DC News & Views


I’m in the process of moving out of La Hacienda, so I’ve gotta keep it all short and sweet. So no chatter from me, just the

NEWS!

Apparently Kryptonite and Delays Can Stop Superman

According to the press release issued announcing the branding of DC across all Warner Brothers media, All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely will see a three month delay from its original September launch date.

Can even Superman overcome this crushing blow? Buy a Daily Planet at Newsarama to find out.

I am not sure the “why” behind the delays (although good money would say that Quitely’s speed might have something to do with it) but I think that it actually might benefit DC overall. See, we already have All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder (oh boy, am I going to get tired of writing all that out) launching in July and Infinite Crisis in October. In moving All-Stat Superman to December, DC stops its big launches from stumbling over themselves. It might mean that October might not look as huge as it would if all three books were on sale at once, but overall, I expect that with this musical chairs, the two latter titles (Crisis, Superman) will actually sell stronger out of the gate and that the combined sales of that period will be healthier than the combined sales of the same period if All-Star Supes had hit at the expected time.

However, I never took economics and am not a retailer so I could be absolutely full of it. We’ll never know, I guess.

Ex- CMXer

Newsarama has learned that, less than a year after the line’s launch, Jake Tarbox, Group Editor of DC’s CMX line of manga titles has resigned his position with the company.

See where young Tarbox plans to tarry to next at Newsarama

Well this is interesting. I remember the editing controversy when it broke, but, as the article mentioned, DC never really said word one about it so it all just kind of faded away. Apparently, not really. It may turn out that Tarbox’s resignation has nothing to do with Tenjho Tenge, it does make one wonder, doesn’t it. And where does this leave CMX, the last of DC’s “out of country” lines (with 2000AD and Humanoid already departed)? Not in the best of shape certainly. It’ll be interesting to see if this is the first step towards CMX being dismantled as well or if this might prove to be, weirdly, a bit of a save for the line.

A Fellow Nutmegger

Kicking off a regular series of interviews, we catch up with artist Howard Porter for a closer look at his start in comics, thoughts on his work, and where he’d like to go in the years to come.

To see how we roll in the CT, squint at that state between NY and Mass on a map or just visit Newsarama

Here are the reasons (beyond Flash, JLA, Underworld Unleashed, and Fantastic Four) why Howard Porter is excellent. He grew up and continues to live in the CT! He likes the New York Giants! He has a black cat! Well, that last one isn’t all that important, but my parents have one too and I do enjoy hanging with the feline whenever I pay a visit the old homestead.

He is also excellent because of this quote wherein he summarizes why he’d favor comics as a career when he can be any sort of artist, “Escapism, story telling, Batman, the Creeper, Jack Kirby, Days of Future Past, Galactus, illusion, entertainment, the Dark Knight returns, Hellboy, smiling fans with handshakes, Rom the Space Knight, the Negative Zone, Terrax, Michael Golden, Darkseid, Superman, Drama, action, love and loss, Arkham Asylum, Spider-Man riding Juggernaut¹s back, friends, daydreams, scandals, the feeling you get when you hold a book that you created, fantasy, the smell of a 30-year-old comic, seeing a man dressed as the Phoenix, laughs, history, collaboration, this interview, a sense of belonging…

And staying eternally young.”

That’s just perfect.

Reis, Reis Baby

Joining writer Dave Gibbons in the Rann/Thanagar War limited series is artist Ivan Reis. Reis is no stranger to the world of DC Comics. In the past few years he’s working on some of their icons and is scheduled to be the new regular artist on the Teen Titans. He was anxious for the chance to work on such a “great event” and told THE PULSE he “flipped out” when he found out Gibbons would be writing the limited series. “I’m really thrilled!” enthused Reis.

Ahh, a Vanilla Ice reference. You know I’m hurting for headlines when I bring that out. Anyway, why not take a look at a man who’s art deserves a much better headline at The Pulse

Reis is just an incredible artist. Heck, he’s incredible enough that between him and Ben Morse’s constant, “Oh, Rann/Thanagar’s gonna be so good,” routine, I actually picked up a book I initially had no intention of buying. I can’t wait to see his work on Teen Titans.

