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From the back of the bandwagon: My DC New 52 thoughts, Week #1

STORMWATCH #1

stormwatch001While I can appreciate what this is likely building toward, it just doesn’t grab me. Something about it reminds me of my experience reading SHIELD #1 a year or two back. Sure, it’s well-written, in and of itself. But as one who has never really read Stormwatch at any great lengths in any of its incarnations–this does about as well at sucking me in. I think of all the new DC books this week, this was my least favorite. Thankfully, it was a late grab (my 4th comic shop) and not something I’ll feel like I’m backing out of. I wasn’t planning on getting this to begin with, saw some comments online and decided I actually did want to check it out, but cool as the last page may be, it’s not “enough.” Art’s not bad, either (didn’t sway me one way or the other). If this title turns out to be something worth getting long-term, I can backtrack or grab a collected volume. (4/10)

STATIC SHOCK #1

staticshock001Though I wouldn’t say this is my favorite debut issue, it was relatively “fun” going through. I’m not all that familiar with Static in general–about half of what I know comes from reading a book one of my college professors wrote about the Milestone Comics line–but I knew enough to enjoy this. “But why did you need to know anything beforehand?” you ask? Because this character seems relatively established in his book. First issue, blah blah blah…we don’t see him meeting Hardware (though I gotta say, it’s totally awesome seeing Hardware in here!), or discovering his powers. And I gather from this that Dakota is now an established city in the DC Universe. Story’s not bad–has a lot of potential. Art’s good, and I like that it feels like a cross between the cartoon and the “classic” original series. (7/10)

BATGIRL #1

batgirl001This was a last-second book for me. Originally I’d figured I wasn’t even gonna bother with it. I don’t care for Babs as Batgirl–she was already Oracle (or at least, she was in a wheelchair) the first I became aware of her back in the late 1980s when I was introduced to comics. I can appreciate the character in terms of the ’60s tv series, and as a former library student myself, love the imagery when she represents librarians. But this is the first “current continuity” I’ve seen in my life of her as Batgirl, and it’s so-so. Simone’s a great writer, and I have faith that if I stick with this series long enough, she’ll likely sway me into liking this take on Babs. That the “home invasion” from The Killing Joke is kept works well, and though I prefer Oracle, this plays out as an alternate take on the permanent injuries of the continuity that just ended. Syaf and the whole art team put together a great visual product…and I far prefer Syaf‘s Batgirl to Hughes‘ cover. (7.5/10)

DETECTIVE COMICS #1

detectivecomics001This issue was one I was gonna grab pretty much whatever. *Detective Comics* #1. Of course, it now lacks any great pedigree–it goes from being “the longest comic ever published” to being just another #1, and just another title amidst so many. Still, it’s a Batman book, and it’s got Batman vs. The Joker. Yeah…just another battle. But the end of the issue leaves me “curious” as to what’s to come for the Joker, disgusting as that was. I doubt it’ll lead off to any great changes–even in this relaunch, I can’t DC letting the Joker’s image be changed all that much. The art on the issue is pretty good, and there were some panels with Batman that I really liked, and the Joker certainly carried a familiar look. All in all, far from being a horrible issue, but nothing that stands out as anything iconic or all that remarkable. (6.5/10)

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL

justiceleagueinternationalLike Batgirl, this was a last-second book for me. I dropped Booster Gold a year and a half or so ago, tired of the meandering and figuring I’d “just catch up” from bargain bins. I also got burned out from Blackest Night, and so after a couple months of trying, decided to give all the Brightest Day stuff a pass to maybe catch up in collected volumes. As such, I missed the past year of Booster Gold and virtually all of Generation Lost. And I missed Booster, so with this being his new book, I figured I’d give it a look-see. This is another title where the art’s good, but not fantastic. And the story’s almost forgettable. I certainly didn’t enjoy this as much as I’d hoped to…but I think I’ll probably be back for the next issue. (7/10)

SWAMP THING #1

swampthing001I’m not sure what initially grabbed my interest for this title–probably the Search for Swamp Thing mini-series that served as an aftermath to Brightest Day. And yet, it was the fact that I had put this issue on my pull list that I picked up Search for Swamp Thing. Chicken, meet Egg? This issue certainly didn’t blow me away or anything, but it’s got potential. There’s something to this version, to knowing this take on the character has him within the main DCU, that somehow has me enjoying it more. I’ve never really gotten into the Vertigo version of the character, however good the writers/stories may have been. Never have been opposed, but just never really got grabbed…except for the ties to Hellblazer. And with John Constantine back in the DCU as well (or a version of him, anyway), I figured this title was worth checking out. I am glad that I picked up and read Search for Swamp Thing, as this does make some vague references to it, and does seem to sort of follow on it. At the least, this does not contradict that series. I’ll be back for #2 to see how things continue playing out, though unless I really get grabbed, I don’t know if I’ll last an entire arc. Will take it an issue at a time. (6/10)

