Welcome to week 3 of DC Comics launch of their New 52. After the effects of Flash Point the entire DCU has been rewritten and starts at all new number one issues… 52 of them. Here are our thoughts on each issue.
Written by Scott Snyder | Art by Greg Capullo | Cover by Greg Capullo Andrew – This is the first Batman book in years that I’ve actually enjoyed. And most surprisingly, I enjoyed Batman in the book. A great plot held together by great action beats and great characters. This is how you’re suppose to write Batman. Sure, he’s a skilled fighter and a great detective. That’s shown here. But what’s also shown are the many people that help him out and this issue did a good job of showing that Bats actually appreciates and respects them. The narration worked great. The end of the book should be used as a prime example in any course on “How to write a good cliffhanger”. Hands down, a great book. VERDICT – BUY IT!
Mr. Green – Okay now this is Batman. Really enjoyed the opening scene and the surprises that followed. Good hook and I think I smell a new villain here too. This is what I had hoped for The New 52 when it was announced. Although I couldn’t help but feel like Snyder was paying tribute to Burton’s 89 Batman film a little bit. I don’t say that in a bad way just something I noticed. I know in the end how this will play out but I really want to take a ride along on this Bat-Adventure. Stay tuned… Same Bat Time, Same Bat Book! VERDICT – BUY IT!
BIRDS OF PREY #1
Written by Duane Swierczynski | Art by Jesus Saiz | Cover by Jesus Saiz Mr. Green – I wasn’t expect much from this title and I was pleasantly surprised how much I did like it. Liked the characters that were introduced so far and the art really works with the story. My biggest issue with the book is that the villains didn’t stand out for me yet. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next issue or two. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
Andrew – I like the characters in Birds of Prey. Let me rephrase that. I USUALLY like the characters in Birds of Prey. They were boring in this issue. I didn’t care about anything in this book. I was fighting sleep. And the attempt at a shocking ending was anything but. I think that there should be a rule that we limit “explosions” to 3 a year in DC Books. VERDICT – SKIP IT!
BLUE BEETLE #1
Written by Tony Bedard | Art by Ig Guara | Cover by Tyler Kirkham Andrew – A nice set up for this book. It did a great job of introducing the major characters and plot threads. I think Bedard did a great job of tying the book to the DC universe without that element being invasive. This book is a solid read and could go somewhere interesting. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
Mr. Green – Attention Static Shock creative… this is how you start a new youth based series. Paco was a big improvement over the last time they tried this title out. Jaime comes off still wimpy but a little stronger then the last series. I might check it out for another issue or so but it needs to pick up the pace or the stakes. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
CAPTAIN ATOM #1
Written by JT Krul | Art by Freddie Williams II | Cover by Stanley “Artgem” Lau Mr. Green – Once again JT Krul didn’t let me down again. He still sucks. This story has been down before and I don’t want to read it again. Captain Atom is a third tier character with a Z-list writer not a good combo in my opinion. I found the character more interesting when he was called Firestorm. JT just let it go and move on son. As for Captain Atom get a better writer/story and maybe I’ll give another shot. VERDICT – SKIP IT!
Andrew – This book was kind of meh. Not terrible, but not all that good either. I feel the interactions between the characters felt really stilted. The story is not very original. I feel there is a lot to work with the background of Captain Atom, but this book mines none of it and doesn’t replace it with anything substantial. VERDICT – SKIP IT!
Written by Judd Winick | Art by Guillem March | Cover by Guillem March Andrew – Well, the art is amazing. Guillem March’s characters are alive and vibrant and exciting to look at. Too bad there isn’t a great story to back it up. Winick writes scenes without taking into consideration how they will effect the story in later issues. From what I’ve read, Selina Kyle has already screwed her plans into the ground with the way she handled her “exit” from the main scene of the book. The part that’s most annoying is that this book actually shows that Winick’s got some writing chops, but everything he does well, he undoes within a page or two. Also, the end was stupid and there was a lot of Catwoman showing off her bra throughout the issue. The adolescent boy story telling is getting old, Judd. VERDICT – SKIP IT!
Mr. Green – I AM NOT A FAN OF JUDD WINICK. I tolerate him most of the time but he even gets some things right and this is one of those times. Really liked how the story unfolded from the beginning. It got my attention and kept going. The art is fantastic in this series. I don’t think I have ever seen Guillem March’s work before but I am a big fan now. He brought a great sense of dimenison to her and the other characters in the story. Right now this is the best art in any of the titles to come out so far. I would recommend this title as a buy it except that Winick can’t help himself and ruin the issue on the last couples of panels and last page. It was gratuitous for the sake of shock and that’s not what makes good storytelling or sense here. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #1
Written by Paul Jenkins | Art by Bernard Chang | Cover by Ryan Sook Mr. Green – Another book I have been eagerly wait to check out and it didn’t disappoint me. They got right to the heart of Boston Brand and his situation in the New 52 universe which is not much different then before but is still cool. Pay attention JT Krul. The art complimented the writing leading to a really excellent read over all and I am excited to read the rest of the arc. However I really hope DC decides to either keep Deadman here or spin off in his own title. Because I don’t think 6 issues with Boston is going to be enough. VERDICT – BUY IT!
