Monday, November 26, 2018

DC February Solicits

Last week, DC released its solicits for February and I have thoughts. Here is a link to Newsarama's coverage of all the books:

Let's just say when I saw the cover for Supergirl #27 I felt a bit deflated.

I have been covering this character for ten and a half years. I have seen her character go dark and get redeemed at least 4 times over that period. Four times ... that I can think of.

It seems like every so often, DC's upper echelon thinks that a 'dark Supergirl' is what is missing in the world. And every single time the take fails ... because THAT'S NOT SUPERGIRL ... and someone has to come in and smooth things over. Sterling Gates, Tony Bedard, Mike Johnson and K. Perkins, even Steve Orlando and Jody Houser all have needed to bring Kara back from the dark and have her embrace Earth as home and swear to defend it.

So, of course, after Orlando and Houser have Supergirl back on the straight and narrow, DC pulls the plug and has Marc Andreyko send Supergirl away from Earth, away from her supporting cast, away from that role of hero, and sent her into space. From the get-go, I was nervous. But Perkins sent her to Crucible and that worked out so I took a breath.

Then I saw the first cover and read the issues. Gritty Kara, wielding a battle axe, on a path of vengeance and swearing she 'isn't Kal' ... I was worried we were back to Dark Supergirl.

I didn't know how good I had it back then.

Because now we have this Supergirl, de-powered, wielding a Liefeldian gun, shooting at some unknown foe while screaming in battle.


Look, you want to read Scarlet, Black Widow, or any of the other gritty female-led books with gun-toting heroes, go ahead! Heck, *I* read some of those books.

But who wants to read a Supergirl book with a powerless teenage girl shooting a gun?

Maybe this will all turn out fine. Maybe it's a stun gun.

But I am not happy. Supergirl shouldn't be powerless. Supergirl shouldn't be mowing people down with a rifle. So I know that Supergirl shouldn't be powerless AND be mowing people down with a rifle.

written by MARC ANDREYKO
variant cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO

Caught in the middle of a Vega System civil war, a powerless Supergirl struggles to rescue as many slaves as she can from the brutal hands of the Citadel. Meanwhile, the Omega Men reel from the discovery that their long-dead colleagues—Nimbus, Harpis and Demonia—are mysteriously still alive! Kara, however, suspects there’s more to their grand return than meets the eye…

I read Omega Men back in the day. So I won't mind being re-introduced to Nimbus, Harpis, Demonia, and Tigorr.

And I don't mind Supergirl helping to free oppressed people.

But do it as a Supergirl book.

art and cover by STEVE EPTING
variant cover by ESAD RIBIC

The superstar creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Steve Epting dig into the DC Universe in this sweeping espionage epic that’s shattering the agencies—and heroes—dedicated to protecting the world! As the D.E.O. falls, only Jimmy Olsen may hold the answers to helping Superman and Lois Lane uncover who’s behind the attacks rocking the DC Universe’s biggest clandestine organizations. And when the Suicide Squad’s Amanda Waller makes a shocking discovery, can she help the trio understand the truth before the balance of power shifts to Leviathan forever?

I grew up reading Jimmy Olsen as 'Mr. Action' in Superman Family. So I like the idea of Jimmy getting enmeshed in the big stories. I like that Jimmy more than a millionaire slacker or a goofy kid.

And this cover, with Checkmate, Argus, and Kobra agents surrounding Jimmy, just sings to me!

Can't wait!

cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
variant cover by ROB LIEFELD

The epic secrets of Superman continue to unfold! A few months in space with his paternal grandfather Jor-El changed Jon Kent forever. With Jon now seeking help from his father, the Man of Steel must learn about the war his son and father fought together and set right the wrongs his father may have unleashed on other worlds. See what changed Superboy in such radical ways as the Unity Saga continues.

What could make me roll my eyes more than Supergirl wielding a gun?
How about angry teenage Jon sporting the red eyes of rage?

