DC Comics Relaunch: Breaking It All Down (Part 3 of 5)

By Mike Maillaro & Grey Scherl

Hey, is that a Wildstorm character sneaking into the initial list of 52? Never did trust that Grifter. And Hawk and Dove get their own series again? And VAMPIRES?? Day 3 is full of surprises.

(UPDATED: Check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, and Day 5 which are now up.)

Now, Day 3…

27. Grifter

What DC Says:
Ex-black ops agent Cole Cash is a charming grifter that few can resist. And yet he’s about to be branded a serial killer when he begins hunting and exterminating inhuman creatures hidden in human form – creatures only he can see. Can the biggest sweet talker of all time talk his way out of this one when even his brother thinks he’s gone over the edge? Find out in GRIFTER #1, written by Nathan Edmondson with art by CAFU and BIT (the team behind T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS).

What Grey says: I’ve always liked the character of Grifter, and maybe that’s just the 90’s kid in me. The premise of the book sounds pretty awesome, and the cover is an immediate draw, but at the same time I read Grifter’s last solo series and wasn’t quite sure why he needed one save for popularity…kinda like Gambit. There are no WildC.A.T.S. so maybe he’ll pull off the solo job, or maybe he’ll feel the lacking of them. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

What Skitch says: I like that Grifter and Voodoo’s series both manage to sneak in WildC.A.T.S. references without being blatant about it. The idea of Grifter being branded a serial killer because of him killing Daemonites in human form is a really clever twist and probably enough to get me to check this series out. Definitely curious how the Wildstorm characters fit in this new DC.Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

28. Hawk and Dove

What DC Says:It’s up to the living avatars of war and peace to root out the hidden forces who look to plunge the country into a deadly civil war in HAWK AND DOVE #1. The exciting new series will be written by Sterling Gates and illustrated by legendary superstar comics artist Rob Liefeld.

What Grey says: If you ask me there’s nobody working in the industry who loves their job nearly as much as Rob Liefeld. Don’t get me wrong, not knocking anyone here, just saying that Rob’s career has drawn all kinds of criticizm; good and bad, and yet he’s stil here doing his thing. Here’s a guy who just loves drawing comics his way, and I happen to have grown up a fan of the style. He got his start on Hawk and Dove, and I was one of the seven people who read the Teen Titans arc a few years back. On top of all of this, Sterling Gates has been mysteriously absent ever since his amazing Supergirl run ended. So this is double win in my book, because even if the characters aren’t my favorite this is definitely one of my fan favorite creative teams. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: Rob Liefeld actually got his start on Hawk and Dove back in the day. I know a lot of comic fans hate on Liefeld, but I’m not one of them. I really have no strong feelings about Hawk and Dove, but with Gates and Liefeld on the book, I am much more inclined to check it out. We’ll see come September. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

29. I, Vampire

What DC Says:Vampires threaten to bring ruin to the DC Universe in I, VAMPIRE #1 by rising star Josh Fialkov and artist Andrea Sorrentino. Tortured by his centuries-old love for the Queen of the Damnned, Andrew Bennett must save humanity from the violent uprising of his fellow vampires, even if it means exterminating his own kind.

What Grey says: I don’t know how to feel about this other than…yay if you love vamps? Marvel did Vampires in X-Men and it sucked, and I don’t expect this to be too different. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? No

What Skitch says: I honestly don’t think this series sounds all that great, and I’m not as vampire-obsessed as a lot of people. But I do like supporting different titles, so I might buy the first few issues just because of that. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe.

30. Justice League

What DC Says:JUSTICE LEAGUE by Johns and Lee, two of the most distinguished and popular contemporary comic book creators, who will be collaborating for the first time. Together they will offer a contemporary take on the origin of the comic book industry’s premier superhero team

