Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Comic Book Ramblings: My Thoughts on the DC Relaunch Part 4

My Thoughts on DC's Edge line.

Stormwatch #1

Stormwatch (1993)
STORMWATCH was a concept by JIM LEE during the formation of IMAGE COMICS in the early 1990s about a U.N. sponored superhero team, a counterpoint to ROB LIEFEILD's team of U.S. Government superheroes YOUNGBLOOD.

Warren Ellis's Stormwatch
But it was when writer WARREN ELLIS tookover the series with #37 (July 1996) that I took notice. With the creations of the MIDNIGHTER & APOLLO (a BATMAN-SUPERMAN archtype duo), who both would go on to ELLIS' popular AUTHORITY seires in 1999, took the concept of superheroes to a whole new level.

Stormwatch: Team Achilles
DC/WILDSTORM then turned the team into a group of  non-superpowered UN troubleshooters dealing with superhero-related problems with STORMWATCH: TEAM ACHILLES. A sort of G.I. JOE team against superheroes, much like DC's new relaunch title MEN OF WAR (but more on that later).

Stormwatch: P.H.D.
Then with STORMWATCH: P.H.D. (Post-Human Division), they were transformed into a underfunded and overworked U.S. team trying to find "cost-effective" methods of saving the day with former Weatherman JACKSON KING leading.

In the new DC Relaunch the team is now a part of the DC UNIVERSE, a superhuman police force kept secret from everyone. Artist SEPULVEDA says that STORMWATCH is perhaps the biggest sercet in all of the new DCU. The team will include former WILDSTORM/AUTHORITY characters JACK HAWKSMOOR; APOLLO, the character who was rebooted in DC's FLASHPOINT: PROJECT SUPERMAN & who's story continues in the aftermath of the events of the SUPERMAN Relaunch; MIDNIGHTER, with DC rumors going that they try to unsuccessful recruit in the very 1st issue; THE ENGINEER, who feels better qualified to lead the team than the man who actually leads it ; an 11 yrs. old JENNY QUANTUM, who's represents "the Spirit of the 21st Century".

Jack Hawksmoor

The New Apollo

The Midnighter

The Very Sexy Engineer

Jenny Q

DC will also include THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER to the team as a conflicted old warrior about his feeling of superheroes place in society. He's no longer a founding member of the JLA, that role has now been taken by former TEEN TITANS member CYBORG.

Martain Manhunter
I was big fan of the MARTIAN MANHUNTER (J'Onn J'Onzz to his friends), even though he was just another SUPERMAN clone in the DCU there was something about him that I liked.  KEITH GIFFEN & KEVIN MAGUIRE's late-1980s JUSTICE LEAGUE series brought a funny side to the character, giving him an odsession with Oreo cookies that I loved.
I collected his entire 36 issue late 1990s series by JOHN OSTRANDER & TOM MANDRAKE which I loved. I even pick up the Post-INFINITE CRISIS revamp mini-series DC did a few years ago. His death in DC's FINAL CRISIS didn't effect me that much as it did others on the Internet. I just made me piss off that DC killed off a character just for shock value for a crappy "Event Comic", no meaning just like most comic book deaths now. Maybe he'll do better with STORMWATCH. I wonder if his existence will be a secret also from the DCU? Did he still appear in the Mid-1950s? Can't wait for this book.

Stormwatch #2
3 new characters are created for the book are ADAM ONE, who writer CORNELL descried as "aging backwards since the Big Bang, the master of tactics who… forgets things & isn’t that great at convincing people he knows what he’s doing", which becomes a problem since he's leading the team; THE PROJECTIONIST, the voice of & god of the internet  & THE EMINENCE OF BLADES, the universal master of bladed weapons, who has terrible doubts.

I'm excited about this concept and how it will effect the new DCU.


Voodoo #1
VOODOO is one of JIM LEE's original WILDC.A.T.S./WILDSTORM characters that DC is integrating into the New DC Relaunch universe.

