Category: Comics & Books

Supergirl screencap

… or is it The Devil Wears Prada, the Superhero Edition?

In The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway played a smart but awkward gopher/assistant for a wealthy and mean editor-in-chief boss played by Meryl Streep.  In CBS’s new series Supergirl, Melissa Benoist appears to be playing a smart but awkward gopher/assistant for a wealthy and mean boss in some media industry gig played by Calista Flockhart.

Actually the entire preview comes off as–awkward.  Flockhart, in the “devil” role, seems like some kind of emotionless, one-note, robot.  Is she going to end up being some kind of android, an actual series supervillain?  And the feel is exactly that of CW’s The Flash–the most lighthearted of the superhero TV series flooding our airwaves.  We love a good superhero series, especially a new superheroine, so bring it on, but is this really just going to be a female version Grant Gustin’s naïve and good-hearted hero on a rival network?

Supergirl clip

This Supergirl also has little tying her to the comic book incarnation of the character, at least as far as we can tell from this first preview.  She does have the look of the popular Felicity Smoak from CW’s Arrow.  She is certainly adorable, but why does the superheroine have to be this junior superhero character?  When will we get a superheroine on film on equal footing with the male superheroes?  Check out this nearly seven minute preview of Supergirl for yourself:

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MissFury010-Cov-Tan  MissFury010-Cov-Syaf

The selection for best comic book series of 2013, Dynamite’s Miss Fury, continues to be an action-filled series in 2014, full of time travel, parallel histories, and an update to a classic and nostalgic superheroine.  Add to that mobsters, Nazis, the Philadelphia Experiment, atomic age scientists, and an interstellar timeship, and the result is just plain fun.

Writer Rob Williams, artist Jack Herbert, and colorist Ivan Nunes have merged the future with the past, and thrown in some new, cool, supervillains on par with Deathstroke and the pantheon of bad guys from the Arrow TV series.  Stuck out of time, Marla Drake has met and killed herself, and now she is forced into continuing to be an assassin to try to save a man from her past.  But violent recurring, mind-numbing headaches are catching her off-guard, the result of popping across time.  Can she take control of her actions and stop the madness before her own time is up?

MissFury010-Cov-Calero  MissFury010-Cov-Worley

After the break is a preview of Miss Fury, Issue #10, courtesy of Dynamite Comics:

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You wouldn’t be off base thinking of Batman when you see the superhero The Black Bat, as their history and origin is linked in controversy.  Both The Black Bat and Bob Kane’s Batman derived the look of their characters from common pulp fiction renderings.  Both characters emerged at about the same time and the publishers Thrilling Publications and DC Comics sparred over rights until a DC editor who had worked with The Black Bat’s publisher mediated the dispute where both publishers could continue using the characters.

Which brings us to 2013 and Dynamite Entertainment.  Dynamite has the rights to publish The Black Bat along with the great pantheon of classic 1930s and 1940s characters we have discussed before, including the featured characters in their ongoing series Masks: The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Kato, Miss Fury, Black Terror, Zorro, and The Spider.  But don’t confuse the Black Bat with a similar modern noir retro-creation, Francesco Francavilla’s The Black Beetle from Dark Horse Comics, which we previewed here at earlier.  But both The Black Bat and The Black Beetle are different enough and similar enough that if you like one you probably will like the other.

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Bionic Man vs Bionic Woman Issue 1 Chen cover

A borg serial killer is on the loose, making his way from Kansas City to somewhere nearby Lawrence, Kansas, 40 miles away.  OSI has video footage of his last rampage, taking out several agents.  The results aren’t pretty.  OSI has identified a well-established, horrifying M.O.

Unlike the OSI-created menace from Phil Hester’s Bionic Man series, Oscar Goldman has no idea who is behind this new villain.  But he’s going to loan Steve Austin to the FBI to attempt to sleuth out the answer to that question.

Meanwhile in Manhattan (presumably Manhattan, NY and not Manhattan, KS) Goldman has set Jamie Sommers (sometimes spelled in the book as Jaime) on a mission to a stripper club to bring in an international arms dealer.

Bionic Man vs Bionic Woman Issue 1 Lau cover

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The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher’s popular series of fantasy meets mystery novels about a wizard living in modern day Chicago, has had an incredible run in print, with some 14 books released since 2000, including the November 2012 release Cold DaysIt also was turned into a Syfy Channel (then Sci Fi Channel) TV series (albeit short-lived one) starring Paul Blackthorne as the magic wielding Harry Dresden.  A bit X-Files meets a grown-up Harry Potter, The Dresden Files revolves around a fun lead character.  Dresden has also been turned into a roleplaying game, and four works in comic book form: Welcome to the Jungle (a prequel to the first novel Storm Front), Restoration of Faith (a Free Comic Book Day one-shot), Storm Front (in two volumes) and Fool Moon (in two volumes).  Arriving at your local comic book store next week is The Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin, Issue #1.

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Beginning with with a nicely designed cover by DC Comics Supergirl artist Ardian Syaf, Ghoul Goblin #1 drops readers into the middle of Dresden’s strange world, with Dresden battling a sea monster he chased into Lake Michigan.  Whether you’re a fan of Butcher’s novels or the TV series, this Dresden and his optimistic and confident cheery inner voice will be familiar to you.  We even get to see Dresden discuss details of the new case with long-time spirit companion Bob, who lives in a skull.  Here Dresden is minus one Karrin Murphy, friend and police department partner in fighting crime, presumably to resurface in later stories.

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It’s only four days until Free Comic Book Day is here again, and comic book publishers have several interesting issues planned for this year.  Free Comic Book Day is always about getting new people into the local stores to check out all that comics have to offer.  So plan to grab someone and take them in to check it all out.  Use it as your excuse to buy Issue #1 of several new DC Comics “New 52” titles scheduled to be released this week.  Or make a day of it and drag your friends to see The Avengers at your local theater after you pick up your free comics.

Tons of comic book writers and artists–creators we have been talking about all year at–will be on hand across the country (and beyond) to sign autographs.  Just check out this partial list, including many of this year’s Eisner Award nominees:

Ed Brubaker (Sleeper, Captain America) in Canoga Park, California; actor Burt Ward (Robin from the 1960s series) in Los Angeles; Philip Tan (Savage Hawkman) in Rancho Cucamonga, California; Gail Simone (Batgirl), Amanda Connor (Green Arrow) and Chuck Dixon (Batman, Green Arrow) in Port Richey, Florida; George Perez (Crisis on Infinite Earths) and Greg Horn (Ms. Marvel) in Sanford, Florida; Mike Norton (Battlepug, Green Arrow) in Chicago; Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Irredeemable) in Muncie, Indiana; David Petersen (MouseGuard) in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New Hampshire; David Wenzel (The Hobbit graphic novel artist) in Worcester, Massachusetts; Jason Aaron (Wolverine, Avengers vs X-Men) in St. Louis, Missouri; actor Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly) in Omaha, Nebraska; Francesco Francavilla (The Lone Ranger) in Charlotte, North Carolina; actor Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, Psych, Law and Order), in Hilliard, Ohio; Jeffrey Moy (Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes) in Madison, Wisconsin; and Nicola Scott (Earth 2) and Ardian Syaf (Batgirl) in Singapore.

And there are plenty of interesting free comic book issues offered exclusively Saturday.  Check out these titles:





Definitely something for everyone, and for all ages.

Comic book stores typically have other things planned, too, like giveaways, and specials on back issues, even cake.  More details and a store locator can be found at the official Free Comic Book Day website.  Don’t forget to check it out–it’s just four days away!

C.J. Bunce


Review by C.J. Bunce

Put aside the hurricane that was 2012’s New 52 reboot from DC Comics, and one year ago if someone would have said that Barbara Gordon would have her own solo title again as Batgirl, and a successful title at that, most DC fans would have had doubts. Then with the announcement that Gail Simone was giving Barbara the use of her legs again, add controversy to those doubts.  Batgirl had an uphill climb, but with the changes DC had previewed before the launch, it also became the title causing the most curiosity for readers.  How would they give her back the use of her legs?  Where would she fit into the new DC universe?

