Wednesday, September 30, 2015

December Solicits

The DC Comics solicits for December were released last week and there were the usual surprises, mostly in omissions.

For those looking to see all the solicits, here is a link to Newsarama:

This was a somewhat weird month to consider given the recent announcement of books being cancelled and some creative teams being changed around. This also is a book heavy month with annuals and such. So this might be a time for me to consider putting some holiday gift money I get towards comics.

Art and cover by AARON KUDER
The ebony powers of the woman known as Wrath are unleashed on Superman. Will the Man of Steel fall to the dark side?

So you are going to see something of a theme in many of the Superman solicits for this month. They all are about him getting darker and darker. We have seen Wrath both emit wrath and absorb power from the anger of people.

I like Kuder's art and this cover, a mix of deep blacks and burning oranges in colors looks good. But this should be a Halloween cover!

Art and cover by HOWARD PORTER
Variant covers by LEE BERMEJO
What would happen if the powers of all of Superman’s foes were contained in one villain? You’ll find out when you meet the Amalgam of Composite Superman Foes—and this is one nightmare a semi-powered Man of Steel may not survive! Join series writer Gene Luen Yang and guest artist Howard Porter for an unforgettable new epic!

Composite Superman is a silly character.
The Amalgam of Composite Superman Foes? Sounds insane. Like an Amazo of Superman villains? Let's start rattling them off!

This won't be the cover (clearly JRJR) but it also has a sort of 'Little Match Girl' feel to it. Woe is me!

“Man of Tomorrow. Man of Yesterday.” Superman and Vandal Savage have been on a collision course for centuries. As Kal-El struggles to survive against this barbarian’s attacking hordes, we reveal the events that led to Vandal Savage’s creation—and his unexpected connection to Krypton. Immortals gather to put an end to the Last Son of Krypton so Earth may live!

A line from Batman/Superman last week was a villain saying they had been waiting 2000 years for revenge. So could this be the story where Superman fights Savage in the past? Where that revenge is born?

I like to think of Annuals as the end of arcs, not middle chapters. Will I be that lucky?

Written by GREG PAK
To defeat Vandal Savage and his barbarian hordes, Superman must become more and more brutal. And when he reaches the point of no return, it may be up to Red Hood to take him down. Plus, Gordon makes a shocking discovery about Savage’s ultimate plan!

So first Superman is getting dark in Action.

Now in this book, he is getting more and more brutal. So much that Red Hood is the hero of the book.


Written by PETER J. TOMASI
It’s the team-up you never expected, as Superman and Parasite take on those other energy suckers, the Pale Riders, to free Firestorm! Meanwhile, Wonder Woman fights an unstoppable behemoth that can contain—and consume—her powers!

I do like the name Pale Riders as energy suckers!
And including some old school Firestorm is always welcomed.

Add Mahnke and Paquette art, I'm happy.

Forged in the fires of battle, their union is one the world fears and hates—and some have tried to tear it asunder! Now witness the trials of the romance of Kal and Diana, and how it all came to be. See the first kiss and last breath of Superman and Wonder Woman in this epic tale that recounts the most dangerous love story of all.

I am wondering if this Annual will be a retrospective of the relationship because it has ended.
The background faces seem to say that despite the 'Jim Lee'-esque kiss in the foreground.

The book still sells well. So I doubt it will go away even if the relationship ends.

Written by DAN JURGENS
Who—or what—is Blanque? What is being held in this Superman’s Fortress of Solitude? And what is Intergang, and why is their discovery dangerous to Lois? Whatever the answers, neither Clark nor Lois want their son to learn the truth...

We haven't read any of this series. I don't now what Earth this couple is on, etc.

But a new villain? Intergang? Jurgens and Weeks? That cover by Segovia?

I am hopeful and happy!

Art and cover by HOWARD PORTER
The world is overrun…and we lost?! For the past few months, they’ve slowly taken over the U.P. space. Now they’re simply exterminating any and all threats in their occupied territory. No one is safe. And we mean NO ONE!

So last issue's solicit was that someone was going to die.
Now no one is safe?
I keep looking at these solicits waiting for the 'Final Issue' blurb.

But once again we have no sight of Supergirl on the cover or mention of her in the solicit.

Cover by ANT LUCIA
Having defected from Russia, Supergirl and Stargirl arrive on the Western front. In Berlin, Batwoman has to learn that she can’t fight every battle, while Zatanna consults her favorite rabbit, the former John Constantine. Meanwhile, Harley and Ivy race across France, taking on every Nazi they encounter.

I have enjoyed the Bombshells comic immensely.
It was only a matter of time until Supergirl and Stargirl were going to defect. So happy to see them on the side of the American Way.

