Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DC relaunch update!

It's been bout 2 weeks since DC Comics announced the massive restructuring and relaunching of their main comic book series. Many more details have come out, and superhero-loving bloggers have compiled the cover art and series descriptions into handy posts like this one. Some info that may be interesting to HWC readers:

- DC being DC, the superhero genre dominates. A few titles seem to blend superheroes with the war, western, and horror genres, though, so even if caped crusaders aren't your favorite there may still be something you'll enjoy.

- This relaunch was definitely made with new readers in mind. The first issue descriptions mostly sound like introductions, so readers unfamiliar with certain teams or characters can expect to get the basic information necessary to dive into later storylines.

- A few questionable costume changes aside - this cover featuring Harley Quinn has gotten some criticism - DC seems to have gotten the message that readers like their superheroines in costumes that are both sexy and practical for crimefighting. (Well, as practical as brightly-colored wetsuits ever get.) The vast majority of covers featuring women focus on kicking ass, rather than, um, showing ass.

Time will tell how well these new-reader-friendly features will stick, but at least for the time being it sounds like DC really is set on inviting a new audience to its superhero universe.

Speaking of which, check behind the cut for a list of the titles I'm most psyched about!

Justice League International
#1 written by Ivan Brandon, art by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan
Description: With the growing presence of super beings around the world, the United Nations resolves to create a new group called Justice League International. Batman, Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron, Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red are charged with promoting unity and trust – but can they reach that goal without killing each other first?

I can't quite put a finger on why I want to read it, but dangit, I do. A dysfunctional international superhero team - could be pretty fun!

Static Shock
#1 written by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum, art by Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion
Description: The brilliant, slightly awkward high school student Virgil Hawkins transforms into the cocky electromagnetic hero Static! A mysterious tragedy forces the Hawkins family to relocate from Dakota to New York City! Virgil embarks upon new adventures in a new high school and a new internship at S.T.A.R. Labs! As Static, he dons a new uniform and establishes a new secret headquarters! But is he ready to take on the new villains who lurk in New York City’s underworld?

Honestly, I loved the show too much as a kid to not read this.

#1 written by J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, art by J. H. Williams III
Description: In “Hydrology,” part 1 of 5, Batwoman faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City’s underworld – and new trials in her life as Kate Kane. Who or what is stealing children from the barrio, and for what vile purpose? Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird), as her new sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane?

The kind of people who spend ages waiting for new superhero series have spent ages waiting for Batwoman - it's kind of hard not to get swept up in the anticipation. Plus, look at that awesome cover!

Legion Lost
#1 written by Fabian Nicieza, art by Pete Woods
Description: Seven heroes from the 31st century have traveled back to the present day. Their mission: Save their future from annihilation. But when the future tech they brought with them fails, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world that, for them, is the ultimate struggle to survive!

I adore time travel stories, as can be evidenced by the fifty zillion episodes of Doctor Who I have saved on my DVR. This is another story that sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Plus, Pete Wood is a great artist - he's got the kind of sliiiiiiightly cartoony style I like to see in superhero comics.

Mister Terrific
#1 written by Eric Wallace, art by Roger Robinson
Description: The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors – uses his brains and fists against science gone mad in this new series from Eric Wallace (TITANS) and Roger Robinson!Michael Holt is the head of a successful high-tech corporation and an institute that recruits and encourages the finest minds of the next generation to excel. As Mister Terrific he inhabits a world of amazement few others know exists, let alone can comprehend.

I'm a bit more of a Marvel girl, so let me try and put this in terms I understand: He's Tony Stark crossed with Charles Xavier, inside the Matrix? That's probably totally wrong, but still: Sounds good. I'm in.

Blue Beetle
#1 written by Tony Bedard, art by Ig Guara and Roy Jose
Description: It’s not easy being Jaime Reyes. He has to deal with high school, family and all the drama that comes with being a teenager. Also, he’s linked to a powerful scarab created by an alien race known as the Reach who seek to subjugate planets – or annihilate them. It’s up to one teen hero to turn this instrument of destruction into a force for good.

The sorts of people who know these kinds of things assure me that Jaime Reyes is a cool character, and I'm prepared to believe them.

DC Universe Presents
#1 written by Paul Jenkins, art by Bernard Chang
Description: It’s the start of a new series spotlighting some of the DC Universes’s most exciting super heroes! First up is Deadman, straight from the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY, in a five-issue epic where the body-hopping hero meets his match in a new foe who wants to make sure the souls that Deadman helps out go straight to Hell!

As a series of short stories and miniseries focusing on different characters, this should be a good way to get to know the heroes who don't make it into the ongoing titles. And I've always been a little intrigued by the Deadman concept, so that's as good a place to start as any.

The Flash
#1 written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, art by Francis Manapul
Description: The Fastest Man Alive returns to his own monthly series from the writer/artist team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato! The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who really can! As if that’s not bad enough, this villain is a close friend!

Likewise, I find the Flash pretty interesting, but the continuity with the character was a bit much for me. Hopefully the introductory style of this relaunch will let me get used to him before bringing up the more complex stuff.

 . . . aaand that's about it! I may get talked into trying some of the other titles, and it's possible I'll like one of these less than expected and drop it, but for now these are the #1s I'm most excited about. If any of them are consistently excellent, I'll be sure to mention it here on HWC!

1 comment:

  1. I am more of a Marvel fan though I love a lot of DC's Vertigo range. I am looking forward to the relaunch.

    Legion Lost and Justice League International are two that most excite me. I am also am curious about Wonder Woman mostly because Brian Azzarello is writing it. Also the only Teen Titans I've read is the 80s stuff, (Judas Contract, Nightwing era) so I see this as a good time to check out the new version.

    Depending on how much spare money I have I will proably check out Justice League, and the DC Universe Presents, for the Deadman arc anyway. You've also reminded me how much I loved Static Shock cartoon so may stretch out money to check out the first issue of that as well. :)