If you haven’t read Batgirl, the first six issues of the groundbreaking DC series will be reprinted in a hardcover edition this July, titled Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection.  With 52 graphic novels coming out over the next few months, most readers will be selective about which to seek out.  Batgirl is one of the keepers.

Where Batgirl really soared in this story arc begins with the cover work by Adam Hughes.  One of the artists whose superheroine work is in a small league of the very best, his style conjures up a 1940s aesthetic, and his colors scream retro.  His Batgirl may very well be the best ever rendered, including when compared to the stunning Alex Ross revamped version that Hughes seems to work from.  If only he had the schedule to draw the entire book!  That said, Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf has developed his own style with Batgirl’s ongoing story as the interior artist on the series.  Syaf’s style is expressive and his action sequences are fluid and powerful.  If Hughes makes Batgirl look both innocent and beautiful, Syaf rounds out her character by showing her as feisty and wily.

From the beginning, writer Gail Simone proved she knew her character.  The new Barbara was funny and endearing from the first page.  She shares her inner voice with us to contrast with her Batgirl-costumed exterior.  We didn’t know what will come of it, but she found an inquisitive roommate and a place she could afford to rent.  Her inner voice always determined, she forced herself to be confident, even though we sensed a lot of doubt in her about her abilities.  She’s young, but not too young.  She is a straight arrow, not gritty and also thankfully not vapid.  She is successful, but she’s nervous.

Chapter 1 of the story arc begins with Barbara already away from her wheelchair and already crime fighting.  Is it too soon?  She questions herself, and she indeed makes her first mistakes.  And she never forgets the crime by the Joker that left her in the chair in the first place.  Barbara’s foe in the first round is a baddie who is called the Mirror, a grim reaper type who carries a list of the soon-to-be-dead around as a checklist.  She gets knocked down.  She gets right back up.  She makes mistakes.  She tries to recover from her mistakes—both the long-term lesson learning variety and the instant kind–a bad kick or punch here or there.  With a quick-moving story line her decisions are split-second choices.  She has no choice, she must be focused.  Having the use of her legs return only in the past several months, all indications are that this heroine is engaging in the secret crime fighting gig too soon.  This is the theme of her character’s growth.

Chapter 2 of Batgirl helps readers understand Batgirl’s Gotham City.  We see real-life reflected here, or at least the over-development, economic strife and questionable priorities that make Gotham the worst of what is real in any society. We also see a microcosm of the individual, living the single life, trying to get through the mundane tasks of daily life.  Barbara Gordon is a poster girl for the individual in the big world. Like all of us, she is forging ahead.  Writer Gail Simone continued in this chapter to deliver the satisfying and snappy, Buffy-esque dialogue, that reminds us we’re talking about Batgirl here.  What stayed strong throughout the entire arc is the first person narrative, in the same style as Batman from Jeph Loeb in Batman: Hush.  She smartly comes off as the almost-Batman.  Batgirl’s positive outlook is counter-balanced with a well-constructed bad guy.

A weaker part of the story arc is Chapter 3, which had a lot to live up to considering the work on Issues #1 and #2.  For the first section, Barbara Gordon became a bit of Sandra Bullock in Speed, in a psycho-orchestrated opportunity to save a train from a bomb. For the second, she had some awkward catching up to do with dad, Commissioner Gordon.  For section three, she goes to pick up her Batcycle, which had been impounded in Chapter 1.  There she runs into Dick Grayson-formerly-known-as-Robin-who-then-became-Nightwing-then-Batman-and-now-he’s-Nightwing-again.  And an old, teen romance is rekindled, veiled as an effort by the Bat-team to get Barbara to dial back on the dangerous derring-do.  Barbara gives in a bit, but ultimately recoils into that comic book cliché of the superhero—“I just want to be alone.”  It’s not a bad follow-up to Issues #1 and 2, but the obligatory romance issue just seemed a bit too soon for the series.  Unfaltering is the visuals–Batgirl is both agile and tough balanced with naiveté and some real street smarts, and we know this from how she is drawn on every panel by artist Syaf.

