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Every month, Newsarama combs through the solicitations for the “Big Two” publishers and finds the most interesting tidbits of new information for your perusal.
This month is no different, with today seeing the release of DC’s December solicitations, which brought with them a wave of new cancellations, the return of some high-profile creators, and possibly a long-lost love connection.
Check out what we thought were the most important pieces of knowledge to be gained from these previews, as we countdown 10 things we learned from DC’s December solicitations.
INJUSTICE: TOM TAYLOR AMONG US2 of 12Australian writer Tom Taylor made a name for himself as the highly sensational writer of the first year of DC’s video game tie-in, Injustice: Gods Among Us. And while Taylor left that series behind some time ago, it looks like he’ll be returning to the series in December.
In what’s billed as a “one-time only” return, Taylor will write Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four Annual #1, the first time he’s revisited the world he helped create since he left the title. The annual will see one of the prisoners of Superman’s seemingly impenetrable prison escape.
CATWOMAN RETURNS - CREATORS LEAVE3 of 12It wasn’t long ago that Catwoman took on a bold new direction, placing Selina Kyle at the head of Gotham’s criminal underworld. But now, with new creative team Frank Tieri and Inaki Miranda taking over, it looks like Selina will be leaving that life behind, and returning to action as Catwoman.
The solicitation for Catwoman #47 teases Selina “leaving the mob scene behind” to go after “the biggest score of her life.” Sounds like DC’s premiere femme fatale is back to prowling the streets of Gotham.
DICK & KORI FOREVER4 of 12For fans of a certain age, Dick Grayson and Starfire are something of an iconic comic book couple. Their relationship was central to the classic era of New Teen Titans.
Their status as a couple – and as Teen Titans – has been largely up in the air since the onset of the "New 52," with only brief reference to a possible past relationship being made in Red Hood and the Outlaws. However, the solicitation for Starfire #7 bills Dick’s appearance in the title as a “reunion.”
With Titans Hunt looking to pre-Flashpoint Teen Titans continuity, could there be some revelations about Dick and Starfire’s past in the works?
SWAMP THING, YOU ARE AMAZING5 of 12Swamp Thing received a bump in popularity when a new solo-title was included in the launch of the New 52, but the character has fallen by the wayside since his book ended with #35.
Now, the avatar of The Green is poised to return to the DCU with guest spots in both Constantine and Secret Six. Constantine and Swamp Thing have long been associated, with Constantine actually having debuted in Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 in 1985. Still, their relationship is strained – a fact made clear by the solicitation for Constantine: The Hellblazer #7.
Meanwhile, it’s also not surprising Swamp Thing would team up with the Secret Six given that teams connection to DC’s mystical side, having once made their headquarters in the House of Secrets. This time, it seems like Black Alice’s magical abilities may be the catalyst for the team-up in Secret Six #9.
DEATHSTROKE Vs. ???6 of 12Deathstroke may be one of DC’s most high-profile villains – especially with his appearances on Arrow - but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have enemies of his own.
The solicitation for December’s Deathstroke #13 teases the arrival of an all-new villain to challenge Slade Wilson – one the solicitation teases could end his mission against the Suicide Squad altogether.
"All-New" could mean a legitimate new character, or perhaps a pre-Flashpoint villain returning -- or even a current character becoming a villain.
EASY COME, EASY GO7 of 12No less than eight titles are ending for DC in December. While several of these titles were foreshadowed ahead of the release of the December solicitations, some, like Batman ’66, Sensation Comics, and Green Lantern: Lost Army weren’t revealed until the solicitations came out.
Some of the titles, such as Doomed, Omega Men, Lobo, and Gotham By Midnight have consistently been among the publisher’s lowest selling titles, while Justice League United and Green Lantern: The Lost Army fared slightly better.
The real outliers are the two digital titles, Batman ’66 and Sensation Comics, both of which have enjoyed critical success. Though there’s hope for Batman ’66 yet, as December also sees the launch of a new crossover mini-series.
These cancellations could be seen as a rejection of some of DC’s newer “DC You” direction, which hasn’t spiked sales the way the publisher hoped, or it could simply signal that DC is cutting the low-hanging fruit to focus on more lucrative titles.
JOE MAD IS BACK8 of 12Joe Madureira hasn’t worked at DC since penciling Superman/Batman #26 back in 2003. To be fair, he largely stepped away from comic books entirely in that time, but in the years since his return to the medium, he’s worked exclusively with Marvel.
Now, that exclusive appears to be at an end, with Madureira providing a variant cover for Justice League of America #7. While Madureira still keeps his comic book work few and far between, it’s interesting to see him return to DC.
FOREVER EVIL... AGAIN9 of 12When the Crime Syndicate invaded the main DC Earth in Forever Evil, they were fleeing a powerful being that destroyed their own universe – a being revealed at the end of the series to be the Anti-Monitor.
Now, in “Darkseid War,” the Anti-Monitor has made it to Earth-1 and is at odds with Darkseid himself. And, if the solicitations for Justice League #47 are to be believed, the Justice League may have to turn to the Crime Syndicate for help.
According to the solicitation, it’s Wonder Woman who will bring the villains who almost conquered the world into the conflict. That’s hardly surprising, considering Wonder Woman has traditionally been willing to take extreme measures that other Justice Leaguers would shy away from.
JASON TODD Vs. TIM DRAKE... IN A CAGE MATCH!10 of 12Jason Todd hasn’t exactly been the most friendly member of Batman’s crime fighting family, but December’s We Are Robin #7 takes the strained relationship between Todd and the rest of the Robins to a whole new level – by pitting him against Tim Drake in a “steel cage match.”
The story, part of the “Robin War” crossover, has the Court of Owls sending Todd and Drake into a fight to the death – one DC seems to imply both will not survive. How likely is it that the DC Universe will be down a Bat-family member in December? Well, Tim Drake and Jason Todd are both headliners for Teen Titans and Red Hood/Arsenal respectively, so icing one of them would be a bold move.
BYE BYE BATMAN11 of 12Despite the impending cancellation of its regular series, Batman ’66 will still find time to crossover with yet another iconic ‘60’s TV show.
After meeting the Avengers (no, not those Avengers) and the Green Hornet, it looks like Batman and Robin will cross paths with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in the latest of these nostalgic team-ups – no doubt owing to the recent Man From U.N.C.L.E. film adaptation.
So fear not, Batman ‘66 fans. If this is any indicator, the series could still live on in mini-series and specials with a host of different 1960s TV properties to tie into.
Batman '66 meets The Twilight Zone? Batman '66 meets The Thunderbirds? Batman '66 meets The Beverly Hillbillies? The possibilities are mind-boggling.
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