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The Top 10 DC Comics Coming in October 2011

Welcome back to our look at DC Comics’s solicitations, where we’ll be looking at the 10 best-looking comics coming out from DC in October 2011. Click below the jump for our thoughts on the Vertigo return of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, James Robinson’s first New 52 title, a reprint of one of the best Superman stories ever and the long-awaited return of Batman: Odyssey.

10. STORMWATCH #2

Written by PAUL CORNELL

Art by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA and AL BARRIONUEVO
Art and cover by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
On sale OCTOBER 5 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
The moon is alive! Following the events of SUPERMAN #1 where [TEXT REDACTED], the covert team of sci-fi Super Heroes known as Stormwatch must not only battle the Earth’s moon, but find a way to hide its monstrous metamorphosis from the rest of the Earth! How? Uh, they’re working on it. Meanwhile, the recruitment of Midnighter goes poorly, and we learn why the Martian Manhunter is a member of the team. Written by Paul Cornell (Doctor Who)!

It’s Stormwatch fighting the moon. Earth’s moon, gone sentient. Cornell talked this title up a lot in San Diego, and I’m interested not only in that, but also in the possibility of Apollo and Midnighter having a slow-build gay romance. Sepulveda’s art looks very striking, and I loved his work on this year’s Superman/Batman annual.

9. NIGHTWING #2

Written by KYLE HIGGINS
Art and cover by EDDY BARROWS and JP MAYER
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
When a mysterious assassin targets Dick Grayson, Nightwing must work fast to uncover the killer’s plot before he strikes again. But as Haley’s Circus continues to perform in Gotham City, Dick finds himself torn between two lives: His old one as a circus performer and his new one as a Super Hero. And they may be more connected than he ever realized!

Higgins isn’t a writer with a huge number of credits to his name — an issue or two of Supreme Power for Marvel, the Nightrunner backups in the Batman and Detective annuals last year, and co-plotting and scripting Gates of Gotham with Scott Snyder. Still, the last is a pretty convincing case that if Dick Grayson has to leave Snyder’s hands, he could do way worse than falling into those of Higgins — not to mention the fact that their working relationship implies a degree of creative synergy between the two’s books. The return of Haly’s Circus is a logical story to tell with the character to reacquaint readers with Grayson’s roots, so I’m very curious to see what Higgins has in store.

8. WONDER WOMAN #2

Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Hera, Queen of the Gods, does not take her vengeance lightly – and if Wonder Woman is so foolish as to stand in the way of her whim, then Wonder Woman is her enemy. But it’s Hera’s daughter Diana should truly fear – the goddess of discord is coming to Paradise Island, and murder always follows in her wake!

Artistically, while they both draw beautiful women, I can’t imagine two more different collaborators for Azzarello than Cliff Chiang and Eduardo Risso. As much as everything Risso draws seems dirty, sexy and at times purposefully ugly, Chiang’s work tends to be clean, bright and extremely appealing. So while Risso will be drawing the dystopian garbage future of Spaceman, here we have the exemplary Cliff Chiang drawing Wonder Woman, arguably the greatest beacon of hope in the DC Universe, maybe even more than Superman. It’s an interesting fit, and the solicitations so far are definitely playing up the mythological aspect of Wonder Woman as opposed to her as a traditional superhero.

7. THE SHADE #1

Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by CULLY HAMNER
Cover by TONY HARRIS
1:10 Variant cover by CULLY HAMNER
On sale OCTOBER 12 • 1 of 12, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. See the Previews order form for more information.
James Robinson returns to the world of his acclaimed STARMAN series with a new 12-issue series starring the antihero known as The Shade! An attack at the Starman museum kicks off a globe-hopping, centuries spanning quest that will irrevocably change The Shade’s life, and ultimately shed light on his true origin! Artist extraordinaire Cully Hamner (RED) kicks off the series, and upcoming issues will feature art by such luminaries as Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido, Jill Thompson, Frazer Irving and Gene Ha!

It’s been promised for a long, long time, but James Robinson’s The Shade miniseries is finally here. Formerly a Golden Age Flash villain, in his seminal run on Starman Robinson transformed him to a morally ambiguous immortal antihero and immensely cultured dandy. One of the great things about Starman — and what separated it from a lot of Robinson’s recent Justice League and Superman work — is that it allowed him to engage in, and write about, the historical contexts that fascinate him so much. Starman was a character and concept that drew on a great deal of DC Universe mythology, but in a way that allowed him to create and cultivate his own corner of it, Opal City, picking and choosing the elements that interested him. Judging by the Starman #81 issue, starring the Shade, that came out during Blackest Night, he hasn’t lost his touch for that, either. So I’m really excited to see what he does with this book, especially considering the murderer’s row of artists.

6. BATMAN #2

Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and cover by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
Variant cover by JIM LEE
1:200 B&W variant cover by GREG CAPULLO
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Bruce Wayne is back in the cowl, hunting a new and deadly killer in Gotham City – a killer with a vendetta against Bruce Wayne! But who is this mysterious killer in an owl skull mask? And is he the key to unlocking one of Gotham’s oldest and most terrifying secrets? Be there for their first brutal encounter!

