DC in November is in the throes of two events: the Justice League-driven ‘Forever Evil’ and the “Batman” based ‘Zero Year.’ All told, those crossovers make up 21 books this month. We feature only 2 of them, and almost begrudgingly at that. Check out what other stuff DC has to offer in a few months!
10. An New All Ages Book!
SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #1
Written by SHOLLY FISCH
Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
Rumors of a giant bat-creature bring Scooby and the gang on the run—but Batman and Robin are already on the trail of their old foe, the monstrous Man-Bat. Before long, the crooks behind a fake bat-creature will come face-to-face with the real thing…with the good guys caught in the middle! Don’t miss the start of this new, bimonthly miniseries!
While I wish that the Big 2 had a real commitment to all ages superhero comics, the launching of a half hero-half Scooby Doo comic is better than nothing at all – especially considering “Beware the Batman” was launched last month, and “Batman: Lil’ Gotham” is technically all ages as well. If only they’d get the price/page count down to make it truly kid friendly. And, you know, if the Batman and Robin appearing in this comic existed anywhere in current comics beyond this exact comic.
Hey, it’s a start.
9. Scott Lobdell Infects “Superboy,” “Supergirl,” But Never Our Hearts
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL and JUSTIN JORDAN
Art by ROBSON ROCHA
“KRYPTON RETURNS,” and our heroes have been sent on missions through Krypton’s history to stop H’El from dooming the universe! Superboy’s mission? Stop H’El from tampering with the history of Krypton days before its explosion. But he must also see to it that Kara Zor-El is kept safe and that the forces of the Eradicator don’t get him first.
For (presumably) his final issue on “Superboy,” Justin Jordan is joined by the Darth Lobdell, a powerful and influential Shit Lord. Lobdell is heading up the “Krypton Returns” storyline across all the non-Snyder/Pak (read: good) Super books. This makes the Top 10 for two reasons: 1) it isn’t ‘Forever Evil’ or ‘Zero Year’ related, and 2) with the ever-growing rumors that John Romita, Jr. is coming to DC to write “Superman,” it means that Lobdell’s presence on the Super books may be coming to an end. Please, please, please let this be true.
8. Carrie Kelly Is Back
BATMAN AND CARRIE KELLEY #25
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY
As Two-Face continues his rampage through Gotham City, more light is shed on his past. Who is Carrie Kelley and how can her mysterious connection to Harvey Dent help Batman?
While I am very much against the idea of a Carrie Kelly Robin (I’m against the general “Dark Knight Returns” hysteria), I think that Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are doing a good job keeping this book moving forward without the Robin of its initial origin. A Two-Face story, when done well, is always a lot of fun, and Kelly offers a different perspective from which to view the relationship between Batman and Harvey Dent. This could be good. I hope it is.
7. The Dead Boy Detectives Return!
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #1
Written by TOBY LITT
Art by MARK BUCKINGHAM and GARY ERSKINE
From the pages of THE SANDMAN, Neil Gaiman’s dead boys get their own monthly series! As fans of storybook detectives, Edwin Paine (died 1916) and Charles Rowland (died 1990) will take on any and all mysteries—including their own untimely deaths! The dead boys head back to St. Hilarions, where bullying headmasters continue to rule the school. But when they investigate the lingering mysteries of their own deaths, they meet a young girl named Crystal whose tech skills and strange link to the undead earn her a place as a new detective. DEAD BOY DETECTIVES is a fast-paced adventure series that takes us from the bustling streets of contemporary London to Japanese-inspired video games and dangerous worlds perched somewhere between the now and nevermore.
The good? A new ongoing from Vertigo based around good characters with a solid creative team. The bad? Another “Sandman” spinoff reinforces the idea that Vertigo is creatively stuck in 1991. Hopefully, this is the rare belated spin-off that doesn’t seem out of place.
6. “Justice League Dark” Switches Writers
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #25
Written by J.M. DeMATTEIS
Art and cover by MIKEL JANIN
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! Alone in a world where Super-Villains reign, John Constantine must enlist the aid of Swamp Thing in order to turn the tide.
