The integration of characters from “Watchmen” with the DC Universe is going to take another large step later this year with “Doomsday Clock.” This four issue miniseries from writer Geoff Johns, his first full writing gig since the DC “Rebirth” special, and artist Gary Frank will have the superman of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic series meeting up with the Superman of the DCU. Why? It’s likely they’re going to discuss the nature of causality as seen through comic books while offering up a thinly veiled argument as to why “Watchmen” ruined everything for superhero comics. Or maybe not as Johns’ has long been a proponent of the “everything counts” approach to continuity as seen in his own “Rebirth” stories. So maybe this will be his greatest trick yet: Taking the ultimate story about why superheroes would never work in the real world and folding it into a universe where they do.
More power to Johns if he makes it work. I’m still deeply skeptical of this entire storyline. Well, unless they go with Chip Zdarsky’s explanation as to where Superman’s missing red underwear went. If there’s room for that in this story, then I’d be willing to get onboard.
Dark Nights: Metal #1 (of 6): This is the series a lot of us have been waiting for. The “Batman” team supreme of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are taking things to the next level and giving us the core of DC’s next big event. While it’s going to be Batman-centric, the rest of the Justice League apparently has a substantial role to play in it as well if the preview art is anything to go by. As for what this series is actually going to be about… your guess is as good as mine. Snyder has said that while there will be a certain amount of grimness to this event, it’s still going to be a lot of fun as well. Don’t expect one of these things to overwhelm the other, is what he’s saying. Even without any specific plot details, the results of the creators’ tenure on “Batman” is more than enough to get me to pick this series up when it’s collected.
Action Comics #’s 985-986: In other DCU/Watchmen-related news, the mysterious Mr. Oz (who is totally not Ozymandias) is reported to be making his move. Said move apparently leads to a meeting with none other than Lex Luthor where one of them walks away changed forever. I’d like to think that involves Lex killing Mr. Oz because he can’t leave someone that ambitious and crafty alive if he can’t control him. That said, since Lex is dealing with the kind of man who isn’t one to wait around to implement his plans I’m willing to bet that even if he does kill Mr. Oz, there’s going to be significant fallout in dealing with said plans… Wait, how many words did I just write about a story that I currently have no plans to read? Let’s just forget about that and move on to the next item on the list…
Detective Comics #963: In which the exiled Spoiler tries to expose the corruption of Gotham’s vigilantes. It may sound like an impossible task, but she’s got help in the form of a partnership with Anarky. The solicitation text asks if he’s on the side of the people or a dangerous lunatic. At this point in my life I’d be genuinely surprised to find out that Anarky is actually on the side of the people. I’d even accept him being a dangerous lunatic on the side of the people.
The Hellblazer #13: Still haven’t checked out the “Rebirth” issues, and now I’m even less inclined to do so since its writer has been replaced by Tim Seeley. Not that getting the writer of “Revival” is a bad choice for this series, but as someone who is used to the writer-driven runs of the Vertigo era of John Constantine’s adventures booting Simon Oliver after a year doesn’t inspire confidence. Unfortunately for Seeley, the solicitation text for his debut issue doesn’t either. We’re told that after returning from Paris John gets in a drunken argument, has a terrible dream about a teenager, and then wakes up to find said teenager’s corpse. We’re given a choice between believing that someone has weaponized his imagination or that his distaste for humanity has finally made him a murderer. The latter choice is simply awful on its own terms even BEFORE you consider the fact that John has been a murderer for a very long time prior to this.
Mister Miracle #1 (of 12): Tom King takes on another well-liked but not enormously popular comic book character for a twelve-issue series. This time with his “Sheriff of Babylon” and occasional “Batman” partner Mitch Gerads on art. Scott Free is the greatest escape artist who ever lived, having survived growing up in Granny Goodness’ orphanage on Apokolips to marry the former female fury Big Barda and establish a life for himself on Earth. He’s a man who has seen and done it all, except for one thing. Scott has never escaped death. I wasn’t as impressed by King’s other low-profile superhero projects as other people were so it’s hard to get excited about this. I’d much rather see him team with Gerads on a new creator-owned project, or deliver that third volume of “Babylon” that’s been rumored.
Batman: The Master Race Deluxe HC: Brace yourselves, it looks like Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, and Andy Kubert’s epic will soon be upon us in collected form. The impression I’ve received from reading about it is that while it’s not as bad as “The Dark Knight Strikes Again” (which I thought was at least entertainingly awful) it’s not exactly something we needed in the first place. It seems to be a matter of Miller coming up with the idea for the series and Azzarello and Kubert delivering it while avoiding the worst excesses of the legendary creator’s style. I’ll be picking this up out of morbid curiosity more than anything else. For those of you with money to burn the variant covers for this series are getting their own collection of 176 pages for $25 (the core miniseries is 306 pages for $30).
Catwoman by Jim Balent vol. 1: Before he struck out on his own to do “Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose” and give us stories about big-breasted witches and haunted vaginas, Balent illustrated “Catwoman’s” ongoing series for a very long time. To the point that even though he never wrote an issue his name is the selling point for this collection. While this first volume appears to be bogged down in crossovers (“Knightquest,” “Knightsend,” and “Zero Hour” are all name-checked here) I can see myself waiting to pick up vol. 2. That’s because “The Catfile,” a multi-part heist story from Chuck Dixon will be kicking off that volume. It’s one of the rare arcs from Balent’s run which received its own collection back in the day, and I remember it being pretty entertaining. “Remember” being the key word here since I haven’t read that story in a very long time. I should probably do that before committing to buy the (at this point theoretical) vol. 2 of Balent’s run.
Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #12: Final issue. Apparently there wasn’t much of an audience for more stories set in the world of “Fables.” Not without creator Bill Willingham at least. Anyhow, I recently ordered the first collection of this series so I’ll soon be able to find out if this series ending after a year was a tragedy or just a victory lap that no one asked for.