Chapter 4 finds Barbara continuing to have nightmares that she reads as survivor’s guilt.  She has a heart to heart conversation with her roommate finally, but Barbara remains at a distance.  Her escape is to continue the pursuit of the Mirror.  In that, she uses her confusion and anger to take on a stronger opponent.  But she also uses the events of the day to develop her own strategy.  This allows her to try again with her roommate.  In the end she is visited by a ghost from her distant past.

We meet a new villain in Chapter 5, Gretel, who is able to make others act as she wishes through hypnotic suggestion.  This leaves her victims and the tools of her actions mumbling the number 338.  As Barbara attempts to sleuth out what 338 means, she must also deal with the return of her mother, who walked out on her, her little brother, and her father, Commissioner Gordon, when she was young.  As she ponders what is behind Gretel, she believes Bruce Wayne may be the next target of this new villain.  As she tries to save him, it appears Bruce has also fallen for Gretel’s hypnosis.

The final chapter ties up all the loose ends.  Gretel is not a one-note villain, but instead a mirror of sorts of Barbara.  Batgirl must capture Gretel, but she learns from her past, and instead of going after her alone, she smartly shares her information with Bruce.  In a  partnership with Batman, we even get to see Barbara as the main partner of the ad hoc duo in the scheme to take down Gretel.  Was Bruce really under Gretel’s spell?  The payoff for Batgirl fans is great.  For readers of the collected edition, the entire six chapter story also works as a complete piece, not simply the typical assemblage of six sequential comic books.

DC’s female superhero characters continue to flourish 9 months after the big launch.  Batgirl’s story bridges a lot of territory–she is a superhero with a rich past in the DCU: as daughter to Batman’s main partner in fighting crime, Commissioner Gordon, as the former crime fighter in a wheelchair called Oracle and member of the Birds of Prey, she carved out a niche for herself as the younger side of hero work and the trials of being at the beginning of a heroine’s career.  There is a reason we have a Batwoman and a Batgirl.  Gail Simone made sure Batgirl gets the respect she deserves but does not forget that she is and should be all about being a girl, and being a girl–as opposed to being a woman or a man or a boy–creates its own advantages for both the character and for storytelling.

Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection is available July 17 at comic book stores and discounted pre-order now online.

Review by C.J. Bunce

Three years ago Barbara Gordon was shot and sustained spinal damage by the Joker.  The crime was detailed in Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s controversial Batman: The Killing Joke, the first slick prestige-formatted comic book and one of the best looking comic books of all time.  Since then Barbara Gordon has been in a wheelchair. During the past three years Barbara had dropped her Batgirl costume for a computer and became the brains behind the Birds of Prey as the character Oracle, along with Dinah Lance/Black Canary, and Helena Bertinelli/Huntress.  She’s been living with her father, Commissioner Gordon, all the while.  And a miracle happens–she can walk again.  Now she wants to “spread her wings” and move out on her own.  That is where we meet Batgirl in the new DC Comics “New 52” Batgirl series.

It is only fitting that Gail Simone, who in recent years has spent more time creating Barbara Gordon’s voice than anyone, scripted the first new universe Batgirl story.  She understands the character and is my argument for why writers should stick with characters longer than they seem to be allowed at DC and Marvel.  Especially when the writer gets it right.  If you invest a lot of time in a character, you get in his/her skin and begin to think the character’s thoughts.  You get that feeling with Batgirl.

Obviously the “three years” in the wheelchair as Oracle is in DC universe time, since Batman: The Killing Joke was published 23 years ago, back in 1988.

The new Barbara is funny and endearing.  She shares her inner voice with us to contrast with her Batgirl exterior.  We don’t know what will come of it, but she finds a new roommate and a place she can afford to rent.  Her inner voice is determined, and she forces herself to be confident, even though we sense a lot of doubt in her about her abilities.  She’s young, but not too young.  She is a straight arrow, not gritty and also thankfully not vapid.  In the first story we see her crash a home crime, similar to what Gordon faced with the Joker.  She hasn’t been in the superhero business physically for years now.  She is successful, but she’s nervous.  Simone shares that the shooting will never leave this character, although we get the vibe that this series will be about moving on.  The art is clean, Batgirl looks good in her costume and the panels and design are creative.  Nice work all around by artists Ardian Syaf and Vincente Cifuentes.

