Last year brought a big revamp for DC’s licensed Hanna-Barbera comics and characters and now the Looney Tunes characters are getting the same treatment. Coming out of ComicsPro is word of four “Vs.” titles that will see familiar DC characters pitted against specific Looney Tunes. One of them is genuinely inspired: Lobo vs. the Road Runner. I think the idea is that Wile E. Coyote is hiring the intergalactic bounty hunter to succeed where he has failed so many times before. Lobo works best when he’s either pitted against someone more unlikeable than he is, or getting his comeuppance as a bully. This would seem to fall into the latter category and I can only hope that whoever’s involved will give The Main Man’s regenerative factor a real workout as we (will undoubtedly) get the most violent Road Runner story ever.
As for the rest, Martian Manhunter vs. Marvin the Martian sounds fine if more than a little obvious. Jonah Hex vs. Yosemite Sam does stand a good chance of working since pitting the gnarled bounty hunter against a short man with a temper and a long red beard certainly wouldn’t be the strangest encounter Hex has had in his long history. Then you have Batman vs. Elmer Fudd which falls squarely into the “Why!?!?” category as there appears to be no discernable reason for these two to be paired off. Save for the fact that not involving Batman in any event has DC feeling that they’re leaving money on the table.
Justice League #’s 20-21: In which the League is stuck in a time loop and has to find a way out of it. While Bryan Hitch has been writing this series since it relaunched, this will be the first time he has provided the art in the series proper (as he illustrated the “Rebirth” issue). I’d make a joke about the lead time that would be necessary for him to provide the art for two consecutive issues, but that’s some low-hanging fruit. Besides, it’s a time-loop story. I’m sure he didn’t need to draw nearly as many panels if he’s going to be re-using them until the League finally breaks the cycle.
Trinity Annual #1: I haven’t been reading the main series, or the issues of Geoff Johns’ “Justice League” that it’s likely referring to, but this issue gives me another reason to. At one point Lex Luthor was working with Ra’s Al Ghul and Circe before he double-crossed them to further his own ends. Now, making an enemy of a centuries-old sorceress is a bad move on any occasion, but screwing over the Demon’s Head? I honestly thought Luthor was smarter than that. Good thing he’s got his old pals from his days in the Justice League — namely, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman as the title of this series implies — to help get him out of this mess. Which they’ll do, because they’re all stand-up individuals, but I imagine the lesson they’ll teach him in the process should be half the fun of the story.
Also this month in “Trinity” news, the Wonder Woman Annual #1 from Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott features the story of the title character’s first meeting with Batman and Superman. I’m almost certain that it involved them calmly and rationally sitting down to talk about their shared experiences and how they can make the world a better place by working together. Fisticuffs will certainly not be present here as all three characters are certainly better than that, right?
Bane: Conquest #1 (of 12): In which the Man Who Broke the Batman sets his sights on creating a global criminal empire. I think it’d be hard to bet against him succeeding there, though the real story with this maxi-series is that it’s from “Bane’s” original creators Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan. Dixon’s involvement in this series is particularly surprising because while he had a very long and successful tenure writing various Bat-books during the 90’s he eventually fell out of favor with the publisher due in part to changing times, but more likely his outspoken conservative political views. That he’s now back writing for DC does have me wondering if there’s a more interesting story to be told here, or if the publisher just delivered a big enough wheelbarrow of cash to his front door.
Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye vol. 1: Going Underground: The long-forgotten spelunker is revived via Gerard Way’s “Young Animal” imprint, with new adventures co-written by Way and Jon Rivera, and art from Michael Avon Oeming. I’ve heard it’s pretty weird and features the return of less-long-forgotten cult DC vigilante Wild Dog. The real hurdle this revival needs to overcome for me is that it has to be good enough to distract me from the fact that Oeming is drawing this and not new issues of “Powers.” Then again, maybe I should just accept the fact that we’re never going to get new issues of that title on a regular basis and move on with my life. “Cave Carson,” can you please help me out with that?
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad HC: DC’s latest event and its tie-ins from “Suicide Squad” and “Justice League” (natch) get collected. While the pitch here is that the two teams go at it after the League discovers the Squad’s existence, that’s not the whole story here. It turns out that there are some very bad guys — led by Maxwell Lord — who not only have plans involving world domination, but also remember the DCU prior to the “New 52” and “Rebirth.” So where exactly is writer Joshua Williamson (and cohorts Rob Williams and Tim Seeley) going with this? I’ll have to admit that I’m curious.
Batwoman by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III: Ugh. Not only is the title of this collection a misnomer, but it’s ANOTHER case of Rucka’s previous Bat-writing being re-collected in a new edition that gives us more issues than the previous one did. The first edition (“Elegy”) collected the first seven issues of this run in an oversized hardcover which represented all of Williams’ work. This new edition gives us the final three issues which were done by Jock. While Jock’s a formidable talent in his own right, I’m having trouble summoning up the will to pick up this new edition just to get those three issues. I think I’ll resolve things by getting them on ComiXology instead.
American Way: The 10th Anniversary Edition: Why is this mostly-forgotten series from DC getting an anniversary edition? Well, when the person who wrote it is John Ridley, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for “12 Years A Slave,” and went on to produce the acclaimed anthology series “American Crime,” then that should serve as a good enough answer. It also makes me think that this miniseries about an alternate-history U.S. where fights between superheroes and supervillains are staged by the government to keep the public distracted may actually be a lost gem. After all, history appears to have shown that Ridley’s time in comics was only holding him back from achieving his true potential.