A while back, I logged some week-to-week posts on DC’s digital reprint program through Comixology. It’s been a while, and their digital offerings have matured, so I thought I’d take another look at what they’re adding each week. Currently, they seem to be doing about 30 books a week. I might not list all the issue numbers going forward – if the 90s Superman titles continue moving forward at two of each a week, there’s not much value in listing each issue. But let’s take a look at this week’s, and let’s see where the patterns take us, shall we?
90s Superman: DC is following the 90s Superman titles (soon to be the 2000s Superman, as this week’s titles are from December 1999) pretty quickly, giving us 8 issues of the books every week. There’s a lot of material to get through, but that’s still an admirable clip. We may only have a few more weeks of this, judging by Action Comics (the one title of the bunch that doesn’t change its numbering and continues for a long while) – 761 is the most recent issue, and Action already seems to be in the digital library from 769 on. Superman, Adventures of Superman and Superman: Man of Steel have bigger gaps, though.
Action Comics 760, 761
Adventures of Superman 574, 575
Superman 152, 153
Man of Steel 95, 96
Arion: 11, 12
DC has been adding two issues of Arion: Lord of Atlantis a week for the last 6 weeks. There are 35 issues and a special, so there's a way to go before the series is completed.
DC Comics Presents: 75, 76
DCCP started out at a faster pace, but has been going two a week for a little while now. There are about 20 issues to go. Bonus: More Arion this week, in issue 75!
Guy Gardner: Warrior: 33
11 issues to go.
Huntress: 19, 4-issue 1994 series
We wrap up the Cavalieri/Staton ongoing that introduced Helena Bertinelli, and then power through a Chuck Dixon mini from 1994. Will Huntress return next week, or will we move on?
Justice League America (Bwa-ha-ha) 51, 52
This one has a ways to go before having everything available.
Four more issues till it’s all there!
Mister Miracle: 23-25
This wraps up the 70s run – Kirby and then Marshall Rogers, it’s all there! (I think DC also recently wrapped the 70s Return of the New Gods run, too.)
Superman (Bronze Age): 233
This is an interesting one. The Kryptonite Nevermore cover – I’m surprised it wasn’t available before this. Will DC continue from here? Their 70s Superman offerings on Comixology are paltry.
Wanderers: 7, 8
This 80s Legion spinoff ran 13 issues, so we’re almost there.
Wonder Woman (Silver Age): 130, 131
DC has been making silver age Wonder Woman stories available, probably wishing to expand their catalog in anticipation of the movie. At this point the silver age issues go from 112-131, with a couple of gaps.
Swamp Thing (Diggle/Dysart run): 25
4 more issues to go.
This Vertigo sci-fi series lasted 8 issues. I don’t remember it at all.
That’s a pretty exhaustive look at this week’s offerings. Next week, I’ll probably just note new additions (what will replace Mister Miracle? The '89 and '96 series have already been collected, so we might be in for something new. And there might be more Huntress comics that haven't been reprinted yet, but Comixology has a bunch of them listed already, and the Bat-universe is so sprawling it's tough to search), unexpected omissions, breaks from the patterns, and go forward from there.
And to make things easy to follow:
Week 2. (April 6, 2017)
Week 3 (April 13, 2017)
Week 4 (April 20, 2017)
Week 5 (April 27, 2017)
Week 6 (May 4, 2017)
Week 7 (May 11, 2017)
Week 8 (May 18, 2017)
Week 9 (May 25, 2017)
Week 10 (June 1, 2017) -- All the golden age Wonder Woman goodness!
Week 11 (June 8, 2017)
Week 12 (June 15, 2017)
Week 13 (June 22, 2017)
Week 14 (June 29, 2017)
Week 15 (July 6, 2017)
Week 16 (July 13, 2017) -- Our Worlds at War! Underworld Unleashed!
Week 17 (July 20, 2017) -- The Great Ten! More Wonder Woman!
Week 18 (July 27, 2017) -- Batman Confidential and Deathblow? Young Heroes in Love?? Doom Patrol!
Week 19 (Aug 3, 2017) -- Some Bronze-age Batman!
Week 20 (Aug 10, 2017) -- Loeb/Sale Challengers begins!
Week 21 (Aug 17, 2017) -- Silver Age Challs!
MIDWEEK SALE BLAST (Aug 22, 2017): Wildstorm!
Week 22 (Aug 24, 2017) -- Holding pattern...