What Grey says: Geoff Johns only has a five issue arc, co-written with Allen Heinberg, to his JLA credit, and that just feels wrong to me. He’s DC’s top guy, he should be writing JLA. JLA should be a top selling book that stars all of the big name characters, with a big name creative team. That’s what this is, the biggest writer DC has and one of the biggest artists of the last twenty years. It needs to be larger than life, and I think it has a chance to do that. Now, let’s just hope Jim can keep up. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: I am really looking forward to this book. I’m a Jim Lee fan, and Geoff Johns really does seem to have a vision for the DC Universe. Looks a bit like a return to the Morrison JLA, which is my favorite run the book has ever had. Cyborg seems strangely out of place on this team, but I hope there are a few more surprise characters. One of my favorite parts of Morrison’s run was seeing Conner as Green Arrow and Aztek as major members of the team.Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

31. Justice League Dark

What DC Says:John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu are Justice League Dark, a band of supernatural heroes united to stop the dark things the rest of the DCU does not see in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1, by Peter Milligan and artist Mikel Janin.

What Grey says: I’m a fan of Peter Milligan’s, and I like the concept of establishing the Vertigo line of characters in the DC Universe, but I’m not really sure if this is the book for me. I have no real attachment to any of the characters involved, and I have a tendency to get bored really easily when I don’t get it. This really is Justice League Vertigo though. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

What Skitch says: Calling this book Justice League is a cheap cash in, but I do like the idea of a more supernatural version of the Justice League. I just hope this is better than Flashpoint’s Secret Seven series. I thought that was just about unreadable (and this is coming from someone who usually loves Peter Milligan). Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

32. Justice League International

What DC Says:A team of internationally-drafted superheroes fight each other and their bureaucratic supervisors as much as they do global crime in JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1 from writer Dan Jurgens and artist Aaron Lopresti. The cover to issue #1 is by Aaron Lopresti.

What Grey says: I was hoping for this series by Judd Winick, but we’re getting Dan Jurgens? Even better! This not only fills my need for a JLI series after Generation Lost, but also my need to see Booster Gold in a monthly book! I just want to know who the black haired girl is since Jurgens claims she isn’t Donna. Also, I have to say that the additions of Guy Gardner and August General in Iron are great touches as well. This one I can’t wait for. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: JLI by Jurgens and Lopresti? That just sounds like a Christmas present!! This series should be a lot of fun…but why does Batman need to be on two Justice League teams? Rest of the roster looks great.  Especially glad to see Vixen and Donna Troy.  Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

33. Legion Lost

What DC Says:Seven heroes from the 31st century have traveled back to the present day. Their mission: Save their future from total annihilation. When the future tech they brought with them fails, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world and an ultimate struggle to survive. LEGION LOST #1 will be written by Fabian Nicieza and illustrated by Pete Woods, fresh off an acclaimed run of Action Comics.

What Grey says: You know, I actually had Fabian pegged for Teen Titans or JSA, but the more I think about it the more perfect he seems for Legion. Especially one like this. Pete Woods has been doing some amazing work over the past few years as well, and him on Legion sounds like a match made in heaven. I’m a fan of the Legion who has been somewhat underwhelmed by the past few years, but my gut is saying this will make up for it. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: LONG LIVE THE LEGION!! Nicieza’s work on New Warriors is one of my all time favorite runs. Really can’t wait to see what he can do on a Legion book. I’ve been a Legion fan for a long time, and these two books sounds like great ways to streamline and update the line.Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

34. Legion of Super-Heroes

What DC Says:In the 31st century, the Legion of Superheroes is reeling from the loss of seven of their finest — and trying desperately to keep their youngest recruits alive against a series of terrible new threats. LEGION OF SUPERHEROES #1 will be written by fan-favorite Legion writer Paul Levitz and illustrated by Francis Portela.

What Grey says: I’ve been reading Legion since the relaunch, but I’ve yet to really love it. Levitz’s work has felt like it’s been missing something. I’m hoping that the loss of the seven lost characters will help tighten the focus of the title because I really do want to enjoy it. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

What Skitch says: Legion has sounded so complicated the last few years, I really hope DC just simplifies in these two Legion books. They could be two great titles, but it’s really gonna depend on how DC decides to treat these books. Levitz is one of my comic writing idols, so I really am looking forward to this. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

35. Mister Terrific

What DC Says:The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors – uses his brains and fists against science gone mad in MISTER TERRIFIC #1, the new series from writer Eric Wallace and artist Roger Robinson. The cover to issue #1 is by J.G. Jones.

