Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Wave of Titles & Creators for DC's Revamp Announced

Yesterday, The Source published the first wave of titles and creators for their ambitious new revamping of their line of comics.  I've taken a look at the titles and creative teams attached and broken down my thoughts on each.  Hit the jump to see what I thought and feel free to let us know what you think of the titles and creative teams as well.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jim Lee

Kirk: This was already announced, but worth discussing as it's likely to be DC's new marquee title.  Aside from Cyborg, this is similar to the Grant Morrison JLA with a focus on all the big name JLA members.  As long as they drop those annoying multi-coloured thought boxes for all the characters that every JLA book has been using since Identity Crisis, I'm all over this one.  Hopefully Jim Lee has been drawing the art since three or four years ago or I can't see it going without delays.

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang

Kirk: They are using the recently redesigned Wonder Woman costume here and in the Justice League cover, so possibly going to draw on JMS's run for some of the backstory, but I'd expect a full rework of Wonder Woman and her mythos with a major focus on establishing something viable for a movie treatment.  However, what really stands out is the creative team.  I'm very interested in seeing what Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang do with this.  I'm of the mind DC is doing a lot of these revamps with movies in mind, so I suspect they're putting a lot of effort into Wonder Woman and getting her up to snuff.  Going to be interesting to see where they go with it and this is the title that has drawn the most interest from me from those announced.   That cover is amazing, too. 

Verdict - Day 1 Purchase

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis

Kirk: I loved what Johns did with Aquaman in Blackest Night, but his Brightest Day work left me nonplussed.  It was already announced as a book for the pre-revamp line, but I'm actually more interested in it now than I was before, so I'll actually be giving this a look when it comes out now.  Like my suspicions for Wonder Woman, I imagine there's a movie initiative planned for this series.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Art by Francis Manapul

Kirk: Now this is an interesting change to the already recently relaunched Flash title.  Gone is Geoff Johns and in his place Francis Manapul steps up as the writer (with some scripting help from Brian Buccellato).  I imagine Johns left some crib notes and plans for the Flash for his artist friend, but this is both an interesting and odd decision.  Flash has been pretty popular of late and is currently headlining the Flashpoint event, so handing the reins over to an unproven artist to write the book seems like an odd decision in this bold new era for the company.  I'll be taking a look at this one when it comes out just since I'm enjoying Flashpoint so much.  At the very least, it'll look pretty.

Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone
Art by Yildiray Cinar

Kirk: In what is a very 90's Image trend this first wave of announced creative teams share, another artist headlines a book as the writer with Ethan Van Sciver handling writing duties with Gail Simone on this Firestorm title.  Firestorm has always been a tough sell and I'm not sure how big an impact this title will have.  With 52 other number one's to pick from, I can see this getting lost in the shuffle, even with Firestorm's roles in Blackest Night and Brightest Day.

Verdict - No Interest

Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Philip Tan

Kirk: Is there anyone interested in this title?  Artist Tony Daniel's writing hasn't been exactly drawing rave reviews combined with Hawkman, a character Geoff Johns couldn't even make people care about and who has had several dozen failed revamps and relaunches over the years, makes me think this will be the first comic cancelled for the new DC barring some act of God.  

Verdict - No Interest

Written by JT Krul
Art by Dan Jurgens

Kirk: Sorry, scratch that last comment, this title is probably the first to be cancelled.  Why is JT Krul still writing?  The mind, it boggles.

Verdict - WHY

Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Aaron Lopresti

Kirk: Okay, this is a nice premise for the title and I'm all for a JLI book, but where's Keith Giffen?  He would be perfect for restarting this title.  Hell, where's Judd Winick?  He was handling Generation Lost and most were happy with what was happening there.  I like Jurgens and all, but his recent writing work feels dated and not something that will draw me in.

 Verdict - No Interest

Written by Eric Wallace 
Art by Roger Robinson

Kirk: Only thing I've read from Eric Wallace is his Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink work and it was serviceable, but nothing special either.  As I've never had any interest in Mister Terrific prior to this revamp and no major creative team or changes announced for him, not much to get excited about for me on this one. 

Verdict - No Interest

Written by JT Krul
Art by Freddie Williams II

Kirk: JT Krul again headlining a new title.  He must know where the bodies are buried.  I can't see how the man responsible for Rise of Arsenal and various other train wrecks is getting work, let alone headlining major revamps at the most important time in DC's history.  Captain Atom is a character I've always had an interest in, but have never really been able to find a book or title he's been in that hooked me.  On paper, he should be an easy sell with his power set and background, but nothing ever clicked.  Can't see Krul doing much with him, though I may check it out for Freddie Williams II's art.