Week 23 (Aug 31, 2017) -- chugging along
Week 24 (Sept 7, 2017) -- Same old, but with newer Challengers
Week 25 (Sept 14, 2017) -- Baron/Jones Deadman debuts
Week 26 (Sept 21, 2017) -- Holding steady, with more Deadman
Week 27 (Sept 28, 2017) -- Deadman in Action Comics Weekly?
Week 28 (Oct 5, 2017) -- A slow swerve into Batman
Week 29 (Oct 5, 2017) -- Doom Patrol finishes in the smallest week ever
Dan Slott has talked about wanting to use Swarm again when he was writing Spider-Man, and getting vetoed by the editor. Basically, Swarm is a Nazi made of bees, and Dan's story would be about...what happens to the honey? IIRC, he starts marketing the honey and it starts turning people into Nazis. The story would be called "Nazi Gold!"
If you every get a chance to talk to Dan Slott at a convention, definitely stick around while he tells stories that never made it to the page. It's a treat.
I missed another week, so here's a recap of March 8 & March 15... and an extra treat released today!
Last week, March 8, DC added these three titles:
Icon 32: Rocket confronts the leader of an alien armada as the trial of Earth continues! By Greg Middleton & Elim Mack.
Static 33: By Maggie Blaustein, Yves Fezzani, and Jeffrey Moore! Static vs Swarm continues!
The New Guardians 10: Instead of dying, Tom Kalmaku has developed powers of his own. But so has the Guardians' South African nemesis, Janwillem Kroef, and they're fueled by HATE! By Cary Bates and new artist Pat Broderick.
And this week, March 15, they added these three:
Blood Syndicate 27: By Ivan Velez Jr. & ChrisCross. Masquerade returns to the Blood Syndicate... and is Tech-9's resurrection too good to be true?
Hardware 33: By Maddie Blaustein & Prentis Rollins, under a Howard Chaykin golden age tribute cover. Curtis has taken control of Alva Industries -- he's changed the name to Hard Co., and is using it to seek justice for those with no other recourse. It's not going to be easy.
The New Guardians 11: By Cary Bates (now with Kevin Dooley on script) & Pat Broderick. Terga is certain Tom is alive, and the Guardians go to fight Kroef once and for all. A new letterer comes aboard, too -- Johnnie Mac -- and the results look really unprofessional. (I suspect its a pseudonym for someone using a literal Macintosh computer.) From issue 1, this comic constantly has been finding new ways to jump the shark.
Finally, today, March 17, DCU Infinite added all 12 volumes of the Vertigo book DMZ. I'm pretty sure they were on Comixology already, but any Vertigo books on DCUI are extremely welcome. And interestingly, these weren't released as single issues, but as collections.
This week's new DC backlist have arrived! Let's take a look:
Icon 33: Icon and Rocket fight to save Earth from the threat of an interstellar war. By Mark Bright, now on writing and art! (He also handled both about a year before, on Icon 17.)
Static 34: By Maggie Blaustein, Yves Fezzani, and Jeffrey Moore! A rematch between Static and Rubberband Man!
The New Guardians 12: By Cary Bates, Kevin Dooley and Pat Broderick. Since these books were released, I've read all 12 of them. And while their first issues weren't great, they were packed with bug-nuts ideas and a genuine desire to engage with the issues of the day, however strangely they meshed in a superhero comic. When Cary Bates took over from Steve Engelhart, he started sanding the rough edges off the concept...and eventually he sanded enough to reveal that there was nothing underneath. And while I like both men's work in other places, I have to say I much prefer Joe Staton's work on most issues to Pat Broderick's attempt to replace him (and seemingly to pick up a paycheck by spending the least amount of time drawing possible).
And the end of this book is worse than everything that preceded it. The New Guardians don't get to act like heroes at all... it's Tom Kalmaku who grows into his powers and heals a mortally wounded Kilowog and frees the NG's from Kroeff's racist mesmerism. Bates and Dooley looked down the hall at the philosophy and New Age mysticism J.M. DeMatteis was infusing Dr. Fate with, and decided they wanted some -- but looked at it as a formula to be replicated, not something that needs to be written from the heart.
I was never expecting good things from this book. It's always been a laughingstock. But MAN, does it fall on its face by the end.
DC has announced its April releases for DCU Infinite, and the three-a-week schedule for archive books continues. We'll continue to get the core four Milestone books at the current pace*, and will finish off Captain Atom: Armageddon with issues 8 and 9.
After that, the third book of the week will be Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, with issues 2 & 3 coming out in April.
*At the current pace, Blood Syndicate will wrap up in early July, and Icon in early August. Whether they get replaced with another Milestone book or a book from elsewhere in the DCU remains an open question.
