Big week for DC fans as we got the insight on the future of some of the DC films. Also our heroes continue their journeys in their respective shows like Supergirl, Arrow, Black Lightning, The Flash and Gotham. But this week I wanted to show some love to the the source material to all of these shows and films that we watch, the comic books.
This week via The Comic Source we released our annual “Best of 2018” show where Jace, listener Jon-Paul and I talk about our favorite comic books, stories and creators of the past year. Not all my picks were DC titles of course, but I just wanted to take a quick moment to go give a quick shout out to the picks that were DC related. We live in a world where the popularity of superheroes is higher than ever, yet the medium where they are all brought to life from seems to slowly be dying. So in the words of Heath Ledger’s Joker “Here we go!”
BEST NEW HERO OR TEAM – The Terrifics
One of the biggest events of 2017 Dark Nights: Metal saw the creation of many new characters and teams. One of those which made their debut in February was The Terrifics in the self titled book written by a favorite writer of mine Jeff Lemire with artwork by Joe Prado and Ivan Reis. This book has Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl bound together by the Dark Multiverse. I really enjoyed this team up as it’s a great mix of personalities. Mr. Terrific Batman like serious attitude, along with Metamorpho’s self-pity of feeling like a freak and then for not having powers, Phantom Girl’s woes of not being able to have any contact with anyone and unsure of her people’s status and of course Plastic Man’s wacky personality not to mention awesome transformations. It’s a very entertaining series that just this past week released it’s issue #12, not to late to catch up!
BEST NEW VILLAIN – The Batman Who Laughs
True this character didn’t actually debut in 2018, but I feel that he had a great impact on the DC landscape. He was created by Scott Snyder and Grag Capullo and first appearing in Dark Days: The Casting #1. He is one of the Dark Knights from Earth-22. In his story he was poisoned by a nanotoxin that was released upon the death of the Joker. The combination of the Joker and Bruce Wayne make for one of the most dangerous villains ever created. After the events of the Dark Nights: Metal series we had seen that he had been held captive by the Legion of Doom. Currently he has been let loose once again posing a huge threat in his own series, The Batman Who Laughs by Scott Snyder and artist Jock. The question in this book is will Bruce be able to consider breaking his own rule and kill The Batman Who Laughs? Currently this title is on it’s second issue.
BEST LIMITED SERIES – Eternity Girl
This title comes from DC’s Young Animal imprint that is currently missing from their offerings. Honestly not even sure how I happened to pick this title up, but I am glad I did! This limited series was written by Magdalene Visaggio with artwork by Sonny Liew. Having powers must be great right? Being a super hero and a spy has to be awesome, just ask Caroline Sharp. She had done it all! But one day she starts losing control of her powers and she is unable to hold what you would consider a “normal” looking form. The depression of this situation leaves her to want to end her life, only one problem… she can’t, her powers do not allow her to die. Until one day she is offered the opportunity of death, but it comes at a huge cost, the destruction of everyone else. I enjoyed both the writing and artwork in this book, it’s a shame it was only a limited series.
BEST STORYLINE – MISTER MIRACLE
BEST COVER – MISTER MIRACLE #6 Alternate
BEST ARTIST – MITCH GERADS
I put all three of these together because they are from the same series Mister Miracle by Tom King with artwork by Mitch Gerads, which unfortunately ended in 2018. Scott Free is aka Mister Miracle is one of my favorite characters in the DC Universe, I never thought he would be a focal point in a critically acclaimed book and is now being developed for a feature film. An amazing story about the greatest escape artist that every lived, even able to escape the hellish Apokolips. Now having accomplished almost everything, could he even find a way to escape death? Not only is the writing fantastic, but Gerads does an amazing job at storytelling through his panel layouts, in some places you don’t even realize that there are no words on the page yet your able to clearly understand the events and emotions panel to panel. You do not want to miss out on this title!
