DC Comics Relaunch: Breaking It All Down (Part 2 of 5)

By Mike Maillaro & Grey Scherl

Day 2 packs in quite a bit of the “Justice League” books, and the first three Green Lantern titles.

(UPDATED: Check out Day 1, Day 3, Day 4, and and Day 5 which are now up.)

Now Day 2…
14. Captain Atom

What DC Says:
Captain Atom has all the power in the world, but no hope of saving himself. Charged by nuclear energy, possessing vast molecular powers, he has the potential to be a god among men – a hero without limits. But the question is this: Will he lose himself in the process? JT Krul and artist Freddie Williams II take the character in a bold new direction in CAPTAIN ATOM #1. The cover to issue #1 is by Stanley “Artgem” Lau.

What Grey says: I’m not a Captain Atom fan and yet I loved his characterization in Generation Lost. His noticably growing lack of humanity kept him interesting, but it was that he still saw himself as a man that made it. This preview honestly just makes me think of Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, so I dunno. I’d much prefer him as part of a team, he’d be an easier sell then. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

What Skitch says: I just have never liked Captain Atom. That said, this is one of my favorite of the relaunch covers. Still not enough to get me to pick it up. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? No

15. Catwoman

What DC Says:Meet Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is – she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in CATWOMAN #1, written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Guillem March.

What Grey says: You know, there’s a reason I read Gotham City Sirens all the way to the end…several, actually, but Catwoman was definitely on the list. I’m interested by what Winick will bring to the table as far as writing goes, and I know full well that Guillem March is going to make this one very, very pretty book. I’ll definitely check it out. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: Selina looks extremely sexy on this cover. I don’t often say that about comic characters, but this one caught my eye. I do like a lot of Winick’s work, and Catwoman has been a character I like quite a bit. Not quite sure on this title yet, but leaning towards buying it. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

16. DC Universe Presents

What DC Says:The anthology series gets a new look in DC Universe Presents, a new series that will focus on multi-issue story arcs each featuring a different superhero from the DC Universe’s rich cast of characters, told by some of comics’ most exciting writers and artitsts. DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #1 kicks off the first arc of the series: a Deadman story by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang. The cover to issue #1 is by Ryan Sook.

What Grey says: I like the premise of this book, with rotating creative teams handling different characters. I mean, I can’t fathom how both Marvel and DC haven’t been running a book like this. It’s the perfect place to use a character who you feel is important, but who may not have the name value to sell a mini series or ongoing series on their own. Like Deadman, for example. Now, I don’t think this is going to be a pull list book by any means, but it will definitely become one to check out on an arc by arc basis. So despite that I’m in for the Deadman arc, I still have to settle in the middle as the second arc could be Isis and Osiris by someone I don’t care about and I’d pass it right over. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

What Skitch says: I am a sucker for anthology series. Pretty much doesn’t matter who writes or draws it or what characters are in it, I always give anthology series a try. Looking forward to this one, though curious about how Deadman ends up as “Deadman” again. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes.

17. Deathstroke

What DC Says:A metahuman mercenary who made a living taking out the toughest targets, Deathstroke will reclaim his fearsome legacy by any means necessary in DEATHSTROKE #1, a new series from rising star Kyle Higgins (Batman: Gates of Gotham) and artists Joe Bennett and Art Thibert.

What Grey says: I’m not sold on the new costume, or even Deathstroke in a starring role, but Kyle Higgins is also writing Nightwing. Now, I have no reason to jump on the boat save for that, well, that and my long lasting enjoyment of Joe Bennett’s work, but it’s enough to get me to consider it. After all, the worst that could happen is I buy the first few issues and not enjoy them. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

What Skitch says: I like Deathstroke best when he’s an unrepentant villain. I have no interest in him having his own series again. That trick never works, Bullwinkle.Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? No

18. Demon Knights

What DC Says:Set in the Middle Ages, the Demon leads an unlikely team to defend civilization and preserve the last vestiges of Camelot against the tide of history. Critically-acclaimed writer Paul Cornell and artists Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert combine sorcery, swords and superheroes in DEMON KNIGHTS #1.