I am going to miss miss miss the happy-go-lucky young Jon wanting to go to the state fair and kidding with Damian at middle school.

The very idea that Clark and Lois would let Jon head into space with lunatic Mr. Oz is a shaky foundation. Can Bendis pull this off? I guess we'll find out.

written by PETER J. TOMASI
cover by DAN MORA

Locked in an intergalactic juvenile detention facility, Superboy and Robin meet the youngest...and meanest…Green Lantern ever! Well, sort of a GL. Mostly a GL. Really more of a trainee, but don’t tell the bad guys, okay? Plus, Joker Jr. returns...the clown who may be the boys’ last, best hope to stop the Gang!

Hey look! It's happy go lucky Jon in a fun adventure and hanging out with Damian.

People need to cherish this Super Sons characters while they exist.

So fantastic!


Chrissie Zullo was discovered via the DC Comics Talent Search a decade ago. Since then Chrissie has worked in all facets of the industry, doing work on interiors, covers and variants for multiple titles and publishers. Created with a dreamlike, fairy-tale aesthetic, her work is modern in both origin (she uses both analog and digital tools in her work) and subject matter (video games, films by Miyazaki and Disney, Star Wars). While her work covers many subjects, an aura of joy and positivity emerges from each piece she creates.

 And it looks like we get another great statue for the collection. At $60, this looks like a fun piece to own with Supergirl and Streaky given the Chrissie Zullo treatment. Love the joy in this. Love the playful Streaky. Love the costume. Love it all.

Also can't help but notice that the Superman titles downshifted to once a month. So fewer reviews here ...


Peter said...

Maybe this new Supergirl statue will perk you up a bit:

Anonymous said...

"Can Bendis pull this off? I guess we'll find out."

Narrator: He could not pull it off.

Nothing in these solicits aside from the statues & the Zoom line Super Sons (which you really should have mentioned) is remotely appealing. I get 90s nostalgia, but this is ridiculous.

Martin Gray said...

I do hope that Supergirl cover is sheer, ill-judged hyperbole. And that Jon goes young and sweet again. And that one day I can afford a stupidly expensive Kara and Streaky statue.

Anonymous said...

On Supergirl #27... I'm sorry to say this, but I think you're jumping to conclusions.

Let me say beforehand that, as much as I love Lupacchino drawing Kara again, I also dislike the sight of Supergirl wielding a gun. It reminds me of similar Superman covers during the 90's or that brain-melting elseworlds called "Superman At the Ends of Earth"...

... but you're assuming she'll be mowing people when nothing in that cover or solicit leads to think she'll be massacring people.

Do you remember the latest Supergirl #29? And Red Lanterns #29? Those covers and their solicits led you to believe that she was turning her heritage down, becoming so uncontrollably angry that not even Guy could hold her back. However, the actual story had Kara regret her anger outbursts, Guy want Superman to look after her because he wasn't a good role model, and Superman calling Kara out on her brattiness.

I bet that cover is misleading and Kara never actually kills anybody. I mean, Supergirl (2005) #17 sets an awful precedent, but I doubt DC is stupid enough to allow that garbage again.

"Four times ... that I can think of."

Four times? I mean, I remember the Loeb/Kelly mess and the New 52 mess... What are the other two instances? Are you counting her "Dark Supergirl" phase during her JLA tenure? I don't think it does because it was extremely brief, it was meant to be brief, and it was undone by the same creator who brought DS back.

"even Steve Orlando and Jody Houser all have needed to bring Kara back from the dark and have her embrace Earth as home and swear to defend it."

... No, they didn't need to. I'm sorry, but I think you may be misremembering. Tony Bedard and Charles Soule were the ones brought her back to the light, and Perkins, Johnson, Orlando and Houser built on their foundations. I mean, her last story prior to Orlando's first issue was "Crucible". I don't remember her becoming dark, angsty and angry again between those issues. That wasn't the Supergirl we saw in Convergence and Final Days of Superman.

