Last week DC released their July 2017 solicitations, and shortly after that, they announced their new Dark Matter line… If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I’ve given Dark Matter stank eye, strictly because of how DC is choosing to push it. When it comes down to it, this is essentially DC’s attempt to create new books/ characters and build excitement around them. Simply put, the only issue I have with Dark Matter – at the moment – is DC’s approach.

While introducing Dark Matter, Jim Lee mentioned:

“Dark Matter is a return to bringing both the writer and artist to the fore to unlock their full potential. At the talent summit we discussed what was missing in comics and how we could create something that’s new for this generation of fans. The result was Dark Matter. You’ll see bombastic action scenes and a visual narrative driven by the artist.”

Ok… Cool. I guess DC is confessing they haven’t been giving us their best? Hold on, Uncle Dan is about to give more details. I’m sure this will clear things up. (Sarcasm… I don’t think Dan Didio has EVER helped clear things up.)

“What excites me most is that this series of books takes full advantage of the talent and vision of the creative team. Comics are a visual medium and with these titles, the artists are working hand in hand with the writers in shaping the look and direction of their characters. In reaffirming the craft of making comics, we’ve brought together a master class of talent… to help set the style, tone and visual direction for these books. With these industry giants (Kubert, Lee, Capullo, and Romita)  taking the lead, I feel we can bring the power and energy expected from superhero storytelling back to the page.”

Oh boy… Where do I start? First off, everything Didio said is so back-handed to fans that it’s incredible. I mean, what’s up with these writer/ artist collaboration comments? That should already be the case with all comics… Specifically your main brand.  If you’re comparing comic books to film, the artist(s) would essentially take the role of the actors and 50% of the director. I feel this is happening, but if it isn’t, then it should. And if DC is stifling this process in any way (other than protecting the long-term integrity of the brand/ characters), then they need to stop.

Also, this announcement of a new line feels off considering it hasn’t even been a year since Rebirth or Young Animal’s debut.  I’m all for new titles, but I wish DC would focus on their foundation, their current characters – the reason people come to DC Comics for their comic books. Let’s make sure those are being executed well, and that there’s (at least) a five to ten year plan in place. I think it’s fair to say that with two terrible interpretations of their flagship brand (Justice League and Justice League of America), a number of additional books that continue to decline in quality (Batgirl & the Birds of Prey, Mother Panic, etc), and a revolving door of artists on titles, it’s clear that DC’s current foundation isn’t quite set.

And while we’re on the subject of Dark Matter, I want to point out the irony of how regurgitated their statements sound. This all sounds VERY SIMILAR to how Didio/ Lee have described New 52, DCYou, Rebirth, and Young Animal… Let’s take a look back.

Spoiler

New 52

“WELCOME TO THE NEW 52!… The entire line of comic books is being renumbered, with new, innovative storylines featuring our most iconic characters helmed by some of the most creative minds in the industry. Not only will this initiative be compelling for existing readers, it will give new readers a precise entry point into our universe.” – Written by Dan Didio & Jim Lee

 

DCYou(niverse)

“This heralds in a new era for the DC Universe which will allow us to publish something for everyone, be more expansive and modern in our approach and tell stories that better reflect the society around us… In this new era of storytelling, story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry.” – Dan Didio

“Beyond character and creators, the June slate will showcase different styles and approaches to storytelling… Truly there will be something for everybody as we simultaneously celebrate our rich legacy while embracing new voices and concepts.” – Jim Lee

 

Rebirth

“At DC we believe in superheroes, and what makes them great. And we also believe in the direct market and the core comics fan. REBIRTH is designed to bring back the best of DC’s past, embrace the stories we currently love and move the entire epic universe into the future. We are returning to the essence of the DCU.” – Dan Didio

“I love this world, but something is missing…” Geoff Johns

 

Young Animal

“I am thrilled to help bring DC’s Young Animal to life, having been raised on experimental 80s and 90s takes on superheroes. I see Young Animal as a place to try new ideas- following the spirit of those books from the past but bring them somewhere else. I see it as an imprint where we can explore fine art, bold concepts, mature themes, and strangeness- with lots of heart.” – Gerard Way

