Mar 182014
 

batman_66_green_hornet1Here’s what’s of interest from DC Comics for June 2014. A full list of solicitations are available here.

Comics

  • Batman ’66 Meets Green Hornet #1 (of 6), on sale June 4, $3
  • Adventures of Superman #14, on sale June 25, $4
  • Batman ’66 #12, on sale June 25, $4
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #1 (of 6), on sale June 4, $3
  • Astro City #13, on sale June 11, $4

Trade paperbacks

  • Batman: Li’l Gotham, vol. 2, on sale July 30, $13

Comments

This month sees the start of a miniseries just for the “Batman ’66″ title—a crossover with the Green Hornet. Presumably the digital-first series is doing well for DC, if it’s meriting a miniseries.

“Tiny Titans” returns to DC in its own six-issue miniseries.

Despite being DC/Time-Warner’s current cash cow, Batman’s 75th anniversary this year feels more low-key than his pal Superman’s last year. However, two 75th anniversary volumes are being released in July: one for Batman, and another for the Joker. (Yes, the Joker didn’t debut until 1940, a year after Batman.) The Batman volume includes at least one “first meeting with Superman” story. Unfortunately, it’s not “Superman” #76 (the “Bruce and Clark meet on a cruise ship” story), but “World’s Finest Comics” #94 (Superman and “Powerman”).

Mar 242012
 

Tiny Titans #50Tiny Titans #50

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

As surprising as it may be, this is the final issue of “Tiny Titans.” It’s had a quite fun run, and the final issue of this title is another enjoyable installment (and series wrap-up). (Yes, SPOILERS.)

The plot is a typical Tiny Titans romp: Beast Boy’s crush on Terra and attempts to impress her; Robin and Cyborg discuss with Alfred about whatever happened to “that kid with the crown hat [and] his friend with the orange hair” (heh); and lots of new costumes, in a bit of foreshadowing/referencing the “New 52.” The costume jokes and references were particularly funny (plus they found a use for that otherwise stupid looking “Lil’ Abner” costume of Supes’)… “[Beast Boy looks] like a green Superboy,” indeed. I’ll also miss the little captions below the final panels of each story section, which were often also pretty funny (“quesadillas!”).

The comic also contains a preview of the upcoming “Superman Family Adventures.” The pages here A) already look more like a typical traditional Superman outing than what we’re currently getting in the DCNU and B) are also hilarious (I liked Perry White’s moments). I hope the new title is successful…

Dec 122011
 
Superman Family Adventures

The new "Superman Family Adventures."

As noted elsewhere (including in an earlier blog post), DC’s “Tiny Titans” ends in March, after a fifty-issue run. I, along with plenty of readers, will miss this fun title.

However, the crew on “Tiny Titans,” Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, will be working on a new all-ages title, a revival of “Superman Family,” now titled “Superman Family Adventures.” (Comic Book Resources has more about this title.) The new title will feature the usual modern Superman supporting cast. Superman, as shown in the picture to the left, will be wearing his new DCNU/upcoming-movie collared costume. Also featured among the supporting cast (presumably alongside Krypto and Streaky) is “Fuzzy, the Krypto Mouse.” Fuzzy is actually a revived old character, who appeared only once—in a 1958 Superboy story. I’ve read the story, but have to admit Fuzzy’s obscure, even by my standards!

Superman Family #196 cover

The original "Superman Family."

“Superman Family” was originally an anthology title published in the 70s and early 80s by DC Comics, as the result of merging two of their long-running Silver Age titles: “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen,” and “Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane.” Along with Jimmy and Lois continuing their solo stories in “Superman Family,” there were also stories featuring: Superboy; Krypto; Supergirl; Nightwing and Flamebird (the Batman and Robin-like heroes of the bottle city of Kandor); “The Private Life of Clark Kent” (stories where Clark solved problems without changing into Superman, including one era-appropriate situation Clark once found himself in); and “Mr. and Mrs. Superman,” stories about the married Earth-Two Clark Kent and Lois Lane. The series was apparently successful enough to spawn a shorter-lived similar Batman title, “Batman Family” (featuring Robin and Batgirl prominently).

Hopefully, the new “Superman Family Adventures” will be as successful as its Bronze Age predecessor and “Tiny Titans!”

