The final issue of a few series, the final issues by a few creative teams, and FINALLY, that Paul Dini/Joe Quinones OGN! It’s March in the DCnU.
10. “Legends of the Dark Knight” 100 Page Spectacular Returns!
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR #2
Written by FRANK HANNAH, CHARLES SOULE and JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
Illustrated by WES CRAIG, DENNIS CALERO, MARCO TURINI, DREW JOHNSON and DEXTER SOY
In “I Hate When He Does That,” Bruce wonders if his youthful tour of Thailand with Alfred might be coming back to haunt him. Then, in “Riddler in the Dark,” can the Dark Knight solve a trail of E. Nigma’s riddles before it’s too late? Finally, Frank Hannah contributes a trio of stories of how a trauma in Bruce Wayne’s past impacts his present and the future of Gotham City’s criminal set, illustrated by some of comics’ hottest artists.
This format is how DC is choosing to publish the print editions of the digital first series – 100 pages, ten bucks a pop. While that is quite the price tag, it is actually pretty comparable to what comic readers typically get, dollar for dollar (32 pages for $3.99, 96 for $9.99). I just wish it was actually 100 pages – is it that hard to include 4 pages of pinups or call it a 96 page spectacular?
If this format proves successful, I wonder if DC will start publishing “Adventures of Superman” in the same format.
9. Forever Evil Wraps
FOREVER EVIL #7
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Illustrated by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
It’s evil versus evil in the shocking “take-no-prisoners” conclusion to FOREVER EVIL! What will be the fate of Lex Luthor and his Injustice League? Who will live – and who will die? And why is The Hooded Man the most feared being from the Syndicate’s world? Do not miss this startling finale that will leave the DC universe reeling and reveal the secrets to the future!
While still a lot of fun, I think I speak for many when I say that I am excited for this to be the end of the massive, line-wide crossover event. With no less than thirteen tie ins this month, the ending of this even will mean that nearly 1/4 of DC books will be radically changed next month. Click here to see what I wrote about what April may have in store.
8. Jim Zub Returns!
SUICIDE SQUAD: AMANDA WALLER #1
Written by JIM ZUB
Illustrated by ANDRE COELHO
As head of both Suicide Squad and A.R.G.U.S., Amanda Waller has made a lot of enemies over the years. And now, without either of those groups at her disposal, one of those enemies has come to kill her! She must stop him all by herself or die trying…
After a solicited, but never published, “Birds of Prey” arc, Jim Zub returns to DC to write this Amanda Waller one-shot. Good for Zub, one of our favorite writers at Multiversity, good for DC, for bringing in a talented voice, and good for us who will get to read it!
7. “JSA” Omnibus
JSA OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC
Written by GEOFF JOHNS, DAVID GOYER, JAMES ROBINSON, MARK WAID, MICHAEL CHABON, DARWYN COOKE, HOWARD CHAYKIN and others
Illustrated by STEPHEN SADOWSKI, CARLOS PACHECO, RAGS MORALES, JAVIER SALTARES, MICHAEL LARK, PETER SNEJBJERG, AARON LOPRESTI, HOWARD CHAYKIN, DARWYN COOKE and others
The start of Geoff Johns’s amazing run on JSA is collected in this massive hardcover that reintroduces the world’s first super team to the modern-day DC Universe! Collected here are JSA #1-25, JSA ANNUAL #1, JSA SECRET FILES #2, JLA/JSA: VIRTUE AND VICE, JSA: OUR WORLDS AT WAR #1, JLA/JSA SECRET FILES #1, SECRET ORIGINS OF SUPER VILLAINS #1, JSA ALL STARS #1-8, ALL STAR COMICS #1-2, ALL AMERICAN COMICS #1, ADVENTURE COMICS #1, ADVENTURE COMICS #1, NATIONAL COMICS #1, SENSATION COMICS #1, SMASH COMICS #1, STAR SPANGLED COMICS #1 and THRILLING COMICS #1!
I love a good omnibus, and as this collects some of my favorite DC comics of all time, this is as close to an instant buy as a $100 ticket price item gets.
6. Wil Pfeifer Returns!
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #29
Written by WIL PFEIFER
Illustrated by RAFA SANDOVAL
Jason and Kori set out to deliver justice to alien murderers, but they’ll need to steal a spaceship to do it! Now who in The New 52 has something like that they could “borrow”…?
Despite his first name missing an “L” and his last name having a silent “P,” it is nice to see DC expanding its slate of writers beyond its normal lineup and bringing back someone with some history in the Bat-corner of the DCU. Pfeifer taking over “Red Hood” from James Tynion IV isn’t a huge shock, as Tynion is one of the masterminds behind the weekly “Batman: Eternity” book starting (most likely) next month.
ANIMAL MAN #29
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Illustrated by JEFF LEMIRE and TRAVEL FOREMAN
A special finale to Jeff Lemire’s run on the series by the creative team that launched Animal Man in The New 52! What is left of Buddy in the wake of “Evolve or Die”?
