Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Martian Sightings for October, 2011

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)!

Did my recent coverage of the Coneheadhunter mini-series invoke the return of Al Barrionuevo to comics? Specifically Manhunter ones? He's a good fit here, actually.

According to Cornell's blog, the new team sans one is on this cover. I'll guess that's Adam One, a new character, on the left. He's apparently "been aging backwards since the Big Bang, the master of tactics who… forgets things and isn’t that great at convincing people he knows what he’s doing..." Next is Midnighter, who's basically Batman mixed with Wolverine, and in desperate need of a return to his old leatherboy gear. Following him is Jack Hawksmoor, team leader and "God of Cities." Apollo looks pretty swell in my opinion, given how tired his Fabio hair was and how blandly he used to dress.

Speaking of dresses, J'Onn J'Onzz has a jock skirt going on, and we'll have to seriously discuss that once we get an unobstructed look at the full ensemble. I was hoping the DC Comics official blog "The Source" would continue offering redesign spotlights, but that petered out quick. The Engineer, who's kind of like a cross between a T-1000 and Terminatrix but with a cool human being under the silver, is consoling little Jenny Quantum, the spirit of the 21st Century. I guess the androgynous person at far right is another new character (Harry Tanner?) Two characters promised in the series: "the Projectionist, the voice of and god of the internet and the Eminence of Blades, the universal master of bladed weapons, who has terrible doubts." There are two new characters pictured and a potential third not, so place your bets.

Of the WS relaunches, Voodoo visually looks great, but the claw hand and newish mileu push me away. Grifter sounds kinda cool, though. Maybe old Wildstorm properties have the advantage of 90s-centricity. One more tease: Cornell says one of the hardest secrets he has to keep is "The Martian Manhunter. The way Stormwatch ties in to everything that’s happening in the rest of the DCU." Intriguing...

This September, DC Comics explodes with 52 new #1 issues! DC’s entire line of comic books starring the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes is being renumbered with new, innovative storylines featuring the most iconic of DC’s characters, helmed by the most creative writers and artists in the industry.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, DC Direct is producing an incredible portfolio featuring the striking cover images from all 52 debut issues illustrated by superstar artists including Jim Lee, Adam Hughes, David Finch, Ivan Reis, Francis Manapul, George Pérez and many more!
Fifty two images by various cover artists are printed on high-quality 4-color matte paper stock, collected in a 4-color folder and shrink-wrapped together. All prints measure 9” x 12” and are ready for framing.
Limited Edition.
*Quantities may be allocated
On sale October 5, 2011 * Portfolio * $129.99
For thirty bucks more, you can buy a hardcover collecting all 52 #1s. Seriously.

Miss Martian
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E
The team is taking Espionage 101 from Captain Atom. Their class project is to solve a cold case that involves a forty-year-old murder mystery, a military conspiracy and a half-decent chance that none of them will come out alive.

Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E
You are invited to a special Batgirl issue featuring Cassandra, Stephanie, Flamebird and, of course, Barbara. Find out what happens to The Batcave when the girls take over! Bonus: Coach Lobo’s Secret Soccer team versus…The Birds of Prey?! GO-O-O-A-A-AL!


LissBirds said...

"For thirty bucks more, you can buy a hardcover collecting all 52 #1s. Seriously."

I've already got my money lined up for this.

Really, what can $130 get you these days? Two tanks of gas that my car will use up in a month? Oversized portfolio hardcovers are FOREVER, man.

will_in_chicago said...

Frank, when I saw the image of J'Onn, I remembered the Indian version of Spiderman. The jock skirt looks a bit like a dhoti, a traditional lion cloth from India. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3836797.stm for a story on the Indian Spiderman.

I have thought that the existing Martian pantheon of H'ronmeer and other deities (the Endless) underneath a greater power. So, perhaps the dhoti -- if that is wha the jock skirt is -- hints at such a portrayal of some of the Martian Manhunter's beliefs. (Part of me wonders if the jock skirt is supposed to be a bit like a kilt -- in which case I wonder if J'Onn takes an occasional swim in Loch Ness.)

Diabolu Frank said...

Will, Hindu is about the only major surviving pantheistic religion I can think of, so parallels to Martian faith seem like a way to go. I'm not sure he needs a holier holy above the lot, though. I figure H'ronmeer aligns with Destruction of the Endless, so maybe Vrom is Destiny? I like sticking with just the seven.