Dec 122011
 

Action Comics #7Here’s what’s of interest from DC Comics for March 2012.

Comics I’ll be buying

  • Mister Terrific #7, on sale Mar. 14, $3
  • Action Comics #7, on sale Mar. 7, $4
  • Static Shock #7, on sale Mar. 7, $3
  • Tiny Titans #50, on sale Mar. 21, $3

Comics I might buy

  • Justice League #7, on sale Mar. 21, $4
  • Superman #7, on sale Mar. 28, $3
  • Showcase Presents: All Star Squadron vol. 1 TPB, on sale Apr. 18, $20

Comments

It looks like there’s a lot of writers being shuffled around this month, with the first six issues of the rebooted-DCU under DC’s belts by this point. Guess that’s one trait being held over from the old-DCU. I wonder what any new readers (still reading by this point) will make of this facet of modern-day superhero comicdom. Superman and Static Shock both get new writers this month; while I’m still sticking with Static, Superman’s been demoted to “might buy” status.

What’s with Catwoman’s eyes in that cover? Being attacked by Static’s second cousin aside, did Selina just have her eyes dilated by the optician or something?

This month’s “Action” picks up where issue #4 left off, with Superman trying to rescue Metropolis (plus a Steel backup story).

This month’s Showcase is a first volume of “All Star Squadron,” Roy Thomas’ early 80s title about the lesser Golden Age/Earth-Two (not “Earth II,” as the solicit spells it) heroes during the early days of the US’ involvement in World War II. There’s also a trade paperback of Fortress of Solitude stories, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the purchase, since I already own several of the stories reprinted.

On the Johnny DC side of things, there’s sad news to report: March is the last issue of “Tiny Titans.” While I’ll miss this title, there’s some good news: Art Balthazar and Franco Aureliani will be working on a new title debuting in May, “Superman Family Adventures.”

(Update: 1/22/12) Dropping Justice League from the lineup for sure, along with Mister Terrific.

May 162011
 

Retro-Active: Superman - The 80sTime again to see what’s coming out for DC Comics, for August 2011:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-august-2011-solicitations-110513.html

Comics I’ll be buying

None.

Comics I might buy

  • DC Retro-Active: Justice League of America – The 80s #1, on sale Aug. 10, $5
  • DC Retro-Active: Justice League of America – The 90s #1, on sale Aug. 24, $5
  • DC Retro-Active: Superman – The 80s #1, on sale Aug. 10, $5
  • DC Retro-Active: Wonder Woman – The 80s #1, on sale Aug. 3, $5

Comments

“Flashpoint” is being sold by the metric ton this month.

The “Retro-Active” line of books continues here, with the 80s and 90s titles appearing. While the JLA titles look interesting, I usually associate the JLI-era with the 80s/very early 90s; a 90s JLA book probably should’ve been the Grant Morrison-era League. Meanwhile, the Superman 80s title apparently ties into “Crisis on Infinite Earths” somehow; no idea if this means the Superman here will be the one who worked for WGBS as Clark Kent (pre-Crisis) or the one who needed a breathing apparatus to go into space (Byrne’s version). The 80s Wonder Woman story definitely sounds pre-Crisis, however.

As for the Johnny DC line, I notice several titles are missing: “Tiny Titans” *and* “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.” Are both of these just skipping a month? Or are they both canceled (I hope not!)?

Apr 112011
 

Retro-Active Superman: The 70sTime again for my two cents on what’s coming out from DC Comics, this time for July 2011:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-comics-july-2011-solicitations-110411.html

Comics I’ll be buying

  • DC Retroactive: Superman: The 70s #1, on sale July 27, $5
  • DC Retroactive: Batman: The 70s #1, on sale July 20, $5
  • DC Retroactive: The Flash: The 70s #1, on sale July 20, $5
  • DC Retroactive: Justice League of America: The 70s #1, on sale July 27, $5
  • The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #9, on sale July 13, $3
  • Tiny Titans #42, on sale July 20, $3

Comics I’ll consider buying

None.

Comments

The latest-and-greatest(?) crossover, “Flashpoint,” is being pushed hard by DC this month.

