DC News & Views

Has everyone been reading our Best of… awards, running daily in the “Columns” section of our most excellent website? I hope so. Yesterday, we announced the Best Writers of ’04 and had a couple of truly excellent acceptance speeches from Brian K. Vaughan and Gail Simone. And today…well, I guess you’ll just have to look for yourself.

I also urge you to pick up Wizard this week. I know there are many of you that dislike the mag and I respect that. However, my good friend and all around excellent guy Ben Morse makes his writing debut for them in this issue and it is an article on Countdown to boot. Sure, you could miss it. But would you want to?

Okay, enough selling, I feel like Daron. Let’s get on with the news and views. After all, that is what I get a paycheck for, right?


Milligan Does a Post Mortem on Chance

Despite critical acclaim from critics, fans and mainstream media (such as “Entertainment Weekly”) alike, DC Comics/Vertigo announced the cancellation of “Human Target” last week. The series focused on Christopher Chance, a master of disguise whose business was to protect those in need- and with sufficient payment- by assuming their identities and proactively ending the threat. CBR News caught up with series writer Peter Milligan, who hinted at the future of the titular hero and explained his reaction to the cancellation news.

Got out the scalpel, pull the body out of the cooler and start getting at Comic Book Resources

A week later and this book being cancelled still sucks. I am excited to hear that Milligan is not abandoning the concept in its entirety, leaving himself open to revisiting it in a miniseries or one shot as he did with Christopher Chance’s intro to the Vertigo Universe (in the Human Target mini) and The Final Cut.

While I disagree that Human Target was a well running dry, I am glad to hear that Milligan at least feels comfortable about where the title is ending. I am all for short lived series being able to finish their tales in some sort of satisfying resolution (although, not necessarily “and they lived happily ever after” ending) and given what Milligan is saying here, that looks it will be the case for Human Target.


Snejbjerg. Much Like Buster Poindexter, is Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

The Rogues War is coming through the pages of Flash and issue # 218, which is a spotlight on reformed villain Mick Rory, Heat Wave features hints at what’s about to come. Joining series writer Geoff Johns on this hot tale is artist Peter Snejbjerg. Snejbjerg enjoyed getting a chance to work on these characters, but wished the issue had just a little more Flash. A man of few words, we caught up with Snejbjerg for a few details on this story and a tease about his next project, The Chosen.

Don the asbestos suit and wade right into The Pulse

I have been psyched for this issue since I first heard about it in San Diego those many months ago. I love the Rogue Profiles in general and the way Johns is exploring Rory is a treat for a psychologist in training like myself. I can’t wait for Wednesday to pick this one up.

See the bottom of the page to see what other DC titles I am wicked excited for coming this Wednesday.


Grayson Returns to Grayson, With Some New Friends Along for the Ride

Devin Grayson writes DC’s Nightwing, even though there are some guys named Dixon and Beatty writing a “Year One” storyline in the title currently. Grayson is trying to finish up a 400-page Batman novel for DC at the moment, so she doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands. But she did have just enough to answer a few questions.

Dance with the bull at Silver Bullet Comic Books

Not much info here on Nightwing’s future beyond it is not cancelled. Solicitations have also revealed that the former GA art team of Hester and Parks are bound for NW when the Year One story wraps which serves to further sweeten the pot. I know that people were split on Grayson’s take on Dick, with many feeling that he stopped being the Dick that they had been reading for years and became a whiny, ineffectual dick (lower case intended. I, however, was on the other side of the fence and really enjoyed her run, with the exception of the War Games issues which could not have come at a worse time for the title, in my humble opinion. So to have her back, along with that most excellent art team, is thrilling news indeed. Plus, it means (95% sure) that Nightwing won’t buy it in Countdown.

I’m also interested to see what Matador is all about as I always Stelfreeze and have not seen anything from him in quite sometime. Sadly, I have no clue what or who that series will be about, so that tempers my excitement some.


