Friday, June 10, 2011

DCNu Superman titles - Nothing makes me nervous like getting what I want

Two things:

1)  I don't know if DC intended to release the info about the nu-Superman titles today, but it sounds like some folks poked around the DC servers until they found what they believed to be the Superman Family covers.  The images got out, and everybody had posted them by the time I went to bed last night. I saw the images but didn't discuss as it wasn't official yet from DC.
2)  As a look at my coffee table on any given day will attest, I buy all the Superman titles.  That certainly won't change under DC's nu direction.  At least not for the time being.

The announcement was released this afternoon.  A few bits:
1)  Truthfully, I'm disappointed there's neither a Superman Family book nor any hint that Steel is anywhere to be seen.
2)  The descriptions are barely that, and very light on detail.


From DC:

They thought he was just a failed experiment, grown from a combination of Kryptonian and human DNA. But when the scope of his stunning powers was revealed, he became a deadly weapon. SUPERBOY #1 will be written by Scott Lobdell with art by R.B. Silva and Rob Lean.
Let's hope the last fifteen minutes of this story makes more sense than the end of Ghost in the Shell.

The picture doesn't really match the description, except in a sort of metaphorical sense, which I'll accept.  If Superboy is getting a reboot, I'm fine with that.  I was never a Superboy fan until Geoff Johns and Co. re-jggered the character for Teen Titans, and the teen-with-an-attitude approach of the 90's just never made any sense.

I was enjoying Lemire's take, placing him on the Kent farm with Krypto as a sidekick, but if you're going to restart him and keep the cloning aspect, the bio-weapon angle seems very logical.  I endorse.

I admit, I'm not overly familiar with the work of either Scott Lobdell or RB Silva. And we know the robot-look is not the final look, based on the Teen Titans release. 


From DC:

Supergirl’s got the unpredictable behavior of a teenager, the same powers as Superman and none of his affection for the people of Earth. Writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson (Smallville, SUPERMAN/BATMAN) will team up with artist Mahmud Asrar to give a new take on the teenager from Krypton in SUPERGIRL #1.

Supergirl is not even thinking of saving you from these asteroids

On first blush, this sounds a bit like the take on Supergirl that Jeph Loeb brought to the DCU and which got me to drop a Super-title I wanted to like so very badly.  Sterling Gates pulled off an amazing stunt making Supergirl likable again in her own book, without going totally twee.  I'm... going to miss that take.

But this sounds more of a "stranger in a strange land" take on Supergirl, and that might work.  While I'm failry certain the "has none of the affection for Earth" bit I predict is part of her storyline as she learns to like Earth, I'm a bit tweaky on the whole "she's an unpredictable teen-ager, antics ensue" description.  This same line of thinking led to all sorts of horrible decisions on the last volume of Supergirl as it turned into "someone asks her what her deal is, she cries and flies away, because how are you going to stop her doing that?" issue after issue.

I confess to not being blown away by Michael Green's comics work, so he's got a chance to surprise me here.

I like the new costume well enough, especially the cape (and merciful ending of the belly-shirt look based on a fad that ended around 2005).


From DC:
What is Superman’s startling new status quo? How does it affect his friends, loved ones and his job at The Daily Planet? Find out in SUPERMAN #1, written by legendary comics creator George Perez (CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, NEW TEEN TITANS and WONDER WOMAN) and illustrated by Jesus Merino.
I hope he's catching the globe and not throwing it angrily at a fire, here

Firstly, I admit to being completely surprised that their choice of writers was George Perez.  Perez doesn't really write anymore, and had his biggest hit writing about 25 years ago.  It seems like an odd way to reach out to the kids as DC expands the audience.

Secondly - I don't know what to make of the new costume.  This is a somewhat odd way to debut the look, and if you're going to change it, I don't see why ditching the shorts and putting seams in the suit were the major changes (and making the boots harder to draw).  But...  and this is going to sound like a lot of rationalizing, so bear with me...  I'm not sure a George Perez pic was the one they should have used to debut the new look. 

