The biggest news in this month’s DC Pubwatch came out of New York Comic Con, the last big show of con season. For DC Universe news, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee revealed a “cohesive” timeline for the universe, which included Wonder Woman being the first superhero. We’ll find more about the timeline in coming months, but for now there is much speculation. The other exciting bit of news is the title G. Willow Wilson is leaving Wonder Woman for: next year she and Nick Robles are taking over as the creative team for The Dreaming. I’m excited to see what they do with the book. As for October’s books, once again a surprise Harley Quinn book vies for the top spot, but ultimately, I’m giving it to a historical, Nazi-punching romp. This month we have had an abundance of riches, and there were a lot of competitors for the top spots.
Superman Smashes the Klan #1
Janice Chiang (letters), Gurihiru (art and cover), Gene Luen Yang (writer)
This was by far one of my most anticipated DC Zoom books, and it did not disappoint. Sadly relevant in this time period, this is a very powerful adaptation of the 1946 radio serial Superman vs the Clan of the Fiery Cross. The choice to go with a creative team that is entirely Asian or Asian American is wonderful, and you can tell that this story was important to all of them. I also appreciated the personal essay from Yang at the end of the book. Superman says we should fight white supremacy, and anyone who disagrees doesn’t know the first thing about the character.
Rain Beredo (colors), Stefano Gaudino (inker), Trevor Hairsine (pencils), Joshua Middleton (cover), Tom Taylor (writer), Saida Temofaonte (letters)
%&#* YOU, TOM TAYLOR,, %*#* YOU. Who hurt you? Why do you have to hurt us? With six pages, Taylor and Hairsine ripped my heart out and squeezed it until it exploded. Bad enough that he killed Superman, but it was the goodbyes that really hurt. Woe be unto us when Taylor is given a canon book in December, for I fear for what they’ll allow him to do in the main DC Universe. That said, I’m excited for him to get his hooks into the canon characters, if only because it will probably hurt less. Let’s see what zombie Superman has in store for the rest of the world. I can’t imagine this will end well.
Rain Beredo (colors), Mark Brooks (cover), Neil Edwards (pencils), Stefano Gaudino (inker), Trevor Hairsine (pencils), Tom Taylor (writer), Saida Temofaonte (letters)
I will say I was right about it not ending well, and you can read more about why over at Comics Beat.
Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #1
Kami Garcia (writer), Edward Kurz, MD (consultant), Francesco Mattina (cover), Mike Mayhew (art), Richard Starkings (letters), Mico Suayan (art)
I wrote about this issue in further detail at Comics Beat, and had I not written about it in full there, it would be my pick of the month here.
Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #2
Jordie Bellaire (colors), Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Jim Cheung (artist), Jeff Dekal (art), Tomeu Morey (colors), Nicola Scott (art), Dave Sharpe (letters), Ryan Sook (art and cover)
The best two sections of this anthology book were the first chapter and the last chapter. The opening segment focused on Booster Gold by the incomparable Nicola Scott, where she got to walk Booster and Rose through DC history, drawing pivotal moments in comics history. Seeing Nicola draw both the death of Superman and the death of Supergirl is something I never thought I’d see, let alone in the same issue. And as good as the Nicola Scott portion was, the main event was seeing Ryan Sook’s first Legion of Super-Heroes pages. While we only got one group shot of the team, there was more than enough there to satiate our taste until Legion of Super-Heroes #1 comes out next month.
Lois Lane #3
Simon Bowland (letters), Paul Mounts (colors), Mike Perkins (art), Greg Rucka (writer)
Once again, it was an issue with little to no action, but in a way that completely made sense and works for the book. This is a book that examines humanity, and that’s not something that necessarily needs big action set pieces. Nice shared moments between Vic and Renee or Jon and Lois are more important to this book than Superman punching someone. Specifically, I am impressed how tightly woven the Superman family books are right now, and seeing Jon call Clark “Pa” tugs at my heartstrings. We also got a nod to Rucka’s Checkmate, as this book referenced back to Leviathan.
Brian Michael Bendis (writer), David Lafuente (art), Paul Mounts (colors), Joe Prado (cover), Ivan Reis (cover), Dave Sharpe (letters), Alex Sinclair (cover)
I have been waiting for this comic ever since Bendis aged up Jon. And this issue did not disappoint in the least. Damian throwing batarang after batarang at Jon’s head was absolutely delightful. The only thing keeping me from liking this issue more was the art of Lafuente. Some of his figures were very ill-proportioned, and reminded me a lot of the Fisher Price Justice League figures. Otherwise, this was exactly the reunion story I wanted it to be, and I truly hope that Damian gets to go on vacation to the 31st century soon.
