DC’s Full February Solicitations–Decoded!

Hey Sleepwalkers. You might have been by Comics Alliance Monday and noticed that the entirety of DC’s February solicitations have been announced. But you have questions. You aren’t entirely satisfied. What are the major team changes, and what do they signify? Which cover is easily the best of the lot? What are the best TPBs coming out? Will there be a surprise at the end of this blog?

Have no fear, Sleepwalkers. All of those questions (and more!) will be answered soon!

Green Arrow #6

Another change in the art department. This time, Jurgens is relieved of co-penciller duties by one Ignacio Calero. Still no sign of Ann Nocenti. Again, I can’t help but wonder: is the ever-shifting nature of the artist on this book a sign that the title is in trouble, or a sign that DC really is committed to getting their books out on time? The uncomfortable implication of the latter is, of course, that Krul (and, to a lesser extent, Jurgens) wasn’t pulling his weight.

Mr. Terrific #6

There’s another pretty major shift here, as Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Faucher are replaced wholesale by Oliver Nome, a (for me) total unknown…but his DeviantArt gallery is kind of cool. This looks like the month for DC to break the status quo; along with some new information about the digital initiative, is this a sign they’re going to start looking into more unknown, freelance talents? And if so, when does Brian Clevinger get an ongoing?

DC Universe Presents #6

DC Universe Presents has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the relaunch so far. I never thought I’d get so invested in a Deadman story, but the title is currently providing supernatural action, funny moments, and bursts of truly emotional storytelling. I have no idea if it will be any good or not, but if this article on Bleeding Cool is any indication (and if you can translate what they’re actually saying through the layers of hyperbole), I might have to sit the next six issues out.

Action Comics #6

Action Comics is still $4, there’s a backup story, blah blah blah. What I really have issue with is this quote from the solicit text:
The breakneck pace of Grant Morrison’s run on ACTION COMICS continues. Breakneck? Is that really the best adjective for this? Now, I love Grant Morrison as much as the next blogger, but seriously–the only reason I would use the term “breakneck” is because trying to follow all of the jumps in scene and time might cause whiplash. I understand that Morrison is trying to evoke the feel of the 30s Superman, and by extension, the entire Golden Age–in that there’s this economy of storytelling that keeps the plot moving at incredible speeds–but he doesn’t have the omniscient narrator to help the reader keep track of what’s going on. Basically, it’s all over the place, and since Morrison is playing his cards so close to the vest, I’ve got no sense of direction or orientation.

But I’m still going to keep buying it.

Batman #6

Aside from the fact that Batman #6 claims the title of “Scariest DC Comic Cover” for the month of February, this is the first non-Justice League book available as a combo pack (Action Comics is also part of this, but I forgot to mention that part). It’s an interesting move, especially considering the recent news that all (as in, every last one) of Marvel’s Ultimate books will come with a download code at no extra cost. The digital war is heating up, and if I had to pick a winner right now, I’d put my money on the strategy that doesn’t require you to A) pay extra for something you already have and B) order a specific copy.

Batman: The Dark Knight #6

David Finch is back (at least as co-writer) on Dark Knight, rejoining Paul “DC Universe Presents” Jenkins. I don’t really have any comment beyond that except to say that I had a dream the other night that DC was cutting the current Bat-line by three books. No, I don’t remember which ones they were, but seriously. Superman has a four-title line, and he’s in two of them. Batman has a TWELVE-book line (that’s not counting Huntress, Penguin, or Batman: Odyssey), and he’s starring in four of them. I realize PROPORTIONALLY Superman is in more books, but come on. 12? That’s as many as six twos. And that’s too much.

Batwoman #6

Speaking of one of the zillion Bat-books, Batwoman’s going through a change that might be best described as “seismic.” While it’s no surprise that Amy Reed would be replacing (at least for a while) current illustrator JH Williams III. However, given that almost all of this book’s praise has been on the subject of Williams’ phenomenal art, I can’t help but sort of brace for impact when I see he’s sitting this one out. Also of note: If the solicit text is to be believed, we’re going to be seeing the supposedly axed Reeder variant covers.

Batman Beyond Unlimited #1

The second of the big bits of digital news comes in the form of Batman Beyond, which, as our good friends at Comics Alliance will tell us, is being released digitally first (part of DC’s catchily-named “Digital First” initiative). Just as I have to wonder if Batman and Action are signs of things to come, I have to wonder if Batman Beyond is merely testing the waters for a line-wide change. Also of note: this book is eight pages longer than Action Comics at the same price. But is DC merely charging again for something you already own? I mean, you can’t choose NOT to buy the digitally released copies, so if you already bought those and really want to read the Justice League Beyond stuff…I’m not too sure. I’ll have to ruminate on this.

The Shade #5

There isn’t really a joke here, except to say how excited I am about this. Shade #1 was the best work James Robinson has done in years, and if the preview DC just released is any indication, issue two is going to be part of the same wild ride. Plus: Pirates!

Jeff Lemire

I’m of two minds about Jeff Lemire. On the one hand, as I’ve mentioned before, Frankenstein is a book that I want desperately to like, but I just can’t. With issue three and a number of questionable choices (why is “nuke the alien planet” your SECOND option, AFTER you send in the strike team? If nukes are an option, and no one will miss it, WHY NOT OPEN WITH THAT?), I’ve decided to make good on my ultimatum to drop Frank from my pull list.

Animal Man, on the other hand, is creepy, heartfelt, and disturbing, and there isn’t enough dialogue for Jeff to mess it up. Add in the fact that this issue is A) a fake movie B) with “cinematography” by John Paul Leon (one of the most underused talents in comics, I tell you), and the loss of the Monster Squad stings that much less.

The Edge

I guess I’ve enjoyed Stormwatch more than I haven’t–it’s got its ups and downs, but for the most part, I like it. It seems that the current storyline is going to be continuing in Grifter, AKA “the book with the guys that illustrated the worst issue of Batman, Inc.” This article about Voodoo is interesting as well–I’ll let you read it, because Newsarama already said everything I could say.

Rob Liefield

I was going to make a joke about the fact that Rob Liefeld is both writing AND drawing this issue, but then I read this article, and then I felt bad.

Trades

The Flashpoint tie-ins get released in TPB format in March. As is per usual (or rather, as is what I cynically expect), DC has kept all of the good stories separate–if you want to read the only ones (in this humble blogger’s opinion) worth reading (Batman: Knight of Vengeance, Project: Superman, and Green Arrow Industries), you have to buy three books…but since those are the best issues, you probably already have the floppies, don’t you? Also of note: Batman, Inc is getting the deluxe treatment, and it includes the oversized (and as-yet unpublished) Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes.

THE BIBLE

DC publishes THE BIBLE.

Surprise?

Nope. Nothing. You read this whole post for no payoff. Kind of makes you think about life, doesn’t it?

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