Wonder Woman: War of the Gods, Superman and Justice League America by Dan Jurgens, Supergirl and Star Trek: New Frontier by Peter David in new solicitations
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Two that have me super-excited this morning are Wonder Woman: War of the Gods by George Perez and Superman and the Justice League America by Dan Jurgens.
• Wonder Woman: War of the Gods
War of the Gods was DC Comics's 1991 crossover event, the first in-titles crossover event DC had done since 1988's Invasion! (four-part miniseries plus regular series issues across DC's line, as opposed to the events-in-annuals that were also prevalent in the 1990s). War of the Gods marked the beginning of the end of George Perez's long and well-regarded stint on Wonder Woman; it is not, by far, considered great, but at the same time there's a lot of the crossover issues that stand out to me -- Superman versus Quetzalcoatl in Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove's Man of Steel; Flash racing Hermes; a pretty bloody issue of Suicide Squad; a good Maxie Zeus story in Batman; Lobo versus Captain Marvel in LEGION and then variously Wonder Woman versus Lobo and the Demon Etrigan; a New Titans issue roundabouts "Titans Hunt"; Pariah from Crisis on Infinite Earths; Captain Atom and Hawk and Dove issues that ended both comics before Armageddon 2001; and Wonder Woman's budding friendships with Dr. Fate Inza Nelson and Hawkwoman Shayera Thal.
I expect none of those to be included in this collection -- I'm betting it's just the War of the Gods miniseries and maybe some Wonder Woman issues if we're lucky -- but this is a wonderful piece of 1990s nostalgia and I'm thrilled to see a collection after all this time. Now I'd just like to see DC collect the gap between the end of the previously-collected George Perez Wonder Woman issues (ending about issue #25) and War of the Gods.
(Do I recall that there were different newsstand and comics shop versions of War of the Gods, and maybe each version contained a different character poster inside? And maybe I bought them all for the different posters? Ah, the 1990s.)
• Superman and the Justice League America
Speaking of 1990s nostalgia, I'm guessing that Superman and the Justice League America, with Dan Jurgens credited, must be twenty-ish (with annuals and specials) issue run on Justice League America, which included, among other things, the Justice League America portions of "Death of Superman." Though not overtly, with Jurgens writing both Superman and Justice League, the book became a kind of fifth week "Triangle Title" (and especially in the aforementioned "Death").
And this is my favorite era of the Justice League. Jurgens followed JM DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, and Kevin Maguire's Justice League run, which is no small feat, with a trimmed down cast that, for me, represents the best of the "bwa-ha-ha era" of the Justice League without the "bwa-ha-ha." Jurgens's cast is Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, Superman, Fire and Ice (who's got a crush on Superman), Guy Gardner (chafing under Superman's leadership and also that Ice has eyes for Superman), and the Superman titles' Maxima, also infatuated with Superman. The result is a series of teammates who are friends (or friends with certain other teammates) with these cross-pair dramas.
In twenty issues, especially with Superman dead for some of them, Jurgens doesn't get too deep into it, but there's some nice stories at the beginning that hearken back to the Silver Age Justice League, some material that deals with goings on in the Green Lantern/Guy Gardner issues of the time, and then of course how the team reacts to Superman's death. Another important aspect is that, whereas now we think of Superman as the de facto leader of the Justice League ("Owacle"), this was the first time post-Crisis that Superman had lead the League, and he was very unsure about his leadership abilities (coming off the end of the Panic in the Sky storyline, with similar themes). I never expected these books to be collected, but it's great to see these issues get some collections love.
• Supergirl by Peter David and Gary Frank
Another I'll mention is Supergirl by Peter David and Gary Frank. Peter David is himself not very excited about this collection and I can understand why; it is, indeed, just a reprint of the previously-collected issues in David's Supergirl run. That said, these issues are pretty fantastic; I think it's a good sign that these are the issues DC turns to as excitement builds for the Supergirl television series; and juuuust maybe if this book sells well then maybe we'll get another collection that gets into the Leonard Kirk issues. This is a book that I've bought for friends to turn them on to comics; if this is a chance for someone who hasn't read the book before to read it, then I'm pleased.
• Star Trek: New Frontier: The Returned
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention, non-comics-related, something Peter David is excited about, namely the return of his Star Trek: New Frontier series in a three-volume ebook trilogy called, not coincidentally, "The Returned." New Frontier is Peter David's original Star Trek series set in the modern (post-Next Generation) Trek era. The first books came out in 1997 (print serial shorts, which was as ground-breaking at that time as a series of ebook-original novellas are now), the first Trek fiction series to focus largely on non-television characters, and it's a testament to the series' strength that it's lasted eighteen years, now twenty-plus books strong plus short stories and comics.
The first volume of "Returned" is just $2.99; even if you're new, I imagine you can start reading it and David fills in the details you need to know from previous books. If you've ever read New Frontier or have an interest at all in Trek fiction, now is the time to pick these books up. Right now. Whether New Frontier will continue after this point is based on how these books sell (not unlike pre-ordering comics). I've got my fingers crossed.
More news as it breaks ...