52 Geek-Out: DCU Part 3

I’m finally picking up the geeking out that is my DC reboot again with mere days to
go until the real thing hits. As I wrote in a preface two months ago in greater detail, I’ve gone for broke on a friend’s challenge to come up with 52 titles and attendant creative teams relaunching DC’s main superhero line just as the company itself is doing; I couldn’t help devising springboard premises for many of them as well. My first and second capsule-bible posts covered 10 of the 37 series taking place in the new core DC Universe, while my third covered 15 mostly independent Multiverse projects. Another 12 of the DC Universe series appear today and tomorrow with the final 15, all anthologies or team titles, to be published as soon as possible.

Writer: Jeff Parker / Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

The Starman name first belonged to a second-string superhero and was then bequeathed upon a litany of lesser lights until a legacy was built around the label over
a dozen years ago. Now the newest DC Universe is seen through the eyes of its newest champion as another Starman is born at the hands of writer Jeff Parker [Marvel’s Hulk and X-Men: First Class], who reinvented characters from a bygone era for DC’s distinguished competition in Agents of Atlas. Rafael Albuquerque [Blue Beetle, American Vampire] applies his fluid yet crisp linework as interior and cover artist.

The Huntress
Writer: Grant Morrison / Artist: Alex Maleev

Katherine Kane stalks the world’s most dangerous game: the Manhunters, a cabal of clones, androids, and alien sleeper agents posing as a decorated police officer in one city, the crusading district attorney in another — even as an international adventurer. Or so she’s been told by Paul Kirk, rogue Manhunter, who also claims that the Manhunters are responsible for the fate that befell Elizabeth Kane, her cousin, ending her short career as the original Batgirl. Grant Morrison, no stranger to conspiracies be they in the pages of JLA or The Invisibles, joins Daredevil sketch-artist supreme Alex Maleev in a journey through back alleys, across borders, and possibly beyond belief, under covers from Tomm Coker.

The Question
Writer: John Ostrander / Artist: Ryan Sook

Former Gotham City beat cop turned homicide detective Renée Montoya now
operates outside the law. While she has seen Batman display unexpected, uncommon compassion at the side of Police Commissioner Gordon, he’s losing touch with the innocents as the number of the city’s “freaks” — and his responsibilities elsewhere — increase. So who answers the cries of the everyday citizen caught up in crime and terror, when neither the system’s red tape nor the GCPD’s yellow tape are much help? That is The Question, written by veteran John Ostrander [Suicide Squad, The Spectre] and drawn by Ryan Sook [The Spectre, Seven Soldiers: Zatanna] with covers painted by Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Jo Chen.

Doctor Fate
Writers: Louise & Walter Simonson / Artist: John Romita Jr.

Kent Nelson and his beloved, Inza, are the latest in a long line of caretakers of the mystic artifacts of Nabu. The golden amulet, cloak, and helmet bestow upon their wearer awesome, arcane knowledge and power intended to protect humanity from threats beyond its ken. Marvel mainstay John Romita Jr. [The Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men] does his first non-crossover work for DC as interior artist, while living legend Walter Simonson [DC’s Orion, Marvel’s Thor] returns to Doctor Fate decades after first drawing him to provide the covers and to write the latest incarnation of this classic character with his wife Louise Simonson [Marvel’s Power Pack, DC’s Superman: The Man of Steel].

Writers: Evan Dorkin & Sarah Dyer / Artist: Joëlle Jones

Not only is magic as multifaceted as technology — its operating instructions can be
just as confusing. When the young woman known as Zatanna first learned the family recipe, she felt as backward as the method used to cast her spells, but now she’s an accomplished sorceress who splits her time amongst the stage, her studies, and the superhero set. Evan Dorkin [Dark Horse’s Beasts of Burden] and Sarah Dyer [Slave Labor’s Action Girl Comics], who together have spun scripts for characters from Space Ghost to Superman, take Zee on adventures into both humor and horror illustrated by Joëlle Jones [Oni’s Spell Checkers and 12 Reasons Why I Love Her]. Covers are conjured up by a diverse crew including the no-relation J.G. Jones, Jen Wang, and Jessica Abel.

Writer: John Rozum / Artist: Phil Jimenez

Victor Stone is part man, part machine, and all about being a role model to others deemed misfits by society if not by themselves. As one of the first Teen Titans to graduate to the ranks of The Justice League, he battles intergalactic menaces and internecine bigotry alike, even while he continues to struggle with what his own condition leaves him able and unable to do. Writer John Rozum, who’s explored the frontiers of superscience in series as varied as Xombi and Dexter’s Laboratory, is joined by interior artist Phil Jimenez [Titans, Wonder Woman], who can render detail as well as anyone in comics, with Brian Stelfreeze on covers.

Intro | DCU Part 1 | DCU Part 2 | Multiverse | DCU Part 3
| DCU Part 4 | DCU Part 5 | DCU Part 6 | Index


  1. I appreciate that you left Montoya as the Question, as that's one of the few changes made by DC lately that I really like.

    Also, your take on Huntress sounds very, very cool, and exactly the kind of thing I'd love to read.

    (Why do I get the sinking feeling that everything you're writing here is going to turn out better than the actual reboot books...?)

  2. All of these are great, but The Huntress is frickin' amazing. Morrison on Millennium done right (or at least so crazy and, I guess, self-contained that it can't really go wrong)! I love the old-school Betty Kane / Batgirl reference too.

    The Simonsons on Doctor Fate, Evan & Sarah writing Zatanna, Ryan Sook drawing The Question — all great "casting" with great premises.


  3. I really hated a lot of Millennium, Arb, but it had a neat idea at its core — and there are even more Manhunters running around the DCU now than there were back then. So I figured that since it was pretty inevitable — despite my liking the actual work done on them — that Kate Kane as Batwoman would be wiped out of my mainstream universe, and possibly Kate Spencer as Manhunter too, I'd borrow one Manhunter Kate for Huntress and smush Batwoman Kate together with previous versions of herself and characters like her but drop her into a mostly new, weird concept. Glad you liked it!