Thursday, January 12, 2012

DC Comics: Six Books Out, Six Books In - My Thoughts

SOURCE: Six DC Comics Canceled But Six New Titles Are Planned To Keep The Magic 52 Number

Word is that the characters from the canceled series will be popping up in other titles, so not all is lost. Let's count them down.


Blackhawks - Unsurprising. The artwork was lackluster and the concept was basically G.I. Joe for adults. Problem is, most of the fans of that sort of book were buying the much more adult official G.I. Joe comic series.

Mister Terrific - This one hits me hard. I honestly enjoyed this series, though apparently I was one of the few who did. I think the series was just starting to find it's footing and needed a little more time to find an audience. Maybe the multi-dimensional storyline will get resolved in time for Michael Holt to find a place in the new Earth 2 title? We can only hope.

OMAC - Another good series aimed at a limited niche. I guess there weren't enough Jack Kirby fans willing to shell out three clams a month for a tribute book.

Men At War - Again, it was a good series for what it was. But there wasn't enough appeal to make it sell to the majority of comic readers who don't typically like war comics.

Static Shock- Unfortunate, but predictable. John Rozum leaving the book early on worried many long-time Milestone fans and Scott McDaniel - while a skilled artist - is relatively untested as a writer. Throw in the fact that the book opened mid-stream, with plot threads from previous Static comics going unexplained (such as why Virgil's older sister now had a clone) despite the series being meant to be a jumping on point for new readers, and it's not hard to see why this one failed to find an audience.

Hawk And Dove - Perhaps the least surprising cancelation of all, given poor reviews and the widespread hatred of Rob Liefeld among the comic-reading mainstream. The one thing this book had going for it was Sterling Gates' scripts. When Gates jumped ship, it was just a matter of time.


BATMAN INCORPORATED – Writer: Grant Morrison. Artist: Chris Burnham.

The acclaimed ongoing writer of ACTION COMICS, Grant Morrison, presents a fresh take on BATMAN INCORPORATED, in which the Batman brand is franchised globally in preparation for a major international threat.

Despite generally enjoying Morrison's work, I'm not a big fan of the Batman Inc. concept. And do we really need another Batman book at this point? Still, this has been in the works for a while and I'm sure it will sell well.

EARTH 2 – Writer: James Robinson. Artist: Nicola Scott.

The greatest heroes on a parallel Earth, the Justice Society combats threats that will set them on a collision course with other worlds.

This series has also been in the planning stages for a while and I've been looking forward to it for several reasons. My fondness of Robinson's work is well-known but I also loved Nicola Scott's work on Birds of Prey and Secret Six. Putting Robinson in charge of the Earth 2/Golden Age heroes makes perfect sense given his track record with them and Scott's style will be well suited to such a title. A definite must see once it comes out.

WORLDS’ FINEST – Writer: Paul Levitz. Artists: George Perez and Kevin Maguire.

Stranded on our world from a parallel reality, Huntress and Power Girl struggle to find their way back to Earth 2. Perez and Maguire will be the artists on alternating story arcs.

Levitz work is hit and miss with me. His Legion work is largely inaccesible to me but I have enjoyed his Huntress mini-series. Despite this, having either Perez or Maguire on art duties would tip the scales in favor of me giving this book a shot. Having both of them clinched it. Can't wait to see this one.

DIAL H – Writer: China Miéville. Artist: Mateus Santoluoco.

The first ongoing series from acclaimed novelist China Miéville, this is a bold new take on a cult classic concept about the psychological effects on an everyman who accidentally gains powers to become a hero.

Unless this gets particularly rave reviews, I'll probably pass on this one personally. I've never been a big fan of the H-Dial concept. I'm not familiar with Miéville's work. And Mateus Santoluoco's artwork looks far too dark and dirty for my tastes though well-suited toward a psychological tale.

G.I. COMBAT – Writer: J.T. Krul. Artist: Ariel Olivetti.

Featuring the return of a classic DC Comics series, THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT, along with rotating back-up stories and creative teams – including THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER, with writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Dan Panosian; and THE HAUNTED TANK, with writer John Arcudi and artist Scott Kolins.

Cancelling one war book to publish another? Even with Gray and Palmiotti doing a back-up, I'm having a hard time working up an interest.

THE RAVAGERS – Writer: Howard Mackie. Artist: Ian Churchill.

Spinning off from TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY, this series finds four superpowered teens on the run and fighting against the organization that wants to turn them into supervillains.

Hey kids! Is Scott Lobdell's Teen Titans not angsty enough for your liking? Have we got a book for you!

Ignoring that the concept sounds like a blatant rip-off of Marvel's Runaways, there's still the matter of the creative team. Howard Mackie, lest we forget, was the writer of most of the Spider-Man Clone Saga. Ian Churchill is the poor man's Michael Turner, who was responsible for putting Supergirl into a stripper version of her own costume back when Jeph Loeb was writing her book.

Three words. DO. NOT. WANT.

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