the New 52 Review, Part Four
You know the drill:
Comic reviews. Mild spoilers here and there but nothing you couldn’t have guessed from the solicitations.
Batman: I was a big fan of Snyder’s run on the pre-reboot “Detective Comics” and was excited for this run. My excitement was not fulfilled, really, but it’s at least a solid enough setup issue. I’m interested to see what comes next, at the very least and Snyder’s not let me down before.
Birds of Prey: Ooo. Good art, good action, diving straight into a fight scene and then filling in information along the way? I’m glad to see such a thing finally happening. Annoyed that the team hasn’t appeared yet but I guess that’s just not how things are done anymore.
Blue Beetle: Siiiiiigh. I am incapable of reviewing this issue on its own merits as the series it’s rebooting was one of the most fun series DC had going. This book, by comparison, does a fine job explaining what the Scarab is and all that happy nonsense but the whole thing just felt so bland to me. This could be less about the current writer/artist team and more about idealized memories of the previous Blue Beetle book which was really, really good. Either way, this one is not yet for me.
Drop, try again later with trepidation.
Captain Atom: Feels like part of an ongoing series which, given that it isn’t, is something of an achievement. Decent art and, well, mediocre writing. There’s not really much to say about this issue as it’s obviously part one of however-many to make Captain Atom into something more like Doctor Solar or something else we’ve seen. Or maybe something we haven’t. Thoroughly average but with a hint of something interesting.
Catwoman: Ugh. That cover. Good art inside, great expressions but a bit too reliant on cheesecake in a book that just does not need it. Feels too much like a retread of Kevin Smith’s Spider-Man/Black Cat. Could be good but I really don’t much dig “lost girl” Catwoman. Could be really good if the “sexy”/”edgy” quotient got pared down.
Two more issues.
DC Universe Presents - Deadman: Another in a line of comics which are not really introductions but the start of new storylines. Which is better than an origin issue, no mistake, but I keep feeling like there’s a balance to be struck. The Deadman story isn’t bad by any stretch and the art is pleasant and there are a couple of really nice easter eggs in there for the long-time reader. That said, this issue failed to make me care because the title character spends all his time talking about stuff he’s done instead of doing awesome stuff that only a ghost on a karmic mission can do.
Green Lantern Corps: This is becoming a trend with my reviews here. I’ve grown tired of villains murdering tons of people so I’ll believe they’re evil and powerful. Not that it doesn’t work here, but I’m getting murder-fatigue in general and it works to GLC’s detriment. Especially since GLC is actually a pretty decent primer for Guy and John as GLs and for setting up the whole Corps. It just feels like a new storyline continuing on from the last issue of GLC I read and as a first issue… not great. Not bad, exactly, but not great. Also? GREEEEAT issue title, guys. [/sarcasm]
One more issue.
Legion of Super-Heroes: Well, it’s not too bad. Better than Legion Lost and a bit more interesting than the last issues of Legion I read… but still continues this thing of not actually being a reboot and this time mentioning “Flashpoint” directly. Decent jumping on point, I guess, but I don’t know what would hook a new reader. Maybe it gets better?
One more issue.
Nightwing: I’ve gone on and on about my distaste for copious amounts of blood in cape comics and, really, its presence in this book really degrades what would otherwise be a fun and potentially very interesting book. I just wish villains could be dangerous without having to murder billions of bystanders. But that could be me just shaking my cane. Otherwise a decent book.
Red Hood and the Outlaws: I want to like this book. I do. The opening was a hoot and a half but the amount of fan-service that Starfire was played for just annoyed the heck out of me, especially since she doesn’t really have a character and is treated more like a weapon/plaything for the two male protagonists. The art was quite nice, though. That’s something, I guess.
One more issue.
Supergirl: Light, breezy and not too bad. Not great and leaning a tad heavy on “little girl lost”, which is irksome as heck but at least has a bitchin’ robot fight to compensate for it. Going to be interesting to see how it goes. But, wow, I hope they change that costume. ‘Cause crotch-shield… wow, that’s… I don’t even know.
Two more issues.
Wonder Woman: I was so afraid of this one. I want to like Wonder Woman but I’ve always found it hard to get into. But this Wonder Woman? Yeah, okay. I’m in. Gorgeous art and writing that really sets a tone that feels like fun and a promise of a storyline that’s going to get a little crazy. Left me hungry for more and drooling over a couple of the character designs from the sheer aesthetic BOOM they have.
A better week overall in that there were almost no titles I could see with no potential whatsoever. That said, the New 52 continues to disappoint. The whole thing boasts such massive ambition and only about a fifth of the books produced seem to be attempting to live up to that ambition. While I’m glad for the titles that are working for me, I’m mostly sad that there aren’t more of them. The whole production feels sloppy and rushed and I can’t help but wish that they’d kept the old DCU around until December and just started the whole thing off at the beginning of 2012, letting the old DCU wind down a bit longer and coming out with books that were polished to a mirror shine.
As it stands, though, still a lot of decent books, a couple good ones and a couple that could be great.
That one of them is a Wonder Woman book excites me to no end.