The “Dark Days” prelude continues with “The Casting” in this month’s solicitations, though the main event will kick off next month with “Dark Nights: Metal” courtesy of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. That expectations for this are sky-high after the success of their “Batman” run, but they managed to thrive on going bigger with each arc there so I’m interested to see how they’ll adapt to masterminding a universe-spanning event. Alongside this event will be the launches of new series from the likes of Snyder, Dan Abnett, James Tynion IV, John Romita Jr., Jim Lee, and Kenneth Rocafort. These will be featuring all-new characters with the intent of building new fans for the DC Universe. It’s also reported to be masterminded by DC co-publisher Dan Didio (who’s also co-writing one of these new titles with Justin Jordan) after Geoff Johns ran the “Rebirth” show. Knowing this, I’m going to have to take these new titles on a case-by-case basis since Johns has shown over the years that he’s the better writer.
Super Sons #6: In which Damian Wayne wants to make Jonathan Kent a new member of the Teen Titans. This is all well and good. Of course, the solicitation text tells us that sinister forces are at work and Damian has an ulterior motive for wanting to put Jon on the team. Said motive probably has something to do with the fact that Robin is kind of a dick when it comes to Superboy. That’s the impression I got from the two-part arc where writer Peter Tomasi had them meet for the first time in the pages of “Superman.” I get that their relationship is going to be a prickly one (just like the one their parents have), but Tomasi didn’t quite sell the idea that these kids would work past their differences in that arc. So I’m all ready to assume that Damien wants Jon on the team just to make him look bad. It’d be nice if I was wrong, though.
Doom Patrol #7: Team founder Dr. Niles Caulder is back to re-shape the new Doom Patrol to be just like the old one. I’d wish him the best of luck, but he’s a crafty bastard so I don’t think he’ll need it. How crafty? Well, there was that one time when he was trapped in a supermarket with a beard-hunting and heavily-armed Punisher wannabe. As dumb as this guy was, taking on an old disabled man should’ve been a cakewalk for anyone. Except Dr. Caulder managed to take him out with a combination of sunflower oil, shaving cream, sunflower seeds, and aluminum foil. Naturally, this was something that happened during Grant Morrison’s run (issue #45).
Batman vol. 3: I Am Bane: The man who broke Batman’s back comes to Gotham for the settling of scores. I’ll have a better idea of why Bane’s so angry this time after I get around to reading vol. 2, but I’m not expecting a repeat of “Knightfall” here. Even though Batman is described as battered and exhausted in the solicitation text, I think he’ll pull through here. Best of luck to Tom King in finding a unique angle on this particular rivalry.
Superman vol. 3: Multiplicity: Grant Morrison has created a lot of fantastic concepts for the DC Universe yet a lot of creators are (perhaps rightly) scared of actually working with them lest their attempts come off as pale imitations. Well, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are stepping up to work with the inter-dimensional guardians established in “The Multiversity” with this arc. They’ve got a relatively simple setup, Supermen from across the multiverse are going missing, but it’s still something that sounds like it would slot in nicely with the setup Morrison left everyone with. Also in this volume: Superman meets Swamp Thing. I’ll look forward to seeing what bits of their shared history are addressed in their latest meeting.
Wonder Woman vol. 3: The Truth: Greg Rucka’s run on “Wonder Woman” has been unique in the sense that while the series has been shipping two issues each month, each issue advances a different plotline. While this approach is easy to understand once you know what’s going on and allows for each storyline to have a consistent art team, the way DC is reprinting his run is somewhat baffling. After all, wouldn’t it make sense for the first volume to be the “Year One” story since it chronologically takes place first? Then you have this volume which will finish out the uber-story set up in “The Lies” and collect the writer’s final issue. Where does that leave the next volume which is likely to come off as an afterthought as a result of this. Maybe I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem like it’d be that hard to have placed these volumes in a sensible reading order.
Justice League: The Darkseid War Omnibus: If you’re interested in picking up Geoff Johns’ climactic run on “Justice League” then you could spring for this $75 512-page omnibus when it comes out in October (it’s advance-solicited here). Or, you could pick up the two softcover volumes collecting the main story along with the one that collects the specials for $17 each. I thought that an omnibus collection was supposed to save you money compared to picking up the single volumes. Unless DC is planning on letting the softcover volumes go out of print in the next few months. If that’s the case, then you’d better grab them now or face paying a premium for the issues collected in this omnibus.
Sixpack and Dogwelder: Hard-Travelin’ Heroz: That we got one “Section 8” miniseries focusing on the surviving members of the world’s worst superhero team from “Hitman” a couple years back was a miracle in and of itself. Getting a follow-up to that miniseries after it sold fairly abysmally makes you wonder what kind of leverage Garth Ennis has over the higher-ups at DC. Anyhow, while Sixpack was the focus of the first series this one looks to be all about Dogwelder and how he comes to be aware of his hidden legacy throughout the DC Universe. The character responsible for Dogwelder’s enlightenment: None other than John Constantine, whose current status as member of the DCU has not gone unnoticed by Ennis. Expect lots of laughs at the expense of the magus’ current status quo, though I’m sure any subtle commentary on the character’s plight as it relates to the current status of the Vertigo imprint that might be found here is purely accidental.
Wildstorm: A Celebration of 25 Years: It was a fun party while it lasted. Now some of the most notable creators involved with the imprint are coming back for some short stories and pin-ups featuring its characters and teams. So you’ve got Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch doing “The Authority,” Brandon Choi and Jim Lee giving us “Wild C.A.T.S.,” and J. Scott Campbell returning to “Gen 13.” Sadly, new stories of “Wildcats” by Joe Casey and Sean Phillips, and “Sleeper” by Ed Brubaker and Phillips don’t appear to be on the menu. That being said, there is one thing not mentioned here that would make this a TRUE celebration of Wildstorm: LATENESS! Though this volume is scheduled for August it wouldn’t surprise me if it slipped into later this year or even 2018. I mean, even if these new stories are just eight-page shorts, does anyone really think Campbell has even started his yet or be done in time for the shipping deadline?
American Way: Those Above and Those Below #1 (of 6): It turns out that the power of winning an Academy Award doesn’t just extend to bringing the original “American Way” miniseries back into print. Apparently writer John Ridley has managed to leverage it to get an all-new miniseries ten years after the first one saw print. Given that Ridley’s involvement is the draw here, I’d love to know if he approached DC about doing a new miniseries or if they came to him. Regardless, now I really have to check out the first miniseries to see if it really warranted a sequel in the first place.