DC News & Views


I have never cancelled a column due to lack of news. It has never even crossed my mind, truth be told, and I have ran some short ones (I like five pages is my all time lowest). This week though, this was the column that almost didn’t happen. As of Monday morning I had one article…only one. And it was about a variant cover. Understandably, I was a bit nervous and thought, well, one week off after almost two years (yes, it has been that long) won’t hurt anyone.

Thankfully, it is not a theory we have to test, as a few more stories popped up and we know have a short, but not too short, column for the reading. Enjoy.


Batman Menaces Robin!

Frank Miller, writer of ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER and writer/artist of BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN, has provided a stunning additional cover for issue #2 of the mega-hit series. The cover features a closeup of Robin caught in the shadow of the Dark Knight.

Well, that’s what it looks like here at Newsarama anyway.

Seriously, Dick’s already in costume which means he’s proven himself and blah blah blah. Why’s Batman gotta be all up in his grill like that?

I think that it is great that DC had Miller do a cover for this series. Heck, I’m even okay with the fact that it is a variant cover. Not thrilled, but whatever. If people want to shell out cash for two covers of the same book, it is hardly DC’s duty to protect them from their own stupidity.

What I don’t think is great is that they waited until there was less than a week before the book was due to hit shelves to announce it. Sure, retailers have a chance to do an instant reorder, but it just doesn’t strike me as all that fair to the retailers or the fans to drop this on them at the last minute, does it? If Miller just finished the cover at the last minute, why not hold it until issue #3? That why retailers don’t have to scramble, fans don’t have to make sure to be in the store right when new books go out to make sure they get the Miller cover, and DC will still get the sales boost, only in this case they’ll have some more time to pimp the variant. Everybody wins, right? Here, I’m just not sure that’s the case.


Grant Morrison Has a Lid Upon His Head

I think that Grant Morrison is proof that comics are a wonderful thing. While he is serious, he is also playful, and both aspects of his character appear wonderfully in his work. There is an unfathomed depth in most of his stories, but within them exists a story that can be enjoyed upon many different levels. He has a hard-earned reputation for quality, despite the fact that he has rarely seemed to kowtow to popularity’s demands. In fact, one of Grant’s appealing aspects to me is his ability to entertain my heart and soul and to inspire my mind.

In this interview, we chat about the methods of his work, his views toward Marvel and DC, and an outlook toward upcoming projects.

Look inside and see what’s on his mind at Pop Thought

After reading this, I would love for Grant to sit down and write a travelogue/autobiography like Michael Crichton did (his was called “Travels”…no points for creativity on that one) about his adventures around the world trying magic, taking drugs, studying martial arts, etc. I’m not saying I don’t love his fiction stuff because God knows I do. I just think that the events that inspire the fiction are interesting enough if not more interesting because they are fanciful occurrences in the real world where they are far rarer, or glimpsed more rarely anyway, than they are in the comic for world. I’d expect it to be a hit, possibly a crossover hit even.

I’d also like to call attention to Morrison’s take on whether or not comics are mainstream/respected media. I won’t quote it here because it has already been quoted a few other places and chances are you’ve read it in those places by now. However, it is worth mentioning because it is so dead on. When comic book characters are in movies grossing hundreds of millions upon hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cash, we really have arrived, haven’t we? The fact that we the fans often can’t see that speaks to a.) our pessimistic nature (almost every article about the state of the industry, including a few that I’ve written I’d guess, always seems to be awaiting some sort of inevitable end) and b.) our insistence upon the idea that comic book publishers can and should only seek success through the printed medium (look to the complaints about Marvel changing its name to “Marvel Enterprises” to represent that it is not “just” a comic book company anymore or any of the other countless arguments that seem to pop up every time anyone in Marvel or DC mentions at all changing the current state of comics to try to take advantage of the interest that has been heightened by a particular film). We aren’t looking for the “ideas” of comics to arrive, we are looking for comics themselves too and until that happens, we are very unlikely to be entirely happy.

Demerit to an otherwise excellent interview because the interviewer insists on propagating the myth that Seaguy is hard to understand. It’s not. It’s easy to get. It just isn’t very good.

If you really want to fill up on Grant, check out these weirdly timed Seven Soldiers links on the project as a whole; Shining Knight; Guardian; Klarion; and Zatanna. I won’t comment on them because, basically, they were out of date the moment they hit the web. Are these reprints? I don’t know. But it is Grant Morrison, so it is interesting in that way. All those links are courtesy of the Pulse.


No Sales Sacrifice Necessary

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #643 and WONDER WOMAN #220, the two issues that immediately follow up the stunning “Sacrifice “storyline, both sold out at DC Comics days before arriving in stores.

Now, DC sends both issues back to press for new printings. ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #643 Second Printing is written by Greg Rucka, with art by Karl Kerschl, Carlos D’Anda, Rags Morales, Cam Smith and Wayne Faucher, with a recolored version of the original cover by Kerschl. WONDER WOMAN #220 Second Printing is written by Rucka with art by David Lopez & Bit and a recolored version of the original cover by J.G. Jones.

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #643 Second Printing (JUL058295) and WONDER WOMAN #220 Second Printing (JUL058296) are available for order now. Both are scheduled to arrive in stores on September 28.

