Demythify: Top 10 Questions From DC Comics New 52 July 2013 Solicitations With Justice Leagues’ 2013 Trinity War of Sin, Seeding 2014 Multiverse Cross-Over & More

Thanks for popping by and checking out my weekly Monday Demythify column.

It is that time of month again! DC Comics started releasing its July 2013 comic solicitations through various sites across the ‘net over the weekend. I’ve combed through those solicits and present the Top 10 Questions from those book teases.

Beware, some SPOILERS may follow. You have been warned. 😉

10: Who or What is Clayface Really in Batman The Dark Knight #22?

IGN has DC Comics’ Batman Family solicitations.

Artist Alex Maleev joins writer Gregg Hurwitz to unveil the origin of the New 52’s Clayface. The solicit:

    “Picking up from recent issues of BATMAN, the origin of Clayface is revealed—and a new mystery is introduced!”

I hope there will be a legacy element to this and that maybe we might see the multi-generational “family” of Clayfaces a.k.a. the Mud Pack (see right) from the 1980’s and 1990’s.

With so little legacy left in the New 52, maybe we’ll finally see some on the villains side of the ledger? That may be wishful thinking on my part, but I am still curious about the origins of this Clayface that will be revealed in July.

Um, also, doesn’t that solicit spoil events yet-to-occur in writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo’s Batman series?

9: Flash Has The Will of A Green Lantern In Flash Annual #2?

Newsarama brings us the tease for Flash Annual #2 from regular Flash co-writer Brian Buccellato and artist Sam Basri. The solicit:

    “Find out how The Flash and Green Lantern first met when a case they teamed up together to solve years ago rears its head again in the present! It involves a foe neither of them can defeat on their own, and they might not have much luck together either! The outcome of this will affect The Flash for years to come… Plus, a backup story by Nicole Dubuc (the Young Justice cartoon)!”

While I am intrigued to read this story, it looks like Flash is too easily wielding Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern ring.

My fave portrayal of a novice ring slinger was in Green Lantern: Rebirth (see right) when Green Arrow used the ring and was in excruciating pain in creating a construct by focusing his will to form an arrow. Not everyone should be able to use the ring, but we’ll see how this Annual plays out.

8: Gardner A 2-Corps Guy in Red Lanterns #22?

Comic Vine has the new creative team era of the New 52’s Green Lantern Family with solicits for July 2013. The Red Lanterns solicit is interesting:

    “Guy Gardner has suddenly found himself at the top of the Red Lantern food chain—but in a pack of bloodthirsty animals like these, everyone’s a predator! If he wants their respect, he’s gonna need the nastiest piece of work in the Corps on his side…but Bleez has her own ideas about what Guy Gardner’s got coming to him!”

So, Guy Gardner still has a green ring, but a red one too that has led to a leadership role with the Red Lanterns? Now, I do think that a recognizable human lead for the Red Lanterns would make it more accessible and a better seller, and Guy is dream casting, but what about Rankorr? I thought he was going to be the novice human Red Lantern lead of the book eventually? A POV character for us?

Anyhow, at the same time Hal Jordan is leading the Green Lantern Corps and training new recruits (see right). And the Green Lantern Corps series, that Guy used to co-anchor, seems to be become a John Stewart centric title? Kyle Rayner is no longer a GL, but THE White Lantern in New Guardians – in some distress in July – while Green Lantern Simon Baz, who I assume is the reason DC editorial made Kyle a White Lantern, is on the JLA.

This sure isn’t your daddy’s or your older brother’s GLC, is it?

7: Threshold #7 & Series is a Sleeper Book for DC New 52?

MTV has DC’s Edge solicits. It includes the sci-fi adventure Threshold under the pen of Keith Giffen and pencil of Tom Raney. The solicit for Threshold #7:

    “When the Hunted fight back against their persecutors, a connection between Blue Beetle and Apokolips sparks a riot! And don’t miss the start of a new backup tale spotlighting Star Hawkins!”

