DC News & Views


Nothing to say this week. Let’s get right to it.


DC Does the Right Thing

Following up on an earlier announcement, DC Comics has prepared relief plans for comic book retailers whose stores were affected by Hurricane Katrina.

” We remain very concerned about the welfare of our retailers in the Gulf region, ” says Bob Wayne, DC ‘ s VP – Sales. ” Coming from a retail background as I do, I am very much aware of how difficult these circumstances are. We ‘ re happy to extend whatever help we can now and in the coming weeks. ”

DC has laid out its relief plans for stores affected in several different ways

See evidence that not all corporations need to be evil and bloodsucking at all times at Newsrama

DC is being eminently classy on this one. I salute them for it.


When a Man Just Won’t Do, DC Calls for a”¦WOLFMAN!

While original Crisis on Infinite Earths artist George Perez already confirmed for Newsarama that he (along with Jerry Ordway on finishes) would be penciling sequences in Infinite Crisis #2, word has now come that Perez’s Crisis collaborator, Marv Wolfman has a special job in the coming Crisis as well.

According to DCU Executive Editor Dan DiDio who recently spoke with Newsarama, Wolfman will write a story for February’s Infinite Crisis Secret Files, which will, among other things, draw a more or less direct line between Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis.

Howl at the moon (and the god of bad puns) at Newsarama

I was kind of hoping that Infinite Crisis wouldn’t have to share all that much with Crisis on Infinite Earths besides the use of the Crisis moniker. So much for that idea I guess. On the other hand, it is Wolfman getting some work, so that’s always cool. Hopefully they’ll let him bring back the Man Called AX while he’s at it. I’m not holding my breath or anything, but wouldn’t that be a shocker if the entire fate of the DCU ended up resting on Man’s shoulders. Or not.

By the by, I suggest a little restraint in those of you excited by this announcement. I think it’s neat too, but bear in mind it is a Secret Files story which means it’ll be like 8 pages, tops. Don’t let your enthusiasm overwhelm you or you end up pretty disappointed by such a short blast of Wolfmania.


That Guy That DC Hates Talks

When DC announced that they were going to shift the majority of their comics “One Year Later” dovetailing out of the seven-issue limited series Infinite Crisis, most comics fans reacted with shock. Then, when the announcement came that they were, at the same time, going to publish a weekly comic, tentatively titled “52*,” to “fill-in” what happened during that missing year, the shock became disbelief.

The reaction from creator Keith Giffen when he was first approached to work on the 52* title wasn’t that different from the fan’s level of skepticism. After all, the comic is supposed to be published and read in real time over the course of one year, and will involve a diverse team of different writers and artists — so in a world of moving publication schedules and multi-tasking creators, it’s hard to imagine that someone can really pull this off.

But since Giffen’s role as advisor on the ambitious project has been defined, he’s come to believe that not only might the comic be published within this tight schedule, but counts himself as a true believer in its story potential. Newsarama caught up with Giffen to find out what made him accept this role at DC and why he’s so excited about the prospect of working on such a challenging project.

See the seething rage DC feels towards Giffen at Newsarama

“Actually, Dan was very generous in describing my role. I do have some input into the story ideas, but my primary purpose … well, the best way to put it without going into so much detail is, you know in the tug of wars that you see, there’s a guy at the end of the line with a loop around his shoulder like the anchorman? I’m kind of in that capacity. I’m more of a facilitator of the kinds of stories and concepts that the other writers want to go forward with. I believe my primary purpose there is to help as much as I can, to make things run as smoothly as possible, because this is going to be a bear.”

Isn’t that sort of kind of what an editor does? Not trying to be rude here, just being serious. Because I always thought of editors as doing things like this. Besides, perhaps, being more hands on, is there a difference?

To the guy who said, “you should have asked him if this was Didio’s make up present for killing all his characters,” please, I beg of you, let it go. It’s clear by now that Giffen isn’t upset by it in the least. You can be. Please, continue on. Just let go of the idea that somehow DC was screwing with the man or Giffen was deeply wounded by it all.


Isn’t It Always the Way? Just When Your Continuity is Fixed, You End up Dead

If you’ve missed the past few issues of Hawkman, you might not realize that Golden Eagle has now assumed the mantle of the winged wonder. But do clothes make the man or has the former Teen Titan bitten off more than he can chew as the new Hawkman? We’ve got questions and writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray have the answers, even if some of them might leave us with more questions.

Soar with the eagles and the Eagle at The Pulse

Wait, the Golden Eagle’s real name is Charley Parker? Like the jazz man (but spelled differently)? Was that supposed to be witty?

Also, he was dead? That’s it. If Golden Eagle can return from the dead when no one was asking for it (come on, tell me I’m wrong) then there is no reason Aztek can’t. Now’s the time DC, Grant Morrison is back in the fold, Milla’s exclusive with Marvel is running out. Strike now!