“We do realize that the marketplace is changing. We want to address that change. We want books that cater to emerging audiences, new readers, people who haven’t picked up a superhero comic before and want something a little different.” – Jim Lee

Didio and Lee’s comments for Dark Matter most closely reflect the statements of DCYou more than anything else, and that should honestly scare the crap out of EVERYONE! I know I probably sound like a total whiner right now, but comics create a large part of my life – especially because of what I do for this site. All I want is for DC to offer their best, and I don’t think we’re necessarily getting that; nor do I think that Dark Matter is the answer to that. In my opinion, Rebirth is the answer for that, and less than a year later it feels as though DC is trying to separate themselves from it to move on to the “next thing.” Rather than being so concerned with creating the next, new, fresh, different thing, I’d really prefer DC focus on what they currently have, and ensure its long-term success. Stop worrying about being different, and worry about being good! After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Didio made this commitment:

“Why Rebirth? And why now?… Sometimes you lose your way a little bit. Sometimes you get lost. Sometimes we lose our connection and sight of our fans. The whole purpose of Rebirth, what we’re going to give to you, is show you our re-commitment to you, the fans. Our dedication to our characters and ideas.”

Alright, let’s get to business! Below you’ll find the solicitations for each issue, the creative team behind the issue, and the cover art (if DC has released it). Make sure you share your thoughts in the comments section below! I want to hear what you’re excited about, worried about, your predictions, etc… If you have something to say, we want to know!

 

July 5th

Bane: Conquest #3
Sure, they may have had to team up to escape Damocles’ clutches—but Batman and Bane can’t keep their hands off each others’ throats for long! The question is, will Damocles be able to use that rivalry to his advantage?

Art by Graham Nolan
Cover by Graham Nolan
Written by Chuck Dixon

 

Batman #26
“THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES” part two! The Riddler and The Joker escalate their bloody feud, and the villains of Gotham City are forced to choose sides or be caught in the crossfire! It’s up to Batman to push himself to the limit and keep innocent citizens out of harm’s way.

Art by Mikel Janin
Cover by Mikel Janin
Variant cover by Tim Sale
Written by Tom King

 

Harley Quinn #23
“RED ROSES” part three! The tension between Harley, Poison Ivy and Red Tool hits the boiling point! Who’s gonna stay—and who’s gonna go? And in the backup story, “Harley Loves Joker” part seven, Batman is back on the deranged duo’s trail!

Art by John Timms
Backup Art by J. Bone and Bret Blevins
Backup Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Paul Dini
Cover by Amanda Conner
Variant cover by Frank Cho
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner

 

Injustice 2 #5
Batman pays a visit to Ted Kord, beseeching him to become part of the team that rebuilds the world—not as Blue Beetle, but as Ted Kord, inventor and industrialist. But Batman’s not the only one who has designs on Ted. A trusted old friend pops in, as does someone else—someone with less noble intentions.

Art by Juan Albarran and Bruno Redondo
Cover by Bruno Redondo
Written by Tom Taylor

 

Justice League #24
“AFTERLIVES” part three! Our heroes’ mission into the afterlife goes horribly wrong when the Demons Three trap the Justice League in a hellish realm where they’re haunted and tortured by the ghosts of fallen heroes, dead villains and innocent civilians whose lives they failed to save.

Art by Oclair Albert and Fernando Pasarin
Cover by Bryan Hitch
Variant cover by Nicholas Bradshaw
Written by Bryan Hitch

 

Nightwing #24
“BLOCKBUSTER” part three! Nightwing is trapped on a submarine, and in order to escape he must defeat the most lethal villains in the DCU, led by Tiger Shark! And if he can’t escape, Blockbuster will get what he wants: all of his criminal competition at the bottom of the sea, along with Nightwing!

Art by Minkyu Jung and Miguel Mendonça
Cover by Paul Renaud
Variant cover by Yasmine Putri
Written by Tim Seeley

 

 

July 12th

All Star Batman #12
“THE FIRST ALLY” part three! When Batman discovers the truth about the man under the Nemesis mask, it could change everything between him and Alfred forever.

