Since all the cool kids are doing it, here's my look at DC's solicits for April!
Batman titles are listed first, so Batman titles it will be! Unfortunately, despite the presence of many fine artists like Sean Phillips, Jae Lee, Doug Mahnke and Tom Nguyen and Jeff Parker, I doubt I'll be picking any of them up.
Well, except for GOTHAM CENTRAL 30, which, God help us, may have finally jumped the shark if the description is any indicator: "Allen and Montoya have traveled to Keystone City to save Officer Andrew Kelly, who's been transformed into a terrible monster." Jesus wept.
I am amused to note one of the most creative, or is it desperate, spins on a creator's decision to bail on a book I've even seen: BATMAN: JEKYLL & HYDE #1, another (yawn) Two-Face story that was slated to be drawn by Lee but apparently he bailed and went back to Marvel or something, so they get Phillips to finish it up, then claim "Expressing the dual nature of the villain, the miniseries will feature visuals by two distinct artists: Jae Lee illustrates issues #1-3, while Sean Phillips draws issues #4-6". Ohhhh-kay.
Batman is probably my favorite DC character, but none of this is tempting enough for me to buy. C'est la vie.
Moving on to the Superman line, which you probably know by now that I don't buy anything from either, I still will admit to being impressed by the cover for SUPERMAN/BATMAN 20, by the very same art team that I have bitched long and hard about while they've been illustrating the first JLA: Classified story arc. I am consistently consistent in my inconsistency.
Moving right along, we come to the DC Universe titles proper.
ADAM STRANGE #8 signals the end to that not-bad limited series...but wait! There are those dreaded words: "Get ready for the opening salvos of the Rann/Thanagar War, which continues in a major miniseries later in 2005." Great. What we've been following is an eight-issue prologue.
DAY OF VENGEANCE #1 is another attempt to get people interested again in DC's vast stable of supernatural characters; I still remember another big company-wide event of a few years ago called Day of Judgement. Oh well, I for one like DC's magic-based heroes, and that sure looks like the Jim Corrigan Spectre, so I'm interested in this. The cover's kinda dull though- what has happened to Walt Simonson? When I first saw this I thought it was Jim Aparo...
BLOOD OF THE DEMON #2 has an interesting-looking cover. By John Byrne. There, I said it. Will Pfiefer's co-writing this, so it probably doesn't suck, but I don't know. Can't buy everything.
We already get the inevitable DC superhero guest spots in BREACH #4, as Superman, Batman, and Martian Manhunter walk on. I don't intend to keep buying this, despite the fact that I like the artists. I'll catch 'em on the rebound.
I suppose this applies more to the inevitable collection, but when I see the listing of the "Final Printings" of IDENTITY CRISIS, I feel like I should quote Dorothy Parker: "This novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force."
Great cover to JLA CLASSIFIED #6, part 3 of "I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League!", with Booster and Beetle serving burgers in Hell. I'm sure many of us can relate.
THE OMAC PROJECT #1, despite its pedigree as a spinoff of Identity Crisis and DC Countdown (which is unfortunately condemned, perhaps unfairly, by me due to association), looks intriguing. I read Kirby's creepy/cool OMAC series back in the day, y'know.
JB Show favorite Howard Victor Chaykin gets the spotlight in this month's SOLO #4 , and it's reet petite, daddy-o! Love that cover.
I suppose the biggest buzz is for Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers event, and we get two more miniseries (Here's where I emit a Kif-like groan) this month. Fortunately, they look pretty good, especially SEVEN SOLDIERS: ZATANNA #1, with nice looking art by Ryan Sook and Mick Gray. There's a preview if you go over to DC's website. The only thing that raises a red flag for me is that Grant has Zee in rehab, apparently. What th-? Also coming out this month: SEVEN SOLDIERS: KLARION THE WITCH BOY #1, which gives us Jack Kirby's nasty little boy witch in a more modern light. In other words, he's wearing a lot of mascara around his eyes. I'm not so crazy about the pseudo-Corben art of Frazer Irving, which you can see here. Still, in for a penny, in for a pound, and I've always kinda liked the character.
In the WildStorm section, Howard Chaykin's really been stepping up the output lately, and he's back on art and script for a new 6-issue series called CITY OF TOMORROW. Sounds like a bit of a cross between American:Flagg! and Transmetropolitan, but I think it will be better than that.
OCEAN finishes up with #6, and RAZOR'S EDGE: REDBIRD and SLEEPER SEASON TWO continue. I haven't read a single issue of Redbird, but I'm really looking forward to the Brubaker/Jason Pearson teaming.
Down Vertigo way, skin is in- the first three covers shown, for 100 BULLETS 60 the BITE CLUB trade, and BOOKS OF MAGIC: LIFE DURING WARTIME 10 all feature females in various stages of undress. The poor young lady on the Books cover looks rather bruised, which doesn't exactly provoke my curiosity.
LOSERS 23 begins another new story arc by Andy Diggle and Jock. Let's hope it's not the last one. And look at that cover- more skin!
MNEMOVORE is an intriguing- if hard-to-pronounce- title, written by someone I'm not familiar with but drawn by Deep Sleeper's Phil Huddleston. Again, I can't buy everything, but that's a cool title.
VERTIGO: FIRST TASTE TP is a hell of a good idea, especially the price, but as someone who's been reading much of the imprint's output since day one there are no surprises for me. I wish they'd somehow managed to have a wider range of titles represented without having to fall back on ages-ago work like Death: The High Cost of Living; The Losers, definitely, Lucifer, perhaps, or even My Faith In Frankie. Oh well.
And that's it! Not the most exciting of months, but not a disaster either.