Tag Archives: Justice League

Rumor Contol: R. B. Silva On A New Justice League Book

Over the weekend, sleuth-site Bleeding Cool took note of some interesting photos on artist R. B. Silva’s Instagram. The artist posted several pictures of artwork for what seems like a new Justice League team. Several photos feature the hashtag #justiceleagueinternational, but with the one exception the team depicted is very American. Check out some of the photos and a bit of speculation after the jump. Continue reading

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Soliciting DC Comics: March 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve done this, having been very busy with work and my new gig doing reviews at Multiversity Comics (look for them weekly!). However, after sifting through solicitations for March, there’s a lot worth talking about and a lot to get excited for.

He Comes in Peace!

JLA_2

Beginning in March, Justice League of America will feature a Martian Manhunter back-up feature penned by Matt Kindt with art by Scott Clark. DC seem ready to give the man from Mars a major push after his lackluster presence in the New 52 Stormwatch. Kindt is a great writer that is slowly rising through the  ranks at DC, and this will be his highest profile gig yet. I can’t wait to see where he takes Martian Manhunter, a character that has never been handled well in the time I’ve read comics. Here’s hoping he finally gets the recognition he deserves.

From the Ashes

Batman_18_CVR_fnl

Much like the aftermath of ‘The Court of Owls’ storyline, the issue following ‘Death of the Family’ sees guest artists and an appearance by mysterious Snyder creation Harper Row. It doesn’t look like things are well for the Bat after the Joker is through with him, but just how bad is anyone’s guess (maybe Didio finally gets to kill Nightwing). In further interesting back-up news, issue #18 will feature art by longtime Bendis collaborator and Marvel mainstay, Alex Maleev. The main story features art by Andy Kubert, a prominent artist in Morrison’s Bat-saga. This issue looks like it will be a great post ‘Death of the Family’ read.

See the Rainbow, Taste the Rainbow!

GL18_CVR

Green Lantern #18 continues the ‘Wrath of the First Lantern’ arc, which we next to nothing about at this point. However, if the cover is any indication, we’ll see some major involvement from Hal Jordan and Sinestro, who have recently taken a back seat to Simon Baz. Oh, while we’re on it, how about that amazing Gary Frank cover. Soooooooo many colors + zombies. I’ll take it in poster size.

The Return of the King

CONST_Cv1_var

Longtime fans of Vertigo’s “Hellblazer” are pretty bummed about the book’s cancellation and subsequent replacement by the New 52’s “Constantine” #1, but I’m cautiously optimistic. Robert Vendetti is doing great work on Valiant’s “X-O Manowar” and Renato Guedes has recently really come into his own as an artist. “Justice League Dark” hasn’t really been by thing, so I hope this representation of the best conman/magician in comics is up to snuff.

Things Just Got Real

PHSTR_Cv6

In an incredible turn of events, “Phantom Stranger” could take a major incredible upswing in quality come March. Not only is legendary writer J. M. Dematteis coming on to co-write the series with Dan Didio, but the stellar Gene Ha will be handling the art for the issue. Nothing against the book’s regular creative team, but this line-up has me extremely excited. The issue features the debut of Lady Luck, a new character teased by Geoff Johns way back before the New 52 began, who will likely play a big role in the upcoming ‘Trinity War.’

All Good Things…

ST_Cv18ANMAN_Cv18_R1In somewhat of a surprise, Scott Snyder and Yannick Paquette will be leaving “Swamp Thing” after issue #18, which acts as both an epilogue for ‘Rotworld’ and a coda for the duo’s year and half of stories. While it’s sad to see them go (I was really interested to see where Snyder would take the character post-‘Rotworld’) rumor has it that DC has snatched up a major new talent to take over the book, so there’s hope for the series. Jeff Lemire, will continue with “Animal Man,” steering Buddy into new territory. After being so closely tied to “Swamp Thing” for 18 issues, it will be nice for Lemire to get to do something different with the character. Also, how about that Jae Lee cover? Fantastic right? What would it take to get that guy on interiors A.S.A.P.?

Vertigo Still Going Strong

TWARP_Cv1_cmyk

While some are predicting the impending doom of DC’s mature reader’s imprint, I’d argue the imprint is still produces plenty of quality material. Case in point, March’s “Time Warp” continues the series of one-off genre anthologies that began with last year’s “Strange Adventures.” The oversized issue will feature stories from a who’s who of great artists including Matt Kindt, Gail Simone, and Damon Lindelof and such artists as Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque. While these anthology issues are a little on the pricy side, the amount of content is definitely worth it. There aren’t enough great anthology books out there these days, so if you enjoy them, or you just want to support Vertigo and the creators involved, be sure to check this issue out.