FOR A NAME THAT MEANS QUIET, HE SURE MAKES A LOT OF NOISE

Come to Where Hush Never Ends

In one corner of the Bat-universe, “Hush” never really ended. Since taking over the title with issue #50, writer A.J. Lieberman (along with artists Al Barrionuevo and Francis Portela) has been exploring the character of Hush, as well as the threads left hanging by the bestselling Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee arc from Batman.

The first arc, “Pushback,” which ran from issue #50 through issue #55 saw Hush take revenge on the Riddler, the Joker try to make a stand against (and consequently get schooled by) Hush, the reestablishment of Poison Ivy’s place in Gotham City, the formation of the Hush/Prometheus (back from Grant Morrison’s JLA run) alliance, and Batman getting…angrier about Hush being around, period.

Take a couple of months off for the “War Games” crossover, and Lieberman got back to it last month with issue #60, marking the return of Hush, and the revelation (to Alfred, who due to a head trauma, forgot it) that Hush isn’t who everyone thinks he is.

We sat down with Lieberman to talk about his work on the series, and just where things stand in Gotham as he sees them.

You don’t have to take that! Push back at Newsarama. (Reread the teaser above and that lame joke will make sense. However, it will remain wildly unfunny.)


Trenchcoats for All!

In November, 2003, Batman fans finally learned the answer to a question that had haunted them for a year, “Who is Hush?” The trench coat clad villain with the bandaged face had been manipulating the Dark Knight’s rogues in an attempt to destroy him. In “Batman” #619, readers learned that Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Tommy Elliot was Hush. The mystery was solved. Or was it? In “Batman: Gotham Knights” #60 writer A.J. Lieberman shocked readers by revealing that Hush has been keeping the real Tommy Elliot prisoner. CBR News spoke to Lieberman about his work on “Gotham Knights” and the renewed mystery of Hush’s identity.

Go to the library at Comic Book Resources and see if you can renew your Harry Potter book on CD while you’re renewing that mystery. (That lame joke made me feel a little dirty. And not in the “let’s all roleplay” sort of way.)

I love villains and I love Batman, so this book should be for me. I also really like Barrionuevo’s art, so again, I should all sorts of dig this book. And yet…I have no love for it. I don’t hate it, don’t get me wrong, I’m just disinterested in it. His characterization of Prometheus makes exactly zero sense to me and I just can’t seem to motivate myself enough to see Hush (or the mystery of his identity) as particularly engrossing. Perhaps I’ll snag all these issues from Tim Sheridan and read them all at once and it will change my mind. I hope so, because, as I said, artwise and topic wise, this book and I should totally be boyz. Plus, I think Lieberman really has a love of the Bat and his cast of characters. I just haven’t found those elements to have combined themselves into an interesting story yet.


Gleason Decides to Stay in the Deep End of the Pool

Artist Patrick Gleason has signed a 2-year exclusive agreement with DC Comics. Gleason, the monthly penciller of AQUAMAN, also drew the Special JLA: WELCOME TO THE WORKING WEEK.

Toss the artist a pair of water wings to go along with that nice new contract at The Pulse

Aquaman, especially in the green and orange togs, is not the easiest character to make look cool and/or imposing, but Gleason has done it successfully, month in, month out, since taking over the art duties on Fish King’s (hey, maybe good ol’ Arthur should just call himself that from now on) book. With his ability to do that, DC is smart to pick up exclusively.


COMING ATTRACTIONS

Welcome to my new feature. It, as the title might suggest, is what I am particularly excited for the release of this Wednesday. I will only highlight DC titles (including Vertigo and Wildstorm) so if you don’t see it here, I’m not snubbing it. I don’t hate Bendis or Millar all of the sudden (although, I am sure such a move would garner me some popularity), I am just trying to stay true to the column’s “mission.” Also, it should be noted, that I am not listing every title I am picking up. So, if it isn’t here, it does not mean I’m not buying it. It just means that I am as specifically psyched about it. Dig? Good.

WE #3

Quitely’s best work in years and it restored my faith in Morrison’s creator owned works after the obvious and disappointing Seaguy. Even the length between issues cannot tamp down my excitement for this mini’s conclusion.

FLASH #218

See earlier in the article for my silly fanboy/psychology nerd excitement about this one.

