Greetings from the other side of San Diego Comic-Con! Oddly enough, most of the bigger news for this month’s DC Pubwatch came before SDCC, and unlike last year there were no big new series announced at any of the DC panels this year. Only Strange Adventures by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Doc Shaner got announced that weekend at all.
The biggest news of the month was that MAD Magazine is transitioning away from the newsstands. Much like the news about shuttering Vertigo, this announcement comes less than a year after a big relaunch to attempt to revitalize the brand. MAD Magazine will continue to be published, but only in the direct market and for its subscribers, and with more reprints than new material.
We have more Black Label books on the way featuring the Joker and Harley Quinn, because that’s what we need: yet more dark Joker books. In addition to those, we have a Question Black Label series by Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan, and Bill Sienkiewicz. Lemire is also writing one of the aforementioned Joker books.
The biggest piece of DC Universe news to drop this month was that DC writers and editorial are working on an “Ultimate Timeline” so that we can get a new edition of Who’s Who in the DC Universe.
Due to time constraints and illness, I won’t have letter grades for every book in this DC Pubwatch, but I’ll be back on my game next month! As always there will be some spoilers for July’s books below.
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1
Clayton Cowles (letters), Nathan Fairbairn (colors and cover), Matt Fraction (writer), Steve Lieber (art and cover)
Event Leviathan #2
Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (art and cover), Josh Reed (letters)
Everything seems to be pointing towards Jason Todd as Leviathan, but that’s why I don’t think it can be him. I also don’t think Jason has the skill set to do this. He’s good, but he’s never been that good in this kind of situation. I do think the real Leviathan is setting Jason up to take the fall, and I have guesses on who it might be. I personally am leaning toward Captain Atom, as a character that hasn’t done much recently and also has previous ties to the clandestine world.
Justice League #28
Juan Albarran (inks), Jim Cheung (cover), Javier Fernandez (pencils and inks), Hi-Fi (colors), Tomeu Morey (cover), Tom Napolitano (letters), Daniel Sampere (pencils), James Tynion IV (writer)
In this final lead-up to “Year of the Villain,” Lex Luthor deals a critical blow to the Justice League, with what looks to be the death of one of their most powerful members. Fernandez does a fantastic job of conveying Hawkgirl’s emotions in that moment, while Sampere and Albarran do wonderful work with the rest of the Justice League on Qward. It’s nice seeing all the Crises referenced as canon again, and I’m hoping we can see a reference to Supergirl’s part in the first Crisis in coming issues.
Lois Lane #1
Simon Bowland (letters), Paul Mounts (inks), Mike Perkins (pencils), Greg Rucka (writer)
This was really close to being my pick of the month. I knew going in that I was going to love this book, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s Lois fighting back against an analogue of the current Washington regime, and doing it the way that only Lois Lane could. Its full of the noir sensibilities that have defined much of Rucka’s work, and despite being a Superfamily book, it feels more grounded than anything else I’ve read. Perkins also does a fantastic job with both the grit of the story and giving the audience a nice bit of Clark Kent as eye candy.
Wes Abbott (letters), Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Jamal Campbell (art and cover), David F. Walker (writer)
The conclusion to the first arc of Naomi was extremely satisfying, and she is the best new character I’ve seen introduced to the DC Universe in years. Beyond that, I love that she has no real ties to any existing characters. I look forward to seeing her meet other heroes her age, be it Young Justice or Jon Kent, and can’t wait to see the second season of her own book. That said, I do feel like the first arc was a bit too decompressed and could have actually been told in fewer issues than it took.
Action Comics #1013
Batman: Last Knight On Earth #2
Justice League #27
Wonder Twins #6
Young Justice #7
The Batman Who Laughs #7
Red Hood: Outlaw #36
Scott Lobdell (writer), Rex Lokus (colors), Dan Panosian (cover), ALW’s Troy Peteri (letters), Pete Woods (art)
Once again, Red Hood’s fatal flaw is that it was simply boring. The only thing the “Prince of Gotham” arc has accomplished is the ousting of Oswald Cobblepot as the owner of the Iceberg Lounge. Otherwise nothing has truly changed at all. Here’s hoping “Year of the Villain” does something more substantial and interesting, but it’s still Lobdell, so I have my doubts. Even the “twist” that Wingman is actually Jason’s dad felt forced and contrived.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1
Andworld Design (letters), Matt Hollingsworth (colors and cover), Sean Murphy (script, art, and cover)
And here I thought Murphy couldn’t get anymore tone-deaf with mental health issues than he did with his first Batman comic. Boy, was I wrong. This time rather than “cure” someone by dumping pills down their throat, it’s cancer that causes a man’s hallucinations, and hoo boy that’s awful. I didn’t expect much out of this, but somehow it failed to even meet my low expectations. I’m supremely tired of edgelord renditions of Batman and the Joker, and that’s truly all this book has going for it.
