Saturday, June 11, 2011

DC Revamp - Teen Titans, Superman, Legion & More

All 52 new titles for DC's revamps have been finalized over the past couple of days and I sit down and take a look at them all here. Hit the jump for more.

"Next Generation of Justice" Titles

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Pete Woods

Kirk: Solicit makes it sound almost like they are coming back to the present time, but cover and the whole 'nightmarish world' part kinda puts the kibosh on that bit of speculation.  Shame, I would have liked to have seen them in the present with future tech not working and how they react.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Paul Levitz
Art by Francis Portela

Kirk: Probably won't win any Legion fans over here, but to be frank, Paul Levitz has had way too many chances to revamp and reboot and retool and relaunch and re-everything else the Legion of Super-Heroes.  With the whole line getting revamped, it's a bit disappointing they are using him again.  He has talent and has done some great things with the Legion, but the franchise has a very limited appeal and always seems to fall back to him and the small set of fans that love it.  If they wanted to reach out to more people, why go back to the same well again?  I am curious as to what they are doing with everything Geoff Johns recently did with the franchise, but not enough to pick it up.  Are they rebooting it again?  Are they keeping multiple versions/Legion of Three Worlds?  Fresh start?  Hard to tell.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Kirk: Thought this was a joke solicit.  What is DC thinking here?  Who are they trying to appeal to?  Everything stays the same in the entire universe except a handful of characters who get radical 90's redesigns?  How does that even make sense?  And why does Superboy have a kick-me sign on his back?   At least Tim Drake survived.  But those pouches.  My god.  Remove those and it's not a bad redesign.

Verdict - WHY

Written by John Rozum & Scott McDaniel
Art by Scott McDaniel & Jonathan Glapion

Kirk: At one point Static Shock would have been a great addition to the DCU.  With how the Teen Titans have been bastardized and no television show for many years, now isn't it.   With how many other DC titles are taking my money already, I'm not sure there's even room to check this out, let alone follow long term.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Rob Liefeld

Kirk: Sterling Gates gives the title some credibility, but I just can't bring myself to buy a book with Rob Liefeld on art.  I'm sorry, I just can't.

Verdict - No Interest

"Welcome to the Edge" Titles

Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Miguel Sepulveda

Kirk: Martian Manhunter is sent down to the minors?  That's a bit of a shock with how he played a large part in Brightest Day.  He didn't even get a revamp ongoing or JLA spot.  I think DC dropped the ball on that one.  J'onn should be a huge part of the DCU and this was a good time to put a decent creator on a book for him and try to work some magic on him.  I know most of this has little to do with the Stormwatch, but it's just a shame to see J'onn get shafted.  There's 3 JLA books and he's on Stormwatch?  What's up with that?

As for Stormwatch, seems Authority is over and done.  Wonder how they will integrate such extreme analogues of the JLA into the DCU proper?  Definitely willing to try the first issue, especially with Paul Cornell writing.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Mike Costa
Art by Ken Lashley

Kirk: Not familiar with Costa's work, but know he was doing some Resistance game tie-ins and GI Joe work.  It looks like he's carrying some of that over to this revamp of the Blackhawks, who look like knock off Joes or Cobra action figures.  Would have liked to have seen a Secret Warriors/Nick Fury/SHIELD-like take on this property.  The redesigns have that general extreme 90's look to them that all of the drastically changed characters have (Teen Titans, Deathstroke, etc), but it could still have that military/espionage style to it.  I'd like to try the first issue, but it'll be a stretch on the budget to give it a look, so might be a casualty of 52 other series launching at the same time.

