Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DC Comics Relaunch - The List

Well, we've certainly seen quite a few names being thrown around over the last few days, haven't we?  DC hasn't announced the creative teams for every single book yet, though at the rate they're going I wouldn't be shocked if by the end of the week that changed. Still, I figured that there were enough confirmed to sit down and talk about how they sound.  I know people are saying that DC is merely shuffling chairs on the Titanic, as some of the creative teams aren't that different.  I can see why they're saying such things, though I'm certainly willing to give these writers and artists, people who may not have thrilled me in the past, a chance to surprise.  I certainly think that is in their wheelhouse.

But what do you think?  Which of these books appeals to you?  Which ones don't?  Or perhaps are you one who thinks this is a bad move and are completely enraged by even said attempt?


1. Batman - Scott Snyder takes the reigns of this one with Greg Capulo providing the art.  Snyder has been kicking ass and taking names with his work on Detective Comics.  Really, it's been fantastic.  Seeing him moved over to the main Batman book is a little odd, but to think that he won't continue to provide great Batman stories is silly.  This man loves the characters (which comes through his writing) and seems to be able to write his way out any problem.  Capulo on art is...interesting.  The last thing I remember him working on was Spawn, so yeah, it's not a great piece of news.  That said, artists change and evolve over time.  He may rise to the challenge.  I'm curious, especially after seeing the teaser for the cover of #1.

2. Detective Comics - Tony Daniel both writes and draws.  Tony Daniel as an artist, has really improved over the years.  His style has evolved and become much cleaner and more vibrant.  His writing on the other hand is a still a bit shaky.  Also, for Detective, Batman should be a detective who solves crimes using his mind.  That's what Snyder brought to this book and showed that its a premise that's doable.  I'm unsure if that's something that Daniel has in his utility belt.  We'll see though.

3. Batgirl - This is awesome news, as Gail Simone has Barbara Gordon back in the Batsuit, something that fans have been clamoring for for quite awhile.  Gail made Oracle a fantastic character, one that I will sorely miss, but I'm certain that her Batgirl will be just as good of a character.  On art we have Adrian Syaf, who has worked on some of the Blackest Night titles and the adaptations of The Dresden Files.  He's a solid artist, one of those up and comers who I've enjoyed and am glad to see him making it big.  Super excited for this one.

4. Batwoman - JH Williams, Hayden Blackman & Amy Reeder.  Sold.  Williams alone is one of the best artists there is.  Teaming him up with Amy Reeder, who recently worked on Madame Xanadu, is just icing on the top of a very sweet cake.

5. Catwoman - Seems Judd Winick is at the helm for this one, which I find exciting.  A lot has been said about Winick as a writer, but lately he has really been stepping up his game.  I also think he's one of the best writers of action that DC has.  Putting him on Catwoman is an very cool move.  Rumor is that Guillem March, the brilliant artist behind the launch of Gotham City Sirens, will be providing the art.  If that is true, then I imagine Catwoman may fast become a favorite of mine.

6. Batman & Robin - The team behind Green Lantern Corps, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, are going to be telling the stories of Bruce Wayne and his son Damian.  A part of me is ecstatic that Damian is still going to be around.  It seems odd for a relaunch that he would be, but it's pretty cool.  As for the creative team, these guys are tried and true. They made a group of space aliens likable and told some pretty great stories, something that I'm sure they'll be doing again.

7. Nightwing - Dick Grayson returns as Nightwing written by Kyle Higgins, a writer that I'm actually not super familiar with.  Since Dick is a favorite character of mine, I'm hoping Higgins can rise to the challenge and put forth some great stories.  With Eddy Barrows, who's worked on 52 and Teen Titans and a host of other DC properties, I know that it will look solid.

8. Batwing - The Batman of Africa (so it seems Batman Inc. is not being completely shuffled to the grave) is the focus with this one.  It's a strange call, but I typically like strange calls.  Putting Judd Winick on it intrigues me a bit and Ben Oliver, who recently impressed me with his work on the Alpha Flight .01 issue makes me even more interested.

