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Entries in Comics (7)
Heartache or not, renumbering is not exactly a new concept in comics. Believe me, almost 30% of my comic collection is plagued by renumbering, it’s a constant frustration, but hey, that’s life. Despite my reservations to openly embrace these new titles, there are seven titles that I am particularly excited to read.
Although it’s a whole new DC, the higher-ups still haven’t forgotten how to makes readers excited about their books. Below are listed the seven books that I am most excited to read, and if you’re a little lost on what titles will be good or bad, here’s a guide to help you navigate the stormy seas of change.
Written By: Grant Morrison
Art By: Rags Morales
It’s strange that I chose this book. If you would have asked me during Batman R.I.P. that I was going to fall in love with Morrison-style storytelling, I might have punched you in the face for slander. But, here I am. This isn’t Morrison’s first go at the Kryptonian boy wonder. There was that little title with Frank Quitely called All-Star Superman, which has in recent years been published in every format that DC can offer. There’s something about Morrison’s storytelling that keeps me intrigued (even in the most acid-trippy of action sequences). Currently, Morrison is crushing it on Batman Inc., almost claiming the top spot for my favorite, current Batman comic (Sorry, but Scott Snyder’s James Gordon Jr. is delightfully creepy.)
What else can be said that hasn’t already been said about Rags Morales’ work. It’s visually stunning, and can almost stand alone without script (no offense Mr. Morrison). Of course, it doesn’t hurt that these two creators are handling the most iconic character in the comic book industry. Morrison developed a whole new world in Gotham, killing off Bruce Wayne and bringing him back with a much more global perspective. It’s exciting to see what he has up his sleeve for Metropolis, and more likely that not, things will never be the same.
Written By: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey
Art By: Moritat
This was an easy choice. The main thing that the book Jonah Hex suffered from in its 60-plus-issue run was that it was too good all the time. Unfortunately, when a book is good all the time, it tends to not get as much mention as it should because the book sets the bar at excellence, and that can be hard to top. I was completely unfamiliar with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey when I started reading the book about three years ago. But every issue is consistently brilliant. Although westerns is not my favorite genre, Jonah Hex was a book that reminded me of the storytelling potential that still lived in the wild West.
From what I can tell (at least where writers are concerned), this book is a continuation of Jonah Hex. For .5 seconds I considered letting Jonah Hex rest with the final issue, and then I remembered the amazing Jeff Lemire penciled issue that came out last month and I couldn’t say no. I must say I’m not particularly familiar with Meridat’s work, but Jonah Hex had always had an amazing group of rotating artists, I can’t imagine All-Star Western being much different. It will be exciting to see if they try to integrate Jonah Hex more into the DC Universe, but either way, I’m saddled up and ready.
Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Travel Foreman and Dan Green
The relationship with a reader and a writer is an interesting one. Once you read a title that absolutely blows you away, you are forever a loyal reader. Perhaps not reading every single thing that person writes, but there is an understanding that sooner or later, you will read everything that writer does. Thus is my relationship with Jeff Lemire. Lemire is young blood in the comic industry, getting his first foothold with his creator owned work, Essex County. But his first work I read was Sweet Tooth, kind of like if the apocalypse met Bambi. I quickly surveyed the rest of his catalog, made sure to purchase his first foray into superhero comics with Superboy #1, and even read the short Multi-Alien story in Vertigo’s Strange Adventures one-shot. Long story short, this guy does amazing work. There’s a simple elegance to his story telling, and there is definitely a unique voice. I’m glad that DC is recognizing the talent.
Although Lemire’s pencils are amazing, I’m glad they’re giving him artistic help with Travel Foreman and Dan Green. This means only good things for Lemire: more attention to story and he gets to keep working on Sweet Tooth. Happy Days! I don’t really have an opinion on the character Animal Man. The only exposure I've had to the character was Morrison’s work many years ago. Hopefully comic readers are willing to give Animal Man a chance, because knowing Lemire, it might be the best book from DC in 2011.
Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Greg Capullo
If you hunt around some photo albums that are neatly stacked in a cabinet at my house, I’m sure you’ll find a picture of me dressed as Batman ready to assume my role as the Dark Knight of Halloween. At that point in time, I was pretty chubby kid. To this day I have no idea how I fit my fat cheeks in that Batman cowl. So as you can probably already detect, there’s a little bit of personal bias going into this choice, but believe me there are valid reasons as well. Yes, much like everyone else, I grew up with Batman. Superman was fun and good and Spider-Man had cool super spider abilites, but none of them were Bruce Wayne, the OG badass of DC comics. In the last couple years, the cape crusader as gotten the royal treatment, easily considered DC’s strongest character. Not only was he kicking ass in the box office, but with Grant Morrison reimagining the character followed by Scott Snyder’s amazing work, Batman had been given new life. With Dick Grayson behind the cowl and Batman spreading his influence globally, Batman was fresh and exciting.
Now all that’s over. There are several questions on my mind regarding this title. Is Bruce Wayne Batman? Is all the R.I.P, Return of Bruce Wayne, Batman Inc., all moot? Is Grant Morrison pissed? A lot is uncertain, but what is definite, is that there is a strong writer to usher in the new era of Batman. Scott Snyder, much like the aforementioned Jeff Lemire, is new to comics. But don’t let his freshman status fool you, he has quickly became a big name in DC. He even teamed up with Stephen King for his Vertigo title, American Vampire. I guess he really likes bats. We’ve already seen Snyder’s writing chops on this character. He just understands Batman. Detective Comics is currently the best it’s been in years. DC made a good decision keeping one of their most talented writers on one of their most popular characters. I'll be there—Same bat time, same bat channel.