 Verdict - Will Try First Issue

Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Bernard Chang

Kirk: Anthology book?  Right out of the gate for this new revamp?  Perhaps even with his surge in popularity coming out of Brightest Day, mayhap DC didn't think Deadman could hold a solo title on his own and relegated him to renewing the copyright on an anthology title?  I honestly thought Deadman would have a title when they announced this revamp of the line and all the new number ones set to be announced.   Despite that, I like the creative team (though Jenkins can be hit or miss, but when he hits, its usually a homerun), so will probably at least try this one out.  

Verdict - Will Try First Issue


This first batch of revamps from DC left me with a lot of questions.  I like most of what I see, but only two books really stood out and grabbed me with a few others generating interest.  Then there's just a handful that leave me scratching my head in disbelief.  What's the point of revamping an entire line of comics if you aren't going to shake things up, bring in new talent and get some big names on books?  Geoff Johns can't write every book for DC.  He's doing his best, but he's still human.  

So seeing all the same old faces, various artists given writing jobs and questionable choices (JT Krul being the big one) headlining multiple books just like pre-revamp DC makes no sense.  The problem wasn't the history or characters or anything related to the DC Universe itself - it was the talent.  Putting all the same talent on the same titles doesn't fix the problem regardless of whether you revamp the line or not.

Hopefully they take cues from Marvel and the next wave of creative teams announced feature indie talent and/or poach from Vertigo.  I still can't believe Marvel has so many former/current Vertigo writers in their stable when DC is the one responsible for Vertigo.  Grab these critically acclaimed writers and artists already in working relationships with one branch of your company and let them take chances and work magic for a revamp.  Give me something to be excited about.  Not the same old song and dance from the creators that failed to interest me previously.

What do you think?  Are these titles and creative teams selling you on the revamp?  Which ones will you be buying or checking out? 

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maybetoby said...

If your looking for a decent Captain Atom book, read Captain Atom: Armageddon by Will Pfeifer. That was awesome, he finally received some decent treatment.

Anonymous said...


Make mine Marvel?

Midnight Monk said...

Mister Terrific is definitely gonna be the first to be cancelled. The cover of book can be a major selling point and his cover is god awful as well as his redesign. Should've just amp up his old look alittle more rather than simply dropping it. Just..ugh

My interest in Hawkman has definitely grown since BD, I found his Hawkworld story quite interesting. I hope his book manages success.

Aside from maybe JLA nothing else here makes me want to go out and buy it before reviews. Hope they show what going on with the Bat Books and Titans, DC has been unusually quiet concerning those books

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a frank blogsite like WC for telling it like it is.

The revamped titles left me underwhelmed. Mr. Terrific, Krul's Green Arrow and Captain Atom, Firestrorm, Hawkman, JLI, DCU Presents and Aquaman I can see getting canceled right out the gate.

I agree with the points of the post - these are mostly the same creators who underwhelmed us before. It's like switching deck chairs on the Titanic - it's a linewide reboot! Where's the new blood?

Giving Manapul the writing reins to Flash is a head stratcher as well, but at least it will look good.

Curious about the rebooted Batman titles. Will there be a rebooted Batman Inc. title? Hope not. Watching Batman recruit 100 Batmen dilutes what makes Batman special in the 1st place.

I think this is rebooting for the sake of rebooting and grabbing attention - especially since Superman as Forrest Gump and the Wonder Woman revamps stalled.

How long before Marvel rebooted their entire lines of comics? Do you think they will wait and see?

Matt Duarte said...

@Anonymous: I don't think Marvel will relaunch anything. At least not anytime soon. Historically, this has been DC's shtick and the only time Marvel really did it was with Heroes Reborn (if you don't count Ultimate) and everyone pretty much agrees that it was a travesty.

Also, I fucking lol'd at the Verdict for Green Arrow. To be fair though, the title has been selling better than expected since the latest relaunch. Doing alright for a lower to mid-range book.

What really makes my head scratch is what is going to happen to David Finch's Batman title. Is that going to get rebooted as well with only six or so issues?

Zdenko said...

What six issues of DAvid Finch's Batman, Matt? :P You mean 2 published issues and 4 announced ones? :P ;)

maskedmanissue1 said...

I think Capt Atom is going to surprise people, because Winick left him at an interesting place after JL:GL and there is so much that could be done with him all the way to the levels of Watchmen.

Green Arrow's latest story has been so horrid, that the only thing in the next year related to GA I'm interested in is him playing a Tony Stark version of himself in Flashpoint for 3 issues. Beyond that, I would not be surprised if it is indeed the first cancellation after the relaunch.