Michael Alan Nelson
The original writer DC announced was BOOM! Studios MICHAEL ALAN NELSON (28 DAYS LATER; HEXED; FALL OF CTHULHU). NELSON tweeted on May 31, 2011 that he was involved in DC relaunch, but 7 days later he wrote --“I spoke too soon. I won’t be apart of the DC COMICS revamp after all”. I was said at the news cause I loved his HEXED series with artist EMMA RIOS (THE RUNAWAYS; AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) & I wondered what his take would be like.

Cover of Hexed TPB

Artist Emma Rios
Soon after DC said writer RON MARZ would be doing the series. MARZ

Green Lantern #49
Art is being done by SAMI BASRI, who's been doing DC's POWER GIRL series (sadly is missing in the Relaunch) & has worked with MARZ on TOP COW's WITCHBLADE series too. BASRI sure knows how to draw a sexy woman, so the art in this book is going to be top notch and a good reason just to pick it up.

Basri's Power Girl

Basri's Witchblade
The DC Relaunch VOODOO is still a sexy stripper named Priscilla Kitaen, but now has to go on the run from mysterious persuaders after she finds out she’s a half-alien hybrid possessing powers of "the Sight".

Sexy Voodoo pole dancing

VOODOO's history goes way back to 1992 when JIM LEE & a group of hot artists from MARVEL COMICS left to from IMAGE COMICS.

Jim Lee's sexy Voodoo from WildC
LEE's 1st comic book was titled WILDC.A.T.S., which I pick up right away, fearing it would be sold out. I saw that JIM LEE's art was gorgeous as unusual, drawing a group of sexy females that included VOODOO, who the team had to save from the alien Daemonites in the very 1st issue.

New Voodoo #2

Voodoo art by Basri
I'm not sure if the character of VOODOO can carry a whole series by herself without the rest of the WILDC.A.T.S. team. But with this creative team of MARZ & BASRI, I'm people will check it out.  


Grifter #1
DC Co-Publisher JIM LEE really feels that another one of his WILDC.A.T.S.' characters really needs their own series. So coming off his appearance as the U.K. resistance leader against WONDER WOMAN's Amazons in DC's FLASHPOINT event, GRIFER is now apart of the new DC Relauch Universe. To me I see no piont of having him have his own series when a character like DEATHSTROKE who also fills the same role as DC's "shooting guy".  EDMONDSON & CAFU better hope that the new DEATHSTOKE  series sucks & fans pick up their book, cause I see this one getting cannned in the future, & I don't care who's the Co-Publisher IS!

Grifter #2


Deathstroke #1

DEATHSTROKE is one of DC’s Coolest Characters who’s history in the DCU goes back to his first appearance in THE NEW TEEN TITANS (vol. 1) #2 (1980), created by writer MARV WOLFMAN & artist GEORGE PEREZ. His popularity was so huge that he received his own series in 1991, DEATHSTROKE THE TERMINATOR, which lasted 60 issues. He got even more exposure when he became the main villain on the CARTOON NETWORK's anime-styled TEEN TITANS animated series in 2003, there he was only went by is 1st name SLADE.

Deathstroke #2
The defunct industry magazine WIZARD MAGAZINE once rated him the 84th greatest villain of all time & the 72nd greatest comic book character of all time. Also, in 2009, DEATHSTROKE was ranked as IGN's 32nd greatest comic book villain of all time.

Jim Lee's new Deathstroke look 

Film maker & writer KYLE HIGGINS coming off his 5-issue mini-series BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM will handle relaunch DEATHSTROKE (well as NIGHTWING with artist EDDY BARROWS). Not sure about his writing cause he co-wrote BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM with writer SCOTT SNYDER, so I'm not sure if it was all SNYDER that made that book good. But DC has enough faith in him to team him up with the awesome Brazilan artist JOE BENNETT, who did a beautiful run on TEEN TITANS. Plus DC has the great British art SIMON BISLEY doing same beautiful looking painted covers too. The COOL FACTOR of this book is way up, I exepect it to sell good.

