Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DC Comics and magical thinking

Well, no Superman #1 news today.

Instead we got a listing of new DC titles with a supernatural bent.

-Swamp Thing is Swamp Thing.  Written by Scott Snyder, this may be the reboot Swampy has needed since the conclusion of the series back when I was still in college.
-Justice League Dark.  Truthfully, I don't know if I like this idea a whole lot and I don't like the name at all (we've discussed the use of the tag-on of "Dark" plenty around here).
John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu.  No Zatanna?  No Klarion?  No Dr. Occult? No Detective Chimp or Rex the Wonder Dog?

Flat out, I don't buy that Constantine would join a "team", let alone a "Justice League" or, especially, a "Justice League Dark".  But I do want to see what they're thinking.
Pictured: the turmoil JLD faces when they try to find a place everyone can agree on for dinner

-Animal Man by Jeff Lemire.  Yes.  Done.  Thanks, DC.
-Demon Knights by Cornell.  DC in medieval times, with magical happenings.  Starring Etrigan.  Yes, but once Cornell leaves, I'm skeptical this won't get real dumb, real fast.
-Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. by Lemire - basically an extension of Morrison's Seven Soldiers Frankenstein, last seen in Final Crisis.  A sort of Super-Creature Commandos.  I'm in, but I recall Marvel's "Howling Commandos" didn't last all that long and am skeptical this won't die on the vine.
This Frankenstein is not so menaced by villagers with pitchforks

-Resurrection Man - Man, I don't think so.  I didn't like this in the 90's, and I've rarely found the character much more than an occasionally-hilarious C-Lister.
-I, Vampire - So, you kids like the Twilight stuff, right?  I don't mind first person vampire stories, but I don't see anything here I'm excited about.
-Voodoo - sounds pretty much like every indie super-comic that's come out the past twelve years from Invincible to that show about the kids who is a dragon, or Harry Potter or whatever.  "She just found out... she's a MONSTER!".  But its Ron Marz.  So, I dunno.  He's good when he wants to be.  But I may wait for some reviews.


Anonymous said...

The Magic DC was always a favorite of mine. Dr. Fate, Phantom Stranger, Madame Xanadu and the like. They better not mess this up. They should've done what was done in JLU where the writers created a DC version of Marvel's Defenders (Doctor Fate substituting for Dr. Strange, Aquaman for Namor, Solomon Grundy for Hulk, Amazo for the Silver Surfer and Hawkgirl for Valkyrie.)

Also, wasn't this tried with Shadowpact? And Shadowpact actually had Detective Chimp.


The League said...

Well, given the fact they have Fate, the Phantom Stranger, etc... I don't get this line-up.

I am hoping the use of Xanadu, Shade and Constantine means this book will be a bit different than just a superhero book where the powers are magical and its all slug fests.

Fantomenos said...

John Constantine joining a team?

Have you forgotten the "Trenchcoat Brigade" so soon?

Seriously, if they added Mr. E to the lineup and had him scooping out eyes with spoons, this would def be on my pull-list.

Oh wait, its got JC, Deadman and Phantom Stranger, so its already on my pull list...

But yeah, Justice League Dark is an awful name. If they'd called it Justice League mage-alicious I would take it more seriously. If they all wore bow ties that spun around when they cast spells I would take it more seriously. If Mr. Mxylplx and Bat-Mite were on the team I'd...

J.S. said...

Yeah, I'm not sure whether I actually have that big of an issue with Constantine joining a team. One of his central character traits has always been that he's extremely well connected and that he performs favors for others and, in turn, collects on them with great regularity. Of course, the people that he works with almost always end up suffering some sort of awful tragedy in his wake...

Simon MacDonald said...

I've already talked to Ryan over email and most of these books are going to be on my pull list. Yes, JL Dark is a crappy name for a book. I think it would be more interesting if Constantine wasn't so much part of the team but more or less manipulating these other magic users to stop even bigger magical threats.

FYI, everyone should run out and get the Madam Xanadu issues by Matt Wager with Amy Reader on art. Excellent story and fantastic art.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get is what do any of these characters have to do with "Justice"??

Excepting Zatanna, Deadman, John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, toss in the Phantom Stranger, all of them are more used as "Mr. Exposition" than a protagonist exacting an agenda. Even when Constantine had his own book, he was constantly put upon than taking any proactive role in the events of his world. Just about every comic that had Phantom Stranger in it he would appear in the first few panels of the comic to give some mysterious background information and then exit stage left for someone else to handle the problem. The Phantom Stranger is someone that nobody ever wanted to meet because he was like the weird neighbor that would dump trash on your front porch and then you would have to clean it up while he watches you with binoculars across the street.

I'm on a wait and see approach. DC has a real special setting with their magical properties, kind of like what Marvel has with their sci-fi properties, and hardly anyone has ever tapped into right. The one time was actually the Infinite Crisis magic specials that DC published that was a very entertaining read. The Shadowpact title that came out of those specials never kept the momentum or the interest.


Simon MacDonald said...

You should grab the first Madam Xanadu trade to see both Xanadu and the Phantom Stranger as protagonists.

The League said...

This may address the whole "Trenchcoat Brigade" and other questions on Constatine joining a team...

I just don't see him showing up for monitor duty, having a chair at a round table with his logo painted on it, etc... What I do see is Constantine doing what he thinks is necessary, and supporting people in a pinch, but... a superhero team?

That said, its not just Constantine of this lineup which makes me feel that way. So... that makes me feel fairly curious.

But the Trenchcoat Brigade wasn't a team (until they TRIED to make it one post facto). It was more like "guys who know each other and get together to deal with this thing that's a really, really big deal". I may come help my neighbor move his sofa, but that doesn't mean we're suddenly a team of movers, if you catch my drift.

J.S. said...

If they're going to be doing this team in the traiditonal superhero fashion with heroes sitting at a monitor around a shiny table with a bright logo, then all is already lost.
Definitely not the approach they should be taking to a magic based "team".

The League said...

Which is why, as we've discussed the book, I've become curious about what they 're actually going to do.