“Animal Man,” “Batman: The Dark Knight,” “Talon,” and “Batman: Lil’ Gotham” all have the dreaded “FINAL ISSUE” tag on their solicits this month. While “Lil’ Gotham” promises a “long winter’s nap,” which seems to suggest a future return, the other three seem like liquidations of titles, not characters. Calvin Rose will surely be part of “Batman: Eternal,” Buddy Baker has been mentioned as part of Jeff Lemire’s Justice League plans, and no one will miss a fourth Bat-centric title – especially because the aforementioned weekly “Eternal” is replacing it.
But that isn’t all that’s ending. Brian Buccellato ends his run on “The Flash,” John Layman is done with “Detective Comics,” and we know that next month spells the end for “Stormwatch” (if not a few more). The culling is happening, and this time it is happening outside of a shitty Scott Lobdell comic.
Again, April is going to look quite different.
4. Saint Walker Returns!
GREEN LANTERN #29
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Illustrated by BILLY TAN
Hal Jordan, the greatest Green Lantern in the history of the Corps, has lost everything. Friends have died, Oa has been destroyed, and now he must say goodbye to Earth! As war threatens to dismantle the Green Lantern Corps, Hal does the unthinkable: He asks for help. Can he and a team of handpicked Lanterns remove a deadly weapon from the enemy’s arsenal, or will they be dealt their first defeat? And what of Saint Walker, the fallen leader of the Blue Lanterns? Can the Corps survive without its most trusted and powerful ally?
Of all of Geoff Johns added to the Lantern mythos, Saint Walker might be my favorite of the batch. Perhaps it is the optimist in me, but I’ve always really dug Walker, and think he can be an integral part of the DC Universe going forward. Here’s to hoping Venditti can put some giddy-up in his step and help him get his mojo back after losing his entire Corps.
3. Batman and Aquaman!
BATMAN AND AQUAMAN #29
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Illustrated by PATRICK GLEASON
Batman is ready to settle the score with Ra’s al Ghul, who stole Robin’s body out of the grave! As the Dark Knight travels to the island where Damian was born, he’s set on a collision course with Aquaman!
Now that Johns is done hogging him, it is nice to see Aquaman pop up other places, freed from his humorless romp through the emo waters of his solo title under Johns. The cover of this issue has to get your juices flowing if you were a fan of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, as the slightly cartoony image by Patrick Gleason harkens to this duo’s most famous pairing. This is an unexpected and fun guest to share the title with Batman for the next few issues (I think – it is hard to tell if this is a one-shot or not). While the solicit itself is pretty grim, I have hope for this title to be more than the deeply mournful one the book has been since Damian’s death and the fantastic silent issue.
2. American Vampire Returns!
AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Illustrated by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
The Eisner Award-winning, critically acclaimed series is back! #1 New York Times best-selling writer Scott Snyder (BATMAN, SUPERMAN UNCHAINED, THE WAKE) and acclaimed artist Rafael Albuquerque (ANIMAL MAN) bring their bloodsoaked opus into the 1960s!
The story so far…
Pearl Jones is a new kind of vampire, one of an American breed that can walk in the sun and has rattlesnake fangs. She’s beautiful and powerful – and she’s hiding from a tragic past…
Skinner Sweet is an American vamp too – the kind you love to hate. He’s good when he wants to be, but most of the time he’s downright bad. He’s Pearl’s maker, but he’s off in Mexico with an agenda of his own…
Will their two stories collide, or are they separated forever? And who is this new villain on the horizon, someone bloodier and more evil than anything seen in AMERICAN VAMPIRE before? Who is THE GRAY TRADER and what does his arrival mean for Skinner and Pearl?
Whether you’re already a fan or interested in checking out this series, the extra-sized AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE #1 is the perfect jumping-on point!
Do I really need to sell you on this?
1. Black Canary and Zatanna: BloodSpell
BLACK CANARY AND ZATANNA: BLOODSPELL
Written by PAUL DINI
Illustrated by JOE QUINONES
Two of the DC Universe’s brightest stars join forces in this original graphic novel!
A year ago, Black Canary infiltrated a gang of female criminals set to pull a dangerous heist at a Las Vegas casino. Its leader was skilled in hand-to-hand combat and more than a passing interest in black magic. Rather than be captured by Canary or the law, she went to her death, vowing to get revenge on Canary! Now, one year later, death stalks those gang members, and Canary must turn to her friend Zatanna to help investigate.
This title also includes a special sketchbook section.
Long rumored, finally officially announced in August, and now solicited for May (despite being part of the March solicits – don’t ask). If this creative team and character pairing doesn’t get you excited, well, we’e probably not going to be friends. I’d like my copy of Down By Law back, and I’ll see you around, pal.
For the full solicitations, visit Comic Book Resources.