Friday, May 11, 2018

On The Shelf: DC warps out the Justice League, more freebies, and other stuff

First, the bad news.

If you've been a faithful DC Comics reader, you might want to sit down.

DC has been gradually raising prices on some of their core titles, even trimming them from bi-weekly to monthly. Come August, the only books priced under $4 will be newer series such as Sideways, The Silencer, The Terrifics, and Curse of Brimstone, and TV-centric books like Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo Team-Up, & Teen Titans Go!. Everything else will be $4.

One theory I have is that the increase is to help pay for writer Brian Michael Bendis' megabucks contract with DC. Talent like that doesn't come cheap. Bendis gets paid, and we're helping pay him. Kind of like as taxpayers we're keeping a man-child in the White House. Speaking of whom.........
Yes, President Trump makes an appearance in a new Captain Canuck book. Invasion was previewed for Free Comic Book Day, and it seems the writers bought into the perception of Trump as a blustery xenophobe. Whooopeeeeee! Trump may actually keep people away from this book if it's more than just a 1 panel cameo.

Rating: B.

Fox's Bob's Burgers rolls along at Dynamite, but unless you follow the show regularly (I don't), you might not get some of the humor. It's not as good as last year's offering. (B-).

Dark Horse has the rights to Nickelodeon's Legend of Korra, which, as I forgot to note last year, is a spin-off from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Delightful fun. (A)

Dark Horse also has something called Overwatch, based, I think, on a video game. The Quantum League backup feature spins out of Jeff Lemire's Black Hammer, and is a left-handed nod to DC's Legion of Super Heroes. This might be worth checking into. (A)

Ben Edlund's superhero satire, The Tick, returns, with no ties to the revival of the live-action series airing on Amazon Prime. Tick is as goofy as ever, even if Edlund isn't drawing him anymore. Edlund's been kind of busy with other projects lately in Hollywood. Without the master's touch, Tick doesn't tickle my funny bone as much. (B-)

Titan Books' annual Doctor Who offering collects three Doctors (#'s 7, 10, & 11), leading to some "event" coming soon. Meh, whatever. (B)

Titan is also the current home of Jamie Hewlett's pride & joy, Tank Girl. Hewlett does the cover for this 1-off, not much else, and, thus, the book loses some of its charm. She just hasn't aged well. (C)

Saban recently sold the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to Hasbro, but a brand new FCBD book recaps the early days of the Rangers, leading to "Shattered Grid", from Boom! Studios. If you're a Ranger fan from way back, you'll want this. (B)

An indie publisher, Sideburns, offers a preview of some forthcoming works, including one written by actor Patton Oswalt (AP Bio, Justice League Action, ex-The King of Queens). Hit & miss. (B-)
DC is cancelling their Young Animal line of books, curated by musician Gerard Way, in August. Way and the DC crew are promising that Doom Patrol, plagued by interminable delays of unknown origin, will return at a later date. Paging Grant Morrison! DC is also dumping Batwoman, also in August. If you've been following what has been going on over in Detective Comics, you might have some clue as to how this series is going to end.
I've noted before how Archie Comics has confined old school Archie stories to digest titles you can find only at Walmart, Rite Aid, etc., but now comes a new Betty & Veronica book, priced comfortably at $2.99. Friends Forever: At The Movies is a collection of 4 short stories involving our girls either going to the theatre or being on movie sets. The usual hijinks result, of course, courtesy of Bill Golliher & Dan Parent. Since it's not advertised as "all new", assume, then, that these are reprints.

Rating: A-.
DC is rebooting the Justice League yet again (when will they learn to stop rebooting to #1 every couple of of years?), this time starting with a weekly miniseries, No Justice, that also involves elements of the Suicide Squad & Teen Titans. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy the idea of Damian Wayne, the current Robin, and Bruce Wayne's illegitimate son (by Talia Al Ghul), as a member of the League any time soon. Too much of a brat. James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, & Josh Williamson are the writers entrusted with trying to sell the idea of not only Lex Luthor as a hero, but also---are you sitting down---Starro the Conqueror, one of the League's oldest enemies if you go all the way back through their history.

Full rating after the series is completed.
Finally, remember these guys?

Last fall, DC entrusted British writer Garth Ennis with, ah, reinventing Dastardly & Muttley. Ennis throws in as many inside gags as possible, and over the course of the six issues, collected in a new trade paperback, we see that in this context, Muttley was a human whose DNA was merged with his pet pooch, whom Dick initially despised. In the story, Dastardly's given name is Richard Ratcherly, and he's a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Air Force. A strange mutagen not only affects the future Muttley, but Dick as well, as he slowly begins to morph into his familiar persona. Meanwhile other folks are turned into animals, including the vice president, which leads to a reference to a movie of recent vintage (I won't tell you what it is, you'll have to figure it out for yourself, as Sam Wilson would suggest over at Think 3 Institute). Yes, Ennis can do comedy, and, like Grant Morrison, has an appreciation for the 60's.

Rating: A.

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