Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Countdown to May (Where Have All the Spinoffs Gone?)

After two or three months of impressing me, DC Comics finally hits a bit of a flat note with its May solicitations. Worth pointing out, for good or bad:

DC rolls out the big-ticket $39.99 "oversized, coffee-table extravaganza" Batman: Cover to Cover.

What? There's a Batman movie coming out? You jest!

Speaking of which, DC wisely gives the digest treatment to the cartoon-based The Batman Strikes! Vol. 1 and Justice League Unlimited Vol. 1. Now if they'll only get the big book-market push.

And before we leave the Batman Begins feeding frenzy, I have to point out Year One: Batman/Scarecrow #1, only because it features art by Sean Murphy. Last year, Ryan Sook was my penciling fixation; in 2005, I think it'll be Sean Murphy.

What do you do to bolster falling sales? Why, you bring in Metamorpho for a cameo, of course!

Curiously, Will Pfeifer is no longer listed as co-writer on Blood of the Demon.

Fallen Angel ends with Issue 20.

Villains United debuts, spinning off of DC Countdown which, in turn, spun off of Identity Crisis. I would give anything if this were a throwback to the old Secret Society of Super-Villains, but I just know it's all going to be all doom and gloom. "Expose the new face of evil"? Yeah, doom and gloom ...

Oh, and also spinning out of DC Countdown and Adam Strange comes The Rann/Thanagar War. What I wouldn't give for a bunch of Martians to swoop in and mop up the floor with them. What? All the Martians are dead, except for J'onn J'onzz? How about zombie Martians, then? I would so buy that miniseries. But this one? No.

And don't forget the second issues of Day of Vengeance and The OMAC Project, which also -- ahhh, nevermind.

Olympus, by Geoff Johns and Kris Grimminger, looks interesting. More importantly, it appears to have no ties to DC Countdown.

At Vertigo, the usual suspects plug along, with striking covers by Dave Johnson, Frank Quitely, Jock and, of course, James Jean. The Losers also gets its third trade.

At WildStorm, Devin Grayson and Brian Stelfreeze unveil Matador, which pits a police detective against a serial killer. I enjoy reading Grayson discuss her work, but I've never been impressed with her actual writing. Still, I'll check this out.

Warren Ellis and J.H. Williams III debut an ongoing bimonthly series, Desolation Jones. I'll take this for a spin, too.

And, finally, Sleeper Season Two comes to a close.