Last week I wrote that I'll probably be picking up Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill in February to see how Len Wein and Steve Rude flesh out the story of one of the more minor characters from Watchmen. Well, while preparing for that post, I took a peek at what else DC was offering up for sale next month, and I thought I'd share with you some preliminary impressions of a couple of items that will most likely be finding themselves a home in my comics boxes or on my bookshelves.
Another book that I've written about previously that I'm planning to get is Hellblazer #300, which brings to a close the Vertigo imprint's longest running title and last remaining of the six existing books that formed the original core of the line on its launch in 1993. As I've speculated on numerous previous occasions, the loss of the adventures of John Constantine to mainstream New 52 line combined with the forthcoming resignation of founding editor Karen Berger seem to bode ill for the future of Vertigo.
Then there are the two ongoing comics that I have been purchasing regularly since their debuts eighteen and ten months ago, respectively. The first is Action Comics, though #17 may be the last issue of that title for me, as it marks the end of the story line begun by Grant Morrison in #1 and the writers departure from the title. I've only read one comic by incoming writer Andy Diggle, but I did like it, so maybe I'll give his run a couple of issues to see how it goes. That's a decision I'll put off until March, however.
Next up is Earth 2. While the book hasn't been quite as good since the plot actually kicked in as it was for the first couple issues when writer James Robinson was setting up his alternate world and introducing the major and minor characters, its still one of the best super-hero comics I've read from DC in quite some time. This issue also promises the introduction of the New 52 version of Dr. Fate, which I'm sort of curious to see.
I have made no secret on this blog of my longstanding and slightly unnatural love for Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Green Arrow. Because of this, I desperately want the character's eponymous monthly comic to be good. However, in its New 52 incarnation, the closest Green Arrow has come to anything that I might want to read on a sustained basis were the three issues written by Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens. DC, I'm sure, wants Green Arrow to be worth reading as well, which is the best spin I can put on the fact that in February the book is getting its fifth creative team in the year and a half since the New 52 relaunch.
The new writer is Jeff Lemire. I've not read anything he's written previous, but I've yet to find a reviewer who's had anything all that bad to say about any of it. As I did with Ann Nocenti before him, I plan to give Lemire one story line to impress me.
Another reason I'll be picking up up Green Arrow #17 is that I'm somewhat intrigued by the the actual text of the solicitation, which reads:
"As Ollie struggles to come to terms with the loss of his fortune, his company and his heritage, he discovers a shocking truth about his father that ties to his time stranded on an island before he became Green Arrow."
The second part of that sentence seems to indicate that Lemire, most likely at the direction of DC management, is planning to move the book in a direction more in line with the story of the CW's TV series Arrow. I have mixed feelings about that, as, while the show is not really bad at all, I'm not overly fond of it, however, if DC really wants fans of the series to sample the comics, then I suppose its not such a dumb move.
It's the first part of the description that has really piqued my interest, though. I've always preferred poor Ollie to rich Ollie, partly because that's how I first encountered the character, but mostly because its in that era that the best Green Arrow stories were told.
Above, I mentioned having read only one comic by Andy Diggle and having liked it. Well, that comic was Green Arrow: Year One. Based on that mini-series, I'm thinking that once Lemire moves on, and given this books track record that will probably happen sooner than later, DC should give Diggle a shot at writing GA's exploits on a regular basis. While I liked Year One, at the time I read it I sort of consigned it to an alternate history or something like that, despite it being the new "official" version of GA's history, because I couldn't quite see the Oliver Queen depicted therein becoming the character I'd been reading for the past few decades. However, I can see him becoming the New 52 Green Arrow, thus making Diggle a natural to continue his adventures in the monthly book.
Lastly, there's Crisis On Multiple Earths Volume 6, the latest in the series of trade paperback collections of the meetings of Earth One's Justice League and their counterparts in Earth Two's Justice Society that were an annual tradition in the pages of Justice League of America from 1963 until 1985 and the merging of all of DC's alternate worlds in Crisis On Infinite Earths. These have always been some of my favorite comics of the Silver and Bronze Ages and, quite naturally, I already possess the first five volumes in the series. The latest edition covers the years 1981 to 1983 and includes the first of the JLA/JSA "crossovers" to actually crossover into another title, winding its way through three issues of Justice League and two issues of the World War II set JSA book All-Star Squadron, thus making it the longest of the JLA/JSA team-ups.
Compared to amount of new comics that I buy most months, that's actually quite a long list I've compiled above, and I'm sure I'll be writing about at least one or two of them here in the future.