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    Soliciting Multiversity: DC’s Top 10 for June 2016

    By | March 30th, 2016
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    June, last year, heralded “DC You,” an attempt by DC to bring their publishing line forward after a few years of the New 52. Well, this year brings “Rebirth,” an attempt by DC to…well, you get the idea. It is quite the month, so this is an overstuffed edition of Soliciting Multiversity. Hold onto your butts.

    10. Wacky…not so much

    I was very excited by the Hanna-Barbera licensed books at DC getting some love and attention, and last month’s “Future Quest” was a breath of fresh air, even if “Scooby Apocalypse” seemed like an old person’s calculated take on what ‘kids’ want out of a Scooby Doo comic.

    Well, “Wacky Raceland” is cut from the same cloth as “Scooby Apocalypse” – take a look at the above characters. Does that look anything like the fun found here? Even the titular word, wacky, doesn’t apply here. This looks like a poor man’s Mad Max pastiche, and I can only hope that the interior pages are nothing like the cover.

    WACKY RACELAND #1
    Written by KEN PONTAC
    Art and cover by LEONARDO MANCO
    PENELOPE PITSTOP Variant cover by TOMMY LEE EDWARDS
    PETER PERFECT Variant cover by JOE PRADO
    DICK DASTARDLY Variant cover by DAVE JOHNSON
    Coloring book cover by LEONARDO MANCO

    Retailers: This issue will ship with five covers. Please see the order form for details.
    The world has ended, but the race has just begun! Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect and the rest of the Wacky Racers vie for the finish line in a contest where the winner takes all and second place is death. Today’s trial: the shattered maze of freeways known as the Überpass, where they’re beset by giant sand beasts, mutated insects, and worst of all, Dick Dastardly’s murderously poor sportsmanship. The last thing they need after surviving the race is a brutal bar fight in a local dive, but that’s just what they get!.
    On sale JUNE 8 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

    9. Beautiful new cover dress

    I’ve been doing this column for a few years now, and one of the biggest improvements that DC has made is in their reprint department. We are getting more (and better) collections of classic stories that are affordable (sometimes) and well put together (most times). This month, while perusing that section of the solicitations, I noticed the above very handsome trade dress for a Bronze Age “Brave and the Bold” omnibus. Well, imagine my surprise when I scrolled down a bit more, and saw this Silver Age “Suicide Squad” hardcover:

    Is this DC’s new normal for these types of reprints? If so, sign me up – a Karl Kerschl or Michael Cho image on that beautifully designed cover looks both classic and timeless.

    It is worth noting that the Silver Age Suicide Squad bears almost no resemblance to the one appearing in cinemas this summer, either in concept or in characters. But enjoy it anyway!

    BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD – THE BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS HC
    Written by BOB HANEY, MIKE SEKOWSKY and DENNIS O’NEIL
    Art by JIM APARO, MIKE SEKOWSKY, NEAL ADAMS and others
    Cover by KARL KERSCHL

    Through the 1970s, Batman fought evil every month side by side with DC’s greatest heroes. Guest-starring Wonder Woman, the Phantom Stranger, Adam Strange, Black Canary, the Teen Titans, The Flash, Green Arrow, Aquaman and more, these stories are collected in a single, massive hardcover for the first time. Collects THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #87-122.
    On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 1,056 pg, FC, $99.99 US

    SUICIDE SQUAD: THE SILVER AGE HC
    Written by ROBERT KANIGHER
    Art by ROSS ANDRU and MIKE ESPOSITO
    Cover by MICHAEL CHO

    The original 1960s missions of the Suicide Squad are collected at last, including stories from THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #25-27 and 37-39, plus STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #110-111, 116-121, 125, 127 and 128. When all other options are exhausted, the U.S. calls in their new team, Task Force X, led by Rick Flag! Whether a scientist is missing, a dangerous serum is in the wrong hands, or dinosaurs threaten our fighting forces, the Suicide Squad is ready for action!
    On sale JULY 27 • 336 pg, FC, $39.99 US

    Continued below

    8. Gary Frank is the latest honored with the “Graphic Ink” treatment

    DC has been using the term ‘Graphic Ink’ to showcase some of their most celebrated artists, and Gary Frank is the most recent recipient. Frank is an interesting choice, as his DC work hasn’t been as consistent as many others’ recently – the last works of his beyond the odd variant or one issue fill in are the “Batman: Earth One” graphic novels, and the “Shazam” backups in “Justice League” a few years back.