Today's DC digital backlist items are, as expected:
Blood Syndicate 28: By Ivan Velez Jr. & ChrisCross. The government evicts the Blood Syndicate from their headquarters.
Hardware 34: By John Rozum & Eric Battle. Hardware and Sanction fight against a genetically engineered Aztec god in South America.
Captain Atom: Armageddon 7: By Will Pfeifer & Giuseppe Camuncoli. Captain Atom looks into the future, and sees himself in conflict with the Authority! These is the first of the concluding 3 issues of a series originally published by the Wildstorm imprint in 2005.
This week's digital backlist entries are:
Icon 34: Judgment Day! The fate of the Earth is decided! By Dwayne MacDuffie and Mark Bright.
Static 35: By Maggie Blaustein, Yves Fezzani, and Jeffrey Moore! A new villain, Promethius, is stealing all of Dakota's power... and wants to steal Static's as well!
I've been re-reading Milestone books on DCUI for the last few months. Just a few at a time, and I'm not nearly caught up to what's been released. But so far, I'm enjoying different books than I did on their original 90s release. I find myself less interested in Static -- originally my favorite Milestone book -- and more interested in Hardware, probably my least favorite at the time. Part of it, I'm sure, is that Static deals with kids' problems -- getting a date, being popular in high school -- while Hardware's origin story is tied into being disrespected by his employer, a very adult concern. Hardware's power set never grabbed me (and still doesn't; I'm not a fan of Iron Man tech-suit types), but his entire situation is fascinating.
From what I recall, I originally liked Icon better than Blood Syndicate, too. Icon was more professionally presented -- Mark Bright can lay out a smooth page! -- and a more traditional superhero story, which was comfortable. And yet now Blood Syndicate, in all its loose sloppiness, is what intrigues me. With its super-powered gang members, with its various characters and different perspectives, it's taking a lot more risks. Some of which pay off, some of which don't. But watching it play out is fascinating.
Captain Atom: Armageddon 8: By Will Pfeifer & Giuseppe Camuncoli. Captain Atom vs. the Authority! And Grifter enters the mix.
This week's trio of DC digital backlist items are...
Blood Syndicate 29: By Ivan Velez Jr. & ChrisCross. Holocaust guest stars as the Long Hot Summer crossover continues.
Hardware 35: By John Rozum & Eric Battle. Hardware teams with Sanction in South America. There's a "Jungle Action" blurb on this cover, presumably a nod to the Black Panther's home at 70s Marvel.
Captain Atom: Armageddon 9: By Will Pfeifer & Giuseppe Camuncoli. Captain Atom's foray into the Wildstorm universe concludes! (I think. I'm honestly not paying attention.)
This week's DC Backlist has a new entry!
Icon 35: Icon mulls over whether to return to Earth. Will Rocket have to carry on alone? By Dwayne MacDuffie and Mark Bright.
Static 36: By Matt Wayne and Jeffrey Moore! Virgil is babysitting a troublesome little girl... who's targeted for kidnapping!
and introducing (for the foreseeable future)...
Captain Carrot 2: Pig-Iron -- as the group's resident Thing -- leaves the team in a huff. But how can they face Armordillo without him? By Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw! This series ran 20 issues, and was followed by 3 issues in which they starred in The Oz-Wonderland War.
Also, backlist plans for May have been released, and it looks like the same schedule is carrying on with the Milestone books and Captain Carrot. May's a 5-week month, so we'll get to Captain Carrot 8 and 3 more issues of Icon and Static. All of these initial Milestone books are approaching their final issues, with both Icon and Blood Syndicate looking like they'll have their final issue land in July. If Captain Carrot continues at a rate of one a week, it will end in August.
This week's DC digital backlist is in!
Blood Syndicate 30: By Ivan Velez Jr. & ChrisCross. The Long Hot Summer crossover continues, and the return of Tech-9 makes the fighting even hotter.
Hardware 37: By John Rozum & Denys Cowan. Hardware teams with Sanction to stop an experimental super-rocket, while mercenaries Archer and Duke try to stop them!
Captain Carrot 3: The Zoo Crew faces the croaking colossus known as Frogzilla! By Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw!
The latest three DC backlist are:
Icon 36: Rocket and Icon return to earth after an extended absence. What have they missed? By Dwayne MacDuffie and Mark Bright.
Static 37: By Erica Helene and Will Rosado! Static helps a time traveler
Captain Carrot 4: It's a Fastback family reunion... but a swamp monster disrupts the festivities! By Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw!