DC's May previews reviewed

What gives, Superman? Are you under a red sun or what? That word-encrusted chunk of rock isn't that big, and yet you're struggling with it as if you were but a common Hulk or Spider-Man.


I have no idea what's been going on with the Super Sons and their adventures these days, but I kinda like this cover, particularly little Braniac's face.

Word on the street Internet is that with the previous Superboy, The Kid/Kon-El/Conner Kent version, back in circulation, he and Jonathan Kent will figure out who is Superboy and who gets a new code name. I'm a little worried, as I've grown to like the Jon character as he's been during Peter Tomasi's time writing him in various books, and he seems to have been aged and changed by whatever Brian Michael Bendis is currently up to in the Superman books (I resolved to read those in trade, so I'm pretty dang behind, obviously).

If I had to guess, I would assume Jon would keep the "Superboy" name, while Conner gets a newer, lamer one (hopefully not Superkid or Superteen or Superman Jr), but I guess we'll see.

Is it even worth mentioning that Bendis' track record with coming up with new hero names isn't the most stellar...? (See Geldoff and Goldballs, for example).


BATGIRL #35
written by MAIRGHREAD SCOTT
art by PAUL PELLETIER and NORM RAPMUND
cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
...
After Batgirl’s discovery of the Terrible Trio’s bid to control the Gotham underworld, she’s immediately off to investigate—starting with the group’s muscle…the Shark! Can Babs use her wits to survive a showdown with this bro turned bruiser? Or is he just a warm-up for the battle to come against this band of wild criminals?
ON SALE 05.22.19
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T


See? The Terrible Trio have pretty cool designs.

You can't beat their original appearance, though:
Yeah, that's the stuff...


Say look, it's Batman on a horse! Or, at least, a Batman on a horse. It's not a very dramatic image of one of my favorite subjects of comics art, though.


BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #1
written by BRYAN HILL
art by DEXTER SOY
cover by TYLER KIRKHAM
...
When the quest for justice drives Batman into some morally ambiguous areas, he calls in the most moral man he knows: Jefferson Pierce, a.k.a. Black Lightning, and his team of operatives known as the Outsiders!
Several years ago Batman personally put the Barrera family into hiding after they suffered through terrible experiments at the hands of an organization called the Ark. Now all but one of them have turned up dead...and Batman needs to locate Sofia Barrera before the wrong people get their hands on her—and her surprising power! But it wouldn’t be Batman without a hidden agenda, would it? And when Black Lightning, Katana, the Signal and Orphan find out what Batman is really up to, their every loyalty will be called into question.
RESOLICIT | ON SALE 05.08.19
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T+
This issue is resolicited. All previous orders are cancelled This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for details.


Huh. When it was announced this comic was being pushed back to be fiddled with a bit, it raised a red flag, as I assumed it meant that the events of another comic were going to supersede what writer Bryan Hill had already written or planned for the title.. Either something bad, like Duke and/or Cassandra getting killed in superhero meat grinder Heroes In Crisis, for example, or something good, like Cass resuming the Batgirl or Black Bat name and getting a better, battier costume. Based on the solicitation for this first issue though, I'm not sure what that might have been, as it still looks and sounds just like it did when originally solicited for a December 2018 release.

Of course, the publisher deciding to hold off on a new title a few months to make sure it was just right--or at least better--probably shouldn't raise any red flags. After all, a book like Shazam probably could have benefited from the publisher holding off until they had a few issues in the can, rather than releasing a first issue and then immediately falling behind schedule.


I'm not a fan of Batman Beyond--the character, the cartoon, the comic--but I am a fan of Chris Samnee's art. And damn, is this another fine image of his. The busy background and garish colors aren't ideal, but they're part and parcel to the series' setting.


BATMAN: DAMNED #3
written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
art and cover by LEE BERMEJO
variant cover by JIM LEE
The stunning conclusion to the groundbreaking miniseries by the critically acclaimed team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo is here! Batman’s most baffling case brings him face to face with his worst nightmare in this highly anticipated finale!
PRESTIGE FORMAT
RESOLICIT
ON SALE 05.22.19
$6.99 US | 3 of 3 | 48 PAGES


"Groundbreaking"...? I mean, it was the first series to show Batman's penis but other than that, I sure wouldn't use that word to describe the first issue.

