There are some surprises here. And some questions. And some disappointments.
Written by NICK SPENCER
Art by BERNARD CHANG
Cover by AMY REEDER & RICHARD FRIEND
SUPERGIRL welcomes aboard writer Nick Spencer (JIMMY OLSEN, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS, Morning Glories) and artist Bernard Chang (WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN) for a Girl of Steel story unlike any other! Someone is trying to kill the young heroes of the DC Universe! Who is this villain, and how can Supergirl stop him? Maybe her friends can help - namely, Batgirl, Blue Beetle, Miss Martian, Static and...Robin?! Buckle up, folks, because this one puts the pedal to the metal on page one and doesn't let up for a second!
Well, the Nick Spencer era of Supergirl begins in January.
I have already let my disdain for the pink S-shield be known so I won't talk about it again here. But I am a bit disappointed that there is no variant cover for the book. This book is going in a 'bold new direction' so why not add a little publicity. I'm not a huge fan of variants but they do give a bump in sales and might make someone pick up the book for the first time.
As for the plot, I worry when the first issue already includes 5 guest stars. One thing that I thought held the book back in the earliest issues was the reliance on or inclusion of a monthly guest star, as if Supergirl isn't enough to hold up her own title.
Spencer, a while back, had this to say about the book on Twitter.
We're introducing a new villain that I really believe will be the next big deal "new face" in the DCU. And guest stars everywhere!! Batgirl, Damian, Blue Beetle, Static, Miss Martian, and a whole bunch of others we can't tell you about yet. Me and Bernard are gonna go all out. It's a BIG story, long term impact on the DCU. Lots of high stakes monster action set pieces in this.
Guest stars everywhere! High stakes monster action set pieces! I just hope that Supergirl doesn't get lost in all this. I hope she remains the star in her own book. I have to remain hopeful.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #53
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by MARK BAGLEY, ROB HUNTER & NORM RAPMUND
Cover by MARK BAGLEY & ROB HUNTER
1:10 Variant cover by DAVID MACK
The final chapter of “JLA Omega” arrives as the World’s Greatest Heroes and the Crime Syndicate struggle for survival. But the Syndicate’s betrayal of their own pact results in a final, savage confrontation – and Ultraman does some betraying of his own! Can the JLA defeat Omega Man, the harbinger of death? Can they save the Crime Syndicate’s world and the Tangent Universe? And in the midst of this war between good and evil, which side will Dark Supergirl choose?
Well, Justice League has a variant cover, the slick David Mack Dark Supergirl cover.
Maybe Dark Supergirl is the Supergirl of Earth Two rather than some manifestation of Supergirl. But I also heard rumors that Dark Supergirl will be starring in the JLA moving forward. I hope that isn't in place of Supergirl. It would be lousy to have Kara drop off of this title.
I have to remain hopeful.
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
Art by EDDY BARROWS & J.P. MAYER
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
1:10 Variant cover by JO CHEN
In a small town near Omaha, Nebraska, Superman discovers that everyone is terrified of something, but they won't say what - they just want The Man of Steel to leave as fast as possible. Find out what horrible secret awaits Superman as "Grounded" continues!
Well, Superman has a variant cover.
We'll be 7 issues into 'Grounded' at this point (but really 5 issues when you count the prelude in #700 and the 'interlude' this month). This solicit doesn't tell me much about the issue other than he is in Nebraska and therefore about halfway across America. How will I feel about 'Grounded' then? Who knows?
ACTION COMICS #897
Written by PAUL CORNELL
Art by PETE WOODS
Cover by DAVID FINCH & BATT
The last place Lex Luthor expected his quest for the Black Lantern energy to take him was Arkham Asylum - specifically to the cell of The Joker! What clues about Lex's quest could The Joker have to offer, and why on Earth would Lex trust him? Get ready for a one-of-a-kind confrontation between comics' two greatest villains, as brought to you by the twisted minds of Paul Cornell and Pete Woods!
Lex's trip isn't as staid as Superman's in 'Grounded' but he is taking a tour of the darker corners of the DCU. This arc has been growing on me so I am pretty excited to read this issue. Any time the Joker and Luthor get together, it is usually a fun ride. Nice cover by Finch here.
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by PIER GALLO
Cover by PHIL NOTO
1:10 Variant cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
It's just another day at Smallville High - girl trouble psychic attacks, gym class, lunch with Kid Flash, study hall and alien terrorists from the future!
Well, Superboy gets a variant cover.
I am a big fan of Phil Noto, so I think this cover is pretty slick. I think this book is going to be a lot of fun. This issue sounds more over-the-top than I expected in this book. I thought this was going to have a sort of Twin Peaks feel to it, a seedy environment bubbling under small town Smallville's Rockwell exterior.
I like Kid Flash so glad to see him turn up here.
Written by STEVE LYONS
Art by SEAN CHEN
Cover by ALEX GARNER
John Henry Irons is a normal human being who managed to overcome all odds and become a hero who Superman considers a peer and colleague. What kind of determination drives a man to reach such heights? Find out here as a battered and bruised Steel defiantly stands as the only thing between Metallo and the destruction of Metropolis! Doctor Who novelist Steve Lyons and artist Sean Chen (ACTION COMICS, SALVATION RUN) deliver a story that shows why Steel is a true DC Universe icon!
First surprise of the month, a Steel one-shot.
I haven't seen much of Steel since War of the Supermen. In that whole New Krypton arc, he kind of was standing in the background. His biggest scene was getting the snot kicked out him by Atlas. So I am glad he is getting a little spotlight time. I don't know Steve Lyons at all so I guess I'll be surprised.
And lastly, the announcement was made about this three-part Superman family statue which will be coming out in late 2011. The Supergirl/Steel component is the second section to be released and I think it coming out in summer/fall of 2011. I like Supergirl's pose here ... sort of a happy confidence feel about her.
So this definitely feels like a 'new year' for Supergirl. Hopefully it will be as tremendous a year as 2010 was.