Can't wait to see the addition of Ivy.

And Selena on the cover! Wow!

Cover by ANT LUCIA
Presenting the Batgirls! While Batwoman is away in Europe, a group of young women decide to pick up her mantle and protect the streets of Gotham City themselves!
New allies are recruited throughout the city as the girls uncover an orphanage that’s imprisoning children and using them to help build deadly weapons to aid the Nazis. Do these raw recruits have what it takes—or are they out of their league?

I love the idea of Batgirls. But no Stephanie??

Still ... can't wait for this issue!

In these stories from SUPERGIRL #0-10 and 12, Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin from Krypton, adjusts to her life on Earth, crossing paths (and trading blows) with the JSA, the Teen Titans and the Outsiders along the way. But while she’s facing off against other heroes, her cousin’s nemesis Lex Luthor has uncovered a truth that could change the Girl of Steel forever!

Let's see ...
She is angry. She dislikes Superman. She fights all the heroes. She abandons Candor. She wants to dance instead of being a hero. I don't know if the 'Kill Kal-El' theme starts in these issues but their roots are here.

So let's reprint these stories in anticipation of the positive looking show being a hit.

And let's not have a monthly comic despite all the press about the character.

This makes no sense to me.

No sense.

Anyways, I will look to the optimism of an impending new year. Let's stay hopeful. Hopeful that Superman becomes Superman again. Hopeful that a Supergirl book comes out. Hopeful that good comics find their audiences and survive.


Martin Gray said...

Nothing says Christmas like darkness. Maybe we can have a special issue in which Clark opens letters from people needing help, then flies to their homes and yells at them for bothering him.

And that Loeb collection, good grief.

Anj said...

I feel like I should include the most cringeworthy moments from that Loeb trade.

I love your idea of mean Superman yelling at people writing letters.

Remember the issue in Funeral For a Friend where the superhero community answers letters for Superman since he isn't around?

Anonymous said...

I'll admit I may be in the minority that liked issues 0-5 of this run of Supergirl that the trade paperback's collecting.
Personally I liked that it had alot of the elements of "Supergirl on her own the first time" and trying to step out from
Superman's shadow -- issue #0 had that with Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor and The Calculator all watching Supergirl go through
her paces in saving Air Force One (SUCCESSFULLY!), then try and ditch Superman "just because she could." I also liked alot
of the interior monologue they gave Supergirl as she was trying to find her place in the world and the events she got
caught up in.

Reviewing the DC Wikia for issues 6-12 though is where I seriously cringe.

Issues 6-8 was that gawd-awful Candor / Superman cult arc -- I recall one of your posts Anj that if they could write a heroic
Supergirl being trusted to protect Metropolis from Kryptonite Man while Clark was depowered, who the heck came up with THIS
story for her own book?

Issue 9 had her sell some Kryptonian tech for a million so she could be on her own... and that's as far as I want to read into
the summary *shudder*

Issue 10 was her in high school and her Claire Kent guise... and I'll leave it at that.

Issue 11 (skipped) has her with the Outsiders again and revisits her "mad crush" on Nightwing.

Issue 12 Outsiders again... and I couldn't read anymore into the summary.

Now that I'm so morose... DC, MAYBE instead of the above, you could... Idunno, issue the "Good Looking Corpse" TPB as promo
instead? I'm still miffed that DC cancelled that right at release time because The New 52 was in full swing, and it seemed
DC wanted to forget the full fledged hero that Kara was by that point.


Uncle Screensaver said...

I dunno what you mean? Supergirl being manipulated to make out with her alternative universe cousin, almost kiss her alternate self, abandon Kandor, those are good things for a young fan to discover after watching the TV show. "Dad, Mom, look it's Supergirl! Can I buy it?" "Of course, honey." "Why is kissing Superman? Why is she killing those people?"

Not to mention: "Why is Supergirl melting with that girl who has her name?" "Why is she upset she doesn't have a soul?"

Of course, I shouldn't be negative and at least there are new trades for Supergirl, especially PAD's run since that has long been out of print. There IS going to be "Supergirl: The Silver Age" coming out along with a "Superman: The Golden Age" but I won't get my hopes up for "Supergirl: The Bronze Age." I do wonder if they plan on releasing the complete series of Pre-Flashpoint Kara and Linda Danvers, or just put out these "samplers" of other Supergirls. I concur that a "Good Looking Corpse" trade would be great.

Also, I was thinking, is it because there are soo many versions of Supergirl out there that they really have no idea what to do when presenting a main Supergirl comic? They will want to tie in to the TV Series and if it is a success, it would warrant its own comic book series, if it wasn't, aside from the fact it had better sales than other titles, would they want to continue with New52 Kara, or any Supergirl at all, citing unpopularity?