Deathstroke #1, Pages 12 & 13


Suicide Squad #1
DC's THE SOURCE it reads -- "They're a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they're sheer suicide!
HARLEY QUINN! DEADSHOT! KING SHARK! Defeated & imprisoned, they're being interrogated about their mission – & about who's pulling the strings behind this illegal operation. Who will be the 1st to crack under the pressure?"

Suicide Squad #2
I always love this idea of supervillians forced to go now dangereous missions for the government. Kind of like a cross between one of my favorite movies THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967) and the classic 1960s TV series MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, which I bevieve were the original inspirations for the series when DC revamped back in the 1986 for their LEGENDS mini-series by  writer JOHN OSTRANDER and artist JOHN BYRNE.

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossilbe (1996)

Legends #1

On DC's blog THE SOURCE, new concept designs for BATMAN foes HARLEY QUINN & DEADSHOT by JIM LEE, who are part of this new SQUAD were released. HARLEY QUINN, who's been taken out of the BATMAN books, seems to be modeled after the BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY video game. She looks like a female LOBO. I prefer the original look, but her ARKHAM ASYLUM look was hot. 

Jim Lee's Harley Quinn redesign

Arkham City Harley Quinn

The Original Harley Quinn by Bruce Timm

Arkham Asylum Harley Quinn

DEADSHOT, who's been a member of the SQUAD since it's 1986 revamp looks recognizable from his original look. Not much change here.

Jim Lee's Deadshot redesign

Writer ADAM GLASS to THE SOURCE that he took inspiration from 2006's JAMES BOND movie CASINO ROYALE starring DANIEL CRAIG, which he said was "a new BOND for a new generation. Harder, smarter, less cheese". Feeling that today's readers want more reality in their fantasy, exploring what if a government organization used Supervillains for Black Ops Operations, how would that really look? How would they be treated? Well, I'm sure they wouldn't be treated nice. I'll check this one out. Seems to be one of those High-Octane Action Movie type books.

Deadshot goes against Batman

Introducing the new Suicide Squad

O.M.A.C. #1 Written by DAN DIDIO and KEITH GIFFEN Art and cover by KEITH GIFFEN and SCOTT KOBLISH

O.M.A.C. #1

DIDIO and GIFFEN revamp the legendary JACK KIRBY's 1970s superhero O.M.A.C., with GIFFEN doing some very KIRBY-like artwork in the series.

Classic OMAC art by Jack Kirby

OMAC #1 art by Giffen

OMAC #1 art by Giffen
I first saw the character as back-up series in the pages of the WARLORD by JIM STARLIN. He's kind of like CAPTAIN AMERICA, but in the far future. His unique mohawk-look garb my attention & STARLIN's artwork & storytelling drew in me. I hope DC someday collects this into a trade paperback.

OMAC by Jim Starlin
This time around DIDO & GIFFEN have turn him into a Cambodian orphan named Kevin Kho who's transformed in the One Machine Army Corps by CADMUS INDUSTRIES for super-secret agency CHECKMATE. They same people who created the SUPERBOY clone. One comes to think if the two will ever met in the new DC Universe? But I like the character & artist GIFFEN, so I will check this one out too. Don't think to many fans will pick it up, might last a year or so before cancellation sadly.

OMAC #2 cover

BLACKHAWKS #1 Written by MIKE COSTA (IDW’s Transformers; G.I. Joe), Art by KEN LASHLEY

Blackhawks #1
 DC originally announced the writer as a C.O. AUSTEN, maybe it was former UNCANNY X-MEN writer CHUCK AUSTEN?

Well, this DC's modern day update of the old QUALITY COMICS World War Two comic hero BLACKHAWK (Whom DC purchased from in 1957) by the team of COSTA & LASHLEY. I'm familiar with the character from writer-artist HOWARD CHAYKIN's 1980s mini-series & DC's beautiful Archive Editions of the classic Quality series, which have some great REED CRANDAL & WILL EISNER artwork.

Classic Blackhawks by Crandall
BLACKHAWK was QUALITY COMICS' most popular comic book during the 1940s & 50s. He got his own radio series on ABC in 1950, voiced by MICHAEL FITZMAURICE. A movie serial was produced by SAM KATZMAN in 1952 starring SUPERMAN serial star KIRK ALYN did well also.