9. Red Hood & the Outlaws - Another odd concept book as we see Jason Todd (a former Robin) Arsenal (Green Arrows rejected sidekick) and Starfire (a former prisoner of war) team up and take on....Who knows?  Scott Lobdell, who created and wrote a great run on Generation X takes on the writing duties while Kenneth Rocafort, who's worked on several Top Cow books and Action Comics with Paul Cornell, handles the art.  The odd but cool sounding concept is the main draw, but I'm not counting Rocafort out yet.

10. Green Lantern - Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke continue to do Green Lantern-y type things.  If you're already a Green Lantern fan, I imagine that won't change with a writer/artist combo such as this.

11.  Green Lantern Corps - Peter Tomasi & Fernando Pasarin provide a book that sees Guy Garnder and Jon Stewart lead a strike team to keep the peace.  Seems like a buddy cop movie, one that I think will work. Tomasi has proved himself on Green Lantern Corps before and Pasarin has done some great work on several of DC's smaller books (and of course the first issue of Brightest Day).

12. Green Lanterns: New Guardians - This one holds the most interest for me as we see Kyle Rayner in charge of a group of lanterns composed of the Rainbow Corps.  Yes, it looks like even the Black Lanterns are included in this one.  Tony Bedard is a solid enough writer and Kirkham has really improved over the past few years.  This one could be the surprise hit of the Green Lantern-verse.

13. Red Lanterns - Atrocitus getting his own book?  Sign me up.  Peter Milligan, who sounds almost perfect for this one, handles the writing side while Ed Benes, who hasn't be a favorite of mine in recent years, handles the art.  I think Milligan's take, which sees the Red Lanters as a group fighting injustice as judge, jury and executioner, will prove to be as much fun as it sounds.  Also, Milligan is really the guy to be able to make you somehow care for these band of essentially villains.

14. Swamp Thing - Scott Snyder snags this one along with artists Yanick (Batman Inc.) Paquette and Franceso (Detective Comics) Francavilla. About perfect if you ask me.  Should be a dark, morally ambiguous and gorgeously drawn.  Please take my money.

15. Animal Man - Bringing back the strange with Animal Man seems to be the name of the game with this book, launched by Jeff Lemire and Travel (Immortal Iron Fist) Foreman.  I really haven't been a huge fan of Lemire's Superboy, but his work on Sweet Tooth seems to fit with this book in a way.  The oddness might be off putting, but if you were a fan of Morrison's run, I would imagine this will be the best Animal Man book we could hope for.

16. Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE - Another Jeff Lemire book, one that sees a focus on the same concept of his Flashpoint Frankenstein series.  I think the concept of Frankenstein as a government like agent is cool as hell.  With Alberto (Unknown Soldier) Ponticelli handling the look, it will most certainly be slick looking.  Somehow this one is more interesting sounding than Animal Man.  Great concept.  Great art.  Could be really good.

17. Birds of Prey - Mystery writer Duane Swierczynski takes over for Gail Simone on this one. Not quite sure what to make of that, as Swierczynski's Cable series never really wowed me.  Still, a Covert Ops team in Gotham drawn by Jesus Saiz has me.  His art always impresses and the team, which looks to have Black Canary, Katana, someone that looks like Poison Ivy and another person that could be Grace Choi or an updated Zinda, is a really strange group of people.  Color me curious.

18. Fury of Firestorm - Gail Simone teams up with co-writer Ethan Van Sciver to give the story of two high school students, Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch.  There seems to be more to the story, but the idea of two people who have such opposite view points coming together to create a single comic really interests me.  Yildiary Cinar on the art is also great news as I've really enjoyed his work.  The image of Firestorm that's already leaked is crazy looking, sort of a Ghost Rider in feel, but I'm really pumped for this one.  An easy pick for me.