Andrew – Give Jenkins a third tier character and let him tell a deep character introspection-based story and you’ll get a winner. This was a fantastic showing that you can have a book with no real action and it can be really exciting. I really hope that this book gets enough readers so that they take “DC Universe Presents” out of the title and just make it a Deadman book straight up. Not only is Boston Brand a character you can relate to, but also empathize with immediately. The idea of redemption is going to be well explored here and not on a superficial level. This is the best book from the New 52 so far. Go out and get this book. RIGHT NOW! VERDICT – BUY IT!
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi | Art by Fernando Pasarin & Scott Hanna | Cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy Andrew – So you’ve got an interesting story about a killer who breaks out of an intergalactic prison, offs 2 Lanterns, and wipes out an entire alien species. Cool. But you only tell that story for six pages of the whole book. Not Cool. On top of that, you fill the other 14 pages with Guy Gardner and John Stewart acting out of character and more like emo kids. Not Cool at all. You guys can do better. These characters deserve better. Make it better. VERDICT – SKIP IT!
Mr. Green – Pretty much more of the same as before. I thought the Guy & John elements worked and like the idea of why they aren’t always going to be around on Earth. Not sure what’s coming but Tomasi has always seemed to have a firm grasp on the Corps itself which is good since this title can get weighed down in it’s own history. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1
Written by Paul Levitz | Art by Francis Portela | Cover by Francis Portela Mr. Green – Unlike the other Legion title this was good. This screamed Legion to me from my limited experience in the past. Liked the setup and might consider picking up the first arc t see how it goes. The art and writing are good but nothing to go crazy over. It’s a really strong mid card entry in the New 52 universe. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
Andrew – Too many damn characters! Levitz should go pick up an old issue of G.I.Joe and learn how to properly introduce so many main characters in one issue. Nothing happened in this book until the last few pages and it was all due to the setting up of each character and what they’re “dealing” with. I know this is a young cast of heroes, but do they all have to be whiny brats? VERDICT – SKIP IT!
Written by Kyle Higgins | Art by Eddy Barrows | Cover by Eddy Barrows Andrew – This book harkens back to the Nightwing of the Chuck Dixon era – a dude who’s seen a lot in the superhero game and has his demons to overcome, but still has a sense of whimsy about him. Fantastic use of narration. This seems like a great set up and hints that it will tie into what’s going down in Batman nicely. Higgins knows how to write Dick Grayson. Barrow’s art is good, but he needs to be more concise on his panel-to-panel storytelling. Overall, a lot of fun. VERDICT – BUY IT!
Mr. Green – I had high hopes for this title when it was announced that Dick was going to go back to being Nightwing again. However while this book isn’t terrible it didn’t pop for me. There are some cool things going on and of course the tie in to another Bat title that makes sense but it wasn’t enough to make me get excited. I think this is still what most will want out of a Nightwing book but it wasn’t enough for me yet. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1
Written by Scott Lobdell | Art by Kenneth Rocafort | Cover by Kenneth Rocafort Mr. Green – After all the hype over the controversy of what Starfire says in this issue I was expecting a lot more. But I think there is more to be upset by in Catwoman then this issue. I like the idea of the team only being three members and I would like it to stay that way. The relationships between the characters was okay, Starfire having the biggest change from the past continuity. While I may like some of what is going on it’s just not enough to keep reading. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
Andrew – This book is another case of someone not realizing that the nineties are over. Starfire sucks. The whole “Tamaraneans don’t see humans as much more than sights and smells” is the dumbest thing you could do with her character. In fact, she’s a non-character now. The main plot is convoluted and boring. The caption on the last page reads “To Be Explained”. Just because I thought the art was nice does not mean I will return for said explanation. VERDICT – SKIP IT!
Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson | Art by Mahmud Asrar | Cover by Mahmud Asrar Andrew – An origin story that short and sweet. I loved the way they introduce Kara to the audience as well as her powers to herself. The “easter eggs” from other DC books was a nice touch. The book is a fast read with some good action and you feel for the character right away. The art is solid and I want to see where this is going. VERDICT – BUY IT!
Mr. Green – A true retelling of the origin of the character. Wasn’t blown away. This will be fine for fans of the Super books but not enough interest comes out of this for me. Art and writing are good just no wow factor to bring me back for more. VERDICT – BORROW IT!
WONDER WOMAN #1
Written by Brian Azzarello | Art by Cliff Chiang | Cover by Cliff Chiang Mr. Green – Pins & needles folks, Is all I can say about this book. I am not fan of Diana. However Azzarello & Chaing I am a BIG fan of. They both have done great work in the past and was worried about this going in. However I was very happy to find a book that I enjoyed. Obviously this will take some time to see how things play out with this combo but I have great hopes after this first issue. Which is saying something for a character I don’t like. The writing & art are great and the book had a good flow throughout the storytelling to keep me wanting more and keeping interest in what’s happening at a high. VERDICT – BUY IT!
Andrew – This book has everything you want. Intrigue, violence, strong characters. It also has that “What the F*@k” factor we’ve come to expect from Azzarello. The art is fantastic. And it has the right amount of questions to want to come back for answers. A little weird, but it works. VERDICT – BUY IT!