Wednesday, June 19, 2019

DC Comics September Solicitations

The DC solicits for September have come out and it is a little bit heavy with new books and exciting news all happening. I won't comment on all the Harley love that is coming out but there is plenty. So head over to Newsarama to take a peek at everything:

In the meantime, I'll do my usual review of the super-books that are coming out.

written by MARC ANDREYKO
card stock variant cover by DERRICK CHEW

After months on the outer edges of the universe, Supergirl is back on Earth! But things are not as she left them—her adoptive parents have disappeared without a trace, Leviathan’s plans are in motion and a Brainiac lurks in the shadows with its sights set on Kara! Oh, and what about that grave? The truth of who is in it will shake Supergirl to her very core!

I am thrilled that Supergirl is back on Earth again. And a mystery of finding her parents is a good hook. I wonder if, based on Leviathan Rising, if Eliza has been recruited to Leviathan's ranks. As for the Brainiac on the loose, we have already seen Kara fight Indigo in the Fatal Five arc. But news coming out this month makes me wonder if there is another Dox Kara will be meeting.

With all these arcs mentioned in the solicit, too bad the cover is (of course) gritty angry Kara immolating a Leviathan crony.

 What else is coming out?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: Supergirl #31

Supergirl #31 came out last week and continues the Unity Saga story which has been going through the Superman book. I posted my review of Superman #12 yesterday and this issue of Supergirl covers much of the same story, albeit from her perspective.

While the story beats are similar, there are some unfortunate differences. While my review of Superman praised the maturity and respect and love that was evident in Supergirl and the El family, this issue doubles down on Kara's anger and viciousness. It was hard to go from one to the other and think these are the same characters. I just don't quite understand writer Marc Andreyko's take on the character.

Now comes my every couple of year defense that I don't want a sickeningly sweet Silver Age Supergirl, trapped in an orphanage with no agency. I don't mind a fierce Supergirl, learning to be a hero, occasionally failing. I don't mind her being angry when the time is right. But Supergirl should be, foremost, optimistic and bright. She should be about hope, help, and compassion for all. And this sneering Supergirl isn't that.

The art in the book is split. Kevin Maguire does the first 5 pages of the book and then semi-regular artist Eduardo Pansica takes over. Pansica should just be named regular artist and Maguire should start working on the Annual. The two styles don't mesh well. Separately both are fine.

On to the book.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Review: Superman #12

Superman #12 came out last week, the next chapter in The House of El portion of the Unity Saga. It is an interesting book because it overlaps heavily with Supergirl #31. The two books tell the same story from the different angles of their main characters. In many ways it succeeds in giving us some added information of the perspective of the other protagonist. In others it fails where dialogue and some interactions are different.

Of the two, the Superman books succeeds more in my mind. Remember, this is coming from an avid Supergirl fan.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis succeeds in showing us the power of a united El family. Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, and Krypto all clearly love each other and are supportive of each other. That felt like a wonderful throwback to past times when the super-cousins regularly teamed up and had each other's back. We haven't seen much of that since 2011. I also love the outright respect that Bendis gives Supergirl as a character. Kara is treated very well.

The down side to the story is my rather lack of sustained interest in Rogol Zaar. I also fear about the long lasting besmirching of Jor-El's character. I liked the noble scientist who tried his best to save the world but could only save his child. Not this Mr. Oz character who seemingly knew about Zaar's plans to blow up the world.

Ivan Reis has shined on every Superman issue. But this issue with it's double page vertical spreads and space battles as well as family hugs and reunions is a tour de force. I knew I would love seeing Reis draw Supergirl. I didn't think I would love it this much.

On to the book.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Review: Event Leviathan #1

You know that I am intrigued by a book when it grabs the Friday review slot the week a Supergirl book hit the stands.

Event Leviathan #1 came out this week, the 6 week mini-series written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Alex Maleev. Nothing grabs me like a good comic mystery and this one is fantastic. Leviathan as a group has eliminated the spy agencies and villain organizations around the world. It is looking, apparently, to consolidate power. But interestingly, Leviathan has made it clear that they want what our heroes want. The ends are not villainous, at least according to them.

Since this is a mystery, Bendis is giving us a cast of DC's best detectives. Seeing four of them poring over a crime in this issue sets the stage. These are the best investigators, above reproach, and as a result, trustworthy. So this team is out to solve this puzzle. What I love about this is that all these detectives have strong and different personalities. These aren't necessarily 'good' teammates. So seeing them bristle with each other as they exchange thoughts is delicious. Of course, snappy dialogue in street level crime stories is right in Bendis' wheelhouse.

Alex Maleev is also a perfect choice for this book, and in particular this issue, as it is a scene draped in darkness and shadow. His murky style fits a noir environment. And great sleuths slinking through crime scenes is wonderfully complementary. Maleev colors this issue as well. The palette seems limited between blues and oranges. But again, that fits. The book is gorgeous.

