DC Comics's February 2011 solicitations are out, and as usual we've lined up the best and most interesting-looking books in the current crop. Take a look below for our ten picks, including the return of Batwoman, a new artist on Justice League of America, Doomsday and the return of Phil Jimenez to DC Comics.

1. DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #1-2

Written by TONY BEDARD & MARV WOLFMAN
Art by HOWARD PORTER & LIVESAY and ADRIANA MELO & NORMAN LEE


The DC event of the year begins, coinciding with the release of the wildly anticipated DCU MMO! Get ready for the ride of a lifetime with this immense, 26-issue biweekly series! In issue #1, Lex Luthor's obsession with destroying Superman reaches fever pitch when he cuts the ultimate Devil's deal with Brainiac...but with the shake of a hand, has Luthor consigned humanity to genocide?

In the startling second issue, The Lex Luthor of a post-apocalyptic future scrambles to escape Brainiac's invasion of Earth, but he must gather an army to stop the invasion. Who will he recruit? And in the present, Brainiac's first assault on Earth has begun, which recaps the incredibly rare DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #0! Comic book legend Marv Wolfman joins fan-favorite writer Tony Bedard and artist Howard Porter to tell the ultimate DC Universe Super Hero tale of good versus evil!

With Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost wrapping up in the next few months, this looks to take their place as DC's ongoing biweekly event, at least for now. It's kind of a no-brainer idea, having a tie-in comic to the MMORPG, but I can't help but think that sectioning that tie-in comic off from the rest of the DCU might not do much for the game's authenticity. On the other hand, having the MMORPG occurring in the current DCU would be a logistical and creative nightmare that would basically break the back of the DC Universe for the benefit of an online videogame, which would be a pretty dumb move. I've also got to wonder if the game will occur in real-time with the comic, since they're both based on the same backstory and are basically written by the same writer.

That said, I don't see any mention of day-and-date digital here, and if any DC book upcoming made sense for that, this is it. Your audience for this is already on the computer, guys, don't make them go to the store to get the backstory because they sure as hell didn't go to GameStop to pick up the game.

2. OUTSIDERS #37

Written by DAN DIDIO
Art by KEITH GIFFEN & MICK GRAY
Cover by PHILIP TAN
"Reign of Doomsday" roars on from the pages of January's STEEL #1!
In Markovia, the Eradicator struggles in battle against the murder-machine known as Doomsday! It's a fight to the death with the lives of Geo-Force, Katana, the Looker, Halo and the Olympian all hanging in the balance! Don't miss this brutal chapter as the "Reign of Doomsday" storyline stomps toward an explosive summer event!
Meanwhile, under arrest by the U.S. government, Black Lightning and his Outsiders team find their backs against the wall as they're forced to choose between a lifetime of imprisonment or leading an invasion of their former home base in Markovia!

On sale FEBRUARY 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Dan DiDio's dalliance with drama continues as Outsiders is part of what's apparently a five-part crossover featuring the return of everyone's favorite surprisingly entertaining marketing ploy, Doomsday, The Kryptonian Monster Who Put Superman In A Kryptonian Coma Thing And Everyone Thought He Died. It's a five-part crossover running through last month's Steel oneshot, this month's outsiders, and presumably the next months' issues of Justice League of America and Superboy before wrapping up in a MYSTERY COMIC (probably Action Comics or Superman or a new ongoing series of some kind). With Eradicator in Outsiders, he seems to be making the rounds of all of the replacement Supermen, so get your Zubaz pants and L.A. Lights on, 'cause we're time-warping to the '90s!

3. BATWOMAN #1

Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III & W. HADEN BLACKMAN
Art and cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III
1:10 Variant cover by AMY REEDER
The multiple award-winning creative team of J.H. Williams III (DETECTIVE COMICS) and W. Haden Blackman (Star Wars, Force Unleashed) launch the first, chilling arc of the ongoing series fans have been clamoring for! In the 5-part "Hydrology," Batwoman faces bizarre new challenges in her war against the dark underworld of Gotham and new trials in her personal life as Kate Kane. She quickly finds herself in the deep end facing truths about her past and her future. Who – or what – is stealing children from Gotham's barrio, and for what twisted purpose? Can she train her cousin Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird) as her new sidekick? How will she handle dark revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? How is she dealing with the supposed drowning of her sister, the villain known as Alice? And why is a certain government agency suddenly taking an interest in her? The road to the answers begins here!


