Saturday, November 22, 2014

Five DC Comic Books That Deserve Your Help...and Money

I'm going to let you in on a little secret of the Comic Book Industry...if a book doesn't sell well, it gets canceled.  What "sells well" means is up for interpretation and varies from company to company.  As a DC Comics fan, I start getting nervous when a book goes under 20,000/month, start wringing my hands when it dips below 15,000/month and start writing the eulogy if it actually makes it below 10,000/month.  In a perfect world, sales would be a matter of survival of the fittest.  Bad books wouldn't sell and would get canceled.  Good books would sell and continue being published.  Unfortunately, we live in a far from perfect world and you only have to look at a list of cancellations to see that.  Great books like All-Star Western and Animal Man no longer exist and the sales numbers were are a huge reason why.  Sure, sales aren't the only thing that gets a book canceled, but as fans, the best way for us to keep a book going is by buying it.  So, I am listing four books below that are in danger of being canceled and I feel deserve to continue.  If you agree, go buy them.  If you disagree, yell and shake your fist at me.

Justice League 3000 (October 2014 Sales: 19,623)

Written by: J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen
Art by: Howard Porter

Do you like crazy whack funky fun?  Do you like the Justice League?  Do you hate the Justice League and wish they were a little more, say "Douchey"?  Do you like seeing Superman hitting on Wonder Woman in a very inappropriate way?  Do you like hilarious writing and incredible art?  Do you yearn for the Pre New 52 version of Blue and Gold?  Do you like articles with a series of questions instead of real writing?  Well, if you answered yes to any of them (except the last one), you should be reading this book.  Seriously, JL 3000 is just pure fun.  I'm not even sure how Giffen and DeMatteis convinced DC to let them do this book, but I am so glad they did.  A future somewhat cloned version of the Justice League battling future gods, a somewhat cloned Injustice League in itself is as great as it sounds.  If you ask me, the uniqueness of this book is it's major obstacle, but also it's greatest asset.  It will be a recurring theme in this article, but if you want DC to keep taking chances, buy this book.  I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

If you need another reason to jump on, the creators are begging you in the most hilarious solicit I've ever read for the February issue:

Beetle and Booster! Fire and Ice! The Injustice League! Etrigan the Demon! Not to mention the Justice League (no, not that one, the one we’re doing). C’mon, people, we’re bending over backward here! At least meet us halfway – maybe flip through the issue at your local comics shop?

C'mon, how can you say no to that?!?

Swamp thing (October 2014 Sales: 17,354) 

Written by: Charles Soule
Art by: Jesus Saiz

This one may come down to more than just sales numbers.  Charles Soule recently signed an exclusive deal with Marvel and while he's promised to wrap up his books, he will be leaving them eventually.  My guess is that DC will cancel this book like they did when Jeff Lemire left Animal Man.  So why should you buy it?  Because it's so awesome!  Swamp Thing is one of the best books in the DC lineup and it kills me that so few people are reading it.  Charles Soule has expanded the Swamp Thing mythos in a way that reminds me of what Geoff Johns did to Green Lantern  so where is all the fanfare?  If you need any more convincing, find someone reading this book and ask them how it is and I guarantee they will gush over it to the point of fanaticism.  It is that good. If you do take my suggestion and decide to pick Swamp Thing up, start at the very beginning with Scott Snyder's run (yes, Scott Snyder wrote Swamp Thing) and thank me later.

 Batwoman (October 2014 Sales: 16,838)

Written by: Marc Andreyko
Art by: Trevor McCarthy

Has any book seen the controversy this one has?  The whole marriage thing exploded on the Internet and led to fan favorite, J.H. Williams III, leaving the book in a huff.  Marc Andryeko and Jeremy Haun were called in to pick up the pieces and did a great job. They instantly made the book their own with no concessions or apologies. This book has lived outside of the Bat Family, for better or worse, but recently it's at least being invited to the party.  Still, if you want a book that's just as much about the troubles of being a hero as it is kicking villain's asses, check it out.  That being said, if you like kick ass costume action, the new arc that started last month seems to have you covered as well.  Batwoman teaming up with Etrigan, Ragman, Alice and Clayface may seem like a plea to get more readers, but I can't fault that at all.  Don't let one of the best female characters in the DCU get canceled, please.

Infinity Man and the Forever People (October 2014 Sales: 10,275)

Written by: Dan Didio and Keith Giffen
Art by: Various

I really don't know what to make of this book.  It seems to be a personal love letter to Jack Kirby from Didio and Giffen and has a laissez faire attitude towards sales.  However, that's why I love it.  I actually feel like a cool comic guy reading it, like I'm in some exclusive club.  I'm not one of those fans who read everything Kirby and look down on others who haven't, but reading this book at least lets me go toe-to-toe with them.  After reading the first issue, I was so confused and lost, but yet really enjoyed it.  It's got charm to spare and you can really feel the enthusiasm jump off every page.  As I've read and reviewed each issue, I'm starting to get my footing and so is the book.  One suggestion I have for DC, however, is to get a steady artist.  I love Giffen's issues, but after seeing Howard Porter's Bat Cow cover, I know in my heart that he needs to be on this book.  Please make it happen.  So, everyone reading this needs to go out and buy this book and make the "cool comic guy club" a little less exclusive.

Star Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie (October 2014 Sales: 9,228)

Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by: Scott Hampton

I'll give Palmiotti and Gray credit, they'll take on any challenge.  At first glance, Star Spangled looked like an attempt to jump on the zombie train, but it's so much more.  It's an action packed, mature title that is slowly developing over it's first couple of issues. Unfortunately, people aren't patient, especially with a new character.  Patience is a virtue, though, and G.I. Zombie has so much potential.  Palmiotti and Gray are just starting to hint at his past and how it's shaped him into what he is.  I want to find out more! With all that said, the reason you need to buy this book is that DC fans deserve at least one Palmiotti and Gray book on the shelves.  The two are so great together and while there are other options to get your fix (check out ALL of their kickstarters ), after the ridiculous cancellations of All Star Western and Batwing, this is all we have left.  DC Comics without Palmiotti and Gray would be like crossing the streams, taking the blue pill or the Little Giants beating the Cowboys.  We can't let that happen!

I hope this article at least gets you intrigued to try out one (or all) of these books.  While I love Batman, Superman and all the big heroes of the DC Universe, if you don't support these books, DC will stop taking chances on these lesser titles.  With that attitude we wouldn't have things like Turducken, Evel Knievel and Resse's Peanut Butter Cups.  As the age old philosopher, Thelma and Louise, said, "You get what you settle for."


  1. I read and enjoy all the books. I would say my least favorite of those is the Star Spangled War Stories. I agree with you about Swamp Thing and I hope the next writer does not just throw away all the work Soule has done with growing Swamp Thing mythos. Batwoman has never been one of my must reads until this lastest team up. I really like where the story is going. Justice League 3000 is just so funny and interesting. You really never know what is coming next.

    1. I agree with everything you said. As far as G.I. Zombie, I'm just afraid it will be canceled before it gets a chance to really show it's potential.

  2. I love the justice league 3000 title for its humor, and when i saw Blue and Gold last issue i was like YES! I also have started reading infinity man and Swampthing, and liking them both so far :)

  3. Will definitely check a few of these out, thanks :) will do my best to support the turduckens of DC!

  4. I tried to get into infinity man but it just wasn't my taste:(

  5. Swamp Thing! Bought every issue since Soule began writing. Have never been disappointed. In fact it's the book I look forward to the most every month!