DC PUBWATCH – June 2021

DC Pubwatch - October

It took me all of one issue to decide which book would get top honors this month. To be fair, I did break my normal alphabetical reading order to read it first, because it’s a book I was incredibly excited for and had already been hearing praise about it from other critics. But actually reading The Nice House on the Lake #1 just completely obliterated my expectations.

The News

Another month, and another departure from DC Editorial. This time it’s Jamie S. Rich who is moving over to Tapas as their new Editor-In-Chief. Wonder what this means for his frequent contributor Tom King?

Highlights

The Nice House on the Lake #1
Andworld Design (letters), Jordie Bellaire (colors), Álvaro Martínez Bueno (art and cover), James Tynion IV (writer)

A head sticking out of a bone pile, with a house lit on the horizon

This isn’t the first book that Tynion and Martínez Bueno have worked on together, and that is something that helps this first issue to excel. The pair worked together on Detective Comics, and then tested out their horror chops a bit on Justice League Dark. Both of them have just gotten better and better the past few years, and this series looks to be the pinnacle of their partnership. Martínez Bueno’s interiors are just absolutely stunning, greatly assisted by the color palate of Jordie Bellaire. The artists work seamlessly to pull the reader in and provide a bit of comfort as the issue sets things up, but all the while there’s something underneath everything that is just a little unsettling. Something is not right, but you can’t put your finger on exactly what. This is aided by Tynion’s great character and plot work. In a very brief time, we get introduced to the main cast, learn a little about each of them, and get a good feel of why everyone is there. A huge shout-out goes to Andworld Design too, for the design work throughout the issue. The character blocks are fantastic, and the three info pages are just stellar. We knew from the solicits that Nice House On The Lake was a horror book, but those solicits are thankfully vague in exactly what kind of horror to expect. Lake houses are common locales for horror settings after all, and I went in honestly expecting this to delve into the slasher genre. So when it went in an entirely different direction, I was just absolutely floored. I’m not going to spoil that twist here, because truly this is one of the most compelling and exciting first issues I’ve read in a very long time.

Grade: A+

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #11
Simon Bowland (letters), Matheus Lopes (colors), M.K. Perker (art), Nick Robles (art), Marguerite Sauvage (cover), Chris Sotomayer (colors), G. Willow Wilson (writer)

Wispy smoke eminating from Ruin's face

In the end, it was a close call this month for the book that won, it very easily could have gone to Waking Hours yet again, and if Nice House hadn’t been so phenomenal, it definitely would have. This is sadly the penultimate issue of the series, leaving readers with just enough threads left to tie off for one more issue, but boy what an absolute gobsmacker of a final sequence to whet our palates for next month. The fact that this issue came out in June, during Pride Month, is not lost on me, as once more readers are presented with a lens into trans issues with Heather After. Wilson isn’t trans herself, but I have to imagine she has a sensitivity reader, because the nuance and delicacy with which she has written Heather can’t be understated. In this issue in particular there’s a very powerful sequence in which Heather is presented with her deadname by fae, with them expecting it to hold power over her as her “true name” but she just starts laughing, because as a trans person she knows there’s no real power in a name, true or otherwise.

Grade: A

DC Pride #1
Enrica Eren Angiolini (colors), Kris Anka (artist), Vita Ayala (writer), Aditya Bidikar (letters), Tamra Bonvillain (cover), Ted Brandt (artist), Stephen Byrne (artist), Sophie Campbell (artist), Becca Carey (letters), Sina Grace (writer), Klaus Janson (artist), Sam Johns (writer), Trung Le Nguyen (artist), Jim Lee (cover), Rex Lomus (colors), Danny Lore (writer), Marissa Louise (colors), Ariana Maher (letters), Nicole Maines (writer), Dave McCaig (colors), Travis Moore (artist), Tom Napolitano (letters), Steve Orlando (writer), Skylar Patridge (artist), Josh Reed (letters), Amy Reeder (artist), Nick Robles (artist), Alejandro Sánchez (artist), Ro Stein (artist), Lisa Sterle (artist), Rachael Stott (artist), David Talaski (artist), Mariko Tamaki (writer), James Tynion IV (writer), Luciano Vecchio (artist), José Villarrubia (colors), Kevin Wada (artist), Steve Wands (letters), Andrew Wheeler (writer), Britney Williams (artist), Scott Williams (cover)

Batwoman, Midnighter, Apollo, Dreamer, Question, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Flash and Green Lantern on the cover of DC Pride #1

I wrote more in detail about it over at the Beat, but I can’t say enough how happy I was with DC’s Pride offerings this year. This book could have felt self-aggrandizing and back patty like some other offerings did, but instead, it felt sincere and heartfelt. Thank you, DC.

