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)
So today I picked up:
Batman & Robin
Deathstroke and Frankenstein were picked up on a whim.
Deathstroke - C It was a solid story and had very good art. Neither of these things make up for Deathstroke being completely amoral and unlikeable.
Demon Knights - A- If the characters were introduced just a smidge better, I'd make it a full A. As it is, I like the action, like the characterizations (even if the characters aren't all nice people), and, well, it was just a darn enjoyable comicbook.
Green Lantern - A It's just picking up where the previous series left off but this is a favorite of mine every month. The new status quo is incredibly intriguing and I'm very excited for next month.
Red Lanterns - B- This could easily have been another Deathstroke but Atrocitus has far more depth then Slade Wilson. Like Sinestro and his yellow corps, Atrocitus believes that what he does serves a greater, even heroic, purpose. I'm not sure how long I can stay interested in the members of his Red Lantern Corps but he has my attention for now.
Superboy - C It wasn't bad. It just wasn't very good, either. Maybe they'll surprise us and have the human component NOT be Lex Luthor.
Legion Lost - C- Pretty much the same thing as Superboy, except I don't think the Legionnaires were introduced very well at all.
Resurrection Man - A Like Animal Man and Demon Knights, this is a title that I wouldn't have bought if it weren't for a promotion from my LCS but I'm glad to have read all three. The character is introduced very well (I'm only vaguely familiar with Mitch from the "old" DCU) and...and...well, I just plain liked it. I could've done without him being sucked through a jet engine and the subsequent crash but it shows him as being part of a much larger going-on.
Mister Terrific - C See Superboy and Legion Lost.
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. - F This book held no redeeming qualities for me. The best part was when it ended and not because it was a clever ending but just because it was over.
Suicide Squad - D Who are we supposed to like here? Seriously. I know it is a team of villains but at least in Secret Six the characters were better defined as people. Granted, that's an awful lot to pin on one issue but it isn't just the villains. Even the "good" people (the guards) are vile, sadistic monsters. I did like the art style as it suited the book but what dropped it down from a C- to a D was Amanda Waller being sexy. No. Freaking. Way. The Wall is supposed to be ugly intellectually, emotionally, and physically. And a bit of bra showing? No. No. No. NO!
Batman and Robin - B- Love Batman. Hate Robin. I can't stand Damian. It was a decent issue otherwise but I hate that kid.
Batwoman - B Honestly, I would have graded this higher if I had any idea at all why Kate looks like a vampire. Not Batwoman--Kate. Is she wearing make-up to be that pale? If not, why isn't she wearing make-up to NOT be that pale? I like Batwoman being that pale because it is S C A R Y. Otherwise, very interested. I'm kind of hoping that things don't go much further between Kate and Maggie Sawyer. It just seems to "pat" for DC's three most prominent lesbians (Kate, Maggie, and Renee) to all be connected that strongly.
Grifter - incomplete My shop didn't receive one of their boxes of comics and Diamond can't find where it went. So, no Grifter (and a few other Marvel and DC titles I don't read).
Best DC comic of the week? Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Batman. Cave Carson. Geo-Force. Jonah Hex. Ra's ah Ghul. Great story. Simple but expressive and well-defined art. This title is a big bucket o' win. A
I won't have the time to read my comics until this weekend at the very earliest, but what a great week--all those DC titles, plus Ultimate Spider-Man, Fear Itself, Uncanny X-Force, New Avengers, the next chapter of Spider Island, and a Fear Itself tie-in called The Monkey King? I had never even ever heard of this character, but I bought it based on the writer and artist and the concept of kung fu fun.
Back to DC, I'm really looking forward to these titles as they come out. They're not all hits by any means, but I'm finding a lot more hits than misses so far out of what I've read. I'm not reading all of them by any means, but what I have read, I've enjoyed for the most part.
This weeks offerings weren't quite as impressive as last weeks but were still mostly solid. My thoughts below.
Resurrection Man: My pick of the week. The previous version was a title I always heard good things about but never seemed to get around to picking up. I really enjoyed the art and story and found this very new reader friendly. I'll definitely be around for the long haul with this one.
Superboy: A solid enough comic. The art is ok and the storyline is fine. Like Cavaliere, I hope they don't go the obvious route and make Lex the human component again. I like the way they play the VR scenes and there are a couple of twists that were quite well done. If the rest of their output were weaker or I had more attachment to Superboy, I might of considered following this but right now there are too many other comics that have my attention.
Legion Lost: My biggest disappointment of the week. There is no way that someone unfamiliar with the Legion will have the slightest clue what is going on most of this issue. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say that the art looks rushed instead of bad, however, I think a case could be made the other way too. This seems like it's solely aimed at longtime Legion readers yet Nicieza gets some of the power uses wrong; I suppose we could attribute that to Flashpoint but come on. The actual plot development involves Timber Wolf hitting the bad guy in the back of the head, the bad guy waking up and blowing up a time bubble. That's it. Sadly, I'm enough of a Legion fan that I'll check out the next issue but based on this number one, it doesn't deserve it. This has my vote for first series canceled.
