There a couple of surprises in February. Some are new titles or issues. There is one older title that might be inexplicably luring me back. And there is a nice closer look at the Supergirl portion of the Superman Family statue which is coming out next summer.
As usual, here are the super-specific titles I am interested in with some comments.
Written by NICK SPENCER
Art by BERNARD CHANG
Cover by AMY REEDER & RICHARD FRIEND
Continuing the new arc by the freshly minted creative team of writer Nick Spencer (JIMMY OLSEN, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS, Morning Glories) and artist Bernard Chang (WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN)! Someone has set his sights on killing the next generation of heroes, and his latest targets are Robin and Batgirl! Who is this new foe, and how is he connected to some of Superman's deadliest foes? Supergirl had better find out fast, before it's time for another Bat-related R.I.P. story!
Supergirl has pretty different relationships with these members of the Batman Family. Certainly the friendship between Kara and Steph has been nicely built up. And her more prickly relationship with Damien has been seen a couple of times. So the three of them together in one issue should be a fun time.
There still aren't any hints about who the villain is in this arc so I am wondering if we are dealing with a new threat or an established villain here.
The cover seems to be a little rough with Supergirl's cape streak looking a little odd. Hopefully the final issue version will look a bit more polished.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #54
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by BRETT BOOTH & NORM RAPMUND
Cover by BRETT BOOTH
1:10 Variant cover by DAVID MACK
“The Rise of Eclipso” begins here as the dark energies that have surrounded Earth are harnessed once more to usher in the great Lord of Darkness! And it looks like the corruption of all mankind starts with the members of the Justice League! When things go dark, which teammate poses the greatest threat to mankind – Obsidian or Jade?
We saw a glimpse of Eclipso in Jade's visions when she was a White Lantern so it isn't a huge surprise to see him seen here. Perhaps most reassuring to me is that we see a Supergirl in the classic blue/red uniform on the cover. There were some hints that 'Dark Supergirl' was taking over here. This cover seems to belie that rumor.
The cover is pretty striking here and is done by the title's new artist Brett Booth. I don't know where Mark Bagley has gone but I had come to really appreciate his pencils. I hope he lands somewhere within the DCU. I don't know Booth's work at all but this cover shows he has talent.
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI & CHRIS ROBERSON
Art by EDDY BARROWS & J.P. MAYER
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
1:10 Variant cover by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Superman meets the new Wonder Woman for the first time! But why can't he shake the feeling that he already knows her? The Man of Steel will have to figure that out later, as the two heroes have their hands full defending Omaha, Nebraska from the evil Keres, a supernatural force determined to rid the town (and the world!) of all Amazons - and they're not too crazy about Kryptonians, either.
Well, we finally have a solicit for an issue of 'Grounded' that matched the Wonder Woman cover we have seen over and over.
I didn't post about JMS' abandoning monthly comics for more graphic novels so this is as fine a place to rant about it as any. Straczynski basically walked onto Superman and Wonder Woman and took these tentpole characters in pretty radical directions, rewriting Wonder Woman's history and sending Superman out on a walk. His visions for these characters was widely publicized. His name was put on promotional posters.
And now, with the need to write 'Superman Earth One, part two', JMS has been allowed to walk away from these stories smack dab in the middle, handing his outlines and notes to Chris Roberson and Phil Hester.
For me, I would have hoped that Straczynski would put his nose to the grindstone and finish these arcs AND write the next graphic novel. If he (as he says), has outlines and notes that he is handing over to the new writers, isn't he close to finishing these scripts? Doesn't he want to complete his visions for these characters? It just doesn't seem right to take these characters in a strange direction, ones that haven't necessarily been lauded or universally love, and then drop these arcs into someone else's lap. I don't envy Roberson or Hester. If the arcs are loved in the end, they are simply writing JMS' stories. If the arcs crash and burn, they go down with the ship.
I understand I am not a professional writer so I don't particularly understand the work effort behind doing all these things. So maybe I am expecting too much from JMS. But if these arcs were his visions, you think he would want to bring them to completion.
ACTION COMICS #898
Written by PAUL CORNELL
Art by PETE WOODS
Cover by DAVID FINCH &RYAN WINN
First his own action figure, then his own Christmas special - now GREEN LANTERN's Larfleeze wants to take over ACTION COMICS?! Not if Lex Luthor has anything to say about it! Tune in for the rematch that's been brewing ever since Lex tried to steal Larfleeze's Orange Lantern back in BLACKEST NIGHT!
From the beginning of this Luthor-centric arc, Lex has been reaching for power, the power of he tasted when he wore the ring of the Orange Lantern Corps. This match-up was almost inevitable, no?
The more I read this arc, the more interesting I think it is. There are small things in every issue that shine.
SUPERMAN 80-PAGE GIANT 2011 #1
Written by JOE CARAMAGNA, STEVE HORTON, ABHAY KHOSLA, NEIL KLEID,
AUBREY SITTERSON, BEAU TIDWELL and others
Art by EDDY BARROWS, CAFU, DAN MCDAID, ANDY MCDONALD and others
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
Get ready for seven fresh and exciting stories spotlighting Superman and his friends and foes by some of the industry's most promising talent! In one story, either Twilight-mania has finally hit Smallville, or Superboy has a vampire problem on his hands. Meanwhile, when a lab full of Jimmy Olsen clones escapes and runs amok in Metropolis, it's up to Superman and Jimmy to round 'em all up before things turn even more bizarre! And speaking of bizarre, take a trip to Bizarro World for "Bizarro Grounded"! Plus, stories of Supergirl, Krypto, Jor-El, and more!
