DC Books for January/February

So I’m looking at DC’s list of what they’re going to be releasing in January and February of 2007, and it brought home to me just how little of their product I care about any more.

So here’s some snark about it:

Writer: Peter David
Artists: David Lopez and Fernando Blanco
Cover Artist: Brian Stelfreeze
144 pages for $14.99 US collecting FALLEN ANGEL #7-12

It’s always easier to sell things when you let another publisher take care of the marketing and customer awareness efforts, isn’t it? IDW has made a go of this series, and their prompt collections put DC to shame.

Actually, I’m very surprised to see DC revisit a cancelled series in this way. It’s an unusual way to handle things. I can only think that they’ve been getting a LOT of retailer requests for this, which is terrific.

Writer: Stuart Moore
Artists: Jamal Igle and Keith Champagne
Cover artist: Brian Stelfreeze
128 pages for $14.99 US collecting FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MAN #23-27

I hope this isn’t too little, too late. The Moore stories may be a hard sell because there’s a new writer on the book already, so if you like this, you can’t get more. (Heh.)

The Showcase Presents (Essential-like) reprint volumes this time around include second volumes of The Justice League of America and Green Lantern. Aquaman gets his first, and then there’s this:

Writers: Bob Haney and Mike Sekowsky
Artists: Neal Adams, Ramona Fradon, Win Mortimer, Carmine Infantino, Mike Sekowsky, George Papp, Ross Andru, Bob Brown, Johnny Craig, Dick Giordano, Mike Esposito, Charles Paris, Charles Cuidera and Jack Abel
Cover Artist: Bob Brown
Price: $16.99 US/$22.99 CAN
Page Count: 528 pages
Collects: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #59, 64, 67-71, 74-87

This should be a great big slice of wacky superhero comics, internal logic be damned. Although I’m still disappointed to see no Wonder Woman, no Supergirl, no Lois Lane, no Black Canary, no Zatanna … no women leading Showcase volumes.

I just finished reading my Elongated Man Showcase last night, and boy, these volumes are great values if you have a lot of tolerance for reading the same stories over and over. (Or have enough patience to ration yourself to only a few chapters at a time, which I was trying to do.) I was bummed that Sue Dibny didn’t get more to do in the stories; instead, she was the typical two-dimensional “I spend my man’s money to get new stupid-looking hats” caricature intended to be humorous. Her biggest contribution in later stories was sighing and holding Ralph’s clothes while he ditched her to follow his twitching nose into adventure.

This is my long way of saying “probably not trying any more Showcases for a while, thank you.” They’re just too much of not quite what I’m looking for.

13 Responses to “DC Books for January/February”

  1. Chris Galdieri Says:

    I loved the Elongated Man Showcase for the black-and-white art which finally made me really ppreciate how good Carmine Infantino is. Some of the early solo stories where he inks himself are particularly striking — there’s a wonderful loose, energetic sketchy feel to them that made me stop and stare at the pages.

    A Supergirl Showcase, especially, seems like a no-brainer, given how hard DC is pushing the new version.

  2. Ralf Haring Says:

    While new Fallen Angel collections probably make sense purely economically – IDW did all the heavy lifting to keep the property around, as you say – I’d imagine in some way they might also serve to re-establish trust between David and DC. He’s not the biggest draw in the world, but he’s had enough staying power that they’ll likely want to work with him in the future. His last few DC efforts didn’t exactly seem to end harmoniously – Fallen Angel, Supergirl, Young Justice. They are also republishing his and Perez’ Sachs & Violens, and that seemed to come out of nowhere as well. Or I could be wrong and it’s all just based on the economics.

  3. Bill Angus Says:

    I’m just going from memory here… but it seems to me that the Sachs & Violens thing was part of the deal to get Fallen Angel over to IDW. I think DC wanted to publish a S&V trade, and the made it a condition of releasing Fallen Angel.

  4. Dan Coyle Says:

    And we are getting an S and V trade, ironically when S and V are now practically regulars in the IDW book.

