The New DC Line-up

DC has released the cover images and brief descriptions for all of the comics coming out post-reboot on their website.  To check those out, click here.  Earlier I had been first shocked then apprehensive about the reboot, but based on what I see, it might not be as bad as I made it out to be, in fact, some of the new books look really good.

The new comic I’m looking forward to the most is Justice League Dark.  It’s another superhero team, but this one’s made up of characters who all have occult/supernatural backgrounds.  The team involves Shade, Zatanna, Deadman, Madame Xanadu and John Constantine!  To me this sounds too good to be true.  For one, I was originally upset to find out Zatanna was losing her series, but I’m happy to find out she’s just joining a team, and so magic won’t leave the DCU.  I have a hard time believing this is even real.  The team involves characters from the DCU (Deadman, Shade, Zatanna) joining up with characters from Vertigo books (John Constantine–Hellblazer–and Madame Xanadu).  Some of these characters you might not be familiar with.  Shade, for example, is one of the characters from James Robinson’s excellent Starman series.  He was one of those wild-card characters whom you never knew if they were good or bad (I’ve heard James Robinson’s planning to write a series about Shade too).  Madame Xanadu is a sorceress character that Matt Wagner wrote about for a while;  she’s supposed to be Nimue from Arthurian legends, but is immortal and has travelled much of the world.  John Constantine comes from Hellblazer, which is Vertigo’s longest lasting series.  Anyways, I absolutely can’t wait for this one…  but it comes out at the end of September.

I’m also pretty excited about Static Shock getting a mainstream series.  DC I can tell is making a push to embrace ethnic diversity with the reboot, and that’s something I’m very happy about.  There’s another new series called Batwing that involves a black character introduced in the Batman Incorporated series.  This should be interesting because it actually is set in Africa–I’m just hoping whoever writes it takes the time to visit Africa.  Both have good writers attached.  Static Shock will be written by Scott McDaniel and Batwing is by Judd Winick.  Interestingly, I think both of those guys used to work frequently on Nightwing.

Speaking of Nightwing, it seems Dick Grayson has retired the cowl and is suiting up as Nightwing again.  I for one liked him as Batman, and greatly enjoyed his Batman and Robin series when he interacted with Damien Wayne.  I’m hoping Damien will at least make cameos from time to time.  I wonder what Nightwing will be like now that Bludhaven’s no longer around (if I remember correctly, the whole area was destroyed).

DC’s doing a whole bunch of team books, it seems.  There’s two series involving Legionaires, Birds of Prey are returning, and there’s one called The Red Hood and the Outlaws.  There are some teams MIA in September, including JLA and JSA.  I’m sure both teams are coming back, but maybe DC don’t want to overload us in September.  I wonder if JSA: All Stars will be subsumed back into the JSA?  I’ve heard T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents are coming back, but I don’t know when.  I’m looking forward to their return.

DC’s integrated a handful of Vertigo characters.  As I already mentioned, there’s Madame Xanadu and John Constantine, but also, and I’m sure a lot of fans are looking forward to this, there’s Swamp Thing.  If that weren’t enough, DC’s bringing Wildstorm characters into the fold, with Stormwatch integrating Martian Manhunter and Grifter from Wildcats is getting his own series.  Honestly, I haven’t followed Wildstorm much at all since they were bought out by DC.  In the 90s, Wildstorm comics were pretty popular, but that seems to have waned in recent years.  When the company wasn’t mainstream, it could push the envelope more (Alan Moore, for example, wrote Wildcats for a while), but when it joined DC it was noticeably watered down.  I’m wondering if there’s any plans to bring Gen-13 back?  That was sometimes a good comic, and it’d be a shame for the team to disappear.

Apart from Justice League Dark, I’m excited about Grant Morrison writing Action Comics #1.  Really though, it seems like a lot of good writers are being given steady gigs: there’s Fabien Nicieza, Paul Cornell, Gail Simone, and Brian Azzarello all being given their own titles.

Be ready to break the bank this fall.

For some of my negative reactions to the relaunch, click here.

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One thought on “The New DC Line-up

  1. I need to make one correction here. It turns out, I was reading the DC comics page wrong. The JLA is definitely returning, in fact, issue one already came out on the 28th! Oops.
    I’d also like to point out there’s a couple of graphic novels being put out by DC also in September. There’s a reprinting of one of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City comics and a book focusing on Brian Bolland’s DC artwork.

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