Will the New New52 Supergirl #1's sale dictate whether they have a comic book? "Even at a dollar no one wanted it, so ..." I really don't know why when there's been SOO VERY MUCH positve press over the show being an inspiration for young girls/ women, not to mention boys - why they wouldn't also re-release "Cosmic Adventures" or is this because there's going to be another all-ages Supergirl if they ever get to releasing "DC SuperHero Girls"?

As messed up as this all is, and as messed up as they have presented Supergirl at different times, I'm still excited to have new trades of Supergirl - at least there's something for us fans!

Uncle Screensaver said...

Also, I don't think the new Superman would just yell at those who wrote letters to him. I think he'd first burn the letters using his solar flare, and then just have enough power to fly over and punch them out ... then he'd yell at them after they were unconscious. He's really dark and brutal now, remember. ;) If they were kids, he may not punch them out, but while they're crying that their parents are lying stone cold, he'd scream at them for whining and add that they betrayed him. ;P

Martin Gray said...

Uncle Screensaver, you have me giggly madly. Oh, it's so, so sad.

And Anj, that was a fine issue. I miss Superman having actual friends.

Uncle Screensaver said...

I so wish Pre-Flashpoint Superman would just take New52 Superman and put him on a spaceship and maybe exile him on that same planet Silver Age Superman exiled Kara on when she revealed her identity to Krypto. Then have a real Superman back in the forefront, and he'd be married to a Lois Lane but also not married to a Lois Lane, making both parties happy. As for Wonder Woman, well, she'd be inspired not to be this Xena rip off, get rid of her title as god of War, drop the sword and then start acting like a real Wonder Woman. Original Supergirl is around as Superwoman and she can mentor New52 Supergirl, or just have TV Supergirl replace New52 Supergirl, kind of like how Batman changed from incarnation to incarnation during Zero Hour in "Superman: The Man of Steel."

Firebird said...

I've been silent over this matter for the past few months, however I feel that I can no longer sit back and withhold what I believe needs to be said.

I've been delving into a theory over the past summer as to why Supergirl hasn't had her book returned to comic book vender's shelves as of late. Now this is only speculation, not concrete fact so don't take my word for it.

Let's take a little trip down memory lane back to 2011. Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl title had developed a significant following in the fanbase and to many critics and readers alike, we were getting some of the most well written and well rounded stories to ever grace a comic book stand in the form of Stephanie Brown. The book dealt with a hero who was on a learning curve. Someone who made many mistakes but always kept a chin up never looking to the negative but to the positive. Sound familiar?

Later in the year DC decides to go ahead with their New 52 initiative and Barbara Gordon is thrust back into the mantle of Batgirl resulting in a PR nightmare for the company as well as outrage from the readers who demanded that Stephanie Brown be brought back into the fold.

Now fast forward to 2015. We are now in a similar situation as it was four years ago, only this time DC has learned from their fiasco and has managed to keep matters relatively quiet in regards to the cancellation of the Supergirl book.

However, I believe that a wrench was thrown into DC's plans and that wrench came in the form of a TV show for Supergirl which only served to spread the word even further for the character reaching a mainstream level the likes of which had almost never been seen before.

I believe that the TV show has now become a thorn on DC's comic publishing side since the show's theme conveys messages of hope and positivity which is a theme that runs in polar opposite to what the company is trying to promote. They would like nothing better than to see the show fall flat on it's face but since they cant outright come out and say that, they decide to use other sneaky promotional tactics to sway the public away.

The way the company has been resting on their laurels with their "wait and see" approach and the reprinting of stories that convey a more negative view of the character for example. These are actions which lead me to believe that the company has no enthusiasm whatsoever for Supergirl nor do they care if the TV show even survives past the first season. In their viewpoint, it would be all the better for them to go back to the status quo and print stories that fall within their twisted agenda. If that happens, I am out.

Anyways, that's my theory and I'm sticking with it until the company does something to prove me otherwise. Hope I didn't offend anyone.

Anonymous said...

Uh, not sure if we'll get to see more of her, but Supergirl (Pre-Crisis/Convergence) will be making an appearance (Flashback) in Superman: Lois and Clark:

Anonymous said...

Eh, given DC's current financial situation, I doubt DC is actually going to be malicious toward one of their most promising properties regardless of how bright and optimistic the Supergirl TV series appears to be.

I do, however, believe that DC has always been baffled by Kara's relative popularity. Pre-Flashpoint, Supergirl was consistently 33000+, peaking into the 40000+ range somewhere in the middle of the New Krypton arc. Relative to the Superman books, it's fair to say that Kara's comic fanbase was about 70% of Superman's comic fanbase, which is pretty incredible for a spin-off character. (Unfortunately, it seems like New-52 Supergirl lost a fair bit of readership after initially starting out at the same 33000+ range and ending up in the 26000+ range.)

