Hi folks! This is my fan thread for the best and brightest superhero currently being published: the Huntress!
Who is this wonderful woman you may ask? Well, she's the smart, independent, and sexy (in a positive, this-is-mine way focused on her own agency, and not appealing to men around her) Helena Bertinelli. She's sort of an Italian Charlotte York with a real hate for injustice and oppression. In her current series (Huntress #1-6) she's dismantling the entire rulership of a North African dictatorship due to their practice of selling their own citizens as sex slaves into Europe.
That might sound drab and dreary, but it's not! Writer Paul Levitz and artist Marcus To throw a lot of fun into the mix, and Helena is just generally playful and wonderfully confident. Like this!
So, get it get it get it. Huntress was the best thing going and it is a wonderful comic to read. Now, you might note I said was - which is true! Huntress was a six-issue miniseries, and it just wrapped up this past week with #6. However, don't fear true believers - everyone got the message about how fantastic Helena was, so in May she's returning as the star of ongoing series World's Finest! Yaaaay! (And Paul Levitz is writing that too, so you can expect more fun and fashion-forward fighting.)
All that said, comics never stand alone from the big two (DC and Marvel). Series spin out of events, stuff changes the things
, the Anti-Life Equation ruins all the stuff
and sometimes time just goes crazy
! What happened to catalyse getting that slice of heaven known as Huntress?
DC Comics - The New 52
Back in September, DC revamped and relaunched everything, with 52 new comics series all starting at #1. The New 52, as they are called, are a continuity and baggage-free new starting place for the entire DC universe. In fact, I myself started reading DC's comics with the new 52, and it's worked wonderfully! The central idea is that you can pick up any one of the #1s without needing to know anything about the character and it works just fine. Obscure characters - like say Blue Beetle or Supergirl - get complete origin retellings that show you all you need to know so you can get really excited about these characters right here and now! More prominent characters, mostly Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern, get introductory stories that don't retell how Bruce Wayne lost his parents, but instead introduce you to what's really fun about those characters on the written and drawn page. The vast majority of these series are really fun to read and talk about. In other words, this is the good, fresh start you've been wanting if you want to get into comics.
You do not need to know who Steve Trevor is, or that Batman had a kid with a supervillainess named Talia's Al Ghul, or that once Lois Lane got turned into a monkey for a year.
Here's the list of ALL of the new 52 titles. They're organized by these loose thematic groupings DC is using:
- Justice League: The Justice League is DC's big group of heroes, where Superman and Batman and others team up against threats they can't fight alone.
- Super-Family: Titles about Superman and his various semi-relatives, all of whom are variously Super. (Supergirl and Superboy, especially.)
- Batman: Series about Batman, various Robins, some people Batman fought, some people Batman screwed, and that's about it.
- Green Lantern: Series about interstellar policemen named Green Lanterns who live by their will and imagination and lack of fear.
- Young Justice: These series focus on teenaged heroes.
- Edge: These series are kind of edgy. Sort of. It's a catch-all category for stuff that just doesn't fit. Usually it involves guns, guys scowling, and a big lack of capes.
- The Dark: These series focus on magic, mysticism, horror, or some combination of the above. Spooky stuff goes down!
Now, the list has a pretty simple key. Generally each grouping has one really big flagship title that sets the tone and main thrust of things for that grouping. That flagship title is in italics
: if you were going to pick up one title out of that group to get a taste, that should be the one. Underlined
titles are considered especially good, well-received by media critics and the regulars here in the thread. Bold and underlined titles are both! (Some titles have an asterisk. See below for those.)
The Fury of Firestorm
Justice League International
Batman and Robin
Batman: The Dark Knight
Birds of Prey
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Green Lantern Corps
Green Lantern: New Guardians
Hawk and Dove*
Legion of Super-Heroes
DC Universe Presents (an anthology title which changes creative teams and stories every few issues)
Men of War*
Justice League Dark
Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE
Now, some of those titles were marked with an asterisk(*). They have been cancelled as of this writing and will be ending with issue #8 in April. (Weep for OMAC, because it was really good! Apparently.) Why were they cancelled? They simply weren't selling well enough to support continuing them.
However, to keep the new 52 at 52, DC is releasing six new titles in May which pick up some themes from other series or simply add new ideas. They are:
World's Finest: The continuing adventures of Huntress and her friend Power Girl. Get it!
Earth-2: The main story of an alternate Earth where things are darker and with some twists. Instead of the Justice League, this is the Justice Society of America, complete with some different and changed faces.
