issue introduces The Daughters of the Dawn who are abducting people with super powers…starting with a certain prisoner at Belle Reve!
Multiversity pal Jim Zub is the new writer on “Birds of Prey,” and there was great rejoicing. This is an odd fit, but one I think could be pretty special if handled correctly.
GREEN LANTERN #18
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and CHRISTIAN ALAMY
Cover by GARY FRANK
– The epic, universe-shattering “WRATH OF THE FIRST LANTERN” continues!
– Don’t miss the shocking fates of Hal Jordan and Sinestro!
– And the First Lantern continues his cosmic life experiments, but with a great cost to the Corps.
After a few months of Baz, it was only a matter of time before Hal and Thaal (Copyright 2012, Brian Salvatore) would be back, and it appears that March at least starts that process.
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by RENATO GUEDES
Cover by JUAN JOSE RYP
– The star of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK is unleashed in his all-new ongoing series!
– Liar, cheater, manipulator…John Constantine is all of these, and yet he uses these skills and more to protect the world from the darkest corners of the DC Universe.
– What Constantine learns in this first issue will shake the very foundations of the New 52…and only he knows how to deal with it!
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #18
Written by JEFF LEMIRE and RAY FAWKES
Art and cover by MIKEL JANIN
– The conclusion to the “DEATH OF MAGIC” comes crashing down upon our heroes, as its consequences dramatically shift the status quo of the team moving forward!
– This issue also has ties to the new ongoing CONSTANTINE series, also on sale this month.
SWORD OF SORCERY #6
Written by CHRISTY MARX
Backup story written by MARC ANDREYKO
Art and cover by AARON LOPRESTI
Backup story art by ANDREI BRESSAN
– Amaya becomes the Lady Regent of House Turquoise and discovers the startling truth behind its power!
– A mysterious evil originating from Nilaq is now on Earth, and John Constantine doesn’t like that one bit!
– And in the backup feature, Stalker must defeat Lucifer to save his scion!
Constantine is on the cover of no less than three books this month, with the above “Justice League Dark” one being the nicest looking of the bunch. Between launching his solo series and appearing in “Sword of Sorcery” with Amethyst, DC is trying really hard to make people forget about cancelling “Hellblazer.” So far, it isn’t working.
Written by KEITH GIFFEN
Art by TOM RANEY
Backup story art by SCOTT KOLINS
Cover by HOWARD PORTER
– Former Green Lantern Jediah Caul leads an assault on the powers behind the game…a very ill advised assault.
– Introducing CAPTAIN K’ROT!
– In the backup feature, the hunt for Larfleeze’s stuff turns up evidence that the theft was an inside job!
“Threshold” is a weird looking book, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Rebooting Captain Carrot as Captain K’Rot is really, really weird. But hey, it has me interested! Plus, who doesn’t love Keith Giffen’s description of him: “Every book needs a borderline psychotic, booze-swilling, whore-mongering rabbit. I mean, c’mon!”
TIME WARP #1
Written by DAN ABNETT, MATT KINDT, DAMON LINDELOF, PETER MILLIGAN, TOBY LITT, RAY FAWKES, SIMON SPURRIER, TOM KING and GAIL SIMONE
Art by MARK BUCKINGHAM, JEFF LEMIRE, M.K. PERKER, VICTOR SANTOS, JORGE CORONA, RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE, TOM FOWLER, I.N.J. CULBARD and others
Cover by EDUARDO RISSO
Let’s do the time warp again! It’s time for another fantastic Vertigo anthology filled with spectacular sci-fi stories. Robots, deep space and lots of time travel twists by a bevy of comic greats and the up-and-coming stars of tomorrow. Damon Lindelof and Jeff Lemire bring us a blast from DC’s past, plus another installment of the “Dead Boy Detectives” from Toby Litt, Buckingham and Victor Santos, Matt Kindt presents a stirring story of man vs. machine–and so much more!
If you count this new anthology one-shot, Vertigo is only putting out 5 books this month, and while many (including me) have been ringing the Vertigo death knell for some time now, this seems like the most egregious case of the line dying. I truly, sincerely, hope that I am wrong.