"and swearing she 'isn't Kal'"

Again, I'm sorry, but I don't have issue with her swearing she isn't Kal. I think we all can agree that the point of the character is she isn't her cousin.

As for her being depowered... Meh. Every hero goes through dozens of stories where they're temporarily depowered. I bet she'll get her powers back after proving she doesn't need them to be a hero and that she isn't defined by them.

Now, that Jimmy cover looks interesting. I've been reading Superman Family issues of late, so I hope Bendis can deliver.

That Superman cover is troubling, but I'll follow my own advice and I'll wait to read the issue before judging the story.

Nonetheless, I remember the last time Clark and Lois had a child that was artificially aged, and I remember what happened to him. Bad precedent.

Super Sons looks great fun, like always, but I'm afraid the concept has an expiry date. Sales are low.

That Supergirl and Streaky statue is beautiful!

"Also can't help but notice that the Superman titles downshifted to once a month."

A change for the better, I think. Too many monthly books may wear off the character and his franchise. Two monthly Superman books, one Supergirl book and another spin-off title is enough, in my opinion.

Anj said...

You are right that I have to give it a fair shake. I have been wrong before, as you mention Red Daughter. But I still don't like the idea of her with a gun.

As always, I'll head in with an open mind.

Anonymous said...

I'm mixed on the cover of #27. On one hand, I handidly agree with you Anj that that is not Supergirl, especially
when viewed through the lens of all the GrimBadDarkKill of DC. On the other hand as Anon points out, the cover
could be a feint / misdirection of what's actually in the issue -- "Caught in the middle of a Vega System civil war,
a powerless Supergirl struggles to rescue as many slaves as she can from the brutal hands of the Citadel?" Even
without powerless, Supergirl standing up for those unable to defend themselves and what's right?

I agree and echo the sentiments -- go in with an open mind, and see what actually happens.

As for DC Artists Alley... *sigh* So beautiful! So WANT! But my wallet says "NO!"


Anonymous said...

Well, I'll put out an optimistic theory about the cover of #27:

Nobody else on the cover is firing their weapons or doing anything but hanging back. They aren't ducking, aren't charging, and aren't dying. I question whether this scene depicts a battle.

Supergirl is probably just blowing a hole in a heavily fortified wall.

There's even evidence of that - a busted up exterior behind them (leading into space, never a good thing); rocky-looking material flying off to the bottom left; and some kind of splattering Kirby-crackling matter around the muzzle of the gun.

If I was firing a gun like that I might make a similar face, but I doubt she's killing or even shooting at anyone.

Dark Supergirls: Let's not forget Ame-Comi Supergirl! (Not sure it's fair to count a title like that.)

As for who sent Supergirl in this direction, she was well on her way throughout Man of Steel. I would blame editorial, or a team effort, to define where Supergirl was heading.

This space arc isn't going to last forever, and I'm looking at it as a detective plot in space with cool new costumes and a bevy of new, and so far excellent, artists. The book feels very different from the prior run, and that aspect is refreshing. And, when before was humor prominent? Every issue has had something funny - often thanks to Krypto, but not exclusively.

What comes next, though? Once this mystery is solved, presumably Supergirl will return to Earth, and then what? Does the book just revert to where it was before Rogol Zaar? That would feel like a letdown. I'd like to see it move forward, not back, and hope that the creative powers that be can chart an interesting course.


Anonymous said...

I think you bring up really valid points above anonymous. What next after this arc is over? But more importantly, will the hype of the reveal live up to the actual reveal- why did rogol zaar kill Krypton? The way bendis and team are progressing, I am not so sure. But I have to agree that this take is more refreshing on Supergirl, also I certainly don't mind the bevy of artists as well as the back up stories. But I hope that andreyko isn't just using Supergirl as a homage paying character and that he will increase her rogues gallery. When was the last time someone tried to bring in a new Supergirl opponent? The two characters who are coming to my mind are Reign and h'el- both during new52.

