Tag Archive: Cliff Chiang


Review by C.J. Bunce

Matt Fraction and David Aja’s new Hawkeye series is one of the best Green Arrow stories I’ve read in a good while.  It’s a strange thing, as I had no idea these guys could be interchangeable.  Sure, they both use bow and arrow as their chief weapon.  Green Arrow has been around since the 1930s and Hawkeye the 1960s so I must admit I looked at Hawkeye as a Green Arrow knockoff, nothing more.  After his supporting role as a good guy converted to bad in this year’s Avengers movie I figured I’d relegate him to the hundreds of other characters that don’t make it to my reading pile.  I was pretty underwhelmed despite some nice trick arrow moves in that film.  So I had no intention of checking out the Marvel Comics new Hawkeye solo series.  But a very Cliff Chiang-inspired set of covers to Issues #1 and #2 this week at the local comic hangout caused me to look closer, and Matt Fraction’s name caused me to flip through Issue #1.

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As we predicted here last month, the CW Network is trickling out details of the new Green Arrow series Arrow.  The biggest news is that veteran of several Star Trek roles, Susanna Thompson, has been cast as Green Arrow/Oliver Queen’s mother Moira Queen.  Although not a regularly featured character in past Green Arrow comic book series (although Queen’s mom had a role recently in Green Arrow: Into the Woods), having a seasoned genre character actor like Thompson in the series should bring some credibility to the show that is to feature several young actors in lead roles.

Mike Mayhew’s take on Moira Queen

Susanna Thompson may be best known for playing the Borg Queen opposite Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek Voyager.  She also played the Romulan Varel in the excellent classic episode “The Next Phase”–

and Jaya the inmate in the episode “Frame of Mind,” both from Star Trek: The Next Generation.  She later played trill Doctor Lenara Kahn opposite Terry Farrell’s Jadzia Dax in the Deep Space Nine episode “Rejoined.”

Thompson as a Trill in Deep Space Nine “Rejoined”

She has played plenty of other roles, including characters in Alien Nation: Dark Horizon, The X-Files, Twilight Zone, Law and Order: SVU, Without a Trace, Cold Case and another queen, Queen Rose Benjamin on Kings.

Katie Cassidy on New Girl

And it seems like the best way to get a role on Arrow is to have guest-starred on last (and this) year’s best comedy series, New Girl.  Yesterday the CW released that Oliver Queen’s girlfriend Dinah Lance aka Black Canary will be played by Supernatural actress Katie Cassidy.  Although in Dinah’s best incarnation in the comic book series she ran a floral shop called Sherwood Florist in Seattle with Ollie, the creators threw that back story out the window and have Dinah as a lawyer.  Cassidy is the daughter of 1970s singer/pop star David Cassidy (remember The Partridge Family? “I Think I Love You”? Yep, that guy).  She actually looks a bit like her dad.

Katie Cassidy on Supernatural

So will the producers go the right direction with dark-haired Dinah who sports a blonde wig, or wimp out and make her dyed blonde like recent incarnations?  Cassidy has played roles both ways and looks like she could carry off the part (visually at least) either way.  Cassidy’s past roles include Zoe on 7th Heaven (with ex-Star Trek actors Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks), Ruby on Supernatural, Trish on Harper’s Island, Ella on Melrose Place, and Juliet on Gossip Girl, along with roles in A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Click, and When a Stranger Calls (2006).  Most recently she played Brooke on the “Wedding” episode of New Girl.

Katie Cassidy on Harper’s Island

Behind the scenes, costume designer Colleen Atwood will be creating the new supersuit for Green Arrow and hopefully Black Canary as well.  Originally it was rumored that Tish Monaghan, a veteran costume designer for films Insomnia, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), Happy Gilmore, the Cats & Dogs series, the Twilight series, and the short-lived TV reboot of Bionic Woman would be doing the costume.

Cliff Chiang’s Black Canary

We reported earlier that Stephen Amell had been cast in the lead role as Oliver Queen.  Amell can be seen currently as Cece’s off-the-wall boyfriend on New Girl.  His high energy performance on that series may indicate he is a great choice for the role as the archer superhero.

