Under normal circumstances, one imagines that the announcement of a new Justice League of America series by the creative team of Geoff Johns and David Finch would be pretty huge on its own, but as of today, DC has added an even bigger push to the new series.
As reported by MTV Geek, the launch of JL of A will include not five, not ten, but fifty-two variant covers. And not only that, but the new apparently patriotic series will see the launch of two ongoing solo titles for two characters that have never had them before: Katana and Vibe.
That's right: Vibe ongoing series.
In keeping with the new book's status as the Justice League of America, the variant covers will feature the flags of all fifty of these United States, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. What's interesting is that these covers aren't incentives -- retailers will apparently be able to order as many of each state as they want, and while that means actually ordering these things will probably be a pain, it also means I'll be able to go out and buy a comic that looks like it's The Justice League of South Carolina, defenders of mustard-based barbecue and beach tourism. As much as I might not approve of the truly apocalyptic number of variants, I'd be lying if I said I was able to resist that kind of temptation.
I will say, though, I'm pretty curious to see how these state-focused covers do in foreign markets. Maybe our readers from other countries can tell us which flags they're looking forward to seeing. Ohio's is shaped like a pennant, you know!
As for the ongoing series, Katana and Vibe are set to launch out of JLofA, and in Katana's case, that makes perfect sense. As a samurai warrior with a soul-devouring sword, she's got a great hook and has been a favorite for Outsiders fans since she was introduced back in the '80s, and Birds of Prey fans since the New 52 relaunch. Plus, the new series is coming right at a time when she's been given a starring role in the upcoming Beware the Batman cartoon, which might bring interest in the character to an all-time high. If nothing else, the creative team of Ann Nocenti (Daredevil) and Alex Sanchez is interesting enough to warrant a second look.
Vibe however, continues to mystify.
Introduced in 1984 as a breakdancing former gang member, Paco Ramone is what you might call a snapshot of his time. One assumes that some updating will be in order for the new version, and while there's a good chance that he could be Stepping Up 2 The Streets or You Got Serveding his enemies, I'm going to go ahead and guess parkour will be involved.
That said, I'm not gonna lie: I'm actually looking forward to Vibe. Writer Andrew Kriesberg (best known these days for Arrow) was part of the team that produced Helen Killer, a comic where Alexander Graham Bell gave Helen Keller cybernetic implants that restored her sight and hearing and also turned her into a super-ninja berserker who battled presidential assassin Leon Czolgosz. That's a hell of a high concept, but the book was way better than I think anyone expected it to be, and ended up being one of my favorite indie comics of 2008. If he can do that, then he can make Vibe worth reading, and the addition of Pete Woods (Superman, Robin) on art has given me pretty high hopes.
Either way, as much as 52 variant covers are a pretty ridiculous extreme, if it somehow paves the way for a series about Vibe that has the same tone as the '80s cartoon-inspired DC Nation shorts, in which Professor Ivo attempts to ruin a breakdancing contest, all these sins will be forgiven:
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