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Wildstorm, War and Western Comics Take the Stage for DC Today!

Before they presumably announce their plans for Superman tomorrow (it better involve Morrison!), DC decided to give us one last really odd mixture of titles, in what I like to call WWW: Wildstorm, War and Western comics.

For those of you (like myself) who were worried about the relative lack of Paul Cornell in the announcements so far (just Demon Knights), we see that answered with a brand-new Stormwatch comic, mixing Martian Manhunter into the mix with Jack Hawksmoor, Apollo and Midnighter.

It’ll be really interesting seeing Stormwatch mix with the DC Universe (hopefully it will go better than the Elite’s foray).

Mike Costa has been doing a bang-up job on GI Joe Cobra, which is a war comic, so the new Blackhawks comic could be good. I don’t think Ken Lashley’s style fits “war comic,” really, though.

Ivan Brandon is a really strong writer, so I’m interested in this new attempt at Sgt. Rock (done in modern times with Rock’s grand son).

Tom Derenick is a good artist, but again, I wonder if his style is not a bit too bright for a war comic. Imagine Jock on this book!

I was never THAT worried about losing Palmiotti and Gray, as I figure DC would not lose Jonah Hex, which is routinely one of their best titles, but seeing the pair return with All-Star Western #1 still makes me happy.

Moritat as the ongoing artist is wonderful news. With the announcement of back-ups, I imagine this title will be $4. I noticed DC has not exactly been vocal with how much the comics in this reboot will be, so I tend to imagine that we’ll see more than a couple $4 books (I could be way off and this title could be $3 with back-ups, of course).

No offense to Kyle Higgins, but I don’t really know enough of his writing to say if this Deathstroke ongoing will be good…

Nathan Edmondson on Grifter? A lot of strong, up and coming writers in this batch of announcements. I don’t know if Grifter is the type of book I’d associate with Edmonson, but I like him enough to give it a whirl.

I don’t know if anyone is currently reading Outsiders. Keith Giffen has been penciling it and it has looked GREAT. Classic Kirby-esque artwork from Giffen. Really top-notch stuff. The story, though, has not been great.

So obviously I have mixed feelings with the same creative team taking over OMAC…

Giffen is co-writing with Dan Didio, though, and if Giffen has a strong say in the plot, I could see this being a worthwhile title. I mean, Giffen’s art will be awesome, at least.

40 Comments

I’m super glad to not see the team of Gray, Palmiotti and Hex split up. That’s my favorite book currently put out by DC, and has been for awhile now.

i just hope apollo and midnighter are still a couple…

I would be completely shocked if they were not. I’d say the odds are about 99.99% that they are still a couple.

I think it’s STORMWATCH and not the AUTHORITY that’s making its way into the DCU and per Paul Cornell website “Apollo and The Midnighter remain out and proud”

Looking forward to seeing who else is on the SW team

If Clark and Lois aren’t married, anything’s possible…

Ricardo Amaral

June 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm

This Giffen art is amazing. And yeah, hopefully Giffen will be the main plotter with Didio focusing only on dialogues.

I think it’s STORMWATCH and not the AUTHORITY that’s making its way into the DCU and per Paul Cornell website “Apollo and The Midnighter remain out and proud”

Looking forward to seeing who else is on the SW team

You’re right, Chris. Total brain lapse on my part. Thanks for the correction.

If Clark and Lois aren’t married, anything’s possible…

Not when you make an announcement touting the diversity in your new line of comics, ya know?

This Giffen art is amazing.

It really is. His Outsiders stuff (done in the same style) is so good.

I’ve never read Jonah Hex, but for Moritat I’ll certainly give All-Star Western a look. His work with Mark Schultz and David Hine on Spirit has been fantastic. Well, I guess WAS fantastic would be the key word now.

Damn. :-\

Interesting batch here. Despite my throwing up about 15 guesses yesterday as to what the “unexpected” titles will be, I didn’t get a single one right (unless you’re giving my Wildcats guess to Grifter).

I like that DC is really giving the reigns to a lot of up and coming writers. Most of the Great DC runs of the 80s and 90s were by writers who weren’t established stars (Moore’s Swamp Thing, Robinson’s Starman, Gaiman’s Sandman, Morrison’s Animal Man and Doom Patrol, Johns’ JSA, Waid’s Flash, Ostrander’s Suicide Squad), and this could be another new era like that. My major hope is that DC editorial really gives some of these titles a chance to stretch their legs before interfering with everything in the next mega-crossover. After ten years in which both Marvel and DC dictated virtually every title based on the Event books, it’d be nice to see writers have a chance to do their thing for a few years.

46 titles down now and only 6 to go. At least half of those will be Superman related, and I still expect JSA to show up. Outsiders and Doom Patrol both seemed like safe guesses early, but now perhaps not. Shazam?