We’ll share more about this new series as we hear it!

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

What better way to celebrate borg.com’s 100,000th site visit than share some news about one of our favorite superheroes?  Hollywood writer Jason McClain alerted me to this news item, as it’s no secret I’m one of the biggest Green Arrow fans around.  The news?

The CW Network has ordered a TV series pilot featuring Green Arrow that will, happily, not be related to the Smallville series’ spin on the character.  The producer/writers tapped to create the pilot are Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, the two writers responsible for last year’s Green Lantern movie, and ex-writer for the Green Arrow/Black Canary comic book series, Andrew Kreisberg.

Kreisberg took over the comic book series after Judd Winick moved off the GA/BC title.  He teamed with artist Mike Norton after Cliff Chiang left the series.  I have read Kreisberg’s take on Green Arrow and Black Canary, and I liked it.  Kreisberg wrote some good modern stories featuring the trio in both a lighthearted and action-packed way.  He clearly knows the roots of these characters and their strong relationships with each other, and hopefully he can convey that into the script for the pilot and get it onto the small screen.  He also once acknowledged that there is no other superhero team out there that is a married couple, that that IS Green Arrow’s story.  Right on!

Here are some unsolicited recommendations for Kreisberg, Berlanti and Guggenheim to make the series get off the ground right:

(1)  You might view your TV show as an ensemble show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  An ensemble genre work usually is better than a solo character-focused show (think about the failed series The Cape and why it didn’t work, for example) because although we all loved the title character of Buffy Summers, we loved supporting characters Willow and Xander even more.  And like the best Batman stories, letting the lead hero take the back seat once in a while is a good thing.  At the same time, I didn’t watch Smallville because Clark never donned the supersuit.  Show Green Arrow in action with the bow once in a while, but just not in every scene.

(2)  Take the best of the Green Arrow canon and it will easily translate to today.  The “Hard Traveling Heroes” storyline that put both Green Arrow and Green Lantern on the map and made us want to know more about these characters was a road trip across America.  Something like the Winchester boys moving across country with every new episode in Supernatural.  You might laugh, but On the Road with Charles Kuralt, the CBS segment where he took an off-the-beaten path tour of America, lasted decades for a reason.  Viewers liked to see where he would go next.  You’ll have an unlimited number of settings for your story, too, if you keep the team moving, assuming they let you work with all three characters.

The Kid, Etta, and Butch--archetype for Ollie, Dinah, and Hal

(3)  Everyone likes a good “buddy picture.”  I have mentioned before how the “Hard Traveling Heroes” storyline reflected the 1969 world view, and 1969 entertainment.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid came out in 1969 and was still in theaters when Denny O’Neil wrote the classic Green Arrow and Green Lantern crossover.  Did some of the hit movie rub off on O’Neil?  Who knows.  If you pay attention, you’ll see that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a buddy picture with three buddies, almost a “love triangle,” including some brotherly love between Butch and Ross’s character Etta Place.  That’s right, Katherine Ross’s role as the Kid’s girlfriend, and Butch’s pal, was as important to the film as each of the title characters.  Black Canary/Dinah Lance could have that same crucial role in a TV series about Ollie and Hal.

(4)  Even if Warner Brothers wants to keep Hal Jordan/Green Lantern out of the series, you must include Black Canary/Dinah Lance.  Don’t botch this by pulling ideas from the Dinah Lance of the short-lived Birds of Prey series.  It was good for what it was.  But you want dark-haired Dinah that sports the blonde wig used to go incognito, not the stilted friend of Oracle.  Green Arrow/Oliver Queen can go solo from time to time, but only when he can return to Dinah is he at his best.

