What You Might Have Missed In DC’s December 2016 Solicitations
Every month, comic publishers release their solicitation announcements to provide information to readers and retailers on comics that are coming out in three months’ time, but there’s so much information dropped at once that a lot can slip through the cracks.
This month in DC's November solicitations, an iconic hero returns to the city that knows them best, a new twist on a classic character debuts, and the best Green Lantern makes a comeback.
One of the highlights of Grant Morrison’s metastory epic Seven Soliders of Victory was the Frankenstein miniseries, which cast Mary Shelley’s monster as a crusading hero of vengeance who carried a big ol’ sword. That miniseries was drawn by Doug Mahnke, which is why it’s so exciting to see the artist return to the character in Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s Superman.
For some reason, Frankenstein has been the most enduring character of Seven Soldiers, and whenever he makes an appearance in the wider DC Universe the tone changes subtly to match his arrival. Stories become grander as soon as Frankenstein enters the fray, it’s like you can feel the clouds start to gather overhead.
Tomasi, Gleason and Mahnke’s Superman has been a strange highlight of DC Rebirth considering the first arc featured none other than The Eradicator, of all villains. Bringing in Frankenstein to Superman’s back yard should at least make for an exciting fight comic, if nothing else.
In the mid-'90s, Dick Grayson packed his things and left Gotham to the neighboring city of Bludhaven to make a life for himself away from Batman. He got a day job as a police officer and developed his own rogues' gallery, including Torque, the man with a backwards facing head. The run by Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel helped solidify a lot of the things we know about Dick Grayson today, and is underrated, as most people have grown to write off the entire decade.
Bludhaven was destroyed around ten years ago when the Secret Society of Super-Villains dropped the monster Chemo on it, but we’re in a whole new continuity now, which means Bludhaven is alive and well and Dick Grayson is coming home. It’s unclear if this will be Dick’s first time in Bludhaven or if his previous adventures counted, but the idea of a group of D-List Batman villains packing up to the next town and getting angry when Nightwing accidentally follows them is too genius to pass up.
One of the biggest complaints of the previous volume of Justice League is that the team never actually got around to fighting any supervillains. At best, it featured supervillain v supervillain action in the likes of Forever Evil and “The Darkseid War,” but it never scratched that itch of the Justice League teaming up take on a classic baddie. The closest it got was the one issue that started after the team had just defeated Amazo.
However, Bryan Hitch and Tony Daniel’s Justice League has been a surprise hit in terms of old school team superheroics, and feels in many ways like a direct throwback to the Grant Morrison/Howard Porter run of the '90s. If you feel burned out on Justice League as a concept, hopefully seeing that the team are finally going to fight Amazo on panel will inspire you to give this underrated run a look.
Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda’s The Omega Men was one of the best superhero comics of the past few years, and it is undoubtedly the best Kyle Rayner story since the character’s introduction. Kyle was really put through the wringer over the course of the series, and came out fundamentally changed by the things he’d seen, with no clear goal for the future.
It seems now he’s remaining the White Lantern, but returning to his friends in the GLC in the pages of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Kyle has seen a new, darker side to the DC Universe that’s going to shape how he operates as a Lantern, and it’s going to be really interesting to see how he fits back in with the returned Corps.
The current volume of Cyborg is approaching some interesting ideas with what seems to be its own take on the classic Swamp Thing story “Anatomy Lesson.” The question being posited is, “Did Victor Stone die in Darkseid’s attack, and is Cyborg a machine that thinks it’s a man?” There’s great story potential to be mined there, but the past thirty years of DC Comics have featured Vic Stone hung up on the machine versus man argument, while in the cartoons he’s having the time of his life kicking bad guy butt.
Now, She-Borg is a terrible superhero name. It’s up there with the worst, quite honestly. However, it looks like she’s psyched to be a superhero, and hopefully some of that can rub off onto Vic and he can stop being such a gloomy gus and enjoy the fact that he’s essentially Robocop without all the body horror stuff. Well, some of the body horror, but he’s had five or six in-universe years to adjust; let the guy have some fun.