On sale FEBRUARY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Finally, the all-new Batwoman #1, actually written and started before this month's #0 issue. This comic is guaranteed to look fantastic, and it'll be wonderful reading about Kate Kane on a monthly basis again. Williams's co-writer W. Haden Blackman is new to the superhero biz, coming from doing a bunch of work in the Star Wars universe, so at least he won't be surprised by crazy fans, angry message board posts and impenetrable, inconsistent continuity. Hopefully the two have a cool story in store -- and judging by Williams's past plotting work on Chase and Batman: Snow, they will -- but even if they wrote the dialogue by forcing a monkey to use a Ouija board at gunpoint, you're guaranteed this book will be gorgeous and visually innovative. I recommend reading this book last in your stack so everything else doesn't look like chimpanzee poop.

For more Batwoman, she's also in Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette's Batman Incorporated in February, which I've stopped featuring because it's really, really obvious that I think that comic is going to be awesome, and it doesn't bear repeating every single month.

4. DETECTIVE COMICS #874

Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
"There are some cases that come screaming back at you...like phone calls in the night..."
For years, Jim Gordon has been haunted by the unsolved case of Gotham's notorious
"Peter Pan Killer." Now, armed with new evidence, Gordon is determined to put the case to rest.
But as he digs deeper, he'll unearth a shocking discovery about his own past – a revelation that will shake him to the core. Skeletons will be exposed and secrets revealed in this special issue featuring art by Francesco Francavilla!
On sale FEBRUARY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



Take a look at that cover, guys -- Francesco Francavilla is a beast. I don't know what voodoo curse he put on DC, or whether he just sics Stephen King on them every time they suggest someone different, but Scott Snyder somehow seems to surround himself with only the best artists in the business. Rafael Albuquerque, Jock, Danijel Zezelj, this guy - the level of collaborators he's chosen, and who've chosen to work with him, speaks volumes. I'm looking forward to this book more and more, as it seems to be the Detective Comics I've wanted to read for years, focusing on solid detective stories without a suffocating oneshot framework or subduing character development. Don't let me down, man.

5. GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #20

Written by PETER CALLOWAY
Art by LEE GARBETT
Cover by GUILLEM MARCH
With The Joker's return to BATMAN comics in recent months, it was only a matter of time before Harley Quinn took notice. Will she abandon her Sirens and return to the side of her true love? Well, she might not have a choice! And what happens between Selina and Harley when they realize that the objects of their respective affections are mortal enemies?

On sale FEBRUARY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Okay, this surprises me for two reasons: 1) This book is still around. When it wasn't published in the preview solicitations on Newsarama, I'd figured it was cancelled (along with Azrael), but it turns out they were just below Teen Titans (which was listed in the Bat-section due to the crossover with Red Robin), and I guess Newsarama or DC cut the section there. 2) Holy crap, they're actually sticking with Joker's bullet hole in other titles, I thought they'd try to ignore that as soon as humanly possible. March turns in a great cover as always, and I have to admit I'm curious to see if other writers pick up on all the work Morrison's done with the Joker over the past few years now that he's apparently been released out into the wild again, or if he goes right back to being MISTAH J and they ignore the bullet hole within a few months. Can Grant Morrison's vision outpace the natural forces of character regression? Place your bets with the Black Glove.

6. SUPERMAN #708

Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI & CHRIS ROBERSON
Art by EDDY BARROWS & J.P. MAYER
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
1:10 Variant cover by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Superman meets the new Wonder Woman for the first time! But why can't he shake the feeling that he already knows her? The Man of Steel will have to figure that out later, as the two heroes have their hands full defending Omaha, Nebraska from the evil Keres, a supernatural force determined to rid the town (and the world!) of all Amazons – and they're not too crazy about Kryptonians, either.

On sale FEBRUARY 9 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US

7. WONDER WOMAN #608

Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI & PHIL HESTER
Art and cover by DON KRAMER & JAY LEISTEN
1:10 Variant cover by ALEX GARNER
Flashes of a destroyed Themyscira haunt Diana all over again as an Amazon safe house is completely destroyed. The culprits? Cheetah and Silver Swan, who work for the mysterious Morrigan. How does Diana get out of this one? According to Cheetah, "You run..."