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #4
Clayton Cowles (letters), Nathan Fairbairn (colors and cover), Matt Fraction (writer), Steve Lieber (art)
Welcome to the exciting life and times of Youtube shithead Timmy Olsen, the next big Youtube sensationalist! Joining the likes of Logan Paul and PewDiePie, Olsen is surely the next internet idiot to get himself canceled by Ess Jay Dubyas. Surely nothing can go wrong by starting a prank war with the Batman, right? Or starting a fight with Lex Luthor? Or angering the entire city of Gotham? No, the biggest danger is vaping. Will the Batmobile get a new wheel? Will
Jimmy Timmy’s black eye heal? Will his crazy board burn down? Will you keep reading to find out?
The Last God #1
Kai Carpenter (cover), Riccardo Federici (art), Sunny Gho (colors), Philip Kennedy Johnson (writer), Tom Napolitano (letters), Dean White (colors)
I wrote about this issue in detail at Comics Beat.
Wonder Woman #81
Pat Brosseau (letters), Tom Derenick (pencils), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (colors), Jenny Frison (variant cover), Scott Hanna (inks), Trevor Scott (inks), G. Willow Wilson (writer)
In G. Willow Wilson’s final issue, we are given a satisfying conclusion to the stories she’d built while still leaving threads for Steve Orlando to take over starting next month. As usual, Jenny Frison’s variant cover is amazing and gorgeous, and outshines the regular cover from Yanick Paquette, though his is also very good. While parts of this story were predictable (the new God of Love), others were heartbreakingly unforeseen. Wilson’s long arc closes with a victorious Wonder Woman, but not one who wins without dire consequences. As Steve Orlando takes over the book, he’s given a drastically different status quo to work from, and that’s exciting.
Aquaman Annual #2
Basketful of Heads #1
Batman Annual #4
Batman Universe #4
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #6
Detective Comics #1013
Dial H For Hero #8
Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #4
Event Leviathan #5
Freedom Fighters #10
Gotham City Monsters #2
Harley Quinn #66
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #2
Inferior Five #2
Justice League #33-34
Justice League Dark #16
Justice League Odyssey #14
Martian Manhunter #9
Secrets of Sinister House #1
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Knightfall #1
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1
The Batman’s Grave #1
The Dreaming #14
The Flash #80-81
The Green Lantern #12
The Sandman Universe: Hellblazer Special #1
The Terrifics #21
Wonder Twins #8
Wonder Woman #80
Wonder Woman Annual #3
Young Justice #9
Batman and the Outsiders #6
Batman and the Outsiders Annual #1
Batman Beyond #37
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #4
Black Adam: Year of the Villain #1
Books of Magic #13
Detective Comics #1014
House of Whispers #14
Joker: Killer Smile #1
Metal Men #1
Nightwing Annual #2
Red Hood: Outlaw #39
Teen Titans #35
Titans: Burning Rage #3
Wonder Woman: Come Back To Me #4
Batman vs Ra’s al Ghul #2
Neal Adams (art, cover, and writer), Clem Robbins (letters)
This story is insane, disjointed, and off the rails in every possible way. The dialogue is incredibly stilted, dated, or just plain bizarre. At one point Damian says “Monkey spit nuts” and I, for one, have no idea what that even means, and for two, don’t believe it’s anything he would ever say. I’m just completely lost trying to follow any part of this book, including Weapon-X Batman at the beginning. Maybe it will all make sense when the story is complete, but somehow I really doubt it. Much like Batman Odyssey, this book is just plain weird.
Flash Forward #2
Brett Booth (pencils), Luis Guerrero (colors), Scott Lobdell (writer), ALW’s Troy Peteri (letters), Norm Rapmund (inks), Doc Shaner (cover)
I want to like this book. I really, really do. But between the writing and the art, I just can’t. The high concept of the book is great, even if the reason for it is still reliant on Tom King’s horrible treatment of Wally in Heroes In Crisis. Lobdell might be able to write Wally better if not on that leash, but I have no faith in that either. Booth’s grasp of human anatomy remains tenuous at best and non-existent at worst. Even the surprise cameo at the end of the book can’t rescue this series from the depths of the dark multiverse for me.
Superman: Up in the Sky #4
Brad Anderson (colors), Clayton Cowles (letters), Sandra Hope (inks), Tom King (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils)
The first half of this issue with Flash and Superman racing is so text-heavy my eyes just glossed over reading it. It’s just caption box after caption box, and all written from the point of view of a little girl, making it even harder to read. However hard the first part was to read, at least it wasn’t just a rehash of the worst Christopher Reeve Superman movie, but in a way that made it boring. Superman III had humor in it. This was just dull and pointless. I want more Batman Universe, and could do without Superman: Up In The Sky.
