In preparation for the its return to normal publication after Convergence wraps up, DC has been laying the groundwork for its new books and directions with free “Sneak Peeks” on their website, as well as a “Divergence” special issue for Free Comic Book Day. These aren’t preview pages, they’re little prologues and teasers with original content. On the whole, the new DCU will have more humor, which will contrast all the more with the grim and gritty books that will be sticking around. Well, we know where *I* stand, don’t we? But no negativity here, I just want to draw attention to those books I think I’ll be more interested in, focusing now on the first two weeks of releases. And if we have similar tastes…
Bizarro by Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte. Remember how happy we were on this side of the border when part of the Justice League moved to Ontario in Justice League United? Who knew they were going to spend so much time in outer space! Well, on the idea that Canada is the Bizarro USA (haha), the reverse Superman is taking a sure-to-be hilarious road trip to our fair land with none other than Jimmy Olsen. Fun art and story? Check. The closest we’ll come to a crazy Jimmy Olsen comic in the modern day? Check! Look, I’d be into it even if Bizarro wasn’t crossing the border, just based on the kooky origin story, the gags in the background, and the real sense of fun.
Starfire by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy. Speaking of aliens moving to less-visited spots in the DCU, Starfire is moving to Florida! Comic book power couple Palmiotti and Conner accept the character was a vacuous non-character in the New52 and make it part of the premise. This is about a girl trying to find herself after getting lost in the superhero game. They play up the comedy and the sense of wonder (a reversal of a common trope where that wonder comes from seeing new worlds – to Koriand’r, ours is a new world) and look to move the former Titan to a brighter place, literally and figuratively. Lupacchino’s good girl art is gorgeous, and I like the costume redesign (not something I’ve heard myself say often since Flashpoint). Surely, Kory was in more dire need than most. You know, the New Teen Titans have been around for over 30 years. It’s about time some of them were treated as headliners.
Prez by Mark Russell, Ben Caldwell and John Lucas. A new take on the old Joe Simon premise of a teenaged president of the United States, this Prez is firmly entrenched in Millennial culture as opposed to the original’s flower power, although taking place in 2036, President-Elect Beth Ross ISN’T any kind of Millennial. She hasn’t even been born yet! But if this series has any longevity – I know, always sadly a long shot with quirky oddball comics like this – comics’ sliding time scale might catch up with her. Another humor series, but one that depends on political and social satire. For example, in the Sneak Peek story, Beth is put in danger by drone pilots running a Thanksgiving patch on their video game-like software. They’re just shooting turkeys and can’t discern between friend and foe. And the Anonymous nation? Hilarious. So though there’s snarky humor, it also appears to be an action and conspiracy series, and our young POTUS could end up dodging a lot more bullets while she tries to dismantle government corruption from the inside. For some reason, that makes me really excited.
Section Eight by Garth Ennis and John McCrea. These creators are together again, but NOT on a Hitman book per se? Weird. Section Eight’s crazy heroes wouldn’t seem to score more than a mini-series (does DC really discern between the two anymore?), but I’ll take it. Hero Hotline, the Legion of Substitute-Heroes, I love a good bunch of loser superheroes. Section Eight isn’t quite as high on my list (it’s just above the Great Lakes Avengers, I suppose), but Ennis and McCrea have a kind of twisted imagination when it comes to this kind of thing, and while much of the original team is dead – only Sixpack and Dogwelder (DOGWELDER!) are known to return – the Sneak Peek offers some fun replacements IF they can survive the story. With DC delivering more than its share of dark anti-heroes, it really deserves a book like this, which revels in taking down those heroes and tropes.
So those are my favorites. Honorable mentions go to Bat-Mite whose premise I love (imp “fixes” DC Universe), but his prologue didn’t quite wow me; Green Arrow, whose new storyline looks pretty cool and unusual, with exciting art from Patrick Zircher; Doctor Fate, another book with cool art which could turn out to be DC’s answer to Ms. Marvel, though the prologue doesn’t take us far enough into the story for me to judge; and damn these eyes, Lobdell’s Doomed was a fun and extreme take on the Spider-Man concept, about a teenager who turns into Doomsday Jr.
Next week: The third and fourth weeks of Sneak Peeks!
Siskoid lives in Moncton, NB, with a large comic book collection and an even larger black cat.