The Solicitation Situation
BIRDS OF PREY #1
written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
art and cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO and RAY McCARTHY
card stock variant cover by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
blank variant cover
Black Canary’s life has spiraled out of control: her personal life is going through the ringer and her band is in crisis when an old flame resurfaces only to flicker out and set her on an all-new mission against an all-new opponent. The only thing she can be grateful for is the fact that she’s not alone, as Huntress finds herself on a collision course with Black Canary’s quarry at Detective Montoya’s urging. Meanwhile, Harley Quinn has resurfaced outside of Gotham City and out of the Suicide Squad, with a new lease on life that is sure to make everyone else’s life more complicated. And that’s only the first five pages.
Needless to say, the Birds are back in town! With more pressure and higher stakes than they have ever faced before, brought to you by hard-boiled superstar writer Brian Azzarello and the bombshell art team of Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy.
ON SALE 10.30.19
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: MILLENNIUM #2
written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
art by NICOLA SCOTT, JIM CHEUNG, JEFF DEKAL and RYAN SOOK
cover by RYAN SOOK
card stock variant cover by BRYAN HITCH
Get on board for a journey through the future like no other! A gallery of all-star artists join our mysterious guide as they continue their 1,000-year journey toward the 31st century, inspiring Booster Gold to time-travel, debating fighting tactics with O.M.A.C. and making their way to the front door of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The DC event of the future is here now!
ON SALE 10.02.19
$4.99 US | 2 of 2 | 48 PAGES
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $5.99 US
FC | RATED T+
written by MARC ANDREYKO
art by EDUARDO PANSICA and JULIO FERREIRA
acetate cover by DAN MORA
card stock variant cover by DERRICK CHEW
Supergirl—the infected! Brainiac-1 attempts to contact Supergirl at the Fortress of Solitude, but for what nefarious purpose? No matter what he has planned, things are about to go from bad to worse as Supergirl heads on a collision course with the Batman Who Laughs! He’s targeted Superman as part of his plan to infect heroes and transform them into their twisted Dark Multiverse counterparts—but Supergirl gets caught in the crossfire, and the Year of the Villain stakes get even higher!
ON SALE 11.13.19
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
Ugh. Just what I wanted. Another Supergirl is evil story. Because I didn’t get enough of that with Loeb and Kelly in the Pre-New 52 universe, or with Red Lantern Supergirl in the New 52. Can we please stop with this? We also learned in the solicits that Hawkman is also one of the infected, so that brings us up to three that we know.
SUPERMAN SMASHES THE KLAN #1
written by GENE LUEN YANG
art and cover by GURIHIRU
variant cover by KYLE BAKER
The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Metropolis’ Chinatown to the center of the bustling city. While Dr. Lee is greeted warmly in his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to their famous hero, Superman!
While Tommy adjusts to the fast pace of the city, Roberta feels out of place, as she tries and fails to fit in with the neighborhood kids. As the Lees try to adjust to their new lives, an evil is stirring in Metropolis: the Ku Klux Klan. When the Lee family awakens one night to find a burning cross on their lawn, they consider leaving town. But the Daily Planet offers a reward for information on the KKK, and their top two reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, dig into the story.
When Tommy is kidnapped by the KKK, Superman leaps into action—with help from Roberta! But Superman is still new to his powers—he hasn’t even worked out how to fly yet, so he has to run across town. Will Superman and Roberta reach Tommy in time?
Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, The Terrifics, New Super-Man) presents his personal retelling of the adventures of the Lee family as they team up with Superman to smash the Klan.
BIMONTHLY | ON SALE 10.16.19
APPROXIMATELY 6” x 9”
$7.99 US | 1 of 3 | 80 PAGES
FC | RATED T+
THE LAST GOD #1
written by PHILLIP KENNEDY JOHNSON
art by RICCARDO FEDERICI, DEAN WHITE and JARED BLANDO
cover by KAI CARPENTER
variant cover by RICCARDO FEDERICI
THE LAST GOD tells the story of two fellowships of heroes struggling with the same threat…30 years apart. One group will doom their world, the other must save it.
Thirty years ago, a band of heroes traveled beyond the borders of creation and killed the last living god, saving the realm of Cain Anuun from an apocalyptic army of the undead. The legendary companions became the rulers of their world and ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity. But it did not last.
Now the foul legions of the Last God march once more, laying waste to all of Cain Anuun and revealing that the aging fellowship may not be the great heroes they claim to be. With the world burning down around them, a new group of unlikely champions must band together and accomplish what no other has done: kill the Last God, once and for all.
THE LAST GOD: BOOK ONE OF THE FELLSPYRE CHRONICLES is a high-octane, no-holds-barred dark fantasy epic from writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Last Sons of America, Warlords of Appalachia, AQUAMAN) and artist Riccardo Federici (DARK NIGHTS: METAL, AQUAMAN), featuring additional work from Kai Carpenter (BOOKS OF MAGIC), Dean White (ALL-STAR BATMAN, Uncanny X-Force) and Jared Blando (Dungeons & Dragons).
ON SALE 10.30.19
$4.99 US | 32 PAGES | 28 STORY PAGES | CARD STOCK COVERS
FC | MATURE READERS
That’s it for July’s DC Pubwatch and the biggest convention of the year. I’ll be back with a full slate of books at the end of August!