The new Justice League receives four out of five stars from me but nearly only had three. Call it a B- (for those who remember having real grades). The art was dynamic, the first glimpse into this new word intriguing, what characterization there was was enjoyable, but the pacing stinks. It was way too deconstructed. Five pages, six tops, worth of story spread out over an issue. I'm still excited about the new DCU but this wasn't a great start.
(copies from my Facebook profile)
Here are some other comics I've read over my past couple of sleep-in days:
Batwing #2: The other day at my LCS, the girl behind the counter told me that if I bought one more #2 issue, I would be able to get 100 bonus points. As a sucker for bonus points, I bit the hook. I'm glad I did! This book lends a depth to the DCU that extends beyond the United States, and the art of Ben Oliver makes it all the more lifelike. Winick writes outside of his "comfort zone" as far as I know, and I'm thankful that he does. Great work here.
Detective #1: Not bad. Beautiful art by Tony Daniel, but unfortunately, his writing isn't quite up to par with what it was during "Battle for the Cowl" or his writing on the Batman title. I'm going to shake this off as #1 jitters, and give him at least one more issue before abandoning the title.
Swamp Thing #2: I walked right into the last page "shocker", but this was just a great issue. For the first time in my life, I'm a Swamp Thing reader. I hate horror comics, but man, I love this book. Of course the writing is awesome, but the artwork by Yanick Paquette is wonderful. Who would have picked this team for Swamp Thing? Evidently, some really strong editors!
Red Lanterns #1-2: Atrocitus is the newest character, like Black Adam and Sinestro, who has gone from being a bad-as-all-get-out bad-guy to being something of a grey character. I'm trying to decide if he's getting meaner or more sympathetic. It's been fun finding out so far, so I'm liking this one.
Catwoman #1: I'm not offended by this issue, not like everyone else was. Catwoman and Batman are two consenting adults. Did we need to see as much of the sex as we did? No. But Catwoman is not all women, and Batman is not all men. These are two damaged adults who get together and say yes to each other. Whatever. Not worth the outrage, especially not in the new DCU.
OMAC #2: I love this book so much. I loved it before #2, and now I love it even more. Amazing Man, Max Lord, and the word "OMACtivate" all made this so awesome...but just listing those factors as being awesome makes this book less than what it really is. I love the Jack Kirby-ness of it, but Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen are the true stars here. I've said this before, but I can't wait to have the Deluxe Edition hardcover of the first twelve issues of this book a year from now.
Wonder Woman #1: This can't last forever, but man, I'm with this book as long as Brian Azzarello is writing it. The art is awesome, but I'm the biggest fan of the writing here. Incredible. It feels like the real world somehow. Wow. Well done.
Birds of Prey #1: Man, another book I'm actually interested in. This was really nicely done...I found myself not even caring whether Barbara Gordon was behind the original conception of this team in the New DCU. I'm just a big fan of Duane Swierczynski's writing. (And yes, I looked carefully while typing that...) This is the best art I've ever seen from Jesus Saiz, by the way!
Animal Man #2: I will be tradewaiting this book from here on out. I get the feeling this is going to read much better as a trade paperback than as a monthly comic. And this is fine with me. Great writing by Jeff Lemire and awesome artwork by Travel Foreman.
Action #2: I love this book so much. I love the brazen, cavalier young Superman, showing off his powers and having fun with them. I'm actually reminded of how the young clone version of Superboy acted at first when he was in the Return of the Supermen book almost twenty years ago. This is a fun title.
Supergirl #1: This was kind of a cool look at Supergirl's first landing on Earth. I liked this a lot more than I liked Jeph Loeb's Supergirl arc and Superman/Batman. I like the idea that she has lost part of her memory, and is out of her element, discovering her powers, and finding that she's not quite alone on this new planet. Great work by Green, Johnson, and Asrar.
Hawk & Dove #2: I really enjoy this title. Rob Liefeld's art just makes this adolescent fun, like how a thirteen year old sees adult drama. I love the triangles between Hank/Dawn/Ren and Hank/Dawn/Deadman. Not bad writing by Sterling Gates. I get the feeling he's going pretty straightforward with this story. Disapproving dad, girlfriend drama, and super-heroics...all goes together somehow to make something more than the sum of its parts.
Teen Titans #1: This was...okay. I'm not reading the next issue. Even though it's going to definitely cross over with Superboy, having the same character and writer involved. But still, this book isn't for me. Not at all.
The Savage Hawkman #1: Now see, I had heard about how horrible this book was from everyone who had read it. I liked it! It may have been the artwork by the newly-redone Philip Tan, but I LOVE how it has totally simplified Carter Hall's story down to a mere wisp of a tale. I really hope they don't try to make Hawkworld or Thanagar any part of this, but I suppose this is a forlorn hope. For now, though, I'm loving this title. Until it gets complicated, I'm in.
Green Lantern #1: I like Sinestro better than Hal Jordan. Much more interesting.Still not planning on reading this book, though.
Justice League International #1-2: So...dull. I love Aaron Lopresti's art, but man...so...plain and dull...
Resurrection Man #1: This was alright, and maybe it was a little more interesting because I happened to have read it right after watching the D.B. Cooper episode of Decoded on the History Channel, but still not interesting enough to read #2. If it gets rave reviews, I'll read the trade, but it doesn't look like it has anything new in it.
I read Action Comics #2 over the weekend. I liked it a lot. The interrogation scene was great. I loved the scene with Supes and his ship. Also loved that there's someone pulling Luthor's strings.
While I love the art, I have one complaint. Lex Luthor doesn't look quite right. It looks like they didn't finish drawing him. It's like he needs some more shading around him or some extra lines or something.