If I wasn’t such a big DeMatteis fan, I would be really upset that Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes are moving off of this book. I mean, it isn’t all that surprising – Fawkes is writing both “Constantine” and “Trinity of Sin: Pandora,” and Lemire is handling “Animal Man,” “Green Arrow” and “Trillium” right now. But those guys had a really good handle on what sort of book “JLD” needed to be to thrive. Here’s hoping J.M. keeps that going, and that this means Lemire and Fawkes on another book together.
5. “Green Lantern Corps” Gives Jon Stewart a New 52 Origin
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #25
Written by VAN JENSEN and ROBERT VENDITTI
Art and cover by BERNARD CHANG
A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! When The Riddler throws Gotham City into total darkness, a young Marine named John Stewart is deployed as part of the peacekeeping measures. But he gets much more than he expected when he must deal with the costumed chaos known as ANARKY!
One of the complaints I’ve had with the New 52 is that it presumes both everything and nothing has changed since pre-“Flashpoint.” Case in point: ‘Zero Year’ is telling Batman’s origin for the first time in the New 52, and up until now, we’ve had to guess what was still cannon. By giving John Stewart the origin treatment, at least we can have a definitive Stewart story, and hopefully the writers can present a more consistent version than we’ve had thus far in the New 52. Jensen and Venditti seem to really get Stewart, so I hope this will be a not so bummer of an interruption from what is turning out to be a really fun book.
4. Tom Taylor Takes Over “Earth 2″
EARTH 2 #17
Written by TOM TAYLOR
Art by NICOLA SCOTT and TREVOR SCOTT
Batman fights to keep Brutal and the forces of Darkseid from taking complete control of Earth! Beginning a new story by Tom Taylor (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US)!
Don’t let me down, Tom Taylor. Don’t let me down.
3. Greg Pak/Aaron Cuder Start on “Action Comics”
ACTION COMICS #25
Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by AARON KUDER
This BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in features the reintroduction of a major character! A cocky young Superman battles the forces of nature to save Gotham City, while a woman from his past tries to do the same thing on a smaller scale. But both are headed for a collision course…
After months of limbo (Diggle -> Daniel -> Lobdell -> Pak), “Action Comics” finally has a steady writer – Greg Pak! His “Batman/Superman” has been phenomenal thus far, and I think he’s the type of guy to talk “Action” into the upper echelon of DC books, where it needs to be. Kuder is a fine artist, as well, and the two of them together should be producing dynamite work. Sadly, this is a ‘Zero Year’ tie in, but in Pak I trust.
2. Nightwing in the “Forever Evil” Spotlight
JUSTICE LEAGUE #25
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
FOREVER EVIL continues as the Crime Syndicate hunts down the few heroes left foolish enough to challenge them—including Batman’s protege, Dick Grayson. But Owlman has other plans for Nightwing…and Owlman’s teammate: the most deadly being on the planet: Ultraman!
There are two really good things about this solicit: 1) it is a “Justice League” issue not featuring, exclusively, the “big 7″ of the team. I love me some sprawling League rosters, with minor heroes, legacy heroes, and the big guys all playing together, and 2) Dick Grayson isn’t dead [yet]. I think Johns could do a good job writing Grayson – it’ll be interesting to see how he’s presented here.
1. “Harley Quinn” #0 Brings the Art
HARLEY QUINN #0
Written by AMANDA CONNER and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by DARWYN COOKE, SAM KIETH, TONY S. DANIEL, PAUL POPE, WALTER SIMONSON, ART BALTAZAR and others
This bombastic debut issue features art by award-winning illustrators including Darwyn Cooke, Sam Kieth, Tony S. Daniel, Paul Pope, Walter Simonson, Art Baltazar and others— but will any of them measure up to the exacting standards of the Clown Princess of Crime? Don’t miss the thrilling return of Harley Quinn in her own monthly series!
Look, I’m not a huge Harley Quinn guy, but look at the guys doing pages: Cooke! Kieth! Pope! Simonson! 20ish pages of great one-page “tryouts” by 20ish great artists? That’s worth $2.99 all day long.
Check out the full solicitations at Comic Book Resources.