Threshold has been a breath of fresh air in the DC New 52 with its look at the final frontier of space. Giffen did this successfully for Marvel Comics and I hope he’ll be as successful or even more so with DC Comics. Jediah Caul as a rogue Green Lantern is a compelling character as is this “Hunted” backdrop. What is interesting – and has led to a mixed reception by long-time DC fans – are the repurposed classic DC characters we’re seeing Stealth of L.E.G.I.O.N. fame, Captain K’Rot and others.

It looks like in July 2013 Blue Beetle’s seeming ties to Apokolips surface and cause problems for his fellow “The Hunted” contestants. This connection to the New Gods may make Threshold a book to watch since the Fourth World is playing a big part in several DC series: Earth 2, Wonder Woman, WTF Superman, Justice League’s opening arc, to name a few.

Will this book be part of or seed in part the James Robinson teased Earth 2 / Prime Earth cross-over in 2014 (see numero uno Q below for more on that)? What role will all these New Gods play in this series? Keep your eyes on Threshold.

6: Doomsday takes on Superman in Smallville Season 11 #15?

Writer Bryan Q. Miller has many fans here at the Comics Nexus. His Smallville Season 11 series is part of the Beyond DC solicitations for July 2013 over at Newsarama.

Artist Daniel Hdr is on art for issue #15. The solicit reads:

    “Krypton’s past, present and future collide in the skies over New Krypton as the clock ticks down to oblivion. Superman, Supergirl, Booster and the Legion battle the unthinkable! “Argo” comes to its explosive conclusion in part 3 of 3.”

WOW. Doomsday! On the cover even.

This is the character that defined a generation by killing Superman (see right). What does the future hold for Smallville’s pretty boy Superman?

I am intrigued.

5: Who is The Wrath in Detective Comics #22?

The Batman Family solicitations also includes the DC New 52 debut of a fan fave character from the 1980’s in the pages of Detective Comics #22. Writer John Layman and artist Jason Fabok with artist Andy Clarke in a back-up bring us the following:

    “Meet The Wrath! In Gotham City, he’s the anti-Batman, and the body count is about to shoot through the roof! And in the backup story, Man-Bat makes a startling discovery!”

In 1984, DC released Batman Special #1 that featured the debut of The Wrath. It was a self-contained story with a beginning, middle, and a seeming end for the anti-Batman. Years later in 2008, in the pages of Batman Confidential, someone else dons The Wrath garb to avenge the original. I won’t spoil the stories, but would recommend that you check out the tpb that collects both stories which are solid on writing and art. However, the character did not live up his potential and was essentially a two-hit wonder.

Here’s hoping The Wrath becomes a big deal in the New 52. Being an anti-Batman doesn’t necessarily mean he will be a villain. Maybe an anti-hero? If successful, I’d be up for a Wrath ongoing series! With Deathstroke, Team 7 and other edgy books cancelled, there is room for The Wrath.

Let’s start a hashtag twitter campaign: #New52WrathSeries. 🙂 Who’s with me?

4: Will Suicide Squad #22 Explain Team’s Role in the New 52?

The Edge family solicitations also include my fave DC Comics franchise: Suicide Squad. July 2013’s 22nd issue continues the run of the new creative team of writer Ales Kot and artist Patrick Zircher formerly of Valiant’s Shadowman. The cover by Body Bags’ Jason Pearson is eye-catching. The solicit:

    “An anarchist group has a monstrous plan to rewire the brains of the American public, starting in Las Vegas! So it’s up to Amanda Waller’s team to shut them down—but a surprise new squad member with a grudge against Deadshot threatens to wreck everything!

Previous writer Adam Glass had been carrying this book on his back with a parade of artists that didn’t allow for the visual look of the book to be established. While I am sad to see Glass go, I am pleased DC seems to be supporting this book more and have a firm creative team in place.