Verdict - Will Try Money Permitting

Written by Ivan Brandon
Art by Tom Derenick

Kirk: Ivan Brandon has me standing up and taking notice of this comic.  I like everything I'm reading about this comic and the premise.  It mentions dealing with the land battle scarred by DCU's super-villains, but I hope it will stay away from the capes and cowls set and just use the setting while focusing on the military side of things.  Has a lot of promise and good creative team attached.  Definitely trying this one out.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Grey
Art by Moritat

Kirk: I've tried to like Jonah Hex and other western comics offered from DC and various properties, but haven't found any that suited me.  Simply no interest in this genre or series.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Joe Bennett & Art Thibert

Kirk: That sword is unfeasibly large.  How is he going to even carry it, let alone sheath it? Very 90's redesign here.  However, I'm actually interested in this due to Kyle Higgins involvement.  He was working with Scott Snyder on Gates of Gotham, which I really enjoyed.  I'll give the redesign the benefit of the doubt and at least try this one out.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Cafu & BIT

Kirk: Nothing in the solicit, creative team or character interests me.  With so much else on my plate, I'll pass on this.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Dan Didio & Keith Giffen
Art by Keith Giffen & Scott Koblish

Kirk: Dan.  DiDio. Writing.  There is Keith Giffen's involvement, but that is not going to make me read this.  Sorry.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Adam Glass
Art by Marco Rudy

Kirk: I was pretty pumped about a Suicide Squad announcement. With Secret Six pretty much confirmed dead, I assumed this would be the source for a spiritual successor.  Art looked good, some new characters on the cover, could be interesting.  Creative team looked good, too.  Then the solicit says those characters are Harley Quinn, King Shark and Deadshot.  Yeahbutwha-?  Harley had one of the absolute best costumes and character designs and fit perfectly with Joker and the Batman rogues gallery.  It was the smartest thing DC ever did bringing her into the DCU proper from the animated series.  How do you mess that up?  Sigh.  I'll probably still check this out, but I don't really understand DC's decisions.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Ig Guara

Kirk: Nice to see Blue Beetle getting another shot at a title.  Would have loved for DC to get Rogers back to write the character again, but will settle for Tony Bedard.  I hope they don't shake up Jaime Reyes or his supporting cast too much.  He was pretty perfect pre-revamp.  Just needed some push.  If anything, they could have explored the Green Lantern/Reach background and got some momentum from the insanely popular Geoff Johns powered franchise.   Will definitely be back on board for a Blue Beetle title.

Verdict -Will Try First Issue

Superman Titles

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Rags Morales

Kirk: This was rumoured and speculated on and pretty much all but confirmed as soon as the revamp was announced, but goddamn if it isn't the best news to come out of this entire thing.  Grant Morrison should be chained to a desk and forced to write Superman for the rest of his life.  He gets that character like no one else and the Year One-like story he has planned for Action Comics should be the perfect start to a new volume of Action Comics.  Can't wait for this.


Written by George Perez
Art by Jesus Merino

Kirk: Where Grant Morrison is a no brainer for a Superman title, George Perez as writer is not so much.  Legendary creator, great artist, etc, etc, but not really the right person for a bold new era and revamp of the entire line and handling the new status quo for Superman.  This is where fresh blood or someone that could write in tandem, or at least try and keep up with Morrison, would have been perfect.  Perez just isn't that person in my eyes.  He's just the same old song and dance type of writer that I had no interest in pre-revamp.  Unless something drastic happens, I can't see myself sticking with this beyond trying the first issue.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art by Mahmud Asrar

Kirk: Seems Power Girl has been retconned out or just completely ignored in favour of Supergirl.  Interesting decision to focus on her.  Solid creative team, got rid of the belly top and this is looking like it could be one of the better revamps.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by R.B. Silva & Rob Lean

Kirk: I don't know what to say.  I guess if I wanted to be nice, at least the cover doesn't have Superboy's cape looking like a kick-me sign like on the Teen Titans cover... 

Verdict - No Interest


This wraps up the impressions on the 52 titles.  Superman franchise, outside of Superboy, looks like it will be one to watch.  I'm surprised it took this long to get Grant Morrison attached to Action Comics or the in-continuity titles.  Hopefully we get a few years with him at the helm.  Supergirl has a lot of potential as well and they seem to be putting a bigger focus on her with the redesign and apparent removal of Power Girl.

