Anthony’s DC Comics picks for October 2014

Here’s what’s of interest from DC Comics for October. Full solicitations are available here.

Comics

  • The Multiversity: The Just #1, on sale Oct. 15, $5
  • Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #5 (of 6), on sale Oct. 1, $3
  • Batman ’66 #16, on sale Oct. 22, $3
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #3, on sale Oct. 15, $4
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #5 (of 6), on sale Oct. 1, $3
  • Astro City #16, on sale Oct. 8, $4

Trade paperbacks

  • Batman Adventures, vol. 1, on sale Nov. 5, $20
  • Tales of the Batman: Len Wein (HC), on sale Dec. 24, $60
  • Superman For All Seasons Deluxe Edition (HC), on sale Dec. 10, $30

Comments

“The Multiversity: The Just” is billed as taking place on “Earth-16.” I thought that was supposed to be the Earth the “Young Justice” TV show takes place on, but I guess Morrison trumps some long-dead-and-buried TV show (that was watched by way more people than this comic’s readership, but I digress…).

The most talked about comics this month are the new “Gotham Academy” title and the new team/direction for “Batgirl.” While I’m still avoiding the New 52 (and especially anything DCU Batman-related), these two issues sound like a positive direction for DC. The former is about teenage girls (who look like normal teenage girls!) dealing with odd goings-on at a private academy in Gotham City. Meanwhile, Batgirl is shown moving to a trendy, younger neighborhood in Gotham City (“Burnside”), and is also getting a new costume to boot. The costume’s received much praise online, including a multitude of Tumblr artwork. While the costume’s nice (I like the cape; Barbara’s sidebag is reminiscent of her costume from her earliest days), I’m not completely sold on the boots, but that’s probably only because I’m reminded of the much-loathed-by-me New 52 Superman “early days” costume.

Despite both new books being Yet Another Bunch of Bat-books, they both sound like a welcome new trend: DC realizing that women read comics too, and might want something without dubious sexist retcons, sex-obsessed characters, and other New 52 “signatures.” They’ve presumably also seen the higher sales and acclaim that Marvel’s receiving for its books (Captain Marvel, etc.). While I doubt this will mark a wholesale change away from the New 52’s bad “90s”/”extreme” crass tone and mentality, as they say, it’s a start. (The website Multiversity Comics has an interesting post analyzing these two books’ implications.)

One more welcome sign: Gotham being shown as more of a realistic city—a private academy with teenagers? An interesting trendy neighborhood? For years, DC’s beaten to death the idea that Gotham’s basically Hades, Baghdad, and WWII-era Germany combined, with absolutely zero redeeming values to it, and that’s before I get to the one-note killer clown with a death toll requiring scientific notation to track. If that’s the case, then why should I or anyone else care if Batman and company save the day? Showing the above sides of Gotham City might be a move toward making it look and feel more like a believable city, and explain why people would like to live or move there, besides to serve as cannon fodder for the latest Joker killfest-du-jour.

On the non-canonical side of DC (and where my actual DC buying lies nowadays), “Sensation” this month has a story by Gilbert Hernandez…which I assume is the one about Wonder Woman’s former rock star days. I’d buy it just for that story alone!

“Tiny Titans” sees, like “Scooby Doo”‘s team-up with Wonder Woman, another use of “Aphrodite’s Law” from the pre-Crisis comics—the rule that men weren’t allowed to step foot on Paradise Island, lest the Amazons lose the immortality and powers. This was particularly played up in Silver Age comics in particular, before being discarded with George Perez’s reboot in 1987 for post-Crisis continuity.

This month also sees a compilation of Len Wein’s work being reprinted, including the 1980 Batman miniseries “The Untold Legend of the Batman,” which summarizes Batman’s pre-Crisis Silver/Bronze Age history.

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