Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 09/21/11

Welcome everyone to another exciting edition of the Post-Crisis Previews!  Like the previous two weeks, we'll be looking at all of the offerings from the DC Reboot, but there are also a handful of Spider-Island books, and the comic book adaptation of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones.  Hit the jump to see all this and more!

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion

Be here for the start of a new era for The Dark Knight from writer Scott Snyder (AMERICAN VAMPIRE, BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM) and artist Greg Capullo (Spawn)! A series of brutal killings hints at an ancient conspiracy, and Batman learns that Gotham City is deadlier than he knew.

Grant: You are likely well-aware of my propensity for Scott Snyder’s writing at this point. I do my best to be discerning, but he generally writes some pretty solid stuff. His run on Detective Comics was ridiculously good, and I imagine things will only get better with his move to the main Bat-title. I will certainly miss Jock and Francesco Francavilla, but it looks like Greg Capullo will be do a fine job following in these talented men's footsteps.

Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Jesus Saiz

One is wanted for a murder she didn’t commit. The other is on the run because she knows too much. They are Dinah Laurel Lance and Ev Crawford – a.k.a. Black Canary and Starling – and together, as Gotham City’s covert ops team, they’re taking down the villains other heroes can’t touch. But now they’ve attracted the attention of a grizzled newspaper reporter who wants to expose them, as well as a creepy, chameleon-like strike team that’s out to kill them.
Don’t miss the start of this hard-hitting new series from mystery novelist/comics writer Duane Swierczynski (Expiration Date, Cable).

Grant: I feel like it’s a little unclear what this title is about now that Oracle is no longer a figure in the wider DC Universe. Is it an organized group of femme fatales, like previous iterations of the team? Or is it a looser idea where there just so happens to be some badass ladies fighting together for the side of good? It’s hard to say, but maybe the answer will make for a worthwhile read. Crazier things have happened, I guess.

Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Ig Guara & Ruy Jose

It’s not easy being Jaime Reyes. He has to deal with high school, family and all the drama that comes with being a teenager. Also, he’s linked to a powerful scarab created by an alien race known as the Reach who seek to subjugate planets – or annihilate them. It’s up to one teen hero to turn this instrument of destruction into a force for good.

Grant: This title could really go either way, in my mind. On the one hand, I absolutely loved Jaime Reyes’ original ongoing series, but on the other hand, I’m not a huge fan of Tony Bedard’s writing. I know him mostly as the replacement for Tomasi on Green Lantern Crops and I always  felt that that title took a quality nose dive after he took over. However, my yearning for a new Blue Beetle vehicle outweighs my trepidation when it comes to the creative team, so I’m hoping to come into this one with an open mind.  If it can tap into some of what made the original series so great, this book could really go places.

Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Freddie Williams II

Charged by nuclear energy, possessing vast molecular powers, Captain Atom has the potential to be a literal god among men – a hero without limits. But the question is: Will he lose himself in the process?
Don’t miss the start of a legend from writer J.T. Krul (GREEN ARROW, TEEN TITANS) and artist Freddie Williams II (JSA ALL-STARS)!

Grant: Whoa, there!  I understand that comic book solicitations and hyperbole go hand in hand, but putting "legend" and J.T. Krul in the same sentence is pushing things a little bit.  I have read exactly one comic book issue that he's written that I enjoyed (the first issue of Deadman and the Flying Graysons), and everything else has been poor to middling.  His other title in the relaunch, Green Arrow, was one of the most formulaic and boring books I've read this month, but I've read on some creators’ twitter feeds that they were really impressed with Captain Atom #1, so maybe he can turn it around for one of his books, but my expectations are being set rather low. DC seems to keep giving Krul work, but I can't for the life of me figure out why.

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Guillem March

Meet Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is – she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in this new series from writer Judd Winick (BATMAN: UNDER THE HOOD) and artist Guillem March (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS)!

Grant: Judd Winick really impressed me with his work on Batwing #1, and he seems quite excited for Catwoman, so I’m cautiously optimistic for this one. However, that is tempered by his insistence on how “sexy” this book is and Guillem March’s propensity for laying the cheesecake on heavy. I hope that we can get a nuanced and strong Selina Kyle ala Ed Brubaker’s run on the character, but it’s too early to know for sure.

Written by Mark Waid
Art by Marcos Martin

Matt Murdock begins his new career--one that will expose Daredevil to crime and evil in a whole new way! If you thought the odds were against Matt as a trial lawyer, you won't believe the challenges his new job brings--and what they'll do to his private life!

Grant: Wait, didn’t I just read this? Oh, this is issue #4, you say? Well I’m game for two Daredevil issues in two weeks, because this series continues to fire on all cylinders. Mark Waid’s upbeat and lighthearted tone has been perfectly matched by both Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin.  With Martin taking over for the next arc, I am eager to see what comes next.  Additionally, that cover is too good to refuse.

Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Bernard Chang

It’s the start of a new series spotlighting some of the DC Universes’s most exciting super heroes! First up is Deadman, straight from the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY, in a five-issue epic where the body-hopping hero meets his match in a new foe who wants to make sure the souls that Deadman helps out go straight to Hell!

Grant: I think this title makes the least amount of sense. I’m all for having a book where you can tell a bunch of different stories month to month, but when the arcs take six issues, that idea is kind of defeated. But , as I've said before, I was a big fan of the Deadman – Dove relationship from Brightest Day, and it’s clear that Hawk & Dove will not be a good place to get more of that, so perhaps we can get some of that in this book.  Fingers crossed.

Written by George R.R. Martin & Daneil Abraham
Art by Tommy Patterson

George R.R. Martin has been called "the American Tolkien" by Time Magazine, and now his landmark fantasy series is being adapted to a graphic format, starting with the first book of the series: A Game of Thrones.  The premiere issue introduces readers to George's world, adapting the prologue and first three chapters of the novel, and bringing onto the graphic stage such iconic characters as Eddard and Catelyn Stark, Jon Snow, young Bran Stark, and Daenerys Targaryen.  This novel has also been adapted as a major miniseries by HBO - with HBO's highest ratings to date, since having premiered on April 17, 2011!

Grant: Tie-in comics are a real mixed bag. They can sometimes be wonderful, like the Boom's Muppets book, and they can sometimes be terrible, like most every other tie-in comic (only a slight exaggeration). I’m hoping this book will fall on the side of the former and not the latter, but I liked George R.R. Martin’s books enough to be interested in giving this new series a look. At the very least, it will be interesting to see how their adaptation of Westeros compares to the books and to the TV show.  See also: if this first issue only manages to fit in the prologue and first three chapters, this is going to be one long series.

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Parsarin & Scott Hanna

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 – or else.

Grant: It’s been a long while since I’ve felt that it’s necessary to have more than one Green Lantern title.  I really enjoyed Tomasi's run, especially with it's emphasis on the lesser known members of the Corps (aka, not the humans).  Perhaps bringing him back on board can make the title relevant again, but it does seem to be a bit more human focused, considering the blatant call outs of Guy Gardner and Jon Stewart, but hopefully the creative team won't forget that there are other Green Lantern members on Oa as well.

Written by Paul Levitz
Art by Francis Portela

The Legion of Super-Heroes has been decimated by the worst disaster in its history. Now, the students of the Legion Academy must rise to the challenge of helping the team rebuild – but a threat of almost unstoppable power is rising at the edge of Dominator space, and if the new recruits fail, the Legion Espionage Squad may be the first casualties in a war that could split worlds in half!

Grant: Ugh. I really do not understand the appeal of the Legion of Superheroes. They just don't do anything for me. I've never found the characters to be terribly compelling or any stories I’ve read of theirs to be all that interesting. Like the rest of the New 52, I’ll give this book a chance, but I wasn't buying it beforehand for a reason. We'll see if Levitz and Francis Portela have better luck changing my mind than Nicieza and Woods did.

Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Eddy Barrows & JP Mayer

Dick Grayson flies high once more as Nightwing in a new series from hot new writer Kyle Higgins (BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM)! And as he embraces his destiny, Haley’s Circus, the big top where Dick once performed, returns to Gotham City – bringing with it murder, mystery and superhuman evil. Nightwing must confront his past, among former friends and enemies from his circus days, while uncovering a much greater evil!

Grant: I was among what I believe was the many who really enjoyed Dick Grayson as Batman, so I am disappointed to see him relegated back to his former identity as Nightwing. It is my firm hope that the series can provide some satisfying reasoning for this sudden change and that it doesn’t simply ignore the question completely. Who knows how that will play out, but based on Kyle Higgins work on Gates of Gotham, I think that this series could be alright.  (note: I still don't understand what the deal is with the red costume.  Is it really so much better than his old blue one?)

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort

No sooner has Batman’s former sidekick, Jason Todd, put his past as the Red Hood behind him than he finds himself cornered by a pair of modern day outlaws: Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal, the damaged soldier of fortune, and the alien Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war who won’t be chained again.
As a loner, Jason has absolutely no interest in this motley crew of outlaws. So what’s he going to do when they choose the Red Hood as their leader? Find out in this hot new series from writer Scott Lobdell (WILDC.A.T.S, Uncanny X-Men), featuring art by rising star Kenneth Rocafort (ACTION COMICS)!

