Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Remember all that stuff I said I was going to write about yesterday? I'll do it later. Instead, here's a look at some of the DC Comics Solicits for October I find remarkable:

First, Bat-books.

This Jock cover for Batman 646 makes me wish that the first issue of the revived Brave and the Bold would feature Batman and the Losers. Yeah, I know, no Vertigo/DCU crossover. Bleh. Like Dorian, I think the Black Mask doing the Wile E. Coyote down in the lower left hand corner is a hoot.

BATMAN: GOTHAM COUNTY LINE #1 : When I first saw the title, I had my hopes up for the Caped Crusader vs. redneck sheriffs...but it's Bats in the suburbs instead. Yawn.

BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #196: I hope they collect this- I like D.C. Johnson's writing, but after adding Detective (which I've since dropped) I didn't want to add another Batbook.

ARKHAM ASYLUM ANNIVERSARY EDITION SC: To be honest, I thought this was an overwrought, underwritten mess back in the day- and while I've come to like Morrison's writing a lot (and consequently have softened my stance on the book as a whole) I still dislike McKean's haphazard, needlessly cluttered artwork. And for what it's worth, I liked very few of his Vertigo covers, too.

Another month, another great Adam Hughes CATWOMAN cover. I still wish he'd look at the interiors and stop drawing her in pleather, and the foreground and figure inking is sketchier and sloppier than I'm accustomed to- but that's OK. This one's #48, by the way.

The copy (and the image file name) says that this is the cover for GOTHAM CENTRAL #36, and that it's by Sean Phillips. I am dubious- it doesn't look like Phillips' work at all, and the initials in the cute little signature box appear to read "JR". Who knows. I don't like the hypermuscled Batman of the Jim Lee school, and it's a bit uncommon to feature Bats so prominently on a GC cover- he's a bit player in this book, guys, remember?

Wow. There have been 143 issues of ROBIN. Seems like only yesterday that #1 came out. Why does everybody on the cover have pointed feet and hands? I know, stylistic choice. Yada yada.


Silly people. You know I don't partake. Still:

How Not To Draw the Female Figure 101, courtesy of Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund via the cover of SUPERGIRL #3. Arms? Too long. Thighs? Too wide. Ass? Too small. Face? Not bad, but everything else is so wonky proportion-wise that you don't notice. Will I buy? HELL no!

SUPERMAN IN THE FORTIES TP: Now, I'd consider this if I was able to buy TPB's indiscriminately. I've never cared for the goofy versions of the '50s and '60s, but Siegel & Shuster's Superman was nicely drawn and had some snappy dialogue.


James Jean rules the school. From GREEN ARROW #55.

JLA #120 & 121 both sport covers by someone named Daniel Acuna. Never heard of him, but he has an interesting, visually witty style. I don't care for his cover to OUTSIDERS #29 quite as much, but I'll keep an eye out for his stuff in the future. In the cover at left, Batman just farted. At right, a gratuitous crotch shot of Black Canary.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: METAMORPHO VOL. 1 TP: Holy mackanoley, that's an ugly cover. Even for Sal Trapani. But anyhoo, I loved Metamorpho comics when I was a kid and haven't read many of these stories in ages, so I'll strongly consider picking this up even though, as with the Marvel Essentials books I bemoan the lack of color. Wanna bet Bat Lash gets this treatment soon?

SOLO #7 is Mike Allred's turn in the spotlight. This cover, with its retro-'60s rendition of Adam West doing the Batusi, is pretty cool. Which is the sort of thing that Allred does best, and it will be interesting to see if he can summon up some of that early-Madman vibe that he had and in my opinion lost.

SEVEN SOLDIERS: KLARION THE WITCHBOY #4 and SEVEN SOLDIERS: ZATANNA #4 both sport great covers and promise a lot of sturm und drang in their respective series conclusions, but I wonder how the promise of a magic-free DCU that I read about recently will affect these characters.

For those feeling nostalgic, there's a good old-fashioned bondage cover on WONDER WOMAN #222.

Other imprints:

I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't check out TOP 10: BEYOND THE FARTHEST PRECINCT. I loved Top 10, but that was mostly because of Alan Moore and Moore projects in other hands have a dubious track record. That goes for TOM STRONG as well, although I see that #35 is drawn by the original art team of Chris Sprouse and Karl Story. I don't think that will be enough inducement to pick Strong up again, though- I dropped it a long time ago.

Vertigo's LOVELESS #1 looks very interesting. The only Azzarello work I've really enjoyed was, of course, 100 Bullets- put him on the corporate trademarks and he goes about eleven kinds of bland. The ad copy compares it to Deadwood, and I say fat chance there, but Azz does have a flair for vulgar dialogue so he might pull it off. I'll be checking this out.

Talk about shock and awe: DC is going to put out DOOM PATROL VOL. 3: DOWN PARADISE WAY TP , which will feature the first appearances of Flex Mentallo! Can that long-awaited and controversial mini-series collection be far behind? Stay tuned! I'd be really excited if I didn't already have all of those (he says smugly).

Oh yeah...James Jean. FABLES #42. Think the voice of one of the cop robots in Futurama when you read that.

THE LOSERS #29 is part one of "Endgame", the copy tells us, and that's alternately sad and exciting. Another iconic Jock cover.

The cover for LUCIFER #67, sans copy. Interesting to see that Kaluta is combining his love for mirror imaging with an actual attempt at sequentials. I wish he'd vary up his ink line a bit more, but who am I to carp?

I'll consider plunking down my $18 for THE ORIGINALS SC...looks like an interesting read. Dave Gibbons is a solid craftsman, and a rarity: I don't particularly care for his style, but I love how he tells a story.

Maybe I'm missing the point here, but if you're trying to attract new readers to Vertigo titles via one-shot samplers like the VERTIGO: FIRST OFFENSES TP , isn't it a better idea to include recent properties instead of decades-old prior successes that are no longer being published, except in trades? Or is that the point? What do I know?

And...that's all! Hopefully, more stuff later.

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