Animal Man

OK, honestly, how do you not pick these comics up? First of all, Animal Man and Swamp Thing have been two of the strongest books of DC’s New 52 since the reboot kicked off last year. Second of all, there aren’t enough straight-up evil monsters in comics anymore. Third of all, it’s called Rotworld! Now that the (awesome) Night of the Owls event is over in the Batman books, it’s time for the “Dark” family of DC Comics to shine with this event, and in this two-issue prologue co-writers Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire definitely don’t disappoint.

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Cartoon Network‘s new Saturday morning cartoon programming, DC Nation seems to have been a success and it’s at least partially because of the new and inventive shorts they’ve been creating especially for the morning block. These funny shorts have featured a variety of characters from Plastic Man to Catwoman to Wonder Girl and they’ve been handled by a variety of creators like Aardman Animation and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic‘s Lauren Faust.

Check out two new clips from this coming weekend’s DC Nation. The first features Animal Man and it’s quite different from what you’ve been reading in his monthly comics, that’s for sure. The second one is another clip from a new Super Best Friends Forever and this one’s all about Batgirl.

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COMICS REWIND: ‘Animal Man’ #1 (1988)

Grant Morrison is known as the great comic book chaos shaman, the guy who’s more willing to tear down the fabric of comic book reality than anyone else working in mainstream superhero stories. But before he got trippy with Doom Patrol, Arkham Asylum, The Invisibles and Final Crisis, he made his mainstream comics debut with one of DC’s lesser known characters: Animal Man. Though it was never a blockbuster, it did establish Morrison as an inventive new force in superhero books, and remains today one of the most exciting pieces of work produced at DC Comics in the 1980s.

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*Editors Note: Comic-book aficionado and friend to Nerd Bastards, Jeremy Hudson has volunteered to read and review every first issue of DC’s New 52. Jeremy is a funny bastard and knows his shit. His reviews will inform and entertain. Enjoy.

Welcome to our first full week of the New DCU!

It’s seems to be off and running. Only one real issue published by the company in the past seven days with this new continuity things are pointing towards this being successful for DC comics, and maybe the industry as a whole. Digital copies are flying off whatever the internet equivalent of shelves are. Various websites are reporting tonnes of the new number ones are selling out and moving on to 2nd or 3rd printings. Heck, some are already popping up on eBay at near 10 times the cover price (as of this writing.) Pretty good when you take into account that until this past Wednesday, the most any of us and seen was Justice League #1 and the solicits and covers for the first month or so. What I can say on an anecdotal note is that I know of a few former avid comic readers that are coming back to check out the new 52 and my local comic shops seem to be selling a few more trades of the old DC.

So, that brings us to now, I’m in my inner sanctum (the room the wife has let me have as my nerd palace), I’m set and ready to dive into this weeks 13 issues. Some big issues, like the love them or hate them historical 2nd numbers ones of Action and Detective Comics and some possible surprises like “Bat Wing” or an All new OMAC and and very new take on Sgt. Rock in “Men of War”. Let’s see how this first week unfolds, shall we?

Here is your spoiler free quick rundown and top picks:

Buy Animal Man. Seriously. By far it was the stand out book this week. Obviously Action and Detective preform solidly and are not without their share of surprises. You should also pick up Justice League International and Men of War. JLI gave me exactly what I expected and I enjoyed in and Men of War hit me with what I didn’t see coming and I loved it.

In the worth looking into pile. This rather refreshing new take on Green Arrow, the return of Batgirl, an intriguing Stormwatch along with the ‘where are you going with this’ Static Shock and Batwing. All read really well, I was entertained for the most part and my interest was at least piqued.

Just falling off into the ‘why would they waste good paper on these’. Omac. I wanted to like you Omac, I really did. Same for you Swamp Thing, we had some good times in the past, didn’t we? Let’s just leave them there. Lastly, I am looking at you Hawk and Dove. Never darken my door step again.

Want to see why? then let’s head into spoiler country with the fast and furious reviews!

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All right, big changes are coming to DC Universe in an effort to condense their ever-so-convoluted history and attract new readers with a simple and safe, #1. A lot of characters are getting new back stories, different histories, and some might not even exist anymore! Needless to say many, many comic book fans are freaking the fuck out. Unless you only woke up from a coma, like 20 minutes ago, you haven’t heard the apocalyptic news that DC is rebooting their universe. Well, reboot might not be a fair word. Relaunch? Revamp? Shake-up? Slight alteration  of everything just enough to piss off your die-hard fans? Yeah, it’s something like that.

Of course this isn’t the only time DC decided change was needed. There’s a reason we refer to certain eras in comics as ‘golden’ or ‘silver’, they predominately refer to differences in characters and stories as they reflect their time period. We’re entering a new age now and it’s exciting, thrilling and a little disconcerting.

Listed here, all in one handy post is every new #1 title beginning in September in the post-Flashpoint DCU. Their covers, their quick solicits and a few snarky comments from myself. I admit now I am no DC expert, just a fan. And there are going to be some books I’ll have little to say about, others I could probably devote an entire post to, but I’ll try an keep ’em short. If I don’t share the same concerns you do about a title or I just say little about your favorite new book please, please, please share your thoughts and feel free to contradict me in the comments section. On to the books!

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1

Written by GEOFF JOHNS, art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS.

On sale AUGUST 31 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US

Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes! This spectacular debut issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of the issue.

I think this sounds solid. We’re going to be introduced to our favorite heroes as younger, more inexperienced people and with the team of Johns and Lee, it’ll rock. They want to put their best foot forward with this book, this’ll be the title that introduces new fans to the core of DCU. It’s great to see Cyborg being included in such an iconic group, too. They’re starting out strong with their whole plan to diversify the DCU. We’ll just see how long that plan continues…

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