Saturday, June 11, 2011

First Thoughts on the DC Relaunch: Part One

Please keep in mind that any facts that I relate are not researched and may be completely wrong.

This September, DC Comics will relaunch all of its comics. Everything is cancelled including some comics that were really finding their legs, and some are relaunched with new number one issues as part of a 52 issue "relaunch," which includes new costumes for many DC Heroes, including Superman, designed by Jim Lee.

The concept of restarting all DC titles with new number one issues first was proposed following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and has since been mentioned almost as a joke as sales figures reveal that number one issues sell better.  The only DC monthlies that I have been reading have been Legion of Super-Heroes, Adventure Comics and Zatanna. I'm disappointed that Zatanna is leaving, and that the legacy of Adventure Comics is gone. The Legion will have two titles, including one that strands some of them in the 20th century, because we haven't seen that before. Now just explain why a team that has history at its fingertips and regularly travels through time can't just go back and get them as they regularly did for two of its members in the past.

My first thoughts on the costume redesigns are comprehensively, why redesign? When this is part of a massive PR event, the impact of the redesigning of Superman's costume is lessened. The other iconic redesigns are minimal and serve only to say that everyone was redesigned so Superman is no big deal. You'll see them in the covers I post here, and I apologize for any broken images or links, since there is no way I'm hosting copies of these images on my web site. I'm going to start with the stuff I'm actually looking forward to and then skip around, depending on the order I come across the cover images.

 Batwoman #1 - Well, It's about damn time. This title is almost a year past its original solicitation and surprisingly, I still care. I was a fan of Greg Rucka's stories in Detective Comics last year and I may very well end up regularly buying this series regularly. Rucka really reformed the characters reason for existing beyond simply to have a lesbian super-hero and transformed her into a fleshed out character whose sexual orientation has little to nothing to do with what she does or why she does it.  My hope is that it's kept only loosely tied into the other Batman family books and given a chance to rise or fall on its own merits. J.H. Williams is a great artist and the fact that he's getting assistance on the writing gives me hope. As far as relaunch news goes, I'm actually pleased by this possibility

Legion Lost #1 - Yeah, I'll buy this. I'm a sucker where the Legion is concerned. Seven Legionnaires are stranded in the 20th century. For the record, this has been done before, back in the 90s when DC did the Final Night crossover, which was very well done in my opinion. My feeling is that they'll use this to fill the space-faring hole left by the cancellation of R.E.B.E.L.S., and not keep them all on Earth, especially considering that these are, with the exception of Timber Wolf and Tyroc, the most alien-looking members of the Legion.  For those of you not familiar with the members in the cover image, Clockwise from the top are Wildfire, Dawnstar, Timber Wolf, Gates, Tyroc, Chameleon Girl, and Tellus. Wildfire is an interesting choice, since part of his shtick is that he's an energy being that must have his containment suit to be able to function as a super-hero. He's constantly, getting it blown apart. In the 30th century, the Legion just runs him a new one, in the 20th century? Sorry, Wildfire, you're just gonna have to tag along and watch from the sidelines if you get your suit blown apart. Chameleon Girl is interesting too, as she's a reluctant super-hero, primarily a shape-shifting actress with little combat experience who is separated from her husband in this series. I like this idea, but the execution may leave it lacking for me as much of the past year of  the Legion has been doing.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1- I'll buy this for certain, again, I'm a sucker for the Legion, and this promises to be a straight continuation of the currently running series. From the cover and the solicitation from DC, several of the Legion Academy students are admitted to the Legion to make up for the loss of the seven members lost in the 20th century. Dragonwing is shown on the cover, and her powers are flashy enough to be interesting. What other students make the cut remains to be seen. What's sad in the broad context is that this will be the seventh series titled Legion of Super-Heroes, and the sixth first issue for this title, and fourof those six first issues are in the past 20 years. The artist for this series is slated to be Francis Portela, whose fill-in work has out-shown regular artist Yindray Cinar in my opinion. Portela doesn't skimp on backgrounds and has a great sense of anatomy and composition. His personal style is very fluid and organic with just enough cartoonish elements without being a caricature. I look forward to this one actually. That's more than can be said for some of the new series.

To be continued....


  1. The 20th century? You mean they are lost ten or more years prior to the current timeline?

  2. Ooops, my bad. It should be present day.