Constant Changes

The final solicitations of 2013 for DC Comics are now out, finding the company in the middle of their first line-wide crossover, launching a couple of new titles, and debuting some new creative teams. <p>While there are more “Essentials,” one dollar first issues from DC and Vertigo, and the new creative teams for <b>Supergirl</b> and <b>Superboy</b> coming on (and announced earlier today), there is plenty more where that came from. <p><a href=>Click here for the full solicitations</a> if you haven’t seen them already, and see what we think are ten especially notable bits from them here.

The Sea King is Not So Dead After All

Aquaman fans were sad to see the dark version of their favorite character, the Crime Syndicate’s Sea King, lying dead in front of his teammates in their first appearance at the end of “Trinity War.” <p>Never fear, the Sea King is here, in <b>Justice League Dark #26</b>. The character “has cheated death” and is taking on the new (temporary?) lineup of magic-infused heroes in the wake of the crossover that saw the various Justice Leagues dismantled. The cover shows Sea King standing over the team, so don’t expect this Aqua-gänger to be a pushover.

Gotham’s New Protector?

Sure, the cover to <b>Forever Evil: Arkham War #3</b> may feature the big showdown between Killer Croc and Bane, and that will be all well and good and exciting, we’re sure – but what about that buried line in the solicitation text for it: “a new protector rises.” <p>Now, we know <i>someone</i> is running around in a Batman costume, though the clearer look we get of him on the cover to <b>Forever Evil #4</b> sure seems to eliminate Bruce Wayne from contention. Is this solicitation speaking of this mysterious Batman, or of another hero? Is a villain going to turn to the side of good, and try to stop the Arkham War? <p>Elsewhere in <b>Forever Evil</b>, the <b>Rogues Rebellion</b> issue in December will find the Rogues in the middle of the Arkham War, and Harley faces James Gordon, Jr. Oh yeah, and Lex Luthor vs (new?) Batman.

Constantine is Everywhere

When the great experiment of bringing John Constantine into the regular DC Universe commenced, no one, even DC, could’ve known he’d become this kind of superstar. <p>In December, Constantine appears in no less than four titles, as he and the Justice League Dark face down Phantom Stranger over in the latter’s title, fight the Sea King in their own title, all while Constantine stops in on Pandora (who has a three-prong adventure of her own that month, also confronting The Outsider and Vandal Savage), and lastly confronts the most dangerous enemy he ever could: his own mind. <p>Sounds like Constantine has become a bit more like the Bat than he ever expected.

#1, #1, #1, #1

There are plenty of fresh starts for DC Comics in December, including two books that were <i>going</i> to start in November. <p>Vertigo’s <i>Sandman</i> spin-off <b>Dead Boy Detectives #1</b> has been pushed back from November 6 to December 31, 2013. Artist Mark Buckingham has now added co-writer to his duties on the book with Toby Litt. Cliff Chiang will be adding a variant cover to the series, as well. <p>Likewise, <b>Justice League 3000</b> was pushed back from an October start to December, due to artist Kevin Maguire being removed from the book with Howard Porter replacing him before the first issue even hit stands. The first issue, written by Keith Giffen and J.J. DeMatteis, hits December 4, 2013. <p>Around the line, <b>Harley Quinn #1</b> officially starts her story after November’s zero issue with Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin, and <b>Teen Titans Go! #1</b> brings the comedic take on the Titans from TV to comics, courtesy of Sholly Fisch, Merrill Hagan, Ben Bates, and Jorge Corona.

Don’t Say “Hush”

Greg Hurwitz and Alex Maleev are giving Batman the silent treatment in <b>Batman: The Dark Knight #26</b>. The solicitation promises a “special mostly silent issue,” focused on the “forgotten citizens” of Gotham City. <p>The silent experiment has been done a few times before, at both Marvel and DC Comics, most notably when Marvel took the words out of most of their publishing for a month under the “Nuff Said” banner. It usually makes for a neat and unique storytelling experience, and helps highlight just how important a strong artist is to the comic book medium.

John Stewart vs Hal Jordan in Battle of Will

The Green Lantern line may be going “Lights Out” in a line-wide crossover, but don’t think that means the corps are all going away. The very revealing solicitations for the line have Hal Jordan and Kilowog hunting down a Star Sapphire, Larfleeze embodying the Orange power more than ever, Guy Gardner and a Red unit coming to Earth, and Kyle Rayner fighting the future. <p>But perhaps most interesting is <b>Green Lantern Corps #26</b>, where John Stewart, fed up with Hal Jordan’s mismanagement of the Green Lanterns, challenges Hal for the leadership spot. Perhaps even more interesting is the buried revelation that Hal has declared open “war against other corps across the spectrum.”

Cully Hamner Drawing Animal Man

One of the main architects behind redesigning the costumes and characters of the New 52, Cully Hamner, joins Jeff Lemire on <b>Animal Man #26</b>. Hamner hasn’t done interior art for DC Comics since the backup story in the second <b>Flash Annual</b> earlier in 2013. The story’s description is short and sweet simply saying, “Animal Man in outer space! How did this happen? And what will Buddy find on “THE SEED PLANET”?”

Cancelling a Best-Selling Title

Routinely the top-selling digital title for DC Comics (and in fact, for Comixology as a whole in many markets across the world), the video-game tie-in <b>Injustice: Gods Among Us</b> would seem the definition of “safe.” However, December’s #12 is the Final Issue of the digital-to-print comic, though DC notes “For Now!” <p>The series comes out weekly digitally, and the cover solicited for #12 is the same cover art being used by the current storyline, likely to end with digital issue #36. We’ll see in three weeks if a thirty-seventh chapter hits the web.

FLASH Changes Hands

After handling the Zero Year tie-in in November, and with co-writer and colorist Brian Buccelato concentrating on <b>Rogues Rebellion</b>, the <b>Flash</b> creative team since the launch of the New 52 takes off in December, with Christos Gage and Neil Googe stepping in. The issue is listed as a standalone story, and features the Flash having to use his powers in unique ways, mid-air. It seems up in the air whether they’re the new ongoing team or not. <p>Buccelato <a href=””>confirmed</a> that <b>The Flash #25</b>, a Batman: Zero Year tie-in is his and Francis Manapul’s final issue of the series, though the pair will remain a team, working on “a NEW regular DC series that will hit stores in March 2014.” <p>Unlike other recent creative departure, it sounds as if the team is leaving of their own accord, and mostly to prep their next series together for the publisher. But that’s not the only high-profile creative change…

Jeff Parker on AQUAMAN

One of Geoff Johns “babies” since the New 52 launched, it seemed that the CCO of DC Entertainment, usually found at conventions rocking an <b>Aquaman</b> hat, would never leave the title. In December 2013, however, Jeff Parker takes the reins as the new writer, with artist Paul Pelletier sticking around. <p>The storyline is called “Sea of Storms,” and Parker is the ongoing writer for the forseeable future. After several years of primarily Marvel work, Parker has recently found critical and sales success with <b>Batman ‘66</b>, a DC Digital-first comic. The writer had this to say on his <a href=””>twitter feed</a> about the new gig: <p>” In short the upcoming stories are about HIM KICKING ALL GRADES OF AQUATIC ASS” <p>He also changed his Twitter display name to “Aquatic Fellow,” to show his enthusiasm for his new series.

What We Learned from DC's December 2013 Solicitations

Date: 09 September 2013 Time: 09:00 PM ET