19. Wonder Woman - Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang?  My tongue is on the floor hearing that Chiang is going to be on this one, as I absolutely think he's one of the best artists in the business.  Azzarello is a bit out of left field as he normally doesn't gel with traditional superheroes, but I like it. He'll be able to bring a bit of a darker tone, something that DC seems to be doing with many of their books with these announcements.  I'm hoping this is the Wonder Woman launch that we've been waiting for.

20. Savage Hawkman - Tony Daniel and Phillip Tan.  Tan's a good artist and I like that they're getting away from all of the supernatural elements that have plagued many of the incarnations of Hawkman in the past and focusing on the Archeologist who puts on wings storyline.  Daniel's writing is still in question, but I think he could really bring something to the table, especially with his ability to write action.

21. Aquaman - Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis.  Again, with Johns, I'm giving most anything he does a glance.  He might not have been able to make Flash as great as Green Lantern, but his track record is damn good at this point.  Since Aquaman has been a favorite character of mine (thanks to my brother), I want this to be good.  With Reis (Blackest Night) on art, is should look shiny and new and very slick.

22. Flash - Written and drawn by the team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.  I'm worried about Manapul with this one, as his writing is an unknown factor and his speed as an artist isn't exactly Flash-like.  Still, maybe with the help of Buccellato a balance will be found.  Flash is a great character and certainly deserving a great title.  I'll try to this one, of course, but it doesn't sound like a complete winner yet.

23. Green Arrow - JT Krul again writes the character.  It's not my perfect choice, as I think Hester or Winick would have been better suited to come back to the character.  That said, I'll give it a shot...though I did utter a might MEH when I heard the news.  Dan Jurgens on art however piques my interests a bit.

24. Mr. Terrific - A great concept for this.  Third smartest man and most eligible bachelor Mr. Terrific fights crime.  That sounds pretty damn nifty.  Eric Wallace, who's main claim to fame in the comic industry is Final Crisis Aftermath Ink, which was merely okay.  That he's written for television show Eureka makes me have hope though, as I've always found the writing on that smart.  Don't know if the character can sustain a solo series, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

25. Demon Knights - Paul Cornell,  Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert bring back Etrigan the Demon with this one.  Cornell has fast become a favorite writer of mine with things like Captain Britain and MI-13 and Action Comics, so to see him write The Demon is a treat.  I wonder if he'll talk in rhyme?  I imagine cool action and sulfur imbued demons abound in this one.

26. Resurrection Man - Abnett & Lanning return to the character that they created with this one.  I know next to nothing about the character really, other than the fact that each time he dies and comes back, he returns with a new power.  Whether or not that status quo remains the same, I don't know.  Bluntly said though:  I WILL READ ANYTHING BY DnA!  They've sold me on so much and have reminded me what comics should be.  I can't wait to see what they can do in DC Universe.

27. Justice League International - Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti tackle the team of International Heroes.  It looks like an interesting lineup of characters (especially with the inclusion of The Great Ten member), but I have a little worry with Jurgen's writing.  Lopresti's work has always been gorgeous, so while I am quick to say that this will be a favorite of mine, I have a bit of doubt in me as well.

28. Batman the Dark Knight - The David Finch book that focuses on Batman and Arkham Asylum.  My interest in this, especially because of the grim stories by Finch in his first few issues of this exact same book in its previous incarnation have me super underwhelmed.  That he is not the book's artist may help, but I don't know.

29. Justice League Dark - Seems that this one will focus on the Magic side of the DCU and deal with the things that the Justice League can't see or don't know about.  I like the premise and with the characters of Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman & Shade the Changing Man being the focuses, I can easily see it being pretty awesome.  Handling this is Peter Milligan on the writing side and Mikel Janin on the art side.  Seems that Milligan is really taking on a ton of books.  I hope he can keep things on an even keel.