    That said, he’s a big part of the “DC Universe Rebirth” #1 special coming out at the end of May (more on that later), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have a book in the second rollout of ‘Rebirth’ titles, whenever that is.

    GRAPHIC INK: THE DC COMICS ART OF GARY FRANK HC
    Written by GEOFF JOHNS and others
    Art by GARY FRANK, JON SIBAL and others
    Cover by GARY FRANK

    The latest title in the GRAPHIC INK book series celebrates the work of Gary Frank, one of DC’s greatest artists. In these tales starring Supergirl, Batman, Superman and more, Frank’s art features a sharp, iconic style that pays homage to classic DC artists while pushing the characters into the future.
    On sale AUGUST 24 • 416 pg, FC, $39.99 US

    7. Continuations and Annuals

    I think many of us hoped/thought that when ‘Rebirth’ started, we would be getting an immediate end to all the non-‘Rebirth’ titles, but it appears that isn’t the case. June doesn’t even appear to be the end of some of these titles – perhaps they will carry on through the end of the summer? We really don’t know, but I’m glad that some of them are.

    Take “Doctor Fate” for example. This is a slow burn of a book, and features a character nowhere to be seen on the ‘Rebirth’ landscape – so I’m glad to see him get a few more issues. And, when anything is illustrated by Ibrahim Moustafa, I take notice. Dude is one of the most underrated artists working today, and really deserves a regular book. Get on that, DC!

    DOCTOR FATE #13
    Written by PAUL LEVITZ
    Art by IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA
    Cover by TONY HARRIS

    From a windowless tower in Salem, Massachusetts, a man who is familiar with Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson, smells trouble coming. But will he be able to properly teach the former medical student and current possessor of the mystical power, Khalid Nassour, how to truly be Doctor Fate before all New York City is aflame?
    On sale JUNE 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

    Similarly, a bunch of books are getting annuals in June – whether this is to burn stories already created, pre-‘Rebirth,’ or just to give some extra content on the shelves, who knows. But this “Grayson” annual is a nice bit of synergy between characters not making their way over to ‘Rebirth’ right away (Jim Corrigan, Azrael), as well as some of those that are (like Simon Baz, who has been missing for quite some time).

    GRAYSON ANNUAL #3
    Written by JACKSON LANZING and COLLIN KELLY
    Art by Roge Antonio, Javier Fernandez, Christian Duce, Flaviano Armentaro and Natasha Alterici
    Cover by MIKEL JANIN

    Determined to find out the identity of Spyral’s Agent 37, detective Jim Corrigan gathers a collection of heroes who have seen the swirl-faced spy in order to hear their accounts. With guest appearances by Harley Quinn, Azrael, John Constantine and Green Lantern Simon Baz, get ready for some of Dick Grayson’s greatest hits!
    On sale JUNE 29 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T

    6. Justice League, from cornerstone to afterthought

    When the New 52 relaunched, “Justice League” was announced as the flagship book, featuring the biggest creators, and setting the tone for the rest of the DC Universe. Well, then Geoff Johns signed off the book with #50, and the final two issues are being spent in service of new ‘Rebirth’ titles. Case in point, #51, written by Dan Jurgens, which acts as a backdoor pilot to his “Action Comics” run, if the cover can be believed.

    Continued below

    But that’s not all – look at #52, coming out later in the month

    That features Dick Grayson as Robin, and is a lead-in to writer Dan Abnett’s “Titans” book. Look, I’m all for connective tissue between these books and ‘Rebirth’ titles, but this seems to be pretty crass. Give “Action Comics” a ‘Rebirth’ issue, and tell the Lex story there. If the Dick as Robin story is so essential, put it in “Titans Rebirth” #1. But you know that these aren’t essential stories – they are afterthoughts, which is not the way I saw “Justice League” going out.

