Wednesday, March 16, 2005

DC's SOLICITATIONS FOR JUNE are out- say, I've got an idea...why don't I go through them and comment on what I find interesting?

Trying something new this time- click on the cover images for a larger image. We'll see how it works.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFirst of all, the Bat-books. Since I am now committed to picking up Dave Lapham's "City of Crime" 12-issue arc, here's Lapham's cover DETECTIVE COMICS #807. I like the composition.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usI'm not interested in getting the BATMAN: WAR GAMES trades, but they have nice James Jean covers, and I'm always up for posting a Jean cover. Makes my humble page look better.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usUpon first glance, the color scheme for the cover of BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #192 is really eye-catching. Upon closer examination, though, I'm not especially impressed with artist Seth Fisher's rendition of the Caped Crusader. The story here is written by Chase's D.C.Johnson and J.H. Williams III, but Fisher's on art. If Chase were appearing in this, I'd buy.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSean Phillips does the cover for GOTHAM CENTRAL #32, and it's very nice. I wonder if they're gonna leave the crop marks and stuff on the printed book? Anyway, if Phillips were to assume the art duties on this comic it would be hellasweet. That said, I think new penciller Kano (whose work I liked a lot on H-E-R-O will be just fine.

Now, I'm a firm believer in that hoary old saying "You can't go home again"- how many times have we seen, in the past, a creator or creators returning to the scenes of past glory only to turn out mediocrity at best and downright dreck at worst? And the covers I'm seeing for BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE #'s 3 & 4 are proving that old saying true yet again- those are two butt-ugly illustrations by the Marshall Rogers- Terry Austin team. Was a time when I thought Rogers was one hell of an interesting artist and eagerly awaited his infrequent appearances; now, after a long hiatus, it seems like he hasn't gained a thing or advanced an inch. I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to this for now- even though these covers do nothing for me, it may be that Steve Englehart is perfectly able to craft an interesting story out of the long-ago discarded building blocks of his 70s Detective stint. I won't get my hopes up, though, 'cause let's face it...that synopsis doesn't sound like the freshest thing to come down the pike in the last three decades, does it?

Despite the regrettable decision by new cover artist Adam Hughes to outfit our heroine in pleather- or is it shinyl vinyl?- on CATWOMAN #44, impressive for the fetish crowd, I guess, but annoying to me- it's still a great drawing and the new creative team of Wil Pfiefer and Pete Woods is promising. I dove off the bandwagon when Gulacy came aboard, but I might just have to climb back on.

Despite Pfiefer's presence, I fully intend to pass on John Byrne's Demon book. But after looking at the first three covers, as well as the cover for BLOOD OF THE DEMON #4, I gotta ask- what's up with Byrne's wrinkly, pruney Etrigan? Did he stay in the bathtub too long? Does he need some Oil of Olay? Wassup wit dat?

I'm used to a lot of oddball things in comics these days, heaven knows, but Detective Chimp? In DAY OF VENGEANCE #3? What the F-? I'm kinda on the bubble with this title as well; I don't remember signing up for it but I may have because I'm such a Spectre geek, along with the rest of DC's supernatural posse. Those Simonson covers, though, have all uniformly been blandly drawn and the color has been U-G-L-Y.

I've seen a few negative remarks, around the ol' Comics Blogosphereiverse, about Kevin Maguire's sexist-seeming and female-objectifying cover for JLA CLASSIFIED #8, which sports a black leather-clad Mary Marvel putting a beatdown on Guy Gardner. And y'know what? It's true. But y'know what else? I don't care. The next issue, #9, comes out the same month and features a much less offensive but even funnier cover, with a giant G'Nort on a rampage. Bwah-ha-ha!

All three SEVEN SOLDIERS covers look great this month, but the one for KLARION THE WITCH BOY #2 really stands out. Looks like they're reprising the late-90's closeup cover stunt DC used on all their books for the month.

A sketchy, sloppy portrait of Slam Bradley on the cover of SOLO #5 lets us know that the spotlight is on none other than Darwyn Cooke. I love Mr. Cooke's art, so I'll be getting this.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSON OF VULCAN #1 . SON OF VULCAN #1 ? What the-? Who the hell greenlighted this? The umpteenth revival of a D-list Charlton character, and we all know how well THAT'S worked for DC in the past. Who's next- Wander? Anyway, this doesn't look terrible, but I pass just the same. Son of Vulcan. Gimme a break.

Big, epic multi-issue limited series continue to be all the rage at National; this month we have, among others, THE RANN/THANAGAR WAR #2 and VILLAINS UNITED #2 . Rann/Thanagar at least has Dave Gibbons scripting, but I dunno. Life and money are short.

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #10 features the Animated-style Creeper. I've always liked the Creeper, and I really liked his appearance on the cartoon, so I might just consider picking this up.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usTHE BALLAD OF HALO JONES TP is something that each and every one of you reading this should consider reading, if you haven't already. It's an older Alan Moore work, for sure, but it's completely fascinating, nicely drawn by the underrated Ian Gibson, and I liked it a lot when I got the three collections that someone (I forget who) released in the 80s.

ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE consists of four 4-issue arcs stretching across Astro City's darkest era. AARGH! Why do all these comics publishers assume we have money to burn?

CITY OF TOMORROW #3 Speaking of sexist, objectifying covers, here's cleavage a la Chaykin. Of course. This is the man that gave us Black Kiss, and he does it so well! I'm definitely going to be picking this up.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your entertainment pleasure, another spectacular James Jean cover. From FABLES #38 .

Let's just get it out in the open right now: Mike Kaluta's cover for LUCIFER #63 is not one of his best. God knows I love me that MWK, but even the mighty stumble once in a while.

NEIL GAIMAN'S NEVERWHERE #1 could be interesting, or it could be a pretentious trainwreck. We shall see.

Of course, you all know that you should get the WE3 TP, especially if you haven't read it yet. Others may disagree. I showed you the cover the other day.

Finally, all I can say is that if I'm gonna cough up 90 bucks for a gorram statue of the Black Canary, then she damn well better be wearing fishnets! Hmph!

And that'll do it for another month.

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