(5)  Stay away from the DC 52 Green Arrow storyline and the obvious idea of having Oliver participate in some form of anti-big business Occupy Wall Street movement.  Sure, in real life, Ollie would be leading up the OWS marches, but I think most viewers don’t want a show about superheroes in current politics and as much as everyone hates greedy corporate America, more personal storylines will appeal to modern viewers.   The current series Leverage does this very well.  Think local.  Don’t have Ollie take on all of the world’s problems, have him take on each human problem bit by bit, maybe town by town.  It worked brilliantly for Adams and O’Neil.

Original Mike Norton art from a story under Kreisberg's turn as writer for Green Arrow/Black Canary

(6)  Oliver Queen is not Bruce Wayne.  He’s much more layered.  Queen is not a billionaire.  He lost all his money, and that allowed him to get interesting.  Don’t even waste time on his backstory as billionaire as it will only emphasize his role as a one-time obvious Batman knockoff.

(7)  Read up on your Mike Grell era of Green Arrow stories.  Grell was an ex-government intelligence guy who ended up writing spy novels and comic books.  He took the Neal Adams/Denny O’Neil Green Arrow and Black Canary and brought them into downtown Seattle and injected the backwoods survival skills and mixed it with street smarts.  He made Ollie the Urban Warrior.  This itself harkened back to the iconic Green Lantern Issue #76’s story whereby Green Arrow first takes on a greedy slumlord that Hal Jordan was unintentionally actually helping.

Personal sketch of Ollie and Dinah by Mike Grell

(8)  We know from past interviews that Andrew Kreisberg likes the role of Green Arrow and Black Canary as Oliver and Dinah–husband and wife.  Consider building on Mike Grell’s series, where they run the Sherwood Florist in Seattle by day.  And what the heck, work in Mia and Connor if you can.  And if you must update costumes, you gotta bring back Ollie’s goatee.  As Mikel Janin proved with his excellent recent update to similarly costumed Zatanna, Dinah’s fishnets can be optional.

(9)  The Flash TV series had a lot going for it.  One was the age of the actor in the lead roll, John Wesley Shipp, former soap actor.  He wasn’t 20-something.  He was 35 and looked like he could be a superhero in real life.  If you’re staying away from Smallville (a great move) then give us heroes who have had time to gain some wisdom, not some newbies who have no way of practically knowing all they would need to know in real life to get through their trials on the show (the TV series Bones is a big example of this glaring absurdity with its only-young cast that has knowledge you could only gain by being twice the age of the cast members).  Look for actors in their 30s or or even early 40s.

(10)  Suggested title?  If you take any of the ideas above, how about Hard Traveling, Hard Traveling Hero, or Hard Traveling Heroes?  Of course there are always other former storyline titles like Quiver.

I have no idea what limitations will be placed on Kreisberg & Co. as they work out the script for the TV series pilot.  Maybe they have no intention of including Hal and Dinah, but if they can, it could be something new and different and very fun.

If you want to see Andrew Kreisberg’s stories while writing for Ollie and Dinah, you can buy compilations, including: Green Arrow/Black Canary: Enemies List, Green Arrow/Black Canary: Big Game, and Green Arrow/Black Canary: Five Stages.

And Andrew, if you need help with story ideas, drop me a line.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

   

Review by C.J. Bunce

(with spoilers)

One of the most anticipated titles of DC Comics New 52 is Wonder Woman, and its tight writing by Brian Azzarello is only slightly eclipsed by the brilliant artistry of top artist Cliff Chiang.  Chiang’s style alone is enough to make the new Wonder Woman series a title to keep reading.  But Azzarello’s developing story steeped (if not fully submerged) in Greek mythology is enticing and leaves you looking for what’s next.

In Issue #1 we meet Wonder Woman in in her London apartment, sleeping naked, of course (she’s a woman superhero in the new DCU so what else would you expect?) shortly after Zola, the soon-to-be mother of an illegitimate daughter of Zeus is pursued by a pair of bow and arrow and mace-toting centaurs released in a Virginia barn by a peacock feathered Hera.  (Phew!)  The “release” itself is disturbing but that’s where the negative part of Issue #1 ends.  The rest is akin to a pretty rousing episode of Xena: Warrior Princess.  Not a bad thing at all.