Also, I think the reason for these kind of angrydark Supergirl covers are probably cause maybe they generate more interest than sweet kid Kara? It's kind of like how trailers are made- is this character turning bad? But turns out they are the good guys. As the anon says, let's go in optimistic and if your prediction comes true anj, maybe it's time to have some words with andreyko

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna reserve judgement until I read the issue. However in general I agree with our host that it is heartbreakingly easy for Supergirl to "go dark", if for no other reason than the writers auto-hypnotize themselves that its a fresh new idea. Gun toting is a attempt to "ferocity signal", but a gun toting super is just a bad-bad-bad-bad idea that undermines their fragile reputation for fair play and chivalry.


Anonymous said...

First off, Supergirl with gun - bad!

Second, statue with Streaky amazeballs good.

Third, do I blow all my money on an amazeballs statue or something useful like paying on my big heap of loans :D Or do I put all that money in an Action Comics 252 fund in hope of one day owning a decent quality OG Supergirl comic? Questions, questions.

Professor Feetlebaum said...

Somehow, I missed the announcement that the title of this comic will be changing to "Sgt. Kara and her Howling Commandos".

Well, somebody said "happiness is a warm gun (bang, bang, shoot, shoot)."

This is probably just a come on as others here have said. But if that's so, it's too bad that DC thinks this is a good idea. All it does is upset long time Supergirl fans, and I doubt it brings in new readers long term.

That Supergirl statue that Bleeding Cool shows is nice, but it's SUPER expensive. But at least she's holding a cat and not a gun.

Stu said...

So you're not covering the Pearson/Gonzalez Super Sons GN listed in the solicits because... no Kara? Not canon? Not a main-line title? Just an oversight?

You've covered & enjoyed every other issue of the title so far, why skip this? It looks like the last place we'll be able to read about the boys before they're both mass murderers. Seems like a big omission.

Anj said...

Was the Super Sons GN one of the stand alone novels?
I must have glossed over that section!

Stu said...

Yeah, it's one of the stand-alone ones from the all-ages line of GNs. CBR had that one and the Mera one listed at the top of the February solicits before the regular DC books, but depending on where you read yours, they might have been listed in a different order. Glad to hear it wasn't ignored.

Anonymous said...

1) Bendis is the same exactly than "peter david" was in 1996-03. An useful idiot for DC agenda who tried to eat at God´s table at the same time he was eating at the devil´s.-
2) Unless you´re blind you have seen how ATT is clearing "Time-Warner" (Who isn´t "Time" anymore since the mag went awol in ¨16 to a box office in the Netherlands. Also you´ve seen how "Warner" went bankrupt and had to give the goodies out to ATT in ´17.- All because of "Justice League" (LMFAO)...yeah, right...Justice...yeah...
3) Unless you´re blind you´ve seen how "Berganza" & "Kreisberg" & "Ali Adler" and all the er....let´s say less than approved humans have bit the dust already. Think that´s also a coikinink?? Think again. SUPERGIRL ´s live action show is beginning to gleam luminous now. She´s a hero . She´s storng. She´s independent from her tormentors (David Harewood & Carter/Marsdin)...who ALSO happen to have bit the dust.

Wake up, man.
The whole show is happening and you´re sadly missing on it.
Her time is near.
Et regnum eius non erit finis...
Ask google to translate.-

Relax. Will ya?
a friend.

Anonymous said...

"The whole show is happening and you´re sadly missing on it."

I'm sorry, but... What do you mean? Your comment has nothing to do with the blog post. And I don't get what point you are trying to make.

Anonymous said...

No Martin, if you actually read Superman comics you would know he used guns as early as Action Comics #23, which is also debut of Luthor.
And this was comics by The creators of the character so it is canon whether you comfortable with it or not.