Shane Talks Previews: October 2009 - DC Comics

I've been realllllllly lax on posting on this blog.  There's a lot I want to do--some more Number One reviews, some trade reviews, an entire post about how you should read Phonogram and if you aren't you are missing out on one of the best comics ever...but, I figure I'll start with trying to get my look at Previews done.  Maybe I'll even finish it this month!  We will see.

I haven't actually gotten my copy of Previews in the mail yet--usually it's here by now, I'm not really sure why it hasn't arrived--so I'll be doing this entirely from the internet.

Azrael #1

This, this is the sort of book that Fabian Nicieza excels at.  An ongoing title featuring a D-list character that he can really shape.  I'm actually rather surprised to see Ramon Bachs on the art duties, because he's still listed as working on Red Robin this month.  I figured that one of the artists from the annuals--Calafiore or Mandrake--would be working on this title...but no, at least not yet.  Anyway, releasing the two annuals and then this title over the course of just three weeks sounds like a good strategy to keep the excitement going, so I'm optimistic.  We'll see how this goes, but reaction for the miniseries was fairly positive.

Arkham Reborn #1 (of 3)

The second new Batman launch of the month follows up on the fairly well-reviewed Arkham Asylum one-shot from earlier this year.  Arkham's been more or less ignored lately, serving as just a basic setting or plot device, but I think that it has so much potential--it's just creepy when done right.  David Hine excels at telling horror stories (his Spawn run was rather innovative), so I think that this will be a good book.

Batman: The Unseen #1 and 2 (of 5)

I love Kelley Jones' Batman.  He's eerie, demonic, more of a presence than a person.  He's exactly the way that I'd imagine the criminals of Gotham see him--a force, always there, waiting, coming to get you.  So really, any excuse to see him draw Batman again makes me happy, and I like that he's had a fairly steady set of limited runs to show off his skill.  Reuniting him with Dough Moench is just icing on the cake.

World's Finest #1 (of 4)

The newest volume of World's Finest will finally show the new Batman family and the new Superman family interact.  We've seen bits and pieces, but not too much--for the most part, they've been in their own little worlds, and that's good, it really gives them a chance to solidify their own direction.  But there's plenty of fun to be had here, too, and giving Sterling Gates (the only writer to really make the relaunched Supergirl "sing") the reigns is a good choice.  I can't wait for the hardcover of this.  I assume that the miniseries won't just focus on Nightwing, Flamebird and Red Robin, but will also pull in other characters--Grayson-as-Batman, the new Batgirl, Damien-as-Robin, Mon-El, Guardian, and others.

DCU Halloween Special 2009

Most people will probably look at Blackest Night for their horror fix this October, or to the many horror titles coming out from other companies this month (of which I ordered many--it is, after all, Halloween!)  But I really enjoy these holiday-themed books that DC puts out every year.  Sure, they're not brilliant (although the creative teams keep improving with each issue--Billy Tucci!  Rags Morales!--and it's often a good chance to see forgotten creators return).  I just really enjoy sitting down on the holiday in question and reading the issue, really getting into the spirit of things.  Unfortunately, I'll probably have to spring for weekly shipping to get this by Halloween...

Justice League of America #38

The new direction starts here!  Neither of these creators are exactly unknowns, and both have a history of strong, reliable work.  So I'm really, really looking forward to this book (of course, I'll be more excited when we get to see Mon-El, Donna Troy and Dick-as-Batman in the spotlight, coming soon!)  I really don't have too much else to say about this, other than that it's a shame that Dwayne McDuffie couldn't have been given the leeway to go in his own direction, as Robinson seems to be.

R.E.B.E.L.S. Annual: Starro the Conquerer

Okay, people need to be reading this book.  Seriously.  It's a serious cosmic title with unique characters, engaging plots, and ties to all over the DC Universe.  It is written by a talented writer and drawn by incredibly talented artists.  I hope that this annual, about Starro the Conquerer, draws in more readers (although as talented as they are, I wouldn't necessarily call any of the artists attached to this issue "top artists").  Still--please, buy this book, it is one of my favorite titles and it is dying!

As always, other comments:

The currently running Blackest Night tie-in miniseries (Superman, Batman, Titans) finish up, making room for the next round (I know of Wonder Woman and Flash--any others come to mind?)

Final Crisis: Aftermath concludes.  Despite loving everything about Final Crisis, I haven'tfollowed these books, but I'm looking forward to the trade editions (which, based on reviews, seems to be the way to go).  After that, we're just waiting on The Multiversity (presumably out in 2010) for when Grant Morrison makes his return to these concepts.

Tony Daniel returns to Batman for a story arc following up on Battle for the Cowl.  I really, really hope that he's improved as a writer, because...well, I do not want to see another Battle for the Cowl.

Chris Yost wanders over to Streets of Gotham for a fill-in arc.  Paul Dini's Detective Comics run had numerous fill-ins, so I'm not surprised to see them here (he may not be doing Countdown anymore, but he is doing Gotham City Sirens and will be launching the Zatanna ongoing soon).  In this case, though, I'm happy to see that Chris Yost--part of the current Bat-family creative team--is coming on board, instead of the random names we saw on Detective.

Jim Starlin's massive DC cosmic story finally concludes with the last issue of Strange Adventures.  I've enjoyed what I've read of it--it's not a brilliant book, but as with most things Starlin's done, it's reliable.  After this, though, I hope that DC focuses on promoting R.E.B.E.L.S.

Oooh, Walt Simonson goes over to Vigilante for art duties?  Interesting.  Not exactly a favorite title of mine, but it's always a treat to see Walt Simonson interiors...I wonder, is he just on for this issue, or is he going to be part of the regular creative team in an attempt to keep this book alive?  If so, it's a shame to see Leonardi go, but...Simonson!

Mike Grell is doing the pencils for the first of two issues of Warlord.  I hear that the title has been rather disappointing, but maybe this will help?


  1. I'm with you on R.E.B.E.L.S.. I've been there from the begining. And I hope Simonson is on Vigilante full time. I love his art.

  2. I'll be giving AZRAEL and ARKHAM REBORN a try, and continue with following BLACKEST NIGHT, DETECTIVE, STREETS OF GOTHAM, RED ROBIN, GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, and THE UNWRITTEN. I'm also ordering PLANETARY (the last issue!, after some years delay) and possibly the AIR VOLUME 2 and HELLBLAZER; SCAB trade paperbacks, depending on my budget. Anybody want to share these costs with me? I read them and then sell to you at 1/2 off? . . or some other arrangement if you like. If it sounds like a good deal,write to my personal email . . . . . Mike


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