August’s DC solicitations are pretty vague, which leads many, myself included, to think that many of these series don’t have long for this world. Let’s dig in, and see what DC is saying about their August offerings.
This month, there is only one official* cancellation, and that is “Justice League International.” Let’s pour one out for our homie. (Pause for sufficient pouring)
This is an odd cancellation from a financial standpoint, as the book was a routinely middle of the pack book, sales-wise. However, from a creative standpoint, this was a pretty clear cut snooze. Despite the buzz coming off of the fantastic “Justice League: Generation Lost,” this book has been everything that book wasn’t: impersonal, stuffy, and dull.
One can only assume that September will bring “Booster Gold” #1, especially with the rumored SyFy Channel show being discussed last month at the SyFy upfronts, but what of the other characters? Guy Gardner, Batwing and Batman can crawl back to their respective books without too much trouble, but Fire, Ice, OMAC, Vixen, Godiva, and August General in Iron seem like odd choices to move over to either of the remaining JL books.
At the end of Justice League #8, Green Arrow was teased to be heading up a “new” Justice League — could he pick up some spare parts from the JLI yard sale?
The Ends of Things?
The reason I said that there was only one official cancellation this month was because a shocking number of books seem to have finality written all over them. Now some, like “Aquaman” or ”Nightwing,” seem to just be arcs coming to a close, because those books are critical and commercial successes. However, look at this motley crew of books that tease “final,” “finale” or some variation on “conclusion” in their solicits: “Captain Atom,” “Batman and Robin,” “Catwoman,” “Red Lanterns,” “Green Lantern Corps,” “Green Lantern: New Guardians,” “Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Grifter,” “Resurrection Man,” “Voodoo,” “Deathstroke,” “All Star Western,” and “Blue Beetle.” PLUS, we get extraordinarily vague teases for “Green Arrow,” “the Savage Hawkman,” “Legion Lost,” “Justice League Dark,” and “Suicide Squad.”
Now, do I really think that DC is going to shitcan 18 titles? No, I certainly don’t. However, I could believe that DC has a number of new series in the pipeline, and they weren’t quite ready as of the writing of the August solicits, so DC held off announcing which six or eight might be dropped.
But mark my words, I doubt those 18 books, give or take “Stormwatch” or “Red Hood and the Outlaws” will see more than 8 or 9 still standing at this point next year. Whether or not DC should be applauded for being shrewd or lambasted for being impatient remains to be seen.
My guess? September we see new series for “Booster Gold” (written by Dan Jurgens), “Martian Manhunter” (written by Peter Tomasi), a third Justice League title, a WildCATS book, another book taking place on Earth 2, and “Robins” (written by Jeff Lemire), with “Batman and Robin,” “Grifter,” “Voodoo,” “Resurrection Man,” “Blue Beetle” and “Catwoman” getting the boot. Who wants to bet me a Coke?
‘Before Watchmen’ soldiers on this month, with third issues of the various six-issue series, and the first issues of the two four-issue series, “Rorschach” and “Dr. Manhattan.” So far, every creative team is intact, but the two people were really skeptical of, Adam Hughes on “Dr. Manhattan” and Lee Bermejo on “Rorschach,” are only solicited through issue #1, so there is plenty of time for them to get behind.
This month, the Bat family has a number of interesting guests. Nightwing and the JLI guest in “Batwing,” “Batgirl” has the two female Bats interacting, Wonder Woman drops in on “Batwoman”, and Robin pops up in “Nightwing.” Elsewhere, “Batman #12” plants seeds for the next major event, and JH Williams is back on art for “Batwoman.” The Bat books are pretty easy to separate into quality (both female Bat books, “Batman,” “Batwing,” “Batman, Inc” and “Nightwing”) and not (the rest).Continued below
Over on “Earth 2,” we get more classic Justice Society characters popping up, with Hawkgirl and Atom Smasher showing up this month. Having still only read one issue of this series, it is hard to speculate too much, but with confidence I can say that this cover by Ivan Reis is pretty sweet. Do we predict a backlash against an African-American Kendra Saunders?
Tom DeFalco Takes Over “Superboy”
With the rumored move over to “Superman” for Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco takes over “Superboy,” after scripting some “Teen Titans” off of Lobdell’s plots. DeFalco is currently writing “Legion Lost, “being enjoyed by no one I know, but his work on “Teen Titans” (including the annual) has been solid enough to stick around this title for a few more months.
Annual Month #2
Speaking of annuals, ”Justice League International,” “Detective Comics,” “the Flash,” “Superman,” and “Green Lantern” all have annuals coming out this month. Actually, DC may be onto something here, using months with a fifth Wednesday to fill that extra shipping day with annuals. Pretty clever, DC…
The JLI annual is an interesting choice, as the book is wrapping up just a few weeks earlier, but this seems to tie into “Blue Beetle,” the main JL title, the cancelled “O.M.A.C.” and, obviously, “JLI.”
That said, only “the Flash” and “Green Lantern” annuals are locks to come home with me. First of all, that GL cover is totes sweet, and the Flash has been consistently great. The Superman annual teases a new Green Lantern — could this be the one we spotted in the Free Comic Book Day “New 52” comic? Also, is the GL cover supposed to be referencing ‘the Death of Superman.’ Are we going to see a GL die (again)?
Both “Swamp Thing” and “Animal Man” #12 are labeled “Prelude to Rot World,” and so we can assume that the year-long event is starting here. I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. This crossover has the potential to really push these books over the top, and I hope that is the case.
Digital First Round Up
According to this solicits, “National Comics” is now a digital first title. Who knew? Now the world’s 6 Looker fans can get this book even earlier! “Smallville Season 11” is ending its first arc at #4, and “Batman Beyond Unlimited” #7 tackles the Joker Army, Apokolips, and the City of Tomorrow for Batman, Justice League, and Superman, respectively.
DC has tried to get people to care about the Freedom Fighters a bunch of times now, for reasons I’m not entirely certain of. That said, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are pretty hard to argue against at this point, and I’m all for miniseries bringing old characters back/introducing new ones. Although, couldn’t this have just been an arc in DC Universe Presents?
Sweet Tooth Winds Down
The final arc of “Sweet Tooth” begins here, and while I am sad to be losing the book, I am very excited to see what Jeff Lemire has in store for the home stretch.
You guys should know that “iZombie” is ending, in case Chris Roberson hasn’t personally knocked on your door to talk to you about how shitty DC is. The book was a fun one, and Mike Allred monthly has been a wonderful thing to behold. See you over at Daredevil, Mike!