Fans have asked numerous questions: Why pull her from the wheelchair?  As a model for disabled people, what is DC saying about people with disabilities–to be heroes do you need to be able to walk?  All these are fair questions and Simone has attempted to answer them this summer.  Ultimately this is a character and maybe DC thought every piece of her story as Oracle had been written.  And where else but comic books can a character live a dream that may not be able to be fulfilled with a person in an actual, similar circumstance?  It is difficult to say anyone but Simone could have handled this transition with the same level of grace and alacrity.  But it shows that no fan is free from the change in this new set of series.  The risk with so much change at once is simply human nature–humans don’t like change.  So everywhere you look in the new titles, something will be off-putting to everyone at some point.  What Issue #1 of Batgirl does successfully is wade right through those questions and deliver a new, fresh story that has promise.

The new Batgirl could be the lead in Veronica Mars. She could be a character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Or the writers will create someone who makes her own mark.  Not the Batgirl from the TV show, or the Batgirl from the Batman and Robin movie, but someone with the same energy and optimism.

First off she will need to encounter a new villain called the Mirror, who she meets at the end of Issue #1.  And her first big encounter is brief–and a failure.  Luckily for us readers, Batgirl Issue #1 is not.  Looking forward to Issue #2 next month!

DC Comics announced this past week plans to re-launch its entire comics line—52 comic book series to begin again at issue #1 this September.  Never before has a comics publisher taken such a big risk all at one time.  And DC promises major changes, releasing a few hints so far along with the creative line-ups for the new titles.  Some titles will continue, others won’t.  And expect some shake-ups in DC Universe continuity.

Some notable surprises:

  • Apparently Batgirl Barbara Gordon will be taken back to her pre-Batman: The Killing Joke attack by the Joker so she is no longer confined to her wheel chair as previously detailed in the Birds of Prey series via her other alter ego, The Oracle.
  • Look for digital and print double packaging as well as some staggered release pricing for the separate purchase of the print and digital editions.  DC is clearly trying to catch up with the mainstream digital media revolution.
  • Most of the key titles appear to be continuing, with the notable omission of the Superman/Batman title.

If you’re not keeping track, hopefully this line-up of books and talent will get you up to speed, all information direct from DC:

  1. Justice League #1.  DC co-publisher Jim Lee will be drawing this series, to be written by Geoff Johns who did a nice job on the All-Star Superman series.  The cover has been released and looks like the usual suspects Superman, Batman (Bruce Wayne, not Dick Grayson), Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg (?).  Personally without the next tier of characters like Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Hawkman, I hope this one works as I have viewed the JLA as the lynchpin of the DC universe.  The last reboot of the JLA team didn’t seem to work as well as the classic team.
  2. Action Comics #1.  You’d think they’d ride this longest running DC series to the magic 1000 mark, but not now.  The great news is Rags Morales will be penciling this series, written by Grant Morrison.  I loved Rags’ work on Identity Crisis.
  3. Superman #1.  Classic favorite artist George Perez of Crisis on Infinite Earths will be writing this series, with artwork by Jesus Merino.  I’ve always wondered why we need two Superman books, but there’s clearly enough talent to go around on DC’s #1 superhero.
  4. Supergirl #1.  Writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson and artist Mahmud Asrir will be giving us a new look at Supergirl.  To me, the ultimate Supergirl was penciled by the late great Michael Turner in the Superman/Batman series.  I’ll look forward to this team’s take on the ethereal cousin from Krypton.
  5. Superboy #1.  Newcomer Scott Lobdell will be writing this title with shared drawing efforts by R.B. Silva and Rob Lean.  I’m surprised this title made the final cut, but there must be some diehard fans of this character out there.
  6. Detective Comics #1.  Writer/artist Tony Daniel will be helming this classic DC title beginning with (yet another) Jack the Ripper-type Batman storyline.  I was always a fan of Mike Mignola’s work on Gotham by Gaslight so yet another take on this villain type could be interesting.
  7. Batman #1.  Scott Snyder will write the series featuring the return of Bruce Wayne as the Dark Knight with art by newcomer Greg Capullo.
  8. The Dark Knight #1.  David Finch will be drawing and writing this title sure to feature a dark villain-filled Arkham Asylum story.
  9. Batman and Robin #1.  Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason will helm this story with Bruce Wayne and son Damian Wayne as Robin.  How many Robins are we up to now anyway?
  10. Nightwing #1.  Kyle Higgins will be writing the return of Dick Grayson as Nightwing along with Eddy Barrows’ art.
  11. Red Hood and the Outlaws #1.  Scott Lobdell will be writing this title with art by Kenneth Rocafort, focusing on the old universe’s fan-killed Robin, Jason Todd.  I’m curious what they will be doing to continuity with this title.
  12. Batwing #1.  Former Green Arrow writer Judd Winick and artist Ben Oliver will be creating this title with the first black character to wear the Batman cowl.
  13. Birds of Prey #1.  It looks from the cover like this title will feature Poison Ivy and Black Canary, written by Duane Swierczynski and illustrated by Jesus Saiz.
  14. Catwoman #1.  I like the cover on this one.  Judd Winick will be adding to his Batwing duties by writing this storyline along with Guillem March pencils.
  15. Batgirl #1.  The return of the original Barbara Gordon will be written by Gail Simone with art duties shared by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes.  I see this as a stand-out book in the new DC line.                            
  16. Batwoman #1.  I’m also anxious to see where they will take the cutting edge Batwoman in the new universe.  J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder will be teaming up on this title.
  17. Green Lantern #1.  With the new summer’s expected blockbuster title coming soon DC’s website is all green with Hal Jordan.  The striking cover features a bloodied hand—look for a darker tale this time around for Hal.  Geoff Johns will write this title with art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy.
  18. Green Lantern Corps #1.  This title will feature our other favorite Lanterns Guy Gardner and John Stewart and will be written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna.
  19. Green Lantern:  The New Guardians #1.  My least favorite Lantern Kyle Rayner will be the focus of this comic, written by Tony Bedard and art by Tyler Kirkham and Batt.
  20. Red Lanterns #1.  Another Lantern title?  Really?  And no Zatanna title?  This book will be written by Peter Milligan with art and cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter. 
  21. Wonder Woman #1.  Brian Azzarello will be writing this new story with the great artistic talent of Cliff Chiang (Green Arrow/Black Canary) drawing the beautiful Amazon warrior.  With a new TV series in the works Wonder Woman should be as popular as ever.
  22. Aquaman #1.  Geoff Johns will be busy this year with yet another title, this time with artist Ivan Reis.  Thankfully it doesn’t look like they changed much visibly with Aquaman based on the preview of the cover os the first issue.
  23. Flash #1.  Artist and freshman writer Francis Manapul will be taking us through Barry Allen’s new story with art by Brian Buccellato.
  24. Fury of Firestorm #1.  I always liked Firestorm storylines in the old JLA series so I am glad to see this title.  Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone will share writing duties on this title with art by Yildiray Cinar.     
  25. Savage Hawkman #1.  “Savage” huh?  Tony Daniel will write this book with art by Philip Tan.  Hmm…No mention of a certain female hawk friend…