Next Year’s Christmas List Starts Early

After budgeting for a month’s worth of floppy comics, I rarely have funds left over for trade paperbacks/graphic novels. Because of this, I usually just relegate them to an Amazon wishlist and hope that someone is kind enough to gift them to me. Three collected editions that are definitely worth checking out next year are Legion Worlds, The Authority Vol. 1, and Batman Noir. Legion Worlds is the sequel/companion series to Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Legion Lost series. These writers are known for their great cosmic work, so those looking for a great Legion story should look no further. Also, how can you pass on art by artists like Oliver Coipel, Darwyn Cooke, and Steve Dillon? The Authority Vol. 1 will collect the complete 12 issue run of Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s groundbreaking Authority run. These are the characters you’ll find in the New 52’s Stormwatch, only way more awesome.  I already have the trades, but this is extremely tempting nonetheless. If you haven’t read this yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Finally, Batman Noir is a deluxe hardcover featuring Batman stories by the 100 Bullets team of Brian Azzarello. I’ve never read the ‘Broken City’ arc, but the ‘Flashpoint’ tie-in series and the ‘Wednesday Comics’ arc are worth the price of admission alone. A great pick for any Bat-fan in your life.

And that’s what I’m looking forward to from DC in March 2013. Check back later when I’ll go over Marvel’s solicits, and in the New Year when I do my obligatory best of 2012 list!

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First Art from JLA Spin-Off Books

MTV Geek has been slowly leaking interviews with the creative teams of Green Arrow, Vibe, and Katana, as well as the first cover images. Overall, I’m a lot more excited than I was after the initial announcements. Head over to geek-news.mtv.com to check out the interviews.

Green Arrow by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino

It honestly doesn’t get much better than this. Jeff Lemire is one of the best writers in the industry and is known for crafting emotionally driven stories with down to earth characters. Who better to tap to write DC’s Emerald Archer? Add in Andrea Sorrentino, whose work on I, Vampire was some of the best art in The New 52. His dark and gritty art style is perfect for a street level hero. I’ve always though Green Arrow was a really great and underutilized character since my first introduction to him in Dark Knight Returns. I’m absolutely loving Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye series at Marvel, but I’m a DC guy at the end of the day. Here’s hoping Lemire and Sorrentino can make Green Arrow the première archer in comics.

Vibe by Andrew Kreisberg and Pete Woods

Oh, what’s that? They’re tying Vibe’s origin into the Darkseid invasion from the first Justice League arc. And Geoff Johns is co-plotting the first issue? And David Finch drew the cover? Well, you got me DC, I guess I’ll check this out. I’m a sucker for D-list super hero characters, plus this seems like it will tie in very heavily to Johns’ Justice League stuff. However, it’s going to take A LOT to get me to stick around after that first issue.

Katana by Ann Nocenti and Alex Sanchez

I’ve got to admit, this series does sound pretty cool. The New 52 version of Katana has a pretty cool hook (she claims her sword devours souls, but she could just be crazy) and a book about ninjas and samurai with mystical weapons would be totally awesome. However, based on her work in the New 52 Nocenti isn’t a name that inspires that much excitement for me, and I’m completely unfamiliar with Sanchez. There’s a lot of potential here, and I would love for this to be DC’s answer to Marvel’s Iron Fist.

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The New 52 Wave 4 Brings the JLA, Spinoffs, and Creative Shakeups

With the cancellations of G.I. Combat, Legion Lost, Grifter, Frankenstein, and Blue Beetle, it was just a matter of time before the other shoe dropped and replacement books would be announced. We already knew that Keith Giffen’s new book, Threshold, would take the place of G.I. Combat and that Justice League of America by Geoff Johns and David Finch would launch in February. Today DC has announced two more books launching in February and it seems that this wave of books is clearly centered around JLA, with two members of the new team getting their own solo series. The first is Vibe, written by the creator of the Arrow TV series, Andrew Kreisberg,  and drawn by Legion Lost artist Pete Woods. The second is Katana, written by current Catwoman and Green Arrow writer Ann Nocenti and drawn by Alex Sanchez. It’s pretty surprising that Vibe and Katana are getting solo books over a character like Martian Manhunter or even Cyborg, who is the only member of the main Justice League team without a solo book. I also wonder if the Vibe and Katana books will be actual ongoing books, as it seems like it would be better to test the waters with a miniseries. In fact, launching JLA with miniseries starring Vibe, Katana, Stargirl, and Martian Manhunter would probably be a lot of fun.