BEST ON-GOING COMIC BOOK – BATMAN
BEST MOMENT – BRUCE REALIZES SELINA IS NOT COMING TO THE WEDDING (BATMAN 50)
Once again another title by Tom King. There were some people who were not ready to let Snyder off of his run on Batman, although I thought that it really went downhill after his Endgame arc. But at during the Rebirth relaunch, King stepped in and took over setting up a story line that is taking place to this day and will continue through 100 issues. The highlight of 2018 of course was the wedding of Batman and Catwoman, which as it was spoiled to everyone a few days before it’s release, never happened. Let’s be honest, deep down we all knew that this wedding was not going to take place, but they did a great job at selling it to us with the Joker being salty about his missing invitation and other story arcs that gave us a little bit of hope for the couple, including an annual issues that looked deep into their future in old age. The moment Bruce realizes that Selina is not showing up and he leaps off the building, I really felt for him, after all he had done for her and opened up emotionally to her, she just left him there broken. Oh and there is a crazy twist to this all, in case you don’t know what it is, you need to read the issue and find out!
BEST COVER ARTIST – LEE BERMEJO
As far as artwork it’s not really fair to just pick one or two people because there is so much good talent out there. My pick for best cover artist though has to go Lee Bermejo. He is currently the artist on Brian Azzarello’s Batman: Damned. With how impressive his covers are, it baffles me how he has time to do an over-sized book like this! Currently my favorite cover he has is the variant cover to Batman: Damned #2 with Harley Quinn. But go back and check out some of his other amazing covers. I may not be into the book, but I will still buy it if it has a Bermejo cover on it.
BEST WRITER/ARTIST – JOELLE JONES (CATWOMAN)
This was a no brainer for me, I had really enjoyed her work on Dark Horse’s Ladykiller, so if anyone was going to do a solo Catwoman title I wanted it to be Joelle Jones. She is a great story-teller and does amazing work on capturing those very subtle details in feminine character, especially in the eyes. Just as she is trying to catch her breath after her split from Batman, she has to deal with literal copycats that are messing up her reputation. Currently this title is on it 7th issue.
BEST WRITER – BRYAN EDWARD HILL
True that this pick was not really based specifically on his work over at DC but he did have a couple of projects there in 2018. One of them was the one-shot Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey Special #1 with artwork by Bill Sienkiewicz and Denys Cowan. The other was an arc that he did in Detective Comics titled On The Outside which started in issue #983 which featured artwork by Miguel Mendonca, that saw Batman teaming up with Black Lightning. Overall I really enjoy Hill’s writing because of the depth that he always seems to add to any character he writing. For example what he is currently doing over at Marvel for Killmonger.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT – BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS’ SUPERMAN
I have never been a big Superman fan, but after the Rebirth re-launch I became a fan thanks to the amazing writing of Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi and Dan Jurgens on both Superman and Action Comics. They took his character and although still the Man of Steel was got to see Clark as a husband a father and a friend. Some of the best issues didn’t necessarily have any action. For example when him and his family go to the fair or better yet when him and Lois go to the fair with Bruce and Selina. Granted that double date issue was set in Batman #37, but still all possible by what those mentioned above writers had set up. So Bendis comes in and they give him everything Superman and he made his debut in Action Comics #1000. I understand that every writer needs to put their own spin on characters but I felt like he basically threw away all the great work they had already. Especially when right off the bad he sends off Lois and Johnathan into space. Also with an good rogues he decides to create a new character that is behind the destruction of Krypton, Rogol Zaar who was very underwhelming.
Just to quickly wrap things up with some movie news that has Batman fans hyped, we now have confirmation that the next solo Batman film that is being written and directed by Matt Reeves will hit theaters June 25th, 2021. Also we have the date for the Suicide Squad reboot which will be directed by James Gunn, which will be August 6th, 2021. We also now know that Ben Affleck will not return as the Dark Knight as they are looking for a younger Bruce Wayne. The next offering from the DCEU will be SHAZAM! on April 5th, 2019.
This wouldn’t be a DC Weekly piece without my top DC comics of this week. For more in-depth coverage on these titles and more be sure to listen to The Comic Source Podcast.
5. Justice League Odyssey #5 written by Joshua Williamson with artwork by Carmine Di Giandomenico
4. Books of Magic #4 written by Kat Howard with artwork by Tom Fowler
3. Detective Comics #997 written by Peter J. Tomasi with artwork by Jaime Mendoza & Doug Mahnke
2. Terrifics #12 written Jeff Lemire with artwork by Viktor Bogdanovic
1. Heroes in Crisis #5 written by Tom King with artwork by Clay Mann
What are your favorite DC comics or talent of 2018? Let us know in the comment section below!
DC Weekly is out every Friday on LRMOnline!