The Top 10 DC Comics Coming in March 2011
We've been a little busy with the holiday season, but we're back now with our monthly look at the most interesting-looking solicitations for DC Comics. This week we're covering the March 2011 round, with a bunch of Bat-cancellations, the return of Milestone (again) and the long-awaited conclusion of Joe the Barbarian.
10. JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #55
On sale MARCH 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
James Robinson's run on Justice League of America continues with new artist Brett Booth (Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special) and the third part of the somewhat mystifying "Reign of Doomsday" crossover. Continuing from last month's Outsiders, and continued in next month's Superboy, the presence of Cyborg Superman in this issue basically confirms that this crossover is Doomsday tearing through all of the replacement Supermen from the seminal '90s Jurgens/Kesel/L. Simonson/Stern "Reign of the Supermen" storyline. James Robinson recently spilled the beans that the fifth part will be in a Superman/Batman Annual, creative team unrevealed, and this must have been a relatively recent turn of events in the DC writer's room since Steve Lyons's Steel oneshot was originally supposed to pit him against Metallo. It's an odd format for a crossover since it seems to be interrupting a bunch of books mid-arc with the regular creative teams in tow, so while I'm skeptical about it as a story I admit I'm interested in where it's going.
9. BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #21
FINAL ISSUE • On sale MARCH 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
This is one of three Batbook cancellations this week, alongside David Hine's Azrael and Legends of the Dark Knight successor Batman Confidential. The writing's been on the wall for a while with this title, with the "House of Hush" storyline continually delayed by fill-ins and Dustin Nguyen announced as taking over art duties on the Batgirl book. This has been a bizarre title, launched alongside Batman and Robin but never really in sync with the other books, dealing largely with continuing Paul Dini's Hush storyline from Detective Comics. For a book that's so solidly built on Paul Dini's name, the number of fill-ins has been astounding, especially unannounced ones, so this is probably putting a title out of its misery.
8. LEGION OF SUPER-VILLAINS #1
ONE-SHOT • On sale MARCH 9 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US
I spent time this weekend catching up on Levitz's entire new Legion run so far, across Adventure Comics and the main title, and it's remarkable how quickly Levitz has adapted to "modern" comic-writing style. In fact, he's managed to maintain the knack for gigantic character casts that typified his first run while eliminating the thought balloons and dramatic dialogue. When he first was announced as returning to the book, I figured it'd be another out-of-date work from an old dinosaur, but the ongoing Legion saga is frankly one of the best things DC's putting out. As a result, it's probably no surprise that they're giving it a bigger push with this oneshot, which looks to position Levitz's Legion as having a major role in the DCU for 2011, possibly not only in the 31st century. This is one of three Legion books by Levitz coming out this week, including Adventure Comics with Phil Jimenez and the main Legion book with Yildiray Cinar - prolific, on-time and professional, Legion is just a fun superhero comic, and I'm hoping that this will continue that trend.
7. SUPERMAN #709
On sale MARCH 16 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US
First off, that's the first Cassaday cover I've been really fond of in a while - after his somewhat lackluster work on Shadowland and Daredevil, there's something to the interplay between Barry and Clark here that's a lot of fun. That said, we here at ComicsAlliance have been pretty hard on Stracyznski's "Grounded" arc so far, but with the arrival of Chris Roberson and the promise of the Gorilla Mob and the Superman Squad, I, at least, am far more optimistic about the future of this title. His issue of Superman/Batman last week featuring Batman and Superman One Million was quite fun, and I'm hoping he can inject some life into this drab, plodding "story."
6. WONDER WOMAN #609
On sale MARCH 30 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Phil Hester's first issue of Wonder Woman was honestly the best issue I've read since Greg Rucka's run, reinvigorating Straczynski's "Odyssey" arc with existent characterization and a refocus on reinterpreting Greek mythology through a modern lens. The fact that future solicitations advertise the story as "intensely trippy" only gives me more hope. Psycho's appearance was teased in the last issue as well, with Diana listening to what was either a punk or heavy metal song that seemed to imply his existence. It's still only one issue in, but I'm looking forward to what's coming.
5. GREEN LANTERN #64
On sale MARCH 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
While the Brightest Day series isn't ending until seemingly April (the March solicitations seem to imply this is the penultimate month - I remember Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost were originally announced as 26-issue series, but it seems it's been toned down to 24 as the series went from biweekly to semimonthly - the Green Lantern titles are already moving on into the "War of the Green Lanterns" crossover. Building out of the events in Geoff Johns's Green Lantern, Tony Bedard's Green Lantern Corps and Peter J. Tomasi's Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors, it looks to pit the "Four Musketeers" (Hal, John, Kyle and Guy) against each other for the future of the Green Lantern Corps. It crosses over the four aforementioned titles, and will likely be one of those rare crossovers that actually raises the sales of the low-selling titles in it rather than lowering the sales of the high-selling title. In any case, it's Geoff Johns and Green Lantern, which means this will probably be a hit and a Big Deal for the character's universe.
4. DETECTIVE COMICS #875
On sale MARCH 30 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Artist Francesco Francavilla recently revealed on Twitter that he's actually drawing this issue due to the reconfiguration of the issue contents following DC's elimination of co-features, and this here will probably be the solicitation for #876. Still, this is the continuation of Scott Snyder's run, and if his first issue was any indication of upcoming quality, this is probably going to be a pretty damn good comic. Francavilla's art is incredible, and much better-served here by Scott Snyder's script than in the rather drab Black Panther book by David Liss.
3. JOE THE BARBARIAN #8
It's finally here! After a raft of delays, it looks like we'll finally get the end of Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy's "world-in-a-wordrobe" style high fantasy which explores the hidden fantasy kingdoms in a house. Despite being a beautifully-drawn comic by one of the best writers in the medium, there's been a surprisingly small amount of discourse over this book, and I suspect that this is due to its somewhat deliberate pacing. Much like with Jimmy Olsen, I'm looking forward to rereading the entire comic as a single work, and I suspect the upcoming deluxe hardcover will be a fantastic package - perhaps the way it should have been released in the first place.
2. JIMMY OLSEN #1
One-shot • On sale MARCH 30 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US
Following Nick Spencer's departure from Supergirl, this is his only DC work on the horizon with the exception of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. This oneshot collects the already-published installments of our tenth best comic of 2010, combined with the final three installments that would have been published in Action Comics #897-899. On one hand, I'm happy they're not letting the material sit in a drawer. On the other hand, the fact that I have to double-dip on the first four installments to get the last three is extremely annoying. That said, this comic is an absolute joy, and I'm looking forward to reading it all again, with the ending, in one sitting.
1. XOMBI #1
On sale MARCH 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
When DC Comics semi-acquired the Milestone properties back in 2008, things looked promising due to the involvement of Dwayne McDuffie, who introduced the characters to the DC Universe proper in his ill-fated run on Justice League of America. With the exception of the two-issue Milestone Forever series that capped off the previous Milestone Universe and explained its relocation to DC's Earth-0 and Static's participation in the Teen Titans, the characters have been in limbo since then. However, totally out of the blue, original series writer John Rozum is bringing back Xombi, with the absolutely spectacular art of Frazer Irving on hand. Not only is he a perfect choice for the subject material, but Irving is coming fresh off of a best-selling, critically acclaimed run on Batman and Robin, so I'm honestly kind of surprised DC is putting this much behind the book. I hope it's a success, and I can guarantee it'll be getting my dollars.