WLG #366: Father's Day and Beyond!

A column article by: Matt Spatola

Well that’s been a fast three weeks. As we head into summer following Father’s Day this weekend- and a belated happy to you to all the dads out there- free time seems to be plummeting. I thought summer was to be a time of rest and relaxation?

Not for me.

On top of all the usual things like work and being a single father I have also been hunched down with a few writing projects that I really hope to wrap up some time.

And I’m also trying to finish some scripting on my comic series The Venger: Dead Man Rising and complete the final stages of production of a Venger Special one shot that has been in the works for oh so long. So like I said it has been a very busy few weeks for me.

And so it seems for the comics world, particularly for DC Comics.

As DC prepares for the fall relaunch of its main publishing line the details of it all- the day and date digital publishing, character reboots, 52 new ongoing series and Superman with no red underwear- have been all over the comics blogosphere including this site and even into mainstream media to a degree.

My two writing partners here at What Looks Good did a fabulous job the last two weeks with their different approaches to examining DC’s relaunch. I hope you all have read them and if you have not please go back and do so. They really hit it in more depth than I am planning on right here.

I really haven’t come to a decision yet on my take on the new DCU and all it entails. I think just like everything else there are some good and bad points in there. I’ll reserve judgment to when the NuDCU debuts and I’ve had a chance to read some of the titles.

However with all the announcements and so forth we have got I can’t help thinking negatively. I can’t help thinking that for all the push to have the start of the NuDCU as a great jumping on point for new readers I find it as a great jumping off point for old readers. As an example, since the announcement I find myself mirroring a comment from Marvel editor Tom Brevoort and feel like the next few months of my DC comics purchases now just don’t matter. And if they don’t matter, then why even be buying them?

And at this point I really don’t care about Flashpoint anymore. The series itself seems to not matter anymore; it is what comes after the conclusion that everyone is talking about now. Why also stick around for anymore story arcs in books I am buying? All the titles are being cancelled right? Just save some cash and wait the summer out for the fall and the NuDCU.

I’m not saying that I have turned against DC or won’t be trying some of the new books and be interested in the realigned creative teams. But I’m thinking a lot of the readership will really be scrutinizing the changes in the characters specifically.

I do give DC a great deal of support and credit for trying something to reinvigorate their line and increase readership across the different platforms. When comic properties are cruising to $1 billion in movie revenue and the books are selling less than 50k a month there is something wrong that needs fixed.

Enough on that. There will be months for more of the discussion on this. Let’s get to this week’s books and my choices for What Looks Good.



Batman: Gates of Gotham #2 of 5 $2.99 (Snyder, Higgins and McCarthy)

Murder, mayhem and the building of an empire! Issue #2 throttles up the action as Batman tries to find the source of the attacks before the killer can strike again. But with the reveal of the fourth family of Gotham City and an old case from the early days of the city, is Batman playing right into the villain's hands?

Well I figured with the Green Lantern movie opening this past weekend that DC would have some sort of GL title available. But not this week. That’s a problem to me. You would think with the different monthly ongoings plus the specials they put out recently, the publishing schedule would be better.

But nope.

This is something Marvel does better, they do publish a ton of material to support their movies but they also spread them out.

Anyway, back to Batman. With the relaunch looming it's really questionable as to what gets carried through and what doesn’t. But rumor has it the Bat office makes out pretty well in the revamp and is pretty much unscathed continuity-wise; of course not counting the new-old Batgirl.

Snyder’s work on Detective Comics is what enabled this series to be published and after last month’s great opening to this examination into Gotham City he further cemented his position among the current Bat-writers.


Captain America #619 $3.99 (Brubaker, Guice & Samnee)

The events of Fear Itself collide as our two stories reach their stunning conclusion. From his cold Russian prison cell, Bucky makes a decision that will change his life forever. And in the Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier back-up, the first repercussions of Bucky's actions may destroy everything Steve has worked so hard for. It's the stunning conclusion you won't believe!

Another sweet example of the perils of publishing. So with this issue we get a conclusion to the Bucky in a Russian gulag which won’t come as a surprise since Bucky has been appearing as Cap in Matt Fraction’s Fear Itself miniseries for a couple of months.

Heck he even died last issue!

We also get the conclusion of this book in its current format, since next month it becomes Captain America and Bucky, with Bru teaming up with Marc Andreyko to tell some flashback tales of Cap and Bucky.

I’m hoping that Brubaker will get the chance to really address the character he so successfully brought back to modern comics. It might be in the new monthly Captain America title or in a special.

Regardless, he did a great job with Bucky as both the Winter Soldier and as Cap. The book is consistently one of Marvel’s most solid titles.

Mystery Men #2 of 5 $2.99 (David Liss & Patrick Zircher)

Dennis Piper has become the cat thief and vigilante known as the Operative in order to hold the rich accountable for their misdeeds. When he’s framed for the murder of his lover Alice Starr he is forced to go even further into the dark to protect her sister. Saved from a police execution by the mysterious Revenant, Piper agrees to team up to find the real killer before more people die…

It was a real chore to find some solicit information for this issue; most sites are still showing the plot summary as classified by Marvel.

Not sure why since even though this book is set in continuity the time period setting sort of keeps it from having a major impact on the current state of Marvel.

Still I really enjoyed the first issue- excellent writing and art. I am a real sucker for pulp style adventures and this is looking to be awesome.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160 $3.99 (Bendis and Bagley)

This is it! Nuff said! Things will never be the same again! The death you never expected!

Actually none of that solicit info is from Marvel; I made it up. But it sounds like something you would read in a Marvel listing doesn’t it? Maybe I have a career in writing them?

Probably not.

But this issue is marked classified, even though we know it is supposed to feature the Death of Spider-Man. Marvel even went one step further and put the book in one of their infamous death bag polybags, a la Fantastic Four.

I’m curious as to how it all goes down so I will be ripping open my bagged copy. And sorry Marvel I will be only buying the one copy and not feeding into the collector mentality.

I will say the new costume design for the new Ultimate Comics Spider-Man that will be coming out in a couple of months looks awesome.

Well that’s all I have for you guys this week. Please share with me and the rest of us your comments and own picks for this week’s What Looks Good. A couple of other titles to give a check out on the shelf would be: Image’s All Nighter #1 by the Eisner and Ignatz nominee David Hahn which might be the next in the long list of Image first issue sellouts. Next would be Marvel’s Fantastic Four Last Stand #1 another of their cheap reprint books including issues 574, 587 and 588. All three for five bucks; a great way to read the story and not worry about the price. Finally from Atartic Press and perfect for all of us zombie lovers is Last Zombie Inferno #1, a continuation of Brian Keene’s Last Zombie series.

Thanks again for coming by and checking out all I had to share in this week’s What Looks Good. See you in 3.

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