DC also announced that Justice League of America will have 52 variant covers. Each variant cover will represent one of the 50 U.S. states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. Books like Walking Dead #100 and Uncanny Avengers #1 having as many as 20 incentive variant covers, and if DC was following the model of those books then 52 variants would just be absurd. However, retailers can order any amount of each cover as they want, without having to meet incentive levels, making this a truly fun and easy variant gimmick. Who won’t want to pick up their state’s variant cover?

The biggest news isn’t a new book, but a major creative team shift. DC superstar writer Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, the amazing artist of I, Vampire, will take over the book staring with issue #17. Green Arrow has fared poorly since the launch of the New 52, so this a great news for fans of the character. Here’s hoping this book will rival another book about a hero with a penchant for arrows that I and seemingly all of comic-dom is loving. Robin Hood-types are definitely in this year. DC hasn’t released any art work for the newly announced series, but Jeff Lemire tweeted this teaser image by Sorrentino:

Now, by my count their is still one book that needs to be announced to for February to get back to that magic 52 number DC has committed themselves too. With solicitations due next week I expect more announcements to be made as the week goes on. Keep checking back as more news surfaces about these books!

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Soliciting DC Comics: December 2012

Merry Christmas! Too soon? Not if you’re talking about the comic book industry. Yesterday DC rolled out previews for comics shipping this December. Oh man, do I love this time of year.

Watch the Throne

December brings artistic shifts and a major crossover between two of Geoff Johns’ books, Justice League and Aquaman. Throne of Atlantis  will see Ivan Reis, who helped launch Aquaman to critical acclaim, move over to Justice League. He will be replaced on Aquaman by the very capable Adrian Syaf. Rumor has it that after this 5-part crossover Johns will be leaving Aquaman for good. Will this event be Aquaman’s Sinestro Corps War? With talent this good I can only hope so. Oh, and Geoff? Can you please bring back the new Aqualad from Brightest Day? He was pretty cool.

It’s a Rotworld, After All

Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire’s Rotworld will hit its third chapter in December, and the awesome guest appearances just keep on coming. Issue #15 of Swamp Thing and Animal Man will feature appearances by Steel, Black Orchid, John Constantine, Beast Boy, Batman, and the inmates of Arkham Asylum. This thing hasn’t even started yet and I’m loving every second of it.

Superman R.I.P.

Issue #15 of Action Comics is set to be the penultimate issue of Grant Morrison’s run on the book, so you can bet it’s going to be pretty freaking crazy. The identity of the little man, the machinations of the Anti-Superman Army, all of it is coming to a head here. The future of the Superman franchise is a little murky after Grant’s departure, so drink ’em while you’ve got ’em.

Mandatory Check-In on the Green Lantern Books

Oh man, did you guys read the Green Lantern Annual? How about Green Lantern #0? Wasn’t that stuff awesome?! If you haven’t read them, or you did and you didn’t like them, I’m sorry about how miserable you must be all the time. In December the GL books will hit part 3 of “The Rise of the Third Army.” With that we have the Simon Baz, Earth’s new GL, meeting Guy Gardener, Kyle Rayner continuing to be the DC equivalent of the Last Airbender, Atrocitus confronting the demons of his past with some good old fisticuffs and napalm, and Guy Gardener losing it, “again” (if this means he’s going to become a Red Lantern again, I’ll be annoyed that it’s the third time in less than 2 years that it’s happened, but overjoyed because he looks so freaking cool as one). Also, I have to mention how glad I am than New Guardians has a new artist, and that Carol Ferris is completely clothed.

He Who Must Not Be Named

If you are as in to following comic industry news as I am, you might have heard about Rob Liefeld’s infamous Twitter flame-out a few weeks back. If not, or you’ve never even heard of Liefeld, let’s just leave it that way. All you need to know is he’s a cranky, somewhat unprofessional man who does not work for DC anymore. Because of that, expect the three books he was writing to get significantly better. Hawkman will now be scripted by Fabian Nicieza (though Liefeld still gets plotting credit…for now), Grifter will be taken over by Frank Tieri, the book’s co-writer, and Deathstroke will be helmed by none other than the indie sensation Justin Jordan, who is also writing the character over in Team 7. Oh, and they brought back Deathstroke’s cool new costume, the one that Rob Liefeld got rid of.

