This was the final pile of new DC books I read. The pile included All-Star Western, Aquaman, Batman: The Dark Knight, Blackhawks, The Flash, and The Fury of Firestorm. This was a very strong group of books in comparison to the other books released in the final week. There were some weaker books, but overall each of the books hold an argument for continuing to read them. Also, I had not previously read any of these books on a monthly basis. From what I read, at least three of these books will be picked up again in the future: All-Star Western, Aquaman, & The Flash.
Honestly, I have never been a fan of Aquaman. He's the but of most geek'ish jokes. Geoff Johns, the writer of this book presents a a character who is re-examining his past, left his previous role of King of Atlantis, and is trying awkwardly to fit in to life on dry land. The story also has a slight edge to it that feels as though this is how Quentin Tarantino would interpret the character provided he had to work within a PG-13 framework.
Johns' story does not explain the origin of Aquaman but instead plops the reader in the middle of this character's story where a new chapter in his life is being explored. This strategy has been found in a number of the new DC comics such as Swamp Thing and Hawkman, and as in the case here can be a great tool to satisfy older and newer readers by not discrediting the past while offering a clean slate for the new reader. In all, I really enjoyed this take on Aquaman and am very interested in where this character will be taken next.
Overall, the story isn't bad but I do not find that it adds anything to the other Batman books and instead this book will get forgotten about. Even if the book is to focus on Bruce Wayne, I am unconvinced there is a need for such an ongoing book; instead, this might work better as a mini-series. The writing and art is provided by David Finch, who might be better than Tony Daniels who draws & writes for the Detective series. I recomend this book but would not doubt this book being canceled within the year because of its redundancy with the other Bat books, even if it is done well.
Leaving the problems above aside, Flash #1 is a stupendous comic. It is loads of fun and features some of the best art in the DC Universe. Manapul utilizes grey washes over top a cartoony /anime style that works really well here; also reminds me of Tim Sale's work. The dialogue is also crisp and the pacing of the comic works very well, leaving a lot of story for developing characters but never making you feel bogged down with too much exposition. This is one of the best books DC has produced and should /will become one of their most popular books!
art is horribly stilted and filled with poor anatomy. The faces feature two expressions: nothing or angry. The story was also generic and poorly structured with a secret group of assassins chasing after a mysterious product of a science experiment. The reader is taken on a voyage across the globe as this group brutally murders anyone associated with the experiment as they track down whatever it is they are looking for. Eventually their chase leads them to a high school in the United States where two teenage boys have the product and use it and become Firestorm. This is a very generic story that has been used for the retelling of too many other super-heroes. What makes the story worse is that it took TWO writers to come up with this: Gail Simone & Ethan van Sciver. I'm not familiar with Sciver, but Simone has produced much better stuff and recently gave us the pretty decent Batgirl comic. I don't know what happened here between these three creative persons, but I have no interest in seeing where this book goes.