Soliciting DC Comics: September 2012

It’s common practice in the comic book industry for companies to release solicits for their comic books three months in advance. This is done so that retailers can have plenty of time to plan their purchases for that month and to alert them to any major releases that need special attention. While solicitations are intended to be a tool for retailers, they also give fans a look at what’s coming up in their favorite books. Starting this month I’ll be going over solicitations from major comic companies as they are released and talking about what books look interesting to me. I was inspired to do this by similar articles at the comic site multiversity.com. Today DC Comics released their solicits for the month of September and with them comes news of zero issues, new series, and some cancellations. DC’s full solicitation list can be found here.

R.I.P.

Last week I gave my opinion on the four new series the DC recently announced would make up the “Third Wave” of New 52 titles. DC’s current policy of publishing only 52 core DC ongoing monthly books at one time means that for every new title released, one must be cancelled. At the time of the third wave announcement only one book had been pegged for cancellation, Justice League International. With September’s solicitations, we have confirmation on the other three books that are buying the farm; Captain Atom, Resurrection Man, and Voodoo. While JLI was cancelled at #12 (with an annual issue to be released that same month), the other three titles will all receive #0 issues before they meet their demise. Dan Didio has said that while it is necessary for some books to be cancelled it is DC intention that the characters featured in the books will not fade into the ether. Characters from the last batch of cancellations have seen new life in other titles and many will be receiving #0 stories in DC Universe Presents #0, a sort of “Cancelled Comics Cavalcade” for a new generation.

March on Trinity War

To this point Geoff Johns and Gary Frank have reintroduced Billy Batson (A.K.A. Captain Marvel Shazam) in short 8-page chapters in the back of Justice League. However, Shazam takes over the Justice League book completely in #0, where it seems Johns intends to wrap up Billy’s origin story with some major implications to future story lines. Also, it looks like we’re going to get even more info on the mysterious Pandora. Between this and the new Phantom Stranger book it seems DC is gearing up for the Trinity War in a big way.

The Third Army

Geoff Johns just keeps doing that thing he does. Even while setting the stage for the New 52’s first line wide crossover, he is also setting up the GL books for their first crossover post-New 52. September’s GL books will act as prologues for the crossover. Green Lantern #0 especially will cover a lot of ground, introducing the origin of the mysterious new GL first seen in The New 52 FCBD issue. Not exactly sure why he’s toting that handgun considering he’s wearing one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, but I’m sure there’s a decent reason. It also appears that he’s of Arab decent, and the internet buzz on that tattoo says it translates as some variation of courage, bravery, or fearlessness. This brings the human GL count to 5. Considering that 4 was already a bit much, I fully expect Johns to do some house cleaning. Johns Stewart isn’t mention in any of September’s books, could he be biting the bullet in GLC #12?

Bridging the Bat

At the launch of the New 52, only two properties emerged almost completely unscathed, Green Lantern and Batman. While this wasn’t a big problem for GL, Batman fans were left to wonder how all those years of Batman continuity, including at least 4 different Robins, were to be condensed into a 5-10 year time span. Fans were also left to wondering why Dick left the Batman persona to return to being Nightwing, how Bruce when from being the Batman we saw in Batman Inc., to the one we saw in Snyder’s Batman, how Batgirl got the use of her legs back, and many other questions. Well, it looks like DC will be using Zero Month to fill in on the little continuity wholes left by the New 52 in the Batman family of books. Some stuff to look out for: The New 52 take on Batman Inc’s origins in Batman Incorporated (co-written by Chris Burnham?), the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne in Batman: The Dark Knight, the origins of of Dick Grayson and Tim Drake in Nightwing and Teen Titans, respectively, and the resurrection of Jason Todd in Red Hood and the Outlaws. I expect there to be some pretty interesting reactions to these issues.

Scott Lobdell Conquers DC, and Rob Liefeld is Doing Well, Thank You Very Much.

Many have questioned the high profile roles Scott Lobdell and Rob Liefeld have taken within DC since the relaunch. Scott Lobdell was given writing chores on Superboy, Teen Titans, and Red Hood, tying with Geoff Johns for most titles written by a single writer. Well, if that was one small step for Lobdell, then this September he will make his giant leap as he takes over as writer of Superman. Lobdell will also bring over Red Hood artist Kenneth Rocafort. The result is sure to be polarizing. Liefeld, also writing and drawing three books, dodges the cancellation bullet on all three of his under-performing titles, Hawkman, Grifter, and Deathstroke. I for one haven’t read any recent titles by either writer, but I’ve heard mixed things about both with some books being decent (Red Hood and Hawkman) to other being downright deplorable (Deathstroke and Superboy). How much longer until the two team up on their own Justice League book? Or will the joke be on us when it is announced that they are the creative team for Trinity War? The thing is, I’m kind of interested in Lobdell’s take on Superman, at least based on this interview.

Team 7, Past and Present

Team 7, one of the newly announced third wave titles, tells the story of a government black ops team assembled to counteract the rise of super-powered individuals. Set in the past, the team features many DC characters with books of their own in the present. It seems that while Team 7 is showing us what happened 5 years ago, Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad, and Deathstroke will show the team’s history and dowfall. We get the beginning, middle, and end all in one month, very convenient for an on the fence reader if you ask me.

And that’s all I have for today. Check back in the coming weeks and I’ll go over Marvel and Image’s solicits as well.

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