ACTION COMICS #1

actioncomics001This takes place 5 years in “the past.” Planting this square in my final semester of grad school. Which is really disconcerting when I think of it in those terms, today.  Though this is not the Earth One Superman, he feels equally unfamiliar. I’m willing to read this story, to take it for what it is, in and of itself…but especially as the character is at this point, this is far from any Superman I’ve really ever known, or cared to know…history be darned. Morrison is hit or miss for me, and I can’t quite decide which this is. Other than the “meta” significance of this being Action Comics #1 (and for the first time in 73 years, a distinction now must be made as to WHICH Action #1), this doesn’t feel like anything special…just another story with a much different take on the character. Of course…I’ll be back for #2, unless something comes up that REALLY turns me off from this series. And given my history with Superman, even if I don’t keep up with the singles as they come out…I can’t imagine I’ll be able to stay away from the title long-term, whatever develops. (6/10)

My picks of the DC: The New 52 books

I’ve just emailed my comic shop with my list of the #1s I want to commit to at present for checking out.

Waited til the last second because 1. time’s flown far faster than I ever anticipated and 2. I’ve been of several minds about all this, and finally decided to just make this decision for now and see what happens.

Though I’d at one point considered going “all-in” with the 50% with purchase of all 52 from Discount Comic Book Service, I quickly realized there’s no way I cold afford even that…nor did I actually particularly want to.

As it is, I’m buying into the “hype” HERE. But whether the issues I’m passing on are good or not–(and there are some that I’m just simply not interested in–if there’s good buzz, I may check ’em out; and there are some that I’m actively disinterested in–though again, if there’s good buzz, I might check ’em out).

mynew52dcupicks 

Action Comics, Batman, Detective Comics, Firestorm, Green Lantern, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Resurrection Man, Superboy, Superman, Swamp Thing, and Static Shock.

The NEW DC Universe

With the relaunch of DC’s superhero line in September, things start off with 52 #1 issues. Justice League August 31st, and the other 51 in September. The titles for this initial launch have been reported as follows:

  • ACTION COMICS
  • ALL-STAR WESTERN
  • ANIMAL MAN
  • AQUAMAN
  • BATGIRL
  • BATMAN
  • BATMAN & ROBIN
  • BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
  • BATWING
  • BATWOMAN
  • BIRDS OF PREY
  • BLACKHAWKS
  • BLUE BEETLE
  • CAPTAIN ATOM
  • CATWOMAN
  • DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
  • DEATHSTROKE
  • DEMON KNIGHTS
  • DETECTIVE COMICS
  • FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF SHADE
  • GREEN ARROW
  • GREEN LANTERN
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS
  • GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS
  • GRIFTER
  • HAWK & DOVE

Continue reading

Brave and the Bold #24 [Review]

Last Time I Saw Paris

Writer: Matt Wayne
Artist: Howard Porter
Colorist: Tom Chu
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Chris Conroy
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover: Howard Porter
Publisher: DC Comics

Though I’ve “heard” that Static’s been appearing in the Teen Titans book, I’ve not been reading that corner of the DCU…so this is one of the first times I’ve seen the character interact directly with the other DCU characters. Offhand, the only other instance I’ve seen of Static in the mainline DCU was a reference somewhere by Black Lightning about being asked about his relation TO Static. So seeing the two teamed up for this issue was something that seemed interesting enough to check out.

Story-wise, some super-powered villain called Holocaust bursts onto the scene, and both Black Lightning and Static are present and leap into action to protect those around them and deal with the threat. The relationship between the two changes during the issue, winding up with a mutual respect.

The visuals aren’t bad–at some points, they seem a bit “off” to me ever so slightly–but on the whole make for a solid visual experience. The story itself is ok, if a bit cliched. However, given that this is essentially a one-off issue–we have a complete “story” told in this one issue that does not require one to have bought the previous issue nor a need to buy the next issue for continuation/conclusion. Your $2.99 cover price investment nets you the entirety of this particular Black Lightning/Static story.

On the whole given all that, this was a nice fun issue and well worth its cover price. I’d been under the impression that this title was still doing ongoing arcs, just with different pairings of characters taking the lead/spotlight. As a book that gives complete done-in-ones spotlighting such pairings, I’d totally be on-board. After the Booster Gold/Magaog issue last month and now this, I’ll be keeping my eye on the book.

Well worth picking up if you’re a fan of either/both characters.

Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8/10

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