Saturday, July 25, 2009

DC's Comic Con News

Obviously, my responsibilities here (not to mention my budget) at the Journal are keeping me from attending San Diego Comic Con. Thanks to the magic of the Interwebs, though, we're all able to follow along from the comfort of our own homes (or, office, as my case is).

Three major DC Universe revelations have already been unveiled, two of which just happened today in the past hour or so.

1) JSA All-Stars.

In response to the problem of too many good characters in the Justice Society, new writers Bill Willingham and Matt Sturges have opted to split the team in half with most of the older heroes in the "Justice Society of America" book and most of the younger characters, including Magog and Power Girl, in "JSA All-Stars."

As any regular reader of this space will tell you, the JSA has always been one of my favorite teams to read, and in recent years my favorite book period. So, the idea of twice as much JSA each month is obviously appealing. And I do trust Willingham and Sturges to know what they're doing and where they're directing this franchise. Still, I have two thoughts...

The JSA's real problems over the years has been finding enough new, fresh villains and obstacles to overcome and finding enough time to provide each character with good individual moments. It would seem then, that the way to fix this problem while still doubling the JSA each month, would be to relaunch a "JSA: Classified"-type book of singular character stories, only this time the book would be consistently handled by Sturges and Willingham, not a rotating carousel of B-list talent. Splitting the enormous team into two squads is only going to double the number of good threats needed without giving individual characters that much more spotlight.

Also, though, isn't the idea behind the JSA, since David Goyer and James Robinson relaunched the team a decade ago, older heroes helping team younger heroes how to go about becoming better heroes? Isn't the father-knows-best aspect of Jay Garrick and Alan Scott in relation to Jakeem Thunder and Maxine Hunkel what makes this team unique? Without that constant youth vs. experience interaction, are we just going to be left with one generic team of older heroes and one generic team of younger heroes?

Still, I'll trust Willingham and Sturges on this one that they know what they're doing.

2) James Robinson's new Justice League.

In the image above, you will see three of the characters James Robinson said will join his Justice League when he takes over the team's flagship title, while most of the characters will remain a mystery for now. In case you don't recognize the faces, we're talking about a Justice League featuring Mon-El, Donna Troy, Dick Grayson and Hal Jordan (Congorilla was not shown in the image but he will, unfortunately, be on the team as well).

I've got to say, I haven't been this excited about the team since Brad Meltzer left "Justice League" two and a half years ago. I also don't think I have ever been this excited about a solicited Justice League roster (since I was a little too you to know what a solicitation was when "Justice League International" hit the stands). I've never been one that has needed DC's "Big Three" in every book — in fact, I'm a little sick of just how important we're constantly told they are. So, I'm a fan of unorthodox JLA rosters, as long as the character interactions seem promising (Dwayne McDuffie's Vixen, Dr. Light, Firestorm roster would not be what I consider interesting!). I cannot wait to see how grown up Dick and grown up Donna help Hal lead this team.

3) Sterling Gates' Kid Flash.

Quietly today at the "DCU Live" panel, Geoff Johns announced "Supergirl" writer Sterling Gates will be writing a "Kid Flash" ongoing, which will be working in concert with Johns' own "Flash" ongoing, as Johns builds his huge "Flash" storyline just like he did with "Green Lantern" and "Sinestro Corps"/"Blackest Night."

There are absolutely no details about this "Kid Flash" series yet. As I said, the announcement was quiet. Still, I can guarantee right now, with 100% certainty, that if you are going to read "Flash," you're also going to want to be reading "Kid Flash."

For one, Bart Allen is a FANTASTIC character, someone with a personality that can easily carry his own book. For two, Sterling Gates has done some strong work on "Supergirl," a series which was an absolute train wreck for years before his arrival. For three, if this book is being billed as the equivalent companion piece that "Green Lantern Corps" is, you can be sure that Johns is going to help provide Gates' books with more than enough story points that spill over from one book to the other, just as Johns and Peter Tomasi do for the Ringslingers of OA.

Regardless of what we learn the rest of the weekend, these three revelations have made me one happy DCU fan.

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