It seems weird, but here I am reviewing the last batch of the new 52 #1 issues. Even weirder were the different genres of books represented in this week’s releases. This was definitely the most eclectic group of books, full of niche titles and B and C list heroes. Once again I’ll be using this space to review titles that I either didn’t care for, or for good books that just don’t require a full review. This is the last week I’ll be reviewing all 52 books. Rather, I’ll keep up with the ones I found interesting. If I start hearing interesting things about other books I’ll give them a shot. So for the last time in the foreseeable future, let’s review the rest.
Batman: The Dark Knight#1 by David Finch and Paul Jenkins
This book has several uncanny similarities between this book and Scott Snyder’s Batman book. Both books feature long dramatic speeches by Bruce Wayne, as well as an Arkham breakout. For The Dark Knight, this problem is compounded by the fact that it just isn’t as good as Batman. The plot is shallower and the art just isn’t as good. I’m usually a fan of Finch’s art but there are some weird things happening here, especially in faces. The last page reveal comes completely out of left field with no explanation. I don’t expect much in the story department from Finch, but I had hoped that Jenkins could pull the quality up a bit. At the very least, I’m intrigued by the white rabbit character introduced here. I won’t be following this one.
This book has the unenviable task of playing second fiddle to Morrison’s Action Comics, but it does a really good job. George Perez is a comic legend, and his mastery of the medium show through here. This is a densely packed comic at 25 pages of story. Perez packs as much a story as would normally be found in two or three issues and it’s refreshing to get what feels like a full story in one issue. The art by Jesus Merino and finished by Perez is really well done. The tie in bit with Stormwatch #1 is a little strange, but I’m intrigued by it nonetheless. DC is doing some really subtle world building here.
If I didn’t know anything about the Firestorm character, or DC comics in general, I might have actually enjoyed this comic. But as it is I”m in neither of those camps. I have two main problems with this book. My first offense is that this is a complete reboot of the character. After all the work Johns did with the character in Blackest Night and Brightest Day, it’s all getting shoved under the rug. I don’t expect to get resolution for any of those dangling plot points, such as Firestorm’s interaction with the Anti-Monitor and the Black Lanterns, or the cliffhanger tease the duo received at the end of Brightest Day. I realize that there has to be some casualties for the sake of the new reader, but this ticks me off. My other issue is the new way Firestorm works. Apparently there are now multiple Firestorms, instead of just one made up of two people. This is a fine idea, if it hadn’t been done a million times. Character franchising is extremely common in DC comics, you have the various lantern corps in GL, the Batman family, the Flash family, the Superman Family. This is an aspect I really enjoy. But it’s just not what this character needs in my opinion. I don’t need a Firestorm for every color of the rainbow. This issues aside, the book also suffers from mediocre dialogue, average art, and too much torture. This one is a definite pass.
This book was definitely a minor disappointment. Even with such a cool cast of characters, everything just kind of fell flat. I never got sucked into the characters’ plight, and the art was too stiff. This book suffers the same problems that befell Stormwatch, but on a smaller scale. It was cool seeing the regular JL getting their arses handed to them by the Enchantress, but the characters I really wanted to see, Shade and Constantine, did a lot of nothing. It’s a shame that the two team books I was looking forward to the most fell short of expectation. As with Stormwatch I’ll probably give this one at least one more issue, but I’m not sure this is the book I wanted it to be.
I don’t have a lot to say about his book. It’s basically G.I. Joe in the DCU. The characters are a little one-dimensional at this point and tend to make a lot of dumb decisions. The art is serviceable but not amazing. There’s an audience for a book like this, but it isn’t me.
After the Catwoman/Red Hood debacle I was afraid this book would take the cake for female objectification. The whole issue takes place in a strip club for goodness sake. But overall, the book handles the situation with a semi-respectable amount of taste (there are a ton of breasts, but this is comic books, sad as that is). As far as the plot, there’s not a lot here to really keep me interested in coming back. I’m kind of curious if the character is sticking to her Kherubim/Daemonite Wildstorm roots, because here it seems like Voodoo is more of a green martian like Martian Manhunter. That would be an interesting twist, so I’ll keep at least one eye on this book, as often as I can spare it.
Sadly I have almost nothing good to say about this book. The art is not Phillip Tan’s best in my opinion and the plot is really cliché and lacking nuance. I also can’t tell if this is picking up from where Brightest Day left the character or if it’s a complete reboot, as there is no mention of Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman. Also, the villain’s name is ridiculous.
This book wasn’t the great surprise that Superboy was, but it was still a decent début. The issue suffers from Justice League syndrome to a T(T, ha). Only half of the characters on the cover actually show up. Both issues focus on two characters, showcase one future member, and end with the appearance of a Kryptonian character. I really liked Tim and Bart’s characterization, but Cassie as Wonder Girl came off a little weird. Overall I’m still excited to see the story Lobdell is weaving between Superboy and Teen Titans, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the new Teen Titans characters in action.