  26. Green Arrow #1.  My favorite character will be back again in his own title (phew!).  This title will be in good hands with a couple GA veterans.  Dan Jurgens will draw the Emerald Archer in his orphaned billionaire playboy incarnation with story by JT Krul.  This will be my personal must-read of the new 52.
  27. Captain Atom #1.  I am ecstatic to see Freddie Williams II in a new series of this powerful superhero.  Writing duties will go to JT Krul.  Another must-read series I will be looking forward to this Fall.
  28. Justice League International #1.  For this title Dan Jurgens will serve as writer with art by Aaron Lopresti.  It looks like yet another Batman story as he leads this international crime fighting team.
  29. Mister Terrific #1.  Eric Wallace will write this new title with art by Roger Robinson.
  30. DC Universe Presents #1.  DC is reviving the old serial titles of its past with this new series to feature new characters in an ongoing storyline, beginning with a Deadman story written by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang.  I was always a fan of the original Brave and the Bold and hope some fresh blood can keep this type of series going.
  31. Suicide Squad #1.  Harley Quinn, Deadshot and King Shark will be featured in this new sure to be off-the-wall title, written by Adam Glass with art by Marco Rudy.
  32. Stormwatch #1.  Even if the Martian Manhunter doesn’t look like he will at last initially appear in the new JLA, he will be featured with Midnighter and Apollo in this title written by Paul Cornell and illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda.
  33. Blue Beetle #1.  The angst-ridden teen hero and DC answer to Spiderman will be written by Tony Bedard and illustrated by Ig Guara and Ruy Jose.
  34. Blackhawks #1.  This modern-day, mercenary team series will be written by Mike Costa and drawn by Ken Lashley.
  35. Men of War #1.  This one sounds fun.  The grandson of Sgt. Rock will be the focus of this story, written by Ivan Brandon with art by Tom Derenick.
  36. All-Star Western #1.  This title features Jonah Hex in Old West Gotham with the founding father Amadeus Arkham.  Story by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with pencils by artist Moritat.
  37. Deathstroke #1.  Kyle Higgins will have writing duties on this new Deathstroke series with art by Art Thibert.
  38. Grifter #1.  Written by Nathan Edmondson with pencils by artists CAFU and BIT, this will be a story about a black ops grifter in what appears to be an X-Files type storyline.
  39. OMAC #1.  The OMAC series returns with story by Dc co-publisher Dan DiDio and art by Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish.
  40. Legion Lost #1.  This story of seven teen time travellers from the distant future will be written by the Action Comics team of writer Fabian Nicieza and illustrator Pete Woods.
  41. Legion of Superheroes #1.  Apparently a tie-in story to Legion Lost, this 31st century story will be created by writer Paul Levitz and illustrated by Francis Portela.
  42. Teen Titans #1.  Red Robin Tim Drake returns to lead the team including Wonder Girl and Kid Flash in the new series by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.
  43. Static Shock #1.  This new teen hero story will be written by former Green Arrow artist Scott McDaniel and John Rozum, with McDaniel also illustrating along with Jonathan Glapion.
  44. Hawk and Dove #1.  This team returns in a new title written by Sterling Gates and illustrated by artist Rob Liefeld.
  45. Swamp Thing #1.  Coming off this Spring’s DC storyline, Swamp Thing gets his own title, written by Scott Snyder with art by Yannick Paquette.
  46. Justice League Dark #1.  Despite the title this new series looks intriguing with a team-up of John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu.  Written Peter Milligan and artist Mikel Janin.    
  47. Animal Man #1.  Animal Man returns in this new series written by Jeff Lemire with artists Travel Foreman and Dan Green.
  48. Demon Knights #1.  This blurb sounds promising:  “Set in the Middle Ages, the Demon leads an unlikely team to defend civilization and preserve the last vestiges of Camelot against the tide of history.”  Written by Paul Cornell with art by Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert.
  49. Frankenstein, Agent of Shade #1.  Funny title!  this Seven Soldiers hero story will be written by Jeff Lemire with art by Alberto Ponticelli.
  50. Resurrection Man #1.  This is the story of a hero who wakes up with new powers each time he’s killed.  Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Fernando Dagnino.
  51. Vampire #1.  OK, enough vampires already!  Written by Josh Fialkov with art by Andrea Sorrentino.
  52. Voodoo #1.  This new title will be written by Ron Marz with art by Sami Basri.


Phew!  That’s a lot!  The problem I see with such a big release?  Most people won’t be buying all or even several of these titles, especially in this economy, and DC may find itself just competing against itself come September.  But hopefully the extra push will help keep some small business comic shop owners in business.  Writers and artists will have to bring their “A game” this Fall if each individually wants to make a name for himself/herself with this kind of competition for readers’ dollars.  It’s hard not to find at least a half a dozen titles to catch your eye from this release.  Definitely I see a few I will be picking up in September.

–C.J. Bunce