Anyway, I suspect this would be a much bigger deal if any of the DCU paused to even acknowledge this plot development. By this point, we know Carter is alive since he’s in Rann/Thanagar and JSA. We also know that those things happen after Carte’s “death” since the Hawkman issue that ties into Rann/Thanagar is actually a prequel (why? To confuse you) so Carte’s gotta be back in time for that. Thus, Golden Eagle’s time before dipping back into obscurity is short. Too bad, as it is something of a neat twist on the DC generational hero.


Son of a “¦Vulcan?

Any kid reading superhero comics imagines what it must be like to be either the hero or the sidekick. But would the reality be all you imagine? What happens if you get the job sidekick and, before you’ve barely had time to learn anything about it, your mentor is killed? That’s what young Mikey Devante’s facing in the DC six-part limited series, Son of Vulcan. Before he could barely get used to the idea of aiding one of the world’s greatest superheroes, he was flying solo and inherited a ton of trouble. Artist Keron Grant said he thought the concept was “awesome” and told THE PULSE he was “over the moon” when he learned he’d get to design this new project from the ground floor.

See if the Gene Rodenberry estate is filing at lawsuit at The Pulse

I’m going to be as delicate here as I possibly can. Isn’t weird/sad when you cover the comic news for a site and this is the first you’ve heard of this series hitting shelves besides solicitations and one interview that occurred about three months in advance of the first issue being released? Doesn’t that point to a bigger problem?

Personally, I had kind of assumed that this book had already come and gone. I wonder how it is doing with zero marketing or advertising support. It kind of looks like a natural fit for those kids who got into comics through the Go Titans! book and were looking for something new to read.


Fated to Draw the JSA

Artist Don Kramer seemed to come out of nowhere with his work on the DC’s Dr. Fate limited series and Marvel’s Startling Stories. Then, he landed the job of a lifetime, drawing the monthly adventures of some of his favorite characters in the Justice Society of America.

See Kramer surrender to destiny at The Pulse

My favorite part of this, in response to “Do these characters feel real to you,” Kramer simply says “No,” before going on to clarify. I appreciate that honesty.


Comic Fans Can’t Get Enough of a Girl in a Short Skirt

With the second printing of SUPERGIRL #1 sold out at DC Comics a week before arriving in stores on September 8, DC sends this debut issue back to press for a third printing!

SUPERGIRL #1 Third Printing (JUL058321) is written by Jeph Loeb, with art by Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund. Due to arrive in stores on September 28, this new printing features a new cover by Churchill, inspired by the classic cover of ADVENTURE COMICS #252.

See if this throwback’ll catch their eyes as well at Newsarama

The cover is a neat bit of pastiche, but the world still remains devoid of enough cash to persuade me to be interested in this book.


Titans Together! With Librarians! Plus: More Variants!

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Graphics department is pleased to announce a new ALA Graphics poster featuring Teen Titans with the phrase “Avoid the rush! Return your library stuff on time!” The poster features original artwork and was created in cooperation with DC Comics. It will be available to the public on October 17.

Retailers attending the upcoming Baltimore and Fort Wayne Retailer Summits will be able to pick up an exclusive giveaway from DC Comics: a special variant edition of ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #1! This Retailer Variant Edition presents Jim Lee’s original Batman cover to issue #1 in pencil form.

Will they be sexy librarians? One never knows unless one peeks Newsarama

“Avoid the Rush!” has to be the least inspiring/effective public service message since “Just Say No.” I don’t see any kids maliciously holding back their books from libraries everywhere and, even if they did, I find it hard to believe that the cartoon incarnation of the Teen Titans will persuade them to change their ways. Now if it was Disco Suit Nightwing, maybe, but big head and eyes Robin doesn’t stand a chance. Still, it’s nice to see the Titans getting some exposure for themselves.

As for the variant cover”¦eh. Whatever. As long as those vendors don’t turn around and try to sell for ungodly dollars a pop”¦which of course they will. Nevermind. BAD!


COMING ATTRACTIONS

SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE #1

Have you scene the art for this yet? Incredible! Yeah, Ferry’s only on for an issue, but that’s not going to stop me from loving every panel of it. Plus, even after he’s gone, it’ll still be penned by Grant Morrison. I like his work, generally speaking (look at me, using understatement).

MANHUNTER #14

Last mont’s trip down memory lane felt a bit hollow since I’ve read it all before from the genius known as Babos. However, this issue is going to focus more on the Manhunter v. Manhunter/Dumas v. OMAC/Manhunter(?) battle royale, the part of the last issue that did really work for me. So, I’m confident I’ll be back in the saddle once again.

