What with the recent cancellation of 'Batman: Europa' (again) and the delayed issues of 'Batman Incorporated' #3, 'Batman: The Dark Knight' #2 and 'Batwoman' #1 with no official warning or reason from DC, I felt it was time to do their dirty work.
We have of course been living with this for some time, and not just delayed issues but incorrect solicitations; how many issues of 'Streets of Gotham' that Paul Dini was solicited for did he actually write (forgetting for a moment the half-finished, half-hearted quality of those he did). It seems we, as readers, are resigned to the fact that DC goes easy on its top creators and then does nothing in the way of explaining why an issue was pushed back a whole month. I believe that this is unfair, why should people like Grant Morrison be able to get away with delaying their books when people like Fabian Nicieza and Bryan Q. Miller get their work out on time and of both good and consistent quality (I know that a lot of people will want me to include Scott Snyder in this but I'd like to give him a few more months to find out how consistent he is).
The brand new creative team on 'Batman and Robin' had just one issue out before it was announced that Judd Winick was taking over. Tomasi and Gleason were due to start on issue 17 but waited until issue 20 so that they could finish their work for 'Green Lantern Corps', DC told us this and the reason, nothing wrong with that. Now, once the current arc is over, Judd Winick will be taking over, DC told us this as well but not the reason or how long Winick will stay on the title. Is he just giving Tomasi and Gleason a break or is he taking over for good? Another example of the bad communication DC has with their readers. That being said, Judd Winick answered that question in a ‘The Bat Signal’ interview for Comic Book Resources in which his reply was that he is only taking over for a three issue arc.
Now, it's good to have confirmation on this but it's a shame that it didn't come from DC, the fans were clearly unsure of the situation as it took people to ask Winick personally what was going on! And unfortunately, we still don't know the reason for the switch of creators but I'm guessing it's to give Tomasi and Gleason time to write their next arc; I'm doubtful that Winick's story is important enough to interrupt their run on the title if they didn't need it.
I'm not asking DC to send me a personalized email every week telling me which of the books I pick up are delayed (although a subscription to a mass, weekly email stating all of the delayed titles would be an idea) but I would at least expect a post on The Source… but no. That's why from this point on I will be letting you all know which Bat-Books are being delayed and (if I can) the reason why, that way you won't travel to your shop only to be disappointed. I'm sure that with Grant Morrison, David Finch and J. H. Williams III all having separate titles out, this will be a frequently updated post, I just hope that the quality of these books makes it worth the wait!
So let's jump right into the current set of delays. According to the current solicitations, we can expect two issues of 'Batman Incorporated' out in March, both issues 3 and 4 on the 9th and 23rd consecutively. But how likely is this? Admittedly, in Morrison's former title, 'Batman and Robin', issues 15 and 16 were released just two weeks apart (just like these two issues are solicited for) however, that was due to the fact that the delays on the books were messing up the continuity of the other titles. I can put these delays down to either of two reasons:
1) DC may not have updated their solicitations since they pushed issue 3 back to the 9th of March and issue 4 isn't actually due out until April. This could be the case but unfortunately only time will tell, as much as I'd like to think DC would have corrected this by now if it's wrong, there's every chance they will leave it until the last possible moment.
2) Issue 4 features Batwoman, perhaps there is an important story within the issue that must be told before the release of 'Batwoman' #1, due out on the 6th April (Similar to the continuity errors caused by the delays of 'Batman and Robin'). This is plausible, however, there are some issues with this theory; 'Batwoman' #1 is already a delayed issue, due out before the release of 'Batman Incorporated' #4, even before the delays to the latter issue. This implies that Morisson's story shouldn't affect Williams' story, on the other hand, within the solicited description for 'Batman Incorporated' #4 it states 'And don't miss the first issue of BATWOMAN's new monthly series, on sale this month!'. We could argue from this point that 'Batman Incorporated' #4 is not set for release until April as it is solicited a whole two weeks before 'Batwoman' #1 (linking to my first theory).
From looking at the evidence I would not be at all surprised if 'Batman Incorporated' #4 was pushed back for release in April as I don't believe Batwoman's appearance in 'Batman Incorporated' will affect her in her own title- so unless Morrison needs to get both of these issues out in one month to fit his over-arcing timeline, I'll be posting the updated release date when it is revealed. But who knows, maybe DC have got it right for once.
As well as these thoughts, I do have some news for you. ‘Batman Odyssey’ #7 has disappeared from DC’s solicitations, alongside all past and future issues. According to pre-order companies, orders for the series have been cancelled. Now I’m sure that everyone will be pleased to know that this does not necessarily mean that we won’t get to finish Batman’s odyssey as it is not confirmed that the series has been cancelled but you will have to wait even longer to see the conclusion of the caped crusader’s quest. Whilst I’m not surprised that the series has been indefinitely delayed, seeing as Adams said there would be a break between issues 6 and 7, I do think it’s a bit harsh to erase all memory of the series from the solicitations.
For listeners of the comic-cast, you will know that we regularly slate this book, mostly for its insane “plot” and unnecessary characters, it was so bad that it went past the “it’s-so-bad-it’s-funny” stage straight into torture. I can’t see this series ever making a return after it’s universally negative reviews but surprise, surprise… no word from DC.
Posted by Joe