What Grey says: Eric Wallace, after Villains for Hire, inspires no confidence in me. On top of that, with the removal of the JSA and Checkmate I’m not sure what exactly the characters is going to be, and it feels like one of the full reboots. Under a different writer I’d probably consider it, but…yeah. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? No

What Skitch says: I think it’s hilarious that the nicest thing they can say about Mister Terrific is “third-smartest man.” Way to help sell this guy, DC. I’ve always liked the character, and even with the ridiculous tattoos I will still be giving this series a try. Despite DC’s best efforts to chase me away…Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

36. Nightwing

What DC Says:After a tenure as the Batman of Gotham, Dick Grayson resumes his mantle as Nightwing! As Dick embraces his identity, Haley’s Circus, the big top where he once performed with his family, returns to Gotham – bringing with it a history of murder, mystery and superhuman evil. Nightwing must confront friends and enemies from his past as he searches for the source of an even greater evil. NIGHTWING will be written by Kyle Higgins with art duties handled by fan-favorite Eddy Barrows.

What Grey says: I understand that Dick couldn’t be Batman forever, despite that I feel he could have been for longer. That said, I spent years reading Nightwing, but I’ve never had a number one issue of him. I’m in. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: I definitely would have preferred for Dick Grayson to stay as Batman, but I still will check this title out. The Haley’s Circus sounds like a really cool storyline. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

37. OMAC

What DC Says:A man loses control of his life as the omnipresent Brother Eye transforms him against his will into a powerful killing machine OMAC #1, written by DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio and co-written and illustrated by Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish.

What Grey says: Why does DiDio need a book in the first 52? Outsiders was terrible! I can’t see anyone clamoring for this title or concept, and I can’t imagine that it’s on anyones must read list. It’s sure not on mine. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? No

What Skitch says: By far the worst idea to come out of Relaunch. Even Giffen isn’t enough to make me consider this book. No way this series is still around in a year. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? No

38. Red Hood and The Outlaws

What DC Says:Batman’s former sidekick had put his past as The Red Hood behind him, when the reclusive Jason Todd finds himself unwillingly elected as the leader of an all-new team of outlaw vigilantes. As The Red Hood once again, Jason Todd will lead this new team of antiheroes, including Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal and Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war. RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS will be written by Scott Lobdell and illustrated by rising superstar artist Kenneth Rocafort.

What Grey says: I always find Jason more interesting when he’s being used as a sort of Punisher styled Batman, when the writer doesn’t treat him as a villain but as a hero with no issues killing. I also happen to like Roy Harper, and seeing him with a bow and two arms makes he happy. Then there’s Scott Lobdell who I imagine is bringing his witty A game. This book sounds like a lot of fun. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: I really have no interest in Jason Todd, and the title sounds like the worst band name ever. But I still feel compelled to check this book out. Part of it is Lobdell, part of it Arsenal and Starfire. I have a feeling I will regret buying it, but I will probably do it anyway.Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Maybe

39. Red Lanterns

What DC Says: Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps return in their own series, battling against injustice in the most bloody ways imaginable. This Lantern Corps takes no prisoners, they are judge, jury and executioners! RED LANTERNS #1 will be written by Peter Milligan with art and cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter.

What Grey says: Milligan makes for an interesting choice for this book, and hell, the Red Lanterns makes for an interesting title to try and launch. You’d think the Sinestro Corps would have a bigger built in audience and demand. Maybe it’s just the recent Lantern obsession I’ve been struck by, but I get the feeling this book will be great. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? Yes

What Skitch says: As much as I like what DC has done with the Green Lantern line, I just have no interest in this book. I can’t imagine it having much depth to it. Sorry, Atrocitus, you’re not on my buy list. Bottom Line: Will I pick it up? No

Skitch Random Thoughts:

Another day with a lot of yes’s.

Yes – 7

No – 2

Maybe – 4

Grey’s Editor commentary:

JLI by Dan Jurgens, JLA by Geoff Johns, and Fabian Nicieza on the Legion top off this batch for me. Then again, the hard no’s come in form of Mr. T and DiDio’s OMAC of Doom. It’s a good day.

Yes – 7

No – 3

Maybe – 3

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