Also, a random question… I haven’t heard anything to the contrary, but will Hellblazer still be continuing as a Vertigo title, even with Constantine’s involvement in Justice League Dark?

I have to agree with Eric, I’m really glad that I’ll still be able to get my western fix with DC even if Jonah isn’t going to be in every issue. DC has a vast wealth of western characters that I’d LOVE to see them tackle like Scalphunter, The Trigger Twins, Nighthawk, etc.

I was interested in Sgt. Rock but much less so now that I know it’s not the REAL Rock.

I’ll give Grifter a try as well – the others? Probably not.

Also, a random question… I haven’t heard anything to the contrary, but will Hellblazer still be continuing as a Vertigo title, even with Constantine’s involvement in Justice League Dark?

I believe their intent is that Vertigo is still pretty much its own thing. So think of it like Wolverine and his various titles.

Jonah Hex in Gotham is a great pitch.

Third – I think someone reported that DC Constantine and Vertigo Constantine are 2 separate characters. E.g. DCU Constantine isn’t married, won’t age…

Not when you make an announcement touting the diversity in your new line of comics, ya know?

Whether or not they’re still GAY is a different question than whether or not they’re still a couple, which is what the original commenter asked.

I agree with you that they are 99% likely to still be gay, but there’s no reason they absolutely have to be a couple when the series starts. They could not be a couple, but as gay single men still help maintain the diversity DC promised. For example being that this is a reboot Cornell may start with them single and gradually have them become a couple for the “first time.” Or they may be broken up and he uses the tension of fighting alongside one’s ex to create some dramatic tension.

An interview with Milligan at Newsarama indicates that not only is Hellblazer continuing at Vertigo, but that both versions of Constantine will be writen by the same writer — Peter Milligan. And they won’t be exactly the same.

Also, I think Red Hood and the Outlaws would be considered a replacement title for the Outsiders — a group of fringe/renegade heroes led by a Batman family member.

I want JSA! And where’s Blue Beetle?

I’ve read that it’s more like two completely different versions of the same character. John Constantine in the main DCU is the character like he was in the 1980s, in the Swamp Thing stories. John Constantine in HELLBLAZER is older, having aged in real time, and has long drifted away from any link he might once have had with superheroes (or maybe the links were even retconned away?).

Jonah Hex in Gotham is a great pitch.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that. It really is.

Jonah Hex in Gotham is a great pitch.

With Gotham and Arkham appearing, it just sounds like they’re going to make him Batman-lite in the Old West. A superhero book disquised as a western, which some might argue Hex already was but this seems to take it even further in that direction. If they give him a Batmanesque rogue’s gallery it would be even worse. I’m cautiously optimistic but to me it looks like a very uninspired idea, trying to cash in on Batman when we already have like 7 Batman-related books.

Except DeeDee’s self-indulgence it’s pretty decent list. Cornell’s Stormwatch and All-Star Western are going stright to my pull-list and 4 others are in for tryouts.

My guess for the remaining 6 books as yet unannounced:

3 Superman, 1 of which will be Morrison
JSA
Shazam
Another Didio book

Is that an actual guess or a cynical one? :)

T, exactly my thoughts as well. Definitely possible for Midnighter and Apollo to be single.

Tom Derenick is a good artist, but again, I wonder if his style is not a bit too bright for a war comic. Imagine Jock on this book!

Or Nic Klein, Brandon’s usual partner. I wonder what he’s up to now that Doc Savage is done.

I am honestly surprised that DC chose to use the Stormwatch title as a means to integrate Wildstorm into the DCU. Granted, the series birthed Authority and has long been a cornerstone of the WSU, but it hasn’t had nearly the mainstream exposure that the Authority has garnered. And it lacks the potential name recognition that Wildcats holds with lapsed comic book readers and former cartoon viewers.

Manhunter’s inclusion certainly raises an eyebrow, and I’m glad to see Apollo and Midnighter will still be together. The lack of female members is a bit disconcerting, but I have the utmost faith in Cornell.

There’s probably more Wildstorm brand penetration than anyone should’ve expected in these announcements, with Grifter and Voodoo getting solo titles in addition to the Stormwatch relaunch. Still, it feels like some obvious opportunities were missed. Gen13 characters could easily fold into Teen Titans, for instance. Maybe Red Hood and the Outlaws will run into DV8 down the line or something. Anything’s possible. I would particularly like it if Spartan showed up as a business rival for Luthor.

I do fully expect Mister Majestic to be involved in the Superman books in some capacity, as he has been in the past. Supes always needs somebody to throw down with.

Only half a dozen announcements remain, including presumably four Super-books (Action Comics, Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, yeah?). The others will probably be part of the Batman Beyond line, unless those books move to Johnny DC.

I don’t think Ken Lashley’s style fits “war comic,” really, though.

Or the 21st century for that matter. 90s all the way.

