The 8 best new titles from DC Comics
DC Comics recently shook up the status quo following the reality-bending Convergence event. (I wrote more about comics crossovers and continuity here.)
In the aftermath, the venerable comics publisher has launched a slew of new and revamped monthly titles, all starting from Issue 1. Here are the titles I found the most promising, so check them out because the second issues are coming very soon.
It may not be a patch on Grant Morrison's or Mark Waid's JLA of yore, but Bryan Hitch has teamed with a whole slew of artists on the relaunch of JLA, and there's no better place to see Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and other DC Comics mainstays throw down with supervillains on an epic scale with cinematic, blockbuster vision.
The first issue teases an ongoing plot with multiple Supermans in various dimensions all unable to stop a mysterious catastrophic event.
The best part is it's totally self-contained, so there's no need to pick up all the characters' solo series to stay across exactly what's happening.
Constantine: The Hellblazer
If you're still mourning the cancellation of NBC's "Constantine," fear not. There's still a way to get your bisexual morally ambiguous British magician fix. And really, where else are you getting all of those things in one package?
The new ongoing comic from creative team Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia stars a younger John Constantine than we've seen for some time, but he's still the chain-smoking, double-dealing cad we know and love.
Issue 1 focuses on some trouble with an old flame (both in the traditional sense and the hellfire sense) and sets the stage for a ghostly murder mystery in Issue 2.
The comic is drawn in a scratchy, energetic style, and you can tell the team is on to something special when Constantine is taken on a visually stunning, Dante-esque tour of a demon's nightclub.
There have been quite a few characters to don the golden helmet of Doctor Fate, gaining both mastery over eldritch forces and severely impeded peripheral vision.
Writer Paul Levitz and artists Sonny Liew and Lee Loughridge put Khalid Nassour, an Egyptian-American med student, underneath the mask in this new series.
While the first issue doesn't give away too much, it sets up just enough to get readers invested.
There's a strong focus on ancient Egyptian mythology, which gives the straightforward origin story a nice flavour.
For all that Constantine: The Hellblazer is the ongoing supernatural title for more mature audiences, Doctor Fate is wonderfully all-ages.
Harley Quinn & Power Girl
Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have become synonymous with Harley Quinn and Power Girl, penning definitive takes on both characters for the past decade.
They've teamed up with artist Stéphane Roux for a new miniseries that pits the unlikely partners in a sci-fi exploitation adventure a la "Barbarella."
Power Girl has lost her memory, and former villain Harley Quinn has convinced the amnesiac superhero that they're crime-fighting partners. Events transpire, and they wind up stranded on a distant planet.
If that sounds odd, wait until you come across "True Detective" references, a small green creature spouting off-colour pick-up lines in Yoda's speech patterns, and a chap wearing what looks very much like Sean Connery's infamous "Zardoz" costume (that chap being Vartox).
It might not make much sense, but it's a fun ride.
All-Star Section Eight
If you've never been exposed to the writing of Garth Ennis before, just go to the next slide now. This comic isn't for you.
All-Star Section Eight is a new miniseries starring the dysfunctional super-team that first appeared in Ennis' Hitman. Section Eight is weird, and packed full of the kinds of gags that require a familiarity with not just Ennis' own work, but iconic moments in comics history.
Sure, Batman getting a parking ticket is funny, but it's on a whole new level when he strikes the exact same pose as when supervillain Bane snapped the Dark Knight's spine.
This is definitely one for long-time fans, but if you're in on the joke it'll keep you in stitches.
In the not-too-distant future, a young girl stars in an embarrassing viral video. It's the start of her campaign to be President of the United States.
Mark Russell, Ben Caldwell and Jeremy Lawson have revamped the classic comic from the '70s of the same name that told the story of a young man who became president.
Even with just a single issue under its belt, Prez is already a deliciously weird series. It pokes equal fun at politics and Internet culture, and I can honestly say it's the only time I've ever seen Presidential candidates argue about tacos.
Martian Manhunter was always one of those perennial supporting characters. He did get to star in his own comic occasionally, but you were much more likely to see him in the pages of Justice League.
So, a new series that focuses on the telepathic shape-shifting alien -- and one that aims from the outset to provide a definitive take on the character -- is something to get excited about.
Rob Williams, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Gabe Eltaeb have in just one issue managed to sell this series as an atmospheric, often creepy, character study, and they still had room to include a thrilling hero moment for the Martian. Bring on Issue 2.
Spinning off from Cameron Stewart's fantastic run on Batgirl, the new Black Canary comic is a punk-rock spin on the intrepid girl group seen in Dazzler.
Writer Brenden Fletcher has billed Canary as D.D., lead singer of a punk band and on the run from her dark past.
What she can't run from is a fight, with many of the band's gigs being cut short due to thugs, ninjas or other assorted types in need of punching.
With note-perfect artwork by Annie Wu who worked on the award-winning Hawkeye comic, Black Canary just feels different from other comics on the shelves right now.
There's a frantic energy to the storytelling and the art that makes the first issue of Black Canary entirely satisfying and nowhere near enough.