...

Did I say the exact same thing last month? I feel like I might have.


BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #1
written by JAMES TYNION IV
art and cover by FREDDIE E. WILLIAMS II
variant cover by KEVIN EASTMAN
The 80th anniversary of Batman collides with the 35th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in this stunning concluding miniseries to the BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES trilogy. Our heroes have battled the evil of the Foot Clan in Gotham City and Bane in New York, but now Krang has gotten his hands on the most dangerous technologies in the DC Universe—and no universe is safe from his wrath! Co-published with IDW.
ON SALE 05.01.19
$3.99 US | 1 of 6 | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T


What, again? I was a bit ambivalent and disappointed in the first series, which I grant had a bit to do with me and my expectations for such a comic book crossover, and the sequel was in some ways better and some ways worse. I'm a little surprised that they're doing a third series by the exact same creative team, given that a large part of the potential appeal of such a series would be to see TMNT artists drawing Batman characters, and Batman artists drawing TMNT characters (Maybe they should do one of those Gallery pin-up books they used to, or would the current price of comic books make that seem like a rip-off to customers? I just really want to see Sophie Campbell and Jim Lawson draw Batman, and Kelley Jones and Guillem March draw ninja turtles! And Michael Zulli draw both!). That said, Williams is a pretty perfect artist for such a pairing of characters, and there's certainly something to be said for the if it's not broke, don't fix it school of thought here; certainly Teenage Caleb would have preferred that Simon Bisley handle the second and third Batman/Judge Dredd crossovers as well as the third...

Of course, part of the reason this is such a surprise to me is that between the DC-published first and second Tynion/Williams series, IDW published a fun little crossover paring specific versions of the characters, those from the Batman: The Animated Series cartoon and the then-current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series on Nickelodoeon. That too had some problems, but benefited from its narrow focus, so that a reader need not view it as a once-in-a-lifetime, ultimate team-up between Batman and the TMNT. So I thought it would be IDW's "turn" to do a Batman/TMNT crossover, and God knows there are plenty of "versions" of the characters that would be fun to pair, if they wanted to do a spiritual sequel to their first one, like, I don't know...Batman '89 meets Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles '90 or Batman '66 meets the original cartoon Turtles or Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns Batman meeting the Miller-inspired Mirage Turtles on and on.

Of course, the solicitation does mention no universe being safe from Krang (who, remember, is totally lame), so I suppose this series has the possibility of incorporating other versions of the characters from alternate dimensions, even if it doesn't seem to be the case (or, if it is the case, it doesn't look like they will be using different artists to denote different dimensions or anything).


DCEASED #1
written by TOM TAYLOR
art by TREVOR HAIRSINE, STEFANO GAUDIANO and JAMES HARREN
cover by GREG CAPULLO
...
“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was Death, and Hades was following close behind him.”—Revelation 6:8
A mysterious techno-virus has been released on Earth, infecting 600 million people and turning them instantly into violent, monstrous engines of destruction.
The heroes of the DCU are caught completely unprepared for a pandemic of this magnitude and struggle to save their loved ones first…but what happens to the World’s Greatest Heroes if the world ends?
New York Times best-selling writer Tom Taylor (INJUSTICE) returns with a terrifying new tale and is joined by artists Trevor Hairsine (LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT) and Stefano Gaudiano (The Walking Dead).
ON SALE 05.01.19
$3.99 US | 1 of 6 | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T+


Hm. This sounds an awful lot like bits of the Marvel Zombies stories. I have, like any DC comics reader who has seen too many zombie movies, imagined what a zombie outbreak story set in the DC Universe might be like. It's...hard to game out too far. Even if you set it in Gotham City, where the majority of the superheroes aren't super-powered, one would have to come up with some truly complicated rationale for why Superman and the Justice League don't just swoop in and save the day.

