Tag Archives: The New 52

DC: What the 52? Week 1

To my shame, I’ve had to neglect my ramblings on Earth 53 for a few weeks. To rectify that, I’ll be spending the month of April looking at DC’s “WTF” gate fold covers. Originally announced back in January, all New 52 books published in the month of April will feature gatefold covers that, when opened, reveal a surprising moment that the publisher hopes will elicit a “WTF” response. While the publisher has thankfully dropped the “WTF” moniker (very poor taste IMO), there’s still the promise that these covers will be surprising and enticing.

Well, let’s just see about that.

In my mind, a good “WTF” cover should feature something completely unexpected, a good bait and switch, or something genuinely exciting. Using that criteria, I’ll be ranking each cover on the following scale:

What??? (Bad)
Meh (Average)
o_O (Good)
What!!! (Awesome)

With all that out of the way, let’s take a look at the covers themselves. Continue reading

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Future of the Green Lantern Corps Revealed!

We’ve known for a few weeks now who would be taking over the Green Lantern family of books after Geoff Johns and crew’s exodus in May, but all other information was cloaked in secrecy. Today, with the release of the June 2013 solicitations, we get our first glimpse of what is to come, and I’m ready to weigh in on the future of Green Lantern.

Green Lantern 21

Green Lantern #21
Written by Robert Venditti
Illustrated by Billy Tan
Hal Jordan becomes the leader of the most feared and hated group in the universe: The Green Lantern Corps! New faces, new threats and a new beginning for the GREEN LANTERN monthlies!

Even with all this Black Lantern business, it looks like Hal will be alive and green at the end of Johns’ run. The solicit hints that the Guardians of the Universe will finally be out of the picture, with Hal taking the lead of the entire GLC. That’s a pretty tall order, but one with exciting story possibilities. It also sounds like the Green Lanterns aren’t too popular with the rest of the universe, which is an interesting change of pace. Robert Venditti has proven that he can do sci-fi well in “X-O Manowar,” and Billy Tan’s early art work shows a lot of promise. I’m not nearly as interested in this book without Johns at the helm, but I’m cautiously optimistic. A lower profile will hopefully let the other Green Lantern books share in the spotlight.

Verdict: Surprisingly, this is the GL book I’m the least interested in at this point. I’ll at least give the first issue a shot.

GLC 21

Green Lantern Corps #21
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
It’s nonstop action as the Green Lantern Corps faces attacks on Oa and Earth…and Guy Gardner is presented with a choice that could change the balance of power between the different Lantern Corps forever!

There’s not a lot to glean from this cover or solicit, other than the fact that Guy will be in the book. However, Fialkov has talked a lot about his plans for GLC and Red Lanterns, and I am very excited for both. Fialkov plans on casting GLC and Red Lanterns as opposing forces of justice in the universe, one that is reactive and one that is proactive. Fialkov has a big crime background, and I believe his refreshing take on the Green Lantern mythos might just be what the franchise needs. If I were to predict which of the Green Lantern writers had the best chance of rising to Geoff Johns’ level of success with the franchise, it would definitely be Fialkov.

Verdict: GLC is my second most anticipated book in the new Green Lantern line. Which leads me to…

Red Lanterns 21

Red Lanterns #21
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
It’s recruitment time for the Red Lanterns, and no one in the universe is safe…especially with the most volatile Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, suddenly in their corner! But why has Guy turned his back on his own Corps?

Yes! Red Lantern Guy Gardner! Insta-buy! But in all seriousness, I absolutely cannot wait to see what Fialkov brings to this struggling book. If Fialkov can make a book like “I, Vampire” one of the best books in the New 52, I can only imagine what amazing things he’ll do with a group of cosmic powered, napalm vomiting monsters. One thing though, if you’re going to pull the Red Lantern Guy card, make it permanent. This is the third time in as many years that he’s donned the ring. Oh, and more Dex-Star, less Bleeze and Rankorr, thanks.

Verdict: I can’t believe it, but my current least favorite Green Lantern book is my most anticipated one coming this June.

New Guardians 21

Green Lantern: New Guardians #21
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Brad Walker and Drew Hennessy
The Templar Guardians have been locked away for millennia, but they have a VERY clear idea of what they need to do next — and of all the Lanterns in the universe, they need Kyle Rayner’s help. So it’s a shame he wants nothing to do with them! But once he sees the strange anomaly lurking at the edge of the universe, he may have no choice but to get on board with their mission…

Calling this book “New Guardians” finally makes sense! I’m really excited to see Kyle sticking around as the White Lantern, and I’m really excited to learn more about these “Templar” Guardians. I’m not familiar with Justin Jordan’s work, but he gets massive praise for “Luther Strode.” However, I do know that Brad Walker is a fantastic artist. Depending on the direction this book goes, it could be the perfect continuation of the awesome massive cosmic shenanigans that Johns was known for. I fully expect it to be an improvement on Bedard’s so-so run. Oh, and that Albuquerque cover is fantastic.

Verdict: After Fialkov’s books, this is my “New Guardians” is most anticipated Green Lantern title.

Larfleeze 21

Larfleeze #1
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis
Illustrated by Scott Kolins
Larfleeze, the breakout character from BLACKEST NIGHT, last seen in the pages of THRESHOLD, is back in his own solo, ongoing series—and he’s not sharing it with anyone! In his debut solo adventure, Larfleeze meets Laord of the Hunt, a pan-dimensional cosmic entity that believes all living things are prey—and he’s out to turn the universe into his own private hunting reserve! And the only thing worse than Laord is the deadly beings he can summon!

I really don’t know what to make of “Larfleeze.” Coming from the writing team behind the cult classic “Justice League International,” I expect this book to have a completely different tone from the rest of the line. Giffen has said that he plans to keep this book separated from the rest of the Green Lantern books, which makes it perfect for those who are tired of the relentless Green Lantern crossovers. While I expect his book to be witty and hilarious, I don’t really know if it’s a strong enough concept to make me want to read it on a monthly basis. That said, I loved Giffen’s “O.M.A.C.” and “Doom Patrol,” so if “Larfleeze” can capture the magic of either of those books, then I’ll be absolutely smitten.

Verdict: ??? Too soon to tell, ask again later.

It saddened me to learn of Johns’ departure, I think this is the exact kind of shake-up the Green Lantern line needed to stay interesting. While “Green Lantern” proper is probably going to take a hit without Johns, the other books seem more interesting than they have in years. It looks like each of the four Earth Lanterns will have a book to call their own (Hal in GL, Guy in RL, John in GLC, Kyle in NG, oh, and Baz in JLA), something  fans have clammored for since the line began to expand. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, a bright new day is dawning for the Green Lantern books, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I only hope that the franchise will continue to get the same level of attention and recognition as it has received under Johns’ tenure.

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New Green Lantern Teams Announced

Well, that came a lot sooner than expected.

New Green Lantern

Just a little over a week since the announcement of the end of Geoff Johns’ groundbreaking “Green Lantern” run, along with the mass exodus of all Green Lantern family creative teams, DC has officially announced their new blood. Here are the new teams, revealed exclusively through MTV Geek:

Green Lantern – Written by Robert Venditti, Illustrated by Billy Tan

Green Lantern Corps – Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Illustrated by Bernard Chang

Green Lantern: New Guardians – Written by Justin Jordan, Illustrated by Brad Walker

Red Lanterns – Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Illustrated by Alessandro Vitti

Larfleeze – Written by Keith Giffen, Illustrated by Scott Kolins

As you can see, Bleeding Cool’s initial reports were right on target. All current Green Lantern titles remain, along with the new “Larfleeze” title, which will likely spin out of the back-up feature in “Threshold,” although it could also be possible that Larfleeze could take over the title entirely.

Overall, I’m very excited for these changes. Check back soon as more information comes to light and I go in-depth on my thoughts on the new creative teams.

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Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern Comes To An End

After spending the last 9 years building a new mythology from the ground up and making the Green Lantern a truly A-list character, Geoff Johns is wrapping up his run this May with issue #20. Johns’ run on “Green Lantern” will always be special to me, as it was his ‘Sinestro Corps War’ arc that cemented my enjoyment of DC Comics and graphic story telling as a whole. I predicted Johns’ imminent departure a few months back, and made a few bolder predictions as well. Check out that post here.

gl_20_cvr_02

Cover to “Green Lantern” #20, the last issue penned by Geoff Johns.

The issue, drawn by Doug Mankhe, will be a whopping 64 pages. Major thanks to Geoff Johns for all the time he has spent with this series, and to Mankhe for making it so darn good-looking. It’s been one of heck of a ride. Now begins the anxious waiting for the announcement of a successor. Whoever it is, I hope he or she brings the same unbridled creativity that Johns brought, along with a fresh new look at one of my favorite comic book franchises.

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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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Wrath of the First Lantern

With yesterday’s release of solicitations for February 2013, DC has stealthily revealed the next story in Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern epic. Following Rise of the Third Army, Wrath of the First Lantern will delve deeper into the mysterious character first introduced in Green Lantern Annual #1.  USA Today has an interview with Johns on the next arc that you can read here. Surprising, DC hasn’t made much noise about the announcement of what seems to be a crescendo in Johns’ run. Since the end of Blackest Night I’ve wondered how much longer Johns plans to stay on Green Lantern. After 8 years and over 100 total issue of shepherding the character to true A-list status (at least among comic fans), one can’t help but wonder how many more stories he has to tell. Well, I’ve stopped guessing how or when Johns is going to end his GL run, but based on the new solicits, last week’s issue of Green Lantern, and Johns own words on the Wrath of the First Lantern story, I have pretty good idea of what’s coming next.

Green Lantern is getting rebooted. Continue reading

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More Exciting Announcements for DC’s February Books

Earlier this week DC announced Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino would become the new creative team for Green Arrow starting in February with #17. This was awesome news for as I really like the character, but haven’t enjoyed the Green Arrow book since the launch of the New 52. Today, Comic Book Resources is reporting a few more exciting announcements regarding DC’s February books. Again, they have piqued my interest for books that I want to like, but to this point haven’t.

First up is the news that Keith Giffen will be taking over the art duties on Paul Levitz’s Legion of Super Heroes. Giffen’s name is as synonymous to the Legion as Levitz’s, as the pairing of the two led to the classic “Great Darkness Saga.” I absolutely loved Giffen’s pencils on O.M.A.C., though I’m not sure if the Kirby look fits as well with the Legion as it did here. Mostly, I’m hoping that Giffen’s creative input will make the book a more engaging and enjoyable read. I really liked Levitz’s work on the Legion volume leading up to the New 52, but the tail end of that run and the New 52 volume have been very boring in my opinion. Hopefully the chemistry between Levitz and Giffen will lead to the kind of epic stories expected from the Legion.

Giffen returns to the Legion of Super Heroes with issue #17 and brings a Jack Kirby flair.

The second announcement is regarding Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato’s Flash book. The duo has revealed that Issue #17 will feature the first appearance of the Reverse Flash in the New 52. If you’ll recall, it was the machinations of the Eobard Thawne incarnation of the Reverse Flash that led to the Flashpoint event that in turn led to the New 52. While Manapul and Buccellato have said that this will be a completely new incarnation of the character, with a completely new look and motives, the implications of the return of the Reverse Flash are very exciting. After the character’s appearance in #17, Manapul will take a two issue break from the Flash, returning in issue #20 to kick of the Reverse Flash story in full. The co-writers are being extremely secretive about the new villain’s identity. It’s been a long time since there’s been a good mystery in my super hero comics, so I really hope they play this for all it’s worth. Could this finally be the return of Wally West, as a villain?! The possibilities are endless! I really enjoyed the first arc of The Flash, especially the art. However, I ended up dropping the book due to monetary restraints. This news, plus the awesome looking recent Rogues stories, are definitely tempting me to revisit the book.

Hot off the heels of their “Gorilla War” arc, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato bring the Reverse Flash into the New 52 in The Flash #17

With three new series and three awesome new directions for existing New 52 books, February looks like it will be a very exciting month for DC comics readers. I especially can’t wait for the release of solicits next week to see what else they might have in store. Keep checking back here for more exciting comic news!

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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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Swamp Thing vs. Animal Man

I look at the time stamp of my last post and realize that it’s been two weeks since I last posted and I feel ashamed. I’ll blame it on the awesome Flash vs. the Rogues story I’m working up (DC, call me). In honor of Halloween I’m breaking the drought of content with an all out slugfest between two Vertigo mainstays who hit it big in DC’s New 52, Swamp Thing and Animal Man. The two books/characters have been so closely tied in the build up towards Rotworld that it’s hard to consider them as separate books. However, I’m about to make myself do just that. I’ll be comparing each book’s central and supporting characters, and art direction to decide which book is the best. I will only be comparing the New 52 incarnations of the characters for the sake of this match up. Continue reading

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