As for pre-Flashpoint Superman banishing New-52 Superman into space... I think pre-Flashpoint Superman is generally too nice for that. Although if the "Lois and Clark" series really, really takes off, I'd bet on something to do with the Fortress suddenly no longer recognizing New-52 Superman's DNA...

Uncle Screensaver said...

I'm happy I could help take off where you started, Martin!

While I don't think Supergirl as a character is a favourite of DC's as a whole, and think of her more as a brand than someone they are excited about and for, there are definitely creators and other people in charge who see her as an iconic character deserving to have her place in the DC Universe.

Overall, though, I think DC views her, outside of merchandise, as more a liability than a commodity. They've had plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the TV series to have a relaunched/ rebooted comic book series, even as a mini-series, which they did with "Arrow" and "The Flash." However, since I don't "follow" those characters, I don't know if they pumped out trades of previous series or digital content (past the Digital First series) as they are with Supergirl.

Jim Lee couldn't give a "yes" or "no" to a new book for her, which suggests that DC either doesn't know what to do or they don't care to do anything. There has never been any reason given why they had to cancel the Supergirl book in the first place, especially since it's not like they are putting out a TV tie-in title to replace it. Yet, we could be seeing a response from the frontlines, as it were, as opposed to what's going on behind closed doors. There may be lots of support for Supergirl now that the world is taking notice of her but there may be just as many higher-ups that show Supergirl being a risk by pointing out her multiple failed series, that sales dropped when she became lead to the LSH title, the movie's loss of income, and that despite the positive press and reaction, we don't know if "Supergirl" will be a success.

The last time I looked at how many likes the official Facebook has, and how many people have subscribed/ liked the official YouTube channel is minimal still. I think that the first episode of the series may have great ratings but what about the second? The budget is much higher for "Supergirl," so it may be that WB is waiting to see if it's worth the money putting out a new comic book series before they allow DC to say one way or the other, especially since so many properties are failing. Of course, all that is moot with Lucifer getting a book when the TV show is risky.

It will be interesting to see if DC puts out a "Legends of Tomorrow" comic book, and if there's another revival for Hawkman (and Hawkgirl).

If they really wanted to generate some sales/ demand for Supergirl, than like her Earth-2 self, they could put out a Harley Quinn/ Supergirl mini-series, a Batman/ Supergirl series, even a Wonder Woman/ Supergirl series or include her in the Justice League. Still, the fact Supergirl fans have as much of her as there is, and as many of her as there are out there (Pre-Crisis Kara/ Classic Kara, Bombshells Kara, "Animated" Kara/ Super Friends Kara, DC SuperHero Girls Kara, TV Kara, and potentially New52 Kara), we have it extremely good!

(Also, so awesome if Kara makes an appearance in "Lois and Clark" - thanks for the heads up!)

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments and interesting ideas about the book and sales.

I keep trying to puzzle out what DC is doing.

My brain hurts.

Anj said...

And interesting theory about DCs hopes for an angry Supergirl being the default and wanting the show to fail.

Anonymous said...

I think the no-supergirl comics is something to do with the current superman storyline crossover. Him being de-powered, isolated feeling from his supporting characters, feeling alone no understand what he is going thru, being hunted, etc etc. I feel dc thinks that having supergirl comics at the moment could take away the impact of the superman storyline. I think they are waiting for this storyline to finish up and when superman back to his normal powers, that is when supergirl debut her own comics.

kcekada said...

People who like the TV show will not like this collection. It was a piss poor decision to release this in conjunction with the TV show. A 'Best of' collection of some of her Silver Age/Bronze Age/ and maybe some poss Loeb stories would have been a better way to go. Loeb should be ashamed of his run -- very juvenile -- which is his specialty.

Jay said...

Here's hoping that the January solicits will have Superman getting his powers back. I've enjoyed the ride for the most part but its about time to wrap it up. And another month, and other portend of doom for the Superman/Wonder Woman solicitation (Annual in this case). On one hand, glad to get another Annual, but the promotional scheme is beyond irritating now. I'd like to look forward to an issue without being teased that its done all the time. In any case I hope its more misdirection with this solicitation as it'd be a huge mistake to end this book. Sells well, and to me it hasn't even come close to hitting its full potential. I'm hoping "last breath" maybe lends to some framing device in the far future of the elderly versions reminiscing on their time together before dying/leaving for parts unknown.

Anonymous said...

I am praying pre flashpoint superman sales atleast in batman level to show dc what fans wants