The New 52–Week 2   Leave a comment

Continuing my evaluation of DC’s new 52 line-up–Samurai comics only got 12 of the 13 that were supposed to come out this week.  Mr. Terrific failed to show.  I’ll tackle them in alphabetical order, and insert cover pictures later.

How many zillion times has this cover been done? Competence but no originality in this art.

Batman and Robin #1.  There are so many Batman titles that they are practically a separate universe inside DC.  I wonder how Batman even has time to breathe, much less cope with all the relationships involved in the Bat-family.

And family is the key word here.  Bruce Wayne–Batman finally partners up with Damian Wayne–Robin, and finds the kid abrasive, rebellious, and none too impressed with his father.  The ten-year old kid is all about kicking butt in the fastest way he can.  Batman likes to think about what he’s doing.  Conflict ensues.

It’s a typical Bat-story–the crooks are smart and tough–Batman is smarter and tougher.  But what interests and bothers me about all this is how little Batman has been changed by the reboot events.  The stories just continue from the same point where they left off.  Damian still refers to his history with Dick Grayson as Batman back when Batman was “dead”.  It feels like they didn’t do anything at all to the main Batman titles except change the numbering–these stories were in the can months ago, and they just continue.  What worries me is Batman’s previous relationship with Superman and the Justice League.  Brother Eye is in the universe.  Considering how some of the characters have changed, can we assume that the whole Crisis of Conscience sequence took place in the new universe also?  Green Arrow was very important to that sequence, but Green Arrow is totally changed in the new universe.  I’m really interested to see how DC wriggles through this.

Batman and Robin #1 was a good story, but not good enough to get me to buy #2.

Seems like just last year we got this take on Batman and Robin. The story hasn't changed--just somebody else under the Batman mask.

Batwoman #1.  Because the Batwoman title has such a dynamic, stylized look to it, I was buying and/or looking through it before the big change.  Being renumbered hasn’t changed the new Batwoman a bit.  This is a story written about women for women.  I’m not a woman.  Newsarama gave this comic a 10 out of 10 review.  I wouldn’t be so generous–maybe 7 out of 10, which is still a lot better than most of this week’s releases.  The art is good, bordering on sexy in places, but the story doesn’t grab me at all.  I will not buy #2.

This cover is kind of murky and you can't really see the title that well. They did it better the fist time., imho.

This is how they did it right last year.

Deathstroke #1.  Slade Wilson is the world’s greatest assassin.  He has been beaten by superheroes a few times, but no prison can hold him.  He likes killing people.  He hires himself out as a mercenary to do assassinations and bodyguard work.  He used to spend a lot of time messing with the Teen Titans.  Slade Wilson is a villain, pure and simple.  It disturbs me that DC would create a book about a villain as cold and nasty as Wilson/Deathstroke.  They have created villain-centered books before, but they all had short runs.  I wish the same for Deathstroke.  I will not buy #2.

Demon Knights #1 serves as an origin story for Etrigan the Demon.  It takes place in the Dark Ages shortly after the fall of Camelot, and has a Swords and Sorcery feel to it.  I love Swords and Sorcery.  Story by Paul Cornell, art by Diogenes Neves–this is good stuff.  As long as it stays in the Middle Ages and doesn’t cross over into regular sci-fi superhero continuity, I’ll probably follow this title.  I will buy issue #2, but I wonder why DC is doing Dark Ages swords and sorcery.

Best new book of the week. DC's immortals as they were 1000 years ago.

Grifter #1.  We get something of an origin story here for a character that crossed over from the Image line of comics.  A whole new evil conspiracy of immense scope is hinted at.  The book kind of feels like the old tv series called the Fugitive.  It’s not bad, but I won’t buy #2.

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1.  Hire a monster to slay monsters–now there’s an original idea.  Evolve the Frankenstein monster into an intelligent futuristic James Bond style of agent licensed to kill.  Guess what?  Ray Palmer isn’t the Atom any more–or maybe he is–but he’s still the master of size control technology and teleportation, and is employed by the super secret S.H.A.D.E. organization.  Shades of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.  or is it S.H.I. E. L.D.  Oh, and let’s bring back the old Creature Commandos–a loser idea from the fifties.  Apparently writer Jeff Lemire thinks they were cool and managed to talk some of the D.C. top brass into agreeing with him.  Retch. Puke.  I will not buy issue #2.

Green Lantern #1.  Take away Hal Jordan’s ring.  Assume that the Green Lantern history of the universe didn’t change at all for the reboot.  Grab Sinestro, who is fresh from saving the whole universe in the Darkest Night crisis and reinstate him under the principle of “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.”  I waffle back and forth on Green Lantern all the time.  I like the Green Lanterns as a group.  I want a power ring for myself.  I think I could do a hell of a better job with one.  But the writers do wander off and do the stupidest things to the universe some times, and I just can’t stand it, and quit buying them for a while.  This relaunch puts Hal Jordan and Sinestro back together again.  I won’t put it on my pull list, but I probably will buy #2.

Legion Lost #1.  A small subset of the 31st century Legion of Super Heroes gets stranded in the past–presumably 21st century Earth, although you really can’t tell for sure.  It’s not the group I would have chosen if I were going to do a Legion spinoff series.  The only really interesting or likable ones are Lone Wolf and Dawnstar.  Average art and forgettable story–I won’t buy #2.

Red Lanterns #1.  This is an origin story for Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns–and it’s just what we need (not!)–more blood and senseless violence in the D.C. universe.  Yes, let’s follow the adventures of a bunch of ugly aliens dedicated to killing things in the bloodiest ways possible.  Retch. Puke.  And there’s even a Red Lantern kitty cat who wears its ring on its tail.  Projectile hurling at this point.  No, I won’t buy #2.

Resurrection Man #1.  Both Heaven and Hell want this guy’s soul, but he won’t stay dead, and he keeps reincarnating every time he’s killed.  He also comes back with a different super power every time.  Some kind of supernatural mystery is being played out here.  It has a good gimmick, and some good computer-assisted art.  Kudos to writer Dan Abnett and artist Andy Lanning, but I’ve never cared much for supernatural mysteries.  I won’t buy issue #2.

Suicide Squad #1.  This gives us an origin story for the Suicide Squad and this time it contains both Deadshot and Harley Quinn along with 4 other B villains.  We know the universe is different here because the Amanda Waller in charge of this group is a sexy young black woman, not a fat old black woman.  Much as I enjoy the maniacal Harley Quinn, I won’t be buying issue #2.

Superboy #1.  Back in the old universe Superboy was an artificial being, cloned from the combined DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor and created by Cadmus.  In the new universe, he’s an artificial being cloned from the DNA of Superman and a mystery donor  (want to bet it’s still Luthor?) by a super secret evil organization called N.O.W.H.E.R.E.  He was designed to be a weapon.  (Some writers are too influenced by Wolverine and Marvel I think.)  Is it giving away too much to tell you that Superboy’s first act in life is to kill the scientific team that created him.  They deserved it, but still . . . is this our super hero’s way of solving problems?  The last page tells us that Superboy is going to be used against the Teen Titans.  Okay, that blows the whole continuity of the Teen Titans part of the new 52.  I’m marginally interested to see where they go with this, but not enough to buy #2 when it comes out.

That’s it.  12 titles reviewed.  10 losers, 2 possible winners.

What do you think of D.C.’s new lineup of comics?

end

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Posted September 16, 2011 by atroll in Batman, DC Comics, Green Lantern, Uncategorized

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