He's still a great artist, but he has a certain style that doesn't really match the seamed, stylized look of what I think they're going for.

And, yeah, I'm very curious to see Superman's new status quo.

Action Comics

From DC
A new era of DC Comics begins as the longest-running monthly comic of all time releases its first issue #1 since 1938.
This September, New York Times bestselling writer Grant Morrison (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN) joins with sensational artist Rags Morales to bring you tales of The Man of Tomorrow unlike any you’ve ever read before in ACTION COMICS #1. This momentous first issue will set in motion the history of the DC Universe as Superman defends a world that doesn’t trust their first Super Hero.
The first Action Comics #1 is now the most sought-after comic book of all time. This September, one of comics’ most imaginative storytellers will make history again in Grant Morrison and Rags Morales’ ACTION COMICS #1.

Budget-Superman vs. Rock and his Evil Ally, Gravity

Where to start?

Grant Morrison has written so many of my favorite comics over the years, from We3 to JLA to Batman to what may be one of my favorite comics of all time, All Star Superman, that it seems like a small miracle that if DC were to relaunch Superman, they would find one of maybe five writers working right now who fundamentally understands Superman well enough that he might actually pull this off, with a chance of pulling off some of the same magic he's done with Batman over the past five years (maybe even staying on the book long enough to tell another epic story or two).

This looks like its delving into a Smallville-era Superman, so perhaps this is the Man of Steel for 2011?   

I am completely thrilled to hear Rags Morales is taking on the art, as Rags' work is always some of my favorite (and he doesn't get to work on as much as I'd like).

So, yeah, this is great news, in my opinion.  I'm getting a Superman comic I can't wait to read.  Except that I am now terribly nervous that Morrison's ideas may be so critically different from what I'd want to read that I will lose faith in my favorite character in the reboot, along with one of my favorite writers.  And that would be sad.

Some general comments

We still don't know what the DCNu timeline will be.  I am unsure if this means we'll see Superman in his first days as the Ace of Action or if we'll see him a veteran of the Justice League.  Certainly the description of Action sounds like early-days Superman, and the Superman description sounds a bit like its going to have some training wheels, so I am guessing we can forget what we thought we knew.

That said, this is far enough along that there's a Supergirl and the world thinks a Superboy is a grand idea.  So when are we?  Only issues #1 will tell.  And that's fun, in my book.  Sure, I always looked forward to a new issue of a Super-title, but this is a bit different.

Most will guess that Lois and Clark won't be together in this version, and that's okay.  They've been married for a long time in the comics, and I think the writers can find a way to make both the dynamic of banter work between the two and bring in the old dynamic of Superman-Lois-Clark, and the fact that the secret identity used to be an issue in the Superman comics more than in any other title (well, I guess Spidey and Daredevil had their challenges, too, but Superman was doing it a decade before Spidey spun a web).

At some point Superman comics in the previous status quo, if they wanted to shake things up, were going to take a drastic turn, one way or another and do something entirely new with Superman within the DCU that may not have fit Superman terribly well as a major character.  I do think the writers always challenged the character and tried to write stories that showed how Superman was capable of changing or growing, but I do understand why DC would want to back up a bit and give readers a new chance now, just as previous generations have had a chance to see that world build.

If I have a hope, its that we're over the "Superman is too powerful" thinking that drove the 86-revamp.  It may have been useful to depower from the god-like bit of the Bronze-Age, but what was needed there was restraint on the part of the writers, not a reduction of Superman to a street-level fighter.  If he's just another superhero, where's the fun in that?

So, let's see what's coming.  Let's all give the new suit a chance, and let's all be a little sad that we haven't seen any signs of Krypto thus far.


Anonymous said...

Supergirl still needs pants.

The League said...

I dunno. As long as they stay with a Mary Lou Retton leg-line to the unitard and don't let it start creeping ever upward, its okay. I have a lot more questions about what they were thinking with the boots.

Simon MacDonald said...

It's been confirmed that Action will take place in the past.