Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Post-Pointal Disconcertion: Ten Little Indians

I've been keeping score, updating a list of the 52 DC September #1 comic titles, plus reasonably reliable rumors. Something like eleven Batman books have been offered, four Green Lantern series, nine quasi-Vertigo supernatural titles, and plenty of mainstays or spin-offs from recent events. Basically, the Superman family is the only notable absence at this point, and I've taken many of them for granted. If last minute change-ups like the Supergirl relaunch make it onto the September schedule, there are roughly ten slots remaining in play. Surely there are books that will be held back for less crowded months, or simply delayed by the need for more work before being ready. Even taking that into account, Brightest Day was clearly designed as a spin-off factory for the past year, with Deadman in two books, late arrival Swamp Thing in another, plus Hawkman and Firestorm.  Essentially, all but two properties from that event are on the board: Martian Manhunter and The Hawk and the Dove. Best intentions aside, including the possibility of another WTF new team like Red Hood & The Outlaws to serve as a home away from solo, this would still be a serious vote of "no confidence" for both concepts. It would be a shame and a black eye for J'Onn J'Onzz to have been given a year as a co-feature in one of the industry's best-selling titles, and still be left out of the DC Explosion (jinx!)

The up side is that if there is going to be a Martian Manhunter series, even if it doesn't arrive in September, a short list has emerged through process of elimination. Throw out as many #1s as you want DC, but you're using the same old talent.

  • Tony Bedard: 4 titles in August, 1 in September (although DC Universe Legends Online should be offered, and that would make 2.) I like Bedard, and if he brought some of the R.E.B.E.L.S. characters into a Manhunter title, I'd love it a lot. I've been waiting for a 1950s Captain Comet team-up for ages.
  • Peter J. Tomasi: 2 titles, and one's with Pat Gleason, but he may still have room.
  • Sterling Gates: 1 title. I thought his Supergirl was okay. Could be worth a look.
  • James Robinson: 0 titles. Is DC retaliating for his many leaks about his titles, or is he going to get one big book (like JSA?)
  • Fabian Nicieza: 1 title. Not a bad writer, but I feel a bad fit for J'Onn J'Onzz.
  • Paul Dini: 0, but maybe he's ticked about Zatanna getting iced?
  • Brian Q. Miller: 0, but I'm not a fan, so whatever.
  • Marc Andreyko: 0, and that would be quite a different Manhunter than he's used to.
  • Chris Roberson: 0. Maybe he'll script for Perez, but he deserves something for finishing JMS' "Grounded."
  • Paul Levitz: 1, and he'd be very interesting, though highly unlikely. He's pretty Legion or bust, these days.
  • Paul Cornell: Dude's still got a year on his DC exclusive contract, but only one book announced, and it's a friggin' Etrigan mini-series. I hear good things, but he hasn't impressed me with my limited exposure so far.

  • Dustin Nguyen: 0, but not a guy who'd be on my list for art.
  • Don Kramer: 0. I'd rather see him on a less fantastic book, but he'd be good for a more John Jones-centric approach.
  • Phil Winslade: 0, and that would be hot. He was a good fill-in artist on the Ostrander series.
  • ChrisCross: 0, and he'd be a kickass artist for the 3-5 issues he'd do before leaving.
  • Jim Calafiore: 0, and no. Just please no.
  • Nicola Scott: 0, and pretty, but an odd choice for the Alien Atlas. Where are Power Girl, Huntress, Zatanna, the Question and other heroines going to end up?

Pinch Hitters: David Hine, Adam Schlagman, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Adam Beechen, Marc Guggenheim, Howard Chaykin, Bill Willingham, Matt Sturges, and Will Pfeiffer. These guys are either rarely first choice, or have blown big/multiple chances at choice assignments. They'll be listed on the credits of a lot of #3s, though.

Who would I like to see? Out of the guys who've been working at DC of late, John Rozum and/or Phil Hester would be pretty awesome. How about yourselves?


Count Drunkula said...

I'm shocked. Your list of still-available writers did not include DC's arguably best-selling Grant Morrison. Not that I think it'll happen, but it would be fun if the guy who killed J'onn in "Final Crisis" brought him back.

Of those you've listed, I think I would prefer Tony Bedard to script. I had zero interest in REBELS, but read it on strong recommendation and was very, very impressed. I think Bedard would be great on Martian Manhunter. And to handle the art chores, of those you've listed, I'd day Don Kramer or Nicola Scott.

Anj said...

I am guessing both J'Onn and Hawk and Dove end up with a book.

And I agree, the 'fresh' feeling of DC is being done by the same old names.

Count Drunkula said...

Update - DC is putting out a Hawk and Dove #1. However, it's being drawn by apocryphally "fan-favorite" Rob Liefeld, which means DC must want the book to fail spectacularly under the weight of advanced mockery and criticism.

Diabolu Frank said...

I could see DC sitting on a Grant Morrison announcement, and I would be all for it, but 'taint gonna happin'. In fact, we're so close to the wire now, I don't see any Martian Manhunter series for September at all. That's why I dropped this post today, before it was too late to be relevant. Given that freakin' Hawk & Dove is coming out, that's especially disheartening. I assume Liefeld was selected because Deadpool gave him some cache, and because the last Hawk & Dove ongoing was launched on the strength of response to his breakthrough art on the mini-series. Of course, that was decades ago, and we all know Marat Mychaels will be drawing this thing by #4. I guess Mychaels is already working on The Infinite #2 for Image.

LissBirds said...

Well, maybe no Martian Manhunter #1 is all a blessing in disguise. Somehow...?

How many unannounced numbers 1's are left?

Diabolu Frank said...

There's roughly five gray slots left, but more if you only count the official DC confirmations. Some stuff may ship in different months.

Count Drunkula said...

There are thirteen left unannounced for September, though you have to imagine a four to five of those are Superman family related. But, yes, DC will be pushing some additional #1s later this year/early next.

Count Drunkula said...

Update from DC: Martian Manhunter is in STORMWATCH!

Count Drunkula said...

...and from the cover art, the pie-slices emblem is back on his chest!