DC Comics Solicitations for June

CBR has the full list. Time to poke my nose in the waters of the future …

How much Batman stuff can people read? I know he’s a popular character but come on; fifteen Batman-related titles, plus two TPBs and an archive in one month? And that doesn’t include the Superman/Batman books as well. That’s just taking the piss. I’m glad that I’m only interested in Gotham Central, which has an intriguing new storyline started with what looks like the body of Robin on the front cover and Rucka & Brubaker together on writing duties. And should I be worried about enjoying Adam Hughes’s cover for Catwoman? Not enough to try the book, I’m sorry to say Mr Pfeifer, but best of luck. An aside, which may show my lack of comic history knowledge: how classic is the team of Englehart, Rogers & Austin? Was the comics world crying out for their return? Just curious.

Wow. Byrne’s cover for Action #828 is uglier than the last one. That’s talent. I feel sorry for Gail Simone. And his cover for Blood of the Demon #4 looks equally hideous. Are the people at DC too scared to tell him anything negative? Or was that in his contract? ‘I shall be allowed to draw whatever the hell I want, and there’s nothing you can do about. Moo-hahahahahaha. And don’t call him Supes!’

I either grew up too much with Marvel books or listen too much to Warren Ellis when he talks about keeping corporate licenses alive, but most of the DC books do nothing for me. They have a lot of old characters being revived – Donna Troy, OMAC, Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern – and old stuff being renewed – Breach, Firestorm, Demon, Doom Patrol – that it just doesn’t sizzle with excitement. (And what the hell is Son of Vulcan? Do people get memos on this stuff?)

Which is why we should get down on our knees and thank whatever gods Grant Morrison believes in for his Seven Soldiers; Klarion Witch Boy, Shining Knight and Zatanna miniseries all continue this month with some gorgeous covers, competing with James Jean’s and Jock’s Losers for cover of the month.

After a huge rant against the old stuff, I have to point out some old stuff. Irony, we meet again. The Ballad of Halo Jones is fabulous stuff (I still remember reading the first time in the pages of 2000AD, with her fighting on a planet with such huge gravity that it affects time in the battlefield, and fine penmanship of Ian Gibson) and there is another Rogue Trooper collection to bring more adolescent memories flooding back, of Rogue, Helm, Bagman and Gunnar and their adventures on Nu Earth, in war comics that aren’t written by Garth Ennis.

That said, I don’t think I’ll be trying Albion, as I prefer my Alan Moore full-fat, not the skimmed version of ‘plot by’. Still, it’s an interesting experiment, if nothing else.

I’m looking forward to finally reading Astro City: The Dark Age, so I hope Kurt is fully recovered and up to the story that’s been brewing at the heart of the series.

I didn’t read the previous Authority/Lobo book, and I’ll probably give the Spring Break Massacre a pass too, but respect to them for a great title. Anyway, there’s too much Wildstorm for me to take in as it is, what with Authority: Revolution, Ex Machina, Intimates as singles, and City of Tomorrow & Matador on the trade-wait list.

Is it me, or is Wildsiderz the most embarrassingly stupid name for a new comic of late?

Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, originally a book, then a television programme (or was it the other way around? My chronological memory is appalling …) is now a comic book adapted by Mike Carey and the strange choice of Glenn Fabry on art. What next? Video game? Animated series? Interactive hologram?

We3 is collected into trade paperback this month, allowing me to catch up on the series that had the comic blogosphere on fire when it was released. I didn’t buy it at the time because I didn’t enjoy Seaguy very much and the glowing reviews make me regret that choice. But, I was wondering if there is extra stuff in the TP, as it is 104 pages for $12.99, which seems a lot when the original issues were $3 each, and the Seaguy TP is $9.99 for the same number of pages.

Finally, a question to anyone reading this. I would like to know: do you buy any of the merchandise listed at the end of the solicitations? I read comics because I love the stories and the combination of word and art, and have never been tempted to buy anything related to comics, like action figures or statues or busts or replica rings or t-shirt. Is there something wrong with me? Am I not geeky enough? Is my nerd gene recessive? Please let me know what you bought and why, as I’m genuinely interested.

2 Comments

  • Greg 17 March 2005 at 5:47 pm

    Well, David, let’s see if I can answer some of your questions;

    1. Englehart/Rogers/Austin were on Detective for only six issues, but yes, they were excellent. Englehart brought back Hugo Strange and Deadshot, and Rogers (presumably) designed Floyd Lawton’s new costume, which he still has today. They also introduced Silver St. Cloud, who is, in many fans’ eyes (including me), the quintessential Batman girlfriend. Issues 471-476 – great stuff. However, I doubt if there is a great clamor for their return, and to tell you the truth, I probably won’t be buying this. I prefer to read the back issues!

    2. Neverwhere was first a BBC program, if I remember correctly (and I’m 99% sure about it). I haven’t seen the show, liked the book, will probably wait for the trade. The first cover by Fabry is excellent, however (I agree with you – covers would be nice – I don’t know how to do it, but maybe one day …)

    3. No, you’re not geeky enough – and that’s a good thing. I don’t buy merchandise either – I have a Boba Fett action figure, but bought it on a whim out in the real world, and that’s it. I just can’t imagine buying any of it. There are levels of geekdom, I guess. Sorry I can’t help you there.

    I have a contest going over in my neck of the woods, if you’re interested. I don’t know if you have Scurvy Dogs yet, but here’s your chance to get it for free!

    Reply
  • David 18 March 2005 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks for your answers, Greg.

    Six issues? Wow. Things must have been different back then.

    You are right about Neverwhere (I checked on the BBC’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy site) – the reason for my confusion was a memory I had of attending a Q&A/ reading of the first chapter with Neil Gaiman in a bookshop a long time ago and couldn’t recall which came first. I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled….

    Glad to hear I’m not geeky enough 🙂 I’m still interested to find out the thoughts of the blogosphere. Heed my call, blogosphere!

    I will attempt your contest (and put a link on the blog, natch) because free comics are good comics 🙂

    Reply

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