Year of the Villain: The Joker #1
Anthony Burch (writer), John Carpenter (writer), Marc Deering (inks), Gabriella Downie (letters), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Dani Miki (inks), Jay David Ramos (colors and cover), Philip Tan (pencils, inks, and cover)
I was really excited for this book, as I’m a big fan of John Carpenter’s movies. Sadly, I was left disappointed as it was just another run-of-the-mill Joker story. Carpenter doesn’t do anything remotely interesting with the character, and it really doesn’t even tie into the Year of the Villain crossover, despite being branded as such. The art was also incredibly inconsistent, which probably comes from having four different artists tackling the inks. In a week where it competed with Kami Garcia’s Criminal Sanity, this book fell remarkably short.
Superman: Year One #3
Danny Miki (inks and cover), Frank Miller (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils and cover), Alex Sinclair (colors and cover), John Workman (letters)
Hey, so there was no rape or incest in this issue, which makes it an improvement over the previous two, but it was still not an enjoyable book. The biggest problem with this issue for me is that it didn’t feel like a Superman book at all. It was a perfectly serviceable Batman book, but it wasn’t Superman. Superman doesn’t brood on gargoyles. He doesn’t hang criminals outside windows. He doesn’t act primarily at night. Weirder yet, because Miller was writing Superman as though he were Batman, when he actually wrote Batman, he had to make him even more unhinged and violent. I also still don’t appreciate dragging Batman and Wonder Woman into Superman’s origin story, since that didn’t happen to either of them in their respective Year One stories.
The Solicitation Situation
WONDER WOMAN #750
Written by VITA AYALA, MARGUERITE BENNETT, KAMI GARCIA, DEAN HALE, SHANNON HALE, JEFF LOVENESS, STEVE ORLANDO, GREG RUCKA, GAIL SIMONE, MARIKO TAMAKI, and others
Art by ELENA CASAGRANDE, COLLEEN DORAN, JESUS MERINO, GABRIEL PICOLO, and others
Cover by JOELLE JONES
1940s variant cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
1950s variant cover by JENNY FRISON
1960s variant cover by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
1970s variant cover by OLIVIER COIPEL
1980s variant cover by GEORGE PEREZ
1990s variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
2000s variant cover by ADAM HUGHES
2010s variant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
Blank variant cover available
An all-star 96-page celebration of the Amazon Princess by longtime favorites and acclaimed new voices! In the lead story, Wonder Woman’s epic “Year of the Villain” battle comes to a close, leading the way to new challenges ahead. Additionally, this oversized gem tells tales from Diana’s past, present and future by some of the greatest storytellers in the business— including Colleen Doran, Mariko Tamaki, the Teen Titans: Raven team of writer Kami Garcia and artist Gabriel Picolo, and legendary Wonder Woman creators returning to the character, including Gail Simone and Greg Rucka!
PRESTIGE FORMAT ON SALE 01.22.20
$9.99 US FC DC
This issue will ship with nine variant covers.
Please see the order form for details.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #39
written by SCOTT SNYDER
art by JORGE JIMENEZ
cover by TYLER KIRKHAM
variant cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
In the wake of the Justice/Doom War, the Justice League finds themselves stranded at the far end of the universe and facing a challenge they’ve never faced before. But what will they find on their journey? Has their battle with Perpetua had consequences reaching farther across the cosmos than they ever imagined? Superstar scribe Scott Snyder says farewell to the Justice League with a special story that both winds down all the things he started in issue #1—and nods toward everything that comes next in the DC Universe.
ON SALE 01.15.20
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
ABSOLUTE FABLES BOOK ONE HC
written by BILL WILLINGHAM
art by LAN MEDINA, MARK BUCKINGHAM, STEVE LEIALOHA, and CRAIG HAMILTON
cover by TBD
The very first Fables stories return in an all-new Absolute Edition, befitting the mythical scale of the legendary series! These formative Fables tales introduce Fabletown and its residents. When Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it’s up to Bigby—Fabletown’s sheriff, and a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf—to determine if the culprit is Bluebeard, notorious wife killer and Rose’s ex-lover, or Jack, former beanstalk-climber and her current live-in boyfriend. Collects Fables #1-29 and Fables: The Last Castle.
ON SALE 06.24.20
$150.00 US | 8.25” x 12.5” | 792 PAGES
FC | ISBN: 978-1-77950-020-5
DC BLACK LABEL
This wraps up the October edition of the DC Pubwatch, so join me again next month as we learn the secrets of Leviathan and roll deeper into the Year of the Villain.