THE DC DOG DAYS

DC Comics is embracing its multiverse this year, and nowhere is that more obvious than in August's solicitations. Leading off with information about the first issue in Grant Morrison's world-hopping epic <i>Multiversity</i>, today's <a href="http://www.newsarama.com/21159-dc-comics-full-august-2014-solicitations.html">full DC August 2014 solicitations</a> made it clear that alternate Earths will be featured in a big way at the end of 2014. <p>In August, DC is also saying goodbye to a few series, and hello to some returning characters — as well as promoting it all with a bunch of selfies (no, really). <p>To see what we think are the ten most notable and newsworthy bits in the August solicitations, click “next.”

THE MULTIVERSITY

Grant Morrison's long-awaited, dimension-spanning series <b>The Multiversity</b> was finally solicited for August 20th in this week's previews. Along with the official date, the preview gave insight into a host of worlds which the series plans to explore, including "the Vampire League of Earth-43, the Justice Riders of Earth-18, Superdemon, Doc Fate, the super-sons of Superman and Batman, the rampaging Retaliators of Earth-8, the Atomic Knights of Justice, Dino-Cop, Sister Miracle, Lady Quark, the legion of Sivanas, the Nazi New Reichsmen of Earth-10 and the latest, greatest Super Hero of Earth-Prime: YOU!" <p>Some of these, like the super-sons, the Atomic Knights, and Lady Quark are obvious throwbacks to previous eras of DC Comics, and some, like the "greatest Super Hero" of Earth-Prime seem to offer totally different takes on older concepts. Judging by the way the entry describes <b>The Multiversity</b>'s publishing schedule, it seems that readers will be treated to multiple Earths in each issue. Further, keen-eyed readers may have noticed a listing for a 1:100 incentive cover by Grant Morrison himself.

GAIL SIMONE WRITING ORACLE

DC Comics is utilizing the <b>Sensation Comics</b> title for a new digital-first series — reviving what was once a Golden Age comic featuring Wonder Woman. That's good news for the Amazon princess, since Bats and Supes already have successful digital-first titles, but a lot DC fans might be even more excited by what's happening in the comic's first chapter — Gail Simone is writing Oracle again. <p>Possibly the most bemoaned victim of the New 52 reboot, Oracle is the superhero name that was used by Barbara Gordon, who acted as an information hub for the entire DCU and fought villains in cyberspace, despite her disability. When Barbara's disability was healed with the reboot, the Oracle part of her history was presumably eliminated. <p>With a pre-New 52 character like Oracle showing up, we at Newsarama are also wondering — could this the long-awaited, <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/365-floorbuzz-ethan-vansciver-flash-ww-and-plastic-man.html">"self-contained, stand-alone Wonder Woman story" that Simone and artist Ethan Van Sciver have been hinting about since 2008</a>?

FINAL ISSUES

It's always somewhat disheartening to see the tagline "final issue" in solicitations, and DC readers saw it seven times just in August alone. Afterall, every title is <i>someone</i>'s favorite. <p>In addition to <b>All-Star Western</b>, <b>Superboy</b>, <b>Birds of Prey</b>, <b>Trinity Of Sin: The Phantom Stranger</b>, <b>Trinity Of Sin: Pandora</b>, <b>World’s Finest</b>, and <b>Batwing</b> will all publish their final issues in August. <p><b>Superboy</b> ends with a different person in the lead role (the murderous son of Superman from an alternate future), but the solicitation's reference to a "Legion of Superboys" teases that Conner Kent might return — something the current storyline has already hinted about. <p>As <b>Batwing</b> and <b>Birds of Prey</b> end, we have to assume that the Bat-characters will show up in <i>Batman Eternal</i> or elsewhere in the Bat-verse. <p>There’s too much going on between various DC worlds and realities for Earth 2’s The Huntress and Power Girl to stay gone for long, and you have to think the Phantom Stranger and Pandora, so integral to the formation of the New 52 reality, will be heard from again.