Art by Sebastian Fiumara and Rafael Albuquerque
Cover by Rafael Albuquerque
Variant cover by Rafael Albuquerque and Sebastian Fiumara
Written by Scott Snyder

 

Batgirl & the Birds of Prey #12
“SOURCE CODE” part two! Oracle crossed half the criminal underworld in his early years—and now, he’s caused a black cat to cross the Birds of Prey’s path! Catwoman’s been waiting for a chance to get her claws on this guy for a while…but at this point, do the Birds even want to stand in her way?

Art by Roge Antonio
Cover by Yanick Paquette
Variant cover by Kamome Shirahama
Written by Shawna Benson and Julie Benson

 

Dark Days: The Casting #1
The Joker’s surprise attack threatens to lay waste to all of Batman’s carefully laid plans. Will the Dark Knight be able to regain the trust of his closest allies, Green Lantern and Duke, and prevent the forces of darkness from consuming the DC Universe?! Will Hawkman’s warning stop our heroes from peering into the abyss?

The great comics event of summer 2017 is on its way, courtesy of superstar writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with art by a master class of comics artists: Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and John Romita Jr.!

Art by Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, Various, John Romita, Jr.
Cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams
Variant cover by John Romita, Jr., and Andy Kubert
Written by James T Tynion IV and Scott Snyder

 

Detective Comics #960
“INTELLIGENCE” part three! With Zatanna joining the ranks of Batman’s allies, there shouldn’t be any foe the team can’t take on…but does that include their teammate Azrael himself, who just might be cracking up?

Art by Raúl Fernández and Alvaro Martinez
Cover by Yasmine Putri
Variant cover by Rafael Albuquerque
Written by James T Tynion IV

 

Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11
“The Ballad of Olive Silverlock” part three! A terrible revelation sends Maps on a quest for answers at Wayne Manor! With Two-Face hot on their trail, Maps and Damian Wayne must work together to stop Olive’s rampage of destruction across Gotham City.

Art by Adam Archer, Sandra Hope, and MSASSYK
Cover by Karl Kerschl
Written by Karl Kerschl, Becky Cloonan, and Brenden Fletcher

 

Justice League of America #10
“CURSE OF THE KINGBUTCHER” part one! The Ray never thought he would go back to Vanity, but the citizens of America’s most depressing city have found themselves caught in the middle of a mystic feud between order and chaos. The mysterious force known as the Might Beyond The Mirror has been granting Vanity’s greatest wishes; disabilities are healed, romances are restored and hope is rekindled. But it’s not meant to be, as a ruthless Lord of Order will stop at nothing to destroy the city’s dreams.

Art by Andrew T MacDonald
Cover by Ivan Reis
Variant cover by Doug Mahnke
Written by Steve Orlando

 

Red Hood & the Outlaws #12
“THE LIFE OF BIZARRO” part one! Bizarro’s final days are upon us! As Red Hood and the Outlaws rush home to Gotham City in an effort to save Bizarro’s life, a new threat is unleashed in the form of Solomon Grundy! Can the Outlaws stop Grundy’s rampage without their most powerful member? Who unleashed the monster in the first place? And can Grundy defeated in time to save Bizarro from certain death? Find out in the start of a brand new adventure!

Art by Dexter Soy
Cover by Clay Mann
Variant cover by Guillem March
Written by Scott Lobdell

 

Suicide Squad #21
“KILL YOUR DARLINGS” part one! Devastated by Rustam and his Burning World, the international conspiracy known as the People reveal themselves to Amanda Waller in a desperate move to secure their mysterious endgame for Planet Earth! Meanwhile, the walls tighten for Boomerang as Harley Quinn gets closer to discovering the traitorous murderer within Task Force X…

Art by Gus Vazquez
Cover by Eber Ferreira and Eddy Barrows
Variant cover by Whilce Portacio
Written by Rob Williams

 

Titans #13
“JUDAS AMONG US”! As Omen begins her investigation into the identity of the team’s traitor, the Titans launch a full assault on H.I.V.E., who they believe hold the key to restoring Bumblebee’s broken mind. Meanwhile, tensions rise when Roy discovers Wally and Donna’s blossoming romance—which threatens to tear the Titans apart!