For 'edge' titles, DC had a lot of interesting choices.  I'm a bit confused at the Harley redesign and sending J'onn to the minors on Stormwatch instead of in the JLA, but both Suicide Squad and Stormwatch look like they could be good.  The war titles both have interesting premises and the Ivan Brandon written one has me intrigued.  Can't wait to see more from that book.

The only real pock mark on this wave of announcements was Superboy and the Teen Titans.  What the hell happened there? 

We'll have more on the revamp in the coming days, but feel free to comment on the last wave of announcements and your thoughts on the revamp in general.

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Akylle said...

My reaction to them announcing Morrison on Action Comics was basically the same as yours:

Looking at the Teen Titans solicit...yea they went way too 90s on that thing. The reason Superboy has a kick me sign on his back is 'cause Kid Flash put it there, if you look closely you can tell. Anyways that's not the actual cover but a piece Booth did for the pitch. Here's the cover:

I'll be picking up the first issue of Grifter based solely off of Edmondson's work on Who is Jake Ellis? which has had a really Jason Bourne type feeling to it so far, so I think he's a good fit for Grifter.

So far DC has me interested in at least picking up the first issues of 21 of the new 52, so yea I'd say this is working.

Klep said...

Observations and comments:

Teen Titans looks like the 90's vomited all over it (and why is Cassie now a "belligerent thief"?).

As far as I'm concerned that is NOT Harley Quinn, merely some crass imposter.

The lack of books with Amanda Conner's or Nicola Scott's involvement is a travesty. How awesome would a Palmiotti/Grey/Conner run on Supergirl be? Instead we get the weird look-at-my-crotch costume.

With the all-women-get-pants edict, where are Supergirl's and "Harley"'s?

Why does Liefeld keep getting work? THE HUMAN MOUTH DOES NOT HAVE 50 TEETH.

That Omac cover has Kirby dots in full effect.

Akylle said...

Oh and Harley's new looks like it's based off the Arkham City costume:

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that OMAC, Batwing, etc, get titles, but Tim Drake doesn't.

Anonymous said...

More and more, this whole thing looks like DC's version of 'Heroes Reborn.' The drastic changes in some characters really makes me think that this is all temporary and will last for a couple of years at most before returning to the status quo.

Status quo never looked so good.

Klep said...

@Anon4: Dan DiDio said that all the Robins would get a showcase book, and Teen Titans was Tim's. Of course, Stephanie Brown is nowhere to be seen, so that was still a lie.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

I am all over Edmondson on Grifter. The guy is pretty damn good and I have a soft spot for Grifter. Could be a fun series.

I'm also in for Morrison on Action Comics. The question is, will it outsell JLA...?

The Dangster said...

Seems like the Teen Titans are trying to color code themselves...

Kinda harsh on Jonah Hex, have you tried Palmiotti and Grey's incredible run?

This seems to be actually the same book with the same writer but with a permanent artist and different title.

It's a win-win-win for me.

Didio and Giffen on one book? How have they not killed each other yet?

Akylle said...

Conner is taking a break. She stated herself that she doesn't want to do an ongoing at the moment maybe a mini but nothing else.

As for the edict it doesn't exist, confirmed by Jim Lee on twitter.

CombatSpoon86 said...

I'll be definitely picking up Action bc of Morrison. My other picks will be Batgirl, Batwoman, Nightwing, Batman & Swamp Thing.

I'll definitely just pick up JLA for just the first issue and probably wait to see how well it does. Lately John's writing to me seems a little stale. I just can't see myself picking up Suicide Squad until I hear good reviews. I wish Simone was given Suicide Squad or even Ostrander but I was let down. Luckily Simone will be doing Batgirl and she seems excited to be doing Barbara after writing Oracle in Birds of Prey

patrick said...