I read Green Lantern #2 last night. Good stuff. Interesting setup now that Sinestro and Hal will be working together, for now.
I'm not sure I like Doug Mahnke's artwork though. It's not bad, I just don't like the way he draws faces.
I've finished reading this week's DC releases.
Deathstroke- fun issue. Basically just one drawn out action scene. The story was progressed but it still felt like a quick issue.
Demon Knights- I love the art in this book, it fits perfectly. The story was good, we see the group battle dragons and the demon rhyme. Still a good book. Those of you turned off by Vandal Savage's portrayal in the first issue may be even more turned off in this one.
Batman & Robin- I liked this a lot better than the first issue. The bickering between Damian and Bruce has been toned down. I like that the series seems to be focusing on Bruce trying to be a father to his biological son. Not an easy task for the Batman.
Frankenstein- A big improvement over issue two. The characters have developed more. Still not a fan of the art. Though I liked the page with Frank jumping out of the helicopter.
Batman 2 was a blast! I also loved Wonder Woman 2 from this week. And Justice League, with more characters, seemed a vast improvement over the "Batman & Green Lantern show" from the issue before.
I read Demon Knights #1-2 yesterday and I liked them pretty well, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be a monthly reader or a trade-waiter.
I haven't read Wonder Woman, Justice League, or Batman from last week, oddly enough. I have each of them, but I just haven't read them yet.
I read DC Presents and Nightwing. Both were good but I think I liked Nightwing a little more. Nightwing may have been better than Batman. I like this new direction they're taking the character.
DC Presents Deadman was fun. The club hopping stunt Deadman does at the supernatural club was a blast.
This week's books:
Daredevil was amazing once again. Okay, it's not new 52, but five issues in, and there's not one short of mesmerizing.
Flash blew me away. It's got a similar visual panache to Daredevil, with the added bonus of it being about my favorite character. Manapul and Bucatello are knocking it out of the park with this book.
All Star Western -- another really visually impressive issue. Some great, pulpy action and suspense -- and the El Diablo backup has Bernet art, so it's a thrill, too!
I, Vampire. This issue seemed stronger than the first to me, too. I think the single point of view (and caption boxes) helped ground it a little more. I wish Andrea Sorrentino's art were a *little* clearer in places, but he certainly makes up for it in mood.
Aquaman: Some great scenes here, and gorgeous superhero art. I'd have liked the story to have progressed a little further, though.
Superman: A pretty old-fashioned issue, actually. Superman fights a foe he's unable to affect, until he and Lois figure out a clever tactic to eve the odds.
JLA Dark: There are things to recommend it (Constantine getting into a bar fight to perform blood magic, for example), but ultimately, I don't think this book is for me. And why can Dawn and June see Deadman, anyway? That wouldn't confuse a new reader (who probably wouldn't know Deadman has traditionally been unseen), but it sure threw me for a loop.
Heading into the 3rd month, here's where things stand:
The Pull List:
Green Lantern, Green Lantern: New Guardians: I kept the GL titles on the pull list as the franchise was only shuffling creative teams and I liked what they'd been doing so far. Two issues in and I'm sure I've made the right choice with two of them. The interaction between Hal and Sinestro has been a riot and I've really enjoyed watching Kyle get chased around by representatives of all of the corps. Green Lantern Corps, however, hasn't been quite as good as the other two and is in danger of falling off of the pull list in the new year.
About to be Promoted to the Pull List:
Aquaman, Batgirl, Red Lanterns, Superman, Wonder Woman: Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis have not disappointed. Aquaman has looked great and has featured at least one very cool scene each issue (the fight scene in which Mera and Aquaman show off their powers was amazing). Red Lanterns has had a surprising level of depth; it's like the Sopranos- how do you keep the evil organization you run from turning on you? People are complaining about the old school feel for Superman but that's what I like about it. It's similar to the Superman I grew up with. However, I may treat it as a 6-issue mini-series and jump ship when George Perez does. Batgirl and Wonder Woman have both been very good.
Needs Further Evaluation:
Firestorm, Justice League, Justice League International, Nightwing: Firestorm and Nightwing are two of my favorite characters but neither book is firing on all cylinders right now. The interaction between Jason and Ronnie hasn't been nearly as good as it was in Brightest Day. The second issue felt slow- like it was suspended in time. Nightwing keeps teasing me that it could be great- I jumped at the idea that Dick might have a new circus-warehouse headquarters- only to disappoint me with status quo superhero stuff. Justice League 2 was much better than 1. I criticized the slow boil approach but if it keeps picking up steam the way it has so far, I'm in. JLI 2, however, felt like a repeat of issue 1. No improvement, little progress. I'll probably give all four another issue, with JL and Nightwing the likeliest candidates to be back for issue 4.
One and Done:
Blue Beetle, Grifter, Hawk and Dove, Savage Hawkman, Static Shock, Stormwatch, Supergirl, Voodoo: I wasn't happy with any of the Wildstorm books. Stormwatch was awful, probably the worst book I read in September. Grifter was mediocre. Voodoo just wasn't for me. Hawk and Dove had its moments but wasted others. Blue Beetle was average. Supergirl looked nice but was way too slow. Hawkman was pretty bad. I wanted to like Static Shock and even gave it a second issue. I may even be tempted to give it a third because of my past appreciation for the character. But right now it's not really doing much.
I'm behind on my reading. However, I hadn't followed Nightwing prior to the relaunch but I'm loving the new series. It's possible it's my favorite of the lot. I like that they are leading to a new status quo for Dick. I like the love interest. I like the mystery villain. I like the art.
I haven't read the second issues of Green Lantern Corps or New Guardians but Green Lantern has been great. I liked the first issues of the other two as well.