30. Captain Atom - JT Krul again...I want to be excited about a Captain Atom book.  I loved how they handled him in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, but I've never really been super partial to any iteration of the character in comics.  Yes, in JLI, he worked, but this new one seems to be a much more serious take, to the point that he sounds a little like Dr. Manhattan (which makes a certain amount of sense considering).  Do I think Krul can bring that sort of thing to the page?  I don't know.  We haven't seen him do it yet, but it's possible.

31. I Vampire - A more serious take on the character (unlike how he was show in Dr. Thirteen).  Seems that he will be a brooding vampire who must take up arms against his own people to save the world.  Simple premise, but not super exciting.  Handling this one is Josh Filakov and Andrea Sorrentino.


  1. I'm more of a Marvel guy than a DC guy, but Firestorm was one of the first comics I ever owned, so I'm excited to see him back in another series. That is one of the new books I'll definitely be getting.

  2. Yeah, Firestorm has always been a favorite of mine as well. I even have a nifty Firestorm action figure that sits on my desk firing atomic energy.

    I like that they are going the way of the new Batman Brave and the Bold cartoon and combining Jason and Ronnie. Gail has been touting that there are HUGE things happening in this book. She's got me excited for it.

  3. I’ll start with the thing that has me bummed. I’m really going to miss Batman Incorporated. It is currently my favorite DC book, thanks to you for pointing out to me, and it is a shame we won’t get to see Morrison’s vision through to its conclusion.
    Batgirl with Barbara Gordon has me intrigued; that said I’m a little wary about Simone. I tend to find her a solid writer and good at characters, but one perhaps a little on the bland side when it comes to plotting; I had trouble getting through all those Birds of Prey I picked up.
    I thought Rucka did a good job with Batwoman in Detective taking the character far past what I expected to be little more than a fan service type of character and I’m disappointed he won’t be continuing with the characters as was planned. Still I’ll give it a look as he sold me on the character.
    Not really familiar with Scott Snyder but I’ll pick up Swamp Thing for nothing else than Yanick Paquette amazing artwork.
    Animal Man, I would love to see Morrison on this, but I’ll give this a whirl as he made me love the character.
    Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE sounds interesting. I'll have to pick up the Flashpoint story
    Wonderwoman has me torn; Cliff Chiang is an amazing artist, but Brian Azzarello? I just can't see it. Maybe he’ll surprise me but just on face value I think I’d almost rather see a David E. Kelley Wonderwoman than an Azzarello one.
    Justice League Dark also has me intrigued. I’ve always liked the magic characters in the DCU and Milligan has a pretty good track record as a writer so I will be checking this one out as well.

  4. Well Gray, if rumor is to be believed, Batman Inc. is not going away. Seems Morrison is taking a breather and it's coming back in a few months.

    Now I do hope that is the case, what with it being one of my more favorite books out right now.

    As for Batwoman, Williams did that zero issue awhile ago (both art and writing) and it was really solid and felt very much in the vein of the Rucka stuff. I'm really looking forward to seeing the character again.

  5. After buying everything I could get my hands on (and that I could afford) from ages 8-32, I stopped buying monthly comics almost five years ago. I'd occasionally be lured back in by big DC events such as Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and 52, only to be disappointed by the end results. I remain cautiously optimistic, though, and keep looking for something that will pull me full-force back into monthly comics.

    At this point, I'm on board for Fury of Firestorm, Justice League Dark, and Suicide Squad.

    I plan on at least checking out Frankenstein, Batgirl, JLI, and the Johns/Lee Justice League.

    I have a tangental interest in Animal Man, O.M.A.C., and the inevitable train-wreck that will be Hawk & Dove (yes, my comics hey-days came in the mid-late 80's / early 90's).

    In the broad scope of the entire 52 relaunched titles, I'm aware that I will actually be buying very, very few books. However, I think the fact that I'm going to buy *any* is perhaps the ultimate goal of what DC has decided to do. As a former, somewhat disenfranchised reader, I'm excited about comics again, and I'm hopeful that the energy and excitement of the *creators* will translate into the work they're producing.