Anthony’s picks for DC Comics for February 2013

Superman Family Adventures #10Here’s what’s of interest coming out from DC Comics for February 2013. Full solicitations are available here.

Comics

  • Superman Family Adventures #10, on sale Feb. 27, $3

Trade Paperbacks

  • The DC Universe by Alan Moore, on sale Mar. 27, $25
  • Crisis On Multiple Earths, volume 6, on sale Mar. 20, $20
  • Showcase Presents: Superman Family, volume 4, on sale Mar. 20, $20

Comments

Quite a bit for this month…

This month’s “Showcase” sees a fourth volume of the Silver Age Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane stories (under its Bronze Age combined moniker “Superman Family”), including the classic “Giant Turtle Man” Jimmy Olsen story.

We’re also getting yet another reprint of Alan Moore’s various stories for DC, including the zillionth reprint of “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”

“Crisis on Multiple Earths” finally releases a sixth volume. This one collects three JLA-JSA teamups: the two teams versus the Secret Society of Super-Villains (led by the Ultra-Humanite); the JLA-JSA-All Star Squadron crossover (with the Crime Syndicate thrown in); and the two teams versus the Crime Champions and Earth-1’s evil Johnny Thunder. The solicitation doesn’t list the “All-Star Squadron” issues as part of the collection, which I’d figure would be necessary for the whole story. The third story is where the idea of Black Canary having had a daughter is first introduced to comicdom, though it’s one of the few cases where post-Crisis actually made things clearer: a larger separation of mother and daughter, sans anyone lying in a decades-long coma. One oddity is that this leaves only two JLA-JSA teamups left to include in a seventh and final volume, the 1984 and 1985 pairings: the ’84 one was some generic conflict with some one-off character, while ’85 was tied into “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Which means either a rather thin seventh volume, or they’ll throw in some of the post-Crisis JLA-JSA teamups (such as the “Earth-D” story from “Legends of the DC Universe”) to pad things out. This, despite the post-Crisis ones not being the same, what with the JLA and JSA on the same Earth.

A trade paperback of Zod stories is also being released, presumably timed for the “Man of Steel” movie out later in 2013. Included in the trade is “DC Comics Presents” #97, which is probably the last canonical pre-Crisis Superman story, though not a very good one from what I recall flipping through…

DC’s reviving the old romance title “Young Romance” in name only, turning it into (as Comics Worth Reading puts it) yet another superhero book, focusing on the romances of several DC superheroes (all with heavy “New 52!” emphasis). Ignoring that “Young Romance” isn’t a superhero book (maybe a sign of DC being bent on burying anything that doesn’t tie into its “New 52″ superhero line… more on that below), it’s pushing the lame Superman/Wonder Woman romance idea hard here. On the plus side, Apollo and Midnighter of “Stormwatch” will be featured here, though the “spending Valentine’s Day apart” plot idea doesn’t make it sound like there’ll be anything resembling the Superman/Wonder Woman cover shown.

John Constantine’s longtime Vertigo title “Hellblazer” is cancelled as of this month, with issue #300. DC wants to fold Constantine into the “New 52″ with a new DCU-set series, along with his appearances in a JL title. Though I can’t say I’m a fan, others online seem to wonder if it’ll hurt the character’s tone if he’s tied to the spandex crowd more heavily. That, and I wonder what it means for Vertigo itself, which seems to be ignored by DC lately… given they’re willing to kill off one of its most popular titles (and folded other Vertigo characters back into the DCU proper), I wonder if we’ll be hearing about Vertigo itself folding altogether before long. Guess that “Constantine” movie didn’t do as well as Time-Warner had hoped…

“Justice League of America” #1 has what has to be the most crass variant cover scheme I’ve ever seen: 52(!) variant covers, one for each state plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. (Keeping with DC’s DiDio-era fetish for the number 52.) The thing is, instead of coming up with something creative for each cover (such as what was done for the US state quarters series of the 2000s), the covers are just a Photoshopped-in different state flag… and that’s it. For this bit of “creativity,” DC will sell one all 52 issues shrink-wrapped for “only” $150. DC could’ve been way more creative and made full use of the idea of the covers: imagine the JLA fighting supervillains over St. Louis’ Arch (for the “Missouri” cover), or dealing with something western-themed for a Wyoming cover. As it stands, only a sucker (to be charitable) would pay full price for all 52 of these “variants”…

And to end this on a more optimistic note, “Superman Family Adventures” features the Zod family…plus hot dogs (or “Zod Dogs”)!

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