We are a little bit out of my area of expertise again, here. Because none of these books are particularly ones that I have followed to any great extent. Although I am most definitely pleased this corner of the universe exists! This is another area where other people’s input would be great.
33. SEVEN SOLDIERS is a team book that becomes a hybrid of a team book, a showcase and an anthology, with six of the main characters getting regular stories of their own adventures after the first arc or so. These characters are: Shining Knight (who is Sir Ystin in this universe, and like the Dc nu52 version, is a trans man); Klarion the Witch Boy (and Frankenstein); the Bride; Mister Miracle; Bulleteer; and Guardian. Writing these characters is turned over fully to This Guy Justin who has some sterling ideas.
Where’s the seventh? Well she already has her own solo title:
34. ZATANNA has recently left the Justice League, having been replaced as their magician-in-standing by Traci 13. And while she holds no grudges and remains friends with them all, it’s symptomatic of Zatanna’s particular lot in life, straddling the line between superhero and magician in a world where the two camps don’t always get on. This is a light-hearted, funny book that deals with a few horror-fantasy elements and the difficulties that come from always having been the little sister to most communities and not quite having dealt with the loss of her father. Zatanna is a twenty-something woman who still feels like a child, and she has to deal with her childhood while still being an adult. Again, Justin has a great take on her, including a direct comparison to Buffy, and I’d like to see Andrew’s ideas on M-theory being incorporated.
Short version: Zatanna is a fun, enjoyable read that seems fluffy but has a lot of more serious elements underneath. And is preferably drawn by Cliff Chiang.
35. FATE features a group of people a little like the team my Justice Friend Rob describes as “Team to-Hell-with-This” from Justice League Unlimited, but which could also be called an analogy of Marvel’s Defenders. Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson); Inza Nelson; Solomon Grundy; Tempest (Garth) and Empress (Anita Fite) bow out from the general heroes-vs-villains fighting and gather together to come to terms with their own personal demons and occasionally save the world from giant mystical threats and the forces of chaos that the Justice Teams aren’t even equipped to handle with their inclination to punch things. They are in general a pacifist group, but threats to reality are hard to ignore.
Actually, after two different people asked why I didn’t put Martian Manhunter on the Justice League, I’m inclined to say he fits better with this lot, where his telepathy and Martian magic is more use than his physical strength and invisibility powers.
36. SHAZAM! is about the adventures of Captain Marvel, aka Billy Batson, and his family of supporting characters, saving Faucet City from supervillains both mystic and human. With a strong magic line running through it, this book is nevertheless a loving homage to the four color antics and unadulterated fun of the Golden and Silver ages. The villains are larger than life and defeatable, and at the end of every storyline Billy comes back home and goes to bed with cocoa. This is a YOUNG READERS title, aimed at younger children and fully in the spirit of DC’s younger-targeted cartoons.
37. THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY is an anthology title that collects tales of fantasy, magic and horror that may or may not take place within the main continuity: it’s hard to tell. Similar to the early part of Matt Sturges; run, without the overarching plot it turned into, the framing narrative takes place in the House of Mystery itself, and each story is usually being told by the members of the Croatoan Society who are meeting there regularly: Detective Chimp, Edogawa Sangaku, Tim Trench, Greta Hayes and a mysterious “Mistress of the Dark” who looks remarkably familiar to a certain real world person. The stories within are set up as either personal anecdotes, textually fictional, or narratives put together through deduction. (After all: Detectives).
Okay, so I know I should probably go and read some Seven Soldiers, or at least Zatanna, but tomorrow I’ll be back in something I can write about: the “No Tights, No Capes!” lineup.
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