Also, with so many dark or government sponsored teams in the DC New 52 including Justice League of America also run by Amanda Waller, what is the role of the Suicide Squad in the DC Comics Universe? With Waller’s JLA involved in Trinity War, will the Squad bat clean up?

And, where is the Unknown Soldier who DC pumped up with so such fanfare during its April 2013 WTF Certified Gatefold Covers?

3: Time Travelling Hex in All Star Western #22?

The July 2013 Edge solicits also include All-Star Western #22 by writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with Moritat on art. The solicit:

    “After being locked in Arkham Asylum, Jonah Hex goes on the run with a partner, who’s family he’s all too familiar with from his days with Amadeus Arkham. And in the backup story, the epic of the 19th century StormWatch continues.”

Looks like the rumors about the cover to All-Star Western’s WTF April cover are true. Booster Gold takes Jonah Hex through time. Notice the horseless carriages 😉 prominently featured on the cover (left)? Once DC reveals the full April gatefold it will be part of the several WTF covers released so far.

I can’t help but think back to the futuristic Hex series DC did in the 1980s (See right). I’d love a trip to the future as an easter eggy nod to that old series.

All Star Western remains one of the best books in the New 52. Purists may not welcome a time traveling Hex arc or two, but many will be intrigued.

2: Trinity War Begins In Justice League Dark of America #22’s 😉 , BUT There’s More To It?

Looks like we were correct when we set up the Trinity War scenarios and chronciled recent events in support of them. Check out the interlocking July covers to Justice League #22, Justice League Dark #22 and Justice League of America #6 below.

USA Today confirms that Trinity War begins in July 2013 pitting the Justice League vs. Justice League of America vs. Justice League Dark. It will be a six-issue story crossing all three DC New 52 series in July and August 2013. In the mix is also the Trinity of Sin: Pandora, Phantom Stranger and Question. Beyond that, we’re told a hero’s death ignites the teams tensions. Who could that be? More to come clearly.

And, where are Hal Jordan, Shazam, Black Adam and the R.B. Silva teased Justice League International?

That said, it looks like the new look Zatanna is present and accounted for on the right. And is that…. Dr. Light… a bloodied female one at that… on the left battling Madame Xanadu?

What we’ve also learned is that Trinity War is a beginning, not a finite ending, according to writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer:

    “It’s not going to end wrapped up in a bow. Something really, really major happens that kicks off some pretty crazy stuff at the end of August.”

What is that big impending danger? Is it the teased 2014 multiverse event (see number one question below) or something else? Interesting.

1: Earth 2 Batman/Superman #2 Secret & More Books Seed 2014 Event?

CBR has July’s Superman Family solicits. Batman / Superman, a new ongoing series set in the past of the New 52 when Batman and Superman first met and teamed up, is getting interesting. Check out the issue #2 solicit.

    “Batman and Superman travel to Earth 2, where they find familiar heroes who are trying to kill them!”

Hmmm. This multiversal travel to Earth 2 begs so many questions. It seems to have happened before the Justice League formed, and presumably before Darkseid decimated Earth 2. Could Prime Earth’s Superman and Batman open Darkseid’s eyes to the multiverse and be somewhat responsible for all the violence that stems from that? What else could be going on here? It looks like this Greg Pak written title with Jae Lee art is pretty integral to DC’s New 52.

Plus, courtesy of BC, we have the Worlds Finest #14 cover that shows New Gods’ Parademons, Wonder Woman #22 with Orion still around and possibly joined by Highfather, plus a very cryptic Earth 2 #14 “War” cover.

Could all of these books being setting up events for what James Robinson is building to in the Earth 2 series? There is that multiverse cross-over between the heroes of Earth 2 and Prime Earth coming in 2014.

Also, in terms of Batman/Superman #2, I don’t recall Supes or Bats mentioning Earth 2 in any other “modern time” New 52 series. What past secret will be revealed in the Batman/Superman series? And why is it a secret?

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome. 🙂

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