DC PUBWATCH – September 2021 Edition

DC Pubwatch - October

The leaves are turning and a wind of change is coming in the September edition of the DC Pubwatch. Oddly enough, Nice House on the Lake does not reclaim the top spot, though it is still a fantastic comic. No the top spot this month is going to Philip Kennedy Johnson and Daniel Sampere’s Action Comics #1035.

The News

The biggest news of the month was that the first DC Webtoon dropped, and it’s a fantastic slice of life comic about the Batfamily. As of press time, the first six episodes are up (nine if you pay coins to read ahead), and I have to say that episode six is my favorite of that first bunch.

Other big news will probably wait for next month’s FanDome event, but in the meantime, we did get the first footage of Netflix’s Sandman adaptation this past week.

Highlights

Action Comics #1035
Philip Kennedy Johnson (writer), Adriano Lucas (colors), Daniel Sampere (art and cover), Alejandro Sanchez (cover), Dave Sharpe (letters)

Jon Kent and Lois Lane looking on sadly as Superman flies away from the Kent farm on Action Comics #1035 cover

I talk about this book a little more over at the Beat but suffice to say that Johnson has done a great job of building up to this farewell issue and really setting the stakes of what’s to come during his time on the Superbooks. This book was really great at dealing with the emotional impacts of Clark deciding to go take care of the Warworld problem and having to leave his family behind. Sampere’s art through this run has been incredible, and at this point, he’s in my top five artists to ever draw Lois Lane, right up there with the likes of Tom Grummett, Stuart Immonen, and Jon Bogdanove.

Grade: A+

Fear State (as a whole)

A collage of Gotham characters including Batman, Scarecrow, Miracle Molly, Peacekeeper-01, Ghostmaker and Harley Quinn

This was the first month of the event that will be James Tynion’s swan song on Batman and honestly if the even closes out as well as it’s begun, it’s going to be up there with Batman classics like Knightfall and No Man’s Land. The interplay between the entire Batman line is tight and cohesive, with each book telling its own story but impacted by the greater things going on in Gotham. Out of all the books in this first month, I think Batman, Catwoman, and Batman Secret Files: Miracle Molly have done the best work, with only Nightwing really feeling out of place among the crossover issues. Not saying Nightwing was bad, but it definitely felt like the book that was most shoehorned in.

Grade: A

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4
Clayton Cowles (letters), Bilquis Evely (art and cover), Tom King (writer), Mat Lopes (colors and cover)

Supergirl immersed in the sun

How do you make Bilquis Evely art feel so joyless and dull? This issue is probably the best issue of the series so far, but that’s such a low bar that the Atom could step over it. The real crime of this issue is not in anything super offensive, but in the fact that it’s just boring. It’s a bunch of vignettes of Supergirl and Ruthye following the trail of the carnage of Krem of the Yellow Hills and getting lost in the hopelessness of the situation. There are moments when a character who seems like Supergirl shines through. Moments of compassion and understanding, but are undercut when she unleashes a string of grawlix on the very next page. The thing is, if done right, Supergirl could have been a good character for Tom King to tackle. She is a character shaped by tragedy and trauma, but the thing is, unlike Tom King characters, she’s not allowed that trauma to define her. Instead, she’s used it to become better, to become more compassionate, to grow beyond being about nothing but the loss of her world. It’s something that obviously still weighs on her, but not in the way that Tom King thinks it does. Well, at least we’re halfway through.

Grade: F

Oh, and Rorschach ended this month, but it went out with such a whimper over the final two months that I couldn’t even find things that interested me enough to write about the final two issues.