On sale FEBRUARY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



Straczynski's two remaining ongoing series are both handed off to their new writers by February, with JMS still serving in a plotting and overseeing role enough to get first billing in the writer credit - then again, that could easily be a marketing thing. This will be Chris Roberson's second issue of Superman, and as far as I'm aware it'll be the first time the "new" Wonder Woman has interacted with the greater DC Universe. Meanwhile, longtime indie writer and superhero penciller Phil Hester takes over the Wonder Woman title itself, finishing up Straczynski's "Odyssey" story arc. This will be his fourth issue, since he starts next month with #605.

It'll be interesting to see how much of these books are JMS and how much are Roberson/Hester, but it'll be even more interesting to see what happens to these titles after. Hopefully, Roberson and Hester aren't just on to play cleanup and get replaced -- surely they each have Superman and Wonder Woman stories they want to tell, and I hope I get the chance to read them. At this point, the Superman line is pretty much Critically Acclaimed Relatively Newish Writer City, with Paul Cornell as the elder statesman over Chris Roberson, Nick Spencer and Jeff Lemire.

8. JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #54

Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by BRETT BOOTH & NORM RAPMUND
Cover by BRETT BOOTH

1:10 Variant cover by DAVID MACK

"The Rise of Eclipso" begins here as the dark energies that have surrounded Earth are harnessed once more to usher in the great Lord of Darkness! And it looks like the corruption of all mankind starts with the members of the Justice League! When things go dark, which teammate poses the greatest threat to mankind – Obsidian or Jade?
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

On sale FEBRUARY 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I've got to say, I didn't expect Brett Booth to take over Justice League of America, but here we are. After making his debut on January's Starman/Congorilla oneshot, he'll come over to the main book for the beginning of a sequel to this year's JLA/JSA crossover "The Dark Things." Eclipso returns in his original cheap-leather-hat Bruce Gordon incarnation, hilarity ensues.


9. ADVENTURE COMICS #523

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by PHIL JIMENEZ & ANDY LANNING
Cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
Phil Jimenez (INFINITE CRISIS, Amazing Spider-Man) launches an arc starring the rookies as they learn to be heroes at Legion Academy! This gorgeous issue marks a perfect jumping-on point for any new reader curious to learn about the DC Universe of the 31st century!

On sale FEBRUARY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Paul Levitz's fairly solid title-spanning 2010 Legion run gets a much-need publicity push with the arrival of Phil Jimenez on art for Adventure Comics, which will now become a Legion Academy title. I honestly didn't expect this to happen, but it almost seems like between this and the election, the return of Paul Levitz actually reinvigorated interest in the property.



10. AARON AND AHMED HC

Written by JAY CANTOR
Art and cover by JAMES ROMBERGER

"What causes terrorism?" After his fiancée dies on 9/11, the question plagues Aaron Goodman. It makes him give up his career as a doctor to become an interrogator at Guantanamo Bay. It leads him to meme theory, as he wonders if there could be a cold science behind the conversion of people into suicide bombers. And ultimately, it brings him to Ahmed, a Gitmo prisoner who promises the answers to all of Aaron¹s questions, and in the process, he'll take Aaron from Guantanamo Bay to the jihadist camps in Pakistan, back to Ground Zero in New York City.

But where do Ahmed's real loyalties lie? From where did that loyalty spring? To answer that, Aaron will have to reexamine everything he believes, and stare down one of the most compelling questions of the 21st century.MacArthur Prize fellow and novelist Jay Cantor (Krazy Kat, Great Neck) has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the Ingram Merrill, Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, as well as accolades from every major print publication. Now, along with James Romberger (THE BRONX KILL), the acclaimed artist whom comics legend Jim Steranko has described as "fearlessly ambitious," the two focus their considerable talent, insight and vision in one unforgettable and pressingly relevant graphic novel.
On sale APRIL 6 • 144 pg, FC, $24.99 US • MATURE READERS


I'd honestly never heard of this before this solicitation, but I'd be lying if I didn't say this actually looked really interesting. I'm not familiar with Jay Cantor's novels, and James Romberger's last book was Peter Milligan's The Bronx Kill at Vertigo Crime (solicited for release in April in paperback form this month as well). The book certainly runs the risk of being trite or cliched considering the subject matter, but if handled well this could be a pretty good book. It's a total wait and see for the reviews, but this solicit has put the book on my radar.

What interested you guys? Sound off in the comments!