BIRDS OF PREY #86

What’s up with Barbara’s toes a-wiggling?! Plus art by none other than Bruce Timm?! I’m there.


OPINIONS ON THE WORK OF PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN I

ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #2

So, here’s the thing about this book. It could be satire, it could not be. Batman isn’t the same as All Star Batman (a lesson learned with Ultimate Cap) so there is no reason they have to speak the same or think the same, etc. The art’s pretty (and that Alfred…yum). Much of Batman’s lunacy is him trying to freak Dick out (why that is I am a little less than clear on). I’ll grant all these premises, but the issue still didn’t work for me. Two issues in and I don’t have anyone to really care about or root for except Bruce’s newly strapping butler because Bruce is too crazy/cruel, Dick’s sort of without personality right now, and Vicki’s careened from lingerie enthusiast to giddy schoolgirl (picking out her outfit for her date) to tough as nails reporter (stealing a car!) to swooning damsel in distress with no time given to integrate any of these characteristics into an actual personality. I can dig satire, but I still need to care about SOMETHING for it to work. Heretofore, I got nothing.

Oh, and that variant cover could have easily been on issue #3 without being inaccurate. Heck, it is inaccurate on this issue, it might actually be semi-accurate on 3.

BATMAN LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #195

Great stuff. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Seth Fishe’s art work and I always enjoy the well told “Batman still making mistakes” stories, so this has nicely sated both desires.

BREACH #9

Heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking.

JLA #118

Is it wrong that I am way more into the Despero portions of this story than anything having to do with the newly memory restored super villains and the JLA wrestling with mindwiping once more? I hope not, because that’s the situation for me at the moment.

The whole “let’s vote” is over too quick and almost breaks down exactly like you’d expect/like it did the first time so there is not much to sink our teeth into their and most of the reasons given are underwhelming or surface-y at best. Only Superman impresses with his, “We did this when we chose to fight crime” speech that was both stirring and right.

On the Despero side of things however, we’ve got J’onn going toe to toe with the Pink One and doing all he can not to get killed, Aquaman proving that he’s no sucker despite his poor color scheme and his continually battered reputation (“Make him bleed,” is a particularly favorite moment of mine), and it all culminates in a storming of Wayne Manor and three very dangerous individuals under Despero’s control. I’m sorry, it’s just better.

MATADOR #5

Read my review here. It’ll take (slightly) less time and a lot more happens.


SHOOTING BACK AT THE GRIMACE

Tim,

I have just been reading comic for about four years now, thanks to the Spider-Man movie and until very recently was only reading Marvel. Looking to try something else, I asked around in my local comic store and the clerks made a few suggestions, but also pointed me towards your column. They said that your quick reviews were pretty good guidance for checking out new stuff. It seems to me they were right.

Anyway, that was just my preamble. My real question is, in reading a bunch of your old columns, I notice you reference the “Jones era” Batman ears a lot. What’s the deal with them?

Curious,
Sandy Andersen

First, welcome to comics. Second thank you and your comic shop people for the kind words.

As for the Jones era, it is probably easier that I show you as well as tell you. Jones was the artist on Batman after Knightfall/Quest/Ends (that’s a whole ‘nother story you are better off writing in to Who’s Who in the DCU about), collaborating with Doug Moench. Their work, on the whole, was hit or miss to me. Moench seemed to be a big fan of the supernatural and, as such, a lot of the stories revolved around the likes of Deadman, Ragman, the Spectre, etc. That works with Batman in small doses, but it seemed to be happening every other storyline or so at this time. What bothered me more, though, was the coloring which was always flat and dull and really robbed the stories of some pop that might have otherwise been there.

What was most striking about Jones’ time on Batman, however, were the ears. They grew to astronomical heights, as seen below.

Most of the time (as in the first two cover images) you could just sum it all up to artistic overemphasis on the part of Mr. Jones and leave at that. Sometimes, as in the Batman in the snow cover, it really seemed to work. However, every now and again, something would happen with the ears that forced you to realize that they had reached ludicrous lengths. Such a moment occurs in the third cover (the one with Ragman) where one of the rags is bending one of Bat’s giant ears. Whenever they were forced to interact with the environment around them (as opposed to remaining untouched and therefore an “artistic choice”) you were forced to admit that yes, Batman did look silly with ears that long.

Unless I’m wrong. Anyone else have an opinion on this one?

If you do, there is a very good place to air it, the Message Board! Thanks to everyone who helped me out with the Power Girl question last week. I still might not get why she’s beloved, but lot’s of people don’t get my love for Aztek, so I at least understand where you all are coming from now. If the message boards aren’t you bag, why not drop me a line at parallax2@juno.com. Thanks in advance.

Un Gajje: Here, There, Everywhere