The continuation of Dark Nights: Metal, the return of the Watchmen, and special Annual issues make the list of these end of autumn offerings from DC comics.
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It looks as though the folks at DC Comics are adopting the tactic of starting a new event before finishing the one they’re on. According to the solicits for November 2017 (via Newsarama), Dark Nights: Metal is only on issue #4, and will already be getting the much hyped Doomsday Clock. Question is, which one looks more inticing?
Yes, it’s that time again where your’s truly takes an arbitrary, opinionated look at what I think were the thirteen most effective solicits from DC Comics. Keep in mind, these rankings are not necessarily reflective of the comics’ current quality. Rather, it’s based on whether I think the solicits are effective in creating interest. Although for this particular month, even the “worst” sounds promising.
"MISTER MIRACLE #4Written by TOM KINGArt by MITCH GERADSCover by NICK DERINGTONVariant cover by MITCH GERADSRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.It’s the trial of Mister Miracle! Orion and Lightray are convinced that Scott has become infected with Anti-Life and is working against them to bring down New Genesis. Scott must succumb to their interrogation and physical challenges to prove he’s not what they say he is…but how do you speak truth to people who don’t want to believe?On sale NOVEMBER 8 • 32 pg, FC, 4 of 12 • $3.99 US • RATED T+"
Commentary: I confess, I didn’t think much of Mister Miracle when it was first announced. Then, based off several recommendations, I read the first issue … and it was great. Since then, it’s become a genuine sleeper hit. According to Bleeding Cool and ComicsHeatingUp.net, the first issue sold out in print and on eBay. You can definitely bet that I and others are paying attention now, because this Mister Miracle is shaping up to be Tom King’s best work since The Vision, if not the best comic book series of the year.
"BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT #1Written by KURT BUSIEKArt and cover by JOHN PAUL LEONYoung Bruce Wainwright lost his parents in a violent crime…and in the real world, no superheroes exist to save the day. But as grief and rage builds inside Bruce until he feels he can’t keep it inside anymore, something strange starts taking wing in the Gotham night! Perhaps Bruce’s grief isn’t inside him after all?Modern masters Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon unite for the spiritual companion to the beloved SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY, putting a new spin you’ve never seen before on the legend of Batman—and the dark emotions that drive him!On sale NOVEMBER 29 • 48 pg, FC, 1 of 4, $5.99 US • RATED T+"
Commentary: For those who don’t know, Superman: Secret Identity was an “Elseworlds” miniseries re-imagining Superman in our world. And when I mean our world, I mean precisely that. A world where Superman is a fictional character and icon in popular culture. It just so happens someone coincidentally named Clark Kent starts coincidentally developing the powers of Superman in what passes for “our world.”
It’s only natural, and more fitting, for a comic exploring a “real world Batman” using the Superman: Secret Identity template. This sounds like a more plausible, if disturbing, scenario, in which a victim of violent crime begins modelling himself off his favorite character, Batman. If done right, it could make for another fascinating series.
"HAWKMAN: FOUND #1Written by JEFF LEMIREArt by BRYAN HITCH and KEVIN NOWLANCover by BRYAN HITCHVariant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMSRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.One of DC’S greatest heroes is missing! No one has seen or heard from Carter Hall—a.k.a. Hawkman—in years. Reincarnated repeatedly since the dawn of humanity, Hawkman has spent his many lives uncovering history’s most fantastic mysteries, and now he has become one himself! Take a journey into the one of the darkest corners of the DC Universe as a mysterious man tries to piece together what happened to Hawkman, and how it all connects to the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL!ADVANCE SOLICITED • ONE-SHOT • On sale DECEMBER 20 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • FOIL-STAMPED COVER • RATED T+"
Commentary: One of the more interesting developments from Dark Days: Metal is the complete overhaul of Hawkman … again. Since the New 52 killed off Katar Hol, Thanagarian space cop, Rebirth brings back Carter Hall, reincarnated Egyptian prince. This time, however, along with restoring his Golden Age origin, the character’s also been infused with elements of Indiana Jones and H.P. Lovecraft’s Chtulhu mythos. Linking him with Challengers of the Unknown and Blackhawks are also nice touches. We may as well call this one-shot Hawkman: Rebirth.
