The Top 10 DC Comics Coming in February 2011
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
On sale FEBRUARY 9 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US
7. WONDER WOMAN #608
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
1:10 Variant cover by DAVID MACK
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
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
"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.
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!