Its crazy to think there's no Justice Society. I know the book wasn't doing well but still, where the hell are they? Batwing, Omac, etc. almost a third of these books no one will even give a chance. and some of these redesigns are completely ridiculous. On the bright side of things I am looking forward to about 15 books. Really interesting time for DC...

Anonymous said...

With the sole exception of Mr Terrific, the JSA roster (including Power Girl) gets shafted. I wonder if Flashpoint retcons the JSA & Earth-2 out of DCnU continuity, along with Ambush Bug.

Retcon Joe said...

One name comes to mind... "Ray Palmer"! Still looking for a relaunch of the "Sword of Atom"!

Brian Lee said...

Kirk, I think the "nightmarish world" part refers to their view of it -- they're used to their 31st century tech and now they're forced to live comparatively like cavemen. That's how I read it.

@Akylle: ...which is a much better redesign for Harley, though I still prefer the original.

Is that black cloudy person in the Teen Titans pic supposed to be Raven or someone else? Because if they wanted a Raven redesign, they should've looked no further than the Teen Titans animated show. Be subtle, people. Not that any of that Teen Titans designs are subtle. My first thought was also "90s" upon seeing that. Well, my real first thought was "Red Robin looks like Super Cardinal (pretty obvious, but under G-Man's left hand on this cover)," but "90s" was my second thought.

I'm with RKL on Grifter. I've been loving Who is Jake Ellis? and this seems like a perfect fit, given that book.

I'm still trying to let myself be interested in books that look interesting and not take my ball and go home over things like screwing over Dick-as-Batman, Stephanie-as-Batgirl, and Tim-as-an-interesting-character. Sigh. I'll just have to let these good books be what they are (good but in the past), get over lost potential for the characters, and -- most likely, from these quasi-solicits -- find non-core DC characters to get interested in (and have their books cancelled, most likely). See, I'm still feeling cynical. :)

Akylle said...

@Brian Lee: I believe the black cloudy girl in Titans is a new character. Over at his blog, Brett Booth referred to her as Charcoal Girl.

Eric in Ottawa said...

As a long-time Teen Titans fan, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks their re-designs are far too reminiscent of 1990s Image in the worst way. Of course, I'll give the series a try; Lobdell and Booth may surprise us all. It's hard to shake that first impression though.

Red Robin: I like returning to the domino-style mask and adding a winged/scalloped arm design. But seriously, all of those straps and pouches?

Kid Flash: sure he has a frenetic pace, but the costume is busy almost to the point of head-ache inducing.

Wonder Girl and Superboy: don't like how they're not very recognizable as part of the Supes and Wonder families.

New members: sorry, I think they look kinda lame. A bit disappointing given the pantheon of existing Titans.

Ivan said...

Very sad about TT, Deathstroke and Superboy but VERY excited about Morrison on Superman.

Anonymous said...

I am still under the belief that Liefield skipped the day in art class when it came to proportion. Hawk's head is two sizes too small for his body and if he lowered his arms they would come down to his stomach. The first arc should be that the reason Hawk is so angry is that his arms are too short to use the restroom properly.

Jer said...

I'm a bit confused at ... sending J'onn to the minors on Stormwatch instead of in the JLA

Are you kidding? I'm a bit confused about the EXISTENCE of Stormwatch.

We've got a Justice League, a Justice League International, and a Suicide Squad. Where exactly does Stormwatch fit into this scheme?

I suppose it could be the Black Ops group for the UN-backed Justice League International, which would partially explain the decision to stick the Martian Manhunter on the team, I guess.

Jer said...

I'm a bit confused at ... sending J'onn to the minors on Stormwatch instead of in the JLA

I'm a bit confused about the decision to shove Stormwatch into the DC Universe myself.

Between Justice League, Justice League International, and Suicide Squad, I'm not seeing the niche that Stormwatch is supposed to fill. Unless it's the covert analog to the UN-backed JLI I guess (which would explain J'Onn's place on the team).

Still feels like an odd decision.

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