Static Shock #1

Written by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum
Penciled by Scott McDaniel
Inked by Jonathan Glapion and Le Beau Underwood
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

I was a fan of Static ever since I read Static #1 back in the early ’90s. Dwayne McDuffie was a regular poster on the GEnie computer network’s Comics RoundTable, and he’d been telling us all about the Milestone Media books for months leading up to their release. And while I enjoyed all four of the launch titles, it was Static that felt like the breakout hit. So with that in mind, reading the new Static Shock #1, I feel like it’s safe to say that Scott McDaniel and John Rozum are showing us that Static is in good hands.

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Flashpoint: Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Eduardo Risso
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that the best thing about DC’s Flashpoint mini-series event isn’t the main story itself, but rather all of the Elseworlds-esque mini-series that are spun out of it. One of the most promising ones just from the announcements was Batman: Knight of Vengeance, thanks to it reuniting Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Patricia Mulvihill, and Dave Johnson. And now that it’s out? Well, it’s quite frankly exactly what you would expect from the creative team of 100 Bullets.

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Superman #711

Written by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Roberson
Penciled by Eddy Barrows
Inked by J.P. Mayer
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

Chris Roberson has gone off the marked path, so to speak. Several months ago, he came on board Superman as a co-writer, to finish up J. Michael Straczynski’s "Grounded" storyline off of an outline, while Straczynski departed the title (as well as Wonder Woman) to spend more time working on a sequel graphic novel to Superman: Earth One. And while I’ve been having a sneaking suspicion that "Grounded" has gone in a rather different direction than originally planned with the arrival of Roberson, this latest installment is in many ways the ultimate example of the new direction.

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Unwritten #24

Written by Mike Carey
Layouts by Peter Gross
Finishes by Al Davison
32 pages, color
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

Where do story characters go when their series are over? Mike Carey and Peter Gross’s series The Unwritten has over the past two years explored the between-the-pages lives of fictional characters, secret societies that manipulate the written world, and the strange relationship between a story and the real world. One of the most memorable issues of the series, though, was The Unwritten #12 where Carey and Gross introduced us to Pauly, a human transformed into a rabbit and trapped inside a thin analogue of the Winnie the Pooh universe. Now he’s back, and this time he’s going to drag all the other characters into hell with him.

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Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Trial by Fire

Written by John Ostrander
Penciled by Luke McDonnell
Inked by Bob Lewis, Karl Kesel, and Dave Hunt
232 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

Once a year or so, when I’m looking at comics, I’ll find myself wondering why there currently isn’t an ongoing (and wildly successful) Suicide Squad series, preferably written by John Ostrander. It’s a simple but easy to understand premise (a government black ops team, partially staffed by criminals in exchange for lesser sentences), and the possibility for different characters to appear left and right is fairly limitless. Hopefully this long-awaited first volume of Suicide Squad reprints will drum up some interest, because a strong revival is long overdue.

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How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

By Sarah Glidden
208 pages, color
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

It’s hard (although not impossible) to find someone who doesn’t have a strong opinion on Israel and Palestine. Sarah Glidden is no exception to that rule, so when she got the chance to go on a Birthright tour of the country, she was skeptical even as she signed up for the experience. Her opinions of Israel and Zionism were well constructed by this point in her life, and she figured nothing that she saw or experienced in Israel could change her mind. What she found? Well, it was meaty enough to result in her graphic novel How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.

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Detective Comics #875

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Francesco Francavilla
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

One of the creepiest comics published by DC right now is not, in fact, part of its Vertigo imprint, best known for hosting many horror and dark-fantasy tinged titles intended for mature readers. No, the book I’m talking about is Detective Comics, written by Scott Snyder and with art by the two regular artists Jock and Francesco Francavilla. Between this and Greg Rucka’s run on the book a little over a year ago with J.H. Williams III, Cully Hamner, and Jock, it been a veritable golden age for one of DC’s flagship comics.

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iZombie #11

Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Michael Allred
32 pages, color
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

With iZombie on the verge of wrapping up its first year (and with its first collection due this month), it seemed like a good at time as any to check back in with Chris Roberson and Michael Allred’s zombie series. Of course, it’s not really a zombie series. In fact, Roberson and Allred seem to be delighted in taking everyone’s expectations for iZombie and then throwing them out the window. Do I approve? Of course.

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Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe Edition

Written by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen
Penciled by Keith Giffen, Pat Broderick, Carmine Infantino, and Howard Bender
Inked by Larry Mahlstedt, Bruce Patterson, and Dave Hunt
416 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

When friends got me hooked on the Legion of Super-Heroes back in the early ’90s with Keith Giffen, Tom and Mary Bierbaum, and Al Gordon’s infamous "Five Years Later" run, I eventually started moving backwards through the team’s history, reading all of the previous Legion of Super-Heroes comic that began in 1984. I never went any further back at that time, though, and in doing so I missed what remains one of the most well-known stories involving the characters: The Great Darkness Saga. With the softcover collection having gone out of print years ago, this new deluxe hardcover seemed to be a perfect time to see if it still holds up to all the praise heaped on it over the years.

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Flash #9

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Francis Manapul
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

One of the things I’ve been quietly impressed with, over the past few years, was how Geoff Johns uses one of his regular titles to slowly lead into a big event. The most recent was, of course, Green Lantern bringing us toward Blackest Night, but the comic just as easily did so a couple of years earlier with The Sinestro Corps War, or for that matter Action Comics kicking off Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds. In the case of The Flash, we’ve been told by editorial ever since the new series began that it’s going to bring us into Flashpoint, this year’s big mini-series. And so far? Well, regardless of how Flashpoint turns out, this is an entertaining way to get there.

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