Blasts from the Past, Endings and Beginnings

The solicitations for <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/19804-dc-march-2014-solicitations-the-new-52-part-1.html>DC Comics for March 2014</a> are an interesting bunch. Yes, there were (easily) ten notable things about their offerings in the batch, but there's also a general sense of being on the precipice of... something. Zero Year is closing in on its final chapter, two weeklies are launching soon after, the big event of <b>Forever Evil</b> comes to a close, and a few series end to make way for the new. <p>Altogether, the final month of Winter will give way to the Spring and the appropriate sense of rebirth that should accompany it. <p>Check out ten things we thought you should notice about this month's round from DC Comics.

Classic Western Horror  

Joe Lansdale and Timothy Truman's trio of <b>Jonah Hex</b> Vertigo miniseries collected in <b>Shadows West</b> featuring the scarred gunslinger were some of the highlights of Vertigo's early years, presenting a Wild West with more muck and cussing than <i>Deadwood</i>, but the addition of zombies and cannibalistic underground worm people. The material had enough of a cult that Lansdale even wound up doing a Hex episode of <i>Batman: The Animated Series</i> that was considerably more kid-friendly. For dark horror and darker comedy, this is <i>the</i> collection of the month.

JSA Gets Some Love

Speaking of notable collections, the <b>JSA Omnibus HC</b> advance-solicited for May 14, 2014 should make some fans happy. With a staggering 1,224 pages of material by writers like Johns, Robinson, Waid, and more, plus artists like Carlos Pacheco, Rags Morales, Michael Lark, and more, there's just so much of the classic, original superhero team from DC Comics, you will read for days - or get into Wildcat-Style training by lifting it over your head. <p>While <b>Earth 2</b> has gained steadily in popularity, there are definitely fans who miss this take on Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, and company, and this should be a great, albeit heavy, way to relive the glory days.

Forever Evil Finale

The end of <b>Forever Evil</b> means a new status quo for the DC Universe, and should give the rest of the comics a chance to "catch up," as any outside the direct tie-ins haven't exactly been taking place in a world where villains from an alternate Earth have taken over. <p>The final month includes <b>Forever Evil #7</b>, <b>Justice League #29</b> (starring Cyborg), <b>Justice League of America #13</b> (the final issue of America before it goes to Canada?), <b>Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #6</b> (direct lead-in to the final issue of the main series), <b>Forever Evil: Arkham War #6</b>, <b>Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #6</b>, <b>The Phantom Stranger #17</b>, <b>Constantine #12</b>, <b>Pandora #9</b>, <b>Justice League Dark #29</b>, and <b>Suicide Squad #29</b>. WHEW! So yeah, plenty of content for that final month.

Amanda Waller Goes Solo

She's been a major featured character in both <i>Suicide Squad</i> and <i>Justice League of America</i>, and for a one-shot in March, Amanda Waller gets a solo story. By Jim Zub and Andre Coelho, the <b>Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1</b> special takes the ultimate secret agent on her own. <p>There's not a lot of information about the issue, just that she'll be facing down "one of those enemies" she's made "over the years." Personally, we're hoping it's plaque. Seriously, kids do <i>not</i> brush their teeth enough these days.

Robot Chicken Variants Return

When the first DC Comics Special for <i>Robot Chicken</i> hit, <i>Aquaman #12</i> got a special variant, using the figures customized by the Stoopid Buddy Studios team. Well, in March, those variant covers are growing in a big way, with twenty-one titles getting Robot Chicken variants, including <i>Forever Evil</i>, <i>Action Comics</i>, and many more. <p>DC didn't have any of the covers to debut just yet, so marvel at the last one here for now.