Mister Terrific: I've always found Mister Terrific a little bland in the JSA, so I wasn't expecting much from this one. I was pleasantly surprised. The art's not stellar but the story captured my interest. It had a good introductory sequence and the initial problem looks interesting. I'm not yet committed for the long haul but I'll be back for the next issue.
Green Lantern: It's nice to see Hal back on Earth, acting both heroic and like a putz. Sinestro with a ring is shaping up to be interesting. I enjoyed it. Johns seems to be writing a comic for its own sake again instead of with an obvious eye towards the next big event. If you like GL, this is a good comic picking up where last month left off.
Deathstroke: Decent enough story and art. An obvious anti-hero setup seemed to be coming but was avoided. Deathstroke is established as an out an out villain. Just not something I'm interested in though.
Batman and Robin: I gotta say, while I haven't seen much of Damian, if this is how he's normally portrayed I'm not a fan. Bruce is in full parental obsession mode, Damian's a twerp, and apparently universities in the DCU have nuclear power plants in their basements. There's nothing here I'd come back for.
Red Lanterns: I'm sure this appeals to somebody... not me... but somebody. The art was nice.
Frankenstein: Agent of Shade: There seem to be a lot of comics this week that weren't necessarily bad but just aren't to my taste; this is another one of them. I'm not a fan of this art style and the setup doesn't really impress me. I thought the Flashpoint series was ok, however, this seems like a step down to me. I'm sure people that are more into traditional monsters will like it more. I'll just be happy for them and part company here.
Batwoman: No surprises here, just a gorgeously drawn, intriguing comic. It feels to me like it would be equally accessible if you were following Batwoman previously or if you were completely new to her. I thought the two page spread on pages 20 and 21 were a fantastic way to bring new readers up to speed on the relevant history. (I wonder if the complete first storyline will have 22 pages instead of 20?) I'll definitely be following this one... but I already knew that.
Grifter: I've never been exposed to the character before but it seemed to have a similar premise to the Image series from a couple of years ago, Killer of Demons, and I liked the cover art, so I was hoping for the best. Nothing really grabbed me and it doesn't look like there's going to be any moral gray zone. I guess I'll just chalk this one up as another one that's not meant for me. (On a side note, I am kind of curious if those are white martians but not curious enough to get another issue.)
Suicide Squad: It makes me sad that we lost Secret Six for this by the numbers, torture porn, drivel. In all fairness, I'm probably bashing it a little harder than it deserves, if the concepts were fresh, I'm sure it would be solidly mediocre. Take from that what you will.
Demon Knights: While Legion Lost surprised me with how bad it was, Demon Knights surprised me with how good it was. The art seems perfect for the setting and the setup in the comic was more interesting to me than it sounded in the interviews. A line from Merlin implies they may be touching on one of the more interesting Seven Soldier's plot points. The Madame Xanadu/Demon relationship looks fun, Vandal Savage looks like he'll be more interesting than how he's normally used, and Mordru gets face time in yet another time frame. I wasn't expecting to like this but it won me over. One of the best of the week.
All in all, not a bad week. Resurrection Man, Batwoman, Demon Knights, and Green Lantern were all top notch. I wasn't as interested in the middle tier stuff as last week but for the most part they weren't bad. A couple of stinkers bringing up the rear. (It's a shame Legion Lost was released before the main Legion series. I wonder how much it will hurt bringing in more long term Legion fans?) Overall, I'm still pretty positive about the DCnU.
Damian forces Bruce to NOT be a jerk.
That's why Damian is a good character, even though he is a major brat. Then again, being raised like he was...
I was pretty happy with most of the issues I picked up this week. I liked Legion Lost, thought Demon Knights was fantastic, was thrilled by my introduction to Resurrection Man, and was very, very happy to see that Batwoman didn't drop in its (excellent) quality with the loss of Rucka. Frankenstein was also a lot of fun, but Grifter (an impulse buy) didn't grab me -- it felt like not enough was happening, and I felt I needed to see more of the con, and get inside his head prior to him hearing the Daemonites -- and I'm on the fence about Mister Terrific, although Brain Wave might bring me back for a second issue.
So far, of all the books I've tried, there's only two I've eliminated from contention from picking up issue 2: Static Shock and Grifter. Books on the fence: Men of War, Batgirl, Batwing, Mister Terrific, and Frankenstein. Books that made it to the permanent list after the 1-issue trial: OMAC and Resurrection Man. (There are other books I knew I'd be picking up for a while... including Demon Knights, which I was very confident of early on.)
Interesting. I wonder who'll be taking over?
From the one issue I read, I didn't think the character was a particularly good fit for him -- or maybe it just wasn't the right fit for me! There wasn't nearly enough of that bizarro Xombi goodness.