What Grey says: I don’t like the middle ages, I don’t like Etrigan, but…Paul Cornell is selling this book to me. I mean, it’s entirely possible that all I needed was a good writer with a good story to get me to enjoy this kind of a book, so hey, I think I’ll give this one a shot. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: A period piece starring the Demon? Really hard to pass this up. And I love Paul Cornell’s work on Doctor Who. Paul Cornell might bet he superstar of Relaunch. He’s writing two of the books I am most excited about (this one and Stormwatch). Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

19. Detective Comics

What DC Says:DC Comics’ flagship title is relaunched for the first time ever in DETECTIVE COMICS #1 by acclaimed writer/artist Tony Daniel. Marking the first time Batman will appear in a debut issue of Detective Comics, the series will find Bruce Wayne on the trail of a dangerous serial killer known only as the Gotham Ripper.

What Grey says: Tony Daniel’s Batman wasn’t great, but something about it just kept me reading it every month. I can’t say that it’s changed, as his run is set to continue and I’m already getting ready to do what I have to stay on board. Dick wil be greatly missed, however, though we might get Daniel penning some Bruce/Selina as he has been using Selina off and on throughout his tenure. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: Not sure I wanna get into Batman again, but I will likely give it a try anyway. I will be honest, all the Batman series starring Bruce Wayne is just about the only thing in the relaunch I am not looking forward to.Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

20. Flash

What DC Says:Rising superstar Francis Manapul, fresh off his acclaimed run on THE FLASH with Geoff Johns, makes his comics writing debut in THE FLASH #1, sharing both scripting and art duties with Brian Buccellato. The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who can? The cover to issue #1 is by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.

What Grey says: Barry Allen’s recent run as Flash under Johns, Manapul, and Kolins was crap. Now, the Manapul stuff was gorgeous, and I mean, I loved his art on the book, but the story was crap. There is nothing pulling me in to read Flash, and now Manapul is going to be the writer-artist and teaming up with Brian Buccellato. His colorist. I say that I have limited faith in this title is an understatement. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? No

What Skitch says: I always liked Flash’s villains and I really wanna know more about this new Rogue. I will admit, that was a major selling point for me putting this on the “buy” list. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

21. Frankenstien: Agent of SHADE

What DC Says:Frankenstein and his network of strange beings work for an even stranger government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive. It’s the breakout hero of Seven Soldiers as you’ve never seen him before in FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF SHADE #1, the first issue of a dark new series from acclaimed writer Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, The Nobody) and artist Alberto Ponticelli.

What Grey says: Frankenstein was definitely not my favorite Seven Soldiers series, though the first issue of the Flashpoint mini wasn’t too bad. I’m conflicted as I think that Lemire could truly find his way in the non-traditional DC titles far better than the cape crowd, but at the same time…I’m more of a cape guy. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

What Skitch says: This series sounds so damn strange I have to check it out. Frankenstein was by far my favorite of the Sever Soldiers series. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

22. Fury of Firestorm

What DC Says:Welcome to a major new vision of the Nuclear Man as writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone team up with artist Yildiray Cinar to deliver THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #1. Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond are two high school students, worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control. The cover to issue #1 is by Ethan Van Sciver.

What Grey says: Brightest Day created an interest in Firestorm that I have never had before and is honestly the main reason I’m looking at this book. The Ronnie/Jason dynamic should be interesting, especially if our odd couple co-writers are able to truly put over the very different personalities of our two main characters. Van Sciver and Simone, that’s going to be really freaking interesting. I also don’t mind so much the slight deaging to high school as the setting isn’t as crucial as the interactions, but high school does feel like a more appropriate choice than college for some reason. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: I have never really read much Firestorm before. He seems to be most popular when I am not reading comics. That said, I do think the concept is pretty cool, and I am curious about Ronnie being a high school student again. I’m gonna pick this one up. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

23. Green Arrow

What DC Says:Oliver Queen is an orphan who grew up to fight crime as the Green Arrow, a billionaire playboy who uses his fortune to become a superhero – able to fight the most powerful super-villains in the universe with nothing but a bow and arrow. JT Krul will write GREEN ARROW #1 with art by superstar artist Dan Jurgens. The cover to issue #1 is by Brett Booth.