Even if we don’t know what’s going on, Wonder Woman, or Diana, as she prefers to be called, is confident and comfortable as a determined and skillful warrior in the DCU.  Apollo, perched high atop his new temple in the tallest building in the world in Dubai, is a modern sleazy type, quick to expend three hanger-on-ers as oracles to catch a glimpse of what transpires as Diana saves Zola, who escapes the Virginia farm with the help of a magic key handed to her by Hermes.   Inexplicably Zola lands in the dark of Diana’s London apartment and we’re off on a Xena and Gabrielle-esque ride from then on.

Issue #2 picks up with Diana returning to Mount Olympus carrying the wounded Hermes, stricken by the centaurs before Diana eliminates them.  There Diana meets up with her mother, Queen Hippolyta and has a few nice panels of combat with another Amazonian princess in the tribe.  A rather punked-out looking daughter of Hera named Strife, sister to Ares the God of War, arrives with a surprising claim on our eponymous superheroine.

The story of Issue #2 may be short and sweet, but the fan is had with Chiang’s art again.  If you have seen Chiang’s original artwork before, you will know his work is pristine with not a lot of sketching, just bold lines.  Despite all the chatter in advance about Wonder Woman’s new costume, ultimately it does not matter as this Diana is drawn beautifully, as you’d expect a stunning Amazon princess to look in the comic pages.  Her characterization as bold, brash, outspoken and brassy is right where Wonder Woman should be.  Expect to see Chiang in the next few years emerge as the next Frank Cho.

Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s no secret that Green Arrow is my favorite DCU character.  As re-envisioned in the early 1970s by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, he became less of a Batman knockoff and more of a completely separate and identifiable voice.  Even early on with O’Neil and Adams, Green Arrow and Green Lantern were a mirror image of Batman and Superman.  Superman tending to be the holier than thou determiner of right and wrong, and Batman more subversive, critical of the powers that be, cutting through everything to solve real problems, in a practical way.  Green Arrow was influential, even in his first meeting with Hal in Green Lantern 76.  Over the years Green Lantern, watcher and guardian of Earth, became more like Green Arrow, critical of the status quo.  Green Lantern/Hal Jordan learned from Green Arrow/Oliver Queen as their relationship grew.  But lately, especially with the recent Green Lantern movie, it’s getting harder to tell Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen apart, with Hal becoming more critical and brooding.

The DC Comics New 52 Green Arrow #1 came out two weeks ago.  I read issue #1 quickly.  Then I put it aside because I hate when reviewers, instead of reviewing what is in front of them, review what they wish was in front of them.  Hence the delay.  So I re-read it.  And I still find it baffling.

I also read the one-shot issue Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries, which seemed to be a lead in to the new Green ArrowGreen Arrow Industries has Oliver Queen as the head of some military industrial complex.  He is Tony Stark from Marvel Comics’s Iron Man, and nothing else.  Other than in the first Iron Man movie, I have never cared for Tony Stark.  He is arrogant.  He lives a life of privilege.  Oliver Queen is not that guy–his back story is that he was a millionaire that lost all of his money.  He is not the owner of Halliburton or of Stark Industries or of Wayne Tech.

Queen learned what is important is watching out for the little guy.  The Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries one-shot may be the most unexplainable, out of left field one-shots I have read.  Right up there with the bizarre Green Arrow: One Million book from a few years back, but at least that book had some context.  As expected, the New 52 continues with Green Arrow as this new leader of what is called Queen Industries.

The new Green Arrow is gadget happy.  Oliver Queen has never needed to rely on gadgets to be a superhero.  Like Batman, Green Arrow has no super powers.  He uses his brain.  He solves mysteries.  Gadgets?  That’s for Bruce Wayne.  We like Bruce Wayne and his toys.  Again, that’s not Oliver Queen, except for one thing:  trick arrows.  That said, the best Green Arrow stories leave out the trick arrows.  They are an amusing gimmick that even Oliver Queen jokes about when using them.  Oliver Queen doesn’t need a trick arrow with bluetooth technology that can be shot onto a boat and allow someone far away to control the boat via satellite.  A nice idea for someone else?  Maybe.  Put that story in the next Batman arc.  And Green Arrow also doesn’t need a Geordi LaForge-like visor.  Green Arrow just wears a mask for disguise.  He doesn’t need X-ray vision.