Zombies just aren't really a threat in the DC Universe. (One neat take, of course, would be if Batman and Superman refused to kill the zombies, and wouldn't budge from their no killing ever code, being unpersuaded that it's okay to kill what is technically already dead; those guys trying to find away to "save" the traditional zombie movie version of zombies while so many of their peers are intent on bashing their heads in would make for a neat moral conflict, I think.)

Anyway, I assume writer Tom Taylor has long since gamed all that out, or they wouldn't be soliciting it at all. It will be interesting to see what kind of "techno-virus" can turn a large swathe of Earth's population into a horde capable of threatening Superman and DC's other god-like heroes. This rather dark and depressing (and derivative) sounding storyline wouldn't generally generate much in the way of interest, let alone excitement, from me, were he not involved. Taylor has found room in his Injustice story for some actually amusing bits, so there's some hope for this.

I'm not much of a fan of Harisine's style, and I haven't read much of Gaudiano's, so I'm not sure what to expect from the series, visually.


DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #2
written by PETER J. TOMASI
art by TRAVIS MOORE
cover by GUILLEM MARCH
After years on the shelf, Batman returns to the Black Casebook! Throughout his career, Batman has compiled his most disturbing cases into one volume, its every page filled with bizarre horror and crimes he never quite managed to solve. Now a case from the past has re-opened itself in the here and now…and Batman will find himself face-to-face again with one of the deadliest villains he fought in his early years: the Reaper!
ON SALE 05.29.19
$4.99 US | 48 PAGES


Batman: The Black Casebook should probably be an ongoing series. God knows there's enough material for new, more realistic, canonical versions of Batman's wildest and weirdest adventures to last a hundred issues or so. Pretty much anything from the 1950s, really.

As with any comic in which Guillem March draws the cover but not the interiors, this sound like it may be a visual disappointment. I mean, I'm sure Travis Moore is an okay artist and all, but I really dig March's Batman art, and there never seems to be enough of it.



DOG DAYS OF SUMMER #1
written by G. WILLOW WILSON, JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, MARIKO TAMAKI, DAN DiDIO, COLLIN KELLY, JACKSON LANZING and others
art by STJEPAN SEJIC, TOMY RANEY, CULLY HAMNER, KYLE HOTZ, CIAN TORMEY and others
cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
“Who let the dogs out?” DC does this summer as we unleash the beast within and join Krypto and Superman, Bat-Cow and Batman, Wonder Woman and Ferdinand and many more for eight sun-kissed stories in this can’t-miss animal-sized spectacular!
ONE-SHOT | PRESTIGE FORMAT
ON SALE 05.29.19
$9.99 US | 80 PAGES
FC | RATED T


This appears to be a seasonal special in the style of last year's DC's Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special. As is often the case with these big anthologies, there's not much solid information about the contents, just a partial list of writers and artists, and the super-pet protagonists of three of the eight promised stories (Er, not that Ferdinand is a pet, of course...).

As a fan of DC Universe super-pets, I'm obviously kind of excited, although seeing that Dan DiDio has once again looked at all of the possible comics creators available to hire and decided that no, actually, he's the best guy for the job yet again is as depressing as it always is.


THE FLASH #70
written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art and cover by HOWARD PORTER
...
“The Flash Year One” starts here! Barry Allen feels helpless in his life in Central City. As a forensic scientist, he’s always catching criminals after they’ve committed their crimes. All that changes one fateful night when Barry is struck by a bolt of lightning and doused in chemicals. When he wakes from a coma, he realizes he can run at incredible speeds. Can Barry master these powers and be the hero his city needs...or will the powers burn through him?
ON SALE 05.08.19
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES


It looks like New 52 Superman's "Year One" t-shirt logo and jeans look was much more (retroactively) popular and influential than we knew. I wonder if we'll get "Year One" stories featuring the rest of the league in such off-the-rack, casual costumes in the near future? (If you revisit the Batman and The Outsiders cover above, I think some of those guys could benefit from the look. I think Orphan would look a billion times better just wearing a black t-shirt with a yellow bat on it, for example, or even a gray one with a black bat. Black Lightning would certainly look better with a blue t-shirt with a black lightning bolt on it).


Wow, look! Walter Simonson is drawing the cover for the fourth issue of the surprisingly great Female Furies miniseries.