"SUPER SONS ANNUAL #1Written by PETER J. TOMASIArt by PAUL PELLETIERCover by JORGE JIMENEZ“SUPER-PETS UNLEASHED”! The World’s Furriest team Krypto and Titus—together at last! Tired of the boys stealing the spotlight, the doggy duo lead the Super Sons on a canine-powered epic!On sale NOVEMBER 29 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T"
Commentary: What’s more heartwarming than a story about a boy and his dog? How about a story of two boys and their dogs? Better still, if those dogs are also Krypto and Ace, the Bat-Hound (yes, I know he’s called Titus now, but he’ll always be Ace to me, dang it!). In any case, this looks like this will be loads of fun, which is par for the course when it comes to Super Sons. I am curious about whether Krypto or Titus will have their present owners in terms of personality and temperament.
"BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS #1Written by TONY ISABELLAArt and cover by CLAYTON HENRYVariant cover by KEN LASHLEYRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.All-new mini-series by original creator Tony Isabella teamed with superstar artist Clayton Henry! Black Lightning is back and things are not the same! In his home town of Cleveland, high school teacher Jefferson Pierce is a role model for his students. As Black Lightning, he’s fighting to keep them safe, even as his city’s streets are invaded by local gangs with deadly super-weapons. And wait until you see who their supplier is! Real-world issues in a super-hero world! Expect the unexpected!On sale NOVEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T"
Commentary: Okay, we all know the probable reason for this miniseries is because of the upcoming Black Lightning TV series on The CW. This wouldn’t be the first time DC strove for co-operation between their comics and with film and television adaptations of their characters. If this also happens to be a good miniseries, and if the TV show can also attract a following, then perhaps this could hopefully result in a Black Lightning ongoing. And that’s not only good, but smart marketing.
"BATMAN ANNUAL #2Written by TOM KINGArt and cover by LEE WEEKSTravel back in time with us to see the early days of the Bat and the Cat. What was Bruce and Selina’s first date? How did this rivalry blossom into romance, and then go right back to being a rivalry again? Tom King reteams with his BATMAN/ELMER FUDD collaborator Lee Weeks to show us a little young love with capes and cowls. And a little crimefighting, too.On sale NOVEMBER 29 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T"
Commentary: Perhaps I’m wrong, but this seems like confirmation that Catwoman accepted Batman’s marriage proposal without an actual confirmation. After all, why devote an entire annual towards a flashback explaining the origins behind Batman and Catwoman’s on again, off-again relationship? I’m expecting this will be a lot of fun as a result, even if it’s more than likely it will have lots of panels where Bruce and Selina say nothing but “Bat” and “Cat.”
"BATMAN AND THE SIGNAL #1Written by SCOTT SNYDER and TONY PATRICKArt and cover by CULLY HAMNERVariant cover by DECLAN SHALVEYRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.Batman may own the night, but with new villains emerging during the day he needs an ally to defend the city when he can’t. Only one teen is up to the challenge, Duke Thomas. After months of training, he’s ready to step out of the shadow of the bat to become his own kind of hero. Meet Gotham City’s newest protector: The Signal! Spinning out of adventures in ALL-STAR BATMAN and WE ARE ROBIN, comics superstar Scott Snyder and newcomer Tony Patrick take our young hero to new heights in this exciting miniseries with artwork by Cully Hamner.On sale NOVEMBER 8 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 3, $3.99 US • RATED T+"
Commentary: Even though Duke Thomas isn’t Robin (anymore), this miniseries essentially looks like Scott Synder’s take on the Batman and Robin partnership. I must admit Bruce Wayne grooming a crimefighter to patrol the streets of Gotham by day is an inspired, commonsense idea. Nevetheless, “The Signal” is such an awful name for a superhero. I understand it ties in with the “Bat-Signal,” but I can’t help but picture a traffic signal when I hear the name.
"DARK NIGHTS: METAL #4Written by SCOTT SNYDERArt and cover by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPIONVariant covers by ANDY KUBERT, JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS and JOHN ROMITA JR.Retailers: This issue will ship with four covers. Please see the order form for details.The Justice League has been broken and scattered to the far corners of the DCU, each member forced to face their worst fears alone…and the fears are winning. When an unlikely ally reveals a glimmer of hope, they must seize their chance, or risk their window of opportunity closing for good!Advance solicited • On sale DECEMBER 13 • 32 pg, FC, 4 of 6, $3.99 US • FOIL-STAMPED, EMBOSSED COVER • RATED T+"
Commentary: Since this is an advanced solicit, this issue must chronologically occur after the “Bats of the Hell” arc occurring in The Flash, Justice League, Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns et al. Also, it looks as though the Endless from Neil Gaiman’s classic Sandman series plays a larger role beyond the first two issues — as if this crossover event wasn’t already heavily immersed within the lore of the DC Universe.
"DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1Written by GEOFF JOHNSArt and cover by GARY FRANKVariant cover by GARY FRANKLenticular coverRetailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for details.DC Comics presents to you a 12-issue maxiseries from the critically acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns, artist Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson. You are not prepared for what lies ahead within these pages, good readers.On sale NOVEMBER 22 • 40 pg, FC, 1 of 12, $4.99 US • RATED T+"
Commentary: At long last, it’s the reveal of DC’s Rebirth’s worst-kept secret — The Justice League vs. The Watchmen. Yes, we’ve known since DC Universe: Rebirth #1 that Doctor Manhattan is the in-story architect behind the New 52. The real question was whether other characters from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic graphic novel would also appear. Looks like based on the variant cover of the “Trinity inkblot,” we have our answer.
I’m not 100% sure how I feel about having Watchmen being part of the mainstream DC Universe though. I get DC Comics owns the rights to these characters, and that they’d make for interesting antagonists on a thematic level. Yet their story was over, and bringing them back just feels like shameless pandering. Still, their apparent involvement is what made fans excited about Rebirth and begging for more.
"ACTION COMICS #992Written by DAN JURGENSArt by STEVE PUGHCover by FRANCIS MANAPULVariant cover by NEIL EDWARDSRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. Please see the August Previews for ACTION COMICS #991, also shipping in November.“AFTER EFFECTS”! Crippled by the events of “The Oz Effect,” Superman struggles to regain a sense of hope for humanity. As a strange new threat brews in the background, a faithless Son of both Krypton and Earth must make a choice: stay and fight for his adoptive homeworld, or answer a call from the stars.On sale NOVEMBER 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T"
Commentary: How curious of the solicit to use the phrase “faithless Son” in describing Superman in the aftermath of “The Oz Effect.” It’s almost as if it’s outright telling us that Mr. Oz is, in fact, Jor-El or some version of him. The other big giveaway is how it’s describing Superman’s emotional state. Why else would Superman be feeling this way if whatever is revealed about Mr. Oz isn’t personal? It also makes me wonder if Mr. Oz dies somehow, given the symbolism of his broken staff.
"DETECTIVE COMICS #968Written by JAMES TYNION IVArt by ALVARO MARTINEZ and RAUL FERNANDEZCover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRAJUSTICE LEAGUE variant cover by CULLY HAMNERRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.“A LONELY PLACE OF LIVING” finale! Tim Drake is back on Earth — but if the deadly threat he brought back with him from outside of time has its way, it won’t be for long…and this shadowy figure wants to take one of Batman’s team down with him, too! Everything Tim died for the first time is at risk, if he can’t survive this attack!On sale NOVEMBER 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED TDETECTIVE COMICS #969Written by JAMES TYNION IVArt by ALVARO MARTINEZ and RAUL FERNANDEZCover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRAVariant cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUERetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.“FALL OF THE BATMEN” part one! Everyone in Batman’s orbit is broken somehow—some more than others. For Clayface, keeping the pieces of his psyche together has been a years-long struggle…and it’s a war he may be about to lose! And as the team tries to pull itself back together, their enemies have learned something from Batman’s newfound spirit of cooperation…and have formed a cabal of their own!On sale NOVEMBER 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T"
Commentary: Since when is Tim Drake being presumed dead the same thing as being dead? Oh well, it looks like he’ll be back with the rest of the Bat-family at the end of “A Lonely Place of Living.” Not to mention Clayface’s apparent mental deterioration, which you knew was bound to happen sooner or later. I do wonder if whomever escaped the same time Tim did will be the one forming the Anti-Bat-family group. It wouldn’t surprise me if these two things wind up being linked.
