Sunday, February 3, 2013
Mid-century DC Comics were defined by offering outlandish circumstances for their protagonists to face on its covers; situations often conceived as a single image by an editor or artist that the scripter was challenged to write his way into and out of in the comic produced out of the crazy concept. This offset the episodic nature of the books' adamantine status quo, set from the beginning of every story and restored with each ending. Modern DC Comics aren't all that different, which is why they proposed a month long gimmick of gatefold covers that when unfolded revealed a "holy s***!" surprise development. DC has since dubbed the stunt "WTF Certified," although it seems like much of the whattafuggery is going on behind the scenes. For instance, the image above was solicited for April's issue of All Star Western, only to be reworked extensively by another artist. A theory is that the yellow hand wielding the gun was a time lost Booster Gold, but surprise, DC actually decided that this was too clearly the debut of New 52 B'rett. Seems so obvious when I point it out, right? Those sly dogs! In less delusional news, Jim Starlin has taken over Stormwatch, and seems intent on driving me bonkers in doing so. I'm a Starlin fan from way back, and while I haven't enjoyed much of his work in recent... well, we're kind of coming up on a plural of "decade"... he's still doing interesting stuff that I wanted out of this team in the first place. Hellstrike rejoins the team, after having been a member throughout the first Wildstorm volume. The skeevy New 52 Midnighter and Apollo appear to be killed and replaced by the Ellis/Hitch originals. Debut member "Storm Control" looks an awful lot like a Weatherman, and Starlin has even shoehorned one of his own properties (the Weird) from another book (an indulgence he pioneered in the '70s, and he will presumably once again continue telling stories from years back that he didn't get to finish in the books where they started.) The cover to a successive issue indicates the roster changes (or reversals, as the case may be) are permanent, and there's another race of beetle-browed aliens to battle in some sort of cosmic odyssey. Damn it all to hell-- why isn't Martian Manhunter in this Stormwatch-- the sort I'd imagined when the title was announced two years ago? WTF indeed, DC!