After Justice League #1 set up the new status quo for the DCU, we finally get the first salvo of the new 52. And it was a doozy:
- Action Comics #1 gives us Grant Morrison’s new take on the Boy Scout in pants. Nothing spectacular, but good to see it taken back to basics with Superman fighting for the common man while dealing with authorities that want no part of him.
- Batgirl #1 sees Gail Simone take Barbara Gordon out of the chair and back into action. I already knew Simone would bring the great female characterization to Barbara based on her previous runs in Birds of Prey. I expected just as much here as well.
- You wouldn’t have expected much out of Tony Daniel in Detective Comics #1 until those last two pages knocked your socks off.
- Swamp Thing #1 took a newbie like me to the character and made me love it. Scott Snyder does horror right and this character fits his style just well. Yanick Paquette was no slouch either.
- Animal Man #1 also took a newbie like me to the character and made me love it. Jeff Lemire brings his off-the-wall creepiness to this character that sets the stage for great stories. All I have to say is I’m not burying dead pets any time soon.
There’s more of week 1 to come, but I only have so much voice to spare. Tune in soon for part 2 of what’s left of the new 52 in week 1!
Music provided by Jenny Dalton – Tuesday with Zooey
Beneath the big DC kahunas in Flashpoint, Batman, and Green Lantern – there lied a series from Gail Simone that stuck around that fans called one of the most consistently great books around. That all came to an end last week as Secret Six took its final curtain call. There was much to appreciate about this quirky band of murderers and mercenaries. Simone brought a charm to an anti-hero book line none other and it was great to see the team go down in a blaze of glory.
In the indie scene, Robert Kirkman and Rob Liefeld give us The Infinite #1. If you never thought you’d see a time-traveling buddy cop movie with your older self teaming up with your younger self, Kirkman and Liefeld prove you wrong.
Music provided by 2 Sided Story – Last Goodbye
With all the Batman hoopla, you’d come to expect some word on the ladies of Gotham City fame. DC’s blog confirmed that word not too long ago and here are the findings:
Batwoman #1 by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder
No surprise here – probably just as fitting to launch in this time frame given all the delays it’s experienced.
Batgirl #1 by Gail Simone and artists Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes
I’m not sure what to think of this. Bryan Miller has been writing some excellent Stephanie Brown arcs the last year or two. This may be a result of Batman’s plans to have Stephanie train in England. I don’t know. Still, Simone might just turn my opinion on this around.
Catwoman #1 written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Guillem March
Don’t love or hate Catwoman, but I’m a fan of Winick and I’m sure good work will come out of it.
Birds of Prey #1 written by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz
The description of the book screams “Uncanny X-Force” if we’re taking the article at its word. Then again, comics have been copying off of each other for years, so who am I to judge.
Music provided by Age of Daze – Overrated
The big DC re-launch plans announced last week has now made Flashpoint the book to watch. With issue #2, we delve into what Barry Allen has planned next now that he’s come to realize that not is all right with the world. We also get our first glimpses at what Aquaman and Wonder Woman are up to in their current war. Good balance of questions and answers so far and the ending asks us if this new world can truly be saved.
The Flashpoint tie-ins get under way as well and the only one that’s stood out so far is Batman : Knight of Vengeance. The original 100 Bullets team takes charge in Brian Azzarello and Ed Risso. It’s not much different from any other take on Batman that we’ve seen, but seeing how Thomas Wayne handles the role in response to the tragedy in his life makes things interesting.
I was really hoping Marvel would swing me in the right direction after Fear Itself #2. Sadly, issue #3 didn’t do that. Not to say that it’s lost, but it’s hard to say much about what it’s done so far when it can’t make me feel for a major character’s death. I don’t know if I just missed something I should have read in the tie-ins, but clearly we’re just rushing from one scene to the next with no real direction. 4 more issues left in the event, Marvel – hope you got an ace up your sleeve.
I don’t get to talk about this book too much, but a shout-out to Gail Simone and her work on Secret Six. Issue #34 is a great jumping-on point for new readers not familiar with the shenanigans of these psychotic characters. All you need to know is Bane went on a date and I’ve already hooked you.
The DC news just keeps on coming this week. We already know Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are kicking off the big re-launch on August 31st with Justice League #1. Now the DC Source blog has just announced what 11 of the 52 books will be as part of this massive undertaking. Key highlights for me at least include:
1) Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang
Wonder Woman gets a bad rep for not having the most relatable stories, but Azzarello should bring some grittiness to it that you come to expect from the guy behind 100 Bullets and the Joker OGN. Chiang on art is already guaranteeing us some great splash pages.
2) Flash written AND drawn by Francis Manapul
This was a big surprise to me. I’m all for it, though knowing that this book had been late before when Manapul was just drawing, you have to wonder how long he could fully commit to both.
3) Firestorm written by Ethan van Sciver and Gail Simone with art by Yildiray Cinar
Another superstar artist taking the writing reigns? This is getting really ambitious on DC’s part. Still, having Simone to assist will assure we get some funny banter between Jason and Ronnie as they deal with their post-Brightest Day lives.
4) Justice League International written by Dan Jurgens and drawn by Aaron Lopresti
We saw this coming a mile away, though it’s surprising that Judd Winick is not carrying over to the title after his successful year-long run on Justice League : Generation Lost. Still, if it’s any close to being remotely humorous and full of great characterization like its predecessor, it will be a hit.
5) Aquaman written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Ivan Reis
Guaranteed high sales if you know their collaborations well on Blackest Night and Brightest Day.
All in all, a mix of promising material with some less than exciting material to spare. I’m not sure how people are going to take J.T. Krul sticking with another Green Arrow re-launch or even taking on Captain Atom, especially after how much that character’s popularity rose during Generation Lost. There’s still more to be announced from DC though, so keep those eyes peeled…
This week, you get a brand new guest in Dominique Agri, who runs the Comics Period web site. She also is part of a great cause in promoting literacy through comic books via the Comic Book Project. This is exactly one of the directions comics need to go to bring in new readers and educate the future comic book writers and artists of the world.
From there, we get into the tragic passing of Dwayne McDuffie, a writer well-known for his animated work but was also a great advocate for diversity in comics. We also speak about McDuffie’s last work to make it to DVD last week in All-Star Superman. I get a good education by Dominique on Superman’s legacy and may need to get more Superman books. Just please do not recommend me the current arc going on – it hurts…