DC News & Views: The Simone Shuffle

So… yeah. New Jersey is underwater. Thirty-three are dead in a horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech. It’s…a rough day, to say the least.

At times like these, sometimes it is nice to distract ourselves with a little comics news. Hope it does the trick.

That Yellow is Just So Flattering on You

Ethan Van Sciver is no stranger to ground-breaking Green Lantern stories.

In the 2005 mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth, Van Sciver and writer Geoff Johns redefined the Green Lantern Corps. From bringing back fan-favorite Guy Gardner to reintroducing the Guardians of Oa to explaining the downfall and resurrection of Hal Jordan to establishing a whole new Corps, Rebirth became the new bible for fans of the Green Lantern universe.

Now Van Sciver and Johns are reuniting for a 64-page one-shot in June that promises to take the Green Lantern universe to yet another level. Called Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1, the comic will explore and explain what has been teased for months within the pages of the ongoing Green Lantern series. Evil villain Sinestro, who hasn’t been seen much since the pages of Rebirth, is gathering together an army of frightening characters and giving them yellow rings, then transporting them to the Sinestro Corps home base on the planet Qward. Why this is happening and what happens next will be revealed within the pages of the one-shot.

Van Sciver models a new project at Newsarama

Have I mentioned how excellent I think Van Sciver is? Because I think he’s very excellent. Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery.

Superdelays

At his MySpace page, Geoff Johns gave an update on the “Last Son” storyline that he and co-writer Richard Donner are writing in DC’s Action Comics. Johns posted:

Superman just isn’t delivering on truth, justice, or the American Way these days at Newsarama

Wow…what a mess. I honestly think I’d prefer (you know, if I was caring about Superman books outside of All-Star) months in between issues over these constant fill-ins and repackages as eventual Annuals. Perhaps others feel differently though.

What strikes me most strange is that I’m pretty sure both Kuberts hit their deadlines at Marvel. Now, at DC in about a year’s worth of exclusivity the two of them, together, have produced about 7 issues. So much for this being a major get, huh?

Dusting Off the Old Motorcycle

The Black Canary’s steady and continued rise to prominence in the DCU Universe continues in July as she headlines a new four-issue limited series, written by new DC exclusive writer Tony Bedard and artist Paulo Sequeira. The series serves as a sort of companion to the Green Arrow: Year One limited series also premiering in July.

Let’s let Tony Bedard explain…

Newsarama shows you how to handle an engagement proposal if you’re a superhero.

Still way on the fence about the Black Canary/Green Arrow engagement and this doesn’t help. On the one hand, great to see Dinah getting a mini. On the other hand, it is written by Bedard who many love and I continue to be mildly underwhelmed by. So, yeah, I’m conflicted.

Birds of Prey Are One Agent Lighter Now

In the “DC Nation” column appearing in all of DC’s titles released this week, readers of Birds of Prey got some surprising news seemingly out of nowhere. Long-time (since issue #56) and fan-favorite writer Gail Simone was exiting the series, to be replaced by newly exclusive DC writer Sean McKeever.

Newsarama had a change to briefly ask Simone for her thoughts on leaving the title – the why’s and wherefore’s – and what she has coming up before she passes the baton…

Stand up and give the lady a hand at Newsarama

Good bye Gail. Birds of Prey (and I) shall miss you.

Didn’t He See the “No Boys Allowed” Sign

When DC announced in January that Sean McKeever had signed an exclusive contract with the company, nobody would confirm what comic books the former Marvel creator would be writing.

A month later, his name was finally attached to the weekly series Countdown, but many DC fans wondered if his contract would include work on any other DC series.

Wonder no more.

McKeever is no sexist at Newsarama

I like Sean McKeever so I think this is a good choice as someone to follow Gail Simone. I mean, it is a hard act to follow, but McKeever has followed up Brian K. Vaughan (on Mystique) and didn’t miss a beat so I think he’s a man without a fear.

I have to be honest though… I might still drop the book. Why? Well, I’m weird, but I get a sort of thrill from dropping a book after a really long run. As sad as I was to see Geoff Johns leave Flash, I really did sort of countdown to his departure. And when he left, I really did enjoy crossing off it off my pull list.

That’s what I’m facing with Birds of Prey. I’ve been reading the book since Simone started and loved almost every issue since then. With her leaving, it is the perfect time to turn my back on the book. On the other hand, I do believe McKeever is a worthy successor and I really have love for the characters.

Oh, what problems I have!

One Wonder-ful Woman Deserves Another

While we brought you news earlier today of writer J. Torres stepping in to write DC’s Wonder Woman for issues #11 and #12, the question still hung there – who will be the new ongoing writer on Wonder Woman?

“Wonder” no more.

Speaking to retailers this evening at the Comics Pro Membership Meeting in Las Vegas, DC’s VP – Sales Bob Wayne made the announcement: beginning with issue #13, and going on for the foreseeable future, Gail Simone will write the Wonder Woman series. The news comes with a bit of surprise still attached to it, as clues to Simone’s new writing assignment seemingly began to fall into place last week, when it was announced that she would be leaving Birds of Prey, replaced by Sean McKeever.

Newsarama was able to speak with Simone about the new gig.

This one’s wielding a pen instead of lasso at Newsarama

So this is a wildly unfair position to take, but despite my documented enjoyment of most Gail Simone enterprises, I’m not sure I’ll be buying this book. The disaster that has been this title so far has really turned me off to Wonder Woman, at least for now. This announcement should thrill me, but instead…I’m indifferent.

Like I said…very unfair of me. But…there it is.

But First, More Fill-Ins!