    JUSTICE LEAGUE #51
    Written by DAN JURGENS
    Art and cover by PAUL PELLETIER and TONY KORDOS

    Retailers: This issue is resolicited. All previous orders are cancelled.
    It’s a brave new world in the devastation that follows “Darkseid War.”
    RESOLICIT • On sale JUNE 8 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

    JUSTICE LEAGUE #52
    Written by DAN ABNETT
    Art by PAUL PELLETIER and SANDRA HOPE
    Cover by PAUL PELLETIER and TONY KORDOS

    A TITANS: REBIRTH #1 prelude! Set shortly after the formation of the Justice League, Batman introduces his new partner Robin (Dick Grayson) to the team just as it’s pulled into a deadly assault on Metropolis by mysterious creatures. Outclassed and terrified, the Boy Wonder must use his wits and guile to survive. And in doing so, he catches the attention of a foe that will alter the course of his life forever. This story ties directly into TITANS: REBIRTH #1!
    On sale JUNE 22 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

    5. The return of Lemire (sort of)

    Jeff Lemire, once “New 52: Futures End” wrapped up, walked away from DC, at least unofficially, and dropped all his work at the publisher in favor of working for Valiant, Marvel, and doing his own original graphic novels. One can only presume that “Teen Titans Earth One” Vol. 2 (and maybe even a Vol. 3) were written far ahead of time, to give Andy MacDonald (replacing Terry Dodson) ample time to get his 100+ pages done.

    So, while this may not be Lemire on a new book, it is more Lemire at DC, which has to make folks happy, right?

    TEEN TITANS EARTH ONE VOL. 2 HC
    Written by JEFF LEMIRE
    Art and cover by ANDY MACDONALD

    After months on the run from the twisted project that created them, Cyborg, Terra, Beast Boy and Garth are near their breaking point, barely surviving on what they can steal, squatting in the ruins of an abandoned subdivision. But as they reach their lowest ebb, their creator, Dr. Niles Caulder, is ready to make his move…and they’re about to learn that they weren’t the only kids to go through Caulder’s twisted process! There are more children with powers out there, and unlike our heroes, they were raised for only one purpose—to be the living weapons Caulder wants ALL his Titans to be!
    Writer Jeff Lemire (GREEN ARROW, ANIMAL MAN) teams up with artist Andy MacDonald (THE NEW 52: FUTURES’ END) to deliver the next chapter in the Earth One series!
    On sale AUGUST 10 • 144 pg, FC, $22.99 US

    4. The Flash and the hand

    Joshua Williamson’s “The Flash” was one of the more high-concept books discussed at Saturday’s WonderCon ‘Rebirth’ event. On top of that, the solicit to “The Flash Rebirth” #1 warns that you shouldn’t read it until you’ve read “DC Universe Rebirth” #1. So, to me (and to my DC3 brethren, Zach and Vince), that means that it is likely a Flash-related character who is the mystery hand on the “DC Universe Rebirth” #1 cover:

    Could it be pre-“Flashpoint” Wally West? Old man Jay Garrick? “Earth 2” Jay Garrick? Pre-“Flashpoint” Bart Allen? Who knows, but I think betting on it being a Flash is probably a good decision.

    THE FLASH #1
    Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
    Art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO
    Cover by KARL KERSCHL
    Variant cover by DAVE JOHNSON

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
    “LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE” Chapter One
    A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well…you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts—but just where did this amazing new friend come from?
    FLASH FACT: “2016 is the 60th anniversary of Barry Allen becoming The Flash, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it,” says writer Joshua Williamson. “‘The Return of Barry Allen’ in FLASH #79 [1993] is one of my favorite comics of all time. It’s where I became a Flash fan for life.”
    On sale JUNE 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

    Continued below

    DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1
    Written by GEOFF JOHNS
    Art by GARY FRANK, IVAN REIS, ETHAN VAN SCIVER, PHIL JIMENEZ and others
    Cover by GARY FRANK

    It all begins here. Do not skip to the last page. Do not let a friend or message board ruin this comic for you. The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
    THEY SAID IT: “Rebirth is about focusing in on the core of the character and their respective universe,” says writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. “It brings back what has been lost: the legacy of the characters, the love and the hope of the DCU!”
    Retailers: THIS TITLE WILL NOT BE LISTED ON FOC. ALL ORDERS MUST BE FINALIZED BY APRIL 28.
    One-shot • On sale MAY 25 • 80 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

    3. The best line of solicit text

    I love reading solicits, but they can be frustrating at times with their vagueness, or their inability to really sell a book, which is literally their only job. But “Superman: Rebirth” #1 has the single best line of solicit text this month: ” Now it’s Clark’s turn to be Pa Kent and teach his son what it means to be super.”

