What We Learned From DC's APRIL 2013 Solicitations

<i>by <a href=http://www.twitter.com/albertxii>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>Major comic book publishers' monthly solicitations are usually fairly notable, but you can go ahead and file <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-comics-april-2013-solicitations.html>DC's freshly released April 2013 solicitations</a> as "highly newsworthy." <p>The creative team changes that have been seen throughout The New 52 era are continuing, several series are ending, at least one is starting, and one of DC's longest-running series is hitting issue #900... kind of. <p>So click "start here" in the upper-left corner for 10 things we learned from DC's April 2013 solicitations. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>

IS CATWOMAN IN THE SECRET SOCIETY?

The solicitation to <i>Justice League of America #3</i> makes it clear that a new Secret Society is forming it comes right out and says "A new Secret Society is forming," after all and also strongly implies that there's a mole on the team. <p>As with every New 52 book in April, <i>Justice League of America #3</i> has a fold-out cover that's hiding a revelation of some kind and this one sees Green Arrow with what looks to be a whip around him. Though it could very well be a misdirection, between that image and the text, the implication is clear: Catwoman, not quite a hero to begin with, might be turning on her team. (At least, DC wants you to think that right now.)

HE-MAN GETS NEW ONGOING SERIES

2013 is the 30th anniversary of the <i>He-Man and the Masters of the Universe</i> cartoon (feel old... now), and it's also the year that DC is unveiling a new ongoing series based on the concept, from writer Keith Giffen and artist Pop Mhan. <p>Giffen is accustomed to the property, as the writer of the current <i>Masters of the Universe</i> miniseries that wraps this month. The first issue of the new series promises to have She-Ra, Hordak and a "fallen friend" even an Eternian can die.

LIGHTNING STRIKES FOR REVERSE FLASH?

Flash wears a red costume, and when he runs, creates yellow lightning. Reverse-Flash wears a yellow costume, and you might be able to see where we're going with this when he runs, creates red lightning. <p>So what's that on the first half of the <i>Flash #19</i> gatefold cover, just out of view? Hints of red lightning? Clearly suggesting the Reverse-Flash? Creative team Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul have already revealed that the character will make his full New 52 debut in issue #20, but it looks like he'll have some kind of presence here.

AND SPEAKING OF THE FLASH...

It's a good thing the Flash is the fastest man alive, because he's all over the place in April. <p>Along with usual spots like <i>The Flash</i> and <i>Justice League</i>, the character is also on the cover of <I>DC Universe Presents #19</i> (the last issue of that series, more on that later), and appearing in somewhat-unlikely places <i>Justice League Dark #19</i> and <i>Dial H #11</i>.

NEW WATCHMEN COLLECTION

Not surprising: DC released a new deluxe collected edition of <i>Watchmen</i>, one of their most popular and influential series of all time, following the end of <i>Before Watchmen</i>. <p>More surprising: The new hardcover, out on May 29, will include a new introduction by series artist Dave Gibbons. Though Gibbons worked with DC in recent years, his press release comments last year when <i>Before Watchmen</i> was first announced seemed less than enthusiastic, opening with, "The original series of <i>Watchmen</i> is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell." Should be interesting to see what he writes in the new volume. <p>Also on the horizon: A hardcover collecting all of <i>Solo</i>, the unique artist-driven series that ran from 2004 to 2006.

LEAN TIMES FOR DC IMPRINTS?

Though recent organizational restructuring made it clear that Vertigo is continuing on despite the departure of long-term executive editor Karen Berger, the offerings from the imprint are pretty lean in April, single-issue wise: Long-running series <i>Fables</i> and <i>The Unwritten</i>, <i>Fables</i> spinoff <i>Fairest</i>, movie-based-miniseries <i>Django Unchained</i> and <I>Saucer Country</i>, which ends that month. <p><i>Superman Family Adventures</i> also concludes in April, which is a loss to their all-ages line though digital-first series <i>Batman: Li'l Gotham</i> debuts in print that same month. <p>Similarly, new Vertigo series like <i>The Wake</i> and <i>Trillium</i> are on their way, but it's worth keeping an eye on both branches of DC in the coming months.

OVERSIZED DETECTIVE COMICS #900... ER, #19

When the old DC Universe ended with <i>Flashpoint #5</i> in August 2011, <i>Detective Comics</i> was at issue #881, poised to become the second DC series to hit the #900 benchmark after <i>Action Comics</i>. <p>The New 52 relaunch meant that won't happen, but DC is still marking what would have been the series' 900th issue in April. <i>Detective Comics #19</i> is an oversized 80-page issue ($7.99 cover price), where Batman will take on the numerically appropriate "Mystery of the 900!"

JIM STARLIN JOINS STORMWATCH

April brings a lot of DC creative team changes, and here's a big one: Writer Jim Starlin joining <i>Stormwatch</i>. <p>Starlin is a comic book veteran known for his work at both Marvel and DC, but its his creations at the former namely Thanos that have gotten a lot of attention recently, thanks to the <i>Avengers</i> movie and more. Relations between Starlin and Marvel have reportedly been icy in recent years, so for DC to put him on an ongoing series is certainly a PR coup not to mention a chance to again read new material from a comics legend on a regular basis.

NEW NEW 52 BOOKS COMING?

Two New 52 books are ending in April the acclaimed <i>I, Vampire</i> and the <i>DC Universe Presents</i> anthology series. <p>So, logic dictates that two more New 52 series are likely to debut soon, as DC seems intent on sticking with 52 ongoing DCU series. So what's next? Scott Snyder and Jim Lee's Superman book, likely titled <i>Man of Steel</i>, has already been announced, but it looks at least one new book will be surfacing in the near future maybe a new <i>Wildcats</i>? <p>In regards to <i>I, Vampire</i>, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov addressed the book ending on <a href=https://twitter.com/JoshFialkov/status/290915608286085120>Twitter</a>, writing, "It's been an amazing ride. Thanks to all of my collaborators and stay tuned for the kickass conclusion." Fialkov made it clear that he knew the series was cancelled and was able to write the ending he wanted, and suggested that he might have more DC work coming in the near future.

(EVEN MORE) CREATIVE TEAM CHANGES

Creative team changes have been a part of DC's New 52 relaunch since almost the very beginning, and they're not letting up in April. <p>Some were known in the days leading up to the solicitations being released, like Charles Soule taking over <i>Swamp Thing</i> for the departing Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV coming on board <i>Red Hood and the Outlaws</i>. But a couple were unexpected, and revealed in a <a href=http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=43155>CBR</a> interview earlier on Monday. <p><i>Skullkickers</i> writer Jim Zubkavich was previously announced as the new <I>Birds of Prey</i> writer, but is in fact not: <i>Sword of Sorcery</i>'s Christy Marx has been tapped for that gig. Similarly, though Robert Venditti was announced as the writer of <i>Constantine</i> more than a month ago, the book will actually be co-written by Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes. <p>On the subject of Fawkes: Last month, he was said to start a two-issue stint on <i>Batgirl</i>, but Gail Simone's return to that series means that she's solicited as the writer for April's #19.

What We Learned From DC's APRIL 2013 Solicitations

Date: 14 January 2013 Time: 08:52 PM ET