Kirk Alyn as Blackhawk

In recent years former BLACKHAWKS member, the sexy time-displaced LADY BLACKHAWK joined the BIRDS OF PREY as their pilot, while the rest of the team remained M.I.A. I hope they still keep this sexy pilot in the new DC Universe.

Lady Blackhawk art by Dave Hoover

I don't know much about this series, it kind of looks like a sci-fi version of the movie BLACKHAWK DOWN. Not sure if DC is going to kept the WW2 background. Would be nice. I'll at least see what the frist few issues are about.

Blackhawks #1 pg. 7

Blackhawks #1 pg. 17

Blackhawks #3

MEN OF WAR #1 written by IVAN BRANDON (Viking; Doc Savage), art by TOM DERENICK (Justice League of America), & cover by VIKTOR KALVACHEV
Men of War #1
On DC's THE SOURCE it reads -- "On the ground & on the front lines, a young, headstrong soldier known as Joe Rock assumes command of Easy Company – a team of ex-military men turned contractors. Will they survive the battle-scarred landscape carved by the DCU's Super-Villains?"

Men Of War #2
This is NOT the SGT. ROCK who debut in OUR ARMY AT WAR #83 (June 1959), created by writer ROBERT KANIGHTER & artist JOE KUBERT. This DC says is his grandson. What!?! He was married?

Sgt. Rock #196

Well this take is what BRANDON & DERENICK say is how today's human soldiers deal with living in a world of superhumans in the DC Universe. The tech looks like something out of G.I. JOE.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Feels like DC is trying for that METAL GEAR SOLID & CALL OF DUTY video gamer audience. Worth a check. Maybe it will revive DC's long dead war comics.

Metal Gear Solid 4

Men of War #1, page 8

Men Of War #1, page 10


All-Star Western #1
In ALL-STAR WESTERN, DC's Old West bounty hunter JONAH HEX comes to GOTHAM CITY, hired by criminal psychologist AMADEUS ARKHAM (founder of ARKHAM ASYLUM) to track down a serial killler.

All-Star Western #2
It's fitting that JONAH HEX returns in the pages of DC's relaunch of ALL-STAR WESTERN cause that's where he 1st got his starts in with ALL-STAR WESTERN #10, Vol. 1 (Nov. 1971). I, myself got into the character not in his western version that most people know, but his short-lived 1980s post-apocalyptic MAD MAX version. I knew he use to be a western hero, but at that point in the 1980s western comics were done.

Hex #1
 It wasn't until when writer JOE R. LANSDALE & artist TIM TRUMAN did for DC's VERTIGO imprint a "weird western" trilogy that DC fans saw the gunslinger again. JONAH HEX would battle zombies ( in TWO GUN MOJO, 1993), then a Cthulhoid-like monster (in RIDERS OF THE WORM & SUCH, 1995), & finally ghosts (SHADOWS WEST, 1999). I loved the mix of horror & western genres. You can pick up all 3 in trade paperbacks.

Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo TP

Then in November 2005, DC began a new monthly JONAH HEX series written by JUSTIN GRAY & JIMMY POLMIOTTI with art by various artists.

Jonah Hex #13

I guest it's popularity caused attention at WARNER BROS. cause they then green lit a JONAH HEX movie. THE PUNISHER actor THOMAS JANE even petitioned for the role in 2008, having make-up artist friend CHRIS NELSON give him the JONAH HEX treatment as a sort of unoffical screentest.

Thomas Jane make-up test
But the role was award to actor JOSH BROLIN, who co-starred with the sexy MEGAN FOX and talented JOHN MALKOVICH in a poor 2010 release movie. Well, I still liked it.

Sexy Megan Fox & Josh Brolin in Jonah Hex (2010)

I'm glad that GRAY & POLMIOTTI can still continue their JONAH HEX series, even if DC just renamed & renumbered it. Here's hoping that they go on another 50 plus issues more with this one.

- Rajadevilman74

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