Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Image and DC in August 

Image Comics in August

I'm vaguely surprised to see Ant has made the jump to Image, but I probably shouldn't be. There's no indication in the solicitation if this is a new story or a republication of the original mini.

In fact, there's a bunch of first issues and OGN's listed here that could really benefit from more descriptive solicitations. Dusty Star, Ferro City, The Facless: A Terry Sharp Story, Indigo Vertigo, Seasons of the Witch and Wings of Anansi are going to be horrendously under-ordered with such sketchy info, especially since launching a bunch of new titles all at the same time doesn't work, as retailers get skittish. Add Image's stellar track record for getting stuff out on time, not to mention the rapid cancellation or disappearance that marginal selling Image titles tend to experience, and I'd say if you have any interest in these titles at all, you'd better pre-order.

Coyote joins the ranks of cult-hit 80s comics to get the republication treatment. All we need now are Whisper, Badger and Troll Lords to come out in new editions and it'll be like the last comics crash never happened…

The Necromancer mini launches through Top Cow…and you can also get a limited edition lithograph, a poster, and a pre-slabbed and CGC-graded copy of the first issue. And with that many merchandise tie-ins for the first issue of a comic from writers and artists I've never heard of, it's easy to see why "This is the jumping-on point for what will undoubtedly be one of the most talked-about series of 2005 and beyond-don't miss the magic!"

Mark Waid has apparently already jumped ship from the City of Heroes comic. And now's your chance to buy a special foil-enhanced copy of the first issue, bundled with the discs for the game. Because apparently somebody thinks that this comic will appeal to people who aren't already playing the game.

As for the rest of the solicitations…the same old, same old from Image. Absolutely nothing I might be interested in from the looks of it, lots of art that doesn't appeal to me, and lots of concepts that are probably well past their "best by" date. I'm even thinking of changing my COH subscription to opt-out of the comic, this new version is so unappealing to me.

DC in August

Batman: Journey into Knight: Anyone want to take bets on whether or not this title, Superman: Birthright style, will attempt to work non-comics material into the character's backstory?

Detective and Batman interrupt their regular storylines for a mini-crossover tying up loose ends from War Games. Given the number of titles that made up the War Games story, how can there possibly be loose ends? And why weren't they tied up at the time?

Robin's Golden Age solo stories get the Archive Edition treatment. Whose kneecaps do I need to break to get a Wildcat Archive?

The Teen Titans guest star in Gotham Central. The cover is vaguely amusing.

Y'know, I don't dislike either Jeph Loeb or Ian Churchill…but I really think that a heavy continuity Supergirl title is the wrong tack to take on the character. The character needs as few ties to the rest of the DCU as possible to appeal to anyone other than the already existing fan-base. I get parents in the store all the time looking for super-hero comics with female characters, but if I sell them a book in which they have to try to explain who Power Girl is, and what her relationship with Supergirl is, they're not going to come back for more. Whereas, if I sold them a book in which Supergirl just goes off and has an adventure, I'd probably get repeat business on the title. Plus, the cover strikes me as ill-conceived. Mostly because the peek-a-boo costume and the low-slung mini-skirt are over-emphasized.

Boy, the cover for the Identity Crisis hard-cover is really desperately trying to avoid looking like a comic book, isn't it?

The Warren Ellis and Gary Erksine collaboration Jack Cross launches. I was, for some reason, under the impression that this book actually takes place in the DCU, so I'm a little confused as to why that information was left out of the solicitation. Yes, Warren Ellis does have a following, and yes, smart retailers will order the book in quantities to satisfy the Ellis readers in their area…but the other 90% of the retailers out there will probably only order this book in sufficient quantities if it has ties to the DCU.

DC's Greatest Imaginary Stories Ever Told is a great idea for a trade. I have no idea if it will have any appeal to anyone other than those who appreciate the goofier aspects of the Silver Age at DC, but I'll probably pick up a copy.

I'll be picking up Justice for Pete, as it is his sort of thing, and he liked Earth X from the same creative team. But I'm wondering…did the world really need a grim updating of the Legion of Doom? Is Alex Ross determined to reimagine every single cartoon he ever watched as a kid into a more "adult" version just because it suits his sensibilities?

The unappealing Poser-esque covers continue on JLA: Classified. It's too bad they couldn't get Guice to do the covers. Meanwhile, in JSA: Classified, it looks as if Power Girl's origin may tie-in to the Legion of Super-Heroes in some way. Because tying her into any incarnation of the Legion is the most sensible way to streamline her backstory…

Over in Seven Soldiers land, Shining Knight concludes, and Klarion makes it to New York. That Klarion cover is great, the use of the fish-eye effect really drives home the disorientation of Klarion.

Solo #6 features the art of Jordi Bernet, who I'm not familiar with at all. None of the writers are anyone whose work has really stood out for me in the past, either. I suppose I'll give it a shot, but the girlie shot on the cover doesn't instill me with much confidence.

Rob Liefeld is drawing the Teen Titans. At least it's a story about Hawk and Dove, giving the enterprise an appropriately nostalgic edge.

Wonder Woman #220 has a bondage cover. Trust me, that'll make it sell for some people.

I'm sort of starting to think that DC wanted to stake out the "mature readers" manga territory with their CMX line. Tesotarotho looks to be a fairly uninspired violent fan-service title. And while Planet Ladder did nothing for me, we had a strong following for it at the store, and so Young Magician should do well for us. Plus, that's a very pretty cover.

I think I may be the only person digging Musashi #9.

Ordering big on Wildsiderz will probably be a no-brainer for us, as Campbell has a strong following at our store, and there's been a lot of anticipation for new work for him, even from the people who find the concept of the new series a little goofy and would rather he just go back to Danger Girl.

The final Maxx trade is released, and it's a good thing too, as just recently have we started to see interest in the books. Prior to the last few months, when people would come in looking for Sam Kieth stuff they'd turn their nose up at Maxx…I know, I don't get it either, the only explanation I can think of is they already have it. That, or the usual excuse I get, which is "but Wolverine isn't in this."

I’m not familiar with Paul DiFillipo's work as a novelist, but I can't imagine he'd be too bad a fit for Top Ten, especially with Jerry Ordway on art.

For those who still care, the Adversary is finally revealed in Fables #40. And over in Y: The Last Man, we finally find out what's been up with Beth. And from the tone of the solicitation, am I supposed to think that Pia Guerra is no longer the regular artist on the title?

A hardcover edition of V for Vendetta is scheduled, along with the Absolute edition of Watchmen. To wring the last possible dime out of Alan Moore completeists I'd guess, as well as ride the hoped for movie gravy-train.

Some sick part of me is actually kind of wanting the newest DC Direct action figure sets. At least some of them. Dan Brereton inspired Batman and Batgirl figures sound really good to me. And I can't say I ever expected to get a Red Hood action figure. The method of "unmasking" Superman is kind of goofily fun as well. Heck, even the second set of Batman and Batgirl figures look kind of cool, in a nerdy sort of way.


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