PLANETARY #22

It does not matter who hit or miss Ellis is for me in general, I’ll always consider him a genius. And this title is the reason why. As an added bonus, I can actually remember what happened in this book last issue. Are they getting closer together in release date or is my memory improving. I’m too excited to care either way.


OPINIONS ON THE WORK OF PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN I

BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #187

Part three of the “ultimate Riddler story” (boy, do I love mentioning that) and there is still very little of the Riddler to be seen. The flashback items are interesting enough, but I wish I had a clearer vision of when they were happening. This issue seems to imply that they are occurring at some point after Nigma became the Riddler. If that is the case, though, what happened that landed him in some doctor’s house sporting the same exact look as the man looking after him? Some interesting questions looking to be answered there.

However, in the current timeline, Riddler only shows up to a.)get a date and b.) heckle Batman a pick. I support Eddie in both endeavors fully, but I would like to see him do more… “riddling”. The story’s not bad (and in fact, it is often good), but it just does not feel like Riddler’s a big enough part of it to me. With two chapters left, we’ll see if that changes.

BIRDS OF PREY #78

Simone’s decision to bring Huntress into the Bird fold continues to pay off. Her (meaning Ms. Bertinelli, not Ms. Simone) diatribe on what they are doing hunting Harvest is inspired and places the reader in the same place Canary finds herself. We know she’s wrong, we just can’t find the words to say why.

I also appreciated the twist on Harvest’s powers that inspired the diatribe in the first place. With both the “killers” the Birds have hunted down thus far in this arc, Simone has wisely dodged convention and chose to make things a little more complicated then “heroes don’t kill and anyone who does is therefore not a hero.” By presenting stories like these, BoP continues to be one of my favorite unsung (or very quietly sung) superhero books.

TEEN TITANS #20

For those of you who felt letdown by who the Identity Crisis fallout was handled by Robin in his own title, this is the issue for you. Building on the events of that miniseries (as well as the Titans recent trip into the future), Johns tells a tale of a Robin who, in the wake of his father’s murder, is grief stricken, but (as every member of the Bat family seems to be) is unable to bridge the gap between he and his teammates and just talk about it. It is stories like this that make me thankful the Meltzer did not wrap up all of ID Crisis in a neat little bow, opting instead to leave threads of it to be picked up by other titles and writers.

THE AUTHORITY: REVOLUTION #4

Did I miss something? Because I feel like I did. I mean, last issue was all fisticuffs between teammates and the threat of a hideous future and this issue…everyone’s getting along and they nicely trounce the enemy (well, nicely until the last moment that is). There are references to Midnighter and Hawksmoor’s dispute, but otherwise everything seems good. The writing on the issue was still good, I just felt like a few pages that explained this shift were missing.

The bad news with this book is its four issues in and I still feel like it hasn’t found its legs. The good news is, judging by the conclusion of this issue, next month all of that is going to change.

TRIGGER #2

Issue #2 of this dystopian tale deepens and widens the focus of the story. Last issue’s narrator, Carter Lennox, is still on hand and the conclusion of last issue is thankfully not explained away. Something strange is going on with the mild mannered business man who enjoys a good noir story, but it is unclear exactly what.

Beyond that knowledge, this issue spends little time with him. Instead, the focus of the narrative is shared by Deidre Myers, the tabloid writer with a mad on for Ethicorp, and Vi, the schoolgirl that Carter briefly (and literally) ran into last issue. Myers finds herself in a very similar position to Carter’s near death experience while Vi seems to be losing a grip on her life and her mind.

There is a great mystery going on here that is becoming clearer and all the more layered at the same time. Clearly, the trio of leads are intertwined somehow, but besides Carter’s brief attendance of a press conference and his discussion of books with Vi, these characters seem to have never met or know the first thing about the other. How do Vi and Carter’s different, but similar mental issues join them and why are they experiencing them? Why is Carter calling Myers and when did he do it? Who’s Myer’s source? Is he or she related to either of the other two protagonists? And so on. I’m very excited to see how the answers to these questions reveal themselves in the issues to come.

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