DC Comics Coming in August 2011: And Now, For Something Different
Usually here at ComicsAlliance, we take a look at the top ten most interesting-looking/noteworthy/discussion-inducing solicitations released by DC that month. In the face of the rather exceptional solicitations for August 2011 -- the end of Flashpoint -- we're going to switch this up with an analysis of the trends, and try to predict where the DC Universe will go in September after this undoubtedly universe-changing event.The first sign that it's not business as usual in August is right there in the very first solicitation: Flashpoint #5, the final issue, will be the only DC title released on August 31 (including Vertigo and Johnny DC books, as well). While most five-week months have four weeks of content spread out, sometimes with an extra project or two to fill out the shipping list, August is programmed as a standard four-week month with an extra issue of Flashpoint in the final week. Presumably this is possible since the entire book is already written and penciller Andy Kubert is already drawing the final issue.
In any case, DC couldn't be clearer that Flashpoint is going to rewrite the entire landscape of the DC Universe, and the solicitations for August back that up massively, as almost every single storyline currently going on in the DC Universe comes to its conclusion or is buffered by fill-in issues to kill time until the relaunch in September.
The long-delayed Batwoman has already been placed in September to benefit from a big post-Flashpoint push, and presumably the new Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis Aquaman title will hit the same month. That's not the only post-Brightest Day title we're likely to get, either; the only book to launch out of that maxiseries so far is the three-issue Constantine-starring Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing, which conveniently concludes in August.
Additionally, just this morning DC announced that June 11 will be the big reveal for the post-Flashpoint DC Universe, presented by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee at the Hero Complex Film Festival shortly before the release of their summer tentpole movie Green Lantern. The announcement asks if "this young, hot creative duo launch Clark Kent and his alter ego into the future," implying pretty heavily that we'll see Johns (aged 38) and Lee (aged 46) taking on the Man of Steel again, against the grain of longstanding existing rumors that they would take over the Justice League franchise. However, Johns's involvement in the JLA is still possible, with James Robinson's "Rise of Eclipso" arc culminating much of his run in August and his statement at New York Comic Con last year that he'd already written a scene where Aquaman takes control of the Justice League (no attribution, sorry -- I was there).
That's not the only dangling plot thread from Brightest Day, either; Robinson let slip that he was working on a Hawkman book at NYCC last year as well, and Brightest Day ended with the revelation that Firestorm would blow up in ninety days, something that I can't imagine won't be followed up on.
But what about August's books? Well, we get the end, or a breaking point, in basically every ongoing story in the DC Universe:
- The infamous J. Michael Straczynski arcs for Superman and Wonder Woman, "Grounded" and "Odyssey," conclude after being taken over by Chris Roberson and Phil Hester respectively.
- "Rise of Eclipso" wraps up in Justice League.
- Batman: Gates of Gotham ends, and Batman gets a fill-in issue discussing an "identity crisis" for Dick Grayson, implying he might leave the Batsuit in September.
- Scott Snyder, Jock and Francesco Francavilla's excellent "Black Mirror" storyline concludes in Detective Comics.
- "Reign of the Doomsdays" wraps up in Action Comics.
- We get a Leviathan-heavy issue of Batman Incorporated, which I imagine will be the least affected by Flashpoint due to the strength of Morrison's current direction.
- Batman and Robin appears to get a one-issue fill-in by David Hine and Greg Tocchini, and perhaps the Tomasi/Gleason "run" (which, so far, has been one three-issue arc and seven fill-ins) will finally continue in September.
- The DC Retroactive series ends as well -- a project that seems somewhat like a backwards look before a big change.
- War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath, a two-issue series by Tony Bedard, wraps up as well, having taken the place of Johns's Green Lantern title for two months.
- Superboy's "Hollow Men" arc wraps up.
- Teen Titans #100 features the end of the confrontation between the Titans and Superboy-Prime. Eric Wallace's big Deathstroke arc in Titans is ending as well.
- Green Arrow and Power Girl have fill-in teams -- as a matter of fact, the only book which will still be mid-arc in September is David Finch and Jay Fabok's eternally delayed Batman: The Dark Knight.
In other words, we can expect to see the landscape of the DC Universe change dramatically in September, with a huge number of new #1s as well as new directions on long-running series. The last time DC did any sort of coordinated linewide reboot like this was the One Year Later initiative during and after Infinite Crisis; this looks to prove just as transformative.
I suppose we'll find out on June 11.