Monday, June 6, 2011

DC Revamp - Batman and Green Lantern Titles & Creative Teams

Joining the Green Lantern titles announced earlier, DC has let loose with their Batman plans for the upcoming line wide revamp.  Like the previously announced titles, I'll take a look at the teams and titles and give my thoughts on each.  Hit the jump for more.

Update - Added Red Hood & The Outlaws & Batwing, which weren't announced when I originally compiled this list.

Green Lantern Titles

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke

Kirk: Not much to say here.  Arguably the best book on the stands right now getting a relaunch with the same creative team.  Can't really go wrong, especially since Johns has stated they'll merely be taking a short time skip after the events of the current War of the Green Lanterns and keeping all of his run and story in tact moving forward. 

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

When deadly conflicts emerge across the universe, it’s up to Guy Gardner, John Stewart and an elite Green Lantern strike force to keep the peace.

Kirk: An actual solicit was included with this one, which makes for some interesting notes.  First, Emerald Warriors is obviously gone and Tomasi is returning to the GLC title and bringing Guy back with him.  All good things in my eyes.  Fernando Pasarin is a solid artist and was with Tomasi on Emerald Warriors, so should be familiar territory for those that were reading that title. 

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Tyler Kirkham

Who are The New Guardians?

The power of Rage, Avarice, Fear, Will, Hope, Compassion and Love combine to be the most powerful (and colorful) team in the corps under the leadership of Kyle Rayner. Beware their power . . . and their volatility!

Kirk: Another solicit for this title that make me quite happy with where the Green Lantern franchise is going.  Seems the various coloured corps are going to join up under Kyle Rayner to be the new Guardians of the Universe.  It will be interesting to see who are the New Guardians given the next solicit as Atrocitus seems indisposed, though that never stopped anyone else from appearing in multiple titles.  As for the creative team, Bedard had some good ideas in his GLC run and had his ups and downs, but was overall solid.  I'm happy with him sticking around.  Art, however, could be improved, especially given how good the Green Lantern titles do for DC.  Kirkham has been the weak link on the titles, so a bit saddened to see him kept on for the revamp era. Still won't stop me from picking this up.

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Ed Benes

Going solo. Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps return in their own series, battling against injustice in the most bloody ways imaginable. This Lantern Corps takes no prisoners, they are judge, jury and executioners!

Kirk: Sweet googily moogily.  This I did not expect.  Peter Milligan is a fantastic writer and combined with the focus of this title, makes this the first truly shocking and pleasant surprise to come from the revamp.  Now, if only we can get a Larfleeze and Lex Luthor spin-off title...

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Batman Titles

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo

Kirk: Scott Snyder has been doing great things on Detective Comics.  Actual detective related stories, too.  Odd they swapped him with Tony Daniel from Detective over to Batman, but I'm glad to see he's going to be kept on board.  One of the best new faces at DC.  Greg Capullo is another inspired choice.  His art has vastly improved from the 90's Image style and come into its own.  The cover to this issue looks fantastic (well, except for Riddler having the green question mark mohawk redesign).  Really looking forward to this one.

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel

Kirk: Tony Daniel has not impressed me with his writing and his art, while good, is not unique nor strong enough to draw me in on this.  I'll be passing on this one.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

Kirk: The Tomasi & Gleason run on Batman & Robin has stopped and started far too often.  Perhaps they knew of these plans and DC was merely holding back any big, bold new plans from the duo until the revamp?  Also interesting is the news that it's Bruce and Damian.  I'll touch on Dick's status in the Nightwing solicit.  Obviously, with this creative team, I'll be picking it up.  Be foolish not to, though I will miss the Dick/Damian relationship.

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Written by David Finch
Art by David Finch

Kirk: So, like three issues and a relaunch?  New record for Finch.  I won't be following his writing and his art, like Daniels, isn't overly unique or strong enough to draw me in on its own.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Jesus Saiz

Kirk: Can't really say I have any opinion on this one way or another.  Not interested in the creative team or the premise.  If I hear good things, I'll check it out, but not picking it up based on what I see so far.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Guillem March

Kirk: Not enough information to really gauge where the want to take Catwoman in this new era of DC.  Villain?  Hero?  Continuing from her Gotham City Sirens characterization?  Maybe push towards the Arkham City game portrayal?  Too many questions to really decide one way or another.  I might check out the first issue.  Winick has improved over the years and is a solid, safe writer for the most part.  Probably going to get lost in the shuffle of the 52 other new number one issues coming out though.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ardian Syaf

“Barbara Gordon is pretty much my everything. Because of the Batman TV show, she was the reason I fell in love with superheroes. Because she was a redhead who could kick ass, she is the reason I fell in love with comics. She was always forward-looking as Batgirl, a girl who was smarter than the male characters, who had class and elegance and style, as well as tough-as-nails grit. For a long time, there was simply nothing else like her in comics, and for me and a lot of other readers, her every appearance was joyful and explosive.