Scott Snyder’s been doing the best Batman stories in years not written by Grant Morrison in Detective Comics. The new Batman series will allow us to see his take on Bruce Wayne, a character who actually hasn’t appeared once in Snyder’s entire Detective run, which has been starring Dick Grayson as Batman. Not only am I interested to see how he handles the “original” Batman, but an even more exciting return is that of Greg Capullo to comic books that aren’t created by Todd McFarlane. I was a big fan of his work on X-Force back in the ’90s — then again, I think most preteen boys my age were — but the covers previewed so far have showcased a really shadowy, moody style that perfectly suits the character.

5. DC COMICS PRESENTS: SUPERMAN – SECRET IDENTITY #1

Written by KURT BUSIEK • Art and cover by STUART IMMONEN
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
Clark Kent’s life is filled with the taunts of his peers, who compare him to the fictional Clark Kent – the one with super-powers. What happens when he discovers powers of his own? Don’t miss this title reprinting the first two issues of the 4-part miniseries that’s set in the real world!

If you haven’t read this unlikely tale inspired by Superboy-Prime before he became a mass murderer/message board poster stand-in, you’re missing out on one of the best Superman stories ever written. Clark Kent is a kid growing up in the “real world” with an unfortunate name. Lois Chaudhari is a career woman tired of being set up with dudes named Clark as a joke. So what happens when Clark Kent actually has superpowers? This is a very touching, very human story of a very different Clark Kent, Superman that, as a distorted reflection of the main legend, nevertheless illuminates it in new ways.

4. THE FLASH #2

Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Variant cover by GREG CAPULLO
1:200 B&W variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
On sale OCTOBER 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information.
The Fastest Man Alive learns he can make his brain function even faster than before – but as much as it helps him, it also comes with a steep price. Plus: The mystery behind Barry Allen’s friend Manuel Lago deepens as Barry investigates his kidnapping at the hands of Mob Rule!

I was already excited for this series due to Manapul’s gorgeous preview art, but after hearing him talk about it in San Diego, I’m even more so — he seems to be dedicated to really pushing the visual language of comics to try to communicate how Barry thinks and feels in super-speed, and his enthusiasm for the storytelling and character was utterly infectious. He totally acknowledged he’s an unknown quantity as a writer, and seems to be incredibly eager to prove himself as a storyteller.

3. ACTION COMICS #2

Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art by RAGS MORALES and RICK BRYANT
Cover by RAGS MORALES
Variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
1:200 B&W variant cover by RAGS MORALES
On sale OCTOBER 5 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information.
In his weakest moment, Superman is taken down – but by whom? And if the world wasn’t ready for a man with super powers, they’re utterly unprepared for the rage of a Superman cornered! The cornerstone character of the new DCU continues his debut adventure!

To put it lightly, DC’s Superman reboot has been a target for controversy. While the “present-day” version of the character will have his adventures chronicled in George Perez and Jesus Merino’s Superman, Grant Morrison and Rags Morales will be retelling the character’s earliest days — in a way we haven’t seen since, well, 1938. Self-consciously channelling Bruce Springsteen’s hero-of-the-working-class motif, Morrison and Morales seem to be preparing to tell the polar opposite of All-Star Superman — a version of the character far less powerful, more brash, and maybe even more idealistic. Honestly, I’m not sure the DC reboot was necessary for this story to occur — it wouldn’t surprise me if it started life as a totally separate book — but I’m certainly excited to see what these two have in store.

2. BATMAN: ODYSSEY VOL. 2 #1

Written by NEAL ADAMS
Art and cover by NEAL ADAMS
1:10 B&W variant cover by NEAL ADAMS
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 1 of 7, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. See the Previews order form for more information.
BATMAN: ODYSSEY is back in a new volume from legendary writer/artist Neal Adams!
It’s finally happened: Batman must kill or be killed. The threat is real and can’t be stopped by man or hero. To combat it, Batman must bring time itself to a standstill so that he can embark on an odyssey of self-discovery to a place unknown to mankind, where he can find himself. But is this a place where only failure awaits?

I can’t say it any better than Hudson and Wolkin have. This book is pure insanity, in the most entertaining way.

1. SPACEMAN #1

Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by EDUARDO RISSO
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
On sale OCTOBER 26 • 1 of 9, 32 pg, FC, $1.00 US •
MATURE READERS
Writer BRIAN AZZARELLO and artist EDUARDO RISSO – the Eisner Award-winning creators of 100 BULLETS – return to Vertigo with a new 9-issue miniseries, kicking off with a debut issue priced at just $1.00!
Set in a post-apocalyptic near future, SPACEMAN tells the story of Orson – a hulking, lonely loser who spends his days collecting scrap metal and dreaming of the startrekking life he was promised.
That is, until he finds himself at the center of a celebrity child kidnapping case. Seeing his chance to be a hero, Orson takes matters into his own hands…but will his actions only cause more heartbreak?

After the eight-page prelude in the Strange Adventures anthology and a short detour into superhero comics with Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance, the team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso finally bring out their long-awaited followup to the intensely acclaimed 100 Bullets. It’s a considerable change of pace for the duo, who cut their teeth on pulp crime fiction, to switch gears into sci-fi — but I’m willing to bet it’ll be informed by the same grimy sensibilities, considering the seemingly dystopian nature of this future.

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