...

Wait, why wasn't Simonson drawing all the covers...?


Well that doesn't look like a swastika on Overman of Earth-X's chest there; it looks more like that...throwing starfish thing from Krull...the...whattayacallit...
The Glaive. That's it.


I've already mentioned how fond I am of Guillem March's work, right...?


SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #48
written by SHOLLY FISCH
art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
Over the years, Scooby and the gang have nabbed enough nefarious villains to fill a rogues gallery. But the tables are turned when they have to help a rogues gallery of the Flash’s most nefarious super-villains! Can the gang rescue the Rogues from the ghost of a fellow Rogue—that sinister spinner, the Top? And if they do, can they also rescue themselves from the Rogues?
ON SALE 05.22.19
$2.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED E


Whew! Am I ever glad to see this solicitation! There were a few weeks there where I worried that maybe Scooby-Doo Team-Up got canceled. But then, that wouldn't have made sense, would it? After all, why would DC cancel their best superhero comic...?


SUPERMAN: LEVIATHAN RISING SPECIAL #1
written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS,
MATT FRACTION, GREG RUCKA and MARC ANDREYKO
art by YANICK PAQUETTE, STEVE LIEBER and MIKE PERKINS
cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
An all-star roster of writers and artists highlight the new threat of Leviathan, but also tees up new ongoing series for Jimmy Olsen by writer Matt Fraction and artist Steve Lieber, and Lois Lane by writer Greg Rucka and artist Mike Perkins, coming in June! As Leviathan enacts a plan to take down Superman, it’s up to Lois, Jimmy and the heroes of the DC Universe to rescue the Man of Steel.
ONE-SHOT | PRESTIGE FORMAT
ON SALE 05.29.19
$9.99 US | 80 PAGES
FC | RATED T


Kind of burying the lede here, aren't they? Rucka and Perkins doing a Lois Lane comic and Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber doing a Jimmy Olsen comic is an infinitely bigger deal than anything going on in the Superman books proper, right? I've wanted Rucka (and Ed Brubaker) to do a The Planet series similar to Gotham Central since I first read an issue of Gotham Central, so I do hope this will end up being closer to that than Rucka doing his usual female protagonist-who-isn't-Wonder Woman schtick. He did write a lot of Lois during his run on Superman forever ago, and it wasn't all that great, but there were a lot of mitigating factors back then, I think. Nick Spencer did pretty amazing things with Jimmy Olsen in his 2011 book (with R.B. Silva), and I think Fraction and Spencer have enough in common that he's another writer I'd be really excited to see handle Jimmy.

Now enough speculation: Let's get to the important question. What the fuck is Power Girl doing up there? Does she exist any more or what? I thought she didn't really exist in the current DCU, and was just an extra-dimensional Supergirl from the first post-Flashpoint Earth-2 disguised as...you know what, nevermind. I don't even care anymore.


DC ¡LUCHA EXPLOSIVA! BATMAN, DEATHSTROKE, SUPERMAN, METALLO II, WONDER WOMAN AND THE CHEETAH ACTION FIGURES
Técnicos! Rudos! Superhero and wrestling fans—“¡A la lucha!” The wrestling collectible event of the year is here! From the team at DC Collectibles comes a joyful and imaginative new universe that combines the enthralling world of Mexican wrestling and the heroic history of DC Comics: DC ¡LUCHA EXPLOSIVA!
This all-new line of 7" action figures take its roots from the deep history of Lucha Libre and Mexican luchadores. Each figure is a Latin American-inspired reimagining of a classic DC hero or villain, complete with an all-new backstory drawn from Mexico’s rich cultural history.
With six figures set for release in 2019 and more coming in the years following, fans will be able to create epic storylines of betrayal and redemption, alliances made and broken and emerging heroes and villains. Which figure will you choose to be the campeón?
• Allocations may occur
• Final products may differ from
images shown
$35.00 US
EACH FIGURE SOLD SEPARATELY


DC is totally going to do a comic book series based on these figures like they did with Ame-Comi Girls and DC Comics Bombshells, right? Like, don't they have to...?

DC's May previews reviewed