As some of you know, I fell off the DC comp list with The New 52, and decided that was a sign from Zeus to start trade-waiting. And with the April solicits, I see decision time has arrived.
That is to say: Which trades or HCs will I buy? I'm certainly not going to pop for all 52, so I have to pick and choose. So let me ask you, Legionnaires:
And so forth. Sound off, folks! Which New 52 titles would you choose for the Captain Comics bookshelf?
Batman and Robin is one of the titles that I find "okay". I was very much enjoying it before the reboot, as the creators had done almost the unthinkable in making me like Damian Wayne. Of course, at that point Dick was Batman, and he's a very different personality from Bruce, so Damian's become much more truculent, at least for the nonce.
I would prefer that the gore be turned down, but it's not a bad little book. It will definitely read better in the trade.
Batman & Robin was one I was reading before the reboot. I liked the Dick & Damian duo and was a bit leary of the Bruce & Damian team. There was at least one issue pre-reboot I read with Bruce and Damian and the bickering was mind numbing. The first issue of this new series was, OK. It was good enough for me to keep reading. The series has since progressed into a solid series, imo.
Next up: Demon Knights #1.
This is a change of pace, a series set in the distant past, specifically, the night Camelot has fallen. Those who can are bugging out, and the last remaining knight watches a ship sail away with the wounded King Arthur. The knight has Excalibur, and does what he is told, and -- presumably to keep it out of enemy hands -- tosses it into the sea ...
... wherupon Madame Xanadu jumps overboard to retrieve it. Cut to: Merlin bonding the demon Etrigan to Jason Blood.
Then we skip ahead a few years later, where we encounter Jason Blood and Madame Xanadu as traveling companions, trying to stay under the radar as the army of the Horde of the Questing Queen is on the march, seizing any and everything it wants and laying waste to everything in its path. We also encounter Vandal Savage -- hey, why not? -- and Sir Ystin, the Shining Knight, although, oddly, he's a she in this incarnation. Oh, well. As they are all in a bar, a brawl breaks out when the horde arrives.
A real live, actual origin story, reasonably well done, and not too heavy on the gore. It's okay if you like that kind of thing, and I give credit to DC for offering something other than superheroes.
Next up: Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1.
Here's a first issue done right, in so far as it introduces AND IDENTIFIES the main characters, establishes the status quo, puts them in battle and sets up a mystery to follow in subsequent issues. And, like Resurrection Man, this is a little-known concept from a couple decades ago that DC has dusted off and given new life. Again, good on DC for doing that. Not my cup of tea, but I appreciate the effort to broaden the palette of offerings.
Sorry you didn't like Batwoman. I was surprised at your reason: the fact that she wasn't the old Kathy Kane. I'd have thought that was by the by 30+ years on from Kathy's passing. Having had no experience of Kathy Kane in any story before Morrison brought her back into continuity recently, I thought that the new Batwoman has been very well handled up to now, in a serious and thoughtful way for the most part. If you get the chance, have a look at the Greg Rucka-written first couple of trades. It’s a Bat-character handled pretty well, and not suffering from total over-exposure. Batwoman's story entertwines with the continuation of Rene Montoya's life after Gotham Central, a series I know you loved.
FYI The female Shining Knight concept was introduced in Morrison's Seven Soldiers maxi-epic. Cornell has only kept her gender and ancient origins for his rebooted character. The DCnU Frankenstein also owes much to the Seven Soldiers version, but like the Shining Knight seems to have a new backstory.
While JH Williams' Batwoman is a work of art, I love Amy Reeder's version for completely different reasons. It feels like a fantastic comic book. I don't know why I was surprised (what was it, two years ago?) when it was announced that she would be doing super-hero work for DC after her run on Madame Xanadu, which was beautiful in its own right. She is the perfect fit for this book.
I will admit that I 'm surprised that DC canceled O.M.A.C. and Mister Terrific, although I am looking forward to World's Finest and Earth 2 (JSA). There are a few titles that do not fully "wow" me, but are not bad enough (yet?) to drop on my own, like Liefeld's impending arrival on Hawkman.
