DC News & Views 04.13.04

This week we have a couple of articles that feature well worn themes (Morales being interviewed, a DC book selling out) as well as a surprise or two (Jeff Smith on Captain Marvel) and some stuff that just might make you scratch your head (pretending you never heard of Doom Patrol, a trade of WILDC.A.T.S./Cyberforce). All of this and a minimum of my chatter. I’m sure we can color you interested.

But rather than do that, (what color is interested anyway), how about you just read the stories

Eisners Announced; DC All About Showing Off

A comic book featuring a goon who fights zombies, a kids’ anthology, and a Sandman graphic novel have received the most nominations for the 16th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. Eric Powell’s The Goon (published by Dark Horse) is nominated for Best Single Issue, Best Continuing Series, and Best Humor Publication, while Powell is up for Best Writer/Artist-Humor. The third Little Lit anthology from Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (published by HarperCollins) has two Best Short Story nominations as well as nods for Best Anthology and Best Title for a Younger Audience. And Neil Gaiman’s hardcover The Sandman: Endless Nights is nominated for Best Short Story and Best Anthology and has two nominations for Best Painter (Miguelanxo Prado and Frank Quitely) as well as a shared nomination for Best Lettering (Todd Klein).

To read all about how DC is scored the most nominations and then did a gratuitously long and involved celebration dance, check outThe Pulse

CONGRATULATIONS DC AND DC RELATED PUBLISHERS! DC (and its imprints) doubling up on the nearest competition (Dark Horse) in terms of nominations is not such a shabby thing at all. Much to be proud of there. Glad to see Gotham Central got a few well-deserved nods. The nominations for Empire, Sleeper, and Brubaker also pleased me much. Sadly, much like Entertainment Weekly’s It List, somehow my name was omitted from the Eisners yet again.

I ask you people, all of you, what kind of justice is that?

Rags Talks Identity Crisis…This Must Be a First

Fifteen years to hit the big time. That’s how long it’s taken Rags Morales to go from coming in the front door of the industry to landing on the choice gig coming from DC this summer, Identity Crisis.

Written by Brad Meltzer, the seven-issue miniseries kicking off in June starts with a murder – a sacrifice made to protect a secret held by the JLA. By the end of the story, the DC will be shaken from top to bottom…for real. It’s not, as Morales explains, a hollow promise with no implications afterwards for the characters – both hero and villain, afterwards.

A Rags Morales interview: Taste it again for the first time at Newsarama

Goodness DC has Morales working the press circuit hard. Meltzer has remained relatively quiet since the announcement, but Morales is everywhere.

(In case any of you are wondering, yes, this is my excuse for not having much to say about this interview.)

Anyway, the biggest relief is that Morales rejects the comparison to that other Crisis. Anytime I hear someone talk about to a return to the Silver Age DC universe (in other words, multiple universes), I get nervous. First of all, there is the whole why thing? As in why, oh why, would we go back to what, by most accounts, was a fairly convoluted mess. And why, as in, why, if we already have the oh-so-brilliant concept of Hypertime (where everything that happens is continuity) which, theoretically already makes all of Pre-Crisis continuity a current DC reality. It also makes me nervous because I really don’t get it. Nothing in the solicitations or any of the interviews I have read indicates to me that this mini-series has an intention of accomplishing that goal or is even related to THE Crisis beyond the sharing of a common word in the title.
I mean, it is a murder mystery, right? One that effects the whole of the DCU certainly, but just because of that doesn’t mean we are not talking Zero Hour here. Are we? Please tell me we aren’t.

Doom Patrol Back…Although Officially, You’ve Never Seen Them

Together again, yet appearing for the first time – DC presents the return of the original Doom Patrol.

This is not going to be easy to explain.

The Doom Patrol has been a staple of the DC universe since 1963. Characters like Beast Boy of the Titans have emerged from the group, and the enemies of the team have been around ever since as well.

To read about a team you think you’ve heard of, but obviously have not, check out Newsarama

Anyone who has read the column on more than a few occasions is aware that continuity is rarely first on my list of concerns when it comes to comics. That being said, I do find myself a touch bewildered by this particular decision.

First, not to be an idiot, but isn’t Cliff Steele one of the psyches being combined to power Enginehead in his self-title debut series (he being Enginehead, not Cliff…although Cliff Steele is a boss series title)? So is Enginehead in the future then…or is this in the past…or vice versa.