Neither is Oliver Queen James Bond.  We love James Bond.  But the two guys just are not much alike.  Part of the problem may be that even JT Krul has acknowledged Queen’s new “globe-trotting, James Bond, high adventures.”  Writers and artists who are not familiar with Green Arrow’s decades of character study and growth might think they are the same.  And I think the guys rebooting Green Arrow wish they were writing Tony Stark for Marvel Comics.

Recent issues of Green Arrow have shown Green Arrow as a hunter.  That makes more sense.  Oliver Queen was inspired by Robin Hood, specifically the classic film The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn.  Oliver Queen can survive in a forest, like Robin Hood in Sherwood.  And all he needs are arrows and a bow.  Nothing else.  No iPads or iPhones (called not-so-creatively qPads and qPhones in this issue).  No Oracle-type helper constantly feeding him the latest tech data.  Queen also knows how to adapt his carefully honed skills to the life of the urban cliff dweller.

Recent storylines had Green Arrow losing control because the baddies hurt his friend Roy Harper, formerly his sidekick Speedy, and killed one of Harper’s kids.  Oliver Queen murders the evil Prometheus in revenge, and the Justice League gets on his case for not properly bringing Prometheus to justice.  Like Batman over the years, Green Arrow issued some vigilante justice.  That storyline was interesting and going someplace.  The new Green Arrow is preachy and sounds like the old Silver Age Hal Jordan or Superman.

The new Green Arrow has no similarities to the O’Neil/Adams creation.  It has no similarity to 100 issues of the Green Arrow as further refined by Mike Grell.  It has no familiarity to the faithful ongoing adventures re-envisioned by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Brad Meltzer, Judd Winick, or even the artist Jock.  Fans of Green Arrow as interpreted by Cliff Chiang and Mauro Cascioli will not recognize the new Green Arrow.

So what is the audience for the new Green Arrow?  I think I figured it out: (1) Readers who do not like Oliver Queen, or (2) readers who really liked his son Connor Hawke as Green Arrow.  Or readers who like a stubbly looking hero like Wolverine.

After Queen supposedly died (in the last 30+ issues of the first ongoing Green Arrow series that started with the Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters mini-series), Hawke took over as Green Arrow, sometimes referred to as Green Arrow II.  Hawke was purportedly written for a newer audience.  I would understand the new Green Arrow series if only they referred to the new Green Arrow as Connor Hawke.  The similarities are all there:  Hawke has no Van Dyke beard or goatee like Queen had.  Hawke had this more vinyl/leather looking suit, like the Green Arrow on Smallville wore, and like the new Green Arrow is wearing.  Hawke had this ongoing grudge against one thing or the other.  If this is where DC’s editors want to go, why not take Hawke along for the ride and give fans of Green Arrow our goateed hunter and partner to Dinah Lance and pal to Hal Jordan back?

Here is the new Green Arrow:

…and here is the more similarly drawn Connor Hawke:

If you take on a beloved character that has a 70+ year back story, you should be passionate about that character.  DC Comics announced this month that JT Krul is no longer writing Green Arrow with issue #4.  Good choice, JT.  JT Krul has written solid Green Arrow stories before.  His non-Green Arrow stories are also awesome, including his work on the new Captain Atom.  So what happened?  Was Green Arrow just an unfortunate casuality of mismatched post-its on the wall of the DC editors when re-assigning characters in the new DCU?  Does anyone love this new Green Arrow?  Will replacement writer Keith Giffen be given any latitude to fix the direction of the new Ollie?  We can only hope.  My guess is Krul was just hamstrung by new decisions of the editorial team.  So far I have enjoyed the rest of the New 52 for the most part.  “You can’t please everyone on everything” probably applies here.