Liss, sarcasm duly noted, but I still feel compelled to clarify.

$130 October shipping portfolio collection of New 52 covers that will compile the various sets to be sold at the San Diego Comic Con.

$150 December shipping hardcover of unstated dimensions collecting the 1,216 pages of comics produced by DC across the 52 new titles.

Multiple times more than I spent on any entire month's comic order over the past year...

will_in_chicago said...

I thought H'ronmeer was supposed to be death. So far, I really don't have major problems with the costume, but I would like a stronger collar. Mind you the effect of a dhoti with a cape does seem to recall a kilt - which is a bit different than the shorts look. (Okay, maybe a Martian might find Earth a bit warm, but I am sure that there would be a better solution than hot pants.)

I wonder how J'Onn will interact with Miss Martian and some of the other DC characters. Perhaps he has worked with many figures, such as Batman and Aquaman in the past, but has never joined any team. (Why do I get the sneaky feeling that in two years we will be talking about the latest reboot? I am cynical, but the question is am I cynical enough?)

will_in_chicago said...

Frank, I did a quick check. I hate to use Wikipedia as a source but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gods_%28DC_Comics%29 lists H'ronmeer as a male aspect of Death, worshipped as the god of death, fire, love and art while Lord L'Zoril',was the Martian God of Dream (Morpheus of the Endless).

Diabolu Frank said...

If anyone out there could correct me, I'd love to hear about it, but I cannot recall DC Comics ever referencing a connection between H'ronmeer and the Endless. Will, I suspect the unsourced wiki entry is, well, unsourced. I don't even dispute it, since H'ronmeer reflects elements of both Death, Destruction, and even Despair, depend on the interpretation. I just don't think it's cannon.

I didn't consider the timing when I posted the poll, but we don't actually know that there is a nU Miss Martian, or how exactly she will manifest in this incarnation...

LissBirds said...

Ohhh...$130 for only covers? Oy.

This is slightly off-topic, but this month's Batgirl had an appearance of Miss Martian, and it looks like she'll be back next month for the conclusion. They have a nice "girls club" thing going in that book. (Batgirl, Miss Martian, Supergirl.)

Diabolu Frank said...

Anj has said a lot of nice things about those Batgirl team-ups on his Supergirl blog.

CBR went down for a bit while I was putting this post together, and it looks like they added a bunch of trades and DC Presents collections. None especially for Manhunter (he may have had a brief cameo in JLA: Age of Wonder, I think,) but the $150 hardcover solicitation copy would have saved some confusion. I like to think of it as the "Countdown to Canceled Comics Cavalcade Volume 3 Omnibus," but that's me...

will_in_chicago said...

J'Onn, I know that Dream appeared as L'Zoril to J'Onn. I think that there is some chance to clarify a few things in this relaunch. I think that Stormwatch might be handled better than Justice League. (Sorry, Cyborg seems to have all the charisma of a spark plug.)

Diabolu Frank said...

All true, from Lord L'Zoril to Cyborg. If we can't use Black Lightning as the original inclusion character for a much needed Super Friends-ing up of the League because of usage issues, how about killing two birds with one stone in Vixen, a character I actually like? I REALLY don't need Hal Jordan when John Stewart is around, either. Steel is still DC's best selling and longest lasting non-white hero, and he's awesome.

will_in_chicago said...

Black Lightning, Vixen, Steel and John Stewart have far more charisma than Cyborg.

As for Hal Jordan, I have often considered him a bit of a jerk. He may mean well at times, but let's say that if the Power Ring was to have selected for tact and diplomatic skills, Hal would not be at the top of the list.

I like Steel as he chose to be a hero to pay back a debt to Superman for saving his life. With his armor, he is more than a match for Cyborg and has more computer skills. (The man is a scientist after all.)

Diabolu Frank said...

Steel would kick the hell out of Cyborg. He's much smarter, potentially stronger and more resilient (depending on the armor.) Cyborg tends to move pretty fast and has more diverse ranged weapons, but one good midair hammer throw would end him. I once heard a Cyborg fan say that Steel was the mature, respected super-hero Vic Stone should have become in time. By that reckoning, Steel is one character I actually would like to see distanced from his super-family, as his backstory gave him all he needed to ascend. The Superman element unnecessarily burdens John Henry Irons with a legacy, when really, he was just inspired to finally come out of the shadows by Superman's absence.