Of bigger interest is the start of the “Retroactive” series of decade-by-decade one-shots. Superman, the JLA and Batman are of particular interest to me. While I like Hal, I’ll have seen plenty of him already by this point in the summer, thanks to the upcoming “Green Lantern” movie/related appearances (plus, I need to save money *somewhere*). Meanwhile, Wonder Woman in her “white costume” phase isn’t what I was hoping for, though it is her most iconic aspect from the 70s (aside from the live-action TV show and “Super Friends”).

A new Archives edition is out this month, this time collecting “Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane,” the often-weird Silver Age Lois Lane comic, where Lois oftentimes came off behaving similarly to Lucy Ricardo.

“Tiny Titans” this month sees Bizarro World show up. Though from the cover, you’d think two Bizarros in love would be throwing things at each other to show their “affection”…

“Young Justice”‘s cover/descripton reminds me why I didn’t enjoy the TV series (or its obnoxious versions of Superboy and Superman). Which I figure means it’ll be deemed a classic in no time, given my tastes not meshing with comicdom-at-large’s…

I liked the cover of “Looney Tunes,” which is hitting its 200th issue this month. (It looks like Bugs is driving a Smart Car…). I wonder why they didn’t go for an “all-star” themed anniversary issue cover, though, especially given Bugs’ “birthday” is also in July. Bugs’ first cartoon, “A Wild Hare,” debuted on July 27, 1940.

Mar 262011
 

Tiny Titans #38Tiny Titans #38

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

This issue centers around Aquaman’s youthful sidekick, Aqualad (the original Aqualad, not the current African-American one), and several misadventures he has under the sea. After meeting a young lady named “Aquagirl,” Aqualad (along with Lagoon Boy) join her underwater version of the Tiny Titans. There’s also several bits centering around the heroes’ aquatic pets (showing a few members of the underwater-Titans aren’t the brightest), and a funny sequence centered around the “Aquaman Family” home.

My favorite parts of this issue were the underwater Pet Club scenes (and the reactions Aqualad and Lagoon Boy had to the whole thing), and the scenes in Aquaman’s home.

I assume some of the references to “Hurtin’ Titans” (and possibly the use of Aquagirl herself) are references to whatever’s going on in current mainstream DC books (that I won’t touch with a 10-foot pole)…

 

Mar 242011
 

World of Archie Double Digest #5World of Archie Double Digest #5

Written by: various
Art by: various

This issue of “World of Archie” features a complete reprint of the “Tiny Titans/Little Archie” crossover storyline from last fall. Interesting that it’d be cheaper (at $4) to buy this digest than the individual issues (three issues at $3 each = $9), plus you’d receive extra material to boot.

For newer (reprint) material, the rest of the digest begins with several stories about Mr. Weatherbee and Svenson (the school’s Swedish janitor). We then get the biggest surprise of the issue to me, a reprint of “She’s Josie.” “She’s Josie” (or just “Josie”) was a mid-to-late 60s series about the Archie-type hijinks of Josie and her two best friends, Pepper (a glasses-wearing girl) and Melody (an attractive-but-dim-witted blonde girl). Around 1969/1970, Archie decided to retool the comic to match the then-upcoming “Josie and the Pussycats” TV cartoon, and dropped Pepper (plus a few other supporting characters) while bringing in the more familiar “Pussycats” cast (and making Josie the lead singer in the group). Of course, none of that in this story… here, we see Josie and her friends try to outwit two criminals in an abandoned house. A story that could’ve been used in the Pussycats setting, I suppose, but here is written more like a traditional Archie story. Interesting to see that Archie’s decided to reprint anything from the pre-Pussycats incarnation of Josie. Maybe they have a story planned someday that explains whatever happened to Pepper; perhaps she’s hanging out with also-vanished Cousin Ambrose, working together on some funny, fourth-wall-breaking dual-comeback plan?

The remaining stories include a tale about some one-shot classmate with telekinetic powers, the Chocklit Shoppe being cast in the part of a movie, and Dilton (rather eagerly) working with Archie at getting back at Reggie.

Veronica #205 coverVeronica #205

Written by: Dan Parent
Art by: Dan Parent

Here’s the long-awaited return of Kevin Keller, Archie’s new gay character that made a splash (in terms of sales and media attention) last year. In this story, we see Veronica and Kevin have become quite close (Kevin even earns a nickname from Ronnie, “Kevvy,” which I guess keeps with “Archiekins” and the less-often-heard “Reggiekins”/”Juggy”, etc.), to the irritation of Betty, who feels like she’s being ignored. Helping set things straight between Betty and Veronica is Jughead.