EARTH 2 SPOTLIGHT

As Grant Morrison kicks off his highly anticipated <i>The Mutliversity</i> series (more on that in a minute), a few other DC Universe titles are giving Earth 2 the spotlight. <p>We already knew that Power Girl and Huntress were returning to Earth 2, Huntress is appearing in <i>Batgirl</i>, and the <i>Futures End</i> solicitations are filled with Earth 2 characters who, five years later, now live on Prime Earth. <p>Concurrently, the solicitation for August's <b>Earth 2</b> series teases "familiar faces" that come through a boom tube and "turn the tide" in the battle with evil Superman. Does that mean Huntress and Power Girl turn the tide? Or if not them, who? <p>The good news for fans of Prime Earth? Although you're losing a Huntress to Earth 2, Helena Bertinelli is showing up just in time (as Dick Grayson's partner in <i>Grayson</i>) to potentially take over the Huntress mantle after Helena Wayne jumps ship… er… jumps Earth.

NEW BATMAN BLOOD

With the ending of Zero Year and the events of <I>Batman Eternal</I> in full swing, things are a bit hectic for Gotham's Dark Knight. <B>Batman #34</B> will bring in some new vision to his world as Matteo Scalera (<I>Deadpool</I>, <I>Secret Avengers</I>) swings in as a relief from series regular, Greg Capullo. Scalera has been heating up lately with <I>Black Science</I> over at Image and pretty much all over Marvel. Scalera has done variant covers in the past for DC, but this would be his first time going with full blown sequentials and what better way to start than DC's hottest title at the moment?

JOHN CONSTANTINE - A MAJOR PLAYER

Constantine was once one of those Vertigo characters that would pop up every now and then, but since being integrated into DC with the launch of <I>Justice League Dark</I>, he's becoming more and more prominent. As the solicits told us, we're going to be seeing him everywhere from World War I to Five Years Later. He's already featured in two series, including his own solo title, and now he's looking to have some sort of importance with <I>Futures End</I> as well. Oh, not to mention his live-action series on NBC coming soon. <p>Not too bad for a bloke who was once Swamp Thing's supernatural adviser.

THE SECOND COMING OF THE DRAGON AND BOWHUNTERS

Mike Grell's <I>Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters</I> was a pivotal story in the Green Arrow mythos, taking Oliver Queen in a more adult-oriented direction and was essentially one of the major inspirations behind Oliver's character direction in the first season of TV's <I>Arrow</I>. Now, there's a new group of Longbow Hunters that was recently introduced with <I>Green Arrow #31</I> and led by Richard Dragon, who was introduced back in issue #23. Now is DC using the name "Longbow Hunters" a clue that Green Arrow, as a series, will become more grounded as Grell once took it in the 80's, or nothing related at all?

ALL-STAR ENDING

<B>All-Star Western</B> was one of the initial titles of the New 52. Now, after 34 issues, it's riding off into the sunset (c'mon, had to be said) with a doozy of a tale illustrated by celebrated artist Darwyn Cooke, who is no stranger to Jonah Hex. <p>34 issues is not a bad run for a title that falls outside the superhero milieu, especially considering that <B>All-Star Western</B> is the only of DC's outside-the-box titles of the New 52 to make it this far. With Darwyn Cooke on board, and a solicit that could imply a time-travelling Hex-on-Hex throwdown, it's likely that this swan song may lead to Hex having a presence elsewhere in the DCU. <p>But it wasn't the only title to fall victim to the axe, which we'll talk more about in a few...

I, PANDORA

Andrew Bennett has largely been absent from the DCU since his title, <I>I, Vampire</I> ended some time ago. With only a cameo in <i>Justice League Dark</i> under his belt, Bennett has seemingly been pretty busy with just being king of the vampires. It looks like he'll finally be returning this August alongside mystery woman Pandora as she takes on both S.H.A.D.E. and a legion of bloodthirsty dead. Will Bennett's tenuous connections to S.H.A.D.E. come into play? <p>Also look for Bennett to join the cast of <i>JLD</i> soon, as recently hinted by the series' writer JM DeMatteis, who just so happens to be the character's creator.

SUPER-SELFIES

This August, as previously announced, DC is rolling out a series of "selfie" themed incentive covers for numerous titles. While this is unlikely to tie-in in any meaningful way to actual events in the DCU, it is interesting to note that this incentive comes in the same month that the pending relaunch of <b>Teen Titans</b> begins exploring the impact of social media on super-heroics. There's been a lot of talk lately about how to make a <b>Teen Titans</b> book appeal to, you know, teens. Perhaps a social media director is needed?

What We Learned from DC Comics August 2014 Solicitations

Date: 19 May 2014 Time: 09:17 PM ET