Art by Norm Rapmund and V Ken Marion
Cover by Kenneth Rocafort
Variant cover by Dan Mora
Written by Dan Abnett

 

 

July 19th

Batman #27
“THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES” part three! The war has spread to every corner of Gotham City, and while Batman battles back the forces of Joker and Riddler, an unlikely criminal becomes the pivotal key to its potential resolution…but it could cost him everything.

Art by Davide Gianfelice
Cover by Davide Gianfelice
Variant cover by Tim Sale
Written by Tom King

 

Batman ‘66/ Legion of Super Heroes #1
In pursuit of the time-traveling criminal known as Universo, the super-powered kids from the 30th century travel back to the 1960s to enlist the aid of the “greatest teen superhero ever”—Robin, the Boy Wonder! But Batman’s hard-boiled nemesis Egghead has stolen one of their unattended time bubbles and taken off to the Legion’s own time period. Looks like Batman has to head to the far-flung future with one group of heroes while Robin stays in the swinging sixties with another. Holy time-travel paradox!

Art by Mike Allred
Cover by Mike Allred
Written by Lee Allred

 

Batwoman #5
“THE MANY ARMS OF DEATH” epilogue! In this special one-off issue with art by Stephanie Hans (Angela), learn the truth of what went down between Kate and Safiyah, which led to the future Batwoman having to leave Coryana for what she was sure would be forever!

Art by Stephanie Hans
Cover by Stephanie Hans
Variant cover by J.G. Jones
Written by James T Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett

 

Harley Quinn #24
“THE PARENT TRAP”! Harley has faced every challenge even she could possibly imagine, but can she survive…a visit from her parents?! And in “Harley Loves Joker” part eight, the duo’s new headquarters comes with some unforeseen complications!

Art by John Timms
Backup Art by J. Bone, Bret Blevins, and Jimmy Palmiotti
Backup Written by Paul Dini
Cover by Amanda Conner
Variant cover by Frank Cho
Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

 

Injustice 2 #6
Get ready for the Origin of Supergirl! Jump back in time to see the early life of Kara Zor-el and the destruction of Krypton. Sent to Earth to be her infant cousin Kal-el’s protector, an accident delays her by decades. She’s met upon her eventual arrival by a most unexpected benefactor and learns a very different version of the story of Superman’s regime.

Art by Mike S. Miller
Cover by Mike S. Miller
Written by Tom Taylor

 

Justice League #25
“AFTERLIVES” part four! With the Justice League locked out of reality, the secret mastermind behind their predicament makes his move on the world of the living. Luckily (or unluckily), the JL is trapped in the afterlife with Felix Faust, who works with the heroes to fight their way out of limbo! The team-up no one saw coming kicks off in this extra-sized epic!

Art by Oclair Albert and Fernando Pasarin
Cover by Bryan Hitch
Variant cover by Nicholas Bradshaw
Written by Bryan Hitch

 

Nightwing #25
“BLOCKBUSTER” part four! In this special oversize issue, the boardwalk is the heart and soul of Blüdhaven, and Tiger Shark and Blockbuster are willing to kill each other and whoever else stands in their way to rule it. Nightwing has to find a way to stop them both or suffer a Blüdhaven ruled by crime!

Art by Minkyu Jung and Miguel Mendonça
Cover by Paul Renaud
Variant cover by Yasmine Putri
Written by Tim Seeley

 

Super Sons #6
“TEEN TITANS TANGO” part one! Robin has a new member in mind for the Teen Titans, and—spoiler alert—it’s Superboy! But something sinister is at work, and Damian’s real motives for introducing Jon to the team are revealed to devastating consequences!

Art by Jorge Jimenez
Cover by Jorge Jimenez
Variant cover by Dustin Nguyen
Written by Peter J. Tomasi

 

Trinity #11
“DEAD SPACE” part three! Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are in for the fight of their lives against the combined might of the Justice League and the mysterious alien force inhabiting their bodies and controlling the Watchtower! The trinity may have found a way to save their friends—but the cost is high, and time is running out!

Art by Francis Manapul
Cover by Francis Manapul
Variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz
Written by Francis Manapul

 

 

July 26th

Batgirl #13
“BATS AND CATS”! When an innocent bystander close to Batgirl’s heart gets caught in between a feud between herself and Catwoman, what started as just another case could become direly important.

