DC Comics, The New 52 Pick Up: Part 4

Another new comics Wednesday has come and gone, so has a good chunk of the allowance my wife gives me. I’ll say this for DC Comics and the new 52, for the first time in years I am actually excited for new comics Wednesday again. I find myself hanging out at my local comic shops more (such as Unreal City… plug plug plug, third time is the charm!) No longer the once in a blue moon that I had been for the past few years. Hell, today I even debated buying a few digitally in my iPad, didn’t but… hey, it’s a small tip of the hat to the digital initiative. This week, marks up like another success for the reboot/relauch/re-whatever it is. But don’t pour the Champaign just yet Mr. Lee, Johns and, Dido. I just wonder if this breakneck pace can be kept up. Creative teams are still playing musical chairs, the ball is going to drop, deadlines will be missed.

Well, we’ve got 12 issues on tap so we better get started.

This week bought the usual mix of surprises and disappointments.  Everyone is on twitter talking about the new Wonder Woman, and for good reason. Believe the hype. Batman is great, like you’d expect, but it actually turns out really great, read it! Nightwing, Blue Beetle and, DC Universe presents also shine, and if you are looking for a fun diamond in the rough (ok, maybe cubic zirconia,) Red Hood and The Outlaws was more enjoyable than it was meant to be.  Captain Atom and Legion of Super-heroes are both worth a look if you were fans of them in the old DCU. Catwoman? Read it, just don’t let your parents find out and tuck it back in-between the mattress when you are done you dirty dirty smut reader, you. Sadly both Supergirl and Birds of Prey fall short of the mark and all you Green Lantern fans get what you deserve.

Ready for spoiler time? 12 rapid fire, fast and dirty, reviews of this week in the new DCU coming at you!

Supergirl, Written by MICHAEL GREEN andMIKEJOHNSON; Art by MAHMUD ASRAR –  I’ll be honest, this is one of those books I came into with very little interest. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Supergirl, I’m sure she’s someone’s favorite. Hey, the new costume ain’t to bad. Apparently on Krypton knee pads are a man thing, go figure. Much past the basic elements, this book was… alright? I read it. I said “boy that sure is Supergirl fightin’ them dudes in power suits.” To say one good thing about the book, I got that they are really going to push that Kara Zor-El’s alien side. She’ll be a fish out of water, just… a fish that shoots lasers from her eyes and crushes tanks with her thighs. Maybe that will make for some interesting issues? Someone else will have to tell me about them, though. I’m already gone on this one.
Green Lantern Corps, Written by PETER J. TOMASI; Art by FERNANDO PASARIN and SCOTT HANNA –   Hey, do you like Green Lantern? Well, how about Green Lanterns! That’s plural, since this is a book about more than one Green Lantern! Ok, I have a few questions. What is the average lifespan in the Corps? It seems like every time I pick up a book with a butt load of green paint in it, half the speech bubbles are ‘rings status report, green lantern derpa derp deceased’ and it’s off to find the a replacement. In the DC Universe, all those rings flying around has to get pretty damn annoying. The Issue starts with a whole wack of namesless Green Lanternicide, moves on to Guy Gardener messing up a job interview and then a thrilling installment of “John Stewart, Building Inspector!”. Exciting! Gripping personal drama! Punch out cosmic ending with more dead Green LanternsI Exclamation points! This one has it all… that we’ve seen before. If you are a diehard GL fan, you’re already buying this, but I’m going to pass.
Captain Atom, Written by J.T. KRUL; Art by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II –   Captain, my captain. I read the 80’s/90’s run all the way up to that lame ass Alien Agenda crap when they took a rather entertaining character that had some depth and dimension and tossed it in favor of some poorly written melodramatic existential wannabe Alan Moore crap. You probably don’t know what I am referring to, which is a good thing, because that’s what you are getting this time too. Hey, at least this time they didn’t waste a year or two before they flush everything for the predictable drivel. It’s a mildly more human Dr. Manhattan who hasn’t figured out he wields ultimate power yet. Oh, and cliff hanger, he might die! I’m setting this one aside to re-read and might give it a second chance. Probably won’t.
Nightwing, Written by KYLE HIGGINS; Art by EDDY BARROWS and JP MAYER –  Really DC? It took me 4 issues in this random order to read something Batman related? You’re starting to slip. So, Dick Grayson is Nightwing once again and wow does he spend a lot of time talking to himself about being Batman for a little while. This issue performs just like you expect it to. It’s a good comic. It’s part of the Bat Family, DC is taking few chances with that cash cow. Dick is a great character and here he actually seems to have grown a little more to boot.  Other than a few things that irked me (why does he have to have a black and red costume now?) I enjoyed it. If you want a solid above average book, start with this one.
Legion of Super-Heroes, Written by PAUL LEVITZ; Art by FRANCIS PORTELA –   I’m on the fence with the LoSh. Sure, I am probably going to pick up Legion Lost #2 because it gave me a good old fashioned Legion story, but that is the main reason I’m thinking about skipping the rest of this one.  You’d think that in their umpteenth reboot, the Legion would take a chance a do something bold, show us that being a superhero in the 31st Century is not just a typical job. Isn’t this reboot/relaunch supposed to be about taking some chances and bold new directions? Oh, wait. Ultra Boy has long hair now, I take that all back, this is a wild and crazy brave new world or something. Damn it, be better. The one highpoint is all the talk of this ‘Flashpoint effect’ again and ending all time travel in the DCnU. I am intrigued. Other than that, its standard LoSh (till they reboot it again in a few months.)
Blue Beetle, Written by TONY BEDARD; Art by IG GUARA and RUY JOSE –  Blue Beetle has always been a favorite of mine, sure I am talking about Ted Kord, but Jamie Reyes fit in there too. Jamie’s first run was great and died to soon. Well, he’s back in his own book and yes, this is an origin issue that is actually mildly different than his original origin. Thumbs up for reimagining things no different than before. It’s more or less the same as the old run with some added back story and some no longer cannon elements removed. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be buying this one, I just with the hope issue #2 will set it back in to the status quo, but this time in a fun way.
Catwoman, Written by JUDD WINICK; Art by GUILLEM MARCH –  Hey, do you like boobs? Then do I have a book for you! I just finished reading Catwoman #1 and I feel like I should shower and make an awkward excuse about having to work in the morning and say I’ll call, even though I probably won’t. See the cover? The Bettie Page pin-up pose is just a start. It takes Selina Kyle 5 pages to zip up the cat suit leading to 7 examples of exposed boobage. Halfway through the book I felt the urge to stuff a fiver in its g-string and crank up Motley Crue’s ‘Girls Girls Girls’. This issue wraps up with Batman showing up, I think Catwoman ordered a pizza or something ‘cause the next 4 pages plays out like those 30 second preview clips you watch on the internet with the lights off. I’ll hit issue number two when it comes out, just to see if it comes in wrapped in a brown paper bag.
DC Universe Presents, Written by PAUL JENKINS; Art by BERNARD CHANG –  If you don’t know who Deadman is, think Sam Beckett from TV’s Quantum Leap but filmed by David Lynch. So, DC Universe Presents first run is on Deadman and it fits into their “Dark” line. Wow. It does. This is a bleak and bold take on Boston Brand, and I really enjoyed it. It sheds off any preconceived notions of ‘just being a comic book’ and slaps you in the face with some damn fine writing. Mix that with the fact that I think it’s awesome to see an anthology book like DC Universe Presents back on the shelves and I am following this one for sure.
Birds of Prey, Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI; Art by JESUS SAIZ –  Hey, remember that TV show that barely anyone watched called Birds of Prey? Good news, it is now in easy to ignore print version! Let me explain. The art was great, paced out really well and filled with action. I liked Black Canary and the burlesque dancer. Just nothing really seemed to hook me, and I found myself flipping pages and tuning out. I don’t think adding a retooled to be now totally generic Katana and a more modest Poison Ivy will change that. Unless…. Hey, have you met Catwoman? *cue the 70’s porn jazz*
Red Hood and the Outlaws, Written by SCOTT LOBDELL; Art by KENNETH ROCAFORT –  Let me start by saying I have always wanted to like Jason Todd, he is the middle child of the Robins and a character that can either be done very good or very very wrong. Former Speedy/Arsenal/ Red Arrow is kind of the same, sometimes deep and compelling, sometimes using a dead cat as a weapon stupid. Red Hood and the Outlaws issue #1 is titled “I fought the law and kicked its but” so guess what treatment they are getting this time. This whole book is filled with cheap one liners, sexual innuendo (scratch that, its just smut talk, no innuendo about it.) Cheap bang out plot that has a villain they were to lazy to name. Take and 80’s action movie, and two former sidekicks and a pair of space tits from Starfire and call it a book. I freakin LOVED this book, sure it was shallow, but it was fun. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea (or in this case, space tits!), but I’m in
Batman, Written by SCOTT SNYDER; Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION –  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say DC Comics really supports Batman. Hell, they could do a Bat-Mite comic and make it good. Toss their best not-Geoff Johns on it and we’d all be excited for it to get adapted into a movie. The whole Bat Family of books in the new DCU are good, but Batman #1 is the best so far. The art kicks ass, its fresh and funky. The whole book has a dynamic feel to it and it works for long time Bat freaks ore newbies just looking for something to hold them off till Dark Knight Rises comes out. Everyone should be reading this book. Go out and buy it, in fact, buy two and give one to your mom, it’s time you did something nice for her.
Wonder Woman, Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO; Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG  The internet has been buzzing about this book, beyond the whole pants/no pants thing. (Spoiler, she’s not wearing pants! Ok, she has bottoms on, what do you think this is? Catwoman?) I don’t want to hop on to the whole band wagon, but wow. This is surprisingly good, I read it twice just to make sure I was a Wonder Woman book. WW has always been a bit of a boring character to me. Someone to round out DC’s big trinity, hold up the mantle of being a female comics icon (of which, there are far too few) and be great as a invisible jet flying lasso wielding powerhouse part of the team.  Those days are officially over. This book is packed with action and a wonderful new take on having classic gods in comics. And centaurs. And severed limbs. And star spangled bikini bottoms. The hype is deserved and I am in for the next one.


And that’s a wrap on week 4! My pull list is really starting to grow and as we hit the home stretch on the New 52, I think there is more on the way. Join us next week, because it’s time for; All Star Western, Aquaman, Batman The Dark Knight, Blackhawks, Flash, Fury Of Firestorm, Green Lantern New Guardians, I Vampire, Justice League Dark, Savage Hawkman, Superman, Teen Titans and, Voodoo? Wait, I take that back. Not a lot to interest me there, but I have been surprised before. (but seriously, good luck ‘I, Vampire’ – i’ll read you, but I won’t like you if you start getting all twilighty on me.

Till then, check out Week 1, Week 2 and, Week 3.


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