See if DC needed to sacrifice something else, like a goat or fatted calf, to keep their sellout/reprint going at Newsarama

I like the Adventures recolor a lot. Dropping all the color but the blood splotches does a great job of making the image seem starker and thus more foreboding. The ALL RED of the Wonder Woman cover does little to impress me.

However, Newsarama gets right to the point and wonders: Doesn’t Wonder Woman have a great looking butt? Later, someone stops by to ask, “Sure, but aren’t her breasts weird looking?” Never let it be said that comic book fans don’t worry about the important things.

Oh, and my take: you are just now realizing that artists like to give Wonder Woman some fine looking assets?


DC Marketing on a Rampage!

DC Comics is ramping up its marketing efforts with two newly created positions. John Cunningham has been named Vice President, Marketing and Nellie Kurtzman has been named Director, Marketing, it was announced today by Stephanie Fierman, DC Comics ‘ Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. In his newly created position, Cunningham will supervise the marketing and publicity efforts of DC Comics, Vertigo, WildStorm, CMX and DC Direct and report to Fierman. Kurtzman will report to Cunningham.

Get bios and all sorts of other goodies (perhaps candy?) at Newsarama

I could take this moment to say something like, “Great, glad to hear it. So now that you have beefed up your marketing department, how long before I can open my newspaper and see a comic book ad? Or a magazine besides Wizard? When can I count on you guys to start pushing books that are off the beaten path, but have something interesting to add to the world of comics, with something more than the occasional (read: very occasional) internet interview? When will you stop using “Sold Out” announcements as your primary form of publicity?”

I could say all that, but I won’t. Because I’m a nice guy. Let me, instead, say congratulations to all the new hires.


Shouldn’t Your Own Name be Something Cool Like Bono or Madonna or Hexagon?

Forces fighting to prevent the end of the world isn’t a new subject in comics. This past summer not one, but two limited series came out from the same art team featuring that concept. Day of Vengeance and The Human Race from the penciling/inking team of Justiniano and Walden Wong showcased heroes against impossible odds, but that was one of the only similarities. DOV ties into the upcoming Infinite Crisis, and features established characters and situations running through the entire DCU. The Human Race is a project Justiniano had a hand in designing from the ground up, with all-new heroes and villains. How was working on the two projects similar? What were the differences? And, just why does he go by the name “Justiniano”? All these questions and more are answered in this interview.

Read more about the one named artist (who isn’t Prince or Diddy) at The Pulse

Seriously, wouldn’t you buy a comic from a guy who call himself Hexagon? Or Senor Hexagon? Or Kid Steel? I definitely would.

This is another one of the Pulse’s weirdly timed articles as Human Race wraps up this week or next and Day of Vengeance closes next month. I’m all for interviews with guys who have a book that has been running for a bit, but when it is a mini, perhaps that interview should coincide with the second or third issue, not the last. That’s just my feeling.


COMING ATTRACTIONS

BREACH #9

The weirdest, creepiest book published in DC proper. It’s about to go the way of the dinosaur, but I’ll enjoy it while I still can.

JLA #118

The penultimate chapter of this arc already?! I’ve got to go back and read those previous issues because I feel like I must have missed something.

Anyway, the first installment of this arc was disappointingly weak, but the subsequent two represented a marked improvement. I’m looking for this one to maintain that pace.


OPINIONS ON THE WORK OF PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN I

GOTHAM CENTRAL #35

Can I say this was good? How about very good? Because it was. Nice to see that my holding off on dropping this title has paid off so exquisitely.

SEVEN SOLDIERS GUARDIAN #4

Now this is a Seven Soldiers cliffhanger that I can support. Unlike Shining Knight, which could have been the actual end of that series, disappointing though it was, this gets me excited for Seven Soldiers #1, the bookend of Grant Morrison’s big @$$ project. Plus, how cool was it that the Newsboy Army has given rise to at least two of the characters in the other minis that we have already seen. I’d expect at least two more will show up before all is said and done, but that’s just a guess.

VILLAINS UNITED #5

I was actually happier with this book when it made no attempts to tap into anything cosmic as it does here with Pariah and Lady Quark. On the other hand, Chesire’s action (which also explain a very minor continuity hiccup from Manhunter) and Deadshot’s dual nature (sending an e-mail to his daughter, being more responsible for Catman’s inclusion on the team than I would have guessed) pretty much guarantees that I can forgive any dalliance with the “bigger picture”.

Oh, and you can’t beat Parademon chowing down on some garbage while singing the praises of humanity’s ability to cook in his own…unique way.


See, I told you it was short. We made it past that magic page #5 though so I don’t have to hang my head too badly in shame. That’s always nice, the avoiding shame thing. Anyway, the Message Board has been deathly quiet as of late, so please stop by to rectify that situation. You can respond to this column, offer up your own great ideas for single names creators should use (like Hexagon) or single name and title (like Kid Steel), or complain about that easy shot I took at DC marketing. Also, I’ve just started a new thread about Power Girl’s appeal (I’m sure I don’t mean to pick on her, I just really don’t get it) that I’d encourage you to go ahead and opine on. If you are the shy type, why not send me an e-mail at parallax2@juno.com.

That’s all for now on this end. See you next week.

Un Gajje Wonder How Much Love, Exactly, It Takes to Make the World Go ‘Round