DC’s January, 2013 solicitations have been released, and there is some good news in there, particularly if you’re a crossover fan, because it seems like every damn book in DC’s slate is involved in some kind of event in January, from Rise of The Third Army across all six Green Lantern books coming out in January (we’ve got the standard books, along with annuals for New Guardians and Green Lantern Corps), to Rotworld across Animal Man, Swamp Thing and most of the DC Dark titles, Death of The Family across the Batman books, and the H’el On Earth event going through most of the Superman titles. Hell, even Justice League is continuing its self-contained Throne of Atlantis story, with a solicitaiton promising “More on the Superman/Wonder Woman alliance,” which means either that I have a very misconstrued definition of the word “alliance,” or that between the United States and England, one of us must like to cuddle.

There’s even an event going across the seemingly unrelated titles Blue Beetle, Legion Lost, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and Grifter. That event being cancellation.

During the mid-90s, when Wildstorm was an independent publisher run by Jim Lee and before it because a launching-off point for Warren Ellis’s groundbreaking writing on Stormwatch and then The Authority, I knew it less as an imprint known for publishing creator-owned comics, and more as “one of those X-TREEM Image-type publishers that’s fucking up comics,” while I spent three or four years in mostly Vertigo-fueled superhero comics exile. Oh sure, I’ve read some of the old Wildstorm stuff in reprints, and have become familiar with some of the “classic” characters via the more recent Ellis and Ed Brubaker-written stories, but when it comes to a lot of the stuff from, say, 1994 through 1998, I’m what you’d call tabula rasa.

And having read Team 7 #0, by writer Justin Jordan and artist Jesus Merino, that is going to simultaneously bite me in the ass and make me wish I hadn’t spend my mid-20s sneering so hard at books that weren’t named PreacherTransmetropolitan or Jonah Hex.

Earlier this evening, an monumentous event happened in the comics world that can only be adequately described by the chroniclers of the two extremes of human morality and mortality: King James and Dante:

Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

– King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

Try not to suck any dick on your way across the parking lot!

– Dante, Clerks

In short: Rob Liefeld has left DC Comics, in a fashion in which we all wish we could leave our employers: by apparently screeching, “Fuck you, I quit!” and telling the world the boss sucks on Twitter.

With Rob and Amanda waist deep in nerd sweat out at San Diego Comic-Con, I’m left to my own thoughts and that’s not usually a good thing.

In an earlier post, Rob alluded to my very subtle unhappiness with what DC, and in particular Rob Liefeld, did to a couple of my favorite New 52 characters.  I was very disappointed with what happened with Voodoo when Ron Marz was relieved of duty. But when Liefeld took over Grifter, I nearly ripped the book in half.   I’ve tried writing a couple reviews of the recent iterations of these books, but I find myself digressing into a raving ball of spit and bile.  And after some soul searching, I had an epiphany….

I don’t like superheroes…

First of all people of San Diego: it’s a fucking e-cigarette. It emits water vapor. So please stop passive-aggressively giving me shit when I’m using it on a public sidewalk, out of doors and approaching the convention center, by muttering, “Nothing I like better than a faceful of cigarette smoke blowing into my baby’s face…” Let’s clear the air here (ha!): my e-cigarette emits no odor and bothers no one, unlike your little bundle of squalling fecal production. And since my e-cig doesn’t even burn, the San Diego Fire Marshall even considers it less of a fucking fire hazard.

Okay, I feel better now. Now that we’ve got my personal news out of the way, let’s talk about what’s been happening at SDCC 2012 that doesn’t involve self-righteous self-absorbsion.

The actual programming at SDCC started in earnest yesterday, featuring panels on everything from homosexuality in genre fiction to Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II. (Rob: This may be redundant. Consider editing. -Amanda)

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:

Finally, a reboot you can sink your teeth into.  As I stated in an earlier review, I’ve been trying to get back into the game and the New 52 has been somewhat of a disappointment.  I say disappointment because no title I’ve read so far has been a true “reboot”. Everything so far has relied on at least some previous knowledge of character and/or story to truly get the most out of it.  Then a Grifter came to town.

Shortly after my Voodoo review , I noticed a Daemonite on the cover of a Grifter book, so I cracked the cover. Lo and behold, we have a parallel to Voodoo’s alien invasion arc!  So once more I find myself with a character I’ve never heard of, which is great, because with so many established “mainstream” characters, I love to experience the joy of discovering something new, even if it is only new to me.

Cole Cash (They do love their alliteration, don’t they?) is a former Special Forces Operator, an expert in infiltration and combat. For reasons yet to be explored, he’s deserted the military and become a small time con man, moving from mark to mark with his girlfriend Gretchen.  He’s about to see behind a curtain that he didn’t know existed… and he’s going to have a very bad day.