Grade: A

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1
Clayton Cowles (letters), Bilquis Evely (art and cover), Tom King (writer), Mat Lopes (colors and cover)

Supergirl holding a sword, in front of an alien girl and Krypto on the cover of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1

Hated this book, so so much.

Grade: F

Grades

A+

The Nice House on the Lake #1

A

Batman #109
Batman: Urban Legends #4
Catwoman #32
Catwoman 2021 Annual #1
DC Horror Presents: The Conjuring: The Lover #1
DC Pride #1
Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular
Infinite Frontier #1
Nightwing #81
Robin #3
Static #1
The Dreaming: Waking Hours #11
The Joker #4

B

Action Comics #1032
Batman: The Detective #3
Batman/Superman #19
Crime Syndicate #4
Crush & Lobo #1
Detective Comics #1038
Far Sector #12
Future State: Gotham #2
Harley Quinn #4
Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1
Justice League #63
Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #2
Rorschach #9
Suicide Squad #4
Superman #32
Superman Red & Blue #4
The Flash #771
The Swamp Thing #4
Wonder Woman #773-774
Wonder Woman Black & Gold #1

C

American Vampire 1976 #9
Batman: Reptilian #1
Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #4-5
Event Leviathan: Checkmate #1
Green Lantern #3
Justice League #62
Justice League: Last Ride #2
Man-Bat #5
Teen Titans Academy #4

D

Batman/Catwoman #4
Detective Comics #1037
Teen Titans Academy 2021 Yearbook #1

F

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1

Solicitation Situation

Harley Quinn: The Animated Series: The Eat. Bang. Kill. Tour #1

  • Story by Tee Franklin
  • Pencils and inks by Max Sarin
  • Cover by Max Sarin
  • $3.99 US | 32 pages | 1 of 6 | 17+
  • Variant cover by Michael Cho
  • 1:25 Variant cover by Davi
  • $4.99 US (Card Stock)
  • ON SALE 9/14/21
  • Harley and Ivy on the road trip of the century!
  • Following the wedding disaster of the decade, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy end up on the run from Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD! But as fun as all that sounds, Ivy still worries over leaving Kite Man at the altar…Luckily, Harley’s got the perfect scheme to shake her out of her wedding-day blues!

Harley and Ivy sharing a passionate kiss as other Gothamites look on

I love the Harley Quinn cartoon, and will probably love this series. Even though it’s outside the DC Universe proper, it’s nice to see DC putting out a book that lets Harley and Ivy be unabashedly queer while working to reunite them in the proper universe.

Milestone Compendium One

  • Stories by Dwayne MCDuffie, Ivan Velez Jr.,
  • John Rozum, Robert L. Washington III,
  • Brian MCDonald, and Erica Helene
  • Art by Denys Cowan, M.D. Bright,
  • John Paul Leon, J.J. Birch, and others
  • Cover by Denys Cowan
  • $59.99 US | 1,320 PAGES
  • 6 5/8″ x 10 3/16″
  • SOFTCOVER
  • ISBN: 978-1-77951-310-6
  • ON SALE 10/26/21
  • The iconic Milestone line returns with the debut arcs of your favorite comics from the 1990s! This brilliant compendium edition features tales from Dwayne McDuffie, Ivan Velez Jr., John Rozum, and Robert L. Washington III, with stunning art from Denys Cowan, M.D. Bright, and more!
  • Milestone Compendium One collects Blood Syndicate #1-12, Hardware #1-12, Icon #1-10, Static #1-8, Xombi #0-11, and Shadow Cabinet #0—including arcs never before collected!

Hardware holding a chain

I’ve been reading some of the Icon issues as they’ve hit the DC Universe Infinite app, but I’m looking forward to this larger format to read the rest of the Milestone comics.

That’s it for the month of June, next month let’s see if Nice House on the Lake can keep hold of the top spot.

Cori McCreery

Cori McCreery

Cori is a life long comic nerd residing in Northern California. A life long Supergirl and DC Comics fan, she is the DC Comics Beat Reporter for Women Write About Comics.

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