Week 3 of the DCnU was marked with some top quality books, two of which were my highest scoring books so far, and some which were very controversial. The rest ranged from decent to average, which is a major improvement over some of the below average books that came out last week. Now let’s get into “Reviewing the Rest”.
DC Universe Presents #1 featuring Deadman by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang
Deadman is a really cool character that not a lot of people know about. He’s gotten a big push recently thanks to Blackest Night/Brightest Day, and now he’s the first featured character in DC’s new anthology book. Some would write off an anthology book because of a perceived lack of importance in the overall framework in serialized story telling. But I would say that this is one of the most reader friendly books being offered in the new 52. This book is a great Deadman primer and the plot had me hooked by the end of book. I’ll probably be following this title in paperback form, and I can’t wait to see what other characters are in store down the line.
Blue Beetle #1 by Tony Bedard and Ig Guara
Much like Static Shock a few weeks ago, this book follows a teenage hero in the vein of Peter Parker. Here we have a revised origin for Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes, no longer tied to the Infinite Crisis crossover (which makes me doubt its place in DCnU continuity). This is a really fun sci-fi comic, and though it’s been said before about the character, it’s always refreshing to see a minority character taking the starring role in a comic. I probably wont be following this, but it wont stop me from recommending it to others.
Birds of Prey #1 by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz
This book is…meh. It felt like nothing happened, two of the characters on the cover don’t even appear in the book, and the nature of the plot makes me feel like it’s going to take a while for them to come into play. There are some interesting hooks, like the criminal status of Black Canary and Starling. Nevertheless, there’s just not a lot going for this book right now. I might check back into it a few issues later (apparently something huge is going to happen in issue #4 involving Batgirl) but for now it’s a pass.
Captain Atom #1 by J. T. Krul and Freddie Williams II
Watchmen anyone? We’ve come full circle, Captain Atom, the character who inspired Dr. Manhattan, has now become the very character he inspired in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s much lauded comic book. The result? Another meh for me. A case could be made that this is a continuation of some of the developments laid down by Judd Winnick in Justice League Generation Lost, the increasing power and a loss of humanity, but to me the character was much more interesting in that book. None of the new supporting cast was that interesting, and the side plot involving some homeless men and a rat went nowhere. I know it will get picked up in the next issue, but it’s place in this issue just felt strange. One good thing I can say about this book is that the art by Freddie Williams II is incredible. Nevertheless, this is a pass for me.
Legion of Super Heroes #1 by Paul Levitz and Francis Portela
I really wanted to like this book, but I’m afraid that much like the last volume of Levitz penned Legion of Super Heroes, this just isn’t for me. There’s just not enough here to make me care what’s going on. Nothing against Mr. Levitz, the man is a legend in comic book history, but I’m just a much bigger fan of the Legion stories penned by Geoff Johns from years past. In another case of an average book with awesome art, Francis Portela does a great job in this issue, but this is still a pass for me.
Supergirl #1 by Michael Green, Mike Johnson, and Mahmud Asrar
This is a very simple book. Supergirl crash lands on earth, ends up in Russia, and fights a lot of robots. Because of this, it’s a very reader friendly book, and one I found to be very enjoyable. Nearly the entire issue is taken up by Supergirl’s monologuing, but this isn’t a bad thing. We really get a good idea of the character’s personality and sense of fear and loneliness. The last page appearance of a very important character is really touching. I probably wont follow this one, but I would recommend it.
Nightwing #1 by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows
I can’t help but feel this is a step back for Dick Grayson. After spending the last two years as Batman, it makes me sad to see him return to his Nightwing persona. I’m always a fan of seeing younger characters taking up the legacy of their predecessor, something that the major comic book companies like to do in the short term rather than the long term. In the end the original must always return and take center stage. I love Bruce Wayne as Batman. He IS Batman. But Dick Grayson’s time as Batman was so fun and refreshing, and I hate to see his time in the cowl ended for the sake of new readers. It doesn’t help that I hate the new Nightwing costume. An updated take on the modern black and blue would’ve been preferred. As far as this book goes, the plot and art alright, not great. There’s not really anything here that makes me want to come back for a second issue, other than possible ties to Scott Snyder’s Batman book. While it does seem early for books to start feature interwoven narratives there is a precedent for it in Lobdell’s Superboy and Teen Titans books, and Snyder and Kyle Higgins did just come off of a collaborative Batman effort in Batman: Gates of Gotham. For now, this is a pass for me.