For many years, I got to write the character as Oracle, and there is to this day, no character who means more to me. This is classic Barbara as she was originally conceived, with a few big surprises. It’s a bit of a shock, to be sure, but we’re doing everything we can to be respectful to this character’s amazing legacy, while presenting something thrilling that a generation of comics readers will be experiencing for the first time…

…Barbara Gordon leaping, fighting, and swinging over Gotham. Now, when citizens of that city look up, they are going to see BATGIRL.

And that is absolutely thrilling.” - Gail Simone on the return of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl

Kirk: In a move that probably surprised no one, it appears Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again.  I'm pretty sure DC has wanted to do this for a long time and this was the golden opportunity to do so. She looks fairly old and more Batwoman than Batgirl on the cover, but could just be an art thing.  I'll definitely be checking this one out to see what Barbara brings to the mantle and simply because Gail Simone is writing it.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by JH Williams III & Haden Blackman
Art by Amy Reeder

Kirk: Been waiting for this since the moment Greg Rucka and JH Williams finished their Batwoman arcs on Detective Comics a year or two ago.  It's interesting that they'll be keeping Batwoman around with Barbara back as Batgirl, so I'm curious if they'll address that issue or just go with it. 

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Eddy Barrows

Kirk: It's a supreme disappointment that they are abandoning the multiple Batmen evolution of the franchise so quickly and in such a manner, but not something unexpected.  I'm actually surprised Nightwing is going to survive with all the attempts by DiDio to kill him off over the years.  I was actually going to pass on this one until I realized who Kyle Higgins was and his recent involvement in a book I thoroughly enjoyed, Batman: Gates of Gotham, which he wrote with Scott Snyder.  Will definitely give this a look see with that knowledge in hand.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue


"Batman, Incorporated will continue through to Issue #10 and August’s shocking season finale that changes the Batman status quo yet again. The series will take a brief hiatus while I work on a major new project to be announced shortly. Batman, Incorporated returns next year with me, Chris Burnham and Batman: Leviathan, the epic 12 part conclusion to my 6 year Batman saga. Don’t miss it!” - Grant Morrison via The Source

Kirk: Interesting news on Batman, Inc straight from Grant Morrison.  Seems they are keeping all of Morrison's Batman in tact, but ditching the whole Dick Grayson character evolution and upgraded status to Batman.  Wonder how that works out in the story?  Or will they just jump ahead in time to him now being Nightwing and some hackneyed 'I want to prove myself/be my own man' type of explanation for the change.  Other than that, look forward to more Morrison written Batman and the end of his Leviathan storyline.  Also, is the new project Multiversity?  Or was that scrapped?  Or is it the rumoured revamping of Superman?  If the latter, we'll likely know in the next few days when those titles get announced.

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort

Kirk: I haven't really read anything from Scott Lobdell since the 90's X-Men years.  This series has my interest piqued.  Almost like a Secret Six/Thunderbolts type of deal with all the villains/anti-heroes and premise.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Ben Oliver

Kirk: This is billed as the Batman of Africa, which is straight out of recent Batman, Inc issues.  With no Batman, Inc title for the revamp (at least for a year or so until Grant Morrison gets time to finish it up), this looks like the only source for related content to that. 

Verdict - Will Try First Issue


All in all, the Green Lantern and Batman franchises are in very good shape moving forward and likely to eat up a huge chunk of my budget.  Quite pleased that GL will be left mostly unchanged and only good things being added (Red Lantern title!).  

In regards to Batman, they've got their Barbara Gordon back in costume and Bruce back as the only Batman, which I imagine makes the top brass and marketing people extremely happy.   Seems like a step backwards to me, but not going to fight what was obviously going to happen sooner or later.  Like Green Lantern, these titles were relatively in good shape and DC had the presence of mind to keep it simple and only make minor changes.  I am curious as to the status of Tim Drake.  Didn't see him mentioned or listed anywhere or on any covers, though may have missed a Red Robin somewhere.  Be disappointing if he was gone for good.  Perhaps he'll show up in a Titans or Young Justice book in the coming days.

I hate to sound like a pessimist or typical comic book fan, but these titles leave me mostly with a 'I was buying these already' type of response for the ones I'll be picking up and no interest in the 'new' offerings, which are mostly just slightly reworked versions of titles I'm currently not buying or interested in with many of the same creative teams just shuffled around.  Still nothing to warrant the revamp, but will wait and see how the actual content before fully judging that.

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Klep said...

As much as I love Gail Simone - and I do - I can't express how disappointing it is to see Barbara back as Batgirl. Not only does this throw Stephanie and Cassandra into limbo and completely upset the core dynamic that made Birds of Prey so good, it's really distressing to see the one major handicapped character at DC have her disability waved away for the sake of some marketing goal. Some things should be more important than that.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate they couldn't use this re-boot to boot out certain creators in favor of stronger ones, especially on the flagship title.

Also, isn't Barbara Gordon older than the current Batwoman? It's too bad they didn't stick with the current Batgirl as it seems that character had developed a good fanbase.

