Previews: DC Comics - February 2010
Anyway! There actually isn't too much of note with DC Comics this month--Blackest Night continues onward and a few titles return to their regular storylines after the crossovers--but there are a few interesting things of note, and that's what we'll be looking at.
Milestone Forever #1 (of 2) - DC Comics
When it was first revealed that the Milestone characters would be integrated into the DC Universe, this series--something to tie up the original Milestone storylines--was suggested, but no announcement followed. Instead, we did get the introductions of the characters--Static in Terror Titans, Icon and the Shadow Cabinet in Justice League of America, and others in Brave and the Bold. Dwayne McDuffie was heavily involved in all of this, including writing the JLA issues, but after being fired from the title, many people wondered what would happen. Static was appearing regularly in Teen Titans, sure--but that was it. Icon would've been part of the JLA, but with McDuffie's departure that was obviously no longer the plan, and Dan Didio said that there were, in fact, no other plans for the characters at this moment.
It's good to see that McDuffie is returning for this. I know that not everyone is a fan of these characters, but I think that Milestone produced many underrated titles. They're not masterpieces, maybe, but it was a very, very solid line, consistent for years. I'm glad that DC is continuing to publish collections featuring the characters, and I'd recommend them.
This series will, presumably, end the Milestone universe and "recreate" the characters to match their appearances in recent DC titles. In some ways, I'd consider it similar to the recently-reviewed Tanget: Superman's Reign, reintroducing characters from a DC imprint of the 90's, a final epilogue to their story. Hopefully, this is just a beginning and not an end.
Human Target #1 (of 6) - DC Comics
This is the other big launch of the month. Len Wein created this character years ago, and with the recent television adaptation (hopefully more successful than the first one), he makes his return to the character. I have very limited experience with the Human Target, but Len Wein's recent return to DC demonstrated that he's still capable of telling very solid stories, avoiding most traps that "older" creators fall into. I don't see him becoming a modern comics superstar, but he's competent, and I'll be ordering the trade of this, and giving the television show a try as well.
The Web #6 - DC Comics
Matthew Sturges comes on board, taking over after Angela Robinson's brief stint and Marc Guggenheim's fill-in issue. Sturges has been somewhat hit-and-miss, but lately he's been on his game much more than before, coming into his own, no longer just "Willingham-lite". I think Sturges suggested that he'd be tying the Web in with his JSA All-Stars run somewhat, but don't quote me on that--if he did, though, it might be a good way to help preserve both titles. The launch of two Red Circle ongoings, without JMS attached, was risky--and it's not like JMS brought huge sales to the one-shots, either--but I'm really intrigued, and I hope that DC sticks with this for a bit and lets it find its footing. With Sturges and Trautmann writing the main features, they'll be reliable at the least, and both writers have displayed a talent for long-term storytelling--I just hope that they get a chance to use that. Plus, any excuse to see more of these covers makes he happy. They're amazing.
Another note here--Derenick and Sienkiewicz are just an incredible combination. I read Reign in Hell recently and was blown away. I can't wait to see how they've been doing on The Web.
Titans #22 - DC Comics
The Titans franchise hasn't exactly been at the top the sales charts lately--after Geoff Johns left, Teen Titans continued to fall, and surprisingly, Titans did the same with Judd Winick's departure--he's not my favorite writer, but his Titans work apparently clicked with a lot of readers. DC is making an attempt to reinvigorate the franchise, by moving many of the classic players to Justice League of America, putting other iconic Titans into Teen Titans (Beast Boy, Raven, Kid Flash, presumably Superboy), and reinventing this title into a Deathstroke-led team. It's an idea that's been toyed with before, during Titans Hunt back in the early 90's, but I think that it has potential--depending on the creative team and the ultimate choice of direction. It won't stand on its own, not in the current DCU, but if the writers can tie this and Teen Titans together, I think that they'll have a chance to pull the franchise back up.
Anyway! This is the first of the two-part story that brings the classic team to a close. I'm really interested to see how it goes, actually--I'm a longtime Titans fan, and I'm pleased with Dan Didio's enthusiasm to get this franchise back on top. Hopefully it works.
Demo Volume 2 #1 (of 6) - Vertigo
You know? I still haven't read a single Brian Wood comic. Weird.
But I know that others have, and that he's generally hailed as amazing, so I thought I'd make a note of this. His earlier series, Demo, makes its return here, and hopefully it'll do just as well. I probably should get around to reading the DMZ trades I own.
Speaking of, what a nice transition to my other notes!
DMZ reaches issue 50 this month. That's a huge milestone for any comic, but especially for one that doesn't feature superhero icons in today's market. Good for Wood.
Speaking of issue 50, Michael Turner returns from the grave to do a Supergirl cover for her landmark issue! Or, you know, it's a stock image they had him do years ago. Either way, Sterling Gates is knocking this series out of the park--the book has real stability and quality for the first time since Peter David left. This is probably a good issue to jump on, so why not give it a try?
Blackest Night and most of its tie-in issues are marked as "Top Secret" in February. It's a strategy recently used by Marvel to mixed results, but I know that it has me excited, and I'm not even all that interested in this event anymore.
Both Green Arrow/Black Canary and Adventure Comics are renamed for this one month, with new creative teams, into Black Lantern Green Arrow and Adventure Comics Starring Black Lantern Superboy. I'm not really sold on J.T. Krul (the writer of this GA issue), although I am curious as to what it'll mean for both Ollie and Conner--but Tony Bedard on Adventure Comics? Yes please.
Finally, there's a reprint for the first Absolute Planetary to coincide with the second Absolute collection. I'll be buying these, I think.