    The New 52 killed Pa Kent off panel before it even began, and so many new readers have missed out on just what a formative figure Pa Kent was in Superman’s life (especially if your only exposure to him was the “it is never OK to help people” speeches that Kevin Costner gives him in Zack Snyder films). Making Superman the ‘new’ Pa Kent is brilliant and moving. I cannot wait for this book.

    SUPERMAN: REBIRTH #1
    Written by PETER J. TOMASI
    Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
    Cover by DOUG MAHNKE
    Variant cover by ANDY PARK

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
    The world needs a Man of Steel, but can Superman protect the world while raising a super-son with his wife, Lois Lane?
    IT BEGINS: Now it’s Clark’s turn to be Pa Kent and teach his son what it means to be super, but who is hunting Superman’s son—and why?
    One-shot • On sale JUNE 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

    2. Oh, the Wonder of it all

    Greg Rucka coming back to DC was one of 2016’s more pleasant surprises thus far. Having him be the only writer to truly give a compelling reason for double shipping (two different stories by two different artists, split between odd issues and even issues) makes his “Wonder Woman” truly one of the must-read books of the entire line. The fact that the artists are Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott make it even more of a need to read.

    PS – for more of the inside skinny on how/why this is happening, check out Rucka’s Tumblr.

    WONDER WOMAN #1
    Written by GREG RUCKA
    Art and cover by LIAM SHARP
    Variant cover by FRANK CHO

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
    “THE LIES” Chapter One
    Why has the Lasso of Truth stopped working for the Amazon Princess? Start down the rabbit hole as dark secrets from Wonder Woman’s past unravel her present!
    THEY SAID IT: “Drawing Wonder Woman isn’t just drawing a comic, it’s drawing an icon—the most famous and recognizable female superhero in the world,” exclaims artist Liam Sharp. “To get to draw her in her 75th year, with a new storyline scribed by no less than Greg Rucka, makes this without a doubt the most important drawing gig of my 30 years in comics.”
    On sale JUNE 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

    1. Dem Bat books

    Tom King, Mikel Janin, and David Finch on “Batman” is 2/3 of a great idea. Finch’s work is well suited to the Bat, but Janin and King had something really special going on over at “Grayson,” and I don’t see Finch’s aesthetic necessarily fitting King’s writing as well. However, Finch’s cover to #1, as seen above, puts some interesting pieces on the table. It appears that both Jim Gordon and Duke will be major players in the book, which is a good thing. It also appears that there are ‘new’ heroes, alluded to in the solicit, who want to both be heroes and stop Batman. This could be a fun path to go down, even with Janin sitting out the first arc (or so it seems).

    Continued below

    But here’s the real crown jewel of the Bat-books – a Bat-family team up. Look at the cast of characters: Batman, Red Robin, Batwoman, Spoiler, Orphan (Cassandra Cain’s new codename), and Clayface. That’s an interesting lineup for sure, and with Batwoman being the co-lead in the book, it should be different than just about anything else we’ve seen from these characters in quite some time.

    My one concern is that, at times, James Tynion’s writing can be a little on the nose (see today’s issue of “Batman and Robin Eternal”), and I hope that the book is more subtle and nuanced than some of his other team up work. I’m genuinely excited for this book though, and want to believe that it will be as great as I think it can be.

    BATMAN #1
    Written by TOM KING
    Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and MATT BANNING
    Variant cover by TIM SALE

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
    “I AM GOTHAM” Chapter One
    No one has ever stopped the Caped Crusader. Not The Joker. Not Two-Face. Not even the entire Justice League. But how does Batman confront a new hero who wants to save the city from the Dark Knight?
    CAN’T MISS: Superstar artist David Finch returns to the Dark Knight alongside writer Tom King for this five-part storyline.
    On sale JUNE 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

    DETECTIVE COMICS #934
    Written by JAMES TYNION IV
    Art and cover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
    Variant cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE

    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
    “RISE OF THE BATMEN” Chapter One
    An unknown predator begins outdoing Batman, taking down dangerous threats with military precision. It’s up to the Dark Knight and series costar Batwoman to rally and train the young heroes of Gotham City to end this mysterious threat!
    WHAT NOW: Batman and Batwoman begin training Spoiler, Red Robin and Cassandra Cain, but is the villainous Clayface ready for redemption?
    On sale JUNE 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

    For the full solicits, check out Comic Book Resources.


    //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).

    EMAIL | ARTICLES



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