So with Blue Beetle and now Suicide Squad announced that leaves 4. 1 is obviously Superman. Has Action been announced yet? I forget.

Still, I ask, WHY DIDN’T THEY KEEP THE WILDSTORM GUYS ON EARTH-50!!!! They have a 52-Earth multiverse, the Wildstorm Universe is on Earth-50, why couldn’t they keep it like that?!?!!?!?

Still, I ask, WHY DIDN’T THEY KEEP THE WILDSTORM GUYS ON EARTH-50!!!! They have a 52-Earth multiverse, the Wildstorm Universe is on Earth-50, why couldn’t they keep it like that?!?!!?!?

You use caps a lot.

As to the question, have they said officially they aren’t on a different world? That being said, if they’re not, I would imagine that their theory is that the would sell better integrated into the DC Universe. They’re not likely wrong.

@ Acer:

I imagine that they are cherry-picking concepts, introducing some into the DCnu, but leaving others in their native universes. I mean, why can’t there be two versions of Apollo and Midnighter?

This is an odd batch. I sort of hate J’onn J’onzz in Stormwatch. He is such a Silver Age-y character and I am not sure that he can really be updated.

I think updating the War concepts to the modern day is a great idea, but Blackhawk looks terrible from a visual standpoint. I am also not sure why Sgt. Rock isn’t just in the damn Army.

Someone is the DC offices sure must love mercenaries, because that is the only reason for this Deathstroke title.

The Grifter starring in “They Live”? That might be worth a look.

Boy, that Dan DiDio sure gets the best artists, doesn’t he?

Jonah Hex as the Batman of the Old West is sort a fun idea. I agree with T. that the relaunch has too much Batman, but this is not the first Batman-ish title that I’d drop. Palmiotti and Gray basically own that character at this point, so it is nice that they are returning.

Now I’m convinced they’re just pulling titles from my list at the last minute.

But what a wacky bunch of books. Grifter with ROM’s premise? Stormwatch with J’onn by Cornell? I may try a few of these.

I agree with Bill, the announced books are a kind of strange lot. There does seem to be some logic at work – it’s not random, and fortunately it doesn’t seem to be “dumbing down” the DCU which was my initial reaction. Still I have to actually read some of these books to see if they’re as good as what they replace.

I love Cornell’s writing, so I’ll check out StormWatch just because of that, but I think merging it with the DCU is a terrible idea.

An even worse idea would be the Authority, I guess, because a super-team out to actively change the world isn’t going to go over too well with, say, the JLA–which was exactly the point of the Authority as a commentary on traditional super-comics.

The fact that mainstream DC them mimicked the over-the-top violence of the Wildstrorm line in stories featuring Superboy and the Marvel Family, of all people–well, what can you do with that? At a certain point it gets to be beyond parody. But I imagine we’ll be seeing much more of that stuff in the New Johnsverse.

Heh. I knew I was right to expect a couple War comics after DC announced all the magic ones were announced.

Martian Manhunter is a better fit for this team than people assume. I mean, a telepathic shapeshifter. He’s perfect for black ops.

The news of the Wildstorm and ‘fringe’ titles has me intrigued. While I’m thrilled that I’m still going to get a monthly Jonah Hex title, bringing in the WSU characters actually has me excited. The line-up for Stormwatch is actually a great roster; if I could get another Milestone character in there, I’d be elated. Stormwatch, Voodoo and Grifter… 3 high definite maybes to pick up.

Perhaps one of the last 6 might be another WSU title…. *crosses fingers*

Travis Pelkie

June 10, 2011 at 7:36 am

It’s possible that these Wildstorm titles aren’t in the DCU but on earth 50. As I’ve been saying, it seems that the multi earths IS still in play, given Morrison’s Multiversity and the Whistling Skull taking place on the JSA Liberty Files earth. But it seems that given why the relaunch is happening, multiple earths would confuse the new readers they want. So, who knows?

These titles are sorta interesting, although why do we need Deathstroke? Jeez. These ones will probably be hit or miss for me, but I’m hoping more will rock than not.

Maybe the Western book (and any others with backups) will be 14 pgs main and 6 backup. That seems a possible way to hit the 20 pages and not crap out totally on the main. Heck, Marvel and DC main stories were 16 or 17 pages for most of the ’70s, weren’t they?

Since there apparently won’t be any icky girls on Stormwatch (yay diversity!) (no wonder Kelly and the Chicks were so disappointed), I do hope that J’onn will use his shapechanging abilities for wild man-alien-man-man-rebuilt-by-aliens orgies. Ay yi yi.

Would have liked to see Swift, Jenny Quantum, and the new Doctor make the jump too. The Authority had an awesome line up and while I love Apollo and Midnighter, I can’t help but notice they decided to bring the three white men over to the DCU. Speaking of that, are they getting rid of Apollo and Midnighter as parents? Because that’s a dumb move.

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