June was rumored to be a huge month for DC, with 5-6 new series being announced and, well, it isn’t. One new book, a few new creative teams, and that’s about it.
You can check out the full solicits at Comic Book Resources.
10. Superboy is Back?
Written by AARON KUDER
Illustrated by JORGE JIMEMEZ
Cover by KARL KERSCHL
The return of the son of Superman to the present day means an all-new Superboy for The New 52! Jon Lane Kent takes off for a N.O.W.H.E.R.E. lab and finds Ravagers – and the Superboy clone body captured by Harvest! What comes next changes Jon’s life forever!
Superboy is to the New 52 what Hawkman was to the post-Crisis/pre-Zero Hour time period. In two plus years, Superboy has undergone a ton of changes, none of which are particularly good or easy to explain. Aaron Kuder seems to have been brought in to make Superboy a more cohesive character, and hopefully, he can achieve that goal. The Lobdelization of the character has been severe, and quite harmful to what was once a beloved character.
9. Eternal Goes Global
BATMAN ETERNAL #9
Written by SCOTT SNYDER, JAMES TYNION IV, RAY FAWKES, JOHN LAYMAN and TIM SEELEY
Illustrated by GUILLEM MARCH
As the weekly Batman epic continues, the questions continue to mount. In this issue, find out why Batman is in Hong Kong teaming up with Mr. Unknown!
Aside from having Bat-verse mainstays like Talon and Red Robin as part of the proceedings, it is nice to see some ancillary Bat-characters being brought in, too. Mr. Unknown is the first member of Batman Inc to show up since that series ended, and it is about time that Morrison’s work has been brought back into the forefront. Whether or not this series will delve deep into the Batman, Incorporated idea or not, I like the series being a place for characters without a book of their own, and a place to bring some cohesion to a sprawling line of books that, theoretically, take place in the same city.
8. That Sorrentino Cover
RED LANTERNS #32
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Illustrated by J. CALAFIORE
Cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
Guy Gardner has a difficult decision to make: deciding if the newest Red Lantern, Supergirl, is fit for battle…especially when that battle is against Atrocitus himself! The war between the two factions of Red Lanterns is on, and there will be blood!
That’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it? One of my problems with “Red Lanterns” as a book is that it doesn’t often convey the rage the tile implies very well. I was really hoping that the book would feel more like this cover looks – brutal, at times disconcerting and disoriented – I wanted a view inside the mindset of a Red Lantern. Instead, we got a very dull book with way more talking and way less atrocities (pun intended).
7. So Long, Larfleeze
Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DeMATTEIS
Illustrated by SCOTT KOLINS
Cover by TYLER KIRKHAM
With “help” from the Wanderer and G’nort, Larfleeze sets out to destroy the Council of Ten!
I’d say “we barely knew thee,” but I think we all knew what we were getting out of this book, and what we were getting didn’t live up the standards that needed to exist for this book to be a hit.
Much like “Red Lanterns,” if this book really embraced the solipsistic insanity that is Larfleeze, it could have been a really fun and weird book. But DC has decided that books like that don’t make a ton of sense for their bottom line. Instead, a lame collection of decent comics that they can sell to folks after reading “Agent Orange” made more sense. Here you go!
6. Enter the Dark?
SWAMP THING #32
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Illustrated by JESUS SAIZ
Swamp Thing versus Aquaman! See the other side of the battle that exploded between these two forces of nature last month in AQUAMAN #31! Is Swamp Thing guilty of the crimes Aquaman is accusing him of?
So, in early February, DC unleashed this:
And since then, almost nothing has been mentioned about the Dark line at all. At least nothing good: Mikel Janin has been replaced on “Justice League Dark,” and that’s about it. But, the above cover to “Swamp Thing” shows ol’ Mr. Green Genes with Aquaman’s trident, the same thing as on the teaser. So, maybe, DC has an actual plan for these books?
5. The Month of Kevin Smith
BATMAN ‘66 MEETS GREEN HORNET #1
Written by KEVIN SMITH and RALPH GARMAN
Illustrated by TY TEMPLETON
Cover by ALEX ROSS
In 1967, television history was made when two masked crime fighters met in a historic crossover. Now, superstar filmmaker Kevin Smith and actor/comedian Ralph Garman join forces with artist Ty Templeton (BATMAN ’66) to bring these two iconic characters and their famous partners together again. Set in the continuity of that earlier team-up, Batman, The Green Hornet, Robin and Kato must go up against a very different General (formerly Colonel) Gumm. What crime could be so deadly as to force these rivals to put aside their differences and join forces again? And what surprise does Gumm have up his sticky sleeve?
Co-published with Dynamite Entertainment.
GREEN ARROW BY KEVIN SMITH DELUXE EDITION HC
Written by KEVIN SMITH
Illustrated by PHIL HESTER and ANDE PARKS
Cover by MATT WAGNER
Kevin Smith’s acclaimed run on GREEN ARROW is collected in a Deluxe Edition hardcover. In these tales from issues #1-15, Green Arrow is back from the dead, leading the Dark Knight to investigate his mysterious return, while a silent killer targets costumed vigilantes…
This is a slow month, so I thought I would take some time to talk about how this month sees the solicitation of two Kevin Smith projects, one new and one old. The Batman/Hornet crossover makes sense, as Smith once wrote a screenplay for a Green Hornet movie half a decade before Seth Rogen made his version, and has written Batman before. Smith is a polarizing figure in comics, but most people can agree that some of his finest work came on “Green Arrow,” of which his arc has a deluxe hardcover being released as well.