Batman: Incorporated: You know how Batman uses his resources as Bruce Wayne to fuel all his bat-fighting? Well, he decided to bat-bankroll Batmans across the globe to fight all the crime everywhere all at once. Problem is, he ran into an organization called Leviathan that's doing the same thing but with a massive conspiracy of crime instead! This is picking up an idea from before DC started the New 52. To catch-up, DC released a hundred-page one-shot called Batman Inc: Leviathan Strikes in December, which you can get wherever you get comics. That's all you need to incorporate your own fun in your mind!
GI Combat: War stories! Including the return of the Haunted Tank, which is scary because you know, it's a tank and it's haunted and stuff! If you write ABRAMS backward three times on a bathroom mirror in darkness it bursts through the wall and shoots you. Haunted Tank!
Dial H: This is something about a way for everyday people to suddenly get superpowers in times of need. Notably, it's being written by award-winning fantasy/sf author China Mieville.
The Ravagers: This spins out of Teen Titans, it's about a confused and lost group of teens trying to find their way in the world and escape from the conspiracy that wants them for their superpowers.
Along with these, DC has released a number of miniseries of varying lengths since September, often focusing on less-developed characters you might not be familiar with. They are:
Huntress: #1-6, done now. GET IT ANYWAY.
Penguin: Pride and Prejudice: 5 issues, finished. This focuses on the life and times of the Penguin, one of Batman's fiercest villains, and gives him a really deep sympathetic twist. Everyone reading this has liked it.
The Shade: This one's going the distance with 12 issues. It's about the Shade, and I don't really know who that is.
The Ray: This is on issue 2 or something. It's about a lifeguard who gets turned into a living ray of light. Fun concept!
Legion: Secret Origin: This spells out the founding of the Legion of Super-Heroes, one of the New 52 titles. If you're interested in them, this is probably not a bad buy, since the Legion's history is legendarily complicated. Six issues, finishing this month.
Night Force: This is Marv Wolfman, writing something Marv Wolfman already wrote. (He forgot eggs on his first grocery list.) It's about a supernatural police force sort of thing.
Those are the comics! But how do I get them, you ask? Especially because September was half a year ago and comics operate like other periodicals/magazines, making it unlikely to find back issues?
First, keep in mind that new comics come out every Wednesday. Generally DC ships the exact same series in a specific week of the month every month, which is very unusual these days. (For example, the first week of a month always has Action Comics.)
Well, you have three options:
1: As part of the New 52, DC paired up with the big seller of digital comics, www.comixology.com
. Comixology notably receives all new DC comics on what's called day-and-date, so you get the same issues on the same days as everyone else! They of course sell back issues, with a discount of $1 for all back issues (defined as not the latest issue they are selling.) You can get all the issues of all the comics you would like right there, with applications for Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android.
2: Your local store! They're probably cool people, and they like helping people out! Go in and tell them what you're interested in and they can help you out. DC has been really good about doing reprints on physical issues so even if they don't have copies they can track some down for you. It's noteworthy that all issues come from the same distributor, and they have a three-week lead time on orders. So if you order a back issue, it will take three weeks to get to you; similarly, you may need three weeks to get guaranteed copies of new comics you'd like. (However, good shops which keep what's called a pull list - or box of stuff you want which they set aside for you as it comes in - will often just stick stuff you put on order aside for you from their normal orders.)
3: Collections! Called trades (because they're collections of multiple issues reprinted in trade paperback format), New 52 trades will be coming out throughout the rest of the year beginning in May. A list of which collections are coming out when can be found here
. DC will collect as many issues as it can in trades, but there's a delay between the issues coming out and then the trade collection. However, trades are significantly cheaper. The Static Shock trade, for example, will be $17 when released. Each individual issue was $3, times 8 that's a $24 outlay for the same content. Unlike individual issues, trade collections are also distributed to booksellers, so you can buy trades at a further discount at Amazon, or just at your local Barnes and Noble/Indigo/Borders.
Now, here's a question: if I want to order something from my local store, there's a three week delay. If I want to get something on day of release, how do I know what to order ahead? Your local store gets all these order forms and copies of a giant magazine called Previews, which basically shows all the stuff coming in for the next few months. If you'd like, you can snag a copy of Previews and fill out the order form therein, and your store will get your stuff on time. Alternatively, several online places take just the little preorder ads for comics (called solicitations, or solicits for short) and post them online, for everyone to fangirl over. You can just look at these solicits and see what you want from there. If you write up a list (like all of World's Finest and Huntress, hint hint) your store can easily just order that for you. Or you can just order specific issues!
Generally solicits are out for about three months in the future. Here
are the May 2012 solicitations, for example. (They in turn link to April and March's.) Someone will definitely post the new solicits in the thread when they are released.
Anyway, I hope this helps - enjoy your reading!
(ps: get Huntress.)