Grades

A+

Action Comics #1035

A

Aquaman: The Becoming #1
Batman #112
Batman #113
Batman Secret Files: Miracle Molly #1
Batman/Superman #22
Catwoman #35
Green Lantern 2021 Annual #1
Infinite Frontier #6
Suicide Squad 2021 Annual #1
Superman ’78 #2
Superman and the Authority #3
The Joker #7
The Nice House on the Lake #4
The Swamp Thing #7

B

Batman ’89 #2
Batman: The World Batman Day Special Edition #1
Black Manta #1
Crush & Lobo #4
DC Horror Presents: The Conjuring: The Lover #4
Deathstroke Inc. #1
Detective Comics #1043
Harley Quinn #7
I Am Batman #1
Icon & Rocket: Season One #3
Justice League Infinity #3
Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #5
Nightwing #84
Robin #6
Suicide Squad #7
Suicide Squad: King Shark #1
The Flash #774
Wonder Woman #779
Wonder Woman Black & Gold #4

C

Batman: Reptilian #4
Batman: The Detective #5
Batman: Urban Legends #7
Blue & Gold #2
Checkmate #4
Future State: Gotham #5
Green Lantern #6
Justice League #67
Justice League #68
Justice League: Last Ride #5
Pennyworth #2
Rorschach #12
Superman: Son of Kal-El #3

D

Batman Vs. Bigby! A Wolf In Gotham #1
Batman/Catwoman #7
Shazam! #3
Suicide Squad: Get Joker #2
Titans United #1

F

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4

Solicitation Situation

Batgirls #1

  • Written by BECKY CLOONAN and MICHAEL W. CONRAD
  • Art and cover by JORGE CORONA
  • Batgirls (masked) variant cover by INHYUK LEE
  • Batgirls (unmasked) variant cover by INHYUK LEE
  • (These two variant covers connect into one image!)
  • 1:25 variant cover by RIAN GONZALES
  • 1:50 variant cover by DAN HIPP
  • Teams variant cover by AMANO YOSHITAKA
  • $3.99 US | 32 pages | Variant $4.99 US (Card stock)
  • ON SALE 12/14/21Um, hello—you didn’t actually think we’d keep you waiting this entire year without giving you the Batgirls series we’ve all been wanting for forever, right? No way, we love you too much—just like Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, who are only able to navigate the dark, gritty, and oftentimes scary city of Gotham by leaning on the bright light that is their best-friendship. Mentored by Oracle, the Batgirls move to the other side of town where Barbara Gordon can keep a better eye on them while the hacker Seer is still invading their lives. Steph may be too rash sometimes, and Cass doesn’t speak much—but what they lack in similarities they make up for with their mutual respect and love for each other…and what makes them stronger together as Batgirls! And they may be good at kicking ass, but they are just trying their best to be normal teenagers—who’ll borrow the keys to a muscle car that belonged to a bad guy and perhaps give it a joyride around town without a driver’s license, then race to get back home to Oracle by curfew…! Splashing the pages with bright colors against a dark backdrop of Gotham, Batgirls is the pizza slumber party of the year you don’t want to miss!

 

Steph and Cass playing video games as Babs screen times with them

DID YOU HEAR ME SCREAM BECAUSE THIS FINALLY GOT ANNOUNCED?! I HAVE BEEN CLAMORING FOR THIS BOOK FOR ALMOST A YEAR AND WE FINALLY ARE GETTING IT! GIMME THIRTY COPIES RIGHT NOW THANKS.

One Star Squadron #1

  • Written by MARK RUSSELL
  • Art and cover by STEVE LIEBER
  • Variant by STEVE PUGH
  • $3.99 US | 32 pages | 1 of 6
  • Variant $4.99 US (Card stock)
  • ON SALE 12/7/21

Who you gonna call? One-Star Squadron! Meet DC’s superhero team where heroism meets capitalism. This ragtag group of heroes led by Red Tornado is here to provide service with a smile. All you must do is send a request via their on-demand hero app and they’ll answer any call. Whether it’s a children’s birthday party or an alien invasion, no job is too small or too big!
Brought to you by Eisner nominee Mark Russell (The Flintstones, Wonder Twins, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles) and Eisner winner Steve Lieber (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen), you’ll want to invest early in this one-of-a-kind miniseries that promises a story filled with heart, heroism, and humor.

Several D-List DC heroes (and Red Tornado and Power Girl) grabbing for falling money

 This book should be a lot of fun, and maybe it will help to fill the Jimmy Olsen-sized hole in my heart.

That’s it for September, come back next month for a DC FanDome recap and the month’s picks.

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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