A pleasant story, plus we learn more about Kevin’s background—his father’s in the military, he’s not interested in musicals (to counter a stereotype), and he has an interest in journalism. I assume this means Kevin could be used in stories revolving around Riverdale High’s school paper, though those stories usually involve Betty (or depending on the story, Reggie) rather than Veronica or Jughead, the two characters Kevin’s mainly been associated with so far. The upcoming miniseries for Kevin should go into more detail about his family and writing interests, as well as (hopefully) any romantic interests—this *is* an Archie comic, after all, so I assume at some point they should show Kevin dating someone. Since dating is a central part of the comic’s plots, it’ll look odd to *not* see Kevin dating. (As for how soon before Kevin gains a boyfriend, Nancy Woods was added to the cast as Chuck’s girlfriend within several years of his introduction, so who knows…)

Archie’s OK with Veronica spending most of her free time with Kevin, though his reasons seem a bit selfish (as Betty notes)—seems more like a motive of Reggie’s to me, anyway.

One odd story point: based on the cover and the opening pages, Veronica’s cell phone has A) no call waiting or caller ID, and B) a limited number of text messages (albeit a high number). Did the Lodges get their cell phones/cell phone plans from a company stuck in 2001 or something?

Mar 142011
 

Static Shock Special #1Here’s my picks for DC Comics for June 2011:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-comics-jun-2011-solicitations-110314.html

Comics I’ll be buying:

  • Static Shock Special #1 (one-shot), on sale June 1, $3
  • The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #8, on sale June 8, $3
  • Tiny Titans #41, on sale June 15, $3

Comics I might buy:

  • Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash TPB, on sale July 20, $20

Comments:

This month, DC pushes hard its newest crossover-fest, “Flashpoint” (a Flash-centric storyline about an alternate timeline version of the DCU).

This month’s “Showcase Presents” volume of interest is a collection of the final pre-Crisis Flash storyline, “The Trial of the Flash.” This one dragged out quite some time, and by the time it was over, Flash’s sales had sunk low enough that DC decided to do something radical with him. Namely: cancel the title; kill off Barry Allen in “Crisis on Infinite Earths”; and restart the Flash title after “Crisis” with a new #1 and a new Flash, former sidekick Wally West. Still, now that Barry is back as Flash, it might be nice to revisit this storyline.

“Tiny Titans” this month is also Flash-centric, centering around Kid Flash, Mas y Menos (from the “Teen Titans” cartoon), and other speedsters. With all this Flash hype, you’d think there wasn’t a movie coming out at this point starring Flash’s pal, Green Lantern…

Meanwhile, “Batman: TBATB” features Aquaman as the costar, as the two team up for a no-doubt-”OUTRAGEOUS” undersea adventure, one apparently involving Aquaman’s archfoe Black Manta (who actually *is* Black; maybe I should’ve written about him and the new, also-African-American Aqualad for last month’s Black History Month topic). The people over at The Aquaman Shrine should love this issue!

Finally, in a nice tribute to the late Dwayne McDuffie, DC’s putting out a one-shot special of Static related material.

Feb 192011
 

Tiny Titans #37Tiny Titans #37

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

This month’s issue features the “Shazam Family” (or “(Captain) Marvel Family” of course, if it weren’t for Marvel Comics trademarking the use of “Marvel” on a comic book cover).

The overall story features Mr. Talky Tawny, the talking tiger, serving as a substitute teacher at the Titans’ school. There’s also various jokes about how the Marvels change into their identities via their magic words, which gets Psimon involved. We also get to see Mister Mind, the “world’s wickedest worm,” discover the existence of Pet Club and want in, which *also* gets Psimon involved.

Freddy in his regular identity is shown with a wheelchair here instead of a crutch (as in older appearances). Freddy also uses a wheelchair in “Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam” (a comic also worked on by “Tiny Titans”‘s creators) and some other modern appearances. Mary here also looks somewhat like her “Magic of Shazam” self.

As in the previous few months’ worth of Johnny DC titles, more Archie digital comic ads appear in this issue.