I have to be upfront here and admit that over the last year or two, my list of monthly DC books has dropped off considerably. It went from where I was picking up about half a dozen DC books a month to the point where I have found myself only regularly getting a couple of titles in any given month. Right now if it isn’t Peter Cornell on Action or Nick Spencer’s Thunder Agents, then it is not a regular pick up for me. I used to be following all of the Morrison Batman stuff but that fell by the wayside for me, too. (easier to follow Morrison by trade, methinks)
The reason I am even mentioning this here and now is because I have become aware of the plans that DC has to use the culmination of its current Flashpoint miniseries as an opportunity to completely overhaul (they don’t like people using the term “reboot”) it’s entire line of books to the extent where they will be relaunching at least 52 new titles in place of all of their existing titles, and all with a new #1 on the front cover. Now of course it appears that while some things will never truly change – there will still be a few Superman books and Batman books on the racks with these new changes, anything released in a few months will be a relaunch which means such distinguished titles as Action comics and Detective comics with all of their history and long running consecutive numbering (we just saw Action celebrate its 900th issue!) will fall under the company’s Oprah-esque mentality of ‘You get a first issue, you get a first issue, everybody gets a new first issue!!’
At first glance, I did not have much reason to be hopeful that this wholesale change up would bring me back into the fold. When the new titles and creators involved were just rumours I did not get excited about anything I read – rumours just aren’t usually worth it. Now however, the list of new titles has pretty much been confirmed and the names of the creators working on them has been released so I can start to look ahead at what (if anything) might catch my fancy. After perusing the list of new titles I have to admit that I might be coming back into the fold somewhat.
The following books are all ones that I might try a for a few issues to see if they are any good:
- JUSTICE LEAGUE – Geoff Johns, Jim Lee
- ACTION COMICS – Grant Morrison, Rags Morales
- STORM WATCH – Paul Cornell
- DEMON KNIGHTS – Paul Cornell
- FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. – Jeff Lemire
- BATMAN – Scot Snyder, Greg Capullo
- ALL-STAR WESTERN – Justin grey, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat
Wow, that is actually quite a lot of DC books for me, eh?
I don’t plan on sampling any of the previous Wildstorm based character titles except for Storm Watch but there seems to be a number of them being launched among all of the other DC titles. However what seems to be missing among such new Wildstorm books as Storm Watch, Grifter and Voodoo is a new Wildcats book; I suspect from the synopsis of the Grifter and Voodoo books that there will be a storyline which sees the separate characters dealing with the Demonites and then teaming up against them as the Wildcats. (Maybe we will even see Jim Lee’s involvement with any future Wildcats book? )
Something to keep in mind is that I for one am not too enamored with the current state of DC continuity, so any tweaking of it that should happen won’t be a big bugaboo for me … just probably for the large majority of their current loyal book-buying readership. So I am arguably detached/insulated enough from continuity issues to be able to just say, ‘okay, DC, focus on giving me good stories’. Hell, the more impressive thing about all of this has to be the fact that I am willing to give DC a chance even after I skimmed through the latest issue of Flashpoint (#2).
Why do I say this?
Here is what I can remember from my perusing of Flashpoint 2:
*Batman’s dialogue came across as if it had originally been written for Batman Odyssey and then used in this book instead.
*The pages of art featuring Aquaman looked like a throw back to the art found in the weaker Image books of the early to mid 1990’s (anything that was being produced by Rob Liefeld at the time that had ‘Death’ or “Blood’ somewhere in the title).
*The plot device of having only one heroic character remember the way things are supposed to be in the world before it got screwed up. (*cough, Wolverine, cough, House of M, cough, cough*)
*Standing a couple of traditionally very, very ‘nice guy/girl’ characters on their heads to now be cast as violent villains on this screwed up version of the world. It’s kind of funny considering that Aquaman and Wonder Woman are likely two of the most tea party worthy DC heroes out there after Superman and the Martian Manhunter. (ie they could be considered top notch non-threatening ambassador to cute animal land material)
So anyway, like I said, despite all this I am considering sampling of the fruits of Flashpoint’s loins. Lets hope it’s not too bitter.