Art by Inaki Miranda
Cover by Dan Mora
Variant cover by Joshua Middleton
Written by Hope Larson

 

Batman/ The Shadow #4
The Shadow must fight his way through Gotham City’s worst rogues in order to stop the Joker and the Stag from carving out Batman’s heart! But if he’s freed, will Batman be able to save the villains from the wrath of the Shadow?

Art by Riley Rossmo
Cover by Riley Rossmo
Variant cover by Tim Sale and Dave Johnson
Written by Steve Orlando and Scott Snyder

 

Batman Beyond #10
“RISE OF THE DEMON” part five! Just as Bruce Wayne had feared, the experimental new Bat-suit has altered Terry’s mental state and turned him into a colder, deadlier Batman. Trapped in the lair of Ra’s al Ghul and surrounded by the League of Assassins, the suit may be the only thing that allows Terry and Bruce to survive. But at what price?

Art by Bernard Chang
Cover by Bernard Chang
Variant cover by Martin Ansin
Written by Dan Jurgens

 

Detective Comics #961
“INTELLIGENCE” part four! Batman and Batwing have thrown every technological trick they have at the powerful A.I. that the order of St. Dumas dubbed Ascalon…now there’s nothing left to do but pray!

Art by Raúl Fernández and Alvaro Martinez
Cover by Yasmine Putri
Variant cover by Rafael Albuquerque
Written by James T Tynion IV

 

Justice League of America #11
“CURSE OF THE KINGBUTCHER” part two! The JLA face off against the Lord of Order called Kingbutcher! In a battle that forces Ray Terrill to confront his own dark past in full view of his new teammates, the heroes struggle with the question of returning reality to its proper state or allowing the people of Vanity — including Ray’s estranged mother — to fulfill their fondest desires.

Art by Andrew T MacDonald
Cover by Ivan Reis
Variant cover by Doug Mahnke
Written by Steve Orlando

 

Mother Panic #9
As Mother Panic zeroes in on Remains, Violet’s augmentations continue to lock up, making her unbelievably vulnerable. Will she be able to defeat her mysterious nemesis in time, or will Dr. Varma’s warnings and predictions finally be actualized? Also includes the next installment of “Gotham Radio” by Jim Krueger (JUSTICE) and Phil Hester (GREEN ARROW)!

Art by John Paul Leon
Backup Art by Phil Hester
Backup Written by Jim Krueger
Cover by Tommy Lee Edwards
Variant cover by Phil Hester
Written by Jody Houser

 

Suicide Squad #26
“KILL YOUR DARLINGS” part two! Face to face with the Russian mastermind she’s been tracking since SUICIDE SQUAD: REBIRTH #1, Amanda Waller is horrified to find the Suicide Squad commanded by her own dark mirror, the enigmatic Direktor Karla, who’s surpassed the Task Force X leader in the one game she cannot afford to lose: control.

Art by Gus Vazquez
Cover by Eber Ferreira and Eddy Barrows
Variant cover by Whilce Portacio
Written by Rob Williams

 

Teen Titans #10
“BLOOD OF THE MANTA” part two! After learning he’s the son of the villainous Black Manta, Jackson Hyde is forced to join his father on a journey to find the ocean’s greatest treasure—a game-changing weapon that would spell disaster for anyone in Manta’s way. Meanwhile, Damian’s status as team leader is challenged by Starfire, who recruits Tempest to help track down their missing member! Will the Teen Titans find their friend before Black Manta gains ultimate power?

Art by Wade Von Grawbadger and Khoi Pham
Cover by Andrew Hennessy and Bradley Walker
Variant cover by Paolo Pantalena
Written by Benjamin Percy

 

Noteworthy Mentions:

Supergirl #11
“ESCAPE FROM THE PHANTOM ZONE” part three! Supergirl must quell the maelstrom tearing apart the Phantom Zone, as Batgirl faces down the Phantom King one on one. If they fail, they’ll be lost in the Phantom Zone forever!

Art by Brian Ching
Cover by Daniel Henriques and Robson Rocha
Variant cover by Bengal
Written by Steve Orlando