Giving Superman the Benes

Along with creating the art as a member of the new Superman creative team, former Birds of Prey artist Ed Benes also left his mark on the recently sold-out DC Countdown To Infinite Crisis. Benes said he’s having the time of his life working on Superman and views both recent opportunities as “steps forward” in his career.

From the pages of Birds of Prey and The Pulse, here comes the Man of Steel’s newest artist!

Benes’ Superman is kind of a bridge between the more realistic (if one can use that word in reference to Superman) approach of an Ivan Reis and the more cartoony one of folks like Ed McGuinness. I think it does the character proud. I’m looking forward to seeing how his rendering of Superman in Clark Kent mode and the rest of the civilian supporting characters looks because he obviously has the superhero aspect down.

Levitz and the Logo, A Love Story

With today’s announcement of a branding change at DC Comics, it became apparent that the new logo only represented the tip of the iceberg in regards to how DC Comics will be seen from outside, as well as how DC will be seen from inside Warner Brothers.

We were able to catch up with DC President and Publisher Paul Levitz for a brief chat about the branding change as he was between meetings today.

Levitz and “Spin” up in a tree at Newsarama

Alright, so we now have the company line. No big surprises there. However, what I was surprised to see was the return of the “Collector’s Item” slug on the Donna Troy cover. I haven’t seen one of those since the explosion of #1 issues and miniseries in the early 90’s. I guess it is true. If you miss anything, wait 10 years, it’ll be back.

By the way, if I buy enough Donna Troy issues, do you think I could sell them later and pay for my (future) children’s college tuitions? Cause I know some people who tried to do that with Spawn #1’s but I never heard how that worked out for them. They must be just swimming in money by now, right?

The Logo is the Center of the Universe

Okay, so we’ve heard from the press release-y side and the President’s chair about DC Comics new logo, but what about the nitty-gritty design side?

Newsarama sat down with DC’s Senior Vice President – Creative Director Richard Bruning to learn about the process and what goes in to designing a new logo.

Perhaps one of the largest unsung heroes at DC, Bruning oversees perhaps the largest chunk of everything DC next to its President Paul Levitz. Logo design, look of covers, character styles…Bruning has a hand in it all. He was more than happy to pull back the curtain on the process behind coming up with a new logo.

Read more about your new lord and master at Newsarama

I get that it is the first new logo in 30 years (if one ignores the almost-logo of Zero Hour). I get that this is huge from the corporate identity perspective. I just don’t care anymore.

Prelude Pieces

Late last week DC Comics announced the “rush solicitation” of Prelude To Infinite Crisis Special, a 96-page collection of some of the key stories and moments leading up to this fall’s Infinite Crisis.

At that time DC announced that some of the special’s contents include the crossover story from The Flash #219 and Wonder Woman #214 [in their entirety], plus the lead story from Superman Secret Files 2004. Also promised were “select pages from nearly two dozen other DCU comics, with new text adding context to each story sequence.”

Newsarama fans wanted to know what stories and issues these select pages come from and Monday DC gave us the answer.

According to DC, “pages and panels” from the following titles will be included in the special, though the list is no all-inclusive. Other Crisis tie-ins may also be included.

Shouldn’t we pronounce prelude” “pre-lude”, not “pray-lude”? And if not, why not? Maybe Newsarama will have the answers to my grammatical queries.

I’m still not planning to pick this guy up at this point (I have read or own too many of the titles to really make it worth my 6 bucks), but I am excited to at least flip through one to see what aspects I should have noticed of each of the issues that make the cut. Some are obvious: Graduation Day (Donna Troy’s demise), Superman/Batman #6 (Lex Luthor’s Crisis reference); some take a bit of work: JSA #72 (Power Girl?), Aquaman #29 (the company responsible for Sub Diego?); and others still, I can’t recall anything from: Birds of Prey #80, Robin #135. So it will be cool to “discover” the clues I missed the first time out.

Superman’s Cousin Makes Good

DC Comics has announced that Superman/Batman # 19 will be reprinted as Supergirl # 0 and that Michael Turner will be providing a variant cover for the August issue # 1 of Supergirl.

To see the Maiden of Steel (do they still call her that?) show off to try to impress people, go to the Kryptonian family picnic at The Pulse. Just be careful of Krypto…he bites.

As with as Supergirl related info, I say…eh.