Now *this* is the announcement I'm waiting for:
Winick for Blue Beetle #1

Kenny said...

People seem to think that this reboot will make DC turn into Marvel. Nothing will be cancelled right out the gate. Rebels, Doom Patrol, Azrael got at least 18 issues each with less than 11000 sales. Marvel's the one cancelling things right out the gate.

Sean said...

Gail Simone's clarified that while she and Ethan Van Sciver will be co-plotting, she'll be taking care of actual scripting.

I'm willing to give it a try but it's a tough sell since I wasn't interested in the character, and his Brightest Day story (along with the Hawks) was my least favorite part of that maxi-series.

I'm really confused as to why Winick or Giffen aren't being given JLI.

Mister Terrific is a great character but his title is probably going to be the first cancelled among the 11. Eric Wallace is a decent writer, but I've only read Final Crisis Ink, and I have no idea what else he's written

Of these 11 books, it's really just Justice League and Wonder Woman that I have confidence in, though the former will probably suffer horrendous delays or will get a co-artist for Jim Lee.

Hopefully, the next wave of titles will give me more confidence on the revamp.

The Dangster said...

I think we're just all worried about Jim Lee handling art for JLA and finishing All Star. I smell trouble. Definitely getting Wonder Woman and Aquaman on the creative teams alone.

1. I like Manapul's art. I'm soo worried about artists also doing the writing (Tony Daniel and David Finch come to mind). I just hope Buccellato is strong as well.

2. Interestingly enough, Firestorm is a character I never cared about. I'm intrigued when Gail Simone's on the job. She never fails to impress me. Classic case of "I'll buy it if she's writing strong as usual."

3. JT Krul got a lot a flack for Rise of Arsenal. Much deserved. However, I feel like most of that was trying to clean up Robinson's mess and DC's mandate on the character. I'm giving him one more chance since his Teen Titan and other stuff has been decent.

4. JLI, is something that I've always wanted... but it really puzzles me that Jurgens is on it. All the respect to Jurgens but he's doing artwork on Green Arrow. I hope he can focus on these characters. Personally this is the most bizarre choice on the list. Krul's books make sense as he's being groomed by Johns. Again, I don't care for Judd Winick but I have to give him credit for a really good JL: Generation Lost story arc.

5. They took away Wonder Woman's jacket. Hooray. They took away Mr. Terrific's jacket. WHY?! I loved his costume. It was fresh and modern enough. I feel like the character has legs to be a hit and lead his own series. However, I'm unsure if Eric Wallace can get him there.

6. I will buy DC Universe presents. I really want some good done in one stories with smaller characters.

Lee said...

I am all over Aquaman because he is the greatest. And actually the only other one I will be checking out is Firestorm. The character has promise, although I am not too excited about the Ronny Raymond return. But since it is Gail Simone, I will be getting it. I agree that Firestorm has been pretty bad in Brightest Day, but that is not Gail Simone, so I am not going to hold it against the character and just trust her magic.

I would check out JLI, but not with that creative team. Maybe I will look into it when the first creative team change comes.

Bobby Weenus said...

I haven't been keeping up much with the Flashpoint and DC Relaunch stuff since I mostly only read Secret Six and Green Lantern titles but, is this a complete DCU revamp? Like are we throwing out all of the War of the Lanterns stuff, all of the storylines that have led up to this point?

Brian Lee said...

@Bobby Weenus: From what I've read, this is largely minor changes, with some bigger ones sprinkled in. In press releases, they've repeatedly said this is *not* a reboot but a "revamp." I read that as: top tier characters will get, at most, minor costume changes and a Brand New Day-style revamp (someone mentioned a rumor that Lois & Clark wouldn't be married anymore, for example); and lower tier characters may get more changes, but even still, I don't think they're going for anything really huge. I could be wrong, but that's what I'm reading from it.

Also, I read somewhere (I really can't remember where now) that stories going on now will still matter (the one I specifically remember being mentioned was Scott Snyder's Detective Comics stuff, but one or two others were mentioned, too). So, again, it seems more like a new coat of paint than any major structural changes.

Jon Q. Citizen said...

I suppose I must be one of the 10-11k fans of the Hawkman & Green I am excited for both titles. Also (though it shouldn't be surprising I guess, because of the first sentence of this I am a fan of both Tony Daniel & JT Krul. I'm not saying either is as good as Johns, Morrison, Bendis, etc. but they are decent writers.

(addressing MIDNIGHT MONK's comments:) I actually like Mister Terrific's new look, it brings the character out of the early 80's rap look....if they do the book in a "Tron" sorta feel, I think it can be successful.

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