Friday, February 6, 2015

On The Shelf: DC shuffles the deck again, while Ant-Man gets his due

I haven't really bought a Marvel comic in a very long time. Oh, sure, a S.H.I.E.L.D. reprint volume a little more than a year ago doesn't really count, but I think for once I've found something that may be worth my while.

Marvel has gone, ah, back to the future, not just with reacquiring a license for Star Wars (which, like Marvel, was acquired by Disney), but with the 2nd Ant-Man, Scott Lang, who debuted in the pages of Marvel Premiere in the 70's, and now headlines a monthly series.

The idea is that the original Ant-Man, Henry Pym, has retired, so Lang, who had been killed off then brought back with less fanfare than Marvel's more high profile sucker shots (i.e. Capt. America, Johnny Storm, and, I assume, Wolverine), begins his series torn between taking a job with Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) and sharing custody of his daughter, Cassie, with his ex-wife. It wouldn't be a Marvel book if there wasn't that kind of emotional angst mixed in, wouldn't it now? Marvel gave us a double-size opener to set the stage, but without any necessary fighting, save maybe for a brief appearance by the new, female Beetle, introduced, insofar as I know, in the recently concluded Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Different, yes, but also pricey at $5 per copy. Marvel has gotten a wee bit too greedy in the Dan Buckley era, y'know. Apparently, they don't believe in pricing anything under $4 these days, unlike DC.

I'm just looking to see what I can add to my reading list now that the miniseries I was into have concluded. Ant-Man is a start.

Rating: B.

Meanwhile, DC has decided that after nearly 4 years, the "New 52" is waving goodbye after the Convergence event ends in May. Come June, there'll be a revamped roster. Sort of like this:

Batman Beyond :W: Dan Jurgens /A: Bernard Chang
Bat-Mite: (6-issue limited) W: Dan Jurgens /A: Corin Howell
Bizarro: (6-issue limited) W: Heath Corson /A: Gustavo Duarte
Black Canary: W: Brenden Fletcher /A: Annie Wu & Irene Koh
Constantine: The Hellblazer: W: Ming Doyle/ A: Riley Rossmo
Cyborg: W: David Walker/ A: Ivan Reis
Dark Universe: W: James Tynion IV/ A: Ming Doyle
Green Lantern: Lost Army: W: Cullen Bunn /A: Jesus Saiz & Javi Pina
Doomed: W: Scott Lobdell /A: Javier Fernandez
Earth 2: Society: W: Daniel Wilson /A: Jorge Jimenez
Dr. Fate: W: Paul Levitz /A: Sonny Liew
Harley Quinn/Power Girl: (6-issue limited) W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner/ A: Stephane Roux
Justice League of America: W/A: Bryan Hitch.
Justice League 3001: W: Keith Giffen/ A: Howard Porter
Martian Manhunter :W: Rob Williams/ A: Ben Oliver
Midnighter: W: Steve Orlando/ A: ACO
Mystic U: W: Alisa Kwitney /A: TBD.
Omega Men: W: Tom King /A: Alec Morgan
Prez: W: Mark Russell/ A: Ben Caldwell
Red Hood/Arsenal:W: Scott Lobdell/ A: Denis Medri
Robin, Son of Batman: W/A: Patrick Gleason.
Section Eight: (6-issue limited) W: Garth Ennis/ A: John McCrea
Starfire: W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner/ A: Emanuela Lupacchino
We Are Robin: W: Lee Bermejo/ A: Khary Randolph

Ongoing Titles (retaining their current numbering):

Action Comics: W: Greg Pak /A: Aaron Kuder
Aquaman: W: Cullen Bunn/ A: Trevor McCarthy
Batgirl: W: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher/ A: Babs Tarr
Batman: W: Scott Snyder /A: Greg Capullo
Detective Comics: W; Brian Buccelato & Francis Manapul /A: Francis Manapul
Batman/Superman: W: Greg Pak/ A: Ardian Syaf
Catwoman: W: Genevieve Valentine /A: David Messina
Deathstroke: W/A: Tony S. Daniel.
The Flash: W: Robert Venditti & Van Jensen/ A: Brett Booth
Gotham Academy: W: Becky Cloonan & Brenden Fletcher /A: Karl Kerschl
Gotham By Midnight: W: Ray Fawkes /A: Juan Ferreyra
Grayson: W: Tom King & Tim Seeley/ A: Mikel Janin
Green Arrow: W: Ben Percy/ A: Zircher
Green Lantern: W: Robert Venditti/ A: Billy Tan
Harley Quinn: W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner/ A: Chad Hardin
Justice League: W: Geoff Johns /A: Jason Fabok
Justice League United: Creative team TBD.
Lobo: W: Cullen Bunn/ A: Cliff Richards
Secret Six: W: Gail Simone/ A: Dale Eaglesham
Sinestro: W: Cullen Bunn /A: Bradley Walker
New Suicide Squad: W: Sean Ryan /A: Carlos D'Anda
Superman: W: Gene Luen Yang/ A: John Romita, Jr.
Superman/Wonder Woman: W: Peter J. Tomasi/ A: Doug Mahnke
Teen Titans: W: Will Pfeifer /A: Kenneth Rocafort
Wonder Woman: W: Meredith Finch /A: David Finch

Red Hood/Arsenal & Starfire spin out of Red Hood & the Outlaws, allowing for Dick Grayson's ex-girlfriend to get her own book at last. Prez is a relic from the 70's, co-created by the legendary Joe Simon. The Omega Men are a product of the 80's who had a good run with their first series. Dark Universe is the former Justice League Dark with a new title and creative team. The fact that there will be two dozen 1st issues speaks again to the corporate mentality that a 1st issue will draw more readers. That idea actually doesn't fly as well as it did in the past, especially in the 90's, when speculating on 1st issues got way out of control.

NBC quietly moved Constantine to 8 (ET) on Fridays, but the season ends this month. Now comes word that they're talking about shifting the series to SyFy, where it should've been in the first place, and using the Hellblazer title there. Why didn't those geniuses think of that a year ago?? Another Wonder Woman pilot has been green-lit, this time at---wait for it---CW, where it'll go under the working title, Amazon. I'm sure you can figure that one out.

To make room for the above books, DC is cutting 14 books next month, including recently launched titles such as Klarion, Infinity Man & The Forever People, and Arkham Manor. I'm told that the latter received critical acclaim, but it probably didn't translate into sales. Meh, whatever.


magicdog said...

So if the New 52 ends, does that mean the universe changes again? or does it just mean the end of a few titles?

I don't follow these things that closely, but it seems like the publishers keep adding more confusion rather than the order they claimed "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and the "New 52" would create.

hobbyfan said...

It's not a total reboot, but they realize folks didn't cotton to the New 52 any more than they did New Coke or Crystal Pepsi.

However, Starfire appears to be dressed closer to her animated self in her new book, and the tramp she was played out to be for the last 3+ years is giving way to the innocent good girl we remember.