Written By: Judd Winick
Art By: Guillem March
For any frequenter of the blog, this pick should come as no surprise. A couple days ago I posted this article explaining my fanboy infatuation with writer and artist Judd Winick. I have a deep respect (jealousy) for writer/artists such as Matt Wagner, Jeff Lemire, Darywn Cooke, and Terry Moore. Winick is no exception. Winick has danced around the DC universe, almost writing every character possible. He recently did work on the successful Justice League: Generation Lost bi-weekly. Teamed up with Guillem March, who isn’t new to drawing the infamous feline vixen (See Gotham City Sirens), this book is just built for success.
It was a sad day to watch Catwoman leave the shelves more than a year ago. The series had enjoyed an 80-plus issue run and had great writers like Darwyn Cooke, Ed Brubaker, and Will Pfeifer. It’s great to see the character in her own series again. Although she is just an ancillary character in Gotham, she holds a gravitas all her own that is perfect for her own title and Winick’s talents.
Written By: Geoff Johns
Art By: Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
With the recent events (last issue) of Green Lantern and Geoff Johns stating this is a continuation of the story, I have no choice but to keep purchasing this book. It’s no secret that Johns is a talented writer, but what really keeps him around DC is his ability to tell in-depth personal stories with larger-than-life superheroes, and of course, crazy freaking cliffhangers. Although it’s the latter that is pushing me to purchase this book, there’s no doubt that John’s grasp of the GL universe is sound. This is the definitive Green Lantern story, and DC would have made a huge mistake ending it before its prime.
Johns and Mahnke have been long time co-creators and are the authorities when it comes to the expansive DC Galaxy (I’m remembering you too Paul Levitz, you got the 31st century covered). Now with the relaunch there are a few other GL books coming out of the woodwork. Red Lanterns and New Guardians both look intriguing, but I’m going to let first impressions circle back to me before I begin making any purchasing decisions. For those of you who are sad to see Guy Gardner and Emerald Warriors leave, be sure to check out JLA International featuring your favorite, redheaded ringslinger. The GL Universe, at least at first glance, seems unaffected by the events of Flashpoint. Although their might be minor changes here or there, this is one series that will not disappoint. Have no fear.
Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Yanick Paquette
This is the “gamble book” ladies and gentleman. But trust me, I don’t gamble unless the odds are stacked in my favor. By all appearances, it looks like a safe bet. Snyder, as previously mentioned, has already established himself as a top-tier storyteller, but he’s got some shoes to fill. That is the unfortunate side effect of amazing stories, all subsequent stories are compared to its greatness, and they ultimately pale in comparison. Of course I’m talking about Alan Moore’s monumental run on Swamp Thing back in the 80s. For Snyder, Moore's series is a godsend and a curse. On the one hand, it got readers interested in the character, but it’s inevitable that people are going to compare his story with Moore’s.
I’m going to give it to Snyder. I like his ambition. This character has been out of the DC limelight for sometime, so Snyder definitely has his work cut out for him. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with the character—If we will see flashbacks into Alan Moore’s work or if we will be seeing a completely new swamp thing. Snyder has yet to disappoint with any book he works on, I see no reason for him to start now.
JLA #1 (Geoff Johns and Jim Lee)
Superman #1 (George Perez)
Batgirl #1 (Gail Simone, Adrian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes)
Aquaman #1 (Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis)
Frankenstein: Agent of Shade #1 (Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli)
Batwoman #1 (J. H. Williams, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder)
Geoff Johns has long been the kind of guy who has written the kinds of comics that I long to read. The kind of stuff that makes me feel like the world of super heroes is more than just a genre but an artistic format. He makes me want to write better and more often than not he just plain makes me want to write. I first encountered his work on a book that most people probably aren't even aware that he wrote. It was the summer of 2002 and I hadn't yet started working for The Fantasy Shop but I had inklings that I might be getting the chance. I was living in Saint Charles for the summer after my Sophomore year of college at Lindenwood and I had wanted to get back into more of the stuff that Marvel was publishing since I was trying to get a job working for a comic store and thought that it might be in my best interest to be a little more aware of the whole of the comics industry and not just concern myself with the goings on of smaller press concerns and what little DC I was buying at the time. So I checked out 2 mutant books, an X-Factor miniseries written by Jeff Jensen, whom I have not seen anything published by since, and a Morlocks miniseries written by Geoff Johns ... who has since become one of the most important comic writers in the history of the business.
I would then go on to find out about his work on JSA and later Flash and by then I was in love with his narrative style, his skill with mystery, and his grasp of the characters he chose to tackle. This is still way before he ever became the Event writer that he has become today, but I think that his work with a wide variety of characters went a long way to prove that he was going to be the kind of writer that would someday take the world by storm.
It was his Flash run that would wind up enamoring most people to his work. And when he left The Flash everything kind of wandered around in a bit of a mire. Once he returned to the book people started getting excited again and while some delays have occurred because of things here and there it has maintained the kind of excitement that most people would expect around a Geoff Johns book.
While many people may be saying that they don't get why there needs to be a Flash-centric event right now I can assure you that this isn't really a Flash event so much as it is a Geoff Johns event. This is Geoff Johns writing an episode of The Outer Limits in the DC Universe. And I must admit it was pretty freaking cool. Add to it that you've got Andy Kubert drawing the interiors and that they're far enough ahead on the book that we shouldn't see any delays and you're in the right kind of mindset to understand just how cool this book is going to be.
And it's going to be really, really cool.
The world is different from that which we know and in so many more ways than one might have imagined. Seriously you are all going to want to check this book out. It's going to be the kind of fun that a Summer event should be. Honestly. It's the kind of thing that might have an impact on the DCU after it's all over but that should really be left by the wayside. We're talking about a book that's going to be really fun to read, really creative, innovative, and is going to challenge a lot of your preconceptions about what kind of stories Geoff Johns wants to tell you.