The Return of the New Gods (Nuff Said)

(Wonder Woman #15)

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The Final New 52 Power Ranking

This is it. It’s officially been one year since the launch of the New 52, which means it’s time for me to fully examine the initiative. Over the year I’ve rated each book I’ve read and compiled a top 10 list of my favorite books. I’ll be discussing the list, what I liked, and what I didn’t like. There’s a lot to be said, so let’s jump right in!

Top 10 Books

Ranking

Title

Average Score (Out of 10)

Original New 52 Ranking

1

Green Lantern

9.10

Batman

2

Swamp Thing

9.07

 I, Vampire

3

I, Vampire

9.04

 Animal Man

4

Batman

9.00

 Wonder Woman

5

Animal Man

8.80

 The Flash

6

Justice League

8.72

Green Lantern

7

Action Comics

8.52

Aquaman

8

Wonder Woman

8.45

 Green Lantern: New Guardians

9

Aquaman

8.40

 Action Comics

10

OMAC

8.26

 Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

When the New 52 launched, I read every single first issue and reviewed all of them. Of course, it was impossible to keep up that level of commitment, so after the first month I only read the books I truly enjoyed. As the months went on my list became more refined as I dropped some titles, some of which I later came back to. I began reading about 20 titles a month, with that number now closer to around 13. Of the titles in my original top 10 list, I am still following 7.

Green Lantern was the book that really got me into monthly comics. It’s the book I always look forward to the most month in and out and that has only become more true with a major upswing in quality post New 52. Unfortunately the other Green Lantern books have not fared as well.  Green Lantern: New Guardians had a sense of youthful wonder to it when it launched, but dragged on over the course of its year-long story arc. Year 2 of the title looks extremely promising with a new artist, new team mates, and a new mission for Kyle. The relaunch of Green Lantern Corps saw the return of Peter Tomasi to the title. Tomasi’s run on GLC from Sinestro Corps War through Blackest Night was absolutely spectacular. Unfortunately, Tomasi has failed to catch that same lighting, with two meandering story arcs that failed to give much of the character development the title was known for under his pen. Red Lanterns was the major newcomer to the GL family and it is also the worst book of the bunch. It’s a complete shame, as Atrocitus is a great character under creator Geoff Johns, and Peter Milligan is a very capable writer. The book is scatterbrained and decompressed to the extreme, with pitiful dialogue to boot. It’s just not an enjoyable read, as much as I wish it was. I must admit however that I enjoy Rankorr, a newly created Red Lantern from earth, and hope that he will play a greater role in the ongoing Green Lantern narrative.

Swamp Thing and Animal Man were two of the consistently best books on the stands. While Animal Man had the stronger characters and plot, Swamp Thing had better action and art. It’s really incredible the cord that Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire have struck in crafting these two titles.

I, Vampire is a book that I was extremely surprised by. It is a book that is not afraid to do extremely unconventional things with its characters and defies a lot of the tropes you would expect to find in a vampire book. Definitely the most under appreciated gem at DC right now.

Scott Snyder won my heart with his run on Detective Comics pre-New 52, and came out of the gate strong with the first few issues of Batman. However, the Court of Owls story line ran a little long in the tooth and was greatly marred by a lackluster final issue. While overall it is one of the best books at DC, my disappointment in the Court of Owls arc and the $3.99 price tag have greatly hindered my interest in Snyder’s Batman.

The New 52’s flagship title had a rocky run in its first year. The opening arc was beautiful to look at, but a little lacking in character development. The loss of Jim Lee on art in the middle of the year hurt the book a bit, but better characterization and the addition of the Shazam back up feature bolstered the quality. The final four issue arc saw the return of Jim Lee and set up some extremely intriguing plot threads for the coming year.

Let’s get it out of the way, Grant Morrison’s Action Comics is no All Star Superman. However, the book has had some great moments. The first issue of the book was fantastic, showing an everyman Superman that many have clamored for. The tw0-issue interlude featuring the Legion and art by Andy Kubert was rife with classic Morrison creativity and love for silver age ideas not commonly found in the New 52. The one-off issue featuring the President Superman of Earth 23 was the best issue of the run so far. All in all this title has had a solid run that will wrap up in the not too distant future.