A 2011 Superman 80pg Giant. This was a nice surprise.
I remember the 2010 80pg Giant pretty vividly with great stories by Ben McCool, Mike Raicht, and Kathryn Immonen.. There was slick art by Charles Wilson, Matt Camp and Tonci Zonjic so I am looking forward to this issue a lot. Supergirl wasn't in the last Giant so I am glad she is getting some exposure here. And while I don't recognize the writers, there is art by Eddy Barrows and CAFU. I love both those guy's art.
The cover by Dustin Nguyen has a very nice composition. I didn't even notice the Doomsday face at first. There are layers here, with pieces of all the corners of Superman's mythos seen. I don't know if I like the way Supergirl looks here, but it is nice that she is so prominent.
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by PIER GALLO
Cover by EDDY BARROWS
1:10 Variant cover by STANLEY "ARTGERM" LAU
Step aside, Superboy, Smallville's got a new hero - Psionic Lad! Except, well, it's cool he's helping Superboy protect the town from bad guys and all, but what's that he keeps saying about, um, assassinating someone? Hmm, Superboy, you may need to be more choosey about your friends... All this, plus the mystery of the Hollow Men deepens!
Nice cover by Stanley Lau. That guy's stuff is unreal.
Superboy is still an unknown commodity for me. I am hoping the potential that I sensed from the first issue is realized.
DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #1-2
Written by TONY BEDARD & MARV WOLFMAN
Art by HOWARD PORTER & LIVESAY and ADRIANA MELO; NORMAN LEE
Issue #1 wraparound cover by ED BENES
Issue #1 1:10 Variant cover by RYAN SOOK
Issue #2 cover by ED BENES
The DC event of the year begins, coinciding with the release of the wildly anticipated DCU MMO! Get ready for the ride of a lifetime with this immense, 26-issue biweekly series!
In issue #1, Lex Luthor’s obsession with destroying Superman reaches fever pitch when he cuts the ultimate Devil’s deal with Brainiac...but with the shake of a hand, has Luthor consigned humanity to genocide?
In the startling second issue, The Lex Luthor of a post-apocalyptic future scrambles to escape Brainiac’s invasion of Earth, but he must gather an army to stop the invasion. Who will he recruit? And in the present, Brainiac’s first assault on Earth has begun, which recaps the incredibly rare DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #0!
Okay, I don't know if I am up for a biweekly comic based on a video game I won't be playing. The problem is that Superman seems to be the center figure of these early issues.And the talent is pretty solid. Bedard and Wolfman are writing and Howard Porter and Adriana Melo are on pencils. That's some pretty big names.
Are these in continuity?
I don't know. I might flip through the first issue. But I don't know if I am going to get this.
Written by DAN DIDIO
Art by KEITH GIFFEN & MICK GRAY
Cover by PHILIP TAN
“Reign of Doomsday” roars on from the pages of January’s STEEL #1!
In Markovia, the Eradicator struggles in battle against the murder-machine known as Doomsday! It’s a fight to the death with the lives of Geo-Force, Katana, the Looker, Halo and the Olympian all hanging in the balance! Don’t miss this brutal chapter as the “Reign of Doomsday” storyline stomps toward an explosive summer event!
Meanwhile, under arrest by the U.S. government, Black Lightning and his Outsiders team find their backs against the wall as they’re forced to choose between a lifetime of imprisonment or leading an invasion of their former home base in Markovia!
Every time I think I am out, they pull me back in.
I just stopped collecting the Outsiders. But an issue where the Eradicator goes toe-to-toe with Doomsday? How can I say no? Looks like there might be one more Outsiders review in me after all.
At least the 'Reign of Doomsday' tease we saw on the DC Source blog recently is being explained a bit.
SUPERMAN FAMILY MULTI-PART STATUE: PART 2: SUPERGIRL AND STEEL
SCULPTED BY JOSEPH MENNA
This multi-part statue is a must-have for Superman fans. High atop the roof of a
Metropolis skyscraper, a family born from the ashes of Krypton stands tall, guardians and hope bringers to the people of the city.
The statue is made up of three separate pieces (sold in two parts) which form a single statue.
Solicited this month is Part 2 of the SUPERMAN FAMILY MULTI-PART STATUE featuring Supergirl and Steel, with the lower half of Superman and eagle base detail. Part 1 (solicited last month) features Power Girl and Superboy and the upper half of Superman.
The bases of each piece slide together to form a multi-tiered rooftop on which all the characters stand. Each of the two parts includes a piece of the third portion of the statue, which can be easily assembled to form Superman, who rises up from the center of the piece. Both parts of the statue are needed to make Superman.
This hand-painted, cold-cast porcelain statue measures approximately 9.5” high x 5.5” wide x 6.9” deep, while the entire multi-part statue measures approximately 10.15” high x 17” wide x 8.9” deep when fully assembled.
As I said last month, I don't think I am going to get all three parts of this statue.
But how can I say no to this segment. I really love the way Supergirl comes off here. Cute and confidant!
Looks like I'll be starting a new layaway plan at my comic book store. It is very good to see Supergirl showcased in DC Direct items like this. And I love that there is a Superman Family again.