Here in Memphis, the heat index has been over 100 degrees for the better part of a week, and it’s not likely to let up anytime soon. If it’s this hot during the last week of spring, I can’t imagine what summer will feel like.
September seems very far away indeed.
And yet, it’s that time again, when we look ahead two-and-a-half months and try to figure out what will still hold our interest when summer ends, football starts, and the days grow ever shorter. Maybe by then it’ll only be in the 80s.
I’m probably not the first person to suggest this, but why not have a group of white supremacists, skinheads, etc., gather expectantly (if misguidedly) around the unfortunately-named White Power Battery, so that they might subsequently receive an appropriate beatdown? That would let Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi distinguish between the mission of the white-light Lantern -- white light being a mix of all the spectrum’s colors -- and our society’s odious “white power” ideology.
Hey, it’s always fun to watch racist thugs get theirs.
As for the new Aqualad, frankly I’m curious to see how young Jackson Hyde, who sounds like a perfectly reasonable and interesting new character, accepts being called “Aqualad.” Probably a good bit of irony and/or sarcasm will be involved.
The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6 is scheduled for September 1, and certain other Bat-titles seem awfully dependent on events in that issue. September 8's Batman #703 looks like a ROBW epilogue, and September 15's Batman And Robin #16 also appears to feature Bruce. Meanwhile, the Bat-books launched by Paul Dini are apparently wrapping up their own storylines: Streets Of Gotham #16 reaches the halfway point of its Tommy Elliot arc, and Gotham City Sirens (written by Tony Bedard) may well set the stage for its stars to return to full-time supervillainy. In fact, this whole “new Batman status quo” may still take at least three more months to unfold, since that’s how long both the SOG storyline and the Time Masters: Vanishing Point miniseries have left.
I was on the fence about it, but the promise of a Batman Beyond-style Catwoman in issue #4 might well have sold me on the miniseries. Likewise with Batgirl #14 -- a Supergirl team-up against Dracula sounds fairly entertaining. And while it’s not a Bat-title, I am definitely looking forward to Luthor vs. Grodd in Action Comics #893.
TITANS OLD AND NEW
Since Teen Titans #87 wraps up Felicia D. Henderson’s “Hunt For Raven” arc, I suppose it also marks the end of her time as TT’s writer. I may try to read “HFR” in single-issue form, because its solicitations have at least made it sound like a decent story.
As odd as it may sound, I am actually looking forward to Justice League of America #49's focus on Jade and Donna Troy. I don’t have any particular affection for Jade, but I do like Donna, and I think this has the makings of a good little issue. Naturally, I say all that knowing full well that there have been any number of crappy single-issue stories featuring each of these characters. This time, though ... fingers crossed!
Between Games, the DC Universe: Legacies issue, and the Legion of Three Worlds paperback, it’s a good set of solicits for George Pérez fans.
Still, how old is the story in the New (Teen) Titans: Games hardcover? Well, Jericho has traded his massive muttonchop sideburns for shoulder-length soap-opera hair. Games also predates Tim Drake’s first regular Robin costume. Instead, Tim (who appears in a few Batcave scenes) sports the hairstyle and short-pantsed old-school outfit he wore only in his “Lonely Place Of Dying” debut. It features the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, which to that point had only been significantly assaulted by King Kong. And it takes place during Danny Chase’s short stint with the team (which, admittedly, was after the book was re-titled simply New Titans).
Ahh, Danny ... self-important, overly-entitled, died-unloved Danny. Let’s hope you get shipped off to summer camp on page 2, because I don’t want you getting a swelled head by being featured on the cover.
I like the idea of DC reviving its old war-comics titles, even for a series of one-shots, but I don’t have high hopes that their collective sales will lead to anything more regular. DC does well with the occasional Sgt. Rock miniseries, and Vertigo tried to do Haunted Tank a while back, so maybe these are supposed to gauge reader interest in different types of stories -- for example, modern-day Easy Company vs. Darwyn Cooke’s G.I. zombies. I’ll probably get at least a couple, but it just seems like the kind of thing that will be forgotten after the month ends.
Meanwhile, in Unknown Soldier, the two eponymous characters meet, just as the series itself winds down. I don’t know if the superhero side of DC will reclaim the original Unknown for future war-comic one-shots, but it makes me wonder whether the DCU/Vertigo line could be a little more blurry. Could Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli do right by Moses Lwanga in a non-Vertigo setting...?
KEEP GOING, I’M LISTENING
Seems like I heard about a Freedom Fighters ongoing series through some random, convention-panel report, but since then it’s really been off my radar. Although I didn’t read either of the miniseries, the idea of a Confederate super-weapon and a “secret history of the United States” has me curious.
Scott Kolins’ truncated Magog storyline gets new life in September’s Justice Society Special. I wonder if the Kingdom Come connection and/or the JSA name will draw in more readers than Kolins’ last couple of Magog issues.
Speaking of specials, I didn’t read Titans: Villains For Hire, but I know Dwarfstar was behind the hit on Ryan Choi, and I see he’s on the cover of Secret Six #25 along with Giganta, Lady Vic, and the Shark. Did any of those folks appear in the VFH Special? Might there be some other connection?
Hey, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure issue of Unwritten! It had to happen sooner or later, I guess -- but how will it compare to Walt Simonson’s time-twisting, out-of-sequence, Doom-vs.-Reed fight in Fantastic Four #351?
Finally, I’m looking forward to How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, but I can’t quite explain why. Just my general interest in Israel, probably.
The Great Darkness Saga hardcover improves on the long-out-of-print paperback in at least one respect: more issues reprinted. Said paperback, which I was fortunate to pick up lo, those many years ago, includes issues #287, 290-94, and a story from Annual #3. It reads pretty well. However, it looks like the new hardcover reprints thirteen monthly issues (#s 284-296) and Annual #1. So it’s got that going for it, which is good.
More of DC’s Jack Kirby library gets the hardcover treatment, this time the Boy Commandos stories from the Golden Age. I had always heard that “Brooklyn,” the tough kid with the derby hat, grew up to be “Terrible” Dan Turpin of Fourth World fame, but I’m not sure exactly where that comes from.
Very glad to see the Sandman paperback series getting the Absolute-style makeover. It makes me feel much better about not yet getting the Absolute volumes.
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Anyway, that's what jumped out at me this month. What looks good to you?