19 August 2011

DC Comics: The New 52 - Superhero Spotlight

"Superhero Spotlight?" you ask.  "What makes this different from Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and the Justice League?"  Basically, these are superhero titles that aren't those guys.  These are basically second-stringers; superheroes who aren't as recognizable as the A-listers.  Most of these characters will also appear in team books from time to time.

$2.99 - 21 September 2011
Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Freddie Williams II
Cover by Stanley "Artgerm" Lau
Charged by nuclear energy, possessing vast molecular powers, Captain Atom has the potential to be a literal god among men – a hero without limits. But the question is: Will he lose himself in the process?
Don’t miss the start of a legend from writer J.T. Krul (GREEN ARROW, TEEN TITANS) and artist Freddie Williams II (JSA ALL-STARS).
To be honest, I've never really paid any attention to Captain Atom.  Can't say this is gonna change.  Still, I suspect younger readers who are impatient with their parents might respond to the theme of a character so powerful he can't keep up with himself.

Note: DC Comics is not currently offering subscriptions to Captain Atom.

The Fury of Firestorm
$2.99 - 28 September 2011
Written by Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone
Art by Yildiray Cinar
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver
Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond. These two high school students are worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super-science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control.
The dark secrets of the murderous Dog Team and its Firestorm Protocol force them to put aside their differences to confront a threat so terrifying that it may lead to a new Cold War!
Welcome to a major new vision of nuclear terror from writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone with astonishing art by Yildiray Cinar!
I always thought Firestorm looked kinda cool, and I liked the occasional appearance in comics I was already reading, but I was never interested enough to seek out Firestorm comics myself.  Gail Simone has worked magic with Birds of Prey and Secret Six, though, so while Batgirl is the Simone-penned book everyone is looking at right now, The Fury of Firestorm might prove a solid read.

Mister Terrific
$2.99 14 September 2011
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Gianluca Gugliotta
Cover by J.G. Jones
The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors – uses his brains and fists against science gone mad in this new series from Eric Wallace (TITANS) and Roger Robinson!
Michael Holt is the head of a successful high-tech corporation and an institute that recruits and encourages the finest minds of the next generation to excel. As Mister Terrific he inhabits a world of amazement few others know exists, let alone can comprehend.
Third-smartest man, eh?  Great.  That means he's going to have to bounce back and forth from conflict with the first and second smartest men.  And, I assume, there are women smarter than him, too.  Without those smart adversaries, this should be a pretty dull book, no?  Yes, this is all code for, "I have no idea who the hell Mister Terrific is."

Note: DC Comics is not currently offering subscriptions to Mister Terrific.

The Savage Hawkman
$2.99 28 September 2011
Written by Tony S. Daniel
Art and Cover by Philip Tan
Carter Hall’s skill at deciphering lost languages has led him to a job with an archaeologist who specializes in alien ruins – but will the doctor’s latest discovery spread an alien plague through New York City? No matter the personal cost, Carter Hall must don his wings and become the new, savage Hawkman to survive!
Witness the start of a new action series from writer Tony S. Daniel and artist Philip Tan that will take Hawkman where no hero has flown before.
At last!  Someone I kinda sorta recognize!  I recently tried to get caught up on Hawkman continuity, and I got lost.  The problem is that every time DC Comics has revised their continuity, they've done it at a time when Hawkman had weak sales and was therefore ripe for being overhauled.  It's no surprise, then, that Hawkman is up for a complete reboot as part of "The New 52."  DC is hoping that curious readers will take the chance to jump on board with Hawkman 8.0 or whatever incarnation this is.

DC Universe Presents
$2.99 21 September 2011
Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Bernard Chang
Cover by Ryan Sook
It’s the start of a new series spotlighting some of the DC Universe’s most exciting super heroes! First up is Deadman, straight from the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY, in a five-issue epic where the body-hopping hero meets his match in a new foe who wants to make sure the souls of the newly deceased go straight to Hell!
What to do with the characters DC doesn't trust to carry a solo book?  An anthology!  To be honest, this is the one book out of this whole assortment that has my attention.  It opens with a five-issue "Deadman" story.  I've always kinda liked Deadman--though I never quite understood why the publisher that also had The Spectre needed this guy, too.  Still, as the guy who has sung the praises of Legends of the Dark Knight for nearly 20 years, I'm interested in DC Universe Presents.  DC's solicitation text makes it unclear whether the same creative team will produce each story.

Since posting these remarks, it has come to my attention that DC Comics is not currently offering subscriptions to nineteen of the New 52.  Presumably, these are titles on a very short leash in which DC has little confidence and are probably on the chopping block from issue #1.  Captain Atom and Mister Terrific are among these titles.  I won't be surprised if those characters don't eventually find themselves reliant on appearances in DC Universe Presents to maintain visibility.

Other DC Comics: The New 52 spotlights
Green Lantern
Justice League
Young Justice
The Dark
The Edge


  1. Glad to hear Bernard Chang still has some regular DC work coming to him. I like that dude, despite the fact he owes me money (or art). Has PowerGirl been mentioned? Despite a craptacular origin, I like the character. And not just the look of the character, famously crafted and "enhanced" by Wally Wood who decided that he would secretly and incrementally increase her bust size until such a time as it was inflated enough for an editor to really notice, and by that time it would be a part of the established appearance of the character. I like the modern character of the character, made famous especially by Geoff Johns and Amanda Conner, who essentially embraced the fact that her origin is little more than a retread of Supergirl. Fitting, as she is the Supergirl of an alternate universe who is left in our own. Instead of trying some trickery to replace this origin with something more unique that would likely feel hackneyed, as we would all know that it was created for a marketing purpose rather than for some story purpose, they chose to have the character accept her origin but give her an all-too-human "Jan Brady" complex about it. A young woman is deposited on our world where she already exists, the role she is meant to have is filled by the pre-existing Supergirl, who receives the lion's share of attention. "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!"
    I even liked Johns' explanation of the signature hole in her costume, her having wanted to put a symbol there but nothing really struck her, an expression of her still feeling placeless. Amanda Conner's art perfectly visualized this nice, good-hearted young woman who deserves attention for her deeds, but is more frequent to receive it for her physique, a reality for a great many women. Although in more recent work she is very successful in a public Bruce Wayne way, which I don't care for as much as her being a character on the ropes of life, I still like aspects of the character and hope that she finds a positive direction amongst the New 52.

  2. You know, I haven't seen anything about Power Girl yet. Given that Superman is being entirely revamped--including Supergirl--I wonder if she's a casualty of the relaunch. Surely she'll resurface soon enough, given how popular she's proven in recent years, but she is conspicuously absent so far as I've been able to tell.