As for me, I have a Leviathan Theory and trust me, another post just dedicated to my theory and the clues this issue provided will be forthcoming. This issue hasn't made me budge. But this is more of an introduction.

On to the book.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sales Review: May 2019

Sales numbers for May have been released and as usual I'll send people to ICv2 for the best coverage. Here is a link to their article.

It is an interesting month for me to look at as the summer events are starting to trickle out. Meanwhile in the super-books, Event Leviathan is about to take over meaning that the space race with Rogol Zaar needs to wrap up soon.

Supergirl #30 was a sort of closing chapter to her space quest as Kara faced off against Empress Gandelo and learned more about Rogol Zaar's part in Krypton's destruction.

It also had the major moment when Supergirl was just about to bury Zaar's axe into Gandelo's skull. Thankfully, Krypto used his good nature and his puppy dog eyes to not have Supergirl go the way of Rorshach.

So ... how did this rough, angry Supergirl issue sell?

It came in at slot 118, more than 20 slots lower than the last slot.

It also sold 18,443 units ordered. That is down from 19,550 from the month before.

We are getting pretty low in sales.

Will Event Leviathan lift this? Or will this darker turn for Supergirl once again lead to dwindling sales and the need for a reboot ... or cancellation.

I've spoken too much about this.

I worry that Andreyko will use Supergirl's book as a backdoor Manhunter book (based on the Leviathan Rising Special). I don't think is going to end well.

Last month also had Doomsday Clock #10, one of the best recent comics I have read.

It sold a very healthy 117,419 units ordered. Amazing.

What is more amazing is that DCeased, a zombie book, sold more than twice that!! I am not a zombie person so I am skipping this book (although I have heard great things).

Still, this erosion of Supergirl sales since Andreyko took over cannot be ignored. When will be see the Final Issue blurb  in the solicits?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

DC Superhero Girls #FightAtTheMuseum

I have been pleasantly pleased with the new DC Superhero Girls under the direction of Lauren Faust. As I have said before, this is a wonderful mix of empowering messages, superheroics, and looney tunes action. As someone who lived through the reinvigoration of the My Little Pony franchise under Faust's direction, I feel this show has that same elan. It just checks off all the boxes. I can only hope that it catches fire the way MLP did.

On top of the story, I have also applauded the visual direction of the show with wonderful perspective shots and direction that just elevates it. There is this wonderful energy to the show, a concoction of mature cinematography telling a superhero story.

And I really have been tickled pink by the Supergirl on the show. This Kara is brash, a bit of a hothead, punching first and asking questions later. She is the rebel, the iconoclast throwing shade on Superman. While I am routinely against this persona in the DC continuity, in a side project team show like this, where everyone has a personality trait to demonstrate, I don't mind it. Welcome to the complex personality of this Supergirl fan. Nicole Sullivan does such wonderful voice work, bringing a little conceit, a little snark to the proceedings. And Supergirl has really been showcased. If I recall, Faust said Supergirl was her favorite when she was making Super Best Friends Forever. And this Kara is basically that Kara.

One thing I do know I like about Supergirl as a character is that she is a young hero, on the journey, and learning.

The title of  this episode is #FightAtTheMuseum, I suppose a riff on the Night At The Museum movies. Supergirl has to learn the lesson that might doesn't always make right. She also learns that she can't just punch every problem away. Get ready!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Terrificon Prep - Early Thoughts

Hard to believe but we are two months away from con season. And this year the season opens up with my favorite show, Terrificon.

I have lauded the show in the past. It is truly a comic book convention. The guest list is almost exclusively comic book creators. And perhaps the best thing about the show is that it really runs the gamut of creators. We get golden age legends. We get bronze age stalwarts. And we get the current stars. Every time I think the show can't list more guests, more get posted. If there ever was a show to commit to a three day trip, it is this one. Because I don't think there is time in one day to get to everybody. It is amazing.

 There are celebrities but they all always have a strong link to comic books. This year the show is bringing in stars from the 1989 Batman movie and others.

And the venue is great. Huge hall. Free parking. All levels of eating options within the casino. And, if you are into that, gambling.

Here is a link to the site if you want to scan the guests:

But this is a con prep post, which means I have to talk about my commission conquests and other hopes.

The top commission hope is Colleen Doran.

I am a long time fan of Doran. She loves the Legion. She was one of the artists on the recent JLA 3001 book that I loved. She is a fan of Supergirl. And her art is just dreamy.

I missed out on the opportunity to get a commission from her several years ago when she was at the Boston Comic Con. I won't let the chance pass again.

So I will be heading to Doran's table first.

Who else am I hoping to get?