And really saddened by Dick's status quo return. There was so much more potential with him and Damian as a team. I liked how Morrison had originally addressed the difficulties of a Bruce/Damian match-up and liked to see how Damian was seeing Dick more and more as an older brother/foster father type of role model.


Dean said...

Batgirl by Bryan Miller was the highlight of my monthly pulllist. Why mess with a good thing?

They've Cassandra cain'd stephanie Brown!

The Dangster said...

These announcements are probably the best ones so far.

I wanna pick up Green Lantern, I hope it goes back to how it was pre-Blackest Night. With the focus being on the corp and personal life.

I think agree with most of these. Except Red Lanterns doesn't appeal to me in anyway. However, Gail Simone on Barbara Gordon seems like a victory and home run.

Scott Snyder on Batman is my favorite news along with Batman Inc not being disrupted. Too bad Dick is Nightwing so soon. I think the Dick and Damien dynamic will be sorely missed.

This Birds of Prey looks like one big "WTF." It just looks like a mess.

I wonder what the word on Tim Drake will be?

I don't mind pushing Batwoman back to September. Makes sense now,at least the delays came before the issues came out. Also, hopefully it means it will be on schedule.

The "un-crippling" of
Barbara Gordon will probably make waves. They lose an iconic figurehead for the disabled, but regain a more recognizable version of a strong female character. They chose the most profitable of the two decisions. In a world where there are numerous characters with robotic limbs, this decision doesn't surprise me.

Space Jawa said...

"I am curious as to the status of Tim Drake."

Likewise, I'm curious as to the status of Stephanie Brown.

CombatSpoon86 said...

At least Snyder is staying on a batbook, so Im happy. Inc gets a break for a yr. Batwoman and Nightwing look like must tries for me. So what happens to Tim Drake anyways now?

A lot of stuff changes, and Im one whos not behind barbara being batgirl again. What happens to Stephanie and Cassandra. Oracle is over now. I just am not digging this at all. I'm still waiting to see if Secret Six gets cancelled or not. My favorite Dc book, ruin a good thing and my favorite gail simone's writing.

Michael said...

What about the Batwing book that was also announced today?

Kirk Warren said...

@Michael - Neither it nor the Red Hood book were announced when I wrote this up. I've updated the post to include them though.

patrick said...

No more Oracle is the worst news out of all of this revamp stuff. It was nice having a disability character and i know a lot of people that appreciated DC for keeping her in the wheel chair. looking forward to everything else though.

Hoylus said...

Any more details on Red Hood? Could it be Tim Drake?

Klep said...

@Hoylus He's specifically named as being Jason Todd.

Anonymous said...

Actually, everyone's ignoring the real issue here:

In this new continuity, will Batman know who his parents' killer is?

Kirk Warren said...

@Anon - LMAO. Comment of the Week award goes to you. That is definitely the most important question in this new continuity/revamp. I can't believe I overlooked it. I know Ill be boycotting DC if they make him know his parents killer.

It defeats the entire motivation and history of the character if he knows the killer, that he was brought to justice and continues on his crusade regardless.*

*sarcasm for those wondering. DC changes the Joe Chill every reboot (zero hour, year one, infinite crisis, etc) and people seem to debate it all the time if you didnt recall what we were joking about.

Daniel said...

With so many Batgirls running around it's time for a Batgirl Inc.

btownlegend said...

So all that I love about the batbooks is gone.Red Robin, Batgirl by Miller and the Damian/Dick dynamic are done.I'm not happy.

btownlegend said...

The Bat titles currently have never been more original. The concepts of multiple Bat-men, a team working in so many directions, and creators seemingly attacking their stories from all different angles. The Damian/Dick dynamic to the globe trotting Red Robin then the ever learning Stephanie Brown all different and fun to go with the darkness in Detective comics...This now to be rebooted to what?????? How we imagined them in the seventies or early eighties. Good grief.

Brian Lee said...

Truer words never spoken, btownlegend. The recent Bat-stories have given several characters enormous growth.

And now?

Stephanie goes from finally gaining respect from Bruce (and others, but he was the hardest on her) and being her own hero to not even being mentioned.

Tim goes from being a very adult teenager who takes on villains with a "grand master plan" mentality to wearing a horrible costume in a Teen Titans book that looks like it's trying really hard to be "young" and "hip."

Dick goes from being Batman -- and really deserving that title -- he goes from being Gotham's Batman and a mentor to Damian to playing second fiddle again. (I don't care what they say or how they try to explain it, he just went from first-string to backup.)

...among other things. So, where are we now? Well, I've just gone from someone who was slowly adding more and more Bat-titles to his pull list to someone who's getting probably one or two (Batwoman, because it's no different than the book I was planning on getting at the end of last year -- except that it's most of a year later; and maybe Scott Snyder's Batman because I've really enjoyed his Detective Comics, but I'm pretty sour about this, so I'm currently on the fence).

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