Saturday, February 7, 2015

The XiDC titles

As the Big Two get all kinds of frisky with their respective universes, we'll be deluged with announcements of All New, All Different comics that their makers claim will be a Bold New Direction (the DC press release actually uses Bold New Direction).  Today, DC announced their new titles.  I've divided them up into the ones I'll definitely start buying as a series, the ones I'll try at least one issue of, the ones that I need more convincing on or that will be impulse buys, and the ones that I will have to be bribed to pick up.

Definite Get

Batman Beyond (Jurgens, Chang)

Dan Jurgens has a spotty record as a writer, but I'm too much a sucker for some Batman Beyond, and the promise of Bernard Chang artwork is more than enough to put this into the buy column.  Terry McGinnis, welcome back.

Bat-Mite (Jurgens, Howell)

Definitely not the kind of title I would expect Jurgens to write, but it's a mini-series and childhood fave Bat-Mite.  I mean, c'mon, he's simultaneously Batman's biggest fan and worst obstacle in the quest for justice.  And he said "awesome sauce" well before that Discover Card commercial came out.  This just screams fun.

Black Canary (Fletcher, Wu)

I've seriously been enjoying Brendan Fletcher's work on the revamped Batgirl.  Annie Wu really rocked it on Hawkeye.  Combined, they probably make for the most exciting creator combo of the new titles.  I'll be looking forward to what curve balls we get in Dinah's story.  Her time in Batgirl established that she was in a band, so the sample art above is not a complete surprise.  Will we see more of Dinah the martial artist or more of Dinah the lead singer?  Batgirl does a pretty good job balancing the personal life of Babs with her superheroics, so it would not be surprising to see a lot about Dinah's downtime music career, and that's not necessarily a bad thing when handled well.

Earth 2: Society (Wilson, Jimenez)

While I would much rather have the real Earth 2 and the JSA back, Earth 2 did a good job sucking me in, at least until it was completely disrupted by the World Ends event.  It's hard to tell what will happen with the Earth 2 characters in the wake of this year's sequence of events, but with a title like Society, I'm guardedly optimistic and will give it at least one story arc.

Harley Quinn/Power Girl (Palmiotti, Conner, Grey, Roux)

This is just a no-brainer for me.  While Harley Quinn has been up and down, it has had some very fun issues, especially the ones guest-starring PG.  And the Palmiotti/Grey/Conner Power Girl series is one of my most lamented titles from pre-Flashpoint.

Starfire (Palmiotti, Conner, Lupacchino)

If DC wants to give Starfire the Palmiotti/Conner Power Girl treatment, I won't complain.  Plus, it rescues her from the clutches of Scott Lobdell.

Definite Try

Dr. Fate (Levitz, Liew)

Dr. Fate can be a great character/concept for a comic.  Paul Levitz can be a fantastic writer.  The only trouble is, both have had somewhat spotty records in recent past.  I want this to be good, but am not willing to commit past the first issue.

Justice League of America (Hitch)

Did we really need another Justice League title?  Of course not.  Popular characters can support multiple books because people are largely buying them for that specific character.  But multiple team books just seems to dilute things.  While three titles is not as bad as Marvel's antics in publishing a gazillion Avengers books, followed by belching out Uncanny Avengers, as if the X-Men and Avengers franchises needed blend oversized clans like Jim Duggar taking Kate Gosselin for a second wife.  Still, look at that Bryan Hitch artwork.  Absolutely gorgeous.  I hope as a writer/artist he's more John Byrne than Rob Liefeld.

Omega Men (King, Morgan)

It's about time the Omega Men returned.  I'm a bit surprised that they're being resurrected by Tom King, whose background in espionage has the uneven Grayson providing a periodic good yarn.  Space opera wouldn't seem to be his forte.  Still, with Bendis filling pages with word balloons over on Guardians of the Galaxy, a space yarn with a decent amount of action and plot movement would be welcome.

Prez (Russell, Caldwell)

This would normally be in the Impulse Buy or No Way piles, but I really just want to find out what the hell's going on in that promo art.  I mean really, what the hell is that?  Plus, seeing what the author of God is Disappointed in You will do in a Big Two comic should be worth the price of at least one issue.

Robin, Son of Batman (Gleason)

If this were Peter Tomasi writing the tales of Damian Wayne and his sidekicks Bat-Hound, Bat-Cow, and Bat-Cat, it would be in the Definite Get category.  But new-to-writing Patrick Gleason writing about a boy, his sword, and a giant bat demon thing only gets one shot to win me over.

We Are Robin (Bermejo, Randolph)

I have no idea what this book is about.  Combined with the fact that it's written by another artist with no significant writing credits, it should be at best in the Impulse Buy category.  But damn, that sample art looks sweet.  Too bad Bermejo isn't doing interiors.

Impulse Buy

Cyborg (Walker, Reis)

Ivan Reis draws a mean page.  David Walker has an interestingly varied corpus of titles he's written.  But it's just hard for me to get excited about Cyborg, who's just never done it for me as a superhero.  The technologist in me is either bored or annoyed by pretty much anything I've ever seen any writer do with him outside of Marv Wolfman's highly psychological take in the character's introduction and run in Titans.  It seems like every story boils down to "Hey look, the bad guy has a really awful doodad -- lucky I have this gizmo that can counteract it!"  And the writers Vic has had typically don't have the intellectual capital to treat the high tech as anything other than machine-wrapped magic.  Maybe Walker is the exception, but I'm not betting on it.

Dark Universe (Tynion, Doyle)

This is reportedly a replacement for Justice League Dark, with the name changed to match up with the rumored film in development.  It's hard to predict if Good Tynion or Mediocre Tynion will be showing up on this title, and with no promo art released, it's impossible to know if the characters I actually like (Zatanna, Deadman) will be starring in the book or if it will go back to a Constantine/Xanadu/Demon snoozefest.

Green Lantern: Lost Army (Bunn, Saiz, Pina)

With no description of what this title will be about, the most likely outcome is that it's another mediocre Green Lantern spinoff, this time with a group of GLs reenacting the plot of Star Trek Voyager.  Didn't the cartoon already cover this ground?

Martian Manhunter (Williams, Oliver)

J'onn J'onzz can be a really compelling character.  He can fit into a wide variety of genres, from hard boiled detective fiction to high flying space yarns.  Unfortunately, in the hands of most writers, he's simply bland, taking taciturn to an extreme.  I'm not familiar with Rob Williams's work, so I'll need additional data to get me excited about this title.

Mystic U (Kwitney, unknown)

It's a great title for a comic.  Alisa Kwitney, a former Vertigo editor, has the right resume to pull something cool off.  But the lack of information on this title is frustrating.  It could be anything from an adorable take on Harry Potter featuring Tim Hunter to yet another attempt to make Klarion the Witch Boy a thing despite no one caring.

No Way

Bizarro (Corson, Duarte)

An ongoing title featuring a character that half the writers out there get wrong anyway, this time written by someone whose only comics credits I can find are script writing for DC animated movies.  Pass.

Constantine: the Hellblazer (Doyle, Rossmo)

I have to be honest and admit I've just never gotten into Constantine.  I bought the first story arc of Hellblazer back when Jamie Delano opened that series, and while the story itself was interesting, I've just never clicked with the character himself.  I don't see this continued DCU-ification of Constantine being any more of interest.

Doomed (Lobdell, Fernandez)

Doom worked great as a one-off villain in the Death of Superman story and has never been interesting since.  Scott Lobdell should have stayed in the 90s.

Justice League 3001 (Giffen, Porter)

It pains me more than words can express that this is coming out and not a Legion of Super-Heroes title.  Is there no justice in this world?

Midnighter (Orlando, ACO)

The promo art makes me believe this will be a direct spinoff of Midnighter's appearances in Grayson.  Doesn't matter to me: Midnighter was easily the least interesting member of The Authority so his solo adventures hold absolutely no pull.

Red Hood/Arsenal (Lobdell, Medri)

Eventually DC must learn that Scott Lobdell should stop writing comics.  And that this would be a great title to try to attract Matt Fraction over to the DCU.

Section Eight (Ennis, McCrea)

I was never a Hitman fan, so the announcement of this title and creator team gets nothing but a shrug.

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