Grant: I’ll admit that the concept behind this book of “Red Hood and some friends get into wacky adventures” sounds kind of ridiculous, but I’m hoping the book picks up on that and goes all the way. I won’t be all that interested in a series that follows the super serious and grisly exploits of the Red Hood, Arsenal, and Starfire, but if they are busy getting up to kooky hijinx every week, Lobdell and Rocafort just might be able to get my three dollars on a regular basis.

Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Emma Rios

The insidious Mr. Negative poisons Cloak & Dagger against each other, as Spider-Man and his allies battle a deadly infestation in the thick of SPIDER-ISLAND! Ty and Tandy always balanced each other out, but the corrupting touch of Mr. Negative makes Cloak & Dagger fated enemies! Nick Spencer (SECRET AVENGERS, IRON MAN 2.0) and Emma Ríos (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, OSBORN) take the fan-favorite duo in unbelievable new directions!

Grant: As much as I love most of the titles coming out of Spider-Island (and I really do), this is, by far, the best thing coming out. To be perfectly honest, this might be one of the best things coming out, period. Nick Spencer and Emma Rios are doing some truly mind blowing things with their time with Cloak and Dagger. The way their approaching the characters is truly innovative, and it leaves me wanting more. I really hope that this can become an ongoing, but either way, I’ll be enjoying every issue of this mini.

Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli

Jessica Drew and THE EVER-LOVIN' THING go toe-to-toe over the one thing that can cure SPIDER-ISLAND ... Ben Grimm's old girlfriend, ALICIA MASTERS? What dark secret from Spider-Woman's past threatens to overwhelm her present -- and what old (insect-themed) foe is THE JACKAL bringing back and powering up to destroy the Dark Angel of the Marvel Universe? 

Grant: This solicitation is kind of all over the place, which is pretty much what I'm expecting from the book itself.  And let me be clear, I don't think that's a bad thing.  I've been willing to give most every Fred Van Lente vehicle a chance since reading his brilliant Taskmaster series last year, so him writing a one-shot Spider-Island tie-in is a pretty big no-brainer for me.  I know that it won't equal that mini-series brilliance (I don't know if anything can), but that doesn't mean it can't be a good time.

Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art by Mahmud Asrar

Meet Supergirl. She’s got the unpredictable behavior of a teenager, the same powers as Superman – and none of his affection for the people of Earth. So don’t piss her off!

Grant: Like Superboy, I feel as if DC really dropped the ball on their Supergirl title. As great as it is to have yet another angsty teenaged hero (and it’s not), I wish that DC would have gone in a different direction here. I bring up the issue enough, but I think this title could have been aimed at a wider, more all-ages audience, which would have made for a more approachable book that would better serve the relaunch effort. But of course, that’s not what we’re getting here, so the best I can hope for is that the execution of this tired idea is better than the idea itself.

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang

The Gods walk among us. To them, our lives are playthings. Only one woman would dare to protect humanity from the wrath of such strange and powerful forces. But is she one of us – or one of them?

Grant: I love Wonder Woman. I think she’s a great character who can be used to tell great stories. You just need to have the rights creators working with her. We had it with Greg Rucka, we had it with Gail Simone, and I’m desperately hoping we’ll have it with Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. Azzarello’s writing can be out of this world good, and Chiang can elevate his art to the same level. All we need is for these two to gel with each other and really “get” who Diana, Princess of the Amazons can be.

Another week, another unnecessarily large batch of comics previewed.  And yet, considering that I'm picking up every single book in the DC Reboot, this is a pretty light week for me.  What's your haul going to be looking like?  As DC heavy or are you managing to be slightly more selective in your choosings?  As always, let me know in the comments!

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Klep said...

This week I'll be picking up Birds, Catwoman, Daredevil, and Wonder Woman. I'm not optimistic about Catwoman though, since Winnick has apparently decided her only relevant character trait is that she's sexy. Nothing I've seen about the book yet suggests it'll be anything more than cheesecake. It's possible I'll grab Batman, but I won't decide on that until I'm in the store.

Green Lantern Corps #1 is subtitled "Triumph of the Will," for which somebody should probably be fired.

Anonymous said...

I will pick all of the new DC titles and because of the price I am dropping all marvel titles from my list. So far I have been impressed by most of the new DC titles. The ones that have disappointed me so far are:
-Green Arrow
-Red Lanterns
All the other titles are just amazing, ranging from good to epic. Mi favs are:
-Action Comics
-Animal Man
-Swamp Thing

brandon said...

Big week - X-Men Schism, Red Wing, Severed & Ninja Turtles.

Picking up Batman, Green Lantern Corps, DMZ, Star Wars Jedi, The Boys and Planet of the Apes.

Taking a look at Catwoman.

So far with the DC launch I only plan to continue to get GL (as was the case in the old DCU). The rest are a week to week budget decision. I've found most of the stuff to be "meh".

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