Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Week of DC's New 52

Following DC comics release of the re-numbered and re-imagined Justice League came 13 or so other similarly styled comics each week during the month of September. It is beyond my budget to pick up each of these comics as I still collect books from other publishers -sorry DC. However, I did want to try some of the new comics to see how good or bad they were.

In all I picked up 5 of the DC comics in the first week. Out of those five, only one was a true disappointment. The other four were good enough to make me want to continue reading them. In the second week I picked up yet another 5 books, and again only 1 was a disappointment and the other four will likely become regular, monthly reads. Below are a few comments on the five books I picked up during the first week. In future posts I'll comment on the books that came out after the first week.

Action Comics: The art is very strong and features a young Superman who is still understanding his limitations. While not explicit, it seems that this book is taking place between five and ten years before the present. In the book, Superman's powers are not yet fully realized and his relationship to Louis is virtually nil. Lex Luthor is still a respected business man who is just discovering Superman, and of course his hatred for him. This book made me excited for what DC was doing and was an exceptionally fun title to immerse myself into!

Batgirl: I had high expectations for this book because the writer, Gail Simone, is a huge fan favorite for her work on the Secret 6 book -also published by DC. The artwork in Batgirl is solid but nothing too grabbing and the same can be said for the writing. A bit of a disappointment as there was not too much new or inventive being offered for this character as I felt Batgirl was being portrayed as a cliche of a superhero. Despite this, the premise of the storyline offered a few highlights that piqued my interest enough to warrant further reading.

Detective Comics: Tony Daniel! The name is enough to sell me on this title! Daniel both draws and writes this title and manages to do both tasks with considerable skill. The story is definitely dark and twisted, with Batman presented as a detective (as he should be presented) chasing down the notorious evil doers of Gotham, notably the Joker! Great read!

Green Arrow: This was the disappointment of the week. The art is OK, which is disappointing to say since it is Dan Jurgens who penciled the comic. Jurgens was once one of the biggest names in comic books back in the 1990's with his work on the death of Superman series; however, it would seem his art has not matured since the 90's and has perhaps become a little lazy. There are numerous panels that cried out for more detail (especially in the buildings), and the figures seemed stilted and overly posed in each shot. Furthermore, Geore Perez (who is also a legendary artist of the 90's) inked the book. Perez's inks are muddy and thick, almost sloppy. The writing is similarly stilted and the story is down right boring with the over-used concept of rich boy playing crime fighter and very little else added to make it stand out against the other 52 DC titles. I'm a little shocked at the low quality of this book but can only suggest that it was due to a tight time frame that the creators had to work within. Regardless, I am not exactly inclined to pick up another issue of this book any time soon.

Swamp Thing: This is another title that surprised me, but in a good way! The first issue of this title was exciting as I had little idea where the story could go and each page unleashed a flurry of beautiful art by the highly talented Yanick Paquette. Paquette offers some of the most striking visuals in any of the DC titles, with beautiful composition, soft lines, range of visions and elements, and so on. Paquette alone makes the book worth picking up! But Scott Snyder adds another element that makes this perhaps the best book DC pushed out. Snyder presents an interesting story of internal and external conflict. Snyder writes Swamp Thing for both the old and new reader, allowing for the older readers to be rewarded for their patronage to the character while also making the book assessable to new readers like myself. This is a great, great, great book that I can't recommend enough!

No comments: