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    Soliciting Multiversity: DC’s Top 10 For May 2017

    By | February 28th, 2017
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    May 25th is the one year anniversary of ‘Rebirth,’ and DC’s landscape looks considerably different a year in than it did the month before ‘Rebirth’ began in earnest. This month isn’t full of too many big changes, but there are some interesting developments, some regression, and some plain weirdness. Plus, a boatload of 90’s nostalgia.

    Also, apologies to those that care about “Injustice” comics. I do not.

    10. Bane is so hot right now

    Bane is a complicated character – often derided as a dumb brute, he’s actually quite more than that, and is also the rare character that has significantly evolved since his gimmicky beginnings. Chris Sims at Comics Alliance actually did a great ‘break down‘ of Bane a few years ago – I highly recommend checking it out.

    But this is not a continuation of Bane’s growth, this is a return to the characters’ roots by his co-creators. DC loves pairing a character with its creator and letting the magic happen! The problem (as evidenced by literally the next two entries) is that it rarely works. The creators often times use these opportunities to steer the characters back where they left them, not where they happen to be. Now, I haven’t read this, and Dixon and Nolan have done some great Bane work in the past, but this seems like a classic case of DC giving them a book where they can do whatever they want, only to ignore it everywhere else.

    I may not be a huge fan of what Tom King is doing with Bane in “Batman” right now, but I can’t see Nolan and Dixon really picking up on that, especially as the series reunites Bane with his ‘original gang.’ And while, sure, some folks may want a series like this, I would rather let these creators take on something a little more substantial.

    BANE: CONQUEST #1
    Written by CHUCK DIXON • Art and cover by GRAHAM NOLAN • Variant cover by KELLEY JONES

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
    The co-creators of Bane make a triumphant return to the character, with a twelve-issue series that will push him to the limit! Bane is seeking to create a global criminal empire with the help of his original gang, Bird, Trogg, and Zombie. The Man Who Broke The Bat moves beyond Gotham to find new cities to conquer and new enemies to crush. He won’t stop until he stands at the top of the world of crime! For Bane, it’s all about CONQUEST.
    On sale MAY 3 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 12, $3.99 US • RATED T+

    9. The dream of the 90’s is alive in Jurgens

    Oh, Dan Jurgens. Look at the characters listed in the below solicit: Eradicator, Cyborg Superman, Metallo, Mongul. Those characters are about as 90’s Superman as you can get. Jurgens was one of the creative forces behind the “Death of Superman” event and its subsequent fallout from 92-94, and he still obviously has a love for those days. I get that, I really do. But if you look across the aisle to the “Superman” solicits, you see creators (including Peter Tomasi, who was editing for DC in the 90’s) taking the entirety of Superman’s past and mixing it with brand new ideas (including Jon Kent, a character that Jurgens himself created!) and making something really special. “Action” takes similar elements and finds the dullest possible things to do with them.

    ACTION COMICS #979
    Written by DAN JURGENS • Art by PATCH ZIRCHER • Cover by RODOLFO MIGLIARI • Variant cover by GARY FRANK

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
    “REVENGE” part one! Superman, Lois and Jon return to their lives in Metropolis while Eradicator, Cyborg Superman, Metallo and Mongul unite to destroy the Man of Steel!
    On sale MAY 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

    (Note: I know above is the cover to #980, not #979 – DC didn’t release a 979 cover)

    8. Is this a clue to the first canceled ‘Rebirth’ series?

    Continued below

    Before I get to the question I asked in the title, let’s be real for a second: Jaime Reyes is a great character that DC can’t seem to give a good series to, even when they’re managing to make a fucking Red Hood series enjoyable and a Deathstroke series magnificent. Jaime is a beloved character, a legacy character, a Latino character, and a teenage character. DC could have given this book to Latino creators, or young creators, and taken some chances. Instead, they give the book to their oldest, whitest writer in Keith Giffen (joined here by another crusty old dude, J.M. DeMatteis), and the dialogue essentially reads like Grandpa Simpson wrote it.

    This is a miserable comic to read, and it reduces Jaime to a bland, whiny teenager, and reduces Ted Kord to an asshole. This book was a huge opportunity for growth but, again, DC gave the character back to a co-creator and saw instantly regressive storytelling begin. Ugh.

    Anyway, the solicit talks about a ‘penultimate chapter’ – now, that could refer to the arc, but it is a weird thing to put in there if it is just about the arc. Could this be part of the first batch of cancellations? If so, it would mark the second time a Jaime-led title was cancelled early on in its run (the New 52 incarnation made it to #16).

    I hope it means they are putting new creators on the title to try to salvage it, but I’m an eternal optimist.

    BLUE BEETLE #9
    Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DeMATTEIS • Art and cover by SCOTT KOLINS • Variant cover by TYLER KIRKHAM

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.
    The battle with the evil entity that’s been lurking under El Paso for thousands of years reaches its penultimate chapter! Jaime Reyes has wanted nothing more than to rid himself of the scarab on his back. But in order to save his city, his family and his friends, he must decide whether to become Blue Beetle again—only this time, the change will be permanent!
    On sale MAY 24 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

    7. Some pretty serious spoilers

    As of publication of this article, the last issue of “Deathstroke” ended with a bombshell surprise that I’m not going to spoil here. If you want to keep reading “Deathstroke” beyond last issue, you may want to skip this solicit also, as it spoils something pretty huge that had no indicator in the most recently released issue. Is this a goof on DC’s part, or is it intentionally misleading?

    If it is the latter, it is getting folks upset for no good reason. If the former, whoopsie!

    DEATHSTROKE #18
    Written by CHRISTOPHER PRIEST • Art by JOE BENNETT and NORM RAPMUND • Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ • Variant cover by SHANE DAVIS •
    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. Please see pg. 111 for DEATHSTROKE #19.
    “Twilight” finale! In the wake of his fiancé’s death, Jericho seeks revenge against the suspected murderer—his own father! But was Deathstroke truly responsible for Etienne’s demise? And if not, who could have committed such a nefarious crime? It’s a Wilson family affair as Slade, Joseph and Rose clash in the blood-soaked finale to “Twilight!”
    On sale MAY 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

    6. Speaking of spoilers…

    There were recently some ‘shocking’ events in “Suicide Squad” that, again, as of publication are unresolved, and this solicit goes straight for the spoiler-jugular, even if this is much more in the ‘of course that wasn’t real’ sort of way. But, of more interest to me is that General Zod is now a member of Task Force X, which is both weird and could be fun. Or, because this is “Suicide Squad,” it could be done to death and obnoxious. I’ll let you guess which one it will be.

    SUICIDE SQUAD #17
    Written by ROB WILLIAMS • Art by TONY S. DANIEL and SANDU FLOREA • Cover by TONY S. DANIEL • Variant cover by WHILCE PORTACIO

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
    “EARTHLINGS ON FIRE” part two! Driven to extreme measures by the globe-spanning conspiracy known only as the People, Amanda Waller has done the unthinkable: made General Zod a full-fledged member of Task Force X! His first mission? Destroy the Annihilation Brigade, the People’s own, much deadlier version of the Suicide Squad!
    On sale MAY 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

    Continued below

    5. A horror push?

    When at NYCC this past year, I spoke with Dan DiDio and Jim Lee about ‘Rebirh’ and future plans, and DiDio said something really interesting about loving the horror and war books, and that “we’ll get back to them eventually.” Could this reprint of DC’s classic horror stories be a hint in that direction? It honestly wouldn’t surprise me – we’ve already talked about how there is a new Zatanna collection coming out, and Swamp Thing is currently without a book, and the Justice League Dark/Dark Universe movie is lingering on the horizon. You heard it here first, a big magic/horror push will be part of Rebirth’s second wave.

    DC HORROR: HOUSE OF SECRETS VOL. 1 HC
    Written by LEN WEIN, GERRY CONWAY, JACK OLECK and others
    Art by BERNIE WRIGHTSON, JIM APARO, SERGIO ARAGONES, WALLY WOOD and others • Cover by BERNIE WRIGHTSON

    Experience DC’s classic horror series in the retro collection as it was originally printed. Collecting HOUSE OF SECRETS #92-97, including the first appearance of Swamp Thing, this book includes contributions from writers and artists Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson, Jim Aparo and many others and sets the groundwork for classic DC Universe horror stories for years to come.
    On sale JUNE 28 • 304 pg, FC, $49.99 US

    4. Welcome back, Nicola!

    I love the idea of the two main stories in this annual – the first meeting of Diana, Clark, and Bruce, and then a modern day tale involving them. It is coincidental that this drops at the same time as the “Trinity” annual, which is, you know, also about these three characters.

    But that one doesn’t have Nicola Scott, so this one is instantly better.

    How’s that for some quality, in depth reviewing?

    WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #1
    Written by GREG RUCKA and others
    Art by NICOLA SCOTT, LIAM SHARP and others
    Cover by NICOLA SCOTT

    Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.
    The world of the Amazing Amazon expands in a collection of short stories that take Wonder Woman around the globe! In the days after “Year One,” Diana comes face-to-face with Superman and Batman for the first time, as illustrated by “Year One” artist Nicola Scott…and years later, Liam Sharp brings you the story of how their friendship has evolved!
    On sale MAY 31 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T

    3. I bet you forgot this was still happening, huh?

    18 months after starting, “Dark Knight III: The Master Race” finally is ending. I was reading – and shockingly enjoying – the first few chapters, but delays have pushed this to the far bottom of my reading list, but I’ll probably catch up in time to read this finale. I know that DC will do anything to keep Frank Miller in the fold and doing stories in this universe, but this feels like the longest event in comics history, doesn’t it? It is a slog, and will probably never really be judged fairly, both because of the almost sacred reputation of the first volume, the repugnant second volume, and Miller’s political leanings.

    But it is over. Thank goodness.

    DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #9
    Written by FRANK MILLER and BRIAN AZZARELLO • Art by ANDY KUBERT and KLAUS JANSON • Minicomic art by FRANK MILLER and KLAUS JANSON • Cover A by ANDY KUBERT and FRANK MILLER • Cover B by FRANK MILLER • 1:10 variant cover by MIKEL JANIN • 1:25 variant cover by KLAUS JANSON • 1:50 variant cover by CHIP KIDD • 1:100 variant cover by FRANK QUITELY • 1:500 variant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS

    Retailers: This issue will ship with seven covers. Please see the order form for details.
    The epic conclusion to DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE is here from the all-star creative team of Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson! This is Earth’s last stand. Quar’s Kryptonian Army has conquered the planet, but Batman and his allies don’t believe the world is beyond saving. They’ll rally once more against Quar and save the world or die trying.
    On sale MAY 31 • 32-page comic – 6.375” x 10.1875” • 16-page minicomic – 5.5” x 8.5”, FC, 9 of 9, $5.99 US

    Continued below

    2. “I dropped my cell phone down below”

    (That’s a reference to a David Bowie song, cretins)

    One of the joys of superhero comics is the connected universe; one of the pains of superhero comics are the non-stop crossovers. This feels different, though: a four issue tale, referencing a classic story featuring many of these characters, and Christopher Priest is involved. I’m officially interested.

    TEEN TITANS ANNUAL: THE LAZARUS CONTRACT #1
    Written by DAN ABNETT, BENJAMIN PERCY and CHRISTOPHER PRIEST
    Art by PAUL PELLETIER
    Cover by MIKE McKONE

    Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.
    “THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” finale! The conclusion to our epic crossover is here, the consequences of which will be felt for years to come! What does the future hold for the Titans teams after this game-changing run-in with their greatest enemy? Find out here as we set the stage for the next era of Titans, Teen Titans and Deathstroke!
    On sale MAY 31 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T

    1. Someone has been reading my dream journal

    Kirby + Young Animal + Allred = a happy Brian.

    This miniseries is a perfect example of what ‘Young Animal’ can be – a repository for top line talent to take a fringe character and do something weird and special with it. Forager is a Kirby creation best known by modern fans for an appearance in “Cosmic Odyssey,” and he happens to be a favorite of the Allred brothers. It has been hinted (both by the cover and by the Allreds in interviews) that we will be seeing more New Gods in the series, and I’m hoping for an Allred curated New Gods anthology at ‘Young Animal.’ I have no evidence of that, but I’m trying out The Secret or something. Make it happen, universe!

    BUG!: THE ADVENTURES OF FORAGER #1
    Written by LEE ALLRED • Art and cover by MICHAEL ALLRED • Variant cover by JAMES HARVEY • Variant cover by PAUL POPE

    Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for details.
    An all-new Young Animal miniseries begins! Forager is just one of the Hive before he breaks out of his cocoon and finds himself in a mysterious house in an unknown realm. There he meets all kinds of strange creatures: a ghostly girl, a talking teddy bear and otherworldly weirdos that have literally jumped out of his worst nightmares. But these interdimensional oddballs are nothing compared to the evil General Electric, who is on the hunt for a reality-bending metal that could alter the fabric of life itself. To stay one step ahead of him and preserve the multiverse, Forager must travel through alternate dimensions to seek the metal and, hopefully, catch up with that cagey stuffed bear. If he does it, will he finally be able to distinguish himself as a New God?
    DC’s Young Animal celebrates Jack Kirby’s centenary with this new six-issue miniseries—and who better to tackle this task than the Eisner Award-winning Allred clan! Featuring scripts by Lee Allred (BATMAN ’66), art by Michael Allred (Silver Surfer) and colors by Laura Allred (Lady Killer), BUG! is truly a family affair.
    On sale MAY 10 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • MATURE READERS

    For the full solicitations, check out Newsarama.


    //TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

    Brian Salvatore

    Brian Salvatore is an editor, podcaster, reviewer, writer at large, and general task master at Multiversity. When not writing, he can be found playing music, hanging out with his kids, or playing music with his kids. He also has a dog named Lola, a rowboat, and once met Jimmy Carter. Feel free to email him about good beer, the New York Mets, or the best way to make Chicken Parmagiana (add a thin slice of prosciutto under the cheese).

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