"JUSTICE LEAGUE #32Written by BRYAN HITCHArt by LIAM SHARPConnecting covers by ETHAN VAN SCIVERJUSTICE LEAGUE variant cover by HOWARD PORTERRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. Chapter one of this story was solicited in the August Previews in THE FLASH #33 under the title “Justice Insurgence.”A METAL tie-in! “BATS OUT OF HELL” part two! The Justice League have been separated by the dreaded Dark Knights and are forced into twisted Bat-Caves designed to kill them! The Batman Who Laughs and the Murder Machine experiment on Cyborg, seeing how he reacts to the horrors of the Dark Multiverse! Can the Justice League survive their worst nightmares made real?!On sale NOVEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED THAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #32Written by ROBERT VENDITTIArt by ETHAN VAN SCIVERConnecting covers by ETHAN VAN SCIVERVariant cover by TBDRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.A METAL tie-in! “BATS OUT OF HELL” part two! The Dawnbreaker descends on Coast City, ready to suck its light away before moving on to the rest of our world. Backed up by the power of the Justice League, Hal Jordan stands ready to stop the perverted Lantern—until the Batman Who Laughs steps out of the shadows.On sale NOVEMBER 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+JUSTICE LEAGUE #33Written by BRYAN HITCHArt by TYLER KIRKHAMConnecting covers ETHAN VAN SCIVERVariant cover by NICK BRADSHAWRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.A METAL tie-in! “BATS OUT OF HELL” finale! it’s the Justice League versus the Dark Knights! FIGHT! The Dark Knights have taken a fallen Justice League to the frightening castle of [REDACTED] inside the possessed Gotham City, where they will be prepared as a sacrifice! The Justice League’s only hope is Cyborg, whose return from the Dark Multiverse has changed him forever!On sale NOVEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T"
Commentary: Am I correct in assuming this will be the first crossover since Forever Evil in which Cyborg gets an “upgrade” after experiencing horrible trauma? I guess Cyborg has to have a purpose. Though I will say the notion that these various evil Batmen each have a Bat-cave designed as a prison-style death maze for each Justice League member does sound potentially cool. Also, I find it weird that, considering the involvement of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, their respective series don’t have special one-shot tie-ins.
"GREEN ARROW #34Written by BENJAMIN PERCYArt and cover by JAMAL CAMPBELLVariant cover by MIKE GRELLRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.“THE TRIAL OF TWO CITIES” part two! It’s a revelation Ollie Queen could never have imagined, even in his darkest dreams. Long thought dead, his mother, Moira, is alive; she’s a leader of the Ninth Circle; she’s responsible for destroying Seattle; and because of Green Arrow, her partners are going to kill her. Moira needs Ollie’s protection, not just from any assassin: she is the former lover of Moira’s late husband. She is the mother of Ollie’s half-sister, Emiko. She is Green Arrow’s deadliest enemy. She is Shado.On sale NOVEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+GREEN ARROW ANNUAL #1Written by BENJAMIN PERCYArt by ELEANORA CARLINICover by JAMAL CAMPBELLRetailers: This issue is resolicited. All previous orders are cancelled.Christmas is a time for reflection, relatives and…revenge! So says Count Vertigo, who returns to Seattle to send Oliver Queen on a violent, mind-bending journey into his own past and future. The hidden secrets of GREEN ARROW are laid bare in this oversize special that tests the already tenuous bonds between Team Arrow, featuring the long-awaited returns of Shado, Diggle and the dark archer Merlyn!RESOLICITED • On sale NOVEMBER 29 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T+"
Commentary: It’s always interesting (and frustrating) seeing just how different a film and/or television version of a comic book character is from their original source material, and vice versa. In this case, Shado in the comic is the former lover of Oliver Queen’s deceased father and is the mother of Emiko Queen, the Red Arrow. On Arrow, however, Shado’s Oliver Queen’s ex-lover. Oh, and she was also killed by Professor Ivo, came back as a ghost, and has an identical twin sister. Yeah, she’s basically an entirely different character.
Nevertheless, it’s clear both solicits are making another attempt at capitalizing off the popular CW TV series. Whether it will work is another story.
Do you agree with my chosen list of best to worst, or was there a solicit you believe I missed? Also, which DC Comics event, Metal or Doomsday Clock, do you believe will prove to be the better story? Finally, do you think it’s a good idea to have either Watchman, Sandman, or both be incorporated into the DC Universe? Feel free to speak your mind and give us your thoughts below.