By the time July hits, it will be time for the 11th issue of DC’s current Wonder Woman series, and its third writer to date, J. (Ninja Scroll, Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century) Torres who will take over following the departing Jodi Picoult. Calling the series home for just two issues, Torres found a few minutes to tell us what he could.

Because no Wonder Woman news can be 100% good, Newsarama is here to break it to you gently.

Speaking of Wonder Woman disasters…

BEWARE THE FUTURE’S AWESOME MIGHT

Comic Book Resources has the full solicits.

Batman #668I cannot remember for the life of me what this cover is homaging?

Any ideas?

All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder #6We (and by we, I mean Mathan and a few others, I’m sure) are still waiting on #5, right? So this could be a really encouraging sign or a really arrogant one. Not sure which.

Detective Comics #834Ooooh, that’s why there was that really out of place Loxias reference in the last issue. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out who that was.

Batman Confidential #7Ahh, DC goes the way of Marvel with Wolverine by demystifying Joker’s origin. I’ve gotta admit, I prefer the sort of open ended “maybe?” quality of The Killing Joke over really knowing.

Catwoman #69I haven’t given Adam Hughes Catwoman covers enough credit. So here I go:

I really like it.

Weird thing though, the code for it when I save it identifies it as “for solicitation only”. So will there be another, different, “shocking” cover instead? Who knows? But for now, let me just proclaim, “Dead baby?” No evidence, mind you, but remember you heard it here first.

(Really, though, I severely doubt things are going in that direction.

Nightwing #134Nice looking Sook cover art here.

I just hope it holds up to coloring.

Oh and including Vigilante? That might just get me to pick up this whole “hidden year” thing that I had, heretofore, expressed my complete and total disinterest in.

Robin #164No way is this…

…a Gleason cover. Hideous.

Supergirl #19Kelly is done as of this issue. Huh…first I’d heard of that. Wonder who is next?

Superman: Death and Return of Superman Omnibus HardcoverThis is actually a little tempting as this is probably the only era of Supes (beyond Byrne’s Man of Steel stuff) that I found myself riveted by. Grant I was young (12…I think) and didn’t read comics much, but the Death of issue was the first comic I ever bought with my own cash and The Return of Superman was the second trade I ever owned (first was AssassiNation Plot, if you must know). Still, is 75 dollars a bit pricey for stuff that I mostly already own in different formats? Probably.

Countdown 43-40

Wait…another Teen Titan is dead? Or is this just a companion story to Teen Titans #47 (cover below)?

Checkmate #16Are Rucka and Winick co-writing this thing now? Just curious.

Sounds like a cool issue, either way though.

Green Lantern #21Depending on how the Van Sciver drawn Sinestro Corps Special is, I might actually coming crawling back to buying Green Lantern, short term.

Green Lantern Corps #14Ditto

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #14Ooo, they are going hard sell on this baby.

Green Arrow: Year One #1 & 2

I’m not sure if this is a good cover from a selling of the rack sense, but I very much like it.

Black Canary #1 & 2 Paulo. Paulo, Paulo, Paulo. You just can’t be serious with this cover.

Poor Dinah’s gonna need surgery after posing for that puppy.

Justice League of America #11For some reason I had it in my head that the JLA/JSA crossover would go through issue 12 of this book leaving Meltzer #13 as a sort of goodbye/recapper issue. Glad to see that’s not the case.

The solicit draws the ball a bit though by starting off strong (Two Justice Leaguers buried alive!) and then giving us nothing else. That tease is just too…tease-y.

JSA Classified #28Well, it’s nice to see Jakeem is showing up somewhere at least.

Shadowpact #15Zauriel in a monthly again?! YAY! But why does it have to be a book I dropped long ago and had no intentions of revisiting?

Tangent Comics Vol. 1Not sure why this is just showing up now, but I’ll probably give it a whirl. They always struck me as being neat ideas, but I didn’t buy the issues so here’s my chance to find out if my impressions were correct.

Sentences: The Life of M.F. GrimmHuh…this is unexpected, to say the least. Could be a very cool project though. Why is DC not promoting this more?

Jack of Fables #13Cover by Classified? Really?

Because this…

…sure looks like Brian Bolland. Also the solicitation gives aways what Jack’d be scared of. The Sword of Excalibur poking out of his chest.

Did I just solve the mystery or am I way off here?

Catwoman and Supergirl StatuesOh dear…something tells me that people are not going to be happy about this.

The Programme #1I’m not a huge fan of Cold War literature. I sort of outgrew, I guess, when I outgrew Tom Clancy books. (Yes, I know Tom Clancy isn’t the only writer of Cold War fiction, but I was quite a fan when I was a kid so when I stopped reading him, I was sort of done with the subgenre). However, I am a big Milligan fan since Human Target (yes, I was late to the party) and I think this is the kind of story that gives him plenty of ground to explore and use whatever nutty ideas might occur to him.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

52 WEEK 50

World War III is here. I might not be buying the add-ons, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited for this latest installment of 52. Black Adam is going to put on hurting on some people and, honestly, I’m not sure I blame the guy.

MANHUNTER #30

Not the last issue of the series, as we initially expected, but the last issue for the next couple of months at least. Gonna miss my Manhunter fix in that time, so this better be good enough to get me through.

And, of course, it will be.

NIGHTWING ANNUAL #2

Finally! It is totally nerdy that I’ve been waiting this long for this, but I have. I’m just thrilled to find out what happened post-popping the question. Afterwards, I’ll probably be all depressed, but for now, I hunger for answers.

Well, that’s it for DCNV. Back into the real world. Hope you got some good distraction here. Be careful out there, okay?

Un Gajje Feels a Bit Rung Out