I Like Superman’s Earlier Stuff Better. You Know, Before He Sold Out

Continuing its run of sold-out issues, SUPERMAN #214 (DEC040240) has sold out at DC Comics. This issue featured the suspenseful penultimate chapter of the “For Tomorrow” storyline by Brian Azzarello, Jim Lee & Scott Williams.

If you like Press Releases, you’ll love going to this story at Silver Bullet Comic Books

I wonder how these sold out sales compare to sales of the book in its first few issues. Not to rain on good news or anything, I’m just curious.

FCBD: The Frontlines

Free Comic Book Day 2005:

“This was amazing.”

“It was outstanding. We did a week’s worth of business in a day.”

“Our best ever sales in the 2 years we’ve been in business”

“We entered into it cautiously. That was a mistake.”

“Business was about 4 times a normal Saturday”

“Though we’re not closed yet…we’ve already exceeded any Saturday we’ve done at our new location.”

Become embedded with the Fighting Forty-Second Comic Book Sellers Brigade at Newsarama

Hey, great news. This is the first year I can remember reading about the after effects of FCBD so it is kind of a relief to read something good. I hope our little comic holiday is here to stay.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

MANHUNTER #10

I’ve heard some cancellation rumors as of late, but I haven’t been able to dig anything up on it. So for now, I choose not to believe it. Either way though, this is one of the most consistently great books on the shelves and there is no reason you shouldn’t be picking this up. None. Zero. Get it. You’ll thank yourself.

TEEN TITANS #24

With such a sweet cover, how can I not be excited for this book? It’s like me and Ben Morse were combined into one person.

SEVEN SOLDIERS GUARDIAN #2

This was probably my favorite of the initial issues of Seven Soldiers (slightly ahead of or tying with Witchboy) so I’m psyched to get this next installment.

OPINIONS ON THE WORK OF PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN I

BREACH #5

I can’t help it. This book’s creepy weird vibe just keeps me coming back for more. I don’t think I could have less of an idea where this is going, but I am enjoying the journey.

GOTHAM CENTRAL #31

Nice conclusion, if a little too pat (especially in reference to the Montoya family relations). I do give props to Rucka’s bounce back from last issues way too obvious Lecter riff and how well he scripts the confrontation between monster cop and his up until a day ago partner.

GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH #6

Nice reversal of the classic Batman/Guy Gardner fight here. Great contrast between GLs and how they use their rings. Ironically though, Hal Jordan seems to have the least depth of any of the GLs. It might be, in part, because it is all told via his narration and he’s less inclined to analyze himself than others, but he comes across as too perfect, too classically heroic and thus a bit 2-D. It’s odd that a GL story that was written with the intent of bringing Hal back made me like and appreciate all the GLs more than I did except Hal who I feel basically the same about (in other words, I like him well enough, but my enjoyment of comics is not diminished or increased by his being around or gone).

JSA #73

Dig it, crazy cats. I already reviewed this one over here.

NIGHTWING #108

This one too, although no one gets to see it until Thursday. No one, except you, that is. Peek it here.

RANN THANAGAR WAR #1

This book is…well…it’s good. It looks amazing, that’s for sure. But I think I’ll just be checking the Infinite Crisis wrap up on DC’s site from now on instead of picking it up. It’s quality, don’t get me wrong, but not very involving to me. I’ve said it before, space operas are not my first love (or even my third), and this issue is a prime example of a space opera.

****REVIEWS FROM THE FUTURE****

EX MACHINA #11

I love this book through and through. This, however, is the first issue that I can’t wholeheartedly endorse. There is something off with the transitions here, enough so that I am tempted to equate it with a printing error. The one problem with that is that it is too “perfectly” messed up for it to be a mistake of missing or misaligned pages. Two or three times there are awkward jumps between scenes, most obviously (to me) when Hundred leaves the fortune teller’s pallor on his phone. The only problem is Hundred’s melodramatic breakdown about 9/11. Not that he wouldn’t still be upset about, but he switches between demeanors far too rapidly and without suitable reasoning. It is still better than a lot of books out there, but the flaws are definitely bigger than they had been previously.

E-mail me at parallax2@juno.com. Write your opinion of me, my work, or the news at the message board. We out, we out!

Out of La Hacienda, Bound for…?

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