Let's take a look at what I might be buying. I stress "might", because while each of these books has something that argues in favor of it, it also has at least one negative arguing against it. It's annoying because I don't want to be the fan who dismisses a work because it isn't exactly the same as something I liked, but I don't know if these will be any good (or if I'll like it, which isn't necessarily the same thing) until I actually read it. I end up with an internal exchange like:
Little Angel: "It could be good!" Me: "That's a good point." Little Devil: "It could suck!" Me: "What? Why didn't anyone warn me about that possibility sooner?!" And so on.
At least I don't have to write up my Previews list for another week.
Justice League International (Dan Jurgens, Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan) Is Matt Ryan the inker, or will he and Lopresti be co-illustrating it? Each guy draws different scenes, according to what suits their style? Or alternating arcs?
Positives: None of these are favorite characters (at least none are in my DC Top 10), but I have a certain fondness for Booster, Ice, Guy, and Fire. It's been a few years, but I really enjoyed Lopresti's work on Ms. Marvel. It certainly wasn't the reason I dropped that book.
Negatives: Batman. If it was Dick Grayson, that'd be one thing (assuming Jurgens wrote him differently from BruceBats). I know, Batman was a member of the original JLI from the start, so by that criteria, he belongs. With Batman doing his own international crimefighting program, he'd probably want to be involved in this one as well, if only to make sure it stays out of his way. I can't argue with that. I just don't like him. Also, Booster's outfit is not an improvement. It's not as bad as that clunky thing he wore for a time in the '90s, but it's not a step up. Is it supposed to evoke his past (which took place in the future) as a professional athlete, like a sports uniform? Jurgens as a writer has not wowed me. His Booster Gold felt like a huge letdown after Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz' work, and even Chuck Dixon's two-part story worked better for me.
Resurrection Man (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, Fernando Dagnino)
Positives: It's Abnett and Lanning. I like the concept of a guy who dies, but doesn't stay dead, and never knows what he'll be able to do when he gets back up. I haven't read anything Dagnino's drawn, but judging by a few samples I found looking online, I'm hopeful.
Negatives: I picked up the first 12 issues of the last volume late last year. It was alright, but it didn't grab hold of me and demand I buy more issues like Hitman or Chase. Which just means it wasn't spectacular, not that it was bad.
Grifter (Nathan Edmondson and Cafu) I know, I was surprised too.
Positives: The concept, basically. Guy fighting a war nobody else knows is going on. It's been compared to Rom: SpaceKnight, but you'd figure with Grifter being an earthling (I assume), rather than an alien, he'd have a different reaction to everyone thinking he's crazy or trying to stop him.
Negatives: Still, I could just buy back issues of Rom: SpaceKnight. They'd have the advantage of starring Rom.
Suicide Squad (Adam Glass and Marco Rudy)
Positives: It's a Suicide Squad book. It has a character named Deadshot. The idea of making King Shark a hammerhead shark (which are such goofy-looking things) amuses me. I've heard good things about Marco Rudy's work, so I'm hoping the book will at least have a distinctive, interesting look. As a Suicide Squad book, we may get regular appearances by Amanda Waller.
Negatives: What happened to Harley?! Actually, what concerns me is what Waller may end up looking like, if that's where they went with Ms. Quinzel. I really hope they didn't let Jim Lee dream up a new look for the Wall.
Men of War (Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick)
Positives: I've mentioned before my Dad tended towards DC comics over Marvel in his youth. I've also mentioned those comics didn't sell me on DC's super-heroes as being very interesting. They did sell me on DC's various war heroes, though, and this looks like the nod the war comics are going to get. The idea of soldiers trying do their work amidst super-villains (or to try and capture these super-villains, perhaps so they can be used in the Suicide Squad?) could be interesting, assuming they avoid the sort of problems I have when Marvel tries using the Punisher in the Marvel U.
Negatives: This is where my concern about being that guy who wants things like they always were comes in. Because this doesn't sound much like those Our Army at War issues with Sgt. Rock I enjoyed. But it's not fair to expect Brandon and Derenick to try and copy what Kanigher, Kubert, and Russ Heath did. They have to do it their way. But I don't know if I'll like their way. What I remember of Derenick's work from Shadowpact, I have a hard time seeing him as the right artist for this book.
Blue Beetle (Tony Bedard, Ig Guara, and Ruy Jose)
Positives: I've liked Jaime Reyes and his supporting cast in theory. They seem to be keeping the idea of his family and friends playing a strong role, so they haven't thrown that out at least. I liked Bedard's work quite a lot on Exiles, and also on L.E.G.I.O.N., though not as much there.
Negatives: I never seemed to like Blue Beetle as much as most everyone else on the comics' blogowhatchamafloogle. I read issues and liked them just fine, but that's all. I liked it, but never enough for it to hold a permanent spot on my pull list. I've never read Bedard's work on a solo book, so I don't know if he'll do well here. I look for different things from a solo title compared to a team book (which might explain how I so enjoyed Bendis on Ultimate Spider-Man, yet despised his New Avengers' work).
There you have it. If pressed, Resurrection Man's the most likely candidate, then probably Blue Beetle or Suicide Squad. I don't know if any of them have better than a 50% chance.
What about you? What's got you excited? I suppose we could also discuss what has you bummed out if you'd like, but hopefully there's something you're looking forward to. Don't be as much of a downer as I am!