Batman: The Dark Knight Falls

March's Batman: The Dark Knight #29 is the final issue of the series. One of the original New 52 series, <b>The Dark Knight</b> was the somewhat surprising <i>third</i> solo ongoing series when the reboot hit. <p>Now, with <b>Batman</b>, <b>Detective Comics</b>, <b>Batman And ___</b>, <b>Batman/Superman</b>, the <b>Batman: Eternal</b> weekly and on, and on, we don't think there's suddenly going to be a dearth of Batman comics for you to check out, don't worry. Still, the series that featured a darker tone with a focus on high-end artists and deep dives into Batman's Rogues' Gallery will be missed.

Talon, Animal Man, Li'L Gotham Done, Too

<b>Talon</b> was the little spin-off that could, lasting almost two years after the "Court of Owls" story it was birthed from. With pretty much everyone who has worked on the series (including final issue writer Tim Seeley) moving on to <b>Batman: Eternal</b>, it's not too big a surprise to see the series coming to an end. We wouldn't be surprised, thanks to the Owl in the "Batsgiving" teaser, if Calvin Rose makes it into the weekly too, that is, if he survives. <p>We already knew, of course, that <b>Animal Man</b> is coming to an end, in an issue written and mostly drawn by Jeff Lemire. He's taking the character with him into Justice League Canada. <p>And we're sad to see the digital-first title <b>L'il Gotham</b> go, but hope it means we'll be seeing Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs on a regular monthly ongoing soon. Please, DC? For Christmas?

What's Up With Hope in the DCU?

In <b>Green Lantern #29</b>, one of the elephants in the room post-"Lights Out" (sorry, Brother Warth), namely, the death of all the Blue Lanterns save Saint Walker plus the destruction of the Blue Central Power Battery, will finally be addressed. <p>Saint Walker and the Blues gained quite a fan following since their introduction, and we <i>hope</i> this might mean a turn for the better for the character. Of course, if you look at the Billy Tan cover, well, it's hard to find that hope. <p>All will be well?

American Vampire: Second Cycle Begins

This is almost a 'nuff said entry (to borrow from the cross-town rivals - won't be able to say that too much longer!), but we'll elucidate anyway. <p>Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque's series telling the tales of Pearl, Skinner, and those who cross their paths across the ages has won awards, has sold insanely well for a creator-owned series, and finally returns as an ongoing series after an extended hiatus while both worked on other projects. The first issue is an over-sized 40 pager, and brings Skinner and Pearl into the 1960s. If you haven't jumped on the AmVamp bandwagon yet, this is the perfect opportunity, though you'll just want to catch up with the existing hardcover collections anyway, so you might as well go get those now. <p>Go. Get those. Now.

The Biggest Standout is What's Still Missing

Look, DC fans, you have plenty to be excited about in March 2014 - just look at the first nine entries! But DC Comics, we do have to poke you a bit, tap you on the shoulder and ask, just what is going on with a couple of things? <p>First off, we know there's never been a specific launch date for <b>Batman: Eternal</b> outside of "Spring 2014," but hey, March is Spring. There's been a lot of press, a fancy teaser image, and tons of buzz for this series, and we just want to see it <i>come out</i>. Since we know the <i>next</i> weekly series, <i>Futures End</i> kicks off the first Saturday of May, it'd behoove you to get <b>Eternal</b> rocking sooner rather than later. <p>And then there's <b>Sandman: Overture</b>, which has the opposite problem: it was pushed out the door too fast. Yes, we already knew it was delayed, but honestly, with the very busy Neil Gaiman, and the meticulous art of J.H. Williams III, why was this book <i>ever</i> solicited before, say, at least 4 or 5 of the six issues were completed? March will mark five months since the first issue was released, and all we'll have are two issues, and two black-and-white special editions. People (including <i>many</i> here at Newsarama) are excited about this series, and we'll wait for it, and buy it whenever it comes out, of course. And yes, we'll give you that technically it was solicited as bimonthly, making you only one month behind at this point, but why not just wait? Next time, don't force a project like this out before it can come out regularly.

What We Learned from DC COMICS March 2014 Solicitations

Date: 13 December 2013 Time: 08:00 PM ET