The whole “this is the first time” take is also a bit perplexing to me. If Byrne wanted to tell stories of the original Doom Patrol engaging in events at the beginnings of their careers, then why isn’t he? Take an Untold Tales approach and put in the past of the DCU. Or, if the dwelling in the present is the matter of importance, then make it the original Doom Patrol’s reunion tour. I have a much easier time swallowing comic characters cheating death and life changing events and essentially returning to square one then I do buying into the elimination of an entire team’s past for…well…that is the other problem. What is the significance, the need, to make them modern and brand new? And no, because Byrne wants it that way is not an answer. There should be a compelling reason to do this, a story that is good and could not be told any other way then wiping out the Doom Patrol’s past. Nothing I have read to date makes me think that this is the case.

A Titan of Sales

TEEN TITANS #8 (DEC030287), featuring the dramatic return of Raven, has sold out at DC Comics. The issue, written by Geoff Johns with art by Tom Grummet & Marlo Alquiza and a cover by Mike McKone & Alquiza, serves as a prelude to the 5-part storyline ” New Blood, ” which begins in TEEN TITANS #9.

For the second huge surprise of the week (behind another Morales interview), check out Newsarama for an article about a DC book selling out.

Yeah! Another feather in Johns cap and another sell out of a book I enjoy. Good stuff.

In other news, I hate myself a little more each day for making puns like that one in the headline

Johns Writes a Superboy That, Apparently, is Not Your Daddy’s

This ain’t your Daddy’s Superboy. Heck, he might not even be the Superboy that many returning comic book fans remember. But under the guidance of DC Comics’ “Teen Titans” writer Geoff Johns, the new Superboy (first seen a decade ago in the “Reign of The Supermen” storyline) has seen a definite resurgence in popularity. With the exciting events surrounding the Teen of Steel, CBR News’ Superman Celebration squad caught up with California Kid Geoff Johns and his role in “Teen Titans.”

Use your tactile telekinesis to check out the current life and times of the Teen of Steel at Comic Book Resources

And this is a pretty good indication of some of the reasons I enjoy the Titans current series. It is a very smart update of what was the original concept of the Titans: Sidekicks (or Partners) Along Together. The relationships between this current incarnation members is not the same as the originals, but they work in spite (or perhaps because) of that. This is not a Wolfman redux, but rather a worthy successor that clearly has its own take in mind.

Whenever a Bone Close, A Captain Marvel Opens

Jeff Smith’s epic saga Bone is nearing its conclusion. The majority of readers are sad to see it go, Smith is promising lots of closure to one of comics most highly regarded independent series. Although most of us don’t like saying “the end of Bone,” it’s something we’re also anticipating. Every story has an ending, and I can’t wait to see how Smith wraps this all up. After Bone, Smith is going to be playing in DC’s sandbox with a four-part Captain Marvel limited series.

SHAZAM it up atThe Pulse

I am kind of surprised that this is not getting more press. Smith’s Bone is a fairly impressive accomplishment and one that has generally been well regarded from the start. To have him writing and drawing a mainstream DC character would seem to be just the sort of thing to get the old buzz a-starting and a-spreading. A well respected writer/artist with indie sensibilities? That strikes me as press release gold.
Perhaps after the book is solicitated.

My guess, and this is just a guess, is that people would be talking more about it if this series wasn’t announced almost 2 years ago, and we still haven’t even seen a solicitation. I know I’m one of the fans that’s really looking forward to the series, but also tired of getting teased with it… – The Overlord

Further Evidence that The 90’s Are the New 80’s

Top comics creators Jim Lee and Marc Silvestri joined forces in 1993 for the unforgettable WILDC.A.T.S/Cyberforce crossover, which brought together two of comics’ hottest teams. That event is collected as the WILDC.A.T.S/CYBERFORCE: KILLER INSTINCT TP.

Dig the nostaglia wave at Newsarama

So… this is happening


Tell the Overlord to stay out of the column. This is the Grimace’s tome.

-Tim Sheridan

Wow, dig that Daron. What do you have to say about such harsh criticism?

Well, save for that little nugget I just threw in about Captain Marvel, I pretty much agree. I don’t really like commenting in the news articles, but Un Gajje here keeps soliciting me to, what with commentary that ends with, “what do you think Daron?” So it’s really your call Grimace… And while we’re on the subject…just how many nicknames do you have?!? – The Overlord

Well, folks, it’s it and that’s that. We’ll see you next week. I’ll be the one with the news.

Un Gajje…The One With the News (and the Pie)