Even if this series was not about Green Arrow–about some other new character with this plot–I think storylines that have used the reality TV storyline, as Green Arrow #1 does, televising anything and everything, are just tired.  The Running Man did it and The Hunger Games did it again.  Enough already.

And not to throw too many darts at the new Green Arrow series, but what’s with these new villain names: Dynamix?  Doppelganger?  Supercharge?  About the only thing right about the new Oliver Queen is he is back in Seattle where he belongs.

Had DC changed Batman or Superman as they did Green Arrow, they would have lost a ton of readers.  You can’t remove Batman’s cowl and his detective work or Superman’s cape and kryptonite and still call them Batman and Superman.  Same goes for Green Arrow’s goatee and the essential elements of his character.   You strip away the basics and it’s no longer the same guy.

Two weeks ago I posted a list of all 52 new DC Comics titles that will be re-starting with issue #1 beginning this September.  The following highlights four artists that we expect to see featured this Fall, three definite and one rumored to be doing at least some cover work. 

First off is Scottish artist Mark Simpson who works under the pen name Jock, who has been doing an impressive run on Detective Comics this year.  Although the actual issue #1 was previewed with a cover by Jim Lee, the below startling image was released by Jock as a coming issue cover.  Whether it will come before or after the re-launch has not yet been revealed.

 

Pretty gruesome image, huh?  What Jock excels at is his black watercolor splashes that form striking images of frenetic energy.  His work is intense and you get to see that in this image that is devoid of much coloring–allowing his original image to shine through.  Following my general passion for Green Arrow, below is an earlier original painted page by Jock from his series Green Arrow: Year One, reflecting Green Arrow marooned on this title page to the fourth issue in the series.

Jock’s style is his own–up close his brush strokes seem quick and haphazard, yet altogether you see a grand statement of desperation.  Before his days of fancy trick arrows, here we see Oliver Queen stuck with a thrown together couple of quivers and hand-made arrows.   Check out Jock’s website for more great examples of his work.

Next up is the artist whose work is so technically pristine that you find yourself searching his original pencils and inks for any hint of a stray mark or sketch line.  Cliff Chiang was selected as the artist for the new Wonder Woman series.  Here is his cover for the first issue. 

Cliff has done plenty of illustrations across the DC universe, from Batman to Zatanna.  With his exceptional work on the women heroes of the DCU we have a lot to look forward to with Wonder Woman later this year.  Below shows Cliff’s work prior to it being colored. 

This is the cover to Green Arrow/Black Canary Issue #1, featuring Canary and the new Green Arrow who had briefly replaced Oliver and went on to become Red Arrow.  Just check out Cliff’s stunning pencils and inks.  Check out Cliff’s website for more great examples of his work.

Next up is digital comic artist Freddie Williams II, who wrote the book on digital drawing.  Actually he literally wrote the book on digital drawing, for DC Comics.  Check it out here the DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics.  Freddie has defined the drawing style and method of the future, with his first big break is the main illustrator for the Robin series.  In September Freddie will be responsible for the art in the new Captain Atom series.  Although DC has not yet released any advance look at Freddie’s pages for the series, here is a sketch of Green Arrow and Black Canary he did for me a few years ago. 

What jumps out with Freddie’s work is movement and action-whether it is Robin swinging across the page or Green Arrow here ready to put an arrow through the reader.  And as you can see with the look on Dinah’s face, skowling at Ollie’s over-exuberance with one hand in pocket and the other held tight, he knows how to draw a humorous page, too.  Check out Freddie’s website for some of his work.

My final artist for today is Scott McDaniel, who will be drawing an entirely new title and character, “Static Shock” in Static Shock #1.  Here is his original cover art for issue #1 before going to the coloring phase.

 

Scott had a nice run on the second Green Arrow series, and here is the original art to his cover for issue #64.

Like the other artists above, Scott’s style stands out as his own.  His heroes are drawn large and in-charge and practically bust their way off the page.  Check out Scott’s website for more great images.

If these artists are indication, we’ll have some great visuals to look forward to this Fall.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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

Editor

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