But through the new version, I have discovered some interesting facts about the overall state of DC and their thought processes/perspective on things.
For example, to the denizens of the (new) DC U and their creators, only three years have passed since the conclusion of The Killing Joke graphic novel and Batgirl #6, while it's been almost 25 years to us!
Not sure it would be the same in the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, but in any event, be prepared for a possible new rematch (Babs went up against the Joker before during the original Birds of Prey run, pre-Brightest Day ) in Batgirl #7!
Sorry you didn't like Batwoman. I was surprised at your reason: the fact that she wasn't the old Kathy Kane. I'd have thought that was by the by 30+ years on from Kathy's passing. .
Hey, I don't have to have a good reason why I do or don't like something (and, no, I'm not being defensive, he said non-defensively); this just isn't my cup of tea.
Having had no experience of Kathy Kane in any story before Morrison brought her back into continuity recently, I thought that the new Batwoman has been very well handled up to now, in a serious and thoughtful way for the most part.
And there you have it: Kathy Kane doesn't mean to you what she does to me -- and, conversely, Kate Kane doesn't mean to me what she does to you. Kathy Kane, in particular, was an early victim of Women in Refrigerators syndrome, and that still sticks under my craw. I hope that DC might do better by Kate Kane; I do get the sense they're trying with her in a way they haven't and aren't with other female characters.
I didn't criticize Batwoman (the title) and Batwoman (the character) much beyond saying it's not for me.
Speaking of Women in Refrigerators: "Women Write About Comics: Women in Refrigerators, 13 Years Later"
Next up: Green Lantern #1.
Definitely not an origin story.
The cover shows a closeup of a pensive Sinestro. Wha -- ? And the story begins with Sinestro being reinstated into the Green Lantern Corps, with a uniform and ring and everything.
Wha -- ?
Okay, I didn't read "Blackest Night." Nor "Brightest Day." Nor "Flashpoint." But I am aware that Sinestro is and always has been one of the most villainous villains the Green Lantern Corps has ever faced. He's one of the baddest of the bad guys, a scoundrel, a rotter, a no-goodnik and an all around nasty guy who started his own rival organization, the Yellow Lantern Corps! What the -- ? Are they stupid?
Well, it's the Guardians of the Universe we're talking about, here; the question answers itself. Only one of their number, Ganthet, objects, and he's swiftly pummeled into submission as the others blather about the old maxim "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Um, fellows, this is NOT what that means! Sinestro, as we used to say in my old neighborhood, ought to go under the jail!
Cut to: Hal Jordan, being dunned by his landlord for three months back rent, and he wants it, all of it, in cash, NOW. Hal notices a man and a woman in an altercation a courtyard away and, despite being on the seventh floor, leaps into action from his apartment to theirs --
-- and discovers the assailant is an actor and he's blundered into a film shoot.
Fortunately, Carol Ferris bails him out of jail, and offers him a job at Ferris Aircraft -- but not as a pilot. "I can't insure my planes if you're flying them," she says. Baffled and despondent -- Hal is broke, he's been drummed out of the Air Force for being AWOL while doing Green Lantern stuff, and he can't fly to boot? -- Hal accepts after Carol tells him sometimes you've got to take a job to pay the bills.
So they go out for a romantic dinner, while Sinestro goes home to Korugar and fights off a Yellow Lantern up to some banditry -- a Yellow Lantern who is startled that Sinestro is attacking him rather than helping him. (I felt the same way.) Sinestro soon dispatches him, and even extinguishes the little beacon that tells the home office the ring bearer is dead. In the meantime, Hal pops the question to Carol: Will you sign the lease on my car? See, my credit is shot --
After she throws her drink in his face and chews him out, Hal walks home -- he hasn't got the car yet -- to find the landlord has set his stuff out. The story concludes with Sinestro offering him a job, in the Green Lantern Corps.
Again, this depends very heavily on prior knowledge of who these people are. It's an interesting springboard for future stories, although Hal comes off like a total tool, and it's beautifully rendered by artists Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy and Ton Nguyen.