Wonder Woman was a book that I had several ups and downs with. I absolutely adored the first issue (it was my 4th favorite out of 52 books), but I found following issues to be slightly confusing and haphazardly plotted. Furthermore, the addition of Tony Akins as a fill-in artist on the title really hurt the book’s overall appear. I eventually dropped the book about 8 issues in.  However, the final cliffhanger of issue 12 caught my attention, causing me to return and catch up on what I had missed, and boy am I glad I did.

Aquaman is one of the best looking books at DC, but it is not Geoff John’s best work. The opening arc with the Trench was refreshingly short and hinted at a typical Johnsian, slow burning epic. The Other story-arc, which as still yet to wrap, was decompressed to the point where I literally could not remember what had happened in the previous issue. The Others themselves have hardly been developed to the point where they can be appreciated as individual characters. This was an amazing book in the first half of the year, but the second half was not so kind.

Finally, I want to mention O.M.A.C., a book that I enjoyed very much and was sad to see canceled. I’ve said all I want to say in earlier post, so let’s just have a moment of silence for the book……

And with that, I give you my final New 52 Power Ranking. If I do continue to do power rankings they will be inclusive of all publishers. Check back this week when I’ll be posting my New 52 Year One Cheers and Jeers!

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New 52 Power Rankings: May 2012

Last month I mentioned that my top 10 list was becoming a bit stagnant with the same titles appearing over and over at similar rankings. However, with DC’s second wave and a few interesting creative changes, things got shaken up a bit in the month of May. As usual, here are my 10 favorite books from DC’s New 52 last month.

Top 10 Books

Ranking

Title

Last Month

Total Months in Top 10

1

Batman Incorporated

N/A

 2

2

Action Comics

N/A

 6

3

Animal Man

8

 8

4

Earth 2

N/A

 1

5

Green Lantern

5

 9

6

Swamp Thing

4

 8

7

Justice League

6

 8

8

Dial H N/A

 1

9

Justice League Dark

N/A

 1

10

Green Lantern: New Guardians

 N/A

 5

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Annual Extravagana!

From what I garner from the history books, there was a time where it was common for comic book companies to issue special “annual” issues in a series. These annuals would usually deviate from the normal ongoing storyline of the book, would contain a far greater number of pages than a normal issue, and would sometimes tie into other annuals to tell a bigger story. Now, I speak of annuals as old hat somewhat sarcastically. DC and Marvel have both still released annual issues of some of their series through recent years, though it has been on an inconsistent basis and with even more inconsistent quality. DC looks to be shaking that up a bit in the New 52. DC currently has 8 annual issues slated, 3 of which are to be released this month and 5 in August. It’s worth noting that May and August are months with 5 Wednesdays and that 7 of the 8 annuals are to be released on the 5th Wednesday. If this is an ongoing trend we can expect another batch of annuals in October as well.  I’m going to take a look at what we know about the currently announced annuals, because some of them look pretty darn interesting.

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FCBD The New 52 #1

Note: I started writing this post about a week ago, but then I got my tonsils taken out and kind of forgot it, sorry. Here it is now, posted as originally written although slightly dated.

This past weekend was a busy time for me. It was graduation time at my alma mater and several of my close friends graduated. My fiancée and I are less than a month away from our wedding (Aw Yeah!) and now that school is out she’s headed home to start getting everything ready for the big day. I also went and saw The Avengers with a big group of friends and I absolute loved it. Why can’t DC get their act together and pull off something like this. Well, they did get one thing right and that was their offering for Free Comic Book Day this year. If you aren’t familiar with FCBD, it is a day, usually the first Saturday in May, where comic book publishers release special free books to entice readers to visit their local comic shop. In recent years the bigger comic companies have used FCBD to tease upcoming storyline or events, such as DC’s Blackest Night #0 a few years back. This year they have outdone themselves with The New 52 #1, a full length story by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee, Ivan Reis, Gene Ha, and Kenneth Rocafort. It doesn’t get much better than that.

 

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New 52 Power Rankings: April 2012

You know the drill. I’m here to talk about comics I like and stuff. Here are my 10 favorite books from DC’s New 52 in April. (P.S., to my non-existent loyal following, sorry for the lack of content in April, I’ll try to do better next time.)

Top 10 Books

Ranking

Title

Last Month

Total Months in Top 10

1

I, Vampire

 2

7

2

Batman

 3

7

3

OMAC

 5

4

4

Swamp Thing

 1

7

5

Green Lantern

 7

8

6

Justice League

 8

7

7

Aquaman

 4

5

8

Animal Man

 6

7

9

Wonder Woman

 9

7

10

Red Lanterns

 N/A

1

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