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Enjoying the anthology element of DC Digital First line

In the past, I enjoyed checking out a periodic arc of Adventures of Superman, the DC Digital First series that ended in April 2014. What appealed to me most about the series was the rotating creative teams on these arcs, including writers like Tim Seeley, Christos Gage, Peter Milligan, as well as artists such as Mike Norton, Jock, Gabriel Rodriguez. In other words, the anthology element to the series consistently entertained me.

More recently, the anthology appeal of the the DC Digital First line really amped up in recent weeks for me. To be specific, on Nov. 27 writer Corinna Bechko, writer/artist Gabriel Hardman and colorist Jordan Boyd launched "Dig for Fire"--a three-part story starting in Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #16. Then this past Friday (Dec. 5), I was caught by surprise to learn that writer Ron Marz, artist Cully Hamner and colorist Rico Renzi teamed on a three-part Legends of the Dark Knight #80 story, "Nevermore".

The core appeal to both arcs is that they are not tightly tied to any strict current continuity restriction and feature creators you do not normally get to see working on these particular characters. With the "Nevermore"/Batman tale, Catwoman was kidnapped in the midst of a heist by a person strongly resembling Edgar Allan Poe. Marz, Hamner and Renzi set the story up quite effectively and quickly establishing the tried and true dynamic of Commissioner Gordon calling Batman into a case the Gotham Police Department was investigating. I am a sucker for the era where Batman would matter-of-factly call the commissioner by his first name, instantly revealing the rapport and trust the two share. Hamner is at a point in his career where he can pick and choose what kind of characters he wants to work on--so it's delightful to see him draw Batman, especially when colored by up-and-coming talent Renzi.

These days a great deal of Bechko and Hardman's comics work is focused on creator-owned work--so to see the wife/husband duo team with Boyd on Wonder Woman (or any DC character) is a rare opportunity not to be missed. This particular arc, which has Wonder Woman traveling to Apokolips to rescue two Amazon spies captured in the midst of a reconnaissance mission, plays to the creative team's narrative strengths. Besides Bechko's ear for dialogue, Boyd's strong coloring style is a perfect compliment to Hardman's gritty art. Bechko and Hardman's decision to set the Amazon princess in a setting as hopeless and oppressive as Apokolips affords an opportunity for the warrior to cut loose in a manner she normally cannot.The only complaint I have is that I will be bummed when the final installment of this arc comes out next week.

On the bright side, I have no idea who will be tackling these DC digital series when the respective next arcs begin--and the rotating lineup of creators means that eventually I will be treated to another surprise before long.

[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

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