52 Problems But A Bwah-Hah-Hah Ain’t One: DC’s Third Wave

We’re coming up on a year since DC Comics rebooted their universe with the New 52, and by the time that year ticks over, we’ll already be down to 42… which, knowing comics, will still not be the Ultimate Answer.

On top of the cancellations of original New 52 titles Men of War, Mister Terrific, O.M.A.C., Static Shock, Blackhawks, and Pile of Steaming Shit (Whoops! I meant Hawk And Dove! Damn those typos!) back in January, DC recently announced that they were cancelling Justice League International, rebooted from the 80s classic Giffen / Dematteis / Maguire title by creative team Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti, at the one year mark. At that time, DC kicked off six new books to keep the number of monthlies at 52, merely for the purposes of marketing and not because Dan DiDio can only remember two double-digit numbers at once and can’t (or won’t) forget “69”, as has been rumored by sources I just made up.

Well, it is now June, and DC has just announced that they will be launching four new monthly comics come July, which means that barring additional cancellations, DC would be carrying 55 books, a number which Dan can’t remember, nor drive, nor use to easily keep track of the age of consent (We kid, Dan! Bring back your Sunday “We Love Comics!” panel at SDCC this year!).

However, let’s start with the new books launching in September:

  • Talon, written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with art by Guillem March. Reportedly this is a book about a rogue Talon from the Court of The Owls in the Court of The Owls (duh) event currently running through DC’s Batman titles. It is about an “anti-hero on the run,” which is good news because DC really needs a book about trained killing machine traipsing around the DCU written by someone who could spell Deathstroke. Hey, Guillam! If you need a month off, Amanda knows a great fill-in artist!
  • Sword of Sorcery, written by Christy Marx with art by Aaron Lopresti. A story about Amethyst and her return to Gemworld, from the DC fantasy series from the 80s. Written by one of the writers of Jem. We are not kidding. With that said, she also did a Babylon 5 and worked on a metric assload of animated superhero TV shows, including Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and X-Men: Evolution, so there’s at least some comics chops in evidence here. But also Jem.
  • The Phantom Stranger, written by Dan DiDio with art by Brent Anderson. We have some fun at Dan DiDio’s expense here, but there’s no denying that O.M.A.C. was one of the more fun books to come out of the first wave of the New 52. In a worst-case scenario, here we should find out how much of that fun came from the desk of Keith Giffen.
  • Team Seven, written by Justin Jordan with art by Jesus Merino. This book about a team of adventurers (including Amanda Waller, Steve Trevor (ugh), Grifter Cole Cash and Deathstroke Slade Wilson) put together to keep superheroes in check sounds suspiciously like The Boys, which DC cancelled back in 2007 before creators Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson took it to Dynamite Comics, only cleaned up and sanitized of Justice League pastiches frequenting glory holes. That said, Jordan wrote one of the bar-none favorite books here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives last year – The Strange Talent of Luther Strode – so this book will make the pull list for at least a few months by default. If Jordan maintains his style from Luther Strode, we might see Grifter tear off Steve Trevor’s arms and beat Deathstroke to death with them. Please?

So those are the new books. Does that mean we’re at 55 now, Dan?

We’ve announced one cancellation already, which is Justice League International, and at this time, we’re looking at reviewing the rest of the line. But one of the primary goals is to maintain the number 52 as the number of series that we’ll be doing on a continuing basis.

So the question is: what three books are on the cancellation block? Well as of April, it looks like Captain Atom, Voodoo and Grifter were scraping the bottom… and with Grifter taking part in Team Seven, I’d lay even money down on that book taking a dirtnap. But considering Justice League International has been selling better than some books that DC has committed to keeping (Although somehow still beating Red Hood and The Outlaws), sales alone can’t be the greatest indicator.

My guess? Considering we’ve got Waller also in Team Seven, don’t consider Suicide Squad safe. In addition, with two books appropriate to DC’s Dark line dropping, I’d looks for a casualty or two there… and Resurrection Man is at the bottom of that particular line.

Time, however, will tell… but to paraphrase Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven: “Any man don’t wanna get killed… better start learning to spell ‘Bwah-ha-ha.'”

(via Newsarama. Covers via IO9, USA Today, MTV Geek and IGN)