    Repetition is a big problem in the Showcase books, even non-superhero books like Haunted Tank become a trial to get through. The strongest for me have been the Jonah Hex and Superman Family volumes.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Chris: The Infantino art led to a great conversation between me and KC, about how he was viewed artistically. I found it a little rough at times, myself, but definitely energetic, as you say.

    Dan: Come to think of it, I liked Superman Family best too.

  6. James Schee Says:

    It took me about a month to get through the EM Showcase reading about 2 stories a night. It was easier than some of the others, I still haven’t been able to finish the Justice League one, but I too wished Sue had a bigger role.

    Though I do remember two fun moments for her, like when she was interested in a mystery and Ralph wasn’t. Plus the birthday surprise where it was Ralph that got “knocked out by harmless electricity”, which was a reverse of the way things usually went in that time. (I’m looking at you oh poor Lois.:) )

  7. James Schee Says:

    Oh BTW, one thing that kind of had me scratching my head. Did no one ever write a story about how Ralph and Sue met, got married etc?

  8. Rob Staeger Says:

    The Showcase volumes are slow going for me. I keep a few on the shelf and randomly pick up a story whenever the mood strikes me. I’ve got the Jonah Hex, Metamorpho, Elongated Man and The Haunted Tank volumes, but I never read more than a couple stories in a row. I plan on finishing one before I pick up my next, just so I don’t slow them all down too much… althought the House of Mystery edition is tempting.

  9. David Oakes Says:


    My brother has my copy, but I thought that the FLASH story that introduced Ralph was reprinted in the trade. It’s not a long courtship, but we at least see a few panels of “Hey, who is that”, “I want to marry you” – in fact, Ralph comes off as something of a golddigger! – and I think even a seperate honeymoon story. I don’t recall the actual wedding ever being show, come to think of it.

    (According to comics.org, it was FLASH #119, reprinted in #209, which I may in fact own, and may be where I am remebering it from. And in case you are ever on Jeopardy!, “What is Sue Dearborn?” is the question to “Elongated Man’s Wife’s maiden name.”)

  10. David Oakes Says:

    Oh, and for everyone in the “TPBs are the wave of the future, because they are the best format to tell a story” camp, I hope that the SHOWCASE volumes proves that some stories are better served in small doses.

    (And let’s not make the argument “best format for *good* stories, that’s not the point. Though I wonder if it would be easier to read an entire SHOWCASE if it reprinted, say, a year’s – a month’s even – worth of stories from across a whole line of titles. Equivalent to the CrossGen magazines. Probably not, since it’s hard to read HOUSE OF MYSTERY for too long, and they are more different than they are similar. I think the storytelling style simply has changed, and most of us couldn’t sit through the average movie from 1968 without looking at our watch either.)

  11. Dan Coyle Says:

    What makes Superman Family work is the sheer insanity of Superman’s relationship with his “friends”.

  12. Chris Galdieri Says:

    In the case of much of what the Showcase volumes have reprinted, I think it’s more a case of “this is the only format these stories are ever going to be profitable in.” I thought Green Lantern held up pretty well in the format, though, because there was a bit more soap opera and continuing mysteries to give the stories issue-to-issue flow than, say, Elongated Man.

    Hmm. Does the B&W phonebook format work better for Marvel because those stories were more serial in nature?

  13. Anthony D. Says:

    I own some of the Showcase volumes as well, and find the stories entertaining, though admit I read through the Green Lantern, Superman and Justice League volumes faster than the Batman volume. Still, would rather spend money on a pile of old stories like these and read them a bit at a time than on the likes of “Infinite Crisis”…

    Re: Supergirl and Lois Lane volumes: Given the Superman volume doesn’t include any of the Supergirl-featuring stories in it, I have to assume Kara’s going to get her own Showcase volume at some point. As for Lois Lane, guessing she’ll be stuck sharing space/co-billing with Jimmy Olsen under the “Superman Family” banner (since the Jimmy Olsen stories started several years before Lois got her own title, that’s why there weren’t many Lois stories in the first “Superman Family” volume, though a future volume 2 should see the earliest “Lois Lane” title stories…).




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