Ollie’s rebirth was the first of the DC resurrections that happened around this time and, at the time, was a well respected, successful comic. I have not read it since, and may use this opportunity to do so, but reading the Wikipedia entry on it reminds me of some less than stellar moments in it as well.
4. Brightest Day Omnibus/Absolute Haunted Night
BRIGHTEST DAY OMNIBUS HC
Written by GEOFF JOHNS and PETER J. TOMASI
Illustrated by IVAN REIS, PATRICK GLEASON, ARDIAN SYAF, SCOTT CLARK, JOE PRADO and others
In this follow-up to BLACKEST NIGHT, twelve heroes and villains were resurrected by a white light expelled deep within the center of the earth. Now, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Deadman, Jade, Osiris, Hawk, Captain Boomerang and Zoom must discover the mysterious reason behind their return and uncover the secret that binds them all in this massive hardcover collecting issues #0-24 of the hit series!
ABSOLUTE BATMAN: HAUNTED KNIGHT HC
Written by JEPH LOEB
Illustrated by TIM SALE
In this new Absolute edition by the team of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale, Batman faces off against his most demented and wicked foes. Taking place on the most evil of holidays, Halloween, the Dark Knight confronts his deepest fears as he tries to stop the madness and horror created by Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Poison Ivy and The Joker. This slipcased hardcover collects BATMAN: MADNESS #1, BATMAN: GHOSTS #1, BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL #1 and CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME #1-6!
In the department of weird releases, there are these two high-priced special editions. Let’s talk “Brightest Day” first. Sure, it had its moments, but it is widely regarded as a less than successful series. Add to that the fact that not four months after its conclusion, just about every revelation that came as a part of the series was totally wiped out by “Flashpoint,” and it seems like a weird series to give the Omnibus treatment.Continued below
Weirder still is an Absolute Edition of “Haunted Knight” – especially weird because the three issue collection was expanded to nine issues by adding “Catwoman: When In Rome” to it. I get the fact that that was also written by Loeb and Sale, but it seems like a huge stretch to call that thematically linked. If anything, call this collection “Absolute Loeb and Sale in Gotham.” I love Sale as much as the next guy, but this seems like a weird cash grab by DC.
3. JR Jr Joins “Superman”
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Illustrated by JOHN ROMITA, JR. and KLAUS JANSON
“THE MAN OF TOMORROW” chapter 1! A NEW ERA for SUPERMAN begins as Geoff Johns takes the reigns – and he’s joined by the legendary super-talent of John Romita, Jr. in his first-ever work for DC Comics as they introduce Ulysses, the Man of Tomorrow, into the Man of Steel’s life. This strange visitor shares many of Kal-El’s experiences, including having been rocketed from a world with no future. Prepare yourself for a run full of new heroes, new villains and new mysteries! Plus, Perry White offers Clark a chance to return to The Daily Planet!
We all knew this was coming, but it is nice to see a competent creative team take over “Superman” after nearly 3 years of incompetence. It appears that Johns and Romita want to bring Clark back to his roots a little, with giving him a job at the Daily Planet in their first issue on the series. I can say this with confidence: it can’t be as bad as what preceded it.
2. Aw Yeah!
TINY TITANS: RETURN TO THE TREEHOUSE #1
Written by ART BALTAZAR and FRANCO
Illustrated by ART BALTAZAR
The Eisner Award-winning series is back for an all-new six-issue miniseries! Superboy and Supergirl return to the treehouse to discover…IT’S MISSING! Or is it just…really small? Who could have done such a thing?! Find out as all your favorite Tiny Titans search for answers!
Two words: aw yeah.
1. Infinity Man and the Forever People
INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE #1
Written by DAN DIDIO and KEITH GIFFEN
Illustrated by KEITH GIFFEN and SCOTT KOBLISH
Four of the best students from New Genesis arrive on Earth to study and aid in the advancement of humanity – but they soon discover a darker purpose to their mission: a threat so great that it may bring the multiverse itself to its knees! The only thing that stands between them and total destruction is the mysterious entity known as the Infinity Man!
Don’t miss the start of this new series by Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen, the team that brought you the over-the-top adventures of O.M.A.C.!
I am a man of two minds about this book – on one hand, Dan DiDio doesn’t have a great track record of making readable comics. On the other, he and Giffen did a fantastic job on “O.M.A.C.,” as they clearly get the zany Kirby characters. Therefore, I am cautiously optimistic about this book, but fear that it will be a lot of jumbled New 52 logic mixed with homages to the wrong parts of ’70s comics.
I also think this will be cancelled within 12 issues. Back in the day, this would have been a miniseries and would have been a triumph. But now, DC doesn’t do minis – they just announce them as ongoings and play sad when they are cancelled. I’m onto you, DC.