What Grey says: I really like the Smallville costume being used here for some reason. Maybe it’s that it looks a bit sleeker, a bit more modern, or maybe it’s just that I’m sick of everyone trying to draw various version of Robin Hood when they tend to Ollie. I was enjoying Krul’s run on Green Arrow for the parts where it didn’t feel like editorial was ghost writing over him, and Dan Jurgens is one of my all time favorite artists who absolutely excels at iconic visuals. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: I kind of wish Jurgens was writing this too, but I am happy to see this series looks like it will be getting back to basics. Green Arrow works best when the character and story is straight forward, and too many writers have overcomplicated him over the last few years. Definitely will be, I am a huge Ollie fan. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

24. Green Lantern

What DC Says:Geoff Johns has been charting the adventures of Hal Jordan and the GREEN LANTERN Corps since GREEN LANTERN: Rebirth, collaborating with such major artists as Ethan Van Sciver, Darwyn Cooke, Prentis Rollins, Marlo Alquiza and Mick Gray. This fall, Johns reunites with artists Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy, as the series begins anew with GREEN LANTERN #1 with cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. Together they will continue to thrill readers and expand the Green Lantern mythos. Change is coming. But set aside your fear. It’ll be worth the wait.

What Grey says: It’s nice to see some things go relatively untouched, and Green Lantern is a franchise that’s just fine that way. GL is a top selling franchise for a reason, and by keeping the same creative team they will be keeping the tone too. Green Lantern has been one of the best books on the market for years now, and that really isn’t about to change with a new number one. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: Green Lantern (and GLC) is pretty much the only mainstream DC series I follow right now, mostly in trade. Glad it is looking like more of the same. Will definitely be buying these series on a monthly basis. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

25. Green Lantern Corps

What DC Says:When deadly conflicts emerge across the universe, it’s up to Guy Gardner, John Stewart and an elite Green Lantern strike force to keep the peace. GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1 will be written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna. The cover to #1 is by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy.

What Grey says: Moving the Emerald Warriors creative to the Corps means that we can expect Guy Gardner’s recent travels to retain their importance, and that means more Sodom Yat and Unknown Sectors of space. Tomasi writing Guy is like…the best Guy ever. Yeah, no contest here, even if John is here. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: See my above comments on Green Lantern. Glad the rumors about Guy and John Stewart not being around were untrue.Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

26. Green Lantern: The New Guardians

What DC Says: Who are The New Guardians? The power of Rage, Avarice, Fear, Will, Hope, Compassion and Love combine to be the most powerful (and colorful) team in the corps under the leadership of Kyle Rayner. Beware their power . . . and their volatility! GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS #1 will be written by Tony Bedard and illustrated with cover by Tyler Kirkham and Batt.

What Grey says: Is Kyle Rayner my Green Lantern? Am I a Tony Bedard fan? Is Tyler Kirkham a phenomenal action artist? Is John Stewart a tool? Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: Bedard has been one of my favorite writers since Negation, and I have always been a Kyle fan. I suspect we’re in store for some major surprises when it comes to this series. I definitely will be reading it. I do hope the Negation shows up and kicks some Lantern ass, but I am pretty sure that’s just me. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

Skitch Random Thoughts: Lots of great titles in this batch.

Yes – 9
No – 2
Maybe – 2

Grey’s Editor Notes: Obviously I’m on board fo the GL titles, especially as none of the current creative teams are getting broken up. Firestorm is the non-GL book on this list that I’m far and away the most psyched for, whereas Flash going the writer-artist approach has actually sealed my bailing on the book. Say what you will about Tony Daniel, but his Batman isn’t that bad. Catwoman breaking out of Sirens to get her on book again doesn’t surprise me, and I’d be buying it regardless of the writer..though Judd really does help.

Yes – 8

No – 1

Maybe – 4

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