Delays, Debuts, Dee-Cee

As usual, DC Comics spent the last week or two announcing new series and giving some hints about what’s coming in their next round of solicitations. Today, the full July 2014 solicitations hit, and while we knew about several new series and character twists, there are still more to look over. <p>The solicitations also included an advance look at September’s <b>Futures End</b> tie-in event, which we <a href=>have covered in a separate article here</a>. <p>Here then are the ten most notable and newsworthy bits in the DC Comics July 2014 Solicitations.

All-New DC Now

Yes, the announcements for DC’s new series and first issues came earlier than the solicitations, but it’s still worth noting that the publisher will launch four new series that month. <b>Grayson</b>, <b>New Suicide Squad</b>, <b>Teen Titans</b>, and <b>Star Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie</b> (actual solicited title) will all hit shelves with brand-new first issues in July, queueing up the series to be just two months in when they have to take a break to jump to the future. Does that mean we’ll be getting two-part stories in each of these? No, most likely, we’ll just have to press pause on their first story arcs and wait a month for part 3 while they explore <i>Futures End</i> in September.

Death in JLU Already?

The solicitation for <b>Justice League United #3</b> comes with the ominous line, “the answer to all of this spells death for one of them.” <p>Well, that may mean one of the members of the team in general, or one of the characters mentioned by name earlier in the text. Those characters are Hawkman, Alanna, Adam, and newbie Miiyahbin. Could we really see a death of one of the main characters only three months in?

Justice League Plays Catch-Up

A casualty of the <b>Forever Evil</b> delay, <b>Justice League #32</b>, which was solicited for June 2014, will now release mid-July, with <b>Justice League #33</b> (pictured) coming two weeks later. <p>The <b>Forever Evil</b> tie-in delays, alongside the delays for <i>Superman Unchained</i>, are the first significant scheduling changes in about two and a half years of the New 52’s existence. Ironically, they’re books helmed by DC Entertainment’s top brass, Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer, and Jim Lee, Co-Publisher. <p>For those keeping track, <b>Justice League #30</b>, which ties-in to the end of <b>Forever Evil</b>, was bumped from April to May 21st. While no official announcement for <b>Justice League #31</b>’s delay was made, it was originally solicited for May 21st as well, so one can assume it will see release sometime mid or late June, with July being the catch-up month to get the premiere super team of the DC Universe back on track with the rest of their cohorts, just in time for the big time jump in September.

Batman/Superman Redux

Speaking of delays, what is going on with <b>Batman/Superman</b>? The story for July’s issue #13 has been solicited three months in a row now, originally appearing alongside #11’s May solicitation. In fact, it’s a direct follow-up to the “First Contact” crossover with <i>Worlds’ Finest</i> that ended last month. The cover for #13 meanwhile, is acknowledged in the solicitation as the previously-solicited cover to #12 - ignoring the fact that it, too, was originally alongside #11. <p>The main artist for the team-up series, Jae Lee, is famously a slower artist due to his meticulous work, but it seems odd to have not simply replaced him for part or all of this story at this point. <p>At any rate, issue #10, originally due on shelves April 16, is coming on April 30th with a fill-in story and creative team of Jeff Lemire and Karl Kerschl & Scott Hepburn. The original contents of issue 10, as far as we know, will see publication as #11 in May, and the original contents of #11 are now all the way out in July, implying another fill-in issue. Whether that’s another fill-in in May or in June has yet to be announced by DC Comics.

Superman Unchained is Back!

And the trifecta... After the final two issues of the 9-issue series had all orders canceled, its future was left in limbo. Now we have a new release date for issue #8 of July 30, 2014. That should be about 2 and a half months after #7 hits, if #7 hits its current target of Mid-May. Issue 6 of the Scott Snyder/Jim Lee series (originally marketed as an ongoing, but since said to end with issue #9) hit shelves on March 19, 2014. The series launched June 12, 2013.

Another New Green Arrow?

So, just a few hours ago, we talked about the new Green Arrow who will be revealed in the pages of the series’ <b>Futures End</b> tie-in issue in September. <p>But July’s #33 solicitation <i>also</i> teases a new Green Arrow. Huh? <p>Yes, the solicitation text reveals, “we introduce a new person under Green Arrow’s hood!” Now, this could just be a quick one-off thing, a gimmick, a “he can’t be there so I will be GA for ten minutes” kind of thing that Diggle or one of the other comic book Team Arrow people do. Or it could be something more permanent. Crazy theory theater time: could Oliver’s father Robert, who looks incredibly like the Pre-New 52 Green Arrow, complete with the complimentary age and the signature goatee, not to mention the connection the the mysterious totemic arrow, take up the bow and serve alongside his son? It would give pre-New 52 fans a Green Arrow with a goatee while also offering fans of the show the younger, less experienced Ollie they’ve been enjoying. After all, a father-son Green Arrow team isn’t anything new, it was done with Oliver in the <i>father</i> role in the old universe. <p>But it’s probably just for a few panels, right?

Death and Death and Death

You know, when you hang out with people that actively call themselves the “Trinity of Sin,” your chances of staying alive for a long, healthy, joyous experience in the world probably aren’t very high. That’s proven in July when supporting cast members die in both <b>Phantom Stranger</b> and in <b>Pandora</b>. <p>Zauriel the angel heads back to the great hereafter the way regular folks do, and Pandora’s multiple-lifetime-lover shuffles off the mortal coil once more. Surprisingly, that’s the only death in this month outside of the possible one teased in <i>Justice League United</i>. Only two deaths, maybe three in the DCU in one whole month? Throw a party!

Earth 2 Gets New (old) Residents

The <b>Worlds’ Finest</b> heroes of Power Girl and Huntress are finally getting back to Earth 2 in July, but it doesn’t sound like it will exactly be sunshine and lollipops, what with there being basically no sunshine left on Earth 2 thanks to the Apokoliptian forces led by a twisted version of Superman (and probably a lollipop shortage, too, now that we are thinking about it. That’s the new tagline: Earth 2: A World Without Lollipops). <p>The solicitation plays the mysterious route here, and doesn’t offer up much of an idea of what they’ll find. The cover (seen here) does show the evil Superman (or Brutaal, if you’re nasty) being pursued by the parallel Earth pair.

Earth 2 Gets New Superman, Too

And hey, that’s not all for <b>Earth 2</b>! In the pages of its own series, Val-Zod, the recently revealed “lost Kryptonian,” dons the S-Shield and becomes the all-new all-different Superman of Earth 2. The character was already seen in costume during the announcement of October’s <i>World’s End</i> weekly, but this is the first time he’s wearing it chronologically/in continuity. <p>Val has had an interesting journey so far, being trained in the use of his powers by Earth’s foremost expert in Kryptonians: Lois Lane (in the robotic body of Red Tornado, of course). Now in July he’s putting on the shield and taking on the original Superman, complete with new Darkseid-y powers. Good luck, kid.

Lois Lane Versus Wonder Woman - Fight!

Yes, Lois Lane and Wonder Woman are going to battle it out on the comic book page, and no longer just on internet message boards. The Brainiac-edition of Lois Lane with Psi Powers (meaning powers of the mind, not the power to infest ears worldwide with catchy but pedantic dance hits) will be fighting Diana the God of War in <b>Superman/Wonder Woman #10</b>. <p>It’s likely two-thirds of the internet stopped reading after the headline on this one and went off to post their fevered opinions on twitter, Facebook, and tumblr, so we’ll just leave it at that.

What We Learned from DC Comics July 2014 Solicitations

Date: 22 April 2014 Time: 09:00 PM ET