This is one of those weeks where I just didn’t get any advance looks / sneak peeks at any of the new comics coming out on Wednesday, July 27th - - - except for one book = THE VAULT (Image).
I wrote a long review (which it merits) of THE VAULT back on June 18, which you can locate to your immediate right in the BC REFUGEES ARCHIVES for June. Here’s a quick reprint of my opening paragraphs:
THE VAULT would read like a straight-up adventure tale of undersea exploration were it not for the two-page prelude that hints at much more dangers to come, and on an epic scale. I am more than content with learning the details of the exploratory mission in Issue #1 and getting the background on the characters and settings. The writing is engaging and the beginning of this quest has its share of suspenseful moments, especially when the reader knows that unknown danger and threats lie ahead (thanks to the prelude). I can’t wait for this series to explode once the dark and supernatural elements come to the foreground.
To further whet the appetite, this promises to be a threat of mythological and Biblical proportions. The two-page opening prelude depicts an epic battle between bat-winged albino white angels and harpies-like webbed and clawing demons/devils. An enormous dragon as well as Shiva, the goddess of death, lurk in the background as if orchestrating the activities of their dark minions. The only text is a small caption box containing the ominous prediction: “This is the beginning of how it all ends.”
OTHER BOOKS THIS WEEK WORTHY OF YOUR INVESTIGATION: Batman: The Dark Knight #4, Flashpoint: Project Superman #2 ( both DC); Deadpool Max #10 (Marvel); Fly #2 (Zenoscope); Grim Ghost #3 (Atlas); Hellraiser #3, Traveler #9 (both Boom); Kirby: Genesis #2 (Dynamite); Spontaneous #1 and #2, Sixth Gun #13 (all Oni) League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Century 2: 1969 (Top Shelf).
Now, let’s venture beyond this Wednesday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Here’s another good reason to visit your local comic shop - - - get yourself a free copy of DC COMICS THE NEW 52! featuring a sneak preview of Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.
While I’m a little bit wary and cautious about this latest bold move by DC - - I’m more excited that anything else. It’s just not everyday that you find a comics company debuting 52 #1 issues in a single month. What makes this different from a brand new publisher making such a bold move (a la Image many years ago - - but even though they flooded the marketplace with new super hero titles for a few years I don’t think they ever debuted so many in a single month) - - - is that this is coming from a well-established company with a well-established core of characters. What makes the re-boots (a word I believe they want to avoid in preference to a “jumping on point”) so intriguing is the creative teams that have been assembled. I will sample but I’m not going to get stuffed and bloated trying to eat them all.
What makes me a little cautious is that I don’t think DC is going to get many regular comics readers to buy all these books. It would be nice to think that they will pull in some new customers who never tried DC titles before but I don’t think there can be too many. (What self-respecting “comics fan” can say he has never, ever read a single DC book?) I’m also a little bit weary because “THE NEW 52” brings back memories of the weekly “52” series that DC published a few years back. I started picking them up and enjoying most of the storylines until about 10-12 issues in when I became very disappointed. However, like a true comics trooper I bought every single weekly issue until the end. I admit I’m a sucker for mega-events in super hero titles and long extended storylines across several titles. From the recent SECRET INVASION through SEIGE and onto BATMAN: REBORN, FLASH:REBIRTH, BLACKEST NIGHT, BRIGHTEST NIGHT, FLASHPOINT - - - they all promised universe-shattering events and major shake-ups in some of their standard titles - - who can keep track? Yet I still bought them. I hate to admit it but I’ve stockpiled the SEIGE, BATMAN:REBORN, BLACKEST NIGHT, BRIGHTEST DAY series for a rainy day. Guess I don’t need to rush anymore since most of the changes (in the DC books, at least) can be ignored or forgotten since we’re starting over again! In spite of all that, I remain excited to read some of these new DC titles.
Which is what makes DC COMICS: THE NEW 52! so valuable = it’s got a quick synopsis of what each title is about as well as a check list and release dates - - - - your very own scorecard. To make it just a little easier on your wallet/purse/savings account, DC is releasing just 12 or 13 titles each week in the month of September. Don’t forget it kicks off the last week of August (8/31) with the big debut of JUSTICE LEAGUE #1. I really can’t gather too much of the story from the six-page preview here - - - but not too worry because the art is reason enough to pick this up. Wow!
I really do hope that this works out for DC and they increase sales. I also hope it occurs by bringing in new readers or making more regular readers out of current occasional readers - - and not by taking some business away from the other deserving comics publishers. This great art form deserves both new readers and more frequent readers. And new #1 issues always brings people into the comics shops - - they sure need some support.
It will be interesting to see 12 months from now just how many of these 52 titles have made it to Issue #12. ( I plan to keep my copy of DC COMICS: THE NEW 52! easily accessible and use it just like a scorecard to keep track - - look for my report here in 6 months and 12 months).
As for me, I’ve narrowed it down to 9 titles to start out with. I’ll be following these books for at least 3 issues and make my decision from there: ACTION COMICS, ANIMAL MAN, AQUAMAN, BATMAN, BATMAN & ROBIN, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT, BATWOMAN (yes, I’m bats!), FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE, and JUSTICE LEAGUE.